Category Archives: Video

Side Effects May Include…

Today, the Laryngitis EP concludes.

This song being here is proof that sometimes chronological isn’t the best order for music. This closing track was written before each of the previous three AND was recorded on the same day as “Laryngitis” (I had the day off from work that day). The impetus for this one came simply from looking at my lap steel and deciding to use it again. Then, to take the tune to the next level, I took my Gibson and put it in Open-D tuning to match the lap steel. The final piece that really put this one over the top is the solo in the whole-tone section – I received an Otamatone this past Christmas and it finally made its recording debut here.

As always, thanks for listening! Feel free to let me know what you think. Have a good one and I’ll see you soon.

Advertisements

The Doctor Will See You Now

The instrumental EP continues… and we kick off metaphorical Side B with a fun one.

As you might be able to guess from the overall sound, this is my attempt at an early Metallica instrumental – I was picturing it as a combination of “The Call of Ktulu” and “Orion” in a fraction of the time. Shortly after I put this one together, I got an idea: Since there were three spots in this tune for solos, let’s give two of them to other people! So, I got a hold of my friends Jay and Neil (the first two guitar players that popped up in my mind) and they were willing to play! Fun Fact: The solos were recorded in reverse order – my solo was tracked first, while Jay’s was done last (Jay’s a busy guy).

As always, thanks for listening! Feel free to let me know what you think. Enjoy the start of summer and I’ll see you soon with this EP’s closing track.

The Waiting Room

The instrumental EP continues!

I knew I wanted to mix it up with something mellow about halfway through the EP. This one really came about after thinking about my favorite Dredg album and all of its little incidental tracks, all of which are less than two minutes. So… why not keep that mellow thing about halfway through nice and short? After I put that chord progression together, the title practically suggested itself. Were I ever able to afford pressing this EP on vinyl, this would definitely be the last track on Side A.

As always, thanks for listening! Feel free to let me know what you think. Enjoy the start of summer and I’ll see you soon.

I Googled My Symptoms and Now I Have a Headache

Here’s track two from the upcoming instrumental EP.

I had so much fun writing “Laryngitis” with my 8-string guitar, so why not write another 8-string instrumental? This one, to me, has much more of a djent vibe than “Laryngitis”, which I like. Also, to mix things up, I decided to play all of the melodic/solo work on keys this time around.

As always, thanks for listening! Feel free to let me know what you think. Have a good day and I’ll see you soon.

Laryngitis

A few weeks ago, I went and got sick. Shortly after I got sick, I lost my voice. Well, that’s no help… but I had an idea.

During that weekend where I had almost no voice whatsoever, I started to write instrumental music. I’ve always liked instrumentals in the first place, and I couldn’t sing at the time, so why not just play stuff? I promptly wrote two tunes that weekend – this guy here and another one coming later called “Side Effects May Include…” Needless to say, there’s an instrumental EP in the works.

As always, thanks for listening! Feel free to let me know what you think. Take care and I’ll see you soon.

The Frogurt Is Also Cursed

Admittedly, 2018 started in a lull for me. I didn’t write any new music in January or February because I simply wasn’t feeling it. March started the same way until one seemingly random day. While talking to friends online waiting for my next student at work, somebody said “The Frogurt Is Also Cursed” and I immediately thought “oh, that’s a good song title!”

Within about a week, the instruments were all recorded. Vocals had to wait until early April (darn laryngitis), which then in turn gave me another idea: Since it’s this big evil metal thing, why not release it on Friday the 13th? So, uh… here we are.

The musical premise is simple to talk about. The main riff is in seven, which if you’ve followed my music long enough you know I like to do. The main riff is also the first in my entire catalog with legit sweep-picking, one of the newest additions to my bag of tricks. In this tune, I play a note on seven of the eight strings – the poor A string only gets muffled string hits.

As always, thank you for listening! Let me know what you think and I’ll see you next time.

Distinct Hitting Motion: Ever Onward

After seven months, Distinct Hitting Motion finally reaches its end.

From the onset, this tune was going to be the longest one in the project. For one, it seems to make sense that the closing track is the longest… especially with how long most of the postseason games took. For another thing, I fully admit I was thinking a lot about the band Coheed and Cambria, particularly their song “The Light and the Glass” which clocks in at over eight minutes. Of course, I can’t sing nearly as high as Claudio Sanchez, but…

The lyrics were written in one night, the music was definitely not. The first half of the closing riff and the opening bit both came to me while I was at work – the benefits of teaching private lessons for a living! Musically, the biggest challenge was bridging the gap between those two parts. Lyrically, the biggest challenge was just getting started – that “struggle to find the words to say” line was both a snapshot of me at that moment and the catalyst I needed to get the ball rolling. Go figure, huh?

As always, thank you for listening! Feel free to share and let me know what you think. Have a good day and I’ll see you again soon.

Distinct Hitting Motion: Final Four

We’ve made it to the semifinals. Time for something completely different!

I knew in this spot I wanted to do something poppy, especially after how the last song ended. Couple that with the fact that everything so far was played straight with no real shuffle/swing feel and this one nearly wrote itself. To really compliment this, I decided to gleefully ignore the music theory rules of diatonic harmony and go nuts with chords that “don’t belong” in the key of G. Lastly, I realized that the bridge was an excellent time to call back to the first song, complete with solo.

Lyrically, this one’s completely straightforward. They’re among the final four teams! Hooray! Too bad they’re losing…

This song’s recording trick (besides all of the vocals, most of which are intentionally buried in the mix):  The guitar solo on this recording was the first take… but I felt it didn’t have enough dirt. So, solo’d the track, ran a cable out from my interface, and recorded the solo going through my Orange amp. It didn’t add a lot of dirt, but it was enough to separate it in the mix. Also, for you guitar freaks: The left guitar is the Gibson, the right guitar (and the solo) is the Telecaster. Both rhythm guitars had the pickup switch in the middle position. See if you can hear the difference!

As always, thank you for listening! Feel free to share and let me know what you think. Take care and come on back in two weeks for this project’s finale!

Distinct Hitting Motion: After All That Work…

It’s the playoffs! Ten teams qualified and four of them get… a winner-take-all game. Well then…

My preamble there tells you exactly where this comes from. Think of this as the anger of the wild card winners’ fans for all that time spent in the regular season earning them… one lousy game. To make matters worse this year, both home teams won the wild card games, meaning the second wild card winners didn’t even get a playoff home game!

Musically, this one was highly inspired by Strapping Young Lad, which explains both the drastic dynamic shift right at the beginning and all of the layers. There were an awful lot of tracks for a song so short… This song’s recording trick: The initial rhythm guitars didn’t have the articulation I wanted, so I tracked them again through a Roland Micro Cube. I kept the originals, so there are four tracks of rhythm guitar on this sucker.

As always, thank you for listening! Feel free to share and let me know what you think. Have a good day and come on back next week for something totally different!

Distinct Hitting Motion: Rain Delay

Dang. Just like that the regular season is over.

I decided quite a while ago – I think even as far back as August – that the best way to end the regular season would be with an acoustic instrumental. Good way to break things up after all the distortion, right? I’ve always enjoyed the acoustic songs in the middle of metal albums, so I figured why not. Also continuing a seeming tradition, I also used an alternate tuning – Open-D, to accommodate the lap steel guitar I used as the melody instrument. I also tracked some organ, but didn’t use the video footage of that.

As for the title… it seemed appropriate after being caught in two rain delays this season – one in Batavia and one in Rochester (the Rochester game wound up being suspended). The noise buried in the background is indeed rain, recorded from an open window in my studio space.

As always, thank you for listening! Feel free to share and let me know what you think. Enjoy your day and come on back in two weeks for something that starts quiet… but doesn’t stay that way!