Gemini

I promised a monthly release, but I never promised a monthly update ...

I'm gonna go ahead and ride a friend's coat-tails for June's release: Heidi Spencer and the Rare Birds finally knocked out our new full-length - Things I Remember Golden - with a CD release on June 13 at Linneman's, featuring yet another little side project as opener, the newly-formed and christened Lyric Advisory Board. Inspired by a throw away joke from the album liner notes, I pieced together some friends from the Rare Birds and Buffalo Gospel for a one-off musical experiment  (it went so well, there may be a reprise ...).

This album is the culmination of my entire time spent with the band - I first joined at the CD release for Heidi's last album - and the results are well worth the three years of production. As always, I'm honored and humbled to be a part of it.

More releases coming up soon, including a live set from Buffalo Gospel, and the second installment of the Sublimative Sessions - I'll do my best to make the posts/updates a little more timely.

MAYDAY!!!

So the promised monthly releases are on time, even if the monthly posts/updates aren't ...

My old "friend" Tex Coyote and his band of vagrants, Oedipus Tex and the Motherfuckers, have wandered back in from the wilderness to drop another single - "Hipster Assassin" - and of course I produced it for them (cuz I'm a sucker like that). This is nothing you would expect from any of us, but it turned out surprisingly well (one reviewer even said "I didn't expect to actually like it) ...

Buffalo Gospel and Wolfgang Schaefer - two bands with whom I play - are sharing the stage on Saturday, May 31 at Cactus Club. We'll be supporting Whitney Mann out of Madison, WI - with whom I used to play - so it'll be a lovely little night of incest featuring yours truly as the unifying factor.

Heidi Spencer and the Rare Birds finally have the new album in hand, and we'll be celebrating on June 13 at Linneman's with the Lyric Advisory Board. I personally guarantee this will be one of the best shows you'll attend all year, and if you have any doubts, check the lunar calendar - it's the only full moon Friday the 13th for quite some time.

In other news, there is no other news - get yer cute patoots down to one of the next two shows, or you're dead to me (and maybe the world in general).

April's Fool

The Year of Productivity continues with the release of a single ... er, EP ... well, really an addendum to an existing album ...

Anyway. The Marriage: Epilogue is now available for free download on my site, featuring a pair of tunes originally arranged and recorded for weddings. For those of you who already own The Marriage, this makes a nice companion piece; for those of you who don't ... get on it (there's only one physical copy left).

Couch by Couchwest awarded my little publicity stunt runner-up in the "Least Dressed" category - a dubious honor, at best, but flattering that they even made it all the way through the video. I guess next year I'm just gonna have to go full frontal.

Some killer shows coming up, including a top secret project to celebrate the release of the new Heidi Spencer and the Rare Birds album at Linneman's on June 13 - I can't say much right now, but I PROMISE this is going to be one of the best shows going down this year - best of all, it falls on a full moon Friday the 13th ...

Lots more releases in the works, and I can honestly and humbly say that the performance and production quality just keeps improving (probably because I'm finally figuring out how to use this box with wires and keys and such). Check back in for next month's release - it might shock, it might appall, it might appeal, but it will NOT be boring (or folky).

March Madness

I made a promise on New Year's Day that I would be attempting to release one new "thing" - album, EP, single, video, whatever - every month in an attempt to spur my own work ethic and finally clear out the years of backlogged material. This promise was accompanied by the second movement of Symphonia Pro Punctum, an ambient symphony created for Milwaukee Community Acupuncture.

So far, I have slipped a little (typical) - February's travels, combined with the searing cold (and ensuing depression) that gripped the nation meant that I was unable to complete the second installment in time - however, February's loss is March's gain, as I am pleased to announce MULTIPLE releases this month!

First and foremost, I am excited and relieved to finally release The Sublimative Sessions - Vol 1: Live at WMSE - the first in a continuing series of one-off recording sessions, featuring shifting players and soundscapes, Vol. 1 features a live broadcast of Jackson Messner and myself performing on 91.7 WMSE (way back on June 16, 2009). There will be further installments of this series debuting as the year goes on, and they all come together to form an interesting (and hopefully enlightening) view of the creative process - each release will be available for free download until the next chapter rolls along, so snap 'em up now.

Next up, the fine folks at Couch by Couchwest put on an annual online music festival for those of us too broke (or savvy) to make the long trek down to Austin - as someone who lived, worked and played there for many years, trust me when I say you'd rather spend this week on your couch. While helping Ryan Necci put together a Buffalo Gospel video for the festival, I was struck with another idea that I thought might be too ... um, let's say "revealing" for the rest of the band ... so I submitted it myself. Milwaukee is well-covered (or not) at CXCW 2014.

Lastly, I make a promise to you that I will not drop the ball again (at least until Summer): already got the next few months lined up and ready to go, with some very exciting additions to the ever-broadening sprawl that is my catalog, including the long-awaited return of a so-called "friend" ...

Also, keep your eyes peeled for the even-more-anticipated release of the new Heidi Spencer and the Rare Birds album (and accompanying films); further Buffalo Gospel projects; and a wide variety of shows with various artists, in varying styles and situations - hopefully, by the end of the year I will have provided something to appease every member of your immediate family (save maybe your uber-conservative father-in-law) ...

Or at least I'll finally empty the cupboard.




Endless Summer

I'm pretty sure there was a Summer. At least, I was told so. Apparently it was cold for a while, then warmed up, then cooled down, then got hot as balls; and global warming is either completely at fault, or has nothing to do with it whatsoever, depending on whom you ask.

I would have no idea, as I had a grand total of three days off from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Major life changes and art-related poverty necessitated a seasonal cash grab, working as a barista and bartender in Door County, WI - 70+ hours and 5-6 doubles per week on my feet serving vices morning, noon and night. Aside from a healthy dose of hatred for suburban Chicago, and more clothes dryer dollar discoveries than an airport stripper, the greatest profit of the Summer was avoiding the Summerfest grounds for the first year since I moved to Milwaukee.

The few days I managed to escape Vacation Hell were spent driving back home to promote, perform and celebrate the release of the long-awaited Buffalo Gospel release, We Can Be Horses - we hit the airwaves on Radio Milwaukee and WMSE, hit the stage at Linneman's on July 27 with Jonathan Burks, and hit every goddamn paper, pamphlet, poster and music blog from here to Norway. We also found time to finish a music video for The Western (well, Heidi did, while Ryan and I played a month-long game of too many cooks in the kitchen); inspire a sandwich; and book some more shows for the Fall.

I am now back in town full-time, for the time being, and falling back into the swing of things. A handful of shows coming up; a handful of songs left to record for the (even more long-awaited) Heidi Spencer and the Rare Birds album; the beginnings of a recording project with John Pajot and his band Various Small Fires; and maybe even the end of the psychosocial meltdown that has been my own personal year and a half-long record making process.

To be honest, I don't know what the hell is going on any more. Day by day, dollar by dollar, drunk love song by somebody done me wrong. I'm pretty sure things are happening. At least, I was told so. If I hear anything else, I'll be sure to let you know.

SXSE 2013

About to walk out the door and get in the car - per usual, I wait until the very last second to announce tour dates ...

Excited to get back to the South, see the ocean, feel the sun, and revisit some old friends and family. Hitting a couple of my favorite spots in and around Charleston and Savannah - namely Awendaw Green and the Savannah Songwriters Series - and a few new ones, including the world famous Tootsie's Orchid Lounge in Nashville and an Athens gig with the inimitable Nancy Kaye.

If you or your friends happen to be anywhere near one of my gigs, stop by and I'll buy you a beer - otherwise, wish me (and my liver) luck, and I'll see y'all soon. Take care of each other.

communique from the front

Just pleased as punch (the painful kind, not the tasty kind) to finally announce the long-coming release of a new single and music video that I produced for my friends Oedipus Tex and the ... well, you can read the rest on their site. The video was put together by my good friend Andrew Gralton, and the song was engineered by my friend and former band mate Joe Crockett. They've already got some very nice press from the AV Club and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's websites, and plans are in the works for a follow-up (or three) ...

Daytrotter finally released the Pezzettino session from July 2011 - I kinda thought they'd given up on us. All I really remember about the session is sweating bullets in the hottest day on record that year - had to turn off the A/C to record - and running Margaret's squeezebox through a Leslie cab. Listening back has been a nice little trip down memory lane, though - this was the peak of our weird little power trio chemistry, and I'm genuinely pretty proud of our performance.

In other news, made the short trip down the block to Howl Street Recordings to lay down some parts on the continuing saga that is Chris DeMay's upcoming album - it's been a long time in the works, but there are some phenomenal songs and epic jams, featuring some of the best musicians in Milwaukee - I promise it will be well worth the wait.

Lastly, but certainly not leastly, I'll be heading South for another tour in April, this time stretching a little farther and a little longer. Excited to see the ocean again, and soak up a little sun far from the frozen North - much thanks to Awendaw Green and the Savannah Songwriters Series for providing the impetus - stay posted for upcoming dates and times.