LAB presents Revolver

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' Revolver, the Lyric Advisory Board has reimagined the entire album with a number of musicians from Milwaukee and beyond, featuring cover art by renowned Portland, OR artist Lisa Congdon. All proceeds will benefit Equality Florida's fund to assist the families of victims of the shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, FL on June 12, 2016.

The basic guitar and vocal tracks were all recorded live in a single night, two days after the shooting, as a meditation and a means of coping - all additional overdubs were conducted in a similar fashion, on a first thought/best thought basis, emphasizing intention over perfection, with little to no editing done. All musicians have donated their time, and Lisa Congdon has personally and graciously allowed us to license her artwork free of charge.

We could say a great many things about the horrific events in Orlando, and the social and political climate that led to them; but in the end we're just artists, and our job is to shed a light, not filter it. All of us sincerely hope that whatever your feelings, you receive some peace and comfort, and a little reminder of our shared humanity - the more things change, the more they stay the same; and we're all stuck in this great cycle together.

"Play the game Existence to the end
Of the beginning ..."

The Sublimative Sessions - Vol. 3: The Bad Verse

We've already been through the "New, Annotated, Coté's Dictionary" definition of sublimation, so we'll skip the extrapolation this time around and cut straight to the chase: we're back!

The fine folks at Dézòd Rèkòd and the less fine folks at Allen Coté Industries, LLC are pleased to present the release of the latest volume of The Sublimative Sessions: "Volume Three: The Bad Verse" - featuring past and current members of The New Red Moons, The Great Lake Drifters, The Form, The Scarring Party, Lisa Ridgely and the Fainting Room, Field Report, and many others; and recorded live in a single day, with minimal overdubs, at the lakeside studios of 77eleven Productions.

We will be celebrating the expulsion of three years' post-production with a release party at Linneman's Riverwest Inn on January 22, 2016; and live appearances on 88.9 Radio Milwaukee at 5:30pm on January 21, and Fox 6 Studio A at 4pm on January 22 - the live performances will feature a core band of Milwaukee supersessionists Krystal Kuehl, Nathan Kilen and Jeff Brueggeman; with special appearances by Heidi Spencer, Lisa Ridgely, Ryan Elliott, and other surprise guests. Free noisemakers with download codes will be provided at all performances; and handmade wooden whistles with embedded flash drives will be for sale, featuring all three volumes of The Sublimative Sessions (so far) - the full purpose of these trinkets will be revealed in the interactive portion of our release show at Linneman's ...

It's been a while since we've hugged, smooched, shaken hands, said hello; and we've missed your lovely little eardrums; so please join us for some or all of these special events, and let's shake off the subzero with a little shared heat - we'll save a seat for you.


The concept of sublimation has roots in multiple scientific doctrines. In the physical sciences, sublimation is the transition of a solid into a gas, sans the usual liquid phase (ie - ice into vapor, without ever becoming water) - this transition is rare, and requires intense amounts of pressure and energy. In the psychological sciences, sublimation generally refers to the transformation of emotions or impulses into socially acceptable behavior - Freud (of course) highlighted the transformation of sexual energy into creative output; whereas Jung referred to a mystical process, with roots in alchemy, wherein the great mysteries of creation are unconsciously revealed through evolution.

The constants between these disciplines and disciples are creativity and radical change. Over the last several years, I have attempted multiple musical experiments based around this concept, involving ever-changing ensembles; songs pulled from the past, present and ether (and in some cases, created on the spot); and most importantly, very little rehearsal or recording time. Though the initial goal was to create a sprawling masterwork, the individual sessions themselves have proved enlightening; and while never perfect nor polished, they are possibly more interesting and complex than anything I could have arranged or orchestrated beforehand.

The Sublimative Sessions - Vol. 2: Darling Hall (RIP) was recorded in a single night at the now defunct home of The Vega Star and Flojo collective rehearsal, recording and living space. Four of us entered the room at 4pm on Friday, April 13, with almost no preparation - three of us had never technically made music together before - and by midnight we had roughly three takes each of five songs. Strings and light guitar accents were added later, using the same improvisational approach, but the performances remain intact; a document of us discovering the music, with some very raw emotions bleeding through here and there.

For various reasons, I spent two years avoiding this session, refusing to listen back and resolving to destroy the evidence. Special thanks goes out to Jackson Messner and Justin Rolbiecki for encouraging me to revisit and relive, and thereby heal some old psychic wounds - Justin, in particular, has worked his ass off to turn these rough performances into something listenable, and for that I am eternally grateful. Listening back with a little more objectivity, I can honestly say this is one of the best things I have ever recorded - I hope you feel the same.


I give up. I will be perpetually tardy. On everything. Forever.

July's promised release is a live album by Milwaukee supergroup (critics' words, not mine) Buffalo Gospel. We played the Peck School of the Arts last October in a live broadcast for WMSE - our second show (ever) was basically a reinterpretation of the album we had released a couple months prior, We Can Be Horses, and despite our relative youth (and my daughter having been born a week prior, ensuring my absolute exhaustion), upon listening back we were all pleasantly surprised by the results. I spent a couple of weeks remixing everything, et voila: Hoarse as a Crow: Live On Air was born.

I can say with absolute honesty that this is basically a faithful document of an hour of our lives - I made very few corrections, almost no edits (save cutting out dead air for the sake of keeping things moving along), and no added effects - unlike many "live" albums that punch in cleaned-up guitar solos or auto-tune flat vocals, what you hear is what we played. I was prepared to hate every note I played (and many of them I still do), but as the mixing process went along, I became more and more impressed with our live chemistry - I hope the listener agrees.

As always, more shows and monthly releases forthcoming. August is a busy month for me, gig-wise, and I'm excited to be playing some more of my own material, as well as backing up some of my best friends and favorite musicians in the city. I won't even pretend to be more timely with my updates, but I do promise that the monthly releases will keep flowing: four more months left, and even I'm excited to see what will pop out next. Stay tuned.


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.


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).