Thursday, January 22, 2015

Last Year's Music, This Year's Plans

Last year was kind of tumultuous for me. I took it all in stride though, with my usual cool, calm, and collected demeanour intact. Lotsa bad shit happened, but I still managed to put out some music. 

First came Bad Luck, a broken-hearted yet spirited little comp with a couple new tunes and a some older ones, all done just with my voice, electric guitar, and drum machine - no synths no organs, no bass guitar, no effects except dirt boxes, no real drums. It was the rawest, most expedient way I could document how I felt about things at the time.

Then Max and I recorded a set of 5 trailer-park gothic songs concerning the murder of a Sheriff's daughter and the supernatural justice wrought upon the miscreant perpertator, set in a fictional South Carolina town and put it out on Halloween. Max played drums, percussion, mandolin, guitar, bass, and I did the vocals, and played a pair of archtop acoustic guitars and layered a few tracks of additional noise and feedback with my Jazzmaster and Max's Tele. Here's what that project sounds like:

I did a few shows last year, but the most enjoyable one was at Drone Fest in Clemson. It was a hot mess of a performance, but fun, mostly because I got to tell bad jokes to college students between howling blasts of fuzz and feedback noise.

Then there was Sumpatheia, an exercise in layered feedback recorded at volumes intended to produce permanent hearing damage to any innocent bystander unfortunate enough to be in proximity to my house at the time (I wore earplugs throughout). This droning noise juggernaut features six tracks of electric guitar feedback courtesy of a Jazzmaster tuned EG#EEG#G#, two amplifiers, five loudspeakers, one condenser microphone and an array of distortion pedals.

The remainder of the music from 2014 I "released" consists of previously recorded material that either hadn't been put out in any form or stuff I merely repackaged. I uploaded to my store this collection of old songs that didn't fit anywhere else:

Also from the vaults are these three recordings Lily and I did with the infamous Kris Hyatt: three little uncut garage rock gems that I packed up with a nice construction paper cut-out for a cover.

And finally, three rock and roll songs Max and I recorded  at Black Sneaker Souls but hadn't officially released:

This year, of course I have big plans. Not the kind of big plans I normally make at the start of a new year, but big nonetheless. All self-mocking sarcasm aside, I'm finally, actually getting treatment for my mental health. I've been a mess of a person, a bad friend, a bad husband, a failure, full of self-loathing and self-pity for so long I don't know what to do with myself. Sometimes I feel like I don't deserve the gift of existence. So my therapist is a god-send.

This year my plans are simple: get my head screwed on straight, continue going to school, the emergence of my new band with Max Price and Raleigh Knights, love my children as fully as I am able, and to get divorced.

And maybe, if I get a minute, I'll write a few new tunes about it all.