Friday, May 29, 2009

Official Ask You Page



For my mom's birthday, May 30th, I am going to be putting up the official Ask You page with links to other demos, the song embedded in the page, a download button and sharing option.

Look for the page sometime tomorrow at this address:

http://www.dylanduncan.com/whattokeep

Thanks for viewing!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ask You Lyrics

You've heard the song, now read the song.

(Many thanks to all who have listened and to your beautiful compliments...I'll always remember them)

Ask You

I could offer you my ears
they are open wide for you
just in case you get lonely and need someone to talk to

it's been such a long time since
i heard your caring voice
so it'd definitely help me here to fill this silent void

and if you can hear me now
i'd like to Ask You now

are you finally free from pain?
and is there beauty where you are?
full of light and endless summer rains
is there a chance we'll meet again?
yes, i hope we meet again

i am selfish because
if i could have you here i would
so you could help me get yet through another year without you

but i have no regrets
in letting you go
because tonight i can sleep soundly knowing you're not alone

and if you can hear me now
i'd like to Ask aloud

are you finally free from pain?
and is there beauty where you are?
full of light and endless summer rains
is there a chance we'll meet again?
yes, i hope we meet again

i like to think that things happen for a reason
it's the only way i can justify for you leaving

i hope you're proud of what i've done and who i've become, and who i've become
i love you every day, i'm sorry that you went away
but i am happy you're free, you're finally free

so don't feel bad for leaving me. no, don't feel bad for leaving me, don't feel bad for leaving me

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

5/26/97

I miss you. I love you, everyday.

Ask You

Friday, May 22, 2009

Ask You is Complete...

...and will be released online on May 26th, 2009, marking the 12 year anniversary of my mom's passing. Thanks again goes out to Brendon Thomas for putting together a spectacular musical arrangement/mix and to Dave Eastman for capturing my initial acoustic performance.

This is for you, mom. "I love you everyday."

Look for Ask You on the official site as well as myspace and reverbnation.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ask You Cover

Here is the planned album cover for the Ask You single release.

05:26 on May 26?? So close.

I noticed last night that Ask You is SO close to being 05:26 long. That would have been something incredible if the running time of the song ended up being the same numbers as its release date of 5/26. Turns out it's just 5 seconds over at 05:31.

I think I would have lost my mind in joy if that happened. :) haha Perhaps we can crop it down 1 second and it make it her birthday -5/30. There's an idea..conceptually it would almost suggest life instead of death....

Mixed feelings about Ask You Mix

Last night Dave and I drank tea and sat at the computer to mix together the parts that we recorded for Ask You with the guitar and strings sections that Brendon added up in Vermont. Three words- No Easy Task. haha Brendon definitely embedded an intense emotional quality to the song and resonated even through a rough mix he provided for us to listen to. At around 11 o'clock last night, Dave and I finished up what would be the final version (at least for the May 26th release) but there was something still not right in my mind. In working with the EQ on my acoustic and vocal parts, we had a tendancy to lose some of Brendon's key guitar parts and sounds; everything seemed to compete for the same space and in doing so a lot of the subtle emotions that were interweved through the song seemed to disappear. I noticed it mostly when I listened in my car on the way home and when I returned to my computer. It's good that we had the option to listen to it at a few different places. Having "mixed feelings" about this particular mix, I sent it along to Brendon to see how we did with his parts. Sure enough, he agreed that something was off. This is what he had to say:

"This mix sounds too safe. Nothing really stands out.....the emotional impact needs to be less compromised by the mix."

I really couldn't agree more and though Dave did a fantastic job with the sound quality itself, there was an emotional quality that really seemed to get lost in the polishing of this song. After a morning to think it over and discussion with both Brendon and Dave, it has been decided that Brendon will take on the mixing responsibility as it seems to make most sense to allow him to maintain what he intended for the song by giving him control of how it all comes together for the final.

Much thanks and appreciation goes to Dave for staying up so late to try and get this done for our release and another nod to Brendon for taking the tracks back to his station to give it its final treatment. You guys both rock and I couldn't do it without you. Sincerely.

On to May 26th...

In the End almost to an end!!

Last night Mr. Chad Macomber entered the studio for the first time and after only a few short takes, he nailed his lead guitar part for In the End. Before that I laid down a rough vocal part for him to be able to play around in certain sections. Chad came in and confidently set up his gear, drank a beer and filled our ears with his edgy, wahwah pedal driven guitar riffs that brought the song to where it needed to be-intense and powerful. Only thing left to add to the song are the final vocals, backups and perhaps some string arrangements during the chorus and outros. In the End will definitely stand out as a departure from the rest of the album but I have looked at it more as an opportunity to foreshadow a new style of songs to come for album number 2 - a little more edgy, if that's the direction I decide to go.

Pictures and video of Chad's work in the studio on May 20th coming soon!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ask You Released May 26, 2009



Ask You is nearly complete, having received the beautiful guitar parts and string arrangements from Brendon Thomas yesterday and allowing us to work on the final mix tonight. There are some things I might play around with that involve extending the outro a bit with a new set of simple lyrics but other than that, the song will be ready for you all on May 26th- the 12 year anniversary of when my mom passed away from her battle with Familial Amyloidosis. I will also be releasing an acoustic version of the song May that I wrote back in 2001. Both will be featured on a dedication/memorial web page, along with some information on my mom.

Special thanks and gratitude goes out to Brendon for taking the time to beautifully fill this song out with exactly what it needed. Every time I hear it I get chills. I think you will too.

I appreciate your involvement so much, B.


Look for Ask You on Tuesday May 26th.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Band



Yesterday was the first time since early April that all four of us were in the practice space in Weston. We have a spot in the Marblehead Festival of the Arts coming up on July 4th and are definitely going to be crankin' it up a notch to be ready for that and to put on as good a show as we can! We are advertising ourselves as Carnival Hero for the show and there is a good mixed bag of songs including a Bob Marley cover, a Jackson 5 classic and some songs that Chad and I have written together in the past. Chad has a song he will sing from one of his solo albums and we will be doing a 5-song block from What To Keep & Let Go as way to promote its forthcoming release. Things are sounding great and the guys and I are really excited to get up there and rock in front of the harbor. Let's hope for a beautiful day!

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Nice Reunion

On May 12th, the boys and I met in Weston to work on something; I say "something" because since we haven't really practiced in a while it was very unclear what we were going to get accomplished. aha I am happy to say that after only a few takes we wrapped the acoustic and bass parts to Passing into August. Cheers!












Back to the studio!!

My classic to-the-studio-introduction-while-driving video.

Still not a smart idea. haha

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"We're gonna cruise through this project!"

Here marks what I believe is the beginning of the last half of What to Keep & Let Go. It was definitely great to be back in the studio with Mr. Kuc. I have missed it!

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Click, click, click...

So since we haven't had a chance to get any drums laid down, Marcin and I went at Passing into August using a metronome through our headphones. VERY TOUGH! haha It actually ended up being nearly impossible for me to play, keep time and sing all at once to a subtle click in my ear so we ended up just doing the acoustic and bass. I will sing later when I don't have to keep a steady beat. Here we are with the first attempts.

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"If you're MAN Enough"

When Dave isn't setting up mics and mixing tracks, he's a professional trash talker! haha "I'm just sayin..."

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Lazy Musicians....especially singer/songwriters. haha!

Give Cullen the camera and you're gonna be in for a surprise...like I was!! (lazy musicians...HA!!)

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Ask The Drummer Man!

After our Passing into August take we sat around and discussed Cullen's involvement after the acoustic and bass was completed. Marcin, as always, provided some silly entertainment!

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Time to "Forge Ahead!"

After a week or so, I'm heading back in to record tonight with Dave and Marcin. Cullen is making a guest appearance as well though he will not be drumming tonight; perhaps a productive observation! Though we're not entirely prepared for anything, I think we're going to just go with it and see what happens. Some possibilities for recording tonight are as follows: Do What You Can, Stand, Passing Into August or Circles...all of which would be only acoustic, bass and vocals. Whichever we choose, there is a good chance we'll have to play to a click so Cullen can add the drums later. It's difficult getting the drums down first with the lack of practice time we've all had so at this point Dave and I feel it's best to "forge ahead" and get things done! I have set myself a new deadline of August 31st. I'll make this more official as we enter June and see how we're looking.

Monday, May 11, 2009

"A conversation between you and your mother..."

I had a chance to speak to Brendon on Friday about the progress of Ask You and I am very excited to see what he has been working on. I sent him the final take of what we did down here at the studio and he has been adding his special touches to the song for the past few days. Originally when we had played the song in front of an audience at my mom's memorial service, Brendon had a whole electric guitar arrangement throughout the song that seemed to work really well; in fact, i truly loved it! However, since it was so long ago he decided to take a fresh approach to the song. I had discussed with him my intentions for the different parts, namely the outro where it would build up in an intense and emotional way, involving all of the other key players on the album. In other words, the first part of Ask You would be mainly me and Brendon and then the last part would bring in Marcin, Cullen, Chad and whoever else had played on previous songs (Ask You is the final song on the album). In recent weeks, Dave, Brendon and myself have realized that we should really avoid cluttering this song with too much at the end. Less is more kinda thing...the vocals and lyrics really are the most important part afterall and I love that that Brendon and Dave also feel the same way and know exactly what treatment to use.

So in our conversation, Brendon and I discussed using cello, viola and violin as part of a string arrangement during the outro, as well as some light electric guitar strumming. During the second verse, he has a thought to use some ambient sounds as atmosphere to suggest something "on the other side", a sort of musical representation of my mom. He also plans on minimizing his involvement during the first part of the song because as he told me "it's a conversation between you and your mother" and that he will just leave it be just that...

Right on, man. Right on. Good to have you as a part of this.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Time for Vocals!

Hey all! Back from the cruise and it's time to start really crackin' on the last half of the album! We have guitar parts to add in, more songs to work on and start and vocals to insert!! I'll start back up strong next week but for now, here is a little at-home work on my vocals. Exercise video was so kindly done up by my friend Brian. He's my vocal trainer and boy do I need it!

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