Friday, December 31, 2010

Lyrics: In The End

I wake up to find you in the middle of a slow rewind
and you don't know how far you've gone back but you are stuck in the wrong time.
But I will try and save you from the poison running through your mind
and when I bring you back stay with me, just breathe...know that you are alive. Alive...

But we forget ourselves again in the attempts to make amends.

Though everything seems lost and all lines are crossed
this is not what you'll choose in the end.
for when all is clear, no more pain and fear........

Don't you see your safe now, no more shadows to cover your eyes
so why do you look back from where you came in hopes to run and hide?

So we forget ourselves again in the attempts to make amends.

Though everything seems lost and all lines are crossed
this is not what you'll choose in the end.
For when all is clear, no more pain and fear
you will know who you are in the end.

Oh baby, everything that you need to be breaks away when you no longer see
that to be right here will set you free.
All you have to do is stop and breathe.
Just breathe. Breathe...

Though everything seems lost and all lines are crossed
this is not what you'll choose in the end.
For when all is clear, no more pain and fear
you will know who you are in the end (3x)

You will know. You will know.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Countdown Begins...

From the first day of winter to the last. Today begins the official countdown for the release of What To Keep & Let Go. Exciting!!

Check out the new Official Website which will be updated when the timer runs out. So don't forget to watch that clock!

Special thanks to Jeremy Hamel at Sliced Design for helping me code out this website and timer.

You Will Know - FINAL POSTER!

Today, being the the first day of winter and what I consider to be the launching pad for a heaping pile of promotional agendas, I am releasing the final poster for the What To Keep & Let Go project. The cool thing about this image is that it's the first promotional photo taken a little under two years ago up in Maine by Melissa Xenakis. When it was taken, I knew it'd be one of the final posters of the album.

This poster has the expected release date of March 20, 2011 stamped on it as well as an updated cast of musicians. Enjoy!

Monday, December 20, 2010

From Winter To Spring..New Due Date of March 20, 2011

Well ladies and gentleman, today marks the day that I was hoping to release What To Keep & Let Go. And why this day, you may ask? Well today is the first day of winter and with my record being so heavily drenched in wintry themes (did you ever notice a bicycle on the ice?), it seemed only appropriate. But unfortunately the release date gods were not on my side because I never found the cash I was praying for to make this a reality.

Nevertheless, as I'm so accustomed to adapting to my environments and situations like a sneaky little chameleon, I welcomed a new concept for such a themed release. With December 21st being an impossible release date (you'd all have to settle for unfinished pieces), I have set my sights on not the FIRST day of winter...but the last.

That is right. My new, and I must say rather REALISTIC, deadline is March 20, 2011. Not only does this still fall in the wintry realm of my themes and concepts, it also serves as a cusp to a new beginning, falling on the eve of spring, which we all know symbolizes birth, growth and some damn good maple syrup.

I'd also like to point out how very appropriate a March release date is for What To Keep & Let Go when we revisit the photograph that heavily inspired the theme of the record itself (see the original post on March 3, 2009). The photo that my dad took back in 1962 of an old Schwinn bicycle on an iced over lake has influenced this project in a great way, providing not only the title of one of the songs, Bicycle on the Ice, but also lending it's aesthetic hand to the art and vision of the album itself. The photo was taken in March of that year. And so, What To Keep & Let Go will be released 49 years later in the same month.

And so there you have it - mark your calendars for Sunday, March 20, 2011. I know music is usually released on a Tuesday but now you can drive to work on a Monday with the songs you've been waiting to hear for two years. Just don't get into a wreck from all the excitement. haha Just kidding.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Strings Attached

I am currently working on writing string arrangements for Horizons, City Lights, Circles and a few others in preparation for studio time in a couple weeks. I want to make sure I'm prepared to work with the limited time we'll have in order to get everything completed. It's a trip, I tell ya, to think about reuniting with Dave and the the gang to wrap everything up. In a way I think it's somewhat poetic and appropriate that after two years in the making, I return to Boston to see it through to completion. I am in talks with a local female singer to accompany me on If Not Now, Then When? and she is currently working on her own to fill out the song with her voice and piano melody. In coming posts, I will introduce the new addition to the talent line up.

Not much to report for now but look for lots more updates in the next couple weeks.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Return to Weston

To my delight, I will be returning to the studio in Weston, MA in a few weeks to finish everything that wasn't able to get done on What To Keep & Let Go when I moved to South Carolina back in May. It had been my hope that over the summer Dave and I would be able to accomplish a great deal to have a December release of the record, but as we all know that effort proved to be futile. Things happen for a reason, however, and I am happy to take the necessary time needed to finish it up right.

So I have planned two days at the studio with Dave to crank out some back up vocal parts, finish up recording some symphony arrangements and work on overall mixing of the songs. It is a little up-in-the-air as to exactly what days I will be there, but if all goes well, everything that needs to get done for an early 2011 release will get completed in a few weeks. In the meantime, I will be warming up my vocal chords and writing some piano parts in order to have everything ready to go for my two day production schedule.

I am excited to return for the holidays, see some friends, breathe in some cold, bitter air and finish up a long standing project.

Thanks to those of you who are still with me on this journey. Much love.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Inevitable Delay, Official Music Web Page And A Mailing List

With a month to go until my projected release date of What To Keep & Let Go, it is clear to me that I am once again going to have to delay the project until it is at a point where I am satisfied to share with you all. I was really hoping that November 21st would be the time to send in the songs to get made into the physical CD, but with lack of resources to best complete the songs as well fund the production, that is definitely not possible.

I promise that the next release date I give will be the final one. I am so sorry for so many delays but life sometimes gets in the way of completing projects and this is no exception.

With that all said, I'd like to introduce to you all something I have been working on that will help to keep those involved better in the loop and perhaps still interested in this project. haha This production blog has served me well the last two years in updating everyone with the process of the album and I will continue to do so until it is complete. However, today I am launching my official music web page that is fully equipped with a mailing list feature that you, once subscribed, can benefit from receiving direct-to-email notifications, updates, links and other fun things about the What To Keep & Let Go album as well as future projects. Along with the mailing list, you will find links to several social networking sites that my current demos can be listened from and you will also have better access to my current single, Stand.

Official Dylan Duncan Music Site

So although I have brought disappointing news of a delay, I hope you will be happy with the new site and mailing list option. I plan on keeping the website updated frequently with features and new links. Sometime in the near future, keep your eye out for a t-shirt design contest, giveaways and an official What To Keep & Let Go website linked directly from my music site. And if you're curious at this point how long it might be until the album is released, please know that it is definitely still be in the winter season.

As always thank you for your patience and dedication to the project.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

See Any Monsters?

The Where Is The Weston Monster site has been updated! Go check it out. Be sure to continue visiting the site for updates as there are more things coming...

Click here to jump to the site.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Is There Anybody Out There?

Pink Floyd would like to know if you're still following the progress of What To Keep & Let Go. haha How COULD you really when there hasn't been much to update!

My bad..

So sorry for all the lack of updates and things....The only piece of news I have to share is that I was able to get all the songs from Dave and have been listening to them a lot to really figure out what to do with each. To the best of my knowledge, Dave has been working on the list I gave him and this week is supposed to be a pretty big production week. All I can say is from hearing the record from start to finish is that I am pretty excited :) I think my favorites are going to end up being City Lights, In The End and Electric Candle. I am looking forward to hearing the finals!!

More to come soon...I am hoping I don't have to report any news of a possible delay in the project.....:/

Friday, October 8, 2010

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Preview Of What To Keep & Let Go

YES!! I'm so excited. Sometime last week I requested that Dave send me every song where it stands at this point in production so I can hear the whole thing through. And why do I want to do this? Anyone? Well simple! That way I can figure out the flow between songs and also what is left to do on each song. It's been quite a while since I've heard the songs in their studio versions and a refresher will be quite nice. Dave has assured me he will have the songs for me by tomorrow. From there, I will take the next week to pick through each song, take necessary, detailed notes and supply Dave with a thorough to-do list for us to finish up the tunes. It will be great to hear where we are at as four months definitely blurs the vision a bit.

I think this will be a good test to see how happy I am with the songs as a break in hearing them was probably a good idea. I'll keep you posted on how things are lookin'.

Mailing list coming soon...

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Ebb & Flow of What To Keep & Let Go

I apologize again for the lack of posts this summer, especially to those who may miss more video or pictures. It's been a lot of work keeping up with the production from afar but Dave and I are confident to have this project all wrapped up on time. Again, if it's not truly how I want it by then, I fear another delay but at the same time I am determined to not allow that to happen.

If you look at the number of posts per month recently in comparison to the beginning of the production, the difference is quite astounding. I don't want you to think that I have gotten lazy (maybe in some cases, I have haha) but the reason for the drop in updates comes primarily from the fact that MOST of the work is already done. I look at it like we're in the eye of the hurricane, sitting serenely amidst everything going on around the project and just waiting for it to start up again. In the next coming weeks, I anticipate a lot more activity as I have requested from Dave the entire album to be roughly mixed down from start to finish in order for me to hear where we need to go at this point. After a thorough review and dissection of the record, we can move forward with the finishing touches. Along the way, I will be revealing some goodies that pertain to the project such as some t-shirt concepts, a website with complete bios of the players on the record as well as some other fun things. I'm excited!!

So although it's been so up and down, please have faith that the record project and the anticipated after-effects of the production will level out....and not on the low end either.

Thanks again for all your patience. You SHALL be rewarded!

Where Is He...

Some of you may have noticed on Facebook the past couple of days that I have posted a website called "Where Is The Weston Monster?" Right now, I'm doing my own work to see if I can figure out the mystery behind the creature and in the next few days, the site will be updated to allow for your help as well. It's been a whole summer in Summerville, SC without any sign of the beast and I am wondering why the sightings have ceased and if there will be any more in the near future...I'm guessing there will be.

So please keep your eyes glued to the website for updates and sighting reports on The Weston Monster. It should get interesting...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What To....Do.

So given my unemployment status during these summer months, I am not 100% confident in using, as I mentioned in an earlier post, a studio down here in Charleston to help me finish up the record from afar! As convenient and great as that would be, I just don't see it happening, financially. Nevertheless, I still push towards the December 21st deadline with dedication and excitement! This project is two years in the making and I don't wish to continue much past that; I simply have just too many more projects I wish to start (including a second album). This is not to say that I don't wish to deliver a quality product. :)

So in talking with Dave, it has come to our attention that the best way to go about this would be for me to somehow acquire a protools interface for my modest little home studio so Dave and I can switch files back and forth and I can record some backups from home. Currently, I own a little M-Audio box that has worked great but I don't have Protools to work my music through. As What To Keep & Let Go is recorded using the Protools platform, it is essential I am consistent with Dave's setup in order to work with his files. So! It is my plan to either sell my M-Audio Firewire 410 to make room for a M-Box (which includes the program) OR I can somehow find Protools M-Powered which is made specifically for M-Audio interfaces.

Phew that's a lot of "M's!" I certainly hope to figure all this out soon so Dave and I can use the next few months to really crank this out. As far as getting the album pressed, I may have to do a little fundraising for that....I'll keep you posted on those events.

Sorry for such a lack of updates this summer! It's been crazy trying to settle in with a job and what not and What To Keep & Let Go has had to take a little bit of a back seat to life itself.

More to come soon including a couple more posters, a website (yes I have said that a lot) and a little update on a certain monster...

Monday, September 6, 2010

"Is There A Chance We'll Meet Again?"

Back in the beginning of the summer, I was asked to perform a song at a local church in September by their choir director as part of a Special Music segment of the service. Ask You was my song of choice and the performance received a warm recognition by the attendees and their Pastor.

Fitting perfectly into the "Second Chance" Sermon, (not intentionally), Ask You provoked many people to approach me after the service to share personal stories of their own lost loved ones and the hope and meaning the song brought to them. I am always so touched by what I hear from the people that are moved by the song and how they relate to it; one such example involved a man who, like me, lost a parent when he was a teenager after a long illness and a family divided. It was amazing to hear such a similar story and I saw both pain and gratitude in his eyes as he told his story and declared his appreciation for my words to the church. One woman said she lost her grandmother recently and another man was honoring, that very day, the anniversary of the loss of his parent...

Although Ask You is incredibly special and personal for me, it is always a great feeling to sing it for people and have it mean something to them as well. It truly is an honor.

Well without further ado, here is my performance of Ask You on September 5th, featuring a member of the church's choir, Bruce Bryson, who did a great job providing back up vocals and really helping to fill out the song! Thanks goes to him as well as Melissa's mom, Donna, for recording this practice run of the song. Unfortunately, due to loss of memory data, the actual performance was not captured but you can get a good sense of how it turned out :))

Ask You Featuring Bruce Bryson, September 5, 2010.

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Remaining Ask You Singles For Sale!

In light of this last weekend's performance of Ask You and realizing how many CD's I have left of the single, I am hoping to clean out my inventory to make room for the release of What To Keep & Let Go and hopefully generate some money to pay for the production of it. So, if you're interested in purchasing this handmade, one-of-a-kind, never-to-be-made-again single which also includes an acoustic version of May, then please write me at music@dylanduncan.com to work out the details. The price for the CD will be $3 which includes the cost of shipping. And heck, I'll even throw in a "Bicycle Button" for the first, say..20 orders. :) Oh and just as word of mention: This version of Ask You is different than the one on the album so for those wanting both, this might be of interest to you.

I am setting up a Paypal account for more convenient orders for those willing to do that and will supply details in the email. Thanks!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Here's The Plan..

Okay, I know I'm getting redundant in my updates as far as what needs to be done, what will happen, etc etc. haha But as loyal readers and followers you, of course, deserve to know every detail :)

I've been talking with Dave and it seems to be the best idea to really attack the remaining production work which includes some sorting of vocal and instrument sections and putting in place any final pieces such as the bass in If Not Now, Then When and some string arrangements in a handful of songs. This of course would be contrary to our original idea of finishing each song one by one. The reason? Well as the deadline approaches (and it's approaching fast) I feel the best way to effectively handle the conclusion of the record is for me to be in closer proximity with the final stages of production, namely final mixing and mastering. I have been in contact with a couple studios down here who both know my situation and are willing to take on the workload after I've gotten as far as I can get with Dave working long distance. We're all still in talks so nothing is solid and Dave and I might be able to get as close to the finished product as needed to only allow a quick polish at one of these studios. I'd like to finish the whole project with Dave but I also would like to make the final touches being present in the studio so I think with enough planning and execution this could work out rather smoothly. I am determined to have this ready for you all by the first day of winter.

Once I pick a studio down here I will reveal the website and give them an appropriate plug. I can tell you that I am very excited to work with either one of them as their set up is pretty sweet. But I will definitely miss Dave's. It was a great run and I learned a lot about myself, my music and my limitations while working with him there. Invaluable experience that I'll never forget.

Chad Macomber's "Alive Like You" Released

Chad Macomber, longtime friend and musical collaborator/contributor has released the second single from his forthcoming album The Diaries of Mr. Cam DeBarcho. Entitled Alive Like You, it's definitely, in my opinion, the best produced song of Chad's I've heard in a long while; presenting a sound and mixing maturity that would only make sense from his many years of honing the craft. Chad has spent his music career challenging and reinventing his sound and this song is a perfect example of that willingness to depart from any comfort zone. The trumpets are especially good.

Please go check out his new single Alive Like You and be sure to keep up with the progress of his album and its release.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

"...Is there a chance we'll meet again?"

On Sunday, September 5th, I will be dusting off the 'ol Breedlove and vocal chords to perform Ask You at a local Church in N. Charleston, SC. This song is actually the last one I performed live as it was the final number at the Green Mountain Festival Series show back in November. Although it isn't a religious song necessarily, it definitely has a spiritual tone as it touches upon my questions of an afterlife and whether or not there is a connection between the living and those passed on. I see Ask You as a conversation with my mom who passed away a little more than 13 years ago, offering up my open ears and hoping to gain some answers in regards to her well-being and happiness after spending many of her final years in pain and suffering. It is a song that always brings me closer to her when I listen to it or simply strum the chords in silence. Some have actually thanked me for the song as it has made them feel closer to their lost loved ones and others have found religious meaning in the words on their own, which I feel honored for.

I am hoping to get the performance recorded for the blog and for you, the reader, but I'll be just as content with sharing the song with the church audience and speaking once again to my mom from a place where she's maybe more likely to hear me.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Where We Stand...

....after Stand.

Although a rough mix, the second single has been released, and with that comes my steadfast drive to get this project completed. Working long distance with Dave has proven to be a little more difficult than I had anticipated but alas, it's still possible. With just over 4 months left until my proposed release date, I am filled with both excitement and nervousness, hoping that I will not have to delay this project into 2011. I have begun writing for my second project and hope to get working heavily on that next year so needless to say an overlap in projects is not so desirable. But if a push back is required for quality assurance, then so be it!

I have been in contact with Dave and we are going to be setting up a schedule sometime soon here that will enable a consistent work flow from now until Thanksgiving when I am hoping to dive right into the mastering and duplication process. Like I have said, I hope to have the CD ready for the holidays and just in time for winter to begin.

I will be keeping you all up to speed on the progress of this concluding project in the coming weeks as well as offering up details on my plans for a second album....Stay tuned :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Simplify Your Fate....Stand Is Right Here!

You've been patient...very very patient :) And for that I reward you all with a song off of What To Keep & Let Go which is due out on December 21st! Stand is the first song I wrote for the record and the 2nd single released since the beginning of this whole process. Unlike Ask You which featured only one other musician, Brendon Thomas, Stand is a full band treatment that introduces the work of Marcin Kuc, Cullen Corley and Chad Macomber on this project . This particular version is lacking backup vocals by Angela Paladino but she will be featured on the final release as well as some melodies that will help to fill the song out a bit more.

So until then, please enjoy this early mix of Stand and thank you again for your patience and support!!

Click here for the official Stand page. You can also find the song on Facebook, and soon to be Myspace, Reverbnation

Please Stand By....

Thanks goes to David Ireland for the creative play on words... haha

Sorry for the delay folks! I headed outta town yesterday to go see my cousin dance and twirl in her drum corps up in Rock Hill, SC and since the mix wasn't quite ready til I was already out the door, I had to wait til today to release the song :)

I'm currently finishing up a few things and will have the song out to you today! Thanks for patience!

Thanks to Dave EASTMAN for taking a summer Sunday to get the mix ready for me!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

"For Now I Think I'll Let You Dream Tonight..."

On Friday July 23rd, my grandfather passed away at the age of 94... I found out a few days ago and ever since I had been scrambling to try and make it up to the service which was held today at 11:00 am in Springfield, VT. Unfortunately, plane tickets were unreasonably expensive and it was not possible to make it up from South Carolina given the time I had and the circumstances I am in.

So after many discussions with family and loved ones, I decided to stay here and honor my grandfather from a distance. Everyone was in support of my decision and trusted I'd be there in my own way, knowing how much I wish I could have gone. So today, during the exact time the service was being held, Melissa and I went to Azalea Park, a quiet, pathway-weaved sanctuary laden with pink flowers and willow trees to pay our respects and honor his life and passing. We made our way to a quiet gazebo where I played a song that I had written for my grandfather a while back called "Rising Suns". Unfortunately, I never got a chance to share the song with him but today I found it very appropriate to sing it. I am sad I couldn't be there with my family during this time but glad that Melissa and I could have our own little service in the south for my grandfather.

Rest In Peace, Grandpa. I love you and I'll miss you.


Here is my modest performance of "Rising Suns" with the lyrics posted below. After many starting attempts that were interrupted by bugs flying onto my face and sirens screaming in the background, we got through the whole song. Please excuse my singing and playing errors...it has been a long time since I performed this one.

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Rising Suns

your eyes have seen the light of so many rising suns
your feet have brought you further than both of mine have done
and with the beating of your heart you've kept a steady pace
while tragedy and love have carved the lines upon your face

and I can't imagine
how it feels to see it all
to hold on to the memories, however big or small

and one day I will ask you
what you thought of your own life
but for now I think i'll let you dream tonight


the wind has carried secrets, inspired stories told
it's held up walls meant to protect, knocked down the trees of old
but today it serves one purpose and thats to keep your fire bright
for the gentle breeze holds melodies sung deep within your life

and I can't imagine
how it feels to see it all
to hold on to the memories, however big or small

and one day I will ask you
what you thought of your own life
but for now I think I'll let you dream tonight

We never know what tomorrow brings
they're drowned out by songs we sings
but I know that the sun will set
and until it does let's live how we know best...

and I can't imagine
how it feels to see it all
to hold on to the memories, however big or small

and one day I will ask you
what you thought of your own life
but for now I think I'll let you dream tonight
for now I think I'll let you dream tonight
for now I think I'll let you dream tonight

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Stand To Be Released August 1st

While Passing Into August didn't quite make the cut as a song concept, its title still manages to play an important role. On August 1st, I will be releasing Stand, the first song written for the record back in 2003 and the second single to be introduced to you all since Ask You's debut back in May of 2009. With several delays to the project and quite a large lapse in sharing any new music, Stand should satisfy some eager taste buds and offer up a hint of what is to come at the end of the year.

Keep your eyes and ears open for Stand on August 1st!

***Keep in mind that this rough mixed-down version I will be sharing with you is lacking a few components that will be featured on the final edit, including the back-up vocals by Angela Paladino as well as some possible string sections throughout various parts of the song. Said melodies excluded in this single but featured on the final version were written by Chad Macomber.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

This is just like waking up...

...and not being able to sing too well. haha Nevertheless, I have provided "y'all" with a little morning diddy to go with your coffee. Enjoy!

Bicycle on the Ice (Live from Summerville, SC) ...Oh and it's Tuesday, not Thursday...haha.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

The 411 on I-26

The returns of video updates!

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Could it be??!!???!

Oh my god! This morning I was looking through the photos that Melissa took yesterday for the Gibson Les Paul shoot and look what I saw!!! Is that The Weston Monster?!??! Could he have somehow followed me all the way down here from MA and if so HOW? Maybe when we weren't looking he snuck into our moving truck or stowed away in our two crammed cars in between trips from the apartment to the parking lot??...I DID take one final trip to Weston the week before we moved...maybe he jumped into the car when I was saying goodbye to Dave but then if so wouldn't Dave had seen him do it? Wouldn't I have heard him breathing in the back seat or laughing a mischievous little chuckle under my piles of clothes? Either way, this is indeed bizarre. Will I have to rename him The Carolina Monster??

Stay tuned for more on this crazy occurrence. What IS this creature up to....

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Lyrics: Hello, Amy

Hello, Amy
I didn't expect you here this soon
You're not due for quite a while at least that's what I assumed
and I don't want to be rude but I think that you should leave
I'm not ready to sit down with you and talk of life and what it means.

'Cos you're hurting me so effortlessly
simply put: I want you gone
I want you far away from me

Tell me, Amy:
Why do you still insist on comin' knockin' on my door when you know I'll just resist?
I'm closing all the curtains, pullin' up the welcome mat
and if you can't take the hint by then I guess I'm headin' out the back.

'Cos you're hurting me so effortlessly
simply put: I want you gone
I want you far away from me

Well done Amy
I think I've given into you
'cos you've numbed up all my senses and there's nothing I can do
and if you should never leave me I guess I'll take your hand and say:
Amy, perhaps we're meant to be, suppose it's better off this way...

'Cos you're hurting me so effortlessly
simply put: I want you gone
I want you far away from me

Goodbye, Amy
I've had some time to think things through.
I don't know what I was thinking when I said that I'd love you.
Perhaps out of desperation or a fear of losing time
I just know now that I don't want you and there's no way to change my mind.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"I think this guitar wants to go to Carolina with you..."

Remember the "fantastic four" array of guitars that Dave Ireland let me borrow over the course of the project which included three custom made Taylor acoustic guitars and a 1985 Gibson Les Paul Studio electric? How awesome was that? Yeah...pretty awesome. His contribution helped to provide greater depth in sound and variety on the record that may not have existed with only one acoustic guitar model strumming out the tunes. It was a great display of generosity on the part of Dave and was a testament to his support of the project.

Well his legacy of support lives on with me here in South Carolina as I am reminded everyday by his incredibly generous farewell gift:
The 1985 Gibson Les Paul!! Housed in its pink-lined hardshell case, this cream colored gem helped me create the necessary sound for Circles and will be the driving force for my next record project. I couldn't believe it when Dave pulled me into his office to hand me over his guitar on my last day of work. Words could not describe how honored and appreciative I felt standing there with my new friend in hand but amidst the shock, I managed to squeeze out about a hundred 'thank you's, an "are you sure?" and a few "wows" before heading back to my desk.

So almost two months after leaving for South Carolina, here we are, me and my Les Paul, and I finally have some clearer words to say:

Dave, thanks for ALL your enthusiasm, excitement, support, generosity and advice during the entire What To Keep & Let Go project. I am proud to have your guitar journey with me towards future endeavors and I will be forever reminded of where it came from. Thank you so very much. It says hello, by the way. ......Oh, and Batman 3 pre-production work is starting soon. Keep up with me on its progress?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Lyrics: Electric Candle

I'm not alone tonight
an electric candle sits with me
I wanna feel alright
don't want to be so cowardly

I push them all away
so they can't see my dried up tears
will they be back someday?
maybe when I no longer fear

getting too close
and learning to love again
I don't know how to say this:
I don't think I'm meant to hold your hand

'cos I forget your face
when you're standing right in front of me
and I wish I wasn't so damn numb
I wish I felt the love you offered me

I brought you home tonight
and in between my memories and my dreams
I hold you oh so tight
but somehow you manage to get free

I chase you 'round the room
'cos you taught me never to give up
but I'll forget you soon
'cos not knowing is what keeps me from

getting too close
and learning to love again
I don't know how to say this:
I don't think I'm meant to hold your hand

'cos I forget your face
when you're standing right in front of me
and I wish I wasn't so damn numb
I wish I felt the love you offered me

I'm getting too close
and learning to love again
but I don't know how else to say it:
I don't think I'm meant to hold your hand

'cos I forget your face
when you're standing right in front of me
and I wish I wasn't so damn numb
I wish I felt the love you offered me

Friday, June 11, 2010

Lyrics: Intermission

My eyes have opened and I am hopin' to see a little more
I've gone over intermission so I've been missin' the show on the other side of the door

The audience has taken their seats and the curtains have opened wide
the stage is set and my one regret is that I'm not quite on time

to see everything, all the lights and lines worth hearing
and I feel like I'm too late to my own play

The first act's over and the next one begins
and tho' I've missed some things I'll make up for what I can

Applause and now some silence, a spotlight and curtain call
a bow and now and encore. I can't keep up with it all.

The first act's over and the next one begins
and tho' I've missed some things I'll make up for what I can.

tonight I've forgotten every line
so the only thing to do is improvise.

The first act's over and the next one begins
and tho' I've missed some things I'll make up for what I can.

12/21/10

I have finalized the release date for What To Keep & Let Go - December 21st, 2010. With all the work still left to do on the project to make it to where I would like it, including mixing, mastering, CD art design and mass production of the CD's (not to mention the funding involved for said release), the finalized date seems perfect. I know I have pushed back the project several times and I apologize for another delay but I have realized just how much work there is left to do and I don't want to rush it. Besides, I have always pictured a winter release due to the nature the album art and themes...it just seems to make sense. And why the 21st of December? Well the 21st marks the first day of winter! It's perfect. Could make a great stocking stuffer as well, eh?? :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

"Steve Clayton Pick of the Week"

Back in April, I designed and ordered some white, acetal guitar picks featuring the What To Keep & Let Go bicycle on the ice graphic; they were to be gifts for my guitar players who helped me on the record. As the gifts were supposed to be a surprise right up until I moved, I didn't want to share the pretty cool outcome of designing these picks on my blog. But now that the guys have them I can share with you all! Shortly after submitting the pick design, I was contacted by Steve Clayton Custom Guitar Picks, the company I used to design them, with a request to feature my pick on their website as part of their Pick of the Week section! I agreed and after submitting a brief description of the project and the meaning behind the design, my pick was featured as the "Pick of the Week" on April 14th, 2010. Thanks again to the folks over at Steve Clayton for choosing the design!

Click the link below to see! Thank goodness they kept it online so I can share it with you all.

Pick of the Week

If you're interested in purchasing a pack of 10 picks, please contact me at music@dylanduncan.com. I will be making them available for sale sometime this summer, price to be determined. Oh, and definitely check out Steve Clayton's site. They have a killer design interface, great turnaround and reasonable prices! Can't end this without a plug afterall! :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

"The rolling hills and willow trees of Carolina wait for me.."

..and the extreme heat :)

After a couple weeks of intense packing and moving, Melissa and I arrived in South Carolina on May 28th :) It was an epic journey filled with an ABF self-loading moving truck, a smooth sailing GW Bridge and a my first ever Moon Pie in North Carolina. :) This week has been busy as we have sorted through our belongings to make sense of a temporarily scattered life, working from home and hitting up happy-hour for the cheapest Margarita's this side of South of the Border. The storms here are wild and when the darkness engulfs us it reminds me of my years in Florida. In some ways it feels like I'm back there, minus the art classes and triple night partying. There is a calm here that invites for breakfast in the sticky morning air while the Carolina Wrens sit in their nests and the meter man waves a friendly hello; where neighbors come over to play in the lawn and the cotton-candy sky bids farewell to a warm and peaceful day.

So while I've been enjoying all this beauty and organizing my new life down here in South Carolina, What To Keep & Let Go has taken its place on the back burner- until now. It's good to get this update out to you all as I know it has been a while. But rest assured that just because I have moved, it doesn't mean that the project will fade away! In fact, the timing of the events for recording vs. post production are quite astounding as I will be able to do most work long distance with Dave, (can you say Postal Service?) and hopefully have the whole thing wrapped up by the winter (yes I am thinking an extension is in order but I feel the winter theme makes that some-what appropriate so I'm good with it.)

So where do we stand? Well during my last session at the end of May, Dave and I were able to get some of my back up vocals recorded and even though we had to cut it short during Horizons due to time constraints with my move, we were confident that with a few of my returning trips back north this year and with the help of some vocalists in the Boston area, we will be able to finish up the vocal side of the record. I have requested that Dave send me all the songs as rough mix-downs so I can see, rather HEAR, where we're at with the tunes. It will take some time but Dave is going to get me the files soon. At that point, I will go through each song, deciding where things need to go and conversing with Dave about the direction for each. I suspect that we'll need filler instruments, in most cases, and with my M-audio keyboard I will work on symphony arrangements for Circles and City Lights.

More to to come from Charleston, SC in the coming weeks including a new poster, the return of video updates and a more structured website is looming in the near future. Thanks so much for all your patience! Much love.

Friday, May 21, 2010

May You Be Patient...

been on vacation. celebrating 30th. preparing for move. be back soon :)

lots o love. dylan

Monday, May 10, 2010

Music On The Lawn

It was a nice day to play guitar in the lawn while I waited for my session to begin.

Lyrics: Circles

Oh, this hunger now it takes me, swallowing me whole.
The longing, it’s unbearable and it’s pulling at my soul.
Why is it we always want the things we don’t have?
But put desire over doubt and what you love will last.

And if we just live inside the moment we might not miss the world around.
If we just stop running in circles in hopes to find what can’t be found we’ll be alright
we’ll be alright.

But for everytime I told you I’d change, there was an ounce of doubt 'cos passions remained.
For if there is one life, why not make it shine? Why not do what makes us feel alive?
The choices that we make will live with us everyday so we better treat them right.
We gotta treat them right.

And if we just live inside the moment we might not miss the world around.
If we just stop running in circles in hopes to find what can’t be found we’ll be alright
we’ll be alright.

Just don’t be afraid, someday you’ll know where you belong.
It’s what you lose that defines you and helps you see who you’ll become.

And if we just live inside the moment we might not miss the world around.
If we just stop running in circles in hopes to find what can’t be found

Oh I will live inside the moment and I won’t miss the world around.
I will stop running in circles ‘cos everything is right here, right now.

You see, we’d make it right tonight. I know we’d make it right tonight if everything had never changed but we’re not to blame ‘cos how will you know what to keep & let go when all you have’s a lifetime to decide?

Oh we will see when everything goes dark. We’ll bind when we come apart.
This is just who we are- slow beating hearts waiting to start again.

Friday, May 7, 2010

May Update

A long overdue update.

video

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lyrics: City Lights

Please note, I messed up the order of the weekly lyrics. City Lights comes before Bicycle on the Ice on the record.

City Lights

The summer's over and it's getting cold
and I dare not ask you what has not been told
'cos we succeed in hiding all our secrets
endless abyss of truth and all its rejects

oh, we can't comprehend anything other than what we know right now

and where are we going?
the city lights are bright and glowing but we're in the dark tonight.

do you believe in love and its illusions?
a simple kiss can twist sought out conclusions
and lead you to a place thought to be fiction
but I'd rather make my way without the friction

oh, we can't comprehend anything other than what we know right now

and where are we going?
the city lights are bright and glowing but we're in the dark tonight.

but here in this moment
of dying dreams and hearts now broken let's try now to make things right.

oh no, we are wrong to try and be still when we're moved passionately
but we cannot capture love 'til we set it free

and where are we going?
the city lights are bright and glowing but we're in the dark tonight.

but here in this moment
of dying dreams and hearts now broken let's try now to make things right.

let's try now to make things right, let's try now to make things right.

the summer's over and it's getting cold....

Friday, April 30, 2010

And It's May...

My favorite month is here.

As some of you might know, May signifies a lot for me....birth, death and hope all wrapped up into a 31 day period. It's no secret to a lot of you that May is the month my mom passed away. This year will be 13 years on the 26th. My does time pass. It's not depressing to me. It's more a time that I remember her the most; when the buds come out on the trees and the morning dew gives way to bird calls in the glowing forests; when hummingbirds come back everyday and the silence is so loud you can't help but hear every memory.

In honor of this month and of my mom, I am posting May, the song I wrote for her back in college and was recorded with Chad Macomber on our collaborative album, Detour. I revisited the song last year for a re-release on the Ask You single, performing a more intimate, acoustic version and you can hear it here. The song will be available on my myspace, reverbnation as well as on the side bar of this blog later this weekend.

As we approach the anniversary of my mom's passing, I will be working to fundraise a bit for Amyloidosis research by selling the remaining copies of my Ask You single which includes this version of May. Look for more details soon.

Passing Into August Passes Away...

...but leaves behind its melody, instrumentation and structure.

In light of all these changes and revisions, Passing Into August has been completely re-written. For personal reasons, album flow and thematic relevance, PIA has gone intentionally MIA and left room for a completely different story and set of lyrics. The new song is called Intermission and its placement on the record from my recent track re-order (after Circles) is perfect. Intermission has more meaning to me than PIA does; not to say that PIA didn't tell a good story but all along this song has never seemed to fit, nor did it ever really make me excited. Intermission's lyrics even seem to fit better into the whimsical piano mold left behind by PIA, serving as not only an integral part of the theme but as the actual "break" between the first and last half of the record. What To Keep & Let Go has revealed itself to me in recent months as a sort of two act play with a very defined first half and second half; there are even two distinct climaxes of the record- Circles (track 6) and Ask You (track 11). Both of which hold a lot of central themes of "letting go".

Intermission is the missing piece of this 7 year long puzzle where Passing Into August was sort of a stepping stone towards it. I'll never forget what Passing Into August meant to me and what it may have meant to you as well. I am sure at the very least a part of the song will show up again in the future. Some of the lyrics are strong and noteworthy to my life but this may have just not been the right time for the message to manifest. As the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh would say: "the conditions simply aren't right".

R.I.P, P.I.A. Thanks for carrying me through to this point. You have played a very important role in deciding what to keep...and what to let go.

Look for the newly added Intermission on the track list as well as lyrics in coming weeks.

Even in the end, there's room for change.

Throughout this album project, there have been a few kinks and holes in certain songs, lyrically speaking, that have required some attention. In some circumstances, even structural work was needed and thanks to the help of the guys in the band, that has long since been attended to. Now, in the remaining weeks of recording, I find myself still at the point of revising lyrics and making sure I am saying exactly what I want to say. With half these songs written a little over 5 years ago, it makes sense that some things might call for a revision depending on a change in viewpoint, relevance or personal meaning to me. Usually I like to leave the songs alone as they show history of inner growth and change in my life. But in some cases, the lyrics simply just don't make sense...as if they never truly found a place within the theme. I may have simply rushed the words in the early stage of writing these songs.


So not even an hour before I was scheduled to sing In The End at Dave's place on Tuesday, I was sitting on the couch finishing up an all-day rework of certain parts of the lyrics so that the whole thing flowed better and made more sense to me. At one point, I even had to tell Dave I needed a few more minutes to get something solid written up. He went back to his house to feed the cats while I finished up work on the chorus. haha Fifteen or so minutes later, I penned the finished words to the song and am very pleased with the changes.

Thanks, Dave, for your patience in all my crazy re-writes.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Angela Came Down To Back Up

....and then back...up? haha

On April 26th, I reunited with my old friend, Angela, as she arrived in Weston from Vermont to back me up on Stand. It was great to catch up and give her a run through of the studio space where she'd be adding the very first back-up vocals to the record. After a brief introduction of ideas and hashing out our goals for the singing parts with Dave, Angela hit the recording room, did some warm up runs and managed to get her parts sung in time to meet a friend for dinner in the city!

Thanks again, Angela, for making the journey down to MA to lend your vocals! Much appreciated :)

Check out pictures of Angela's session.







Monday, April 26, 2010

Rollin' Up Our Sleeves, Gettin' Down To Work!

And Dave did just that! As I finished up my singing on Sunday for Hello, Amy, I walked out to the console room to see that Dave had his sleeves rolled up from the warmth of the studio. Or perhaps it was 'cos he was gettin' down and dirty for our long day or recording!

Back and fresh (but a tad jet lagged) from Costa Rica, Dave was gracious enough to invite me in on a relaxing Sunday to get some serious work done to make up for a little loss time. And with two additional studio days to follow, this was indeed gracious. We started at 12:30 and after a brief experimentation session of restructuring If Not Now, Then When (more to come on that soon) we got right into vocals. Thankfully my vocal practicing and car-ride-up-warm up has paid off as I was able to get through my sessions comfortably and with a lot more control than I used to have. At a few points I even managed to widen my girlfriend's eyes during some belting parts at the end of the song. The thumbs up in my peripheral vision were enough to keep me confident throughout :)

In about 5 and a half hours, with deck breaks for fresh air, tea drinking and lyric writing, we managed to get down Hello, Amy, Horizons and If Not Now, Then When. Not bad considering it takes roughly an entire normal session to get down one song. Today, Angela comes in for back-ups on Stand and tomorrow we will continue with the final two songs for me to sing- In The End and Passing Into August.

Thanks to Dave and Melissa for an afternoon of studio time!

Photos by Melissa Xenakis






Lyrics: Bicycle On The Ice

And this is just like waking up, forgetting all the dreams you had
trying your best to write them down on paper
while they're still clear inside your head. Please try not to forget.

The country hills loved you at twenty-five, 'cos they knew what you'd become
now the city walls keep you inside
from everything you grew to love and all the things you would become.

And they're all watching you from the ground as you drift away
but you're heart is filling up and falling back down from the weight of it all.

And the bicycle on the ice feels the same way that you do
it needs no one to say it's out of place
sometimes it's better just to move to where they can't find you.

And they're all watching you from the ground as you drift away
but you're heart is filling up and falling back down from the weight...

'cos you knew that this could happen, your love would want to stay
now you know I'll be okay, now you know I'll be okay.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Angela Paladino

On Monday, April 26th we will have the pleasure of welcoming Angela Paladino to the studio as our first back up vocalist on What To Keep & Let Go. Angela, an old friend from Vermont, is a singer songwriter who came right to mind in our search for the female backups on Stand. From what I have heard of her music, her sound is organic and folksy with a voice that is warm and honest. Her style will lend itself perfectly to the earthy feel of Stand, helping to soften the overall tone and to breathe new life into the story and characters it speaks of. And the fact that both Angela and Stand have roots in Vermont makes it that much more appropriate.

Look for photo and video updates on Angela's visit to the studio next week! We're excited to welcome her onto the What To Keep & Let Go roster of talent!

Singing In The Rain

The forecast for Sunday is rain and what a better way to spend a soggy day than to sing songs in a studio in the woods! Yes, Dave returns from his Costa Rican vacation this weekend and it's our plan to get as much done on the to-do list as possible. I have been spending the week doing vocal exercises and practicing Horizons and In The End to a demo CD in the car on my drives and things are sounding pretty good. With a whole day planned for recording, I think it's more than possible to get these vocals done, as well as tackling Passing Into August, If Not Now, Then When and Hello, Amy. That's a whole lot of singing in one day but I think if I take care of my throat from now until Sunday and bring a monster pack of tea, I should be fine. It'd be very good to get all the vocals done Sunday as we can then move on to back-vocals and final string/piano arrangements for most songs. We have a small amount of bass guitar work and acoustic guitar work to be done as well on some songs. According to Dave, however, we'll be able to work a lot in the next couple of weeks.

Ready for some serious updates? I am!! Stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

You Are Here

On my lunch break today I took a few moments to pause my reading of Thich Nhat Hanh's "You Are Here" to reflect on the relationship between this Buddhist monk's message with that of what I'm trying to portray in the song Circles as well as my own life as a whole.

video

Let's Give Some Love To Myspace

With Facebook taking over our computer screens every second of every day, it's no wonder that some of us have forgotten about Myspace. Okay...for good reason. haha I myself canceled my personal Myspace page a while back due to boredom and a lack of user options and functionality but I did, however, leave up my music Myspace page in hopes to further promote the album to the folks still over on that side of the tracks. Let's face it, Myspace became the front seat contender to showcasing bands and songs; with their savvy music player that now houses 10 of your songs at once and all sorts of features for bands, it's the ultimate choice! I enjoy my music Page on Facebook but I remain loyal to my Myspace music page. I have since updated some of my stats, added a few photos (yes, I could afford to update that again) and thrown up my favorite bands as top friends! Weeee-doggie!

But there's more to do: add you! So if you haven't yet canceled your Myspace account and feel like updating the "Last login: March 5, 2008" status on your account, please head on over and add me. You won't be disappointed. Okay, you might. But later down the road I'll have all the songs up, some new photos posted, perhaps a linked blog and a nifty header of that dang bicycle we have been staring at for more than a year now. haha Stamp. Stamp.

And don't forget, I AM on Facebook too.

Lyrics: Stand

You simplify your fate waiting for your train to come.
You're making friends with doubt and shaking hands with everyone.
Now you're taking what is given to you, playing back your lover's song.
And it's the only chance of leaving yourself, leave before I'm gone...

and all we need is reassurance, some sort of sign that things will be alright
but there's just too much that's riding on this and so much still out of sight.

And this is why I'm so distracted and now you won't understand
that this is my way of dealing and this is how I'm going to stand on my own, on my own.

You're leaving on that train heading towards the biggest dream.
Kissing lips of ambition, rubbing off on everything.
Now you head out before morning light
So you wouldn't have to say goodbye.

and all we need is reassurance, some sort of sign that things will be alright
but there's just too much that's riding on this and so much still out of sight.

And this is why I'm so distracted and now you won't understand
that this is my way of dealing and this is how I'm going to stand on my own, on my own.

You wait for a sign from me but you cannot see when you're blind to everything we tried to be.

Red lights are on your face again and you're not going anywhere, you fear what's ahead.
And they're all moving on but you don't know the way.
So you simplify your fate so I can stand right here.

So I can stand, stand right here.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Album Facts on Day of Tax!

I got my taxes done really early this year so on April 15th the only worry I had was what to talk about in this video update! Unfortunately, not a whole lot going on right now but look for that to change after Dave returns from vacation. Wee--doggy!

video

What To....Stamp?

I ordered a Bicycle on the Ice stamp last week and it arrived a few days later! Since then I have been stamping everything from paper to my face. Just kidding. But there's no limit to what I can plaster this iconic album art all over in hopes to generate some buzz! I suppose it might not be a good idea to litter the walls of grocery stores or friends' houses with a sketchy bike, but who says I can't at least stamp up a few envelopes when sending out CD's? eh?

This is gonna be fun.

And now I'll plug the company that made the stamp. Check 'em out!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Horizons Lyrics Revision

It seems like I'm always revising something. Look for the change in bold.

Horizons

I'm changing both my headlights and hoping for a brighter life.
There's nothing like the darkest time to bring out what you have inside.

The road ahead is hard enough and I don't want to die so young.
So light the way and patronize but only if we can survive.

And we will chase horizons until we meet the sky and ground at intersection.
Oh, what a beautiful sight as we enjoy the ride.

I'm blaming both my tired eyes for failing me to recognize
that things are not quite how they were before the motion and the blur.

But we will chase horizons until we meet the sky and ground at intersection.
Oh, what a beautiful sight as we enjoy the ride.

And I would never lose you on this long highway of life.
'Cos though we're moving at a different pace we don't have to say goodbye.

So we will chase horizons until we meet the sky and ground at intersection.
Oh, what a beautiful sight as we enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

While Dave's Away, I Will Play...

....piano parts, strings sections and whatever other filler stuff we need to figure out for these songs!

Tomorrow, Dave goes on vacation and so we won't be in the studio again until sometime after he returns (most like Sunday the 25th for a full day session). So white he deservedly travels the world (I forgot where he's going), I will prepare at home on my M-audio keyboard and Garageband to better hone in on some string arrangement sections for Circles as well as some possible lead guitar work on If Not Now, Then When? Not to mention there is plenty of vocal practice to be done on my commutes.

Who knows, maybe this is a good opportunity to get some more visual work done such as that looming website plan I've been talking about for ages now??

I'll be posting to the blog regularly in the next couple of weeks so keep checking back! Thanks guys!

Considering Track Re-order

Today I'm listening through the What To Keep & Let Go track list and I am starting to realize that due to structural reasons, flow, transition and energy I might switch some stuff around. It's not definite but it may involve putting Passing Into August on the last half of the album to keep the energy up a bit after Circles and moving If Not Now, Then When? or Electric Candle into the first half. Stand may be moved to the 2nd spot on the list.

Still listening through and a lot will depend on what happens in the final stages and what we do with some of the straggler songs. We'll see! Keep back for updates on that.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Poster 4: "Where Do You Belong?"

Over the course of the What To Keep & Let Go project, I have released three teaser posters; all of which have been studio inspired. Tonight, I am revealing the first official album poster which features the art you have seen all along in the blog header. The release dates on the posters have all been different as it has changed several times due to delays. Since the actual release date is still to be determined, this poster simply states a "Summer 2010" release. Look for the final poster in the coming months to feature the precise release date.

Enjoy!

128!

Another random moment. haha

If you can't quite make out what is happening, I finished Marcin's sequence of numbers stringing from 8...16...32....64.... with an ill placed 128 outburst only to be confronted with confused Marcin' haha. Hey it "was the next one..." haha

video

Bobble Head Dylan

Nothin' like a late night head-jam to Passing Into August. haha Check out my synchronized "bobble-head" like moves to the piano parts Marcin laid down for the song. I'll definitely miss these random moments caught on video!

video