Thursday, January 27, 2011

I Think I'll Go To Boston....

I'm not a big fan of Augustana but this line couldn't be a better post title.

The dishwasher is humming behind me and my iItunes shuffle is honing in on some pretty sweet Frames tunes. Yeah, that's probably why I'm still up when I have to leave in 5 hours to head to the Charlotte Airport (still have to look up the address) and make my epic trip back to Boston for the weekend. Chad just called me a procrastinator a few minutes ago on text message because I said I hadn't even packed yet. And since I'm running on about 8 hours of sleep in the last two nights, I didn't even understand what he meant after only 2 minutes had passed since I told him that. haha I'm so out of it. So why not go to sleep? I dunno..nerves, (the good kind) and I just barely got home from work at 8:30. Call me crazy but it's not a night at home unless you're awake doing something packing for a trip and eating fake chicken patties.

Ah will be nice to see you again without the holiday hustle and bustle. It will be nice to come full circle with the album and leave Fat Dave's Studio with some of the best memories I've ever had. It will be nice to drink some dark beers with my good friends and to get my feet wet and cold because for some reason, this Vermonter doesn't own a pair of boots. Oh South Carolina, how you have tamed me. Speaking of, I've been told I talk a lot slower now.....

Wow, can you say tangent? haha I am just rambling here. Time for bed. See you in the morning, Boston. It will be nice.

So in about about five hours I'm blue jetting up to the snowy city of Boston to finish up What To Keep & Let Go! On Saturday, after recording is complete, I will be hanging out with my buds up in the city and having a grand old time.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Are You Afraid of Your Shadow?

For most of this project, the mystery behind the Weston Monster has left me, as well as possibly you, rather perplexed. Where is it from? Where has it been? And what does it want and have to do with me? Well on February 2nd, all of our questions will be answered.

A new website has been launched, initiating the reveal process of the illusive beast and on what appears to be Ground Hog Day, we will catch a glimpse of what this whole thing is about.

Click here to be a part of the unraveling...

Monday, January 10, 2011

The What To Keep & Let Go Players

What To Keep & Let Go wouldn't be what it is without the talented ensemble of musicians that have been a part of it. This record has come a long way from the simple demos in my apartment living room and with the help of these wonderful people it has exceeded all of my expectations.

To showcase each and every player on the record, I have put together individual posters for each person including their role in the music. Not included are some of the back up vocalists I have on the album as I don't have photos of them, unfortunately.

To you, the musicians, thank you so much for all your hard work, talent and love put into this project. I think almost every day about how this album wouldn't be nearly as great without you and I will never forget the time we shared getting it ready. I will forever be grateful and honored.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Post Trip Post

I only did one video on the trip back down to South Carolina last weekend. Lots of reflection took up most of my energy. That and trying to find the route home that best suited my journey. Word of advice: avoid interstate 77 in the middle of the night down in North Carolina. Lots of hills and fog mixed with fatigue makes for not a good time. It was good to be back.

Updates on the Interstates

If you care to watch my goofy face explain where I am, where I will be and what I will be doing then make sure to check out these videos from my coastal drive from Columbia to Boston this last December. Unfortunately, my camera card clogged up with my silly videos before I could complete the trip so it cuts off when I'm in Maryland. Oh well...I'm sure by video #4 you'll be happy it did :)

If you have some time to kill, check em out. Otherwise, no hard feelings. haha

4:30 AM

6:45 AM

Virginia (time unknown)

12:30 PM

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Despite Storm and Flu We Made It Through....Almost.

I guess tonight is as good as any to write about my trip back north for the holidays. By the way, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

"So this is the new year and I don't feel any different" - Death Cab For Cutie

I usually feel this way when the new year rolls around. But this year feels like it's actually going to be a little different than most. For one, I'm finally going to finish this long awaited project I have been writing for nearly 8 years. It's a great feeling and I'm glad to be sharing my vision and my story with all of you. Second, I have gone through a lot of personal changes that have helped me to develop a great strength, awareness and growth to take me into my future years. Perhaps I'll elaborate on the details of this rather vague passage later but for now I shall share with you a bit of my studio time this last December.

It was great to see Dave again and it didn't take us long to fall back into our routine. We began by hashing out a detailed to-do list which comprised of filling out such songs as Horizons, City Lights and Bicycle on the Ice. Back in May, we had to cut my studio time short and so Horizons was left lingering with only half of the back up vocals completed. We picked up right where left off and attacked this song for most of Sunday. Unfortunately, I started feeling rather ill mid afternoon and after my final tamborine take, I got sick and had to lay down on the studio floor while Dave worked on the computer through some of the sorting. It wasn't long when I realized that I wasn't going to be able to continue for a while. Bummer huh?

Studio time was cut short and I was bed-ridden for the rest of the night. Snowed in with a fever of 101.7, What To Keep & Let Go was at a stand-still once again. Luckily we were able to finish up Horizons before I succumbed to my sickness and it sounds SO great. If you ever have heard of Bon Iver, think layering of vocals and combine that with an energy that would kick that pink bunny's butt.

Two days later after recovering from my little bug and spending some time with my friends in the city, I returned to the studio to work with Dave. I was feeling a lot better and was able to finish up most of my back up vocals that day. The highlight of the afternoon was working with the new back up singer, Alyson McKinster, a very talented vocalist that I had the pleasure of discovering from a Craigslist ad that I posted a few weeks before traveling up to Boston. We had a few exchanges and I heard her demos and was very impressed with her singing and musical abilities. She was immediately asked to contribute to If Not Now, Then When as well as Ask You. So on Tuesday, the 27th, we recording some female backup vocals for those two songs and also utilized Alyson's piano skills as well. We decided to turn to the real piano for the song but unfortunately it was a tad out of tune and we weren't able to get the take we needed. She did nail down her part on the keyboard, however, and we will use what we can.

So with Alyson's contribution, some polishing of my back up vocals and some additional work on City Lights, Bicycle on the Ice and Ask You, we find ourselves that much closer to being complete with the production process. However, due to losing such a block of time on Sunday because of my sickness, it has become evident that I must return to Boston sometime this month in order to make up for lost time. As of now, it's looking like I will be flying up the last weekend of January to work with Dave for about two days to wrap the project completely.

More updates to come as well as some video from my trip on the road. Thanks for reading and we'll catch ya soon!