I was completely befuddled by how folks were doing multi-camera multi-track remote audio AND video recordings (there must be a better word for this). So I made one myself to figure it all out. The music was written on the fly and almost every track was recorded in one take. This was less about a great tune and more about figuring out the workflow. The whole thing took about three hours from start to finish.
I recorded the audio in Garageband, filmed the video on my iPhone 7, mixed the audio down, and then did the video edit in Adobe Premiere Pro. I probably went a bit overboard with all the clicks and claps in the intro but it made the sync so much smoother. The hardest part was doing each track in one take.
This year I participated in February Album Writing Month. The goal is to write 14 songs in 28 days. And, I met the goal!
Now, admittedly, a handful of the songs I wrote in that period were built from ideas, hooks, riffs, and lyrics I had kicking around before February 2019. However, the month-long challenge was my motivation for finishing them. (more…)
I have a mountain of song demos on my computer. Actually, I take that back. I have a mountain of idea demos on my computer. Rarely do I actually finish a demo for a complete song. More often then not, I get an idea, and I record it using Garage Band just to get it out of my head. Just as my notebook (the paper kind) is filled with lyric ideas–some song’s complete, most are not–my recorded ideas are not complete. Some of them could stand alone, many of them really require having the rest of a song built around it. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. If I have an idea that fits whatever band I’m playing with, I might present it to the band and we might jam on it, and it could turn into a song.
I moved to New York City in 2008. By early 2009, I had found my way into a few bands. One of those bands was the instrumental reggae band The Hard Times. By 2010, we were a part of a really great scene. How did that happen? (more…)
A handful of interesting things happened in the summer of 2012. Hey Stranger, the pop-punk/ska band I was playing in called it quits. I left The Hard Times, the early reggae band I was playing in. My girlfriend and I were talking about moving in together and she was looking to move to Boston for work. I had resolved that my next band was going to be a ska band. This is nothing new, except, it was entirely new. I had been playing reggae, but not ska, and since high school, I’d been playing ska-punk and pop-punk, but not ska. I really wanted to play some traditional ska, dammit! But, I also didn’t want to be limited to that. I really admired bands like Mad Caddies that played ska, punk, reggae, rock, and their own brand of dixieland inspired ska/punk. They were a single band playing a variety of sounds under the same musical umbrella. I wanted to do the same. I wanted to play many things under the ska umbrella: traditional ska, two-tone/second-wave, rocksteady, early reggae, dirty reggaeskinhead reggae, and more. The only thing I didn’t want to do was ska-punk, and not because I don’t like ska-punk, but because it’s all I’ve ever done and I needed a break. (more…)
Releases? Release? “The Hard Times” is a single unit, but it’s more than one person, but… whatever.
With not a lot of fanfare, my reggae project The Hard Times released our first 3 song EP “Two Bucks For Bob” on Whatevski, a boutique online store that specializes in b-sides, live songs, rarities, and side projects from the world of NYC ska/reggae band The Slackers. So how did we get in? I’ll start at the beginning but I’ll jump around. (more…)
Was: Fri 11/12 gig with Hey Stranger at National Underground. The venue treated us very poorly and barely had their shit together. Super Mirage was so good! We crammed in 6 songs before they through us out. It was basically a basement show with an overpriced bar, but great people stayed to watch. Sat 11/13 gig with The Hard Times in strong island. Suprisingly cool crowd, lots of dancing, bittersweet send off for Juan (bassist leaving for LA). Got noticed as a CTSka Alum. Accidental EP release party for “Two Bucks For Bob.” Details to come. I’m so impressed how fast The Frighteners have created a crowd and a following for themselves. Sun 11/14 recording with Hey Stranger out in Queens. I sat in the producer chair for day 2 of horn recording. Really proud of what we got done today, lots of energy from the players today. Here’s a video I snapped on the ol’ blackberry of our horns bustin’ their asses. (more…)