On January 21, 2021 ...

I finally released the most ambitious project I'd ever tackled. This beautiful thing is my twelvth "main questline" record, an 18-track album of cover songs! But I’m not just strumming along to the same tired voicings that a million other Guitar Tab Archive players have strummed, nor for that matter even "doing a set" with sparse instrumentation or while recording it live. I produced this album with the full intention of making it as magnificent a production as I was able to.

A playful homage to the artists and songs that heavily influenced my own tastes and styles, this record is a personal mixtape, a cover album that was over two years in the making. To avoid my versions sounding like the original musicians, since their styles are the very things that inspired me, I changed some arrangements and swapped the nods around. 

(Click PLAY in the embedded player and listen while you read on!)

in the making!

Flipside of The Interim

$10.00 $10.01
  • THE SELECTION - The primary conceit of Flipside of The Interim was to select the Artists. With a couple exceptions—where the particular song is itself the notable selection despite the artist—the basic “whom” I’m covering is the overwhelming focus of the record; each artist represents who I am and where I came from, musically. These are the bands and singers I listened to through my retrospectively poignant, formative years, and who influenced my tastes the most. In most cases the songs themselves are obscure or at the very least nontraditionally known to be “covered” songs. Each one however has a different reason for its selection, for instance: one is because I don’t care for the original recording and I want to record one I like instead; one may be because the singer’s original prosody or enunciation bugs me and I have to do something about it!; one is because I’m sick of every other cover version where every artist does it the exact same way; one could be because it's already in my repertoire; one is just because I thought it would be fun to make it my own; one is because I wanted to see how it sounded as a duet with my wife; … and many are simply because I tried to experiment and change their mood, style, or genre.
  • THE ARRANGEMENTS - As I started narrowing down the specific songs, and sequencing them in a rough order of tone, lyrical content, and vibe—basically making a mixtape that tells a story, or at least a non-jarring progression of “narrative events”, whether or not I fully succeeded—I started plotting out some instrumentation and built some bed-track files. The nature of covering artists explicitly who influenced me would mean I was at risk of doing precisely what I don’t care for in other versions of cover songs (in particular, sounding too much like the original artist without realizing what aspects of a song are essential, versus which aspects are merely mimicked quirks of the original artist’s performance), so I made a decision mostly to avoid arrangements that a listener would inherently, habitually, unavoidably be comparing to the originals in their head. One method toward doing this—one I heartily became quickly enthusiastic toward—would be to apply those artists’ quirks … to the other songs instead!
  • THE PRODUCTION - Although there isn't a strict one-to-one correlation of song-to-artist style swaps, per sé, a hefty portion of the tracks evoke distinct shoutouts to specific other artists I’m covering (in most cases because the styles in my opinion actually fit their new context well without having to force anything), so the project has a wandering undertone. Throughout it all, however, I took enough liberties that, while nothing is unrecognizable, it felt like I recorded an original album that’s all me! Since these artists all have been influences, their flavors have been part of my "sound" all this time anyway. Now's my opportunity not to be bashful about it.

Side A

  • 1984
    (Van Halen, 1984)
  • On Your Shore
    (Charlotte Martin, On Your Shore)
  • Bouncing Off Clouds
    (Tori Amos, American Doll Posse)
    [arrangement inspired by Boston]
  • We’re Ready
    (Boston, Third Stage)
  • I Alone
    (Live, Throwing Copper)
  • Without You
    (Van Halen, Van Halen 3)
    [arrangement inspired by Barenaked Ladies]
  • Side B

  • How Soon Is Now?
    (The Smiths, Meat Is Murder)
    [arrangement inspired by Pink Floyd]
  • Is This
    (Oingo Boingo,
    Dark At The End of The Tunnel)
    [arrangement inspired by Tori Amos]
  • When The Water Falls
    (Collective Soul, Collective Soul [1995])
    [arrangement inspired by Sarah McLachlan]
  • Strange World
    (Sarah McLachlan, Touch)
    [arrangement inspired by Nirvana]
  • On The Turning Away
    (Pink Floyd, Momentary Lapse of Reason)
    [arrangement inspired by Oingo Boingo]
  • Territorial Pissings
    (Nirvana, Nevermind)
  • Side C

  • So Far Away
    (Dire Straits, Brothers In Arms)
    [arrangement inspired by Guster]
  • Nothing Can Keep Me From You
    (Eric Johnson, Ah Via Musicom)
  • Fade Into You
    (Mazzy Star, So Tonight That I Might See)
    [arrangement inspired by Collective Soul]
  • See The Constellation
    (They Might Be Giants, Apollo 18)
    [arrangement inspired by Van Halen]
  • So Long
    (Guster, Lost And Gone Forever)
  • Thanks That Was Fun
    (Barenaked Ladies,
    Disc One: All Their Greatest Hits)
    [arrangement inspired by Dire Straits]
  • Arranged, Produced & Mixed by Brian Michael Weidemann
    Guitars, Sequencing & Male vocals by Brian Michael Weidemann
    Female vocals by Audrey Dawn Weidemann

    Mastered by Brian Hazard, Resonance Mastering

    Album cover painting by Carrie Graber

    Teaser Instrumental Rough Mixes

    While Flipside of The Interim was in production, I posted monthly tracks for my patrons via this fun, little subscription service you've likely heard about. Pledge at ANY price point and you can hear rough, instrumental mixes of all 18 songs. Non-patrons even had a free song or two.

    This really took me over two years to complete.  When the pandemic lockdown forced many of us to re-evaluate reality, I still had a handful of songs to finish building.  Over the Summer & Fall of 2020, I recorded the vocals. Winter was a time of mixing and mastering.  I really hope you can enjoy this project for all its glory. Thank you for reading.

    Fastidiously  Answered  Questions
    (while it was in production)

    This is my twelvth album. My previous eleven albums contained no covers. Please consider purchasing all of those first, if this is an important issue for you.

    I have a full-time job and this is a passion project hobby. Hopefully I'll have it done before the end of 2019. [editor's note: This was not completed by that estimate. And due to the fact that I'm properly licensing these 18 songs, which costs money on my end, I have to charge for the album.  But Bandcamp lets you stream for free, so maybe try that.

    Each of the seventeen distinct artists (two tracks are by Van Halen, although they're different eras of VH) have lots of more "popular" songs, but maybe they weren't in my voice, or maybe the words didn't jive with something I'd be comfortable singing. Each song really had its own reason, and I felt that the tracks I chose were the ones that THIS album needed to have. Make your own album! Or make a Spotify playlist. I'll bet you suck, too. Insults are a glorious waste of typing, aren't they?

    That's perhaps not a healthy way to interact with people you haven't met before. In the meantime, since I didn't ask for requests, I'll have to decline your whim. These eighteen songs are going to take me about a year-and-a-half to complete. I'm sure there are some Twitch streamers who do covers on demand; they'd be much better than me at it anyway. I hope you find some help, or a more positive avenue to channel your frustrations.

    The bane of all creative people's collective existences is this ugly dismissal, when outsiders equate artistic expression with a waste of time. The minutes in one's life are finite, and some people spend them tapping their phalanges on plastic buttons while watching patterns of color on a screen. Some people hold writing increments and get joy out of making markings on a surface. Some people hone the biological functions of their own body by forcing it to perform repetitive actions whose only purpose is to burn fuel and strengthen the muscles that are only ever asked to perform those same repetitive actions again. I happen very much to value the experience of creating sounds in the air and learning how to harness and manipulate them so that myself and others can feel things when technology can re-emit those sounds in a cultivated form. Find a hobby, non-creator!

    Thanks for asking! I've been recording for over twenty-five years, perhaps. I was born in 1977 and learned guitar around 1990, about when computers were affordable enough that my family was able to have acquired some of the technology I was exposed to. If plugging a cassette tape deck into a Sound Blaster audio card output, and then plugging a guitar into a microphone input on the front of the tape deck, and then playing along to MIDI playback while the RECORD button was pressed … if that counts as "recording", then, I've been doing this quite a long time.