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What's  Coming  Soon  ...

Thank you for your interest! Other than the various social media sites where I may have shared some more random, yet up-to-the-minute information, this page is where you'll get the overview on my current project(s) so you can, as some kids allegedly say, "get hype".

FLIPSIDE OF THE INTERIM

OR HOW TO RECORD A MIXTAPE THE LONG WAY

My current project is my twelvth "main questline" record, and it will be 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’m producing this album with the full intention of making it as magnificent a production as I'm able; and I'm also setting out to do something a little special. Here was my thought process …

  • 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 think it would be fun to make it my own; one is because I want to see how it sounds as a duet with my wife; … and many are simply because I want 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 constantly "A/B" 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 won’t be a strict one-to-one correlation of song-to-artist style swaps, per sé, a hefty portion of the tracks will however 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 may have a schizophrenic undertone. Throughout it all, however, I’m taking enough liberties that, while nothing is unrecognizable, it feels like I’m recording 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.

Teaser Instrumental Rough Mixes

While Flipside of The Interim is in production, I'm posting 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 these songs. Non-patrons even have a free song, there on the second button.

That's all there really is to talk about at this point. I'm working on this album every chance I get, so hopefully I'll be able to keep it on schedule for release before New Years. Follow me on Twitter & Instragram in the meantime.

Project Journal Updates

November 2018

Album Conceived

The question "What would Brian do if he did covers?" had been lingering in my head since a friend had posed it. I made a playlist in iTunes that consisted of songs I knew how to sing/perform, songs I liked and wanted to learn, and songs that otherwise seemed fitting for a setlist I could record.

January 2019

First Sound Recorded & Track Listing Finalized

The playlist was tightened up to a nice, round 18 tracks, and a beginning-to-end order was solidified. A bunch of the tracks got their Cubase files built as skeletons, some of the songs got inspired arrangements, and I broke ground on laying down some guitars.

March 2019

Patreon Account Launched

I signed up with he popular, contemporary subscription service, and immediately got some awesome fans pledging some support. As a way of showing gratitude to them and future patrons, I decided to post some "rough instrumental teaser tracks" of the songs as I work on them, once a month. For any price point, you too can get advance knowledge of my track listing!

July 2019

Newly Redesigned Website Launched

The album is making steady progress! I have seven tracks awaiting vocals, as the instrumentation and rough mixing are essentially complete! Several other tracks are at midway points, and only a handful of tracks are still in skeletal form. I'm genuinely excited at this point, if unsure about the realistic nature of a Holiday 2019 release. We'll see.

In the meantime, I completely rebuilt this website. Yes, the one you're reading now. Stay tuned.

Fastidiously  Answered  Questions

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. And, yes, it will likely be available for free. Lucky you.

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.