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12/06/2018  — 

#MyMusical2018 Part 4: Doodles (something New)

I've been writing a series of posts called #MyMusical2018 that covers some of the musical things I've been involved with over the past calendar year. The last post was about open mics and other gigs. This one is all about the doodles...

#MyMusical2018 Part 4: Doodles (something New)

This is new. This is experimental. This is for fun.

I shared a few brief instrumental songs that I called doodles in this year's Song-A-Day event. These doodles came from a process I developed over a stretch of Sunday mornings basically as part of the breakfast routine. My girls would sit on the couch and read a book (or more likely: play a video game) and I'd create something with a guitar, delay pedal, and looping pedal.

Eventually I got smart and started recording the resulting compositions on my phone. At some point later this year, I stumbled onto those recordings and those sounds instantly brought me back to Sunday morning. So think of it as a holiday gift (yes, you may re-gift this if it's not your thing - seriously: find someone who might appreciate this and send it over to them).

Here's what I wrote on Bandcamp...

I created these doodles at home as part of my Sunday morning routine that also included coffee, a newspaper, and making breakfast for my girls. These compositions are conceived in the moment and barely captured using the voice memo app on my phone.

The resulting Lo-fi recordings are special to me because they capture the time and place where our lives took a turn toward a "new" direction.

The background noise, voices, creaking chairs and room sounds are part of the charm for me - listening to these could transport us right back to our living room in the 2014-2018 range. Get comfy, settle-in, let's see where this goes.

What do you think?

Keep your eyes peeled for the next post in the #MyMusical2018 series: "Other shows"

12/03/2018  — 

#MyMusical2018 Part 1: Doubleplus Alright

This year has been chock full of musical activity and here's a not-so-brief recap of the musical things I've been able to sneak into the year. I've been involved with music for most of my life in one way or another.

Music is my source of sanity, a channel for expression, a never-ending puzzle worth solving -- an important part of my life.

And yet, something this important and core to my being doesn't really figure into my planning that much. I didn't really start the year with a plan to focus on music. I kinda rode the wave - went with the flow... you get it.

(After-the-fact edit: I went through photos to go along with a bunch of these stories and came across the almost life-changing Dag Nasty show that I saw in December of 2017 at Thee Parkside. I think this one show (maybe also the Tony Molina show in early Jan 2018 (maybe also the This Stellar Madness show soon after that (well you get the picture))) set me off in this direction.)

Here's the story of my 2018 musical adventures. Full disclosure: I started writing a blog post and it got long... REALLY long. So I chopped this into a few posts which will pop up on http://greacen.com over the next few days. Stay tuned!

#MyMusical2018 Part 1: Doubleplus Alright

Oh hey- I have a band! We're good! Doubleplus Alright got organized and motivated (thanks to Jackson who joined in late 2017!) to polish our songs to the point where we can record them and play in front of people. Nik broke his ankle (doing advanced disco dance-moves at the New Parish - ask him about that). We had an action-packed year!

Recordings & Merch

Bandcamp, CDRs, Lathe Cuts! Heck we even splurged on t-shirts so you know this is official. We might get a chance to put together a few more recordings before the end of the year. Have you heard this stuff yet? Here's the stuff that's up on Bandcamp:

For a rehearsal space recording I'm very happy with the way these came out! I love recording music and have been at it since I was in 9th grade. It's way more fun lately with the songs we're playing and the basic-but-functional gear we're using. We don't have a record label or anything like that- we're (still) totally diy at this point.

Here are photos the other merchy things... CDRs, Lathe Cuts, t Shirts (click through to see more):
2018-doubleplusalright-merchandrecording

Shows

We played about once a month once we got into the groove. I like playing for people. Here's what we did:

  • February at KZSU - our first time playing with Jackson outside of our rehearsal space. The KZSU studio is the scene of some legendary shows (you'll find them on youtube) so this was a great place for us to kick off the year. Oh hey- there's a video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZO2-atR-Q0Y I'll embed this below too.
  • May at the Ivy Room - our first gig with Jackson in front of PEOPLE, and heck our first gig in way too long. Thanks to The Tet Holiday for putting this together and including us. Factoid: Our first first show (with Gee on drums) was with The Tet Holiday at the Golden Bull in 2015. We asked Like Roses to play this show because they are fan-friggin-tastic.
  • June at the White Horse - with Neutrals and Hard Left - two of my favorite bands! factoid: my old band blert used to play with the Neutrals' singer's old band Giant Haystacks a long long time ago.
  • July at The SF Eagle - at one of my favorite clubs/bars with the Gibbs and Externs.
  • September at the Hemlock Tavern (r.i.p.) - with Low Bote and Remember Karen just before the Hemlock CLOSED. factoid: There was a brief in- store at a Guitar Center in Concord to promote this show. You're right- that's the WORST place to try to activate an audience for a show in SF. Oh hey- another video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0cVFIfGarM

Here are some photos (click through to see more):
2018-doubleplusalright-shows



Looking ahead, we're interested in doing MORE of this. For shows, follow us on Facebook (of course) but you should pencil us in for 2/7, 2/22, 3/8 in 2019. If we get our act together and complete a record then we may try to sneak a small tour (LA? East Coast? UK?) onto the calendar too. Fingers are crossed...

Keep your eyes peeled for the next post in the #MyMusical2018 series: "Song-A-Day 2018" you won't want to miss this one.