Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 In Review

Time to recap!

I wrote 43 blog posts this year, including this self-referential one. Those included 11 songs specially-recorded for the blog, 5 songs from a party gig in 1991, and a few reposts. In theory I had upward of 5000 views this year, though I strongly suspect the vast majority of those are bogus. That just makes you, the reader, even more special.

Favorite song post of the year: Lo-Fi Mini-Concert. Even with all the distortion. That's what makes it Lo-Fi.

The majority of posts this year (as is typical) were for NaPoWriMo, which I completed for the fifth consecutive year and led to the annual spike in (plausibly bogus) site visits. Once again, I went with space/astronomy poetry, but with the added degree of difficulty of doing half of it while on another continent at a telescope. I did also post one non-NaPo poem.

Favorite poem of the year is a toughie.  No real grabbers for me, I'll pick two among equals:
Swapping Stories
The Summer Cottage

The Gedankenband and I did release an EP early in the year, called Unselectable. I had a post here about it because, you know, that's the point of a music blog.

Spotify:  I have made an astonishing (to me) $0.10 on Spotify this year. I only have stats for less half of the year, too-- I uploaded music starting in June and only have a report through October. I had a total of 29 plays of 18 different songs. 21 of those plays were from the USA,  second-most are from...Belgium.

My #1 song on Spotify is "One Thing to Do", with a massive 4 plays.

The Gedankenband Bandcamp site stats look like this:
There were 244 "plays",  with 94 of them complete plays.  The most listened-to song this year was "MarcoPolo", with 10 full plays.  Tied in second place with 5 full plays is MarcoPolo's B-side (an acoustic rendition of OBAFGKM), and "Lost in the Artifacts" from the Unselectable EP. 45 different songs got at least one full play this year.

There were 17 downloads (songs/EPs/albums all together). The most-downloaded item was the Holiday Single (of all things).

So, no real point here.  Just looking forward to a good 2015 and wishing the same for all of you!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Happy Chanukah 5775

The holiday season is upon us and Chanukah starts tonight, so I figured I'd record something seasonally appropriate for you-- a live one-take recording of the Gedankenband's Holiday single, both A and B sides. Admittedly, since the B-side was already a one-take thing you may not notice too much of a difference.

May your latkes be crisp, your gelt be tasty, and your dreidel always come up on gimel (whether or not you're #TeamAppleSauce or #TeamSourCream.

Judah and the Maccabees (live, acoustic)
Sevivon (live, acoustic)

Still available are the Gedankenband versions!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Going Back To Tucson

I'm heading to Tucson next week for the Division of Planetary Sciences Meeting. Since I spent a big chunk of my 20s in Tucson between grad school and a postdoc job, I am naturally feeling a bit sentimental.

I wrote a lot of music during my time in Tucson, played in several bands, recorded The Red Album there as well as stuff on the ol' 4-track. The city even worked its way into the lyrics of at least one song.  So I thought I'd dash something off here to mark the upcoming trip.

While "Going Back to Tucson" would have been a great choice, I couldn't find any chords. I seriously considered "Sweetheart" by Caitlin and the Stickponies. But in the end I figured I'd record one by The Sidewinders (aka The Sand Rubies).

So here's another one-take acoustic guitar and voice wonder for all my Old Pueblo pals:
Came On Like The Sun


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Non-bloggy stuff has been taking up a ton of time, but that doesn't mean I can't post something for Halloween. Jen is a big fan of the holiday, and we've spent much of the last few days listening to Halloween music. Today it's been a streaming Halloween station, which has mostly been the equivalent of using "Monster Mash" as the starting condition for a Pandora station. 

I started thinking I could do better.

Then I realized I have done better!  At least from my own, slanted point of view.

So here for your spooky enjoyment is a Gedankenband Deep Track from The Cheese Stands Alone:

My Vampire Love
"Bonus" (of sorts): My Vampire Love (demo)

Enjoy!  Or don't, you know.  Free country and all. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Lace Anniversary

Perfect fall days don't fill me
with that same
But I remember

The smug feeling of hearing
someone else's flight
get canceled
in the moments before my flight was also

I'd used a self-serve kiosk
for the first time
carefully picking a window
seat on the left
so I could see lower Manhattan.
At the time
I should have boarded
I saw lower Manhattan
on the TV in the airport bar

The towers groaned and all
that it made sense to do
was order the largest beer they had
and steel myself for the perfect
fall day

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Watching Rainbows turns 30

Today is the 30th anniversary of one of my first songs. I wrote "Watching Rainbows" for my first girlfriend, with whom I had a typical angsty teenage thing. We got together near the very end of 9th grade, she went off to Catholic school in Jersey City to start 10th grade. So, there were lots of letters etc. After we broke up we stayed friends, and we even went to my senior prom together.  So, all good.

At various times I've looked back and said "X was my first real song".  This is in the running for that-- I didn't know how to play any instruments but drums at the time*, but the lyrics are decent enough I think.  Since other (more famous) people have semi-famously recorded songs written when they were a similar age, I figured I'd have a bash.  I could record this in a Gedankenband version at some point, though it's not obvious to me what that would sound like. I do have a few songs that are even older, but to zeroth order this is as ancient as it gets.

With no further ado:

Watching Rainbows (solo acoustic, 2014)

*Indeed, I wasn't proficient enough at guitar to even figure this out for a few years. This uses the set of chords I retrofitted for the song in 1989. I don't know that it's what I would have come up with at the time (or at a different time), but it is what it is. I suppose I'm also celebrating the arrangement turning 25. :)

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Gedankenband on Spotify and the iTunes Store!

Technology marches on. The first music I distributed was via cassette. For the Red Album, In-Jokes, and Do Not Tip I made CDs for interested (and some uninterested) friends. Since then I've been posting mp3s for people to fetch.  But music distribution technology has continued to evolve, so I've been trying to keep up.

So I signed up with a distribution service, and am happy to announce that the first music I've submitted, the Local Technique and Not for Having, but for Tasting EPs can now be found on Spotify and the iTunes store!

They also remain available at the Bandcamp site.  I plan to submit more of the back catalog (and future releases) via these venues, too.

Thanks for your continued support and interest, or at least your benign disinterest. :)

Local Technique:
Bandcamp link  
Spotify link
iTunes link

Not for Having, but for Tasting:
Bandcamp link 
Spotify link 
iTunes link

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Lo-fi mini-concert. Or something.

I picked up my guitar for the first time in a while intending to try some songwriting but I seem to have recorded some songs for the blog instead.  Your gain?  Whatever it is, they're recorded live with Audacity and with the gain set a bit too high, so the guitar is kind of distorted. However, since I haven't picked up my guitar in a while (see the first part) I need to get my calluses back in shape and I figured I'd live with the results. And now, so will you.

1. Middle of May (Gedankenband version on the Local Technique EP found here)
2. Take It On The Run (REO Speedwagon cover, because why not?)
3. Down from the Skies (Gedankenband version on the Do Not Tip or Rock album found here)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Dr. Lüst at the 1991 East Campus Picnic

I've mentioned Dr. Lüst and the Chiefs of the European Space Agency several times here on the blog. It was the first real band I was in and I wrote a whole bunch of songs for/while in the band, including Solitaire, Insecure, Gonna Be Around, and Hubris (among many others).  The other members of Dr. Lüst also wrote songs for the band, especially Dan Schmidt, and he's continued to play some of those songs in his successor bands (as I have with mine).

We also played a ton of covers, of course, and that's what I'll be posting today. Four of the five band members lived at or were alumni of the East Campus dorm at MIT, and that was where we would practice, but we only played the East Campus Spring Picnic once--my senior year of 1991. This would be our penultimate live performance, the final one coming at Bexley's Beast Roast a week or two later (not counting the inevitable reunion performance at a party in 1992).

I'm posting here five cover songs from that performance. We were pretty loose (to the point of sloppy) with some (all?) of these, but they're reasonably representative. Since I'm not sure how Dan, John, or Doug would feel about my posting their songs here I'm just going to stick to songs that I sang (along with one of Pat's):

1. When The Girls Get Here Pat sings this Young Fresh Fellows classic, in part because everyone else wanted to sing it and Pat was the only real compromise candidate.
2. Different Strokes I don't know what came over us but somehow we hit upon doing this song, which became a staple of our performances. We followed it up with The Facts Of Life at Bexley.
3. Head Over Heels Man, I loved this song. I took it with me to Jury Rig and Science Diet, though only Dr. Lüst had the keyboard part going.
4. Super Freak/U Can't Solve This A different version of this song appears early on in the blog's history. We'd been playing this one for years, and it shows as we wander through it injecting in-jokes and interrupting each other a bunch.  I love playing this song.
5. Free Bird You can hear the crowd yelling for Free Bird through most of this set, as they did through many of our sets (as was the style back then), we learned the song in response and as a way to punish the crowd. The audio tape ran out most of the way through our performance, so you don't get to hear the response from the crowd once we finished:  "Free Bird!"

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

NaPoWriMo 2014 Post 30: Sky Flat

Stars fade and sleep calls
after a night rich
with callers from other worlds
but one task remains.

We could close the dome,
fire up the lamps,
and stare at the wall.
But why end the night on such a
sterile note?

Instead, let's turn off the drive
and luxuriate
as the dawn performs works
of modern art for our use:
Jasper Johns or Mike Rothko
or Brice Marden.
The sky will give us
a proper send-off until
next we work together.

(Image: The Dylan Painting, Brice Marden. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art)


This is the last poem of NaPoWriMo 2014 for me. Thank you all!  Now back to irregularly non-scheduled music until next year (unless I feel like writing something before then)...

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

NaPoWriMo 2014 Post 29: Herschel visits Laurel

Would Herschel envy me?
The world's books at a few keystrokes,
and excellent calculations.
Spacecraft imagery and
photographic portraits
adorning my office,
an electric kettle
to offer him tea
while we listen to a recording
of his symphony 17 in C major.

Or would he watch
as I slog through spam
and don't listen to telecons,
and struggling to find time
to write
to observe
and much rather find himself
in the Bath?

Monday, April 28, 2014

NaPoWriMo 2014 Post 28: Reminder

When the world seems to be pressing in
and unseen forces look to be
closing off paths
and holding us on orbits,
when it feels like we're fighting just to keep pace
and our cares attract more cares,
worries attract more worries
like they have their own inertial mass and
it is good to get out
under the sky
and be reminded of all that is out there for us
if we can remember to turn our eyes upward.

NaPoWriMo 2014 Post 27: Mensa for Lyra

The evening's last flight
Trades southern cross for northern,
Mensa for Lyra.


Posted here a day late because of travel, but posted to Twitter on time! :)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

NaPoWriMo 2014 Post 26: Two Travelers

A photon departs
at wheels up,
goodbye wave
wave goodbye
traverses the dark,
with dark continents below,
desert and cloud,
rock and water.

A deflection at Mokum,
refracted by sea goddess,
now both wing across greater seas.

Eyes to the Bull
with luggage in hand,
wave hello
as two travelers meet.

Friday, April 25, 2014

NaPoWriMo 2014 Post 25: Mens et Mensa

Heavenly apparition outshone
by earthly table
set with beauty
for the scatterlings of the galaxy.

Invisible from home
or am I just not looking
with sufficient good hope?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

NaPoWriMo 2014 Post 24: Code Names

How evocative the codes
for the initiated
MN4 swamped by tsunami
SF36 with otter's whiskers
FG3 coupled but still wooing suiters
TC3 the uninvited guest.
Less euphonious than the gods,
but potentially no less mighty.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

NaPoWriMo2014 Post 23: A Favorite Gem

Do we alone know the Sun?
Does it shine in other constellations,
bright and honored, as the eye
of a wise leader?
A favorite gem in a heavenly necklace?
Or does it reside in the middle of a list
of middle-sized stars
in a poorly-read article
about potentially habitable stars,
loved by only a few?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

NaPoWriMo 2014 Post 22: Sojourn for truth

We cannot stop with
just one sojourn for truth.
We should travel together
if we are to travel at all,
not just a rock named for Tenzing
but a team under his command,
Henson not forgotten
amid the white wastes
but taking first steps
on a red planet,
not content to put Sacagawea
on the front of a coin
but front and center
on truly new worlds.

Monday, April 21, 2014

NaPoWriMo 2014 Post 21: Frames defined by the air

We look through windows
with frames defined by the air.
from a newer breed
of disk cameras.
Even the color-blind
can tell red from gray,
stone from soot,
oh from gee.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

NaPoWriMo 2014 Post 20: Unreflective Quarry

Another night in the high castle
with the galaxy swirling above.
We wring what we can
from our unreflective quarry.
Ghosts of
Lourenço Marques and Salisbury
nourish our bodies,
stereo admonishes
we're wasting time sitting still.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

NaPoWriMo 2014 Post 19: They too watched the skies

They too watched the skies;
Names lost to time,
Measuring distance by verses
Guided by song and music
To lands newly-born.

They too knew the stars,
Though working in the shadows.
Love's labors for boss and brother
Did they see they were the
Other half of the sky?

They too watched the skies;
Before Mensa was Mensa
They could see the dogs pin the warrior
Hoping with faith they could also
Walk together.

Friday, April 18, 2014

NaPoWriMo 2014 Post 18: Yet it still moves

No hulk remains,
no crash site for future scientists
or tourists,
no shrine to visit
or park to establish.
No crater to image
in rock or dust or ice.

It was not captured
by sand it was studying,
nor die a quiet death
as summer turned to winter
or as half-lives slowly mounted.

It will never
see the Sun again
even if it had a camera.

Instead it fell
into a hungry, grasping world
that took it apart piece by piece,
element by element,
and consumed it whole.
Yet it still moves.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

NaPoWriMo 2014 Post 17: Take the come bet

With enough time
even a modest telescope
could tell a giant desk
from a giant die.

It could tell how many pips
were facing you
or if the tumbling die
is a stone.

But to find out if it's fuzzy
or if the die is loaded,
space agencies would need to
take the come bet.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

NaPoWriMo 2014 Post 16: Redshifted Life

I spend the night
only a few hundredths of a light second
from my usual spot
but I feel much further behind
and receding at every moment.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

NaPoWriMo 2014 Post 15: Utopia, Almost

Basalt caps and red rocks.
Desert paved with
chips of past lavas,
environmental spoor

Utopia, almost.
Uncanny hillside
with echoes of greener valleys.
But the stars here are different
and even closer.

Monday, April 14, 2014

NaPoWriMo 2014 Post 14: The Mount

We think of the telescope
but rarely the mount;
sturdy but smooth,
with sky,
holding the
hours and minutes
and seconds
for us
until we think
we are ready
to move on.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

NaPoWriMo 2014 Post 13: Swapping stories

With one sight line
straight to Antarctica
and another straight
to the Sun,
we still used
our inside voices
teasing out stories from the rocks
while sharing our stories with the waves.

Soon we hope to
fill our glasses
with still more
stories from worlds
that have
hitherto only whispered
into an endless void.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

NaPoWriMo 2014 Post 12: Catching up with Isaac.

If I explained this journey to Newton,
DC to Cape Town
by airplane,
He'd think me a madman.

Amsterdam and Jupiter
would seem familiar
He'd know the value
of telescopes.
But catching him up
on Washington and CCDs
and the NSF
would be rough going
assuming he didn't tune me out
to muse about numerology.

I bet he'd follow
the restricted three body problem
in no time, though,
and he'd likely be quietly
disappointed I wasn't using
a Newtonian.

Friday, April 11, 2014

NaPoWriMo 2014, Post 11: Women with capes

If the Mercury Seven were the Fantastic Four
and Smallville predated Peenemünde,
in a world more Sivana than Sagan,
why would we look? Why
would we go?

Does Metropolis University
offer an astronomy degree?
Are their sample return capsules
carried by women with capes?

At least
planetary defense strategies
seem straightforward there.
Still, I suspect
I might have gone into the
restoration business.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

NaPoWriMo 2014, Post 10: The Summer Cottage

They thought of it as a starter home
but it was more of a fixer-upper
than they'd hoped;
The awning was down,
the power was out,
and the nearest hardware store was
hundreds of miles away
at best.

The chores piled up
and there was always something else
to do
as if they'd waste away
Sometimes they just wanted to
trade records with the neighbors
and sit watching the water.

After a few summers there
their ride disappeared.
They kept hoping to come back
but the elements
brought down the cottage
into the water.

They never did have the neighbors over,
though they did hitch
their camper vans together
and drink vodka.
Did they all look longingly
at the Moon overhead?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

NaPoWriMo 2014, Post 9: Children of the Fire God

Everywhere there can be asteroids
we find them:
filling the space between planets,
orbiting with planets
with paths crossing planets.
We find them every place
but one.

Children of the fire god,
we expected them huddled close.
Descriptions abound, like mermaids
or unicorns or jungle walruses
we think know what we're looking for.

But we've received no messages,
only seen trails of inbound cruisers
shedding their coats
for a few moments of sun.
No forged corundum,
just a conundrum.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

NaPoWriMo 2014, Post 8: The Neighbor Girl

I've been wondering about the neighbor girl.
She's so obviously bright
but I think she had a turbulent past.
It's hard to get through and see
what she's really about.

I know she used to see someone--
it seemed serious.
But I think that ended a while ago.
Some friends checked on her and said
she's still steaming.
Maybe we should drop by ourselves?

Monday, April 7, 2014

NaPoWriMo 2014, Post 7: Consolation

There are uncounted ways
things could have gone
wrong for us
Too red a sun
or too blue,
too weak a magnetic field,
too little ozone.

This could be a
more violent
niceties aside,
or Jupiter could have been
a party-crasher,
sending Mercury rising.

This is, admittedly,
little consolation
for the passenger pigeon.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

NaPoWriMo 2014, Post 6: We mostly fail

We mostly fail,
with uncontrolled controls
and undetected impurities.
We fail with bugs hidden
in uncommented code
and non-negligible effects
neglected anyhow.
We fail from changing skies
and sub-standard standard stars.

We fail by misestimating costs,
we fail by misapprehending risks,
we fail by overselling our instruments,
we fail by letting ourselves
be rushed
and pressured
and talked into things.

We mostly fail,
and we mostly know it.

But when we succeed
we know that, too.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

NaPoWriMo 2014, Post 5: Time Crunch

A million-year process,
droplets of molten beginnings
circle a diminishing gyre
as a center tries to hold.

Ice melts, iron rusts.

Twenty-nine days
at the telescope
over a dozen years.
Clouds, ice, wind,
and glorious skies.

Drives fill, students graduate.

How can I not find
two hours
to finish this paper?

Friday, April 4, 2014

NaPoWriMo 2014, Post 4: Gravity never fails but it can be bested

Gravity never fails
but it can be bested
if only for short times
and only certain scales.

Indeed, we can test it
and where strong sunlight shines
we can look at details
of how particles rested.

The charging of the fines
moves them from hills to vales,
craters left congested
with past levitation's shrines.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

NaPoWriMo 2014, Post 3: Wander Lonely from the Cloud

always alone
the sun a rumor,
parental warmth

who gave the push
is unknown
perhaps unknowable
but there is
always a pusher.

some jump in
skin flayed by
as we gawk at their slow demise
and record it all
for posterity
for science.

but so many
slip surly bonds and
wander lonely
from the cloud

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

NaPoWriMo 2014, Post 2: Search

Would we know them if we saw them?
We are trained,
to expect cylinders
landing in New Jersey,
prime numbers from Vega.

With each paper
we find ourselves
closer to
further from
the answer.
Super-earths and nano-cubes
are belied by firm fact
and absence of evidence.
Still plans continue to explore
Oak Island
on Mars
or Europa
or Titan.
There's a hunch the game's not over
even if they're not inside the room.

Dragon-born, we send semiprimes
and Chuck Berry
but our planet leaks Baywatch.
Do they love Lucy?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

NaPoWriMo 2014, Post 1: Three Muses

Welcome back, Erato, for your yearly trip
to reside here on my humble site.
I ask you for a little skill so that I can equip
some quality in everything I write.

And once again, Urania, you find some extra time
as the winter fades and summer draws e'er close.
So I ask for inspiration as I begin these rhymes
so that I can worthily compose
a month's worth of poetry--30 days of verse
dedicated to your heavenly charms.
And if you notice that my work is going bad to worse
don't hesitate to sound all the alarms.

You're off the hook, Euterpe. Go on and take five.
Your sisters have you covered until May.
Though guitars may be idle my love for you survives
and if perhaps you think you'd rather stay
I wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Annual NaPoWriMo Intro Post

Every April since 2010, I've transformed my music blog into a poetry blog for National Poetry Writing Month (aka NaPoWriMo). This April will be no exception.  The idea behind NaPoWriMo is to write a poem every day for all 30 days of April. While not required by the "rules" of NaPoWriMo, I also strive to post that poem here every day. This is sometimes complicated by travel (as will certainly happen this year), but I try to do this on a best-effort basis.  And, you know, you get what you pay for as far as free poetry.

In 2010 I wrote a poem about a different Major League Baseball team each day.  In 2011 it was poems about chemical elements. In 2012 and 2013, however, I turned vocation into avocation and wrote space poetry, which I also plan to do this year.

As in the past, I know some other folks will be joining me in NaPoWriMo with space themed poetry, most notably Christine Reuter (aka tychogirl), Amee Hennig (aka astropoetamee), Alex Parker (aka alex_parker), and Noam Izenberg (aka iyzie) . I also expect Jennifer Grier (aka grierja) and Michele Bannister (astrokiwi) to take part in NaPoWriMo though they may keep their poems from the web in order to allow them to appear in publications.

NaPoWriMo is about getting people to write without worrying about having it be perfect, which pre-empts the whole process. I encourage all of you to write something! In previous years I've come up with free verse, sestinas, sonnets, haiku, and a whole heck of a lot of doggerel. It doesn't need to be a poem every day, it doesn't need to be The Rime of the Ancient Mariner or Leaves of Grass. It doesn't have to be anything you share with others, it doesn't have to be about planets or space or science at all. But if you want to try your hand and are willing to share but don't have a venue to post what you want, I'm happy to do so here. I'll post it under your name or anonymously as you wish, with any accompanying text you like. If you can find this blog, you can probably find my contact information either in my profile here, or on Twitter (@ asrivkin) or elsewhere.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

After The Judgment Day

It feels like I haven't picked up my guitar in ages, so I thought I'd indulge myself a bit today after a crazy stretch. The most proximal crazy was moving everything out of the house in Pomona NY where I lived when I was in high school, in preparation for selling it (hopefully the closing will be this week). I've been using Twitter to chronicle the various bits and pieces of my childhood that I ran across. These two elements come together in today's post, sort of, as I wanted to record something relevant to the house.

In retrospect I was always writing lyrics, which segued into writing songs. I have a few different candidates for my first "real" song depending on definition. Some of them were written in the house previous to the Pomona house. Love at First Sight was written there, but there's already a Gedankenband version of the song. Kumiko was also written while living there, but with somewhat different lyrics.   Watching Rainbows is a personal favorite, but I'm saving it for a landmark anniversary this fall. So I turned to After The Judgment Day.

The song was written at the behest of a very-short lived band I was in. I'm not sure we ever even played together for more than an hour or two of practice. The name came from Jon the lead singer, who took the first initials of our names (Tracey the keyboardist, Darren the bass player, Jon, and me) and came up with the phrase. It was the first "band song" I wrote but not the last, with songs for Dr. Lüst, Jury Rig, and even the Gedankenband getting songs (Out Of Our League was written as a Science Diet equivalent but doesn't mention the band).

The lyrics for ATJD are a bit awkward, but were earnest. :)  I wrote it in March 1986, so it just turned 28. Recorded, as is often the case, solo with my guitar using Audacity. I hope you enjoy it!

After the Judgment Day

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

New Gedankenband EP: Unselectable

Link to Unselectable on Bandcamp
1. I Think I'll Fall In Love With You
2. What Am I To Do?
3. If I Can't Be
4. I Still Reckon
5. Lost In The Artifacts

I'm only too happy to report the availability of a new EP by Andy Rivkin and his Gedankenband: Unselectable. The songs have appeared here on the blog in acoustic or demo versions (or in one case the final version) over the years, but the majority appear in full band versions for the first time on the EP.

As usual, the EP is downloadable for free, though you may also choose to pay something for it if you like. But having people download and enjoy it is most important for me. :) 

Previous LPs, EPs, and singles are also still available, linked from the main Gedankenband page through their covers.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

January in the Late 90s

Buzzed And Confused (solo acoustic)
Puerto Peñasco

I like marking anniversaries here, apparently. I have a big ol' list of every song I can remember, from goofy immature stuff I wrote as a 13 year old in 1983 to the goofy immature stuff I'm still writing today (hmm).  Today I'm posting a couple of songs I wrote in Januaries past.

The first is "Buzzed and Confused", written 15 years ago this week.  The title was inspired by an off-handed comment by a friend of mine, which quickly made its way into this song.  I always liked this one a lot, and was particularly pleased with the In-Jokes With Myself  version (In-Jokes having its own 11th anniversary this week as well), thinking it good enough to lead off the album. For whatever reason Science Diet never played it, and I may have more or less been alone in my admiration for the song.  The In-Jokes version had bonus Led Zep musical references, which would have been actual samples if I'd been savvy enough to figure out how to do it in that old software. This version is just me and my guitar, recorded with Audacity.

The second song is a bit older in multiple ways. "Puerto Peñasco" began as the riff, which I happened upon in 1991 during the summer I was in Japan. At the time the best use I had for it was a screed about a college dormmate who was particularly loathsome.  I was eventually able to repurpose it as a song about the nearest beach town to Tucson, Puerto Peñasco. The song is pretty slight, and it's not like I would have been in particular need of warm weather in Tucson, but it's pretty good-natured and since it's coming up on its 17th birthday in a week or two I figured I'd give it its first-ever recording. :)  For this one I used Garageband, recording it to three tracks (voice, rhythm guitar, and the riff) and adding just a bit of echo. Not sure if I'll ever try to record a "real" version, though there is potentially a spot on the potentially upcoming Unselected EP (since I'm not terribly happy with a couple of the recordings)...