All posts by jackalberson

2018.06 |What next?

The few months after the ‘victory lap’ of releasing an album are always a little weird when you’re doing it all on your own.

I had a couple things in mind months ago. First off, I knew I wanted to spotlight at least one more song from TRIALS, so I picked “Lifeboat” as a lot of people have been vocal about their enjoyment of that tune. I did a remix of it and put it up on Bandcamp with some fanfare (honestly could have promoted it more and will, still).

My other plan was to solicit remixes and release something of a companion to TRIALS. I decided this midway through making the albums. It is called TRAILS (see what I did there?) and it will be released sometime in the near future.

I played three shows in June around town for the hell of it (one of which was an electronic presentation to support my friends Evil English). Those were fun.

And then it dawned on me that I have never really toured my own material. Not beyond a couple weekend jaunts in Arkansas. So I’m currently booking what I hope will be the first of many “tiny tours” – picking three places away from Memphis and making a long weekend of it. My choices for this first round are St. Louis, Chicago, and Lexington (KY). I’m happy to say Lexington is booked, and I’m really excited about that!

So yeah, that’s that. I’ve gotten probably 2/3 of the material for TRAILS in, and I may make a short run of CD-Rs for the tour in September.

That’s what’s up in the air at the moment. I’ll post those tour dates soon.

Jack

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2018.04 | TRIALS Unleashed

TRIALS is out! Click here for lyrics.

I got to stop in to Radio Memphis and talk about the album for almost an hour, which was loads of fun. I checked in with Shangri-La and Goner and made sure the CDs were out, and talked it up to everybody (and their mother).

Tomorrow night is the CD Release Party. Mayor Strickland declared April 14th “Lucero Day”. I’m not knocking them – they’ve worked hard and are loved – but that’s going to make for a busy part of Midtown (and wouldn’t you know, Move the Air is in the middle of it?)

Eh, it’ll be great. Or at least the process of releasing the album will be over.

2018.03 | Releasing A CD is Hard

So it turns out the duplication is the easy part of this whole process. Actually, getting some of the local press together has been easy as well. The venue, however, has been absolutely aggravating.

The release party was originally to happen at a cool space in Cooper-Young called Sounds Good Memphis. Good room, good sound, and excitement was building. Then, due to calamity from all directions, the venue had to change their tactic to private only. How the hell do you promote a release party that you can’t publicly invite people to? How do you explain in your radio interview that you can’t tell anybody where the show is? How do you pay for the room without a cover? That just wasn’t going to work and it made things so much harder.

Fortunately, we found an incredible place to do it. Move the Air Studios, the ground zero for the productions of one of Memphis’s best producers, Alyssa Moore. How perfect is that? So the show is solidly on the books for Saturday, April 14th. A cool post-rock solo act called Dinosauria is opening, and we’re recording the show for later release.

Thank God that all came together!

Here’s a link to the Facebook event. https://business.facebook.com/events/886232904888329/

2018.02 | TRIALS

TRIALS is finished.

It features contributions from my friends and occasional bandmates J.D. Reager, Josh Stevens, and Eric Wilson, along with guest appearances by Kathryn Brawley Suda, Robert Poss (Band of Susans), Cat Hall (Dissonance), and Nina Miraj (Coke Weed). I’m very excited to share it with you and will let you know how to get it soon.

 

xo

 

 

2018.01 | “Let Me Be Right”

“Let Me Be Right” began its slow evolution a decade ago, as a tune I wrote just so I’d have something easy to play at an open mic.

It first found release under its original name, “Shooting Holes”, on my lo-fi EP I recorded on vacation in Eugene, Oregon. Always felt good but unfinished.

Again, this one got demoed for a band version but ended up one of the tracks J.D. and I fleshed out for TRIALS. J.D. played a skittering guitar part for it and we piled on the distorted, overdriven guitars.

Oddly enough, The Jesus and Mary Chain soon released a new album and the vibes closely matched up. The song was definitely demoed with the JAMC as spiritual parents, so it was inevitable I suppose.

This might be the only song on the album with no hardware synths!

2017.12 | “Tabula Rasa”

“Tabula Rasa” is a new very old song. I originally wrote it in 2001 or 2002, back when I decided I couldn’t play well with others and started a project called The Jeta Grove. Very naïve stuff, but this one was a great pop song.

Flash forward to 2016, when I performed it on one of my Facebook live shows. I had forgotten it, to be honest. When I scribbled down the lyrics, I felt like I could greatly improve on them. It seemed to make sense to try it again.

I demoed it for the band and we did something cool with it, but time and availability sort of evaporated and I started working on the album myself. My friend J.D. Reager was keen to help me with the album, so we met over at his house some to mess around with it (he is also working on another album and I assisted in a small capacity).

I programmed the basic track at home, and we cut a really good guitar track at his place. It’s buzzy and fuzzy on its own, but his guitar part has an almost Keith Richards-esque swagger to it. I cut vocals with him but, in tweaking some lines for the end of the chorus, I ended up taking a pass at it at home. On the single version, if you’re listening closely, you can tell.

I used the Arturia Microbrute for the synth lead lines (and that great noise at the beginning) and the Korg MS2000 for some other synth parts – it’s kind of buried in there, but it’s there.

Listen to “Tabula Rasa (Single Mix)” on Bandcamp!

2017.11 | Self Portrait

Cats:

Po is one of my best friends. We’ve been through some stuff. I’m almost certain he thinks he’s a dog. Maybe he thinks he’s human. Grumbles in his sleep – I love him.

Dot and I have more of what I would consider a father/daughter dynamic!

How I Sleep:

At bedtime, I like to listen to things like Brian Eno (the ambient stuff, and specifically his album with Harold Budd called The Plateaux of Mirror) or The Durutti Column. I’ve tried having Tangerine Dream on but there’s always some brilliant sound or motif that rattles me awake.

I can’t sleep without taking medication. Trazodone, specifically. It’s not habit forming like many other sleep aids.

What I Wear:

I generally wear jeans as much as possible. Work requires slacks of whatever kind, and that’s fine too. I have a lot of t-shirts from bands we’ve shared bills with, or things I’ve picked from places I’ve visited. I really like button-up shirts. I hate polo shirts.

Breakfast:

Simple pleasures. I like eggs (over hard, typically) and bacon. Usually prefer toast as its own meal – a whole grain bread and tasty preserves. I drink coffee. Sugar, no cream.

2017.10 | Show Explosion

We played one of our coolest shows yet on Sunday night. Earlier in the year, I made the acquaintance of one John Davis. You might remember him as one half of the indie duo Folk Implosion (his partner in that project being Lou Barlow of Sebadoh/Dinosaur Jr. fame). The suggestion was made that he come to Memphis sometime, to play a show. Imagine my surprise when he booked a tour and added Memphis to the itinerary. It was on.

We faced a unique predicament – a live band without longtime collaborators Jason Pulley (keys) and Matthew Trisler (guitar). What to do? We asked our friend Jacques Granger from The Family Ghost if he’d like to join the band to play what he accurately coined the “Gillian Gilbert role” in the band.

Somewhere along the way I proposed that John join us for a Folk Implosion cover. He graciously said yes. Now it was real for me.

Sadly, the night of the show Jacques found himself unable to play, so we were down to a trio. Could we pull that off? We’ve handled hairier.

At any rate, the show started with J.D. Reager and the Cold-Blooded 3 (minus Matthew Trisler) who brought the rock per the usual and included a rendition of the Monkees tune “Sunny Girlfriend”:

(l to r: Bubba, J.D., and Eric “Wolf” Wilson)

We were then joined by one of TWO touring bands: Evil English, whose drummer is in John’s backup band The Cicadas. They were fantastically moody and minimalistic. I am looking forward to the album they have in the works!

Evil English (l to r: Rob Chamberlain, Lindsey Elcessor)

Finally, it was time for John to play. His band, a three-piece themselves, created a surprisingly heady and dense wall of music – and John is a great and unconventional guitarist.

John Davis & the Cicadas (l to r: Rob Chamberlain, Justin Blatt, John Davis)

And then, it was time. Josh, Eric and I. We were joined by Jason for “(If I Held You) Close To Me” (unspoken rule: if Jason is around he must sing his part!) and John did indeed join us to perform “Pole Position”. Amazing. He seemed really happy when I hit Lou’s harmony in the last chorus.

Photo by Jason Pulley (l to r: Eric “Wolf” Wilson, John Davis, Josh Stevens, and yours truly)

Oh, what a night.

SETLIST: I Give Up Everyday, But I Never Manage To Walk Away / Ampersands / If This Is Forward / (If I Held You) Close To Me / First Episode / Pole Position (with John Davis)

2017.9 | Recording Update + Shows

Last Thursday, I tracked guitars and vocals with J.D. for “Over and Over”, “Tabula Rasa”, and “Motivational”:

• “Over and Over” is not a song I had originally considered for the album (having recorded it at home, I was considering it for my recent Obscura collection until I realized I was keen on a lyric rewrite).

• “Tabula Rasa” is very old but I revisited the vocals a couple years ago and have been meaning to bring it to the band.

• “Motivational” has been in several live sets since 2016. If you’ve seen it live, this version is a little less amped up but it’s still pretty loud.

LIVE SHOWS:
8/6/17 – Growlers w/John Davis (Folk Implosion) and J.D. Reager & the Cold-Blooded Three
November – Growlers w/Overlake and The Family Ghost

Xo
Jack