Category Archives: 2014

LI. “Kiss Off, Stranger” video

Officially my first experiment with moving pictures, here is a video for the b-side to “We Died Laughing”. This new version was recorded at home.

XLIX.

I realized this morning, tossing and turning and trying to sleep, that the presence of The Cure in my life is almost elemental. Their music is part of the architecture of my mindset, the landscape of my past. I know exactly how pretentious this sounds, and it is. It’s also true.

I had heard a couple songs by The Cure before “Fascination Street” from their landmark Disintegration album blew my mind and reinvented the guitar for me. That album was the soundtrack of my 13th year. It came along at a perfect time – hormonally and thematically – and I recognized very early on that it wasn’t simply a mining of the soul that caused me to connect with them, but an acquaintance with very specific ideas that I was considering for the very first time.

An aural “where were you, when…” moment.

This, obviously, is from much earlier in The Cure’s history.

XLVIII. The Family Ghost’s new album

Something of an anomaly in the Memphis music community is The Family Ghost, whose challenging  music (challenging, at least, to the conservative tastes of Southern audiences … they simply do what they do, with little regard to the end listener) and infrequent performances make them genuinely fascinating artists. To me, at least.

Their second full-length, No Dreams, has been unleashed upon the Internet and it’s worth the two-year wait (an EP, Artifact 2012, preceded it).

Listen to No Dreams and be inspired.

XLVII. “We Died Laughing” release news

Today is the day! Both songs are available NOW at the Be Here Tinnitus official Bandcamp. “We Died Laughing” can be heard on Spotify, and can be purchased at Amazon.com as well.

No link up yet at iTunes, but I’m sure it’s coming. UPDATE: It is available on iTunes.

Musical brother J.D. Reager (and featured drummer on “We Died Laughing”) gave the single some Twitter love this morning as well.

XLVI. Not Laughing (yet)

Tomorrow’s the big day … sort of. Let me explain:

I received a message Friday night from TuneCore, my major digital distributor, saying there was an artwork issue for “Kiss Off, Stranger”. I distributed the songs separately, as releasing two songs would be considered an album in their eyes. As it turns out, the original artwork wouldn’t work for it because it had “We Died Laughing” on it instead. I created new (but similar) artwork for it as a separate release and updated the order.

… and now we wait.

This will not delay of “We Died Laughing” itself – it should still be available on all the big commercial sites tomorrow. It may now take “Kiss Off, Stranger” a couple more days to show up, though, and I’m sorry to have to tell you that.

BUT

The single in its originally-intended form will be available tomorrow at the Be Here Tinnitus Bandcamp.

I’ve received some lovely comments on the new music and I’m very excited to have made this music, with friends, for you to enjoy.

XLII. “We Died Laughing”

I’m excited to report that I will be releasing “We Died Laughing” as a single from the forthcoming still-untitled album. The distribution at this time will be online-only via the Be Here Tinnitus Bandcamp, and possibly mainstream outlets like iTunes and Amazon.

The b-side will be “Kiss Off, Stranger” (formerly known as “Treat Yourself”). GoFundMe participants will receive the single for free immediately upon release.

If you want to be a part of the GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign, I would greatly encourage it! Visit gofund.me/crifhg for more information.

XLI. Sneak Preview: “For My Favorite”

https://soundcloud.com/jack-alberson/for-my-favorite-unfinished

Now, a little insight: this track was recorded with the first batch with the Near Reaches crew – J.D., Eric, and Jason. It is something of a rarity, as I walked into the studio with barely a sketch of an idea. J.D. suggested the chords for the chorus. I finalized the lyrics sitting in the floor at Five & Dime – the song is about my lovely girlfriend.

I suppose it’s safe to say the song takes musical inspiration from stuff like Slowdive, Mazzy Star, and a lot of that 4AD stuff. The Boss Vibrato pedal makes yet another appearance here on the washed out rhythm guitar.

Feel free to share this with others.

xo

XL. Studio Update!

Hit the studio to overdub guitars for the new batch of songs, just Harry and I. It was a far more grueling session than I had counted on – two of the new songs (“Brakes” and “Ampersands”) are the fastest I’ve ever recorded, pace-wise, and I definitely felt my shortcomings as a guitarist come to the fore. Pushing my own guitar skills to keep up with Stephen’s precise, uptempo, drum parts got frustrating at times. Harry kept me grounded, and we got through it.

On a positive note, we experimented with multiple guitars, including a Rickenbacker 12-string and a sweet Fender baritone guitar! “Ampersands” now boasts a somewhat strange lead guitar part on said baritone. It’s a crazy tone. Allow me to get all studio nerd on you for a second:

*dons studio nerd glasses*

We ran the baritone through my Big Muff fuzz pedal, and then through my Boss Vibrato pedal. That’s a crazy pedal, sorta rare. I guess the Boss pedals manufactured in Japan are harder to find? Anyway, I dialed in the rate to a somewhat slow, watery speed, and pulled the depth back so it didn’t wobble too much. We may have run it through the Hall of Fame reverb pedal as well (I like the modulated setting on it A LOT), but I don’t recall.

We have been using Harry’s Fender Twin Reverb amp for most of the recording, but he has this small tube amp that has a real biting tone and we used it to record some of the more distorted, fuzzy guitar parts.

*removes studio nerd glasses*

One thing I really look forward to, especially on these two songs, is adding synthesizer parts. Both songs in their original demos nod to groups like New Order and Tubeway Army (Gary Numan’s early band project). I’m a big fan of both, and the thought of some of that influence seeping in really makes me happy. So far, the record is far more guitar-driven than a lot of my work, and that’s not a bad thing … but to come full circle, I am by and large a keyboardist and synthesis. Guitar does not come easily to me!

xo