Tag Archives: Confidence

Releasing the Album: Confidence

The weeks leading up to the physical release of Confidence were hectic. J.D. was a great source of information and advice – he’s done a few of these before – and he also helped by putting together a good bio and press release for the event. I commissioned a flyer to be made by the fantastic Lynette May (in brainstorming, we chose an onryo – a vengeful spirit from Japanese folklore).

After booking the show, we experienced what we were concerned would be a major setback, as Stephen Chopek found himself unavailable for the show (double booking? A guaranteed paying gig? Who knows.) Fortunately, John Bonds stepped up to play the set and the day was saved. It would have to be a drummer with a good blend of precision and force, and John delivers both in spades.

The Friday before the show, September 11th, J.D. and I appeared on ABC24’s Local Memphis Live to promote the album and show. What a fun and surreal experience live television is. Everyone at the station was congenial and we performed three songs: “We Died Laughing”, “For My Favorite” and “The First Episode”. Ah, the joys of writing short tunes. “We Died Laughing” showed up on the Internet as evidence of our appearance along with a very awkwardly funny interview. I stated, clearly, “I have no message” which was probably the most punk rock thing I could have said (without invoking Bill Grundy).

So we got a run-through in the Monday before the show. It was a little late, but it was a solid practice. John definitely spent a little time living with the songs beforehand – he is a very precise and dynamic player – and I would say it’s probably the best this batch of songs have sounded in a practice room. We sounded like we were having fun.

The day of the show arrived very quickly. Unfortunately, I had been dealing with probably the worst headache I’ve ever had for over two weeks (and on a steroid pack to combat it as I type this) and I was a little lacking in enthusiasm. Nonetheless, it had been a good week for promotion and a lot of our friends talked it up. The Memphis Flyer and Commercial Appeal gave it brief mentions as well. With Cooper Young Fest set to drain everyone’s pocketbooks the following day, there was a sense that it might be a light crowd. It was indeed, but we were surrounded by some of our best friends and there was a positive spirit in the air. The staff of the Hi-Tone were hospitable as always, and technical hiccups aside we delivered a high energy set. Headache aside, I felt a sense of achievement and, also, a sense of relief.

Breaking Silence

Hello all! Don’t let the silence fool you … things have been happening here!

First off, Confidence is coming along and I’m surveying mastering and duplication options. It may come to doing a short-run “earlybird” edition in order to get the record out to the people who have already committed and taken part in the album’s creation. I’m going to have to test my prospective options out first, so maybe I’ll push another release forward (this one being a collection of home recordings and more synthpop in style). EVERYONE who participates in the crowdfunding will receive this album as well. I’ll make an announcement on the social networking circuit this afternoon, hopefully.

Second on the plate, the band and I have recorded a cover song for WPNR’s Get Off My Lawn in celebration of their 100th episode. They have featured me on several occasions now – both Pneumatic Girls and solo – and it’s an honor to have been asked to contribute something. What is the cover? Mmmm, better not tell you – you’ll just have to listen! Here’s a link for the March 8th show, where he featured “We Died Laughing”.

More later,

Jack

Intimate Objects, Confidence, and what happens next?

Intimate Objects was actually my first full solo release back in 2013. Barring two songs (“Like A Broken String” and the original version of “Brakes”), I wrote and recorded the whole thing over the span of a week. Two of its songs became Pneumatic Girls tunes (“A Team of Bumblebees” and “Near Misses”) and “Brakes” has been refined for the album I’ve been working on most recently.

I’m starting to view this as part of the process of writing – a flurry of semi-improvised ideas that evolve and later emerge as a tight, cohesive piece. I’ve never really known what my process is, and generally have considered it to be somewhat random (or maybe even chaotic).

This new album is going to be called Confidence. It is the result of a song cycle that actually began way back in 2000 with a Tascam four track. 15 years as a span of developing work seems like an awfully long time, doesn’t it? Still, that’s where we are.

And with that, I also understand that a new cycle has begun last year. I don’t know where it will take me, though. Not yet. Actually, I think I’ll let it surprise me as it tends to do.