Tag Archives: Eric Wilson

Kaleidoscope EP2: Lake Lunar

https://migrainerobotsounds.bandcamp.com/album/kaleidoscope-ep2-lake-lunar

Additional personnel included longtime collaborator Eric Wilson, Kathryn Brawley Suda (who sang on TRIALS), Justice Naczycz (played in The Secret Service, plays in Mystic Light Casino as well as my current live band), and the disembodied voicemail was brilliantly left by Heather Hein.

EP2 is out now. Happy Spring!

J

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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

 

 

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.

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

XXXVII. Big Exciting Recording Update, In Yr Face!

TEN SONGS in. Yes, you heard me right. Bashed out the beginnings of four tunes with those lovely gents, and the results are above and beyond my own expectations.

I think what really surprised me is how a couple of the songs transformed along the way. “Texas Can’t Have You Back”, which I have long considered something of a shoegazey beast, magically reshaped into old-guard Country-and-Western in the beautiful picking of one Tony Manard. And “Ampersands”, which at various times has been a glorious New Order homage and an upbeat country rock number, has become drunk from the beat of Stax Records – Tony and Eric “Wolf” Wilson and the tight time of one Stephen Chopek. I think the consensus is that it should open the album.

We also laid down “Quiet Houses”, which is a very very old song of mine (14 years, at least?) and took a stab at “Brakes” which became a fuzzed-out 90s alt.rock throwback. It was sort of a mistake. Well, are creative moments ever truly mistakes? I had the Big Muff on, when I had originally considered only using some overdrive. Voila, Nirvana!

So I tip my hat to Harry K (once again!), the Wolf, Tony, and Stephen. My goodness, boys, what have we here!

XXXVI.

With some new people following this blog (picture me frantically waving hello) I figure I should make an update on the record I’ve been working on.

First off, there are some incredible people playing on it. My Near Reaches friends J.D. Reager, Eric WIlson and Jason Pulley have been in and tracked on five songs so far (“We Died Laughing”, “Lost In the Fire”, “Sunday Drunk”, “For My Favorite” and “An Episode”). There’s a lot of energy in these performances. I tracked one song alone, several months ago (“Treat Yourself”). Soon, I’ll be working with Eric again, along with Stephen Chopek on drums and Tony Manard from The Switchblade Kid on a couple more tracks (at least … depends on how fast we work!) Then at some point, hopefully, my dear friend and Pneumatic Girls guitarist Matthew Trisler will come in and play some incredible guitar bits.

There is a GoFundMe site up for this project – please consider chipping in and get yourself some lovely music as well as a few other perks.

 

XXIX. Studio Talk: Session Three

Another session at Five and Dime with J.D. (and Eric dropped in … as it turns out he was an integral part of things) for acoustic guitar, hand percussion and vocal work.

Harry and I *did* sneak away to watch about five minutes of Happy Days, and managed to catch the end of Gilligan’s Island, too. Ahhhh, Tina Louise.

Let’s be honest, here. It got pretty silly last night. We did some “gang vocals” – for the uninitiated, it’s where you do a vocal take with several people all at once. It can be powerful, or it can sound a bit like a bunch of drunkards singing a song together in a pub. Well, we sort of hit both with a little bit of “chorus of Muppets” (I’m so sorry, Jim Henson) mixed in. Specifically on “Sunday Drunk”. On “We Died Laughing”, the gang vocals carried the song in more of a Queen-ish direction. Or Journey … to be honest, maybe more like Journey than Queen. We did some on “An Episode” as well, but I don’t think they come off as silly in the least.

J.D. and I played a few takes on acoustic – meaning we both played acoustics at the same time. I am NOT known for my acoustic guitar prowess, so I really hope his parts come off a lot louder. Also, he threw down some percussion on all five tracks. This will be the album for tambourine lovers, that’s for sure! He did actually do some electric guitar on a couple tracks last night, too. Rhythm stuff. I think that worked out well, because my electric guitar work is usually pretty moody and murky, and a couple of these songs kinda needed straight up distorted guitar. There’s a good rhythm bed now, and Matthew’s guitar work will take these songs to yet another level.

Then there was the matter of “Lost In the Fire”. It, in its original form, definitely bears a strong resemblance to Radiohead’s first big hit, “Creep”. Honestly, I don’t mind that too much, but we felt like we could make it a little more interesting by making it less so. So we fired up the organ and I ran through a couple droney takes. The first organ-driven shoegazer song? Hmm. No, probably not, but I like what it brings to the song.

Lastly, there was some work on the mix. Eric sorta called me out on wanting to fuss over the mix too soon, but to be honest I would prefer not to spend a lot of time at the end cooking up the right sound. Let’s catch it on the front end as much as possible, I say.

XIX. Everything Dead Is Probably Still Dead Again

In case you hadn’t heard, The Pneumatic Girls are no more. No more hiding behind a band name or guise, no more group identities. It’s time I just embraced making music as ME, Jack Alberson.

And so demoing has begun, and five songs have been started on at Five & Dime with the honorable Harry K presiding … having done such a fine job with the PGs, why WOULDN’T I go with him for this?

J.D. Reager, mighty drummer extraordinaire, and as usual Eric Wilson (or The Wolf, as I like to call him), and a blatant disregard for grammar and sentence structure in this blog post. Key ingredients.

Funding is a bit hard to come by but I’ll figure it out. I welcome your suggestions, gentle readers. Also, this site has been ported over from the now-deleted thepneumaticgirls.com so I apologize if its individual identity is slow in coming. Baby steps, babies.

JA