So I did this Christmas song and here's kind of the story behind it. Last year I wrote this poem called "Christmas Snow". Being from the South, snow on Christmas is something that I hope for but it very rarely occurs. Anyway, I would walk around the house reciting this "Christmas Snow" poem in a cockney accent much to the amusement of my four year old son (hey when Dad can get a laugh, he milks it).
I'd kind of always wanted to do a Christmas song so this Fall I started experimenting with putting the words to music. Things got really crazy busy and I almost didn't get it done, but last weekend I put in some hours on it, uploaded to Tunecore last Monday and by Wednesday it was up on Amazon...iTunes link should be up soon. No CD's on this one, digital only.
So there it is... guess you could say i'm dreaming of a white Christmas.
All created through zazzle. Would love some feedback on the designs and hope you'll let me know if there's a design you'd like to see. I know I went kind of overboard w/ the skateboard but I couldn't resist...
Reviews of PETE are still coming in, this one from Paolo Miléa, of the Brazilian site Power Pop Station. My portuguese is pretty rough, but from what I could ascertain from an internet translation, I think was favorable (thanks Paolo!). Entire review (and tons of other great powerpop recommendations) here.
My aunt Ginger gave me her copy of Fragile (LP, not CD!) when I was five and my life was changed. I'd already been listening to it on visits to her house. I'd sit with my ear pressed to the speaker, eyes closed, soaking in the ominous thunder sounds at the beginning of "South Side of the Sky" and waiting for that amazing drum intro by Bill Bruford.
Later, when I finally scored some toy drums, I spent hours and hours playing along to that record, and staring at the amazing artwork. I still have that first copy and not one track is playable because it was so severely scratched (loved).
It would be hard to underestimate the influence Fragile on my musical cerebrum. As a teenage drummer geek I came to appreciate other albums from the same period like Close to the Edge and The Yes Album. The Alan White....Trevor Horn....Trevor Rabin periods didn't resonate as much for me, though I did get into Drama for a while (the album that is).
Haven't a clue what the lyrics mean, and like it that way. Still can't play that Bruford fill either...
The vid's not that recent but if you haven't seen it, it's worth a click (and a great intro to Supergrass if you're not familiar).
I first heard them when Edmund's Crown was on the way home from a gig in Memphis. David, our drummer, was like "you would really like these guys," and popped in the CD In It For the Money. I liked it from the first listen but it didn't sink in until a few days later when I had a song in my head that I couldn't place (and knew I hadn't written-it was way too good). The song was It's Not Me (there isn't a bad track on that record, which is their sophomore).
Supergrass has more than a few websites out there. One that's maintained by the band themselves includes a tour diary , featuring random pics of shows, dressing rooms, and what they ate at the airport.
They were mentioned in the Foofighter's artist rider as being one of the few bands they would share a dressing room with (the others being Oasis and Led Zeppelin).
Last August a friend was treating me to lunch at Ichiban on 2nd Avenue, one of my favorite Nashville sushi venues. This was right around my birthday and I had just finished recording Popmonster which was one subject of conversation.
So the bill came, and it was pretty high... I mean this was lunch. So I said, "Let's split it." My friend said, "No way. It's your birthday." I was pretty insistent, and finally he said, "If you feel that bad about it why don't you just name a song after me on your next record." So I thought about that for a second and said, "Tell you what, I'm not going to name a song after you, I'm going to name my next record after you."
So it's been almost 10 months since that lunch and in about an hour, my friend Pete and I are meeting at Ichiban. He has no idea I'm about to release a new record, nor does he know I'm bringing him a copy to our lunch today...my treat of course.
I've just about finished with this upcoming project, which is an EP. I'm hesitant at this point to say the release date, because things always seem to take longer. Had to kind of kill the video docu...it was just too much to try and film everything...and it was boring! These pics are a few screen captures from the recording adventure.
Just putting the finishing touches on the tracks now, such as an extra harmony, or a shaker, or a bikelophone, or a bazantar.
The artwork hasn't been completed yet but I've got a concept going and a photographer pal who wants to shoot it so that'll happen in the coming weeks.
Been so busy with distractions (like bread and butter) that I've kind of had to leave the mixing board for a while. Can't wait to get back to it.
Right now I've got six tunes halfway in the can and a few more to put down tracks on. A cinematographer pal of mine wanted to do a little docudrama on this project so he came over last week, set up lights and filmed a bunch of boring stuff of me talking, recording guitars, etc. I'm sure some iteration of that will be posted in the future...just wanted to warn you.
Pictured here is a photographic representation of an actual professional recording session. This graphic looks nothing like my home studio, and the gentlemen pictured here will unfortunately not be involved with my recordings in any way, but perhaps I'll post of photo of my "studio" in a later episode, after I pick up all my kids' toys.
Yes, barring flood, famine, or pestilence, the recording shall commence on Monday. For me it's an unpredictable and kind of all consuming task, but I hope to make a few interesting posts out of it. I'm not sure when or what I'll actually post. But dang it I'll post something.
As far as the songs go, I have a few things that keep returning to my mind, and that's usually when I start making plans to record something. There is always the possibility that I'll spend all this time getting my ideas down on tape only to later deem them "nothing" or "just a bunch of crap" but I really hope that doesn't happen, because like you, I don't have much time to waste these days.
As far as when it will be finished, or a release date, I just don't know right now. Hope I'll have a better idea about that after next week.
At this point I'm doing mundane things like going to the music store to buy a new snare head, or changing guitar strings, or reading about pre-amp settings. But in just a few days I hope to be doing something moderately interesting.
So hope you'll tune in to this blog over the next few weeks for more electrifying episodes of Greg Pope is Making Another Record.
Keith Moon, pictured here behind his famous "Pictures of Lily" kit. Premier introduced a tribute "Spirit of Lily" kit in '06.
"The big 747 jetliner drifted smoothly through the night sky, seemingly at ease with the gentle breezes that separated Muritania from London. Suddenly the flight's peaceful atmosphere was shattered as the airliner's cockpit door flew open, and a deranged individual with malice etched in his eyes, burst into the crowded compartment. Thoughts of third world revolutionaries and skyjackings surely crossed Captain Barry Newman's mind, but the intruder, instead of pulling out a gun and demanding passage to Cuba, slowly withdrew a pair of drum sticks from his coat pocket and set deliberately about playing an impromptu "solo" on the flight engineer's calculation table. The surprised and somewhat alarmed crew quickly regained their composure and summoned airline security, and advised them to remove the mysterious "visitor" immediately upon landing. As the eventful flight finally touched down at London's Heathrow Airport, and the passenger was forcibly dragged to a waiting ambulance, Captain Newman was heard to mutter, "That man is not very well." Keith Moon had struck again."
from RAVING TALES OF KEITH MOON INSANITY By Andy Secher [Originally published in January of 1979 in "Hard Rock" magazine]
Those in the Nashville area can tune to Lightning 100FM at 2:45 and 8:45 to for some popmonster action as well as the most excellent song "Thanks To You" from locals The Deep Vibration, also featured this week.
MONSTROUS THANKS to Lightning 100 for the support.
Bruce Brodeen's Best of 2008 Audio Show. Lot's of great insights into music trends and a great overview of what happened in the melodic rock/powerpop world this past year from Not Lame's "Captain". Click the numbers at the bottom to hear tracks and reviews of each release.
Popmonster ranked #2 on the list, sandwiched by two AMAZING releases by Josh Fix and Bryan Scary. A great reservoir of powerpop releases for all to discover. Give it a listen here.