ANNOUNCEMENT

Hello there. Today, I am making an announcement. On August 5th, 2014 (two weeks from today as of this post), I will be releasing an old school-style single. Unfortunately, this won’t be on an actual 45rpm record, but maybe later…?

“Side A” of the single is “Overload! Overload!!”, also known as the “too much candy” song. Written in 2006 and routinely performed by my old band Smock, This is an all-new recording of the song, re-done from the ground up.

“Side B” is a brand new song called “Only The Important Questions”, This song came about after asking Twitter and Facebook for song topic suggestions one evening in an attempt to cure my boredom. Clearly, the attempt was successful… Written just this year, This single is the song’s first release.

To recap: NEW SINGLE. AUGUST 5TH, 2014. Where can you find it? On my Bandcamp page, of course. And since you’re here, check out the cover:

OverloadCover.

The Hockey Project: 82

Hey! We made it! After six months, we’ve finally reached the end of the regular season. So, how’s about a fun little pop-rock tune to commemorate the occasion? That’s what I thought, too. Like the last tune, this is a bit of an homage to Coheed and Cambria – their most recent album closes with a simple and fun rock song, which is what I tried to do here.

The lyrics should be somewhat obvious here. It’s a long season for sure, and there’s a good chance it didn’t end the way you wanted. But, since this is the last game (game #82 for the NHL season, hence the title), why not just have some fun? For the record, there are a total of 1,230 games in an NHL season. I checked the online official scoresheet of the last game just to make sure.

82

Enjoy! Thanks for listening and I’ll see you next time with a return to the heavy stuff.

The Hockey Project: ELIMINATED

Hello there. Today’s Hockey Project tune is a notable departure, mood-wise. As the title would suggest, this tune is about finally being mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. It’s in all caps because I always type it like that in this context. More fun that way, I think. Either way, I guess this is what you wind up writing about when your favorite hockey team is dead last in the whole league…

Musically, this – and the following song – is a bit of an homage to Coheed and Cambria. Their most recent album (which is excellent, by the way) has a really dark-sounding opening track much like this. For the music theory buffs, this is one of the rare times I’ve ever used an augmented chord. Also, that acoustic part was much more difficult to record than I expected. Holy crap did that hurt…

ELIMINATED

Thanks for listening and I’ll see you next time with a more uptempo song.

The Hockey Project: The Rental

Hello again. Today’s Hockey Project tune tackles a huge day late in the hockey season – Trade Deadline Day.  Lots of players and draft picks change hands as some teams gear up for a playoff run and others just kinda throw in the towel. Lyrically (with the exception of the second section), this song is mostly from the perspective of a guy who just got traded, from hearing the news to joining his new team. As for the second section, picture it as your standard talking heads show discussing the deal.

Musically… I like Tesseract. There, I said it. This is likely the djent-iest djent fest of a song I’ve ever done. Oddly enough, this almost feels like more of a showcase for the bass and drums to me. Also, I like how the rhythm guitars almost get lost in the last section because so much is going on… Enjoy!

The Rental

I’ll see you next time for something noticeably darker.

The Hockey Project: Pardon The Patriotism

Well, this one is super-late, but hey – better late than never, right? I decided, at the start of the olympic hockey tournament, that I should write a silly Team USA anthem. To further add to the ridiculousness, I decided to channel my inner pro wrestler for the lead vocal – Not surprisingly, my throat hurt for a while after I recorded this song…

The music is just a big ol’ slice of metal. Frankly, I wish more team anthems were like this – less light cheese, more heavy cheese. This is where the Dallas Stars have most teams beat – Pantera made their anthem (seriously). Meanwhile, the song for my local baseball team (Rochester Red Wings) sounds like it belongs in a musical… Anyway, here it is.

Pardon The Patriotism

Enjoy and I’ll see you next time with a song about a guy getting traded.

The Hockey Project: Time Zones Make My Head Hurt

Hello again. After that nice little intermission, The Hockey Project returns to the rock for this song. Lyrically, this one is simply about the start of the olympic break and the fact that the hockey tournament’s late games started at noon in my time zone. Thanks, nine-hour time difference!

From a musical standpoint, this song was definitely an experiment. I flipped my usual 5/8 pattern in the verses (from “2-3″ to “3-2″), flipped the standard “3 vs. 4″ rhythm so that the note I cut short is at the start of the riff instead of the end, and kinda went off the deep end in the bridge. Why? Because I can. Oddly enough, I think this all turned out really well… probably because it’s just under three minutes long.

Time Zones Make My Head Hurt

Enjoy and I’ll see you next time with a song that’s both shorter and dumber. It’ll be great!

The Hockey Project: Intermission

Hello again. We’ve reached the ninth tune for The Hockey Project. Halfway home! Now, I know there should be two of these “intermission” tracks at around tracks six and twelve, but TOO BAD.

Lyrically, well… there are no words. Literally. It’s an instrumental!

I’ve always enjoyed the nice little acoustic-style songs in the middle of metal albums. It’s always good to mix things up every so often, you know? I don’t play acoustic guitar often, either, so this excursion was even more worthwhile for me. I started with a favorite alternate tuning – DADGAD – then tuned string 1 back up to E to make the middle part easier to play. So, uh… DADGAE it is! It’s not as fun to say as DADGAD, but it still worked well. Since it’s a quick little song, I simply set up my stereo condenser microphone, hit “record”, and played it multiple times. What you’re hearing is the third complete take.

Intermission

Enjoy and I’ll see you next time with a return to rock form.

The Hockey Project: Scary Numbers Take Over The World

Allright, time for a little fun. Lyrically, this one is tailored to hockey but could easily be about baseball. In fact, you only need to change one word to make that happen – swap out “Corsi” for “OPS” and there you go! At any rate, I guess this song is a sort of battle cry for stat geeks. Old fart sports guys may bemoan the rise of numbers, but good fancy stats never hurt anyone.

One metal sub genre that has always fascinated me is grindcore. I’ve never been really good at it – I’ll admit the drums are programmed here because I can’t play blast beats particularly well – and I don’t have a lot of it in my music collection either, but it still fascinated me nonetheless. I think it’s an excellent testament to how much you can do in as little time as possible. Sure enough, I was able to fit three time changes (starts in 4, switches to 7, followed by one measure of 2 which goes back into 4), a tempo change (the last riff is slightly slower than the rest of the song), and a fully developed idea… all in 45 seconds.

Lastly, Puig Destroyer was a big influence on this one. If they can do baseball grindcore and make it work (and holy crap do they make it work), then hockey had to be possible.

Scary Numbers Take Over The World

P.S.: Since I intentionally made the lyrics hard to understand, here they are:

Numbers everywhere / But we ignore them / Instead of knowledge / Stick fingers in our ears / Why

Facts are good for you / Corsi is not evil

Enjoy and I’ll see you next time with the near-polar opposite of this song.

The Hockey Project: Et Le Butt

Well, that was a fun little musical diversion, wasn’t it? Now BACK TO THE METAL. This song wasn’t the easiest to get together, but it still works despite the trepidation. I think this is one of the few songs where the words were easier to write than the music…

Musically, the song finally came together when I wrote the riff under the singing. At the time, I had everything else but clearly needed something to bridge the gap and that riff fit the bill. Outside of that, this song adheres to an assignment I gave a band in my Rock Ensemble class – each riff is only used twice at the most. Also, it was about time for me to do the “wall of guitar” thing again, wasn’t it? At its peak, there are seven guitar tracks happening at the same time.

Lyrically, this song – and the terrible pun in the title – was inspired by this:

The best part? I was at this game. Seeing a crazy goal like that in person? Come on – I had to write about it. And to fully explain the terrible pun: “Et le but!” is what French commentators say when a goal is scored. Translation: “And the goal!”

Et Le Butt

Enjoy and I’ll see you next time with a shorter yet more abrasive tune.

The Hockey Project: It’s Cold Out

So far in The Hockey Project, we’ve had almost exclusively metal (with the exception of maybe “Allright, That’s It”, but even that’s a tenuous grasp at best). So it’s about time for a change, isn’t it? Yeah, I thought so too. Here’s a good ol’ uptempo pop-punk tune a la Vandals. I’m not gonna lie – this was a fantastic test of speed and endurance (especially the latter) on the drums.

Lyrically, this one is simple. Oddly enough, it’s also one of the most personal songs I’ve written in quite a while. Is that saying much? Well… no. This song is about how I went to the Frozen Frontier thing and froze my butt off watching a hockey game (which proved to be wildly entertaining) in a baseball stadium. Sing along with the chorus: “Merry Christmas / Crap it’s cold out / I can’t feel my toes anymore”

It’s Cold Out

Enjoy and I’ll see you soon with the next tune.