Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Vinyl Cafe (04.29.14)

As you blog readers know -- along with anyone within earshot who heard me bitching about it -- my former computer started dying on me a couple of weeks ago. The day that I finally had to acquiesce that it was unusable for something as intensive as broadcasting a live audio stream while being in Second Life was Tuesday April 15. Unfortunately, that evening, I was supposed to perform my debut at Vinyl Cafe. It really pissed me off. Obviously, I'm far from the first person to have to cancel an SL show due to a technical issue of some sort; it happens all the time. But it doesn't happen to me all the time, and especially when I've planned to perform at a cool new venue.

Anyway, that's all long behind us now. My new Mac, a mini running a quad-core i7 with 8GB of RAM, arrived later that week, and I've already done a few shows using it. It seems flawless so far. I couldn't be happier. And to wrap up the loose ends that happened when the old computer went bye-bye, I was especially glad that the two shows I'd missed were rescheduled, which is how I ended up at Vinyl Cafe last night.

There are some other venues that could learn a thing or two from Vinyl Cafe. First and foremost, SL venues do not have to be huge. In my personal opinion, smaller is almost always better. The feel of the show is more realistic to a real life club, coffeehouse, or other environment where my kind of music is most often played. It keeps the crowd pushed more toward the artist, which I find is better for everyone's live music experience. Second (and probably equally important), the people who run an SL venue can make a huge difference with the audience experience. If the owners/staff are involved and having a good time, it spreads to the crowd, which spreads back to the performer. I'm happy to say that Vinyl Cafe had all of these qualities. It's probably no coincidence that the venue is located on Key West Island, the same sim where Liz Harley runs one of SL's most respected venues. Vinyl Cafe shares some qualities of Key West, with a cool build and a committed owner, just with a more casual and intimate vibe.

I like playing places in SL that are new to me, especially when the venue is as cool as this. Photo and top photo by Triana Caldera.

I also tend to prefer outdoor stages with a laid-back vibe. Less virtual claustrophobia, I suppose. Photo by Triana.

I don't need giant crowds, but I do need happy crowds. This one was. Photo by Triana.

The show was good. Knowing that there would be some people there hearing me for the first time, I purposefully did a very "typical Zak" show. It included a bunch of originals, as well as some covers I felt were representative of my current vibe. My voice and guitar were both behaving, and we had a really good sized crowd comprised of both Zaksters and new listeners. I really have zero complaints. It was a good time, and I know I'll be back at Vinyl Cafe again in the future.

Vinyl Cafe set list...
Northern Sky (Nick Drake)
Falling Down (Zak Claxton)
Swing Lo Magellan (Dirty Projectors)
Broken Day (Zak Claxton)
Never Run Away (Kurt Vile)
I Like You (Zak Claxton)
Say Goodbye (Beck)
You're Like a Cloud (Zak Claxton)
Jane (Barenaked Ladies)
Thanks Anyway (Zak Claxton)
This Afternoon (Zak Claxton)
Tea for the Tillerman (Cat Stevens)

Big thanks to all who came out to my debut at Vinyl Cafe, especially those who helped support my show!
ViprosKing, Anarinya Crystal, Sassy Nitely, Phemie Alcott, Triana Caldera, SarahLeFey, Melissa Fireguard, Mackenzie Slapstick, Richy Nervous, Crap Mariner, TheaDee, Lyn Carlberg, Aurelie Chenaux, my manager Maali Beck, and Vinyl Cafe host Purefire, and owner heavenlei Lexenstar!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Crystal Gardens City (04.24.14)

My shows lately have been good. Really good. Don't get me wrong; over the seven-plus years I've been performing in SL, the grand majority of my live music performances haven't sucked or anything. However, I think I have some idea as to why they've gotten even better as of late. What it has to do with is the expansion of my range as a listener. Over the past couple of years, I've been on a quest for new sounds, or at least sounds that are new to me. That's why, although my iTunes playlist is still populated with plenty of Neil Young and Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake, it's also full of bands like Chairlift, Fatso Jetson, Deerhunter, Midlake, Tame Impala, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Kurt Vile, and many other newer and lesser known artists.

It doesn't only expand the range of artists who I cover, but it also influences the way I approach the older tunes I do... including my own songs. I think listening to these newer artists, as well as watching people like Josh Homme and his band Queens of the Stone Age perform so tightly as a live band unit, has focused and honed my own playing as of late. I'll tell you what: it's never my goal to be perfect (whatever that means), but it feels great finishing a song where I really, seriously paid attention to my pitch and timing of my voice and guitar, imparting the vibe I want, and knowing that it's the best I can play that tune. Even when no one is there to listen, I'm making the effort now, and I think it's showing.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand, which is my show last night at Crystal Gardens City. It's been nothing but good there in my every-other-Thursday slot between Mark Allan Jensen and FrankLee Anatra. Last night's show had a good crowd that included a good number of folks who came to see me specifically. There are a lot of folks talking about the doom and gloom of live music in Second Life, and I don't doubt that they're having rough times. But for whatever reason, I'm doing well at continually getting new folks to give my music a chance, and I have nothing but positives to report. Also of note: I've been adding new tunes to my repertoire again to keep things fresh as a summer's eve. Speaking of QOTSA, I decided to put on my rocker pants and do one of their tunes for the first time.

I love the gritty vibe of CG City. So cool! Photo and top photo by Kat.

As I've said many times, a big crowd is always cool, but even better is an involved and active crowd. Being there is good; being there and into it is great. Photo by Kat.

My good friend Thea in an adorable little avatar (that still somehow managed to freak me out when I looked down at her from the stage). Photo by Kat.

Crystal Gardens City set list...
Pigs on the Wings -- Parts I and II (Pink Floyd)
Free Man in Paris (Joni Mitchell)
Longing On (They Stole My Crayon)
On The Way Home (Neil Young)
*My God Is the Sun (Queens of the Stone Age)
Fade Away (Zak Claxton)
*Happy Birthday Christine Haiku (Zak Claxton)
Things Behind the Sun (Nick Drake)
For What It's Worth (Buffalo Springfield)
Nearly Lost You (Screaming Trees)
Go Easy on Me (Zak Claxton)
This Afternoon (Zak Claxton)
Never Run Away (Kurt Vile)
Lost Cause (Beck)

*Indicates the first time I've performed this song in SL.

Big thanks to everyone who helped make last night's Crystal Gardens City show a really fun one, including the following who helped support my show.
Mia Kitchensink, Kaethe Atansoff, Sesh Kamachi, Winter Thorn, TheaDee, Christine Haiku, Aurelie Chenaux, Allegra Genira, Cicadetta Stillwater, Richy Nervous, Beliria Lumley, Kat Claxton, FrankiePalmero Actor, Rina Miles, MAJJackSlade, my manager Maali Beck, and CGC owners Sandi and Mikal Beaumont!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Daddy's Piano Bar (04.22.14)

Here's a tidbit of info you might not know: I find out where I'm going to perform by looking at my own schedule every so often. My manager, a lovely lady named Maali Beck, handles all of my bookings, and I trust her implicitly to get me booked at places on days and times that are good for me. She never fails me, either. Hats off to Maali.

Anyway, I looked at my schedule and saw I was booked at a place I hadn't played before, called Daddy's Piano Bar. Uh oh. I'd heard of the venue, but assumed that it catered only to the jazz crowd. While I enjoy jazz and am capable of playing it, it's hardly my signature musical genre. I'm a rocker, or occasionally a somewhat folksy singer-songwriter. Then, when I went to go learn more about the place, I saw the description in SL read "where jazz meets kink". Uh oh again. I mean, much like jazz, I can be kinky, but that rarely crosses paths with my musical performances. What would be happening there? Would I be performing in latex while three leather-bound girls whipped me? This had all the hallmarks of a bad musical situation: being the wrong guy at the wrong place.

All of those unfounded worries vanished about two seconds into my show last night. First off, thank the gods for my Zaksters, who showed up in force for my debut there. Additionally, Daddy's had its own crowd, and as I've mentioned often, I love the opportunity to perform for people who haven't heard my show before. The staff there was also very friendly, and were totally on the ball in regard to getting my show set up and announced. The vibe in the air, for whatever reason, was very positive.

I'm standing on a giant piano next to a normal piano and a small piano... while playing a guitar. Photo and top photo by Triana Caldera.

Pretty venue, cool people, good tunes. I ask for nothing more than that. Photo by me, oddly enough.

A brief side note: this was also my first SL show using my new Mac mini, and it worked like a champ. As I'd done previously, I'm running my audio through the computer and running SL at the same time, and everything functioned fantastically. Plus, I could actually move around and stuff after the show, which had become impossible with the old MacBook Pro. I can't tell you how happy I am about that.

Finally, another glance at my schedule shows me that I'm booked at Daddy's once a month through the end of the year, and after my first show there, I'm already looking forward to the next one.

Daddy's Piano Bar set list...
Never Run Away (Kurt Vile)
This Afternoon (Zak Claxton)
What I Got (Sublime)
*Nearly Lost You (Screaming Trees)
Thanks Anyway (Zak Claxton)
All Apologies (Nirvana)
Swing Lo Magellan (Dirty Projectors)
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (Neil Young)
You're Like a Cloud (Zak Claxton)
Big Yellow Taxi (Joni Mitchell)
Falling Down (Zak Claxton)
Man On The Moon (R.E.M.)
Tea for the Tillerman (Cat Stevens)

*Indicates the first time I've performed this song in SL.

Massive thanks to all who came out to see me at Daddy's, with special thanks to those who helped support my show!
Rich Simsider, Triana Caldera, Jilly Jules, AlexisReese, Sesh Kamachi, Dusty1125 Gumbo, Kaethe Atansoff, Samuel Berithos, Alexis Fairlady, Luis Lockjaw, AishaLace, Sassy Nitely, Christine Haiku, Aurelie Chenaux, TheaDee, my great manager Maali Beck, and Daddy's excellent staff members Spankichu Barbecue and Zee Difference!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

As Charlie Brown Would Say, "AAUGH!"

It was about 2:30 yesterday afternoon, and it was a typical day before one of my shows in Second Life. I was scheduled to play at 4PM at Vinyl Cafe, where I was going to be making my debut. I was pretty stoked about it too; the venue looks fun, and Heavenlei Lexenstar who runs the joint seems like a very cool lady. Generally, I drop whatever I'm doing exactly one hour before I'm scheduled to perform, and I start warming up my voice and tuning my guitar, then pulling together my microphones and otherwise getting set up to play.

However, as I've mentioned several times recently, last Friday my trusty MacBook Pro started behaving badly. A certain grinding noise in the vicinity of the hard drive told me that this computer was on its death bed, and especially considering that this machine is the centerpiece of both my music and my business, I didn't screw around. On Saturday, I ordered a killer new Mac from Apple, but since I needed it with a slightly better spec than the standard model, it's being shipped to me (hopefully arriving by the weekend). For the time being, I've been making due with a combination of my iPad and the dying MBP. It even allowed me to do a couple of shows last Friday and Sunday without failing. I was happy.

Back to yesterday. I decided to fire up the computer that had spent most of the day dormant, but this time the grinding noise was much worse, and there were indications that my digital audio interface was not being recognized. No interface means no audio makes it into the computer, and that, ladies and gentlemen, means no show. Did I handle the realization with grace and dignity? No. Instead, I got super angry and stomped outside while muttering a string of profanities, then stomped back in, continuing my private tirade. I then sighed and got on Facebook to ping my manager Maali Beck as well as Heavenlei herself to tell them the bad news. Making matters much worse, I could see that Lei was promoting the show across several Facebook groups at the moment I was writing to her to tell her it wasn't going to happen. After ascertaining that everyone was aware of the situation, I sadly strolled over to the Bean Counter and got a coffee.

My show cancelations over the past seven-plus years I've been playing live music in SL are extraordinarily rare. Sure, there have been times I've become ill, but almost none of them involved last-minute cancelations. I usually know hours and hours before the show on the few times I've had to cancel, and I do everything I can to get one of my fellow musical friends to fill in the time slot for me, to present as little disruption to the venue as possible. But doing it an hour before I was supposed to go on, at a place I really wanted to play for the first time? It literally made me sick. I was a sad puppy for much of the rest of the day.

So, that sucked, but in the grand scheme of things, it's certainly not the end of the world. To avoid a repeat situation for my next show (which was scheduled for tomorrow), I had Maali cancel that show preemptively, so I have all the way until next Tuesday to get stuff worked out. The shows that I had to cancel this week will be rescheduled. All will be well. Still, as Charlie Brown famous exclaimed on many occasions, "AAUGH!".

Okay, I feel better now. Onward and upward.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Nashville Jam Preview at Hesperia of Templemore (04.13.14)

Ugh, Monday. It would seem that getting one's self up and running after a typical weekend would get easier as time went by, but trust me, kids: it doesn't. At the moment, thinking isn't easy, and typing seems mostly beyond my set of abilities. But I do have enough brainpower (and coffee, thankfully) to tell you about yesterday's show at Hesperia of Templemore that was set up by Barbie Horsley to hype up the upcoming Nashville SL Jam. While our sets were limited to 30 minutes each, the shows each packed a ton of fun in the short time period.

Much like today, I awoke yesterday feeling rather glum about my situation with my computer; my trusty 2009 MacBook Pro's hard drive is close to death, and I've already ordered a really nice new computer -- a Mac mini with a quad-core i7 and 8GB of RAM. Still, until it arrives later this week, I'm stuck using either my iPad (which, as cool as it is, is not designed to be the center of production that my real computer is), or using the afflicted laptop that seems like it's going to explode at any second. Considering that life goes on and my deadlines don't care that I have a computer in the ICU, it's a little stressful for the time being.

What the doctor ordered yesterday was the show. First off, I've made some fantastic friends in the SL music community over the years, and while many of us chat often on Facebook and the like, we don't see each other play nearly as often as we'd like, often having our own shows scheduled at different places at or around the same times. Being able to hang out and listen to them was cool in and of itself. And, of course, the best part was knowing that in mid-May, we'll all be physically together in the same place to jam and have a great time. This show, by the way, was my third in four days, and my "April Showers" mini-tour of SL continues Tuesday night. It's been cool so far.

Making music: fun. Making music in front of your friends: priceless. Photo and top photo by Kat.

Everyone seemed to be having a good time. I'm never concerned if they're enjoying the tunes versus laughing at my ridiculousness. Fun is fun. Photo by Kat.

The Hesperia of Templemore builds are all freaking great. Photo by Kat.

I'm going to enjoy hanging out with these crazy people in four weeks. Photo by Kat.

My good buddy Lyndon Heart creeps up on me to take over the stage for his set. Photo by Kat.

When it was my turn to not-so-gracefully take the stage, I pulled out some tunes that I thought were representative of the kinds of music I've been performing lately. It was a typical combination of original songs and both classic and newer covers that represent the sounds I like. When I noticed that I only had a couple of minutes left in my set, I ended up by improvising a completely ridiculous song about what might happen when we get together in Nashville next month.

Nashville Preview at Hesperia of Templemore set list...
Broken Day (Zak Claxton)
Shock the Monkey (Peter Gabriel)
*Longing On (They Stole My Crayon)
California (Joni Mitchell)
Lost Cause (Beck)
Swim and Sleep Like a Shark (Unknown Mortal Orchestra)
*Improvised Ode to Nashville (Zak Claxton)

*Indicates the first -- and in one case, the last -- time I've performed this song in SL.

Thanks to all who came out to sample the upcoming Nashville fun, especially Barbie Horsley (Sassy Nitely) and Anastasia Yanwu who are dong all the heavy lifting! You both rule!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Key West (04.11.14)

Well, well, well. I had just about convinced myself that I was destined to have a terrible day yesterday, after getting up and discovering that my laptop's hard drive was on the verge of failure. I was not a happy camper at all, and several times mentioned to Kat that the whole situation was horribly depressing. However, once I stepped back and looked into some options, I realized that life wasn't going to end just because I had a computer issue to deal with. Adversity happens to everyone in many forms, and in the grand scheme of things, a computer biting the dust is pretty minor. I just needed to have a little perspective on the matter.

By the time 5PM rolled around and I was starting the stream for my show at Key West, I'd shaken off my big helping of self pity, and was able to enjoy performing for a nice big crowd. My only qualm at that point was wondering if the computer would actually last through the show, and it did. All was well.

As I mentioned, Key West tends to be able to pull in people better than just about any other live venue in Second Life, and although I had the dreaded 5PM time slot (where inevitably, there are dozens and dozens of shows to grab people's attention), audience members started flowing in from the get-go. Since I'm in the midst of my "April Showers" mini-tour of SL, I'm making sure that each show has a very individual vibe so that my fans/friends who are coming to multiple shows can have a fresh experience. I certainly didn't repeat any tunes that I'd done the previous evening, so at least there's that.

My Key West crowd enjoying the show. Photo and top photo by Kat.

Tell me this isn't a lovely SL build. Key West is just awesome. Photo by Kat.

I didn't really have a specific theme last night at Key West, but the songs seemed to have a good degree of continuity as I flowed through my set. Not that all were the same genre or the same tempo or anything like that... which would be boring as hell. Instead, there's an indefinable quality of music that I call "vibe", and you can hear a commonality of vibe between songs of many varieties.

Key West set list...
This Afternoon (Zak Claxton)
Never Run Away (Kurt Vile)
Take Me To The River (Al Green)
Swing Lo Magellan (Dirty Projectors)
All I Want (Joni Mitchell)
On a Plain (Nirvana)
Things Under Trees (They Stole My Crayon)
I Like You (Zak Claxton)
Things Behind the Sun (Nick Drake)
You're Like a Cloud (Zak Claxton)
Say Goodbye (Beck)
1979 (Smashing Pumpkins)

Big thanks to all who came to my show at Key West, especially the following who helped support it!
Tabitha Oxide, Trowzer Boa, Jolie Serendipity, heavenlei Lexenstar, Maximillion Kleene, TheaDee, QuintenDelius, Maurice Mistwallow, Richy Nervous, gwampa Lomu, Shannyn Fall, Tyro Hollwood, Aurelie Chenaux, Vampireratz Lupino, Kat Claxton, my manager Maali Beck, and Key West hostess Coreopsis Bluebird and owner Liz Harley!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Crystal Gardens City (04.10.14)

I was in a pretty good mood when I got out of bed today. After all, last night's show at Crystal Gardens City was the kickoff of my "April Showers" mini-tour of SL over the next week or so, and the show went exceptionally well. We had a nice sized crowd, and I think the performance went just fine.

That good mood vanished about a half hour later, at 6:30, when I was dressed and seated at my computer. That's when I started hearing a noise that was similar to a meat grinder, or perhaps a leaf blower. I thought it was coming from outside, and peeked through the window to see what could be making such a racket at that early hour. That's when I realized that horrifyingly, the sound was coming from my MacBook Pro. A little troubleshooting made me aware that the hard drive is about to go to computer heaven.

Look: it's a five-year-old computer, and computers do die. This computer has been the centerpiece of both my business and my music, and has served me well the whole time. I have no complaints, and no regrets about it. Also, there's the fact that my processor, an Intel Core 2 Duo, is getting long in the tooth, and I'd already been talking about getting a new computer this year in any case. So, this basically just pushes forward something that I'd been planning on doing anyway. And, in more good news, I back up everything on a regular basis, so the really important stuff -- my business files, my software, and my in-progress music -- will be available regardless of what happens.

And, really looking on the bright side, a new computer is a business expense and will be treated as such on my taxes. And I'll have a new processor that will run all the latest and greatest stuff better than my current machine. So, I'm just going to suck up my state of depression over the imminent demise of my laptop (it's still working right now, by the way... I'm writing this post on it) and instead of dwelling on that, talk about my show.

Nice crowd for a Thursday night at 5PM. Photo and top photo by Kat.

Kat stands in front near a dancing couple. Photo by Kat.

Triana Caldera sings along with me from the crowd. Photo by Kat.

Crystal Gardens City is simply a fun place both to perform and to see live music. Photo by Kat.

As I've mentioned, I perform in between Mark Allan Jensen and FrankLee Anatra every other Thursday night at Crystal Gardens City, and it's always a good show. Our styles work well together, and therefore we seem to be able to retain a good deal of each other's audiences. The crowd was fun and enthusiastic, and a good number of my Zakster fans/friends came out to see me, which makes me happy every time.

Crystal Gardens City set list...
Northern Sky (Nick Drake)
Broken Day (Zak Claxton)
Go Easy on Me (Zak Claxton)
Better Reasons (They Stole My Crayon)
I Am A Child (Neil Young)
Always Tomorrow (Zak Claxton)
Summer Breeze (Seals & Crofts)
Falling Down (Zak Claxton)
Landslide (Fleetwood Mac)
Perfect Girl (Zak Claxton)
Ziggy Stardust (David Bowie)
*Hey Bulldog (Beatles)
Tea for the Tillerman (Cat Stevens)

*I'd never performed "Hey Bulldog" at a solo show before this one.

Big thanks to everyone who came out to the show, and to everyone who listens to me occasionally whine on this blog, and special thanks to those who helped support last night's show!
Tzeitel, Hedonist Afarensis, Kite Bravin, Winter Thorn, Richy Nervous, Bono Fouroux, Cicadetta Stillwater, Kat Claxton, Rina Miles, Aurelie Chenaux, Sesh Kamachi, Rusty Seisenbacher, my lovely manager Maali Beck, and the City owners Sandi and Mikal Beaumont!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

"April Showers" Second Life Mini-Tour

Yeah, I know. I'm Mister "I Don't Like To Perform Too Often", and I've expressed my valid reasons for that. However, it's been awhile since I did a nice batch of live shows in Second Life, and I find that it's good for me as a performer to immerse myself in the deep end every so often. This last weekend, I was on the web site of a good independent record label, and glanced in the touring schedule area. There was one poor little band (I forget which one) that was playing Coachella this weekend, then doing shows on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, all in different cities, before returning to perform again for the second weekend at Coachella. I mean, compared to that, can I really whine about setting up some mics, tuning a guitar, and playing for an hour a day?

The answer is yes, I can and perhaps I will, but honestly I find that I'm looking forward to this little mini-tour of SL. I haven't been playing live a lot lately, instead devoting what time I have for musical endeavors to working on my band They Stole My Crayon's debut album. I find there's a cool challenge in making each show an individual experience, and am planning sets that are very tailored for each venue. Also, I should probably mention that there are plenty of musicians in SL who do two or three shows a day, almost every day. That seems like hell to me, but to each his/her own.

So, without further explanation, here's the schedule for my "April Showers" mini-tour of SL. All times are given in SLT, which is the same as Pacific Daylight Time. Click the venue name for a direct link to the respective Second Life location. Each show will have its own vibe, so feel free to come to them all if you can. No two are alike!

Thursday April 10, 5PM: Crystal Gardens City

Friday April 11, 5PM: Key West

Sunday April 13, 1:30PM: Nashville Jam Preview at Hesperia of Templemore

Tuesday April 15, 4PM: Vinyl Cafe

Wednesday April 16, 5PM: The Islands of New England

Monday, April 7, 2014

Another They Stole My Crayon Weekend

Musicians who write and record music are a funny bunch. Some will tell you things like they can only create new music during a full moon, or that a certain combination of musicians can only work together in November. Weird shit like that prevails in the world of creative music recording. Some of it is superstition, some of it is inspiration, but I'm here to tell you about momentum. You get on a roll in making music, and as long as you can, you keep the mojo flowing.

People sometimes say, "I don't get it. Why don't you just go into a studio for a couple of weeks and just do the whole album?" That's a totally valid question, but there's a very simple (and very common) answer: that takes time and money, something that none of us in They Stole My Crayon have in abundance. Also, let's be realistic: lots of music gets recorded, but very little of it sells, especially in the world of independent music. We're not going to be the next big music sensation and sell millions of albums. So, we have to be careful that it doesn't turn into some expensive vanity project. That means we work on music when we can, in environments that are less than ideal, to say the least. We work on music after working at our jobs all day, or on the weekends when it's possible. The last few weekends have been great in that regard; we've managed to do Crayon music at the exclusion of just about everything else. A rare luxury.

Waveforms on the weekends
This weekend, we did some work on two TSMC songs: "Take The Ride" and "Better Reasons". "Take The Ride" is one of the first full songs we did as a band, back in 2012. We've slowly added to it as time has gone by. Bunny surprised us on Saturday by providing some new guitar parts out of the blue, so we opened the file and put them in. We're getting very happy with this tune, which is as close to "done" as anything in our catalog so far.

Starting on Sunday morning, we revisited a song called "Better Reasons" that we'd first put together in 2012 based on a lyric that Kat wrote. That original version was an exercise in shit, and it's good to be able to walk away from a song that is obviously not what you intended to create. In July of last year, we revised the entire musical theme of the song, and changed over to Kat taking the lead vocal. It was a huge improvement, but then it sat there on a hard drive for months, not doing much of anything. Kat and I had both discussed ideas about ways to refine the song overall, and finally it was time to open that Pro Tools session again.

The slow path to the finish line
So, here we are on Monday, and once again I'm happily listening to our music and wanting to share it with the world. And yet, I can't; nothing we've done is really done until we're all happy with it, and in many cases that will involve re-recording things we've done here at Frothy Studios in a better environment with less sonic compromises. But we'll get there. This week, we took a huge step in that direction by hiring Canadian audio engineer Spencer Crewe to do the mixing of the album when we're finally done recording. I'm confident that the as-yet-untitled Crayon album will be something we're all proud of, and it even seems possible that we'll get it out before the end of this year. Happy days.