New Project

Hello all, I'm going to be premiering a new piece at the UCLA Machine Dreams Symposium ( https://www.facebook.com/events/916379058413414/ ) . It's not really an open event, so I haven't bothered to promote it ahead of time, but I wanted to let you know about it and about the project that I'm playing there.

 

I've created a video preview of Part 1, which sets the scene and also describes a bit about my eventual goals with this project. You can find it here: https://youtu.be/5NlJOiLRqPw

 

More news and releases coming soon, but for now I'm signing off this quick update from LA.

Playing and Rebuilding

First off, we're playing next Wednesday at The Ark Open Stage show. If you've never been it's sort of an open mic plus, with a lot of really great musicians who come out, some regulars, some first timers, but it's a friendly room with great acoustics and a really fun place to see a fairly random sample. I've heard classic blues, amazing guitar fingerstyle, classical piano pieces, jazz standards, ukulele novelty songs, and piano power punk, all in the same night before. So come out and enjoy if you're in town.

I've been thinking a bit about how strange our story is. We played together a bit in 2006 and 2007 short after we met, and then we both moved and have hardly been in the same place for more than a few hours in the 5 years since. So every time is sort of like starting over, though I think we do improve each time we start over, and the fun of music is that we find something new all the time. And I've been carrying several albums of material in my head for most of those years, and keep adding new stuff, but haven't had the time to sit down and actually release it. So I'm working on doing a better job of that, which is why I'll be getting back to recording after finishing this post for a truly wild and crazy Friday night. But I don't care, I really love doing it, and that's what I'm trying to get back to: the joy of creation. I'm forced to consider all the other things: marketing, networking, advertising, and so on, because they are necessary. But it's the creating that really activates me: coming up with an interesting melody and then finding the song inside, or practicing a challenging new part until it sounds the way it does in your head, or recording a bunch of parts and then listening as they slowly turn into a song, after lots of restarts and mixing.

Anyway, we're going to try to spend more time playing, and I feel like the better a job we do at that, the more the other stuff will take care of itself. I'll still need to do work, of course, but just as fortune favors the army with better preparation, the more we play the easier the rest of the stuff will get. At least I hope so. Anyway, I'm getting back to recording for now, thanks for reading.

Recording

Spent the evening working on recording for the new album. We're working on one particular song right now, trying to get it finished so we can release it early, before the end of summer, hopefully with a video to go along with it. That might be too aggressive a schedule, and it wouldn't be the first time for that, but we're trying.

So tonight I've been working on the ukulele track. Like anything involving art or computers, half of the time is spent getting everything set up the right way to record properly. So the actual recording part of things only took about 20 minutes, but the set up before and the troubleshooting during turned it into a several hour project. This is also much harder when working alone. If I had an engineer on the control room side of the studio I could just have him adjust my levels while I'm recording and be able to just focus on the music, but instead I have to switch hats back and forth as I go from playing to troubleshooting to monitoring. But this way is cheaper and I can work on it without having to coordinate with someone else, so I might as well get used to it.

While I was upstate visiting my da a friend of his loaned me a cool baritone uke, so I'm going to see if I can find a place for it on the song as well, that's probably what I will work on recording at the end of the week. I also borrowed an accordion that I'm hoping to put to use on a different song, as soon as I learn how to play it. I've got an idea, but I'm definitely not there yet. Still, time and effort is all it takes.

Heading over to Kalamazoo tomorrow to meet with Sid to talk about the video referenced above and to get some practice time in with John for the Ark open stage that's coming in a few weeks. So we're keeping busy.

Statement of Intent

Greetings all.

So I haven't been real good about keeping things updated. I've been working on new projects and new music all the time but I've sucked at telling people about it. And that's the thing, isn't it? Making good music isn't enough.

The new world for musicians is both terrifying and exciting, in the way all good things should be. The old reliance on finding a record label and "making it big" as a dream is dead, mostly, and good riddance. In it's place is a dizzying array of outlets and options to share with the entire world. On the other side, everyone has access to this and so it is very easy to get lost amidst the swirl of all the other things competing for our attention.

So I'll just put it out there directly: I have no idea what I'm doing. I know how to write music and how to play it, and I understand how all of these tools work, I just have no idea what the *right way* is to use them. If there even is a right way. I don't know how to create engagement or build my brand or why I would want to do those things. I just know that I love making music, that I'd like to do more of it, but that will require earning enough to not have to do the other things I do to keep food on my family. And making music only means so much if no one hears it.

So I'm trying to get more involved on here, and let the rest of you into what is going on behind the scenes. Which is quite a bit actually. I've always tended to be too honest for my own good, so there will be good days and bad ones, and I'll try to share it all. I'm trying to keep it a regular conversation, and as such I'm going to shoot for more posts that are shorter rather than the intermittent novels format I've gone with so far. So I'll cut it short here with the announcement and talk more in the next couple days about the things that we are working on as a band, all of which I'm very excited about and some of which I need to get back to doing right now. Because if you build engagement and your brand (whatever that is) but don't actually release anything, that also sucks.

2013 Update

Greetings, people of the Internets. There are things happening furiously in the background, and so I figured I should let you know about some of them. So you can be prepared, because without proper preparation I'd hate to think what could happen. Separated from your socks, even. So, straight to it.

1) Recording for the new album is in progress. John and I got together a few weeks ago to run through all the songs and decide on any additions or changes we were interested in, and I'm just now beginning on the primary recording. I'm excited about this album, though it will be quite a bit darker than the first, I think you all can handle it. It's still amusing, though more in a "wouldn't it be funny if we drowned during this fire" kind of way. But I think most importantly it will be good. We're also branching out a lot more instrumentally, adding more instruments, having John add in some Cello parts and letting him loose on the electric bass for a few songs, and with much more orchestration. Anyway, we're working on it, but I do still have to go back to sea at some point, so I wouldn't expect it to be done before summer.

2) However, since I'll be in recording mode I'm hoping to get 1 or 2 "bonus" tracks put out that won't end up on the album but aren't really doing any good just sitting in my head. Slightly lower production values and maybe just me and guitar, but at least something.

3) Even though I won't be home long enough to really get established, now that I actually have a home here in the People's Republic of Ann Arbor I'm going to be getting out to play. I'll be heading to the Acoustic Open Mic at Woodruff's in Ypsilanti for a solo set on Tuesday 8Jan, and we might see if John can make it over for the Ark Open Stage on Wednesday the 9th. We haven't played in public together in what must be 4 years now, so we're looking to do a few gigs here and there, just to prove we still exist. When I have dates I'll post them, if I know them ahead of time. 

4) I'm starting a new project, just for the hell of it. It is called Daily Negation and consists of a twitter account and FaceBook page that redirects from the twitter account. It's purpose is to provide semi-regular reminders of pain and misery, to encourage all (including myself) to embrace reality as it is and avoid unrealistic expectations. You can follow on Twitter: @DailyNegation or FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/DailyNegation

A project of interest (perhaps) to keep you busy while Ish is on a boat

Greetings, All!

John here, making a rare appearance on the NEWS page to put in a shameless plug for one of my other musical projects.

In addition to the work Ish and I have been doing on the soon-to-be-released wemew singles, I've also been hard at work with my metal band, Pan (yes, I said metal band. And no, this is not an April Fool's joke). We've just finished recording our debut album entitled Advent, which will be released on the 13th of April to coincide with our first live show in Kalamazoo. I'm sure we'll make the album available in a variety of formats through all the usual channels when the time comes (check back here for updates). Until then, though, your best bet is to come to Louie's Trophy House on the 13th and pick up a copy at the show. If you're interested, check out our facebook and reverbnation pages for more info, live recordings, spooky photos, clever banter, etc. Thanks!

www.facebook.com/pannorth, www.reverbnation.com/pannorth

More music hidden and a quick update

So, Hi!

I've been on a ship for the last several months and so wasn't paying a lot of attention to the world of Facebooks and Internets, and so just recently noticed that the music had been stored and available for listening on the Facebook page has disappeared, and FB no longer seems to host music. So I'm putting some more tracks up here so you can still hear the songs, as well as adding some other stuff I have laying around.

In more general news, John and I have been working a bit on some new songs which will be released as singles ahead of the new album. The new album should probably show up Summer 2013. Trust me, I know that is too far away, and believe the disappointment is much greater for me. But unfortunately, there are many things to be taken care of before we can really sit down and get the work done. In the meantime, we are trying to create what we can, and when it's done we will happily share with all of you. This should include several more videos from the first album, which are projects I can work on remotely. Anyway, thanks for reading, and start looking out for new stuff this coming summer.

i

Website Launch and upcoming news

Greetings and welcome to the new wemew website! 

We're not 100% done here, but it seemed well past time to have something up, so you'll just have to excuse a few changes here and there as we move along. Ultimately everything is a work in progress, anyway.

Having a decent site has been a priority for a while, but because Ish has a modest amount of technical skill (having built dozens of pages in the HTTP 1.1 days, and being moderately proficient even into the CSS days) he's been avoiding it because he thought he should do it his own self. But finally after far too long laying dormant we finally decided it made sense to go to a professional who can whip something beautiful and functional together in a quarter of the time it would require for Ish to do something average, at very reasonable rates. So thanks to Chuck, who did a terrific job for us, and as a freelancer could probably do a terrific job for you as well, so check out his site

The publishing of this site also corresponds with a good deal of other news in the world of wemew, and it seems like a great time to tell you about it.

-- First, we are releasing our first video.  We are very excited about how this has turned out after many long hours of work.  You can check it out at our YouTube channel.
-- Perhaps you've already been tipped off, but we have a YouTube channel. We're hoping to make a few more videos when the time and money presents itself. So check it out, though we will always put an update out here or on Facebook when there is something new to look at. Also, not to bury the lede, but if you didn't know, we are also on Facebook. And Twitter. You can go to the pages by clicking the cute little buttons over there on the right. 
-- There is a new album coming, but it won't be right away. Unfortunately, the Michigan economy has not escaped either of us, and so we will be taking some time to get a little healthier financially before we plunge ahead into the next album. However, if several thousand of you out there wanted to buy an album in CD or MP3 format, we could be persuaded otherwise.
--A naked appeal to commercialism seems like a good segue to let you know that the first album is also available for download on Amazon and iTunes.
-- Look for us to get back into a more regular routine of new releases, new videos, and touring starting next summer 2012. That should leave us several good months before the upcoming end of the world.  
-- In the meantime, Ish will be out in California or other parts of the world sailing, and so will be somewhat unavailable, though he may pop his head in here or there as time permits. John still plays with a number of different projects in Kalamazoo and environs, so get out to see him when you get a chance. He's in an experimental noise jazz-rock band called Boron Nuzzle, which also features friend of the band, Sid Redlin. They will play Louie's in Kalamazoo on October 6th. He's also playing with Pan, a metal group; Parallax, a group still forming, but sure to be excellent; and on occasion he sits in with several other Kzoo area artists. 

Thanks to all of you whose attention, patience, and assistance has helped us along the way. We are hoping to be able to make a bigger thing of this in the future, but thanks to you for keeping it a "thing" of any size.  

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