Thursday, December 30, 2010

Rogo, the Circus Turkey with a Porcelain-Legged Chicken for a Daughter

As promised, here is a video I put together for an old band of mine called Evol Kleavage (read the post below for some more info on that band). Yes, we had a dumb name, and yes, we wrote songs about dumb stuff.

Out of our small batch of songs, "Rogo" was always my favorite. Seeing as how it was the second song we had ever written, and we were so new to the game (this was back in '99), I'm not sure how we were able to construct something like this. We did some sort of short and weird "progressive" rock tune without even trying. I can very vividly remember the writing process for this one too, as all three of us were heavily involved in the riffs and overall structure. The double-tapping doodle was a direct influence from Buckethead; I had just seen him live in Pittsburgh the night before, and I was amazed at his flawless tapping abilities. Check out the tune:

Looking back, I wish we would've written more songs like this. We had a couple that were in the same vein, one of which was a creepy ballad about graverobbers digging up the grave of Robert Wadlow, the tallest man ever to have lived. The rest of our songs were more punk-influenced hard rock tunes, though they were still about dumb topics. One of those was a sequel to "Rogo" that had absolutely nothing to do with "Rogo" at all. We thought that was funny.

Happy New Year, duders. Prepare for some new music in 2011 in the form of the Belmont album, as well as Descension Rate's new long-overdue album.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Time-Waster Has Been Slain (Temporarily)

Teaching has finally been wrapped up for the semester, as well as another semester of grad school. You can blame that on the lack of productivity, music-wise. But have no fear! I now have three weeks of more free time. So expect progress on the following:

Descension Rate album: Jeff and I will start laying down our guitar tracks soon. Eric will be doing his bass tracks as well. We're in pre-production mode, figuring out guitar tones, synth melodies, drum patterns, etc. It will be 13 tracks of pure Dark Tower-themed mayhem.

The Belmont Album: For the most part, all songs for this album are written, music-wise, except the final track about Dracula (for which I have riffs upon riffs that need structured). I'm working out of order right now, as the next track I finish will be about the Grim Reaper (don't worry -- it's not 11 minutes long. More like 6). Look for the inevitable youtube clip in a week or so. It's looking like this will be a 10-track album.

Untitled project: I hinted at another music project in the works with my pals Joe, Mark, Nick, and Eric. We're hoping to play out in maybe two or three months. We've only had one official practice since we all live about 3 hours apart and are extremely busy, but we probably have around 5 songs in the works. It's more basic, fun, and stripped-down.

Also, I'm thinking of making a music video for an old band of mine called Evol Kleavage. We were around from '98 to '04. In that time, we managed to write a whopping 8 songs -- our musical tastes could never really agree with each other. We recorded a 7-song E.P. back in '02, when we were 19 years old or something. It was all recorded in a few hours (by local legend Mark Poole) with mostly single takes and live floor stuff. Looking back on that stuff, it is very hard to categorize. Some sort of Primus rip-off/semi-punk vibe with an unintentional universal lyrical them of death and boredom. My favorite song of ours is "Rogo," a nonsensical tune we wrote in high school about a Circus Turkey who has a kleptomaniac, porcelain-legged chicken for a daughter and causes a suicidal old man named Baskers to jump off a cliff and turn into a mini-truck. It's the kind of shit we thought was funny when we were bored in high school and not playing The Ocarina of Time.

So I plan to make a video for "Rogo" which will feature a bunch of live footage from those early years. I see it playing out as some sort of retrospective, as I have footage of us playing that song from 2000 to 2004, from high school talent shows to local sold-out rock shows.

Speaking of videos, check out this little gem. Mike and I recorded this song over the summer. It's a cover of Danzig's cover of Buick McKane. Mike, however, changed the lyrics to make it into a love song for his then fiance and now wife. This was the first time Mike and I did any recording together since the Sweet Cuppin' Cakes album "Oldies" in 2005. Good times, sir. Fun fact: I recorded the guitar tracks for this song this past July while, unbeknownst to me, my basement was flooding around my man cave during a freak rain storm.