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I’m thankful for all the studio opportunities I’ve had lately, and last night I updated my myspace page with some of the new tracks.  Included in that would be the title track from Joel Hanson’s new record, What If It Is, due out next month.  We’ll be playing a release show at Church of the Open Door on October 16, so put that in the calendar it you’re a Joel fan.

Also on the myspace player is a track from Vicky Emerson’s next record, Long Ride, which will be releasing next week.  Vicky is a dear friend currently living in NY and melting faces with her “americana Norah Jones” vibe.  There’s also a track called “More Of You” from the alt-country band I’m in called Ryan Paul & the Ardent, and you should go check the RP&TA gig calendar because we’ve got a bunch of shows coming up.  Lastly, for those who remember my band from college Look Alive, I posted the title track from our new record, The Already Not Yet, and you can get that full album for free from noisetrade.

Rock and roll.

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The new album from Look Alive is now complete. I am not kidding.

alreadynotyetphotowithdots

We’ve been working on this record for 20+ years. Now I am kidding, but seriously, it’s been a REALLY long project.  Well, now it’s done… and, it’s available… for free.  I am definitely NOT kidding about that.  We probably won’t have an official “release show” until the Fall, but we’ve put the record up on Derek Webb’s totally awesome Noisetrade site.  Go there and pick up a copy.  Like any other Noisetrade album, you can choose either the “pay-what-you-want” option, or give 5 email addresses of your friends who you think might like it.  That email address option is actually the most helpful for us, because Noisetrade sends out a notification to those 5 addresses, which simply says that you downloaded our album for free.  It’s a great way for you to get the record, and for us to get the word out.

PS…  The recent Ryan Paul & The Ardent record can also be found on Noisetrade, in addition to Jason Harms‘ 08 release.  Just browse the records using the A-Z option and get whatever you want.  And, I highly recommend picking up Matthew Perryman Jones’ Throwing Punches In The Dark, which is also available on Noisetrade.

A few things…

1) I put some new tracks on my Myspace player the other day, including the title track from the forthcoming and now complete Look Alive record.  As I’ve mentioned before, this record has been in the works for FIVE YEARS, and it’s finally done.  Don’t ask me what’s going to happen with it.  The fact that the completed record exists at all is enough for me right now.  I imagine we’ll do a release show for it sometime soon.  There are a few additional tracks from the record on the official Look Alive page.

2) There’s another Bill Mike show tonight. We’re playing at the Cabooze, opening for Greg Ginn (guitarist from Black Flag). Like last week’s gig, the explosive Mark L. Johnson will be rocking with us because Chris is still out with Ben Kweller.  Speaking of Chris…

3) Do you want to get smarter? Go listen to some Chris Morrissey Quartet tracks, soon to be released on a record under his own name. He’s got some heavy-hitter jazz labels in New York lined up to release the project, and for good reason. I was listening to it again last night, and it just completely rules.

I’m in the studio right now… doing some of the final touch-ups on the forthcoming Look Alive album.

Look Alive is a band I’ve been in for 7 years. We started in college, at Bethel University. We released our debut album not long after the band formed in 2003, and we started work on our sophomore release shortly after that. We’re still working on that project. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the process of making a record… 4 years is a REALLY long time. Life happened to all of us, and the band had to take a back seat. (Update: You can find a free download of Look Alive’s completed 2nd and final album The Already Not Yet here).

So anyway, I’m sitting here listening to my buddy Tim do some guitar overdubs. It’s really interesting to hear the drum tracks on these tunes, which I recorded in January of ’05. I am a very different player now. I have different instincts, different opinions, different preferences. Most of my drum tracks actually annoy me. I feel like I’ve learned so much about WHY to play the notes that you play, not to mention all the nuances of playing to microphones under the microscope of a studio setting. I hope that my playing is smarter now than it was 4 years ago… BUT… I think I have less chops. Some of the things I played back then are things that I can’t do anymore, or at least I’d have to practice a little in order to not be sloppy.

So now I might be weaker physically than I was back then, but I’m confident that I’m stronger mentally. I think I’ve come out ahead overall, then – because I believe that music is primarily a mental game and not a physical one. Those who put too much emphasis on the physical side end up treating music like athletics, and not art. But there’s a balance on the mental side as well… between data (left brain) and emotion (right brain). Too much emphasis on the data and music becomes mathematics, not art.

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