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This coming Thursday is a big day for Ryan Paul & The Ardent, as we will be releasing the Cute Souvenirs EP, which we recorded with my good friend Matt Patrick.  The show is at the Bryant Lake Bowl, and the City Pages was kind enough to write a little bit about it, so check that out.

NOTEWORTHY: A couple of my good friends and former students Alex Young and Mark Schwandt will be joining me on drums for a massive drumageddon to close the show.  I’m not kidding.

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The incredibly kind and talented Jeremy Ylvisaker sat in with RPTA at last Friday’s show at the Turf Club.  Here’s a clip of us playing the Smith’s “Death of a Disco Dancer,” which got pretty out of hand…

Sorry about the lack of posts lately. I’ve got some great ideas brewing in my “drafts” section on the blog, but I have to do a bunch of editing and what not. So look out.

Um… J/K.

Seriously though, I’m pretty swamped right now. Mostly because I’ve got a double-header this Friday at the Turf Club in St Paul. I’ll be playing first with RP&TA (with the epic Jeremy Ylvisaker joining us on guitar), and then I have the privilege of closing out the night with local legend Adamy Levy’s band The Honeydogs, as their regular drummer is unavailable for some reason. So I’m frantically learning Honeydogs tunes right now, and I’m really looking forward to a shot at filling the shoes of Noah Levy and Peter Anderson.

The show on Friday is a benefit for a local Twin Cities music photographer named Jenn Barnett. It should be a fun night.

Ryan Paul & the Ardent will be at the 331 again tomorrow night, so come check that out if you’re free. No cover.

And, interestingly enough, the above flyer Ryan made for the show was named City Pages’ Flyer of the Week this week.  I didn’t know there was such a thing.

My friend Ryan Paul from Ryan Paul and the Ardent fame just sent me a link to this video of The Walkmen playing live at NYC’s Bowery Ballroom. Now, I don’t normally like to use this blog to poke fun at people, but I just can’t resist with this drummer.  I like The Walkmen’s music, but I had never actually seen Matt Barrick play up until I saw this video just now, so I compiled a short list of what I imagine he’s probably thinking as he plays…

“You know, a lot of people have spent a lot of time studying how to make this instrument sound good.  I don’t care about any of that… I just want to do it differently for the sake of being different, regardless of how bad I might sound.”

“How can I possibly get to my rack tom mid-groove while my right hand is glued to the hihat?  Oh… maybe this way…”

“My wrist hurts.”

“I have no idea why sound engineers always complain about my snare hits being too weak and inconsistent.”

“It sure is fun using this big bouncy exercise ball as a drum throne.”

Disclaimer: If anybody knows what Barrick’s left-over-right technique is all about, feel free to comment on this post with some insight on why anybody would ever play that way.  Also, to be fair, here’s a video of me playing with RP&TA playing at the Turf last month, so you can make fun of that if you want to.

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For those who enjoy the music of Ryan Paul and The Ardent, we’ve launched a new live downloads site for the band. All the music is free, so grab whatever and disperse it however you want to. The site will be updated periodically… as in, like, every time we play a show and somebody happens to record it.

I got some more new Paiste cymbals this week… a full set of Giant Beats. They are so boss.  Giant Beats were made back in the late 60’s and used by John Bonham until they were discontinued and replaced by the 2002 line in ’71.  They were reissued a few years ago, and I’ve just now been able to get a set.  The rig is 15″ hats, 18″ and 20″ crashes, and a monster 24″ ride.  The ride is seriously one of the coolest sounding cymbals I’ve heard in a long time.

Ryan Paul and the Ardent shot some local tv stuff the earlier in the week, and I brought the hats and ride.  And then I used the full set last night at a Sanoski gig.

UPDATE: It turns out the RP&TA video shoot was actually for a website devoted to Minnesota Arts.  The stuff we filmed that night is now up and streaming.  Check it out.

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.

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

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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.

Ryan Paul & the Ardent celebrates the release of the debut record, La Vita Nuova, tonight at the 331 in Northeast Minneapolis. The show is free, and 21+.

I expect to see everyone who reads this blog there.  Everyone.

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6/21/09 Update: The good news for those of you that couldn’t make it to the show is that someone in the crowd caught some cell-phone footage of the show.  The bad news is that it’s cell-phone-footage quality.

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