Here are five full weeks of the deluge of unreleased songs I released daily at the outset of lockdown. Most were old and unfinished, performance and/or production-wise, but there hopefully are a couple of bangers in there.
They are free to download as individual tracks, but when you download them as paid ”albums“ I get to buy Bakugan and Beyblades for my ten year old.
Here is a master page of #coronadrops: a whimsically-chosen series of previously unreleased songs—released daily(!)—until the quarantine is over, or until i run out of decent previously unreleased tracks, or quite possibly even die of this thing.
All of these tracks have explanatory notes in the individual song pages, as most are straight out of the archives warts and all and may require a little justification, although I have tarted up a few things when possible. There are even a couple of fairly recent things amongst the detritus.
Looks like we made it… to our fifth week. And things are starting to sound a little too ratty to air publicly (to my ears at least). But like the kids say, the songs are still mad decent.*
Week Five: (and a couple of post-facto stragglers)
you are welcome to play and download week five as individual tracks for free over here
Week Four: (“covers week” apparently)
you are welcome to play and download week four as individual tracks for free over here
Lovely article in this week’s IndyWeek by long-time Db enthusiast Brian Howe. Who’d have thought #coronadrops would lead to my first actual press coverage in a decade? Man, this awful year just keeps getting stranger.
As some of you probably know, I have Brontë lungs already weakened by a double-smoking-parent childhood followed a half-life of evenings spent in smoky clubs. Little known fact: I am also the wiktionary definition of the word sedentary. So I must confess I have sorta kinda been keeping an eye on this whole Coronavirus business.
For the past two decades I have oscillated between writing some pretty good pop songs, recording them in various contexts, generally hating said recordings and/or my performances, and then not releasing, or occasionally banishing said songs from my thoughts. Self-deprecation and insecurity are hardly unique amongst songwriters (or artists, in general) but I had somehow managed to turn it into a ridiculous, crippling trail of unfinished business.
But then I lost a songwriter friend to the Trump Virus. On Tuesday I heard he was on a ventilator. Wednesday, he was gone. And I couldn’t help but feel that there was still this constellation of ideas, melodies, hooks, words there in his mind and suddenly they were GONE just like that, in an instant.
And also kind of like that, I realized that I need to stop taking this stuff quite so seriously. I need to stop needing things to be perfect or great (or as close as I ever get to that, though that’s another conversation) and just get on with the work with whatever time I have left on this planet.
So I’m going to empty my drawers and post one unreleased song a day, for the duration of the quarantine, or until they start to suck.
I opened a house concert for my old friend and tourmate Michael Holt. This is the warts and all document, sneetched from Facebook Live. Super rough around the edges and straight from the heart. All new songs except for the opener and closer, this is “what I’ve been up to”, sort of.
from the album If It Feels Good Do It – A Sloan Tribute
It’s an admittedly highly interpretive take on the original, and I managed to sucker an amazing band into it: Josh Hicks on the sticks, Joe Giddings (ex-Star Collector) and Steve Della Maggiora on guitars, Frank Padellaro (you may know him from King Radio or the Scud Mountain Boys) on bass and Brandi Ediss on shouting.
And me on harmonies. Lots and lots of harmonies. Do you remember how Moxy Früvous’ Get In The Car basically ripped off the intro (and uh, general vibe) of Pen Pals? You don’t? Well, I sure as hell do!
2014, year of the Twerk. Oh, the Horse. The damn “new record(s)” is/are taking forever, but yet I keep stealing time for them from my busy busy actually-income-streaming life. You’ll like them, I swear. One of the catchier numbers was unveiled in Radio Free Song Club’s episode #30, of which I am understandably honoured to interlope.
TO PLAY THE SHOW: Click the arrow. Click in the text box to move forward or back in the show. Adjust the volume with the bars on the left.
I moved to Washington DC (“our nation’s capital!”) at the end of last year. I miss Dar but it’s also nice having my studio back again. I took a Coursera Songwriting MOOC with professor Pat Pattison of Berklee. While finding time for hours of lectures, writing and demoing whilst full-timing a three-year-old was tricky, I learned a ton of valuable stuff, even at my advanced age. The peer assessment feedback was priceless. Assuming you’re curious, here’s my final assignment:
Now that I am practically soaking with UAD mix horsepower, I decided to dust off and finish up a couple more unreleased, abandoned, practically decontextualized recordings for the Lovers Leap bonus record — one you’ve heard if you basically EVER saw me play a show from 2000 on. The other one you’ve never heard of, I promise, but if you spent time in Parkdale in the early oughts you shall chuckle heartily. And the other other one was the flip of the ultimately non-existent Nova Bryk split 7″. (Those guys are so incredibly post-rock now, they were like “yes, take the rock from us Bryk, it’s yours now.”)