These pieces are from my various rock, techno, and soundtrack projects that use guitars, basses, drums, and conventional pop songwriting. I’ve also included my arrangements of pop songs in this category.
Two weekends ago I acted as Music Supervisor and Composer for a film entered into the 48 Hour Film Fest.
For those of you not familiar with the Film Fest, it’s a competition that happens in cities across the world. Film teams draw a genre from a hat, and then are given a character and a line that must be incorporated into their 4-7 minute film. Each team has only 48 hours from finding out their genre and line to turning in a final product. Read the rest of this entry »
This last weekend I acted as music supervisor, recording engineer, composer, and performer for a film entered into the 48 Hour Film Fest. The genre we drew was Western so I partnered with my friends in Pay the Devil and Of the North, using some originals from each band as well as new music written for the short film. The writing and recording was a blast and everything turned out well. I’m incredibly proud of how the music integrates into the film, and I really think the film crew, writers, actors, directors, did an amazing job.
The film, “Tooth and Nail” premieres this Thursday at the Oriental Theater at 7 pm. You can see it and the rest of the entries for $10.
This summer I’ll be playing with Pay the Devil as their drummer, kid you not, is biking across the country. Pay the Devil is a Milwaukee-based bluegrass band featuring banjo, mandolin, and guitar, and I’ve played a few shows alongside them with Of the North. I’ll be playing spoons, snare, tambourine, and my improvised accordion case bass drum. They’ve got A LOT of material for me to learn, but thankfully spoons is just a tad easier than cello, so I’m picking things up quickly.
Alongside the first few shows with Else and Of the North starting to rehearse and perform again, I’m going to have a busy summer.
With a full band finally, Else is writing, recording, and looking for gigs. We’ve produced two at-home recordings at uploaded them to our new website and Bandcamp page. We’re recording more this weekend and we’re hoping to have our first show soon.
There are three new Of the North videos after our last gig, which was March 14th at the Up and Under on Brady St. Oh, and there are two bonus videos of the Echelon String Quartet performing some of my arrangements as they opened up for us! We had the full 7-piece band, now including Tyson on additional percussion, and we even closed the show with two Of the North songs that I arranged to include quartet. Read the rest of this entry »
Of the North performed at Art Bar last night debuting several new songs and several new instruments. I constructed a bass drum out of an old accordion case and a bass drum pedal. It worked really well live though it was pretty low in the overall mix. I didn’t mind it being a bit quiet because it was a brand new addition anyway, so it’s not like anything was missing. Additionally, the bass drum was really audible on or near the stage which helped keep the band in tempo together really well. I do plan on dropping a piezo pickup in there for the next gig though.
Kevin, who normally plays guitar, also played mandolin on a few songs which I thought sounded fantastic. There was a lot of good feedback on the addition of the mandolin, so I think that’s something we’ll look to incorporate more and more.
Else (http://elsetheband.com/), my long-awaited metal project, finally has a full lineup. We’ve added Juan del Rio on vocals. His previous experience in a Tool tribute band is exactly what we need to soar over the top of our music. Juan then brought in his friend, Joe Kopnick, who in just a few rehearsals has started tearing through our music. It’s really amazing to have a full band after over a year of auditions. We’re learning the first 12-song playlist now, and are getting logos, websites, and recordings in swing.
I got a little crazy at Of the North’s last set at Bremen Cafe in Riverwest. I set down the cello for a song and picked up the spoons! I started learning spoons less than a week before the gig, so I kept it fairly simple, but I think it went really well.
I spent about 30 minutes late on a Sunday night learning to play spoons. I picked it up fairly quickly and was able to play through one Of the North song. I still have a lot of work to do to first get my grip to be more solid and consistent, and then to add some more tricks.
This last New Year’s Eve Eve Of the North played a gig at Tonic Tavern with Pay the Devil. The show was absolutely amazing with a great turnout, a receptive audience, and a really fun opening act. This was my first show with the full band and it couldn’t have gone any better. Read the rest of this entry »