Hello. The album is out now.
Listen to an extensive interview: https://soundcloud.com/new-haven-independent/northern-remedy-102015-mercy-choir
Hello. The album is out now.
Listen to an extensive interview: https://soundcloud.com/new-haven-independent/northern-remedy-102015-mercy-choir
Lonesome Noise is premiering/previewing the song "Birdwatcher" from the new album Mercy Choir Sings In The Traditional Rock and Roll Style.
There will be an album release show on that date at Three Sheets in New Haven, CT.
Purchase tickets here: http://www.cafenine.com/event/904997-oneida-new-haven/
Song prompts have always been useful for me when I am stuck (which happens often). I hope these prompts are useful for you. These prompts are likely most useful for songwriters who write the traditional, 20th century, Western, popular concept of a song: with lyrics and sections like verses and choruses. However, with a little creativity, hopefully these prompts will also be of use for those who do not make music in that style. Please forgive any spelling or grammatical errors.
It’s important to note these prompts are merely suggestions. They can and should be molded and ignored to your liking, especially as the song develops. Keep in mind, some of these prompts may seem ridiculous, absurd, or even impossible. The idea is to write a song. Once it’s done, you are free to shape it into something useful. It’s easy to improve a song that already exists.
You can download the document here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7DDJkcw5cyfbG1kUTdtYnFWZnc/view?pli=1
Please share it with every songwriter you know.
Just added: On June 15, we'll be supporting the wonderful Pattern Is Movement at Cafe Nine in New Haven as part of their farewell tour. This is particularly thrilling as their music is important to me. I'm not quite sure how I was first introduced to them, but I listened to their album "All Together" non-stop from 2008-2010 and it kept me company on many unpleasant bus commutes through the Bronx.
No Nutmeg has his the big(er) time. It has happily morphed into a monthly(ish) column on Lonesome Noise focusing on the experimental, daring, unclassifiable music coming out of the great state of Connecticut (and sometimes surrounding). This is exciting and also a relief. Keeping up with the site as a standalone blog was getting to be a bit much. Believe it or not, I'm a little busy.
I'm always shocked at how much quality music is happening in the dark corners of my home state. I'll do my best to write about it.
My My friend/collaborator/and potential official biographer is slowly interviewing me on her blog, one question at a time. Her first question is "What's the deal with your watch collection?" I enjoyed answering it. As a guy who feels completely misunderstood by almost everyone, almost always, explaining myself is a pleasure.
Still warming up for this show, prepping the full band, rock and roll record, waiting for the split single with Kevin MF King to be released. Otherwise, no news is good news.
Finally, my old pal Jason Bourgeois has released a solo record. Jason is a gentleman, an international man of mystery, a human conundrum, and most importantly a master of pop music. I am an enthusiastic participant of his cult following and have been keeping tabs on all of his projects (Bourgeois Heroes, The Novels, Beach Honey, The Frills, among others). I strongly urge you to bite and chew and swallow this album, which is an essential nugget of breezy song-centered pop.
Above are some things I made on the back of hanging file folders with whiteout, ink, and crayon. See more art here. Buy some here. If you see something on the art blog you'd like to purchase that isn't yet in the store, email me: email@example.com
Daffodil Fest was a blast. Full band record is off to the mastering plant and we're looking at a late summer/early fall release. Cover art is done maybe(?) Record labels? How/why? Chris Zollo and I are working on new songs/arrangements for some duo performances. Keep eyes on the calendar. Come say hi.
Rearranged Advertisement For Musical Equipment
You You you literally fair your own details. Today is an answer to a street of questions defining the way you work and stand. You You you literally find what’s cool as a resource. Stand and let us offer you a trade. Review your own work in exchange for being in your own band. Sell yourself accessories like drums and cases of things you’ve always wanted. Like in, like out today. Accessorize. New you will go check for check for the Ultimate Value of your Work. Here’s Resource! You You your items are each valued by market research. You You your music is simple! We’ll click you with retail! The like in/like out products are in stock. Look around. Your time to buy, if you decide to buy, Go USED. This gear has been reviewed by the market. You You your equipment and and retail is here for you to buy (while stores and supplies last)! We check equipment free and fair in store. We will never deny you a floor model. We accept all checks the right way. Regardless of your condition. What we’re selling here is a pretty good buy and You You you are making great cool music with your band, donning our accessories and equipment, products. Whether the gear is based on your needs or not, our gear is great for all that too.
Now that this long, despicable winter has finally ended, we are faced with the typical faux-Spring weather New England bestows upon us every year. Soon enough, the chill will leave the air and Spring will actually begin. I'm ready.
I've been busy with lots of this and that. Thanks for keeping in touch and following me in my weird travels.
Next week, the full band Mercy Choir will perform at the 2015 Meriden Daffodil Festival, the yearly food/music event in Connecticut. The fest is all weekend, but our set is on Saturday, April 25th at 12:30pm. Again, this is the full band lineup that's been playing for the past year and a half or so: Timothee Goselin Jr on bass, Sachin Ramabhadran on drums, Chris Zollo on piano, and me on guitar/vocals.
Speaking of that lineup, we've recorded an album of new arrangements of some Mercy Choir songs. We think it sounds pretty good and we look forward to sharing it with you. It needs some final touches, but you'll likely hear it by the end of the year.
We were pretty thrilled to be featured on Impose a few weeks ago. They had nice things to say and allowed us to write a couple of paragraphs about the making of the album:
The next Rivener performance is Sunday June 7th at Pacific Standard Tavern in New Haven, CT. We're playing with a great bunch of outcasts, weirdos, and eclectic somethings. We're looking forward to it and have lots more shows in the works. Thanks for all the support. Our album "Fires in Repose" is available on bandcamp, itunes, spotify, etc.
I've decided to reboot Wobbling Roof for one issue as a small print zine. I'm quite proud of how it came out. Look for a copy on a newsstand or counter top near you. You may also purchase a copy or download a PDF of the issue and print/cut/fold it using the instructions found at http://wobblingroof.com
The issue includes contributions from David B. Applegate, Karrie Bulger, Meg Raab Cowen, TheMountain Movers, Parlay Droner, and Duncan Simmons.
Two of my strange poems are included in the inaugural issue of Pith, which is a wonderful new literary webzine. Please check it out and enjoy the entire issue, which is chock full of good writing. http://www.pithjournal.com/
I've put up a few new paintings, drawings, and mixed media pieces for sale in the store. Please consider buying one of these modestly priced items. They are suitable for framing in your man/woman/dog caves.
see you soon...
My chapbook “Lucy” has been published by Good Cop / Bad Cop Press and is now available to purchase here:
I would love if you bought a copy and/or shared this post. Thank you for the support.
I don't have anything else to say about this exciting thing that has happened (this book being published), but please know I am happy and relieved.
Rivener’s first release “Fires In Repose” (Twin Lakes Records) is now available for preorder! Limited edition cassettes/CDRs/digital. Get yours today. The official release date is the day of our really big show: MV&EE//The Mountain Movers//Rivener//Spectre Folk (feat. members of Magik Markers, Sonic Youth & Pavement) - Sat. February 28th at Cafe Nine
Also, my friend Lys Guillorn and I will perform as a duo on April 10 at Three Sheets in New Haven as part of the Elm City Folk Festival. We’ll play songs from our EP “Trouble” along with some other goodies.
Hello. The new Mercy Choir release "Two Machines In The Garden" is out today and available for digital download. Here's a little something I wrote about making it:
"The simplest ideas often take the longest to come to fruition. Is that true for you too? In this case, the simple idea was getting several musicians of varying musical backgrounds together in a room to perform a long drone piece, consisting solely of a C Major chord (Machine 2). The logistics of putting together something like that, particularly for someone like me who does most of his recording by myself in a small room, can be get tricky.
After much planning and organization, I got some people in a room. Some knew each other, some were friends, some were strangers, for all I know, some were enemies. Some were experienced improvisors, some were not. Luckily, all were enthusiastic about the piece. We set up some microphones and played our C Major chord.
Why a long C Major chord? There isn't a why. If there was, the answer would not be terribly interesting.
Machine 1 is a solo piece for three acoustic guitars.
Machine 2 is a collaboration. The most people to ever appear on a Mercy Choir record! I dedicate it to our friend Lys Guillorn, who was scheduled to participate, but was under the weather at the time. Thanks to her for the inspiration and thanks to all the musicians who played the chord.
I am still growing this garden."
I hope you'll download this album and enjoy it. Other new of interest: My chapbook "Lucy" is for real and it will be available to purchase on February 27th, 2015 via Good Cop / Bad Cop Press. Here is a picture of my hand holding a copy:
The evening the book is released, there will be an event in New Haven, Ct. I hope you'll come celebrate with me.
Here's the cover art for the next Mercy Choir release, out 2/3/15. It has is two tracks, one of which is 24 minutes long and features Adam Matlock of An Historic, EC Branford of Ebin-Rose Trio W/ Bobo On Bass, Al Chavez of many, many area metal projects, and the current Mercy Choir live lineup: Timothee Goselin Jr, Chris Zollo, of West Rockers, and Sachin Ramabhadran (who engineered the session). I'm looking forward to sharing it with you.
Hello 2015. I've been holding off on this exciting announcement:
A book I've been working on for the last five years will be published late February 2015 by the wonderful press Good Cop / Bad Cop out of New London, CT. It's called "Lucy." It's a short book, about 30 pages of poetry and short prose. The book is about a girl named Lucy and her Uncle Horace. It's amazing how much slower this sort of writing comes to me compared to songwriting, but it seems to come from a different part of my brain. I've worked on this book more meticulously than any project I've ever worked on, I think. Maybe it's a little embarrassing that a 30 page book took five years to write, but maybe "humbling" is a more appropriate word. In any case, a final release date will be announced soon and there will be some readings and events in various parts of Connecticut. The first of which, is on January 31st at The Telegraph record store in New London, CT. I'll be reading a few pieces from the book and playing a few songs as part of a Good Cop / Bad Cop showcase. More details on that will come soon.
In other news, I've posted a few paintings and drawings on the Mercy Choir/Dead Language Records bandcamp page. Please consider buying a piece or two.
When I was a little rock and roll worshiping adolescent, Mad Dogs & Englishmen was one of the albums I’d listen to a lot with my dad and on my own. Joe Cocker’s interpretations of the songs on this giant, weird, monstrous double LP made me want to seek out the originals (Stones, Leonard Cohen, The Beatles, Issac Hayes, etc). Leon Russel’s arrangements are legendary and I’m sure he wouldn’t hesitate to say Joe was a great muse to him. Even though he sunk into self-parody and elevator music throughout much of his career, to me, Joe Cocker always represented this sort of all encompassing, British, psychedelic shaman of blues, folk, and soul, and his albums, especially Mad Dogs & Englishmen, sat comfortably in my dad’s collection next to the very best of the 60s and 70s. R.I.P.
Hello All. Welcome to my new website. That's what this is. There was a time, several years ago, when "tumblr.com" was a brand new website and a brand new thing and I was an early adopter and defender of it as a blogging platform. I insisted it was an ideal, smooth, and easy way to post just about anything, and decided it would be a good site to use as my main website. Where I'd do longform blogging, share my poems, art, and music, and news about my goings on. I no longer find it useful for those things. Whatever tumblr is now, it's not what I'd hoped it would or could be (for me). There's simply too much noise, too much scrolling quickly past things that might be important in favor of memes, outrageous political arguments, or "discussion" about television shows I've never heard of, or moving pictures of animals. I often get the sense that the hundreds or so people who "follow" me are not actually paying attention to what I'm saying or doing. Which is fine. That's OK. I like junkfood internet too I intend to keep my tumblr and use it for those sort of things.
However, I'll no longer be using it for my main website and this is the place you'll find up to date news about my various projects. I hope you'll check in once in a while. I also plan to begin selling some of my artwork in the merch section of my bandcamp page.
Here is the end of the year. Like you, I am busy wrapping things up, literally and figuratively. This was a really nice year of making music. I made three records. Two of them are very difficult (PPIANO & GGUITAR) and the other is a short pop EP I made in my shed.
The current lineup of Mercy Choir sounds ferocious and they are wonderful friends. We recorded an album of some older songs of mine and that will come out next year. Here's a picture of us:
Thanks everyone for listening and for buying the records and coming to the shows and buying some of my paintings. I hope this finds you well. I remain here, alive and happy, signing this your way.