Archive for July, 2013

It’s rather undefinable and perhaps indescribable. We can be so attached to our music, but why? Many people will hang their lives on lyrics, but I’ve found over time that, while I *do* enjoy a good set of lyrics, especially if they mean something to me, I am far more likely to find beauty and magic in the instruments or song structure itself. And when it comes to lyrics, I usually latch on to the melody of them long before I may even know what is being sung. Sometimes I’ll discover the lyrics to a song 20 years after I first heard it. Maybe that’s why I don’t mind too much being an instrumental songwriter.

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When I was playing with The Dark, we had an epileptic drummer named Dan. When we were auditioning drummers, his phone call was one to remember – in fact, I don’t recall any other. He spoke very slowly, as if he were thinking carefully about every word, and even as I booked his audition, I envisioned him moving slowly as well and wondered how he could possibly play the drums, which are quite a physically demanding instrument. Dan seemed to have a condition in addition to epilepsy which caused him to basically move at 3/4 speed compared to the rest of the world.

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Have you ever wondered what the very first version of your favorite song sounded like? You know, the one that band member Joe brought to his bandmates one day at rehearsal and said “Guys, I came up with something – check it out.” Without a doubt, that song went through lots of revisions before it became the version you know and love. Now, I’m not saying you all know and love the songs from my band 49 Fingers, but I do happen to have the original demo and the finished product of a couple songs, so here’s your chance to experience the excitement!

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I released my second Epiphora album in 2005. I had a bunch of musicians help me out with it, and one of them was Rob Aquino from the band South 16 – he was a guitarist, and he played a solo on Song For My Sisters. Although we tried to get his work done before I left the east coast for Oregon, it just didn’t come together. So we decided to collaborate across the great expanse of the United States … electronically.

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It is true that I did once consort with the likes of Beavis and Butthead. Thanks to my fellow grad student Shawn Austin for capturing this wonderful time in my life, back in 1994, the Year of Dan. I don’t know if this advanced my music career at all, but it has made for good chuckles going on twenty years now.

beavis

In the early 2000s, my brother (the venerable Suspicious Chihuahua) and I started tossing around the idea of opening a recording studio. I had been amassing a nice pile of recording equipment to keep Epiphora going and improving, and Kevin, who had been working at various radio stations in Washington and Oregon, had come into some nice vintage equipment every time the stations needed to clean house. Besides the obvious obstacles that stand in the way of anyone starting a business, usually centered around capital, we had a bigger issue – we were 3000 miles apart.

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In May of 2004, I had the privilege of being interviewed by Jordan Rich of WBZ in Boston. I had submitted my first CD Get This to his show, and he agreed to do a late night interview. It was cool to be live on the air – first time for me. You can stream the interview with the link below, but essentially, Jordan stuck to the usual stuff … what Epiphora was, why I called myself that as a musical artist, how did I make my electronic music, etc, and he played a number of samples of songs from the CD, which I thought was cool.

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