New Music: Sure as the Sun Goes Down


The Kala U-Bass Rumbler, an electric bass guitar built on a baritone ukelele body, with polyurethane strings that will outlive us all.

(Blog note: New remix posted 1/31/16.) Want an Americana-style rocker? Sure you do. What the heck, it’s only three minutes (and two seconds, okay). It’s about not accepting that “if X hasn’t happened by a certain age, it’s not going to happen at all, so shut up and go away.” Because that idea is poo.

The U-Bass (shown above) makes its Normal Fauna debut here. Also used on this recording are virtual drums played with MIDI controller, wood shaker, handclaps, “vintage” tambourine, and the Little Martin played three ways: through a microphone clean, through a microphone with distortion, and plugged in with distortion. Not a lot of distortion, just enough. Hope you like! Continue reading

Songbird 2.0

A few weeks ago, when talking to my shrink, a sentence jumped out of my mouth that I didn’t know was waiting to jump, a sentence I can’t get out of my mind: “I feel like me singing on television is something that needs to happen.”

Now, anyone who knows me knows I don’t exactly radiate grandiosity, so for me to make a statement like this is…well, shocking, really. And even more shocking that three weeks later, I would stand behind those words, even if I don’t know exactly what I meant by that. It needs to happen? Why? I mean, there isn’t exactly a shortage of good singers in the world. Continue reading

New Music: Frisbee

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i4, an external sound device for people who don't know an ASIO driver from a head of purple cabbage. (raises hand slightly)

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i4, an external sound device for people who don’t know an ASIO driver from a head of purple cabbage. (raises hand slightly)

Finally, something new! This is a song about the moment when you realize that pretty much everyone who ever dumped you or rejected you did you the biggest possible favor, even if it took years to know it.

First time recording all the vocals and percussion with the Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 (pictured above), and also first time recording real guitars (a mini electric tuned to an open E tuning, and an acoustic guitar in standard tuning), also through the Scarlett (acoustic was miked). This thing records vocals so nice I didn’t even need reverb! (Update 8/30/15: I did wind up adding a TINY bit of reverb when I remixed it today.) (And yes, all the vocals are mine.)

Other instruments: MIDI bass, vintage-style tambourine, small frog rasp, frame drum, wood shaker. Hand claps and finger snaps are real ones this time, because SCARLETT, dude. Damn, I love this thing. Can you tell?

A lot more stuff coming, and it won’t take three months for the next one, pinky swear.

Continue reading

New Music: San Diego Chicken (final version)

Concluding the month of May (and what Chris has hilariously dubbed my Blue Period) with my third and final mix of this. This new version has the same lead vocal as before, with a few punch-ins to clean up some minor glitches that were bugging me. Plus I added a second lead vocal to the background mix, because AWESOME NEW MICROPHONE PREAMP IS AWESOME, y’all. In addition, there are more background vocals, shakers, an electric piano riff, and some “spaghetti western” type guitar noises (made with MIDI).

And though I love the final result, as cat is my witness, I will never, ever spend two months futzing with one song, ever again. Unless someone is paying me to do it. Four new songs are awaiting my producing fingers and even more in the hopper, including some rockers!

Oh, and in case it wasn’t obvious, I’m bagging the every-other-Friday thing for good. My goal will be to get something out every other Friday, but for now, I’m not going to pressure myself for time, and just finish them when I finish them. Continue reading

New Music: San Diego Chicken (Version B, with Rhythm Section)

This is the second of three mixes of this song. This one has MIDI drums, bass, and tambourines. There are also some effects on the vocals (delay, reverb, compression, EQ) and I duplicated the vocal track to make it more audible over the extra instruments. The next version, with all the bells and whistles (not literally), is going to be the final version, which I’ll post in a week. And then I can move on to other songs! Continue reading