Thursday, June 3, 2010

LONESOME ANIMALS now available on iTunes


The new album is now available digitally from iTunes, eMusic, Amazon, and other fine digital retailers.

More information on the CD release soon.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Influences

What are your influences?

It's a hard question. I suppose ever artist experiences the anxiety of influence. We like to think what we are doing is somehow singular, different from what's come before, and yet we know we are deeply impacted but those influences, either positively or negatively. I was slightly shocked when I played early versions of my songs to my friend/bandmate/music blogger Jay and he'd say things like, "That's your Deerhunter song," and I took it as a slight. I like that band, sure, but was I trying to ape that? No. But that's not what he meant. As someone who writes about music, he was doing what all music writers do: this song sounds like this but different…

I listen to music all the time and so it must have some deep impact. I certainly learned about how to make music by listening to it. I am not a musician. My piano playing skills are minimal at best and I can read a tiny but of music but if you ask me what key a song is in, well, I can't answer you. Since I have been making these electronic-based tracks for 9 years now, and now people are finally getting a chance to hear them, I figured I should answer this question.

Influences (in no order, subject to change)

1.) Enjoy Your Worries, You May Never Have Them Again, The Books

Taught me about the importance of the sample, letting the sample do its thing. It still makes me laugh and yet the song's density is so amazing to me.

2.) To Here Knows When, My Bloody Valentine

I have always thought I'd die by drowning and this song captures the possible bliss and horror of that imagined death. I used to listen to this song constantly my senior year in college when I was abusing my allergy medication and driving around really stoned in my Mom's Volvo.

3.) Doctor Who Theme Song

I have no idea why I love electronic music so much and why I have never wanted to play the guitar, which seems like way too much of a dude thing to do. And then it occurred to me: Doctor Who. I watched this show like a true fan nerd as a kid and those BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Even before I knew who Delia Derbyshire was, I listened to those soundscapes as a kid and I loved them even as much as the show.

4.) Scentless Apprentice, Nirvana

I like authenticity in my music. Like all trendy mofos, I hated Nirvana because everyone else liked them. I refused to buy NEVERMIND, but I did buy IN UTERO because Steve "big black" Albini recorded it. The pain of this song is authentic and the chorus captured the feeling of hating the world and wanting it to go away.

5.) I Could Show You How, Naked Eyes

My friend Paula said the other night at dinner, 80s pop music was great and grunge ruined everything. She has a point (Nirvana excepted). I loved this record when I was a kid and still I love this song and the Fairlight synth noises on it.

6.) Apistat Commander, Xiu Xiu

Music can do something that the other arts can't do. When I saw Jamie and Caralee do this at the Middle East in Cambridge back in 2005, it was so loud and honest it really blew me away. It's a memory I treasure.

7.) Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet, Gavin Bryars

The emotion of repetition. No offense to Tom Waits, but track down the version Brian Eno released on his Obscure record label. It's the superior recording of this track.

8.) Darling Nikki, Prince

Oh in grammar school, how I loved Prince. I owned every release on vinyl up to SIGN O' THE TIMES. But this one was always a big favorite. It taught me one of the most significant words to a teenager in the English language: masturbate. Thank you, Prince.

9.) Pet Shop Boys Live

I'm not really a huge fan of their music per se, though they've written some amazing pop songs (i'd be so lucky to write something as great as "Being Boring" or "So Hard"). But what I love about them is their live or rather "live" performances. I love how Chris Lowe just kind of hangs out in front of the keyboard, Neil Tennant often sits to sing, and often there are lots of dancers and/or hot gay dudes doing their thing. It's the opposite of authentic in a way but strangely I think if I was ever to play live, I want to do something like that. I can't really imagine sweating and running around, punching buttons on my sampler or laptop or whatever unless I was really drunk. But this shows you can play live gracefully. I should go see them before I die.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Videos

Music Video for the track "The Dim" from Occurrence's LONESOME ANIMALS album. Director/Editor: Duval Rodrigues. Featuring Wendy Brown, Jason Burrell, Jarvis Burrell, Daymeyn Gantt, Alyssa Mariello and Matthew Rohr.

watch here
or
here

Music video for Occurrence's "Bleeder" from the forthcoming album LONESOME ANIMALS. Credits: Director/Editor: Jeff Stern. Cinematography: Mike Szegedi. Featuring Wayne Feldman and Shalini Patel.

watch here

Monday, May 3, 2010

First Taste

The BLEEDER video
Director/Editor: Jeff Stern
Cinematography: Mike Szegedi
Featuring Wayne Feldman
Music: Occurrence
video

Lots of Stuff is Happening

the album is coming
June 2010

new website
June 2010

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Monday, February 15, 2010

2010

sorry it's been quiet but stuff is happening on this end. CD release, music videos, website. more soon! keep your eyes peeled.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

48 hour film project!

my other band the avon barksdale took a break from our sabbatical to record a theme song for the 48 hour film project. it was fun and the result was really good. we didn't win. i feel we were robbed of our rightful place as winners of the 48 hour film project theme song. you decide.

48 hour film project theme song (rejected) by the avon barksdale

Sunday, December 6, 2009

gazed

another track that didnt make the count for the album. built off of a sample from my casio sk-1 and lots & lots of reverb.

listen to it here

gazed.mp3

Saturday, December 5, 2009

favorite music of 2009

(i wrote this under the influence of antibiotics and sudafed. all spelling errors blame on the sinus infection!)

16 favorite albums of 2009

16.) beach house: teen dream

this is cheating. it hasn't come out yet, so i should really save this for 2010 because it will be on that list because this is a great record. "take care" is an amazing song. i was not really a fan of the last two records (sorry). i didn't dislike them, i just didn't love them. the songwriting on this makes me gush.

15.) atlas sound: logos

i was a big fan of deerhunter's last record microcastle, but was rather unmoved by the atlas sound debut. but logos changes all that. yes, the panda collab is like a lost gem from the person pitch sessions, but the rest of the album is lyrically moving and sonically interesting. even if there is still that touch of "i've heard this before," there is a enough of a tweak to make it feel all new again. "sheila" definitely brings a smile to my face each time iTunes shuffles to it.

14.) conelrad: sure is the risk made

i could say something snarky like, well Boards of Canada didn't put anything out this year so we have this album instead. but that's not accurate. yes BoC is definitely an influence on this home recording project by a grad student, but the tint of danger is erased and in its place is a cinematic projection of flying above the earth. reminds me of this allergy medicine i used to abuse in college that would make me feel really really spacey. and that's a good thing.

13.) the drums: the drums EP and summertime EP

this is the year i rediscovered my love of '80s synth pop and apparently i am not alone. it's like a record of just pure pop. "i felt stupid" makes me want to dance like a fool and i dig the crowd sample at the end. every time it comes on, m comes in and says what's that noise?!?

12.) former ghosts: fleurs

no xiu xiu record this year but we do have this side project with jamie stewart and freddy from this song is a mess but so am i. i saw TSIAMBSAI open for xiu xiu back in 2003 (4?) and i wasn't that into it. but this is a winning combo. depression rules!

11.) the twilight sad: forget the night ahead

speaking of depression. i always think i'm over the trade indie rock guitar and then i hear a record like this and i think i really like indie guitar rock. the first six songs work great in succession. and that voice. it's not that expressive, yet says a lot. i dig it.

10.) ben frost: by the throat

a lot of people throw around the word "cinematic" (see #14) but this album doesn't sound like a movie, it is a movie. a really fucking scary movie. i love the sample skipping track "untitled transient" which takes the opening of "strange day" by the cure from their best album pornography and turns it into a transition music for a scene where you know something bad is about to happen. the gut punch of "studies for michael gira." etc etc. listen to this loud on the headphone and you will see stuff even without any chemical enhancements.

9.) animal hospital: memory

yeah i got some MA pride. this local one-man band really knocked it out of the park with this record. post-rock awesomeness.

8.) the antlers: hospice

sometimes it sounds like queen, other times like 90s indie pop, and yet always manages to make me love it. the story of the record -- about a sick young friend -- stirs up memories and i love how the record is specific yet open enough that you can project yourself into it. i try to write songs like that. but this dude can really do it.

7.) leyland kirby: sadly the future is no longer what it was

this three disc set of ambient music shouldn't be so compelling but it is. while the other caretaker material i appreciated rather than enjoyed, by switching from samples to live instrumentation (albeit heavily treated) kirby somehow made the sounds connect. it is a massive commitment to work your way through the nearly 4 hours of music. but it is totally worth it.

6.) memory tapes: seek magic

again with the perfect '80s perfect. these songs teeter on the brink of cheesiness and yet somehow pull back and create something great. if i was mathematically inclined:
Naked Eyes - sax solos + more androgyny = Memory Tapes

5.) grizzly bear: veckatimest

the album of the summer. what else can be said about it? it's a great record full of great songs. oddly i can't listen to it much now but that's what happens when you get over-saturated. but one day, in a couple of months, the iTunes shuffle will play "While You Wait For the Others" or "Two Weeks" and a big smile will come across my face.

4.) the xx: xx

the record is barely there in a strange way. everything is so skeletal but it gnaws its way into your head and you realize the complexity and nuance of the production, of the sounds, and you fall in love. "night time" remains a favorite esp. now that's it's dark by 4pm.

3.) black to comma: alphabet 1968

what a weird record. it's like fennesz if he decided to write pop songs but instead of fuzzy guitar textures he used odd samples. I know that makes no sense. but listen to this album. while a lot of sample and loop based music tends toward sonic wallpaper (not a bad thing), this album requires you to listen because the structure is more akin to a pop song. "hotel freund" really gets to me.

2.) the dirty projectors: bitte orca

i tried to get into this band before i couldn't. that don henely concept record left me cold but this record actually overtook grizzly bear as my summer favorite. the expressive voices, the intricate guitar, the great drumming, i couldn't get enough. and "two doves" is one of the sweetest songs ever written.

1.) animal collective: merriweather post pavilion and fall be kind ep

2009 belongs to the AC. again i liked past records but no record took my attention like MPP this year. opener "in the flowers" still makes the hair on my arms stand up when the drums come pounding in half way through and "brother sport" makes me wanna yell. the recent ep only ups the ante with the gorgeous "what would i want? sky." who knew someone could make me like something remotely connected to the grateful dead?

the 8 best songs of 2009 not from the best albums of 2009

8.) Already Home by Jay-Z
Yeah I know Blueprint 3 was no masterpiece but this song makes this white boy wanna do embarrassing things!

7.) Love Cry by Four Tet
When that drum loop comes in, I wanna shake my ass.

6.) Little Tiger by tUne-YarDs
What a voice. When she belts out near the later half of the song, I feel spiritual healing.

5.) Quiet Dog by Mos Def
According to iTunes, I have listened to this song 34 times. That's because it is awesome. Watching Mos Def play the drum line on a tympani on Letterman didn't hurt either.

4.) Love Comes Close by Cold Cave
This song reminds of the embarrassing time of my life in high school when I'd go to this lame goth club in Philadelphia and dance. I love it.

3.) New Wife New Life by Truman Peyote
Another local band. Very AC sounding but very very good. Great guitar line.

2.) Velvet by The Big Pink
This band was a guilty pleasure of '09. I feel like I will look back at them with the disdain I now hold for EMF or Jesus Jones. And yet I love this song. I am a contradiction, people.

1.) Snowbank Treatment by Dragging an Ox Through Water
Sounds like a Califone demo recorded on cassette that has been covered in muck and then unearthed. Love the keyboard sounds. Is that a guitar pedal? Casio? It rules.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

while i wait...

the record is with the mastering engineering, so now i wait. in the meantime, here's another track that didn't make the record. my friend sent me a recording of her whispering so that features prominently and i played my old mono casio sk-1 through a boatload of effects for the end. not sure why i didn't include this one. probably issue of running time.

stair climb mp3