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Derrick’s New Kit, and a New Solo Video

February 6, 2012


These are the best of the shots I got of Derrick’s new Yamaha DTX 500 electronic drum kit. He hadn’t finished wiring it up at the point where I was taking photos, and it wasn’t until a couple of hours later that he was practising and trying out sounds, so I didn’t manage to get any shots of him with his kit. Next time.

While we were buying the drum kit, we also purchased a cardioid microphone, which I will be using to record vocals and acoustic instruments from here on out.

And here is a link to my latest video, which is of me performing Here It Comes Again on acoustic:

Thesis – Here It Comes Again – acoustic 2012

More to come soon.



At Last… An Update!

February 3, 2012

Yesterday, Brother Gary came by to lay down his acoustic tracks, of which there turned out to only be one. When I matched his six string take with mine, he decided he liked how it sounded well enough. My problem is, I’ll have to make him retake it because the track got fowled with some line level noise.

This is the acoustic take of Here It Comes Again, as it stands so far.

Meanwhile, today I am told we will be shopping for an electronic drum kit. As this is something I’ve been praying for with great fervour for some five or six years minimum, I would have to say I’m pretty okay with that prospect. I’m just hoping that we can afford a few sets of headphones and some means by which to plug in and jam along with Derrick, like perhaps that 10 track Gary says he put a bid on at Ebay. I would love not to have to lug the 16 track up and down the stairs if I don’t absolutely have to. It will please me greatly even if all I can do is import Derrick’s performances on disc, though I’m hoping for better. What I would really like is a new microphone, but I guess what I’ve got will do for now. One mic died, but the old metal ones are in pretty good shape. Might have to buy some new batteries, at any rate.

Anyway, developments. So that’s good. Hopefully it will all work out for the best. Hopefully more developments soon. Photos later if I can get them.

Time to shower and get the day started.


The Whole Enchilada

January 13, 2012

So I’ve been tinkering with Here It Comes Again off and on for a couple of months, and it’s nearing completion, save that I was hoping to get real horns and flutes on there, but there just hasn’t been time or opportunity to record anyone other than myself. I should really rerecord those two parts as well, since they’re pretty sloppy, but I’ve been pretty busy lately, and making time to play keyboard just isn’t as easy as it once was.

While I’ve been doing that, I’ve started remixing and sorting out a couple of tracks (Kharmic Wheel and Keep On Going) from Bisecting pt 1, which I had been really, really unhappy with, and feel they are approaching completion as well. Which just leaves one more track I really need to do something with, because it needs guitar and synth. I’ve put off completing The Dream Falls for too long. It’ll be nice to have it in its final form… at least until I can afford to rerecord them in a full studio with CD mastering tools and such. My multi-track is nice, but it’s not a Neve console, to say the very least.

I have a lot of work left to do today, so I’m not sure if I’ll be spending any time with the music, but I hope to do some more work over the weekend. I wouldn’t have minded stopping all of this other work to record with Gary, but he’s still MIA. And of course, I can’t get Derrick to record unless he has a full drum kit to play. It’s an uphill battle. No wonder I’ve been doing so much of it alone.

Anyway, time to get back to work. Thanks for reading.


Here It Is Again

December 1, 2011

So we’re in the process of rerecording my classic pop song, Here It Comes Again, which is still not finished yet. I’m going to be putting in new guitar tracks and a better drum track in the coming days.

Here It Comes Again (fair sketch)


The Whole Other Half and Steep Inclinations

November 3, 2011

Etcetera and Thesis are both in the process of getting a new lease on life (AGAIN!).

Last year’s Thesis demo album, Bisecting a Circumference, was really just an EP’s worth of the tracks I managed to get finished before changing medications and developing a serious case of SAD last year. I’d actually intended for it to be a full length album, and may still do if the current plan for the next album generates as much material as I’m expecting it to.

The new album will be called The Whole Other Half (Bisecting a Circumference pt 2), which I hope to have done and ready before next summer. The tentative track list will include Dinner Date, Old Man Saturn, and the first single*, Here It Comes Again, amongst others.

Wow, that read almost like a proper Rock News announcement, didn’t it?

Continuing on from there, I’m hoping to get Derrick and Gary back into harness for a proper Etcetera album. However, it’ll be the first truly proper Etcetera-as-I-envisioned-it, Progressive Rock album. The problem in the past was always that we needed songs to rehearse, and it was always easier to get the pop songs sorted out and recorded, and the more progressive stuff just kind of stayed on the demo tapes with all the dud notes and such. Well, not this time, dammit!

The new Etcetera album will be called Steep Inclinations, and will probably be a concept album, as the music demos are mostly lyric-less at present. The track list will include the long-delayed Good Enough For Now, Opus, The Lost Souls, and the first single, I Can See Why, written by Gary Falkins. The concept will most likely be a story about a small band of escapeess from a dystopic arcology run by a demented A.I. determined to keep the remains of humanity penned up forever.

The set list isn’t finalised yet (I still need to lift the parts of Opus off of the demo cassette, for instance, and I’m going to include Breathe, as well), but the old demos I have in MP3 format so far have been organized and loaded up onto the website for your perusal. Mind you, they’re not much to listen to, so don’t be expecting genius. The final versions will be far superior, I promise:

      Bleed Into One 3.9M  
      Good Enough For Now 12M  
      I Can See Why 3.4M  
      Memories of Riff Jam Rock 19M  
      Monte's Birthday Suite 16M  
      The Candy Stand 13M  
      The Dreamer's Symphony 10M

So there you have it: another chance at redemption for the boys of Etcetera. Maybe if I get lucky, I’ll be able to con Dave and Dori into playing on the album, or at least the first video, as well. Not counting on it, but it would be nice.

Well, that’s it for now. Hope everyone has a great weekend. Ta.


* Here It Comes Again should also be the first video, if I can get Mark, the erstwhile videographer, to commit when the song is ready and the weather gets good again. Maybe in the spring…

Add Infant Item – The Final Results

October 29, 2011

Back in 2006, Etcetera reconvened, as we had agreed to on New Years Eve. During the rest of the winter, I outlined a plan for us to follow (and started writing songs for the same) in order to record a new album together AND rehearse a new live set, so we could go out and start playing as a power trio. What I devised looked like this:

New Album/First Set:
I Want Someone Close To Me
The Dream Falls
The Dark Ages
No One In The World
Lady In the Field
Out Of Time

Second Set:
Here It Comes Again
One Up On You
I’m Gone Again
Bleed Into One
How Can I Miss You (If You Won’t Go Away)
The Last Stand

Here We Go Again
Through The Eyes of a Fool
Thick & Thin
You Send Me Spinning

I figured there would be improvisations that would lead to furtehr numbers for the new album, so I left room for them, even though I had a few other songs up my sleeves (just in case). That said, I figured this would be a good guide, but I wasn’t married to it.

What I ended up with was about ten hours of loose jams and muffed takes, all recorded using our traditional Fostex-with-Radioshack-PZM-mic demo recording configuration. We never got to the stage where I started bringing in my shiny new multi-track, because frankly, we just didn’t have enought ime to get it together before drama between Gary and his then-wife came to a head, and it was time to get the gear out of their basement before she pawned it out of spite.

As such, most of the songs on the list never so much as got a brief read-through. What we did get recorded seemed to me to be far too scruffy for a general release, but time has mellowed me somewhat. I finally sat down and sequenced a kind of compilation album of the best original tracks (I left out the various covers we tried out, which mostly didn’t work too well, in proper Etcetera tradition), which turned out like this:

01 I Want Someone Close To Me
02 The Incurable Romantic
03 The Dream Falls
04 Through The Eyes of a Fool
05 Songs From Heaven
06 Lady In The Field tk 1
07 Show Me Something
08 The Dark Age tk 1
09 Punk Jam #67
10 Thick and Thin tk 1
11 No One In The World
12 Lady In the Field tk 2
13 Surf Arcanna
14 Decisions
15 The Dark Age tk 2
16 Where You Been?
17 The Last Stand intro
18 The Last Stand tk 1
19 The Last Stand tk 2
20 Thick And Thin tk 2
21 BB Gun Massacre
22 Lady in the Field tk 3
23 Last Call
24 Waiting

I still think the Add Infant Item sessions were largely a bust, but I suppose this collection of outtakes can serve as a sort of closing statement on Etcetera, at least until Derrick figures out a way to get an electronic drum kit to practice on, or Gary and I invest in permanent studio space, so we can get back to work. Until then, real drums will just have to be a dream for the future. Meanwhile, there’s still Thesis music.

So there you have it: Add Infant Item, a play on an old album title idea I had in mind for somewhere down the road with Etcetera, and the album that almost was.


The Etcetera Thesis Music Discography (2011)

October 29, 2011

1994 – Etcetera – The First Page

coming soon

1997 – Etcetera – And Sew One

01 Top of Riff Jam Rock
02 Here We Go Again (acoustic)
03 Show Me Something
04 Come Hither Eyes pt 1
05 Come Hither Eyes pt 2
06 Thick & Thin demo
07 The Dozens (My Mother)
08 Conditions (You Send Me Spinning demo)
09 Monte's Birthday Suite pt 2 - The Hunting
10 Monte's Birthday Suite pt 3 - Monte's Arrival
11 Games/Goodbye
12 Waiting For Sentence
13 Return To Riff Jam Rock

1998 – Etcetera – And Sew Fourth

01 - Ah, Music
02 - Waiting For Sentence
03 - Here We Go Again
04 - Bleed Into One
05 - Through The Eyes of a Fool
06 - Thick & Thin
07 - You Send Me Spinning
08 - Breathe pt I
10 - Breathe pt II
11 - Breathe pt III
12 - Games
13 - Goodbye
14 - Henry the Eight As We Know It

1998 – Thesis – Rough Work In The Margins

01 - The Question (Instrumental 1995)
02 - Here It Comes Again 1996
03 - One Up On You 1996
04 - Why Do I Do These Things
05 - You Send Me Spinning
06 - Lady Penelope
07 - She
08 - Zoe
09 - Tonight
10 - The Brighter Side
11 - Bleed Into One 1998
12 - On My Mind (Instrumental 1997)
13 - Show Me Something (Jack Daniels Take 1996)
14 - Zoe Turns Another Face
15 - Here We Go Again (acoustic v2)
16 - Waiting 1996
17 - The Stand (Instrumental 1997)
18 - Songs From Heaven (demo 1995)
19 - Dinner Date 1998

2006 – Etcetera – Add Infant Item

01 I Want Someone Close To Me 4.0M  
02 The Incurable Romantic 17M  
03 The Dream Falls 4.7M  
04 Through The Eyes of a Fool 3.2M  
05 Songs From Heaven 1.5M  
06 Lady In The Field tk 1 1.9M  
07 Show Me Something 7.7M  
08 The Dark Age tk 1 4.0M  
09 Punk Jam #67 3.0M  
10 Thick and Thin tk 1 4.7M  
11 No One In The World 7.9M  
12 Lady In the Field tk 2 5.8M  
13 Surf Arcanna 16M  
14 Decisions 3.1M  
15 The Dark Age tk 2 7.4M  
16 Where You Been? 10M  
17 The Last Stand intro 2.6M  
18 The Last Stand tk 1 2.7M  
19 The Last Stand tk 2 6.1M  
20 Thick And Thin tk 2 1.4M  
21 BB Gun Massacre 292K  
22 Lady in the Field tk 3 2.0M  
23 Last Call 1.8M  
24 Waiting 13M

2010 – Bisecting a Circumference

01 The Dark Age
02 Kharmic Wheel
03 I Want Someone Close To Me
04 Erinsong 1 - Time Passes By
05 Erinsong 2 - Keep On Going
06 Erinsong 3 - You're Right
07 The Dream Falls
08 Going Through The Motions
09 Waiting

more to come…

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