Tag Archives: mp3

"Leaving L.A." Featured on NPR's "The Story" (with Dick Gordon)

Wow!  “Leaving L.A.” was featured on an episode of NPR’s “The Story”.  Awesome!  The song is played at the end of the first segment and can be listened to here.  The song is played for 17 seconds about 1/4 of the way through the episode.  Yahoo!!!

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The Value of Small Crowds

Last night at played what can be considered a “secret show” at the Dubliner Pub on University Ave.  It was secret, because nobody was there to see it.

Sometimes it is nice playing to a small, quiet crowd.  When I took the stage, there were 6 people in the bar, including the bartender and me.  By the time I finished, there were, probably, 30 bar patrons, talking loudly, clanging glasses, and otherwise watching me do my thing on stage.  To tell you the truth, I had a lot more fun when it was just me and 5 others.  That isn’t to say that I always like performing to small crowds.

Sometimes I like the big, loud, ornery crowds.  Other times I like the intimate, paying-attention crowd.  Last night I wasn’t feeling 100%.  My hands were moving slowly.  As a result, I wanted to do things a bit different.  I wasn’t interested in putting on a big performance as I usually do.  Rather, I chose a bunch of songs that I normally don’t play and performed them to the best of my ability, letting the music speak to the scuffed up floors and empty bar stools.  It was beautiful.

The attached mp3 was recorded at the end of my set when there was a large contingent of busybodies talking and otherwise making noise.  You can get a sense for the difference between a quiet room and a loud room.  Sometimes I like it noisy, sometimes I don’t.  🙂

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Take This Survey | Get a FREE MP3!

We are doing some brand-positioning research for our forthcoming album, and we need your help! Give this mp3 a listen, then take this survey.

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Songwriting Workshop #2 Result

This week’s songwriting assignment was to describe a time you took a chance on something. I didn’t follow the assignment. But that’s totally cool! You don’t need to either! 🙂

This week’s submissions include Ryan B’s first submission, a beautifully-crafted song called Love Me
my submission, a spiritual story about ascending to heaven, called “Amen“. I first had the idea for “Amen” while walking home from Lisa’s a couple of hours ago. I recorded the background melody on my phone, and you can listen to it here. I have this bug in me to write a gospel opera…

“Love Me” Lyrics (by Ryan B.)
Sitting here just drinking
Wish I weren’t alone tonight
I want someone to hold me
And love me ‘til the morning light
What is the problem?
Don’t know what I’m doing not right
Put myself back out there
Still you’re nowhere in my sight

Love me tender, love me true
Love me tonight, and I’ll love you

Have another a whiskey
Maybe I’ll make it two
Not that it matters
Won’t bring me any closer to you
My hands are all but tied now
Don’t know what I’m going to do
Guess I’ll keep on pushing
Hoping just to make it though

Love me tender, love me true
Love me tonight, and I’ll love you

“Amen” Lyrics (By Toby Cryns)
Please take my hand.
Let me guide you to the promised land.
Ain’t noone gonna hold you down.
The good lord has come to town.

Be loved.
Beloved man, I will take you to the promised land.
Don’t you worry ’bout a thing no more.
We are going to open Heaven’s door.


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Songwriting Workshop #1 Result – "Salvation"


I finally turned on the computer yesterday to churn out my first song for the Cryns #3 Songwriting Workshop.

Ever since recording Boulder back in 2005, I have had this dream of recording a whole album of gospel songs that a church choir could sing. In fact, some day I hope to gather a whole church choir and perform said album in a live setting. Just to be clear, I’m talking about those fun, foot-stomping, inner-city choirs. I love ’em! The church choirs I grew up with in the Lutheran and Catholic churches wouldn’t be able to hang with this shit.

The topic of this week’s workshop was “Something Big”. My new song is called “Salvation”, which is just about the biggest thing I could think of – bigger even than my appetite for ice cream. To be saved in the afterlife would be the biggest thrill – and what a surprise it would be! Listen to Salvation!

The song tells a story of life, from confident childhood to unsure adulthood to (finally) salvation in the Lord.

I have always liked thinking about my faith. I don’t actually believe in a benevolent or an angry God for that matter. The only reason I actually believe God exists is because I believe in the Law of Conservation of Matter, which states, “Matter can neither be created nor destroyed,” which causes me to constantly ask myself, “Well then, who created the matter to begin with?”

Still, there are a lot of unexplainable, beautiful things in this world. There are so many varieties of living beings on this planet that it’s hard to fathom it all coming together without divine intervention.


Oh my Lord!
Let your rain fall on me!
What do you do when the gospel comes?
What do you do when the gospel comes knockin’ on your door?
You’ve got to praise the Lord!
You’ve got to praise the Lord, and ask for his sympathy!
He’s got a manger.
He’s got a saint.
He’ll show Ceasar!
He’s gonna save our souls today.
There’s a baby in the manger.
He’s gonna stand tall and get murdered for our sins.
What you gonna do with all those souls?…

What are you gonna do with your soul?
You’re gonna pay the piper!

Oh my Lord!
I found salvation!!!

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Another One Down!

Yesterday, I wrapped up recording guitars on “Lori won’t get out of my way!” The song needed some beef, and I think the new guitar parts add just that. The parts are more varied than on other songs, as I used BOTH acoustic and distortion sounds, all from the ol’ Marshall stack. Of course, the new parts haven’t cleared Noah’s amazing ear yet, so we’ll see if they make the final cut.

Give Lori won’t get out of my way! a listen.

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Let's Get Funky with Sneaky Pete on the Harmonica!

“Sneaky” Pete Bauer made his way to my living room studio on Sunday, where he laid down some hot harmonica tracks over the bed for “Let’s get funky!” This shit is HOTTT!! Anyway, give Pete’s work on “Let’s get Funky!” a listen!

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It's Time To Decide – Sweet Sounds Coming out of the Marshall Stack!

Yesterday, I recorded electric guitar parts for “It’s time to decide!”, which is a track off of our forthcoming release, Faraway Farm. The parts are sweet and smooth, straying towards the acoustic edge of the Marshall stack than the other parts I have been recording recently. Listen to “It’s time to decide!

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One of Those Days…

Sometimes I wonder why I am doing this.  I wonder why I spend, perhaps, thousands of hours a year writing, practicing, recording, and performing music that there is a distinct chance will not make a noticeable impression on anybody.  And then I talk to Bavery, and it all becomes clear.  I do it, because I love to do it.  In fact, I love it so much that I spend my free time and much of my disposable income doing it.  Recording gives me a bigger sense of satisfaction than anything else on the planet.

But I still have those days.  And on those days, it is nice to get an mp3 from Bavery in my email in-box.  And on those days, it is nice to get one of my mixes back from Noah.  Noah is awesome.

This week, I was feeling down, and then I got an mp3 from Baves and also two mixes from Noah – yahoooooOOoo!!!  I won’t post the Bavery mp3 (even though it is completely awesome) on account of it being none of my business posting someone else’s mp3 without his permission.  BUT I will post the new mixes from Noah!  Check out Run. Run! Run!!! RUNNN!!!! RUNNNNN!!!!! and Let’s get funky!

Let me know if you have any ideas for improvement!

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I Feel Famous.

I get a good feeling when someone takes my work and repurposes it. A gentleman in England used Rock Star as the music bed in this video:

He is trying to raise $2,400 online to help him make his final tuition payment for his master’s degree. If you’ve got a dime, send it his way! 🙂

In order to encourage more videos like this, I have been considering releasing up my entire catalog of music under a Creative Commons license. I want students, bloggers, and fans to be able to legally post my music to their videos and blogs without fear of legal retribution. IMHO, the days of pay-for-music are coming to a close for us little guys, not that they ever really arrived for most of us.

In other news, I created a podcast feed, which will should be available for free download via the iTunes store – just search for “Cryns”.

I scheduled a last-minute show for tomorrow night at the Acadia Cafe in Minneapolis. I don’t know who else is playing, but it looks like I will be doing a solo thing, likely playing a large portion of “…if Howard Roark could dance“.

Finally, I spent four days in Yosemite National Park last week, where the views were mind-blowing, serene, beautiful, enchanting, scary, and dreamy.


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My Rift Magazine 36-Hour Songwriting Contest Submission – "…in San Francisco"

Rich Horton, the motivated young gent who owns the Twin Cities’ best local music magazine (Rift Magazine), was kind enough to invite me to participate in the online version of Rift Magazine’s 36-Hour Songwriting Competition.  The rules of the competition are simple:

  • Write one song within the given timeframe (36-hours).
  • Record and submit an mp3 version of the song.
  • The song must involve the topic, “The Meaning of Life”. 

Simple enough.

I started thinking about the topic, “The Meaning of Life”, and came to the conclusion that, for me, the meaning of life involves people.  When I sat down to write the song yesterday, I couldn’t stop thinking about how awesome my girlfriend is and about how she and I will be going to San Francisco in a couple of weeks.  Well, before I knew it, I had my song, titled “…in San Francisco“.  It is about what I hope our forthcoming trip brings.  🙂  I hope you enjoy it!

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Going Nuts with My Marshall Stack

Toby in front of the Marshall JCM 900 Stack

In an effort to beef up the new album (and have some fun), I decided to dust off my old Marshall JCM 900 half-stack and rip out some guitar licks for the new album.  Here are my initial results:

“Run. Run! Run!!! RUN!!! RUNNNN!!!!” – Scratch Mix April 8, 2009

“Let’s Get Funky!” – Scratch Mix April 8, 2009

“Duluth” – Scratch Mix April 8, 2009

Oh! And if you listened, you noticed I went off the handle on the vocal parts to “Let’s Get Funky!”

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Jean Jean Made a Machine

My brothers and sisters and I used to say this rhyme:

Jean Jean made a machine.
Jo Jo made it go.
Art Art blew a fart and blew the whole damn thing apart!

For fun, I threw a beat and a guitar part behind the tag line, added some great fart sounds I pulled off the Internet, and…well…the rest is history. Listen to/download the mp3 here: Jean Jean Made a Machine (March 10, 2009)

If the response is positive enough, I might consider doing this thing live….

Also, for those who value transparency, I don’t believe my family was the originator of the rhyme. I discovered this VERY similar rhyme at “Fart Rhymes, Riddles, and Wordplay“:

Gene, Gene, Made a Machine

Gene, Gene made a machine.
Joe, Joe made it go.
Art, Art let a fart
And blew the whole machine apart.

Alternate last lines include:

– And blew the whole damn thing apart.
– And blew it all apart.

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Listening to Records

I just got back from listening to records over at Colin’s house. We spun the new International Espionage 7″ record, which, by the way, is fabulous, before rolling through some of the new Cryns #3 tracks. I forgot how nice it is to just sit around with a friend and listen to records. I used to do that back in the day with my old pal, Jesse. In fact, I remember one day, we bought Primus’ “Brown Album” and Beck’s “Odelay” on the same day and listened to them both straight through twice.


For your listening pleasure, I posted all of the new album’s tracks on the “Faraway Farm” page of this website, and I am still looking for feedback from you. Uncle Professor provided me some great feedback on MySpace, so feel free to use that method of communication as well. 🙂 I will continue to update the “Faraway Farm” page as new mixes come through and will start displaying “added on” dates next to each mix.

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Help Me Mix My New Record! Feedback Needed!

I just realized that I forgot to attach the “2 Sisters” mp3 from yesterday’s post. That’s okay, though, because I am attaching it to this post…AND MORE!!!

I need your help. We are in the process of deciding on a final mix for our new record and would love to hear your feedback on the work we have done to date. Please download/stream/play the mp3s below and listen to them in your stereo of choice. THEN, let me know how the mix is. For example, tell me if the drums are buried, if the bass is too loud, if my vocals are not loud enough, etc. Send feedback either via email, phone, or via the comments on this post.


Download all mp3s in a zipped folder (Available for 7 days or 100 downloads)


Let’s Get Funky!
2 Sisters
The preacher doesn’t understand.
Tonight was a wonderful night!
Run. Run! Run!! RUN!! RUNNNN!!!!
I’m quitting my job!!!
All That I Want

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Mixdown of "2 Sisters" – Feedback?

(Above: 2 Sisters/SoulSistas at our show last Saturday)

Hi! We are rolling! Rolling, I tell ya!

Here is a link to our most recent mixdown of “2 Sisters” from our forthcoming record. We are looking for mixing feedback at present – things like “the vocals are too quiet”, “I can’t hear the kick drum”, etc. Please download or stream from the web. When you send feedback, give us a brief description of what type of stereo you are listening to (i.e. car stereo, all-in-one, custom, etc.). Either post feedback to the “comments” on this post or email them to me at [toby (at) cryns (dot) com].


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Help a Brotha' Out: Write a Review on Amazon

if Howard Roark could dance

I hate it when this happens: I was casually surfing the net, reading up on NASA’s most recent adventures, checking out my blog stats, and such, when I accidentally stumbled upon the Amazon mp3 listing for “…if Howard Roark could dance”. There is currently one lonely review listed, and it written by some cocky asshole who doesn’t like the album, yet for some reason wants to tell everyone about it. I’m not sure why someone would do that… I mean, if I don’t like an album, I just stop listening to it.

Anyway, I feel like the world would be set right again if you would take a few minutes, log into your Amazon.com account, and give the record a 5-star review. It’s actually quite easy – just scroll to the reviews at the bottom of this page and write a nice thing or two about the record. Or if you don’t want to write about the record, write about your last vacation or about your first date with your husband/wife or about that cute thing your cat does.

I need you. The world needs you. The whole damn universe needs you! (but mostly I need you). I suppose I can give you a PRIZE as well! So, have you got a few minutes? Can you help a brotha’ out?

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I'm Quittin' My Job! – Thoughts?

It seems that one song off our new record is emerging as the early fan favorite – “I’m Quittin’ My Job!”. I wrote this song two years ago before I quit my former employ. It is wrought full of swear words but also speaks that uplifting, self-liberating phrase that we all have wanted to yell at some point – “I quit!!!”

We are in the process of re-mixing the song right now, and I would love to get your thoughts. Please listen to or download using the link below and give me your thoughts on the mix. OR, if you just want to download the song and put it on repeat in your iPod, that is cool, too!

I’m Quittin’ My Job!

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What do you think of "Colleen"?

We have been diligently working on the new record with Noah (my brother and superb music producer) and I think we are at a point where I can start sharing some stuff.  This recording is still a rough mix and hasn’t been mastered yet, but it’s pretty cool, nonetheless.  What do you think?

Colleen Album Mix 2-8-09

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