Category Archives: News

Crackhorn Performing At Farmhilly!

My band, Crackhorn!!!, will be performing select tunes from my forthcoming musical experience in August at the annual Farmhilly extravaganza.

Preparing for performances have a tendency to sharpen the wits about music, as it forces us to practice and consider the audience.

We’ve been stuck on a certain aspect of writing the new record for a while now (can’t figure out how to write the villain into the thing…).  So maybe this little performance break will help.

I haven’t performed outside of my living room for a couple of years (not counting the drunken camping delight with DC and Firooz a couple of weeks ago), so it’ll be fun to be on stage again.

If you’d like to come to Farmhilly, let me know, and I’ll send you and invite.




My Goals With This Website is a mess right now.  It lacks focus.  Sure there is all sorts of great content on the site, but so what?  I need to focus.

So, I am going to restart this engine.  It will start focused and stay focused.  My focus will be doing what I do best – telling stories through music.  Songwriting drives this machine.

All of the old website content that you have come to love will be accessible on this site via search, but the main navigation will be disappearing.  In its place will be a recent account of the next Cryns #3 adventure.

I have found that truly personal successes in life are few and far between.  Herds rule this Earth of ours.  They are the driving force for almost everything around us.  Herds are responsible for great structures and horrible wars.  Herds create things, but rarely can individuals rightly take credit for the things herds create.

Writing and recording music is my escape from the herd.  My escape from this horrifyingly simple and unstoppable momentum.  It is an opportunity to be responsible for something.  It is my creation.

We are starting an adventure right here and now.

Are you with me?

We are on Spotify!

To answer your question…  Yes, we are on Spotify!  Both Cryns #3 records are rocking, Faraway Farm is currently blaring in my stereo.  Rock on, Lucy!

Now only if The Fullerenes would get on board…

Awesomeness Possibly Coming to a House Near You!

I have a show in the works that, if it happens, will be totally awesome.  It will take place in the Friendly Confines of my house and will feature a totally rocking jazz guitarist.  Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 12.  It will be invite-only due to space restrictions, so be sure to hit me up if you are interested in attending.

I will be opening up the show with some piano stylings in the vein of Cryns #3.

Miladic Video Directed by Fifi 3PO

I just watched the new Miladic video.  Wow!

It was directed by the master of fancy names, Fifi 3PO, who also directed Run. Run! Run!!! RUN!!! RUNNNN!!!!

Pre-Order the New Cryns #3 Album!

We are now offering pre-orders for the new Cryns #3 album!  By pre-ordering, you will be the FIRST to get a digital download of the new record, PLUS you will receive via email a personalized, hand-drawn-by-Toby piece of art!  That’s quite a deal!  And as if that isn’t enough, Toby will also gladly hand-deliver a drink to you free-of-charge at his next house party.  But wait, there’s more!  By purchasing this album, you will be showing your support for a growing movement of artists who are making a go of it in the face of the established power brokers (record labels, A&R reps, monied interests, etc.).  By buying this album you are supporting the Little Guy.  The David.  The guy who has been fighting for truth and justice.

Click the “Buy Now” button below to purchase the MP3 version of the new Cryns #3 album:

Tagged , , ,

Buy a CD!

...if Howard Roark could dance

I realized today that our music was not available for sale on this website. WTF?! How did that happen?

So, I created a page in the main menu to allow for that! Enjoy!

If you have been waiting for years for this advanced functionality to come to the Internets, then simply click the button below. Of course, you always have the option of downloading our music from any of the online music retailers (iTunes, Napster, Rhapsody, etc.).

Click the “Buy Now” button below to purchase our CD, “…if Howard Roark could dance”:

Tagged ,

Sweat. Rock. Terminal Bar.

Sweaty Toby

That photo above is of me immediately after John and I laid down a mean 12-song jam in my apartment last night.  It is HOT up in HRRRR!!!

Tonight, my band will be taking it to the streets!  One night only!  The Terminal Bar.  Us, our instruments, and a gaggle of America’s finest citizens.
We go on at 9:30ish.  I actually don’t know the exact time.  They told me that we go on second.

See you there?

Tagged ,

Dinkytowner with Charlie Van Stee, Shivering Fits, and Lisa McGuire

I read today that Wednesday night’s Charlie Van Stee Trio show might be one of their last as a band, which saddens me.  Those guys have been staples of the local scene for some time.  Though, I guess if they are exiting the local stage soon, I am glad that I get to do one last hurrah with them.  We have probably played more shows with the CVS Trio than any other band in the Cities, and Charlie is one of the finest songwriters around.  It has been and will continue to be a pleasure sharing the stage with him in whatever form his music takes in the future.

Oh! We go on at 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday; plenty of time to partake in those $5 pitchers – yeeeeehawwww!!!!
Double Oh!  Shivering Fits are a kick-ass guitar/drums duo, which I LOVE!  Remember the days of Arthur Dent?  Those were the days.  Actually, I still have some copies of the Arthur Dent EP if anyone is interested.

Tagged , , ,

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.


Tagged , , ,

Cryns #3 Update – Show Tonight at Trocadero's! 7:50 p.m.

Hello !

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tonight (4/21) at Trocadero’s in Downtown Minneapolis

Looking for something to do tonight?  John, Ryan, and I will be rocking out at Trocadero’s tonight as part of the Minneapolis Battle of the Bands. It’s $10 to get in, but parking is free. 🙂 We take the stage at 7:50 p.m.  Free parking is available at 2nd Ave N & Azine Alley (one block away).  See you there?

Also, we will be playing on Tuesday, June 23rd at the Terminal Bar. Mark your calendars if you are into PBR Tall Boys.

New Album is Rawking!

Our new album, Faraway Farm, is sounding grrrreat!! I have been posting tracks online as I make progress on them. There are a bunch of tracks available for download here as well as alternate takes available via the blog.

36-Hour Songwriting Contest Submission

Over Easter weekend, I wrote and recorded “In San Francisco” for Rift Magazine’s 36-Hour Songwriting Contest. It is a song about the mystique of San Francisco, which I will be visiting in May. Yahoo!


Many of you helped celebrate my 30th Birthday Party on Saturday – THANK YOU!  It was wonderful!  LETRON and I did two sets apiece, plus my “secret kitchen show” with Colin.  Yeah!

Those of you who attended – Please thank my girlfriend, Lisa, for being the best girlfriend in the world and purchasing the beer, wine, and arranging much of the food!  THANK YOU, LISA!!!

Very truly yours,



LETRON Arriving Today!!


I pick LETRON up at the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport tonight, and I am pumped about her visit!  I’m thinking I will show her around town a bit tomorrow before her super secret performance at my birthday party tomorrow night.  If you don’t have the details about that yet, then call my cell phone or ask really really nicely via email or comment.  🙂

Tagged ,

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!

Tagged , , , ,

Vinyl Makes a Resurgence!

I met up with Perfect Porridge‘s Greg Swan yesterday to help him upgrade some website software, but the conversation quickly turned to other matters. One item that peaked my interest was a combination cd/vinyl product that Greg noticed a band using. Basically, it is a cd on one side and a record on the other. “Brilliant!” I thought! But, of course, I don’t own a record player. In fact, I don’t own a working cd player at the moment either. But the record holds a certain allure for me and countless other music fans. In fact, vinyl record sales rose over 15% between 2006-2007, and vinyl record sales rose a whopping 36% in 2007-2008! Meanwhile, cd sales dropped 11% during the same timeframe.

So, what does this mean for us? I don’t know, but it sure would be fun to make a vinyl record. The question is, would any of you buy it?

Tagged , , ,

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

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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].


Tagged , , , ,


Y’all were awesome on Saturday night, and together we raised $321 to support our apartment-heating project. That money will help us to get rolling and put us in good shape to continue our efforts next year.

Remember, if you rent an apartment in Minneapolis and don’t have control over your heat, your landlord is required to keep the temperature at 68 degrees or more. If your apartment is cold, report the violation to your landlord, then call 311.

Tagged , ,

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 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?

Tagged , , ,

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!

Tagged , , , ,

Anyone Interested in Writing, Directing, or Filming a Music Video?

As you might know, we are releasing a new record in April or so.  We need a music video!  I haven’t made a music video since I recorded “Spock’s World” with The Corrupt Sentaors back in 1996.  Needless to say, it’s been a while!  😉

If you have any desire to write, direct, or otherwise participate in a music video, please let me know either by commenting on this post or by sending an email to {toby at cryns dot com}.  My good friend, Firooz, is currently working on a script for “Run. Run! RUN! RUN!!! RUNNNNN!!!!!” that will be coming to a theater near you.

Ideally, I would take no part in the production of the video, instead relying on your vision, expertise, and energy to make it happen.  That said, I want to help out in whatever way I can.  So if that means that I am providing cameras, lights, green screens, rock-and-roll, food, or just a shoulder to lean on, I am totally down.

One perk of even inquiring about participating in this venture is that you will receive copies of all the album tracks RIGHT NOW – well before they are gussied up and all fancy for the album.

Tagged , ,