Category Archives: recordings

Music to Swear By Preview #8 – Mason Jennings' "Nothing"

Head on over to Music to Swear By to listen to this weeks’ podcast featuring Ryan, John, and me.  Over the course of the podcast we talk about our experiences playing in this band.  I learned a lot about Ryan and John – things they never told me about life, love, the universe.

Like yesterday, I will be unable to post this beautifully-haunting rendition of Mason Jennings’ “Nothing” on account of the stupid laws of this fair land we call, “home”.

Thankfully, YouTube has a deal with the big music publishing companies that allows me to post videos of Mason Jennings’ “Nothing”.  Here is one such recording from May 2008.  Email me if you want to hear the new recording.

Music to Swear By Preview #7 – "I Bombed Korea"

Unfortunately, arcane publishing rules that plague our creative community make publishing this recording a legal liability.  So, if you really want to hear me play Cake’s “I Bombed Korea”, you will have to email me.  Sorry about that.  Stupid Congress.  Stupid media conglomerates (Disney, I’m looking at you…).

BUUUUT, you can listen to me play the song on YouTube (recorded in January 2009).

Music to Swear By Preview #6 – "Let's get funky!"

This song, as you know, is about a song.  The title of both songs is, “Let’s get funky!”.

A few days ago, I stumbled across an old recording of the original song from 1997.  While it has lost the rich horns and Bob’s voice that accompanied the original recording, I am pleased to say that today’s recording has lost none of the luster that made the original a success.

This song and more will be featured in next Wednesday’s Music to Swear By podcast.

Music to Swear By Preview #5 – "Monster"

“Monster” is mostly written by my sister, Liana, who is the most beautiful, charismatic, and wonderful human being on the planet.  Listen to my band play it in Music to Swear By host, Tony’s, basement.

And tune in to the Music to Swear By podcast featuring Cryns #3 next Wednesday!

Music to Swear By Preview #4 – "Run. Run! Run!!! RUN!!! RUNNNNN!!!!!"

RunnNNnnNNN!!!  Here is a solo rendition of our hit music video’s soundtrack, as recorded for the Music to Swear By podcast.

Check out the podcast next Wednesday!  In fact, check out other Music to Swear By podcasts right now!  It truly is an entertaining listen!

Music to Swear By Preview #3 – "Tonight was a wonderful night!"

Check out this fabulous rendition of Cryns #3’s “Tonight was a wonderful night!”, performed by Cryns #3 on the Music to Swear By podcast!

The full podcast will air next Wednesday.

Music to Swear By Preview #2 – Duluth

In this recording from our session at the Music to Swear By podcast, the band plays, “Duluth”.  Enjoy!

The full podcast will air next Wednesday.

Music to Swear By Preview #1 – "Kirsten Dunst"

I recently travelled to Shoreview, MN to record an episode of the Music to Swear By podcast with with co-hosts, Tony, Paul, and Dave.  The guys were gentlemanly and smart despite their penchant for the F-word (or maybe because of it).

Over the next 8 days, I will be releasing a series of 8 recordings Tony made during the podcast both with the band and solo after the band left.

This first song is one of my favorites to play live.  It is called, “Kirsten Dunst”.

Our episode of the podcast will air on Wednesday next week with a preview scheduled to be posted this Friday.

"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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Noah Kicks Ass! First Masters are In!!!

The recording process takes place in 3 stages:

  1. Recording
  2. Re-mixing
  3. Mastering

Noah just sent me the first masters, and they sound awesome!

We are really in the home stretch now, because this means that we are done with the recording and re-recording of things.  In all actuality, the recording process is a bit more disjointed than I indicate above, with parts being added and re-recorded at my producer’s advice.

Noah is a pro on many fronts.  Recording engineer, musician, vocalist, and producer.  We utilized him in all of these capacities for the new record.  It is a real pleasure working with a pro.  I mean, everyone and his grandma can record stuff these days, but a pro brings something else to the equation.  It’s a work ethic.  It’s a mastery of his craft. It’s a trust. It’s an understanding that this album is his as much as it is mine.  He is an artist, and his signature is all over it in subtle ways.

So, many thanks to my big brother, Noah!  Hip, Hip…Hooray!!!

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Hey Little Sister!

I spent a few hours last night with Nathaniel recording bass, keys, and the shaker on our version of The Meat Purveyor’s “Hey Little Sister”.  Listen to it here!

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Live from My Living Room!

Today, for kicks, I decided to try streaming and recording a live concert from my living room. And hot damn! It worked!! Check it out:

I think I will try to do one of these regularly… Plus, with UStream, you can interact with me live if you happen to be online while I am recording. I’m going to mull this over a bit, and I’ll let you know how it develops.

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True Affection

There’s this song by The Blow called, “True Affection“, that I absolutely love. It is beautiful, catchy, and simple and means something different to everyone who listens to it. THAT is the sign of a good song. When it means something to you. The great songs mean different things to you over time.

For me, “True Affection” has changed from a song that describes an ex-girlfriend to a song that is a euphemism for life. We are always gasping for air, looking for that one big thing to solve all of our problems and make us happy. But we are always drowning, anchored by reality.

Yesterday, I set out to test UStream‘s capabilities, and I could think of no better song to record than the aforementioned one:

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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”:

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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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Rock Star

I spent a few hours yesterday pounding out some licks for “Rock Star” on my Electric Hamer guitar and Marshall JCM 900 stack. Overall I am satisfied with the parts, but they don’t hold water next to Kevin’s wailing guitar solo at the end of the song.

Listen to Rock Star!


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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2 Sisters with Some Edge, mp3

Yesterday, I spent 6 hours recording some scorching ambiance and lead lines for “2 Sisters“.   Every time I plug my Marshall stack in, I get lost in the beautiful noises that it makes.  It has surprising range and crunches when I push it.  My solid state Fender Princeton Chorus, on the other hand, produces a softer, more processed sound that has nowhere near the razor sharp edge of its big, green brother on the other side of the room.  It’s kind of funny, because about 12 years ago, I traded a Marshall JCM 800 stack for that little Princeton Chorus – What was I thinking?!!?

Fender has since discontinued the Princeton Chorus, whereas the JCM 800 has gone on to become a collector’s item.  Darn.

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Kirsten Dunst to Make an Appearance at Dinkytowner Tonight!

It’s been a while since I played “Kirsten Dunst” with a band.  The song, which was put on tape during my run with the Speakeasy Heroes in the summer of 2000, has remained a fan favorite (and a Toby favorite) despite the fact that I only play it when I play solo at unsuspecting coffee shops and bars.  Jim has been requesting it for years at shows, and, until last night, I had never dusted it off in the band setting.  So, tonight at the Dinkytowner, we will be opening with it.  YEAH!!!

By the way, band practice last night was fun, but it was sloppy as %#^$!  I hadn’t really played guitar since I left for San Francisco 3 weeks ago, and my hands felt like rubber, bouncing around at the whim of the laws of momentum.  My brain has not quite wrestled those hands to the ground yet, but when it does – watch out!

Here’s our set list for tonight (always tentative):

  1. Kirsten Dunst
  2. Inspiration
  3. Colleen
  4. Kids
  5. Tonight was a wonderful night!
  6. 2 Sisters/Monster (end on down beat after last chorus)
  7. Boulder
  8. You’re all that I want.
  9. Leaving L.A.
  10. Let’s Get Funky
  11. I Bombed Korea
  12. Quittin’ My Job

Lookin’ Past Me
Killer’s Creek

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