sleeping rays of jupiter

Sleeping Rays of JupiterRehearsals continue, different venue this time.

I’ve got simultaneous Sleep-ins action going on right now, working with Stefan and Josh to record the new record, and rehearsing with Mike Johnson and James Butler to prep for some shows coming up this Summer. We’ll be playing songs by the Sleep-ins, the raydons, Jupiterboy, Jimmy the Wigwam, kingsizemidget, and lonesomerobot.

I took some time away from playing and it some ways it shows, but in other ways it’s just like picking up from where I left off. Playing live shows is the best practice, though.

A busy Spring with much ado in the works!

2016 04 20_0933First and most important – I’ve added a show at the Albany Market on May 21st.    The market takes place downtown right near City Hall and has been one of my favorites over the years.

Because we are going to be mobile for awhile, this will likely be my last show at the markets for awhile and – if practice so far is any indication – it is going to be amazing!   I’ve pulled out all of the original backing tracks and will be doing Orbit: A Love Story in its entirety as well as a smattering of songs form all previous records.   Purists may have a problem with playing with tracks and I get it, but after a few times through the setlist, I can’t imagine why I have not done this sooner…  It sounds amazing and I’m genuinely very excited to play the songs as I’ve originally imagined them and, heaven help me, even perform them!

In that spirit, I’m also going to try to set up one nightclub show sometime over the summer and invite everyone to come in costume for a video shoot.   This will be a full video projection multimedia concert as well and should be a fun evening!   More to come.

Also in that vain, I will be hitting the road this summer with Laura and we will be slowly working our way across the US.   Since we’re going to be putting on the miles anyway,  I’ve decided to set up some shows along the route to make it interesting and, who knows, maybe even pay for some of the gas…   Also, more to come.

 

 

 

 

Hard Like Water

It was one of my undergraduate prof’s that taught me the phrase “Hard Like Water.”      Water takes the shape of the container it is in – it grows to meet the environment filling all that is empty – but it never stops being water.    His point was that some people are this way too.    It has become one of the foundational modus operandi of my life.    From driving a forlkift in Myrtle Beach, to running a toy store in Texas, from booking gigs for Garth Brooks in Tennessee to analyzing images at the NASA/Jet Propulsion Lab – I have always tried to fill my container while trying to not compromise my core values.   To do good work for the sake of doing good work, no matter the job.

Yesterday was my final day as the Public Info Rep. for History, Philosophy, and Religion at Oregon State.    It was a container that was wonderful to fill.    I had the opportunity to be creative and – in some small way – make a difference by supporting – through my work – the causes and principles I believe in.    It was a rare instance of life synchronicity and I think both SHPR and I are the better for it.       The people were mostly wonderful and – despite myself – I ended up actually becoming friends with many.   (something generally very hard for me because of all the moving…)    If that wasn’t enough, in a miracle beyond hope, I was actually able to get my class “the History of Outer Space” approved on ecampus.     I could not be more thankful.

Today begins the next step – or at least the beginning of the prep for the step.    I honestly don’t have a vision for where this step will take us… yet.      One of the other core truths I have learned is that ‘if you jump off the cliff, you’ll do everything in your power to find a way to land…’     However, 8-5 life is not conducive to progress.   By the time your day is done, you have time for about one thing each night before you collapse exhausted so you can get up early and do it all again.    (it’s a bit funny that I was known for my energy at OSU since a vast portion of the time I was often tired near the point of delirium…)     Perhaps it’s easier for me than most since we’ve reinvented our lives so many times before.    Fear of the unknown future should never be the reason you don’t take the first step…     So, for better or worse, I’ve jumped!

There is a lot to do if we are going to do if we are going to make it to the Te Araroa Trail

 

 

You Guys, The Sleep-ins Are Doing Some Stuff

sleep-ins06Notoriously lazy bastards The Sleep-ins must have put down their bongs, because we hear they’re playing some shows this Summer AND recording a new record (frealz!)!! It’s like Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day* all rolled into one.

They do have some explaining to do, because it’s known that they are still spread amongst three continents. They don’t even talk to one another, they just exchange cryptic messages on MySpace, using Tom as an intermediary. Because who would think to look there?

Anyway this is certainly good news for John McCain (but even better news for Bernie Sanders, whom The Sleep-ins have informed us they wholeheartedly endorse. Even though two of them can’t vote in America. It doesn’t matter, because everyone knows that celebrity endorsements are what win elections). The band starting the recording now means it could be done before the decade is out. It really is the best we can hope for. BUT, live shows are booked in the U. S. of A. (frealz!), so you will get to see them this Summer.

*Never, ever, mention St. Patrick’s Day to the Sleep-ins

Top 10 Songs from Musical Bingo

Well, I think we’re going to have to stop at 39 songs for the year – especially now that we’re a month into the next one!   (January has been rough…)     All in all this was an amazing project that forced me to be creative and spontaneous while giving me a chance to get to know the Korg Kronos2 a bit better.     A few of these songs are album ready, but most need at least some work, and I’m going to start on that – as soon as I have a bit more time on my hands.  (that would be in 5 weeks from today…)

This year was like a musical ‘brainstorming’ (notestorming?) session and there were several pretty good ideas that came out of it.   I’ve compiled my top 10 below the jump.      If you have been following along and have a different favorite, let me know in the comments!

#1: Bingo #35 – flow

A wonderfully complex sound on the Kronos coupled with a light jazzy and delicate piano, a small square wave lead, and some groove loops gently blended together for my favorite texture of the year.    Recorded in just 2 days, it’s something that I originally thought would be right at home in an exotic coffee shop, but the more I listen to it, the more it’s a real soundstory that takes you on a pretty great journey.  If you put on nice headphones (not cheap running buds…) and open your mind, you will not be disappointed.

 

#2: Bingo #37: Up2GetDown

Perhaps the funkiest thing on this record…  Definitely the best keyboard solo and more hooks than a fishing show hosted by Howard Jones.   I have no idea where this came from, but it’ll put a smile on your face.

I’d suggest turning it up…

#3: Bingo #32: Theme Song 19

An over the top cymbal crashing bonanza. Admittedly, it’s 3 chord rock with a french horn and a fife(would that be classical rock…?), but who cares – I dare you not to tap your foot!

#4: Bingo #31: Autumn Texture

Not Country, but Western Rock (or at least as close as one can get with a keyboard…!) You could throw an anthem chorus on this easily. (I said you, not me…) I’d like to clean up the guitar on this a bit and give it a harmonica solo and a china cymbal… maybe a cowbell…

#5: Bingo #28: Shotpouch

The Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word were kind enough to let Laura and I stay the night out at the Shotpouch cabin – a creative retreat in the coast range and a secret treasure of OSU. Artists often leave their art, making the cabin a richer place. This was my contribution to that legacy with a special guest appearance by Kathleen Dean Moore, who helped make both the cabin and project a reality.

#6: Bingo #34: The Long Winter

An rocking instrumental revamp of ‘The Long Winter’ by the Affordable Floors. Still hoping to complete this – needs three guitar tracks and about 6 vocal ones…

#7: Bingo #39: Steam, String, and Sphere

This one started as an actual bingo – e.g. I pulled random notes from the vase and recorded the basic Kronos track…but just couldn’t stop. Great texture and beautiful violin work that paralleled the complex texture of bells and bowls. I want to fix about three notes in this…

#8: Bingo #22: Go West

David Lynch plays guitar…. in Rohan. Good god this is too long, but only because it’s missing the piano track! This needs the most work, but it’s a nice solid foundation on which to build. and that guitar sound…!

#9: Bingo #26: Fractal Fugue

Recorded live in Albany, Oregon at like 10 in the morning, this abrasive and noisy groove somehow remains remarkably chill. Not perfect, but really a moment. Since it was recorded live, I only have the audio and not the tracks so if I want to do anything else with it or try to fix it, I’ll have to redo this one from the ground up… but I think it might be worth it!

#10: Bingo #23: Bearded Vulcan

Recorded entirely in one take using random notes pulled from a vase, this was a very fun and entirely different bingo that had me in tears laughing by the time the song was over. I’d love to really rock this out like Trans-Siberian Orch. and may go back to it one day, but it’s already pretty hysterical.

Honorable Mention: Bingo #6: Love

The only one of the original piano bingos that I still regularly play. I still just love the sweet simplicity – the long breaths… I’m actually working this up like an old school Chicago song in my head and hope to one day have the chance to produce it out… It also may be the last time I record with the Viscount Baby Grand – a very close friend.

A big thanks to those that have listened, liked, shared, commented, watched a video, or otherwise participated in this project. This project was a lot of work – literally hundreds of hours, but it was a lot of fun and a massive learning experience! I’m going to get back to it soon, but taking a few weeks off to work on other parts of life for a bit!

You probably weren’t wondering what I’m up to, but anyway

jupiterboyWhen it comes to music, I’ve had some fun and then I’ve had some fun. It’s a little hard to believe that the unbelievably loud rock band Jupiterboy — the first band that I ever did anything that could be called “touring” — is a twenty-year-old entity. Or yea, more even. The band played its first gigs in 1995, but we didn’t produce any recorded material until 1996. So that recording, which was called Live for a Day, will get a twentieth anniversary release. [I still have to master it. I should have mastered it by now.]

The cool thing is, there’s bonus material! In 2001, we had a reboot of sorts when I was living in a middle-of-nowhere town, Wheatland, Ind., with my friend and longtime collaborator Mike Johnson. I’d kept in touch with Jupiterboy drummer Greg Mensching and lead guitarist James Butler and we decided to have a go at it with Mike on bass. We had some great jams but it ultimately fell apart, mostly due to indecision on whether to focus on the existing material or move forward with new material. I mean, the new material is good:

But hey like I said, I’ve had some fun. I lived in the middle of nowhere and made a racket in another old house in Indiana that doesn’t exist anymore (same thing happened where we recorded Homecoming Pageant & Parade in Bloomington. Weird, right?). Anyway, there’s about 35-40 minutes of some really good sloppy rock practically no one has ever heard that will finally reverberate in literally dozens of homes later this year.

New Guitar Mary-Lou goes to Europe with The Gentle Enemies

MEET MARY-LOU … mary-lou-guitar-picture In the nick of time, Mary-Lou was created by Claude for The Gentle Enemies’ debut European tour. Her main special feature is the P90 pick up. More pics and detail on the ‘making of’ coming soon. In the meantime if you are in the area you can check out Mary-Lou in action at these shows in Europe: Saturday July 18 (SOLO) Blues Peer Festival Peer, BELGIUM Onstage 12pm with special guest appearance of bass player from the Gentle Enemies (Ryan Van Gennip) (Mary-Lou won’t be making it for this show – her sister Lucy will be the main attraction here) Thursday 23rd July (new added show!) (SOLO and BAND) Tam Tam Muziek Cafe Deurne, NETHERLANDS (Mary-Lou’s first show in Europe!) Friday 24th July (BAND) Zwarte Cross Festival Lictenvoorde, NETHERLANDS 19:30, The Bayou Stage Saturday 25th July (SOLO and BAND) Pee Rock Festival Colijsnplaat NETHERLANDS Saturday 1 August (SOLO and BAND) Music Star Nordestedt, (Hamburg) GERMANY

‘Crossfire’ Single Launch Tour – Australia and Netherlands

ClaudeaHayCrossfire_HiRes

This May Sydney-based solo artist Claude Hay will tour the east coast to announce the arrival of new single “Crossfire” and then immediately fly out to The Netherlands for another week to do the same in Europe, where he’s playing at two major festivals.

From it’s ‘wipeout’ inspired scream ‘Crossfire’ stumbles and grinds along like a Tom Waits-meets-Morricone ghost town drunk and features instrumentation not often heard in Claude’s music, including a spooky honky tonk piano. Not in a hurry to drastically change his signature one man band touring rig, and staying true to his DIY technology ethos, Claude manages to play the piano live on his new guitar ‘Lucy‘.

Like all Claude’s instruments, Lucy is hand built, this time from a piece of plywood, an old BBQ grill plate and is wired with a midi controller. More more info on Lucy click HERE.

Crossfire was produced and recorded by Claude at the brand new Rhythm Section Studios in the Blue Mountains with guest appearances from Jon Howell and Ryan Van Gennip, Claude’s bandmates in offshoot project “The Gentle Enemies”.

Crossfire is available from all good online retailers from April 20, please keep reading for full list of tour dates below.

Australian Tour Dates

Friday 1st May, 2015
Grind N Groove, Healesville, VIC
9:30pm, $5

Saturday 2nd May, 2015
The Rainbow Hotel, Fitzroy, VIC
8:00pm, Free entry

Thursday 7th May, 2015
The Hoey Moey, Coffs Harbour, NSW
6:30pm, Free

Saturday 9th May, 2015
Sonny’s House of Blues, Brisbane, QLD
8:00pm, Free

Friday 15th May, 2015
Lazybones Lounge, Marrickville, NSW
9:00pm, $15

Saturday 16th May, 2015
Club Jervis, Jervis Bay, NSW
8:00pm, Free Entry

Sunday 17th May, 2015
Sydney Blues and Roots Festival, The Fitzroy Hotel, Windsor,NSW
5:00pm, Free

Netherlands Tour Dates

Friday 22nd May, 2015
‘t Magisch Theatertje, MAASTRICHT, NL
9:00pm, 10€

Saturday 23rd May, 2015
Jazz In Duketown Festival, Plein 79, DEN BOSCH, NL
Free

Sunday 24th May, 2015
Ribs and Blues Festival, RAALTE, NL
7:00pm, Free

Monday 25th May, 2015
Muziek Café Tam Tam, DEURNE, NL
4:30pm, Free

Wednesday 27th May, 2015
Live in de Knop / ‘t Rozenknopje, EINDHOVEN, NL
9:00pm, Free

Friday 29th May, 2015
Debosuil, WEERT, NL
8:00pm, 15€/18€

Saturday 30th May, 2015
Blues in Grolloo Festival, GROLLOO, NL
6:15pm, 22,50€

Future European tour dates for The Gentle Enemies

Friday 24th July, 2015
Zwarte Cross Festival, Lievelde, NL

http://www.zwartecross.nl

Saturday 1st August, 2015
Music Star, Norderstedt, Germany

More TBA

MEDIA CONTACT

Ryan Van Gennip
+61 (0) 425 274 608
ryan@rhythmsection.com.au

“Lucy” the guitar that’s not just a guitar

Lucy

Lucy made a sneaky peak appearance a couple of years back – but needed a few more adjustmentsand she is unveiled in all her glory this month. She’s made out of left over building materials from Claude’s own Blue Mountain home and the resonator cover is an old BBQ lid. At first she was to have a resonator cone within, but after some experimentation she couldn’t make the cut above the rock and roll noise so now she has a mod con synth pick up installed in her. It allows Claude to make sounds and patches from bass to acousitc guitar, resonator guitar, banjo and even piano, all at a flick of the switch. It also allows for guitar tuning to be changed from standard to open in record time. Perfect for a One Man looping Band who needs to change things up quickly to keep the show rockin.

Lucy is featured in Claude’s next single “Crossfire” due for release Apr 20 along with an east coast tour and Netherlands tour. You can check out the track HERE