Posted on Sunday, November 3rd, 2013 // 0 Responses.
Reconcilation is a year old as of yesterday. The music is much older than that, but the packaged 1s and 0s of web content that are those 10 songs dates back to November 2, 2012. It took me a very long to record and release that album because those songs were and continue to be very important to me. For whatever reason, though, I didn’t do much of any promotion when I released the album. I posted on a couple message boards, and on the folk punk subreddit, but I didn’t do the usual “email a million blogs which ignore you anyway” thing.
I’ve been humbled by the pockets of people who seem to have stumbled onto the album and found something meaningful to them. If it’s not too self-(adjective) [LOL!], I had hoped that might happen, and I hope it continues to happen. Those ten songs chronicle a specific set of experiences and way of songwriting I haven’t really attempted since. I’m not in the business of trying to recapture lightning in a bottle, because lightning is dangerous and I’m an indoors kind of guy anyway, so I don’t necessarily see myself putting out anything else as (Person) (Noun) in the near future. If/when it happens, it will be because it’s made itself clear, it’s necessary. Like Batman in a Batman movie, I will gruffly remark and don my folk punk cape.
This song is a b-side from Reconciliation. I wrote it a few months after I wrote the main album, but then since I took so long to record and release it, I had considered putting it on. It is very much thematically linked. To the dude in Price Chopper who had that shirt on, I hope you continue to be much better at reconciling than I was at the time.
As always, thank you so much for listening.
So this is art and I am held responsible
My actions far removed but sometimes still reprehensible
This is exactly what I wanted I explained
Stagnant water must evaporate
Oh disaster what new mystery is this?
Take my sympathy, my energy, and my wallet
And pump me up and string me out but leave my feet still on the ground
Their soles are soft — a privilege unrenounced
Truly I tell you
We shall be redeemed
By the time our blood thins in these wretched bodies
Truly I tell you
Verily I preach
Forgiveness and redemption, vaccinated immunity
The man I saw in a supermarket chain with a “fuck capitalism” t-shirt on
And two full bags of groceries
Oh forgive! We know exactly what we’ve done
The thousands of humans with slogans and painted signs that deny
With not a single shred of empathy inside
Oh forgive! We know exactly what we’ve done
Near and far and present company
Tethered together not by respect and trust but by electricity
Oh redeem! And prove and teach the proper way to speak
The tributaries, oceans, gulfs and seas
Black with oil and with doubt and practiced inequality
Oh redeem! And prove and teach the proper way to clean
For we say repent
But it hasn’t happened yet
Posted on Monday, April 8th, 2013 // 0 Responses.
I almost called this post This… Is… SMALL TALK but I’ve never seen that movie, or really almost any movie.
I write to you from a cozy rowhome in the shadow of the art museum in Philadelphia to tell you that our new album is now available worldwide. This is admittedly less impressive than it would have been 100 years ago. 100 years ago it was impressive that cumin was available worldwide. Look, I’m not going to research that claim. I am going to tell you that I know for a fact that women couldn’t vote 100 years ago. I think you’ll agree that we live in a better world now that our new album is out.
So how can you get it? Well, you can stream it to your right. No, too far… back a little… yeah. Where it says 1. Small Talk. You can head over to OUR BANDCAMP to download it for absolutely FREE. It’s a better deal than even modern-day cumin.
As we have worked quite hard on it, I would implore you to consider giving us some of your (or your parents’) money. There are all sorts of cool things that can happen if you do that. Let’s look at them together. I’m gonna bold that whole section. It’s gonna look annoying:
Every $5 you spend entitles you to one more of the things.
$5 tier (pick one):
-Set of 13 of Adam’s original acoustic demos (featuring some songs not on the album) for Small Talk
-Set of 9 full band demos for Small Talk
-Set of 5 random acoustic demos from the next Sister City album
$10 tier (pick one of the $5 tier as well):
-Adam will handwrite the lyrics of a song of your choosing and also write you a letter in which he tries to make small talk.
$25 tier (includes all 3 of the $5 tier or the letter):
-Adam will record an acoustic cover of a song of your choosing. Be reasonable.
$50 tier (Includes everything from $5 tier + letter):
-Adam will write you a song about a subject of your choosing. He’s done it for people before and they were happy with it.
Again, you can do all of that at OUR BANDCAMP page.
If you share this post on any of your favorite social networks and email us at email@example.com, you get one thing from the $5 tier free. Okay, buh-bye.
Posted on Monday, April 1st, 2013 // 0 Responses.
Might I interest you in the details for our new album? No? How about a song from it first?
Oh, so now you’re interested?
Here’s the deal: our new album, Small Talk, is coming out on April 9th of this year. You can get it RIGHT NOW, though. Share this on Facebook, Twitter, or any of your favorite social networks, tell us you did, and we’ll send you the album as well as a set of 13 acoustic demos from the album! You’ll be the talk of the town, strutting around with the new Sister City album up to a week early!
1. Small Talk
2. Today was My Day to Die and You Ruined It
4. Every Stone
5. Psalm 26
7. Room 222
8. Extreme Fever
9. Who Knows
10. Normal Sized Words
11. Adm Gives Up the Dream
Posted on Friday, November 2nd, 2012 // 0 Responses.
How about a new album? Were are still working very hard on Small Talk, but in the meantime there is the matter of a little project called (Person) (Noun) that I mention every so often. Well, no more mentioning. It exists and you can listen to it here:
It’s free, of course. You may enjoy it if you like fast acoustic guitar or thinking about things that make you feel uncomfortable. There are liner notes included with the download. Click this thing to download it: http://sistercity.bandcamp.com/album/reconciliation
Posted on Sunday, September 9th, 2012 // 0 Responses.
Hot off the discovery that someone other than me googled my name today (to get to the Bandcamp, no less), I figured it was time for an update on the very real progress that is being made on the album called Small Talk.
Let’s get right to it:
I been singing for the past couple weeks. I been singing so much that there are really only harmonies left to record. Lord, I been singing so much that I’ve created entire gigabytes of data that simply didn’t exist two weeks ago. What have you done? I thought so. Here’s how I been singing.
1. Enter the kitties’ room.
2. Set up a Neumann TLM102 in front of a big piece of foam called a VoxGuard.
3. Plug it into a Focusrite ISA One preamp.
4. Plug that into a Focusrite Saffire 56
5. Plug that into a MacBook Pro running Pro Tools 9.
6. Entice the kitties to leave kitties’ room, then shut the door and start yelling until your voice is too tired to keep going, or you feel too guilty to keep singing.
Now this ain’t no professional studio. Sometimes a kid does a wheelie on a dirt bike by the window and that take is shot — or improved, depending on how you look at it. Dirt bike remix coming soon. The ceilings in this apartment are very high, like 100+ inches. This gives the vocals a nice natural reverb, according to one of the excuses I tell myself about the lack of soundproofing. We’ll fix it in post. (WINK FACE)
Now, one of my main focuses on this blog has always been to demystify the record making process. I tend to sing 3 or 4 full takes of a song, then combine them into a Franken-take once I’m back in the lab. This is called comping, short for “comparing-different-vocal-takes-until-you-assemble-one-that-tricks-people-into-thinking-that-you’re-a-COMPetent-singer.” I sang everything but one word of verse 2 great? Okay, grab the word “disgust” from another take. Call it a day.
Ah, if only we could call it a day. Next is editing. Just like with drums, sometimes you gotta snip and drag. It comes down to an aesthetic decision. If I sang something a little out of time, maybe it sounds good. Maybe it should be soullessly aligned to a grid. A little bit of each, usually.
I’m gonna go do laundry right now, but over the next couple weeks I’m going to keep singing, comping, dragging, and drinking huge amounts of throat coat tea. The wheels are moving again.
Posted on Tuesday, August 7th, 2012 // 0 Responses.
Now usually I wouldn’t do this, but uh
Lemme go ahead and break you off a little preview of the reason our album isn’t out yet
Now I’m not tryna upset you
But I’ve got to break the news
See, while I do the thing I do
I ended up unable to
With all this recording and singing
I done lost my voice and the feeling
All up in my throat keeps itchin
Tellin you like it’s ignition
So baby gimme that pity
Making me feel witty
Out through my mouth in my nose
Breathing tryna sing notes
While you forget we exist
It’s the reason we’ve been quiet
My throat has all but been silent
Since maybe March of this year
I’ve been living deep in the fear
That since it hasn’t improved
I might never sing to you
But I’m in therapy to fix it
So I dunno, maybe the album will be out by the end of this year or something?
Bounce bounce bounce bounce bounce
Bounce bounce bounce
Let’s recap: I lost my voice in March after recording, and it never really came back. I’m doing voice therapy and exercises to get it back, but that’s going to take a while. I told you in the style of Ignition (Remix) because that’s a great song and I just finished reading Soulacoasta: A Diary of Me. Anyway, continue living your lives, I’ll let you know when something’s up.
Posted on Friday, June 8th, 2012 // 0 Responses.
I’m going to treat this like a high school teacher. There’s a new (old) song, but it’s at the end of the post. You’ll have to wait until the end of class to get your exams back.
One year, huh? I don’t need to go into detail about the process of making Carbon Footprint. It’s painstakingly documented a few pages back on this here blog. I will say that it was unquestionably the hardest I’d ever worked on anything at that point in my life. I’ll also say that since the album came out, I’ve learned a lot of things: about engineering, about promotion, and about people. Let’s get a little bit sappy.
I’m not fooling myself that there are thousands–or even hundreds–of adoring fans reading this right now (unless you’re reading from the future and we’ve gotten famous making crunkstep or some silly thing, in which case I admire your dedication. Sorry about the real instruments). I do know that if you’re reading this, we have a connection. Carbon Footprint, thanks to the power of the internet, enabled me to connect with individual people across the country. You know who you are.
Over the course of recording our new record, I’ve been having trouble with my voice. As it turns out, the cause seems to be fairly innocuous (silent reflux? That sounds ridiculous), but it made me think. Before I knew what was going on, I constructed all sorts of worst-case scenarios where I’d never sing again. Obviously that’s not going to happen, but you know how these things are. It’s made me appreciate what I have. If I were DJ Khaled I’d talk about how it only makes me grind harder. This is what I want to do with my life, and anyone who has ever supported us in even the smallest way enables that.
So this is a present for you. We recorded this song way back in summer 2010, with the rest of Carbon Footprint. Originally “Poland, 1845” was going to be the b-side, and this song, “And Time Is Slipping Through Your Little Fingers” was going to be on the album. Good decision? You decide. Shout out to Mike for naming this song back in the day. I hope you’re good. Enjoy:
MP3 download: http://www.mediafire.com/?k58pmm39c6ij8bf
FLAC download: http://www.mediafire.com/?zmphe71q36xchz2
Posted on Wednesday, May 16th, 2012 // 0 Responses.
Date Recorded: Spring 2005
Another 10 weeks of The Process, another “man, it’s not the same anymore. Now he’s posting rap covers from 2005. I like everything but rap and country, so this is really upsetting.” Okay, first of all, hold your horses. The Process #25 is going to be a landmark episode. Hold out until then. Second of all, in order to get to the past, we’ve got to confront the distant past. It’s history lesson time.
Posted on Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 // 0 Responses.
Name: Ain’t Foolin’ Nobody With The Lights Out
Date Written: 5/28/10
Date Recorded: 6/5/10
Written for: Small Talk
Can you believe that The Process is old enough to die for its country but not old enough to drink?! Buck fush. This week we’re going to talk about spare parts and letting go. There comes a point in the life of a song where it’s clear what’s going to happen with it. Maybe it soared through school, got accepted to an Ivy, and is going to be the lead single/fan favorite. Maybe it worked really hard in high school, but then lost interest in college. Now it’s working an IT job. Some songs are just townies.
Posted on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012 // 0 Responses.
Name: In the Shadows of the Worcester Skyline
Date Written: 9/27/09
Date Recorded: 1/10/10
Written for: Reconciliation
By this point it seems like we’ve talked about every kind of song but the “hit.” I’m not delusional enough to think that I’ve got hits, but I do have songs that are more popular than others. In the non-radio world, let’s define a hit as “one of the songs that dumb people in the audience yell for, even though the band is clearly going to play that song already.” John K. Samson addressed this beautifully when I saw him a couple months ago. He opened his set with “Plea From a Cat Named Virtute” and then went right into “One Great City!” Then he played what he wanted to play.