A story told in musical stream of consciousness…

Acoustic

Relics is here!


I posted yesterday about Relics being released very soon. Turns out very soon was a day later! Here is the EP in digital form, available as a pre-release free download. http://patrickjosephmusic.com/freestuff.cfm

Patrick and I have been playing these versions of his songs live since about January of this year. We spend a lot of time recording these songs, and Patrick has spent even more time mixing them and making them sound great for the release! I’m very excited to be sharing this music with everyone, and I hope you enjoy it!


New music!


I’ve been working on new music for quite a while now. It is all in its final stages, and will be released soon!

Here is the first taste of the EP Relics coming out soon…the acoustic version of Patrick’s song “Don’t Believe It.”

And in case you haven’t already, check out the original version of “Don’t Believe It” from the album Antiques.


New video…Arsonist Blues!


If you follow this site regularly, you know that I frequently work with my good friend Patrick Joseph on both music and videos to accompany that music. Patrick is an immensely talented singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist, and is a great collaborator. We have been working together for a little over a year now, and it has been an incredibly rewarding creative outlet for me as a guitarist. Working with a singer/songwriter can sometimes be a challenge. Artists typically have a very clear, concise idea of how they would like their songs to sound. Oftentimes this results in quite a limited and narrow creative space to occupy as a guitarist. Of course, there is good reason for these limitations as many artists spend hours and hours obsessing over how to make a song the best it can possibly be, and the last thing they want is for some crazy guitarist to come in and try to re-invent their wheel.

Patrick works the same way: spending hours and hours writing and recording, perfecting each and every note and lyric before a song can be deemed “complete.” The big difference is Patrick is willing to work as a collaborator as well. He allows me a lot of creative freedom. I am not held down by a predetermined notion of what a guitar player should or should not bring to his music. I create my own guitar parts, but more importantly, I can stretch and explore sonic territory atypical of the guitar. I can occupy space that might normally be occupied by a keyboard or synthesizer, or create atmospheric/ambient electronic sounds that make people (I hope) listen twice when they see acoustic guitars.

This is territory I am very fond of exploring as a guitarist, and it is also what makes working with Patrick such a rewarding experience. My creative goals of exploring new and/or different sounds are fully satisfied, and I benefit/learn from working and performing with a talented singer/songwriter.

This video is a departure from our typical do-it-yourself approach, and was shot by our friend, and amazing photographer/videographer, JP Agustin.

Arsonist Blues is from Relics, our upcoming EP of re-imagined versions of songs from Patrick’s debut album Antiques. Our covers EP is also in the works as well as many other projects that will be unveiled very soon!

Stay tuned!


Feeling Good (Nina Simone cover)


Finally…some new music to share! It’s been a while, but I have been hard at work writing and recording new music, and playing shows in and around LA. My good friend and collaborator Patrick Joseph and I shot this video of us recording a slightly different take on the classic Feeling Good. I hope you enjoy it, and if you do, please share it with everyone you think might enjoy it too!

This cover (and our previous cover of Radiohead’s Idioteque) are a pretty good sample of what our live show sounds like…so…if you are in LA, we have a show coming up next Friday at Room 5 at 11pm!

Additionally, Patrick and I are excited to be releasing an EP of covers entitled Stranger’s Shoes this summer. It will include our previous covers along with some new ones, and there will be a video to go along with each one.

I have other music in the works as well. Nearing completion, and I’m very excited to share that with everyone. So stay tuned!


As promised…


This is a cover of Radiohead’s “Idioteque” that I have been working on with my friend Patrick Joseph.

Everything you hear is acoustic guitar or vocals in some form.

Check it out! Leave some feedback.


The reason for my absence…


I’ve been hard at work over the past couple of months or so working on some new music. The video above is a sample of what will be coming from one of those projects: the hollow threads
The video is a short stop motion animation, time lapse photography, and another sort of stop motion at the end. Enjoy.

We will be releasing more music and video soon, so stay tuned.

I’ve also been collaborating with Patrick Joseph on his music. He is an extremely talented singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist, and his debut album was just released this week.
You can get a copy here: Antiques
or, if you are in LA, head over to Amoeba music for a copy. You can also find him on facebook and stream the album here. It is a great album, and we will be working closely over the coming months to bring his live show to life, and we will also be doing some other cool things that you will want to look out for.

So there is movement. And I am busy with music, I unfortunately haven’t been as active with this blog as I would like. But now that things are in motion a bit more with the previously mentioned projects, I will update here about what is going on and start posting musical stream of consciousness again (I hope).


A cool spring evening, a guitar in open-D tuning, slide in hand (Or, a metalhead in remission).


Up on the Hill by lifetrackedinsound

Night Quiet by lifetrackedinsound

“The blues has lasted because the blues is about reality. Life is blue. Life ends. Sorrow is certain. Pain can’t be avoided. The blues lays it out. But as you sing the blues, and as you listen to the blues, something happens to you. In the middle of songs that have some of the saddest stories ever told, you feel more alive than ever. That’s the strength of the blues. That’s the miracle – watching the blues chase the blues away.” – Little Jimmy Scott

I’ve found myself in a place, musically speaking, that I would have never imagined.  Not 4 years ago, not 10 years ago.  But that seems to be the way life goes.  You get busy making plans, and you miss life happening all around you while you are making those plans.  At least that is how I feel.  No matter what you think is going to happen, life probably has a different plan.  So, come what may…

In high school and a couple years into college I was very much about only the music I liked and wasn’t really open to other styles.  I had my Metallica, Tool, and my Dream Theater (and many other bands of the heavier persuasion) and I didn’t need anything else.  (I’d chalk it up to teenage angst…but I was not angsty at all, I had no reason to be.)  I didn’t like anything else really…except for Bob Dylan, but more in a passing sense.  I didn’t even own a steel-string acoustic guitar until about 4 years ago, and even then, I rarely played it. 

Which brings me to today…and my current affliction:  I’ve become obssessed with folk music, americana, blues…whatever you want to call it.  I find myself finger-picking away at very traditional sounding chord progressions late into the night time and time again.  I find myself sitting for hours on end playing slide guitar, essentially re-learning everything because the tunings change the layout of the fingerboard and the technique requires completely different mechanics.  And I enjoy it much more than I ever thought possible.  A cool spring evening, a guitar in open-D tuning, slide in hand, and all is right with the world for that moment (or in my own selfish little world at least). 

So, here are two pieces inspired by that folk obsession.  By artists like Kelly Joe Phelps, Bill Frisell, Bob Dylan, etc. etc. 

Slide guitar is the sound closest to that of a human voice, capable of so many inflections, emotions, and prone to imperfections of sound.  It sounds like a weeping soul to me.   Sorrowful and melancholy, but somehow still uplifting.  Somehow still hopeful. And I think that is a pretty good reflection of how life can be sometimes.

You lose the blues by playing the blues.


Idioteque (Radiohead cover)


If you are a fan of Radiohead…this post is for you. If you aren’t a fan of Radiohead…well, this post can still be for you anyway. I’ll post the original, and my cover, and you can decide which one you’d like to listen to first. (A word of warning: my version takes a little time to get going, but if you have the patience to listen as it develops, I think [hope] you will find it to be well worth it.)

If you don’t know the Radiohead song “Idioteque” from the album Kid A, or if you need a refresher, here is the video of the original:

And here is my interpretation:
Idioteque (Radiohead Cover) by lifetrackedinsound

I think that most people who know me musically, know that I have been, and continue to be, very captivated by the options/limitations of live looping/sampling. I have mostly worked with original improvisation and ambient sound types of looping/sampled music, so this is a bit of a departure for me. This is the second song I have arranged for solo guitar/looping device. The first was the Bjork song “Undo” (which I may post here someday).

This version of “Idioteque” is done entirely on acoustic guitar. It was all done in one take, recorded live, or in real-time. Which means there are no multi-track overdubs. There is very little processing other than a slight reverb and a slight delay on the direct signal from my Taylor acoustic. And yes, I know it is kind of a long piece, but the process of looping requires things to be that way. I spent a few hours doing my best to streamline the arrangement and make everything develop quicker, but adding layer by layer simply requires time to build all the parts into a foundation that the melody of the song is played over.

This is easily my favorite Radiohead song, so it made sense to attempt a cover arrangement/interpretation of it.

I hope you enjoy it!


No, You’re Good


No, You’re Good by lifetrackedinsound

This piece is a deconstruction of a chord progression/solo guitar idea I had. So in that sense I suppose it is a composition, but I’m also improvising all the ideas except the pulse at the very beginning and the chord progression. Everything you hear is played on a steel string acoustic guitar. There are no multi-track overdubs, each layer is added in real-time using an echoplex digital pro plus.


Lost Patterns


Lost Patterns by lifetrackedinsound

This piece happened for two reasons…

1. I was feeling like some moody modal improvisation.
and
2. I wanted to try recording my Hans Pukke (luthier) classical guitar to see what sounds I could get with my limited recording setup.

I have always known this guitar to have amazing balance and incredible treble tones. One of my favorite things about it is the way notes just sing on and seem to ring forever after they have been played. The overtones and harmonics this guitar generates are out of this world. It just has such a rich sound, and I feel very lucky to own this instrument. Unfortunately, I don’t think the microphone I have really does it justice, but I think this recording came out alright nonetheless.