Podcast with Tyler of Diners

Hey folks! I was able to have my friend Tyler Broderick come over to my place and record an interview with him. Got to ask him some questions about recording, songwriting, Brian Wilson, and Shrek! Check it out, it’s a good listen.

Here’s some Diners links for ya:

http://diners.bandcamp.com/

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Leaving the Old Man Band (Innocent Bystander)

I knew going into this entire affair that my time would be short lived, as I was replacing their permanent bassist while he was on vacation, but it feels a bit too short lived. I played my first gig with the folks – all at least 63 years of age – around early September, and seeing this whole chapter conclude in late October feels rushed to me. Regardless, I performed good music with good people who have been playing this good music for all of their good lives.

Two of these good people, Dave and Tom, got drafted to serve in Vietnam, and one of them, Bill, almost got in but wound up out of it somehow. Maybe he was too young…? Not quite sure on those details. Continue reading “Leaving the Old Man Band (Innocent Bystander)”

Undertale and The Beginner’s Guide Hit Home Like No Other Games Do

Recently I played two games that forced me to sit back and contemplate my actions either within the realm of that game, in the case of Undertale, or outside of it, in the real world, in the case of The Beginner’s Guide. It seems both of these titles are having profound impacts on their player bases in ways that no other games have done before and that to me is really special. Deeper than the initial first impressions of “walking simulator” and “retro indie title” it seems we’re discovering what this medium is truly capable of. And I can tell you it’s not sandboxes and first person shooters…Although Phantom Pain is a fantastic game for wholly other reasons.

Full disclosure: I will be talking about spoilers in these games. They’re both fairly short so do yourself a favor and play through them. Continue reading “Undertale and The Beginner’s Guide Hit Home Like No Other Games Do”

The Writing of Song for Syd

EDIT: Updated with the official release of the song

I figure before the co-compositional process of this song gets lost to the seas of time, I may as well write what I remember. The earliest recording I have of the song, which is performed with the three of us and Cesar Ruiz on drums, is May 4th, 2015. This whole process took place in the week or two preceding that date. Continue reading “The Writing of Song for Syd”

Alien Days – AKA How MGMT are the most interesting songwriters of this decade.

 If you haven’t heard Alien Days by MGMT, check it out:

(the video is creepy, but bare with me)

MGMT’s first record is overall a rather straight forward, electronic psych pop album. It was my first introduction to them, and I fell in love, but man how I also love what they’ve grown into. I recall reading an article where Andrew VanWyngarden actually told his label not to sign them because they would not be writing music similar to Oracular Spectactular, and that they would instead attempt to branch out and experiment. I must say, that takes an extreme amount of foresight, guts, and artistry on behalf of the musician. What’s more, they pull it off with flying colors. Continue reading “Alien Days – AKA How MGMT are the most interesting songwriters of this decade.”

Songwriting Tip #1: Variation

On this first installment of songwriting tips:

VARIATION

The biggest, most immediate thing I learned from the Beatles (thanks in large part to Alan Pollack), was the element of variation. You can listen to any Beatles verse or chorus and I can guarantee you that there will be SOMETHING new compared to the preceding verse or chorus.

The best part about this songwriting tip is that it’s strikingly simple to implement, but also makes a world of a difference to the effectiveness of a tune. This principle is a major characteristic that keeps the listener interested as the song goes on, even if they don’t realize it’s happening. And, truth be told, 90% of your audience doesn’t. That’s fine. This is why you’re the songwriter, and they’re the listeners. Continue reading “Songwriting Tip #1: Variation”

About:

Hey folks! This blog was made with the intent to inform people about songwriting and the songwriting process. It’s here so I can offer some bits of advice I’ve learned along the way, as well as to share some anecdotes that I think will prove helpful to any budding or experienced songwriter!

I also plan to talk at length about video games. Indie, AAA, artsy or just fun, the video game industry is certainly a fascinating one.

Enjoy! I hope you learn something 🙂