Tuesday, May 26, 2015

SUNLIGHT episode 6

today is the day:




thanks WARM RATIO
thanks Luna Music
thanks General Public Collective

thanks for listening

Monday, May 25, 2015

source and flow and real


i've gone off about charles schulz before. truly believe he is one of america's finest artists of the 20th or any century. every now and then i dive back in. his stories that include snoopy's brother spike are my favorite. 



this is comedy gold! or the saddest and truest thing ever drawn.





this particular frame i found very special.

so much so that i used to as the basis for a poster i'm making for an upcoming music show with my friends in Hiss Golden Messenger.

come if you can!



Friday, May 22, 2015

SUNLIGHT episode 5

i recorded these songs in my basement almost two years before they became a record in the physical world. as the time drew near i felt like i wanted to record these songs as i'd been playing them to myself: singing and strumming guitar. my good friend Todd felt the same way and set up a mic and a recorder in his basement and over the course of a few afternoons i played them all again. we drank tea and ate lunch and it was great. this version is available on side B of the SUNLIGHT cassette or for pay whatever digital.

the release show is tonight and i am stoked. thanks for listening.



Thursday, May 21, 2015

SUNLIGHT episode 4

this is what i recorded "SUNLIGHT" on. the old fostex multitracker XR-3. i think this is my 4th machine. i buy one everytime i see one because 1. they break 2. they are cheap 3. you don't see them everyday. the reason i love this machine so much is the  little black bubble in the upper left hand corner. that's a built-in condenser mic. it picks up everything within about 5 feet of it, including the sound of the tape spinning and recording. that's the constant hum and rustle you hear through the entire record: layers of tape rattle like a babbling brook. it's not for everybody but it suits me. i don't really enjoy the mechanical side of the recording process: settting up mic's, checking levels and all that. with this i can just press record and lean in close. 
i typically would sing and play guitar first onto one track. then play drums and sing onto one track. then play drums and sing onto another track. i would bounce the drum tracks down onto the 4th track, freeing up 2 more tracks for a bass (which i would plug in direct) and another vocal. this was how every track on the record was done, with the exception of the two songs with cello on them. for those i dumped the 4-tracks onto and 8-track cassette and did two tracks of cello. maybe a handclap or two to round things out. then i took these tapes down to magnetic south in bloomington, where john dawson put everything in his computer and evened out the levels, fuzzed up the edges a  little and generally worked his mixing and mastering magic. thank you, john. 
when it was all done my friend todd robinson took the mixed files and put them in the sound oven like a fuzzy cake and then we sent it to the record plant. thank you, todd. 
it's just that easy. you should do it!
ps if anyone has a fostex xr-3 in working condition i will buy it from you.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

SUNLIGHT episode 3

when i made this record i wasn't thinking of what it would look like. i wanted it to look how it sounded and i didn't know what it sounded like until the end of mixing (which was done by john dawson at magnetic south in bloomington, further edits by todd robinson). i had a big box of photos from my grandmother's house and i found some that looked like a vacation road trip. maybe to visit my dad at the army base. there were a few with a donkey. it looked like how i felt about these songs. 
i chose this one:


the photo was taken by my grandmother or grandfather of my uncle in a car. i think the donkey is saying hello. or telling a secret. or just checking him out. or wanting his sandwich. either way it's another being on earth and it lived and this was a moment of it. 
thanks, burro friend.


this is what the record looks like. i spruced it up and wrote my name and the title small at the top.
thanks, computer and pencil.


this is the back of the record.  i thought about my family a lot when i made these songs up and when i recorded them. my grandmother had not yet passed and my son had not yet been born. i dedicted the record to both of them because they are part of the thing that i am in, the long body in different bodies. do you know about the long body? look it up. warm ratio is the label run by some friends of mine here in indianapolis and i feel very grateful for their help in making this exist in the physical world. 
thanks, dudes.


this is the design for the labels. side one says hello side two says adios. wave to the record when you listen to it, coming and going. 
thanks, record.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

SUNLIGHT episode 2

playing music has been, at best, relaxing and grounding thing for me. like a meditation if i do it right. if there was a goal for this group of songs it was to be a meditation, a repetition of chords and rhythms and words. i'm trying to keep it simple.
the third song on the record is called "run to a loving one". the song is E to A to E to A the whole way through. when i was playing it and making up words it was nice to get into a trance-like state and feel like  i was vibrating in unison with something. i started playing in my basement with a loop pedal, building a pattern that i could sing and play over.

i think there is beauty in simplicity and repetition. i hope things are revealed. here it is as heard on the LP:


Monday, May 18, 2015

SUNLIGHT episode 1

so it is true. i made a record and it is coming out next week on tuesday may 26th. this week i'm going to make some entries about the record, the process, the songs, etc. and we are beginning with a commercial for the physical releases.

i am not a fan of trying to describe the music i make, i find it really difficult to not sound like a big pretentious jerk so i usually say "it's like folk music" or nothing at all. but i do enjoy writings about music and other people's take on things. i asked a talented writer friend of mine to listen to the record and think on it and maybe we could use what he writes to try sell it to distributors and such. and he came through! this should do the trick:

"Many moments in life, too many probably, skate by with such exacting and forceful speed, that you cannot even take note of their presence before they are gone and forgotten and piled up in the corner like yesterday’s Chic-o-Stix wrappers. One more on the stack. What we look for along this path are moments you can hold in your hand and see in all of their angular multitudes and depth. Like when we hold a crystal duck purchased at a Mendocino gift shop, we want absolute clarity and we want it now. We want to separate the defining lines of imagination from the bone-breaking chore of living life with your feet on the ground.

 Nathaniel Russell navigates his way through a crooked world with an alarmingly exact pinpoint on these moments. Far away from the clatter of humans and their machines, forever fogging up the spaces that lie between our embittered souls, Russell finds solace in pristine moments of clarity and the comedy of mankind drifting alone in the cosmos.

Heavy words? Yes, well, heavy begets heavy. “NR” (as the leaders of leaders have referred to him) has worked in largely visual mediums for what is, day-by-day, turning into a decades-long career. The same sort of simplicity and perceptiveness that creeps into his growing world of lines, color, shapes and words is found here on the first album to be released under his own name.

These are songs recorded direct to tape, from brain to posterity, with few added flavors (note: does the plaintive experience of a man who is, above and beyond, a LIVER of LIFE count as added flavor?). These are the sort of songs you can comb through for glimpses into an arcane knowledge. Or maybe you just let them float by like an ant on a leaf. Take care, little buddy!

Nat draws from the heroes of New Zealand, New York, New Imperial Beach and many other places where an adjective is a proper noun. His clipped phrases and minute melodies come to life in a haze of six-string strumming and slightly narcotic repetition. Close your eyes for a second and it’s like he’s the last sane man on earth calling out for his brothers across the great universal divide. Is it gee-tar magic? Is it the ultimate in “real person” vibes? The first in a series of “unreal person” sessions? Maybe a combo deal? If so, let’s be thankful it doesn’t come with chili fries but instead comes with free glimpse into a blessed mind.
 
These latest missives are available on one full-length (is there any better kind?) Long-Player.
The cassette version contains all of the LP and one side of the songs performed live and “in the flesh” which, when listened to closely, contain the sounds of ghosts exhaling."

woah i'd listen to that record, right? right.
more to come.
thanks for reading/listening/looking.

i'd be remiss if i didn't say that the record and cassette are available for pre-order HERE