New Song – Blue Sunny Day

March 16th, 2009

Unbelievably, there is a new song. As I’ve mentioned the couple of times I played this live, I tried very hard to NOT make this about a sad vampire, but of course it is. It started out with the idea that I should just, for once, write a song that was kind of bouncy and happy. Though once I had decided to use the phrase “blue sunny day,” it was hard not to notice that the word “blue” can have another meaning. From there it’s only a quick jump to vampire suicide. I don’t know what happened to him exactly, perhaps he suffers from seasonal affective disorder? Or maybe he’s just sick of working nights.

I’ve had this chord progression and melody running around in my brain for a long time, so it’s nice to get it out. This was one of those songs where the arrangement started to build itself in my head before I had really finished writing, I could hear all those vocals from the very beginning. I’m stealing from all sorts of places of course, there’s more than a little Tally Hall influence, some Queen in there, maybe a little Jeff Lynne, and the bridge makes me think of XTC so much that I fear I may discover it’s a direct lift of something and I just haven’t realized yet (in which case, sorry Andy!).

Other cool things: Dave has already posted a video guitar lesson for this song here, as well as put the chords into the wiki.

As always, you have a choice: stream it, download it free, or buy it.

Blue Sunny Day
Buy It

By the way, I have messed up the store link to the flac version somehow – sorry to everyone who’s trying to buy it, I will fix it as soon as I can, and then offer you some kind of lavish compensation for your trouble. UPDATE: Fixed. Let me know if you bought and ran out of downloads. This is very embarrassing.

Texas!

March 16th, 2009

Dear Texas,

I’m sorry it’s been so long since I did any shows here – both Houston and Austin were really fun, despite the breaking of strings and the throwing of monkeys. Thanks to everyone who came out, especially here in Austin where doing so meant that you were unable to enjoy unlimited free Sierra Mist cocktails at some kick-ass web company party. Not that you don’t have better things to do in Houston. I mean, you know, Houston is nice too. I love all cities equally!

There are a lot of nerds here in Austin, there must be some kind of nerd convention going on or something.

-j

Indie Band Survival Guide

March 12th, 2009

Watch as I plug something that I think is good:

The Indie Band Survival Guide is one of those “how to work the music business” books that is actually helpful. These guys did a really great job of dealing with all the new stuff that’s happening in this space. And I say this not only because they interviewed me a lot. Anyone who has questions about how I have been able to turn an interest in robots and monkeys into a career as a musician (it still makes me laugh to say that) while barely ever having to leave my house or even put on pants – chances are the answers are in this book.

And currently, there’s a free eBook version being offered in connection with Eventful, you can get it simply by signing up with your email address at IndieGuide.com. Of course, the book can also be “purchased” if you’re into that sort of thing.

Last of the Spring Shows

March 11th, 2009

It’s been a busy couple of months for sure, just a few more shows lined up for this Spring: Houston, Austin, New York City and Toronto. Luckily all this touring is happening before my live DVD/CD package is ready – it would have been a terrible shame to sell a bunch of them at all these shows. Wait, what?

Friday March 13 at 8PM
House of Blues (Houston, TX) with Paul and Storm
Tickets: tinyurl.com/cxdf8s

Sunday March 15 at 7PM
Antone’s (Austin, TX) with Paul and Storm
Tickets: tinyurl.com/ama6l7
(This is not an official part of SXSW, you must buy tickets to attend. Technically that’s true for all these shows I guess.)

Friday March 27 at 8PM
Symphony Space (New York, NY) with Paul and Storm
Tickets: tinyurl.com/dkzjoe

Thursday April 23 at 8 PM
Lula Lounge (Toronto, ON) with Paul and Storm
Tickets: tinyurl.com/czz9sn

Friday April 24 at 7:30 PM
Lula Lounge (Toronto, ON) with Paul and Storm
Tickets: tinyurl.com/bxr6lb

Kutiman Mixes YouTube

March 11th, 2009

I was going to write this long thinky post about what this “means” and how amazing it is to be living in an era of such unprecedented creative opportunities thanks to the internet and the rise of amateur content, but I will leave it at this: in your face, Andrew Keen.

This is the work of Kutiman (via Open Up), an Israeli musician who creates really great music using bits and pieces of lots of YouTube videos. He’s got a whole album’s worth of material online at http://thru-you.com. He has also broken my skull open with the ball-peen hammer of his awesomeness. Here’s the opening track, “The Mother of All Funk Chords.” So amazing, so illegal. What are we going to do with you, future?