Sunday, June 4, 2017
The Brown Christmas is equally skilled in the culinary arts as well as the art of love, our latest cookbook/erotic novella perfectly exemplifies this. These tunes are perfect whether you're in the kitchen or in the bedroom.
We are now in the final stretch of our unreleased catalog, all recordings from here onward are only about a year old. We entered 2016 with a auditory exploration that begins light hearted and innocent, leads to the triumphant sounding "A Thousand Risen Suns", then slows to a crawl. At this point we gradually enter darker and dark territories, reaching a peak with the punishing electrical sizzles of "The Crushing Weight of Nothingness." Eventually we emerge from it unscathed and can breathy easy again with the cheery, round-a-about melodies of "Scattered Rolling Beads of Light." Finally we wrap up our adventure with "Hundred Foot Strut," a hard grooving tune with a squealing synth solo.
A solid chunk of this album is tethered together with a deep, pulsing kick drum; keeping a slow steady pace while melodies and textures are exchanged. Joemazing's knack for creating interesting textures really shines through on this release. He lays down a nice skin of sound ranging from subtle spooky drones, piercing shimmers, to thick walls of synthy distortion.
It's not an easy task to make an egg cream, but with our new album anyone can learn!
Friday, May 5, 2017
Here's something short and sweet; Xanax Madam. This was from a practice session where we were supposed to be figuring out what we would be playing for a live set. It's hard to get down to business right away, so we figured we'd do a short improvisation to loosen up and get things flowing. I think we may have even had a set list planned, but we liked what we came up with on the spot better.
The album starts with our rather grim and droney interpretation of Sun Ra's "Rocket Number 9" (which we didn't play live) before shifting into the anxiety-ridden "Unique Panique." This track and "Nuclear Winter Solstice" were actually tightened to one song for the live performance, but now that there's no time restriction, I've allowed them the time necessary to breathe and evolved more gradually.
We wrap things up with two tracks which originally appeared on the album; Big Bad Bill Weinstein's Big Beautiful Women Barbecue BYOB (Dicks Pics Volume 5), which you can check out HERE!
Joemazing's crooning is far more aggressive on this rendition of "Love Young Brown" and we managed not to burst into laughter while playing this time.
It is also worth noting that this is our last jam session from 2015. We are on the final stretch of unreleased recordings, and everything coming out over the next several months will only be about a year old.
Friday, April 7, 2017
I usually try to write a little bit about each album when I release it; this time I was a little lazy/a little busy and didn't get a chance to sit down and type something up until now. I also occasionally find it hard to write anything of interest about certain albums. Sometimes there are no funny anecdotes from the date of recording, no particular concept in mind for the album, sometimes the album is just really good, and there are only so many ways I can say an album is good.
...and this is indeed a good one.
This album definitely takes the crown from Dick Hz as our most aggressively noisy release to date. A large factor in this I believe is Joemazing's extensive pallet of synth and percussion sounds on Go Ahead Call the Cops vs his almost exclusive use of guitar on Dick Hz. While not necessarily abrasive the full way through, there are some softer and more melodic tracks that mix things up, when it does get hard it gets rock hard and sonically dense. The version of "Nobody Knows..." on this album is also one of my favorites, ending the album with a definitive slam like the closing of a book.
So there's not much more I can say about Go Ahead Call the Cops, except that you should give it a solid listen. It marks our 12th consecutive monthly release and we have many more to go before we're fully caught up, but I think this is a fitting mile marker for essentially a years worth of music.
Friday, March 17, 2017
As I clear out the hours of recordings from recent years and release them into the world, I began to think it was about time I got around to uploading our older albums as well. Here is the one that started it all; Music for Short Fat People. Composed of recordings from January to October 2005 this was our statement to the world. While it was silly, sloppy, and in retrospect maybe not be the most pleasing thing to the ear, we were quite proud of it at the time.
It's interesting to take a look back on something we released almost 12 years ago and listen to how much we've advanced. I had not listened to these recordings in years and I was quite surprised to find they're much more listenable than I anticipated. They're not what one might called "good," but I was expecting 7 minute tracks of nothing but a casio drum loop, clashing random keyboard notes, and piercing saxophone squeals. Instead the tracks average about 3 minutes long and most of this probably qualifies as music.
I also forgot that we used to try to 'write' songs. What I mean by this is we would write lyrics and then randomly start singing them during an improvised jam session; if things seemed to fit we'd practice it once or twice over the next few jams, and then call it a finished product.
My stroll down memory lane continued as I skimmed through our earliest jam sessions looking for gems that didn't make it to the album. It quickly became apparent that we truly allowed our selves the freedom to be complete lunatics. A fair amount was pretty musical, but there was a lot of literal knuckle dragging on keyboards, slurred stream of consciousness rambling, and maniacal screaming. Any normal person listening to us would have been quite justified in being concerned that we might need to be taken to the hospital.
The result of all this digging is just under 40 minutes of bonus material which is available when you download this album. These bonus tracks capture this insanity in chunks small enough not to overstay their welcome. A few of the more coherent songs in this collection are in my opinion, better than some of the stuff on the actual album. I'm unsure why they didn't make the cut originally.
While it may be clear that we had no idea how to play music (you could argue that we still don't) there's definitely something to the primal nature of it all. We were very much like cavemen discovering music for the first time. There were no arbitrary 'rules' of music to adhere to, it was all trial and error. One day three friends got together with a bass, saxophone, and some toy keyboards and thought; "This is the perfect recipe for starting a band." I think there's something charming about that.
When we were recording this album, I would grow paranoid and destroy anything I wrote or played out of fear of being thrown in some kind of institutional setting. I am forever grateful Music for Short Fat People, for better or worse, stood the test of time. It proves that, this whole time, I was right in my actions of erasing any thoughts I had between 2005-2009. Including, but not limited to, that hilarious last will and testament I scribbled on a Quik Check catering menu.
This album is not meant for people who are not both short and fat. If you are not short and fat, please proceed to turn off your audio equipment and leave the premises.
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
There are a few of our albums that really standout for one reason or another, this is one of those. We are very much at the top of our game on these recordings and I would now consider this to be the best thing we've released so far.
This album covers a multitude of musical territories, but over all I would say there's a definite psychedelic feel to the tracks. The first song Self Born Cosmic Egg, opens the album feeling very spacey and mystical, before we intentionally or unintentionally, summon dark entities and split a hole between worlds (see tracks Dweller of the Abyss and Broken Seal of the Inter-dimensional Wall).
Have noo fear however, we here at The Brown Christmas are skilled in all kinds of occult mysticism. There's no need to shield your chakras or break out your quartz crystals, everything is well within our control. We'll guide you back safely and finish the journey with some dumb lo-fi rock.
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Coming in just under the wire, but still technically a January release, I present Dick Hz. We start off the new year with a very boisterous album, rough around the edges with janky guitar tearing right through the center. To me this album has a very cathartic feel to it. I don't know if it comes through in the music but this was our last jam before I moved to Philadelphia and started a new job, nerves were high and a good dose of vitamin Brown was just what I needed.
Unique to this album is the fact that there's very little of Joemazing's trusty Roland D50 synth, it only occasionally makes subtle droning appearances, instead guitar takes center stage. Through sheer accident we discovered that a clipping mixer is the perfect substitute for a distortion pedal. Say what you will about your fancy $3000 guitars and their tone, they'll never have the same qualities of a beat up thrift guitar with a built in speaker.
One of my personal favorite tracks is "Journey to the Ocean Floor." Maybe it's because it's one of the few songs where the D50 makes an appearance, or maybe because I'm particularly proud of my synthy soundscaping on this one, either way it's a track with a lot of interesting textures. It's one of the more ambient tracks, but it gradually gains abrasiveness from Joemazing's nasally guitar echoes.
Also of note is the track "Compromised Structural Integrity." There's not too much to say about this one, other than it's a good example of us just saying "fuck it" and going nuts. I think we could probably both feel the jam session was wrapping up and decided to give it one last hurrah.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Warm up those chestnuts, slurp down a frothy glass of nog, and get the christmas spirit deep inside you; it's Christmas on Craigslist again!
It's a bit of a Christmas miracle that this album exists at all; we recorded these tracks back in December 2014 with the intention of releasing the album the following year. Foolishly I didn't back the files up, and the hard drive they were on became corrupted. It seemed as if this jam session was lost to the computer gods. However after some research into data recovery I discovered that the files were just trapped in purgatory. Then it was just a matter of having the time and money to recover everything.
I was thrilled when everything was fully recovered and I had an opportunity to listen to what we had recorded for the first time in 2 years. There are some really solid Craigslist classics on here like "Mistress for Christmas" and "16 Days of Christmas", not to mention some non-craigslist originals like "Hey Who Put these Chestnuts Here?" and "Santa Doesn't want to go to Work Today."
These are sure to become your new favorite carols to sing. Maybe you'll even hear a track played on Jon Solomon's 25hr Christmas Marathon on WPRB this year.
Enjoy Your Christmas and remember to be discrete!