Sunday, January 14, 2018

Christmas 2017

Although our name is The Brown Christmas we are not, nor have we ever been, a 'Christmas' band. That said I always look forward to putting out a new Christmas album. There's such a wealth of material to draw from, and it's always fun to 'get in the spirit' with some mangled Christmas merriment.

I have noticed that on every Christmas album we put out there's always an exceptionally abrasive song, usually with me screaming over a wall of sound. This time it's a cover of "Hey Santa," which is my personal favorite on this release. I was trying to pull up the lyrics for the Carnie and Wendy Wilson "Hey Santa," but instead got the Straight No Chaser "Hey Santa." Shortly after I started screaming I realized my error, but there was nothing to do but to continue belting out lyrics to a song I've never heard before.

The title comes from an event several years ago when I was working retail. Christmas was over, all our holiday merchandise went on sale at increasingly large discounts. Eventually items were 90% off an everything was gone; everything except a 4ft X 5ft X 18in display of candy canes. We just couldn't sell these, so I was told to throw them out.

Now my memory is a little fuzzy, but these were the typical boxes of candy canes you see for sale, I think there are a dozen or so canes in a box. I put these into larger cardboard boxes which might have fit 24 boxes of candy canes. I filled up about six boxes, put them out by the dumpster, then loaded them into my card when my shift was over. So using those numbers that's around 1728 candy canes. For the album title we used Thirty-six since in seemed like a funny, yet still plausible number.

Only a few days into having these at home did I realize that neither my family nor myself particularly enjoyed candy canes. However I think you will enjoy this album.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Haulin' Oats

Whether you're a Quaker or a baker, if you've got oats you need hauled The Brown Christmas can get it done in no time flat. Around the holidays more than ever we get tons of oats that need hauling; and if you're speeding across state lines with a truck load of legally questionable oats, you need some good cruising tunes.

As will our previous album, guitar is featured prominently on Haulin' Oats. The opening track begins with Joemazing chugging away, before messing around with his guitar's faulty wiring to make it scream like a hawk. The synths and drums create a slow moving, lightly textured framework for Jomazing guitar to gradually melt over top. This destruction continues on "Mass of Choronzon," as I play some dramatic string samples and Joemazing screams and distorts things into an unrecognizable mess of feedback.

The tempo takes a more upbeat turn as a circus melody emerges from the ashes of the previous track. A deep bellowing synth line bounces us along drunkenly before building to a growling drone, as silly melodies dance around. The ferris wheel is rusted, the bumper cars are short circuiting, and the carnival barker is in a radiation induced rage.

Overall this album has an aggressive, lo-fi, abrasiveness that is best exemplified with my favorite track, "Missa pro Defunctis." This melancholic march sounds like it was ripped from a withered VHS tape; a simple but effective melody punctuated by drums, is made all the more epic when complimented by the thick analog drone that emerges about halfway through the song.

The closing track is another high point, and possibly the best version of "Nobody Knows what it's like..." we've recorded to date. We take turns belting out the lyrics as over the top as possible, and I do my best emulation of the drums from "In the Air Tonight."

That's about all I have time for, these oats aren't going to haul themselves! We've got deadlines to meet, and the oat hauling business is very competitive. This album is a great example of our grittier, lo-fi, noise sound. Give it a listen.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Books Suck

Books suck, plain and simple! You can't listen too a book (unless it's an audiobook, but that's just a book pretending it's a recording) they don't fit in tape decks and they're the wrong shape for record players or CD players. Music came first, music rules, books are just a bad sequel.

This album is the perfect example of the inferiority of books; there is no possible way for books to capture the essence of these songs. The driving kick on the first track calls the listener to adventure, an arpeggiated bass line adds a sense of urgency, and Joemazing's drones and melodies add an element of uncertainty and danger.

Things get a little hectic, but there is an opportunity to relax within the cosmic swirling synth tones of the second track. The stars are not entirely welcoming however, and the listener must avoid their supernova bursts. This moment of rest is short lived and the kick drums soon become jittery from all the delicious juice.

Joemazing's guitar work takes center stage, while I stack synth textures and feedback noise on our 10 minute post-rock opus "The Asteroid is Here." If you thought The Brown Christmas couldn't rock sick riffs and kick ass drums, this track will prove you wrong. This leads into our hard rocking closing track; "Sludge Cruiser." Who needs a distortion pedal when you can just crank your mixer up way to hot?

This album is the first release in a long while that hasn't been a single day jam session, and it takes us almost into the present year. There is one more album that was recorded in 2016 that's set to be released, but it's a christmas album so we had to release it out of order. The last 2 tracks of Books Suck are from November 2016; part of our Christmas album jam session. Since there's really nothing Christmasy about them, it was decided they would need to be a separate release. They were too short to be put out as their own album, but luckily we had another short jam session from January 2017 of almost the same length. These tracks were from a brief warm up jam before a very different upcoming secret project.

...But why are you hear reading this? It's so long it's almost a book, and books suck!

Listen to our album.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Chair Club for Men

Enjoy the most luxurious sitting experience of your life! The Brown Christmas is proud to introduce our latest business endeavor; the Chair Club for Men. We provide only the finest chairs in a wide variety of styles, both modern and classical. All of our applicants are screened very strictly, so you will be guaranteed an environment of only fellow chair enthusiasts.

While you're having a relaxing sit in one of our award winning chairs you can listen to our newest album. You'll find that one technique we often employ when recording is to take a simple theme or melody and turn it into an epic wall of textures. We open the album in this manner, with the gradual swelling of "Edge of the Void" which blooms into the monolithic second track "The Colossi of Memnon." The track ascends with the massiveness of an ancient giant emerging from it's slumber in the sand. Deep bellows from Joemazing's synth are punctuated with a more pizzicato string-like swirling melody. Crashing drum samples propel the song forward in a lurching motion as the otamatone breaks through with a screech of victory.

You'll find this same technique again on "The Serpent Swallows," which begins with a pensive drone and driving drum machine pattern, before building tension with increasing layers of atonal drones and seesaw arpeggios. The heavy breathing of Joemazing's synth adds to the anxiety as I dance around with a playful yet eerie melody.

On the track "Rain Dance Brings New Life" we have a slightly different style of building intensity. This time we work more with percussive textures, stacking them haphazardly on top of one another generating a chaotic down pour. These slowly change and disperse, opening up space for playful bird-like melodies. These simplistic chirps soothe the listener into the enigmatic final song "Puzzle in the Dark."

After this we get a short reminder from Joemazing about the importance of proper chair maintenance for both quality sitting and quality tone. So send in your applications today, we have a limited amount of openings for this most exclusive club.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Stogie Fest

Vape enthusiasts need not apply, it's Stogie Fest 2017!!! In addition to improvising music, we also have a tendency to improvise dialog. This is usually limited to a few remarks at the end of a track, but occasionally we'll do slightly longer 'skits'. Aside from Brown 'til Dawn all our recent releases have hardly any talking segments, but I felt as if Joemazing and myself had some entertaining exchanges that deserved to be included.

Let's not forget however, that there is also music on this album! It seems we stayed pretty consistently laid back and upbeat with these songs. Our usual detours into abrasive clusters of synth noise are absent, and while we do get spacey we never quite get spooky. Things get a little dark on "Cold Ghost Wanderer" and our cover of ZZ Top's "Tush," but for the most part we keep things chill and silly.

What else would you expect to hear while attending Stogie Fest? The audience demands mellow tunes for relaxing under clouds of acrid tobacco smoke. Wether it's "Sunset Hay Ride's" uplifting, melodic build up; "Picnic by Comet Light" with it's cosmic ambience over inquisitive arpeggiated bass; or "Swimmer in the Night Sky's" driving, forward flowing rhythm, this is the ideal album for wrapping up the end of summer.

Besides the afore mentioned "Tush" we also cover the Primus song "Mr. Krinkle," and do another cover of Funkadelic's "Maggot Brain." You can also hear new versions of our own songs including; "Love Young Brown" and possibly my favorite version to date of "Cataract Jack."

So light up your stogies, catch a screening of Wall Blart, and get one more relaxing weekend in before your brick arrives for Wall Day.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Honey I Crunk'd the Kids

Presenting part 3 of The Brown Christmas' crunk TRILLogy; Honey I Crunk'd the Kids! Recorded in May of 2016, this is the only recent album to include all three members of The Brown Christmas. The excitement of this reunion comes through in the grandiose variety of sounds layered on this album.

Our sonic territory ranges from eerie ambience on tracks like "The Chemist's Ergot Wine" and "The Mother Sphere Rises"; the manic insanity of "Folie à Trois" and "Daily Exercise Regimen"; to the unmitigated abrasiveness of "Shark Toothed Horn." Where I think our progression as a band really shines through however, is on tracks like "Murmuration Amongst the Clouds," "There's a Home for Me Somewhere," and "Ravages of Time." It is on tracks like these where we direct our sounds into more harmonious, concise, synth-pop-esque directions while still remaining completely improvisational that truly show our growth and exploration of new terrains.

Everyone was operating at 110% when recording this session, there were no lulls in the music or confused meandering in our improvisation. Everything has it's place and nothing is lost in the mix, a real feat considering there were five synths, a drum machine, a sampler, as well as various pedals being operated by three people at any given time.

A few more highlights from this album include our noisy rendition of Funkadelic's "Maggot Brain" on which Todd's synth sound like 1940's news radio static, and "Joemazing's House of Pain," which is sure to be the party anthem of the summer. The album closes with a craig's list track, "Load Ranger." Normally I would save this for another volume of Dicks Pics, but I don't when that might happen and it seemed like the perfect closer for a rock solid album.

I would also like to mention that the cover art was again done by Michael Burke, who continues to create extraordinary visual compliments for our sounds.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Booty Sammich

Although our albums are 100% improvised, leaving plenty of room for unexpected sparks of inspiration to kindle, there are two themes that seem to emerge with some regularity; we like to call them: spooky and spacey. More often then not I am the one generating the spacey feelings, and Joemazing creates the spooky feelings, although this is not exclusively the case. Maybe the music we create just naturally lends itself to visions of slowly moving massive celestial bodies in an expansive void, and of dark otherworldly forces clawing their way out of dreams and into our waking life. So here is Booty Sammich; a little spacey, a little spooky, and always a little silly.