Tuesday, September 19, 2017
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
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
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.
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.