Holiday In The Sun

Got about four hours of sleep before I need to head out to the studio with Shinyribs.  Got a gig tonight at the Rattle Inn with The Savage Poor.  I’m tired, but I put on the Pistols and everything is as right as rain.  Never Mind the Bullocks is still one of the greatest albums ever, and one of the few punk elements that truly still has an element of danger to it in places.  (Listen to Bodies.)  Paul Cook’s backbeat and the guitars of Steve Jones still thrill.  John Lydon (Johnny Rotten) was brilliant from the start.  If you ever want to read a great rock n roll book, John Lydon’s No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs, is one of the best, by a thousand miles.

Tonight:

Only a Fool Feels They Deserve It – Home Demo

You Want It Darker

Leonard Cohen is coming out with a new album, You Want It Darker.  Above is the title track.  Here are the lyrics:

If you are the dealer
I’m out of the game
If you are the healer
Means I’m broken and lame
If thine is the glory
Then mine must be the shame
You want it darker
We kill the flame

Magnified, sanctified
Be Thy Holy Name
Vilified, crucified
In the human frame
A million candles burning
For the help that never came
You want it darker

Hineni Hineni
I’m ready, my Lord

There’s a lover in the story
But the story’s still the same
There’s a lullaby for suffering
And a paradox to blame
But it’s written in the scriptures
And it’s not some idle claim
You want it darker
We kill the flame

They’re lining up the prisoners and
The guards are taking aim
I struggled with some demons
They were middle-class and tame
I didn’t know I had permission
To murder and to maim
You want it darker

Hineni Hinen
I’m ready, my Lord

Magnified, sanctified
Be Thy Holy Name
Vilified, crucified
In the human frame
A million candles burning
For the love that never came
You want it darker
We kill the flame

If you are the dealer
Let me out of the game
If you are the healer
I’m broken and lame
If thine is the glory
Mine must be the shame
You want it darker

Hineni Hineni…..
I’m ready, my Lord

I’m going to have to trust the world wide internet (never fool proof), but the Hebrew words Hineni Hinen are from the Old Testament and they mean, “Here I Am.”

If this is a sample of the quality of the rest of the album, I can’t wait.

 

 

The Savage Poor and the Art of Bill Lanier at SquareRut Kava this Friday

The Savage Poor - Logo

My band, The Savage Poor, will be playing in Austin this Friday at SquareRut Kava.  The event goes from 8pm to 10pm.  I’m especially excited about this gig as our friend, Bill Lanier, will be displaying some of his art, photography, and other images at this show.  I’ve always wanted to do more shows that combine music with other art forms.  Bill’s photography is amazing to see in person.  He is also going to be projecting some images during our show in a nod to Andy Warhol and The Velvet Underground during their Factory days.  This is a free event and it really is going to be a special one if you happen to find yourself in the Austin area on Friday.

For anyone that hasn’t been visiting here regularly, The Savage Poor just released a new single that is available for free download here:

Stay (Trouble in Mind Remix)

 

Stay (Trouble in Mind Remix)

stay cover 1 album x

A-Side: Stay

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B-Side: Stay (Trouble in Mind Remix)

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The Savage Poor are adding a B-Side to our brand new single Stay.  (If in the ever changing world of the modern music business is still such a thing as a B-Side.)  I always liked the days of the proper B-Side when artists could do something outside the norm of what they would do on their proper albums.  There are no rules anymore.  We are going to put out a record sometime next year, but in the mean time we have too much material to wait.  These are recordings are independent and self made.  We don’t know what the fuck we’re doing, we have no budget, but we’re learning as we go along and dreaming big.  Often limitations lead to more exciting places anyway.  Occasionally I’ve gone into studios where the rule book prevents anything exciting from happening.  These B-sides will give us the chance to go down strange alleyways.  We hope that you’ll go along on this journey with us.

In the early days of Jamaican music they would take singles and experiment and turn them into dub.  These recordings were stranger, the midnight moon to the single’s sunshine.  The remix above is still a pop song in format, but that Jamaican music was definitely in my mind as I did the remix.  I always loved George Faith’s In the Midnight Hour/Ya Ya.  It almost sounds as if it could be in the movie Trainspotting if not for that groove.   It sounds like hash, narcotics, and cotton candy all mixed together.

Another favorite recording around these parts is Marianne Faithfull’s Trouble in Mind.  The remix started with an attempt to melt everything into a similar beautiful haze.  Somewhere between the two songs’ influence, this remix exists.  I’d be a clown if I suggested that on a technical level I got anywhere close to those all-time greats on one of our first attempts.  First of all, I simply don’t have the gear.  But I think there is something strange, beautiful, and unique there if you’ll simply take the time to dream along with a pair of headphones.

The credits are the same as the single, for the most part.  You can see all at the link below.  However, I should make special mention that great friend and Shinyribs compatriot Keith Langford graced this version with his infamous red maraca!

More credits, artwork, and information about the single Stay:

“Stay” Single Release by The Savage Poor

 

 

 

Stay – New and Improved

stay cover 1 album x

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My band The Savage Poor has just released a new single.  You can read about it here:

“Stay” Single Release by The Savage Poor

I mixed the song while on tour.  I got obsessed with mixing it.  I partied.  I mixed it some more.  Then I mixed it some more, even once I was happy with it.  After posting it when I got home, I realized that an earlier mix was superior.  It’s probably only details that dogs or people with an obsessive relationship with sound, yours truly included, could pick up.  But I do believe this new mix sounds better across all platforms.  (For those that get what I’m talking about, this version, when mastered, sounded better across all platforms and not just the headphones I had to mix on while touring.) This will now be the new official version.  I replaced the existing versions at all various points with this new and improved version.  If you liked the original mix I posted better, or want to hear 30 other mixes done in various states of mind, just ask.  So it is written, so shall it be done…

 

“Stay” Single Release by The Savage Poor

stay cover 1x

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(If you have trouble just click on the download now, then right click or tap to bring up options.  Select the download video option.)

Oh and before we go any further, if you are going to listen to the song on your computer, or your smart phone, please dear god use headphones or connect it to some decent speakers.  Even the Beatles sound like shite screeching through some tinny device speakers.  Modern life!  

My band The Savage Poor has just release the new single “Stay”.  For the music fan, I put credits and an image you can use as a digital cover down at the bottom.  Please feel free to share this song with as many people as you like.  It’s free!  My brother wrote this about it, as it was released on Labor Day, while I was out on tour:

In honor of Labor Day, The Savage Poor is sharing a new single called “Stay” at thesavagepoor.com. “Stay” was recorded at the band’s rehearsal space in Austin, TX and mixed remotely by Jeff Brown whilst visiting the Pacific Northwest. 

“Stay” is something of a rarity in the band’s current repertoire, as it deals explicitly with the complex, mosaic emotions of adult relationships–accentuated by imagery from the Fall of Man and the Garden of Eden. While many of the band’s current songs look outward to the problems, absurdities, and inequalities of the modern world, “Stay” looks ever inward. 

The song is an open-field tackle on the battlefield of internal struggle–wrapping one’s arms around another as an act of both fortification against and embrace of the unknowable abyss. 

I wanted to write a song for someone that means a lot to me, but I always keep in mind Larry David’s maxim to “Curb Your Enthusiasm”.  How many people really want to know how happy someone makes you?  I had to find an angle.

I wanted to cast love as the ultimate subversive act.  In a universe where all roads lead to oblivion, in a world of impermanence, what could be more defiant than choosing to give your heart over to something, to believe in everlasting love?  If not defying God, at least defying “the gods” in the Greek sense.  What was Prometheus punished for if not for bringing warmth and light to man?

I’ve always been fascinated with the Garden of Eden myth.  It can be a beautiful and poetic way of telling the story of childhood.  We grow up in the Garden, with the wonder of a child, to be cast out with a loss of innocence as we become adults.  At the same time, there is some absurd patriarchal shit going on in that story.  A woman was created out of a man’s rib?  Tell me some Stone Age motherfucker didn’t insert that so he could have a little more control of the household!

So I figured a retelling of that story would be the perfect vehicle for all of these ideas to come together.  Our story unfolds…

Stay

Eternity Dreamed
And then we awoke
In some beautiful, cosmic joke
With a hole in our hearts
But hearts all the same
Yearning to hear a lover’s name

Oh I know you’ll go
We all leave alone
But with you here today
Tomorrow fades away

Stay, while you can
You make it all seem part of some plan

We found fruit in the trees
Fish in the streams
We ran through the Garden unaware
We mapped out the stars
Named Venus and Mars
We found patterns when there were no patterns there

Oh I know you’ll go
We all leave alone
But with you here today
Tomorrow fades away

Stay, while you can
You make it all seem part of some plan

They say you came from my rib
Well, that’s just a fib
I could never create anything so beautiful
You took the apple from the tree
I hope your conscience is free
‘Cause I’d do it again and again and again and again

Stay, while you can
You make it all seem part of some plan

Credits:

Song performed, arranged, and produced by The Savage Poor

Ben Brown:  Electric lead and rhythm guitar, harmony vocal
Roger Wuthrich: bass
Alex Moralez: drums
Jeff Brown: Electric rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, lead vocals, percussion, sound effects

Sleeve Concept Roger Wuthrich and Ben Brown
Sleeve Design and layout Roger Wuthrich

Song recorded and mixed by Jeff Brown

Song written by Jeff Brown
Copyright 2016
Publishing: End of Feel Good Music ASCAP

stay cover 1 album x

Thanks to my fellow band members and other musician friends for the great mixing advice while I was traveling!!!

Thoughtless Kind

A great song doesn’t have to be true all the time, or even true at all, but when it is playing it should feel as it came on a tablet down from the mountaintop.  John Cale has three recorded versions of this song on Music For a New Society/M:FANS.  I like the acoustic outtake the most out of the three versions, as it seems more desperate, more of the moment.  It seems like it is being written on the spot, the lyrics as true expression of the heart.  This song is truly lonesome, but completely unaffected.  It might cast a shadow across your day, but you’ll be glad you found it.  It’s real and true. How many things can you say that about?

Stay

Eternity dreamed
And then we awoke
In some beautiful cosmic joke
With a hole in our hearts
But with hearts all the same
Yearning to hear a lover’s name

Oh, I know you’ll go
We all leave alone
But with you here today
Tomorrow fades away

Stay, while you can
You make it all seem part of some plan

We found fruit in the trees
Fish in the streams
We ran through the Garden unaware
We mapped out the stars
Named Venus and Mars
We found patterns when there were no patterns there

Oh, I know you’ll go
We all leave alone
But with you here today
Tomorrow fades away

Stay, while you can
You make it all seem part of some plan

They say you came from my rib
But that’s just a fib
I could never create anything so beautiful
You took the apple from the tree
I hope your conscience is free
Cause I’d do it again and again and again and again

Stay, while you can
You make it all seem part of some plan

Lyrics to a song I wrote that my band, The Savage Poor, were working on today.  We’ll be at the Rattle Inn in Austin, Texas this week at 10pm.

Blood Orange and Cultural Appropriation

I enjoy pop music that has a subversive quality to it, especially when there is still an accessible melodicism to it.  The music that Blood Orange makes reminds me of the melodic genre bending soul of someone like Prince, but with the cold beauty of modern indie acts like Chromatics.

There is no doubt that there are a lot of homoerotic undertones in shots in this video.  I was reading with  Dev Hynes, the man behind Blood Orange, and he said this in an Interview article:

I find New York, early 80s gay culture so amazing—the ball culture, what they created, how they expressed themselves. I admire them endlessly for their bravery. I can’t even imagine how difficult it was to be young, black, and gay 30 years ago. When I was younger growing up in Essex—a small town in England—I dressed pretty weird, and a lot of my friends were gay, so I essentially grew up as a gay kid even though I was straight. I had all the abuse—was spat on daily, called a fag, was pushed around. The whole aesthetic of Blood Orange is basically a celebration of gay culture. I want to celebrate people who I feel represent freedom, for example Octavia St. Laurent, who I’ve done a little tribute to on the Myspace.

There are lots of talks in the media about culture appropriation concerning different artists.  As long as an artist admits who they are taking, and politically stands up for those that they are taking from, I think it is not only OK to take things from different cultures, but essential to art.  They only way that new genres are created is when two (or more) things are combined that were never combined before. Also, it can expose elements of different cultures to people that may not have been accepting to them otherwise.  There is no doubt, for instance, that the Rolling Stones helped lead people back to many black blues artists.  Morrissey steals lines from different writers, while putting them in a new context, and through him I have discovered and read those artists.

There are only three times when this becomes problematic:  When an artist steals without adding anything new (This would be, if not plagiarism, than unimaginative art.), when an artist steals without credit (straights up plagiarism), when an artist steals something from a culture without supporting that culture politically (hypocrisy).

The Savage Poor

The Savage Poor - Logo

The Savage Poor

I have a new band.  We’re three shows in.  We have an album under way.  Up above is a link to our brand new website.  It’s all new and exciting and only time will tell where it goes from here.  Since late last year I’ve spent a lot of time on music.  There’s some demos streaming at the new website.  The band is more rocking, more beautiful, and more everything than the home demos.  I’ve spent so much time getting this band going that my writing here has declined in the last few months.  Hopefully I’ll be able to find a balance soon.  Next show in Austin is at the Rattle Inn on July 7th at 10pm.  Come see what it’s all about.