Ladies and Gentlemen –
We are proud to release a brand new EP today.
It’s part of an EP trilogy that we’ve got worked up for you.
It follows the saga of a young orphan on a desert planet who will grow to be a powerful Jedi, and save the galaxy…
No – I kid. It is a trilogy that follows the epic journey of a band of heroes on a quest to destroy a very wicked and powerful ring in a volcano…
Sorry, sorry. Trilogies are just so damn awesome. OUR trilogy is not like those other trilogies. Ours is a series of vinyl 7″ records, and it will chronicle the lives of 5 plucky adventurers with their Gandalf-like producer, John Vanderslice, as they work to – through the magic of analog tape – transfer their hearts and minds into sonic waves for you and your ears to enjoy.
Part 1 is out now and we’re calling it Ink, and we hope you enjoy. You can buy it here.
(You can check out our most recent single from this EP, Get Me Home, here. It has the world’s greatest Folk Brawl well documented – also a guest spot by Ben and Alex’s dad, Brad. He kind of steals the show.)
Hail hail, folks.
We are very excited to release this Punk EP to the world.
Starting last year, The Brothers Comatose made an EP for Halloween release. The idea is that we dress 4 of our songs up in a different genre. Last year it was Metal. This year, a bit less heavy, but no less dear to my heart, we did Punk (more pop punk really, but it really depends on how you’re defining these things, and genre splicing and delineation has never been my strong suit).
The first year it was easy to convince everyone in our string band to make a Metal EP because we had been running a Kickstarter campaign, and I – quite literally – had to make 4 of our songs into Metal Songs. They didn’t have to be full on, out-and-out attempts to be an actual metal band… but because I – quite literally – want to be in an out-and-out metal band, they were.
And so, through one year of necessity and pure love of metal, a tradition was born.
It’s not a tradition if you only do it once. So this summer I started my pitch for Halloween Covers EP episode 2: The Pop Punk EP. This is a natural because it was proven by punk scientists Me First and the Gimme Gimmes that any song with a melody and chord progression becomes better if you make it punk.
The band is, generally, enthusiastic about fun and ridiculous ideas, so this was a shoe-in. The real rub was in getting a budget from the powers-that-be to hire a drummer and book a day in the studio. Once this (miraculous) feat was accomplished, the sky was the limit. I came up with 4 songs and worked up demos – songs that I thought we could re-arrange well for the genre at hand. Then I hired James Allen – drummer for rad local band One Armed Joey – to track some real drums. (Last year’s EP had MIDI drums. A regret I’ll carry with me forever…) We went to White Whale Studios in Santa Rosa where James smashed on drums while I played super loud electric bass – my music room/home studio is right under the girls’ bedroom. No drums and super loud electric bass allowed here.
Drums and bass were tracked – hanging like full, lush, ripe musical fruit to blend into a punk-rock smoothie and then … we ended up on a 3 week tour. Campfire Caravan Part 1.
No problem. I love smoothies and will not be thwarted from a good smoothie, even if it is only metaphorical. I brought my portable studio with me – laptop and interface – and Ryan had his trusty LesPaul on the road. So the guitars got tracked in various backstages across the Northwest. I mixed and mixed in the van, and had things mostly ready for Ben and Alex to track lead vocals in our brief time at home between tours.
Ryan sent me guitar solos that he did in his home studio (superb, as I’m sure you’ll agree), Ben and Alex came in and shredded some vocal tracks (Alex’s Joey Ramone vibe is off the charts, and Ben’s evil talk-vocals on Tops of the Trees was difficult to track because we were both laughing so hard), I threw down tons of background vox, and other tidily little bits where I thought they would be cool, and – the piece de resistance – Jenny (my amazing and stunningly talented wife) stepped in and crushed the lady vocal parts on Morning Time.
Finish it up, tie it with a bow, and send it off to the amazing Jeffrey Norman at Mockingbird Mastering to make it huge and shiny… and we have our EP. Still warm from the oven, and ready for you to enjoy.
I’m really happy with how it all came out. I’d never mixed live drums before, so that was a pretty substantial learning curve. The process of mixing and then mastering is still somewhat shrouded in mystery to me, and so this project – just like last year’s – was nutty in a great way. Like being thrown into the deep end of the pool… but the pool isn’t really too deep, and it’s filled with delicious Mango LeCroix, so even if you did sink, you could still drink your way out… I guess, what I mean is, challenging, but without life-and-death consequences.
Hope you enjoy, Happy Halloween, and I can’t wait for next year.
We rode horses!
And we knew you wouldn’t believe us, so we documented it in gorgeous, spectacular high-def, cinematic style. Thanks to Colin Blackshear for the camera and editing. Thanks to Ismay for the horses and expertise, and thanks to Lagunitas for giving us a way to dull the pain of our knees and asses.
Enjoy the new tune, and then come out to our 3-band-super-party-tour and sing along with us in your town.
This is a harrowing tale of friends turning their backs on a hero. A saga of water-logged bravery and perseverance vs cold, callous, debaucherous tomfoolery. I think you’ll all shed a tear. Hold on to your dear ones.
And always wear a life vest.
Huge thanks to Michael Bonocore for the awesome camera work!
Folks, if you knew how long we’ve been planning, building, working, scheming, meeting, thinking and generally getting phenomenally stoke-ed for this tour… and we finally get to announce it!
We’re part of a Campfire Caravan with our buddies in Mipso and Lil’ Smokies. We’re coming to just about everywhere (or at least 2-3 hours from everywhere…) and the shows will be unlike anything we’ve ever done before.
We’ll highlight more of the amazing special features of the world’s first ever campfire caravan tour as the commencement date approacheth!
Get them tickets, folks! Can’t wait to see you all.
Folks – we don’t often brag about all of our amazing and cool friends… but we are going to right now.
We have invited some of the coolest and most rocking of bands to Comatopia to party with us in Bandit Town this August. If you are sick and tired of us and our boy band hi-jinks… well, come and enjoy some real, gritty, true-blue music from our awesome friends.
You can check out the lineup (with color commentary – just scroll down a bit) here, or you can just peruse the beautiful flier Alex made below. You can also check out selected videos from all the bands here… Your choice.
See you there!… after you buy your tickets right here.
We have neglected a lot of states. Many a wonderful town full of beautiful, wonderful, music-loving souls we have forsaken in recent years. My pin-map of our tour spots has a gaping, sad hole in the middle-ish area of the country.
We remedy this starting next week!
Check out them tour dates, folks!
Can’t wait to see you and have you tell me the best place to get deep, dark, roasty, toasty espresso in your town.
See you soon!
Do you find yourself, of a summer afternoon, thinking to yourself that what you’d really like to do is be on my Kickball team, defending a two-time championship against the forces of darkness and evil… and to celebrate with an evening full of great music and beers, and then to sing and dance and make merry into the wee wee hours of the morning? For 2 or 3 days straight?
Come to Comatopia! Our festival is turning 3 this year. We’re all going to head out to Bandit Town to set up our little world of porch-picking and super chill vibes, with tons of music from our most favorite musical friends.
Our tickets are on sale now. The lineup isn’t announced yet… but that is but an afterthought. Come for the hang… and the pie? (Bring pie.) and the awesome people you’re sure to find there, and the glorious music that will assuredly be made.
See you there.
I have just a breath of WiFi and relative warmth and safety on this peril-filled Frostbite Tour (see blog posts) to let you all know that The Boot is premiering our latest Elevator Session: Hank Williams’ heartfelt, infinitely sad lament, My Bucket’s Got a Hole In It.
We snuck into The St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, famous for its towering, glass, open-to-the-epic view elevators. We met the right Hotel employee (huge fan of bluegrass) and commandeered an elevator for about 10 minutes. Most everyone was enthusiastic. One couple was quite snootily put out by the whole affair.
It was great fun.
Big thanks to Pint of Soul for mixing the audio and Jacob Skaggs for filming and editing our tomfoolery.
We are on tour… and great adventures are afoot.
But, to all of ye far afield and not in the path of this current tour – we offer you our Elevator Sessions, Part 2: To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High) – our cover of Ryan Adams… as played in a mall elevator.
Thanks to Jambase for the exclusive premier of the new video.
See it HERE.
Enjoy, and wish us warmth and clear roads!