Looking For A Drummer

I’m forming a new band. Not Gymshoes-type electronica: a guitar-oriented rock band. Original songs. (I’m rhythm guitar/songwriter.) Local gigs. Record and sell songs online. Including a handful of songs that’s already been recorded and released online with my previous band—as well as solo stuff—I have about two dozen original songs. I’ve got my own label for my solo stuff which could also release band music (if we wanted to go that route). I’m in this for fun but I’m serious about it, too.

Everything Flows From The Drums: I want to build this band by getting a drummer first (well, second counting me, LOL) because I feel like everything flows from the drums. I’m not looking for someone to just keep time, but for a drummer who will contribute something that will (along with contributions of other band members) make the songs realize their full potential. Someone whose drumming contributes substantially to the development of the songs. Creativity as well as time-keeping. I don’t want the band to be dependent on generic drum loops or have an ever-changing drummer sitting in. I think if I can find the right drummer that I’ll be able to pull together a terrific band, write better songs, and we can all have a lot of fun making great music together. πŸ™‚ The vibe of a band, IMHO, is really dependent on what the drummer brings to it. πŸ™‚

Location: SE Houston, Houston addys south of beltway 8, Pasadena, Pearland, Friendswood, Webster, League City, Alvin, Clear lake, Kemah, Seabrook, etc.

Must haves: Must have whatever gear you need to do your thing. Must communicate well with other band members, have enthusiasm, energy, creativity, imagination, a good sense of humor. Must be available on weekends for jam sessions, song development, rehearsal, etc.

NO: No druggies, tokers, smokers; no alcoholics recovering or otherwise ’cause I don’t want to worry about you if I have a beer; no drama queens, kings or other royalty; no negativity; no one who wants to divide their time between this band and another band.

Contact me: theundeadmonkey at gmail dot com

What I’ve been up to

As promised, here’s a bit of what I’ve been up to lately. πŸ™‚ This spring I got a cool field recorder and subsequently got sucked into an ambient/environmental sound project some of which will eventually turn up in Gymshoes music. I’ve already got everything from birds to pure noise, as well as some odd stuff that falls inbetween. πŸ˜‰

I’ve also been writing new songs for guitar, demoing some older tunes and sorting some things out regarding starting a new band. For those of you who missed it, my internet band, Undead Monkey disbanded due to lack of time of most of the ever-changing band members. Rather than continuing it, I’m going to build a live local band from what I started with UM. It will be a continuation in the sense that it will be mostly the Undead songbook (ie my songs), but it will be different because it will be a different set of musicians and we’ll be able to all play in the same room with each other at the same time. This feels almost like a luxury coming after the whole internet band thing. πŸ˜† While there are advantages to collabing online with people all over the country, it’s going to feel good to again play in the same room with other musicians. πŸ˜€

I’ve already begun putting out some feelers and interviewing people. I’ll be posting updates on the Undead blog. Why there? Well, since I formed UM to handle my non-solo, non-electronica songwriting and since the new band will go forward from where UM left off—and since most ads/profiles online are either “band seeking musician” or “musician seeking band”, forming the new band using the Undead name as “band seeking musicians” makes a certain amount of sense.

Besides, I’ve been trying to think of another cool name and haven’t come up with anything yet. πŸ˜‰

I expect that once the band has gelled that we’ll discuss names and may retire the Monkey moniker, but that’s too far in the future to predict. I don’t expect this band to come together fast. I optimistically hope so, but typically these things take more time than one hopes.

In the meantime I’ll continue rounding up band members, recording cool stuff, and working on Gymshoes music. πŸ™‚

CD Released, Idiolith, Undead

No, I didn’t get another newsletter out before the end of the year, but I hope you had a happy holiday season and that the new year has started out good for you. πŸ™‚ Here’s what I’ve been up to…

Leap Day CD Release: The Halloween Soundscape album will be released as a CD from Independent Records and Idiolith on Leap Day, February 29th 2008. πŸ™‚Β  There’s a new track done especially for the CD, a werewolf track called “Loup-Garou”. You can find the revised liner notes for the album here. After remastering older tracks this past year and doing two new tracks within the past several months—and having its first commercial online release last fall—we decided to go ahead and make the CD available as soon as possible, rather sit on it until next fall. When you consider that the project began nearly 5 years ago, you can understand why I’m ready to put the CD out there and move on. πŸ™‚

Of course I’ll post about Halloween Soundscape again in the fall, but I’m ready to get on with other projects this year. I have no plans to do any more Halloween-soundscape-type tracks. I’m not saying I won’t ever tackle this theme again, but if so, it won’t be in the foreseeable future.

Idiolith is Live: The record label I set up to handle the release of Gymshoes music (CDs released in conjunction with Independent Records) is live and running. The logo image at http://idiolith.com is clickable and will take you into the site. I plan on Idiolith functioning as an umbrella site to promote all Gymshoes music, both my solo stuff and music I do with a band, so look for it to expand considerably from these modest beginnings.

The Monkey is Dead: Unfortunately my band Undead Monkey has disbanded, primarily due to lack of time by most of the band members.Β  I’d like to thank all you Undeadheads who supported the Monkey. I’m turning my attention now toward recruiting and developing another band. The Undead were blessed with an array of super-talented people. It’d be too much to expect that lightening will strike twice in the sense of a band will coming together as quickly as Undead Monkey did, but I’ll raise a lightening rod to attract that level of talent. OK, enough of the over-stretched metaphors. πŸ˜‰

New Gymshoes Video, New Monkey Music

New Music, New Video: Today I released the video of “Flutterby Butterfly”. The video was shot (and edited) last year at the Cochrell Butterfly Center, but I only just now finished editing the music for it. The music isn’t at present attached to any project, but will be released as an mp3 on the Gymshoes site sometime in the near future. I’ve decided to change how I release music on the website. Instead of waiting until I have a collection of songs, I’ll be releasing new music as I finish it. This means you’ll get new songs more often. πŸ™‚ You can view the vid on YouTube or better still…watch it on the Gymshoes myspace profile where it’s properly sized and therefore not-so-distorted.

Undead Monkey…And speaking of new music…A new song by my band, Undead Monkey has been released recently. “College Street” is part of the new project Undead and Kicking. Head over the the Undead Monkey site to read more about it, download and stream.

Gymshoes Music Used In Movie!

The New Year has gotten off to an amazing start.

Soundtrack: A Gymshoes song (which was never released on my website) was used in the movie, What It Takes, a documentary following four athletes in the Ironman Triathlon. It is now available on DVD. (A big shout-out thank you to Michele for telling me about this!)

Official movie site: http://www.witmovie.com/
Imdb page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0905644/

Filmed in 2005, the movie was released on DVD October 19, 2006. The Gymshoes song they used is “Everest” which was never released on my website. This was one of a couple of songs I released on another site under a CC “by” license, which only requires the user to give credit. Though it’s generally considered common courtesy to tell the artist, it’s not required. All music on my Gymshoes site is released under a much more restrictive license which requires attribution, non-commercial use and no derivatives (like movies, video and remixes)—-unless you get my permission. “Everest” was later withdrawn from general release and is currently only available on the DVD. If I rerelease it in the future it would be under the standard license I use for all my other Gymshoes (and Undead Monkey) music. (Update: it is now available on the Download page.)

One of the reasons “Everest” was never officially released is because I considered it unfinished. Here’s the notes I made on “Everest” in January 2005. You can perhaps see why the filmmakers thought the music fitting for the grueling triathlon.

Concept: Climbing Everest. Long Hard Climb to the Top Of The World. No oxygen. Specifically thinking of Mallory and Irvine who died in an attempt to be the first to reach the summit. They disappeared without a trace and for 50 years no one knew what happened on that mountain. Then Mallory’s body was found; it was not on the route people expected and climbers now think they met with an accident on the way up and did not summit first. Mallory and Irvine were both young men. It was Mallory who when asked why climb Everest, replied, famously, “Because it’s there.” BTW, I’m not a climber and I hate cold weather; yet I read books about Everest. πŸ˜‰ I think this ambient piece captures the difficulty, the breathlessness, the physical effort that the early explorers of Everest, like Mallory and Irvine and later, Hillary and Tsing Norgay, faced as they battled the elements and struggled to find a passable route to the top.

Life and Death: My band, Undead Monkey, finished up the last song on the Life And Death project late last year and released “The Sellafield Bakery” the first week in January. You can download or stream that song as well as the others in the “album” (there’s only 5) from archive.org and read full liner notes on the Undead website. We’re already working on new music for an as-yet-unnamed project. πŸ™‚ Take a look around while you’re there: the website has been redesigned and reorganized. We’re in the process of redesigning the merch, as well. I hope to have some new Undead merch up soon. πŸ™‚

Never Fear! I will continue making Gymshoes music in addition to Undead Monkey music. I will continue to offer free downloads on the Gymshoes music site. πŸ™‚ Look for lots of new music in the New Year!

Live podcast, Undead Hamlet

Live Podcast: The Halloween Soundscape is being featured yet again in another Halloween podcast. The folks that do the Trolley Dodgers podcast threw a live podcast Halloween party last night. The Halloween Soundscape was background music for the podcast which was recorded live. The podcast—which will feature ghost stories—should be released by Halloween (probably before) at podcast.trolleydodgers.com

Undead Hamlet Some of you remember the Halloween Hamlet that Hockinfinger and I did last year. It’s no longer available from the Gymshoes site, but it’s been remixed and is now available from Undead Monkey: http://theundeadmonkey.com

Happy Halloween! πŸ™‚

My new BAND myspace account: Undead Monkey

My band, Undead Monkey, now has a myspace account. (We joined on Friday the 13th!) We’ve got clips of our songs up for those of you who haven’t yet heard them. Check it out and add us as a Friend. I’ll send out some Friend invites, but I know some of you don’t allow Friend requests from bands—if so, you’ll have to ask us!

If you like Undead Monkey, please Add us as a Friend and pass this on to your Friends. πŸ™‚ Thanks!

Gymshoes
Undead Monkey @ myspace