Tonight was the last night of the Friday Night at the Movies series with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. I’ve blogged about the series before if you’re curious. Tonight’s theme was a tribute to Chicago film critic extraordinaire, Roger Ebert. It was a really special night. They played pieces from Roger’s favorite film composers and favorite movies. I won’t go through everything they played but some highlights were “Lawrence of Arabia”, “Gabriel’s Oboe” by my favorite Ennio Morricone, and “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. At one point they brought out a zither player to play the theme from “The Third Man”. I had never seen a zither played before and I still have no idea how they’re played. It’s crazy. Check out the video below. Another highlight was when they played the score that was originally written for “2001″ before Kubrick decided to use what had just been temporary music instead. He made the right choice. It just wasn’t the same without “Also Sprach Zarathustra”. But the best moment was at the end when Roger Ebert came out on stage to a standing ovation. He’s been through a lot over the past several years so it was great to see him shown some love from his hometown.
I’m a huge Beatles fan. But you probably already knew that. You probably are too. Let’s face it most human beings are. The reason is because they are the best. I could probably end my post there, case closed, but I won’t. I just came across this blog the other day called “Let me tell you about the Beatles“. It’s a pretty fun idea. These two Beatles super fans decided they would go through each and every Beatles song and do a post on a song a day. When I search Beatles in my iTunes it comes up with about 220 songs and I’m sure I don’t have all of them. So this project will take these guys the better part of a year to finish. May I also point out that the Beatles first album came out in 1963 and their last in 1970, that’s roughly 30+ songs a year. That’s crazy. But anyway on the blog they go through some facts about the recording and just their opinions on the songs. It’s kind of funny when you read through the ones they have so far because for being such big Beatles fans they’re not afraid to call songs terrible. On a few posts you would think they downright hate the Beatles. It’s a fun read for all you Beatlemaniacs out there.
as dan mentioned, we’ve been working like crazy getting this “march” EP completed! we’re so very close to wrapping things up.
song # 1, which we’re calling “Pacific” is already sent over to mastering. feeling great about how the mix turned out – excited for you guys to hear it! it’s an instrumental, named after the pacific ocean, of course. my plan is to follow it up with another instrumental later in yearbook that will be called “atlantic.” excited for these watery-instrumentals!
song #2, called “birthright” is totally done on our end… it’s being mixed right now. we’re waiting on a friend to do some guest vocals, but not sure if schedules will work! fingers are crossed. either way, this song’s in great shape and we can’t wait to hear the mix. i played this song at the recent TWLOHA events i played at.. excited with how the recording turned out.
song #3 is pretty much finished, musically. feeling great about the song as a whole… just wrote vocal melodies that i like a lot too… the ONLY set back on this one is lyrics… my brain has been a little overloaded lately, so i’m having a bit of trouble pulling this one together fast. hoping for a good night working on it, as well as a solid next couple days of progress. it’s sort of the last piece of the puzzle – so my brain is echoing that all the time. ugh. lots of ideas for lyrics, just have to bend ‘em all into shape. and fast. really fast.
all in all, this EP’s nearly done and we’re really excited about it! a lot of work went into this, against a lot of unexpected schedule challenges and still, we couldn’t be happier with it. (well, if i had lyrics for song #3, i would probably be happier right now… ha)
speaking of lyrics, i should be writing them now. see ya guys!
Hey everyone. Sorry we’ve missed a few days here on the blog. We’ve been super busy finishing up the songs for the March EP. To make it up to you here is 100 pictures of little bunnies. Are we square now? Good. Like I said we’ve been super busy finishing the last two songs for this month. On Sunday we got together with our pal Jason Toth to record drums for the two songs. Jason played drums on our “Storyboards” album as well as the “December” Ep. He’s a great drummer and did an amazing job. We can always count on Jason to help us bring the songs to a new level. Then yesterday after working separately through the morning Ryan and I got together to sign off on one of the two songs, called “Birthright”, and sent it off to mixing. Which now leaves us with one song to go. Ryan is working hard on the lyrics while I’m at home working on the instrumental side of things. I think we can definitely wrap this up by the deadline but it’s definitely going to be down to the wire. I’m pretty excited about this batch of songs. I hope you guys dig them too. Thanks for reading. Take care.
If you’re an artist you’ve definitely had one of those days where you looked at someone else’s artwork and thought “I’ll never be that good”. Well I just saw a video recently that should be a reminder that even the best artists among us have to start somewhere. The artists I’m talking about in this post are Radiohead. In my opinion the best band currently playing music and I would also say second only to the Beatles as the best rock band ever. This is just my opinion. Below is a video for Radiohead’s song “Pop Is Dead”. This song was released as a single but wasn’t included on their first album “Pablo Honey”. If you’re an artist let this give you hope. We can all get better (much much better). Just two years later Radiohead released the song in the second video, “Fake Plastic Trees”. A pretty big leap if you ask me. Love, dan
so today, radiohead pulled the wraps off of their new record. which makes today, radiohead day.
i’ve listened through a few times now and there are some definitely wonderful moments and others i have yet to fully appreciate.. but i’m confident, i’ll enjoy it more and more with each listen, as with all incredible music.
in non-radiohead news… today we pulled off the covers of our “march” EP art.. we’re quite pleased with it.. it further solidifies geoff benzing as my favorite painter in the world, yet again. (not that there was any wavering at all… he’s the most consistent and incredible artists of any field i know. privileged to work with him like we do!)
dan and i got together today and we found ourselves in front of two potential paths to take for song #3 of the march EP… two concepts/ideas that could work… we chose and jumped right in and worked a very long day. feeling great – we’ve got a great skeleton of a song and i’m excited about it.
also, got a mix back on our instrumental for this ep… sounds great! very nearly wrapping that song up. overall a great, productive day! hoping for a great sequel tomorrow.
speak soon, guys!
p.s. the percussion/soundscape in this song (esp. in the front end) is quite unique and i love it
As of right now, our latest EP “February” is available on iTunes (& all other digital music stores!)
Grab “February” for $2.99, here! (All 4 of the previous Yearbook EPs are all available on iTunes as well, here.)
To buy it directly from us, or to subscribe to ALL of the Yearbook EPs (new and old, past and present), visit: www.sleepingatlast.com
“MARCH” COVER ART UNVEILED
One of our favorite aspects of the Yearbook project is Geoff Benzing’s incredible new art each month! We’re so pleased to unveil yet another masterpiece by Mr. Benzing for our upcoming “March” EP.
This beautiful painting features the arrival of Cliff Swallows in San Juan Capistrano, California. These beautiful, little birds migrate from Goya, Argentina to San Juan Capistrano in Southern Cali every year. Every March, (Mar. 19th, to be specific) the San Juan Capistrano villagers and folks from all over the world gather to celebrate an event called “The Return of the Swallows,” where like clock-work, the Swallows begin to arrive to rest and nest, taking shelter in the ruins of an old church called “Mission San Juan Capistrano.” * to read more about this painting, see below!
“FEBRUARY” ON RELEVANT
If you haven’t already heard the latest “February” EP, feel free to check it out in it’s entirety, streaming now via the kind folks at RELEVANT Magazine… click here to listen!
This concludes our announces for today… we hope that your week is coming along beautifully! The “March” EP releases March 1st- so excited for you to hear it!
Ryan & Dan – Sleeping At Last
* More detailed information about the “March” EP cover art: Truth be told, in recent years the swallows up upgraded their nesting destination to a fancy country club nearby the the old church ruins. “The Return of the Swallows” celebration still happens each year, where folks from all over the world wait and hope for the little birds to reappear at the “Mission,” as they have for years and years. Our photographer friend in the painting has rebelliously climbed onto the Mission this year, to capture the hopeful return! To learn more about the Return of the Swallows, visit here.
Have any of you ever read this book? I just finished it last night and I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say it might be my favorite book I’ve ever read. I wouldn’t call myself a huge reader but I do read a fair amount and I can’t remember the last time I was ever as wrapped up in a book as I have been with “Lonesome Dove”. There have been nights recently that I laid down for bed and thought to read a little bit before sleep and ended up reading for like three hours. The book is the definition of epic. Even at over 900 pages long, you don’t want it to end. It has so many characters and all of them are so fully formed and real that it feels like saying goodbye to old friends as you turn the last page. It’s full of humor, intense action, romance, and horrible sadness. Don’t let the cover fool you. I know it looks like something that you would buy at the grocery store next to the cheesy romance novels, but trust me it’s great. This isn’t much of a review it’s more just me gushing about how good it is. The book won the Pulitzer Prize in 1986. It was originally concieved as a screenplay for a movie that would have starred John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, and Henry Fonda. But when that fell through, the author rewrote the script as a full length novel. They eventually did make the book into a tv miniseries starring Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones. I’ve heard that is excellent as well and I can’t wait to watch that very soon (it’s on Netflix instant but read the book first). Anyway if you’re looking for a new book to read, you can take this post as my recommendation. I will say that it starts maybe a bit slow for some but it’s this part of the book that sets up all these amazing characters for the events later in the book. Thanks for reading guys and I hope you all are doing well.
a little update on the progress of the upcoming “march” EP…
we’re about halfway finished with this EP.
song # 1 is already sent off to mixing… no title just yet, but we’re pleased with how this one turned out. it’s an instrumental piece. planning on writing a part 2 for another EP down the road.
song #2 (titled: “birthright”) has completed lyrics, vocals, guitar and piano but is awaiting some guest vocals… and some bass and drums, among some other extras. it’s close, but still some work ahead.
song #3 is nowhere to be found just yet. definitely a little scary to be in the middle of the month with no clue as to what the 3rd song will sound like, but we’re feeling confident that it’ll show up right in time.
this month’s been a challenge for sure…lots of tight scheduling. not only is the month short anyway (28 days), i’ve been committed to 3 TWLOHA events (which i adore doing and truly appreciate the break away from writing!)… just returned from 3 days away as my wife and i attended an out of town, unexpected funeral. so it’s definitely a tight month, but i trust it’ll work out nicely! one more song to go and hopefully writing the “april” EP will be a less tense schedule. (i say this every month…)
we’ll be taking the wraps off of the artwork for “march” SOON…. really, really soon. we love how it turned out.
thanks for reading!!
i’m playing two of those TWLOHA events tonight and tomorrow, by the way! elmhurst, IL tonight… and st. cloud, MN tomorrow night. www.twloha.com for more info!
Happy Valentines Day Everyone! Hope you all have a great day filled with Love. We’ve got a lot to talk about today. First off… The Grammys were last night. I didn’t watch them. The only artist I really had any real interest in seeing was Arcade Fire and there’s no way they could win anything right? Wrong! They won album of the year! That’s crazy. I figured they had no chance since the award usually goes to some multi platinum selling record. A big congratulations goes out to them. They deserve it. I saw them open for a band called the Unicorns at a little gallery space a little while before “Funeral” came out and I was totally blown away even then. Not everyone is as excited. There is actually a website dedicated to tweets about wondering who Arcade Fire is. You can check that out here it’s pretty funny. If you missed the performance like I did here is a video from last night.
Second thing on the awesome list is Radiohead announced today that they will be releasing a brand new album this Saturday. That’s so soon! They sort of did this last album where they announced the album so close to the release date. It makes it all very exciting if you are a big Radiohead fan like us. You can preorder the album now so you can download it on Saturday. I can’t wait.