Ship's Log

It's world premiere night 

That sounds more important than it is. Still, it's technically correct. Tonight we'll try out the Premiere feature on YouTube, so we can chat with a few people who want to see the video of Face Off, the first song on the new album.

While we are happy with the video, and had a lot of fun making it, it's talking to people who like the music that is exciting. Long ago, we went to Iceland. Eric was playing a couple of solo gigs there, and among many remarkable things about Reykjavik was the sense of community amongst artists. It seemed that everyone painted, or made music, or acted, or sculpted, or wrote, or somehow did something to express themselves, and the city is small enough that people were at once creators and audiences. The boundaries between people were fluid, so that rather than being an X Factor sort of "mighty entertainer spews glorious sounds to adoring masses" feel, it was a communal appreciation of creativity.

That's a fancy way of saying we're happy to share what we make, and we want to see, hear, and experience what others make. Share!

Video time 

The CDs have been pressed. The digital distribution has been arranged. The publicist has her schedule. Now comes the part that swings wildly from fun to misery: making the first video.

You know how you hate hearing your voice recorded? Now imagine hearing it as you see your face - which seems suddenly to be composed primarily of pores and zits - making absurd faces along with your voice. Frame by frame, scrubbing back and forth to get each cut exactly right. But that only happens after searching your closet, and then a few thrift stores, for exactly the right clothes to convey effortless cool. 

Lighting your face and clothing is an even bigger challenge, especially when you're a largely self-contained duo on a tight budget. Borrow some modeling lights and string together a motley team of desk lamps and flashlights though, and you ultimately end up with something interesting despite - or because of - your limited resources.

Cue the music and start shooting, using your phone, your DSLR, or even that weird old Kodak HD camera from the early 00s. Find a happy accident and do a few takes, and the video begins to tell its own story, in a way you hadn't quite expected. What was once a disaster is now a challenge, and then soon it's fun.

Editing, you see the story become more concise, and another happy accident or two finds you playing and replaying something that...well, no one will mistake it for Spike Jonez, but these images support the music. You won't be ashamed to share this.

It's video time.

A new voice 

In the spring, Eric got pneumonia and months later his voice is permanently changed. More soulful. More gritty. More difficult to hear in crowded rooms. We have included a song on the new album to showcase his new sound. This means that Eric got to do the lead vocals on the title track, Mind Grafitti.