Bones and All

While taking a stroll through the crammed halls of the Elemental Pea Archives, my divining rod guided me to an ancient doorway, aged with patina and lime. A fetid aroma defiled my nostrils as my stomach retched with torment. Though sickened and disturbed, my curiosity seized me. A comforting nostalgia consumed my being as I stepped through the warped, creaky archway. Without warning, a blinding pain surrounded my head like a halo, and to this day, recall no more.

I can only assume I was found and taken to my apartment sometime during the following morning. I awoke alone on the couch, with my laptop opened to a file I had thought long forgotten. With jittery hands and an uneasy heart, I hereby carry out my blog-masters task and present to you: “Sepulchre.”

I recorded this EP in early 2011, experimenting with the Korg MicroKORG Synthesizer/Vocoder I was borrowing from a former bandmate. I had downloaded a drum beat/looping program on my old laptop and asked my wife Rhianna to go wild and create something fun. All the drum beats on this EP (with an exception of “Dance of the Dead”) were created by her. I added the bass parts next, then let the microKorg take over; acoustic guitars sneaked into the recordings while I wasn’t watching. The last song, “A Wake,” features my very first attempt to play/record with a colossal accordion I had inherited a few weeks before. Once again, these songs aren’t perfect, but I have always been partial to this little five song fantasy. Below is a preview of the title track,“Sepulchre.” If you like this tune, head over to the Store section of this website and buy the EP via my bandcamp page! It only costs five bones!

Purchase “Sepulchre” EP Here!

Juvenilia Paraphernalia #1

This morning I stumbled upon my old MySpace account, and was able to retrieve some sketches, paintings and photographs I had thought long lost. Scrolling through the veritable treasure trove, I recalled some sketches I did for a would-be concept album; but I’m getting ahead of myself.

I had received a mandolin from my parents for my seventeenth birthday, and I would waste no time in trying to record as soon as possible, even before I really knew any chords. I fumbled through the mandolin chord book (a birthday add on, of course) and went to town. Since I’m a December birthday, I was on break from school and had plenty of opportunity to practice and experiment. A few days later I borrowed a FOSTEX Analog 4-Track Recorder form a good friend and laid down the structure for my concept idea.

“Mr. Toad Infatuated,” Original Illustration by Matthew Pinkus, 1997

If you know me at all, you know all about my obsession with Kenneth Grahame’s “The Wind in the Willows.” This book was my most requested bedtime reading as a child, and I was infatuated with the detailed and fantastical illustrations of Michael Hague. I knew my goal in life was to someday make the book mine! I was going to set it to music in some way. I still have this dream, and I know one day I will write my definitive Oeuvre and rest in peace knowing my work on Earth was done. Phew, pretty dramatic stuff!

For your listening enjoyment, I’ve included below a lost track from my juvenilia recordings of my first “Wind in the Willows” attempt. This recording is a copy of a copy of a copy of a tape I had my dear friend Nate Pottker restore for me. This recording is what was to be the grand Overture, and is an instrumental with four tracks of mandolin. It’s in pretty bad shape and the music is a little rough around the edges, but I still listen fondly to the memory of my seventeen year old self, sitting on my bed in my parents home; headphones on, mandolin in hand and a future full of unlimited musical possibilities!

Dingoes In The Studio

Aside from my musical work here at and Elemental Pea, I am the bassist and back-up vocalist for indie/alt band Dingo Down. We are currently in the studio, recording our debut EP, “Pony Up.” It’s been an exciting week so far, laying down the live tracks, drinking potent beers and getting two hours of sleep each night! Here’s a picture of guitarist Laine, drumer Bryan and myself jamming out the tunes in the wee hours of the morning! studio001With just a few more nights of recording vocals, punching in guitar overdubs and cleaning up the mess we made, our EP is going to be ready for the fun part: Mixing and mastering!

I was really stoked to be surrounded by a grand piano and two lovely vintage organs! My band mates we’re more than a little annoyed at my constant solo jam sessions! I may have the seeds for a new song in my mind, whether the Dingoes like it or not!

While I’m fully invested with, I have also taken on the job of webmaster for the all new Dingo Down website. I built it from the ground up, and am proud of what I have done so far. Please take the time to check out the world of Dingo Down, and their new place on the interwebs! Click the link below!

Dingo banner
The Legendary Dingo Down!

Tales from the Acoustic Vault #1

For your consideration, I’ve added a few tracks to my music page showcasing some of my favorite acoustic instruments. I recorded these tunes a few years back, and while I do have vocal versions, I wanted to present these in their instrumental form. I’m also proud to post a few pieces of artwork I created this morning for these two tracks! Enjoy!

Check out the instrumental songs “Forget” and “Stormfield Syndrome” here!