Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What's In A Name? or, Useless History Vol. XVI

We actually played two shows using two different names. The first one was, under major protest from the original bassist, 'Badger'. (I bet even Barbara wouldn't remember that). If gun were to head, as I am already down memory lane, I would venture to say the venue was the long-gone-but-missed, 'Lauterbach's' in Brooklyn.

I would've fought both tooth and nail for the title regardless, but had I not recalled some band from way back that had used the name already. I can't for the life of me remember the tag we went by at the second show, but I am pretty sure that sucked, too. I just felt that whatever it wound up being, it just be non-genre specific. No 'Metallica's', or for that matter 'Eagles', either. Nothing that would pigeon-hole the sound.

Version 1:
As we started laying down some demos, on the then groundbreaking format of DAT tape, we had the prerequisite sheet of looseleaf paper on the fridge in the (drunken) hopes of drunken inspiration or at the very least that luck, would find us a proper moniker. As the list grew into two useless sheets, I remember huffing onto the couch, "I can't believe this name thing is such a problem...Ah-Fucking-Ha, The Problems".

Version 2:
"Hey let him follow you down,
Way underground wind and he's bound.
Bound to follow you down,
Just a dead beat right off the street.
Bound to follow you down.

Well the ballrooms and smelly bordellos
And dressing rooms filled with parasites.
On stage the band has got problems,
They're a bag of nerves on first nights.

He ain't tied down, to no home town,
Yeah, and he thought he was wreckless.
You think he's bad, he thinks you're mad,
Yeah, and the guitar player gets restless.


And his coat is torn and frayed,
It's seen much better days.
Just as long as the guitar plays
Let it steal your heart away,
Let it steal your heart away.

Joe's got a cough, sounds kind a rough,
Yeah, and the codeine to fix it.
Doctor prescribes, drug store supplies,
Who's gonna help him to kick it
Well his coat is torn and frayed,
It`s seen much better days.
Just as long as the guitar plays
Let it steal your heart away,
Let it steal your heart away."

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Good Things Come To Those Who Wait Longer or, WTF! At Least Somebody Cares


After having been held down to a date by those in control of such things, and after much reassurance that nothing will go wrong, I went ahead and chose June 29th as the official release date for 'Powder Blue Bone'.  Now it seems, after a half-dozen or so emails, that there seems to be some kind of snafu with digital distribution.  Some think that because our last album was released during the Cretaceous, most media outlets (iTunes, Amazon, etc...) are having a tough time linking the two.  Right now it is a crap shoot that we will be online come the morning.

In any event, you can now download a copy here at 'DigStation'!  These guys have it together, I guess...

I will keep you all informed as to when you can purchase the actual CD (which is way cooler) and when we go live with all major outlets.  I am betting on a one week delay.  The Problems wouldn't have it any other way.

Release Party details to follow very soon...

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Waiting is the Hardest Part or Strangeways, Here We Come

Cannot believe it, but it's true. All audio and artwork has been submitted and expect release date to now be mid-June.
Accepted a stint on a package tour with Willie Nelson, Erykah Badu and Slipknot.
Also, opening Bonaroo, closing Lollapolooza...it's gonna be a wild summer.
Have a great Memorial Day Weekend, folks!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Delays, Delays, Delays or, If It Ain't One Thing, It's Another


With the mastering of the album nearly complete (or will be any minute now), it seems the art team has stumbled on its way to the end zone.  I am still confident that we will be able to submit art and master by the end of the week, now leaving us with a June release.  Thank you all for your patience.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Weekly Round Up

Here we go:
Album being mastered as we speak.
Artwork being honed and crafted to fit templates as we speak.
Expect CD proof by early next week.
Expect to approve said proof by late next week.
Expect to approve said artwork by late next week.
This means that if all goes as expected, we are looking at a late May release.
Can it be?
Stay tuned to find out...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Weekly Round Up

As things are moving quite quickly these days, I'll be sure to post weekly updates to keep the faithful up to date.

We finally have a production master. That, for the uninitiated, is an actual unmastered copy of the album with the proper sequencing, fades and spacing of each song. Basically, what you will hear when the record is released.

I remain optimistic that the artwork is coming along as more people are now involved. This should in no way hold up the mastering process (sonic improvement through EQ and compression, ha!). My thinking is that mastering will take at least two weeks so that should buy the art team some time.

The official bio is now written (one of them anyway). The PR team chose a professional writer to help tell the story of The Problems. I will post as soon as approved by said PR team.

Five new songs are up on the myspace site for your listening pleasure.

We are getting close people. All this considering that we threw the last piano solo on just last week!!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Crank-ing!

Okay, lets get all caught up here. While all of the images were chosen, the artwork is still being put together. Although finalized, still waiting for some last minute edits to the liner notes. Although the sequence is just about chosen, still waiting for one last stray piano solo before mastering. Although on board, without the above, the Public Relations machine has no reason to move. Without the above, the launching of a slightly remodeled (more content) website will also have to be put on hold.

All in all, I am hoping that this is the last real sputter before completion.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

RIP Alex Chilton (1950-2010)


An old friend bought the 'Feudalist Tarts' ep for me as a gift when it came out, knowing that I was a fan and that it was Alex Chilton's first release in a long time. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. In fact, it has remained in heavy rotation throughout all of these years. As recently as last Sunday it played in the background as my fiancee and I had brunch at home. I strongly suggest purchasing it as soon as possible, especially since it now comes bundled with another classic, 'Like Flies on Sherbert'. 'Stuff', 'Lost My Job' and 'No Sex' all bring me back to that time. Although it was the mid-eighties and music was rife with cheesy synths and echo, it was this timeless recording of fun R&B covers that seemed so topical and relevant. As with the best music, it remains so today.

Strangely, I always thought of him as the 'Bizarro World' Stevie Winwood, when as teenagers they both had the fortune to sing huge hits. The Box Tops, 'The Letter', will be on someones soundtrack two hundred years from now.

When Paul Westerberg's homage, 'Alex Chilton', arrived on The Replacements, 'Pleased to Meet Me', I felt especially 'in the know' and it made a great record even greater.

I remember when the Counting Crows broke with 'Mrs. Jones', word had it that the original line was supposed to be, 'I want to be 'Alex Chilton' instead of 'Bob Dylan'. Which makes more sense as later in the song Duritz sings, 'We all want to be big stars'. To be name checked in a top 10 hit would have been quite the revenue stream but I think some record exec inexplicably put the kibosh to that.

When he came to terms with his Big Star past, it was no less revelatory than Fogerty playing the CCR catalogue again. Grabbing Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow from The Posies to fill out the band did not seem like a sell out, and gave another generation a chance to hear his (and Chris Bell's) great songs.

The opening is still the best part of 'That '70's Show', and through the miracle of syndication, we get to hear Cheap Trick's version of 'In the Street' daily.

Though not the best Big Star album, 2005's 'in Space' was still a unique offering and now, knowing there will never be a follow-up, just got that much better.

There was plenty of marginalia at this years inductions into the 'Rock and Roll Hall of Fame'. I cannot help but wonder how someone like Mr. Chilton got overlooked all of these years, because believe me, no one started a band after hearing Abba for the first time.

I remember seeing him (at what I remember now to be the old NYC club 'Tramps') and as a fledgling songwriter being blown away by the sheer amount of unbelievable tunes. 'September Gurls' remains one of my top ten songs of all-time and always will be.

Still touring, he was scheduled to play SXSW this weekend.

'Thirteen', Big Star
'#1 Record/Radio City' 1972

Saturday, March 13, 2010

We Are Done (I Can See The Finish Line From Here...)



As of yesterday, all mixes have earned the precursor 'Final' to their titles. I am more relieved than anything else and remain optimistic for a swift completion. Now all that remains, on the audio end, is one or two (dozen) listening sessions to seal any (hopefully microscopic) cracks, and it's off to be mastered.

The artwork is coming along nicely and there may even be a nice surprise for those who invest in purchasing the actual CD.

I would like to give an early 'Thank You' to all of the talented hippies, hipsters, hiphuggers and hookers that participated in this project (in whatever form), and to all of those who may be awaiting its arrival into the world.

Hope to be filling in the holes quickly now...
Best,
Frank