News

CD Release: Abandoned Satellites - Room Enough for the Sun

May 21, 2016 06:47 PM

Good news, I remembered how to post things! I think! We'll see!

So, a number of years ago (fine, a number of decades ago), I went to high school with two very nice guys named Glenn and Pete. We were in jazz band together, we played in a few short-lived cover bands together, and Glenn even played on some very early demos of mine that the world must never, ever hear.

Fast-forward a while. Pete played on It Almost Seems Like Christmas — honestly, he's the reason it was finished and released at all. We were pretty proud of the result, and loved working together. Pete joined me at a few acoustic shows, and we wondered what would happen if we recorded in an actual studio. Of course, said Pete, "we gotta get [Glenn] Hess".

And get Hess we did.

Under the watchful ears of Mark Brasel, we recorded a 6-song EP.

Why 6 songs? Short answer: I'm not terribly prolific. There are other songs-in-progress, but if we waited for me to finish another 3 or 4, we'd have to round up to the next decade.

We called ourselves Abandoned Satellites, and released "Room Enough for the Sun" last month.

Want to own it?

Want a preview? Yes, we are in fact on Spotify.

It Almost Seems Like Christmas

December 19, 2013 03:44 AM

It Almost Seems Like Christmas by Paul Roub

The Short Version

That's a new song, a Christmas song. Click the Buy link, and all the profits from your dollar (or more) will go to a wonderful organization called The Haven For Children.

The Long Version

I hadn't written a Christmas song before, and hadn't particularly planned to. Other people seem to do it very nicely, I'll just play those if need be.1

Then I was invited to play in a Writers' Night, in-the-round with other local songwriters (and also a benefit), a few weeks back. The advertising was Christmas-themed, I knew others would be bringing Christmas songs, and I was gently asked if, you know, maybe I might have one?

I didn't, and decided to be OK with that. But a week before the show, the germ of an idea showed up. It bounced around as these things do, and the night before the show, I sat down and made myself write some verses. Normally I'll be all "I have to wait for the muuuuuuse", but what did it hurt? If they were terrible, I already didn't have a song. No harm done.

They weren't terrible. I liked them a lot. It was funny, but also wistful. My song, my rules. And I love me a power-pop melody and a big singalong chorus.

The day of the show, in lieu of lunch, I wrote the middle. I made myself a little demo, something to listen to in the background the rest of the day, so that I might remember it. I posted that demo to Facebook for a really small group of friends - mostly other writers - to hear; basically, I was surprisingly proud of the song. Here's that demo:

The show went really well (although I think I seriously flubbed the middle — we'll see when the DVD is available2).

The next day or so, my friend Pete sends me back my demo, but he's added drums. Tricky, considering the demo's rather flexible approach to timing.

But it sounded really cool. I sent Pete a new demo, this one with a click track, and a sample sequenced drum part which I hoped he'd ignore. A couple of passes later, and there were drums. Good ones, alongside my little guitar/vocal guide track.

I spent much of this weekend adding bass, guitars, and real vocals. I mixed, and mixed, and re-mixed, and basically learned a lot more than I'd known before about home recording.

For example, I learned that my closet makes a nice, dry vocal/acoustic booth.

recording in the closet

Monday night, up the song went to my music page, where you can buy it right now. It's $1.00, but you can spend more. All profits (that is, every penny I actually see, after PayPal and Bandcamp fees) will go to charity.

I knew, when I decided to work in earnest on this track, that I wanted it to be for a cause. The choice for Pete and I was obvious: The Haven For Children. It's a local charity, run by people I admire - and both my mom and Pete's late mother have given countless hours volunteering and fundraising for them.

Why the Haven?

In their words:

We are licensed by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) of the State of Florida to provide therapeutic shelter care in a homelike environment for children from birth to age ten at admittance who have been removed from their homes because of neglect, abuse or abandonment. The Community Based Care of Brevard County and other community based care groups in Central Florida refer children to The Haven.

The Haven for Children, Inc. program’s goal is to nourish and protect the children in its care and guide them toward positive self-growth. Currently, we have three homes that serve an average of ten children each. Three shifts of trained staff provide 24/7 care 365 days per year. We also receive the services of a nurse practitioner from the Brevard Health Alliance who provides on site medical care to our children.

I've seen first-hand the dedication of these people, and the incredible change they make in the lives of children who desperately need that change. They're superheroes, as far as I'm concerned. If we could help in some small way… no, it didn't take a lot of thought.

If you like the song (I do!), please download it for a buck or two. If you don't (I'll be okay!), you can donate directly to the Haven at this page; or you can send a check to:

The Haven for Children, Inc.
P. O. Box 327
Melbourne, FL 32902-0327

Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. Have a joyous January 17th, if that's when you read this. The Haven will still appreciate your help.

  1. Don't think I can't summon up any Jonathan Coulton Christmas song on demand.
  2. Watch this space.

'Full of Holes' Reverse Kickstarter

July 17, 2012 12:54 AM

"Full of Holes" Reverse Kickstarter

When I recorded Acrophobe, I funded it using Kickstarter. For my new digital single, "Full of Holes", I've decided to go another route. A reverse Kickstarter.

Instead of paying in advance for something I plan to create, I went ahead and made the music. Now... and here's where it gets weird... you get to buy it.

And? AND! Bonus Reward Levels! Also in reverse.

Here's how it works.

  • The thing already exists. It's done, and available in the present (and the past).
  • You pledge money, but that pledge is fulfilled right now.
  • You get the music immediately. The funding goal is reached.

The minimum pledge (which we'll call "the price") is $1.00. You can pledge (or "pay") more.

At higher reward levels, you'll be able to choose something you already have, so you know you'll be happy.

Reward Levels

$1.00: "I love you, man"

Receive "Full of Holes" in your favorite download format, and I'll throw in a bonus track, "What I Just Said", for free.

$2.00: "Whoa! Thanks!"

Everything above, plus that spare key you can't find. It'll turn up, watch.

$5.00: "Starbucks cash!"

Everything above, and your most-beloved object within reach at the moment of purchase. Like that red stapler? You're welcome.

$10.00: "For reals?"

Everything above, and one or more of your favorite, comfy, well-fitting T-shirts.1

$25.00: "Have you thought this through?"

Everything above, and... are you sure? You should perhaps consider spending less on this, and buying my CD. Oh, and tomorrow? Hit the snooze button one extra time, guilt-free. I know. I'm awesome.

$50.00: "Please don't do this."

Everything above, and -- I presume -- a refund, when you realize your mistake. Don't drunk-pledge, kids!

Where do I sign up?

Glad you asked. Head right over to music.paulroub.com, choose your price, and download away.

You can also buy from the usual suspects (and the other usual suspects), but none of the bonus levels are available2, and the free bonus song isn't free. Your call.

  1. Quantity will vary from closet to closet.
  2. Except in your miiiiiiind, maaaaannnn.

Just Released: 'Full of Holes'

June 30, 2012 08:28 PM

I've been visiting my friend Mark for a few days, and we've been making music.

This music. Please check it out; I'm really proud of this one. First time in forever I've done a "band" recording... "band" in quotes since it's mostly me, but with Mark (thankfully) taking over the drums.

Full of Holes by Paul Roub

Tools of the Trade, iPad Edition

October 02, 2011 05:38 PM

If more than two people ask me about something I'm using, especially if it's more than two people at one show, it seems worth the time to write it down.

Paul and Brian

It may look like my friend Brian is paying close attention, awaiting the moment when he'll add some more harmonies. Actually, he's looking past me, at my iPad, attached to a nearby stand.

Paul, Brian, iPad

It's held there by an IK Multimedia iKlip mic stand mount. There are a number of products that do this job; this is the one I happen to own, and it does its one job very well.

So why is it there? I know folks who run GarageBand onstage this way, but in my case, it's just lyric sheets and/or setlists. So when I need a memory jog on a new song, the occasional cover or (as sadly happened last night) when I blank on an older song of mine, it's right there.

There's any number of ways to get those lyrics on there, but like any good nerd, I lean toward plain text files. Something I can edit on any machine I own, view on my phone if need be, etc.

The app used for viewing the songs is GoodReader. I like that it will read almost anything I throw at it, but especially like the way it syncs with Dropbox. I have a "Lyrics" folder on my laptop:

lyricsfolder.png

and I've told GoodReader to sync that folder and its contents. If I add a new song to that folder, it will automatically be mirrored to GoodReader. Tap a song, and off I go:

Lyrics, "Disappear" by Paul Roub

If I'm feeling particularly grown-up and professional, I'll "star" some of the songs ahead of time, and let GoodReader show me just those songs as something approaching a setlist:

set list in GoodReader

That's it. No more binder of lyrics for me, and I'm pretty happy about it. I do recommend putting the iPad in airplane mode before your set, to avoid the temptation to tweet mid-song.

<a href="http://music.paulroub.com/album/acrophobe">Disappear by Paul Roub</a>