CD Release: Abandoned Satellites - Room Enough for the Sun
"I should probably blog about the thing."— Paul Roub (@paulroub) April 26, 2016
"How did I used to update my blog?"
*buried under cobwebs, spiders, ruby stack traces*
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
The Short Version
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.
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.
‘Full of Holes’ Reverse Kickstarter
“Full of Holes” 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.
$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.
Just Released: ‘Full of Holes’
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.
Tools of the Trade, iPad Edition
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
Video from the July 11th Songwriter’s Showcase
"Disappear", "One Man at Best", "The Great Unknown" and "Mind of Its Own", live at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.
"One Man at Best"
"The Great Unknown"
"Mind of Its Own"
All four songs are from my album "Acrophobe", available for purchase (CD or download) at music.paulroub.com.
“A Little Bit Wiser”, live in the WLRN studio
Had the pleasure, last Saturday, of joining Michael Stock in studio on his Folk and Acoustic Music show. This is one of the songs performed therein.
And... uh... sorry about the sunburn. It didn't look that bad on the radio.
"A Little Bit Wiser" is $0.89 at Amazon MP3 - proceeds will go towards sunscreen and common sense.
“Things Have Changed” (I Covered a Thing)
As has been mentioned here once or twice, part of the funding for my CD came from people who, in return for their donation, could require me to record a home demo of any song they chose. I could not say "no".
The results have been amusingly... mixed. I may or may not release them into the wild.
A few of those involved actually chose songs they liked, rather than those that would make me regret my decision. My friend Michelle was extra-nice and asked for a Dylan tune, "Things Have Changed". I threw it together in about an hour last week; the lead guitar in particular is just me warming up and deciding "yeah, that actually feels good. Done." But people have said nice things about this, and I don't have new originals in the pipeline just yet, so...
Here's me, sitting at my desk, singing "Things Have Changed":
“Disappear” - now in video form!
So I had this goofy idea. And I had a friend, Mark, who was capable of putting that idea into action.
That was last week. 7 days later, this shows up:
I love that the guitar is recognizably mine. This just makes me happy.
Gigs past and future
First of all — thanks to everyone who came out to the House of Joe and the Stage 84 / Insync with Autism benefit show. The latter, by the way, raised something like $1300. People rock sometimes, is my point. Alex and Brian, especially.
Next up? Been having a lot of these discussions...
"Hey Paul, when are you gonna be back at the Sun Shoppe?"
"Now that you're back, guess we'll be seeing you at the Sun Shoppe, huh?"
"When can we see you at the Sun Shoppe?"
"Hey, Mark, can I come play at the Sun Shoppe?"
"Hey, Paul, when can we get you playing here?"
There seems to be a general agreement that this is a very good idea.
So... next Saturday, 8pm until, oh, let's say 11... I'll be at the Sun Shoppe in Melbourne once again.
Will I play all of the CD and then some? Sure!
Old songs I barely remember? Bet!
At least one Jonathan Coulton cover? Undoubtedly!
It's gonna be fun. All the more so if you're there.
Saturday, October 23, 8pm
The Sun Shoppe
540 E New Haven Ave, Melbourne, FL
(downtown Melbourne, nearly across the street from the Henegar Center)
Want a flyer to print out and plaster hither and yon? Sure you do! here (PDF).
Info on this, and all gigs, can be found at paulroub.com.