I typically dedicate this site to my musings about education and related topics for this career about which I’m very passionate. For this post, however, I want to use this venue to promote an album that I finally completed and released for free on the Internet, which relates to my other life passion- music.
I have been playing music pretty much my whole life. I started banging on pots and pans when I was two years old; got my first drum set on my 5th birthday (check it out in the photo collage!); took piano lessons not long after that; took drum lessons starting at around 11 years old; played drums in my first band when I was 17 years old; started teaching myself how to play guitar at 17 years old, and switched to playing guitar in bands when I was about 20 years old. I consider myself a multi-instrumentalist since I can also play bass and some keyboards along with drums and guitar. Since then, I’ve recorded dozens of songs in both home and professional studios, released a few proper CDs, and have played gigs in California and China to crowds of a few people to crowds of many hundred. Even though I never “made it” in the music industry to the point of having a career in it, music and making music has never ceased to be one of the greatest joys in my life.
Though weened as a child in the 1970s on my sister’s Cars, Pretenders, Rolling Stones, and Supertramp records, most of my musical influences stem from Alternative, New Wave, Indie-rock, Indie-pop, Brit Pop, and Post-Punk bands from the early 1980s until the present. Bands like The Cure, The Smiths, Cocteau Twins, Echo & The Bunnymen, Depeche Mode, Tears for Fears, The Sundays, Blur, The Cardigans, Stereolab, Beulah, Death Cab for Cutie, Phoenix, Bloc Party, Foals, Two Door Cinema Club and hundreds of others have tickled my musical soul both emotionally and in regards to song writing.
A few weeks ago I finally finished recording an album for a DIY, indie-rock project I have called South to Madrid. I actually recorded all the guitar, bass, and synthesizer parts for the songs on the album back in December 2005 and January 2006. I’ve only ever needed to get the drums recorded since then. Because I’ve lived in apartments over the years, having an acoustic drum set on which to rehearse and record wasn’t an option. I was never really a fan of electronic drums, so I didn’t consider using them for this recording until I moved here to Abu Dhabi and told myself that I needed to get the album done. I bought the Roland V-Lite HD-3 drums from a music store in Dubai and got to writing and rehearsing the drum parts. I then recorded the drums, mixed, and mastered the album. This album has been a long time coming, and I’m very happy to get the songs out to be heard. All the songs are on YouTube and can be listened to here:
Any or all of the songs can be downloaded on SoundCloud, as well.
All South to Madrid songs are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. So, feel free to use, remix, and/or add vocals to any of them!
You can see to what music I’m currently listening by checking out my Last.Fm profile.
You can hear some other songs I’ve recorded in my life along with some other musical detail by checking out my MySpace page.
You can hear additional songs at my SoundCloud site.
Check out some songs and videos from one of the cover bands I was in in Beijing- The Friendlies.
I’ve even delved into electronic music under the moniker Benji Tomorrow.
Lastly, you can see some performances of a couple of cover bands I was in while I lived in Beijing, China, by checking out my Likes page on my YouTube Channel.
I would love to hear your feedback on the songs!