Happy New Year everyone! As I reflect on the last 12 months, 2018 was a half way decent year. I managed to release Acquiescence, and in the interim got alot of work done on a couple other secret projects, some new Citizen 603 tunes as well as working dillegently on "The Darkest Of Summers", which is shaping up very nicely and will be out this year. (I have a release date, I'm just not gonna tell you right now)
Alas, the other half of the year was not-so-decent. Had to say goodbye to several people in my life that unfortunately left this world a bit too soon for my taste. As I get older I've become to take stock of what's important...it's the life you create with a positive perception and the people you surround yourself with and the experiences therein. You could be talking with someone today and tomorrow...they're gone. Always be conscious of that. Be kind, be respectful and be excellent to others.
Also, I've been tinkering with the art of letting go. Letting go of the past. Letting go of the future. Learning how to just be. Here and in the now. In the present moment. A few months ago I purchased “The Power Of Now” written by Eckhart Tolle. I’ll read a chapter or two here and there but by no means have been as dillengent as I should be to finishing it. From what I’ve read so far, I have been noticing a lil change. Just being aware. Being aware of the moments when I drift into la-la-land and begin to think of the "old days" or what the future may bring - being aware of those moments and pulling myself back into the present.
It’s tough...especially for someone like me who likes to dwell on the past. It’s become more than just a hobby. Hahaha. I am getting better it though...or at least becoming more self aware of my thought processes. At anytime I find myself going back down that rabbit hole, I quickly draw myself back into the present and focus on something here...it ain't easy tho. I’m afraid by spending too much time in the past or the future then I will miss out on the present. Miss out on spending time with my kids, sharing quality time with them, friends and other family members.
If you've noticed a trend or tone with my posts and some of the stuff I've created in the last couple of years, it always has that 80's/retro thing happening. In my defense, that whole scene has been very influential on both my video and music output for the last couple of years because, well I think it’s cool, fresh and innovative. Regardless if it’s just rehashing stuff from a decade that’s long gone, I like it...but lately I have started to analyze why exactly I'm so drawn to the whole "80's" thing.
Perhaps it's pure escapism. When I listen to say Synthwave music, watch old VHS tapes or listen to my 80s records, I am transported back to my childhood. Escaping back to a time of innocence and oblivion. A time where all that mattered was Nintendo, skateboarding and playing with my friends outside. So when I use this
I then began to question and confront my motives for why exactly I was drawn to this style or create with this aesthetic and realized that it may be doing more harm than good. As I said a couple paragraphs ago, I've been trying my best to be more present, more in the now. Even if I'm creating new music and new art, it still may be detrimental if it's always under the guise of being "retro" or has that 80’s thing happening.
Maybe I'm simply being to over-critical or hyper-aware of my creative process and should just let it be what it wants to be. I view my creativity as the exhaust or a manifestation of my thoughts and feelings. If I’m unable to articulate what is happening in me brain, then songs or music usually presents itself. I shouldn't try and filter the output or dictate how the stuff happens. I just need to let it happen, but still be mindful of my current surroundings and the decade I'm living in, hahah. However, judging by the stuff I have been writing in the last couple of weeks, I have a feeling that these styles and tones have been purged. It just needed to go through my system and get flushed outo...like shrimp cocktail.
Therein lies the conceptual and lyrical themes for "The Darkest Of Summers"
Anyway, sorry for the rant and/or bum ya out, just needed to get something’s off of my chest and set ya up for the new year. 2019 will be a very productive year for me. Not only do I have TDOS on deck to release, but there’s another album that’ll be released a several months later, with yet another one soon after that...oh and then there’s my dystopian rock opera...
So in final, be kind. Be respectful. Be excellent to each others. Be excellent to yourself.
Let go. Let go of the crap that happened years ago... because ya know what?? it’s already happened. You can’t change it anymore. Refocus that same energy on the here and the now. Your world is based on your perception and how you view it. Simply put, if you’re always elsewhere, always thinking about “the way things used to be”or saying “Man, those were the good old days”,then you’re missing out on the here and the now. The good stuff that’s happening in the present moment. Eventually the days you’re living in now will be “the good old days”.
It’s the only place that you can actually be.
If you know me, you know I’m a recovering prog-head. As much as I try to deny it, DT is part of my DNA and my musical make up unfortunately. J
I was a Sophomore in high school and joined the marching band. After a rehearsal one random night, my friend Mathew Pike and I jumped into our friend John Rosini’s car as he put on “Caught In A Web” and “Erotomania” from DT’s Awake album. I can still remember every detail of those moments. What the interior of the car looked like. What the weather was like outside. It was yet another one of those moments in my life where I knew things would never be the same.
A couple weeks later, I was at the music store and saw the CD and bought it. I literally listened to it non-stop all weekend. This album not only got me into progressive rock but inspired me to get better as a guitar player.
Anyway - here's my poopy version of Erotomania that I learned when I was a teenager. Somehow I can still remember this complex song, but yet I can't remember a Steely Dan song I learned a couple hours ago.
Among my love for progressive rock, one of my other favorite genre’s is musical theatre.
As you may you know already, when I was in my early teens I reluctantly went to see The Phantom Of The Opera on a chorus trip in Toronto...thus began my obsession with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music and musical theatre in general
Here’s me covering “Stranger Than You Dreamt It” from POTO. It’s a bit of a deeper cut from the show, but by far, my most favorite song from the musical.
I dare not cover the title track or a song such as “Music Of The Night”. That’s like doing “Stairway to Heaven” or Freebird IMO
Tuesday, October 30th marks the 6 year birthday of my concept album CONVERSATION PIECES.
Well whilst cleaning out the cobwebs of my old hard drive I happened upon a commentary I did back in June of 2012.
THE LOST CONVERSATION PIECES ALBUM COMMENTARY
I had intended to include this recording with the albums bonus items on Bandcamp, alas it was forgotten about and forever lost in the digital void of my hard drive.
In this commentary, I dig deep into the albums plot, lyrical details and talk about all of the amazing musicians that helped me out on this project.
I hope you enjoy!
Helloooo! Just wanted to give you a few updates on what’s been happening here in my musical world.
Since the release of Acquiescence back in April, I’ve slowed down on my studio/recording work. Towards the end of that production, I definitely started to feel the burnout set in. I tried jumping straight away into another album I had on deck, but it just wasn’t working.
Honestly, the last thing I wanted to do was sit in front of a computer screen for another summer, but every so often I would make some progress on this new album....
R ecently I lugged my trusty ol' Korg TR88 keyboard back into the studio. I had forgotten how great these patches sounded and had also forgotten what it was like to not use samples or rely on midi. I pressed record and this is what came out when I started playing this keyboard again.
"Sinus" reminded me of a Mats/Morgan Band song by the same name, so it was apt to name it just the same. There's some hints of Zappa, Genesis and some Muse sprinkled in.
If anyone know what time signature the middle/solo section is, I'm all ears.
Anyway, click here to listen to this new tune. If you like what you hear, download it for free or name your price.
Hope your summer is going well! Speaking of summer, the next album I have on deck is called "The Darkest Of Summers"
Lyrically it explores the subject of death imparticularly several loved ones that I have had to say goodbye to over the last few years.
Also clocking in at close to a mere 30 minutes, this album will surely be a bit more easier to digest than some of my previous releases....
Watch Part IV of the making of Acquiescence where I give you a behind the scenes look into the studio when I was recording vocals for the album.
I don't think I'm the greatest singer, so I had to enlist the talents of folks better than I. Watch below and see the amazing talents of singers that are featured on the album!!
The Making Of Geoff Barone's Acquiescence - Part III (GUITARS!!)
Physical CD - http://bit.ly/acquiescence-physical
Bandcamp - http://bit.ly/acquiescence-bandcamp
iTunes - http://bit.ly/acquiescence-itunes
Amazon - http://bit.ly/acquiescence-amazon
Spotify - http://bit.ly/Acquiescence-Spotify
Apple Music - http://bit.ly/Acquiescence-AppleMusic
When I started recording Acquiescence, I knew I wanted a wide array of timbres and tones. I ended up using close to 10 different guitars, and several different amps to get some really groovy tones.
Here's the list of guitars I used...and although I have a few gems (mostly handed down to me from my Father), most of my guitar collection is full of junk. Lol.
Gibson Les Paul Custom
Samick Artist Series SG
Fender Squire Strat ("relic'd" by yours truly)
Fender Lite Ash Tele
Schecter PT Diamond Series
Sears Silvertone 1448 (w/amp in case)
Guild D40 NT
Epiphone 5-String Banjo
Peavey Foundation 5-String Bass
Here's an Instagram post of the pictures as well