Every so often, a subject for this blog luckily falls in my lap. This is the case this week.
Isolation has meant that I’ve had to learn to work physically distanced from the rest of the band, so we have worked out technological solutions, including all of us set up for home recording. By sending each other files, we can play along to previously recorded bits and then sum them up for a finished product.
Good friend and Relish regular Dan Boggs wrote a pandemic ode, and recorded it solo on his computer (phone?). When I saw it, I could not resist the idea of fleshing it out with a full band arrangement.
But first, a few words about Dan.
Dan Boggs has performed many, many times at Relish (and probably other places too, but that’s where I know him from). His songwriting is original in the truest sense of the word, with subject matter often out-there (surgical anaesthetic?), and clever crafting of the lyrics. His latest is called Bunker Town and speaks to the isolation we all feel. I have included a before and after for your enjoyment. On the full band version, Chris Bender plays drums and piano, Neil Morris plays bass, and I added the electric guitars, then mixed the whole thing. It was a lot of fun to do.
There is a rumour that a compilation of locally written pandemic anthems may surface in the future. This song should certainly be part of that.
The title of this week’s post comes from a band that used to be a regular at The Only Café’s legendary open mic many years back. Remote Wonder was a 3-piece band with Christian Rogers on guitar and lead vocals, Just Jillian on keyboard and Jace Traz on drums. They have long since disbanded but I still remember their edgy energy and they are still a fave. I bought the album too (see cover on the right). I don’t know what has happened to Christian (I searched) but both Jillian and Jace have moved on well, the former having just performed at Winterfolk just before the world collapsed (I wrote about her a few weeks back), and the latter always a highlight of the Relish open mic, as well as a talented visual artist. I’ve included links to both.
Our sheltered and isolated times have forced many of us to begin to collaborate remotely (!) over the web. That’s what has been happening with the Cats. Both bassist NeMo, already a Garageband aficionado, and now newly DAW inducted member Chris are now working on songs in their own home studios and we are sending files back and forth via Dropbox.
There’s nothing new in doing that with studio pros, but that seems to be an increasingly common way to work for the rest of us. I look forward to sharing the results. It may turn out to be a more efficient way of working even after the COVIDity ends.
As mentioned before, musicians, like many self-employed freelancers, are hard hit due to gigs canceled. Gary17, who publishes the daily Toronto live music directly Toronto Moon, wrote an excellent piece this past Saturday April 4, 2020 on ways we can help. A link is included above and I highly encourage you to read it.
Signing off now as Chris has sent me a new song of his to mix. Woohoo!
Until next week, wash your hands, socially distance and be well!