Wrong Side of Dawn is recording an album!

Wrong Side of Dawn will be entering the studio to record its first real album this coming weekend (January 6, 2007). We’ve finally managed to put together a full band, thank goodness, and the final lineup for this session is:

Brian Rose: lead guitar, vocals
Nelson Pavlosky: rhythm guitar, vocals
Andrew Angelin: bass guitar
Greg Albright: drums
Steven Stratvert: piano/keyboards
Karen Rustad: backing vocals

We expect to have a finished album, recorded and mixed, by the end of January. Then the next step will be getting album artwork, printing and packaging copies of the thing, and then figuring out ways to sell it. Stay tuned!

The Smigel Styrofoam Soprano Guitar

P1020157.JPGOne of the more bizarre instruments that we hope to use in our recording sessions is the Smigel Styrofoam Soprano Guitar, created by Nelson’s friend Mr. Smigel, possibly by accident. This guitar can be tuned up to an octave higher than a regular guitar without any ill effects, but we usually tune it only 7 half-steps higher than normal. As the name implies, it uses large styrofoam crates as resonators, producing an odd lo-fi sound that we enjoy.

If you want to hear the SSSG in action, check out the original jam that Nelson recorded, and then the remix that Karen made called Regret (lyrics), which will probably end up on the official album in some form, perhaps after some re-writing and re-recording.

Playing the SSSG

The Path of Rock – Part 1; what’s gone wrong

This rant about the sad decline of the guitar solo in modern rock was originally posted by Brian on his Facebook. Since he’s our lead guitarist, I thought you might be interested 🙂 It is intended to be the first in a series, so if you like it, you can hope for more!

If you asked me four years ago about the state of popular music, I would have told you that rock had died sometime in the mid ’70s, that with a few exceptions, chief among them U2, no one had recorded anything worthwhile since then, and I had no reason to listen to the radio because all new music is crap and I’d be better off spending my time figuring out what classic rock record I should buy or download next. Nu metal, hip hop, emo, pop punk, teen pop, it was all crap to me (some of that is still crap… others not so much).

The other day I was listening to the Fray’s “Over My Head.” I’m sure most people are pretty tired of this song by now, but, since I still don’t ever listen to the radio, the song still seems fairly new to me. Now, I don’t think the Fray is anything special, in fact, they’re probably primed to flame out after one album. And the song is an excellent pop song… no more and no less. It’s exactly the kind of thing you’d expect to hear on the radio today. But it’s also the kind of thing you could never hear 35 or even 5 years ago. Despite my insistence that rock music is degenerating, I have to admit that it has evolved.

I’m not really looking to give a complete lesson in rock history, but simply to trace a few elements of rock music that I, personally, like. This is purely my opinion, and I’m working with a strong confirmation-bias. I was going to write a note about this, but I think it’s going to be too much; I’ll have to write two notes. I know you don’t want to read two notes. In fact, there’s probably no one who even made it this far in this note, once they realized the whole thing was more than two paragraphs. That’s OK, because this isn’t for you. It’s for me. Seriously, I’m going to come back and read this tomorrow. And when I do, I’ll say to myself, “Self, this is some damn good shit.” But if you like reading other people’s opinions on this stuff, as I do, you can go ahead and read.

The good stuff will come later, but I’ll use this first note to get one thing off of my chest, the one thing that really sucks about rock, the one area where musicians have been dropping the ball for thirty years. I’m talking about the downfall of the emotive, virtuoso guitar solo.
Continue reading “The Path of Rock – Part 1; what’s gone wrong”

Nelson at the Folk Project

I went to an open mike night at the Folk Project several weeks ago to play some WSoD songs, and they were nice enough to record my performance for me and send me the DVD. I finally got the video up on Revver, so if you’re curious feel free to give it look ^_^ Here’s the flash version:

If you hate Flash, you can try downloading the Quicktime file instead.

I played Flight / Crossing the Bar, Contained, and Break Free… I’ll have to see what other songs I can polish for public consumption. This was my first public performance in a while, so I was a little nervous! I also didn’t retune my guitar properly for Break Free, I’ll just use an electronic tuner in the future to make sure I get it right the first time around from now on. I hope to play more open mikes in the near future so that I can get used to playing live again, ideally together with more WSoD members 😉


Sunrise in Duxbury, Massachusetts
This picture was taken, ironically, from the “right side” of dawn, in that I actually woke up at 6am to take it instead of staying up all night.

Speaking of the wrong side of dawn, you might want to check out the latest and greatest version of Running Out of Time (version 3 for those who are keeping track), and its updated lyrics:

Light appears at the edge of the sky
It reveals the problem for me
It’s just what somebody looking toward his day should see.
I see it now, from the other side; I’m about to go to sleep.
Got nothing done today but I’m thinking maybe sometime next week…

Not quite dead yet

No sooner did I make that last unpromising post than I found myself recording some more music with Brian, and planning to book time in a studio for the first week of January. Hopefully sometime over the next semester we will find a @#$%ing drummer!

Until then, check out this new demo song that we have uploaded:

* The Grinder’s Tale – An old recording of one of Brian’s songs that finally got vocals. I’m kind of proud of the piano part I wrote for it, and I really like the main guitar riff… it’s a lot of fun, both to play and to listen to ^_^ That said, we didn’t always manage to stay on the beat, and the song does drag out a bit in parts… it could use a little condensing and re-recording. I’m not putting it on the “demo CD” right now, at the moment it’s a “bonus track” on our download page.

WSoD is on an indefinite hiatus

Unfortunately, I must deliver the sad news that Wrong Side of Dawn is on hiatus for the indefinite future. Karen has flown home to Minnesota, and Brian is preparing for law school, and it is uncertain how long I (Nelson) will be in the area myself. We will all no doubt continue to write, play and record music separately, but geographical distance, time constraints and lack of a drummer conspired to make our goal of recording together in a professional recording studio this summer impossible. (Ironically, a drummer finally responded to our Craigslist ad two days ago, but it was too late.)

We will probably continue to use this site to document our musical activities, and if we record any more demo tracks they will probably show up here.

Until then, you’ll have to remain satisfied with our demo CD as it stands today.

Demo CD posted

We’ve stitched together a demo CD from tracks that we’ve recorded individually and a few tracks that we’ve managed to record together… we hope that you like it! Feel free to download the songs and burn a copy for a friend, especially if they play drums or bass and might want to join the band ^_^

UPDATE: Between Brian, who owns and plays bass, and some of our friends who are more talented at bass than he is, we have bass covered. We are still desperately seeking a drummer, and our recording project is permanently stalled until we can find one. Please help us in the drummer search!

We need drums AND bass

Well, back to the drawing board… our tentative bassist Ty picked up a second job and therefore has run out of time to play with us this summer. This means we are once again in the market for both a bassist AND a drummer. We’ll be posting to Craiglist and other forums soon. If you’ve heard our music and liked us, tell your drumming and bassing friends and maybe we can join forces!

Practicing and playing open mikes

Karen Rustad (11:23): What kind of band are we again?
Nelson Pavlosky (11:23): good question
Nelson Pavlosky (11:24): classic rock + punk/ska/emo + whatever you listen to?
Nelson Pavlosky (11:24): or rather whatever you write/sing/play
Karen Rustad (11:24): rock/post-rock/pop?
Nelson Pavlosky (11:24): we cover a lot of territory
Karen Rustad (11:25): Pretty much.
Karen Rustad (11:25): All we need is a rapper…

We had our first practice the weekend before last, and it went pretty well… we recorded a few songs and took some pictures, and generally rocked out. We also discovered the one thing Friends is good for.

Unfortunately, Brian’s in New Brunswick, while Nelson and I are in the western Philly suburbs, so that has been an obstacle to getting practice time in. On our own, though, Nelson and I have been hitting up open mikes in the area. We went to The Coffee Club in Media on Friday, which was a lot of fun — lots of blues-influenced musicians and REALLY good hot chocolate. And on Wednesday we went to Delaware for the first time as we attended Stoney’s open mike in Wilmington. That was a different crowd — as many stand-up comedy acts as musicians, with beer-fueled crude humor. ‘Twas lovely.

We still need to find an open mike that has its own piano, so I can play some of my stuff. Or maybe I just need to haul Nelson’s keyboard around…

In other music news, on Saturday Tryad [Karen’s internet band] officially released “Beauty” as a single. Check it out. The way it’s looking, Tryad’s sophomore album (“Listen”) should be coming out in August or so. Woo!

Cross-posted from Karen’s blog with edits.