December 2007 EP: Hello Come In, ‘The Last Duel’

One year (and change) after setting out to complete 12 mini albums in 12 months we’ve come to the end. It’s been an interesting challenge to keep up with, and we think we did pretty well despite not completing a single one by the end of its respective month. It was an exercise to see if we could expand our musicality beyond what we’ve done in the past. It was a way to keep up the momentum over the years despite ever increasing busy-ness between jobs, relationships, house cleaning, and laziness.

I’m not sure what the next year will bring, but I do hope that we can keep up this upward arch and continue to create, collaborate, remix, and produce our own music in our conquest of the internets. Thanks for the memories listeners. — Aryn Crowley, December 2007

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Take a listen for yourself here. Or right click here to DOWNLOAD the entire album.

You can always take us with you via the podcast. And please enjoy the fruits of our MySpace and our Facebook Group.

And most important… leave comments on the blog or via email at decemberEP@hellocomein.com. Enjoy!!

Tracklist:

1. The Last Duel (Crowley)
[audio:http://www.hellocomein.com/ep/decemberEP/TheLastDuel/01_LastDuel.mp3]
2. Crushed (Johnson\Crowley)
[audio:http://www.hellocomein.com/ep/decemberEP/TheLastDuel/02_Crushed.mp3]
3. Blood Red Skies (Katzif)
[audio:http://www.hellocomein.com/ep/decemberEP/TheLastDuel/03_BloodRedSkies.mp3]
4. After Hours (Crowley)
[audio:http://www.hellocomein.com/ep/decemberEP/TheLastDuel/04_AfterHours.mp3]

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Past EP’s

Temporary Setback :: January 2007
Clouded Spaces, Falling Skies :: February 2007
First Pull Up, Second Pull Down, Third Take Away :: March 2007
Ancient Telephones :: April 2007
The Cavalry Arrived Again :: May 2007
Designed In Anticipation Of His Centennial Years :: June 2007
The Rundown :: July 2007
The Ninth Great Fire :: August 2007
Empty Bottles And Dog-Eared Books :: September 2007
I Can Fix Things In The Morning :: October 2007
We Are Full Of Useful Noise :: November 2007
The Last Duel :: December 2007

hello.music — crushed (updated)

hello.music
Here’s an updated version of this song with some trackings I did this evening. I think it’s an improvement, particularly in the vocal department. I might try toning down the distortedness a bit, but I like them double tracked. Also some empty space left still for a guitar/glock/whistle solo. Anyone? Anyone? Aryn- how would this sound with upright bass?

Version 3

[audio:http://www.hellocomein.com/greg/music/crushed_3.mp3]

hello.music — Blood Red Skies

hello.musicOkay gents… here is a little change in direction for the song I had been working on… Originally planning for this to be more straight forward and folky but somehow ended up with this. Sort of a combination of the piano sounds on “We Are Abandoned…” mixed with drum stylings of “Autographs” but hopefully its a bit less repetitive and derivative. Vocals coming…once I finish my lyrics.

Thoughts?

Blood Red Skies v2b

[audio:http://www.hellocomein.com/hellowords/soundbox/hellomusic_mike/BloodRedSkies_v2b.mp3]

hello.music — crushed

hello.music
Here’s a new song I’ve been working on. I was messing around the other night with some really low, raspy tunings. Listen first to the original scratch track (on nylon) and then the updated one (on steel) with some lyrics. I did fill in the progression a bit from the original, which I do like. Sorry for the sucky off key vocals- apparently I kind of forgot the original verse melody I had going. Any thoughts? How’s the chorus?

Version 1

[audio:http://www.hellocomein.com/greg/music/crushed_1.mp3]

Version 2

[audio:http://www.hellocomein.com/greg/music/crushed_2.mp3]

hello.music — End of Year House Cleaning part one

hello.musicWell its the time of year that I am trying to wrap up millions of things…including song snippets and ideas I left behind throughout our year of EPs. Now that our project is nearly complete with phase one, I am going through my computer looking for ideas long forgotten.

One idea, is a song I am hoping to track with Greg next week in Kansas City so I’ll leave that for part two in this fascinating series…(STAY TUNED) but its a song I’ve sat on since roughly July because I never figured out the right way to approach it. Hopefully our proximity will help develop this one.

So for today though, while looking around for other ideas, I came across this really really rough motif I tracked many months ago. This is a sloppy (both my playing, just to get the idea down before I forgot it, and the mood itself) guitar rocker.

While the whole thing is pretty much a 4 minute A section with not much development at all, I think the theme has potential to be turned into something with some more segments and fuller idea of what I want. Not sure if I should just leave it to the wolves, or bring it inside for some TLC (tacos, linguine and chocolate).

Thought I’d put it up and see what people think (that is if people read this blog).

Here it is: Coppertop.

[audio:http://www.hellocomein.com/hellowords/soundbox/hellomusic_mike/Coppertop_v1.mp3]

hello.music – The Last Duel

hello.musicHey Ya! Here is probably what will be my last contribution to the hello come in EP 2007 series… it was a good run I must say. I’ll do a few more revisions to this baby along with some additions from the other two and get it done by next week.. Anyway until then listen and let me know what you think.

The Last Duel

[audio:http://www.hellocomein.com/hellowords/soundbox/hellomusic_aryn/thelastduel.mp3]

November 2007 EP: Hello Come In, ‘We Are Full Of Useful Noise’

Hello Come In's Nov 2007 EP, We Are Full Of Useful Noise

Month eleven is officially over, and we’re back with the second to last mini-EP: We Are Full Of Useful Noise. We’re particularly happy with how the first track, “Wars Keep Going On,” turned out. Due to some obscure November holiday, we all managed to be in the same place at the same time one weekend and spent a few hours hammering out the song framework in person. From there, we went back to our corners of the globe and added parts in our typical virtual manner. It was nice to finally finish a song we all actually worked on!

Take a listen for yourself here. Or right click here to DOWNLOAD the entire album.

You can always take us with you via the podcast. And of course there is MySpace and our brand new Facebook Group.

And most important… leave comments on the blog or via email at novemberEP@hellocomein.com. Enjoy!!

Tracklist:

1. Wars Keep Going On (Katzif/Crowley/Johnson)
2. 12th Century Russian Literature Makes for Good Bedtime Stories (Crowley)
3. We Are Abandoned In The Towns Our Fathers Built (Katzif)

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It was around this time two years ago that Aryn and I began hunkering down to come up with a website to feature our music. Initially it was just going to be a typical band website to archive all this stuff we had done in years past. Then we realized that we didn’t live in the same city, so our output dried up. Year one of Hello Come In was sort of ambiguous and undefined, filled with failed collaborative experiments (Hello.Column etc.). However, sporadic as it was at that point, Aryn, Greg and I had begun tinkering with making music on our computers, creating home recordings and such.

So it was around this time last year that the three of us started laying the ground work for our year long EP project. Looking back, it was ambitious to strive for 12 months of straight music creation, especially when all three of us lived in three different cities. It took a bit of time to logistically and technically figure things out (thank god for high speed internet and kick ass music software). But once we knew we were able to artistically develop new material and eventually hit those deadlines a few months in a row, we then began to think “Okay, now what?”

In the back of our heads though, I know we really were hoping for full group collaboration. Often working in a bubble, left to our own devices, our music did not always sound unified or really as one voice, let alone complete. But month by month, this open piloting and exposure of unfinished material — both to the other two of us, or to the few people following along at home (dozens I’m told…dozens!) — became easier; the criticism, suggestions and contributions more constructive.

So I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I say that the highlight for me this month is Wars Keep Going On, a song that all three of us had near-equal input on. Gathering for about ninety minutes one afternoon over Thanksgiving with only a simple chord progression chicken scratched out a few hours ahead of time on the back of a grocery list, we got to work. I think we hit on something good.

In many cases we found the proximity this time around extremely helpful in crafting a song that I by myself would’ve labored over a lot longer, just by playing it out for Greg and Aryn and talking about it. You sort of catch onto the momentum and creativity of the others and just run with it. This is certainly not the first time we’ve had that experience..hell we played countless amounts of gigs together dating back to highschool, so familiarity here is also key.

But the end results I think might be our most complete work. While it’s not the most complex, experimental or even all that original in the larger historical scheme of music (given a paltry 6.8 by Pitchfork), but it might be the most representative of what the three of us can do at this time. It’s also perhaps a tiny glimpse of what we could do if we were able to play in person on a regular basis.

We still have one last month left in our year of EPs, plus a few upcoming ideas for future projects in 2008, but I have to say, it’s rewarding to finally hit a creative goal that we set and know that this is just another new beginning. It only took us 11 damn months to do it.

— Mike, Nov. 2007

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Past EP’s

Temporary Setback :: January 2007
Clouded Spaces, Falling Skies :: February 2007
First Pull Up, Second Pull Down, Third Take Away :: March 2007
Ancient Telephones :: April 2007
The Cavalry Arrived Again :: May 2007
Designed In Anticipation Of His Centennial Years :: June 2007
The Rundown :: July 2007
The Ninth Great Fire :: August 2007
Empty Bottles And Dog-Eared Books :: September 2007
I Can Fix Things In The Morning :: October 2007
We Are Full Of Useful Noise :: November 2007
The Last Duel :: December 2007

hello.music — Coathangers (temporary title)

hello.musicHappy Thanksgiving peoples. Aryn, Greg and I converged upon Kansas City this week in real life to record some music. Working relatively quickly (almost all first takes), we hammered out this shell of a little rock tune in a mere 90 minutes. With some minor mixing I think it came together pretty nicely for a first draft.

I think I will be producing the final version of this, but certainly Aryn & Greg will contribute much more to this as we get further along. Great to be able to all play in the same room and bang around some ideas, you know, like a real band. So far so good.

Coathangers v1b (temporary title)

[audio:http://www.hellocomein.com/hellowords/soundbox/hellomusic_mike/Coathangers_v1b.mp3]

October 2007 EP: Hello Come In, ‘I Can Fix Things In The Morning’

Hello Come In's Oct. EP, I Can Fix Things In The Morning

Goodbye October, we had fun. The trees appear to be dying, but we’re back with another edition of fall musics for you. Amongst a few remixes on I Can Fix Things In The Morning is an original from Mike and triple-threat 30-minute exercises from Aryn. I electro-fied Mike’s “No Reason” during a long stretch of road in western Kansas, and Robin Hilton of NPR fame makes a welcomed guest appearance with his take on “The Imitators.”

Judge the result for yourself here. Or right click here to DOWNLOAD the entire album.

You can always take us with you via the podcast. And of course there is MySpace. And most important… leave comments on the blog or via email at octoberEP@hellocomein.com. Enjoy!!

Tracklist:

1. No Reason (Greg Remix) (Katzif/Johnson)
2. Autographs (Katzif)
3. Trilogy (Crowley)
4. Craptastic (Crowley)
5. Mr. Prolific (Crowley)
6. Ocean Of Noise (Arcade Fire/Katzif)
7. The Imitators (Katzif/Hilton)

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Two months left. I think we sometimes feel tied to this thing. Are we creating music because we want to or because we’ve manufactured a deadline? It seems like when I sit down to record music the past few months, I have the thought of “Got to get something together for this month’s ep” in my head. In some ways, that’s the point. If we don’t have something pushing us to push out the music, we won’t do it. We live busy lives, and music is usually the first thing to take a back seat. But has it lost it’s purpose if we’re creating the music to meet the monthly deadline? Originally the goal was to keep a record of our monthly happenings- however unfinished, unmixed, unmastered, out of tune, out of beat, etc.

But, as we’ve moved farther along each month, I think we’ve lost track a bit of that goal. We’re not so much using the ep as a journal, but as a presentation. And I’ve found that my motivation has dipped as my focus has transitioned from recording for us to recording for the ep, recording for others. If I’m creating music for myself, I really could care less if something is listenable and catchy. If I’m recording for myself, the song can be as repetitive and formulaic as my ears can handle. But recording for the EP forces you to think from the listener’s perspective. “Damn, this progression is the same as intro to Black Mirror…” Thoughts like that usually put the brakes on the creative train. A riff that may have otherwise evolved into a full song is halted because I’m afraid someone might tell me I ripped off an Arcade Fire song.

OK, this is all true. But, when I stop and think about it, do I really care if someone regards what I wrote is lame? Not really… if I like the glockenspiel melody I wrote, then the rest doesn’t matter; I still devoted time to music. And that’s more than I do when I’m caught up worrying about a deadline.

So what is my goal for the last two months? My goal is to come full circle, to remind myself of the original intent of the ep project- to keep track of our music, not to force it out.

— Greg, October 2007

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Past EP’s

Temporary Setback :: January 2007
Clouded Spaces, Falling Skies :: February 2007
First Pull Up, Second Pull Down, Third Take Away :: March 2007
Ancient Telephones :: April 2007
The Cavalry Arrived Again :: May 2007
Designed In Anticipation Of His Centennial Years :: June 2007
The Rundown :: July 2007
The Ninth Great Fire :: August 2007
Empty Bottles And Dog-Eared Books :: September 2007
I Can Fix Things In The Morning :: October 2007
We Are Full Of Useful Noise :: November 2007
The Last Duel :: December 2007