Something I can use

So, I graduated from grad school yesterday. Although I won’t technically be finished with my degree project for another few weeks, it felt pretty good. I hadn’t related these two things in a while, but I wrote a song about going back to school and trying something different a few years ago for The Golden Rule EP. I was flipping through my old notebook of songs this afternoon, playing my favorites, when I remembered how much I used to like this song. I think it’s still pretty decent, although I always wish I were a better singer. But it’s the thought that counts.

You can listen to this song and think about doing something interesting with your life (or be glad that you already are).

Something I Can Use (mp3) from The Golden Rule EP

Pay phone calls & a friend’s new project

First, a public service announcement: If you are in a foreign airport and wish to make a phone call to the United States, do not use the credit card pay phones. Turns out, they are very expensive! I made a ten minute call from Amsterdam the other day, and it showed up on my bill as over $100!! Bad news. The good news was that I called the company, and they were kind enough to reduce the charge for a poor, confused student like me, but we may not always be so lucky. Anyway, I would suggest keeping that in mind during future travel.

Second, take a look at the Kickstarter project for Volume 2 of PRISM index, a multi-media art compilation started by my friend Jeff Bowers. Volume 1 was really great, so I would recommend supporting Volume 2 and picking up a copy in the process.

Happy anniversary, first album!

Dear friends,

Today is the five-year anniversary of the release of our first album. It almost feels longer ago than that, but I still have vivid memories of listening to our early demos and feeling so excited to be part of a project that I really loved.

I remember sitting in a parking lot in Craig’s car hearing “Walk Away” for the first time and being totally blown away. That song began with a few guitar parts that I brought over to his house for our first recording session, where we came up with a melody and wrote the lyrics together. I went home feeling pretty good about it, but that’s when Craig stated with piano, drums and percussion to really bring it to life. This was a new way of writing music for me, and it’s really the only time we worked in such a collaborative manner on a song… but I think it was a nice way to begin the partnership that eventually came to be called Bears. I know Craig was a little skeptical about the band name at first, perhaps rightfully so, but I somehow convinced him that it would work.

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Listen to the demo of “Walk Away.” It eventually became the album version, as did “Daydreams” below.

DOWNLOAD BOTH SONGS HERE!
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So, after that initial success, we continued to write and record songs during the summer of 2005 for what would become the first album. At the time, we were recording everything on a digital 16-track unit, and there was something magical about the way it covered up all our mistakes. I don’t think my vocals have ever sounded so good on a first take. We had just the right combination of excitement, experimentation, ineptitude, and sunshine to make a collection of songs that, well, just made us happier with music than we had ever been.

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To celebrate the anniversary, the album is on sale for $5-off in all formats (CD/LP/digital)!
Go to the shop to pick up a copy.
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Once the album was out, each small success felt like a huge step forward. I never really thought the record would be noticed outside of the indiepop world, and, surprisingly to me, I think it was more popular outside of that scene anyway. Maybe it doesn’t sound quite the way I think it sounds. But, anyway, after all the changes we’ve been through as a band and as friends over the years, I think I can speak for both of us when I say that we have a great love for the first album and the way in which it was created. It was magic, and it won’t happen again.

Here’s to the next five years.

/Charlie
bears