NEW ALBUM: "BLOOD YEAR"

CD Release May 11, at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz

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Saturday, April 28

Kuumbwa Jazz Center

Santa Cruz, Calif.

Bryn Loosley and the Back Pages perform all of Tom Petty's Wildflowers, live and unabridged.

Doors at 7:45, show at 8

Tickets $12 in advance at BrownPaperTickets.com / $15 at the door

All ages

Bryn Loosley is a teacher and a songwriter in Santa Cruz, California. His 2008 debut, The Wrecker, was hailed by the Santa Cruz Sentinel as "a quiet stunner of an album that puts him, artistically, in the league of such better known singer/songwriters as Josh Ritter and Freedy Johnston." His second album, Blood Year, contains 12 songs, one inspired by each month of the year. (Click For Full Biography)

Friday
Feb262010

February - "The Great Indoors"

Back at the end of December, after I finished writing "New Years Day," I wrote a list. It looks like this:

1. It's cold
2. It's short
3. My birthday
4. Groundhogs Day
5. Presidents

Not exacly a basis for a stunning song. With March already in the bag, and January coming out naturally, it appeared February was going to be the first song I'd have to force.

Forcing a song is a dangerous game. The best songs write themselves, three of my favorites agree. Paul McCartney heard "Yesterday" in a dream, woke up and wrote it down. Samuel Taylor Colerige wrote "Kubla Kahn" the same way. Neil Young says, "Stop trying... If you don't have an idea and you don't hear anything going over and over in your head, don't sit down and try to write a song. You know, go and mow the lawn."

Blood Year flies in the face of this. By committing to a song a month, I'm forcing myself to work in a new, less organic way. The song for February would be the first test of this.

When I began, I wanted to make it a short, sweet song. I had "Her Majesty" in mind as a model. Short in honor of the month. Sweet because the January song is ponderous, and the March song is outright depressing.

I ended up with this. At five minutes, it isn't short, but I'm pleased with how it turned out. The song went through a lot of iterations, starting as a shuffle and morphing to piano pop and then a ballad. Unable to pick between the pop and the ballad, I mashed the two together.

Neil Young wouldn't have approved of the process (and possibly not the end result), but it comes as a relief to know that I can start empty handed and end up with a song. Making something out of nothing doesn't feel natural. But it would be a long year if it wasn't possible.

Bryn

Sunday
Jan172010

January - "New Year's Day"

"New Years Day"
by Bryn Loosley

Order up your last round
They're closing down the bar
And the streets outside are slick with rain
And we could drain another down
Or we could turn this train around
We've got 12 good months to change
And though we've spoken solemn vows
We will break them all somehow
The year is new, the mistakes are all the same
But promise

I will not hide from love
I will not cower at the seams of the powerful beams
Of its searchlight-bright flood
I will dance in the blinding light of its rays
Somebody kiss me, it's New Years Day

And could old acquaintance be forgot
And never be brought to mind
Then maybe I'd be freed of these jealousies
That have been keeping me since auld lang syne
And I could start over again
There's time to make amends
Time to get things right this time
This time

I will not hide from love
I will not cower at the seams of the powerful beams
Of its searchlight-bright flood
I will dance in the blinding light of its rays
Somebody kiss me, it's New Years Day

Sunday
Jan172010

Blood Year Manifesto

Hi friends,

So, I decided. I'm going to begin work on an album. It's going to be called "Blood Year" and I'm going to write it over the course of 2010. Why? I don't know. But here are the basic principles of what I'm intending to do and what I need your help for:

This is an album about the calendar year
I will write 12 songs, one for each month of the year. Each song will not necessarily be ABOUT the month, but it will try and reflect the spirit of the month. Some will be more direct than others. They will all be meaningful to the month for me.

I will publish as much of the process as is reasonable
For each song, I'll record a demo of a draft of the song, some video of early rehearsals with the band, a video with the band performing the song, a decent quality demo of the song with some instrumentation, and eventually a final recorded version (probably).

This will be a non-profit album

I'm going to try not to spend a dime or make a dime on this album. Soon, I'm going to start giving away The Wrecker for donations to see if I can stir up a few dollars to begin with. If I sell any more hard copies of The Wrecker I will put the money into this. I might have a yardsale. I'll sell final version of the songs on iTunes. The preliminary versions will be available for download with an option to donate. Any money from sales of songs or donations will go into making better recordings or paying people who helped. If I sell a few songs, I'll spend that money full-scale recordings. If I sell a bunch, I'll print a hard copy. If not, not.

I will ask for help
If you can help by giving feedback, or making graphics, or adding a track at home, or telling people, I would appreciate it.

That's it! The January song is almost finished. February and April have ideas I'm working on. March is done.

Let me know what you think,
Bryn

 

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