No Sacrifice – An Unfinished Demo

Blog, Music, My Music

Maybe someday when I replace all the recording equipment I sold off a few years back I can finally finish this demo. I’ll have to completely re-record it, but still.

 

Jubilee | Lyrics [via RUCKERPEDIA]

Blog, My Music, Works

I wrote this little ditty in 2009 under less tumultuous socio-political times. But its message of unity and the overcoming of differences and the celebration of the fact that we’re all here, human and alive, is timeless. And timely on a day like today.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

My Music | Seven Years of Bridging the Disconnect

Blog, MusicBox, My Music

Today, September 29th marks the seven year anniversary of when I officially released the demo LP of my Solo Acoustic Project, which was lazily called Sap. Bridging the Disconnect, a 15-track album of predominantly acoustic (demo) ditties written, performed, produced and recorded by yours truly in a completely solo effort that was not a task for the impatient. A lot of pride went into the creation of the recording project which I started in the summer of 2009 and managed to “complete” in time for my self-imposed 9/29/2009 release date. I went through CD Baby and released it on home-burned discs myself via my label I Rock Recordings, and let them handle the digital retailer side of things.

Warts and all, because the recordings aren’t perfect by any stretch. The production is mostly good, if a bit raw (psst! it sounds a bit like a guy with a voice, a couple of mics, some guitars, a keyboard, drum machines, and a digital workstation doing it all by himself). I’ve said it for years that sure there’s a lot of pride in completing such a project, but damn, I would’ve traded some of that pride for some help.

But, to be sure, every voice, word, beat and note on this album was created and recorded by little ol’ me in my little ol’ studio at home (which at the time was a large closet in my family’s apartment. That’s another thing, trying to find optimal quite time to record quiet acoustic music when your young children aren’t up making noise). I even designed the artwork/layout for the jewel case, using my wife’s photography.

Some fun facts

The project’s name was originally inspired by the acoustic EP  Sap (1992) by Alice in Chains, but also the song by Modest Mouse called “Stars Are Projectors” which an acronym of it would spell S.A.P. Then there’s the release date that I chose. Alice in Chains’ 2009 comeback album Black Gives Way to Blue was released the same day. Coincidentally, their classic 1992 LP Dirt — a hugely important album to me as a young man at the time — was also released on September 29th.

Another major inspiration for this project was the late Elliott Smith, whose honey-sweet, silky-smooth vocal style I could never duplicate, but that didn’t stop me from double and triple-tracking my vocals in an effort to get that cool natural chorus effect his vocals were always produced with.

And I would be remiss not to mention both Dave Matthews and Ani DiFranco who both inspired me to finally switch over to the acoustic guitar in the late 90s.

The Concept

I wouldn’t call Bridging the Disconnect a true concept album, but there is a kind of conceptual theme that runs through it. The title itself refers to the situation we all face as adults in our 30s having lost touch with our friends and familial roots and the need to repair that disconnect. Songs like “Building Burning Bridges”, “So Long My Friend”, “Invisible Fences” and “Savor (Brief Lives)” to an extent deal directly with that theme of reconnecting. “Jubilee” is specifically about people of all walks of life coming together and eating, drinking and being merry because ultimately we need to get along and coexist on this planet together in harmony. And finally, “If Love” and “So Close” are effectively love songs. The rest are introspective ditties or instrumentals. The whole collection of songs is decidedly mellow (somber?) and folky with a touch of rock for good measure.

Obviously seven years later I’ve had different perspectives on this as a single piece of art, thought of countless things I’d do differently today (like add some bass guitar to “So Long My Friend”), but here it stands, warts and all. And on Spotify, no less. I just discovered it on there tonight. I shouldn’t be surprised since it’s been available on iTunes and countless other digital/streaming services for years.

MusicBox 1 | Motosota

Music, MusicBox, My Music

~ This is #musicbox on #ruckology In which Brandon L. Rucker plays virtual DJ, pulling out the jams from his personal collection of tunes for you. ~ 

Flashback, memory lane time. Today, August 4th, marks the 11th anniversary of the release of the long player CD trans.metro.politik by my former band Motosota (2004-2009), an instrumental ambient/jazz-rock band that I joined in May of 2005. We recorded the 12-song album in July, 2005 with studio owner and engineer Alex Kercheval. This marked the first time I’d done professional recording as a bassist, rather than a guitarist. It was with this band that I made my long return to the stage after a decade-long absence when we played our CD release show at Locals Only on this day eleven years ago. Good times. I don’t recall even being nervous.

Some of my favorite music I’ve ever composed or helped create was done during my four years in this band. On this album in particular “Comma”, which was the first song I contributed material to; “Ichi” the first song I initiated in the band; “Visceral Lei” perhaps my favorite to play; “Gun Is in the Glovebox” another that I took the lead on, and “Vincent Got Mad” being the one where the drummer and I really locked into a tight groove together.

In July of 2007 we released our second studio recording, an extended player entitled In Outer Orbit which wasn’t quite as jazzy as its predecessor and also boasted a different drummer. I took lead on “Son of Frankenstein” and “Echo Chamber” and even played a little piano on the outro to the closing track “Fluctuation VS Dissipation”.

The later, final lineup of the band demoed several songs but did not release any of it as a proper recording or on a physical format. After our early January 2009 break-up I took on the role of custodian and made sure our music was available online. That final lineup, which pretty much eschewed the jazz leanings in favor of more pop leanings, yielded the standout songs “Moto 2” and “Monstrosity” (with female vocals).

I’d been dragging my feet on getting us setup on Bandcamp, which has widgets that work well with WordPress. Currently the only widgets I have to share are ReverbNation which don’t seem to want to display here. So follow this link to check out the tunes if you’re interested. I’ll revise this after I get Moto-Bandcamp up and running or something. Also, the YouTube video (audio only) below is for the song “Monstrosity” from 2008, featuring Brian Jarecki (guitar), Paul Hardie (drums), Amy Johnson (vocals) and myself on bass, recorded by Alex Kerchval (keyboards).

 

My Music | Saint Ruckus

My Music

Saint Ruckus is the umbrella project name for a few different solo music projects that I consolidated together.  It’s all one-man-band, producer, self-engineered stuff by me at home in my la-bor-a-tory.  This is an anthology of some of the stuff I’ve done over the years, going back to 2007 up until around 2009 or so.  Mostly instrumental, ambient, electronic and rather short pieces as I consider them “micro-songs”.  A few are demo quality, but I don’t mind showing my warts.

Instrumentation: a drum machine and various beat processors, keyboard, guitar, bass and voice.

The first track “DR1” is the only one that is predominantly electronic programming. The rest are more composed by yours truly set to programmed beats with all instruments performed by me as well.

My favorites?

  • “Shadows in the Sky”
  • “One Night Affair”
  • “Table for Two”

Ones with vocals?

  • “Bittersweet Finale” has incomplete vocals, just one verse and one chorus.
  • “The Mission” has me doing a mock rap since no one else was available.

Check’em out.  There is plenty more music in the Vault that I’ll share here later.

Warts and all.

Because I love you.

P.S. For an optimum listening experience, I highly recommend actual external speakers or high-end headphones rather than mere on-board speakers or earbuds.

Valentine’s Night Music by Brandon ‘Saint Ruckus’ Rucker

Music, My Music, Nite-Nite Music

A little night music by yours truly for all you romancing couples out there tonight.

© 2007 by Brandon L. Rucker/I Rock Recordings

Jubilee

My Music, Work - Lyrics

On the railsHere are the lyrics for a little ditty I wrote and recorded a little over five years ago for my 2009 demo LP Bridging the Disconnect. Given its subject matter and the social unrest that has plagued our society of late, I’d say its message is rather timely. To listen to the song just click on the title.


“Jubilee”

Words and Music by Brandon L. Rucker

~

It’s that special time of year

We should gather with each other despite our fears

We’ll break bread and dine with wine

And discover there’s no trouble and we’re just fine

We are all of the same blood

So it’s silly to throw punches instead of hugs

Peace is not (just) for the naive

We should be wearing our compassion upon our sleeves

So let’s celebrate today

And be grateful that we all have a voice to say

That we’re thankful for our lives

And we’re laughing, dancing, singing and giving high fives

~

Copyright © 2009 by Brandon L. Rucker dba I Rock Recordings. All Rights Reserved.