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Blog Lifebook Music

10 Years Ago I Scored Music for Liquid Imagination

It was 10 years ago today that my original compositions produced for the LIQUID IMAGINATION web zine first went live. Today I am reissuing all 16 tracks in one complete compilation under my instrumental music project Brandon: Unsung.


This featured music was composed, performed, programmed, produced and recorded by Brandon L. Rucker. Originally published on the web by Liquid Imagination web zine.


On December 1, 2009, John Arthur Miller (“JAM”), then-publisher of the online web zine LIQUID IMAGINATION, contacted me via email to, firstly, pile on enough kind words to make a grown man blush, and secondly, to discuss the possibility of merging my music-making abilities with the featured poetry published in the Liquid Imagination web zine. He had read my bio. He saw that I had spent over half my life playing music in various underground bands, and had evolved into something like a one-man musical franchise of sorts, composing, performing, recording and releasing my own original music all over the web as well as on CD.

Ultimately, I was asked to join LI’s amazing staff as the Music Composer/Coordinator, working very closely with then-managing editor (and now publisher) Sue Babcock. What a wonderful opportunity and journey it was. I remain truly honored and grateful for the opportunity, and I admit, quite proud of the work.

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The way it worked was: a web page was created for each individual poem, with a layout creatively adorned by photos, graphics and the poem’s text. Once that was in place I then took inspiration from the words and images and composed the musical piece from my own unique interpretation of the whole — whether the results of my interpretation was accurate to the author’s intentions or not was not the point of the confluence and sum of the parts in conjunction.

I wrote more extensively about the process and each piece in an article published in the fifth issue of Liquid Imagination, which can be accessed via: The Synergy of Poetry and Music.

Coming soon: I have plenty more music to upload and reissue on Bandcamp for the ease of sharing.

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Blog Music

The Breeders – Pod

I dialed this album up last night before bed, realizing I hadn’t listened to it in well over 15 years and perhaps not far from 20 years. Classic lo-fi pre-grunge alt-rock. This was always my favorite music of the Breeders.

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Wknd Rprt

Wknd Rprt: July 2019 – Wk 1

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The climax of the week came in the form of my band’s live performance at Radio Radio!

What a helluva week! What a helluva month and change, really. As I write this I am on Day 5 of a 5-day respite from work, having had the 4th and 5th off as paid holidays and then I scheduled a vacation day for today to ensure a day of recovery for all my shenanigans. I’ve probably set myself up for failure with these weekend reports as I struggle to beat my Oldtimer’s disease and try to remember all that happened the past two or three days, let alone the whole past week. This is all for posterity, so I will stick to the most notable events with the usual bullet points.

  • Thur, 4th of July – Spent time with the fam of course, enjoyed some good grub from the grill and lovingly baked dessert goods. The weather was nearly perfect and I always enjoy spending time on the in-laws shady front porch. After that I was off to band practice where John (guitar) and Rich (bass) and I fine-tuned for our performance on Friday night.

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  • Fri, July 5 – Did a little shopping Friday and decided to finally try to see if I could squeeze into some 32-inch waist jeans again. And not only did I squeeze into them with ease, but I decided to go with the “skinny jeans” option and I have to admit I may never buy the non-skinny version again because I love the slimmer taper at the ankles. I confess that I haven’t worn 32s probably since before I was 32, which was many moons ago!

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  • Fri, July 5 – I also bought some leather CHUCK TAYLOR ALL-STARS, inspired by one of my guitar heroes, DEATH ANGEL co-founder/songwriter ROB CAVESTANY when I saw him onstage a few months back. I can’t remember if his version had the white logo or not, but I the all black logo on mine.

Hero House Comics

  • Fri, July 5 – As a band we were to load in to Radio Radio! at 7 PM, an hour before doors opened, two hours before the music was to begin with the first band, Dead Squirrels at 9 and the Garbage tribute band at 10. So we had some time to kill. My bandmate and buddy Rich introduced me to this store HERO HOUSE COMICS and its cool owner as well. It’s a swell little store that I will be sure to visit whenever I’m down in the FOUNTAIN SQUARE neighborhood in Indy. I grabbed a sticker that is the exact replica of that sweet logo above.

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  • Fri, July 5 – Still with my bandmate Rich, we went to enjoy some art over at the Murphy Arts center that was also in the Fountain Square neighborhood. Tim McLaughlin’s photography was quite impressive.
  • Fri, July 5 – Friendly support as my lady April plus my friends Nikki, Rick, Ryan, Tina, Ian, B.J. and Violet all showed up to our band. I was so in-the-moment and anxious/impatient that I failed to snap any pictures of all their smiling faces.
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Rich and I onstage — shot by my friend Nikki.
  • Fri, July 5 – Finally showtime. Our still-yet-to-be-named Alice in Chains tribute band took the stage a little after 11 PM and we charged through our 9-song set in what seemed like a blur: Them Bones, We Die Young, Down in a Hole, Junkhead, Rooster, God Smack, Nutshell, Would? and Man in the Box. The highlight for singer Jason and I being Nutshell, the song I would up unexpectedly playing the most lead guitar on in the general scheme of things. Weeks ago I wasn’t confident I’d play it without flubs, no matter how perfect I’d played it in practice. Thankfully that’s exactly what I did, which was essentially the cherry on top. I was a sweat machine up there with numerous beads of sweat running unimpeded down my bald head. My ears rang and my joints ached well into the next morning, but like a football player taking multiple hits in a game his team won, it was all worth it.
  • Sat, July 6 – Most notable Saturday was my popping some Ibuprofen to quell some soreness and taking an unplanned 4-hour nap. The best sleep is the sleep you don’t plan, right?

Best Bet Breakfast

  • Sun, July 7 – We had breakfast with our dear friends and frequent dining partners Nikki and Rick at Best Bet, a little local eatery with a cool Vegas casino theme. I got an omelette with roast beef, mushrooms and cheddar cheese with two pancakes and those Ava potatoes that I never eat. Then the four of us moseyed on over to IKEA for oohs and wows at all the neat stuff we say we’d like to have someday.
  • Sun, July 7 – Met up with Ryan, one of my longest friends and we went to the Built to Spill show that I statused the other day. BUILT TO SPILL played all the songs from their 1999 album Keep It Like a Secret. The last time I saw them live was 20 years ago during their original support of that album. I unexpectedly ran into Justin and his lovely wife Allyson, and also got to see my old buddy Mike and his lovely wife Amber too. I saw and head-nodded a few other familiar faces as well. Naturally I bought a shirt that has the image of the Keep Like a Secret album cover and sky blue color scheme.20190708_154449~26405074541344289604..jpg

Whew. And now I return to my mental health day, er, scheduled vacation day with the plan to do not much at all except write this post, maybe hit the library, get some reading in and maybe try to get in a few backlogged episodes of FEAR THE WALKING DEAD.

Be well and live your best life.

-BLR

Categories
Music

Alice + The Devil and Dinosaurs

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Alice in Chains’ 5th long-player from 2013.

As a longtime ALICE IN CHAINS fan, I don’t really need extra motivation to listen to their catalog, but incidentally being in an AiC tribute band now has me listening even more intently than I normally do (and I’m quite the intentional and nerdy listener). Today I  specifically listened to the band’s latter three albums for potential songs to cover and I have to admit that I’ve been giving The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here (2013), their fifth LP of six, a bit of a bad rap for a few years now. Mainly because I think its immediate predecessor Black Gives Way to Blue (2009) was better overall. And then its successor,  Rainier Fog (2018) arrived and was also a superior album and it definitely had me taking the piss on Dinosaurs in comparison to the two that it is sandwiched between. And that’s just it, today I realized that is really its only crime. Dinosaurs  is actually a pretty darn good album judged on its own with a few standout tracks like “Hollow”, “Pretty Done”, “Stone” and “Phantom Limb.” I’d say now that my only real criticism of it is that the songs aren’t as revelatory and intense (as they are on Blue) or as fresh and fun (as they are on Fog). A misdemeanor, to be sure, but not a felony, all things considered.

 

Categories
Lifebook

My New Music Project w/ Upcoming Show

So I’ve been doing this music thing for while, right? But I’ve never been in a cover band, I’ve always created original music. But recently I joined an Alice in Chains tribute band that actually has a show coming up on July 5th at Radio Radio in the Fountain Square neighborhood of Indianapolis. How crazy is that? The guys I’m playing with have also played in other tribute bands for such classic rock icons as Soundgarden, Guns n’ Roses, AC/DC and The Cure. I am splitting lead and rhythm guitar duties as well as helping out with the multitude of harmonizing backing vocals that Alice in Chains are very notable for executing very well.

We’ve had four rehearsals so far, getting tighter and tighter with each one.

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Books Bookworm

No Walls and the Recurring Dream – Ani DiFranco’s Memoir

I read a good 30-something pages the first night. The book offers a very rare intimate and introspective look into one of alternative music’s greatest singer-songwriter/musician/poet/activist/humanitarian.

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Asides

Subatomic

I don’t want this to sound as ridiculous or hyperbolic as it might, but I truly do believe I experience music on a cellular or molecular . . . perhaps even a subatomic level. It’s really that deep for me. Always has been. Given my parents’ love for music this probably began in utero with me. As Nietzsche said, “Without music, life would be a mistake.” ‘Nuff said.

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