J. Marsden

Drum Tracking!

 

Alright, so I'm back on track with recording my new album!  I just went to Audio for the Arts with my drummer/engineer, Jared Norton, and today we finished up tracking the drums!  We've got a great overall room sound with some totally solid takes thanks to Jared's hard work.  We had spent the last month and a half reviewing the songs and collaboratively working on the drum parts and it finally came to fruition yesterday and today!  Up next will be bass guitar and then vocals, all the while I'll be working on putting together a crowdfunding campaign through Indiegogo, so stay tuned as this month is packed full of work!

 

Make Music Madison Benefit Show

 

One week from today you can see a nice variety of some great Madison musical talent at the High Noon Saloon!  All proceeds are going to benefit Make Music Madison which you can learn more about here:  http://makemusicmadison.org/

I was able to be a part of M.M.M. this year, and if you're a musician or music venue you can join in to become a part of growing awareness to the local Madison music scene!

Have a great Thanksgiving, I'll see you on the other side a couple pounds heavier!

 

End of Summer Update

 

Alright, so I've been insanely busy this Summer, both with music, and my regular life too!  I work at a live event production/rental company so my summers are always full of events and extra work.  I hammered out all of the acoustic and electric tracks for the concept album I'm working on and spontaneously wrote some awesome parts that are really making the songs come alive.  Also, the recordings are sounding amazing!  Plus, I met an amazing woman, and well, you know what love interests do with your time ;)

Currently I'm working with a drummer to write some parts and really make these songs and this album something special.  I'm also practicing and writing bass guitar parts as well as working on all of the vocals while practicing for my upcoming big show for the High Noon Saloon's Summer Patio Series!  I do still have to write some lyrics..... yeah, I'm guilty of not finishing everything before starting the recording process...  However I'm getting a good picture of how the lyrics will be fitting the story and have come across the inspiration so I hope to finish those shortly!

My summer has been fucking tough, but amazing too, I hope yours has been more of the latter!

 

Make Music Madison

 

I'll be playing a show next week Tuesday the 21st for Make Music Madison at the Central Park stage.  Please see my calendar on the side bar for the specific info on that.  You can also read more about this awesome event below!

What is Make Music Madison?

Make Music Madison is an annual citywide, free, outdoor day of music held on the summer solstice, June 21. Initiated in 2013 as Madison’s entry into the international summer solstice music celebration, we join over 700 communities around the world in kicking off summer by filling the city with music. Make Music Madison turns the city into a stage, and offers a full spectrum of performers the opportunity to display their musical skills.

2016 provides us with our first mid-week event, opening new possibilities for venues and musicians. Coffee shops, restaurants and businesses all over Madison will be looking for musicians to fill their locations with song. Performers along the bike paths could bring music to the morning commute. Lunch patrons may find themselves serenaded by a middle school strings quartet. And after 5, the city will explode with music.

  • Make Music Madison is: Performed by Anyone, Enjoyed by Everyone.
  • A way for all Madisonians to celebrate the summer solstice, enjoying the longest day of the year, while sampling a buffet of musical merriment.
  • A DIY city-wide celebration when almost any way to make music can and will happen.
  • Make Music Madison is open to music makers of all ages, skill levels, and musical persuasions.

Make Music Madison may be Performed by Anyone, Enjoyed by Everyone, but it still takes a dedicated team of volunteers to bring it all together. We have a small board comprised primarily of group leads for larger teams of volunteers who focus on venues, musicians, matchmaking, mass appeal events, technology, publicity, and fundraising. In addition we have a single part-time paid position for our executive director.

 

 

Challenge #5 - Location

 

I've had a busy week and haven't quite found the time to finish writing my location song for tomorrow's challenge... I do have the guitar part and hook, but the verses are taking a bit more effort than I was hoping for.   I've been tossing around a few different ideas as far as the location goes and haven't quite settled on anything yet, so I guess it will be a surprise all around!  However, I do have a good choice for a signature song that I think will go over well.  I'm actually looking forward to playing more than one song at this next challenge as I'll be a lot more comfortable going into the second song after having warmed up with the first song.  As things get down to the wire I'm excited to see who gets to go onto the finals.  I have a good feeling about getting to the final 3 and have been thinking about what I might do for a final set already, but don't want to speak too soon as I still have the hard work to put in before this next challenge.  Either way it has been a great ride and has made for a very busy and eventful May!!

As I didn't share them yet, here are the lyrics for last week's challenge:

Doubt
 
Staring through the window of her soul
Is cloudier than most the storms that I have ever known
She’s got me stuck in my head again, again, again, and again
Is there no end to the murky waters that I’m continuously drowning in?
 
Doubt
Just when I thought I had figured her all out
Doubt
She makes me keep loosing truth
 
Tattered and torn, I’m weary and worn thin
From traversing these miles through mine fields of indecision
She’s a beautiful fountain of poison to wish and wish and wish upon
It’s out of my power she’s come to destroy and devour all reason
 
Doubt
Just when I thought I had figured her all out
Doubt
She makes me keep loosing truth
 
I had it all figured out
I had it all figured out
I had it all figured out
I had it all figured out
 
Doubt
Just when I thought I had figured her all out
Doubt
She makes me keep loosing truth
Doubt
Just when I thought I had figured her all out
Doubt
I know I’m loosing truth
 

Challenge #4 - Emotions

 
I finally finished the lyrics for my song Saturday, and have been fine tuning them as I rehearse for the show on Monday.  I drew the emotion "Doubt" and although I wanted to not make my song title super obvious, I ended up titling the song "Doubt" anyway.  I ended up somewhat writing the song from a viewpoint as if I was in a relationship with doubt.  The guitar part is a lot more driving that you would expect and has a killer breakdown that I'm excited to share with everyone!  
I don't know how well I'll be able to observe my growth as an artist while I'm still in this competition, but I can say that I've surprised myself with being able to come up with a new song over the past 3 weeks that I'm not only ok with, but actually excited to share with people, which is generally not the case.  I'm like a song a month maybe kinda guy.  I'm hoping that all this work will be the jumpstart I need to finish the CD that I'm currently writing and not burn me out!
I'm excited to see what the next challenge will be if I get through this week.  I'm not really looking for anything in particular as I kind of like the surprise of each new challenge.  I just hope that it will spark the creativity in me as well as fit the guitar part I already wrote when I was coming up with ideas for this week's challenge!
 

"Into the Grey" Voting and Lyrics

 

Challenge #3 turned out excellent and was well received all around.  Here's link to check out the video and vote to help me along in 105.5 Triple M's Songwriter Competition.  Here are the lyrics as well!

http://www.projectm.1055triplem.com/pages/12439796.php

Into the Grey
 
Cool taste of that misty morning numb
Carelessly she continues wandering on
Through the fog
Uncertainty the only constant in her life
Of black and white she walks between those lines
Stuck in time
 
Struggling to truly see the other side
So slowly she steps into the grey divide
 
Puzzling mystery is hers alone
Reluctantly she embraces the unknown
Down this road
 
Struggling to truly see the other side
So slowly she steps into the grey divide
 
(Solo)
 
Struggling to truly see the other side
So slowly she steps into the grey divide
 
Maybe someday she will see through the other side
Finally she’ll step away from the grey divide
 

Lady in Red - Challenge #3

 

In this week's Project M challenge we all received the same picture of a woman in a red shirt walking away down a road that curves into the fog ahead.   Here's what I had to say about this week's challenge, and don't forget to help me out and keep voting!

http://www.projectm.1055triplem.com/pages/12439796.php

Alright, so I'm feeling pretty good about the competition so far.  My song "Bike Snob" went over well with both the judges and my fans which definitely helped.  I think I'm now getting into the swing of things as I continue on.  
The hardest part of all this for me is probably writing the lyrics.  At least its the most time consuming thing and they need to really capture the essence of the song all around.  I find myself to be more of a guitarist first and a lyricist second so I try to use it to my advantage by writing all of the music in a way that I think will best convey the feel and emotion of the song.  I'll then try to find the right melody for the different parts of the song as well as a rhythmic meter for the lyrics to fit in.  Throughout this process I'll brainstorm different words and phrases that help to really capture the full meaning between the melodies and lyrical content, and then I'll try and try again until the pieces seem to fit right which seems to be the most difficult part!  
My song for this week has a tentative title of "Into the Gray" and I'm still working on the lyrics.  As you know, we all got the same picture that we have to base our songs on.  What I'm thinking so far is to use the woman walking away in the picture as the character and then use elements of the picture to compare to her journey forward through life from the moment she's stuck at in the picture.  Things like overcoming uncertainty and embracing the unknown come to mind.  I'm looking forward to finding the finished product as I write more and then to share it with everyone!

 

 

Bike Snob Lyrics and Voting!

 

You can vote on and watch the video of my week #2 challenge song "Bike Snob" for the Project M competition right now! Here's a copy of the lyrics for your enjoyment, and remember that you can vote as much as you like, get a good burn going on your left mouse clicker finger!

http://www.projectm.1055triplem.com/pages/12439796.php

I’ve got speed
I always take the lead
Two wheels are all I need to be free
Pedaling my steed
These chasers cannot catch me
They’re just squirrely on their fixies
Ankles tattooed up with chain grease
See I know their shift is weak

I’m always down at the L.B.S.
Where the techs and wrenches can tweak my set
I’m more pretentious than all the rest 
With this yellow jersey and matching spandex

My ride is sweet
Best one on the street
Cost the entirety of my yearly salary but
I’ve never seen defeat
Sportives just ain’t for me
I’ve crushed Spain, France, and Italy
I’ve got mad technique and bomb leg physique cause
I’m a super cyclist freak

I’m always down at the L.B.S.
Where the techs and wrenches can tweak my set
I’m more pretentious than all the rest 
With this yellow jersey and matching spandex

(break down)

I’m always down at the L.B.S.
Where the techs and wrenches can tweak my set
I’m more pretentious than all the rest 
With this yellow jersey and matching spandex

I’m always down at the L.B.S.
That’s the local bike shop if you’re not hip enough for that reference yet
I’m more pretentious than all the rest 
With this yellow jersey and matching spandex

 

Bike Snob

 

So this week, my challenge was to write a song with the title of "Bike Snob".  At first when I drew that slip I thought that I had the worst choice out of all the other titles that were drawn, but I just kinda dove right into writing and actually came out with something I'm pretty stoked about.  I started with just the guitar part and tried to write something that was more up beat with a verse riff that reminded me of riding a bike.  This song is definitely a stylistic detour from my first performance and the type of material I'm currently writing for a CD, however I chose a style that comes very naturally to me which I thought would help given that at first I was a little stumped with coming up with material.  I started brainstorming on lyrics by looking up cyclist jargon online and sketching down more rhythmic/rhyming phrases which came together nicely with the guitar parts I wrote.  All in all I'm pretty happy with the outcome of the song and am excited to share it with everyone on Monday!