The Recentries of Eisley
Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:45 pm
Captain's Stardate 082711. (for readers who really want to read)
Hello. It's been 70 days since my last entry. I feel like I'm reaching into a time portal, inscribing data onto a notepad (not an iPad) from an earlier life. My TrolleyWood journal has slowed from a hearty jaunt to a belly grovel over the past few years. For this, I am sad. For this, I apologize. This is not due to lack of interest and certainly from old age (for I now run faster/leap farther than when I was touring... but enough about tapping my inner youth).
Not My Xanga The oldest Laughing City members will remember this quote - "this is not my Xanga". I used to jokingly protest that I wasn't using the forum to advance boydness. And I wasn't. I've just never been good at speaking outside of character. To be effective with on-line marketing, I had to be me. I had to take the risk of speaking as the actual dad of a band who's median age was only 16.8. Try to imagine what a tough pill that might have been to swallow; surely they had concerns of how well I would relate to their peers. Perhaps we both had fears. I often wondered how they ever allowed such. But instead of being embarrassed over my involvement, they embraced and welcomed my help... extending cred' to my efforts (rantings, hack media, eis-exploits).
It still amazes me today that very little has changed since their 1st show in May of 1998. We're all still closer than ever. Today we hung out while they were being taped... it could have been 2003, 2005... but it's 2011. I still consider it a privilege to be involved in something I believe in so strongly. And I am more proud of them than ever... especially lately as their mom's health has been a deep concern.
Exploits/Expenses The last 10 years has been an amazing; what an adventure, an honor. As parents, our only motivation has been to advance the band at almost any expense. An uncalculated expense was the decline in health of my wife, 4/5ths of the band's mom - Kim. Financial stresses combined with genetic baggage compiled over the years are at least partially to blame for her decreasing health. The last month has been very difficult. I blame myself... but since there has been perhaps too much discussion on-line about this, I'll skirt details except to say that Kim is recovering slowly and I am thankful. We hope she will one day become completely restored, 100% mobile with no numbness or symptoms of stroke. She has good days... and depressing days but we're struggling through with hope/faith and are thankful for your thoughts and prayers.
As I've returned to my design post (of 31 years), my amazing son-in-law,Todd (Chauntelle's hubby) has stepped in to handle more than his share of the load. He's been an amazing tour manager and handles more and more as time goes on. I don't know where we'd be without him. We make a good team. Touring by itself is a huge responsibility; he does way more. I'm still on the front end but you know how that goes... it's often the guy behind the scene who does the heavy lifting. I work w/ our agent, publicist, the label and do marketing/promotion, graphic design, branding, social media, but he's been handling more and more of the business stuff which makes me very happy.
Do I miss touring? Sure. But I missed much time with Kim. Getting to stay home and help take care of her has been rewarding, fulfilling... I've even been blessed to be able to do my day job from home over the past month. Yes, we're going through tons of crap but hey - we're much in love after 32 years and enjoy spending every moment together. I work until sometimes 5am on Eisley projects, side projects (Mute Math, etc.), my day job work... I sleep for 5-6 hrs and hit it again.
Did I mention his is not my xanga.
Threading the Needle Truthfully, I didn't return to the depths of the unfound wood to talk about myself; I just felt like I owed some of you guys who might actually care about some of the behind the scene thoughts that cannot be expressed in 140 characters. I wanted to talk about how excited I am about current Eisley events. I don't have a pics because I'm rarely on the scene capturing media as in the past. I breeze in and out. They're quite capable of being Eisley without dear ole dad. Plus they have the help of Todd and Mark (Schwartzkopf, our beloved friend and sound engineer) to help wrangle gear and handle all the logistical, geeky, nerdy, stuff. I stick to what I do best.
We're cutting things soooo close. Stress is mounting as they are all scurrying to finish this EP, build and rehearse a new show for this tour... AND shoot a new video for "The Valley". It's honestly insane.
The EP is nearly complete! Chauntelle has been tracking last minute guitar parts (today/tomorrow), studio mixes are sounding great. I really don't want to tip the cards about what you'll hear on this project (recorded at Sherri's and Chauntelle's home with Andy Freeman who mixed "The Valley") but I can say - I'm fairly confident that you guys will like it. Wow... Do I still have a flare for under-hyping or what?
I can try a little harder since I've already gotten wordy and out of control. Foundationally, it's a wonderful, mid-record cycle release. It will keep the band from going stir-crazy between now and when they begin writing/recording the next LP. I can say that this ep feels like something that could have been conceived of years ago idea-wise; it offers something old/something new... super catchy tunes, shorter/softer songs, moody/lovely-languid songs... and even a song that reminds me of something from the MossEisley era. That's as descriptive as I'll be.
The project has no intention of being a catalyst for change... it's not a project that weighs against the alleged suppression imposed upon by a former major label... (we love those guys but if the shoe fits), it's not a project that tries to be anything but an honest batch of new Eisley tunes that could have been fired from the magical blow-hole years ago. It was recorded quickly... it certainly not an over-embellishment, there was not a soul beyond the band telling them how they should think or not to think or what songs to track or not to track and or that reason, it might feel a bit more experimental. But experimental has a broad connotation; I'm not sure I should use that word. I'm really trying to choose my words carefully, haha Can you tell? It's going to make you happy... I'm sure.
Neither project will be ready for this tour obviously. We'll keep u posted about release dates soon.
The video is going great too. Unfortunately I can't or should not talk so much about the treatment. It's going to be an animation comprised of actual and digital reality. Cory Sheldon, who animated "Memories" is here in our house working out scenes at the kitchen table as I type. If you follow Sherri on Instagram (you should... and others), you'll see some of the costuming. I'm very excited about what we'll shoot tomorrow and about the final video will turn out. Cory has come a lonnnng way since that first animation and that was probably our best video at the time it was released (on extended Combinations LP). Post-editing will take a month or so... maybe more. We'll start pushing/teasing when the time comes. I'm biting my mind here.
The ValleyScapes Tour begins August 31's for the band... in the BandWagon here in Tyler, heads up to Colorado Springs for the 1st show September 1st and quickly pushes West up to Seattle for Bumbershoot Festival, down the West coast and back across somewhere heading toward Texas. Clear enough? [read the e-blast linked below] It actually ends up in our own home town (yea!). Imagine finishing up a tour and driving 2 blocks home sleep in your own bed. This will be our first official show in our town promoted by someone other than ourselves. The city of Tyler actually contacted me. Crazy. They're a client of ours (design) and had no clue they were my kids. The venue is this awesomely restored, art deco theater called "The Liberty". Only 220 seats. Can't wait. You Texans should grab tickets and make a little road trip.
Oh, the band will play tons of songs from The Valley as well as songs from the past and even songs from the new EP. I won't get to hear the show until they return to Texas. wahh-wahh. Homecomings are bigger to me than ever.
Support Please check out our support, Marksmen: http://www.facebook.com/MarksmenBand. Christie dates the drummer of that band - Reed Murry, who is (wait another drummer? we have 3 already) is an awesome guy. We like him... a lot. And his band is amazing.
And - speaking of our own Christie http://christiedupreemusic.com/ - she's opening again. She's also recording an ep with 'big Coll' right now in Chauntelle's house with Andy Freeman also. I've heard some of it; my head swooned shut. Her new songs are SO good. yeah, so get ready for that. I'm sure she'll be playing new songs from the ep.
Wanna know why Christie is opening again? Because: 1. her big sisters can't stand being away from her that long, 2. She often gets as much of an applause as her older sib's band... like, in Dallas, you'd have thought she was the headliner when she came out... ecstatic throughout entire show, 3. Fans keep requesting her, 4. we just want people to hear her beautiful music... even if it seems odd; we are an oddity in this biz' anyway and don't care about what rules we break. What we care about is providing a great night for fans. Christie brings love on the front end. If we replaced her with some other unknown band, nobody would care; nobody seems to get it... that's what fans tell us so... Boomshot.
Macy's Gigs FILTER magazine are the folks on the front end/promotion side of this. I speculate that Macy's wanted to sponsor shows utilizing cool, indie-ish bands to promote their new fashion line (mstylelab) and contacted FILTER because they knew they'd know what bands are cool and would fit. I might be wrong; perhaps Macy's knew about bands like Eisley and hand picked them. Maybe they saw what all the NYLON stuff and loved it. Who knows. Either way, it should be a good experience for all. I simply adore their acoustic shows. Yah so... they'll do a full length acoustic set inside each Macy's store on a stage in both the Houston (Woodlands) and Sacramento markets. There are no openers. Just Eisley. National exposure is always good... and brand Eisley has a built-in fashion-savvy attribute so this made perfect sense to me. Both shows begin at 2:00pm in their respective time zone. Pls make plans to attend. We need your support and it's free.
Sorry the tour isn't covering much of the US. Our agent did his best at routing a 3rd tour since Fall 2010. We've all been busy. Things are better than ever and we'll make sure the Spring tour covers the North East.
That's pretty much it guys. I have no illusions about readership here. If I get a few comments, cool. If not... I honestly deserve to be ignored . If you want any other friend/fans outside this shrinking world to have privy to these words, you'll have to push it. I'm just not going to.
OH... and If you want to read the newsblast i sent out on Friday, here ya go: