Sunday, April 29, 2012

New Ideas, Free Music and Bootlegs

Blog #100:  New Ideas, Free Music, Bootleg Recordings

For those unaware, I have another website where I put up free live recordings of gigs I've played. ( www.JonCrowleyMusic.bandcamp ).  I make all the music available to stream and for Free download.  However, at the end of this week the music will no long be available to download(free or otherwise), you will still be able to listen to it streaming though.


Earlier this week, I was talking to a friend of mine on the phone about the new music I was writing and I decided to send him 2 recent shows I recorded.  I used a flyer from the most recent show(@ Sycamore) for the cover, taped it up all nice and then really liked the way it looked.  So I pulled an image i liked for the second live show(@ Freddy's), and taped it all up too.  I liked the way they looked so much, and the nice handmade-ness too them that I made a bunch with the remaining flyers and had the idea to give one away with each purchase of one of my studio albums when I play shows in the future.  That way people will essentially be getting 2 CD's for just 10 Dollars. (or they can buy just the bootleg live shows for $2).  I also bought Labels for the actual CD's and made those too.  It was a lot of fun, and it felt like the CD's i used to buy at punk rock shows when I was in high school.  I have a certain nostalgia for the black and white xerox covers and the uneven cuttings that were done by hand.  I hope to make my live recordings available on a website in the future too. (though you can always order one from me directly for $5 ($2 + $3 for shipping). Paypal me @

Thursday, April 12, 2012

what's up

Blog # 99: What's up

Hey readers and lurkers. Haven't written a blog in a while, you might be wondering what I've been up to if you give a fuck, and thank you if you do give a fuck. Changed things up again, I think its important to do that. Sometimes life does that for you. After spending most of 2011 just playing with my now former band 'Red Light Growler' (Hash-tag 'shit happens'), I've been back into the jazz way of things, kind of. Been writing a lot of music for my new group 'Heart of Darkness'. As I've stated in some earlier blogs, I've decided I want to perform less, turn down shitty gigs or gigs that I don't feel are 'artistic'. IE I'm finding it less and less appealing to do gigs playing standards, I just want to be more original than that and think that's kind of an artistic cop-out. While I am intentionally performing less, I assure you, I'm practicing just as much, and composing music like a man possessed. Playing and composing wise I don't think I've ever been better, and I don't think I've ever written so much either. Usually at night I sit at the piano and noodle until I find something. If I do, I record it with my Flip Video under the notion that I will go back and explore the ideas later. Today I uploaded all that material on my computer; which was 70+ videos. That's a lot of material. I went through, deleted the ideas that have already become tunes and i'm left with a solid 30 potential song fragments. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed right now. I gotta go through, notate the stuff and see what I can create with all this material. Some pieces will go together and some won't.

If I haven't expressed it before, I love writing music. It is literally my favorite thing in the world. Above playing, practice, and performing(all of which I love), is my love of writing. I just love the idea of creating something new and different. Its almost like being an architect of an imaginary world. Setting something up in which real people can function, create and explore. Anyway, I have a lot of sketches to go through, and I've been writing a lot. I've got three new songs for my next performance already. This is bigger than it sounds when you consider that I'm not writing leadsheet pieces anymore: all my songs are now through composed which means its not just writing 16 bars or whatever. Its writing a 5 page suite, that evolves with different solo sections, melodies, grooves etc. I would love someday to be in the position to present so much music(record or perform), but I'd rather do fewer performances and make sure I bring people out or make sure they're special than just do a bunch of shitty gigs that no one cares about.

I have been playing a lot of sessions recently though. I have a drum set and keyboard at my one room studio, so I've been having a lot of sessions and rehearsals here. Meeting a lot of new musicians. Some good sessions. Some terrible ones with conflicting music personalities. But its only refined my concept of what I what to do and what I don't want to do. I really like the idea of musical experiments, i like to combine people in different arrangements and see what happens.

I've been teaching and loving that. Got some students around Brooklyn and have now been teaching on Skype too. Its been awesome. I've also been working at Lincoln Center as part of their Webop program working with young kids, playing jazz and introducing them to music. I enjoy this program too. I think the kids really love it.

So yeah, that's what I've been up to. Haven't disappeared. Reevaluating. Doing my thing. Practicing more than ever. Playing better than ever. But flying lower under the radar.