Pianos Recap

Had a great show last night up as part of Dreambear Production's showcase at Pianos, NYC.  It was great getting to meet all the dreambear people face-to-face who worked with us on our music video for "Fastest."  It was also especially nice to meet Johanna Samuels who opened up the night with her fantastic songwriter-based piano rock.

After the show we went out for drinks and I somehow ended up home at 7:30 this morning (thanks again for the ride Dan!).  Check out some of the pictures below:

Our Music Video has been Released!

As many of you already know, our music video for "Fastest" premiered on Bullett the other day.  We really couldn't be happier with how everything turned out.  See for yourself:

Fastest Music Video on vimeo

It was really a pleasure working with Daniel and dreambear on the project.  We feel like we found a terrific team for exploring the visual and we'll be working again very soon, for sure.  This weekend, come check us out at Pianos, in NYC.  This will be our first official show with our new violinist Courtney.  I'll introduce/blog on Courtney's merits after we play our first show with him and get some pictures.

Good things ahead everyone,
JL

Pianos this weekend

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We're thrilled to be playing Pianos this weekend - back for the fourth time and most definitely our biggest show yet.  On Saturday at 10, we'll be a part of this special artist showcase hosted by Dreambear, the production company in NYC that is helping us with our music video for "Fastest."

Here's the Facebook event

And the lineup:

11  Lily & The Parlour Tricks
10 Eureka Birds
Starnes&Shah
8 Neonfaith
7 Johanna Samuels

Hope to see you there!
-Justin

Our album has been released!

 We are thrilled that our record was released yesterday: http://eurekabirds.com/.  We started recording in Indianapolis during Thanksgiving of 2011 on a bellyful of oyster dressing and things continued to get better from there.  If you don’t know what oyster dressing is, then you don't know how to MIDWEST like us.

The album was recorded in three trips to Indianapolis over 10 days total.  The first two times, we stopped at a Cumberland, MD Applebee’s along the way to eat dinner, because the band has a Stockholm syndrome affinity to Applebee’s dating back to a van breakdown in Texas tour to SXSW in 2011.  The third and final trip, I groaned enough that the band vetoed Applebee’s, which I think was the pivotal difference in getting four songs recorded instead of our usual three.  You have me to thank for the extended tracklist.

In addition, we have two exciting shows coming up.  Our record release show in Baltimore is November 9: https://www.facebook.com/events/1381466888756305/.  We will have an expanded line-up of strings, horns, and extra guitars and keyboards, and you should bring an expanded alcohol tolerance because of all the new bars in the area near metro gallery for after-show drinking. The Crown! Beatnik! Club Chuck! Station North Development Corporation: cut us a check.

A week afterward, we’ll be playing Velvet Lounge in DC.  It’s been a while since we’ve played DC, so we are very excited to come back and entertain you all before walking six blocks to get a half-smoke from Ben’s Chili Bowl, then promptly vetoing the idea because the line is too long, and the half smoke is overrated anyway. 

-Scott

'Strangers' out October 29th

Everything is good to go now.  

Our first single, "Mila Don't Make a Sound" premiered this week over at
Beats Per Minute.  You can download it here.  


For the artwork, we teamed up with Bridget Cimino for the cover painting and really couldn't be more pleased.  Check it out:

Strangers, out Oct 29th everywhere

The record is set for release on October 29th, the day before my birthday.  We're just about to confirm a CD release show on November 15th; I'll blog again soon when that's set in stone.

Good things ahead.  Stay tuned!
Justin

Where We're At

Quick update: 

We're about to press our record!  Just finishing up the artwork at this point.  We're looking at a pre-Thanksgiving official record release, though we'll have press copies (and copies for close friends) much sooner.  Lots of things in the works regarding touring, more recording, and local shows.  Good things ahead.

Also, we were just featured in the Baltimore City Paper's Big Bmore Music Playlist.  Check out our new song "Justin, It's Over" here: http://citypaper.com/news/big-baltimore-playlist-side-2-1.1528665 

 

Upcoming Show with Lucius

We're really excited about our show next Wednesday with Lucius.  I got the offer from the owner of Metro Gallery and then later realized that our drummer went to school with Jess, their singer.  Really good stuff.  Here's the facebook event page.  Also, at this show, we'll be giving out download cards for free so you can hear the first two tracks off our new record.

'Strangers' is finished

Dear Internet,

After a little over a year, 3 trips to Indiana with 4 dudes in a Honda Fit, 1.5 plane rides, 11 trips to esteemed mexican place La Parada, hundreds of Coors Lights, about 23 falsetto Justin vocal harmonies, one Dracula defeated (at the end of Castlevania - we did it!), and 2 calypso jams we have an album that is finished.  The album has 11 songs and was recorded over 11 days with Dave, Scott, Dan and me - this is the first record we've done as a full band.  We just got the masters back from Emily Lazar up at The Lodge in NYC.

We spent a lot of money for sounds.

We spent a lot of money for sounds.

In the next two months, we'll play a few smaller shows and will be recording a music video.  This Saturday we're at Cafe Nola in Frederick with the lovely Dana Falconberry and her band.  July 20th we're playing an intimate set at Club K here in Bmore with Tallahassee (who's new record just came out today).  By August, we'll have our vinyl/CDs pressed and will be ready for our CD release show which will likely be at Ottobar.  Keep in touch.

-JL

the future

'Strangers' sent for Mastering

We're pleased to announce that the final mixes for our new record 'Strangers' have been sent away to The Lodge, NYC for mastering before release.  Here's the email I sent to the mastering engineers involved today:

Kyle, Emily, and Rich,

Couple notes here from us.  This album doesn't have to fall in line with previous records.  It's different in that it's the first record we've recorded as a full band and it feels like more of a 'pop' direction for us.  We know you've mastered so many great records (and also our last) and we trust your judgement.  Feel free to take some creative liberties!

Thanks,
Justin
www.eurekabirds.com

We'll have more to share soon.

Album Update

So,

Our album is finished being mixed. We'll get it mastered at The Lodge in NYC next month and should have copies to share by summer time. We're leaning towards pressing some vinyl and also having old-fashioned CDs as well. Those who have heard us lately may recognize some of the songs we're including on this release:

Baby's Got a Blade
Mila Don't Make a Sound
No Stranger to Heartache
Fastest
And We are all the Same
Spaceman
Not Coming Home
Shine Moon Shine
Hallelujah
Justin, It's Over
Come On

We're leaning towards calling this 'Strange Migrations.' It's a departure into some truly strange territory for us.

CaCaw,
Justin (on behalf of the birds eureka)

Transient

Full circle to the Ottobar

Tonight, we will take the stage at the Ottobar for the first time since I joined the band a year and a half ago.  We're not going to get ahead of ourselves (no jinxo!), but we're excited about the crowd we're expecting and the performance we'll put on. Given the occasion, I thought it would be appropriate to reflect on the highlights and lowlights of the 27-something shows I've played so far:

  • There was my very first show with the band. The opening act took two hours to soundcheck for an hour and a half long set. The soundcheck was the better performance.
  • There was a bizarre festival "circuit" in the fall of 2011.  One of these gigs included an 11 am set in an outside parking lot "stage" in blazing hot weather.  It ended with Dave chucking a kazoo 20 yards in frustration. Two weeks later, we played another festival in Dewey Beach. The venue was massive, the weather was drizzly, and the crowd was absent. Luckily, the next-door liquor store had a special on airline vodka bottles.
  • There were shows where we overcame atypical circumstances to win people over: the working class fishing town of Gloucester, MA. The upscale wine crowd in Annapolis. The bouncer who looked like Billy Idol in New Haven.
  • There were shows where I had my own personal disasters: tuning equipment fiascos at the Metro Gallery. Hitting the microphone with my bass head and creating a tritone over the silent ending of "Applewood" during a particularly cursed mid-July show in 2011. Hitting the wrong pre-chorus note four times in "There Was Light" because I thought my bass was merely out of tune, not that I was actually hitting the wrong note.  You learn to prepare beforehand. You learn to get good equipment.
  • There were shows when my bandmates had their own foibles. Justin drinking too much coffee before a Wind-Up space show last Winter, which made his voice sound like Kermit the Frog's.  Dave breaking strings on his guitar. Dan doing things that I can't remember off the top of my head...dammit. I guess these are pretty minor things.
  • There were, of course, the good shows:  Cafe Nola in August of 2011, where the crowd sang along to our best songs and bought us endless drinks afterward. Opening for the Of Montreal-based Yip Deceiver at the Metro Gallery in January of this year. When a member Of Montreal calls your band "phenomenal," you tend not to give a fuck what anybody else thinks.
  • There were numerous good times playing Pianos in NYC, including the most recent show, where our car broke down halfway to the gig. Justin was already at the venue, so me, Dan, and Dave rallied in our extremely posh loaner Ford Flex to the gig, literally running on stage to play a truncated set. We never doubted for one second that we would leave Justin behind.

That last sentence was a lie.

  • There was my personal favorite gig: A headlining night at the Brillobox in Pittsburgh this past February. It didn't snow much at all last Winter, but the flakes started falling as soon as we reached city limits, neatly conforming to every image I've had of the steel city (or as it's known now, the "mid-level white collar city" (c) Onion) that's been portrayed on film.  We played a good set to a great crowd, then hightailed it home at 2 am. There was no heat in the van, we were frozen, and the gusts of wind made us all feel as if the rickety 1993 Ford was about to disintegrate. Halfway there, Dave was nearly asleep, we were 25 miles from the nearest hotel rest stop, and none of the rest of us were in any condition to drive. We get to the reststop, Dave says "fuck it, I feel good now" and drives us all the way home.  I get to see the dawn for the first time in years, crawling over the Baltimore skyline from my apartment. This is why you play in bands.

We've come full circle to play our first big hometown headlining gig in over a year. So, please come out tonight and enjoy the true beginning of our new album cycle.  We're going to give it our best...NO JINX.

Brillobox

Brillobox

Final Recording Session - Day 2

Hey everyone, Tracking for our next record is finished. Since our first trip last Thanksgiving weekend, we've recorded 12 new songs that we hope to share with you soon. At this point, our job is finished and now it's up to our producer (Tyler Watkins) to mix the tracks and get them ready to master.

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Yesterday, I did vocals on ballad 'Come On' and strange upbeat pop tune 'Hallelujah.' I also did about a hundred backup vocal parts and even got to hit a snare drum in the echo chamber. As usual, things got weird after about 8 hours in the studio. This is a condition we have come to accept as 'space madness.' This is part of the reason you'll hear our record and think that crazy people made it. The other part is because we are actually crazy people.

Final Recording Session - Day 1

Hey all, So I flew out Friday evening from BWI and ended up missing my connecting flight in Philly. US air was nice enough to put me up at the Marriott connected to the airport: 20121104-231425.jpg Got to see the sunrise from the plane Saturday morning though on the way out: 20121104-231540.jpg Saturday was spent just hanging around town. Tyler had to run sound for the Vulgar Boatmen at the White Rabbit at night which turned out to be an awesome show.

Today was the first day in the studio and it was quite productive. Finished vocals and backups and touchups for rocker 'No Stranger to Heartache' and calypso jam 'Justin, It's Over.' Trumpeter Hubert Glover stopped by to help fill out songs 'Shine' and 'Come On.' 20121104-231606.jpg Just about to call it a night. I'll do a recap tomorrow. Should be able to finish everything up easily with time to spare.

JL

Recording recap: studio tension and a clean, well-lit place.

After three days of smooth sailing, it happened: a dust up.  Don't get us wrong; we like to think of ourselves as a well-adjusted band,  but when four guys convene to do nothing but make music and drink beers of inconsistent type and alcohol content, tempers are bound to flare. After all, we want to climb that ladder and hang up a masterpiece, and then enjoy the fruits of our labor: The silver tint, the spinning lights.  With ambitions so strong, things can get heated. I'm referring to the disco ball in the studio control room:

Disco Ball


We just couldn't agree on an effective way to hang it, so we decided to cool off by grabbing a few rounds at a nearby bar.  And luckily for us, this bar had a kickin' two for two Sunday knife-fight special:

Detour

In all seriousness, we've never been to this particular place, but here's what actual quotes from Yelp reviews tell us about it:

"gritty and seedy."

"HOLY COW!!! I only recommend going here while it's daylight and you are not alone. There are a lot of subtly frightening people here."

"We ate there for the first time and it was ok.  Atmosphere was good and they have a great location.  My husband had a burger and fries that he thought was very good.  I had the bypass and it was ok, but ordered the "three cheese macaroni and cheese"  for my side - big mistake.   Imagine my surprise when the mac and cheese was none other than Kraft mac and cheese with some extra cheese thrown on top.  Seriously?  I can't believe a restaurant of the level that this one is trying to be would ever think it's ok to do this.  To add insult to injury, it was cold."

Wow, obnoxious Yelpers are pervasive.  fair warning: no matter what the condition of the building, sketchiness of the patrons, or general purity level of the drugs being sold on the premises of your establishment, you are guaranteed at least one haughty Yelp review nitpicking the quality  of an appetizer. "I can't believe a restaurant of the level this one is trying to be"?? Seriously?? Look at that picture again. The kitchen probably doubles as a one-hour rental room.

In terms of music, we have five songs done.  It has been the most successful recording trip in the history of the band. "Justin, it's Over" is a deep rumba grove, "No Stranger to Heartache" has some fuzzy guitar trills courtesy of Dave, "Hallelujah" is rocking power pop, "Come on" builds to a massive climax, and "Girls Cry" was phoned in.

Wurlitzer

Effing Yelpers.