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Old 07-19-17, 09:00 AM   #1
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Screaming Roberts - Phantom Thoughts (my own music)

I recently re-discover the album I made with my friends from college 10 years ago. It was a very amateur affair recorded in empty classrooms (preferably the ones that had pianos in it) during the early ours of the night so that we wouldn't get caught. It might not be great but if it was made might as well share it

You can stream and download the whole album for free here
https://fernandogastelo.bandcamp.com...antom-thoughts



Here is the original introduction we wrote for it. Thanks for your time

Quote:
There was no denying it. The realization had settled in…in that dark corner
of our gelatinous brains; well before the recordings were finished. And after knowing what we still know now, we decided to press forward.
Our realization, (which will undoubtedly be yours too as you listen to this),
was that we were complete amateurs in the whole sense of the word.
Without expectations of making the next "Pet Sounds" we gathered our ideas
and put together this little "Lo-FI record-that-could" you now hold in your hands

We wanted to be Los Tres, The Pixies, Café Tacvba, Modest Mouse, and The Flaming Lips. And even though we didn't sound like any of them, for the small moments in which we were recording, we felt we were following in their footsteps. Looking back in retrospect, even though we wanted to follow in their path, we ended up forging our own little crooked path, parallel, but still a couple hundred miles behind them.

A Peruvian guitar with a broken neck, put back together with carpenter's glue, only to have it break again; a classical guitar with holes in the body and a now fading sticker of Speedy Gonzalez; and a hand-me-down guitar with a bold "Jesus Rocks!" sticker on the case. These were our weapons of choice. Our salvation from our everyday routine. The occasional piano was added here and there, whenever we could find a room that had one available. And on top of all those guitar chords and piano melodies, on top of all that madness, we decided to add our voices and attempted harmonize our vocals. Sure, we weren't classically trained, but we gave it a shot because we figured "what the hell!" Hell, the people we had come to admire were fearless and after all, we were following the whole D.I.Y ethos: "Au-naturale si-vous plais!" "Fuck it," we thought, "no one is going to hear this anyway!"….

I am satisfied with this CD not only because we created what we thought was music but because in it we were able to encapsulate a period of our lives. In it you'll find melodies which we thought reflected an emotion-something worth recording... because even after playing it, it still lingered somewhere in our heads. Experimentation was key, and it was our only rule. We sang through harmonicas for vocal effects, played with the volume knob
on an acoustic pickup to get swooshing sounds (see Piano Diabolico), and recorded an entire solo only to put it in reverse and see what would happen


Go on, give it a listen. It's like that song you like, but the rest of us cannot stand. It's like when you sing to yourself in the shower, or when you are all alone in your car. It's a guilty pleasure. A pleasure only you could enjoy; something unrevealed to the world for fear of ridicule. If that's how you feel, then you are in good company. Maybe if we get lucky you'll
like just one song, and after all is said and done, wouldn't that be a pretty sweet victory? For the full effect and all the little nuances, however, we feel that it is necessary that we remind you that
((((((Headphones are Required)) )))).

Enjoy the trip,
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Old 07-19-17, 05:36 PM   #2
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Re: Screaming Roberts - Phantom Thoughts (my own music)

Pretty cool. I listened to about 1/3rd of the songs. Offhand it reminds me a bit of early Violent Femmes, early R.E.M, and experimental Beatles--with some jazzy and folk undertones.

On the negative, on the whole it seems a tad unfocused and meandering. As a songwriter/musician myself who has recorded on a shoestring budget, I know a lot of the issues involved. When I look back at some of my stuff, I think what I could have used most was an experienced producer with a good ear. Somebody who could have said "this part's great, emphasize this, this part is dragging it down, drop it, this is a great melody so let's build the song around that, this one isn't working, let's lose it, let's tighten up the playing on this section," etc. I think this would have made your already pretty good stuff better.

On the positive: A fairly unique and cool sound and overall vibe. For a lo-fi recording, you got a pretty listenable sound, and I think the (often sparse) instrument choice works very well for what you were trying to do.


Some nice vocals and cool melodies interspersed throughout, with some interesting touches of strangeness here and there. On first listen, Casa Bonita and DOC stand out for me.

Overall, pretty cool. As I said, if you could have gone into the studio with an experienced producer to trim and tighten things up, I could see this being commercially and critically successful. I think you had a lot of the right elements in place.
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Old 07-20-17, 08:29 AM   #3
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Re: Screaming Roberts - Phantom Thoughts (my own music)

THANK YOU SO MUCH!! for listening. You have no idea how incredibly hard is to get people to listen to your stuff. If you don't mind I be cool if you finish the album, no need to it right away just whenever.
Its good to hear some feedback even if its not always good. You totally right about the producer job is really important in sorting out the things that work and the ones that just add noise to it.

And I would love to hear your stuff too, do you have a link ?
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Old 07-21-17, 05:19 PM   #4
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Re: Screaming Roberts - Phantom Thoughts (my own music)

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Originally Posted by nando820 View Post
You have no idea how incredibly hard is to get people to listen to your stuff.
Oh, I have a pretty good idea.

When I was getting ready to first release my music online back in 2008, I was worried about getting slammed and made fun of: "You suck--you can't sing. You can't play guitar. Your songs blow." But I didn't hear that--or much of anything, really. I think if you're amazingly good or incredibly bad, you'll get some responses--but anything in the middle and it's pretty easy to get lost in the crowd.

That's sort of the double-edged sword of the internet and home recording advancements of the last 10-15 years: anyone can put their music out to the world fairly easily and cheaply, but because it's so easy, everyone is doing it. So it's really hard to get exposure and stand out.

From my experience, if you're not playing live (and I'm currently not), you have to be prepared to spend MUCH more time promoting yourself than you actually did making the music if you want to get sales. Except for very rare cases, the idea that "if I make good music, the world will come to me" is pure fantasy.

I don't have the time/inclination to do much self-promotion, so my sales are pretty minimal. And it's actually laughable how much the streaming services pay you---I get $0.0071 per Spotify play. Yeah, it takes a little while for that to add up.

Still, it's fun to get your music out there and have people from all corners of the world dig some of your songs. And sometimes the results are surprising as far as what songs people will like, or where you'll be more popular. I seem to get more listens in Mexico and Russia, for some reason.

Oh, here's my stuff. My music can best be described as a never-ending quest to make the best album of 1982. :

https://atlanticavox.bandcamp.com/

But if you enjoy making music, stick with it. Once you get the equipment and your routine down, it's incredibly cheap to get your stuff out there to all the streaming services. At CDBaby, it only costs $9.95 to release a single, and $29.95 to release an album, and they do all the work of putting it on Spotify, Youtube, itunes and all the major services
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Old 07-25-17, 10:27 AM   #5
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Re: Screaming Roberts - Phantom Thoughts (my own music)

Hey man finally got around listening to all your music, quite a few listens actually. Its pretty good, I totally get the 80s New Wave vibe you going for. Some songs I can picture a 1980s David Bowie singing and it reminded me a bit of The Psychedelic Furs. There were quite a few songs i really digged "Her Silver Spin, "A Certain Something", "Your Brighter Days", "All the Lights I've Gained".
Not much criticism really, it all sounds pretty solid, only thing is you could let loose a bit more on the vocals, on some songs felt like you were holding back or maybe is the effect you used.. Anyways good stuff oh and i bought your second album
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Old 07-25-17, 05:50 PM   #6
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Re: Screaming Roberts - Phantom Thoughts (my own music)

Quote:
Originally Posted by nando820 View Post
Hey man finally got around listening to all your music, quite a few listens actually. Its pretty good, I totally get the 80s New Wave vibe you going for. Some songs I can picture a 1980s David Bowie singing and it reminded me a bit of The Psychedelic Furs. There were quite a few songs i really digged "Her Silver Spin, "A Certain Something", "Your Brighter Days", "All the Lights I've Gained".
Not much criticism really, it all sounds pretty solid, only thing is you could let loose a bit more on the vocals, on some songs felt like you were holding back or maybe is the effect you used.. Anyways good stuff oh and i bought your second album
Oh, that was you that bought that? Thanks, I just shipped it out to you this afternoon. I also included my first CD as a free bonus--as I've got about 900 of them in my basement. As you can probably tell, I don't get a lot of sales.

Thanks for the kind words about the music. I think my songwriting is decent, but yeah, I've had friends tell me that exact same thing about the vocals--the thing is, I can't really let loose, because I can't sing and letting loose would mean off-key warbling. Hey, you make do with what you've got!
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Old 07-26-17, 11:29 AM   #7
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Re: Screaming Roberts - Phantom Thoughts (my own music)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ky-Fi View Post
Oh, that was you that bought that? Thanks, I just shipped it out to you this afternoon. I also included my first CD as a free bonus--as I've got about 900 of them in my basement. As you can probably tell, I don't get a lot of sales.

Thanks for the kind words about the music. I think my songwriting is decent, but yeah, I've had friends tell me that exact same thing about the vocals--the thing is, I can't really let loose, because I can't sing and letting loose would mean off-key warbling. Hey, you make do with what you've got!
Sweet 2 for 1 can't wait. And don't be afraid to scream out, several musicians I like aren't great singers. Hell I love the Flaming Lips but Wayne kinda sucks as a singer but he puts so much emotion that it adds to the vibe of the songs
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