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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Weekly Update 3-27-10 (In Pictures!!!)



Todd here...

So we asked my son Tyler to come along to our rehearsal this week to take some pics and shoot some videos. We have admittedly been lax in providing our growing fanship with new eye candy of late (been too busy brewing up new ear candy instead) and honestly we (Matt, Jake, and myself) never seem to think of taking any pics or video when we have band practice because we are always too focused on actually practicing. So we enlisted some third-party help by way of Tyler and he came home with over 500 shots and lots and lots of video footage. Good kid. As such, he is still editing what will soon be the first video from this new footage, but in the meantime I sifted through his pics and did some mild (or in some cases wild) editing to my personal liking and posted a new batch on our Flickr page. I also thought it would be fun to throw down a few of the new pics here on our blog. Hope you enjoy a glimpse of 'FP Time'! And if you want to see more, go check out our Flickr page and rummage through our modest collection. Of course, like all things FP, more will be added on a regular basis....

Ciao....






















Wednesday, March 24, 2010

'Sycamore' mp3 Distribution...

Just a quick Public Service Announcement: the free download link to our first song release 'Sycamore' is down. I'm not sure what has happened to the URL that was embedded into the mp3 link, but it no longer works and the file hosting service we have been using thus far no longer allows us to embed an actual download link. That sucks. But in a way the timing is good since we just received confirmation today that our song is now 'Live' at several online locations. To those of you who really feel the need to hear 'Sycamore' again and again but haven't downloaded it yet (and we totally understand your ravenous cravings for all things FP), there are several ways to get the mp3:

1) If you have a FaceBook account, go to our Fan Page and click on the free streaming Music Player. The mp3 quality is exactly the same as before, however you will only be able to 'stream' it versus actually being able to 'download' it into your computer. But this is a great way to 'Try before you buy'. Kind of like how the oriental food court restaurants in malls offer those little toothpick samples to wet the appetite. Also, while you are there, please become a fan and support the band. As a fan you'll get to post comments, suggestions, feedback, and whatever else is FP-relevant on the FP Fan Page Wall. We have a growing following and now is the time to jump on board and get in on the action. We also occasionally post 'Fan Page' exclusive content, updates, and other tidbits that you won't find here on this blog or elsewhere. Just another good reason to do the FaceBook thing....

2) Very soon we will have a streaming mp3 player widget here on this blog where you will be able to 'stream' our songs without the need for any special accounts or memberships. It will also include a few pics, basic band info, mp3 purchase links, video content, and FP related upcoming events. Stay tuned...

3) You can now purchase and download 'Sycamore' at the following iTunes Stores: US, UK/European Union, Mexico, Japan, Australia/New Zealand, and Canada. You can also purchase the mp3 from Amazon.com. Over the course of the next couple of weeks, 'Sycamore' will also become available for purchase at the following online vendors:

(Please note that when searching for our songs, we are catalogued in these various vendors as 'theFPband'.)

Rhapsody
Napster
MusicNet
eMusic
Sony Connect
GroupieTunes / imvu / SonicTap
Lala.com
ShockHound
Amie Street
Nokia
LimeWire Store
Zune
Myspace Music


So there's what is going on with 'Sycamore'. Will post more FP activity updates later on this week....

~ Todd

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Weekly Update 3-18-10

And here's the latest....

1) 'Sycamore' should be showing up on iTunes in the next few days. It is currently on Amazon.com (and a handful of other similar download sites). But perhaps even more significant, I finally got all of Sycamore's data files organized and archived properly! Admittedly when we were working on 'Sycamore' I was somewhat haphazard in how I organized everything, largely due to not fully understanding how best to label things in Logic 9 (the recording software we use to record everything with). And so even though I have been a Mac user for over two years now, there are still some areas where I am figuring things out and am learning new habits accordingly. Hindsight is 20/20 and I am now being more disciplined and structured on current song recordings. The less work I have to do on the back-end of our next songs the better.

2) I've been diligently recording guitars and experimenting with amp tones and mic placement for 'Some Other Year' these last couple of weeks. And it's beginning to take shape rather nicely. That being said, we joked tonight at our band rehearsal that 'SOY' sort of has the 'middle child syndrome' going on. 'Sycamore' was our firstborn, and lately as a band we have been primarily focused on writing 'Marigolds', and so 'Some Other Year' has been seemingly lost in the middle. Poor 'SOY'. But honestly once I get the guitar tones I'm after and am able to find the sweet spots for mic'ing my amp, then 'SOY' will blossom very quickly. As such it is completely written and arranged and just needs to actually be recorded. And honestly it is an awesome song that will stand on its own merits without being too heavily overshadowed by its siblings 'Sycamore' and 'Marigolds'. Like any overlooked middle child, 'Some Other Year' will really attract certain people who take the time to get to know it....

3) 'Marigolds' will most likely be ready for drum tracking in the next two weeks. We haven't been able to rehearse 'Marigolds' for over a month now for various reasons and so I expected things to be really rough and ugly tonight at our rehearsal. But I was wrong. Actually we somehow jumped over several hurdles tonight in the song-writing process for 'Marigolds', and even though I expected the worst, I actually came home feeling 'back in the saddle' as Matt put it. Mind you, we weren't playing 'Marigolds' good enough to where we would feel comfortable performing it publicly somewhere, but that isn't the goal when we're in the writing phase of a song where we are doing pre-production to prep for the recording process. But we worked out the kinks in the song arrangement, and we were able to rough-in the needed fills and hooks in the instrumentation, and my vocal parts are even improving. I actually found a certain grit in my voice that was very flattering and good for the song and that is a major confidence booster for me. And since singing is so relatively new for me (on this level), I could use some confidence boosting whenever I can get it. It's one thing to hear certain vocal parts in my head, but it's something entirely different to be able to actually pull those parts off properly in a live environment. I just need to stay at it and sing every chance I get. But 'Marigolds' is taking shape and we are all excited about getting it done. Most likely 'Marigolds' will be our 'pop' song if ever we are to have one. And of course it has those catchy WooHoo's in it that are simply too fun not to sing along with. You'll see soon enough. And you'll thank us later once the song gets stuck in your head. But don't tell us we didn't warn you...

So that's all for now. I have no idea which song we'll pursue once we have 'Marigolds' ready to record. Maybe we'll post a poll for fans to help us make that decision? After two happy songs ('SOY' and 'Marigolds') we may feel the need to do one of our darker tunes. Or not. Who knows? So long as we don't put ourselves in a creative rut. But seriously I doubt that will happen anytime soon.

Until next time....

~ Todd

Friday, March 12, 2010

Weekly Update 3-12-10

Hello Hello....

Sorry for the unusually long radio silence! We've all been very busy, distracted, and otherwise preoccupied! Lot's going on in the world of FP....

1) We are having to legally change our band name from simply 'FP' to 'theFPband'. Yep. You read that correctly. Our official band name shall henceforth be 'theFPband' in order to avoid confusion and potential future legal issues with a little-known (but formerly established) German techno-pop band also called 'FP'. We believe that their 'FP' name is an abbreviation for 'Future Pop' but they have very little useful or indicative information available that will confirm or dispute this. But apparently they have been working as a band for several years.

Now obviously, when we first came up with our simplistic name of 'FP', we underwent a lot of research into whether or not anyone else was already using that as a band name. And to our credit, we never saw anything on the web or otherwise in regards to the German band 'FP'. We figured we were safe with our choice of band name. But we were mistaken. And we only recently came across this other 'FP' band once we had our song 'Sycamore' listed for sale in the USA iTunes Store. This other 'FP' band already had three albums of techno material in the iTunes Store since mid-2009. And our song 'Sycamore' was being lumped in together with their music. Not a good situation. Who'da thunk? I guess we never thought to browse through iTunes for anyone else going under the moniker of 'FP'. Ouch. So we ended up issuing a 'takedown' of our song 'Sycamore' from iTunes (and a slew of other online music distributors), and we have now resubmitted 'Sycamore' under the new band name of 'theFPband'. Once the new iTunes links are up and running we'll post links and remove our 'freebie' links to the song. One step forward, two steps back (or at least sideways)....

2) 'Some Other Year' is busy being recorded. Most of Jake's bass parts are finished and I've recorded several sections of guitars. I will also begin vocals here within the next few days. One thing that is exciting about this song is that I am using a brand new amp for all of the guitar tracks. It is a Line6 SpiderValve MkII 100-watt head (pictured above) and a matching 4x12 speaker cab. And it sounds glorious. I'm mic'ing the cab with an Audix i5, a Shure SM57, and a Cascade Fathead II ribbon mic (with a Lundahl transformer). I'm also using the SpiderValve's direct out as a fourth signal source and I am blending the four tracks to taste. And I like how it sounds and feels. Good stuff. We'll likely post a teaser sample of 'SOY' like we did with 'Sycamore'. Will keep you posted....

3) We're still writing/rehearsing parts for 'Marigolds'. We've been a bit scattered here these last three weeks or so, in no small part due to my surprise appendectomy back in February. Also, we've opted out of a couple 'Marigolds' sessions in order to focus more on actually recording 'SOY'. But things are still moving forward with 'Marigolds'. We've just had a lot on our plates lately. Excuses. Excuses...

('American Marigolds' pic by Petr Kratochvil - Public Domain)

4) On a personal note, I'd say that I am 98% healed up from my surgery last month. I've started doing sit-ups again and I've even gone for a couple jogs. My jogging pace hasn't been much to brag about, but I really haven't been very active all winter, especially in February. But it has felt very liberating to jog again and I hope to enjoy it more this year. Plus my two sons like to jog with me (partly because they like to leave me behind in the dust and haggle me about it later). The first jog was 1 mile, and the second jog was for 18 minutes with a one minute break after the first mile. I think I ran roughly a total of 1.5 miles on that second jog (with an emphasis on the word 'roughly'....it was very rough indeed!) But I'd like to get comfortable with 2-4 mile jogs again. And decent times. I just need to work my way back up to that again. It's been a long winter...

So that's the latest. We've been quietly working in the background (albeit at loud volumes when needed). Good times....

Cheers!

~ Todd