Tag Archives: Eric McCann

#TBT ‘Feel Something’ EP 2013

Feel Something Video

It’s just over 3 years since I released my first solo record after a decade of playing in bands. I finally succumbed to the dreaded solo record and it was not the experience I had expected at all. It was actually one of the best experiences and fondest memories I have of my recording career to date. There was no pressure to make this record and the idea was to keep it simple, gentle and raw. My friend Isobel Campbell, who played cello on this record, described it perfectly when I expressed my nervousness, she described making a solo record like ‘running through the streets naked’, there’s some truth to that.

Feel Something Promo Shoot

The record was produced by Eric McCann and came out July 21st on AED records and we shot 3 beautiful videos in Los Angeles directed by visionary filmmaker Paul Orehovec and edited by Chris Patridge who works with me still on all my other projects.

Feel Something Video Shoot

The first video we shot was for ‘Sunken Ships’ which we shot at my apartment

This was also the record that put Broken Arrow together as Brandi and I had such fun making it and her harmonies on the EP break my heart

Photo by Alex Kinnan

The second video we shot was for the title track ‘Feel Something’ and I think this is my favorite video to look at out of the 3 we shot. We shot this one in DTLA and it was filmed guerilla style by me, Chris and Paul in locations round DTLA till we got noticed or thrown out –

When we shot the 3rd video for ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ we had the biggest production out of all 3 videos and got to shoot our own little western movie featuring a good amount of the people involved making the record.

Don't Let Me Down Video Shoot by Giammarrio Villa

‘Don’t Let Me Down’ was by far the most fun to shoot and I still love this video –

It was a great experience start to finish making this record and many good things came out of it.

Click here to buy the ‘Feel Something’ EP

Feel Something EP

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Astrid & The Canyon Hut

In 15 days astrid will start recording our new album at Canyon Hut Studios in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles, California. Willie and I have been bouncing demos back and forth across the pond since July and have written over 30 songs for this record. Later this week we’ll pick our favorite 10 to concentrate on. We’re also going to try and write together before starting the recording.

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Recording in Laurel canyon will be a bit of a trip for Willie and I since most of the music we listened to growing up came out of The Canyon. We used to listen to CSN, The Byrds and The Doors constantly when we were little kids and I feel like those bands were hugely influential to the early astrid sound. It will be nice to soak up such rich musical history and hopefully that will reflect on these recordings.

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For this part of the process we will be joined on drums by Dash Hutton (pictured above) from Haim who also played and sang on the Majestic 12 record I released earlier this Summer.

Eric McCann

Gareth will be laying down his bass parts later this year when we get the guts of the record done here in L.A but in the meantime bass player/producer Eric McCann will be joining us also to help keep us right and get an idea of how it should all sound. Eric has played on and produced my solo records, the Majestic 12 releases and also plays bass in Broken Arrow with me.

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We’ll probably get in the studio and jam out the songs for a day or so and then just get straight into recording. Once we get everything done here the record will then be sent to Glasgow where Gareth can lay down his parts. This record will be mixed by Tony Doogan (pictured above) who produced Play Dead and both Reindeer Section albums, Willie’s ODR records not to mention every incredible record that has come out of Scotland in the last 20 years. We’re very happy Tony has come on board this project and look forward to hearing some final mixes.

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Finally we will have some news to announce in November to coincide with re-releasing ‘One In Four’ later in the month. This will be the first time the 3rd astrid album will have been available digitally and it will be released on Indiscretion Records. Stay tuned to our FB page for more news on that as we will be doing something special to celebrate the record coming out.

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Broken Arrow News

After handing everything over for the MJ-12 release on Manimal this Summer it was time to get back to working on Broken Arrow with Brandi Emma. We’ve been meeting up with Paul Wilson (Producer/Guitar) and now have 3 songs nearly complete, we tracked all the rest of the songs with Eric McCann and now just need to add vocals and other sounds to the remaining songs. It’s only taken a year! It’s been a long process with Broken Arrow but Brandi and I have definitely figured out how we want this project to sound and we wanted our song choices for this record to be solid and cohesive so we actually wrote some new material as we went along on this journey. It’s been a trip, Brandi and I have developed a strong writing partnership and we’re both really excited for people to hear what we’ve spent the last year working on.

We dipped our toe back into the live scene recently with a show at Bar Lubitsch with friends The Out Of Towners and old friend and Broken Arrow collaborator Matt Van Winkle. We followed that with a spot on the Lady Low residency at 3 of Clubs in Hollywood last week (5/12). One of our oldest friends Ryan Fuller aka Fort King also shared this bill and an incredible night was had by all. We’ve been playing out as a trio with Eric McCann on upright bass and Brandi switching between guitar and harmonium. We both felt like this was a really good way to convey the new material with folks. It’s certainly not what to expect on the record as Pablo has given us a very full sound on these recordings but it’s an intimate way to hear these songs. Next up is The Hotel Cafe on June 9th at 9pm. Line up to be announced soon as well as links for tickets.

Last month we got together with filmmaker Xia Magnus to shoot the first Broken Arrow video for ‘Warning Signs’. We shot the majority of this video in Harvard & Stone and a fairly sleazy motel next to it on Hollywood Blvd. We also got some nice footage whilst roaming the streets of Hollywood on a Friday night. We ended up going for a really simplistic vibe for this video.

I’ve been working on several projects this year but I have to say that Broken Arrow has always remained the priority. Brandi and I have worked so hard on the material we’ve written but somewhere along the way the songs took on a life of their own and became something else. It’s partly down to the people we’re working with but it’s also down to the fact we took our time and let the sound develop organically. We both felt so good about the show we played the other night and now feel like it’s the right time to really move forward with Broken Arrow.

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mj-12

CHARLIE CLARK and THE MAJESTIC 12 IMG_7442

The Majestic 12, formed in 1947 by an executive order by U.S. President Harry S.Truman to facilitate recovery, investigation of alien spacecraft and the development of sonic soundscapes for the masses. Charlie Clark and The Majestic 12 are led by Scottish indie veteran and cat whisperer, Charlie Clark (Astrid, Reindeer Section)

Charlie Clark by Sharlene Durfey

Charlie Clark by Sharlene Durfey

with drummer/singer and undefeated national pie eating champion, Dash Hutton (HAIM)

Dash Hutton by Sharlene Durfey

Dash Hutton by Sharlene Durfey

and bassist/producer and wicker duck enthusiast, Eric McCann (The New Amsterdams).

Eric McCann by Sharlene Durfey

Eric McCann by Sharlene Durfey

Charlie Clark and The Majestic 12 will release their debut single, The Devil’s Pulpit/Sleepwalking on Manimal Vinyl June 26th 2015.

MJ12_Devils Pulpit_Digital Cover

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Tales From The Canyon

Last week Brandi and I went to finish tracking the last of the ‘Broken Arrow’ single with Paul Wilson at his place in Laurel Canyon. It doesn’t matter how long I’ve lived in this city, I still get chills when I think about the history and stories from certain parts of LA. Whether it’s the neighborhoods Bukowski used to roll in or places where some of my favorite movies were shot. Laurel Canyon is certainly the most rich in musical history and the energy there is tangible. It’s a pretty wonderful environment to be creative in and I guess that’s why it still remains such a popular place for artists and musicians. It was a nice way to finish up these recordings which were spread out over 4 different studios.

We spent a fair amount of time working on ‘Warning Signs’ which is Brandi’s nod to some of the records that have influenced her songwriting over the years. When I was recording my backing vocals on this song I couldn’t help but thinking that the track has a very delicate, authentic 70’s feel to it so I’m really excited about sharing this record once we fix a release date. Her vocal on this song is heartbreaking, just beautiful.

‘Danger Signals’ is the flip side of this single and was the first song Brandi and I got together after promotion of my solo EP wrapped last year. It was fairly obvious when we played this song with a full band that it was time to start a band and move away from the singer/songwriter thing.

Paul Wilson & Eric McCann

Paul Wilson & Eric McCann

Eric McCann plays hypnotic bass on this song mixed with Paul Wilson’s angular, 90’s style guitars and so far that mix is working a treat for us. We’re spending the next few weeks putting a plan together for this release and as soon as we have details I’ll post them on this site.

After having said all that about moving away from the singer/songwriter thing I’ll be playing a solo show (very rare for me these days) at Malo in Silverlake, this Wednesday night (09/10). I’ll be playing with my buddies Rodney Eastman and Michael Miller. This is a free show so if you’re around please come and grab a taco or two with us. This event starts at 8.30pm. It’s always an intimate, cosy vibe at Malo so I’m really looking forward to it. I’ll be playing 3 new songs which I have written for my next solo record, some older songs and maybe a Matthew Teardrop cover or two.

Deejay Sean Patrick and I have been busy recently putting together some great line ups and events for our Monday nights at Harvard & Stone. This coming Monday (9/8) we have Lou Barlow playing solo and Joel Jerome and his Babies on Acid. All our events are free and this is a special solo show as Lou is away with Sebadoh pretty much the rest of the year so let’s send him off in style!

Then in October (10/6) we are having Mark Gardener (Ride) come visit us and play a mix of old and new songs. It’s been a few years since I saw Mark so I’m looking forward to seeing him and hearing his new material.

I’m also happy to announce that Harvard & Stone has been nominated in 7 categories in the “Best of LA” LA Weekly Readers Poll. We were nominated in the following categories BEST BAR FOR PEOPLE WATCHING, BEST BAR WITH LIVE MUSIC, BEST BARTENDER, JILL WEBSTER, BEST HAPPY HOUR, BEST MUSIC VENUE, BEST WHISKEY BAR, BEST MODERN COCKTAIL BAR and Sean Patrick is also down for best DJ too! If you feel up to it and would like to vote for us in any of the categories just click here and follow the instructions. To keep up to date on the shows I’m booking at Harvard & Stone just go direct to their website and check out the calender.

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