January 13, 2007

I’m moving

Filed under: Announcements,News — Drew Johnson @ 12:31 pm

I’m going to be moving over to my personal website to do my blogging from here on out. This site will be left “as is” so anything you need from here isn’t going anywhere. I certainly hope you’ll follow. It’s just one sub-folder away from the one this blog sits in so it’s not far. Meet me over there and I’ll tell you about Dino and me hanging out last night. So update your bookmarks and I’ll see you there.

www.drewjohnsononline.com

If you’re looking for the place to download The Formula Kid’s album “Posthumously, The Formula Kid” it can be found in this post.

January 11, 2007

Oh where oh where has my little blog gone

Filed under: Day to Day,News — Drew Johnson @ 10:11 pm

I have a bit of a dilemma.

I’ve started a new blog over at Blogger and have been doing some writing there for a few days. The blog is private so no one can see it but me. I like it.

There is one gigantic caveat with doing a public blog (like the one you’re reading) where people are allowed to comment: spam. Incredible amounts of it. Even if you read this blog regularly you probably won’t see it because I spend most of my time deleting it. I’ve had as many as 150 new spam comments in one day. And you have to delete them one at a time. I have been doing this ever since I switched my blog to this format. I could just let it go but I am sort of morally opposed to letting the money I spend on this site be used to run a link farm for pornographers.

When I started doing a blog it was for one reason: to get more traffic to the site. That’s it. If people see that there is something new to read they have a tendency to come back. Even better, if they can comment, they come back even more to see if you commented on their comment. So I would just ramble on about the album we were making and people actually started reading it. Not only that, I actually started to like blogging. It was cathartic.

I’m getting to the dilemma I promise.

The Formula Kid hasn’t been a band for almost eight months. There is really nothing more to say about the band. OK well, that’s not actually true. I could talk for hours about this band. I love doing that. I just don’t want to type it out. I’ve dug up all the old demos, all the videos, all the pictures, everything I can find that would give me something to post and talk about. The demo cow has run dry. I want to keep blogging but I just don’t know what to say anymore that pertains to this band.

My blog over at Blogger is very personal – and absolutely riveting I might add – and I’m able to say whatever I want and talk about whatever I want. It’s great. I’d sort of rather do that right here but something makes me think I shouldn’t. Here’s why.

This may not be news to some of you but I’m a Christian now. Ya know?…saved…born again…as in “except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3)…yes THAT kind of born again. This is actually rather old news. I just haven’t talked about it here. I wasn’t sure how my former band mates would react to me using the site as a real diary…not a band blog…but a REAL personal diary. This is not MY site. It’s the band’s site. I just do all the talking. Everyone else is gone. The lights have been turned off, the doors locked, and there’s Johnson – still talkin’.

But there are actually a few faithful readers of this blog. That’s why I hate to just pack up and move into the eShed with my ePencil and ePaper. I like the company here but the upkeep is getting ridiculous.

Undecided.

December 30, 2006

My latest obsession

Filed under: Day to Day,News — Drew Johnson @ 10:05 am

Two weeks ago I decided to finally start working on my fingerpicking technique. I’ve been faking skill for a long time but I decided it was time to put in some real work and learn how it’s really done. The specific style I’m talking about was made famous by Chet Atkins and Merle Travis. This is the thing where you use a thumb pick and chunk out an oompa type of bass line with your thumb and pick the melody with your index and middle fingers. To anyone who doesn’t play guitar this style may sound simple and charming but it’s by far the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to tackle. I haven’t been this inspired to practice my guitar since the first time I heard Stevie Ray Vaughn play his version of Little Wing.

Here is a short clip of the two tunes I’ve been working on the most. The first one is called The Glory of Love and the second is Freight Train (I didn’t write these). I’ve made some huge strides in the last two weeks but my playing is only mildly convincing at best. To any real fingerpickers out there this would be the equivalent of an 8 year old kid posting a video on You Tube of him playing Smoke on the Water rather poorly. That’s OK though. This blog is just a diary of my progress as a human and a musician so this will serve as a snapshot that I’ll look back on and cringe.

Click here to download the mp3

There is a clip of a former world champion fingerpicker playing The Glory of Love on this page if you want to know what it’s really supposed to sound like.

And here is the ultimate goal. This is a clip of a guy on You Tube making my head explode.

December 28, 2006

Going out of Business Sale

Filed under: Announcements,Comedic Genius,News,Video Clips — Drew Johnson @ 5:37 pm

I’ve been on a nostalgia kick lately so I’ve been scouring my various hard drives finding music that I’d forgotten I had. Here’s are a few things I’ve come across.

This first thing is probably the most bizarre piece of music I’ve ever written. It was the very first demo I did for Christopher Gustave’s Six Comforts project. When Chris asked me to write some music for this thing I had an idea that we were going to do some super-over-the-top-just-how-weird-can-we-make-it sort of thing. Chris was not as amused with this piece as I was. After that I got a little better grip of the direction he had in mind. The quality of this recording is pretty lousy but it makes me laugh every time I hear it. It gets a tad repetitive in the middle but it’s only 2 minutes long so stick with it, the end is worth the wait. Any fans of Dr. Demento will appreciate what I was going for here.

Click here to download

This second piece actually ended up on the Six Comforts album as background music for a thing Chris and I put together called “Pardon My French”…I think. This makes me laugh too. I love this song. Again – a bit repetitive but it needed to be that way for our purpose.

Click here to download

The third mp3 is a compilation of the cover songs we did at The Drew Johnson Band CD release party. I forgot that we did so many. Each song is edited down to keep this thing from being a half hour long. I gotta say my guitar tone was totally killer that night. It makes me wish I had my Matchless back. This is just a recording straight from the sound board so it doesn’t sound that great and you can’t hear Steve hardly at all but it’s still worth a listen. I’m probably breaking some kind of law by posting these songs. Hope not.

The song list is:

War Pigs (Black Sabbath)
MLK – instrumental (U2)
Spanish Castle Magic (Jimi Hendrix)
Funk 49 (James Gang)
Helter Skelter (The Beatles)

Click here to download

The last thing is a video of The Drew Johnson Band playing some more cover tunes at practice. I have no idea what I intended to do with this other than maybe to see exactly how fat I look playing other people’s songs. Once again these songs have been edited for length. The first few seconds of this are Dino showing off his guitar chops to Steve.

Songs list:

I’m Going Home (Marvin Gaye)
Jumping Jack Flash (The Rolling Stones)
Hey Bulldog (The Beatles)
Crosstown Traffic (Jimi Hendrix)

Click here to download

December 21, 2006

It’s alive!

Filed under: Announcements,News,Thanks — Drew Johnson @ 10:13 pm

After a visit to the guitar emergency room it looks like my guitar is going to survive. So to all of you who have already emptied your bank accounts to mail me a check in the hope that I would just go ahead and buy that vintage Martin guitar so I don’t fall off my blinding pace of releasing an album every five years, thank you. I’ll only be needing about one hundred bucks of it but I’ll be sure and post the pictures of me vacationing in Hawaii.

December 20, 2006

The day the music died

Filed under: Day to Day,News — Drew Johnson @ 7:01 pm

Wanna see something really sad?

The Formula Kid

That’s the back of the headstock of my Tacoma. My good guitar. I had it leaning against the couch in my living room last night when my couch decided to end my musical career by kicking my guitar. It fell on its face and breathed its last breath. Guess what I’m getting for Christmas whether I can afford it or not?

December 8, 2006

Twenty Miles from Waterloo – the unfinished mix

Filed under: Announcements,News — Drew Johnson @ 7:17 pm

Here is an mp3 of Twenty Miles from Waterloo. If you’re a regular reader of this blog you’ll know that this is one of three songs that were never finished for the album. Kristopher Curtis has been a big advocate of this song and was a major influence in the push to have it be one of the final ten so I figure I at least owe it to him to post it and let everybody hear how far we got. I spent a few hours one evening getting it mixed just enough to see if there were enough elements there for it to work. There aren’t. However, the drumming on this tune is so stellar that it really needs to be heard.

Here are the reasons I don’t consider it finished. There were a bunch of keyboards in the verses that we never got tracked. The lead vocal doesn’t exactly give me chills. The big, fuzzed out guitars in the chorus are too fuzzed out. I was so impressed that a vintage Deluxe Reverb could sound so nasty that I thought it would be cool to keep it that way. It wasn’t. There are no edits in this song and no fade out so when you hear me humming to find my next note, and plucking my guitar where I shouldn’t, you’ll know why.

Get the mp3 here.

November 26, 2006

The New Album is Now Available for Download

Filed under: Announcements,News,Thanks — Drew Johnson @ 9:37 am

OK people here it is, the new record: “Posthumously, The Formula Kid”.

We are making this available in three formats to appeal to the varying demand for audio quality: Good (128kbps mp3), Better (256kbps mp3), and Best (wav – CD audio). Of course we recommend the wav files because they are what you would get on the CD but the file sizes on these suckers are huge (between 22MB and 42MB) so you’ll need a bit of patience with the download times.

Here is the recommended song order but mix and match as you see fit. Email your cover artwork to info at the formula kid dot com and I’ll post it.

Right click on the link and “Save Target As” if your browser chooses to stream the audio instead of download it.

Track 1: Dog and Pony Show —- Good Better Best

Track 2: Outta Sight Shake —- Good Better Best

Track 3: Home —- Good Better Best

Track 4: To Mother from Her Son —- Good Better Best

Track 5: You Devil You —- Good Better Best

Track 6: Cutout Bin —- Good Better Best

Track 7: On Martyrdom —- Good Better Best

Credits:

All songs produced by J. Christopher Hughes and The Formula Kid except On Martyrdom: produced by Drew Johnson.

You Devil You recorded by J. Christopher Hughes at The Sonic Temple.
On Martyrdom recorded by Drew Johnson at Angstrom Sound.
All other songs recorded by J. Christopher Hughes (all the hard stuff), Drew Johnson, and Dino Nicastro at our rehearsal space, Angstrom Sound, and Dino’s house.

You Devil You mixed by J. Christopher Hughes at The Sonic Temple.
All other songs mixed by Drew Johnson at Angstrom Sound.

Dino Nicastro: Drums and Percussion
Nate Williamson: Keyboards and Backing Vocals
Mike Gregory: Bass and Backing Vocals
Drew Johnson: Lead and Backing Vocals, Guitar

Steve Nowels played Bass, Mandolin, and Cello on You Devil You
Tracy sang the Background Vocals on Home

The Formula Kid would like to say a huge thanks to J. Christopher Hughes for all the time he dedicated to this project and for his inspiration. Without his encouragement and belief in this band this project may very well never have happened.

As soon as I get some time I will add all of these tunes to our “Audio” page but it’s just going to have to live here for the time being.

October 9, 2006

Two tunes now on My Space!

Filed under: Announcements,News — Drew Johnson @ 9:16 pm

I just uploaded “Dog and Pony Show” and “Outta Sight Shake” to our My Space page if you want to have a listen. We are very aware that the way My Space encodes songs sounds absolutely dreadful. That’s sort of the point. These mixes are pretty much done as far as I can tell but we don’t want to go handing them out until we are sure they’re absolutely right. So any changes we make will probably be subtle and you won’t know the difference anyway after hearing how horrible they sound on My Space. As I’m writing this “Outta Sight Shake” still hasn’t shown up on our page yet but by the time anyone reads this it should be there.

October 3, 2006

Gustave is a dad!

Filed under: Announcements,News — Drew Johnson @ 8:04 pm

Yeah I know this is sorta old news to some of you but whatever. Gustave is a dad. Sophia Simone Gustave was born on my birthday (September 26) which I have no doubt was meticulously planned by Chris. I’m flattered. She’s almost as cute as me. Check her out.

For those of you who don’t know, Chris Gustave did the photography and artwork for the Drew Johnson Band album and was the brains behind The Six Comforts project we (and many other St. Louis bands) were involved in. Gustave is a genius in the truest sense of the word. I personally know no others. It was/is an honor to have him as a friend and fan. Chris and I have over the years spent many, many late nights discussing music, religion, politics, art, etc. I miss those days. I don’t miss the hangovers. Hanging out with Chris was like living a real life On The Road. Some of these pictures make me think that Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Burroughs all had to be in the room there somewhere.

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