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.

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.

September 25, 2006

Happy Birthday Dino

Filed under: Announcements,Day to Day,News,Thanks — Drew Johnson @ 9:06 pm

If you are interested in buying Dino a Birthday gift, he plays Ayotte drums. You may consider shopping around for the best financing option. If Dino plays it, I can’t afford it. I didn’t get him anything so if you could sign my name to the card I’d appreciate it.

Dino, Gina, and Marco came over yesterday afternoon and we grilled some pork steaks and raised our cholesterol to celebrate his and my Birthdays. Mine is tomorrow. Our families hadn’t hung out in a long time so that made for a cool afternoon. We listened to and critiqued some of the mixes I’ve been working on. We’ve got five of the eight songs to a place where they’re at least relatively close to being finished. I gave CDs to Mike and Nate the other night so I’m waiting to hear back from them with their input before I start making any changes. It’s coming along slowly but surely.

Last Thursday night Dino, Mike, Nate, and I played a gig along with Josh Kohn on guitar and Steve Bunck on drums. This was the first time since I left the band that the four of us had been on stage together…or even in the same room together for that matter. We had a great time. Thanks to everyone who came out that night. The place was packed. That’s always nice.

I’ll keep everyone posted on how the mixing is coming along as soon as there’s more to tell. In the mean time keep Angel and Riley in your prayers. The noise around here is getting ridiculous.

July 28, 2006

Thanks and whatnot

Filed under: Day to Day,Thanks — Drew Johnson @ 9:34 pm

Thanks so much to everyone for your comments and emails. It’s nice to know someone is paying attention.

I’ve written and recorded more music in the last few months than I have in a long, long time. The end of TFK is in no way a slow-down in my musical involvement. If anything, it’s just the opposite. I’m not going anywhere. There’s lots more music to come. I promise.

The bulk of my recording time over the last six weeks (probably 100 hours) has been spent trying to figure out how to get an $800.oo acoustic guitar recorded with a $500.oo mic to sound like a $2,000.oo guitar recorded with some outrageously expensive mic. I’m still trying. I consider McCartney’s acoustic guitar tone on his song Jenny Wren to be the most amazing acoustic tone I’ve ever heard. There’s a link to the video for that song on this page. Click the “video” link right above the headstock of the guitar. I want that sound. I just can’t afford it. I’ve gotten about as close as I think I’m going to get…which is not all that close really.

Another thing I’ve learned lately is that Martin “Bluegrass” acoustic guitar strings are awesome. Steve Nowels used to swear by those strings and now I know why. He always said they have that “Spraang!” that no other string has. He was right.

My fingers have been so sore and blistered lately that I can barely type. I’ve been working on my finger picking technique and I’m actually getting rather serviceable at it. You’ll be hearing plenty of it on my solo record. Stay tuned.

July 23, 2006

A Fond Farewell

Filed under: Announcements,News,Thanks — Drew Johnson @ 8:42 pm

Since I haven’t posted anything in six weeks I’m not sure if anyone even reads this anymore. I guess we’ll see.

I know some of you already know this and the rest of you may have suspected it but The Formula Kid broke up two months ago. There was no big fight, no building tensions, no irreconcilable differences, no sleeping with each others wives, and no musical differences. There was just a singer who was completely burned out. So I quit back in May. I won’t go into the reasons why we decided to delay the announcement but it was by design, not laziness.

First things first, we are going to release the album. It may be kinda short because we never really finished tracking all of the songs but I think there will be at least seven completely finished tracks. I don’t know what we’ll do with the rest. I will be mixing it myself so I don’t expect it to be done any time soon. I may not be a very good mix engineer but at least I’m incredibly slow at it. When the songs are done we intend to make them available as cheaply as possible…to you and to us. We’ll also probably do one last show to try and take your money.

Everyone is still very much on friendly terms. I know Dino and Nate are working on a recording project together. I talked to Mike a couple of weeks ago and he said he was just taking it easy for now and spending some quality time with his son. Somebody better grab that guy while he’s still available. He’s one of the most talented and wicked bass players I’ve ever known.

I’m working on a solo album that I expect to finish nowhere in the foreseeable future. I’ve been recording nonstop for the past six weeks and have very little to show for it. But I really love what I’ve got so far. Dino will be playing the drums (surprise, surprise) and I’ve already sent him some demos to start working with. I’ve also started recording the album that I’m doing with Brian McClelland and it’s rather cool so far.

I’m not sure what to do about the blog. We’ll see.

Quitting this band was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I don’t regret it but it is sad. I’ve obsessed over this band (in its various incarnations) day and night for the last eight years and it’s not an easy thing to just walk away from it. But as people get older, busier, and family-er it gets exponentially harder and harder to accomplish the things you want to accomplish. This is no one’s fault. It’s just the way it is. And if it were someone’s fault it would be mine.

I love writing and recording music. I like playing live. I mildly enjoy band practice. Now I just want to do what I love. I’m too old, too fat, and too ugly to keep thinking that I’m going to be a big rock star someday. I give up. Uncle! I tried and failed. I’m just not that guy who’s willing to do “whatever it takes” to make it big. I just don’t care that much. Now I only want to concentrate on the things I know I can succeed at: writing and recording good music.

So thanks to everyone who supported and encouraged us over the years. We had some really great times. I’ve been extremely lucky to have played with the caliber of musicians that I have. Speaking of which, Steve Nowels was a huge part of the history of this band. A year ago he left the band. The whole ordeal was extremely ugly and unfortunate. Until about two weeks ago he and I hadn’t spoken since he quit. I called Steve and apologized for betraying our friendship and for my behavior surrounding his departure. Now I feel like the memory of The Drew Johnson Band/The Formula Kid can truly rest in peace.

May 19, 2006

Josh Kohn

Filed under: Day to Day,Thanks — Drew Johnson @ 9:54 pm

Last night was Josh Kohn‘s CD release party. Yes that CD. The one he’s been promising for the last fifteen years…literally. Nate, Mike, and I were asked to be his backing band along with the incomperable Steve Bunck on drums: a regular reader of this blog I’m proud to say. Hi Steve. Steve was the first person to inform (warn) The Drew Johnson Band that we had been dubbed The Drunk Johnson Band back in the days of yore. We quickly cleaned up our act. Thanks Steve.

Have you ever had that dream where you’re playing your first gig with the Black Crowes in front of a packed stadium and as the drummer is counting off the first tune you realize that you don’t know any of the songs? Me too. Weird. Well that prophesy was fulfilled at last night’s show. I did what any resourceful guitar player would do and turned my amp way down. I’ve never been paid that much money for being so incompetent. I had a blast though. It was the first time since Dino’s wedding that I’ve played my sax in public. With Nate doubling on trumpet we formed a pretty decent makeshift horn section.

I’d been told that Joe’s Cafe (the site of last night’s show) is the coolest place in St. Louis to hang out. I now see why. That place is amazing. No advertising. No liquor license. No problem. The place is apparently packed every Thursday…which happens to be the only night of the week they’re open. Last night was no exception. If you want to check it out you can find the address on Josh’s flier. Don’t tell anyone I told you. If you have to ask where it is, you’re not cool enough to be there. I had to ask.

May 6, 2006

Cicero’s and Ghosts

Filed under: Comedic Genius,Day to Day,Thanks — Drew Johnson @ 10:11 pm

Thanks to everyone who came out to the show last night. The crowd was great. Eero was great. Donny and The Feelgoods were great. But most importantly we were great. We really appreciated everyone sticking it out so late. There were more people there at the end of our set than at the beginning. That NEVER happens. People usually run screaming for the exits as soon as we start playing.

Thanks also to everyone who expressed concern for my computer and my mental stability. I’ll tell that story as soon as I get the puter back from the shop and after I see the bill…and after I decide if it’s a story I can look back on and laugh.

Since the blog has been so silent lately I’ll catch you up on some (or at least one) of the goings-on over the last couple of weeks. Last weekend Angel and I did some ghost hunting with our friends Brian McClelland and his wife Kim at The Lemp Mansion. The Lemp Mansion is reportedly one of the most haunted places in America. This is the third time Angel and I have spent the night there. The first time was with The Drew Johnson Band, Christopher Gustave, and the various wives and girlfriends. We were celebrating the completion of Invention of the Wheel. That evening is a blog posting in and of itself. If I can find the pictures maybe I’ll do that soon.

The second time we stayed there was with our friends Eryn and Rich. That was about a year ago and shortly before my knee surgery so I had an ample supply of Vicadin. My memory of that night is still rather blurry due to my eating of pain killers being very poorly timed. I do however remember Rich looking rather dashing dressed (or undressed as it were) as a sumo wrestler.

So that brings me to our third and most recent stay at the Lemp. This stay was similar to our previous stays in that we experienced absolutely zero ghostly activity. But then Angel got an email from Kim saying that they looked at their pictures the next morning and saw all kinds of orbs in them. So naturally we took a close look at our pictures and, blow me down, we gots ’em too. So everyone just go ahead and get the eye-rolling over with now and let me know when you’re ready to move on.

Feel better?

Good.

I don’t really believe in ghosts either but it sure makes for a fun evening. So here are some of the pictures.

In this first picture you can see some sort of energy (< ---joke...it's just some blurry somethinorother) over the radiator. The Formula Kid

This one is of the same thing without the somethinorother. Yes I know the first pic is blurry. Yes we’re kinda reaching here. Yes you can shut up now. Just play along. The room was expensive.

The Formula Kid

In this next one there are two small orbs. One is in front of Brian’s mouth and the other is in front of his penis. I know they’re small. They get bigger. Then in the mirror there is something that looks like a white string or rope. The part of the wall that the mirror is reflecting has nothing hanging there.

The Formula Kid

This next one shows a huge orb all hugged up to Brian’s nip. And the mirror has the same string thing in it.

The Formula Kid

If you look very closely at this next one you can see the ghost of Brian’s past right next to Kim. Coincidence? We think he might be trying to contact her. Decide for yourself.

The Formula Kid

Yet another appearance by Brian’s ghost. Angel says the ball in the middle is an orb. I think it’s just a reflection in the lense. Either way the McClelland ghost is undeniable.

The Formula Kid

The rest are just some random pictures from the night.

The Formula Kid

The Formula Kid

The Formula Kid

This last one is of the same mirror without the string of death. Yes I know the angle is different. Work with me here.

The Formula Kid

Angel and I celebrated our 8th anniversary on May 2nd. A big thanks goes out to Riley for celebrating with us, and to the staff at Arby’s for the extra mayo.

April 23, 2006

Colossus and Busch

Filed under: Day to Day,Thanks — Drew Johnson @ 7:02 pm

Thanks a lot to everyone who came out to Colossus last night to hear me play. I had a great time. I had a all-star cast of backing vocalists on and off throughout the night. They included Josh and John on Liberty, Mike and John on Home, and Dave on Wanted Dead or Alive. John requested Short Pants (which can be found on this page) by Maxtone Four as my closing song. Of course I had never played Short Pants before, but since it happens to be one of my all time favorite songs I figured I’d at least give it a shot. Luckily there are only three chords in the song (Dave claims there are four though I have yet to find the fourth) so I was able to get through it without too much bloodshed.

Today marked a milestone in my life. I attended my first baseball game at the new Busch stadium. It’s amazing but I’m a bit torn over whether or not it was completely enjoyable being that we got skunked…and by the Cubs no less. Here are a few pictures from the day.

The Formula Kid

I’m not sure what they’re putting in the cotton candy these days but from the look on Riley’s face it would appear that it’s more than just sugar.

The Formula Kid

The Formula Kid

April 6, 2006

123

Filed under: Comedic Genius,Thanks — Drew Johnson @ 9:07 pm

123

April 2, 2006

Last night at Cicero’s

Filed under: Day to Day,Thanks — Drew Johnson @ 3:34 pm

A big thanks to everyone who came out to the show last night. I felt pretty good about how we played. Then again, I felt pretty good about how we played at The Pageant until I saw the video. We’ll probably watch last night’s video at practice this week. If we’re not too ashamed of it I’ll post it by next weekend.

Nate decided to bring his Wurlitzer instead of the Rhodes. The main reason being that lifting the Rhodes is about as easy as lifting a minivan. Nate hadn’t played the Wurli since we were tracking a few months ago and the reason for that became painfully apparent in the middle of Lunar Beams. At the beginning of the 5/4 section Nate introduces the riff by himself on the Wurli. The riff has an E-flat at the top of the chord. The first time he played it I heard that he was playing a D instead of an E-flat—or at least something more like a D than an E-flat. I thought “Woops. Oh well. He’ll get it the second time.” Then he did it again. “Ouch! Fuck me! Come on dude. You got it. It’s one of the black ones. Not the white ones”. Then he did it again. “OK I’m gonna have to have a talk with him”. Then it dawned on me—that E-flat is way the hell out of tune. This problem was discovered in this video. As soon as the show ended Nate came up to me and said “Holy God man did you hear that E-flat. I totally forgot it was still fucked up”. You gotta love that vintage equipment.

Today is one of my favorite days of the year. Baseball season starts and we spring our clocks forward. The world is saved. In an earlier post I talked about our efforts to land some baseball tickets for this season. Well we actually ended up getting some. After I made that post I gave up trying and decided to go take a nap with Riley. In the middle of our nap Angel runs in the room and starts jumping up and down on the bed yelling “I got tickets! I got tickets!” No way! Here’s the conversation that followed.

Drew – Holy shit! For when?
Angel – August 1st.
Drew – Who are we playing?
Angel – Philadelphia.
Drew – Where are the seats?
Angel – In the Bank of America suite.
Drew – Fuckin’ A! How much were they?
Angel – It’s an air-conditioned room.
Drew – How much were they?
Angel – There’s a free buffet.
Drew – How much were they?!
Angel – (her tone is becoming apologetic) There’s free beer too sweetie.
Drew – How much were they?!?!?
Angel – (in a wee small voice) It’s gonna be great honey.
Drew – How…much…were…they?!?!?!
Angel – Ninety eight dollars…
Drew – Sonofa…
Angel – …a piece.
Drew – I will kill you!!!

Visa—making dreams possible at a mere 19.5% interest.

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