July Song: "Cast a Spell" cover by some friends  

New music for you! Kind of...

I received the following email from a fan:

"Hopefully this is still your correct email and you receive this. My friend Cordon and I have been using this quarantine time to try out the collaboration feature in Garageband and work on some music together across the country. We started off by doing a few covers of your songs off of Volume 4 and think they turned out pretty decent for something recorded quickly on our iphones. We hope you enjoy them! 

Also just want to say that my wife and I are really enjoying your Sunday night shows. One of my favorite concert memories was your Vol. 5 release show where you set up the stage at the Hyde Park Theater to look like everyone was in your bedroom, and now you're able to do basically do that same type of show straight from your house. It's really amazing and is a refreshing way to finish off each week during these crazy times. Thank you!"

- Jason Brint

I'm pleased to announce that he's given me permission to share them with you. Download "Cast a Spell" now and head over to my Soundcloud page for the rest. Enjoy!

World Premier Video: "Dementia/Blue" 

I'm very pleased to share this brand new video created by my friend and collaborator, Kelly Atkins. The video features some archival public domain footage along with me providing music therapy services with Ann, a person who was living with dementia. It is the first of hopefully more videos from my brand new self-titled album, which will be released later this year. The album also features Kelly singing utterly beautiful and strange vocal harmonies. This album marks our debut collaboration.

The song is titled "Dementia/Blue" because it relates living with dementia to climate change. I picture our planet losing its memory just as a person with dementia does. 

Artwork by Nadine Garred

Please consider supporting me by pre-ordering an LP, CD, or digital download today. Learn more.

$25 dollars will get you a beautiful full color LP on splatter-colored vinyl, limited to 250. Postage is paid if you live in the U.S. The LP will come with a digital download as well as up to 5 extra songs not included on the album. In addition to this, you will receive a rare 5-song collection of largely unreleased material by my old band, Silver Scooter, including a cover of R.E.M.'s classic song, "World Leader Pretend," mixed and mastered from analog 8-Track by my friend Dave McNair. 

"Dementia/Blue Sky" Lyrics:

Close your eyes and laugh 

Close your eyes and smile a little longer 

Close your mouth and shout 

Close your mouth and sing a little longer 

Think of the blue sky and dream 

Be the world 

Pretender 

Be the world in ways you can remember 

Lose yourself 

Today 

Lose yourself 

Surrender anyway            

Think of the blue sky 

And dream

I was Ann's music therapist for a little over a year. She and I worked together until she passed away in 2018. She was a beautiful and amazing woman and her enthusiasm for life never left her. I want to thank her family for allowing me to use this footage.  

If you ever have questions about music therapy please don't hesitate to ask. You can also learn more by visiting The American Music Therapy Association website.

June Song: World Leader Pretend (R.E.M.)  

I was recently going through boxes of shit in the garage. You know the drill. "Hmm, I wonder what's in this one labeled 'office drawer?'" Well I found something pretty exciting and that is a CD labeled "Silver Scooter Master CD May 1998 8-Track recorded at Tom's with Dave."

Tom could only mean Tom Hudson, drummer. And Dave could only mean Dave McNair, longtime Silver Scooter collaborator, producer, engineer, and dear friend. One song jumped out at me immediately--"World Leader Pretend." It was at that moment I realized what I was holding. 

When we got together to record in Tom's home it was to try out my newly purchased Tascam 388 recorder, capture some new songs, and record R.E.M.'s beautiful song from their 1989 album Green. I had become obsessed with the song when it was released during my sophomore year of high school. I remember we were studying world history, specifically WWI. I honestly thought the lyrics could have been about WWI. Hearing Stipe sing, "I decree a stalemate, I recognize the weapons..." made me think this.

"World Leader Pretend" was recorded by Silver Scooter for a compilation that never came to be. Bummer too, because being on an R.E.M. tribute album would have been amazing. This track also features Dave on slide guitar and kalimba. John Hunt on bass. Tom Hudson on drums. And yours truly singing and playing guitar.

Here are the songs on this CD I discovered. 

1. If Nonsense Only Knew (originally released on a 4-song 7" compilation "Self-Portrait" on Permafrost Records)

2. Morning View (originally released on a split 7" with Tiara on Voice of the Sky Records)

3. So Long (unreleased)

4. Tribute To The Phone Calls (unreleased)

5. World Leader Pretend (unreleased)

I'm always excited to discover unreleased material by Silver Scooter. Perhaps there's more to find?

I will eventually get this little collection on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, etc. For now, I'm only offering it through my campaign to release my latest solo album, Scott Garred. When I reach my goal of $2500, all contributors to the campaign will receive these songs free. 

Click the link to learn more. LPs are $25 postage paid in the United States making this essentially a pre-sale. Also included are outtakes from the recording sessions.

Here's what you are getting for $25 

1. LP (postage paid, overseas add $20),

2. 5 outtakes not on the LP,

3. 5 Silver Scooter tracks mentioned above

One last thing. If we do make it to $2500 I will be personally kicking in extra dollars for custom splatter-colored vinyl. My treat! 

May Song: Day Without Contact  

I'm skipping my usual "New Songs" format to bring you this announcement.

I've just finished a new album and it's time to get it in your hands and on to your turn tables. Please help me send it off to the record pressing plant. Consider this a pre-sale.  

Why  

While I do feel that every album I make is worth sharing, I don't necessarily feel that every album I make is worthy of the best possible format, which in my opinion is the LP. This one is worthy for many reasons.  

This album features sounds I've used before but never quite like this. Every sound has a purpose. A guitar or ukulele may provide the basic structure but what makes each song come to life is left to the piano, drums, bass, distorted bass, melodica, vintage Casio keyboards, and vocal harmonies.  

Collaborating with me on this album is Kelly Atkins. She's quite a fixture in the Bay Area music scene (perhaps you know Kitka or 20 Minute Loop?) She can make her voice sound like buzzing insects swarming around your head. Perhaps you like the theremin or the singing saw? She does it all folks.  

My hope is that these songs will inspire you to think deeply about some of the world's issues. Walk in the shoes of a mass shooter. Shake hands with artificial intelligence. Think about climate change the same way you think about your own mother with dementia.  

What's needed  

Through this campaign I'm hoping to raise money to manufacture the LPs and mail them to supporters. I am not asking for any financial assistance in producing the music. That part is done.  

The reality is this album will never be in a local store. This is our shot people. Let's do it. 

Click here to view the campaign.

Anyone curious what will become of this song, "Day Without Contact?" Help me make sure it gets on the record.

 

April song: High and Lonesome  

Shot on iPhone 7

"These are my thoughts as I climb to the top. With a sack full of bullets and a head that won't stop." 

It was difficult to write these words. It was even more difficult to sing them without sounding or feeling like a mass shooter. It's hard to write the words mass shooter. In 1966 an ex-Marine named Charles Whitman climbed to the top of the tower on the University of Texas campus in Austin, TX. According to Wikipedia, he killed 13 people and injured 31. The eventual total dead would be 17.

Since this massacre, according to the Washington Post, there have been 175 mass shootings in which at least 4 people were killed. 

I wanted to write this song simply to offer another perspective on the subject. We have already heard a lot from politicians and those who oppose and support the second amendment and so, I think it's time to get to know the shooters. How do we do this? They are our children and siblings, people who are in our lives yet they become killers. Some are older and some are younger. They are more often than not male. What makes a human do such an inhumane thing? This song is nothing more than an attempt to wonder about this.

Lyrics:

High and lonesome 

High and lonesome 

High and lonesome 

I’ll be 

High and lonesome 

High and lonesome 

High and lonesome 

You’ll see 

I climbed high on the mountain 

I got lost on the sea 

I climbed high on the mountain 

You’d be better with me 

High and lonesome 

High and lonesome 

High and lonesome 

I’ll be 

High and lonesome 

High and lonesome 

High and lonesome 

You’ll see 

These are my thoughts as I climb to the top 

With a sack full of bullets and a head that won’t stop 

These are my thoughts as I climb to the top 

Oh you better come see 

Just don’t get too close to me 

High and lonesome 

High and lonesome 

High and lonesome

Technical Specs:     

UA Apollo Twin     

iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2017) 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5     

AT 4033 Microphone     

AT 4021 Microphone 

Background vocals by Kelly Atkins   

She recorded them at home using a Rode mic and Pro Tools.   

Cascade M39 Stereo Pair Microphones     

1970s Univox “Beatle” Bass     

1963 Gibson B-25    

1991 Gibson Les Paul Standard 

Generic cocktail kit     

Honer melodica  

1970s Yamaha Console Piano     

Written, recorded, and mixed at home. 2019 (BMI) Warship Songs.     

Mastered by Warren Gardiner at Gardiner Audio in Melbourne, AUS 

 

March song: Just get clean  

Shot on iPhone X by Nadine Garred

Song: Just get clean

I imagine addiction is a thing ticking away, relentless in the way it runs through your day. It’s like a Casiotone beat that wakes you up and begs you to deal with it. You might work hard to cover it up but what you are left with is a throbbing feeling in your bones; a pulsing bass line that pushes you forward. You scratch and claw at your body like a 12-string electric guitar. You stumble and startle with every drum fill. You know you can do it. You know you can get over the hump; maybe even cut it down to two pills. “I will” you say, “I will.” Until “I will” swallows you and you can’t hear your own voice. 

This song is about opioid addiction. These are the pills sent home with you after surgery. They are the ones you find below the sink. They are the pills you get from your friend who doesn’t need them. In 2018, according to the CDC, 70% of the 67,000 drug-related deaths in America were caused by opioids prescribed by a doctor.

Technical Specs:   

UA Apollo Twin   

iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2017) 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5   

AT 4033 Microphone   

Background vocals by Kelly Atkins 

She recorded them at home using a Rode mic and Pro Tools. 

Cascade M39 Stereo Pair Microphones   

Pano M8 baritone ukulele 

1970s Univox “Beatle” Bass   

1963 Gibson B-25  

Generic cocktail kit   

Casio Casiotone MT-68   

1970s Yamaha Console Piano   

Danelectro 12-string electric

Korg SV-1 keyboard

Written, recorded, and mixed at home. 2019 (BMI) Warship Songs.   

Mastered by Warren Gardiner at Gardiner Audio in Melbourne, AUS

Lyrics:

If I could just get clean 

If I could just stay sober 

If I could just fly away on some machine 

I would I would 

If I could make my bed 

If I could rest my head 

Towards an impossible dream 

I would I would 

If I could whisper in the night 

Body aches I make my own two feet collide 

Stung by the cold daylight 

Figure hates 

Figure waits 

Go figure me for who you used to know X3 

I would I would 

I would I would       

If I could just get clean 

(I got so hooked on these)

February song: AIOU  

Shot on iPhone XIII by Nadine Garred

Song: AIOU

"Robot, I'd like you to meet Tree."  

"Tree, this is Robot. He's gonna be in charge from now on."

Lyrics:

I look at you and I see 

That you are real 

I look at you and I know 

That you can feel 

That you can feel 

That you can feel 

That you can 

That you can feel, feel, feel 

Can you solve global warming, forest fires around this great nation? Can you bring me my car when I park it so far?

I look to you and I hope 

That you can cope 

I look to you and I see 

That you can fly 

I look to you and I know 

That you can cry 

That you can cry 

That you can fly 

AIAIOU 

AIAIOU

Technical Specs:  

Tascam 388

UA Apollo Twin  

iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2017) 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5  

AT 4033 Microphone  

Background vocals by Kelly Atkins

She recorded them at home using a Rode mic and Pro Tools.

Cascade M39 Stereo Pair Microphones  

Pano M8 baritone ukulele

1970s Univox “Beatle” Bass  

1963 Gibson B-25 

Generic cocktail kit  

Casio Casiotone MT-68  

1970s Yamaha Console Piano  

Written, recorded, and mixed at home. 2019 (BMI) Warship Songs.  

Mastered by Warren Gardiner at Gardiner Audio in Melbourne, AUS

January Song: Pick-up truck  

Shot on iPhone 8

Song: Pickup Truck 

Hello and welcome back to my regular song blog. 2020 will be a year dedicated to sharing new music, culminating in a brand new album. Ideas for my new songs came from an interview I heard. The man being interviewed said, ”Now I don't want to sound like the county moralist, but..." Of course he went on to sound like the county moralist, whatever that is. 

Anyway, this got me thinking about writing some new theme-based songs, which is not how I usually do it. I normally sit and wait for words and melodies to enter my brain and say, “Hey, why don’t you make me into a song?” Recently, I made an agreement with myself to turn this wait-and-see approach upside down. I’m now putting the idea first and crafting the melody, harmony, and production second. So far the results have been varied and I’ve abandoned a lot. It’s part of the new process. 

Writing this way is helping me stay engaged in the world more and walk in some shoes I’ve never tried on before. I’m also falling in love with a few vintage Casio keyboards, learning to play a cocktail drum kit, and discovering a lot more about harmony on the piano. I’m embracing the old 4-Track cassette recorder and I know in my heart that all this is making me a better songwriter. 

I’ve also been in touch with some old and new friends about collaborating. So far, these partnerships have been fun and I will be sharing a few alternate versions as a result. Stay tuned… 

"Now, I don't want to sound like the county moralist or anything" But I will sing in first-person as a Priest. I will sing in first-person as a mass shooter. And I will sing in first-person as a woman with dementia or the warming world. You can decide which. 

My first song for you is narrated by a man impacted by natural disaster. He sees “a pick-up truck, a barbecue, and a little girl's shoe” floating down a flood plain. And, as he watches, he wonders about faith.

Lyrics: 

Oh I walked 

Oh I sat 

Down on the riverbank and I watched it all float by 

I saw a pickup truck 

A BBQ 

A little girls’ shoe 

And a whole lot of luck 

And all this time I’ve been walking around through the wind and the rain X2 

If you believe me I will make you whole 

I will make you whole again 

So I stood 

Where I stand 

Grabbed a rock 

And by the time it left my hand 

I joined right in 

I sang real loud 

I sank real low 

And floated down again 

And all this time I’ve been walking around through the wind and the rain X2 

I will make you whole again 

(God’s not about what happens when you die 

God's not about what happens when it all turns black) 

And I walked through the fire 

And I walked through the flood 

And I walked through the wind and the rain 

And the tears and the blood

Technical Specs: 

UA Apollo Twin 

iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2017) 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5 

AT 4033 Microphone 

Cascade M39 Stereo Pair Microphones 

1970s Univox “Beatle” Bass 

La Patrie Collection classical guitar

Generic cocktail kit 

1991 Gibson Les Paul Standard w/ Ebow 

Casio Casiotone MT-68 

1970s Yamaha Console Piano 

Written, recorded, and mixed at home. 2019 (BMI) Warship Songs. 

Mastered by Warren Gardiner at Gardiner Audio in Melbourne, AUS

Australia: Super XX Man Talk About  

Super XX Man Vol. XVI Talk About

Overall, my time spent making music in Australia was amazing. I received a lot of support in Melbourne, for which I'm very thankful. Sorta Heavy Metal (see previous post) was featured many times on local radio shows and even topped one DJ's best of list for the entire year. I was thrilledIt was during a live on air performance one morning that Alisdair Henry heard Peter and me performing. He wrote me an email saying he was available if we ever wanted a second cello. Yes, we did! Around the same time my very good friend Antony McMullen decided he was ready to dust off his guitar and begin contributing to our growing sound. I think by this time, Hannah was living overseas somewhere with her family and therefore unavailable for the time being. We lost our angelic voice but gained more strings, guitar, and friendship.

One evening, at Ali's house, Peter grabbed the glockenspiel and started jamming along to a song I had written called "Talk About."

Peter said, "Scott I reckon this sounds a bit like Bruce Springsteen."

This sparked the writing process for the rest of the album. Songs came as they always seem to and that is by life experience. And times were tough.  I received a lot of songs from the ether just so I could cope I guess. Towards the end of the writing process I still had one song that eluded me. Honestly, I was ready write it off.

Along came Devon Sproule (stop reading, look her up, she's amazing). She was in the country for a series of solo shows and Super XX Man was lucky enough to open for her in Melbourne. I just had to take a chance and ask her if she would like to collaborate on a song I was struggling with. Lucky for me and the band, she had some time and agreed to do some recording over at Peter's. She and I arranged and sang the song "Sparrow" together. I think it's one of the best songs on the album and I'm so happy it was saved from the rubbish bin.

Originally released through Bandcamp on a limited run of handmade 7" picture disks, this album would mark the end of my Australian stay. In fact, it was released after I moved back to America. I'm so happy to report that this Australian produced album is finally available on all your favorite streaming platforms. 

It was mastered by Warren Gardiner, who works on everything I do now. He is a great listener!

The artwork for this album was made by my cousin, Denise Elder.

Australia: Super XX Man Sorta Heavy Metal  

Sorta Heavy Metal, Milk! Records, released 2012

In 2011 I moved with my family to Melbourne, Australia. It was there I met Peter Joseph Head and Hannah O'Keefe. Peter, a gifted multi-instrumentalist, and Hannah, voice of an angel, both helped me create and craft songs for what would be Super XX Man's debut album in Australia called Sorta Heavy Metal. With the help of a successful crowd-funding campaign (huge thanks to many of you reading this now), a special launch show curated by my friend Courtney Barnett, and a crack art direction team in Shawn Camp and Kendall Anderson Camp, this beautiful limited blue vinyl release was made available through Courtney's Milk Records

Here's how I met Peter: A friend of a friend introduced us at the Tote in Fitzroy, a trendy neighborhood in Melbourne. Austin friends might think Hole in the Wall or Liberty Lunch.

I asked Peter, "So, I hear you play cello?"

Peter said, "It's not my main instrument."

OK. Man of few words maybe? 

When he took his cello out of the case for our first ever practice, he played one of Bach's cello suites to warm up. I was impressed. Then he picked up the guitar and I was even more impressed. This marked the beginning of a lasting friendship.

Peter introduced me to Hannah O'Keefe. He and Hannah had played together in other bands. She is a sweet human being and was able to blend right in.

For the song "Down To The Water," I wanted some energized drumming. Again, Peter to the rescue. He introduced me to Pascal Babare, a drummer and music producer in Melbourne. I brought my computer and all my stuff over to his bedroom. He had his drums already set up. He banged out some crazy loud parts to bring life to this song about a community dedicated to their water source. 

What really finishes this album for me is coincidentally the last song called "Best Friends." It features a nice lyric about a piece of thread and a needle, and some nice accordion by Michelle Garred. It's a song about my children and describes the deep bond they still share today. As the song moves along, you can hear Peter play the Koto and another bowed instrument. For me, it finishes like a lullaby.

The record was mastered by my dear friend, Dave McNair. He's taught me much of what I know about recording and he has helped me out many times. When I got the LPs in my hands and readied the albums to be mailed out I had to borrow a turntable from my neighbor, John Gorman, just to listen to it.

Seven years on and I'm listening to the vinyl right now. It still sounds great and I think it might be one of the best albums I've ever made. It has stories and imagery, depth, it's moody, not too polished, and varied just enough. It features cello, guitars, drums, percussion, keyboards, bass, Japanese traditional instruments, and likely much more I can't remember.

I'm pleased to announce that it is finally receiving a wide release. As of right now, you can stream it on all your favorite platforms. Here are a few links:

Spotify

Amazon

Take care,

Scott