Peace and Love and Digital Distribution and Bears, Oh My

Well here is a first, in my foray into self-releasing self-made stuff — I’m putting my EP out in (gasp) the regular channels!

I decided to try Distrokid to distribute my EP to the streaming services – Pandora, Spotify, Apple and a few others.

I just uploaded Peace and Love and Rock and Roll part 1. So now it has a UPC code and ISRC codes and it’ll be in those entertainment gizmos shortly.

You can still get the EP directly from me of course, click the record cover, 4 clams for 4 songs –

Thanks! Hope you enjoy.

And in order to keep this post focused and concise, here are some bears, playing in a hammock.

Peace and Love and Rock and Roll in Open Source Music!

Delighted to see a nice write-up of my EP at OpenSourceMusic.com. Sez Matthew King Kaufman:

Right after I got used to fact that this sounds nothing like The Uptones, I loved this recording. It’s a solid rock record!! The songs are magnificent!

Here’s the whole post with audio of one song.

Thanks Matt! Cheers all, hope you enjoy.

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“A Top-Notch Enjoyable Listen!”

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Blogging About Blogging About My New Record, part 1

As the rain continues to pour on our thirsty California, I’m reflecting on the last year a bit, and considering what to do next. While the debacles of 2016 played out, I spent some time writing and recording new music. I released four new songs as “Peace and Love and Rock and Roll part 1” as the new year arrived. Nearly everything about it is a first for me. I’ve never done a solo record before, I’ve always worked with bands. Never self-released anything before, or self-produced.

I’m glad I did it, and I have decided to do more. I made a new website to host my records, and after thinking very hard about it for almost two seconds, decided to call it peaceandloveandrockandroll.com. You can pick the EP up there instantly in download/digital form, or even order a physical CD if you like, from the very small batch I made.

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Wishing you all a good start to this strange new year. I am going to go swim in the rain now.

Peace and Love and Rock and Roll to you and yours,

Eric

Holding On and Letting Go

New Matt Jaffe video is just up –

I played guitar on that recording, along with young Matt and his fabulous Distractions. He’s a helluva songwriter and musician, and it’s been a pleasure to work with him and watch him go from open-mic wiz-kid to budding rock star. I’ve been by turns, a session player, coach, and even tour manager for this band, when they supported Blues Traveler on their US tour last fall.

“Holding On” is one of my faves in their live set, and I dig the “rollercoaster” metaphor in the vid. Occurred to me also, that “holding on” is like attachment in the Buddhist sense, the cause of suffering, and that gives the chorus its power. But I think too much. “Holding on, cos I don’t know what’s true.” Amen, brother.

Recently I’ve been making some new recordings of my own, and young Matt actually co-wrote and played guitar on one of them. So the circle is complete! More on that later. Cheers all!

What Madness! A Mashup Of Guitar Solos, from Yours Truly

This is a reel of solos I plucked from various records I’ve played on over the years.

Here are the tracks and albums they are from:

1. “Radiation Boy” – The Uptones – Skankin’ Foolz Unite! – 2008
2. “Psychotic Reaction” (Count 5 cover) – The Fashion Slaves – Check Out The Fashion Slaves – 2011
3. “Write A Song About Me” – Matt Jaffe & The Distractions – Blast Off EP – 2015
4. “Sky High” – HOBO album – 1993
5. “Not From Here” – Stiff Richards – Email EP – 1998
6. “Fell In And Out Of Art” – Stiff Richards album – 1996

RANCID – “… And Out Come The Wolves”

“… And Out Come The Wolves” is my favorite Rancid album, and “The 11th Hour” is a collaboration I’ll always be proud of. Tim Armstrong and I wrote it in about three hours spread out over as many days, as the band was deep into the finishing stages of recording. I was surprised that Tim wanted to push one more song through the works, but it not only made the cut but ended up being track #2 on the record. There’s a 20th Anniversary remastered edition that just came out, more on that at Epitaph Records. This album was the soundtrack to my life in late 1995.

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STIFF RICHARDS Infamous “Email EP”!

This record from STIFF RICHARDS features 5 original songs with lead vocals from The Rev. Paul Jackson, and some phenomenal drumming from Tuan Titlestad. On the opening track, “Not From Here” (later covered by The UPTONES), you hear the collision of Bennie Wood’s commanding ska bass style and Tuan’s all-out rock drum approach. That sets the tone for the whole EP and it does not let up. “Halibut” is a personal favorite of mine, especially as it finds Paul channeling Sasquatch, explaining, “Don’t call me Bigfoot.” The set closes with “Bonnie and Clyde” (also later covered by The UPTONES) which was composed in the studio. These songs called for me to go hog-wild on guitar, and I love how it all come out.

Available at iTunes.

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L-R Eric Din, Tuan Titlestad, Paul Jackson, and Bennie Wood. Photo by Victor Hall

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“Check Out The Fashion Slaves” by – you guessed it – The Fashion Slaves!

The Fashion Slaves started as a side project when Emily Jayne was singing and playing guitar with The UPTONES in 2011. We got home from a little tour and she’s rarin’ to go so we decided to make a four-piece rock band. I called Eric Knight whose bass playing I loved in ENGINE 88, and young Pete D’Amato completed the combo on drums. This live album contains one of our earliest performances. Our producer Matthew King Kaufman encouraged us to play the Millard Fillmore High School dance, and sent Michael Rosen out with his mobile recording setup to capture it. The opening cut is our cover of “Psychotic Reaction” which was so damn fun to play as it has two (!!) extended guitar solos, so I went completely nuts right at the beginning of the set. Here’s a video Emily made for the song.

Available at iTunes

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L-R Eric Din, Emily Jayne, Eric Knight, and “On the Beat” Pete D’Amato. Photo by Pat Johnson

The UPTONES – “East Bay Orbits”

This is a compilation featuring each of the six people (so far!) who have performed lead vocal duties in The UPTONES: Erik Rader, Charles Stella, The Rev. Paul Jackson, Moose Lethridge, Emily Jayne, and myself. The most recent recording (“T.V. Guns”) is from 2010,  and the earliest (“Out To Sea”) is from 1983! We did a show in 2011 in which we got all these characters onstage to perform their signature Uptones songs. It was an epic bit of cat-herding but definitely worth it, the show was a blast. That probably won’t happen again, but you can still get the record from iTunes, or order a CD from uptones.com – I think we have like 2 left!

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The UPTONES – “Live!! 924 Gilman”

Playing the Gilman Street Project as it was then known, is unlike playing any other venue. It’s all-ages and volunteer-run and there’s no booze inside. All of the energy of the audience pours onto the stage and is amplified by the band and launched back in a way you don’t often find in mainstream clubs. There’s a sign that says “NO STAGE DIVING” and that’s pretty funny. We played two sold-out shows in August of 1989 when the club was starting and The UPTONES’ 1st chapter was ending. Beserkley Records got ahold of a recording of the 2nd night, mastered it up and released it! You can hear a few tunes from it at uptones.com or pickitup at iTunes.

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