Drop the Needle #3: Toby Whitaker edition

After an extended wait and much anticipation, Drop the Needle by Toby Whitaker has been released!

Listen to the entire playlist:

[audio:http://media.rvanews.com/April.mp3,http://media.rvanews.com/2010PARK.mp3,http://media.rvanews.com/02 Wet ToungeDTN.m4a,http://media.rvanews.com/wil&il.mp3,http://media.rvanews.com/02 Heart-throb3DTN.mp3,http://media.rvanews.com/07 07 Black SandDTN.mp3 andDTN.mp3,http://media.rvanews.com/habitDTN.mp3,http://media.rvanews.com/Joey and Al 8-5DTN.m4a,http://media.rvanews.com/02 mailed you a noteDTN.mp3,http://media.rvanews.com/08 Where is the Line_DTN.mp3,http://media.rvanews.com/Boomwhacky.mp3,http://media.rvanews.com/http://media.rvanews.com/The Garden of Souls mp3DTN.mp3,http://media.rvanews.com/01 Wabash mp3.mp3,http://media.rvanews.com/04 CrimesDTN.mp3,http://media.rvanews.com/ANB rvajazzfest mp3.mp3,”http://media.rvanews.com/03 IgotyoursDTN.mp3 |titles=April,2010 Park,Wet Tongue,Wil&il,Heart Throb,Black Sand |artists=Tommy Beekman,PA3,The Shooter McGavins,Tommy Beekman,King Boomy,Gianna Barone & Lucas Fritz,]

1. “April” – Tommy Beekman

TW says: Nice solo instrumental track. The rhythm of the guitar sets a nice mood.

The artist says: – If you put your ear right up to an acoustic guitar I think it has a very distinctive sound. I was listening to the Decemberists a lot a few months ago and I liked how they treated the acoustic guitars on their Hazards of Love album. I put this tune together as another experiment to see if I could get that in your face acoustic guitar sound. The tracks are dry for the most part, most of the reverb you hear is from the guitar itself. This was also an experiment with panning and trying to fit the two parts together.

Software: Garageband

Hardware – Acoustic Guitar

The musicians: Tommy Beekman


[audio:http://media.rvanews.com/April.mp3|titles=April|artists=Tommy Beekman]

2. “2010 Park” – PA3

TW says: I think the blending of curse words with a message about the importance of eating your vegetables, is a good way to get through to the kids.

The artist says: This song was recorded because Park Avenue is the greatest hood of all the hoods. You are both welcome to my hood and BETTAH STAY OUTTA MY HOOD at the same time.

The musicians:
L Dog – Drums, bass, trumpet, background vocals, main vocals
P Class – Main Vocals
H Money – Main Vocals
Sassy Lass – Background vocals, hype vocals
The G Man – Hype vocals
Those throwin down, Aug 12, 2011 – Claps


[audio:http://media.rvanews.com/2010PARK.mp3|titles=2010 Park|artists=PA3]

3. “Wet Tongue” – The Shooter McGavins

TW says: Nice driving tune. The droning background vocals are a nice touch. Banjos are always cool and like the kazoo(?) solo.

The artist says: Here is a track we recorded a few weeks ago once over for instruments and then again for vocals.

The musicians:

Matty Blissard – Guitar/Vocals/Kazoo
Ben Price – Banjolele /Vocals/Kazoo
Justin Esposito – Upright Bass
BJ Robinette – Drums


[audio:http://media.rvanews.com/WetTonguemp3.mp3|titles=Wet Tongue|artists=The Shooter McGavins]

4. “wil&il” – Tommy Beekman

TW says: Cool mellow trumpet sounds. Makes me feel like I’m in Iceland. I like the build into the controlled chaos at the end.

The artist says: wil&il – I came up with the guitar riff a few years ago and it’s been something I’ve played with different people (including RVANews’ own Dean Christesen on several occasions). The drums and guitar were recorded live with two microphones because that’s all I’ve got. Bass was added later. Lucas Fritz (Compass Rose Orchestra, Elby Brass, RVANews) came over and added some Trumpet. I really wanted a ‘wet’ trumpet sound over the groove so I recorded it with two mics, one was on the trumpet and one was hooked up to my fender with lots of that nice spring reverb, chorus and delay. Then some editing happened and it came out this way.

Software: Garageband

The musicians: Bass, Electric Guitar (Tommy Beekman), Drums (Eric Highfill), Trumpet (Lucas Fritz)

[audio:http://media.rvanews.com/wil&il.mp3|titles=Wil&il|artists=Tommy Beekman]

5. “Heart Throb” – King Boomy

TW says: Awesome psychedelic groove track. I like the weird blend of melodies. Sounds like someone from Konono # 1 is sitting in.

The artist says: The band is called KingBoomy, it’s really just me messing around in the spacebomb studio which happens to double as my attic.

The musicians: Pinson Chanselle: drumset, guitar, bass, shakers, ethiopian drum, bottles, steeldrum, voice


[audio:http://media.rvanews.com/02 Heart-throb3DTN.mp3|titles=Heart Throb|artists=King Boomy]

6. “Black Sand” – Gianna Berone

TW says: Really nice big band writing. Good use of mutes in the brass and the shout chorus is kickin.

The artist says:Jenny Lewis, arr Lucas Fritz
Recorded Apr 8, 2011 at VCU Performing Arts Center, Sonia Vlachevic Concert Hall

The musicians:

Woodwinds: Suzi Fischer, Jason Scott, John Lilley, Jon Gibson, David Hood
Trombones: Bryan Hooten, Reggie Pace, Dillard Watt, Reggie Chapman
Trumpets: Rob Quallich, Marcus Tenney, Ben Heemstra, Lucas Fritz
Rhythm: Devonne Harris, Andrew Randazzo, Brian Mahne, Paul Willson
Vocals: Gianna Barone


[audio:http://media.rvanews.com/07 Black SandDTN.mp3|titles=Black Sand|artists=Gianna Berone]

7. “Red Wine” – Get Downs

TW says: The fact that I know who this has not biased my opinion of the song. Sweet headhunters synth sounds. Awesome hook.

The artist says: It was made using Garage Band and percussion.”

The musicians:ReggiePace/Lauren Serpa


[audio:http://media.rvanews.com/RedWineMP3.mp3|titles=Red Wine|artists=Get Downs]

8. “Habit” – Elliot Shelton

TW says: Good soundtrack music. Slightly angular organ/acordian sounds, nicely accompanied by feel good guitar pads.

The artist says: Instrumentation: Drums, Casio Sk-1, Lowrey Wandering Genie, Guitar
Gear: EH2880, Behringer Eurorack Mixer, 2 mics

The musicians: Elliot Shelton


[audio:http://media.rvanews.com/habitDTN.mp3|titles=Habit|artists=Elliot Shelton]

9. “Joey and Al 8-5” – Quango Almo

TW says: I enjoyed the trippy interlude in the middle of the song.

The artist says:

We have begun recording our rehearsals as a tool for our own improvement and have not shared any of them in their entirety, until now.

What few vocals did make it onto the recording are pretty muffled and low fidelity. I was singing through an instrument mic into my guitar amp—which was also handling my guitar—and we had set up just two recording mics which each caught everything in the room with no separation. I applied a bit of compression and eq, but there’s not much I can do.

It was early, or at least it was before noon. We had not rehearsed since our previous gig. This was the first, energetic, unsure take of the day and the improvised development section played through with a messy tenseness. We did other takes that day and though I was able to get the vocals more balanced in them, none were as fresh as the first.

written by Freddy Lau
Recorded 8/5/11 by Freddy Lau in Chesterfield, Va
mics: Samson C02 (x2)
program: Ableton Live

The musicians:Aaron Bowles: bass
Jack Tierney: guitar
Cj Alicea: drums
Freddy Lau: guitar, midi keyboard, vocals


[audio:http://media.rvanews.com/JoeyandAlMP3.mp3|titles=Joey and Al 8-5|artists=Quango Alma]

10. “Mailed You a Note” – King Boomy

TW says: These vocals are freaking me out……..actually the whole song kinda freaks me out.

The artist says: The band is called KingBoomy, it’s really just me messing around in the spacebomb studio which happens to double as my attic.

The musicians: Pinson Chanselle: Drums, synthesizer, bass, guitar, shakers, voice


[audio:http://media.rvanews.com/02 mailed you a noteDTN.mp3|titles=Mailed You a Note|artists=King Boomy]

11. “Where is the Line?” (Bjork) – The Richmond Jazz Collective w/ Strings

TW says: Super cinematic. Awesome trombones in the beginning. Strings and maybe even a Tibetan Singing Bowl….what more could you ask for.

The artist says:Everyone should listen to Bjork. I don’t care.

The musicians:Woodwinds: Suzi Fischer, Jason Scott, John Lilley, Jonathan Gibson, David Hood
Trombones: Bryan Hooten, Reggie Pace, Dillard Watt, Reggie Chapman
Trumpets: Rob Quallich, Marcus Tenney, Ben Heemstra
Flugel Horn: Lucas Fritz
Rhythm: Devonne Harris, Andrew Randazzo, Brian Mahne, Paul Willson, Matt Coyle, Andrew Walters
String Quartet: Katie Wooldridge, Wei Li Suen, Garret Pederson, Michael Knowles


[audio:http://media.rvanews.com/08 Where is the Line_DTN.mp3|titles=Where is the Line?|artists=The Richmond Jazz Collective w/ strings]

12. “Boomwhacky” – Tommy Beekman

TW says: Weird (in a good way) drum track. Could use an ending but sounds cool.

The artist says:Came from an experimentation with Boomwhackers. They are a pitched colored tube (www.boomwhackers.com) that you smack against a surface to produce a sound. Added a little home-made shaker (rice in an old bottle of vitamins) and some bass, then I repeated the loop a few times. I was working with balance, panning, and effects with this track to try to get the boomwhackers to spread out a little because the recording made them sound a little thin. At first there was a vocal on here but I took it off.

Software: Garageband

Hardware: Boomwhackers, Bass, Homemade Shaker

The musicians: Tommy Beekman



13.”C C C C” – Elliot Shelton

TW says: Kind of an off kilter dub jam. This track makes me wanna walk funny.

The artist says:Instrumentation: Guitar, Lowrey Wandering Genie, Yamaha Keyboard
Gear: EH2880, Behringer Eurorack Mixer, 1 mic

The musicians:Elliot Shelton


[audio:http://media.rvanews.com/C C C CDTN.mp3|titles=C C C C|artists=Elliot Shelton]

14.”The Garden of Souls” – Scrio

TW says: Sweet sax-guitar melody. Awesome drumming. Extended patriotic improvisation. Great song. I think I can even hear Bryan Hooten shouting over the performance.

The artist says: Recorded live at the Commercial Taphouse on July 3rd

The musicians: (Scott Clark, Scott Burton, Jason Scott)


[audio:http://media.rvanews.com/The Garden of Souls mp3DTN.mp3|titles=The Garden of the Souls|artists=Scrio]

15. “Wabash” – Etaka

TW says: This virtuosic trombone-ing sounds strangely familiar. Phenomenal drumming as well. Seamless transitions between improvised and written material. Just awesome.

The artist says: The tune is called Wabash and it’s from an unreleased duo album recorded with Lance at Minimum Wage.

The musicians: Reggie Pace & Scott Clark


[audio:http://media.rvanews.com/01 Wabash mp3.mp3|titles=Wabash|artists=Etaka]

16. “Crimes” (The Blood Brothers) – Compass Rose Orchestra

TW says: I like vibraphones. The song sets a film-noir-ish mood and builds nicely

The artist says:This was recorded at my Senior Recital in the VCU Performing Arts Center, April 8, 2011.

The musicians:Compass Rose Orchestra
Tpt – Lucas Fritz
Trombone – Chris Bates
Alto Sax – Suzi Fischer
Tenor Sax – Jonathan Gibson
Guitar – Paul Willson
Bass – Andrew Randazzo
Drums – Abinnet Berhanu
Vibes – Matt Coyle


[audio:http://media.rvanews.com/04 CrimesDTN.mp3|titles=Crimes|artists=Compass Rose Orchestra]

17. “ANB” – Scott Clark quartet

TW says: Crazy, fast, out, chord-less jazz. Throw a trombone in there and you might have something. Or maybe it’s fine the way it is. Yeah it’s pretty amazing the way it is.

The artist says: It was recorded live at the RVAjazzfest.

The musicians: Scott Clark, Cameron Ralston, Bob Miller, Jason Scott


[audio:http://media.rvanews.com/ANB rvajazzfest mp3.mp3|titles=ANB|artists=Scott Clark Quartet]

18. “I Got Yours” – King Boomy

TW says: Groovin drumbeat, cool dub effects, and crazy guitar loops. Nicely done.

The artist says: The band is called KingBoomy, it’s really just me messing around in the spacebomb studio which happens to double as my attic.

The musicians: Pinson Chanselle: Drums, Bass, Guitar, Bottles, melodica. James Wallace: Fender Rhodes


[audio:http://media.rvanews.com/03 IgotyoursDTN.mp3|titles=I Got Yours|artists=King Boomy]
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Aaron Williams

Aaron Williams loves music, basketball (follow @rvaramnews!), family, learning, and barbecue sauce.

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