Question

This was my view three weeks ago

This is my view today

What is the future for good music?  Good culture?  How do we work past the convergence of a failing economy and a new form of technology that makes media free?  Do we change people’s ethical standards?  Make it cool to buy records again? Do we move enterprises that are “above” the immediate concerns of economy (space travel, art, music, theoretical physics) to the government’s domain (as space travel indeed was)?  Is there a creative solution that we haven’t come up with yet?  Is every artist going to have to find his or her own new creative solution?

Why haven’t we cured cancer?  Why hasn’t America had a President that says, “In the next four years, we will cure cancer”?  Why don’t we believe in our abilities to solve any problem?  Why do we feel certain things are outside the reach of explanation?  Why aren’t our greatest mathematicians explaining economy to the masses?

Why does ProTools suck so hard?

New Tune – This song seems to be incredibly bad at cursory listen.  Don’t listen.  I’m only posting it because I can’t believe how bad it is.

Not New Tune – And this is why.  Our Lady Peace used to be an amazing band.  Then they made the album Gravity and decided to put limiters and compressors on NUKE.

Quick Sapien

Did You Know? There are about 8.7 million species on Earth, a planet which has been around for over 4 billion years.  But over 99% of all species to ever exist have gone extinct.  There is only one species that knows those facts.

New Song – opening to the movie Drive.  cool track….daft punky

Not New Song – Black Francis - Lolita (sort of new) underrated, amazing, etc

Yorke-y

Here’s a new little demo I made this morning. 

By the way, thanks to all the great folks that came to the Cruise Elroy show in Easton!  You guys are so much fun.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for more candid pictures of Brett Ripley.

Did You Know? There’s a kind of dementia which, in the early stages, makes the individual extremely creative.  The region of the brain associated with impulse control begins to decay, which, interestingly, makes the individual artistic and creative.  Businessmen give up their lives to create art.  I don’t really have more information, Brett was just telling me about it on our drive back from Easton MD.

New Music – the newest Bon Iver record might not be super new, but it’s new to me.  And that riff at the end is just so epic.  Brett and I listened to the new Mommyheads, Shins, Bon Iver, TV On The Radio, Strokes, and Johnny Cash’s jailhouse rock thing this weekend.  And some Michael Jackson, Jackson Five, and some other stuff. By the way, I think music is best enjoyed on a shiny new album, listening intently with a friend.

Not New Music – this is one of the best songs I’ve ever heard.  And probably the best guitar solo.  Eric Clapton said that it was his favorite of all time.  Some other guitar solos that spring to mind, Weezer – Tired Of Sex, Frank Zappa – Muffin Man, Frank Black – My Life In Storage (some awesome Nashville guy did the solo in that).

On A Roll Here

Here’s a little demo I made today.

We’re playing a little show in Easton, Maryland tomorrow!  Tell all of your friends!  We love Easton!  Please come!

Did You Know? In Japan today, a man was arrested who had been in hiding since 1995 after he played a part in a violent gas attack on Tokyo’s subway system.  The man was probably brainwashed by the cult called Aum Shinrikyo.  Fascinating reading.  It’s scary how easily, as humans, we can fall for memes that satisfy the weaknesses in our minds.  Be careful.

New Tunethis lady is my future wife.

Not New Tune – this song amazing etc

Last minute announcement:  Cruise Elroy (formerly known as Chris Merritt) is playing in Easton, Maryland at our favorite venue, Night Cat.  The show is on Saturday, June 16.  That’s in a couple days.  Please come and be groupies.

Jake Thro is coming up next weekend and Cruise’ll be doin’ some pictures and finishing music.  I hope to finish the songs called The Great Shorty, Coney Island, Warm Sun, On My Own, Rain King, Sucker Punch.

Did You KnowThese animals really exist??  Amazing…..

New Tunethis song by Goyte is just great.  The video too.

Not New TuneTalby by Pinback. “Play that song again and go to hell when you die….”  So understated, so elegant, so weird and perfect….  The guy that masters Pinback’s records mastered Pixie And The Bear and said Pinback just gives him a burned CD to master (most masters are super high-quality DVDs or huge files).

Chris Merritt TuneTime Bomb

Hearty Chuckle Fun Comedy – Did you know David Bowie and Mick Jagger made the fruitiest music video ever made? (via Melissa)

 

Science works!

My new gig at the studio is going swimmingly!  Talking to my friends Alex and Roman about Joseph Campbell, Phillip K. Dick, the evolution of man, and what we would do with the power of invisibility.  All while recording a song for a huge Mexican food company.

New song Shorty is sounding sick ridiculous.  I’ll post Scheherazade demos like tomorrow.

Did You Know? Evolution doesn’t necessarily do what’s best for the survival of an individual or species.  Rather, the genes that survive are good at getting themselves copied.  A famous example is the peacock’s tail – a huge hindrance and liability to the male peacock, but such a lady killer it doesn’t matter.  Richard Dawkin’s The Selfish Gene was the groundbreaking work that expressed this subtlety, and did to Darwin’s theory of evolution what Einstein’s General Relativity did to Newton’s laws.

New tune – I’m loving the new Shins record – this song and video – amazing.  There is so much great music coming out – intelligent, clever melodies are popping up all over the place.  (Even in the pop world…) Some of these new artists take me to another world.  I hope that the new Cruise Elroy can be a small part of this intelligent, deep musical universe.

Not new tune – I think the guitar riff at the end of this song is the heaviest ever recorded.  A perfect song.

Hearty chuckle - here is a great stand-up routine by the incredible edible  Jim Carrey.

Chris Merritt songDonna.

Nudes

Whew.  After a bloody battle, the enemy has retreated beyond the horizon. The planets have aligned.  Hell has frozen over, thawed, and frozen over again.  A group of helpful-looking ducks are waiting patiently in a row for further instructions.

Too dramatic?

Well, anyway.  I’m writing this on the 10th floor recording studio on 7th ave in New York City.  Have you been wondering what’s up with Chris Merritt’s music?  Well, my friend, where should I start?

Firstly, I landed an awesome new gig at a commercial music house in New York.  The big boss came to my shows and became a fan.  I’ll be writing Superbowl commercials.  I’m smack dab in the city in a beautiful new studio with musicians I respect and admire.  I’m getting paid and I have keys.  I’ll tell you more about this the more it unravels, but the important implication for you, the humble Chris Merritt fan, is that I have a place to finish great records.  Less running around surviving.  Less guerrilla recording (tracking church pianos until I get kicked out).  Less stealing from children to pay Jake Thro’s exorbitant mixing fees (kidding, people).  Instead, beautiful vintage gear and a positive vibe.  A studio.  Some freedom.  Top-notch engineers.  And giant contacts in the music industry.

Secondly; although it appears I’ve been lying dormant like some sort of hibernating beetle larvae, I’ve actually been working hard with the new band, like some kind of underground parasitic wasp colony.

We have a new band name.  Jake Thro, Brett Ripley, and Chris Merritt (that’s me) are to be known henceforward as: Cruise Elroy.  We have like 25 songs in various stages of recording.  We’ve arranged and demo’ed our cover of an entire symphony (Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade).  We have big plans and big ideas.  And now, a bit of resources to make them happen.

We played a show with the great Fountains Of Wayne a couple weeks back and it was inspiring.  Since then, everyone’s been kind of busy.  But now it’s time to make things happen.  And we need your help.  On June 17th, 2012, we’ll be launching a Kickstarter campaign so we can finish our epic version of Scheherazade.  The money we raise will also help facilitate the completion of the very first Cruise Elroy album.  Incentives will include a beautiful limited-edition score, an album of unreleased Paperface tracks, and a glam shot of a topless Brett Ripley.  I think he thought I was joking when I told him that.

Cruise Elroy is like Chris Merritt, but only kind of.  It’s even better.  We’re pulling out some classics (Rain King, Ms. Parker) and doing them properly, but mostly it’s new, mind-bending, heart-pounding, weird stuff.  Produced nicely, with heart and rawness.  You’ll see.

In fact, we’re trying to finish 4 or 5 songs to show you how awesome it sounds.  We’ll release it as a little free thing all over the internet as soon as possible.  A Free P.

I also have a couple other projects that I’m really excited about, but I’m not quite ready to reveal them.

Do me a favor.  Email three friends about Chris Merritt.  Send them your favorite track.  Let’s wake the sleeping breast. I mean, beast.

Yours,

Chris

 

 

Let Me Go On Record

 

Kids Make Band Names (pt 2)

As a fun experiment, my good friend Melissa asked her elementary school students to come up with some band names. They listened to some tracks, and then got into groups and brainstormed ideas. The results are awesome. I was impressed with the creativity and intelligence of 1st and 2nd graders. I laughed, I cried, and I’m pretty sure my brain exploded once or twice. Here they are in all their glory:

1st Grade:
The Bear Wolf
The Rock Brothers Band Rocks
Rock in Roll
Rocky
Rockstar
Rockin Peanuts
Fresh Beat Band
Rockin Hansen
Trouble Ones
One Man Band
Roadrunner
Cool Loud Band
Rolling Pins
Sharp Men
Hurricane Men
The Christophers
Sound Band
Soft Band
Chocolate Band
BandAid Band
Superstar
Rockin Cheetahs
Monkeypo
Band Man
Bad Boys
Rockin Cobras
Rock Around The World
Triangle Band
Rockin Ninja
Beat Band
Rockstar Band
Bandit Band
Hamburgers
Rockin Cookies

2nd grade
Rock band
The rising dead
Rock n roll band
the hard rockers
The big bad men
Rock on
The white cells
Bulldogs
Big bad band
Rock and boom band
The New Yorkers
Melody
Rock and roll together
Rock and roll friends
The crushers
Alone on the streets (dark, I like it)
The rocks
Earth shakers
The battle
Firework company
Rock n roll joy
Rock n roll hounds
The monsters
The trashers
The pain
Fire band
Star band
Hard metal
War pigs

Fountains Of Wayne

I’m playing this Friday (May 11) with the mighty Fountains Of Wayne in Huntington, NY at a place called The Paramount. Buy tickets here!

I first heard Fountains Of Wayne in high school. My first girlfriend listened to horrible, horrible music. I mean, the worst music in the universe. But she had this CD of this band Fountains Of Wayne. Her friend was a fan of them, or knew them, or something. She said, “yeah, there’s only one good song on here” and so I knew for sure the album would be awesome. We broke up and I “accidentally left her CD in my car.”

The album was the self-titled Fountains Of Wayne, and I was immediately floored. I heard great and clever melodies, funny lyrics, and sad storytelling all in one colorful universe. FOW soon became one of my favorite bands ever, and their second record, Utopia Parkway, was even better. It was darker, more intelligent, mature. It remains one of my top ten records ever.

Their new album Sky Full Of Holes is a masterpiece. Fountains’ best songs yet. Here are some of my favorite Fountains Of Wayne tracks: Cemetery Guns / Hey Julie / Leave The Biker / A Fine Day For A Parade / Denise / Senator’s Daughter / I 95 / Summer Place