This is important to me.
Turns out, I can't really afford to spend whatever it takes.
It is also quite generous of you to be reading this.
So I have included links to as many of these contributors as I can so that you may learn more about them and their geniuses.
All songs were mixed by Rich Lamb. Mastered by A.T. Michael MacDonald at AlgoRythms "Special Effects" was produced by Ryan Graham. Everything else was produced by everyone involved. Photography by Michael Harlan Turkell. Design by Dan Au.
Recorded by Ryan Graham at 37.5 Productions and Zach Herchen at Yale University
Guest vocals by Rahne Alexander, Ryan Graham , Tony Monte, and Jessica Teague
Fred Dole- basses
Michael Compitello- percussion
Scott Alexander- vocals, guitar
I first started wanting to write this song in high school. But I mellowed out before I got around to it. After enough shows with 3 or 4 people in the audience, I felt up to the task again.
“Different” really begins to loose it’s meaning when you realize that everyone and everything is different. But it remains a very loaded term. It’s a confusing question of process, intent, essence, and perspective.
I almost threw the song out, but when I invited other vocalists to sing it in tandem it re-emerged as one of my favorite anthems.
Everything Is Complicated
Arranged by Tony Monte
Recorded by Jim Czak at Nola Recording Studio
Jessica Teague- vocals
Tony Monte- piano
Zach Herchen- saxes
Jeremy Lamb- cello
Steve LaSpina- bass
Eric Beach- percussion
Scott Alexander- vocals
Generally speaking, I’m not aware of what chords I’m playing when I write a song. I just keep moving my hands around until something sounds right. I don’t count bars or meter either. So I was both thrilled and terrified that my dear friend and mentor, the brilliant maestro Tony Monte accepted my invitation to arrange this song for a new ensemble. It nearly drove him mad. Luckily, this genius did not go insane.
Jessica Teague has been joining my live shows to sing this song for a few years and always upstages me. She did it again in the studio.
I don’t write a lot of love songs since so many great ones have already been written. While often the intent of a love song is to be romantic, the result can be embarrassing. I decided to write an embarrassing song, with the hope that someone would find it romantic. She did!
The song was also featured on my national television debut on The People’s Court. It wasn’t framed (or edited) in the most flattering way, but everyone seemed tickled by it so I could not have been happier.
I find slutty girls attractive. But I’m rather turned off by the fact that I might be a total bastard for being attracted to someone’s weakness, insecurity, or vulnerability. It may not be polite to form psychoanalytical hypotheses about other people’s libidos, but I do it anyway.
So let’s sing a song about it!
This was another song that I almost abandoned, but with the contributions of Sean and Zach’s violin part, I fell in love with it again. I began to not want to perform the song without a violin. I became dependent! Though it is still my preference to have violin, I have found the knowing the part exists improves my solo performance of it immensely.
Written by Joan Jett, Kenny Laguna, Ritchie Cordell and Martin Kupersmith
Jett Pack Music, Inc. (BMI)
Arranged for bassoon and yelling by Scott Alexander
Recorded by Zach Herchen in Jersey City
Scott Alexander- vocals, bassoon
From what I’ve heard, Joan Jett is also vegan. But I don’t think she plays bassoon, an instrument I love to play but have had much trouble writing for. Though I certainly appreciate and take pride in what I have been able to accomplish on bassoon, I’m nowhere near playing on a professional level. The years I spent focusing on bassoon were all years of not feeling good enough. Well, I don’t really care now.
I don’t repeat a lot of phrases in most of my music. But the opposite message to this song is repeated to all of us hundreds of times each day. A lot of those repeaters are artists and musicians pursuing a very worthwhile dream. I’m sure many people would suppose I’m another shameless self-promoter. I am indeed a self-promoter, but I consider myself very much full of shame about it and really strive to do it in a way that is respectful of what separates culture from commercialism. I can’t claim to be successful at this because I cannot do it alone.
I made a video for this song that you can watch.
When my brother watched the video, he told me to check out a documentary Douglas Rushkoff produced for Pbs’s Frontline titled The Persuaders. I’m recommending it to all of you too. See it here.
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