Geoff Geis

Icon

Hey, Zombie!

This song is actually a left-over from the Pizza! era. There were several song ideas that we had floating around before we broke up, but most of them were just instrumental jams. This song, however, was the result of a recording back-n-forth between Duncan and me. He created the backing track – as a sketch for something more complicated later, I guess – then I wrote the vocals, then I went to his house where I recorded my vocals and he sang the background parts.

I guess we would’ve put it through the full band process after that, but we never got there.

It’s fine like it is though, right? It’s more simple than a typical Pizza! song. That’s not a slight on Pizza!, because complexity is both awesome and worthwhile. But simplicity has its own charm. Anyway, I released it last year on the Vanity Projects compilation. You can download that here, by the way. It’s got some good music on it.

I don’t have any idea what this song is about. If you think of something, please let me know.

Album artwork by Champ. [http://champoyhate.tumblr.com]

Album artwork by Champ. [http://champoyhate.tumblr.com]

Filed under: geoff geis, mp3, music, vanity projects, , , , , , ,

New Exquisite Corpse-style EP from the members of So Many Wizards

Okay, so last week I regaled you with the illustrated story of So Many Wizards’ trip to the UK in March. Now, I bring the jams.

Much of the time on tour was spent in our van, which was ably piloted by Dave Buck of Bare Necessities Tours. While riding, we came up with an “Exquisite Corpse“-style game to pass the time. It went like this: one of us would make a beat and a simple melody using the iPad, and then that person would pass it to another person who’d layer a part over it, then pass it to another person, and another person, and so forth until we’d completed the circle. We ended up making five of these jams, which I present here.

In addition to the four members of So Many Wizards (Erik Felix, Nima Kazerouni, Frank Maston, and myself), these tracks include contributions from our good friend and videographer Sergio Munoz, Jr.:

Making these tracks was a special bonding experience. Just look at how excited Nima is as he builds his first loop!

We call this EP “Play ‘Fly a Kite!'” because people keep yelling that at us when we play shows back in the States.

We decided to call the project Geordie Shore because… well, DUH

Filed under: geoff geis, mp3, so many wizards, Video, , , , ,

New free EP: “Diva” available now

Click here to download my new covers EP, Diva.

For me, 2011 was transformational. Since about 2004, I had been a guitarist and songwriter in bands — but both Pizza! and Big Whup dissolved this year. Until that happened, I had two songwriting modes: I could put songs together on an acoustic guitar, or I could contribute parts to collaborative pieces with other musicians. Both Pizza! and Big Whup were group efforts, and I’d prioritized writing with those groups over making anything on my own. This year, I decided to move in a new direction.

I got some technology, I collected instruments, and I started writing and producing songs on my own. I de-emphasized guitar and concentrated my attention towards the elements that I’d previously left to others, including beats, bass, and synth melodies. To practice production, I made some fun new albums with friends: Into the Forest with Magii was released in March, and Nima and Geoff (featuring So Many Wizards’ Nima Kazerouni) made an EP to release next year. Through these efforts, my process was upended. It was a very prolific time.

Princess, my solo debut, chronicles the earliest fruits of my labors. It’s kind of a hodgepodge of ideas and moods — some of them fresh, some of them rebuilt from the past, some of them improvised, and some of them orchestrated. I made and released Princess, above all, to prove to myself that I could do it. I gained a lot of experience while doing it, and I’m already hard at work on a follow-up that capitalizes on everything that I’ve learned.

This EP, however, is not that follow-up.

Instead, Diva rounds out 2011 with a some fun while paying homage to a handful of artists that have greatly influenced me. Throughout the year, I’ve been recording cover songs as well as originals. Covering this music has taught me a good deal about song craft and has given me many opportunities to experiment with technique and delivery. Diva is a collection of my four favorite covers from this year, including versions of tracks originally by Mariah Carey, Dusty Springfield, La Roux, and R.E.M.

Click here to download the EP in its entirety.

The lead track is my take on Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You.” When I made it this May, I was aiming to win the award for “creepiest song of the holiday season” with de-tuned pianos, off-kilter harmonies, and vocal effects meant to evoke a bad psychedelic trip. Unfortunately, Mariah decided to win that award herself by re-recording the very same song with Justin Bieber. Hopefully this is a strong contender for second place.

“I Only Wanna Be with You” is a duet with Michael Nhat. Michael Nhat is one of the most iconoclastic performers in Los Angeles, and also one of the best. He came over one day this summer and we covered this Dusty Springfield classic. We also started work on a Boys II Men and Brandy cover, but that’s fallen by the wayside (that’s my fault — sorry Michael).

La Roux‘s debut album is one of the almost I’ve most loved over the past couple of years. “Bulletproof” isn’t necessarily my favorite song on the album, but of course it’s the one that attracted me in the first place. I used an Omnichord as the basis of this downbeat, calypso-inspired version. Dalton Blanco (Sexting, Skull Tape, Robin Williams on Fire) provides some extra hard beats, and Big Whup’s Jenna Eyrich wrote the bassline. I think  this has already been covered by a lot of other bands. Oops.

The best recording on the EP, in my opinion, is my interpretation of R.E.M.’s “Tongue.” This was a cool experiment because it was the first time that I used a sample in a song. I built it using a loop I made from Mike Mills’ original piano line. When I was a teenager, R.E.M. was the most important band to me. They impacted both my taste and my worldview, and their demise inspired a lot of nostalgia and rumination. I finished this recording in September, immediately after they made the announcement that they had disbanded.

Filed under: geoff geis, mp3, vanity projects, Wonderful Christmas Music, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Download the LA Record Holiday Mixtape!

Both Pizza! and Lil’ Whup (Lil’ Whup is a smaller version of Big Whup) are featured on LA Record’s new holiday mixtape. Check out the whole thing on LARecord.com to get our tracks as well as tracks by Drew Denny (of Big Whup), Moses Campbell, the Pity Party, Amanda Jo Williams, and others! Thanks to LA Record for including us on this awesome compilation!

Since the mixtape is in podcast form, I made the individual songs available for download here. Click on the files to hear them and then save them to your computer.

Pizza! – Krystmas is 120 BPM Jamaica (All Around Us)

Lil’ Whup featuring Voice on Tape – Christ is Born!

Enjoy! Happy Christmas.

Filed under: mp3, , , , , , , ,

Music

This is Soft Sailors! We're a new band from Los Angeles. We don't have any upcoming shows scheduled, but you can hear us online:

Also, here are some solo songs I've uploaded recently to Soundcloud. I'm playing solo July 19th at the Pickle Factory at 647 Lamar Street in Los Angeles and September 1st at Los Globos in LA for a KCHUNG benefit.

In 2011, I released my first solo album, Princess. You can listen to it and download it on Bandcamp:

From 2005 until 2011, I was in the band Pizza! This is our album We Come From the Swamp:

From 2008-2010, I was in the band Big Whup. Here's one of our songs that I sang, called "Cover My Eyes:"

%d bloggers like this: