Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lazrus Dropped

I really need to consolidate blogs... been posting this stuff everywhere but my main squeeze, Wingstroke.

My full-length record "Lazrus" dropped digitally last week on iTunes and will hit full online distribution as well as physical CDs in the coming weeks.

Download the first single, Goodbye Sillhouette.

Daniel - "Goodbye Silhouette".

XLR8R said of the album and the single: An album of melancholy electronic pop. Summoning Jamie Lidell's soulfulness and Ben Gibbard's plaintive vocals, "Goodbye Silhouette" is a gem of lovely melodies from a city more known for its hard-edged techno.

To sample or purchase the full album, follow this link.

Since I'm still a bit squeamish about this whole blogging-about-my-music thing, I'm just going to post the press release below. But I should say that I am extremely proud of this album. It was a labor of love but it's the only record I've ever been a part of making where I experienced no burn out with it at any stage. Even now, close to a year since I finished it, I am in love with its sound, its joy and its sadness.

Moodgadget Presents: Daniel "Lazrus"

Daniel "lazrus"

Available: 7/21/2009 | Format: Digital

Similar Artists: Jamie Lidell, Thom Yorke, TV on the Radio

When Daniel began making songs again last summer it was on donated software and borrowed instruments. That's because two years earlier, in a fit of depression, he had quit his band (post-rockers turned synthed-out indie soul group Judah Johnson), sold all of his gear and stopped making music for the first time since he could remember. It was the kind of drastic decision that gets made when there don't appear to be any other options.

Eventually, though, passion and time won out and Daniel's deeply musical nature emerged again in the form of avante pop and futuristic-soul songs. He broke the silence with "Goldversion," an experiment which came out sounding like a cross between Al Green and Kraftwerk. With a lyric consisting solely of the mantra "In love," it was unlike anything he had ever written before and its vocoded croon and out-of-synch synth arpeggiations triangulated a vision for him of a new sound somewhere between the classic German synth music of Cluster and early Tangerine Dream and the progressive r'n'b of D'angelo's Voodoo.

More songs soon followed: the unsettling slow jam "Hard Core," the Zen poem meets Motorik beat of "Goodbye Silhouette," the synth-bubbly afrobeat of "Sugar Fish," and "Arrows For Ever," which sounds like an acoustic Prince ballad circa Sign of the Times until a blast of distorted keyboard pads drowns everything out.

Lazrus is the sound of Daniel's reconnection to music, the result of a two-year separation from the talent he loves most. It's a breakthrough not only because it's the first affirming music he's made after a history of being stuck in a minor key, but because it's his first overt embrace of soul music - that odd frequency somewhere between melancholy and joy he tuned himself to during his Motown-soundtracked early years as a white kid in a black city.

Though it was mostly home-recorded, it sounds bigger than a laptop: Daniel fulfilled a long-standing wish to play all of the instruments himself, from drums to glockenspiels (with the exception of a handful of gorgeous overdubs by members of Zoos of Berlin and Judah Johnson), and he feels its performances are the most inspired work he's ever done.

Like its title, Lazrus sounds like a slurred resurrection - dirty, confused, holy and gorgeous.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Update on: YAY!!!

Scratch that. Someone just stole my car.

It's still light outside. My neighbors across the street were sitting on their porch watching the whole thing go down. After someone peeled off in my car, they flagged down a cop and the police chased my car all the way to 6 mile and Van Dyke where they lost the jeep. But apparently the car started smoking at some point during the pursuit (not really fixed after all?) and they were able to locate the vehicle based on smell. Seriously. They sniffed it out.


I've been without wheels for three weeks because I didn't have the bread to get my car fixed. Then I got some bread and paid to get it fixed and got it back yesterday! Then I realized it wasn't fixed and dropped it back off. Then they fixed it for real today and I got it back again and now I have wheels!


Zen Hammocks

I've always hated selling myself, my creations, my body (though that one has been especially lucrative). But there comes a time when you just have to suck it up and say, buy this now!

Kirsten and I are going into business together with our first joint creation. It's called a Zen Hammock. Like the popular Zen Gardens, which are scaled so small they calm you by giving you the feeling of god-like largeness, Zen Hammocks are miniature versions of something that was built for relaxing in the first place. So double relaxing occurs!

But unlike Zen Gardens, these actually serve a purpose. Kind of. Well, yeah, totally. Pretty much.

You can keep your phones, or iPods, or iPhones, or keys, or whatever in them at your desk at work. If you're co-workers have sticky fingers, then this is really just a big target saying, Swipe Me. But at home, or in an office with prominent security cameras, you'll enjoy the pleasure of always knowing where those crucial items are: chilling in a hand-knit hammock.

Oh, right. They're hand-knitted by Kirsten (I'm more of the marketing and key global strategies guy). So they represent the fruit of someone's labor. Which is holistic in a sense. I've been told. But also, they are a truly unique idea because, as far as we know, nobody else has thought of this ridiculous concept.

Seriously, what's not to love:

You can pick the color, or combination of colors (stripes) you want as well as the color of frame. At the moment we have red, black, silver and white, but if you have a better idea let us know. It'd be a good excuse for us to pick up more paint.

If none of the above pitch worked on you, let me put it this way. These Zen Hammocks are going to pay for Claire's orthodontics and college education. If you care about that sort of thing.

Check them out here.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Beautiful Car, Beautiful Marriage

I really enjoyed writing this piece, out today in this month's Hour Detroit. They asked me to write a profile about a classic car, but I ended up hearing a really sweet story of a happy marriage.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Teenage Mornings

She may be six, but she's 13 every morning when it comes time to wake her up.

This was recorded during my second attempt to rise her.

Key moment:

Me: Claire, we have to get ready for school.

Claire: [without opening her eyes] It's summer camp.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Cass McCombs - You Saved My Life

Even before the silhouettes start dancing before the star machines this video gets to me. I don't know why, because there's nothing to it. But it makes some kind of sense. From video footage following the singer through an outdoor fair (looking for someone?), it rolls like a snowball into something haunting.


I can't help but notice that all of the Michael Jackson photos chosen for the commemorative phase of this media bonanza are of him before he surgically altered himself. Because we do not approve of the choices he made. We're judging him even in death.