You guys. Please pay close attention to what’s really going on around you, and with the world. How else do you decide what’s real and what’s a distraction? Let compassion be your guide, especially in tough situations. Photo by @cruz.pdx 💗
The Positive Agenda EP - Track By Track
06 - Positive Agenda Theme Reprisal
Well, the last little tune on the EP is just finger snaps, Wurlitzer, guitar, and Jarrod Lawson’s velvety vocals. Nice. Real nice. Engineer Sam Brawner at Blue Dream Studios helped carve this out of the tracks I sent, and I may have added the distant filter delay thing at the very end.
I’m going to keep doing positive music things.
Thank you, friends, for listening.
The inimitable musical force that is @tyronehendrix . He’s throwing an album release party on Saturday, Aug 24 at The Goodfoot in Portland, Oregon. Swatkins & The Positive Agenda open up, then we morph into the Tyrone band for the second set. Come hang!
Moog wankery and early-AM zombie audience with D.J. Williams and Shots Fired at the Instrumenthead Exhibit for New Orleans Jazz Fest this year 🧟♂️🎹⚜️ with Dusty Ray Simmons, Nate Edgar, CD Littlefield, and special guests Roosevelt Collier, Jessica Jones, and Isaiah Sharkey
tfw you’ve been on the road since june 1 and you just want to go home and cuddle your person.
🤯🙌 @mikkel.noergaard1 weighs in with a tasty Already Told You talkbox cover. It’s been super inspiring to see the muso community sink their teeth into the stuff from The Positive Agenda EP 💗🙏
Hang in there, friends. Take care of each other.
Steam Cat! Opening for @sunsquabi at @dougfirlounge for their tour kickoff Sept. 6 with a special solo Swatkins set (w/ v spesh guesties)
It surely Feels Good To Feel Good... just ask these loverly friends @noel_foxx @mikeyondrums 💚
A very tasty chop by @barrabrown using the Hopeful Interlude stems from The Positive Agenda EP to trigger a deeeeep groove.
Feels Good To Feel Good - chord tutorial
Sometimes you just gotta yell about it.
My brother @corydrums flipped the stems I was giving out from Hopeful Interlude off The Positive Agenda EP and laid down an absolutely KILLER drum groove. Love this guy, please follow and support him in his musical/life endeavors.
Back on the road with Allen Stone and gang. Oregon Country Fair was uhhhhhmazing, thankful for the opportunity to play with The Positive Agenda #browneyedlovercover by @officiallydarmea
Headed to Oregon Country Fair for their 50th Anniversary. Fifty years ago, In 1969, I imagine we believed in the power of love and positivity to change the course of a fucked up human history. I want to keep believing. Swatkins & The Positive Agenda play on the main stage Sunday at 2pm.
Woooo! Opening for the Eric Krasno Trio at The Mint in LA Sept 21! Tix on sale Friday
The Positive Agenda EP - Track By Track
05 - Feels Good To Feel Good
I’m a sucker for a shuffle. Mikey Elson showed me this groove he came up with, and I got all excited and pretty quickly wrote the lyrics and melody. Mikey is the greatest, a true role model and one of my closest friends. I’m gonna keep introducing him as my brother at shows until he tells me to stop.
We tracked live rhythm (Tyrone on drums, me on Wurlitzer, Mikey on bass) at B Side Studios in Portland with engineer Gus Berry, the same day that we did the foundational tracking for The Theme, and Couldn’t Hurt To Try, as well as a couple other yet-unreleased tracks 😚
Later, we asked number one André Zapata to recut the bass, and Mikey added Hammond B3. Trevor Larkin and Peter Knudsen share guitar duties on the track, that’s Trev doing the beautiful fingerpicked arpeggios in the intro/outro and that’s Pete ripping the solo in the third verse. Jans Ingber helped me refine the lyrics and I recorded my real non-talkbox vocals at Nettleingham Audio up in Vancouver WA with Gus Berry, who had me singing into a very fancy shiny gold microphone that I think was supposed to boost my confidence but actually ended up intimidating me a bit.
Singing can be such a weird, vulnerable thing, but I love to do it. My love Moorea Masa has helped me a ton to get more comfortable with my voice, and I think singing with Al Stone for the past 6 years probably helps too. That’s sweet Moorea harmonizing in the choruses. I’m particularly happy with that moment at 3:44 when the last vocal chorus after the key change dissolves into exuberant talkbox wankery, as if the human Swatty voice had said what it needed to, and the talkbox comes swooping in to bring it all home.
The song has a flirty kinda Prince-doing-rock thing that I like, and the lyrics are taken from impressionistic memories of youthful road trips and early van tours, back when I had even less of a clue as to what in the the hell I was actually doing.
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João Gilberto was really one of the greatest. My dad played me his and Jobim’s cassette tapes driving to and from soccer tournaments in my youth. I was obsessed with his cool, dry, perfect no-vibrato singing and how just his guitar accompaniment carried so much complex rhythmic and harmonic information. I read this story about him today and laughed until I cried. —— In João Gilberto's 20s, his father, upset by his son's bizarre singing style and refusal to take 'normal' work, had him committed to a mental hospital. In a psychological interview there, Gilberto stared out of the window and remarked "Look at the wind depilating (removing the hair from) the trees." The psychologist replied "but trees have no hair, João", to which Gilberto responded: "and there are people who have no poetry." He was released after a week.