Hey folks – I’m happy to report that we’re back up and running on “Love Is The New Hip.” We had a fun little session yesterday with myself Mark Simonsen, and James Wallace. We were recording the song “You Can’t Hold Onto Shadows.”

James was on drums as per usual, I was playing electric bass, and Mark played the vibraphone and some electric guitar. He has a beautiful old Gibson archtop with a nifty old National amp.

The song is off to a rollicking start, and I believe we’ll be updating more soon. Stay tuned as well for our studio renovations – they’re starting up in mid-August.


Singing high

Sunday is a day of rest for some, for us over at Arbor Ridge we got busy recording again on “Love Is The New Hip.” I left you with an unfinished version of the song “Never Set In Stone,” on Sunday the Max Indian boys came over and sang on it with me. We’re almost through with it, with a few little flourishes it will be all done. It’s onward with other songs now, other singers and players as well. Pretty exciting stuff….

Be updating soon – pictures on the way as soon as I buy new batteries.

Yes, I’ve returned. I’m not even going to make alibis for why I’ve been not working on this record – some are justified, and some are not. What I will say is that I’m about to start significant work on this record again during the holiday season, and I’ve enlisted the help of something I swore off forever to update you all on my progress. I shall indeed be tweeting. So I’ll be blogging, tweeting, and facebooking… pshaw.

Regardless, if you follow that or here, there will be much more news soon.

Here’s the Twitter – http://twitter.com/loveisthenewhip
…and the facebook page – friend me! – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jeff-Crawford/48170694078

good to be back, talk to you all soon


New songs debuted

is debuted a word?

anyway, I haven’t had a chance to play a full band show in a long time, and was lucky enough to Saturday night for Joe Romeo’s CD release party.  Though I’ve played these songs solo acoustic, it was the band debut of Love Is The New Hip songs “You Can’t Hold On To Shadows,”  “Who Knows What the Wind May Bring,” and “Just Like One Another.”  Here are some pictures from the DTH’s Jordan Lawrence….

“Who Knows What The Wind May Bring”  is a relatively new song for the Eros section of the record.  It’s partially about being patient and yielding control in such issues, but also partially informed my Ecclesiastes, and its instructions to not chase after the wind….

“I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure.  My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor.  Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind”  – Ecclesiastes 2:10-11

“To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God.  This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind” – Ecclesiastes 10:26

the words to the song:

Whispering trees hang up above

Trying to tell what they believe

But she doesn’t speak

So I’m stuck with listening to the breeze

Using words like wait and see

Who knows what the wind may bring

Twiddling thumbs, but changes will come

So I’ll sit and savor afternoons

She’ll be here soon

I hope that she can hear it too

Using words like wait and see

Who knows what the wind may bring

Probably bring her to me

At least that’s what I hope

While You Wait…

…for my record – enjoy some of those who I’m making records with in the meantime.  All the work of late has been informing and shaping the sounds of this record in one form or the other.  It’s been fun to work with lots of different folks with different ideas over the past year in particular since I’ve picked up more studio work.  Hopefully all these projects will see the light of day soon….

micoverMax Indian – You Can Go Anywhere, Do Anything – This was a record a long time in the making, and though I wasn’t hands on with it, I feel like it really ran the course with Something For Everyone, where (hopefully) both records informed the creation of the other.  It recently got released on December 13th to a fun CD release show at Local 506.  I’ve known James and Carter for years now, and we all work together making records – so it’s fun to see the fruits of their labor finally see the light of day.  Tasteful guitar work, great textures and drum sounds, and… of course…. killer tunes.  Most of this album was done to a 4 track machine, and the way they use it responsibly without being kitschy I’ve always admired.

If you don’t have this record yet, you should hear it and order it at myspace.com/maxindian.

luego2Luego – Taped Together Stories – This record is almost done, and should be ready for everyone to listen to around March.  I’ve been working with Patrick (pictured) since around October, and it’s been a nice recording process.   I was lucky enough to have Nick Jaeger and Peter Holsapple at my disposal for guitar work, which made my job easy.

I think this record is going to sound big, something I’ve been wanting to do for a while.  I feel like most of my recordings sound intimate but small…. and while that works for some music, Patrick’s songs call for big production.  I’m lucky enough to have Chris Stamey mix this one, and two songs in I know he was the right man for the job.

This record personally reminds me a lot of the SpencerAcuff sound, so I tried to dial in as much David Henry (producer of Chasing Windmills) influence as I could.  I used a lot of similar mics and mic placements in hopes that it would end up sounding as robust (if you will pardon the expression).  The end result so far is a combination of said robustness with organic intimate undertones…. hopefully.  Powerful drums (Rob Dimaurio) and screeching shredding from the two guitarists.


tad Tad Dreis – Telephone – Expect this record soon….  Tad and I did this record for most of the summer.  I remember playing my first solo show opening for Tad and asking him then if I could record him – I always thought I got what he was going for, and hope I did…   The rhythm tracks were all recorded live – and arrangement is sparser than most songs I do to make way for lyrics and melody.  Just as Chris Stamey was a good fit for Luego, Tim Carless was the right answer for this project for mixing.  This record was a big lesson in recording vocals, and hopefully they come through on this recording….. intimate and conversational…. definitely informed by the fact that I didn’t always have a drummer at my disposal at all times on Something For Everyone, used a lot of the same mics for everything else that I used on that recording, and tried to go for similar folky tones.


bytBright Young Things EP – This is the most recent work, and the first that James and I have taken on from beginning to end together.  It’s a digital/analog hybrid, that hopefully will sound like a hi fi version of lo fi.  Also, this is the first real band we’ve worked with –  most folk are solo artists, or one or two guys make all the decisions.  Bright Young Things is much more democratic, which makes recording more fun and ideas more plentiful.  It reminds me a lot of when James, Carter, and I were in the New Darlings together recording our EP over at Studio M with Mark Simonsen and Thom Canova.  Production’s still in the works, but we’re trying a little bit more room on the mics than I have done recently, punchy bass, and big drums.


enjoy these folk, and hopefully you’ll hear more from me soon


“Never Set In Stone” is one of the agape songs on this record, and the first that we’ve really broken ground on recording wise.  I finished it before the last record was done, but thought I’d save it for this record, because it was more spiritual in nature (at least in my writing of it – it doesn’t really sound spiritual).

Of course, I leave interpretation up to the listener – I’m not going to beat anyone over the head with any particular message.  I wrote the song as a simple song of repentance – in the sense that to repent is to turn… another thing I was thinking about is the word believe means to yield to something.  I thought that was interesting because you usually think of believing as an active verb but it’s passive.

So the song to me in writing it was about trusting the transformative powers of God and my resistance to that at times.

Some scriptures I was thinking of whilst composing this song (the writing didn’t take long at all) were Titus 3:1-8 – Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show every courtesy to everyone.  For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various possesions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, despicable, hating one another.  But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our savior appeared, he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.  This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.   This saying is sure.

Another was 2 Corinthians 3:7-15 –Now if the ministry of death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory…will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious?  If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! …. whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.  Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord.

Now, I’m not saying the lyrics live up to those two passages.  As I said, it’s a relatively simple song – and I usually have to tell people what it’s about for them to hear it.  Here are the lyrics:

Got my mind on nothing

That’s just something I do when I try to stay loose

Play the part of the distant man, who bristles at touch

Thin veneer protection to be cold and aloof ’till I came across you

You saw new where the old had left its mark

All my friends said you missed your chance

Couldn’t shake all the others that I had

You proved to me it’s never set in stone

Now my best foot forward

I hope for love to stay green, look for hope in the blue

Yield let through come around from what I knew

As far as the recording is concerned – the drums were done by Dale Baker with myself on bass at Tim Carless’ Mockin Bird Studios.    Guitars are by Nick Jaeger and Carter Gaj, and James Wallace is on piano.  As of right now everything is unmixed and completely flat…. but you’ll get the general idea

Never Set In Stone Original Demo

Never Set In Stone Current Recording (In Progress)

ahh yes.

img_0642…turns out there was a picture of budweiser.