Rehearsals have been incredible. Thank you to Nils Erickson, Kevin Seal, Harlow Carpenter and Caitlin Tabancay Austin for joining us. See you all tomorrow at the Swedish American Hall!
Kelly, Kevin, and I want to thank everyone who contributed to 20 Minute Loop’s successful funding campaign. We are now able to afford mastering, duplication, and other costs for the upcoming album, and, of course, everyone who contributed will have their respective tier rewards by late Autumn. It will take this long because we were only able to proceed with production upon receipt of the funds from our Indiegogo campaign, after which the turnaround for many of the production stages requires some time.
This project is, in part, a retrospective across fifteen years and four albums. Most of the songs have been released already on other albums in other recorded forms, but this was an opportunity to rework the material in a significantly different way. Originally, I thought we were just going to record the songs the way we performed them one night in Port Costa—just Kelly, Kevin, and me, no drums, bass, etc.—in order to get live performances on tape. Jim Greer encouraged this, generously offering us studio and engineer time where he works in Berkeley. But, as these things tend to do, the project began to grow with the inclusion of other vocals, a trumpet, accordion, glass harp, etc. The basic tracks are indeed live, but the additional elements, performed by our incredibly gifted circle of musician friends, produced something more than just an “unplugged” recording.
As creative types tend to do, I vacillate wildly in my feelings toward the 20 Minute Loop material. This is probably just a mechanism that encourages us to move forward and try different things, which I am ready to do. But I am thankful for all of the supporters who crowd-funded this last chin-scratching glance at a big chunk of our lives. It helps render the question “What the fuck was that all about?” from a despairing lament to a more genial, nonplussed reflection. When the album is ready for release in November, we will play a show to mark the occasion (more details on that later), and then, at last, I can pursue my dream of mobile home park management. I already have a roll of AstroTurffor the putting green in front of the office.
Peace, love, and respect,
A message from 20 Minute Loop founder Greg Giles:
Greetings! I am living just south of Portland these days, loving the rain, the standing water in the crawlspace, the smell of the tomb that emerges thence, the Crayola FOREST GREEN outside, the cool air, the fact that weird-ass militant ranchers recently occupied a wildlife preserve called MALHEUR (sans blague!).
I miss music. I am currently without the music, because my recent move has put it on a tiny back burner reserved for melting butter in a little sauce pan. Also, I have a nasty wart on the tip of my middle left finger which has thrived in the callous of my fret hand, speaking discouraging words to me in a voice akin to that of Lionel Stander.
But I do miss the band. Like all bands, 20 Minute Loop could be a struggle, but more often it was a reason for self-respect and confidence and the satisfaction of doing the angels’ good work that is performance and writing. I am shamefully proud of the work my collaborators and I put into its fifteen-year history. Here are those collaborators in alphabetical order: Kelly Atkins, Adam Cunha, Nils Erickson, Dan Jones, Alex Kamages, Tai Kenning, James Kingsbury, Joe Ostrowski, Mike Romano, Kevin Seal, Ethan Turner. And in an engineering capacity: Jim Greer, Scott Greiner, Chris Manning, Desmond Shea.
Kelly Atkins—who can only be described as my partner in crime and the spirit behind this recent recording project, because of her persistence, enthusiasm, and musical righteousness—helped lure the inimitable keyboardist and vocalist Kevin Seal into this manifestation, and while there are only two songs that haven’t already been recorded or released, there is a live feel to the new album as well as a stripped-down approach that should offer a dramatically different take on the songs that have appeared over four albums reaching back to the year of Space: 1999 (when Martin Landau was toasting for us). I am pleased to know that I can sing and play guitar in a single, simultaneous take with other musicians and have it be recording-worthy. This is something I was never sure I could do, to be honest.
And what a host of other guest musicians performing with us! Nils Erickson on electric guitar, Melanie di Giovanni on accordion, Darren Johnston on trumpet, Laela Peterson-Stolen on viola, Rebecca Seaman on wineglass organ, Caitlin Tabancay Austin, Tim Silva & Tom Purtill (of Iron Henry) on backing vocals… We are gifted with musical friends.
We want to release this on limited vinyl, but we don’t have the financial wherewithal to do it. Sara Lautman, an ingenious Baltimore artist who has recently had artwork featured by the New Yorker, has provided cover art that should be lavished on something larger than a CD panel (let alone a thumbnail image on some… file). It is absolutely gorgeous, using as inspiration some of the eccentric lyrics from our various albums.
So, if you would like to see and own a vinyl version of this recording, we need to reach our goal of $3800. Like any self-respecting Indiegogo campaign, we offer different tiers of donation rewards, depending on what amount you feel willing/able to give. We hope these peculiar rewards offer some incentive as well as a signal of appreciation toward our beloved audiences who have always been the best compensation along a difficult road.
The reward levels are listed on this page.
I hope you are all doing well, enjoying life, finding peace and cheap thrills of your own. As this campaign proceeds, Kelly & I will post updates of progress, etc.