German Error Message (EP) (2008)

GEM EP-cover

This was the first “official” German Error Message release, though I had been exporting MP3s and giving CDRs to friends with the name since I started experimenting with recording in 2004. The release was uploading the songs to Myspace and a free music website, CLLCT (rip). This was written and recorded in the fall and winter of 2008 in my bedroom in Louisiana and the room above the garage where my highschool bands had practiced. I released it on my 18th birthday. My recording setup at the time consisted of a dynamic microphone plugged directly into the red mic input on the back of a PC tower with one of those 3.5mm adapters, as well as two dictation style cassette recorders that I used for the interludes. I used a pirated version of Cool Edit Pro (sorry) to record and mix. The first track, “Welcoming," was recorded by a friend who had a hard disk recorder and access to a closed antique store which they were using as a studio space. Mixed in Audacity. The cover art was made in Paint or Picasa, zooming into a photo until the pixels were visible and adding filters until it felt like something else. I didn’t crop it into a square. It’s funny that I felt it necessary to call this an EP - it’s longer than most of my albums!

To Carry Alongside (2010)

GEM To%20Carry%20Alongside-cover

I started working on To Carry Alongside in the summer of 2009. I recorded the bulk of the album that summer in the old practice room above the garage, with other parts recorded at a my friend Matt's house in Baton Rouge and back in Tennessee. I purchased a used digital multitrack recorder (Tascam DP-01) earlier that year in hopes that it would make my recordings sound a little better. The recorder had 8 tracks of 16 bit recording, advertised proudly on the box as 'CD Quality'. I thnk the connection was USB 1, so transferring files to my PC was an incredibly slow process. The built in preamps hissed. I would start a song on the Tascam, fill up the 8 tracks, transfer those to the PC, and then overdub by plugging the mic directly into the PC sound card again. I used my cassette recorder for “mourningbird” and the pianos on ‘Song,’ sneaking into the college music deptartment's practice rooms to record. Found a screenshot of the dumb-phone camera cover art mid-edit on an old hard drive. Still rocking the rectangular cover. 

SPPLIT (2011)


Split release with my friend Matt’s project The Widowers. We each did two originals and a cover of the other’s song. We’ve been making music together for something like 20 years now. He played drums on the first two songs on this. The trumpet + bell kit freak out at the end of "My Lover is a Ghost” is fun.

After The Warmth (2011)

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After The Warmth was the first album I made that I felt really proud of. I have nostalgia-posted about it before. I stared recording the first song, "Reaching Out”, in late January of 2010. I had purchased a four-track cassette recorder off of the Nashville craigslist shortly after moving to Tennessee and was starting to use it more in my writing process.  

Reaching Out (4 Track Demo)

I was living in a very small house that had been converted into duplex and was worried about bothering my neighbor, so I tried to play and record quietly or wait until she was out. Later in the summer of 2010 I  moved into a shared house with roommates and was able to work more freely. My recording process had gotten very convoluted. I was going to school for recording (don’t do this) but techincal classes hadn’t started yet and I was still trying to figure things out on my own. I had purchased that $20 ART Tube Preamp that most people who were getting into recording around this time will be familiar with to try to improve the sound of the Tascam. Other than that preamp, when I started the album I using the same equipment as To Carry Alongside. Midway through the recording process my friend Matt sold me his old Macbook and I experienced a modern DAW for the first time with Logic. Finishing the album was incredibly convoluted. I was exporting half-finished songs from the PC that had started on the Tascam, importing that stereo file into Logic, and then using the preamps of the four-track cassette recorder to overdub through the mic input on the MacBook and finally dumping those tracks back into the PC. Are you confused? It was very confusing but it made sense to me at the time. I finally broke down and bought an audio interface. 

 Cover art was a photo taken with a Pentax K1000 w/ hotshoe flash on a snowy evening walk to Cody and Joe's house down the street to work on mastering. There was this little pond set off from the road in the trees that I liked to stop at. They put a 'no trespassing' sign up on a tree a week or two after I took the photo. I made CDRs to sell on bandcamp, painting the cases with coffee, stiching and gluing them together. According to bandcamp I sold 8 of them. Furious Hooves re-released this on cassette in February of 2022.

In Comforting (2011)


 In Comforting was the first stanalone single I released. My friend Cody was in the same recording program that I was in, but a few years ahead of me. He had some studio time at one of the fancy school studios. I think "In Comforting" was recorded on the API console there? I remember using the Neumann tube mic on my vocal. It was the first time I had any hands on experience with recording equipment of that quality. We also recorded some overdubs at his house. The b-side, “Feverhead,"was done by me at home, with the drums in the garage.

The Lifting (2013)


I started working on The Lifting in the fall of 2011 and spent almost exactly a year on it. It was the first release of mine to be recorded fully in Pro Tools. It’s what we were using in school, “industry standard”, etc. I had moved to a new place and cobbled together a drumset as the one I had been borrowing had to be returned. I got lost in the process in a bad way, recording layer after layer. My interface was one of those four channel M-Audio Fast Tracks. It sounded like it was clipping constantly even when it wasn’t, and the ridiculous amount of layering I was doing didn’t help. This was my first album to be physically released by someone other than me, Tent Revivalist Tapes, who made 25 copies with hand collaged coves using old National Geographics (photo above from their post for the release). 

Haunts (2014)

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I began recording Haunts in the fall of 2012, a month before I graduated. I finally had an understand of the ‘correct’ way to record things, which mics sounded good on which instruments, how to mic a drum kit, etc. I had been acumulating used gear from craigslist and eBay the entire time I had been in school and had a small collection of budget microphones and processors. I had gotten into building things, constructing a basic plate reverb with parts from the hardware store, making absorptive panels out of insulation. Shortly after I started working on the album I found a broken Altec preamp on craigslist and hired a local tech to fix and modify it for direct outputs. My intention with this album was that I would treat Pro Tools like a tape recorder and try to capture everything in the room.

I spent the summer after graduation working at a local music store as a door to door salesman for churches and organizations. I didn’t make a single sale. The world in which a person showed up at your business unnacounced and you bought some sound equipment from them didn’t exist anymore and hadn’t for a long time.

Every free moment was spent writing, recording, and working on the album. I experimented with putting the drums in different positions and the mics in different positions. I had a little mobile stereo interface and I’d climb into the attic with my laptop and record acoustic guitars and vocals, trying to capture the physical space. Got enamored with room mics, room sound, set up a mic for it on almost every take I did.

I got a job with a tech startup type company in Nashville doing customer support, meaning I was on the phone all day and people would call and scream at me when they dropped an iPhone and broke the screen in a phone case the company had produced. I moved into my girlfriend (now wife’s) apartment as I looked for a place to live in Nashville and her parents let me move my stuff into their garage for storage. The first house I signed a lease for turned out to be infested with roaches. I threatened to take the slumlord to the Health Dept and he let me out of the lease and I kept looking.

I found a house to rent in South Nashville. I didn’t unpack. I setup a makeshift mixing space, put panels up on the walls, but everything else stayed in boxes. I would record in my bedroom, tapping bass drums and snares lightly with my hands. The neighbor had a subwoofer that boomed all night and two dogs that barked constantly. There wasn’t much tracking left to do, just overdubs on a few songs and vocals on a few songs, but I took my time with it.

I wrote and recorded half of the last song, “Everything Is Scary” while living here. There is a little snippet of the neighbors dogs buried in there. Dogs bark, bass boom, etc.

My wife finished college and found a job. We moved to a new place in the summer of 2014 and I again set up a recording and mixing space. This house had a small room off to the side with a high ceiling that was probably converted from a garage in the 50s based on the knotty pine panelling and the lack of insulation. I finally finished recording Haunts in the summer of 2014, recording the vocals and fuzz guitar for "Everything is Scary" in that new room.

Furious Hooves released this one on cassette in December of 2014 (1st pressing cassette photo above from Furhoof) and there have been 2 additional pressings, as well as a limited vinyl run in 2021.

German Error Message/Lung Cycles (2014)

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Split release with my friend Ben’s project Lung Cycles, his first release under that name. I have been a huge fan of Ben’s music since I found it online sometime in 2009. This was the tenth release on his excellent label Lily Tapes & Discs. The first songs to be recorded fully in my current space in the summer - fall of 2014. I love this release and these songs. Cassete release of 50 tapes.

2017 (2016)


I didn’t make much music in 2015. One song that I can find that was never finished and a cover of the song “The Gardiner" by my friends in Tearjerker. I was dealing with some uncertainty, changing jobs, and was just generally not in an art making place. I started dabbling again at the start of 2016 without much focus, just working on little things here and there, not finishing anything. As the year went on I started writing again, and wrote and recorded most of an album. It felt like I was starting from scratch in many ways, relearning everything.

I recorded 2017 entirely in December of 2016. It came out easily and I wanted to put out right away in a burst of energy and confidence. There’s a music video for it where I did the singing at the camera thing - the editing software glitched out as it was generating previews and I kept it in as an effect.

Mend (2019)


In the spring of 2017 I got laid off from my job and decided to try making a career in music (don’t do this). I was still trying to finish the album I’d stared the previous year and it was not going well. The songs, which I had recorded in kind of a frenzy, were messy and recorded poorly. They were built of parts that couldn’t hold the weight of my expectation of them. I did later finish and release two of them, "What Welcoming” and "Hand Comes Down". I tried for months to save them and then finally gave up and started writing new ones. I was putting a lot of intense pressure on myself. I learned a lot about how not to go about making an album or any piece of art in the process of making this. I also recorded what would become Not Songs by Other Nothing during this time.

I started working on this album in the summer of 2017 and finished the masters in the fall of 2018. It came out in the spring of 2019 and my friends in Tearjerker helped me release it onto cassette on their Almost Communist imprint later that year. Cover photo of accidental multiple exposures. Three singles released with individual Polaroid SX-70 covers.

Fine (2019)


This song and this release came from of the feeling of wanting to do something different and more collaborative. Matt played drums and helped me with arrangement, Noah sang, half recorded with George and half at home in the summer of 2019. Cover art is a scan of a discarded paint palette of my wife’s that I saved from the trash.

What Welcoming/Hand Comes Down (2019)


Double single of two songs from the album I started but didn’t finish in 2016, returned to and released in the fall of 2019. Cover photo of is an accidental double exposure split between two frames.

German Error Message (LP) (2024)


Written and recorded 2020-2023.