Category Archives: Music

JennyK music news

Icarus Machine is now Live – Album and Novel released

Icarus Machine

Today Icarus Machine released their debut album and the companion novel with the same name.

This Sundered World

Read: The start of it all – by Bill Babcock.

The album can be found on:

iTunes,
Amazon, and Google Play.
More sites coming…

The novel is available on Amazon

This Sundered World – Kindle Edition $2.99

Icarus Machine can be found here:

The Facebook band page,
IcarusMachine.com,
Youtube,
Soundcloud
and on
Reverbnation

Find our merch here:
Icarus Machine – The Goods. T-Shirts, mugs, and more.

And it all started here:

On Kompoz.com in 2015, where the members of Icarus Machine got together, found common ground, got some crazy ideas, and started working. And here we are. More to come.

Bill Babcock, Jordi Ribas, JennyK. We are Icarus Machine!

Icarus Machine Band Image
Icarus Machine Band Image – Bill Babcock, Jordi Ribas and Jenny K Brennan

Icarus Machine and Sundered Records 2016

The validity of virtual – A band member perspective

This virtual band – Is it real?”

What does it mean to be an exclusively online band?

There are probably as many answers to that as there are online bands currently online. πŸ˜€ But as always, I have my own take on it and and it is slightly troubled.

It is a normal thing these days – collaborations between individuals that do not, and may never, meet in real life. It’s getting easier and easier to pull it off. There are problems with it but in my case, the advantages are overwhelming. Without places like Kompoz.com I would not be on the path that I am. A member of a great band with a serious album release coming up.

But is it as valuable and “real” as a “normal” arrangement where things happen within a studio space, a garage, a basement, or at a gig in the local bar?

Well. Of course it is.

I say that with confidence because I know it is true. But do I say it with true feeling and belief?

I don’t know. And that bothers me.

Or maybe it bothers me more that I would love to jam in the studio with those I create music with and that is something that ain’t gonna happen anytime soon. πŸ™‚

But back to the point; The validity of online bands.

When this phenomena started to appear, they were commonly called “Virtual” bands. And that has done quite a bit of harm in my perspective. The word “Virtual” means “Not real”. And if you don’t think words have power, then think again. Using those words in a sentence becomes a big hole that is hard to climb out of. Let’s just take this short conversation and see what is really going on:

What is said:
“Hey pal, I just joined a virtual band, I’m the guitar player. is that cool or what?”
What Pal is hearing:
“Hey Pal, I just joined a pretend band, where I pretend to be a rock star on the internet, where nothing is real, Is that cool or what?”

What Pal says:
“Yeah? Sounds like fun.”
What Pal is thinking:
“Yeah? You chatting on skype about guitar hero, hoping to get a record deal? Good luck with that!”

Yeah, I know. That sounds really bad. An maybe it’s not quite like that anymore. But moving away from the word “Virtual” hasn’t quite repaired the damage done. At least not for me.

But isn’t the issue more about my personal experience of always believing that music is a “hobby”? -hobby, another word that I wish I could delete from my vocabulary. Another powerful word that in my mind means; “Something that doesn’t matter.”

Yes. I think so. I believe my view is skewed toward the negative. So back to why I am so troubled and what I can do about it.

The trouble is a lack of confidence. This has no quick fix. But it is growing, and here’s how:

By doing what I love and worrying less about what other people think. slowly learning that what I do is okay. And that it has value. Slowly, but surely, I’m learning to say “This is my band, we are the bomb! Come check this!” With true feeling and belief. πŸ˜€

By not using that word at all. Instead of saying “Online band”, just say “band” Who would know the difference? Is there really a need to point out that we don’t tour, we don’t gig, and we’ve never met? Really? Because if I really probe at how I feel when I say I’m in an online band” vs “I’m in a band.” Now, I choose the latter.

By abolishing the word “hobby” in the studio. In all seriousness; Working ten hours a day without pay is work. And just because it is work I created myself because I love it, does that make it a hobby? Hell no. But isn’t that the crux of the matter? The definition of work Is “I do this, you give me money.” The work we do is different and the rewards are different. But that doesn’t make them less.

By moving forward.
The truth is that any band, online or not, actually doesn’t have a product to show until the work is done. Rare are the magical appearances of record company representatives offering a generous advance, promising fame and fortune. No. We do the work first, then we let it out, let it live, and hope for the best. And it’s still not free, still no paycheck. And that has to be fine.

And the simple truth is that it is! It has to be fine because the bottom line is: I do what i am, and I am what I do. And at the end of this page, after calling it out in the open, the word “virtual” has somehow lost part of its power. I still can’t say the word “hobby” without cringing, but I am like all the creations I’ve imagined and sometimes brought to life. A constant work in progress.

JennyK. From the Dungeon of curiosities and psychiatry – third padded cell on the left.

The Flanger Perception

The flanger perception.

So there is this song. And there are these wave files that I created by yelling miserably into the microphone, because that is what the song warranted. So I was a bit intimate with the mic. It happens right? And the take turned out just how I wanted it. I didn’t really check the result in the file.

So that’s all fine and dandy. Files are sent to Bill. He puts them in place, sounds great.

Except for this little click I hear. It annoys me. Now, fast forward a few weeks when we go back and forth working on the mixes for this album – This Sundered World. Many things are redone and fixed, and straightened out. But that click is still there.

Bil: “Where? I can’t hear it.”

Fast forward some more. I’m ready to bite my fingers off.
Bill is ready to send me to the lunatic asylum. I’m hearing things all over the place.
Finally we get some other problems taken care of, everything is fine.

Except for that click. That damn click.

Bill: “Where? I still can’t hear anything.”

Silence

Bill: “Well, there is that tiny little click there. I thought it was part of the flanger.”

Silence.

Bill: “Oh. What are the F-ing odds of that? It’s in the flanger. Shut that off and it’s gone.”

Me: “Ah.”

Bill: “the main shape of the flanger setting is rectangular
with no smoothness, it’s got a vertical transition across the waveform axis. All I did was change the shape of the flange and it’s fixed.”

At that point I glazed over and started thinking about other things. Not that I don’t understand it, but there is a reason I sing. I can be a tiresome pain in the ass and in the end Bill will fix the bad I create, and I don’t need to understand waveform politics.

Me: “So it wasn’t all my fault then?”

Bill: “Well, if you had been singing it differently…”

Me: “Blow me.”

So, In the end I’m not going to the asylum, although I’m certain that Bill will find more reasons to send the dreaded men in white to Ontario. But I can deal with that.
more importantly; I will check my files more often. And Bill will never again trust a flanger.

JennyK – From the dungeons of phase shifting and zero-crossings.

As the Crow Flies – Icarus Machine Video

As the Crow Flies

(Written by Bill Babcock, Jenny K Brennan, Jordi Ribas)
Find Icarus Machine on
SoundCloud,

Reverbnation, and
Facebook

Where do the living go when the guardians take them by the hand? Where do the crow fly?
Were do all the dead ones go? It may well be that the sky can become me. As I become sky.”

Bill Babcock: Guitars, Keyboards, Drum Hackery
Jordi Ribas: Bass
Jenny K Brennan: Vocals, Lyrics, Piano

About the song

“This was a song that sort of just…happened. Jenny had this acoustic part she really liked and so she sent a file of the acoustic by itself to Bill and asked what he thought. Bill started playing around with it and the next thing the song was born. Jenny and Bill had been talking a lot about the row of Bird in the story and also in general about the mythology surrounding crows and how that fit into things and the title struck Bill as he started playing with the part Jenny had written and it drove the rest of the song from there.”

Lyrics

Whatever you do you will fall
Whatever you feel I’m not that far away
(I’m not that far away)
(as the crow flies)
(I’m not that far away)
(as the crow flies)
(I’m not that far away)
(as the crow flies)

As the crow flies is the long way around
(I’ll meet you on the other side where all the dead crows go)

Come make me into sky
Show me all of your scars
Show me where the crow flies
Tell me where the dead ones go

Come make me into sky
Drown me in stars
Show me where the crow flies
Take me where the dead go

When everyone’s a shadow in this land
And every face is carved and stained by pain
(we’re not that far from dead)
(as the crow flies)
(we’re not that far from dead)
(as the crow flies)
(we’re not that far from dead)
(as the crow flies)

As the crow flies is the hard way to die
(Always alone)
(let the crops burn make your body learn)
(as the crow flies)
(we’re not that far from dead

Come make me into sky
Show me all of your scars
Show me where the crow flies
Tell me where the dead ones go

Come make me into sky
Drown me in stars
Show me where the crow flies
Take me where the dead go

Come make me into sky
Drown me in stars
Show me where the crow flies
Take me where the dead go

Where do spirits go when there’s no heaven there’s no place to rest your soul
Where do living go when there’s no wanting there’s no need and there’s no goal
Watch out that steel contains your mind and every thought will burrow down ’til they take you

Come the Guardian
Take you by the hand
Come the Guardian
Take you by the hand
Come the Guardian
Take you by the hand
Come the Guardian
Take you by the hand

Where ever you go your gonna fall your gonna fall
Whomever you love All those that you love will go
(to that place)
(where all the dead ones go)
(go tend your scars go)
(as the crow flies)

Come make me into sky
Show me all of your scars
Show me where the crow flies
Tell me where the dead ones go

Come make me into sky
Drown me in stars
Show me where the crow flies
Take me – Take me home

Copyright 2016 Icarus Machine

Salt From Tears – Video by Icarus Machine

Salt From Tears

Icarus Machine’s first music video.
Video production Bill Babcock.
From the album This Sundered World.
Find this track at
Icarus Machine on Soundcloud.

About Salt From Tears

(Written by Bill Babcock, Jenny K Brennan, Jordi Ribas)

Don’t forget, don’t forget! The heart, the heart. Ticking clicking whirring. Oh poor me, have to see. See this. Don’t forget, don’t forget.

Bill Babcock: Guitars, Keyboards, Drum Hackery
Jordi Ribas: Bass
Jenny K Brennan: Vocals, Lyrics

“The opening acoustic part is actually part of something Bill wrote years ago and would perform with 2 friends on acoustics for open mic nights in clubs like The Channel in Boston. While trying out different tones from the piezo pickup on his Parker Fly Mojo, he started playing the guitar part and then next thing he knew, he’d decided to record it. The names of songs are always something Bill thinks about early in the writing process since for him, they set the tone. Jenny had just shared an initial draft of the opening pages of the novel with him and ‘Salt From Tears’ struck him after reading.”

Lyrics:

Still her heart.

Goodbye Mother, you taught him everything he needs to know and he’s hiding his fears.
It’s a lonely road but there won’t be salt from tears.

Gabriel, don’t forget, don’t look back
Gabriel, step by step, step by step.
Gabriel, don’t hold on, she is far away.
Let her have her dream, let her sleep.

(Still her heart)

Goodbye Mother, you taught him everything he needs to know about being alone.
He’ll walk a lonely road but there won’t be salt from tears.

Close your eyes, there’s nothing left here for you.

Oh Gabriel Go, turn away, let her stay.

(Turn away).

Close your eyes but open wide.
Are you watching the sky, it’s gonna fall, it’s gonna cry.
It’s coming your way, letting you stray no more.

(Still your heart)

Goodbye mother, you taught him everything he needs to know about being alone.
It’s a lonely road but it won’t be salt from tears.
Goodbye Mother, you taught him everything he knows from pain to fear.
It’s a lonely road but it won’t be salt from tears.

Goodbye Mother, He’ll get right up when he falls.
Goodbye Mother, he won’t cry for you anymore.
Goodbye Mother, He’ll move on if he has to crawl.
Goodbye Mother, he won’t ever cry for you.

(Still your heart)

Goodbye Mother, you taught him everything he needs to know and from here.
It’s a lonely road but there won’t be salt from tears.

Come on bird, let’s follow the road to see where it goes.
(There won’t be salt from tears.)
Come on bird, let’s tell each other stories and I’ll feed you corn.
(There won’t be salt from tears.)
Come on bird, Let’s follow the road to see where it goes.
(There won’t be salt from tears.)
Come on bird, let’s follow the road to see where it goes.

Goodbye Mother, you taught him all he needs to know and from here.
(Still your heart)
Goodbye Mother, you taught him all he knows from pain to fear.
It’s a broken road but there won’t be salt from tears.

Come on Bird, let’s follow the road where it goes.
Come on Bird, to the end of the world.
Come on Bird, let’s follow the road where it goes.
Come on Bird, to the end of the world.