Please Follow Washing Away on Spotify

Listen to the first three EPs, keep up with new releases and playlists, and help the band unlock new tools for a better streaming experience

If you listen to music on Spotify, there’s a small thing you can do that will be a big help to me: FOLLOW me there! Once I get to 250 followers, Spotify will verify my account, which opens up some cool possibilities for my music, and I’ll also be able to keep you updated whenever I release new songs or playlists. If you have a second, please click follow on Spotify. It really will be a huge help. Thanks!

You can also follow Casual Gaze and Half Dug or read more about Washing Away. Click ‘Continue reading’ to check out out Washing Away ‘s Discography, a Spotify playlist of my songs spanning 2009 to today. Continue reading “Please Follow Washing Away on Spotify”

Washing Away’s “Even The Score” Music Video Out Now

The girlfriend’s spinning bottle takes aim at multiple guys’s hearts, letting them fall and shatter in this video twist on spin-the-bottle. 

“Even the Score” is the first track off Washing Away’s Part Three – EP (2016), with lyrics about a cheating girlfriend now looking to seduce an ex-boyfriend.  The video’s theme is a take on the youthful game of spin-the-bottle, with much different results. The props and scenes are limited to what I could do alone. Here’s how it worked.

I needed five bottles of soda, floss, pink sponges, a nickel, tape, and card stock. I cut five hearts out of the sponges and tied four of them up with floss. The floss was a sample from the dentist. The fifth heart got shoved in an emptied soda bottle. The empty one is the spinner, but it is tough to keep a bottle spinning in one place. A nickel taped to the bottom stabilized it for the camera (the other coins didn’t work as well). I taped up the other four strips of floss to my cabinets to hold up the full bottles in a lose knot with the heart around the top. I used soda instead of beer to keep a sense of innocence and youth. The bottles balanced on the edge of my kitchen counter on slips of card stock taped underneath so I could stealthily pull them off. I used a sheet as a backdrop and put couch cushions and blanket on the floor so the bottles wouldn’t break until I was ready to film them.

I hope you enjoy it. You can click on “CC” in the video to see the lyrics.

For further viewing, check out my YouTube Channel or other Washing Away posts. Feel free to  e-mail suggestions for other music videos you’d like to see. And if you like these posts, consider buying my music.

Washing Away’s Part Three EP Out Now

Driving tempos & rhythmic hooks ratchet up the tension in this third EP as the protagonist feels used up and his secret tryst is uncovered.

Washing Away's Part Three - EP Album Cover
Listen on CD Baby

The four-song album is available for download and streaming Friday, May 27th. Lewis got back together with Andrew at Shock and Audio to work on his most rocking songs yet for this third EP. While originally written between 2003-2005, Lewis refined them in 2015, substituted an acoustic guitar and keyboard for the electric guitars. When it came to getting in the studio with Andrew, they retained the electric guitars of the original demos, but kept some of the changes. Since Steve wasn’t around, Andrew programmed drums. Lewis played bass, lead guitar and sang all the vocals. Andrew added his take on the rhythm guitar, too. Like past EPs, the songs are linked together by short instrumental interludes, giving them continuity through the finale.

These song continue to tell of the bassist’s involvement with his guitarist’s girlfriend. The girlfriend’s flirtations raising suspicion that she’s trying to seduce her ex-boyfriend. The guitarist may be oblivious, but the bassist is not as naive. Why would she do that when she’s got a boyfriend and a side guy? The chorus of “Even the Score” explains it.

Keep on coming back for more / Ways to relieve this sore / Had her heart broken before / Do it back and even the score.

Later, others are suspicious of her cheating which leads to a confrontation. In “Getting the Story Straight,” her friends are talking and she’s got explaining to do. The girlfriend denies any wrongdoing. Is she as innocent as she claims?

He’ll hear what went down from the origin / She had good intentions followed through with a grin / Surely, its not all true, the story she’s revealed / A night with a former love with details concealed.

This is too much for the bassist in “In Between.” His internal conflict between the band and the girl drags him down, but he’s determined to keep rocking. It would be foolish to believe that she loves him.

He’s got to get away from causes of lament / And find some other way around this deterrent.

In the end, the guitarist finds out about his girlfriend’s and band mate’s infidelity. The  fate of the band hangs in the balance.

For further listening, check out my recordings or other Washing Away posts. And if you like these posts, consider buying my music.

Video Appreciation – Thao & The Get Down Stay Down’s "Astonished Man"

This groove- and beat-oriented song about tracking down the singer’s lost father is given a new perspective with a mock B movie horror video.

“Astonished Man” is the lead-off track from A Man Alive (2016), the fourth album from Thao & the Get Down Stay Down (2003 – ).  The song (and album) is about her relationship with her estranged father.  The vocal groove and sharp beat drive the song. Repeated words and phrases emphasize the rhythm with the cracking drums. The simple guitar riffs and buzzing synth bass further emphasize the rhythms. The guitar is mostly choppy, but does include some swirling effects in the background. The music builds and breaks down and builds again. Throughout the song, auxiliary instruments add more texture to the song. There’s a shaker, tambourine and a cowbell-like sound from the percussion. Violins add to the atmosphere and intensity along with layered vocals.

The video creates a different kind of atmosphere, a seeming of murderous pursuit.  It’s setting is the stage of a horror film, complete with eerie lighting, fog, skulls, stained glass, and dramatic camera movement to set the scene. The video highlights weapons like an ice hook, ax, chainsaw, butchers knife, switch blade, and tenderizer mallet suddenly casting shadows in the lightning or breaking through walls and doors. Thao sings to the camera alone, in parts with a prop knife in her head and covered in fake blood. She even appears headless on the floor, though the camera reveals her attached body underneath.

For further viewing, check out Thao & The Get Down Stay Down’s video for “Holy Roller” or more Video Appreciation posts. Feel free to  e-mail suggestions for other music videos you’d like to see covered. And if you like these posts, consider buying my music.

Click “Continue reading’ to see the lyrics.  Continue reading “Video Appreciation – Thao & The Get Down Stay Down’s "Astonished Man"”

Art Appreciation – Kii Arens for Big Grams’ Self-Titled EP

Arens’ uses gold-painted women to create seven idol-like trophies illustrating this Big Boi + Phantogram EP that exalts the Cardinal sins.

Big Grams' EPKii Arens‘ (1967 – ) artwork for Big Grams (2015) is a series of trophies features golden women depicting the seven deadly sins. Rather than condemning these transgressions, the premise of this seven-song EP is a celebration. You can check out the all the trophies and descriptions on Big Grams‘ page.

  • Sloth – a woman covered with a sheet and smoking from a bong
  • Pride – a woman crowned with a tiara and receiving her own trophy
  • Envy – a woman holding a knife as she looks over her shoulder at another woman happily sniffing a rose
  • Lust – two women embracing and also appears on the EP cover
  • Greed – a woman dropping cash while drinking wine
  • Gluttony – displays a woman with her arms around a large ketchup-covered, crinkle-cut French fry.
  • Wrath – a woman crouching with a gun pointed up at another woman ready to come down with a chainsaw

Arens has also designed Eagles of Death Metal album, Heart On.  He has created concert prints for musicians such as Radiohead, Queens of the Stone Age, and Tame Impala as well. Aren’s has even had stints as a DJ, MC, guitarist and vocalist, and video director.

Feel free to check out more Art Appreciation posts or e-mail me suggestions for artwork you’d like to see in a future post. And if you like these posts, consider buying my music.

Video Appreciation – Beach Houses’ "Wishes"

The band creates a dreamlike atmosphere for a stadium performance with lip-syncing, dancing, spraying, martial arts, fireworks, and horses.

“Wishes” is the third single from Beach House‘s (2004 – present) fourth album, Bloom (2012). Eric Wareheim, of Tim and Eric, directed and has a cameo in the video. It begins with a synthesizer’s bright chord’s swell, followed by electronic drums and a descending keyboard pattern. An older man emerging from a the stadium’s horse-embellished curtain. He sings to the crowd, but the vocals are a woman’s, low and drawn out. The crowd watches motionless.

Next, a guitar comes in to compliment the keyboard. Combatants with ball nets hanging from their waists are on the sideline. Martial artists spray water in their mouths. Then, three cheerleaders run through a horse-embellished banner on the field and do a routine as the coach sings on. The crowd begins cheering. Horse masks begin appearing in the crowd.

Synth bass, drums, and background vocals fills out the music. The martial artists take the field and do flips, spinning kicks, poi ball spinning.  The crowd cheers intensely.  They dance while spraying water (even mimicking urination), before tearing away each others pants and their own jacket as the cheerleaders gawk.

The music builds to a guitar solo. One cheerleader spins a guandao, security chases a painted streaker across the field, and the guys spins nunchucks and   a double-sided light saber. Another cheerleader dances with shimmering translucent wings.

After the solo, the music changes. It drops out from behind the singer for a moment, then kicks back in with a showering keyboard line and drums. Fireworks explode each time the music comes back in and the winged dancer keeps twirling, her wings enveloping her.

The music repeats the beginning of the song, but builds quickly. Two cheerleaders escort the singer to a horse, while the other and martial artist place flowers at his feet and another guy does flips into a step up to the horse. The singer finishes off the song and all are applauding, even using signs. The horse rears up as fireworks explode in the background to the end.

For further viewing, check out Beach House’s video for “Heart of Chambers” or more Video Appreciation posts. Feel free to  e-mail suggestions for other music videos you’d like to see covered. And if you like these posts, consider buying my music.

Video appreciation posts this year highlight and seek female musicians to inspire diversity in our music playing and listening pursuits.

Click ‘Continue reading’ to see the lyrics.

Continue reading “Video Appreciation – Beach Houses’ "Wishes"”

Song of the Month – Washing Away’s "So Inevitable"

A sad ending that focuses on the bands break up, with water metaphors suiting Washing Away well. That band may be done, but the music lives.

We’ve reached the last Washing Away song in Part Four and this EP series. “So Inevitable” comes from the point of view of the dumped, with water body references throughout – clearing, pounding, separating, and providing perspective. The lyrical metaphors still seem good, so I didn’t change them. The melody was a challenge and my voice wavers a bit.  I think it works given the subject. This was also the first time I adjusted the equalization at all. I was getting some distortion on my S’s in “seems so …”, so I turned it down at 10K.

The music has a melancholy hook and plods along, building to the end.  There is a bit of a climactic moment as the verses reach the chorus, but it’s just a bittersweet taste of the unfulfilled hope of making it as a band.  This is the second song to include bass chords – the first was in the introduction on “This Game.” I used some consonant ones in the bridge to show a little optimism that there will be other opportunities to make music.

Check out more Songs of the Month and posts about Washing Away. Please e-mail me suggestions for my songs, too. And if you value Write to Remember, consider buying my music.

Click ‘Continue reading’ to see the lyrics.

Continue reading “Song of the Month – Washing Away’s "So Inevitable"”