Volume 11

Hi friends,

Hope you’re well.

Our last update here was long ago — last summer, I reckon.

That means we haven’t written you a love letter in 6…7 months.

And not because of writer’s block, nor complicated lives, nor illness, nor post-album indulgence/excess, nor resultant rehab, nor even from debilitating presidential campaign sadness, presidential election sadness,  nor presidential every-day-since sadness.

Nope,  just because of good ol’ procrastination, spotty motivation, and ultimately, waiting until we had something we wanted to say.

So here we are, and here’s the scoop:

In a couple of months we’re releasing our third album, VICTORY LAP.

We’re proud of this one — we like its personality. And it’s a fitting bookend to this trilogy of records.

We’ll share some songs soon, but for now, here’s the cover art and tracklist:

Tracklist:

  1. Victory Lap, Part 1
  2. No Canyon
  3. Sun/You
  4. Counting Sheep
  5. I Love You Anyway
  6. Untitled
  7. One of Us
  8. Lots of 7s
  9. Madrigals
  10. Victory Lap, Part 2

Also, on April 22, we’re playing a show with Kimono Dragons and Front Business. It’s rock and surf and psych converging on one night, in one location:

Some other updates:

  • Tommy Krebs has joined us to work on new songs, some that’ll be on VICTORY LAP, some that’ll go into the vault for later.
  • Ian and Mitch and some other band peers recently re-painted the entire studio a color somewhere between pepto and peach. It’s a lot brighter, open feeling, and slightly nauseating.

Talk to you soon.

Volume 10

Hi friends,

Newsletters grow up so fast these days.

Today our baby hits double-digits (Volume 10!), so in celebration we’re going to rain some treats on you.

At the end of the month we’re releasing a new album, called MANY BATTLES, and we’re psyched to share the track listing with you here:

SONGS:

MANY BATTLES

CAROLINE, MARION, AND COURT

A-SHARP

I FORGIVE YOU

ANTI-VERSES

DESPERATE WORDS

CAMOUFLAGE

BRIDGES AND BOATS

NO APPLAUSE

 

Second, what could make the Magnetic Fields’ supremely catchy “I Think I Need A New Heart” even hookier? How about a house beat! Hope you enjoy our dance cover of this Stephin Merritt gem:

 

Volume 09

Hi friends,

We have a couple nuggets to share this month:

First, we recorded a cover of Lindsey Buckingham’s “Holiday Road”, from 1983. We did most of this around this past Memorial Day, so maybe we were feeling a holiday vibe, or perhaps just anticipating some warmer weather, but in all likelihood we were expressing our deep-seated feelings of permanent loss for the bygone endless sprawling summers that we’ve traded for the sad, slow drip of vacation time accrual. Use it or lose it!

Enjoy:

Nugget #2: We’ve been recording like crazy for the past 24 months – like our hard drives will turn to dust if we don’t fill them with hours of songs – and so we’re releasing an album in late July, called “MANY BATTLES.”

We’ll share more details soon, but we’re excited about this one and eager to release it. Stay tuned.

Volume 08

Hi friends,

This month we’re indulging ourselves  in sharing a bit of band history with you – the time we first played together and recorded our first song. Here goes.

It was a dark and stormy night…

Well, not really, but it was likely a miserable day in late winter, 2012. Ian had invited me (Matt) to collaborate with he and Mitch on a song-of-the month project that they were assembling for 2013. Our paths had crossed on multiple occasions from playing in other bands, and so they asked me to contribute a song for their upcoming compilation that we’d record as a group.

The song here, Tirelessly Training, is the result of that session. We thought it sounded pretty good, so we decided to keep writing, playing, and recording together, and then eventually released Cheap Stuff in summer, 2014.

More songs to come – thanks for listening.

Volume 07

Hi friends,

We’ve got a new-old-song (NOS) for ya this month. This one was written back around 2000 and then shelved and forgotten. Matt dusted it off while digging through some old songs, and then re-recorded a version to test the potential of this little sketch. Maybe it’ll turn into something cool. Maybe it belongs back on the shelf. Maybe McDonald’s will buy it from us to promote the perennial  re-launch of the McRib (#mcrib, #greatmutations, #iforgiveyou).

We’ll bat it around in rehearsal this week, and if it passes muster then maybe we’ll have a new version to share in the near future.

Volume 06

Hey Bill,

Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill.

Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill Hey Bill.

Volume 05

Hi friends,

I don’t remember exactly how it went down, but I think one day during practice the band was having a conversation about likeable dadrock bands, which then led to a reference to Dire Straits, which then led to Mark Knopfler impersonations, which then led to us earnestly trying to cover their song So Far Away, from Brothers in Arms. Since then we’ve played the song out at shows a couple of times, and recently decided to record our version to share in this very newsletter – hope you enjoy.

Volume 04

Hey friends,

Hope 2016 is off to a good start for you and that all of your resolutions get fully realized. (I still have time to read all of Gravity’s Rainbow this month, right?)

We’re having a productive January so far, focused mostly on completing overdubs for new songs, but for this month’s newsletter we’re looking back to the fall of 2014 when we recorded a couple of alternate versions of songs from our Cheap Stuff album in preparation for a live radio show. Note: Mitch had recently taught himself upright bass, and put his new chops to use on these:

Vessel (acoustic)

Cheap Stuff (acoustic)

FROM THE MAILBAG:

Glen from Lodi emails us, “Hey Great Mutations, I love all your stuff. Really, just the best. But do you guys ever do any covers?”

Thanks for the note, Glen. Love you, too. On special occasions we’ll play covers, but mostly we stick to our own stuff. Maybe for next month’s newsletter we’ll branch out, so stay tuned.

See you in a few short weeks.

Volume 03

Hi friends,

This month we’ve got another new song to share with you, called “One of Us”.

The song’s vibe suggests that the singer might break off into a smooth and sexy apology at around the third verse, so for a long time we just called the song, Giiirl.

Matt didn’t deliver on the speech part, but Mitch recorded a hot guitar lick in its place.

FROM THE MAILBAG:

A couple of weeks ago, Great Mutations fanboy Thomas asked us about a part in a song we shared in our Vol. 1 newsletter: “What’s that instrument at 1:30 in the song A-Sharp?”

Answer: It’s a Mellotron. Here’s a clip from A-Sharp with the Mellotron really cranked up.

Long Answer: It’s actually a copy of a Mellotron that you can play on your computer. The real Mellotron is a kind of keyboard sampler that was developed in the 60’s. It played tape recordings of real instruments, like a violin or a flute. There was a loop of tape for each key on the keyboard that would play the sampled sound when you pressed the key. Probably the most famous and recognizable use of Mellotron was by The Beatles on the intro to Strawberry Fields Forever (it’s the flute sound).

Have an awesome December, and we’ll be back again in a few weeks!

Volume 02

Hi again, friends.

Last month we sent out the first edition of our band newsletter and then got swift retribution from the internet because of how many people did not want our newsletter. So to those receiving this now, welcome back, and a sincere thank you for sticking with us.

This November issue includes a song that we’ve been playing at shows for about a year; we recorded the core parts back in March and just recently added some finishing touches. It’s called Caroline, Marion, and Court – not a law firm, but a connection of streets where Matt lived when he was younger. A good time of year for nostalgia, right?

FROM THE MAILBAG: A new feature where we respond to questions from fans.

Stacie from Cincinnati writes: “Is Great Mutations the first band you’ve each been in?”

Thanks for your question, Stacie. No, we’ve each been in several bands, some better known than others:

Bananasaurus Hex, The Amazing Punch Bowl, Boys Read Maps, Ben Folds Napkins, Garden Jargon, Yo-Yo Lingo, Better Than Better Than Ezra, a la fart, Price Chopper Blues Band, Shrinky-Dinks, The Hats UK, The Hats US, Format This, Bear Grass, Used Lemon.

Finally, our bassist Mitch recently got engaged. We couldn’t be happier for him and his fiancee, Betsy. On a related note, if anyone knows a good bassist who is free to rehearse on Wednesdays, please contact us at the address below.