Friday, January 17, 2014

A Brief History of The Legendary Goodtimes

The Legendary Goodtimes, from left: Matt Jameson, David Moore, Mark Anderson.

Do people read music blogs for obscure history lessons on bands?  I dunno, maybe.

Anyway, waaaaay back in early 2012, Matthew Jameson and David Moore were out of luck.  In Between, their prog-alt-sludge-facegrind-metal band, was defunct.  Their musical brother and drummer Jon took a job in LA, leaving the band with no backbone.  While they auditioned prospective new drummers (and recorded tracks for a brutal 80s pop-metal side project), Matt and Dave were playing with a new idea.  In a nutshell, their idea was this--less chainsaw meets meat grinder style sonic brutality, more groove and soul, but 100% rock n roll.  Music written, played, and listened to while sipping top shelf whiskey.

From left, Dave, Mark, and Matt; when The Goodtimes were brand new, at the old jam spot....

Right on cue, they met a fellow named Mark Anderson through the magic of craigslist.  At that first jam session, the guys played through a few old metal tunes; the feeling was meh.  Been there, done that.  So they tried something different, something a little less melt your face, something a little more rock your soul.

And it was good.

So they went with it, all in.

In honor of their unique Chapter of the Legend of a Really Good Time (see yesterday's post), the band was reborn as The Legendary Goodtimes, totally committed to playing old school rock n' roll with some subtle modern flair.  Music that moves your body (and doesn't destroy your ear drums or vocal chords) and lifts your soul (The Legendary Goodtimes do love getting lifted up).

TLGT @ Flabby Road Studio in Medford, Oregon.

Within six months, TLGT had enough songs to record a full length album.  Feeling strongly about the material they'd written, the band issued a grand challenge:  play the album live to analog tape.  Though they would overdub vocals later, the music would all be live, recorded to two tracks.  Yes, only two.  A stereo left and right of the master mix.  No tracking out parts, no easy edits, no post mixing.  No deleting--tape is permanent stuff, not like hard drive space.  You get one sound, and a limited amount of tape, and very little post-production control.  It's risky.  Most bands lean towards tracking out every part and having full control while mixing.  The Legendary Goodtimes (or TLGT, if you will) did exactly the opposite.

The debut album.

The risk paid off.  The record sounds, in the humble opinion of The Legendary Goodtimes, raw and dynamic, like old rock n roll played on a turntable.  Very different from the ultra compressed, endlessly processed and maximized, cut and paste style digital recording that is all over modern airwaves.  This record came out warm and smooth, with little bite, like good bourbon. (Much of that credit goes to the amazing work of Mark Thomas Johnson of Bluejay Audio, whose engineering of the record included operating some rare and amazing analog hardware).

The band was very pleased.

Just a handful of the Goodtimes' 2013 flyers, design courtesy of Matt Jameson, TLGT's resident graphic artist and marketing professional.

The Legendary Goodtimes spent most of 2013 playing shows around Southern Oregon, sharing a bill with dozens of bands, including Gypsyhawk, Curtis Salgado, Jive Coulis, 100 Watt Mind, Dryseason, Tallboy, Ol' Mount n' Due, Diemonds, The Seaons, Black Ink Breakdown, The Hollowbodies...

There were rawkin' bar shows, quiet acoustic gigs, a charity event, a private party, a brewery, Last Band Standing, a couple festivals.  Sometimes the band packed up and drove for ten minutes to get to the gig; sometimes it was four hours and an overnight stay.  Everywhere TLGT took their music, the energy was high, the band met new friends and shared libations with old friends, and a Really Good Time was had by all.

Brave Sir Steven Riley is a total badass in hot pink.

Somewhere along the crazy ride, the band picked up a "fourth" member, one Mr. Steven Riley.  Originally hired to do photography for a few recording sessions, Steven found a place in the band at practice sessions and live shows alike, and proved himself indispensable.  Though his Legendary Deeds are many, he's usually credited as the band photographer, and indeed he can be found at every Goodtimes show, camera in hand.  If you are looking at a picture of The Legendary Goodtimes, chances are 97% of the time, Steven gets the photo credit.

With a very successful first year behind them, the band took a well deserved winter break.  It was time reflect on the year's good fortune and fun, to write new songs, to upgrade The Legendary Goodtimes in every way they could.  Most of all, to prepare for Springtime, when they will venture forth once more  to spread their music across the land, always in search of a Really Good Time.

That brings us to the present, where the Legend is still unfolding every week...

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Legend of a Really Good Time

The Legendary Goodtimes
at 2013 Last Band Standing in Medford, Oregon.

Once upon a time, a ragtag band of musicians decided to write their own stuff and just go for it.  

With only their instruments and the meager handful of coins the band members pooled, they would traverse the land, offering song and dance.  In return, sometimes they were richly rewarded; sometimes they were left penniless for their efforts.  The band faced many obstacles and foes, but they never gave up trying to spread their music to lands far off.  

They never quit because they believed in The Legend of a Really Good Time.

The Legend is old as the hills, passed down for many generations.  Like all legends, The Legend of a Really Good Time changes over time and with many tellings.  It is impossible to tell the entire story, and even summarizing it is no simple task.  Some even believe it is a myth.  

Listen now and hear me later:  BELIEVE.  

The Legend is true!

This blog is about one band from Southern Oregon, and their quest to add another Chapter to this Mighty Legend of Olde.

If ye care to skip all this storytellin' and get down to the music, or maybe you're more the social media type, check us out on Facebook and elsewhere:

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