I’m Making a Record, Part 2

It’s taken a while, but my third solo record, Outposts, is all tracked and nearly mixed.  It’s sounding great, and I’m really proud of the songs.  I can’t wait for you to hear them.  I just launched a kickstarter campaign to raise funds to help finish it.  This would cover mastering, graphic design and artwork, and manufacturing.  If you’d like to help me out, You can make a small (or large) donation, or simply spread the word about it to your friends.  Thank you so much for considering supporting this project; I really appreciate it!  Special thanks to my buddy Reid Maclean for putting together a video for me.

Here’s what I said about the project over at kickstarter:

Once, a radio interviewer asked me what my songs were about, and I said “longing.”  He thought that was an “angsty” answer and told me so.  I know he’s right, yet I still can’t think of a better answer.  My songs are about longing —  to know and be known by God and my fellow human beings, to be free of spirit, mind and body, to feel my soul careening over mountaintops to the sea.  That said, I try to be funny.

The record is almost finished and is sounding terrific.  I recorded the songs in Philadelphia with an accomplished, talented, and kind group of people including producer/engineer Brian McTear, engineer Jonathan Low, bassist/arranger Joshua Stamper, and Drummer Patrick Berkery.  Brian and Jonathan have done great work recently with Dr. Dog, the Dead Milkmen, and Sharon Van Etten.  Josh and Patrick keep things locked down and truckin’ for Danielson.

I’m asking for your help to raise funds for mastering, graphic design and artwork, and manufacturing.  If I raise enough to press vinyl, I’ll do that.  If I raise more than expected, but not enough for vinyl, I’ll put the funds towards promotion.

To your right, you will see a bunch of incentives.  I’ve tried to create levels of giving for friends of all economic standings, so that everyone can pitch in, whatever amount you feel is right for you. Every giving level comes with at least one benefit. I hope there’s something there that looks good to you. If you can’t afford to contribute money, you can help by spreading the word about Outposts and passing along news about this campaign to someone who might be able to support me financially.”

Thanks for your help!. I’m thankful to be blessed with an amazingly encouraging and supportive community of family, friends, and fans.

All the best,


P.S. please feel free to email me with any questions, or about anything:

jason “at” jasonharrod.com

I’m Making a Record

I saw my second member of “The Slipnuts” on the subway the other day. If I see a third I will have achieved a Slipnut trifecta (that’s a phrase I just made up, which you can feel free to use. You’re welcome). I frequently run across various writers and cast members from “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” in New York, and for me, a former obsessive viewer of the show, hearing Andy Blitz‘s laconic observations on the L train is like watching Mike Schmidt fielding pop flies. Why Mike Schimdt? Because he had an awesome moustache and because he played for the Phillies and I happen to be in Philadelphia this very moment making a record.

When I joined the Columbia House record club as a teenager they sent me giant packages of LP’s that I bought with my own money, which I played on the first stereo I bought with my own money, having recently upgraded from a Donald Duck record player with Donald Duck on it (I suppose a Donald Duck record player *without* Donald Duck on it would be an ontological paradox and a gyp.)

Thanks to the wonders of mail-order (and despite the evils of negative option billing) I was, monthly, treated to the delights of whatever my older sister and her friends happened to be listening to, which was mostly monumentally awesome British rock from the 60s and 70s. Back then, albums (and their covers, thanks largely to Storm Thorgerson of the British design group Hipgnosis) were something you could lie down on the floor and immerse yourself in for hours.

Now albums are on the way out and so are CDs, and the internets are full of kids lol’ing at various European governments’ futile efforts to shut down “the Pirate Bay” and other torrent sites, and these kids can’t for the life of them figure out why anyone would pay for a CD. Some of them haven’t bought a CD in their life and never will.

And I wish they’d get off my lawn. Oh wait, I don’t have a lawn.

Anyway, I’m recording at Miner Street Studios with a fellow named Brian McTear. Personnel will include Josh Stamper and Patrick Berkery, on bass and drums, respectively. Josh and Patrick comprise the rhythm section of Danielson, the Northeast corridor’s best and only Indie-Christian-nurse-uniform-wearing folk/pop collective. (edit: last night Josh, perhaps fearful of being known for wearing a nurse’s uniform on stage, informed me that what they wear are “service uniforms.”)

We had our first rehearsal last week and it went really well. Right now Patrick is getting drum sounds.

I hope to keep you updated on the project here. As things progress, I hope you’ll keep in touch and spread the word about what we’re up to. If we’ve lost touch over the years, I’d love to re-connect with you (especially if you live in Philly and want to buy me dinner).

You can find out more goings-on at Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and jasonharrod.com.

Joshua Stamper’s "Wend"

Elevator pitch: The music on Joshua Stamper’s new album, Wend, sounds like Dave Brubeck after watching an all-night Rockford files marathon, or Vivaldi after riding in his cousin’s ’82 Camaro driving down a red clay road in the late afternoon with Kansas’ “Leftoverture” in the tape deck. What? Vivaldi’s cousin didn’t own an ’82 Camaro? Well excuuuuse me, Mr. Fancy-facts!

I first met Josh when he was a fresh-faced (albeit bearded) kid at Hampshire College. At the time, he didn’t play guitar, or if he did, I didn’t really pay attention because I am an incredible narcissist. I met up with him a few years later and discovered that he had turned into a tremendously gifted guitarist and composer. I also discovered that his wife, Kory, (a terrific writer and lexicographer who helps decide what words go in the dictionary, but that’s another story) makes a green chile stew that is to die for. Over many bowls of green chile stew I got know know Josh and Kory and was treated to the glorious sounds of Josh and his guitar, and of the many groups and ensembles he has written for and performed with.

The musicians on “Wend” play violin, cello, double bass, alto saxophone, bass clarinet, marimba, flute, clarinet, percussion, and guitar. The music is full of unusual time signatures, but you’re having such a good time listening you forget that your standard diet of 3/4, 4/4 and 6/8 is being spiced up. It’s fun, inventive, cinematic stuff, warmly and intimately recorded (on “clay” you can hear the endearing sound clarinet keys clacking, reminding you that this is music made by humans in real space). You can check it out here: http://joshuastamper.bandcamp.com/