Current Projects
The Stray Birds
The Stray Birds
Summer Thieves
Summer Thieves
the Sporting Hill Ramblers
the S.H.R.
Willie Marble
Willie Marble
local area
Jeff Coleman
Jeff Coleman
Studio Blog
December 30, 2012

lefty paul
That's Tom (left) and Joe of Summer Thieves. Those of you who notice such things will notice that Joe is playing that thing upside-down.

Somehow we've completed this project of ours and we have 5 songs to release to the world. I think I should post them before the end of the year, just so we can say that it only took, like, 4 years, instead of 5. So here they are, in the order we've decided they should be in on a CD:

Summer Thieves- You Can't Lie.mp3
Summer Thieves- Lilly.mp3
Summer Thieves- There She Goes Again.mp3
Summer Thieves- Desert Girl.mp3
Summer Thieves- Cut.mp3

Here's a little bio for the band...

Tom Herr and Joe Kury formed Summer Thieves after playing together in local punk and rock bands. Their experiences included performances at Zoetrope, an abandoned movie theatre, and rehearsals and shows in a Mennonite church basement. Their original material was well received, and some preliminary recordings had been made, but the live band fell apart.
Through local music legend Craig Wise, Tom was introduced to Jeff Coleman, who was operating an underground recording studio called Steam Powered. At Steam Powered Studio Jeff was recording local acts with high potential, but limited resources, by relying on sponsors to support their work directly. He had completed CDs by The Stray Birds, the Willie Marble Experience, the Gadjo Playboys and others, and was looking for the next project.
In the studio Tom and Joe's creativity exploded. Songs were written and rewritten. New sounds and recording techniques were explored. Guest musicians were needed, which led to several tracks being recorded at the Buzz Box with Oz "the Ozmatron" on drums. Mike Bitz of the innocence mission came in on bass guitar for several tracks. This experimental method of recording harkened back to the golden age of rock, when bands with unlimited budgets were allowed the time and freedom to create. Some songs were rejected as being "too candy", others because they didn't meet Tom and Joe's strict guidlines- the songs needed to be short, melodic, and rockin'.
Eventually, Joe and Tom began putting together a "power hour" live set to promote their songs. One of their selections for the set was the Paul McCartney song "Every Night," and when Jeff heard that DJ Helen Leight was seeking covers of his songs to be broadcast in honor of Sir Paul's birthday, he suggested that they record it for the show. The results- arranged, recorded and mixed in one sitting- captured the easy-going feel of the original without slavish imitation, and was played several times in WXPN's regular programming as well as opening the birthday special.
The time is ripe to release some of Summer Thieve's original recordings. The band picked five of the best songs and finishing touches were added. The songs were sonically balanced by Coleman over the course of several weeks of extensive listening tests in multiple environments, and now the first Summer Thieves ep is ready for the public's enjoyment!

These tracks will be available for a limited time only, so grab them while you can...

December 29, 2012

I was testing an old amp tonight, and I needed to play a bunch of music through it to see if it would blow up, and one of the recordings that played was an instrumental version of the song popularly known as Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. This inspired me to sing it in my sailor's voice (because any time I hear a song typically done very sweetly I have an uncontrollable urge to try it in my Barnacle Bill voice), and so when looking for the lyrics to this thing (which of course I knew was an Olde English folk song, existing way before the Simon and Garfunkle version which we all know and love), I found that the basis of the song was actually very interesting.

The scholars know it as an "impossible task" song, where the lover lists things that the lover must do in order to prove his/her love, and while that's all well and good on the surface, it doesn't really get to the meat of the program, which I find is two-fold. First, lovers DO seem to do impossible things, and second, at some point they fail.

The beauty part is that there's a song to be sung about this, which not only challenges the would-be lover to deliver the magic, but also seems to admit that this is all a comforting, if somewhat disappointing, game.

This song has been around for hundreds and hundreds of years.

The part that keeps repeating (the Parsley, Sage part) seems to have been added sometime in the 1800's. The words I sing there are older, and I like them, as they add an additional twist to the thing, such that love, which asks so much at first, can be "merry" with less. Good stuff, cheap.

Jeff Coleman- Scarborough Fair.
December 26, 2012

Kickin' it... this has been day 9 of my battle with flu-like symptoms. I ended up doing this without the benefit of anti-biotics, more or less by choice. Sort of a spirit walk thing I guess, only with disease as the vector...

One of the things I've discovered along the way is that words are sort of brick-like things, with little blue wheels, and you tie their strings together to make sentances. Another is that "the void" isn't blank, it's filled in with every imaginable shape- but they are shapes without names. They are the precursors to actual shapes. That what makes the brain so remarkable isn't its ability to group things together (like "circular things") but its ability to detect tiny differences between those similar things. And so on. Flu-thinking.

Well, I'm back on earth now, have had a wonderful Christmas, hope you have had too...
December 16, 2012

bloody hell
When I played with the Blame, drummer Steve Patton would often end up the night with his left pants leg caked in blood- it was because he would have cut open a finger of his left hand on the rim of the snare, and it would just bleed all over for the entire show. Well, last night I suffered a similar fate, and here 'tis, documented via iphone- the torn nail finger bleed all over the keys at a Black Cat gig. Not quite as impressive, still rock and roll...
December 14, 2012

OK, I read somewhere that the desktop has been won, now the battle is for mobile- so here's a mobile-friendlier version of the Steam Powered Studio homepage.
December 13, 2012

Christmas Story

We hear a lot of stories this time of year. Some of us question their value. It's funny to think that stories about giving lead directly to the "out of my way or you burn in hell" mall exit. But there is value in those stories. Scrooges like me get reminded that it feels good to express positive emotions- we have an excuse now, so it's "OK". Just let's not get all blubbery about it.

That takes practice, of course, and experience. Experience- a gift we are given, whether we want it or not. Experience has a price though, called enui, which is the fancy word for boredom. The routine expression of our real feelings leads to a break between us and them. We end up in holiday sweaters, disenchanted, bitter, and tired.

This is the place in the story where a Christmas miracle occurs. You know you were expecting it. It's the third act, after all, and there's that fat goose hanging in the butcher shop. Don't worry too much about how it happens- it's a miracle and we can't explain it. Just enjoy and be happy.
December 09, 2012

Well all right. I just finished gathering names of local bands that are playing in the Harrisburg area through the end of the year. This brings the Bands of South Central PA list up to some sort of current thingness. It's been fun.

It's a nice round 440 bands and solos.

Let me know if you aren't on the list and think you should be, or if I made a mistake in a listing. There were many bands that I couldn't find any references to on the net, so I didn't list them. I rekkin' I spent about 3 minutes for every band that was confirmed local.

Please share this around. Tell people about the list, and they'll find bands they will enjoy- guaranteed. There is so much variety here, from pipe and drum corps to metalcore, from internationally known acts to people making music in their bedrooms.
December 06, 2012

Happy day! My Black Cowgirl CD is here! It's everything I had hoped it would be.

So, more locals today, after yesterday's 10 hours of Surfin' Santa. I love working fast, and this room is good for that sort of thing. Got some rettin' up to do though...

There's a new "current projects" link, and it's hard to see it, but it's a little map of the lower Susquehanna Valley, otherwise known as the local area. That's going to be more or less a permenant link on the home page from now on.
December 05, 2012

Everyone just loves Christmas songs, am I right? There must be some primal urge that makes us keep writing new ones.

Between you and me, the old ones are just fine. But then, I suppose if everyone felt that way, Chuck wouldn't have written one of the greatest Christmas songs ever- yes, I'm talking about Run Run Rudolph.

So we crank 'em out. I'm no different. I didn't intend to write a new one. I've already got Crunchy, Crunchy Christmastime and I don't think I could top that. But I came up with a riff and it seemed kinda fun, in a twisted way, and there are no words, so it might be OK.

Anyway, this is on it.

And this.

Merry Christmas, and all that... Surfin' Santa.
December 03, 2012

Still working on the list of locals.

I'm at 350 right now, and need to take a break. 350 bands and solo acts, all within my local area, and by that I mean they live around here and play at places that I would be cool with driving home from after a show- within about 40 miles.

I'm lucky because I live just about in the middle of the York/Lancaster/Harrisburg triangle, so "local" by my definition is a pretty big area. Over a million and a half people live around here, so that comes out to 4,285 people per band. So far.

Older Stuff
The Stray Birds
Jeff Coleman
Save to Serve Her
Woggi Noggi
Woggi Noggi
Joe Ellis
Joe Ellis
Jeff Coleman
48 eagles
Robert Bobby
the Blame
the Blame
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