It’s been a while since I’ve seen the rest of the Long Way Home (besides Liesi) and even longer since we’ve rehearsed as a full band, but we spent the past few months working remotely on an acoustic EP. Jeff wrote these songs over the past tumultuous year, and I think they’re some of his best – incisive, political, and memorable. Give it a listen and get ready to hear loud versions of these when it’s safe to play shows again.
My first bit of new music this year is an acoustic version of "No Peace" by Jeff Schaller and the Long Way Home. This is part of an acoustic EP that we’ve been working on remotely and will be releasing in the coming months, and the full-band version of this song will be on our album out later this year.
In lieu of a Halloween cover show this year, Pelafina released a two-song EP of Taylor Swift covers. We arranged and recorded these mostly remotely, which was a fun challenge despite the fact that this band started writing remotely. Take a listen below.
Appreciation Post, the new Bosley Jr. EP that I recorded and mixed, is out now. I’m really proud of this one, and I can’t wait to see them play these songs live (whenever that may be).
My friends in Bosley Jr. released their new single today. "The Shape of Punk Is Gone" is the opening track on their new EP, Appreciation Post, which I recorded (with some help from the band and Joel Gaeta after the stay-at-home order went into effect) and mixed over the past few months. Hear the song on their Bandcamp and grab the full EP when it’s out in a few weeks.
We’ve been slowly working on the first official Long Way Home record over the past year and a half. There’s still a ways to go, but in the meantime, we decided to re-issue our last album, Two Decades and Change, along with a remastered B-sides EP, demos, and a new version of "Book of Matches." I’m still immensely proud of this one.
We can’t put this up on streaming services under our new band name because the songs were previously released, but you can find it on our Bandcamp.
There’s a new Long Way Home song out today. It’s short and fast and loud.
The new Pelafina EP, Familiar Places, is out now. Massive thanks to Nick Stetina for helping us make this record. Check it out here, and watch the music video for "Significant Weather" below.
I wrote this piece up for a forum I frequent, and I figured I’d post it here as well.
I was sixteen years old and browsing one of the old B-Sides R Us blogs when I came across a post with a link to Mineral’s first album, The Power of Failing, accompanied with a challenge: “If you can listen to this and feel nothing, then you don’t have a heart.” It was rare in those days to see a full-length album on the B-sides blog, so with no other context or background on the band, I dove in.
To this day, it remains one of my most memorable first listens. It’s an imperfect record in so many ways, but the songwriting and the passion shone through the messy production and rough musicianship to a degree that I’ve yet to hear replicated. The guitar tones aren’t what any producer would pick out today, but Scott McCarver’s parts stand out nonetheless, from the tension of the feedback solo on “Slower” to the cathartic release of the pre-chorus riff in “Parking Lot.” Chris Simpson is not a technically proficient singer – his voice cracks and strains in ways that make trained vocalists cringe – but he puts every fiber of his being into every word he sings. And the lyrics were exactly what I needed to hear at the time. Simpson writes about perennially relatable topics like overcoming loss and personal failure, and his lyrics are steeped in Christian themes and imagery that made the songs hit even harder for me. I was in tears by the end.
The Power of Failing also challenged how I shared the music I loved with other people. My friends ignored it because it wasn’t on the radio. My brother wouldn’t listen to it because of the production. I had to beg people to drop any preconceptions they had about emo or whatever and just close their eyes and listen. I would print out the lyrics and include them when I burned the CD for someone. I’m not sure any of my friends ever really got Mineral the way I did, but I recently heard Frank Turner tell a story about doing almost the exact same thing, so I know I’m not alone.
From there, the floodgates opened. I couldn’t get enough of this “midwest emo” sound, and within months my iPod was full of The Get Up Kids, Texas Is the Reason, the Promise Ring, and many others that I still count among my favorite bands.
It wasn’t until their reunion tour in 2014 that I finally got the chance to see Mineral. I truly thought it would never happen, and I could do little more than stand against the stage and stare at the four people whose words and music had affected me so deeply over the past seven years. I cried again during “Five, Eight, and Ten” and “Parking Lot” and especially “Unfinished,” and I’ll never forget it.