Monday, June 28, 2010

KISS Manager Bill Aucoin Dies at 66

Breaking sad news in the KISS family. Bill Aucoin, original manager of KISS, has died. Aucoin discovered the band, got them signed to their first record deal, bankrolled their early days, and steered the direction of the band in regards to merchandising, redefining the role of band manager the same way guys like Peter Grant (Zeppelin) and Brian Epstein (Beatles) did.

Put it this way - when I was a little kid and loved KISS, I knew who Aucoin was. Who can name the manager of a recent artist with the same degree of recognition? This is another legend passing away here.

From the AP:

Aucoin, manager who discovered Kiss, dies at 66

Bill Aucoin, who discovered the rock group Kiss and helped build them into a musical and merchandising juggernaut, died Monday in Florida. He was 66.

Aucoin died at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center in Aventura of surgical complications from prostate cancer, said Carol Kaye, a family spokeswoman.

A former television cinematographer, Aucoin discovered Kiss in New York City in 1973 and helped launch the makeup-wearing, fire-breathing quartet into a moneymaking machine.

He financed the band's first tour on his personal American Express credit card when money was tight, but he was well rewarded when the band's popularity exploded in 1975 with the hit "Rock And Roll All Nite."

"He was the fifth Kiss," said drummer Peter Criss, who had Aucoin serve as the best man at his second wedding. "If it wasn't for Bill, there would be no Kiss."

Aucoin first saw the band at a showcase gig at New York's Diplomat Hotel, then brought it upstairs to meet with record company executive Neil Bogart, who signed it as the first act on his Casablanca Records label.

Criss said Aucoin had an eye for what was visually striking and recognized the vast merchandising potential of rock bands in a way that few others could. With Aucoin's help, Kiss became as famous for the vast array of products bearing their likeness — including belt buckles, Halloween costumes and makeup kits, action figurines, vitamins and even a Kiss pinball machine — as they were for their music. posted a great interview with Aucoin here.

The KISS home page has put up a splash screen with some kind words. Here is an image of it:

Movie Review - Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage

I took my loving, patient wife on a date night to see the new Rush documentary Beyond the Lighted Stage. Well, it was actually her suggestion and we have seen Rush a couple of times live, so I knew it was not going to end with a train wreck.

I have read just about every bio on Rush, seen all the DVDs, read all of Neil’s books etc, so my question was, am I going to learn anything new? I did glean a few new nuggets such as Alex Lifeson’s opinion on the keyboard-laden late 80s albums, or Rush’s work with Kevin Caveman Shirley on Counterparts, and why that album is so heavy.

But overall if you are a big long-time Rush fan, there is not a lot of new stuff, bio-wise. However, there are loads and loads of live performance clips, photos and interviews from back in the day that I had never seen. I mean, how did they get a film of Lifeson telling his parents he did not see why he needed to finish high school to pursue a life in music?And who are all those other people in that scene? It looks like an intervention!

The film does an excellent job presenting how the band came together, the bond between Lee and Lifeson, how they all overcame great challenges to stay true to their vision, and how they keep reinventing themselves as a band, to this day.

The new interviews with all three guys are great, especially the Neil interviews, which are very informative and telling. For a guy who is pretty much a recluse, he really opens up in the film.

Some of my favorite moments are the interviews with people who admire Rush, including a couple of very articulate life-long fans, Jack Black (yes Jack Black) and Billy Corgan from the Smashing Pumpkins who makes a great case for why Rush is one of the best bands in history despite the fact that they are always marginalized by the powers that be who hold the keys to institutions such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

One of the musicians interviewed said something along the lines of, it was way back in the 70s and 80s when it was fashionable to not like Rush but that was a long time ago, and they are still around, selling out arenas year after year – you need to get over it and if still don’t like/respect them now, you are just being an old dickhead. Nice.

The one time the filmmakers show the whole band together (offstage at least) is in the rolling credits where the three are having wine in a restaurant and are clearly lit up a bit. They throw jokes back and forth across the table and are clearly really enjoying each other’s company. One would be lucky to have friends as close as these guys are, much less make fucking awesome music together and sell 40 million albums worldwide.

Great job, filmmakers, for allowing us into that private world to see a little bit about what makes one of our favorite bands tick. I DVR’d the film off of VH1 so I can watch it again until I buy the DVD when it comes out June 29. It's just that good.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Concert Review - Iron Maiden

Caught Iron Maiden last night in the second week of their Final Frontier tour. As expected, the band did mostly material from its last three albums, much to the chagrin of many Maiden fans based on Internet chatter. I too wish they had struck a better balance between all the various eras of the band, mainly because I did not know the bulk of the material performed.

The day before, I had put together an iPod playlist of the set list (I had to buy most of it on iTunes), and we listened to it in the car. Great stuff for the most part, but I like to have a better grasp on a band’s music before seeing it live. Especially when the average song length is seven or eight minutes.

But last night, people were into it! It seems for example that Fear of the Dark, a song I had never heard prior to the last tour, is a huge fan favorite. Same with Brave New World. Huh.

The band exploded onto the new outer-space themed stage set after an opening of Mars The Bringer of War by Holtz. The Wicker Man was first and it went on from there. Two things really struck me this time. Bruce Dickinson’s voice was in top form, and Dave Murray was totally on fire. He has always been my favorite Maiden gunslinger even though Adrian Smith might be technically better. But Murray was totally inspired. His leads blew me away and he has that unique tone where he uses the wah pedal only part way engaged so it has that washy sound. Awesome.

Steve Harris was manic and precise as usual, and Janik Gers annoyed me far less than the last two tours. Probably because he has a big role in these latter era songs, as he played on those albums. I really enjoyed the three-guitar interplay, actually. Whether it was a three part harmony or a layer of three totally different parts, it was really interesting. You just don’t see bands with three virtuoso guitarists who equally share the spotlight.

The place was packed all the way back to the lawn. Dickinson joked that Maiden must be getting the overspill from the cancelled Christina Aguilera tour. Ha ha. The set was high energy and if people were pissed at the set list they didn’t let on. People stood the entire time, fists in the air, and again people seemed to know these songs and sang along all night.

Aside from the five older tunes, my favorites were the new El Dorado, which absolutely kills live (and I got the solo order wrong in my review – it’s Smith, Murray, Gers!), and the two songs from A Matter of Life And Death. I wish they had done more from that CD, as I still think it’s one of their best post Seventh Son efforts.

Reviews of the tour have overall been positive, performance-wise. Meaning, people bitch about the set list but in the next breath say, “But Maiden was awesome as usual.”

I think it just depends on when you discovered the band. Before the song Blood Brothers (which Dickinson dedicated to Dio, by the way – very cool), Brucie asked how many people were seeing the band for the first time. A LOT of hands went up and there was a sense of torches being passed. But instead of a KISS concert where the same old torch gets handed off, with Maiden you get a whole new set of tunes to call your own.

Put it this way – one kid I talked to (the son of a friend) brought his Brave New World CD for Steve Harris to sign. He told me that Out Of A Silent Planet from that album is the best song Maiden has ever recorded. He was very adamant about this. I had never heard the song before and I barely knew the handful of songs Maiden would pull live from that album.

But I realized on my way home that to this kid, Brave New World is his Powerslave. Or if you are even older than me, his Killers. This is the CD he probably discovered Maiden with and who am I to say it’s no good? He was rightly stoked they were going to do four songs off of it, as I was stoked last time to hear so much from Powerslave.

It’s very, very cool that Maiden can provide so many different frames of reference for its multiple generations of fans.

We heard that after this short tour of the States there is a World Tour and the band would be back to the U.S. next year. Will I go again? Likely, yeah. And you know what? I have Brave New World stuck in my head and am enjoying discovering some ‘new’ Maiden! Mission accomplished.

Set List:

The Wicker Man
Ghost Of The Navigator
El Dorado
The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg
These Colours Don't Run
Blood Brothers
Wildest Dreams
No More Lies
Brave New World
Fear Of The Dark
Iron Maiden

The Number of the Beast
Hallowed Be Thy Name
Running Free

Short video I took of Wrathchild:

As usual, my buddy Pat who knows Steve Harris from the early 80s got us all passes so we were able to say a quick hi to Steve and then I was able to wander a bit near the latter part of the show to take some close up photos. Here are a few of the better ones overall:

    Tuesday, June 22, 2010

    Music Review - New Iron Maiden Single

    As I mentioned yesterday, Rush and Iron Maiden recently released digital singles in advance of their 2010 tours. I reviewed Rush's single here and today it's time for Iron Maiden's El Dorado, the single from the upcoming Final Frontier album.

    First of all, I am seeing the band perform tonight so I am pretty fired up. The last two tours have leaned heavily on the classics, and now it's time for the U.S. to pay the price with mostly 2000-era Maiden. Yep, most of the songs I will see tonight are from the last three albums - Brave New World, Dance of Death and Matter of Life and Death. I love the latter album but don't really know the other two.

    Fellow blogger Vince Neilstein did a solid job earlier this month laying out the debate over the pros and mostly cons of this move. He called the post-2000 material Iron Meh-den, which is pretty funny.

    It's a hot topic in metal circles for sure. Me? I wish they would just do a little of everything instead of leaning towards "classic" or "modern." But I am just glad to see them at all.

    OK the song. It's a tad under 7 minutes, and is pretty typical prog-metal from Maiden. I am always hoping for something as catchy as Two Minutes to Midnight or as epic as Rime of the Ancient Mariner, but those days are long gone. What we do have now is a triple guitar onslaught. It just occurred to me that poor Janik Gers had to suffer through the last two tours windmilling his way through songs he didn't play on on the albums. Hmm.

    OK, El Dorado -- After a nicely noisy intro, we get that familiar Steve Harris gallop! (think The Trooper). Ripping triple guitar onslaught. Good Dickinson performance - he still has yet to phone it in. The guy always delivers. Song is a little repetitive through the second pre-chorus and the chorus is pretty decent. Air Raid Siren Dickinson emerges but a little strained on the high end. Usual complex Maiden center section leading to triple solos. I think it's Janik Gers, Dave Murray and Adrian Smith in that order. But we'll see tonight if I nailed that one or not. Out of the solos - more galloping, then another verse/pre-chorus/chorus. Overall it's a good tune. I like it.

    And shit, they are giving it away - grab it and tell me what you think! You can get the song El Dorado from Maiden's Web site here.

    My review of the last tour is here and here. I hope to post a review of tonight's show this week.

    Monday, June 21, 2010

    Music Review - New Rush Single

    Two classic bands (read, 'been around since the 80s or earlier') to get their shit together for the new era of music discovery, delivery and consumption (read 'Internet and mobile devices') are Rush and Iron Maiden. Both bands have released previews from their upcoming full length albums ahead of summer tours.

    In Rush's case, the band decided to put out a single, tour and THEN record the bulk of the new album, so their chops would be particularly rocking. In Maiden's case, the album will be out after the tour has started, but it's pretty much cooked.

    On Rockline recently, Steve Harris confirmed the band would just do the one pre-released song live and wait to unleash any more new material until the full album is out. Same with Rush - we can expect to hear both of their new songs live on this year's tour.

    The new Maiden song, called El Dorado is offered as
    a free download, and the new Rush single costs $2.49 and includes a 5-page digital booklet.

    OK, all good. But how are the songs? Here is my take on the Rush tunes. I will review Maiden's tomorrow in advance of me seeing the band live tomorrow night.

    Rush - Caravan/BU2B:
    It took me a long time to fully appreciate these songs, as usual for me with modern Rush.

    There is a LOT going on here. The general vibe? Heavy. Caravan starts out like the soundtrack to a Godzilla movie, if Godzilla is the size of the Empire State Building, which I imagine is slightly bigger than his actual size. Um, well, you see where I am going: The song is large and lumbering.

    The opening riff gets turned on its head once the drums come in, and is as solid as any Rush riffage. Geddy comes out swinging with fairly typical Neil lyrics:

    In a world lit only by fire
    Long train of flares under piercing stars
    I stand watching the steamliners roll by

    The caravan thunders onward
    To the distant dream of the city
    The caravan carries me onward
    On my way at last
    On my way at last

    Which yields to the very catchy chorus refrain of "I can’t stop thinking big, I can’t stop thinking big, In a world where I feel so small, I can’t stop thinking big."

    After the second chorus there is a multi-part instrumental freak out that is for the most part, well fucking awesome. It took me a while to really grasp what is going on in this section because it changes pretty quickly. I still don't get it all but the bass and drums interplay going on under the guitar and solo are incredibly strong and complex, and then out of that they just hit that big chorus one more time, freak out some more and wrap it up.

    The second song, BU2B is even heavier if that is possible. Lyrically very consistent with Neil's science over religion bent:

    I was brought up to believe
    The universe has a plan
    We are only human
    It’s not ours to understand

    The universe has a plan
    All is for the best
    Some will be rewarded
    And the devil take the rest

    This song follows the 'new Rush' tradition of throwing in some super duper heaviness on each album, along the lines of Spindrift and Earthshine from their last two albums. Pretty pummeling vibe, sometimes atonal guitar. But there are some moments of relief, such as the bridge which brings back some of that 80s keyboard padding. Doesn't last long though and we're back to the main plodding riff. Fucking huge. Not sure I have heard them this huge.

    These songs are going to blow people's minds live. And if the whole album sounds anything like this, it's going to be kick ass.

    In more Rush news, the documentary Beyond The Lighted Stage will air on VH1, VH1 Classic and Palladia this Saturday, and will be preceded in some markets by the Classic Rock album series episodes on 2112 and Moving Pictures. That's a whole lotta Rush and I like it! Full reviews on that shiteness next week.

    Monday, June 14, 2010

    Notes From St Croix Part Two

    Here is the rest from my trip, from which I am re-attempting to return from today. More on that another time and once the airlines actually get me home...

    St Croix Day Four – Excuse me, we are having technical difficulties. Please stand by…

    So what have we learned so far?

    --Island time = things running a bit slow. Be patient.
    --It’s easier to freshen up by jumping in the pool, b/c you sweat coming out of the shower anyway.
    --Bug spray – almost as important as food.

    Technical difficulties. Ah yes… Be patient with this as well. Between the power service on the island being a little spotty and the interesting, creative condition of the roads, yesterday was pretty entertaining.

    Early in the day we drove to the airport to drop off a roommate for a return trip to Chicago for a wedding. Given the Stanley Cup upset, I advised him to please flip over a cop car for me.

    Not a mile later, we blow a tire. No tire iron, and this is Vrba’s second blowout this week. I could blame the condition of his car (a 90s Olds), but I have to blame the roads here, which are barely paved and rife with potholes. One hitch to the station later to borrow a tire iron, and we are back on the road.

    Later that night is our next gig, at the Sports Bar, which is on the Christiansted Boardwalk -- a very hopping stretch of shops, bars and restaurants. The first set is OK but sure enough those power demons rear their heads, with the power cutting out here and there. Our guitar cables are struggling with the climate and we have to switch a few crackly ones out, and of course there are some broken strings to boot.

    But after a sort of challenging first set, we take a break, work it all out and the rest of the night goes smoothly. Show times on the islands are much earlier than in the States and we are out of there at the shockingly early hour of 11 p.m., with plenty of time to come home and run over more tunes in preparation for Saturday’s recording. Luckily we encounter NO problems with cars, guitars or power once we get home!


    St Croix Wrap Up – The Moment of Truth

    The last couple of days on the Island were pretty eventful, but mostly in preparation for the Saturday house concert/live CD recording. Matt and I ran over the 20 songs he wanted to record. Some of them were pretty straight, or I had been playing them for a long time. Others were brand new or required me to double Matt’s chords higher up on the guitar using different voicings. Whatever the case, I felt 100 percent ready when the sound crew showed up at about noon Saturday.

    These guys were total pros – Padraic Coursey and his company Aqua Sounds for those of you keeping track. Not only did Aqua Sounds provide a sweet PA system, monitors, a crew and the whole works for the live gig, but they brought the recording gear as well – Mac with Pro Tools, loads of great mics, etc.

    What this meant is that the audience had excellent live sound, and the Aqua guys also captured the performance in high quality audio for the CD. Best of both worlds. My favorite detail is that they recorded all the tracks separately, which means my guitar is on its own track – so if I made a mistake they could just delete it in the mix. Whew! I love having that option!

    Lots of friends kicked in to help get the place ready, set up the seats, serve drinks, take donations, clean up etc. It was a real group effort so all Matt and I had to do was focus on the music.

    So, we started the concert with three tried and true Vrba warhorses to get warmed up. Then we dove into 10 of the new songs. For the most part it went great. The very last tune, a song about life on the island, was a real barn burner but there were a few mistakes so we did it again at the end of the second set. Otherwise we didn’t have to repeat any songs to get good takes. The second set was 10 more tunes and then it was over.

    Out of the 20 new recorded songs, all Matt has to do it find roughly 12 that don’t suck and there’s the CD. I am confident he’ll be able to pull it off successfully. The audience was a bit of a “this is your life” from my week on the island, as many folks I had met at various times and places all gathered at Vrba’s for the gig. That was cool.

    And while I had lots of fun, played loads of music, saw some sights and met some great people, I am very eager to get home to my family and get back to my “real” life. Just 11 hours of travel and it’ll all be a memory!

    Wednesday, June 09, 2010

    Sharon Osbourne Pulls Head Out Of Own Ass

    Sharon Osbourne has seen the light. Her bogus, grave error of replacing the original bass and drum parts on Ozzy's first two albums due to a business dispute with Ozzy's then-band mates Bob Daisley (bass) and Lee Kerslake (drums), is about to be overturned with the upcoming 30th anniversary editions of Blizzard of Ozz and Diary Of A Madman.

    At the time of the original sin, Osbourne explained it this way:

    "Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake have harassed Ozzy and our family for several years," she said in 2002. "Because of their abusive and unjust behavior, Ozzy wanted to remove them from these recordings. We turned a negative into a positive by adding a fresh sound to the original albums."

    What a bunch of shit. Those remasters sounded horrible, and I was so glad to have the vinyl records as a back up. There was no way I was going to buy those CDs. I have a feeling I was not the only one. And to blame this on Ozzy is equally bogus. This move has Sharon written all over it and to say otherwise is an insult to Ozzy's fans.

    But later this year, the original bass and drums will be restored (I had read they had been erased, which really would have been an affront). According to an article on

    Sharon Osbourne told the website, “They definitely are coming out this year. They are coming out for [U.S.] Thanksgiving and they will be on the market then. It’s going back to the original recordings with [Bob] Daisley [bass] and [Lee] Kerslake [drums]. And there will be a lot of stuff that you haven’t heard before in the packages. Like certain conversations that were going on in the studio with the guys just messing around while the tape was still rolling. All of that will be added into it.”

    Notes from St Croix

    So, I have been in St Croix in the Virgin Islands for the last few days, backing up alt-country singer-songwriter Matt Vrba. I have posted a few updates to my MySpace page but fellow blogger Seano suggested I put them up here as well. So, bear with the lengthy post (and forgive me if you have already seen this stuff on MySpace), but here you go. The last three days in Croix:

    Part One -- Off to St Croix - Thanks, Edelman!!!
    So how cool is my company? My day job is working as a public relations professional for high tech companies (my main client is Adobe Systems) for Edelman, the largest independent PR firm on the planet. One of the cool programs for helping keep employees growing is called the Edelman Escape.

    From the company Web site:

    Have you ever wanted to record a song or help rebuild houses in a disaster zone? Edelman employees have pursued these and many other personal passions as part of Edelman Escape, which rewards employees with time off and a stipend for a one-week trip to fulfill a long-held dream.

    I will spare you the gory details of my full submission but in 2008 I put in for a week backing up alt-country singer songwriter Matt Vrba on one of his biannual tours of Europe and lo and behold I was graciously accepted for an Escape around this idea! Two years later and a few changed details and I am off to St Croix in the Virgin Islands today for a week of shows with Matt, culminating in a live house concert recording this Saturday for Matt’s next CD.

    How cool is that? Thanks Edelman and here we go…

    Part Two -- St Croix Day One - Island Time

    My first clue that things were a little different on these islands was when my flight from Dallas landed in Puerto Rico, on time I might add. Close to boarding time, it was announced that our plane (and two others) had 'mechanical difficulties' and would all be delayed. They would let us know how long of a delay in 20 minutes. 20 minutes later, no news but we'll tell you in another 20 minutes. 2 and half hours later we departed, but not before about six ambiguous updates, the last of which coincided with the airport for the most part shutting down. I thought I would be spending the night...

    I bring this up b/c there is a bit of a laissez-faire here. Playfully called "Island Time" it just means that no one is any kind of a big rush to get anything done, including making a plane take off on time, taking a food order, bringing your bill etc. Luckily I adjust to island time pretty well.

    Vrba’s place is a villa-style bungalow in the hills with a pool and a view of the ocean. Not too shabby. In true musician fashion, I am on a pull out bed in the office area. Woke at about 4 a.m to the loudest most insane lightning and thunder, so severe it knocked out power to the house for two hours. Wow, what a welcome!

    Monday was supposed to be a rehearsal day - Vrba intends to record about 30 tunes at the house concert on Saturday and pick the best 12 or so for his CD. Some of these songs I know already and others are new. But even the ones I know, he plays a little differently.

    So we went over a number of tunes parked on the beach at Chenay Bay Resort. Got pretty hot so we took a break. I ordered nachos from the bar and 15 minutes later was informed they were out of chips. Island time, remember! They are out of chips? I thought that was pretty funny.

    After dinner, we wound up playing an impromptu gig at a friend's house – a graduation party with a bunch of guests/family visiting from fabulous Kansas, and that was a nice way to cap off the evening. That technically makes five gigs in six days here, and I like that. This is why I am here.

    Overall, the songs Matt wants to record Saturday are all very, very good IMO. I am stoked to have this week capped off by a gig that will yield a CD release. All in all a good start to the trip.

    Part Three -- St Croix Day Two - More Island Time

    Tuesday was supposed to be our first official gig day, with a 6 to 9 p.m. show at a place called Spratnet, which is a bar/club right on the sandy North Shore of the island - about a 45 minute drive.

    Much of the day was spent getting ready for the show. As noted earlier, I smuggled an arsenal of electric guitar effects in a backpack onto the plane, and today was the day we'd hook 'em all up to the amp I am borrowing here to figure out how to get the best sounds for the music - the right tools for the right job, as Hank Hill would say.

    More strings changed as well - the island humidity makes brand new guitar strings sound dead and flat in about six hours.

    Then the loading of the car and 45 minute drive to the gig. We pull up and the place looks pretty quiet. Matt says, "This does not look good." Sure enough, there is no gig. Calvin, the owner asks if Matt got his messages, and of course there were no messages to be gotten - the dude just decided to not open the bar this week for whatever reason. Spotty cell service on the island provides a pretty convenient general excuse for not calling anyone anyway.

    Matt is generally fairly irritated - rightly so - and says there is no way we came all the way out here for no gig. Thus begins a trip to the various surrounding bars to see who wants a surprise concert in exchange for dinner and drinks. Coincidentally we end up playing at the one place on North Shore Matt has never played before - Rowdy Joes. A few phone calls ensue (we use my phone because I actually HAVE reception on the North Shore) and a good crowd trickles in.

    All in all it's a great gig. Matt and I click on the tunes. Amp sounds pretty good. A few tips, a few CDs sold. Sadly, this "island time" concept frequently extends throughout the whole business of music anyway, and this 'the gig is cancelled, let's just line another one up right now' thing happens a lot, everywhere. I was pretty sure when the Spratnet gig fell through that we'd find something, even if it was playing for dinner and tips. You just have to roll with it and make do, and a lot of times the gig is better for it anyway!

    Tuesday, June 08, 2010 Posts Dio's Last Concert

    Bittersweet to see this one, but here is Ronnie James Dio's last live performance ever. He still sounded epic - who knew he'd pass away just eight months later!

    It's The Mob Rules, so enjoy it dammit!

    Tuesday, June 01, 2010

    A Fear Of Flashing Light - My New CD Is Out Today!

    You may be aware that over the past year I have been working on recording my first ever solo CD. Well, today is the big day and the release, called A Fear Of Flashing Light, is now available for download at

    Recorded from April 2009 through May 2010, the 12 song CD spans various genres including straight ahead rock and roll, progressive rock, and some acoustic-based tunes as well. There is also a fancy 13 page digital booklet with lyrics and artwork so your eyes can be as jazzed as your ears.

    For those of you who don't know me, you will hear some of the following influences throughout the disc: Peter Gabriel, Rush (Alex Lifeson), Neil Young, The Beatles, Yes (Steve Howe), Pink Floyd, Porcupine Tree, Pete Townshend and dare I even say a smidge of Warren Zevon, Coldplay and/or U2? I dunno - you tell me what you hear.

    I am making the CD available as a free download but am also offering the option to pay a suggested $5 to help offset the cost of recording and mastering. Physical CDs will also be available via snail mail in about a month, and I will let you know about that when the time comes.

    Thanks, and ENJOY the CD!