Ruby Calling

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Take note! Hungry Ghosts by Ok Go!

Take note

The fifth installment of the Take Note! review series is of a CD called Hungry Ghosts by Ok Go.  ‘The Writing’s on the Wall’ off Ok Go’s new album ‘Hungry Ghosts’ is one of the saddest songs I have heard in a long time. I hear in it missed connections and longing. It is a song of little hope mixed with a gigantic serving of despair. And yet the words are catchy and the music is upbeat! It feels wrong to have such a sad song be ~that~ upbeat. My brain has been full of this song for weeks. This song has taken up residence there and shows no signs of moving out.  This is a shame because the rest of the album is interesting and fun and filled with songs you want to bob your head along with. If only you can get past song #2.

I really enjoy reading about the process different band use to write music and lyrics. What inspires them?  Damian Kulash from Ok Go shared the band’s process and inspiration for ‘Hungry Ghosts’ in this article.  He explains the origin and process song by song off the Hungry Ghosts album.

The music of Ok Go is so excellent and goes well with their TOTALLY AWESOME videos.  Here is the video for The Writing’s on the Wall.

Take Note! Because the Origami by 8in8

Take note

The fourth installment of the Take Note! review series is of a CD called Nighty Nite by 8in8. The year 2013 conspired to make me aware, in a big way, of both Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer. This summer a friend invited me to a reading by Neil at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, OR as part of his last signing tour. I was aware of him but didn’t really know anything about him. I went and was charmed by him and his stories.
I found out about Amanda Palmer through the exceptionally funny and completely unsafe for work blog called The Bloggess. Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, suffers from depression and writes about it regularly. One of her posts linked to an Amanda Palmer song called, In My Mind, which made me sob. This led to a post about Amanda Palmer seeing tweets from Jenny Lawson about being unable to attend Amanda’s concert because of anxiety and Amanda conspiring to make it happen anyway. At that point my heart split open, grew 3 sizes and other miracles occurred resulting in me falling a little bit in love with Amanda Palmer.
Neil and Amanda are very prolific in the areas of blogging, twitter and Facebook. Through Amanda’s blog I learned about a project that the two of them worked on along with Ben Folds and Damian Kulash (from OK GO). The goal was to write 8 songs in 8 hours. They didn’t quite meet the goal. They only got to 6 songs in 12 hours. Oh my goodness! How awesome is that?  Can you imagine writing, arranging and recording just one song in 12 hours? Forget 6!!! Considering I am currently working on participating in the RPM Challenge which gives us the entire month of February to record 10 songs, I’m really impressed!
I guess they got song ideas from twitter with Neil curating tweets and then helping to write them into songs. All participants sing at least one song and many play instruments. It’s astounding really. In Amanda’s post about the project, she included a link to a fan made video to go along with the song “Because the Origami” which I watched before listening to the album in its entirety. The video is absolutely haunting. It is difficult to remember that as far as I know, the story the song tells is make believe and per a blog post about the project was started from a line posted on Twitter: “ben started the lyrics for “because the origami” from someone answering a twitter call from neil for ‘ways love goes wrong.’”
Amanda Palmer has this to say about the project:
“the thing i’m most happy to report: we accomplished what we actually set out to do, which was to spend time together, create something beautiful that never existed before, and see what we could do by giving ourselves a deadline, some parameters, sushi, and the ingredients for some relatively decent gin and tonics.” – afp
So back to the point of this post. No, really, it has a point! I listened to the entire album and there was one particular song that stuck out to me and that was…”Because the Origami.” I keep seeing the chilling images of the fan-made video. After seeing that, none of the other songs really had a chance. One thing I liked about the entire album was the diversity in the singers, arrangements, and musical instruments used. Also, the fact that they made the entire album in 12 hours really blows my mind. The entire album can be purchased for as little as $1 (you choose what you pay). I hope you’ll purchase it in support of crazy creative musical projects everywhere.
It was really 6 in 12 but it is still impressive.

It was really 6 in 12 but it is still impressive.

Another recording session

Yesterday we were asked if we have ever recorded before.  I said, “Yes, twice.”  But my band mate quickly reminded me that wasn’t true.  We had actually to that point recorded 5 times.  Three times at the Rock and Roll Camp for Girls (in two separate bands), once in a our basement practice space and once at Jackpot! Studios.  Oh yeah!  I forgot about those first three times.  I guess they were kind of practice sessions.  I think it is worth it to get some recording experience before you, “go for the gold.”  There are many things to figure out and to learn.k

We did have a recording session yesterday at Nettleingham Audio in Vancouver, Washington.  We recording a single song called the Enchantress of Numbers.  The engineer recently graduated from recording school and our drummer had never before recorded so it was a day full of learning.  All in all it was a good experience for everyone.  Molly, the drummer, was a champ as was engineer Jay.

We can’t wait to hear the results and we can’t wait to share them with you!

Recording Enchantress of Numbers on Sunday!

The band, in its new iteration, is going back to the studio on Sunday, May 19, 2013 to record the song about Ada Lovelace entitled Enchantress of Numbers.  We are excited to be working with new recording Engineer, Jay at a studio in Vancouver, Washington.  We will keep you posted on how things go.

In the mean time, if you want to hear some Ruby Calling right now…go to for a quick fix.

Next concert 5/5/2013

Ruby Calling will be playing a set at a benefit for the Rock and Roll Camp for Girls on 5/5/2013 at the Backspace in Portland, OR. We will be playing with two other local bands, Piefight! and Lather, Rinse, Repeat.  It should be a fun show for a good cause.  Show starts at 3pm.  Backspace is located at 115 NW 5th Ave  Portland, OR 97209.  We plan to play at least one new song.  Hope to see you there!

Ruby Calling gets some airtime

I recently shared the new Ruby Calling EP with a great local radio station KZME.  I guess they liked it because they played a song today!  Yay!  It is a dream come true to share our music with the world.  Do you have your copy of our EP?  If not go here:

In other news, the band is working on a cover for Christmas for our friends at The Big Show.  It is now stuck in our heads and we are contemplating busting out a video.  Stay tuned.

Debut EP – Ignite almost ready for release

While our absence from this web page may lead you to believe that we disappeared, we have not!  In fact, we have been in the studio recording our very first EP entitled Ignite.  The EP will contain 5 songs and will be available via Bandcamp.  We will let you know when it is available.

RPM Challenge and Recording

 Ruby Calling is still together and going strong.  We have had a quiet winter practicing and working on a few new songs.  On December 31, 2011 we had a mobile recording studio swing by and record one of our songs.  After a couple of back and forth emails with the engineer, we have a new rendition of Crow Girl that we are really happy with.  As soon as we are sure we have the final copy, we will post it.

The band is also participating in the RPM Challenge during the month of February.  The challenge is to record 35 minutes or 10 songs of previously unrecorded music.  We decided to do all new stuff and picked the theme of “Great Women.”  An informal Facebook request yielded a whole bunch of possible great women.  Within the band we are picking the great women who most move us and are writing songs about them.  So far we have 5 sets of lyrics written and one song just about complete.

In addition to writing a bunch of new songs Erin is learning to record the band for the challenge.  The learning curve is steep but the reward of learning a new skills will be lasting.  Since the challenge is bounded by the month of February we aren’t necessarily expecting to end of with great recordings.  However, we are hoping to do some recording in the spring when we have more time.