album released…

The new album, “We Are All Haunted by Something“, has now been released officially as of 7/23/2017, on the night of the New Moon in Leo. In a few weeks, the next New Moon… is also in Leo, which is something of a rarity, astrologically speaking, though it does happen every few years, and this is also the Total Solar Eclipse which will be occurring across the U.S. on August 21st.

Path of the Total Solar Eclipse across America on August 21, 2017… In typically American (exceptionalist) fashion, it is being called the Great American Eclipse. Image courtesy of NASA. Click on the image to enlarge.

I’ll be talking about that – what it might possibly signify for the next six months, astrologically – in the next blog post here in a couple of weeks, and yes, it IS a big deal. View responsibly, wherever you are. [Solar eclipses typically suggest the tone of events – in whatever house they occur on a chart for individuals or countries – for the next 6 months or until the next solar eclipse, which in this case, will be February 15, 2018.]

Erin and I will be here in the Denver metro area viewing the partial eclipse which will be fine. We’ll both be at work that day and it will get all dark and eerie for about half-an-hour. I had made reservations in Ogallala, Nebraska a while back (only because Wyoming was already booked up), then watched as the hotel jacked up the prices every few weeks, saw what we would be paying, until I finally cancelled, and now I see that Nebraska is sold out as well. I have no idea what the going rate is now other than exorbitant (also in typically American fashion, i.e., greed).

So for now here’s the album… available on iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon MP3, and Bandcamp; you can listen to the full album here…

Or SoundCloud, full album here as well…

It is a Sunday afternoon right now and we are having a thunderstorm here in Golden – a good soaking rain which is always welcome in what is usually a dry summer, now as we head into August. Everything still looks green. Almost done with summer… thankfully.

The last couple of weekends we’ve gone up to Central City in the mountains… to see the opera. The Central City Opera is now in its 85th season at the opera house, a national historic landmark that was built in 1878. We saw “Carmen” by Georges Bizet, then Mozart’s “Cosi Fan Tutte” yesterday… both excellent productions. If you’re here in the Denver area during July and August, I highly recommend going up there to take in a performance. Year in, year out, they are at the very top of summer opera companies in the U.S. so go see them.

The Opera House in Central City, CO…

I am taking something of a break for the time being, but usually that never lasts long. Originally, “We Are All Haunted by Something” was to be a double album and there are 9 songs in various stages of completion that didn’t make it onto the album as released. I will be working on those, finishing them up over the next couple of months and hope to have 4-5 completed by mid-November to release as a follow-up EP sometime in December, possibly also as a 2-disc CD offering.

"Speed of Life" single, released on 10/9/16...
“Speed of Life” single, released on 10/9/16…
Album cover for “We Are All Haunted by Something”, scheduled for release in July 23, 2017. This is the old abandoned Apache Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico – shot taken in 2009. The image of the night sky is from Justin Marsh, added with his permission.

The new album, “We Are All Haunted by Something” has now been released. Includes the 2-song single “Speed of Life” and “Confirm Humanity (I’m Not a Robot)”.

Speed of Life“,Unearthly, Santos and all previous Nights on Venus albums are available as MP3 digital downloads on Bandcamp, CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon MP3, and the NoV Website.

goldenboy_and_prince

Cover artwork for “Unearthly”… photo/design by CCT

 

 

 

 

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it’s (all) about time…

Time isn’t holding up, time isn’t after us…” – Talking Heads, “Once In a Lifetime”

Funny… All these years (since 1980) I thought that lyric – written by David Byrne – was “time is an asterisk“. Or, put another way: “time is an *…” where the ‘*’ was some kind of x factor or unknown variable. That was always kind of intriguing and carried a certain mystery about it. What would that phrase mean?

Maybe that time is extremely fluid and entirely personal.

The venerable Little Bear Saloon in Evergreen, Colorado… Memorial Day, 5/29/2017. I practically lived here in the 1990s, especially when I actually lived in Evergreen for a few years, then worked here in the early 2000s. My friends and I used to joke about how when we all turned 60, in the far off distant future, we’d all still be going to the Little Bear, except now it’s no joke – I am 60 and I am still going to the Bear. Life’s little self-fulfilling prophecies.
The hike up Second Creek near Berthoud Pass and the view from the Broome Hut just below timberline.

Time is an asterisk could have been a song title on the soon-to-be-released new album in a couple of weeks since so many of the songs on there deal with the subject of time. “We Are All Haunted by Something” has gone to mastering in the time since I last posted and I apologize to readers for not posting during the month of June and being away for so long. It also kind of freaks me out a little that we are now past the midway point in 2017, that we’re 9 days into July, as this seems (to me) to be the fastest-moving year I can ever remember. Maybe other people have been and are feeling this too. This year just seems very accelerated, way too much. Erin and I have been hiking most weekends, working the rest of the time. Hiking and working, but now – for the most part – I can slow down a little. Only time won’t let me.

“But I tell you now… time is an illusion
Time… is not real
Time… is an illusion
Time… is the dividing line
Between what is true and what is not true
Between what is real and what is not real
Between what is so and what is not so
But who, I said who, who stands for time?
Who stands at the threshold of time?
Who decides what is true and what is not true?
We do, you and I…” – Todd Rundgren, “I Love My Life”

From our most recent hike yesterday on an absolutely perfect summer day, up Watrous Gulch near the Continental Divide at Loveland Pass. 14er Torreys Peak (14,267 ft.) is the high mountain in the center just a few miles away.

I think what we are most haunted by – even more so than our eventual demise in the physical – is time. Our perceptions of it, through the passage of time and we speak of its ravages (on the physical form), or when we feel like there’s never enough of it or alternately when we have too much of it on our hands.

“There Is Only Now” was the first song I recorded for what would become this album. Shortly after that, Prince died on April 21st. I had no idea then that his death would have such an effect on me. It literally threw me, my thoughts, back in time to the summer of 1984 and a very intense experience which his classic album “Purple Rain” was the soundtrack for. That was completely unexpected. Much of the new album was written and recorded during the time last year when I was revisiting a lot of memories and specific events from that summer 33 years ago now (e.g., “Ghost Towns of the 1980s”).

The final set list and sequencing:

Book of Detours
There Is Only Now
Speed of Life
The Indelible Imprint of Place
Llano Estacado
In Wilderness [Is the Only Sanity in the World]
I Just Wanna Fly Off to Iceland With U
Confirm Humanity (I’m Not a Robot)
Glamour: A World Problem
Relive Tomorrow… Today!
Ghost Towns of the 1980s
Hours Turn Into Years
Unusually Vivid Experience (UVE)
New Dark Age

The trail up Chief Mountain, Continental Divide in the distance.
My Old School, Steely Dan tribute band, at the Little Bear. They’ll be there again next Saturday, 7/15. Excellent band.

14 songs, for now… 14 months of work coming to completion. There are 4 more songs which didn’t make it onto the album but may be released as a sort of epilogue and EP by the end of this year. I took my time with this album; there’s more of a looser feel to it. And it comes out on July 23 – first available on Bandcamp and free for the first week (through July 29). A few more pictures from the recent hikes…

At the summit of Chief Mountain, June, 2017.
Toward the top of Watrous Gulch… 7/8/2017
Hiking up the trail on Second Creek, 7/1/2017.
The Watrous Gulch trail, Torreys Peak in the distance… 7/8/2017.
The “Shmoopies”, Second Creek… 7/1/2017

Until next time…

"Speed of Life" single, released on 10/9/16...
“Speed of Life” single, released on 10/9/16…
Album cover for “We Are All Haunted by Something”, scheduled for release in July 23, 2017. This is the old abandoned Apache Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico – shot taken in 2009. The image of the night sky is from Justin Marsh, added with his permission.

The new album, “We Are All Haunted by Somethingis coming soon. Release date is set for July 23rd. 14 songs… including the 2-song single “Speed of Life” and “Confirm Humanity (I’m Not a Robot)”.

‘Til then, “Speed of Life“,Unearthly, Santos and all previous Nights on Venus albums are available as MP3 digital downloads on Bandcamp, CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon MP3, and the NoV Website.

goldenboy_and_prince

Cover artwork for “Unearthly”… photo/design by CCT

 

 

 

 

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“speed of life” single available now…

The new 2-song single “Speed of Life” has been released as of 10/9/2016 and I have included both songs here in today’s post.

SPEED OF LIFE
(Written by David Bowie. © 1977 Tintoretto Music and Screen Gems-EMI Music. All rights reserved.)

And the ‘B-side’…
CONFIRM HUMANITY (I’M NOT A ROBOT)
(© 2016 Nights on Venus/Craig C. Thomas. All rights reserved.)

Recording info:
Recorded and mixed July – August, 2016 at the ‘Cave Recording Studio, Golden, Colorado
Craig Carrington Thomas – all instruments, programming, engineering and production
Mastered by Brian Hazard at Resonance Mastering, Huntington Beach, California, September, 2016
Cover artwork by CCT

About the songs… starting with the ‘B-side’ first…
When I first started recording “Confirm Humanity…”, I thought it was kind of a goofy song but I liked the beat and the synths. Actually by the end, I really like what the song turned into and I’m very pleased with this one. The title of the song is a ready-made… I was on some website, signing up on their mailing list and there was a captcha that asked me to: Confirm Humanity (I’m Not a Robot). I thought that was kind of funny. Boom. Title. The sort of sinister surf/spy guitar part was played on my Danelectro baritone. There’s no bass part on this and that double hit on the snare drum… I must have listened to “Incense and Peppermints” around that time – the infamous double hi-hat hit – and it just got stuck in the ol’ subconscious.

Speed of Life“… this is the opening track from David Bowie’s album “Low” in 1977 and marked his new collaboration with musician/producer Brian Eno for the next three albums, the Berlin trilogy – “Low”, “Heroes”, and “Lodger”. I was somewhat surprised to learn that “Speed of Life” was Bowie’s first instrumental, especially since he already had 10 studio albums released by then.

"Miracle of the Slave" - Tintoretto
“Miracle of the Slave” – Tintoretto. If you’ve ever taken an Art History course, you’ve seen a slide of this painting.

Also very interesting when the licensing came back and I saw the publishing credits for “Speed of Life”. The first listed publisher was Tintoretto Music. Tintoretto was a 16th-century Italian painter during the Renaissance in Venice, most well-known perhaps for his painting, “Miracle of the Slave” (1548).

David Bowie in front of a portrait he painted of Iggy Pop in Berlin in 1976…

David Bowie was certainly a Renaissance man in his/our own time – musician, singer, songwriter, actor, art collector, and artist with artist being the broadest, most all-encompassing word to describe him. His paintings are probably the least known of his creative work but you can see several of them in this excellent article and interview with him from 1998, reprinted by the New York Times just a few days after his death this past January. And that’s really how 2016 began, what has set the tone for this year with the news of his death only 10 days in. It has been, for the most part, a very somber year; he and his artistic presence and sensibilities are very much missed.

“Speed of Life” is among my favorite Bowie songs and a song I have done live a number of times over the years, with various bands and at solo gigs. This is the first recorded version I’ve done of the song, in tribute to him and his life. I hope he would have liked this version.

A few milestones this month of October and on into November:
Nights on Venus turned 6 on October 8th.
I turned 60 on October 16th.
Erin and I get married this week.

"Speed of Life" single, released on 10/9/16...
“Speed of Life” single, released on 10/9/16…

Speed of Lifeis the most recent offering from Nights on Venus. The 2-song EP was released on October 9, 2016 and is available on Bandcamp, CD Baby, Amazon MP3, and iTunes.

Cover artwork for "Unearthly"... photo/design by CCT
Cover artwork for “Unearthly”… photo/design by CCT

Unearthly, Santos and all previous albums are available as MP3 digital downloads on CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon MP3, and the NoV Website.

Craig, end of July, 2016...
Craig, end of July, 2016…

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merry christmas… “unearthly” EP releases this week…

First of all, Merry Christmas to Everyone, wherever you may be!
And Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men…”

christmas_2015

Peace and goodwill… two things we need a lot more of in this world after what has been a very tumultuous year in 2015. I wish those two things for everyone, as well as joy and happiness and prosperity – having enough and not being in lack – and hope, not just during the holiday season, but throughout the year, every year as we move into 2016 and beyond.

Oh, I left out kindness. We need a lot more of that as well, especially here in the states… (some people have forgotten what this actually is).

kindness

Unearthly, the 2nd EP from Nights on Venus this year, releases officially on 12/30, but it is available now on Bandcamp as a FREE download. The entire album… or as much as you want (individual tracks are free as well). From now through 12/29

So here it ’tis…

To download the album: click on the Unearthly – EP link, listen, check it out, and click Buy Now; enter “0” in the name your price box, then click the Download Now button… and away you go.
And I hope you enjoy it!

For those of you out there who have been following Nights on Venus for a while and/or listening and downloading the music, this is just my way of saying thank you for supporting my efforts these first 5 years of Nights on Venus.

And now that Christmas is upon us, there will be much cooking taking place here at La Casa NoV today and tomorrow. There will be “It’s a Wonderful Life” and 24 hours of Ralphie (“A Christmas Story”) on the tele – I love ’em. There’s snow on the ground here (and I predict it will be here until April – strong El Nino).  It’s going to be cold this weekend and we’ll have the fireplace on.

No, I have not forgotten what this season is about… It is about Light coming into the world at a time when it is needed the most.

Nights on Venus will be back with new music in 2016 – a full-length album probably around late July/August…

Merry Christmas and  Happy New Year to all!

snowy_xmas

Cover artwork for "Unearthly"... photo/design by CCT
Cover artwork for “Unearthly”… photo/design by CCT

Unearthly, the 6-song EP will be released on December 30th, but is available now on Bandcamp as a free download until 12/29.

"Perspective," the 4th Nights on Venus album, MP3 album cover. Available on iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon, eMusic, Bandcamp, and the NoV website.
“Perspective,” the 4th Nights on Venus album, MP3 album cover. Available on iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon, eMusic, Bandcamp, and the NoV website.

Santos, Perspective and all previous albums  from Nights on Venus are available as MP3 digital downloads on CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon MP3, and the NoV website.

Summit selfie... Mt. Flora, October, 2015
Summit selfie… Mt. Flora, October, 2015

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final mixdowns and a couple more previews from “unearthly”…

I’m currently putting finishing touches on the last of the songs for “Unearthly” and wanted to post a couple of them here before they go off to mastering in the next week or so. In the song sequence, these two close out the album/EP which releases on December 30th. Again, mastered demos here; there will be some differences in the final mastered versions as always. Brian Hazard at Resonance Mastering will be doing the mastering once again.

5. PAST THE TIPPING POINT
(© 2015 Nights on Venus/Craig C. Thomas. All rights reserved.)

6. WE MOVE OFF TOGETHER
(© 2015 Nights on Venus/Craig C. Thomas. All rights reserved.)

The 6-song EP will be available for friends and fans of Nights on Venus before the 30th with at least 3 songs available as free downloads. Check back for details as we get closer to the release date.

The tempo has picked up this last month or so as we move into the holiday season and start to close out 2015. Happy Thanksgiving! to everyone and I hope you have an awesome day tomorrow with friends and family. May your holiday be completely free of any political discussions with the fam; if not, there’s always Adele.

Hiking in Apex Open Space...
Hiking in Apex Open Space…
Fog and trees in the Enchanted Forest, top of Apex...
Fog and trees in the Enchanted Forest, top of Apex…

The forecast here for tomorrow is calling for about 3-5 inches o’ snow (now updated to 5-10 inches), which is always welcome this early in the season… until it’s not (usually near the end of April). Here are a few pictures from recent hikes this month near Golden…

Looking north from the Argos Trail toward Golden and beyond to Boulder and the Flatirons...
Looking north from the Argos Trail toward Golden and beyond to Boulder and the Flatirons…
High above Golden...
High above Golden…
Denver to the east...
Denver to the east…
apex_1107_03
Toward the top of Indian Mountain…
Heading back down...
Heading back down…
Nights on Venus, "Santos"... July, 2015
Nights on Venus, “Santos”… July, 2015
Cover artwork for "Unearthly"... photo/design by CCT
Cover artwork for “Unearthly”… photo/design by CCT

Santos, a 4-song EP was released in July and is available now on CD Baby,  Bandcamp,  iTunes/AppleMusic, and Amazon MP3. The new EP, “Unearthly” arrives on December 30, 2015. In the meantime…

"Perspective," the 4th Nights on Venus album, MP3 album cover. Available on iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon, eMusic, Bandcamp, and the NoV website.
“Perspective,” the 4th Nights on Venus album, MP3 album cover. Available on iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon, eMusic, Bandcamp, and the NoV website.

Santos, Perspective and all previous albums  from Nights on Venus are available as MP3 digital downloads on CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon MP3, and the NoV website.

Summit selfie... Mt. Flora, October, 2015
Summit selfie… Mt. Flora, October, 2015

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pictures at an exhibition…

This week, I hope everyone had an excellent Thanksgiving holiday…

The new album “Perspective” is complete and is currently being mastered by Brian Hazard at Resonance Mastering in Huntington Beach, CA. Scheduled release date is still set for 12/21/14 and the album will be available as an MP3 digital download and also on CDs (at a slightly later date).

The cover artwork for the MP3 album digital download is pictured below. The CD version will feature different artwork on the cover.

"Perspective," the 4th Nights on Venus album, MP3 album cover
“Perspective,” the 4th Nights on Venus album, MP3 album cover

chihuly_15And so, to celebrate the completion of the album, Erin and I headed into Denver last night – the 2-hour mini-vacation from Golden and vice versa – for a night out and to catch the Chihuly Nights exhibit at the Denver Botanic Gardens on its next-to-last night here in town.

chihuly_16The glass sculptures are the work of American artist Dale Chihuly and the installation is absolutely spectacular, particularly at night. The pieces, ranging in size from small to large-scale, are amazing, beautiful, intricate. Not sure where the installation is headed next but if it comes to your city, be sure and go see it – it is well worth it. Some of the highlights are pictured below.

At the Chihuly Exhibit, Denver Botanic Gardens, 11/29
At the Chihuly Exhibit, Denver Botanic Gardens, 11/29
chihuly_1
Chihuly is credited with revolutionizing the Studio Glass movement and elevating the perception of the glass medium from the realm of craft to fine art.

chihuly_5chihuly_10chihuly_6chihuly_2chihuly_11chihuly_12chihuly_3chihuly_14chihuly_4chihuly_7

"Summer Madness" - MP3 single, May, 2014
“Summer Madness” – MP3 single, May, 2014
The single "Impermanence"... released July, 2014
The single “Impermanence”… released July, 2014

The singles, “Summer Madness,” and “Impermanence” from Nights on Venus are both available as MP3 digital downloads on CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon MP3, eMusic, and the NoV website as are all full-length albums.

Nights on Venus - the debut album (2011)
Nights on Venus – the debut album (2011)
"Another Day in Paradox" - 2013
“Another Day in Paradox” (2013)

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"In 4 the Evening," released May, 2012
“In 4 the Evening,” released May, 2012

the single, “summer madness,” releases 5/26…

Very pleased to announce the release of the first single from Nights on Venus, “Summer Madness,” tomorrow, May 26th. It is a remake of the song that was originally recorded by Kool and the Gang in 1974 and can be found on their album, “Light Of Worlds” from that year.

Recording info: Recorded during the last 2 weeks of April, 2014 at the ‘Cave Recording Studio, Golden, Colorado
Craig C. Thomas – all instruments, engineering and production
Mastered by Brian Hazard at Resonance Mastering, Huntington Beach, California
Cover artwork by CCT

First of all, I’ve always loved this song from the first time I heard it in the first Rocky movie from 1976. If you’ve heard the song, you’ll remember it. What I’ve tried to do in covering this song is retain the feel and vibe of the original, staying as close to the original as possible while offering up my own take on this classic on its 40th anniversary with the addition of piano, vibes, and more of a hip-hop beat. Actually, the overall feel and vibe had to be virtually the same because that is the essence of the song. It is a prime cut of 70’s mellowness – mysterious, sensual, and spiritual.

A slightly longer version of “Summer Madness” will also be available as a bonus track on the upcoming album by Nights on Venus, “Perspective,” to be released in November this year.

You can find the track on CD Baby tomorrow, and iTunes, Amazon, and eMusic in a few days. So check it out, hope you enjoy it and that it becomes part of your soundtrack as we move into the summer of 2014.

"Another Day in Paradox" - 2013
“Another Day in Paradox” – 2013

Another Day in Paradox,” the third album from Nights on Venus is available on CD and as digital download (MP3) as are “In 4 the Evening” and the eponymously-titled first album (digital download only) on CDBaby, iTunes, Bandcamp, Amazon, eMusic, and other fine online retailers including the NoV website.

"Summer Madness" - MP3 single, May, 2014
“Summer Madness” – MP3 single, May, 2014

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"Perspective," the 4th Nights on Venus album, scheduled for release in November, 2014
“Perspective,” the 4th Nights on Venus album, scheduled for release in November, 2014