Without further ado … here’s this year’s record.

It’s been a stressful year. So we did something new, and somewhat extraordinary – we invented something called an “audio play.” This is a set of 10 songs, connected by spoken-word storytelling, underpinned by environmental recordings, movie-like sound effects, and score. The whole experience runs a seamless 67 minutes, and is like seeing a one-woman theater show, with no visuals.

We hope you love it, and that it helps provide some meaning, context, and hope for you in these difficult times. Hang in there.

Here’s a brand-new video (highly excellent) by a brand-new band (from Finland) for a brand-new song (which I mixed). Sort of industrial-goth-trip-hop, perhaps. Featuring Kauko Röyhkä, who is a legend. I’m honored to be involved. Great song, too. Have a listen!

One of the big pleasures for us over the last year has been building a friendship with the legendary Martin Atkins. Martin was first a huge influence on me when I was a kid — he played drums in like 5 of the bands I was the most into in my most formative years. And then he was again a huge influence, on both me and Shannon, when he put out his book Tour Smart nearly ten years ago, which is where we got a lot of our initial ideas for how to do all the DIY stuff that we’ve been doing since with Shannon’s career.

Martin asked us to do our house concert presentation for him at 2112, a music/tech/film incubator in Chicago where he has an office. And of course we said yes!

2112 presentation

Oh hi! Tour is … well, not done … but VERY NEARLY DONE. We’ve been on tour so long that I can’t remember ever doing anything else. It’s been this pretty much every night (i.e., amazing):

val & karla concert

Just a quick note — Shannon and I have been asked to give a talk on how we do house concerts at the CD Baby DIY Musician Conference. It’s next week, in Chicago. If you’re an independent musician, you should go to this conference. It’s positive and it’s useful and the vibe is supportive and excellent and we recommend it highly. If you’re there, come say hi! We have a table and we’ll be around all weekend.