Wednesday, May 27, 2015
In 2005, I met Cameron Read McGill at Bonaroo while he was on tour playing guitar with Rachael Yamagata. Immediately after I had met him, I became transfixed by his solo efforts. He had the ear of a producer, hooks of a great songwriter, and lyrics that few could compose. I was in college when I sought out to have Cameron co-produce "The Door, The Gutter, The Grave" and without hesitation he was on board. That EP was completed in 2007 in many ways open doors to larger shows, festivals, etc.
A few years later, I went on tour with Margot & the Nuclear So and So's and shared more great moments with Cameron as he played keys for them. Anyways, each experience further solidified his authenticity as a creator and human-spirit, likely on the quest for something greater than most imagine. Which brings us to tonight. Cameron is onto another beautiful chapter, this time in Moscow and in pursuit of a masters in poetry.
Chicago, I love you...see you tonight at 8.
Monday, April 20, 2015
Lying Through Dinner
The Door, The Gutter, The Grave
Once Lace, Now Cotton
Natureal & His Ego
Dear Brooklyn, I'm Sorry...
The Death of St.Thomas
Sleep Well Queens
Wearing on Strangers
Jesus vs. Santa
Spirals in Space
"Looks like it's going to rain..."
Acoustic Gush "Ego?" Demos
His neighbor, the well-respected, yet often reviled rock critic Jim DeRogatis recognized this early on, and enthusiastically encouraged the young Schraeder to delve deeper into the singer-songwriter canon, eschewing the likes of Matthews and Mraz for the Westerberg, Young, and Van Zandt that would prove to be far more influential on his early sound.
His 2007 album “The Door, The Gutter, The Grave” showcased the young songwriter’s explorations based upon these influences, and landed him a coveted spot at that year’s Lollapalooza. He put together a 9-piece band, and when an interviewer asked why he felt the need for such a large ensemble to interpret his songs, a band member jokingly interjected, “that’s just His Ego,” and the name of Schraeder’s backing band was born.
Throughout the next several years, Tom traveled throughout the country, playing solo acoustic shows and sleeping on a lot of couches. He recorded another album entitled “Lying Through Dinner” in 2008 with Austin-based producer Danny Malone, that showcased the rootsier side to Schraeder’s repertoire. A low-fi record, “Once Lace, Now Cotton” expanded on this side of Schraeder’s songwriting, while “Egoiste,” produced by Malone and Brooklyn-based producer Jimmy Giannopolous, challenged Schraeder to enhance his craft by exploring more electronic tones.
In the meantime, Schraeder felt the need to explore even deeper musical horizons. He recorded a psych-rock project with longtime friend Matthew Nurse called “Gush,” the nickname of Tom’s uncle, who had recently passed away following a sudden heart attack.
Schraeder also found himself yearning to record an album with a full band, so he called upon several of the musicians that he had been collaborating with under the moniker “His Ego” to put together a monumental record of some of his best compositions, namely Dan Moulder (keyboards, vocals), Ryan Joseph Anderson (guitars, vocals), Dan Ingenthron (bass, vocals), and Russ Mallord (drums), as well as poaching one of Austin’s finest, Chris Mosley (guitars, vocals) to round out the all-star lineup.
The band holed up in a practice space for a solid month of rehearsals in the frigid Chicago winter of February 2012. They reconstructed about a dozen of Schraeder’s finest songs, giving them new life and new meaning. In March, the band headed into Rax Trax Studios in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, with Schraeder, Moulder, and engineer Noam Wallenberg at the helm co-producing.
After 5 solid days of basic tracking, the band moved over to Pieholden Suite Sound in the Ukrainian Village for overdubs.
After about a month of Jim Beam and PBR-soaked sessions that included guest sessions from the like of Matthew Nurse, Mars Williams (Psychedelic Furs, Liquid Soul), Nick Broste (Wilco horns), violinist Stephanie Lee, and vocalists Jennifer Hall and Nisha Champion, as well as a bunch of home-cooked meals from Tom and his most ardent supporters, Joyce and Tom Schraeder, Sr., the band wrapped up tracking in April 2012.
Unfortunately in these difficult economic times, financial constraints proved difficult to allow the project to progress into the post-production phase, and the album was shelved for the better part of two years.
In the meantime, Schraeder found new life as the founder and curator of two independent music and arts festivals. His first foray, The Ultraviolet Petting Zoo, featured several local and national indie artists, and raised money for the Boys & Girls Club of Chicago. The event proved so successful, that Schraeder spearheaded the annual Chicago, I Love You festival, a week-long multi-media experience that integrated the best independent music, comedy, film, and visual arts that Chicago had to offer, and was held in every corner of the city.
Eventually, however, due to fervent enthusiasm for the demo recordings which had been distributed underground via social media, as well as the encouragement of his bandmates and music critic Jim Kopeny (aka “Tankboy”) from Chicagoist, who called the album “an epic stunner” before it was even released, “GUSH” by Tom Schraeder & His Ego finally became a reality...until Tom shelves it again.
- Dan Moulder
Monday, February 9, 2015
Thursday, February 5, 2015
Excited to be headed down to play at SXSW again! 2014 was filled with a lot of studio work, demos for our upcoming record, songs for film, and even some covers just for fun. So I'm really looking forward to getting out and playing live again, especially in Austin, TX. In the meantime, I've compiled some of those tracks into a EP titled "Hip Jean Roamers." Give it a listen and check back for SXSW details! Spread love friends...
Hip Jean Roamers
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Saturday, January 3, 2015
With aging comes the remembrance of who you were and what you'd like to become. Looking back on this record, amongst others, I've been able to see a subconscious narrative through-out my last 16 years of recording. Lying Through Dinner is a record that embodies, my alcohol and drug fueled state at that time, as well as my sense for discovery, yet trapped within mid twenties pride. At that time, I had about a few hundred dollars to my name and it was my second trip to SXSW; this time I was playing quite a few shows. While arriving on my birthday to Austin, Tx, Danny Malone, a friend of a friend picked me up at ATX, we proceeded to go back to his place, smoke a joint, song trade mid-afternoon, and proceed to party all night at Sidebar before all of the SXSW madness kicked in. SXSW came and went, like the blur it so frequently becomes and my time in Austin wasn't up. I began writing a lot, and Danny offered to produce an EP of mine at his all analog studio with business partner/engineer Matt Smith.
In 2007, I had just played Lollapalooza, CMJ, SXSW and garnered quite a bit of critical praise for it, a lot of it was due to my bandmates at that time. We were a 9 piece band at the core, ranging from singing saws to cello's amongst a full rock line-up. With the band in Chicago - my efforts were to make a minimal EP and originally title it "La da da." After a title change, 6 week recording session with incredible gear, the record was completed with the help of many Austin musicians contributing to it. Almost 8 years later and looking back, I'm most proud of the fact that such am important time of my life was captured; I followed my instinct, left for a new town, created with strangers, and made many life long friends amongst all of it.
So friends, embrace your past, the good, the bad, and dream relentlessly. You never know what an uncertain pursuit of following instinct may bring you.
Lying Through Dinner...