Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Tale Of Things To Come

Greetings and the fondest summer wishes from The Sobriquets to everyone. We hope everyone is out there, enjoying life, music and friends as much as we are this summer.

It's been a while since we've written here, due mostly to the fact that we are musicians and folks with lives just as crazy and packed as yours. We've been up to quite a bit over the last few months, and we'd love to share it with you here.

First, and most importantly, we have some bittersweet news. Joshua Neale, our bassist since 2007, is departing from The Sobriquets to pursue his new project, Negation Delirium. For those who know Josh, you know he is an outstanding metal musician and metal enthusiast, so it is fitting that he is moving on to a metal band that will literally thrash you to new states of consciousness. Check out their very shiny and new Facebook page, and be sure to tell all your metal friends (you know you have them) about Negation Delirium. We wish Josh nothing but success and heavy riffs in this very amicable parting. Don't worry, we all still hang out together.

With that said, there is now a huge open space that Josh used to occupy in the band that we are in the process of filling. We are striving to have a new bassist in place very soon so we can get back to the business of making music for all of you. We're also looking to add a new element to The Sobriquets: a full-time keyboardist. We'll fill you all in on who the new faces will be just as soon as we find them.

Much of April and May was spent at Sine Studios in Philadelphia making what will be our newest record, the record that so many of you helped make possible with your support during our fundraiser earlier this year. Once again, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We could not have done any of it without the help of everyone who donated to the cause. And we could not have made the best record any of us have ever been a part of without Matt Teach and Mike Lawson, the two owners and engineers of Sine Studios. Their skills and brilliance, combined with their outstanding studio, are as much a part of the record as we are. To any and all musicians everywhere: make your next record at Sine. You will love every minute of it.

We're in the midst of the mixing process of the record right now. It's being mixed and mastered in Los Angeles by Dave Drago, and we're already psyched from the few samples we've heard so far. We hope to release a couple of tracks by the fall of this year, and the record should be released in early 2012. We all want to take our time with this one, and give it the proper release it deserves. So to all who have been anxiously awaiting the record (most likely because you helped pay for it), we ask you to wait just a bit more. It's coming. And it's going to be awesome.

Lastly, here's the big "shake-up" news that we've been alluding to over the past few weeks. With the new record and the new lineup, the remaining Sobriquets have decided to retire the name they've been playing under for more than four years. The new lineup will have a new name, as will the record. The music will be the same music you've known and loved over the years. We'll be looking for help on the new name, so keep an eye on the Facebook page for that.

Thanks to all of you who have supported us through the years as a touring band. We will see as many of you as humanly possible over the next few months as we get ready to head back out on the road with the new lineup. Everything we do is made better and more rewarding because of you. See you out there this fall!

- The Sobriquets (James, Dan, Nick and always a part of us, Josh)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Road To Beardtober 2010: The Wrap-Up

It's finally here! Beardtober has begun! And just in time for some lovely fall weather, too! But now begins the long, arduous quest through No-Shave November, Beard-mas, and of course, Manuary. So here's the final photos... (click for full size)

September 27

September 28

September 29

September 30

October 1

And, for good measure, here's the photo of me from way back on September 1st, when I started this journey:

And now, your final tips.
  • Now would be the time to shape your beard, if you intend to do so. First, study your beard to determine when the natural lines are. For the standard beard, you'll want to shave your upper cheeks of those stray fuzzies, and take care of the wings under your ears, by bringing them in line with your sideburns. You may also wish to shave around your neck; in that case, you'll want to bring it up about an inch, or about the same distance as your aforementioned ear wings.
  • If you're nervous about messing up your beard shape, procure an eyebrow pencil and trace the preferred shape in and around your beard before cutting.
  • Maintaining your beard is SO much easier with an electric trimmer. Get one.
  • If your mustache is starting to grow into your mouth, pick up a travel grooming kit from your local drugstore. This should contain (among other things) a small pair of scissors and a comb. Comb the mustache straight down towards your lips, and trim the ends from the corners of your mouth to the center. Use the top of your upper lip as a guide for length, and keep combing as you trim. You'd be surprised how easily stray long hairs can hide.

Until next fall, fellow beard fans.
- Josh

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Road To Beardtober 2010: Week 3

Little late putting this one up. We played a friend's wedding the weekend before last, did a taping in Boston, and then I started my week playing cello for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. So here's the missing week. I'll be doing a wrap-up on Friday. (click photos for full size)

September 18

September 19

September 20

September 21

September 23

September 24

September 25

Not really any tips this time, as I'm saving a few for the wrap-up. As you can see, my beard has more or less leveled out. At this point, you may wish to think about how you plan to style your beard. If you're feeling adventurous, I recommend the "Friendly Mutton Chops" (think Lemmy from Motorhead). See you on Friday!

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Road To Beardtober 2010: Week 2

WEEK 2! Played some shows, grew some beard. I was a bit lazy with the daily photos due to gigs (and that's going to continue this week). I also picked up a cello that I have to learn to play by next weekend, so that's taking up a lot of time as well. The band's in Boston this weekend for a post-wedding gig, so come on out if you're in the area! Anyway, on to the photos... (click for full size)

September 9

September 10

September 12

September 14

September 15
September 16
And some more beardly tips:
  • At this length, you may want to start shampooing your face. Think about it: you'd shampoo this length of hair if it was on the top of your head, right? You can wait a while to start doing this, but shampooing (and conditioning) will keep the hair soft and manageable, as well as minimizing dandruff and other itchy things.
  • Continue to resist the urge to shave the edges of your beard to create an outline. At this point, you're almost there, but there's no shame in playing it safe.
  • If you have pre-existing facial hair like me, keep trimming it back every few days until it syncs up with the rest. If it's not exact, don't sweat it: once the entire beard grows out, no one will notice.
See you all next week!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Road To Beardtober 2010: Week 1

It's been a pretty eventful week for us. We went into Akdar Studios in Bernville, PA, to do a test recording, which came out pretty awesome. I threw a Labor Dabor BBQ, which was also pretty awesome. And, as promised, I've been keeping tabs on my beardiness. So here it is, the week in review... (click photos for full size)

September 02
September 03
September 04
September 05
September 06September 07
September 08

And now, some helpful tips for maintaining your awesome beard:
  1. WASH. YOUR. FACE. I know it sounds like a given, but all that new hair is going to retain even more facial oil and grime than you're used to. Thoroughly wash your infant beard daily to prevent buildup and dandruff.
  2. It's going to be itchy. Really, really itchy. Use a moisturizer if it gets out of hand, but the daily washings will help significantly.
  3. Resist the urge to style. Yes, that means having a neck beard for a little while, but the wait is worth it. The hair lines won't be fully defined for at least 2-3 weeks, but most likely a month, and you risk ruining your beard by attempting to shape it too early.
See you all next week with more photos and tips, and good luck on the road to Beardtober 2010!

- Josh

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Road To Beardtober 2010: A Photo Essay

Beardtober: A portmanteau of "beard" and "October"; the event of growing a totally awesome beard for the month of October.

For the uninitiated, Beardtober is an annual event of dubious origins (I credit the creation to my old college buddy Charlie), in which participants attempt to grow the best beard they can during the month of September. This adequately prepares one for the events of Beardtober, mostly due to the fact that one now has a beard.

Those who know me, know that I occasionally grow an awesome (or "fuck-off") beard during the winter months. While I've participated in these hirsute festivities before, I've never attempted to document the transformation. To that end, I'll be photographing myself daily during September. Every week, I'll post a progress report showing the week's growth, as well as helpful tips for maintaining your beard, should you choose to join in.

Now behold, the commencement of Beardtober 2010! It should be noted, as I look real funny with no facial hair, I have kept my goatee. I will trim it back as the beard comes in.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Josh's New Job


A few weeks ago, I found an ad on Craigslist simply titled "Music Writers Needed". The job promised a position reviewing albums for an online music magazine, with such perks as free music, free shows, and the chance to interview famous musicians. The only catch: it was an unpaid position. However, they were looking specifically for a metal writer. I said "What the hell?" and responded. A few days later, I was the newest reviewer for MXDWN! I recently completed my first review, which went live a few days ago. In a trial-by-fire twist, the first album I had to cover was only tangentially related to metal. It's TOOL frontman Maynard James Keenan's trip-hop side project Puscifer. Check out the link below, and keep your eyes pointed at my Facebook page and the band's Facebook for more reviews as they come! And if you like it, feel free to click that ol' Like button and/or send it to all your friends! PLEASE feel free.