The World and Everything

The adventures of Tommy Rehbein.

World HQ Super Correspondence:
4205 University Avenue NE
Columbia Heights, MN 55421

Tommyrehbein@gmail.com
Tommy Rehbein

—It's Shane Nelson's Birthday

It’s that special day that only happens once a year… Shane Nelson’s Birthday!

Do you ever lay on the ground staring straight up and wonder why you’re here?

Do you ever lay on the ground staring straight up and wonder why you’re here?

International Karate

—01 JDW

A couple of years ago I made a really fun, lo-fi album in my living room using a Moog Realistic MG-1 synthesizer, a little Casiotone keyboard, and whatever else was laying around. I released it under the moniker of INTERNATIONAL KARATE.

A good friend from the UK whom I’ve not seen in quite a while just sent me a message saying he played it over the loudspeakers after a local gig. This made me happy : )

I’d also received high compliments from Marc over at the Moog Foundation, which felt nice.
Anyway, here’s my favorite song from the project. It’s called “JDW.”

Tommy

—stew

I’m working on a theme for my friend Dan Stewart’s documentary about his mom who passed away when he was a baby. This recording is super raw, but I think the mood/sounds are going in the right direction. This will be my first time scoring a film and the subject matter is delicate, so I want to do a good job.

"Trouble Comes My Way"

This is my new song. Click the link. Give it a listen. Rock out.

You all know about Kickstarter by now. It’s this thing where you get people to pledge certain amounts and if that amount is reached, you (the artist) receive the funds (after deductions from the site) to pursue a project. Additionally, pledge levels procure unique prizes for donors. But I’m being redundant because, as already discussed in the previous sentence, you know this by now. 

People have a lot of opinions about such a site/method of acquiring funds for projects. I’ve heard a lot of negative comments and while some of them may be merited in certain instances - a highschool band who has only been around a year should pay some dues and learn their instruments before asking people for five grand to make a record - those ideas are not a universal truth across the board.

I wrestled back and forth about doing a Kickstarter project. Was I being lame? Am I jumping on some bandwagon? Am I bugging the crap out of people to fund something that I should be funding myself?

Many, many friends wrote and encouraged me to pursue this avenue of raising revenue to make an album. So, I jumped through the hoops, created the account, and waited a few days before hitting the green launch button.

It took me a few attempts to launch this album campaign. I’d open the account and stare at the screen. What if this was all stupid? What if people thought I was just another lame-o trying to make another crappy record?

But what if people actually believed in me? What if people wanted to see what I could come up with given the opportunity to be “let loose” in the studio without finances prohibiting the creative process? What if, after years and years or touring, making records, and helping people, all the people I met along the way wanted to give something back?

So, I hit the green launch button, covered my eyes, and screamed!

Within the first 3 hours of launching the project, I raised 1/4 of my goal!

As it turns out, people believe in me and are excited to give me an opportunity to go hog wild with my guitars, synths, drums, and run amok in the studio. I’ve even had people email me offering to loan me pedals, amps, and synths. The support has been staggering.

One of the prizes offered is the chance to play on a song with a $100+ pledge. I sold three of these spots in an hour. People are thrilled at the chance to play on a record by someone they respect. They’re not bothered by the request, they’re excited to be part of something. Even though this is a “solo” record, it is still a community event.

Community has always been the heart of all I create. Back in the day with Small Towns Burn A Little Slower, we’d let local highschool bands open our sold-out hometown shows. If we arrived to a city really early, we’d teach kids how to play songs on guitars in the parking lot. I’m not saying this to pat my own back, but to promote an ethic that got me excited about music in the first place.

When I was a 16-year-old kid, I’d write to bands from ‘zines and mail my heros crappy demos I’d make on the 4-track recorder. Really awesome people would write me back. I got hand written letters from people in bands like The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Flaming Lips, MxPx, Blenderhead, Therapy?, Lucy’s Fur Coat, a girl named Alison from this band called Discount (she now sings in The Dead Weather and The Kills), and guys from local bands The Strike and Ferd Mert would make me mix tapes of bands they thought I’d like and mail them back to me. Rich Horton, a long time local music pillar, would allow me and my friends to ride along with his band Marcus Noise to shows in Mankato and La Crosse. It changed my life. I felt like I was part of something really special, and the isolation of being the weird kid in a crappy town dissolved immediately.

One thing that has really blown my mind is I’ve had a few people pledge to play on the album and they are musicians who are amazing and I’ve always looked up to: guys from bands like Somerset/Honest People and Weaver At The Loom… want to play on MY record! Really?! I should be paying them!

So, if some people want to think I’m lame, I guess that’s okay. I’m in my mid-30s now and I can’t blow my money on gear and studio time and pressing records or whatever like I used to. All my money goes into getting by. Ten years ago I’d tour full time, spend my money on all-things-music, sleep on friends couches, and move ever other month. But I can’t pull that crap now. So this is the only way I’ll be able to make a record I’ve always wanted to make, but could not afford.

Anyway, just some thoughts. If you want to be a part, I’ll include the link. I need all the help I can get spreading the word and making more people aware of the campaign. I know a lot of people and have a lot of friends on social media, but only a fraction of them see my posts because these sights use algorithms to determine who sees your personal posts.

Here’s the link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1450325957/help-tommy-make-an-album

Thanks for everyone who has been generous!
This process is a lot of fun and is giving me a lot of confidence ; )

You all know about Kickstarter by now. It’s this thing where you get people to pledge certain amounts and if that amount is reached, you (the artist) receive the funds (after deductions from the site) to pursue a project. Additionally, pledge levels procure unique prizes for donors. But I’m being redundant because, as already discussed in the previous sentence, you know this by now.

People have a lot of opinions about such a site/method of acquiring funds for projects. I’ve heard a lot of negative comments and while some of them may be merited in certain instances - a highschool band who has only been around a year should pay some dues and learn their instruments before asking people for five grand to make a record - those ideas are not a universal truth across the board.

I wrestled back and forth about doing a Kickstarter project. Was I being lame? Am I jumping on some bandwagon? Am I bugging the crap out of people to fund something that I should be funding myself?

Many, many friends wrote and encouraged me to pursue this avenue of raising revenue to make an album. So, I jumped through the hoops, created the account, and waited a few days before hitting the green launch button.

It took me a few attempts to launch this album campaign. I’d open the account and stare at the screen. What if this was all stupid? What if people thought I was just another lame-o trying to make another crappy record?

But what if people actually believed in me? What if people wanted to see what I could come up with given the opportunity to be “let loose” in the studio without finances prohibiting the creative process? What if, after years and years or touring, making records, and helping people, all the people I met along the way wanted to give something back?

So, I hit the green launch button, covered my eyes, and screamed!

Within the first 3 hours of launching the project, I raised 1/4 of my goal!

As it turns out, people believe in me and are excited to give me an opportunity to go hog wild with my guitars, synths, drums, and run amok in the studio. I’ve even had people email me offering to loan me pedals, amps, and synths. The support has been staggering.

One of the prizes offered is the chance to play on a song with a $100+ pledge. I sold three of these spots in an hour. People are thrilled at the chance to play on a record by someone they respect. They’re not bothered by the request, they’re excited to be part of something. Even though this is a “solo” record, it is still a community event.

Community has always been the heart of all I create. Back in the day with Small Towns Burn A Little Slower, we’d let local highschool bands open our sold-out hometown shows. If we arrived to a city really early, we’d teach kids how to play songs on guitars in the parking lot. I’m not saying this to pat my own back, but to promote an ethic that got me excited about music in the first place.

When I was a 16-year-old kid, I’d write to bands from ‘zines and mail my heros crappy demos I’d make on the 4-track recorder. Really awesome people would write me back. I got hand written letters from people in bands like The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Flaming Lips, MxPx, Blenderhead, Therapy?, Lucy’s Fur Coat, a girl named Alison from this band called Discount (she now sings in The Dead Weather and The Kills), and guys from local bands The Strike and Ferd Mert would make me mix tapes of bands they thought I’d like and mail them back to me. Rich Horton, a long time local music pillar, would allow me and my friends to ride along with his band Marcus Noise to shows in Mankato and La Crosse. It changed my life. I felt like I was part of something really special, and the isolation of being the weird kid in a crappy town dissolved immediately.

One thing that has really blown my mind is I’ve had a few people pledge to play on the album and they are musicians who are amazing and I’ve always looked up to: guys from bands like Somerset/Honest People and Weaver At The Loom… want to play on MY record! Really?! I should be paying them!

So, if some people want to think I’m lame, I guess that’s okay. I’m in my mid-30s now and I can’t blow my money on gear and studio time and pressing records or whatever like I used to. All my money goes into getting by. Ten years ago I’d tour full time, spend my money on all-things-music, sleep on friends couches, and move ever other month. But I can’t pull that crap now. So this is the only way I’ll be able to make a record I’ve always wanted to make, but could not afford.

Anyway, just some thoughts. If you want to be a part, I’ll include the link. I need all the help I can get spreading the word and making more people aware of the campaign. I know a lot of people and have a lot of friends on social media, but only a fraction of them see my posts because these sights use algorithms to determine who sees your personal posts.

Here’s the link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1450325957/help-tommy-make-an-album

Thanks for everyone who has been generous!
This process is a lot of fun and is giving me a lot of confidence ; )

Help me make a shoegaze album.

I jumped on the Kickstarter bandwagon because I want to make a high-quality shoegaze album. I write so many songs but never have the money to complete them. When you hit your 30s, you have to spend money on grown-up stuff, it turns out. Anyway, I’m pretty excited about this possibly working, and perhaps you are, as well.

Writing away

I’m sitting at Bull Run Coffee Bar in lovely South Minneapolis. For the better part of the day, keys have been clicking/clacking on the laptop as I type away silly thoughts. Starting to get some good material together for my book about band etiquette. So much espresso has been consumed that I’m starting to twitch and wiggle. Might be time to wrap it up for now.