Posts Tagged ‘Chrysalis’

It’s a spectacular Friday for Grace@Arms!  Bastion’s drinking Tabasco sauce, Milo’s quoting himself, and Cooper’s the one talking about zombies this time!  Before we get to all the nonsense, though, we need to thank all of our fans and supporters again for all the love and support this year!  Don’t forget to go to graceatarms.com/alive2012 to get your limited edition t-shirts!

The cover of the album, Chrysalis, a 7-song LP album from rock band Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS).  Chrysalis was released March 1, 2011.  All songs, titles, art, photographs, and logos in Chrysalis, including those appearing on the cover, are copyright Bastion Crider, Greg Crider LLC, and Grace at Arms.

The Chrysalis of Grace@Arms was released one year ago yesterday and is available on iTunes (click the image) or can be purchased as a CD, complete with a highly detailed case and album insert at CDBaby.com/GraceAtArms.

Bastion:

You can’t own a hat like the one I got for Christmas two years ago unless you’ve got the kind of hot pepper appreciation that makes some people roll their eyes and other people dry them.

Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) wearing a Tabasco brand hat which contains three pockets for holding three small shots of Tabasco brand hot sauce in 2009.

Since I do own this hat (and since I could not think of anything clever, fun, funny, or otherwise awesome to do for this week’s FtBF), I decided to film myself doing something uncommon.  Some of you remember when I drank the three shots of Buffalo Wild Wing’s hottest sauce (click here for the video).  Well, today, I am drinking a 5 oz. bottle of Tabasco sauce, shot by shot.  …by shot.  …by shot.

Milo:

The only excuse for killing time is if you truly love to kill time.  Do everything deliberately.

Happy birthday to our album, Chrysalis!

Cooper:

The Walking Dead is my go-to show.  I can’t get enough of this series.  I live Sunday to Sunday right now.  Not only are there copious amounts of zombie gore, the character development is fantastic as well.  The undead sometimes take a very secondary role in this post-apocalyptic scenario.  I highly recommend this to zombie and drama lovers alike.

A logo for Grace@Arms' Facebook page designed by Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) to match Grace@Arms' @LIVE 2012 visual theme.  All art and logos, and "I CAME HERE TO ROCK" copyright Bastion Crider, Greg Crider LLC, and Grace at Arms.

If you’re unfamiliar with GRACE@ARMS, you can find us on iTunes, Facebook, YouTube, and at our homepage, graceatarms.com (you can also find us just about everywhere else–just search for Grace@Arms or BastionAtArms). You can also keep up to date with my blog, my art projects, my music, and my madness at my Facebook, Twitter, and my original blog at graceatarms.com/bastion.

Thanks and thanks again.  Keep rocking with all that you’ve got.
– Bastion, of Grace at Arms

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Today, March 1, 2012, is the one year anniversary of the official release of Chrysalis, of the creation of graceatarms.com, and of the effective birth of GRACE@ARMS.

That which matters most:

THANK YOU.  Thank you to all of my followers, subscribers, and friends as well as all the fans, supporters, collaborators, and friends of GRACE@ARMS.  I’ve said it a thousand times in a thousand ways, but it can never be said enough:

This band isn’t a story about me.  It isn’t a window into my heart.  It is me.  It is my hope in the real world.  It is my heart on earth.  I’m grateful for every comment from every fan and I’m moved every time my music, my words, my art, and my hope connects with someone else’s heart.  I can thank you a thousand times, but I’ll never be able to convey the appreciation I feel for all of those who’ve helped me begin to make my ambitious dream real.

A Facebook banner designed for Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) by Bastion Crider, the front-man for Grace at Arms on February 29, 2012.  All art, logos, design, "@LIVE 2012", "@LIVE", and "B-Day" copyright Bastion Crider, Greg Crider LLC, and Grace at Arms.

The Bitter and the Sweet:

Obviously, sitting at home waiting for my back surgery wounds to heal isn’t the way I had planned on spending the day. More so, I hadn’t planned on spending most of February huddled on my couch in a drug-induced stupor. As a result, this isn’t quite the day of concerts and celebrations, or even the planned-for-weeks blog entry, merchandise giveaway, and growth opportunity that I had imagined.

Nevertheless, my dream has been real for an entire year and in that time I’ve gone from editing tracks in my basement, telling myself over and over that someday someone would want to hear them, to selling albums internationally.

The question now, which I’d planned on pondering all month, is what to say to mark the occasion.

A Facebook page picture designed for Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) by Bastion Crider, the front-man for Grace at Arms on February 29, 2012.  All art, logos, design, "@LIVE 2012", "@LIVE", and "B-Day" copyright Bastion Crider, Greg Crider LLC, and Grace at Arms.

Well, for starters, NEW T-SHIRT!!!!!!!!!

Where do Grace@Arms shirts come from? Essentially, I ask myself what I want to wear, and then I make it. This time, I wanted to cover both Grace@Arms birthday and my own (March 17–Bastion-Day, B-Day, or St. Patrick’s Day) in the same shirt. I also LOVE long sleeve t-shirts with writing on the sleeves. So basically, those ideas came together into this:

Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) depicted as an embryo in a sonogram image with an Ancora (Grace at Arms' "Capital @" symbol) inside of his brain as part of the B-Day 2012 t-shirt from Grace@Arms.  Art by Bastion Crider, February 29, 2012.  All logos, images, art, design, "I CAME HERE TO ROCK", "B-DAY", and "Ancora" copyright Bastion Crider, Greg Crider LLC, and Grace at Arms.

One drawback (well, I’m absorbing the drawback because I love this shirt and want people to be wearing it, so it’s really more of a deal or a sale than a drawback) to long sleeve shirts, shirts with more than one color, shirts with writing on the sleeves, or especially all at once, is that they cost more to make!

As a result, the birthday shirts will pre-order for $25 (IF there are any extras in the order, they’ll sell for $30) and will be available to pre-order ONLY until Sunday. That didn’t feel like a celebratory-enough deal, though, so I decided to release a special package for those interested:

1 Long Sleeve Birthday T-Shirt, 1 “Baseball” Tee, and 1 Chrysalis CD for $40

And we’ll get to the rest later…

Like I said, the anniversary crept up on me so the “year in the life” article will be showing up later, but in the mean time, I’ve revamped the band’s Facebook page, both of the new shirts are pre-orderable until Sunday, and our April 28 concert (the only G@A show on the horizon–thanks, back surgery) at Mike & Joe’s in New Castle, Indiana has been converted from an acoustic show to an electric show!

Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) depicted as an embryo in a sonogram image with an Ancora (Grace at Arms' "Capital @" symbol) inside of his brain.  Art by Bastion Crider, February 29, 2012.  All logos, images, art, design, "I CAME HERE TO ROCK", "B-DAY", and "Ancora" copyright Bastion Crider, Greg Crider LLC, and Grace at Arms.

It’s been an incredible year and it’s about to be another one.  If you’re unfamiliar with GRACE@ARMS, you can find us on iTunes, Facebook, YouTube, and at our homepage, graceatarms.com (you can also find us just about everywhere else–just search for Grace@Arms or BastionAtArms).  You can also keep up to date with my blog, my art projects, my music, and my madness at my Facebook, Twitter, and my original blog at graceatarms.com/bastion.

Thanks and thanks again.  Keep rocking with all you are.
– Bastion, of Grace at Arms

If you just started following my V-Week blogs, I’m posting a video of myself performing a different cover song about love each of Monday through Thursday this week before posting a new original song on Friday. If you missed them, be sure to check out the other videos I’ve already posted:

1. “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis Presley
2. “The One I Love” by David Gray
Or you can click here to go our YouTube page.

And now it’s time for some Tom Waits action…

Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (Grace@Arms) in Tom Waits-esque attire performing his version of Tom Waits' song, "Hold On."  Image is a screen capture from said video performance, which is available at http://youtube.com/graceatarms.

Hold on… Tom Waits?

Those of you who’ve been to our acoustic concerts know that my version of Hold On differs drastically from the original. Tom Waits’ version of the song is what I would call “texture music.” He blends instruments and vocals into a beautifully complex sound that breathes slowly from the beginning to the end of the song. My version, on the other hand, simplifies the music into a more rock feel, which in turn puts a greater focus on Tom’s absolutely incredible lyrics.

The other significant change I’ve made to the original is in the third verse. In the original version, Tom sings, “St. Louis got the best of me.” I don’t know what the line means, but I have to assume that it relates to a personal experience. I don’t think that singing a line I don’t understand in any way preserves the heart of the song, so I have changed the line to “Phoenix stole the soul from me,” which relates a personal experience of my own, thereby preserving both the cryptic nature of the line in the audience’s ears and maintaining the level of personal investment on the part of the artist.

Love: Romantic and Otherwise

The story told in “Hold On” obviously includes plenty of romance and heartbreak, but the instance of love which I find most moving is of an entirely different kind.

I recorded the vast majority of Chrysalis myself, did all of the editing and mixing myself, and put more than one hundred hours into the album art. I spent my entire life savings (and then some) publishing Chrysalis and am solely responsible for marketing it. I wrote every note of every instrument on that CD. I wrote both Believe and No Way Home as alternatives to suicide. I literally have more hours in Chrysalis than in college and law school combined.

The end result of all of this work, however, is little more than a prayer. Chrysalis is my outstretched palm. Its value comes from the connection that it makes with listeners–when people play my songs and for a moment, their hearts connect with mine.

Today, people tell me about them and it moves me to no end. Now, when I take the stage and feel the hearts of the audience. When I was putting in the vast majority of those long, painful hours, though, there was nobody listening. There was no connection, no validation, and no music. All I had was hope and the song inside my head.

The second half of the fourth verse of “Hold On” sings the story of that experience in a way so moving that I’ve never been able to sing it without throwing my entire heart into it. There’s certainly a story of romance in this song, but what I find most moving is this short story about my heart:

But it’s so hard to dance that way; when it’s cold and there’s no music. Your old hometown’s so far away, but inside your head, there’s a record playing a song called ‘Hold On.’

Hold On, by Tom Waits

 

Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any of the love!  You can also find Grace at Arms on iTunes, Facebook, or graceatarms.com!  You can also find Grace at Arms’ singer, Bastion on Facebook, Twitter, and at his original blog at graceatarms.com/bastion!  Don’t forget to pick up your t-shirts and other gear at graceatarms.com/alive2012!