It is going to take at least a couple more weeks from now before CD’s are available for sale. As already mentioned below, music is available now for digital download. Skeptical Babies do not rest. We are primarily a recording band though we are open to consider a live gig (see contact info for email if you’re interested in booking us). But we do not rest. We are back to the drawing board, writing, rehearsing, chord progressions, melodies, energy, words, music is raining out of the sky all over Skeptical Babies and the Babies are loving it!! You really have to hear our sounds. It’s a good time. Thanks for checking in!!
Our new Album is now available for download thru itunes, amazon, cdbaby, and other online vendors. It is available as a CD as well, but . . . silly babies that we are, we don’t know where!!! We arranged for CD release thru CD Baby on June 30 along with digital download so if you prefer CD over digital download, it should be available to order as CD anytime now!!
Unplanned Obsolescence is complete!!! Release date is June 30, available for pre-release sale on June 16th. Pre-sale purchases will include early download of the song Portrait.
Maybe . . . maybe . . . the album is completely mixed now. Need to review latest mixes, check in with Doug and Dan, but maybe . . . #albummix #unplannedobsolescence #scepticalbabies
New band photos added – still don’t know much about designing websites #donotknowhowtodesignwebsite but added some new band photos and subtle tweaks here and there. Hopefully the second installment of history will be available by mid-June #bandhistory #educationalpigeons
We have recorded all the songs for our debut album – Unplanned Obsolescence. Now on to the mixing and mastering. Looking forward to releasing the album soon – CD and digital download – thru CD baby. Release date to be announced soon!
Mike Tenenbaum: We’re not an easy band to nail down. I remember learning that the genius of JS Bach was that he managed to take musical ideas from so many disparate sources and use them in new and unique ways. That’s a big part of progressive rock, and it’s a big part of Skeptical Babies. What makes us different is how it all comes together. A song like Labor of Love starts out with a guitar solo section heavily influenced by The Flower Kings, followed by verses that were written with classic Yes arrangements in mind (though it sounds quite different than Yes). Then there’s a transitional section with multi-layered clean guitar like early Genesis, finally leading to heavy verses influenced by King Crimson Pictures of a City. There’s a lot of influence in there, but the end result ends up being quite original and new sounding.
But it’s also important to hear Labor of Love in the context of the whole album. It’s the second song. The first song on the album is To Calm and Soothe the 21st Century Psyche. This song was influenced by We’re Gonna Groove by Led Zeppelin and The Noonward Race by The Mahavishnu Orchestra. It’s a heavy jam, more like fusion or jam rock than progressive rock. Hearing Labor of Love immediately following To Calm and Soothe helps to establish that even from one guitar solo section to another, Skeptical Babies are a band with a broad range. There’s The River, which is sort of pseudophilosophy prog with a space rock feel, The Fallen Sky, a depressing mellotron heavy prog song track consistent with early Crimson or Genesis, and Portrait, a more upbeat commercial prog tune. There’s Rock Paper Scissors which, at least the instruments if not the vocals, sounds like it could’ve been a Stones song. We have songs like Sublimate and Press it Down, or the song Elsewhere (actually those are two songs that make up one song) which are orchestrated and structured. They are very much the product of careful composition and using the studio as a tool of art. Fight or Flight, on the other hand, was a jam during recording and while we layered some additional guitar and back up vocals, it’s largely first takes even though it’s rough. I agree with Neil Young. Sometimes when you redo things in the studio, you may get more precise takes, but you lose some of that original spontaneity and energy.
As a matter of fact, I’d say that the tension between those two ideals – keeping the energy of original takes vs redoing to capture a better take – can be felt throughout the album. Both are important and good ideals and knowing which principle to follow at which point is part of developing as an artist.
Also, I forgot to mention the song A Mysterious Stranger Appears at the Door (Problem Solved). I could be wrong but I think that might be the catchiest thing on the record – it’s slightly long with lots of parts and changes, so proggy a bit. But also slightly amusing lyrics, so not quite a novelty song but hints at it. And it’s got a fairly well set up hook, so catch pop quality?
Another aspect of Skeptical Babies is that each of us has a sort of signature style. I will leave it to the listeners to formulate their own opinions regarding the quality of my approaches to guitar, keyboards, and vocals. I will explain that my approach to guitar is to be eclectic. I’m influenced by Steve Howe in that regard. I’m a progressive rock guitarist. What that means to me is to be ready to borrow from all kinds of rock stylings (of which there are so many), as well as jazz or classical guitar. Fusion guitar stylings are an influence, and even though I personally don’t care for country music, I find the occasional country guitar styling finds its way into my playing (hopefully in a context so far removed from country that rather than sound like country, the effect is, perhaps, surreal).
I am much more comfortable praising the virtues of Dan and Doug. Doug is a profoundly good drummer. I’ve worked with him for many years. We released three albums in the band Akacia. Akacia was a prog rock band but also a Christian band. I stopped following the Christian faith around 2005 and Akacia disbanded. Doug and I released three albums together in Dental Hyjinx between 2012 up to now, and there may be more Dental Hyjinx to come. Doug plays with great intensity and energy, and seems to be able to play simply anything. He plays classic rock, prog, jazz, polyrhythms, odd time signatures, or simple, will thought out percussive texutres. He plays with his own unique style and finesse. Dan plays bass like no one else I can think of. He really applies a lot of expression and feel into what he plays, and comes up with some amazing grooves. He’s brilliant and comes up with some great harmonic underpinnings which have changed and enhanced the whole structure of some of our songs in amazing ways.
We’re not after your money. Don’t get me wrong. We think the work we’ve created is a quality work, and we believe artists should be paid for good art. But we honestly are more concerned to be heard. That’s why musicians make music, usually. It’s because they want to be heard. This work really should be heard in running order. Like Dark Side of the Moon, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, We’re Only in it for The Money, Snow, or Tommy, individual tracks may be good as stand alone tracks, but hearing the concept album as a whole is an experience on a qualitatively different level. Subscribers to Spotify can listen to the whole album on Spotify. You can listen to it all free on Youtube. A link to the whole album in running order on Youtube is below at the bottom of the page. You can also read more below for some clues to understanding the concept album here, and some links to a few tracks hear in case you don’t want to leave this page. Of course, you can also opt to buy the album. We hope you enjoy whatever you experience by the Skeptical Babies. We only ask that you listen.
Labor of Love, from the album Unplanned Obsolescence.
A rock fusion jam, To Calm and Soothe the 21st Century Psyche, from Unplanned Obsolescence.
About as close to pop as we get on our first album. A Mysterious Stranger Appears at the Door (Problem Solved).
The running order of Unplanned Obsolescence
To Calm and Soothe the 21st Century Psyche
Labor of Love
A Mysterious Stranger Appears at the Door (Problem Solved)
All That You Can Hear
Fight or Flight
The Falling Sky
Rock Paper Scissors
Sublimate and Press it Down
Unplanned Obsolescence is a concept album.
All That You Can Hear and Summit are instrumentals.
The Falling Sky is a mellotron-rich composition and the saddest song we may ever perform. Fortunately, there is more to be said after Falling Sky. Summit is the follow up. Portrait explains the follow up.
Fight or Flight and Rock Paper Scissors are straight classic rock.
Sublimate and Press it Down and Elsewhere are really parts 1 and 2 of the same song. Conceptually, one can imagine the protagonist experiencing what is represented by “All That You Can Hear” during the section where (s)he does “sleep until noon, awake until dawn”. But it would be inadvisable to attempt to play the tracks simultaneously at that point. Since All That You Can Hear also fits in Conceptually between Mysterious Stranger and Fight or Flight, and playing it a second time simultaneously with Elsewhere would amount to cacophony, we advise listening to the whole album in running order, but simply being aware of the conceptual (not auditory) reprise of All That You Can Hear during the aforementioned verse of Elsewhere.
The River is the key.
Unplanned Obsolescence is also available thru other stores such as iTunes.
The entire album may be heard on Spotify or Youtube.
(Special thank you to Clem Hai Ben Metanu, who has been working on providing a thorough reconstruction of this history. This 1st installment is complete and presented in it’s entirety below. Further installments will be forthcoming soon). Martha had her back to her window as she gazed into the kaleidoscopic landscape of labyrinths laid out …