Friday, September 19, 2008

Into It. Over It - 52 Songs

Into It. Over It. - 52 Songs

This has been a hard record for me to categorize and I wasn't really sure how I was going to write it up, originally. For those that haven't heard me gush about this project, I'll copy and paste what Evan himself has to say about it:

my name is evan thomas weiss.

i have spent years writing, recording and touring in bands. THE PROGRESS, DAMIERA and UP UP DOWN DOWN LEFT RIGHT LEFT RIGHT B A START are a couple (among many others).

on thursday, september 27th 2007, i turned 23. i've noticed that my last few years have gone by rather quickly. to combat (or encourage..?) this movement in my life, i have been writing and recording one song every week of my 23rd year. ...roughly 52 songs.

the first song was posted on 9/27/2007. i will balance 6 songs on this page (always hosting the most current song) while hosting a link on this site where you can download (or stream) all of the other songs -- this website ( will be updated every thursday. if you'd like me to play a show, you can send me a message here or e-mail me.

while this is mainly a project to keep myself motivated, i hope you enjoy it and check back every week. this is my autobiography.

anyway -- thanks so much and enjoy!!

Yesterday, Evan finished this project and put up the last song, capping a year's worth of songs. Over the span of the 52 track span, he has covered a wide range of styles and topics. There have been great guest spots, and an overall unique approach to songwriting. Each week is available on his site, with unique artwork, lyrics, and any applicable notes for the track. Most songs were recorded by Steve Poponi at his studio, with certain songs being recorded by Evan himself, or one of his new bandmates in Damiera.

The songs generally fall into one of two categories stylistically, although not entirely. Many of the songs have a "solo" artist feel, with Evan and an acoustic guitar. Extra guitar work, small percussion parts, or backing vocals add to these, but they retain a personal, singer/songwriter vibe. Other songs have a full "band" which consists of Evan playing most instruments, and Jason Dinapoli (The Progress), Mike Howard (Emergency!), or Steve Poponi (Up Up...) playing drums. All of the drummers have a unique feel that add to the songs, with Howard's being a bit more bombastic, Jason's being technical, and Steve's being more relaxed. I'm not sure how much of this style had to do with their availability, or a choice by Evan, but they fit well.

The autobiography aspect of the project means that the lyrics are very important and relevant to Evan at the time of the song's release. Some are serious and introspective ("Batsto", "22 Syllables"), while others deal with parties and Rock Band ("A Song About Your Party", "Friday at Brian's"). It's funny that even though these are his biography, I've found myself associating songs with the time of the year that they were released, and at times can associate my own memories with them. In that way I've really enjoyed this project and it's kind of meant a lot to me.

As far as favorites go, I have to go with most of the full band tracks. "Heartificial" is a straight forward rocker, and "Fak It" crashing feel to it. "A Song About Your Party" and "Ashley's Big Adventure" are my favorite back-to-back tracks in the whole thing, and the former contains some of my favorite lyrics of any of his songs. "Next Stop Olympics" has more of the Howard crashing drums that make the chorus super memorable, and "The Liquor Your Older Friends Bought" has my favorite bridge. And these are all in the first 15 songs!

The second half of the year started with a jab at The Progress and their indefinite hiatus with Evan proclaiming that "my van should have three times the mileage," but luckily they are on hiatus because we got 26 more killer songs. At times on "Can I Buy a Vowel?" you'd swear you were listening to a Ben Gibbard b-side, and "Dude-a-form" condemns Warped Tour "punks." Jon Loudon's guest spot on "Blaaarg" is husky as hell and adds a nice contrast to Evan's much cleaner voice. Towards the end, a lot of the songs deal with packing up and moving on (as I believe Evan's girlfriend moved) and touring (as Evan joined Damiera and got to hit the road). The project ended this week with a quiet song claiming "I don't have a single thing on my mind tonight besides finishing this project. I know you were expecting something epic but this is all my tired mind could provide." I'm not sure what I was expecting for a finale, but I will say that it ended well, and I was not let down.

Be sure to head to and download all 52 tracks before he takes them down. I know he intends to have them all released at some point, with better mixes and mastering, but who knows when that will be. If you've already slept on this, get downloading!

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