Reflecting on nine years with Kirby Krackle

I’ve been in Kirby Krackle longer than any other band. Longer than my college-era bands. Longer than Explone. Longer than I spent in high school and college combined. We’ve recorded albums and singles, created videos, toured both nationally and internationally, occasionally bumped shoulders with celebrities on the way in and out of backstage dressing rooms, and generally had a fantastic time doing it. I’ve been fortunate to do things with this group that I never thought I’d ever get to do in my lifetime.

It’s time to step aside and let someone else in on the fun. This Friday I’ll be playing my last gig with Kirby Krackle at our 8th Annual Kracklefest concert at Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle. Kracklefest is an official ECCC event this year, and we’ve got Lucia Fasano, we’ve got Megaran, and a small strike force of comedians to entertain you between sets.

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my wife and partner Megan, who had my back from beginning to end. And also to all former and current members of KK, all of the musicians we shared a stage with, and particularly to Kyle, whose enduring talent, belief, and drive built this whole machine and keeps it moving forward. And of course, the fans who came even when it wasn’t con season, who knew the songs by heart and sang along with us.

And is it the end, really? For now, yeah. I plan to spend a good chunk of this year taking a breather, working on my own stuff and deciding what to do with the rest of my life.

Here are some notable moments of my just-shy-of-a-decade tenure:

First announcement on my blog in 2009.

Bungie’s The Taken King party where Kyle managed to stay alive.

Australia and D23 from last year.

Here’s us playing “Tony Stark” at our 2010 Emerald City Comic-Con appearance, joined by Joe Quesada (then Editor In Chief of Marvel Comics, now Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment) on guitar.

One of my favorite songs from the Super Powered Love album, “Nerd Money.” Try and guess all the references:

In 2011 we wrote the theme song to Marvel’s web series “The Watcher” and this was the official video:

Here’s us leading an audience sing-along of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” with Paul and Storm, Nerds With Guitars and the Doubleclicks at Kracklefest 2013:

“Booty Do Math” at the 2011 Seattle Interactive Conference, part of a battle of nerdy bands. I spiked up my hair at the last minute and this is probably the coolest I’ve ever looked onstage.

The official video for “World Full Of Heroes,” featuring a horde of fans in costume and filmed at Nick’s Jr. Burgers and Gyros just up the road from our rehearsal space.

Covering A-ha’s “Take On Me” for Kracklefest 2012:

In 2013 we went to the Calgary Fan Expo to open for “Weird Al” Yankovic in front of the most enormous crowd I’ve ever played for to date. The whole concert can be seen here. Here’s a fan-shot video of us playing “Roll Over”:

The official video for “One More Episode,” another one of my favorites:

Also in 2016 we got to contribute some original songs to Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy animated TV show. This is “Gotta Get Back”:

The 2016 single “New Infidelity” is another personal favorite (and I did the cover art, which has nothing to do with it I swear):

Covering “Let’s Go Crazy” at the High Dive in Seattle, early 2016:

Gentlemen: it’s been an honor. Excelsior.

February 26, 2018

Watch this new EXPLONE “Suicide Fences” promo video

This here blog is gonna mostly about EXPLONE as we roll through the summer and on to the release of our new full-length album “Suicide Fences” in late August. Our friend Thor Radford — who created our first music video back in 2010 for “St. Yesterday” — put together this cool promo video for us. Here’s our fearless leader Pat talking about the new album and the purpose of music:

Pat is one of the most genuine humans I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. It’s not hard to see why we’ve stuck together as a band all this time.

We have a lot more music and video headed your way in the next few weeks!

June 30, 2016

New single from EXPLONE: “Running Up That Hill”

This year marks my eight year as the bassist of EXPLONE. How is that even possible? I’ve been a member of of this band longer than I’ve been with any band.

Later this summer EXPLONE will finally release our new album “Suicide Fences” and we’re priming the promotion engine with a new single. Please enjoy and share our shoegaze-y rock version of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill.” Click the big image below to listen:

More to come as the Summer of EXPLONE rolls on…

June 8, 2016

New video from Explone, “Golden Ballroom” (or, hey lookit I made a video)

Behold, my first music video: “Golden Ballroom” from Explone’s Telescope and Satellite EP.

We shot the entire thing using my iPhone 4 and I edited it together in iMovie on my Macbook Pro.

We started filming this in Spring 2011, using a rough mix of the song. In the gap between then and the EP release in Fall 2012, our drummer Josh up and left Seattle for Boulder, and (Kirby Krackle drummer) Nelson stepped in. It seemed wrong to replace Josh with Nelson in the video, too. Also, you won’t find me in the video. I couldn’t find a way to put myself in that didn’t feel dumb or contrived.

Big thanks to my patient bandmates who let me run with this, just to see if I could!

Also, this work is dedicated to my Dad, who once long ago taught me how to frame a shot and the power of black-and-white images. Who’d have thought back then we’d someday have pocket-sized phones that could shoot 1080p video?

January 29, 2013

Explone TONIGHT in Seattle

If you’re reading this, and you’re in Seattle or parts nearby, get thee to Piecora’s Back Room tonight and witness Explone and Super Projection tear it up at a rare all-ages show. I can guarantee there will be pizza and there will be rock. Pizza topped with rock, perhaps.

Details hence!

August 11, 2011

Recording the new Explone record

Explone at AVAST! March 2011

See that console? That’s a 1970’s Trident A-Range, rumored to have been used by Lennon and Sinatra for various projects. And, as of two weeks ago, my bass tracks for the new Explone EP, Telescope and Satellite.

Behold! The power of black and white to make one look totally competent!

Explone at AVAST! March 2011

Here’s Patrick in front of a wall of gear and blinking lights:

Explone at AVAST! March 2011

This is what I love about music hubs like Seattle, every studio has a history. And sometimes so does the gear. AVAST! is also home to “Lenny,” a modded API Legacy console, once owned by Lenny Kravitz. My backing vocals went through that one. There’s another API that used to tour with Heart as a monitor mixer. We didn’t use that one. Tons of famous PNW artists have recorded here — Death Cab, The Shins, Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes — but I think its real cachet comes from being the place where Soundgarden recorded their breakout album Badmotorfinger.

It’s hard not to hope for a little of that magic to rub off on you.

Exciting as that may be, the majority of time spent in-studio looks a lot like this:

Explone at AVAST! March 2011

That’s us listening to probably four or five different takes of the same song at 11pm, trying to decide what parts to keep. This is also probably ten hours in, the first six of those spent setting up microphones and getting good guitar and drum tones. There’s a lot of hanging around and listening. It still manages to be a blast while slowly destroying your sanity.

Let’s go see how Josh’s drum check is going:

(Peep this video on YouTube.)

Here are a few more snaps from the studio at Flickr:

(View this slideshow at Flickr.)

With some luck, Telescope and Satellite should be ready to go by summertime. Summer! Can’t wait!

April 2, 2011

Awesome elsewhere

Some stuff orbiting my brain recently…

Kyle Stevens (current Explone guitarist and Kirby Krackle alphageek) has released two digital singles on iTunes, “Matches In The Walls” and “Vouch For Me”.

Seattle band Born Anchors are trying to raise funds for a vinyl pressing of their new record. They’re using a Kickstarter campaign and only have a few weeks to reach their goal.

Longtime me-supporter and Demo Clubber Joel Canfield composed a wandering Arabic-trance track and is aiming for 1000 downloads. Get it here. Also, he and his wife are selling the car and home and living like a nomads for awhile. Gutsy.

Did NO ONE record or video the Jonathan Coulton + Brad Sucks performance in Ottawa last month? Really, NO ONE?

Save You From Yourself alumni Laurie Katherine Carlsson and Jerin Falkner have founded a group with some other local performers called the Sintonia Collective. They sent in an audition tape and won an opportunity to perform with Imogen Heap here in Seattle a few weeks back.

This is pretty great right here: Sintonia with Imogen Heap, performing Heap’s song “Earth” a cappella:

And here’s the group performing Jerin’s song “Charade” during the opening slot:

And in case you missed it in my last post, the new Explone album Dreamers/Lovers is now available on iTunes.

June 28, 2010

Explone CD release pics + video + iTunes

The Explone CD release show, let me show it to you.



(You can also read Patrick’s account of the show here.)


And you can now find find Dreamers/Lovers at iTunes. Yay hooray!

“St. Yesterday”

“Arms Around”

“It’s Complicated”

“Girl w/a Black Eye”

Drum setup

I think that’s enough Explone-related stuff for awhile. On deck: more secret songwriting project, Kirby Krackle at the San Diego Comic Con, and a new song or two from yours truly.


June 24, 2010

Dreamers/Lovers release show this Thursday

This Thursday 6/17 is the big release show for the new Explone album. We’re returning to the Crocodile with guests Sirens Sister (ex-Vendetta Red guys) and The Admiral’s Club.

Are you local? It would be great to see you there. Here’s the Facebook event and here’s where to get advance tickets. Come, let us rock you. Rock you, we shall.

Are you not local? You can still help us out by requesting songs from the record at KEXP. (The DJs there seem to be particularly fond of “It’s Complicated”).

As for the record itself: we’re still waiting for Dreamers/Lovers to show up on iTunes, but you can hear a handful of preview tracks at the Explone website and grab “Michigan” as a digital single right now.

I’ve been sick as a dog for the past week and sure hope my voice returns before Thursday.

June 15, 2010

Dreamers/Lovers, the new Explone album

Big news today: the new Explone album is finished, it’s called Dreamers/Lovers and it’s coming your way on June 15th!

Think fast, here it comes:

Explone - Dreamers/Lovers

To celebrate the upcoming release, we’re offering a free download of the first single “Michigan” to the web at large in exchange for a tweet. Listen and find download instructions here.

“Michigan” has already been added to regular rotation at über-cööl KEXP, which broadcasts both here in Seattle and in NYC, and globally across the web. It’s already gotten a bit of airplay love, but it wouldn’t hurt anyone if you were to, like, you know, request it.

I’ve been with the band for just over two years now, but this album is the culmination of five years of work by our heroic bandleader Patrick, whose vision of combining Cheap Trick-era melody with shoegaze melancholy, then arc-welding it onto the body of a very angry 1986 Hüsker Dü has finally come to fruition. Congrats buddy :)

More news surely to follow as we hurtle towards the release date…

May 24, 2010