Saturday, August 21, 2010

Musical Pairings Review of Demos 2009-2010

The folks over at Musical Pairings recently posted a brief review of Demos 2009-2010. You can head over here to read it or simply check it out below.

“Innocent Wildlife is the project of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s Brian Johnson. On his website, Very Arbitrary, Brian notes that he has been recording songs for 13 years, but only recently began releasing the results of his creative process. His first release, available as a free download from his website, is a collection of demos that he worked on for the past two years appropriately titled Demos 2009 – 2010. Brian manages all of the vocal duties as well as all of the instruments on these demos, and one can’t help but be impressed by just how solid these tunes are. Tracks like “Bad Advice For Late Bloomers” and “Cold Civil War” demonstrate that Johnson can write a pop hook with the best of ‘em. What more can I say? These are definitely worth your time.”

-Reviewed By Matthew Hickey 8/13/2010

If you’re interested in learning a little bit more about Innocent Wildlife you can read my original post about my project here.

Click here to download Demos 2009-2010 by Innocent Wildlife

Friday, July 23, 2010

Innocent Wildlife included on Musical Pairings The July Mixtape

Like most people that work 9-5 office jobs I have a morning ritual. After completing the parts of my daily routine involving hygiene and transportation, my morning ritual always culminates with the perusing of my favorite music related websites/blogs. One music blog that I am particularly fond of is Musical Pairings; a very unique and exceptionally well maintained site that I believe is based in San Francisco. Musical Pairings is produced by husband and wife duo Matthew and Kasey Hickey; two people with a great love for music and food.

On July 23 (2 days after my birthday) Musical Pairings posted their most recent mixtape titled “Musical Pairings The July Mix”. As usual the compilation consists of a variety of artist ranging from the established to the relatively unknown. When they release a comp I like to skim the track-list for songs that I don’t already have/artists I’ve never heard of. Imagine my complete surprise when looking at the last song on the comp and seeing the name “Innocent Wildlife”, with the song title “Cold Civil War” next to it. I had recently sent an email to Musical Pairings to tell them that I love what they’re doing and to share my music. I would have been more than happy to get an email back saying “Thanks for sharing your music. We don’t completely hate it”. To make it onto a mixtape that they appear to be very happy with and excited about was one of the highlights of my birthday week. I’m truly honored to be acknowledged by people I respect, and to be the song that signals when it’s time to stop the cd and put in a new one, or select a new playlist.

Thank you Musical Pairings for including Innocent Wildlife on another fine mixtape and more importantly for existing in the first place.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Innocent Wildlife - Demos 2009-2010

Hello and welcome to Very Arbitrary, a blog dedicated to…well…dedicated to nothing really; hence the name. Generally speaking I wanted this blog as a place that I could talk about some of my favorite things like music, sports (Pittsburgh sports in particular), movies, art, smoking babies, etc. Probably the biggest motivation for me to finally create a blog was to have a place to share my music. It only seems fitting that my first post on Very Arbitrary should also be the first time that I truly share my music.

The name of my project is Innocent Wildlife. I’ve been recording music for fun, on and off, ever since I first started playing guitar some 13 years ago. It wasn’t until the last 5 years or so that I started writing music that I feel good about. After taking a job for the money (which technically is why every job is taken) in the summer of 2009, I decided that if the job itself is not creatively fulfilling (went to school for animation now I do web work) that I would put the money towards something fulfilling. I decided to do something that I put off for too long. I bought a Tascam digital 8-track, borrowed some mics/cables from friends, and I decided to start recording music again for as long and often as I can. The first fruits of my labor are the songs on “demos 2009-2010” my first album.

My songwriting influences are pretty standard fare for your average 30-something indie music fan that appreciates a well written pop song. Artists like the Talking Heads, the Smiths, and the Beatles, are all huge inspirations; along with groups like Belle & Sebastian, Spoon, and Radiohead amongst many others. Someday I hope to write some songs that might be considered genuinely great, but for now I’ll settle for songs that I’m happy with, or at least not totally embarrassed about.

In addition to the singing, all of the instruments on the album were played by me, which would be more impressive if the musicianship/singing were of a higher caliber (I bet you can’t wait to hear my stuff!). I’m in the process of recording more songs and I hope to have another 9 song album together by fall. Like "Demos 2009-2010", the next album will be a combination of songs that I’ve been carrying around for a long while, more recent songs, and stuff that developes during the recording period.

As a music lover; creating and sharing your own music is one of the greatest expressions of that love. It’s an exciting, embarrassing, humbling, and very rewarding process. Sometimes I wish I had engaged in the process more often when I was younger, but it's really never too late to start expressing yourself through art.

Click here to download "Demos 2009-2010" by Innocent Wildlife.

You can also listen to the music here on my myspace page.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy the music!

Brian aka Innocent Wildlife