I got an email from Scott asking me to update Custom's MySpace page with new unreleased tunes. I no longer control Custom's MySpace page, so I offered to share a couple of tracks here.
This won't be the first time I've done this. I shared an unreleased Custom song a few years ago and he's still my bud. Let's see how he feels about me sharing two songs.
Let me know what you think in the comments, if you don't mind. The first track I'm sharing is called Bong Bubble.
And here's a very different sounding tune, Catch Me.
Update @ 8:44pm
What the heck... here's another one: Love Letter
1. Listen. 2. Comment 3. Share.
I uploaded Custom's Hey Mister to my YouTube account back in 2006.
Custom and I have been buds for the better part of the past decade, so I actually had his permission to upload the vid. It's his one hit and sort of notorious because it was banned by MTV.
Because I'm hosting the video, I get an email every time someone comments on it. It's always amusing to read people's take on this song - it seems people either love it or hate it.
missingt00th hates it. Here's what he just wrote.
Who cares about the derogatory lyrics? The comments that should be lining this page are ones about how shit of a song it is. It's a song that a 7 year-old could write, both musically and lyrically. A fucking useless sack of shit. Bad songwriting - constant refrain of that annoying chorus, over and over again. This is music for pornstars to listen to while their doing lines of coke off of their mothers' asses. Weak shit for tasteless morons. Trying to sound all foo fighters on top of it.
Here's Custom's big hit from 2002. Do you love it or hate it?
Custom and I became fast friends back in 2004. At that time, he was only 18-months removed from charting with "Hey Mister". In the five years since, he's sent me dozens and dozens of unreleased tracks he puts together on his Mac in his Manhattan loft.
Custom, a multi-talented Canadian musician who's just about the nicest guy you'll ever want to meet, sends me these MP3s under two conditions: I must provide honest feedback and I can't share them with anybody.
I've always provided honest feedback, usually overwhelmingly positive because I sincerely love his musical style, but I'm about to break his second condition. I'm going to post a raw, unreleased Custom track here in the hopes that you all will listen and provide honest feedback in the comments. I absolutely love this song, but because I've never shared it, I have no idea if I'm the only one or if this is really as good as I think it is.
This is Custom and Madison singing "Both Hands", an Ani DiFranco song. Listen to Custom's words as he tells an unbelievably true story I unearthed during an interview I conducted with Madison.
Custom put up a beat. Madison sang "Both Hands" by Ani DiFranco. Custom threw up some guitar. This was the moment. One seemingly typical event on an otherwise normal night. Days later, after Custom added a rap that recounted that moment in time and finished the track, Madison heard herself and was reborn. She said goodbye to the deposit she put down on her med school tuition. She said hello to poverty, the life of a starving artist, making ends meet by working many a difficult job. She said goodbye to the life she thought was hers and said hello to her true calling. After a year of writing and playing with a band she formed she signed a publishing deal with Windswept Pacific. Madison is a singer.
Here it is. You can listen, under two conditions: you must provide honest feedback in the comments and you must share this link with everybody.
Years ago, Custom put out an album entitled "Fast". It was a great album, but it was on the experimental Artistdirect label and everything fell apart shortly thereafter.
I came on board Team Custom in 2004, rescuing the teamcustom.com domain from Artistdirect and helping out with the web parts while Custom recorded awesome new material.
That awesome new material hasn't seen the light of day, and it's a shame. I'm hoping he'll let me share some of the tracks one day soon so you can see what I mean.
Anyway, my involvement with Team Custom means I'm always getting emails asking where he's at and why he's not touring. If you're able to get to New York City tomorrow, this email I just got from Custom will be of interest.
Looking forward to seeing you Thursday, June 11th at 9:30 PM. Guastavino's 59th and 1st.
Thanks to all of you for your interest and support in The Jed Foundation. On the evening of June 11th, 2009, we will celebrate our collective power to improve and save the lives of young people struggling with emotional issues. We have a stellar evening planned as we honor Pete Wentz from Fall Out Boy and Sheila Nevins from HBO for their contributions to the cause. We have Brittany Snow hosting the party, an amazing DJ as well as a special live performance by CUSTOM and open bar all night long!!!!
For more about The Jed Foundation and The Mind Ball, visit http://www.jedfoundation.org/get-involved/the-mindball.
Do you remember Custom? He had a rock radio hit back in 2002 with the single "Hey Mister" from his debut album Fast. Shortly thereafter, his label went under and that's where I came in. I got to come in and rescue his teamcustom.com domain from the defunct label and set him up with an official site while he worked on securing a new label.
About a year ago, I was asked by one of Custom's peeps to put up a "New Site Coming Soon" page. It sounded like a new record deal was imminent and my services were no longer required. I did what I was told and waited for the good news to break. I waited, and waited, and waited...
I got tired of waiting. I know Custom, one of the sweetest dudes you'll ever meet, and I know he's an interesting, multi-talented freak, so I decided to take matters into my own hands. I changed hosts, threw down Movable Type, hacked away at some HTML and built a blog for Custom. Custom himself can maintain this sucker, I'm dummy-proofing the entire process.
His first entry, entitled "cheers to mike boon", really speaks to me.
I used to have this feature where every Monday I'd shuffle my entire MP3 collection in iTunes and list the first ten songs that played. I'm not sure why I stopped. I think I'll start it up again.
Here are the ten tunes I heard today with a personal story about one of them.
- 120 - Custom
- What A Difference A Day Mad - Sarah Vaghan
- The Sorrowful Wife - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
- 16 Horses - Soul Coughing
- Natural Beauty - Neil Young
- Sweet Home Chicago - Robert Johnson
- 1989 - Mindless Self Indulgence
- New Year's Day - U2
- World Container - The Tragically Hip
- Church For Thugs - The Game
I haven't written about Custom in a while because I'm baffled. Custom is a multi-talented Canadian musician and director living in Manhattan I befriended a few years ago. He released a very cool album in 2002 called Fast which includes the wicked "120" that just played during my shuffle.
Custom contacted me in early 2005 after he stumbled upon something I wrote about "Hey Mister". We hit it off instantly, and I ended up helping him rescue his domain name from his old label that went under. He also let me build him a site and start up the official Custom forum. He also sent me his new material which sounds fantastic. Over the past few years, I'd hear that he was "this close" to signing a new deal and getting his tunes back in the airwaves. Now, I'm just baffled. This stuff is awesome but the only place you'll hear it is on my iPod.
Custom, you multi-talented freak. Screw the record companies. Let's get the music out there and let it spread organically. Enough of this "hurry up and wait" bullshit. We can do this ourselves.
I spoke with Custom today. Custom is a great guy who has had a few bad breaks over the past few years trying to get his music back on store shelves. His 2002 release Fast is solid.
It sounds like I might be able to make a very cool Custom announcement soon. That's all I can really write on the subject right now. I'm pretty close to his new tracks, having had a lot of them for three years now, so he asked me to rank the pure-Custom tracks as he prunes them down for his next release. Here's what I sent him.
- Funny How
- Catch Me
- I Believe
- Love Letter
- Shoot First
- Yes Dear
- Fuck Off
- Broken Sky
Stay tuned, Custom fans.
I got the latest issue of Rolling Stone last week, but I'm only getting a chance to read it now. There's an interesting article about how January 2007 was the worst week for CD sales in SoundScan history. The Dreamgirls Soundtrack led the way by moving 66,355 units which would have placed it in twentieth place ten years ago when No Doubt's Tragic Kingdom shipped 250,842 units in a notoriously slow month for CD sales.
I'm sure digital music sales will offset this 67% decline over the past decade, but I'm positive digital sales aren't making up the difference. In 1997, if you wanted an album or a song, you bought it. The technically savvy might burn the disc from a friend, as we did in the previous decade when we dubbed cassette tapes, but most of us shelled out $20 for the CD. It's hard out there for a musician, especially those in the large tier beneath the likes of Justin Timberlake and Norah Jones. That has me thinking about my pal Custom.
Custom had a big hit back in 2002 with Hey Mister and he released an album called Fast. I actually heard Hey Mister this morning on CFNY Edge 102. Back in January 2005 I became fast friends with Custom after he came across our SLS discussion about Hey Mister. All my Custom-related entries are here if you want to catch up. Long story short, I started doing web work for him and I've had access to all of his unreleased material since Fast.
Custom's material is good. Actually, it's really good. Since his label died in 2004 he's been looking for a new deal, but here we are in 2007 and the follow-up album we were hoping to hear two years ago is still stuck in limbo. P2P networks are giving artists more exposure, but is it reducing the bottom line to a point where great new material is suppressed? And if it is, how much great stuff is out there that we haven't heard?
In Tragically Dipping I noted the clear and dramatic drop in album sales for the Hip since Fully Completely. The Hip make their money these days touring, but they're touring behind a wealth of material and for a devoted fan base. How does an artist like Custom build his catalogue and fan base in this era to a point where he too can make a comfortable living touring?
I remember buying many new CDs a month in the early to mid-nineties. I'll be the first to admit this isn't happening any more. Is anyone out there still buying music or are we all "borrowing" new tunes and sharing the love gratis?
If you want more doom and gloom, here's a very cool video for an unreleased Custom song, USA.
Unreleased Custom songs I believe would be hits
- Both Hands
- Love Letter
- Catch Me
- Bong Bubble
Only six days ago I went off on MySpace. I believe I called them facist bastards and worse. They cancelled my myspace.com/teamcustom account without indicating why or giving me a chance to appeal. I was pissed.
Custom and I chatted about it that night and he, like many in the biz, knew somebody. This somebody knew somebody on the inside, and in less than a week not only was the account reactivated with the old friends and comments but we were given the URI we always coveted, myspace.com/custom. I'm guessing they just turfed the guy who's had it forever. That, my friends, is rock n' roll.
To recap, I went from cursing the SOBs out to appreciating their help in less than a week. We went from nothing and no chance of anything to what we had and a whole lot more. myspace.com/custom is now live and to celebrate we're sharing two gems from Fast, "Beat Me" and "Hey Mister". Two new tracks will be online soon. Thanks Rupert!
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