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    • CommentAuthorsnafu
    • CommentTimeMay 11th 2010
     (8205.1)
    Well played, Mr Sizer. Well played.
    •  
      CommentAuthormoali
    • CommentTimeMay 11th 2010
     (8205.2)
    well done!
    • CommentAuthorTAL
    • CommentTimeMay 11th 2010
     (8205.3)
    Congratulations! Nothing less than awesome news.

    (I had some hope that the announcement would be new comics)
    •  
      CommentAuthorAgitpunkt
    • CommentTimeMay 11th 2010
     (8205.4)
    Fantastic and congratulations!

    I came to Dolby's music kind of late, but it really is outstanding, and your style is the perfect match.
  1.  (8205.5)
    Nice one Paul. Looking forward to see the rest of the package!
    •  
      CommentAuthorPaul Sizer
    • CommentTimeMay 12th 2010
     (8205.6)
    Well Tom, you certainly raise the bar in design around here, and I am endeavoring to make this a tight, exciting and typographically sophisticated design for CD. Will post as I can. Thanks for the sticky, Warren.
  2.  (8205.7)
    I am always a fan of cool/great things happening to good people, and you Sizer, are Good People.

    Congrats on livin' the dream, Sir.
    •  
      CommentAuthorMagnulus
    • CommentTimeMay 13th 2010
     (8205.8)
    I have not heard of this Thomas Dolby before now, but figuring that anything Sizer is a hardcore fan of can't be that bad, I'm now watching the TED video. The song is really nice, but The Nutmeg is AWESOME! ^_^ I shall have to listen to more of his stuff now.

    Congratulations, Paul! Couldn't have happened to any one more deserving.
    •  
      CommentAuthorPaul Sizer
    • CommentTimeMay 13th 2010 edited
     (8205.9)
    Thanks guys.
    Magnulus: Here's what Thomas Dolby got famous for:
    SHE BLINDED ME WITH SCIENCE

    and here's what people SHOULD know him for:
    THE FLAT EARTH
    and
    BUDAPEST BY BLIMP
    • CommentAuthorIsaacSher
    • CommentTimeMay 15th 2010
     (8205.10)
    I just back from seeing Paul at Anime Central's Artist Alley. Picked up copies of his BPM and Moped Army, and commissioned a color piece as a birthday present for my wife from him. The initial sketch of it absolutely blew my wife away at how perfect it was, and we're both looking forward to the finished version.

    Not that everyone doesn't know this already, but Paul is a Cool Guy. I'm glad I know him. We talked a bit about this Dolby thing, and his excitement was electrifying, and it made me even more happy for him.

    Three cheers for Sizer!
    •  
      CommentAuthorPaul Sizer
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2010 edited
     (8205.11)

    It's here! Thomas Dolby's first new studio music in 20 years, the "Amerikana" EP is released today, and I can finally divulge the news that I will be working with Thomas Dolby on ALL of the design work leading up to and including his new album, "A Map Of The Floating City" later this year. It's a dream come true for a huge Dolby geek/fan, but I've had a great time collaborating with Thomas so far, and there's some really cool stuff coming up in the near future!

    Here's the official press release:
    Today I’m releasing my first new studio music in nearly 20 years. It’s called Amerikana, and it’s available ONLY to members of my online fan community, The Flat Earth Society.

    "I’ve chosen not to make this a full commercial release for various reasons. My plan has always been to put out a series of three digital EPs (taking their names from the 3 sections of my upcoming album A Map Of The Floating City) followed by a physical album with additional tracks. But as I’ve yet to settle on a particular release method for that album – be it self-publishing, a record label, or some new hybrid – I’d prefer not to undermine the album’s commercial appeal by pulling the trigger too early. However, my ‘hardcore’ audience have been following my adventures on my blog and web site as I go through the process of writing and recording these songs, and it’s only natural they would want an early listen to my new music. So I arrived at the idea of releasing the EPs exclusively to FES members. You will only be able to buy it here on my website, and not on iTunes, Amazon etc.

    Amerikana is an affectionate look back at the 22 years I lived in the USA before returning to my native Britain three summers ago. While living in the States I became very fond of roots American music. And as it’s music that was always spread and shared by travelers sitting around camp fires, I felt I’d add my traveler’s voice to its ongoing story. Needless to say, I’m no hillbilly or good ol’ country boy, so my own flavour of americana is a bit twisted, a bit mischievous. ‘Road To Reno’ charts the progress of a pair of hapless lovers as their red convertible blazes a trail across the desert in a kind of indie road movie, serenaded by my longtime cohorts the Jazz Mafia Horns. ‘Toad Lickers’ is about a group of crazed eco-hippies in the Welsh mountains who get high on Bufo alvarius and creep into the local town after hours in search of munchies. It has cameos from Imogen Heap on jaw harp, longtime FES member Crackers on accordion, and fiddler Natalie MacMaster.

    But the EP’s ‘coup de resistance’ is a 7?38? epic entitled ‘17 Hills’. Very much in the tradition of ‘I Love You Goodbye’ and ‘Budapest By Blimp’, this song weaves a bittersweet tale using words, sounds, textures, and surprising left turns in the arrangement. It features beautiful playing by Mark Knopfler, who graciously allowed me into his private studio as he added some of his signature licks, complimenting my vocal to perfection. Pedal steel player Bruce Kaphan, who produced American Music Club and has toured with David Byrne, adds soaring atmospherics. Natalie MacMaster injects a touch of Cape Breton charm with a mesmerising looped fiddle solo. Radical string quartet Ethel beckon us into the realm of the surreal. And Jeffrey Wash’s pristine fretless seems to channel one of the greatest bass guitar showcases of all time, Joni’s ‘Hejira’.

    As I mentioned, Amerikana is only one section of my album, and three of its four songs are represented here. The price, including high-res MP3s and a print-ready digital booklet, is a very affordable $3.00 / E3.00 / £2.00. The subsequent two EPs ‘Oceanea’ and ‘Urbania’ – available later in 2010 – have quite different styles, and some may prefer one over another. My albums, as you know, often cover a wide range of genres, because like a novelist I really enjoy exploring a new idiom, instrumentation, time and place; and thankfully my core fanbase has been willing to go along for the ride. So you have options: you can choose to wait for the full album and get all the goodies in one package, or you can plunge in now, and see where you end up! The eventual AMOTFC album will definitely contain at least 3 songs not included on the EPs.

    That said, there is a theme running through the EPs that you might want to be aware of. The album has a backstory which is something you will have to dig a bit to uncover. Contained on each EP is a ‘clue’, and you’re going to need to unravel its secret at each stage of the proceedings. I won’t say more than that for now. My recent visit to JJ Abrams’ facility in California might give you a hint about what I’m up to!

    Here’s the link to buy the EP. If you’re not already a community member, you can sign up here!

    I hope you enjoy Amerikana, and will look forward to hearing your feedback."

    So there you go; sign up for his online community and get free cool new music, designed by me! It's a win-win situation.
    • CommentAuthorIsaacSher
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2010
     (8205.12)
    WOOHOO! Go Sizer!
    •  
      CommentAuthorrickiep00h
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2010
     (8205.13)
    FUCKING.

    GORGEOUS.

    Serious shit, Sizer. Grats.
    •  
      CommentAuthorstsparky
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2010
     (8205.14)
    way happy for you Paul!
    •  
      CommentAuthorPaul Sizer
    • CommentTimeNov 21st 2010 edited
     (8205.15)
    Finally! Here's the video for Thomas Dolby's song "The Toadlickers" from the 'Amerikana' EP that came out this summer.
    THOMAS DOLBY: "THE TOADLICKERS"

    It's got puppets, parkour, burlesque dancers, bluegrass-techno hybrid music, what's not to love?

    I had nothing to do with this video, but it's still cool, and comes on the event horizon of Dolby's new EP 'Oceanea', which will again be available to the digital world at the end of November. You can find more info at Thomas Dolby's website.

    Here's a sneak peak at the cover, which WAS designed/photo directed by me.


    Mr. Dolby and I have been VERY busy these last few months, and as Warren recently said, it's a bit like working in a well; lots of work, but nothing I can show people, which is both exciting and frustrating, but ultimately exciting, because Dolby is one smart guy, and the stuff we've been working on is going to geek this crowd out big time!
    More soon, friends!
    •  
      CommentAuthorstsparky
    • CommentTimeNov 21st 2010
     (8205.16)
    I'm so happy for you Paul.
  3.  (8205.17)
    Very cool. I'm looking forward to the EP.
    •  
      CommentAuthorPaul Sizer
    • CommentTimeNov 21st 2010
     (8205.18)
    This EP is perhaps a bit more what Dolby's longtime fans would expect from him musically. This entire EP is very ethereal and dreamlike in places, with some jazz-ish inflections in it. The title track is a soaring, lovely duet with Dolby and singer Eddi Reader, whose voice on this track is so pure it will make your heart ache.

    There's some electronics, but mostly everything sounds very warm and analogue. Dolby's not really interested in doing the "wacky mad scientist electronic" music any more, so this album is much more centered on the narrative of the songs; much more storytelling.
  4.  (8205.19)
    Absolutely gorgeous work, Paul. Congratulations, man. Rock on.
    •  
      CommentAuthorPaul Sizer
    • CommentTimeNov 21st 2010 edited
     (8205.20)
    Thanks Andre.

    The front photo of the EP cover was taken by a photographer that lives next door to Dolby, but those concrete blocks are also next door to Dolby; they were anti-tank barricades left over from World War 2, and were put along the coast to prevent large tanks from getting further inland. Dolby wanted to use them on this cover (he wanted a somewhat surreal/Pink Floyd/dreamtime feel to the image), based on a photo that his neighbor had made of the blocks with a sky and one single cloud (added via PhotoShop). We talked about perhaps just adding Dolby in digitally, but I was pushing for actually getting him out on the blocks so it would look better. We still added in the single cloud sky digitally, but I was able to control more aspects of color and correction with a new photo shoot. Dolby wanted the shot to be open to interpretation; was he waiting for a blimp? Was he cloudwatching? Why is he dressed for vacation? He actually bought a really cool sextant on EBay for the shoot that gets a closeup on the back cover.

    It was also a challenge of waiting for a decent day to shoot on the southern coastline where he lives in the UK. While we were waiting, Thomas and I Skyped about what he should wear, props, etc (Oh crap, I'm helping Thomas Dolby pick out his wardrobe!). I sent him and the photographer sketches for the shots I envisioned, so when a decent weather day appeared, they knew exactly what to get and what to shoot. Then I got all the photos uploaded to me and we picked from there.
    So this counts as my first virtual trans-Atlantic directed photo shoot.

    When the single gets released at the end of November, I'll share some of the behind the scenes stuff that you'll all enjoy.