JULY + AUGUST TOUR DATES FOR FRIENDSHIP COMMANDERS // SOLO PERFORMANCE ON FRET BUZZ

Hi there!
My band has some upcoming Summer tour dates! We're also excited to announce the Nashville show at the end of the run on August 3rd with fellow local heavies, Howling Giant. Save the date, Nash! All are listed below.

If you'd like to receive notifications about when Friendship Commanders are coming to a city near you, follow them on Bandsintown!

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I performed a new solo song called “Pocket-Sized Friend” on a new web series by Mike’s Music called Fret Buzz! The show is about songwriting, guitar players, vintage instruments, and coffee. Mike’s Music is a terrific music store with two locations; one in Cincinnati OH and one in Covington KY. The Covington spot has a sound stage and they’re hosting this new series there! I was on the third episode, which airs on August 1st. Subscribe to their YouTube channel here and stay tuned for updates!

That’s all for now!

Thanks for stopping by!

-BA

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UPCOMING FRIENDSHIP COMMANDERS TOUR DATES:

7.21.19 // Highlands Tap Room // Louisville KY

7.22.19 // Cobra Lounge // Chicago IL

7.23.19 // Buzzbin // Canton OH

7.24.19 // Sanctuary // Detroit MI

7.25.19 // Westside Bowl // Youngstown OH

7.26,19 // Milk Boy // Philadelphia PA

7.27.19 // O’Brien’s Pub // Allston MA

7.28.19 // Apohadion Theater // Portland ME

7.29.19 // Brooklyn Bazaar // Brooklyn NY

7.30.19 // Wonderland // Richmond VA

7.31.19 // Slim’s // Raleigh NC

8.01.19 // Caledonia Lounge // Athens GA

8.03.19 // Little Harpeth Brewing // Nashville TN

FACING THE MUSIC, LITERALLY

Here goes nothing!

I’m going to do something this year; something outside of my band, Friendship Commanders. I’m not quite ready to talk about what it is yet, but I can tell you it’s already on the calendar—and not just my calendar. A few other people are involved. Something is going down.

I’ve committed the last five-plus years to FC; the choice to do so was mine. Time was, I’d do a bunch of projects at the same time. I had solo output, other collaborations and bands, and was always writing for other outlets. And I was a clothing designer for big chunk of years, too. I made a lot of work, sometimes through very complicated periods of my life. I’ve said many times that the creative outlets likely kept me alive and sane through those times. However, it was hard to do the work justice. Touring was difficult, and I scarcely had label or PR support of any kind for the work I was putting out into the world. At a certain point, I had to simplify. I put all other projects and personas on the shelf, literally and figuratively. I paused. And when we started Friendship Commanders, I went all in. While I have had the occasional outside collaboration in that time, all participation has been brief and limited. In the six years we’ve been a band, we’ve released two full-length albums, four EPs, four Halloween singles, and seven videos. It’s been an intense focus. The band is my favorite thing I’ve ever been a part of.

But I can’t pretend it’s the only thing I’ve been a part of. I’ve made a lot of work. And I just looked at a bunch of it because I was reorganizing the storage of all past releases to make room for new work. There isn’t any room. I’m maxed out, living among the work I don’t talk about for various reasons. Well, I’m going to talk about it. And I’m going to do something radical, in this age of crowdfunding and patreon and all that, I’m going to ask you to buy my previous work. This will help me pay for and make room for new work, both within my physical space, and also within myself. I’m treating it as a reclamation. My previous work has been wrapped up in difficult stories and realities relating to family, dysfuctional collaborative dynamics, loss, and grief. I set it aside to recover. But, I’m upright these days, and I’m going to claim it for what it was: mine. Regardless of who else was involved, these records are my writing and my concepts, outside of the few outside writers on Family Album. (More on that in a minute.) This work belongs to me, and I’d like to share it with you. I’d like to be known. And when/if there is something else to share, I hope you’ll check that out, too. But for now, I don’t want donations or to knit you a scarf or write out lyrics by hand. I want to share my previous work with you. And I’m making it as easy as humanly possible. All options and descriptions below.

Also, I send terrific mail. I can guarantee you’ll like getting the packages. Bonus materials will be involved. 

I’m not going to strap a bunch of empty genre descriptors to the work below. It’s music. Some is electric, some is not.

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33 SLADE

The Way To Win: A True Story

First album by my first band! We made it with J. Robbins at the legendary Inner Ear studio in Arlington VA! 33 Slade was Boey Russell on drums, Levi Fuller on bass, and me on guitar and vocals. I started my record label, Trimming The Shield Records, with my brother to release this album. It came out in December of 2002. This is the true beginning.

My favorite track: "Mourning Rush"

 

Harmonies For One

This was our second album, produced in part with Grant Hart, and also with Matt Squire. Matt engineered it as well. Paul Kolderie mixed it. All of the above happened at Camp Street in Cambridge MA, a wonderful studio that is now gone, sadly. I loved working there and did so a few different times. I released this album after the band had already parted ways (geographically, primarily; Levi moved to Seattle). The record came out in 2007. I’m super proud of it. Oh, and this is the first record on which I ever acted as producer. 

My favorite track: "Paved In Teeth"

 

BUICK AUDRA

Rose Ink

I tracked this record right after 33 Slade wound down. I had just moved to Brooklyn (like, the week before), and did this project at SOMD in College Park MD. I worked with Matt Squire again; he was briefly working at this studio before moving out West. This EP was tough. It was the first solo effort I ever made and it felt lonely and pretty revealing. It’s an eight song body of work that features just me playing a 1960 Fender Duo-Sonic and singing. Mixed by Alex Hartman. Came out in the Summer of 2006. Also, Stumptown printed these CD cases, and they’re really lovely. Cover logo and lettering by acclaimed tattoo and visual artist, Scott Campbell.

My favorite track: "The Worst Of Me"

 

Singer

I could write a book about making this record and the one after it, no joke. But for now, I’ll just say that this work took a lot to get together for some reason. Singer was my first full solo album, and I made it over the course of two very long years. I made it in four studios between Boston, New York, and San Diego—with at least as many engineers! You’d never know it to look at the CD. It looks like a cool breeze. It wasn’t. BUT: I did make the trip to Ojai CA to master the record with the late great Doug Sax at the Mastering Lab, and man, was that a treat. If you don’t know about Doug, look him up. If you do know about him, you know that his contributions pulled the whole thing together with whatever wizardry he possessed. Not to downplay the work itself; I’m proud of it, But it was very cool to watch Doug change it for the better. This record came out in February of 2008. (I only have eighteen copies of this album left in the wide world; that feels crazy.) Cover logo and lettering by tattoo artist Ram Hannan.

My favorite track: "Happy Loser"

 

Family Album

This record also took around two years to track, and here’s why: I made it with twenty-three members of my families of choice and origin, in homes all over the country. Field recordings! I finally have enough distance from the experiences to say that I love this work, and I’m glad I did it when I did. I certainly don’t have the stomach for it now. Along with songs written by me, the album features work by Boey Russell (my brother), Catherine Huebsch (my mother), Randy Prentice (my biological father), and Fred Neil. Fred was a close friend and collaborator to my mother, and I grew up knowing him as a sort of uncle. I recorded “Little Bit of Rain” by Fred for this collection. I mixed the record with Eric McConnell, here in Nashville, which worked on a couple levels. I had recorded the music in homes, and Eric’s studio is also in his home (you’ve maybe seen his home on the cover of Loretta Lynn’s Van Lear Rose; that record was made at his house, too). And, Eric was terrific to work with, letting me lead the mixing sessions and see the vision through. I valued that experience very much. I returned to Ojai once more to master this body of work with Doug. Again, he applied magic; again, I was grateful. And that was the last time I saw Doug. He passed a couple of years later. This record was released in February of 2011. Cover logo and lettering by tattoo artist Ram Hannan.

My favorite track: "Brand New Lie"

* * *

Those are the greatest hits! There are other records with other people, but I’m focusing on these right now. This is the major work of my life, pre-Friendship Commanders. I’m proud of it. I hope you like it. Thanks in advance for your support, and of course to the people who have been paying attention all along! All sales of these previous albums will contribute to Something New. Feels like a good system. Physical media bundles below! Oh—and I’m making a few ties for this project. I have a necktie line called B. Arson Neckwear, and to honor this new reclamation of my work, I’m making a limited edition tie called AUDRA. The fabric is the very silk I made the Singer cover dress from. It’s stunning. Photos and description below! Enjoy.

ALL FIVE RECORDS - $33 (+shipping) 

ALL BUICK AUDRA RECORDS - $23 (+shipping)



BOTH 33 SLADE RECORDS - $13 (+shipping)

AUDRA NECKTIE + ALL BUICK AUDRA RECORDS - $86 (+shipping) - only 3 available

If you absolutely can’t have physical media in your life, and have no use for the lyrics and liner notes (that we labor over as artists), you can buy the digital media on my bandcamp profile, on iTunes, or on Amazon.

Thank you for honoring my work. Art is not charity; it is art.

And I want to say this for myself, and for as well as for anyone else who needs to hear it: we are not our wounds. We are not extensions of our families. We are not what others think or say of us. We are our own. What a beautiful, powerful thing to be.

-Buick Audra

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NEW! AUDRA NECKTIE 

Handmade necktie // jacquard silk with charmeuse lining // 60 inches long by 2 inches wide at bottom (can be made shorter if necessary)

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D'Addario!

Hello!

I'm thrilled to announce that I've officially become part of the D'Addario/Planet Waves family. I've been playing their strings for easily fifteen years and couldn't be happier about this new development. I proudly play their NYXL series (size 10/46 on the Gibson Nighthawk, and size 11/49 on the SG), and they've become essential to the sound of Friendship Commanders.

Speaking of the ol' FC, we have a new EP coming out on October 17th, as part of Cassette Store Day 2015. It's called GARFIELD. Can't wait for you to hear it. We'll be on WRFN Nashville next Thursday, August 27th, talking with The Real Music City about that and everything else we're up to at present. We'll even be playing a few songs live in the studio. Tune in at 9 pm CST to catch it.

That's all for now! Thanks for stopping by.

Rock,

BA

"Brother Blue," from BA

Hey friends, 

I've decided to release this song, "Brother Blue," as a single today. It was one of two songs I performed at the Re-Visioning Justice conference last week, the other being a brand new piece called "Relievers." I wrote this song in 2008 as part of a body of work that I intended to turn into an album called Love & Lightning. Somehow the project never happened, and other than being played during some solo live performances in the years that followed, the songs haven't done much. When I was asked to perform at the conference, I dusted this one off to see if it still rang true enough for me to bring it out all these years later. It did. It does.

As I was leaving the conference, a woman stopped me and asked if there was a recording of "Brother Blue" that she could purchase. I told her the truth, that there wasn't. She looked quite disappointed. She told me that she wanted to give it to someone whose loved one was about to be incarcerated. I decided to record it for them. Jerry Roe and Derek Wells were both available and willing to contribute their talents and time to the recording, and here it is. I decided to make it publicly available just because it felt so good to reconnect with the song, and maybe it will resonate with someone else out there. 

Any money that is made from this recording will be donated to Jail Guitar Doors, an organization that works to provide inmates with music equipment as a means for rehabilitation. I believe in rehabilitation and recovery, for all of us. I believe in finding ways to be compassionate and supportive. 

Maybe Love & Lightning will get made someday, maybe not. But, it sure has been sweet to visit with this old friend for a couple of days. Enjoy, and thank you for supporting work with purpose.

Rock,

BA

Happy Spring from BA!

Hi there!

Happy Spring! Tennessee is in bloom right now and it couldn't be more beautiful. I hope you're all experiencing some new growth this season.

As promised in my last update, there is much to report. My main project, Friendship Commanders, completed the recording of our first full-length album about two weeks ago. It's currently being mixed by Don Gunn in Seattle, and so far we love what he's doing with the songs. We're not yet sure about the release plan, but I'll be sure to post it as it unfolds. In the meantime, we'll be touring later in the Spring and throughout the Summer, so I hope to see some of you out there on the road. We're also going to release a shorter, rougher project before the album drops. 

One week from tomorrow, on April 17th, I'll be performing at the Re-Visioning Justice in America conference at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. I will sing two of my own songs to open the conference, directly before the introductory presentation by Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice initiative. We will be at Benton Chapelon the Vanderbilt Campus, and the evening will start at 6 pm.

Lastly, What You Can Do, the social activism organization that I have been providing music for since 2013, has just been nominated for a Webby Award in the category of Online Film and Video: Public Service and Activism. I love working with their team and I celebrate this acknowledgment of their loving, generous mission. Vote for them in their category, please!

Thank you for stopping by, and for supporting work with purpose.

Rock,

BA

a note from BA

Hey dudes!

How about the fact that it's already THE HOLIDAYS? Not sure where I've been, but this season has totally snuck up on me. I guess I've been busy making stuff, which is never a bad thing.

This year has been one of total dedication to Friendship Commanders, which is why I've been so quiet on the solo front. There's not a lot of solo action these days. . . none, really. I write the occasional song that gets filed away for a rainy day, but the majority of my time, energy, and music goes to the band now. I have to say, I couldn't be happier. 

FC toured this year, we wrote and demo'd a full-length album that we'll record this winter (!), and we released some music, too. We joined forces with Cassette Store Day and released our first three-sided-single, "TSS001." It's only available on cassette, of which there are one-hundred and fifty copies. Total. Each cassette does come with a free digital download of the songs, but the release isn't available digitally on its own. We wanted make something that was actually limited, in this unlimited world of ours. It was released on CSD, which was September 27th. Order a copy today, and give someone a really loud stocking stuffer!

After that, we released our second annual Halloween single last month. This time around we covered "Them Bones" by Alice in Chains. The proceeds from our single all go to aid addiction research in memory of LayneStaley. We just made our first donation yesterday; it felt great. 

We have January set aside for making the record, and I'll be sure to post about it when there's news. Until then, we have new t-shirts and pins, and stuff for you to listen to. Hope to see you at an FC show in 2015! Long live Trimming The Shield!

Thanks for checking in.

Rock, 

BA

what goes on

Buick has had a full year like none before.  She released an EP and a single with her main project, Friendship Commanders. She completed, mixed and released an album and single with her long-distance side project, They Rule. She made sixty of her own demos public for streaming. She joined forces with Chuck Treece and McRad for a few songs, one of which was released on the new McRad album, The Begin. Lastly, she collaborated with Boey Russell on a single, "Genevieve." 

The year ahead will hold a lot of music, and subsequent TTS releases for her. Happy new year, and thanks for stopping by.

-TTS