MP3 J.R. Bowen - Persistence of Vision
The sound of a broken heart through a guitar amp. Dated, distorted, loud and proud. Popular kids need not apply.
16 MP3 Songs
ROCK: 90''s Rock, POP: Power Pop
Omaha musician J.R. Bowen has finally completed his first solo album, Persistence of Vision (produced and performed entirely by J.R.), after three years of sessions, financial setbacks, and rather extreme life changes.
In 1997, J.R. began a career in music as the drummer for the Omaha-based band Supercell. "I was the bass player, and one day we were gonna audition a drummer. He didn''t show up, but his kit was already there, so I thought I''d try it. I ended up shattering his cymbals! But the guys liked what I did, so I ended up as the drummer." J.R. stayed on through two E.P.s and many shows at The Ranch Bowl, The Brickyard and Stage Right. "They''re all closed now," J.R. observes. "I wonder if we''re to blame."
Following his tenure as drummer, J.R. collaborated with fellow Supercell bandmate Josh Graham for a short-lived project called Pitch Blue. The musicians were noticed by representatives of both SPIN and VIBE magazines, which requested tapes of the band for a proposed article. The project ended before the article could appear in the magazines.
It was at this point that J.R. decided to do it all himself: "I was tired of the compromises involved in having a band. I wanted to write the songs, perform them, produce them...the whole thing. It was also easier for me to just play it than to explain to someone how I wanted it."
Regarding the writing of the songs, J.R. shrugs, "I wasn''t so good at relationships, and writing was very cathartic for me. The songs I wrote were not dark, or depressional...they were actually full of energy and hope. I think the best kind of music works as a release, for putting a name to your emotions, and getting it out of you, and that''s what I tried to write: an empathetic, emotional, exuberant, over-caffeinated release."
In 2000, J.R. began recording demos in his basement, always improving the songs and equipment as he worked. "It was a great lesson on what NOT to do," says J.R. of his earliest recordings. "Slowly I figured out what I wanted to do, and how to do it. But it took so long...it really was a labor of love."
By his estimate, three CDs worth of material was recorded; some songs were complete productions, some were fragments, some instrumentals.
It was 2003 when J.R. decided to take the best material from these demos, as well as what he had learned by trial-and-error recording, and make the best possible disc. "When I began re-recording the material, I had no idea it would take this long, or that so many things would happen in the interim."
While J.R. is loathe to talk about his personal life, he simply says that those three years included a change in his day job, and also the addition of some very special people into his life. When asked to elaborate, J.R. smirked and replied, "No comment."
What does he think of the completed disc? "It''s the best I could do. Are there some mistakes? Sure. Could others have played it better? Probably. But I can honestly say that it''s the best I could do; its exactly what I had envisioned. I wanted a good rock & roll album. I am very happy with the result."
He thinks you will be too.
J.R.''s album, Persistence of Vision, is now available at https://www.tradebit.com.