brad sucks: a one man band with no fans
Brad Sucks is a one man band from Ottawa, Canada, the music project and brainchild of Brad Turcotte. Brad plays, records, produces, and mixes all of his songs in his home studio, and posts his songs on his website, www.bradsucks.net, readily available for download. In fact, he encourages you to download, listen, burn, and share his songs as much as possible. There are no copyrights on his songs. I find it refreshing and daring the way he approaches all this digital piracy nonsense. From the sheer amount of work he has put into making these songs solely to get people to hear them, with very little opportunity for profit, he earned my respect even before I listened to his music. It's also a way to avoid all the ickiness involved in dealing with the recording industry.
He has one album of his own called I Don't Know What I'm Doing, now available professionally pressed thanks to all the support. Tracks are as follows:
- Making Me Nervous
- Look And Feel Years Younger
- Fixing My Brain
- Bad Attraction
- Sick As A Dog
- I Think I Started A Trend
- Never Get Out
- Time To Take Out The Trash
- Work Out Fine
The songs were recorded over 2002-2003, and vary from Rock to Hard Rock, Dance/Rock, Rock/Blues, Rock/Folk, Ballad, and Pop, all with a twinge of irony and self-deprecation. I can't help but laugh a bit each time I hear Overreacting, simply because it sums up so succinctly the nature of suicidal feelings, I am greatly entertained by the la la la's in the background of many songs, and in Bad Attraction he puts his heart and soul into rockin'. Brad writes all the songs, sings the vocals and plays the guitar and bass. Drum beats, tweaks to the audio, and such are done in his home studio with various software.
In addition to the album, Brad has numerous other songs posted on his website, spanning from 2001 to today (More songs are always in the works). These songs are (in order from most recent to least):
- Bad Sign - 7/24/06
- Fake It - 7/14/06
- Certain Death - 7/19/04
- Total Breakdown - 5/03/04
- Understood By Your Dad - 2/10/04
- You're Not Going Anywhere - 11/21/03
- Dropping Out Of School - 10/30/03
- We're Not Friends - 9/25/03
- There's Something Wrong - 9/08/03
- Quit Complaining - 10/25/02
- Everything Is Great - 8/14/02
- Difficult Situation - 2/11/02
- Gangsta Love - 4/12/01
These songs are excellent as well, and some may or may not be on his next planned album. You can download the mp3's (encoded at 128 kbps) directly from his website, or acquire the album through Apple's iTunes for 99 cents per song ($9.99 for the whole album), or just buy the CD from him for $10 US (plus shipping), or from Amazon.com. His songs are also available through Somesongs (www.somesongs.com) and filesharing programs.
Also, Brad releases the source files for his songs, encouraging anyone to remix them and add any personal flair felt necessary. He first tried this with the song Making Me Nervous, and the response was surprisingly successful. He has gone on to release the source of his entire album, and a compilation of his favorite remixes is available on his site.
Brad also organized a collection of songs from various artists about spam. He asked some fellow indie bands to write and record a song based on the subject line of some spam e-mail they've received, and the resulting album, Outside The Inbox, is surprisingly awesome. Tracks and artists as follows:
- I Got Your Letter by Verbose (Tycho, of Penny Arcade fame)
- Do you Measure Up by add
- Feel Better Now by Blind Mime
- You Are Being Watched by Son of Supercar
- Erik, Someone Wants To Date You by l5-l6 puzzle
- Urgent Business Relationship by MC Frontalot
- Look And Feel Years Younger by Brad Sucks
- Don't Worry Where Your Keys Are At by MonorailRT
- Urgent Business Confidential by Uncle Azathoth
- Where Is The Best Place by Donkey T
- Your Medication by Sex Piano
- A Quick, Simple Form by Glenn Case
- psiloveyou by Jack Shite
- My Parents Are Gone For The Weekend... by Justin Bacon
Most of these songs are thoroughly enjoyable (though the first track is poorly recorded), and the variety of styles, rhythms, and voices from song to song makes for an interesting and, hey, even fun listen. There are hip hop songs like Urgent Business Relationship, techno songs like Urgent Business Confidential, in which the ridiculous Nigerian e-mail is read by a computer voice and set to a beat, and utterly obscene songs like My Parents Are Gone For The Weekend... and psiloveyou (don't play those ones too loud while chillin' with your boombox on the front steps). And of course, the spam theme threads all the songs together. Outside The Inbox: Songs Inspired By Spam really garnered Brad Sucks some popularity, and even a bit of international recognition. It's available for download from his site or you could pay $5 for a CD.
Brad updates his website frequently with news from the music world, the digital world, his life, and his opinions on such matters. There are Brad Sucks t-shirts and posters available from his site via CafePress bearing his logo. Go buy one. Or buy his album. At least go to the site and listen to his music. Support a struggling artist doing something he loves to do just for you.
Brad is also the creator of the Stripcreator website, a pretty neat idea in and of itself, and the website http://www.in4mador.com/. You can also find him on Myspace at http://www.myspace.com/bradsucks. And he's left handed, which, as we all know, is a sign of true genius.