Over my years in the music business, I wrote & recorded hundreds of songs through a variety of band & solo projects. This "Anth-ology" collection finally puts it all in one place as well as the work I did as a producer & engineer for my record company & recording & production studios throughout Western New York, New England & Northern California.
A bit about MY ANTH-OLOGY
Around what feels like a thousand years ago in what feels like someone else's story from another far-flung Galaxy (and most certainly not mine), I was a full-time musician, engineer, producer, and record label owner. I've been primarily playing guitar and a few other various instruments since I was 7 and attempting to write my own music since I was around 12. Jump ahead a few centuries later, and one day, it dawned on me that since I had created all these shows here and they all need fresh, new, original music to accompany them, maybe it would make sense if I used my huge back-catalog of material I'm sitting on and am not doing anything with anymore.
I had hundreds and hundreds of songs just waiting to be pillaged. So, that's what I did... kinda-sorta... I actually started writing again for the shows a few years ago and now have dozens & dozens of additional tracks now. Which is a great problem to have. So whether it's my older material that I built up for over my three decades of composition, producing and performing or the brand new compositions I solely wrote for my shows, thank you for taking the time to listen to my music. We should all listen more. To everything and to everyone around us and especially, to our hearts. ~AA
If you head to my band, solo or especially my engineering and production sections on my "Anth-ology" page, you'll probably be left scratching your head at the stylistic differences between what you'll hear in the music I wrote below and the caustic, visceral music I seemed to gravitate to, wrote and performed in my solo, band and production projects for my record label. You see, I've had a deep love for Dave Brubeck, Vince Guaraldi, Glenn Miller, Gershwin, Ellington, Carmichael, and Berlin etc... etc... ever since my Grandparents first weened my fragile, impressionable ears on them all when I was too little to even remember. Where would modern music be without these composers? These are the original punks as they each stretched, and in their own way, to me, these are the original
punks as they each stretched and moved boundaries like no other generation before them. And as much as my kids' TV shows were pretty dang punky themselves, they owed a lot to the mid-century kids' TV shows I grew up watching on UHF and local cable stations when I was a kid in WNY. There was just something about the hyper-loose-creative and unique energy of these shows simply because they had no references to follow and they had no idea what the hell they were doing. They were making it all up as they went along and I always found that era so inspiring that I literally have created six kids' TV shows honoring the era! All in all, the music I write for my TV shows is vastly different than the music I would write for myself, but I think it suits them pretty well, thank you very much! ~AA
They say once a writer, always a writer, and I have found that to be 100% true in all aspects of the media arts. Over the last decade, I've been so busy with my TV shows that I really haven't had any time to write songs for myself like I used to as most of that energy is directed toward writing the music for the shows. But, for a long time in my life prior to this period, no matter what, I somehow always seemed to find a few hours here and there to write, record and perform my songs. Through the pandemic, I finally had the time to start to dig into my archives and hard drives
and found out that I have written and recorded almost 400 of my own songs over the years and hopefully, someday, I can get the bulk of the good stuff up here on this site as well as to Soundcloud for everyone to enjoy. As it is, the songs above are a good enough place to start until I can find another swatch of time someday to dig them out and start sifting through them all again. It's an overwhelming sight to see 400 songs staring you in the face and an even more overwhelming task to have to separate which ones to share and which ones are trash. All in time... all in time... ~AA
What can I possibly say about the massive amount of work and years that were pumped into all of the music above? I am still decades, years, and some of these months too close to it all and will always be. The bands, incredible friends, sleeping in vans, and countless, endless hours of practicing, recording, touring, and performing. And the stories. I could write stories for decades about it all and someday, I will. But NOT now.
If you've been through this site at all, you know that writing comes effortlessly for me and I am hardly ever at loss for words or a good story. But all of what you hear above.... all of these songs... this decades' worth of work... well, sometimes, there are no words. As they say, sometimes, you've just gotta let the music do the talking. And you know what? This is one time when I'm gonna just shut my mouth and let that happen and let the music speak for itself. ~AA
MY AUDIO ENGINEERING & PRODUCTION WORK FOR MY BUFFALO, NY & BOSTON BASED INDIE RECORD COMPANIES
Before the TV shows, before the publishing company, and before anything really, my entire life's continuum... my very breath... was music. It was allllllll music... allllll the time. I lived for it from the first moment I touched a guitar at the ripe old age of 7. For a long time, before I left Buffalo, I had been writing, performing, engineering and producing my music and even running my own record company here in the mid-90s into the mid-2000s. After the sale of my family's restaurant (in the fall of 1999) I really wanted a change and a new start and to finally move to a town that I knew was a proven supporter of original, homegrown music and had an already longtime, established and thriving scene. I had grown deeply tired of trying so hard for so long here in WNY like so, so many others have over the decades. Just trying to make something happen here in reality... just... wouldn't ever happen. This is not the place for such things. It just isn't and even decades later it still isn't and sadly, it will never be. That ship sailed a long, long time ago, my friend. Do you want great fast food, football, hockey, four seasons, and kinda-cheap housing??? Awesome... You want a career in the arts... ummmm... no no no. Fugetaboutit... as they say in these parts. That's NOT what you do here. PERIOD. After 20 years here fighting the good fight in the industry (1980-2000), then15 years gone to places where things really happen in this industry (2000-2014) and now 8 years back (2022) on top of that.... the hard truth of it is that... anyone... literally anyone I knew who was an incredible musician or songwriter when I left and was full of as much talent and promise as anyone on the planet had, has since... and this applies to every-single-last-one-of-them... watched their dreams die a slow, sad death by staying here in WNY. Hey, life is a harsh bitch of a mistress and time... time proves all. I was right back then and I am right now. It's not my truth. It's THE truth. Like it or not. It's your fault for staying and listening to people who don't know any better in the first place, have never left, and never even tried to follow their dreams or pursue a goal, and certainly... certainly ... don't have your best life's interest at heart. Misery and broken dreams like company my friend... and there is a lot...a-whole-lot of it here in WNY. For the younger set that's reading this and you're still here, stuck in WNY or anywhere like it... PLEASE... for your future's sake, don't listen to any of the noise people will hoist upon you. It's dark poison. It's broken noise from deeply broken people who gave up on having anything better for themselves and ever pursuing their dreams and what they really want out of life. Their advice and words are only meant to kill your dreams and steal your will and passion and coerce you into joining their dead-eyed-soulless-zombie-army of regret and you will only have yourself to blame if you fall for it. I know it's garbage to have to write this here, but it's the hard truth. You want it. For real. You leave. Done. So, with that in mind, and back to the fall of 1999, I took a few trips around the North East region and in no time, Boston, Massachusetts won. Hands down. It was the type of region I could truly start anew in and had all of my favorite bands, engineers, labels and producers. There was an incredible scene there back then with bands like my all-time favorite ... Buffalo Tom... The Blake Babies, The Lemonheads, Evan Dando (Lead singer of the Lemonheads), Dinosaur Junior, The Push Stars and Chris Trapper and on and on. Boston simply had the best, highest quality, independent music scene in the country for at least a good 10 years. But at the time the sheeple were still... STILL... telling me that that I should go to Seattle and I said it to them then and I will say it now. That bizarro Seattle scene was nothing more than a distant, sadder-than-sad, odd-ball-one-off, lack-luster blip of a memory in the great musical landscape of the world that no one really even wants to remember that deeply-dark period anymore.
It was a total nightmare to deal with if you were on the independent side of the industry before, during and after the "Seattle-Sound-Trend". It wrecked everything... for everyone... down to the smallest indie companies... up to the largest and everything in between... forevermore!!! In less than 5 years that trendy signing spree laid complete waste to decades of good-intentioned, deeply sincere and hard-working people that for decades had been building a perfectly good, functioning, thriving, independent/DIY underground scene all over the US. Labels, bands, artists, promoters... just everyone was broken in two by it. In the end, I guess that was the purpose of the majors signing spree in the first place. The healthy indie label industry was becoming a huge threat to the major's bottom line and we were all making them look like chumps in their own backyard. So, they strutted into our life, our scene... our word... with their money bags and empty promises and life-wrecking, enslavement contracts and did what they have been doing since they first crawled straight out of the bowels of hell. They divided, diluted and destroyed an entire musical genre and an entire generation of artists and the labels that supported them and with it all, a truly amazingly awesome side of the record industry that was a way of life for tens of thousands of people who made their livings off of it. There was nowhere to run and nowhere to hide from it back then and we were ALL susceptible to its lure. And... it was all gone in a hot-puff before you knew it. If you were intuitive enough back then, you could see the writing on the wall plain as day. And remember, this was way, way, waaaaay before MP3's and the industry turning into what it is now. Grunge (makes me cringe even to write the word) sucked then and sucks now and was a hot-mess-momentary-transitional- reactionary-trend to the idiotic hairband trend. It killed a lot of dreams... and let's face it... a lot of people. The public, the general public, as a whole, is one dumb, meandering, anyway-the-wind-blows... herd! YOU KNOW IT, I KNOW IT AND YELLOW DOG KNOWS IT!!!! LOL.... And in those days, Seattle was just the unwilling-turned-willing-recipient at the epicenter of a generational, cultural mass-suicide. That whole period was a depressive-herd-en-masse-joke on my entire generation and thank God... it's gone forever and lost to time. Such a dark place and time and memories for us all. As far as Boston and its music scene back then goes, well, I just loved the city and the entire New England region, its history, its musical legacy as well as its most recent and ever thriving scene. It had everything someone like me could ever want at that point in my life. It was a huge college town with the perfect demographic that had the years ahead of them and the mostly parentally-deep-pocketed, discretionary income to spend during it all along with the good taste and hunger for and to support new artist and record labels. So off I went... After months of searching to find an apartment, I finally set up shop in a small, affordable, old plastics town that was the literal last stop on the T. And that was more than good enough for me. I soon started soliciting local bands around town for my label and in no time at all had a pretty amazing roster of acts and artists. What you will hear below was the result of that search and the fruits of our collective labor at the time. I was proud to record, engineer, and produce these very talented bands and artists for my record label from 2000 through 2004 and I am just as proud to present and introduce them to you now, almost 20 years later in some cases. I wonder what happened to everyone over the years? There was some great stuff here and a ton of great talent! I don't have or use any social media so who knows. Lol... It was sure awesome while it lasted though! ~AA