Tyler Jacobson is best known for his involvement in some of the most popular parties in Denver in the 21st century with Lipgloss, Casual and Mile High Soul Club. Today, Jacobson is offering a free download of the first song he was involved in writing in more than twenty years: "39." The significance of the title comes from Jacobson's age: He turns 40 today. The recording project, called Enablers Anonymous, is the result of a transatlantic collaboration between Jacobson and former Kingmaker drummer John Andrew. From 1992 to 1993, Jacobson had fronted the alternative rock band The Ann B. Davis', named after the late actress who played Alice, the maid in the TV sitcom The Brady Bunch.
The Ann B. Davis' included Jeff Linsenmaier (later of the Czars, Munly & the Lee Lewis Harlots, the Fray and Dust on the Breakers), and the group played a few shows with Twice Wilted and the Christines during the Davis' short existence. For his return to music, Jacobson got some friendly nudges from Wilted's former frontman.
"Kurt Ottaway has kind of been on my butt for years to stop just being a DJ and start playing music," says Jacobson. "Kurt's always been a pretty big, positive influence in my life and I definitely took it to heart. Just in casual conversation once in a while, he'd say, 'You're still just going to deejay? Is that it?'"
It wasn't until recent years that Jacobson started making music again. His own son has become a skilled guitarist in his own right, and Jacobson taught himself how to play guitar and bass and to utilize Logic to produce the core of the song before sending it on to Andrew to record the drums. Jacobson had become friends with Andrew while living in Athens, Georgia, later in the '90s, after he created a fan website for Kingmaker. Since then, the two and the other members of Kingmaker have remained friends. And when Jacobson shared the first song he'd written in two decades, Andrew was quick to respond.
"So I just threw this track up online for about six to eight hours at the most," says Jacobson. "Within that time, [Andrew] heard it and said, 'Do you want me to throw on some drums from here in Hull, England?' Anybody that knows me knows that to be working with a drummer from one of the bands that I loved is a big deal to me."
For now, Jacobson has no vocals on the single, but there are samples from a video of a housewife doing LSD, and the song evokes the feel and sound of the dream pop and shoegaze bands of the '90s that Jacobson loves. There is a second single in the works called, of course, "40." An EP or album, should it manifest, will include some actual vocals from Jacobson. There are no plans for any live performances, especially since Andrew lives in England.
Why release music at this time, when Jacobson has firmly established himself as a respected DJ known for having good taste?
"There is some risk involved, because my personal brand is being extremely critical of music," admits Jacobson. "It's easy to sit on the sidelines and talk about what everybody else's music lacks. But I risk nothing by doing that. I felt compelled to put something out there and risk letting people know about it. It's all very exciting, and it's all very challenging."
"As far as what prompted it?" concludes Jacobson. "We live in a pretty incredible age, when you can write something like that and you don't have to go into a studio to get it done. The distribution can be handled within a couple of hours on the Internet. The opportunity to do something creative, if you have the inclination, if there's any barrier, it's self-imposed, because all the tools are out there, available and free, and you can reach such a broad audience at this point."
You can download "39" for free today at http://enablersanonymous.bandcamp.com/releases.
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If you'd like to contact me, Tom Murphy, on Twitter, my handle is @simianthinker.