Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I know, I know. It's been a while. I've been doing some housekeeping and have fixed all of our media downloads. For your convenience, I'm including all of our downloadable music here in this post. Also, we're going to go ahead and make our second, arguably most popular, record Spacecapers available for download! We were hoping for a remaster on it, but that hasn't come together yet. So, enjoy! Have a lovely Fall where ever in space you may be.

Only Anything Discography
Pleasantly Surprised (1995) - Only Anything
Spacecapers (1996) - Only Anything (released under the pseudonym UFOA)
Album (1997) - Only Anything (with missing 8th track, "Hey!", replaced.)

Jon Thwaits solo EP series (all released in 2009)
American Idle - Jonathan Thwaits
Drowning in Possibilities - Jonathan Thwaits
Frame by Frame - Jonathan Thwaits

Jon Stone tunes
Recital (2009/10) - Jon Stone  (now including "Night Conch" demo with lyrics by Sara Gelston)

poem from "Spacecaper Credits" by Jon Thwaits

Superhuman Jonathan Stone
smart as a library with titanium bones
once built a rocket to fly off the face
of the earth, getting small as it soars into space
so he called Captain Argon and Professor Percussion
and they sat down one night to have food and discussion
they went long in the night and the details specific
should we launch from midland or over the Pacific?
should we bring laser blasters if Martians invade?
or will our Spacecapers lead us safely away
when calculations were done they all went to their beds
and dreamed of a world undiscovered just yet
of the wonderful things they could find, all unknowing 
just what it may be, that's the purpose in going
on the day of the launch it was cloudy and cold...
but to these brave space travelers it had all gotten old
so they strapped themselves in and laced up their shoes
they were destined, determined, to find something new.
the boosters were boosting in a booster like way
and the tug of the atmosphere beckoned to stay
but the heroes broke loose, one detail forgot:
no landing devices, so now in space they're lost.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hello image, sing me a line from your favourite song

My first concert was The Cure at America West Arena (US Airways Center) 19 June 1992 with a few of my best mates. That was back in the days when it was really easy to be so excited about something that it felt that nothing else in the world mattered, and indeed leading up to that concert, nothing else did matter. I was overtaken with excitement as they opened the show with "Open" and Robert sang "I laugh and I jump and I sing and I laugh and I dance and I laugh and I laugh and I laugh... and the way the rain comes down hard, that's the way I feel inside".
Well last night the rain was truly coming down hard at our house for the first time this season and it was the perfect weather for listening to a bunch of my early Cure favorites. I was inspired to do so because I somehow had the song "M" (17 Seconds 1980) stuck in my head and I remembered the first time I heard that song was at the aforementioned concert. It was the one song of the night that I wasn't familiar with and being the overzealous fan that I was, it was a super exciting moment hearing a new-to-me song for the first time.
Although I'm not quite as excitable as I used to be, I was moved by the music last night and had to sneak into the garage to record my own rendition:

You might notice the skeleton of a wall in the garage, could this be the future site of some kind of music studio?

Something I notice is that the video and audio quality of my new camera is lacking compared to my old low end Casio Exilim which sadly got stolen:(
still enjoyable I hope.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Knight at Krannert

Here's me and flutist William Reger playing an old Only Anything song at a recent event at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Champaign-Urbana:

Knight from starmaster on Vimeo.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Resolution #9

It's a new year. It's a new decade. 10 years ago, the Only Anything crew spent New Year's Eve at Mat's house. In 2003/04, we played a reunion show. And while we didn't manage to have everyone together at the same time this new beginning-of-the decade, we did manage to have most of us together at various times over the last several days. A guy couldn't ask for better friends than these and it's been fun to spend some time.

Looking forward, here's what the coming year has to offer in terms of OA projects and off-shoots:
  • We will continue to release Jonathan Thwaits solo material as EPs. I believe we have two more--ten more songs. Look for those over the next few months. And please, please vote for your favorite songs when they come up. There is still LOTS of time to vote on the current EP, my favorite so far, "Frame by Frame".
  • Several months ago I promised that we would be re-releasing our double-length opus "Spacecapers". Arguably, the band at its best and certainly at its most eclectic. A variety of circumstances have come together requiring a bit of extra work in making this a reality, but I think that it will be worth the wait. With the help of Kelby Thwaits, we will be going back to the original mastered recording on DAT (Digital Audio Tape--the best of the best in 1996) and remastering the tracks for this new release. The mp3 files that I currently possess had a long journey: 5 year old cassette tape, dubbed over to a recordable CD and then ripped to a computer. The remaster will not only have only a single transfer (from DAT into mp3) but will also have been worked over by Kelby mix-magic. So even though the tracks will still sound like they were recorded on a four-track at Sauna Studios, hopefully they will sound less fuzzy and more clean. Be watching for this!
  • New music and projects: Jon T. has promised us a new song or two--he played a few for me while we were together. AWESOME!
  • I am playing in a new duo called Riverstone. It's me and a friend in Illinois. He plays several flutes--mainly Native American, but some others as well. While this is a bit of a departure from OA, it is definitely a neat project and I'll share some of our work here. We have a gig in just under three weeks. We'll be playing at least one old OA tune ("Autumn") rearranged to fit the new style.
  • Finally, I wanted to share a little project I have in mind for the year. Whenever I get together with my father-in-law David, we always play a ton of great old music. I never really know any of it that well, and have to follow his fingers as he plays classic songs that I should have learned years ago. I'd like to work hard to rectify my relatively small reservoir of known-songs. I think that doing so will not just make these and other social guitar gatherings more fun, but they will also help to increase my own musicianship and songwriting abilities. SO! I've set a goal to learn 200 songs this year. (Hey, if Julie What-ever-her-last-name-is can cook 500+ Julia Child recipes in a year, I can learn four songs a week, right?). Don't worry, though, I'll be keeping things simple. I'm going to start with 50 Beatles songs. I'll be blogging about my progress and post youtube videos of some of the songs from time to time.

Since I know you're curious, here are the Beatles tunes:

Friday, December 18, 2009

Frame By Frame

We have five more songs for you from the archives. This set starts off with a song recorded a decade ago: "Trial". It was written on New Year's Day 2000 and recorded soon after in Kelby's home studio. This was a deviation from the alternative rock arrangements of the classic Only Anything years. You may notice I was more discriminating in my choice of notes, letting some open space through at times and then coming in with very deliberate interplay between the bass, guitar and piano. There is just one guitar track and it is the nylon string acoustic, an instrument which around this time became the backbone of my arrangements. All of these five songs feature the nylon string guitar as the primary instrument. These songs have a more acoustic feel than the previous collections but you will hear some electric on "How Can I Last" and some steel string acoustic doubling with the nylon on David. Also listen for the harmonica and the more subtle soprano recorder. I'll let the rest of these songs speak for themselves, I believe they tell a little story. Here is Frame by Frame:

Download the whole EP here: Frame By Frame (right-click, save as)

Special Announcement!
I have been busy with non-musical things but I find myself with some extra time for the next month so I have plans to finish two new recordings that I had previously started and I have two more songs I would like to record if time permits. So in the coming months you can expect one more EP release from my archives and then some brand new tunes. Have a super holiday.

Jon T.

Short note from Jon Stone: Of the three EPs that we have posted thus far, this one has some of my very favorite songs on it. In fact, I think "Circus" might be my favorite song of Jon's that he has written in the last 10 years. It was so fun to play it during the Lancaster days. Enjoy folks!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Drowning In Possibilities: the second EP from Jonathan Thwaits

Welcome to the second EP release of the archived demo recordings of Jonathan Thwaits. Our goal is to pull out these recordings that were previously unavailable and give them out so you can enjoy them and help us pick the favorites. You can listen to them, download them and vote for your favorites all on this page. In case you missed the first release, don't worry, just scroll down to the previous post. EP#1 is still available.

Here is what Jonathan himself has to say about the songs:

This collection holds a mixture of quasi-pop songs, sounds that might have come out of commercial radio but which were then colored with flavors of latin jazz, movie soundtracks and quirky grooves. They reside in a genre on the outskirts of more easily categorizable music and while this may make the songs less accessible to the world at large, I contend that it makes them more interesting, memorable and meaningful. Here's the breakdown:

Feels Like Heaven - Most likely influenced by Stevie Wonder, in fact I would really love to hear Stevie sing this song, I'll have my people contact his people. written and recorded in 2003.

She's Really Something - A love song from my imaginary second honeymoon in Brazil. written and recorded in 2003.

Sapphire Eyes - The result of a request from Marisa that I write a song based on the short story "The Happy Prince" by Oscar Wilde. Written around 2000, recorded to cassette tape a year or two later.

Walk Softly - A romanticized ballad of the days when I woke up at 2:30 am to go to work trying not to wake the family. written around 2004, recorded with the help of Kelby Thwaits in Dec 2007.

I'll Stay With You - Lullaby inspired by bedtime for my two boys. Some of the vocal tracks were actually recorded in our apartment after my family went to sleep. Written and recorded in 2003.

The name of this collection--"Drowning In Possibilities" reflects my struggle with finding my niche. Perhaps I am too diverse for my own good, leading to an overall lack of focus. But I do write songs that I can get excited about and I believe that is most important, and it's what I will continue to do.

Enjoy the collection--in fact, DOWNLOAD Drowning in Possibilities and add it to your collection. As always, comments are greatly appreciated and don't forget to VOTE! Poll is in the top right corner of the blog.

More to come in a month or so.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Jonathan Thwaits EP #1 : American Idle

This is it! "American Idle" is the first of five JT EPs that we will be releasing over the next few months. I am so excited.

Frequently, music critics hail the efforts of extremely talented, overlooked artists as "greatest unknowns" and if ever there was such an artist, Jon Thwaits certainly is he. Jon and I have been playing music together for over 15 years and during that time, I've watched (and marveled) as he has developed as a songwriter. His music has a depth and range to it that you'll notice immediately in this first collection, but even more poignantly as we release each EP. Jon loves to rock, and you'll hear that here too--but his songwriting is tight and his stories have a remarkable color and intimacy. Most of all, these EPs establish Jon as a professional of his craft.

As you can probably tell, I am Jon's biggest fan. The first time we met, he had a guitar in his hand and our friendship has played out over the years around that instrument. It is now my pleasure to curate these EPs and to do what I can to share them with a larger audience. I know that you'll enjoy them as much as I do and hope that you'll share them with your friends.

Our aim is to, first and foremost, get these songs out so that you can enjoy them. However, we have a second agenda in mind and we need your help with it. We will be releasing a total of 25 songs over the next several months--one EP a month--and we'd like to get your opinion on your favorite songs. Once we have an idea of the 10 (or so) best/favorite songs, we hope to collect them (and possibly rerecord them) for an official album release--one that we can sell on iTunes and maybe even market to some indie labels.

To the right of the screen you'll notice a poll of songs on this EP release. Please listen to the songs and then vote on your two favorite songs (the poll will let you vote for more than two, but control yourselves, people). Then (and this is an important part) tell your friends! The songs are free and the poll is fun! It's just a tiny bit like American Idol. The poll will be available for about 30 days or until the next EP is released.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you American Idle by Jonathan Thwaits (right click, save link as).

(Each song has some additional information about its original recording date/purpose embedded in it as meta-data. When you have them in your iTunes, right click and select "more info" if you want to check that out.)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Only Anything in the Fall

Hey everybody,

We are all back in super-busy mode here at the beginning of the Fall semester. It seems that our lives continue to adhere to the school-time tradition and while my OA brothers will all someday escape its grasps, I'm afraid I am here for good.

Jon T. and I have been looking forward to the Fall, though, and have a very exciting announcement to make.

In a few days, we will begin releasing the complete back-catalog of Jon T's solo work. We are putting them into small, bite-sized EPs and I think you're really going to enjoy them. What's more, we are working on a special (and secret!) interactive feature to these EPs. All will be revealed soon.

In the meantime, please enjoy my own EP of songs written this last year. I just submitted them for consideration for a local gig. Keep in mind that the recordings are demos and far from perfect. But at least you can hear some stuff that I've been working on--and this time put the songs on your iPod and stuff.

Right click and "save link as" Jon Stone's Recital EP

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

Some new old (and very treasured) pictures

While I didn't get quite as much done over the summer as I would have like in the archive this summer, I was able to delve into the treasure trove that was John Heidenreich's stash of pictures. I have been busy tonight slicing up the scans that we made in New Hampshire at the beginning of August and have posted the first batch here:

John's Stash

The rest will follow during the weekend sometime, so be sure to check back.

(JT, we can feed them into the chronology once folks have had a chance to see them)