Mark Hansen Music - LDS Rock Music - Free Downloads

Mark Hansen Music - LDS Rock Music - Free Downloads
Get the new CD, "The Third Time" HERE

WARNING: Listening to this music doesn't require parental approval. It's a bit of clean rebellion. It keeps your outlook up and your hope alive. It's got strong drums and screaming guitars. It pumps you up and drives your life. It's a hunger for exploration. It chooses the right and returns with honor. It's music you don't have to confess to your bishop.

It's not your parents' "Saturday’s Warrior".

It's "A Joyful Noise"

Thursday, December 30, 2004

It's almost the last day of the year, and I'm very excited. Here's why:

First of all, I sold a few more songs through weedshare. Always exciting to check my account there and see a few more numbers up. If that were the only reason I was doing this, I'd be sadly mistaken, since I'm not rolling in the money yet. But it does give me some goosebumps and a smile to think that someone likes a tune of mine enough to shell out some money for it.

Second of all, I met my goal. It was to have all the songs for "One United Generation" done by the end of the year. And as of a few days ago, that has been completed. It's always nice to check in with yourself and see that you're doing something right.

As I looked forward to next year, I thought I'd like to set my goals in two areas: Ongoing music production, toward having a second CD, and expanding my "fanbase" in the form of the mailing list.

In the first area, I'll be working to release two new songs every quarter. So, at the end of each year, I'll have 8 new songs. In two years, I'll have 16 songs, and I'll be able to choose say, 10-12 of the best of them to go on the second CD. I could carry on like that indefinitely, producing singles and CD forever more. Fun!

I think the first ones I'll work on will be "How Beautiful" and "Play the Cards". "Beautiful" is a gospel tune based on verses in Isaiah and Mosiah. I just have to record the choir (if you're interested in participating, email me). Play the cards is a rocker, kind of in an AC/DC sorta style, but without the sleaze.

I want to extend to all of you who read this blog, and listen to my tunes, my heartfelt thanks for these last few years. I'd make the music anyway, but when I hear back from you about the songs and the shows, it makes me feel soooo much better about all the effort I put in.

So, thanks!

See you next year!


Wednesday, December 29, 2004

It's done!

All the songs for Mark Hansen's "One United Generation" are DONE! This is a landmark moment for me, as I've been working on these tunes steadily and gradually for about 4 years, now.

As an example, one of the tunes, "The First Step", was written for the baptism of the daughter of a friend of mine. She's about to go into high school, now.

It's a good representation of what I'm currently capable of. I, of course, can hear lots of flaws. Some days I can't even listen to the tunes. But I know that I'll continue to make music, and continue to get better and better.

And other days, I listen to it over and over, simply because I like to make music that I like. And there aren't that many people in the LDS music world that do that. Let me clarify. There are lots that make music that I like, because I like a pretty wide range of musics. But there aren't that many people making the kind of music that I LIKE. See the difference?

Anyway, thanks for coming along for the ride. I'll keep you posted when it's ready for distribution!

Monday, December 27, 2004

Yeah, it's early morning. And I can't sleep.

I was up a lot last night, too.

But the good part about that was that I got to spend a lot of the last few days getting things cleaned up on "Chapel". And there was a LOT of cleanup to do, believe me. First I had to comp the vocals I'd cut the other day, which didn't turn out too bad. Then I had to merge the basic drums with the fills and sparkle that Morey had added a while (probably a couple of months) ago.

And while I was working on the vocals, I was tweaking up the intonation a little bit, both on the lead and the harmony vocals.

I'd been afraid that the horns we'd cut wouldn't work, but after I'd cleaned up all the other stuff, they were just fine. Probably the cleanest tracks of the entire song!

Then I went to bed.

...And I couldn't sleep. So I got back up and started mixing. Now, I've got a really solid blend, but it's all done in the headphones (so my family could sleep), so it's always deceptive. This song required a different approach. Usually, I make my three "anchors" out of the bass guitar, the lead vocal, and the kick drum. But this time, I needed to make the bass more present. In small systems, and in my car, too, if there's not a lot of good upper midrange in the bass, then it just goes away, and since the whole intro is the bass guitar, I need it to be there in the whole song. And the acoustic guitar, since it's also there in the first verse, also plays the role of a fourth "anchor". So, those four elements became core of the mix, and I hung everything else around it. It's pretty sweet, so far. And I still haven't added the reverb.

Now, I have to spin it a while and see just how well it holds up.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

I just checked my weedshare account and noticed that I sold a couple more songs! I think it was "Millstones" and "The Taker". Pretty exciting!


Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Last night, I got home from work late, like 10:30. That's pretty typical of a Tuesday night. But after getting the boys in bed (one of them already was), and getting some dinner, I thought to do some singing.

So, I opened up "Out of the Chapel", set it up and started cutting vocals. This one'll be interesting. I'm not too sure how well I did, other than possibly waking up my family. I was at it until about 2:00!

It was tricky to get a good headphone mix going. In the past, when I set it up the way I did last night, the latency wasn't that bad. But this time, it sounded like the lead vocals I was recording had been chorused. That made it tricky to hear at times. I'll just have to see.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

I had a wonderful experience yesterday morning. Linda, my old voice teacher gave me a call a few days before, saying she was going to sing at a Christmas party, and could I run sound for her.

Now, whenever I can, I jump at a chance to mix for her. Let me tell you the story. Several years ago, in '98, I think. No, '99. Summer of '99. Anyway, I had started the Mark Hansen Music website (it was called "A Joyful Noise" back then), and I was doing some gigs. I was discovering that I was a lousy singer! I'd sign up for shows at festivals in the summer, and after three or four songs, my voice was shredded. I can only imagine what the audience was going through.

My wife was an old friend of Linda's sister, so we knew the family pretty well. I called her to see about her prices. As we negotiated, we talked about doing the lessons on trade, where I would do sound for her, and any studio work she or a student needed. For years that went on, and I think that she got the bad end of that deal. She gave me far more in lessons than I ever gave her back.

Plus, she gave me confidence. How can you pay someone back for that?

Anyway, About a year and a half ago, for some reason, the lessons stopped. I don't really remember why. I think it was some scheduling issues, and then I figured she was done with essentially giving me free lessons. She called a few times to do some recording or have me set up a PA for her. And in the meantime, I keep using the practice CD's I'd made of our lessons to work out.

So, she called me to do this Christmas gig, and like always, I jump at the chance to "even out the ledgers" a little bit. We got to talking. She's going through a bit of a rough time, and it was fun to listen to her through that. And at the end of it all, she asked me to call and set up another lesson. I thought that was nice of her. She certainly didn't have to do that. I'm not sure if I will, because she certainly doesn't need ONE MORE student with her current stresses.

But it sure would be great!

Anyway, so I guess this post is a tribute to her and all she gave me. I mean, I'm still far from a great singer, but I'm a lot better than I ever was before, thanks to her instruction and patience.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

I'm very tired, and that's a good thing!

Morey, John and I had a great night. At least, I can vouch for myself. I was having a lot of fun, and it looked like they were, too. We worked up the rest of "Dancin' Their Lives Away", and it's really coming together. Poor Morey just had to sit there while John and I reworked a short instrumental bridge. But then it all fell into place.

It's gonna take some real rehearsing to get it tight all the way through, though.

It's been good for me to practice with them. Because a lot of the songs we're working on have these really busy bass lines that really tax my endurance. Then, I have to sing on top of that! I'm really stretching.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

The last few days, I've finally gotten my alarms working right. I've been getting up really early to do music. That's really the only consistent time I have to do it. Of course, it's more for things like doing keyboard parts, and cutting electric guitar tracks, because those can all be done through direct lines with headphones on. The other morning I did cut some acoustic guitar over a mic, but I was always afraid that I would wake up the fam. Nobody complained, though...

So, I've been recutting tracks on "Today and Yesterday".

This morning, though, I was starting to cut, and I heard Jacob crying from the next room. So, I go in and his CPAP face mask was all askew. I took it off, and helped him get back to sleep, or so I thought. A few minutes later he was calling, "Daddy!" again.

He wanted to come in and watch. So, I picked him up and brought him in and set him on the studio floor with a toy or two. That all went well for another couple of minutes, until Brendon showed up at the door. He started to climb up on my lap. I don't know if you're aware of this, but it's kinda tricky to record guitar parts with a seven-year-old on your lap.

But somehow I still manage.

Then he decided that it was time for us to have a father/son moment and play a little pinball on my computer. So, in the middle of cutting the track, he starts whining, "Let's play pinball!" Of course, it's hard for me to play the part right and answer at the same time, so he keeps at it. Finally, he just grabs the mouse and starts to close up Cubase so he can start the game.

Of course, I have to stop the track and reset it up for a punch-in, so I can finish...

I wish there was an emoticon for "rolling your eyes and sighing".

Sunday, December 12, 2004

I set my alarm to get up early this morning, and I cut the acoustic guitar for "Today and Yesterday". I also did the bass and keyboard parts again, adapting to the new chord progressions. That was a lot easier, because I only had to do certain bits, where the new chords were. Plus, with the piano, I can do it in 2 measure spots. That saves me. I'm really more of a guitarist. Maybe I ought to get Matt in to recut the piano parts straight... Hmmm...

Saturday, December 11, 2004

OK, I'm really excited.

I reworked the chords for "Today And Yesterday" - that's the newest working title. I've really been struggling with fitting the right chords to the melody that's been in my head. And they're not the kind of chord progressions I'd normally write. So I'm not sure where this one's comin' from.

Of course, now I have to re-record pretty much EVERYTHING! The Electric guitar bits at the beginning didn't change, but I'll still have to recut them because they're badly played.


Song Sales!

I was just in my account over at Weedshare, and discovered that a few more songs had sold! I was pretty excited. I'm not rolling in money yet. Hardly at all, in fact, but still, it's kinda fun to see that people once in a while will be willing to cough up a little virtual money for my artistic endeavors!

Here's the current charts:

He's Out There --7
Here In Me --4
Pharisee --3
Toy Soldiers --3
Millstones --2
Thank You Minus --1
Thank You --1
Save Ya --1
Save Ya Minus --1
Toy Soldiers Minus --1
Hes Out There Minus --1
Here In Me Minus --1
Pharisee Minus --1
One United Generation --1

Unfortunately, there's no way at the moment to track raw downloads or plays, just purchases. If there were, these numbers would be significantly higher.

In other measurements, the request for Pass-It-On CD's keeps going, and that helps by growing my mailing list. That'll be really nice when the time comes to press "Generation"!

Friday, December 10, 2004

I'm digging myself out of a rut. I've been in this blue funk for a couple of months now, but I'm sick of it.

For the last few weeks, we've been having electrical problems in our house, which has been "browning out" my studio room off and on. About a week ago it went completely black. No power whatsoever. That meant no music for Markie.

So, today I got up at 6:30 and was really fed up with it, so I just ran an extension cord into the next room and plugged it into an outlet that I knew was working. Sounds simple, right? A no brainer, right? Well, when you get busy and get into a rut, you don't do things.

Anyway, so I worked on "Today/Yesterday". This song is really interesting. I mean it's a sad song about being locked into this pattern. Walking the same paths over and over and over again. But it's been really cathartic to work on it, because it's helping to pull me out of that rut.

Anyway, I worked out the chords to the bridge and the ending today. I've got a basic structure for the whole tune, now.

It's also kinda interesting to think of this tune, because I'm taking a different approach. Usually I'm working out the melody as I'm strumming chords or playing a riff, and the words are coming all pretty much at the same time. This time the words and melody came to me, and I'm having to work backwards to set up the chord structure. And I didn't plan for that, either. It's not like I said, "I want to challenge myself and today I'll do it by writing a song melody-first!" It's just coming out that way naturally.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

I've been having some big problems with lately. Here's a couple of posts I made a while ago, but haven't been able to get published. I still don't know if I'll be able to make this work.



Jacob woke me up tonight, so after I got him back to sleep, I put a bit more bass line onto Today/Yesterday. The feel of the song is shaping up nicely.

Here's the lyrics, as they currently stand. I'm not completely satisfied with them. I think I'll let the LDSrefinersfire yahoogroup tackle them before I record any vocal lines.

By mark Hansen
12/3/2004 2:37 AM

It seems today was one of those days again
The sun was out, or maybe skies were gray
I couldn’t tell, my eyes were down ahead of me
A wind blew through me and made me hide my face
These footprints in the snow
Were made some time ago
When I had walked this way
So here I am stepping through the snow again
Can’t seem to tell today from yesterday
Can’t seem to tell today from yesterday

Yesterday when I came by this way
I swore I’d never take these steps again
The way is hard with no direction
The cold and the pain my only friend
But now this path I know
Is much easier to go
This loop without an end
So here I am walking all alone again
Can’t seem to tell today from yesterday
Can’t seem to tell today from yesterday

I can’t see the sun
I can’t see the one
I can’t find the path away from here
So step by step
And lap by lap
I can’t see the way to breaking clear
(and feeling like I haven’t got a prayer)

So here I am stepping through the snow again
Can’t seem to tell today from yesterday
Can’t seem to tell today from yesterday


Last night the boyz got together again for a jam/practice. It was pretty fun, very low-key. I presented "Dancing Their Lives Away". I'd written that one years ago, but never did anything with it. I didn't really have any firm arrangement ideas for it. So, it was fun to just play them the bass riff and hear what they added.

I've also been working out a new one, kind of a depressing, moody song. I'll post the lyrics when I get home.

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