Demos & Extras

Here’s where you can listen to stuff that’s not on my album. (To sample my albums, check out my Listen page.)

I’ve recently started working to make 25 to 40 or so songs presentable. Some are already recorded, some are still in the seed-of-an-idea phase. A few are earlier versions of songs that were later released on one of my albums (as Dan Wallace or with my old band, The Pindrops). Most have never been released. All of these will, for the foreseeable future, exist only as “demos,” which I’ll share here on a YouTube playlist.

I’ll also share some extra stuff. Scroll further down for that.

Dan Wallace Demos

Here’s the YouTube playlist of the 16 songs I’ve done so far (see below for liner notes):

(1) “Listen“: Demo recorded in 2007 for my album Culture of Self, but it didn’t make the cut. A promising arrangement featuring more instrumentation was begun in 2014 in collaboration with Nicholas Windsor Howard; one day, circumstances permitting, it’ll be finished. (For more on Nicholas, see the “Extras” section below.)

(2) “A Real Song”: 4-track demo of a song written/recorded around 1999 or 2000. With some better mixing/mastering, I’d put this on an album (should I ever do another one).

As noted below (under “Turning”), my plan is to digitize and share many such recordings, particularly stuff that hasn’t been released on my albums (“A Real Song” appears on Neon & Gold as “Back of My Mind”).

(3) “Fractal Laughter (Essay 3)“: My most recently written song. Rough demo recorded in fall 2020. For more info, check out this blog post.

(4) “27”: Rough mix/demo from an unreleased 2002 album called Verbum Sap, many songs from which have shown up on later albums. The album artwork is by Joseph Derr. Remixed with Nicholas Windsor Howard in 2014. This song appears, with a different arrangement (for full band), on my 2008 album Reattachment.

(5) “Showtime”: Another 4-track demo from around 1999 or 2000. This is the first song I transferred with my new 4-track (by request: you know who you are). “Showtime” appears on the Pindrops album, but I’m not a fan of that version.

(6) “Tal Vez“: Another rough mix/demo from Verbum Sap. Nicholas Windsor Howard helped remix this one in 2014.

(7) “Shadowbread“: Another rough mix/demo from Verbum Sap. Below, under “Extras,” there’s a sort-of cover version of this one.

(8) “Dance of the Silver-Eyed Sidewinder“: Four-track demo from 1993. My ritual at the time was to sit at the kitchen table with pen and paper composing (see the sheet music in the video), then program it into my stepdad’s keyboard (Korg, I think) to listen back. I was mostly doing chamber music (including a wind quintet that would be premiered a couple years later in Chicago), but also did this little number and some other mixed-genre stuff (such as “Zwerserd”; see below).

(9) “Seed (of Garnet)“: From the same era (1993) as “Dance of the Silver-Eyed Sidewinder.”

(10) “Kid Candy and the Crowns“: Another 2002 rough mix demo/demo from Verbum Sap. The song’s title is an homage to one of my favorite bands, Kid Creole and the Coconuts; and my song’s verse bears some formal (or offspring’s) resemblance to the verse of that band’s song “Dancin’ at the Bains Douches.”

(11) “Rock ‘n Roll Soul (or: When the Whole World’s Asleep)“: 4-track demo from around 1999 or 2000. Joseph Derr is on conga, and maybe on mbira and some of the other percussive sounds; he also made the image.

(12) “Minds of Children“: Rough mix, recorded in 2011 as part of a set of “electronic” songs I wrote for me and my sister sing on. See this blog post for more info.

(13) “Turning“: Recorded around 2000 on a 4-track, during a very prolific time. Many of those songs are unreleased; I hope to remix them, including this one, once I can get a four-track to transfer them to digital. This one seems presentable enough to share. My favorite section is the outro. [Update: I got a 4-track, but haven’t revisited this song yet; see “A Real Song” above.]

(14) “Please Don’t Leave“: Another 4-track demo from around 1999 or 2000. One of my personal favorites (of my own songs), though I didn’t include it on any of my albums. Not sure about this performance/mix, but it gets the idea across.

(15) “Zwerserd“: A rough demo (or sketch, maybe). I wrote most of this in 1993. Recently (in summer 2020) dug up the sheet music and recorded it, adding a probably overlong guitar solo in the middle. I might later develop something more substantial with this as the basis.

(16) “No Cantaré“: 4-track demo from around 1999. The verse material was later used on the instrumental song “Counting Backwards” on Culture of Self (2007).

Extras with Dan Wallace and Friends

High School Guitar Sampler

Here’s a small sampling of the many terribly produced guitar-centric four-track recordings I made as a teenager. I assembled this collage to show what a self-taught guitarist in the 1980s might sound like in their first couple of years of learning the instrument. It primarily showcases my influences from people like Cacophony (Jason Becker, Marty Friedman), Randy Rhoads, and Steve Vai.

I believe these recordings are from ages 14 to 16. I was also at the time exploring other genres, so that by 17 or 18, in fact, I was barely touching the guitar. I write more about this in my Goals 2020 blog post.

If I get ahold of a four-track, I might clean some of these up.


Nicholas Windsor Howard’s Dreams of Pneuma

I performed on two songs for Nicholas Windsor Howard’s wonderful 2015 album Dreams of Pneuma. On “In the Middle Time,” I contributed a layered guitar solo. On “Magic Hands,” I sing:

Do yourself a huge favor and check out the multi-talented Nicholas’s website: NicholasWindsorHoward.com. Also see this blog post, in which I discuss a third song on Nicholas’s album.


Johnny Fly Covers (sort of)

Back in 2003 or ’04, on the long-since-retired GarageBand website, I met a guy named Johnny Fly (operating under the moniker 31Flies), a fantastically gifted songwriter who used to send me home-recordings of songs that I’ve never stopped loving.

In ’04 (I believe), he surprised me by covering two of my songs. They’re sort of covers. He kept my lyrics, but wrote new music. This made me very happy.

The songs were known to John from an album called The Pindrops, which has only three tracks I like (they are, for the record: “What I Know,” “Until I Find,” and “Between the Lines”; though they could do with a remix).

I don’t like the original Pindrops versions of the two songs John reworked. I’ve done better versions of them elsewhere. They are “Shadowbread” (which is included the above “Demos” playlist) and “The Low Road” (which appears on my album Culture of Self; you can hear that on my Listen page).

Mind you, I’m talking there about versions of the songs that feature my music. I adore John’s versions, which, again, have my lyrics, but the music is John’s. (Who, by the way, was the singer-songwriter for His Boy Elroy.)

Here are the songs (maybe closer to “collaborations” than “covers”):