War, death, love, reincarnation.......aliens! Sounds like a good story to me. Come on in and listen for yourself. The new Otoscope CD has arrived!!!! Otoscope is original rock music from San Diego, California. The creative force behind the project is Tom Teubl. Tom named the band after the medical instrument that is used to examine the inside of ears. He wants the music to get inside your head. But the name can also have an alternate meaning as well. Otoscope can describe the broad spectrum of musical styles that influenced Tom while writing this record. In other words, it describes the scope of music he has created for your ears! Tom comes from an alternative/indie rock background with roots in Cleveland, Ohio. He has played in and written music for numerous alternative rock bands over the years. However, he never attempted a completely solo project until he recorded the songs for Otoscope - Pure Speculation in 2003 -2004. The inspiration for the creation of the CD unfortunately came a few years earlier in 2001. On September 10, 2001, Tom and his family buried his only sister, Anne, only to wake up the next morning to the national tragedy we all know too well as 9/11. Because of the shock and horror of that day Tom felt that he never really got to personally grieve for his sister. As a result, he set about making a fitting tribute to her. Tom was compelled to write the song Flowers From The Sky for Anne, and in fact dedicate the CD to her memory. Of course, he wanted to make it as special as possible. The vision for the Otoscope CD was pretty ambitious considering Tom wasn't in a band at the time. He was incorporating a variety of different song styles and envisioned them being embellished with female harmonies, soaring guitar leads, soulful saxophone, and a gospel choir! Tom knew he needed to recruit some top-notch musicians to help him make what he heard in his head a reality. He began by asking his friends, Ron Arrendale and Dave Purdy to be the rhythm section on the CD. Ron and Dave met in the US Navy in Norfolk, Virginia and have played together in various bands over the years. They brought their own styles to the table and added influences from blues-rock to hair metal. Ron and Dave have many recording credits between them, and their musical careers have taken them all over the world including Europe and the Middle East! There are too many stories to tell here! A highlight of their collaboration together is a killer video medley they recorded of Ozzy Osborne songs that was submitted to Ozzy by Ron as a drum audition for Ozzy's band. Fortunately for Tom, Ozzy had already found a drummer! After a short rehearsal period, Tom, Dave and Ron realized they were ready to record the basic tracks. At the same time, Tom was looking for a studio where he felt comfortable recording. Ron introduced Tom to Steve Langdon, the owner of Langdon Productions recording studio. Steve's credentials are also numerous and impressive. He has toured extensively, and is a published recording artist and performer. Tom and Steve hit it off right away and decided to collaborate on the project together. Steve not only recorded and co-produced the record, but he also provided his sizable talents on lead guitar. Remember Tom wanted scorching? Listen for yourself! Once in the studio, the guys set up and bashed out the rhythm tracks in no time at all. Hell, it took longer to clean up the beer cans than it did to record these guys! Unfortunately, shortly after his bass parts on the CD were recorded, Dave informed the guys that he was moving to New York. Congrats to New York! We all miss you Dave! Fortunately, Ron and Tom decided to continue to work together. More about this later! Now it was up to Tom to turn his vision into reality. Tom, standing on the solid foundation put down by Ron and Dave, took to the studio like it was his second home. And Steve didn't seem to mind! Tom got so comfortable that he was often heard expressing his opinions such as...'you need to do something about the lighting in here, man'. Once the mood was set, Steve patiently waited for Tom to exorcise his demons. First the rhythm guitar was laid down often using the funkiest little Fender amp head you've ever seen. Then Tom worked hard to vocally express the emotions he was feeling when the songs were written. Once Steve and Tom felt this was achieved, they set about procuring the other musicians needed to fulfill the other details that were missing from the original vision. Tom began by asking another friend, Ed Kazz, to provide the superb sax solo in Flowers From the Sky. Ed had played in the San Diego music scene for years before recently moving to New Hampshire. Do you see a pattern developing here? Congrats, New Hampshire! We miss you Ed! Next professional musicians, Angel O'Brien, Nathan Hubbard, and Marcos Fernandez all did outstanding jobs providing the harmony vocals, percussion and soundscape, respectively. Then Steve, a master of resources, was able to contact Ken Anderson, a long lost friend from college. Ken has been arranging vocals for gospel choir for years. He graciously agreed to assemble the superb line-up of singers; Colleen Brown, Dale Fleming, Mia Garrett, and Arnessa Rickett that performed so beautifully on the record. That, in a nutshell, is how the album came to be. As you can see, the Otoscope - Pure Speculation CD was a massive undertaking of coordination and cooperation of many talented musicians. Even though it wasn't recorded as a 'band', so to speak, there is a feeling of cohesiveness to the songs as they take you from loud upbeat rockers to more mellow reflective places. So, what happens now? Will Otoscope ever be a band? Are the songs going to be played live? Well, as fate would have it, after the recording was finished, Tom joined Ron in one of San Diego's hardest rocking club bands called the Stone Shakers. The Stone Shakers are Ron Arrendale on drums, Bruce Crossley on bass and vocals, KC Para on lead guitar and vocals, and Tom Teubl on rhythm guitar and vocals. The Stone Shakers play tons of your favorite classic and modern rock tunes in addition to helping Tom support the Otoscope CD by playing his songs live. (It's worth it just to hear KC and Bruce do the harmony and background vocals!) And, of course, the Otoscope CD will be available at the Stone Shakers' shows. Stay tuned for the Otoscope-Pure Speculation CD release party in the near future. As interest builds there will be a lot more shows to come! Hope to see you there!