“Good luck with your album!”
Several people said variations of that comment to me recently. I didn’t have the heart to tell them that The Simple Carnival effectively ended over three years ago.
It’s not their fault — I probably haven’t communicated the somewhat unusual state of The Simple Carnival clearly or widely enough. I figured it might be a good idea to write an open letter of sorts to describe what’s going on.
The state of The Simple Carnival can be summarized as such:
- There will be no more songs or albums from The Simple Carnival. It was great fun, but the chapter of my life where I was singing and writing pop songs is now closed.
- The Simple Carnival’s recordings will continue to be available on all major digital streaming and download services. Physical merchandise is no longer for sale, but you can find secondhand CDs on Amazon and eBay.
- I am still working on the Smitten 3D project, with new 3D animated videos being released after they have made the rounds at film festivals. Even though I’m no longer promoting The Simple Carnival, I’m still making music videos because they’re a great training ground for filmmaking and animation. When Smitten 3D is complete, all of the completed music videos will stream in anaglyph 3D at www.smitten3d.com. There are no plans for releasing the final product on physical media.
- After Smitten 3D is done, I plan to create some narrative animated shorts. I’ll be writing the orchestral score for those shorts. (It’ll be film music, not pop tunes.) While working on these shorts, I’ll be keeping an eye toward possibly directing an independent animated feature or two.
- The Simple Carnival is no longer on the usual social media sites. In an alternate universe, there is a form of social media that I really enjoy being a part of…but in our current universe, no such option exists. That said, you can connect with me on LinkedIn. If I have anything really cool that I want to share, though, I’ll post it directly on www.sundriftproductions.com.
Why did I stop making pop music? After I completed the Smitten album, I felt as though I said everything that I wanted to say in a pop song. I’d rather stop while I’m ahead rather than repeat myself and overstay my welcome.
Unlike pop songs, I don’t think I’ll ever run out of things to say in an animated film. Film allows for a broader range of subject matter than pop tunes. Film also requires many more disciplines to master; there’s always a new challenge lurking around the corner. I want to take the things I’ve learned from affecting audiences with The Simple Carnival and apply that toward visual, animated stories — stories that make audiences laugh, cry, and cheer. It’s going to be a while until I get there, but I look forward to sharing the results with you one day.
In the meantime, there’s still a lot of history about The Simple Carnival on this site. I’m leaving all of it up because I’m proud of the work that I did on this project. But, other than me slowly churning out the remaining videos for Smitten 3D, there’s not likely to be any more activity here.
I hope this clears up things, and thank you for your understanding!
I wasn’t able to be there in person, but the conference appears to be a pretty deep dive into the art, science, and technology behind 3-D imaging. A big thanks goes out to the kind folks at SD&A for the honor!
Earlier today, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that The Simple Carnival – Go Away I Like You Too Much will be broadcast on The Short Film Show. The Short Film Show airs on Sky Channel 192 and Freesat 161 in the UK, and is on Amazon Prime in the US and UK.
Season 2 begins on January 18th; The Simple Carnival – Go Away I Like You Too Much will be featured in episode 3. Looking forward to seeing it!
As I reflected upon 2018, I realized that I forgot to blog about one of my biggest film-related highlights. The animated 3D music video I had worked on for the past year and a half, The Simple Carnival – Go Away I Like You Too Much, premiered at the LA 3-D Movie Festival earlier this month and won 2nd Place USA Film!
I was able to attend this year’s festival and had a great time seeing old friends, making new friends, and watching some terrific films.
A couple weeks ago, I gave a talk at 3D-Con about how I’m using Smitten 3D as a self-directed masters in filmmaking and animation. If you’re interested in low budget DIY indie animation, there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes fun in this presentation.
Here is the 2D version:
If you have red/cyan 3D glasses, here is the 3D version (put the red lens over your right eye):
The review is in French and can be found here. Here’s an English translation courtesy of Google:
Behind the name The Simple Carnival is the excellent musician and songwriter Jeff Boller. Touche-a-tout, a magician of pop, he likes to be an admirer of the Beach Boys, Todd Rundgren, Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac, Harry Nilsson, Burt Bacharach and Electric Light Orchestra. He embroideres, plays and produces brilliant harmonies at home in Pittsburg since the signing of his first jewel of 11 titles Menlo Park EP. I class this first gallop in the easy-listening vein and the second, Sonic Rescue League Vol 1, comprising 20 tracks, more in that of the sunshine-pop just like Girls Aliens Food and its 12 titles full of rich pop silky sixties. These three fabulous albums appear in the year 2015 and I recommend them warmly. As our dear friend Margo Guryan says “YAY! Looks like good music is coming back!”
February 14, 2017, The Simple Carnival takes off with the magnificent Smitten whose 11 tracks impress me. All the elements to seduce are there: inspiration and quality instrumentation with a touching and amusing interpretation. Jeff’s song is as romantic as it is efficacious, crystalline at will. His texts are delicate, colorful, as if a gramophone projected images on screen by his pavilion. The cinematographic methods are at the heart of the album, the essence of the songs and present in 3D videos that require a nice pair of red and blue glasses. For this method, The Simple Carnival and his team reaped in 2016 the award of the best video of the National Stereoscopic Association convention (3D-Con) for the title The Problem with Friends.
It is the sensual and amorous Smitten who enters the track at the opening of the album of the same name. The choruses coo, Jeff’s voice slips sensuously on the languid and funky moog. From the outset the American author distinguished himself and illustrated himself as a master of harmonic pop. Delicious arrangements can sometimes take us back through the shoulder straps at the time fluorescent leggings and eighties shoulder jackets. The dancing notes of Lunch for Dinner and the wah-wah of the guitar lead into a whirlwind of ‘hooo hooo haaa haaa’ to the joyful and twisting rhythm of the awesome Elizabeth’s House. One follows the adventure of the protagonist who is preparing to make the court to the said Elizabeth by going to her place on the playful tempo. The atmosphere lends furiously to dancing until sweet and sweet Everything that Grownups Know. Jeff Boller, who provides all the instruments except Chris Belin’s drummer, transcends the compositions by filling the space of his voice and under his designer cape, transcends his videos by filling the space of his pencil.
The line-up of solid guitars and class resplendent on the bassy drums and bass of Go Away I Like You Too Much when the ballad A Geek Like Me, with the alternating tempo enjoys singing ‘nananana’ in chorus with the maestro Boller . The disco-pop of Kiss Her You Dummy makes hesitate to release the disco balls of the cupboard (because one has already push the coffee table which blocks the access). The blooming groovy and funky melody unfolds strong and racy. The pop atmosphere continues with the delicious The Problem with Friends and makes a sensation. The study of harmonies and arrangements continues eloquent and eloquent on Tornado, dedicated to young parents, wanted no battery that does not miss his glorious and laughing return on That Thing We Got, sound candy where the electric guitar comes to have fun in the way Believer of the Monkees or Sugar Sugar of the Archies. The voices that count Heidi Engel’s participation take off in chorale-style guys with yeah yeah that swing vibrations and an ultra positive feeling. To finish so savoringly, it is an instrumental version of Smitten that closes this sublime disc, full of hits, impossible to decide between. The Prolific and Inspired Simple Carnival concocts his songs as the current undisputed master of pop genre 100% disco sunshine and Smitten is a wonder pop; ideal gift of Valentine’s Day.
If The Simple Carnival ever performs live, there’s a new backup vocalist that I can call.