January 23, 2016

Anniversary Gifts!

Thanks for coming to check out your anniversary gifts! We are planning on giving you as much cool cookie goodness as we can this year to make the 20th anniversary of the Dementia Cookie Box a very special celebration! Each month we will be releasing something new, something rare, something neat... a treat for us, as well as you and other fans like yourself. Could be some lost demo tracks, or some rare footage from a house party performance. Could be a photo album of vintage DCB memorabilia, or some free downloads. There's so much swag to sort through it's not even funny, and now seems as good of a time as any to share it with the world. 

 

To kick off the year, we present to you this new, updated website in order to help build anticipation and suspense of what is to come! This new web design will feature not only parallel presentation across different device platforms, but also an "anniversary gifts" release schedule, a link to the new anniversary channel on YouTube, as well as streaming audio of the brand new, 2016 studio version of Covergirl Love. That's right folks, Steven dug deep into the box to resurrect the project's first crowd-pleaser from 1996, and gave it a facelift to help celebrate two decades of chasing a dream. 

 

Just come back each month and click on the gift box to see what you've got! 

 

Thank you for all the years, all the memories, and happy anniversary! 

February 17, 2016

ORIGINAL 1996 COVERGIRL LOVE CASSETTE SINGLE (REMASTERED WITH BONUS TRACKS!)

The band’s first recordings as a group were in the form of a 3-song single that was created to sell at their first show - a pool party in 1996. Covergirl Love, Inbred Jed and Weak were all recorded and mixed by John Price in Steven’s grandparents’ basement. This digital anniversary edition includes a bonus outtake that didn’t fit on the original cassette tape release, as well as some live recordings of tracks from early performances by the original line-up of the band!

 

VIDEO ARCHIVE RELEASE: 1996's Covergirl Love cassette single recording session.

March 07, 2016

THE BAND THAT NEVER WAS (and always will be) DIGITAL RELEASE

Not so much a "greatest hits" collection, but rather a pack of songs that would have been the first DCB album back in 1996 if the original group had stayed together and been able to record and release an album. Ten original DCB tunes taken from the three Dozing Lady Records studio releases, with 2 new recordings of vintage DCB tracks: Harvey’s Head and Covergirl Love. These reimagined arrangements bring the songs into this century, but still hold true to Steven’s original adolescent croonings.

 

In addition to these monthly anniversary gifts, we have been adding videos to the new DCB YouTube archives. A special anniversary playlist has been set up, and will grow as the year progresses. Don't forget to follow the link on the "videos" page each month to take a trip through time with the DCB.

 

VIDEO ARCHIVE RELEASE: 1996's Jessamine Jamboree performance

April 02, 2016

BONUS VIDEO ARCHIVE ENTRY!

This month we bring you not one, but TWO additions to the YouTube video archives; two 1996 live shows by the ever-changing line-up that was DCB! The first show was at City Limits - a local “venue” of sorts where a couple other bands from the high school had played. We opened up for a band called Jester. They were big stuff to us back then because they had their own tee shirts for sale (woah!) We had the Covergirl Love cassette single, which we thought was pretty cool, AND we rolled up to this gig in a Little Debbie truck! That’s right, our new drummer, Jason Field, had a father who was a delivery driver for the company. For that night, the DCB had its very own bandwagon full of confectionary delights.

 

The second show was our apex - the opportunity to perform for the school and parents who came to this event… the 1996 Beta Talent Show! As if that weren’t enough, for the following week, the school broadcast the performances on their closed-circuit television channel, so EVERYONE got to see this historical Dementia Cookie Box performance, whether they attended the actual event or not! Here they are, wrapping up 1996, and nearly wrapping up the first incarnation of the band itself. The group split up during the first part of 1997, and Barry and Steven went on to form Claw. The Dementia Cookie Box wouldn’t resurface again until 1999. 

May 14, 2016

OH, HOW THE SOUND... SHE DOES A SHIFT!

After spending a year drumming and writing a much harder-hitting music with bandmate and buddy, Barry Corman, Steven was ready to try his hand at some new DCB tunes of his own. Heavily influenced these days by the mid 90s alternative-industrial movement, including bands such as Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails and My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, Steven felt musically reborn and refreshed. He was ready to leave behind the “teeny-bopper” days of Covergirl Love for a more mature sound and the end results were two specific game-changers.

 

He had received some music making software for Christmas from his mother (always supportive of Steven’s musical endeavours.) This new digital software, coupled with a Tascam 4-track recording deck, allowed Steven to produce more clear, professional sounding songs. The timing was perfect as well, since there was no actual stage presence for the band during this time. Steven programmed drum loops on the computer and used the three spare tracks for guitars and vocals. If you take the aforementioned musical influences and couple them with the softer, dreamier side of bands like HUM, Jawbox and the Smashing Pumpkins, you get where Steven was heading with this new sound. 

 

The first release was a short-lived side project entitled, “Candy 4 Your Soul?” Realizing that this new music was so drastically different from the Dementia Cookie Box songs to-date, Steven began to think that he should start a whole new project instead of trying to marry these new creations to the DCB. As has happened many times over the years, strong nostalgic bonds and memories pulled him back, and he realized he wasn’t able to lay his cookies to rest just yet. Songs from this new project and a Dementia Cookie Box 4-song demo EP entitled "blue," were compiled with a new batch of cookie goodness after meeting up with Eric Marcum during his days at Sullivan University in 1999, and the results came in the form of the first full-length Dementia Cookie Box album, Escape to Anyville. 

 

Our anniversary gifts to you this month are the songs from these two EPs, remastered for your listening pleasure in a digital collection we like to call, “Before Anyville.” As an added bonus especially for this anniversary release, we have also included a previously unreleased track from this era, entitled "Paid." 

 

VIDEO ARCHIVE RELEASE: During this era, Steven played a handful of solo, acoustic shows under the name Love Spawns Lament. This month’s archive addition is one of the first of said performances, accompanied by Garret Hodges from Fling Down Jezebel. This video was recorded at Entertainment X-press in Nicholasville, Kentucky, at their historic Java Night event. This was the first time Steven ever performed “All by Myself” live before an audience. 

June 30, 2016

1999-2003 Digital Collection

This month we throw it all in; Big gift compiled of many little gifts… here you will receive the majority of recordings produced during the second incarnation of the Dementia Cookie Box: 1999 Escape to Anyville, 2000 Drum Machine Tapes, 2000 That Song About Life EP, 2001 Life in Black and White, 2001 Shine: The Black Rays of Day, 2002 Fluids With Ease, 2003 White Debbie and the Halo Earth, plus a couple of rare outtakes that can be found in the 2003 DCB "Collection" boxed set. Take your time to sift through these slightly troublesome tunes and feel the punch of “doing what you can with what you have.” ~SB~

VIDEO ARCHIVE RELEASE: 2000's "When She Left" music video.

The song itself is about a guy who lost his love and has suffered some kind of mental breakdown because of it. The video is a record of the events of the day it happened, and shows how the man tries to deal with the loss. The video stars a close friend of the band, Daryl Cook, and was originally released in 2010 to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Drum Machine Tapes. 

July 27, 2016

Resurrection Acoustic Performances

After a few years hiatus, the passing of a great-grandmother, the ending of a 4-year engagement, and moving across the state to a completely new town in the middle of nowhere, Steven decided he’d better document some of his music to the best of his ability before it was too late. Yes, he had been at it for many years already, but with shoddy equipment and sub-par results. Collections that were prettied-up and fluffed into existence as “albums” were beginning to sound to him like nothing more than souped-up demos recorded on whatever equipment could be rented or borrowed over the years. Uncertain of his future, and whether or not he would even continue making music, Steven wanted to archive new recordings of some of his favorite compositions from the past decade. He had acquired digital, multitrack software around the millennium, and had learned much about sculpting sounds. The resulting personal greatest hits collection was released in 2006 as “The Truth About Life: as told by the Dementia Cookie Box.”

 

Steven met a girl on MySpace who played guitar a few towns over, and the two became video pen-pals. Steven would videotape himself playing his songs and then send her the tapes to learn from. Once or twice a month they would meet up somewhere in between the two towns and have a face-to-face practice. After a couple of months of this back and forth action, they were ready to perform and took to the stage at the Acoustic Coffee and Tea room in Madisonville, Kentucky. This fated pairing of Steven Baker and Becca Petersen would usher in the most productive, prolific and memorable era for the Dementia Cookie Box to-date. 

Your anniversary gift this month is a very exclusive collection of live recordings that was originally sent out to members of the DCB mailing list, a CD compilation entitled, "This Music Belongs To:" 

VIDEO ARCHIVE RELEASE: First live performance with Becca Petersen at the Acoustic Coffee and Tea Room in Madisonville, Kentucky

August 22, 2016

THE RETURN OF THE ROCK

In the winter of 2006, Steven moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky, preparing to start back to college at Western Kentucky University to study art. Shortly thereafter, Becca moved down there as well, and the two began to set up the cookie shop in this new, promising college town. Steven’s roommate, Wally Bates, could play a little bass, so he was recruited for the duty. Asking around town at the local music shops quickly got him connected with Sonya Fry, a local drummer looking for a band. The four rehearsed where they could without getting noise complaints called in on them, and within 6 months of living in Bowling Green, Steven had a fully-functioning band, their first two shows booked, and had been featured on the local rock radio station’s “Home Cookin’” show. This was a segment that featured local talent in the area and was hosted by Tommy Starr. This month’s gift is the first live performance in Bowling Green, Kentucky with this new lineup of players. This show is pinnacle, as it is the first live, full-band rock show full of cookie goodness in over a decade!

VIDEO ARCHIVE RELEASE: First DCB performance in Bowling Green.

September 05, 2016

BONUS VIDEO ARCHIVE ENTRIES!

This month we are giving you four live videos from the new lineup #2: Steven, Becca, Sonya and Keith. We are also throwing in a downloadable audio recording of the third Mug Shots cofee house show. This gig was very special because it features the live debut of "To Urgency," "Stars" and a new jazzy swing-style rendition of "Mission to Mars." We also went ahead and linked the promotional music video for Kings Without Queens to our ever-growing playlist. This video was originally uploaded in late 2006 to help promote the upcoming release of No Rest for Heroes. The video features studio footage from the recording sessions with Matt Talbott in Tolono, Illinois. 

VIDEO ARCHIVE RELEASES: 2007 Dave’s House Party (new line-up #2) / 2007 Brandon’s Potluck / 2007 2nd Grumpy’s Show / 2008 Mug Shots #3. 

October 31, 2016

LIVE AT LIL' REDZ! 10-10-08

ONLY TWO MONTHS LEFT?! Man, what a ride it has been!

This month we are giving you FIVE live videos from the new lineup #3: Steven, Keith and Rios. We are also throwing in a downloadable audio recording of the Lil' Redz show: the first "big crowd" public performance with Josh Rios behind the kit. 

2008 was a year of ups and downs for head cookie, Steven Baker. While basking in the glow of his new engagement and a planned wedding in the fall to his magnificent and supportive muse, Stephanie, Sonya and Becca had to leave the band to take care of life and the hand it had dealt them. This left Keith and Steven on the lookout for new members. Steven was approached by Josh Rios, a member of the Western Kentucky University drumline at the time. Since Steven got his musical start in his own high school drumline, giving him a soft spot for marching bands and affiliates, he gave Josh the audition. Not only could he play ferocious drums, but he also had heart. He had been practicing Cookie Box tunes on his own that he had found online, and was very enthusiastic about the project and what the cookies were doing. There was no doubt that Rios should be the new DCB drummer, but what about another guitarist? Talking it over with Keith, the boys decided that if they stuck with mostly material from No Rest for Heroes for live shows, they should be able to pull it off as a three-piece, power trio. They booked their first show at a local restaurant on campus, as the opening act for a regular group there. This proved to be a very successful test, as the crowd ended up loving the cookies' performance more than the regular band that they had come to see. It was clear that this new three-piece lineup was going to do great things.

This month we bring you five live videos featuring this new lineup, from the most active era of cookie goodness to-date. Also, don't forget that the Dementia Cookie Box's 1999 debut album, Escape to Anyville is now available for download and streaming worldwide on Dozing Lady Records! Let's consider this surprise release an "added bonus." :o) 

When Steven was compiling material for Anyville back in 1999, he had a decoration on his wall - a jeans ad from a music magazine that featured a sad-looking clown in a straightjacket. He had always dreamt of using that image on a blue, glittered background for the cover of the album. Unfortunately, this was a different time, and the internet really hadn't fully been born yet. There was no way for Steven to get in touch with the photographer to acquire rights to use the clown image. 

Fast-forward 17 years, and add a week's worth of digging online and we now have the cover and packaging we always wanted for this release. A very special thank you to photographer Scott Morgan for helping us make our dream a reality! Couple that with a collection of songs that is 17-years in the making (including new recordings of old material from 2011 and new masters and new recordings from 2016,) and you have the debut album that was always meant to be. Please check it out, download your favorites and share amongst your friends. This collection contains some of the most emotional, and heartfelt songwriting from Steven's entire artistic career. 

VIDEO ARCHIVE RELEASES: 2008 Lil' Redz / 2008 Rock the Vote / 2009 Blackwells #3 / 2009 Band With a Mission / 2009 Ginger Tree vinyl release party

November 26, 2016

DELUXE REMASTERED COLLECTOR'S EDITION OF BEGIN TO LIVE!

November's anniversary gifts focus on the era surrounding our third Dozing Lady studio release, Begin to Live. This was a major change in line-up and sounds again... we brought on Nelson Logan to finally fill the void left by Becca's departure near the end of the Pain Relief tour for No Rest for Heroes. In addition to guitars, Nelson was also able to bring some keys and other "ear-warming" musical attitude to the table.

At the time, Steven went to great lengths to document the recording, production and promotions process for Begin to Live. Once upon a time there even existed clips of him hand-cutting the J-cards and assembling the cases for the cassette tape release. Unfortunately, the majority of all the video footage was lost during an external hard-drive crash shortly after the completion of the album. However, there were a few gems preserved on the band's Facebook page, and we have added those items to the YouTube archive for your viewing pleasure. Additionally, we have given you the entire album release party footage from the Great Escape, including Steven's preview banter, and the live performances. 

And here is this month's real gem! For you, our faithful fans, we give you first shot at the Super-special, Deluxe, Remastered Collector's Edition of Begin to Live! This version contains all of the original 11 tracks, personally remastered by Steven himself, as well as the 5 b-side and bonus tracks that were available for collecting at the time (also remastered.) To sweeten the deal, this digital collection also includes four outtake demos that were intended for the original release in 2010, but didn't make the final cut due to time constraints. Altogether, this ride takes you through 20 tracks of emotional cookie goodness. 

To help further our celebrations, here are some fun facts about the album:

Begin to Live was the first "full-band" studio album ever recorded by the Dementia Cookie Box. It features all four members of the band playing all respective instrumentation. Up until this point, Steven had always done most of the recorded parts on the albums by himself, with one or two "pinch hitters" as needed. Begin to Live not only brought out a new message in the music, but in the production techniques as well. 

The album photography featuring the fetus was taken by Steven and his wife, Stephanie Baker, at a museum in Louisville, Kentucky. They are pictures of actual human fetuses from different stages of the growth cycle. The red imagery printed behind the lyrics in the cassette tape version is a scope picture from Steven's endoscopy. He felt that an "up close and personal" look down his throat fit perfectly behind the words that came out of his throat. He had also battled acid reflux for many years and part of the concept behind "Begin to Live" was his decision to not let debilitating medical issues get him down. This also served as a message to others in similar situations. 

Begin to Live was released in several formats, including an advanced, hand-numbered, limited edition which featured a special bonus track. There was also a cassette tape version that included a 2nd (different) exclusive bonus track, and then the standard CD version. 

There were three singles from Begin to Live: All by Myself, Diary of an Inmate and Wherewithal. Each of the three singles contained an exclusive, previously unreleased b-side, bringing the total collectable bonus content to a total of 5 tracks.

Two music videos were made from this record. All by Myself was shot at Smitty's Super Service Station in Sandy Hook, Mississippi, and features the Rock-Afire Explosion (the animatronic band from Showbiz Pizza Place restaurants in the 1980s.) There was also a "video only" single for Feed the Day. 

Steven kept a YouTube video blog going throughout the studio process on this album, so that online fan club members could be "in the know." From 2007 to 2010, the Dementia Cookie Box had a very active "snail mail" fan club list that would receive special items by mail, including exclusive member only CDs and DVD releases. Some of these items included a 3" DVD of the music video for Flaw, and the "This Music Belongs To:" acoustic/live album. 

Begin to Live featured a handful of special guest performers, including Eric Marcum, who was an integral player on 1999s Escape to Anyville, and multi-talented, south-western Kentucky hero, Johnny Thompson. 

Steven contacted Disney to obtain mechanical rights to officially record and release a version of the Hannah Montana / Miley Cyrus song, "See You Again." Steven had been adjusting the lyrics for live performances to better fit with the band's version, but was denied permission to record the altered lyrics. If you hear live performances of this song, you will notice that the line which normally goes "Her best friend, Leslie, says Oh she's just being Miley" would be performed live to say "His drummer, Rios, says Oh he's just eating cookies." This new, grungy, version of the song was always a big sing-along hit at the shows, and often times concert-goers would want to come on stage and join in on the singing fun with Steven.

To celebrate the anticipated release of the third album, Steven collaborated with Mellow Matt at the Great Escape Records and Comics in Bowing Green, Kentucky, to orchestrate a very special CD release party. This event included a raffle where visitors received a free, hand-numbered CD single instead of the standard paper ticket. There were several merchandise giveaways like tee shirts, posters and copies of the Ginger Tree 7" vinyl single. An in-store performance by the band wrapped up the day, and there were plenty of free cookies and milk available for everyone.

We hope you have enjoyed our year-long trip down memory lane as much as we have. Once you have gathered up your November goodies, why don't you take a stroll down the list and pick up anything you might have missed. All of the music players have links for you to download albums or individual tracks of music for free. There are lots of fantastic items that have been added to the "visual discography" as well, and the videos page provides a link to our YouTube video archives.

Thank you again for all the years of support, encouragement, and willingness to listen... even if you didn't really want to! 

December 31, 2016

HAPPY PARADE

Well folks, here we are. The final hours of 2016, and the final hours of our year-long anniversary celebration. As I type this I cannot BELIEVE that I have been pouring my heart and soul into this project for TWO DECADES! The Dementia Cookie Box has been with me since before I learned how to drive, and before I was old enough to even rent my own music equipment from the Doo Wop Shop in Lexington, Kentucky, for our shows - Thanks Momma' for co-signing for us all those years :-)

What you are going to read here will sound like a very "final" sentiment. In one way, it will be. However, do not take it the wrong way and do not mistake the words to follow for sadness. 

I grew up in a very small, country town in Kentucky. We had to drive 30 minutes just to go to the grocery store, and I didn't have very many friends... especially friends that lived close enough to where I could easily just ride my bike down the road to their house for a visit. Then I met Barry Corman. Barry also lived down the road from me. In fact, I think that it was our close proximity that helped us to become strong friends in the first place - that, and a rap song about Jack London (the author of White Fang.) But more about that later. 

Music was my friend when I didn't have friends. I had a basement room with posters covering the walls - Stone Temple Pilots, Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden, and many other superstar groups from the early to mid 90s. I didn't have my own stereo, but I didn't let that get me down. I had something better... my sister's dual-deck, K-Mart karaoke machine! I would spend hours on end wearing out tapes of albums by the aforementioned artists, trying to mimic their vocal stylings and lyrical nonsense. After school, after dinner, after the homework, it was a magnificent way for me to spend the rest of my minutes. I did this for several years, until the excitement grew too much. I had to try to make some of my own music. 

I was deep into my love for the Smashing Pumpkins by then, already able to recite and decode the illegible handwritten lyrics from the pages of Siamese Dream. I had also memorized the tiny, typewriter print pages of Pisces Iscariot. Other favorites at the time included Aerosmith's Get a Grip album, the debut Counting Crows record and Hole's Live Through This. 

I had purchased a small notebook from the school book fair in 1994. It had a blue, holographic cover on it. I began penning some semi-religious poetry to see what would happen. Within a couple week's time I had a couple dozen songs written with timbre and rhythms in mind. I didn't know what to do with them, except come up with a band name and start making some cassette tape cases. I didn't have anything to put in them, but that didn't matter. 

Early band names I had thought of included Purple Lotus and the Vultures. Both were met with HEAVY mocking from kids at school, and a not-so-friendly reminder by one dude that Vulture was what uncle Jesse had called his band in an episode of Full House. Sigh. I didn't care. I got together a few times with my drumming cousin, Lester, and we made some recordings of these rap songs. My first tape was called Vultures: Birds of Pray. (Yes, "pray" making the connection to the positive messages behind my songs.)

Anyway, we will fast forward a bit, and if you want to hear more of the humdrum beginnings, then read the "Story" section up top. When Barry and I first started making music together for the Dementia Cookie Box, we knew what kind of music we liked, but didn't really know how to write or play that kind of music. So, we did what we could. I remember our high school newspaper did a story on us once that referred to our crowd-pleaser, Covergirl Love, as "teeny-bopper" music. It wasn't until years later, after we disbanded, that I figured out what was meant by that. 

Moving on. Twenty years later, and my life has changed so much since then. My grandmother once told me that you live many lifetimes within your lifetime. Already I feel what she meant so strongly. I won't even begin to try to list the things I have gone through over the last 20 years that have brought me to where I am now... but I will just say that I have no regrets. We learn from our experiences, and it is those experiences - both good and bad - that make us who we are. I will say though, that I am very happy with my lovely wife of eight years, and our two awesome baby girls. And if you were to ask the 1996 Steve if he thought he would ever be teaching visual arts in an elementary school out in the middle of the Arizona desert, he would have probably laughed in your face. But that's neither here nor there. I am very happy with where I am now and with my career choices. 

All artists who are also new parents will probably share the same sentiment: how they wish they had more time for their art. All I can say is that in order to stay sane, I have had to do the best I can with what I have, and I am very thankful to have been both an artist and a new parent in a wonderful age of technological advance! There were many nights over the past couple of years when I would go for walks downtown Princeton, Kentucky, with both babies strapped to me in carriers, headphones in my ears, working on mixes with my mobile devices. There were several times I would spend my lunch break at work laying down vocal tracks in the backseat of my car with a USB microphone. And when I didn't have a rock band to play live shows with... I bought a ukulele and strapped a tambourine to my foot. (See the Voltaic Variety Show!)

But, over the past 5 years of transitions and new jobs and new babies and moves across the country, I have somehow been able to piece together 7 final Dementia Cookie Box tracks for myself, and for you guys. Yes, that's right, I said "final." That does not in ANY way mean that I am quitting music, not sure if I will ever be able to do that, nor would I want to. It just means that after 20 years of writing and recording for myself, I have reached a point in my life where I finally feel that I have said and experienced all I ever wished to with the Dementia Cookie Box. I am now ready to write music for a different purpose. (See The Snowflake Babies!)

Of course, there will always be new Voltaic Variety Show music, and new X-Ray Man music when I get bit by the electronic bug... but by me saying "final" here, it just means that it is finally time for me to say my farewell to the Dementia Cookie Box. And with that, I say thank you so much to all of the people who helped me realize my dreams over the past 20 years. First and foremost, my momma, Stephanie Arban Holt, for instilling in me the love of music at an early age, and the knowledge of some of the great musicians she knew growing up. For always believing in me and supporting me in all my creative endeavours (including Rolling Joe's Coffee Conundrum!) My Dad, for putting music in my blood. Papaw for teaching me how to play guitar, Mamaw for giving us a place to practice and the ability to get whatever equipment we needed to do what we wanted to do (and for the rock n' roll dance parties!) Granny for all of the support, driving us around, and helping to buy us red, fuzzy hats when it was too cold to play music outside in the winter :-) Lester, for helping me drum those early songs, teaching me about drumming, and helping me to purchase my own drum set! And my awesome and unique sister, Sheena McLemore, thank you for always cheering the loudest!

To my loving, patient and awesome wife, Stephanie Baker: When I moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky, at the end of 2006, I brought with me a fair amount of fear and uncertainty. I had big ideas in mind, but deciding to go back to college well into my 20s was a daunting decision of its own. That said, It wasn't long before recent negative memories were pushed away by an onslaught of great things. Within six months I had assembled a band, had played our first rock show in a real music venue, and had been interviewed as a new band on the local rock radio station. My grades for my first semester came back and I was doing unexpectedly fantastic, all As and Bs in a new field of study that was completely foreign to me - the Visual Arts. I started saying prayers, thanking God for all of his blessings, bringing me out of dark times and helping me to succeed in a new town, with a new band and a new school. I had a specific checklist I was going through and said to God that, since my music was in order, my grades were in order and it felt like things were finally on the right track... there was one other thing I needed. A girl. I placed an "order" listing all of the traits I was looking for in a girl, not the least of which were someone who was willing to travel, wanted a family someday, and that had a job and could take care of herself if she needed to. It was only six or seven days that had passed when I saw a message and friend request from you online. The big guy got my message :-)

Thank you honey, for 9 years of support, love, inspiration, tolerance, photos and good ideas. Thank you for always coming to my shows and for letting me - no, suggesting - that we move the living room couch into the woods for a few great pictures. Thank you for letting me clear out that same living room (and part of the kitchen) in order to record music for a week. Thank you for being understanding all the times I did things or wanted to do things that you didn't understand. I love you. I am sorry that you fell in love with an artist, we are a difficult breed. 

And as I dive into the rest of this list, I will undoubtedly leave someone out, but for those who were there, and who remember, and who care... you know who you are, and I love you all.

Barry Corman, Eric Bowman, Daryl Cook, Ryan Rawls, Jason Goodwill, Shawn Demaray, John Price, Jake McDonald, Jason Field, Ryan McQuerry, Josh Deeter, Eric Marcum, Derrick Miles, Todd Burton, Landon Miller, Matt Talbott, Wally Bates, Becca Petersen, Sonya Fry, Keith Oresky, Josh Rios, Nelson Logan, Johnny Thompson, Caitlin Shaffer, Michala Smith.

There are many more, but those were the players - the ones who helped me to bring my dreams to reality on recordings and stages all over the place. Thank you.  

So, Jack London. Barry, thank you for being my number one fan. It was your enthusiasm over my early songs and those garage performances that helped to drive me to keep going. It was more exciting knowing that someone else was interested in hearing what I was writing - someone outside of family. And thank you for being so willing and eager to help design tape cases and videos and things like that as well. All of those things helped to form a reality around my vision; helped make it seem real and possible. For you to be my best friend AND have such an interest in my newfound hobby... it only made sense that you should learn how to play so you could help me with it. I wish that we had a recording of our White Fang rap. It would serve as our earliest, collaborative demo tape. The only line I remember is "Jack London is the author, he's not an imposter," but that is enough to remember we were there. That, and the Barry Corman Show! I love you, man. 

So, here they are. Seven new Dementia Cookie Box songs. Free for you, the hardcore fans and friends. This EP will eventually be available on Spotify, iTunes and such, but for now I want you to have these songs for free as your final anniversary gift - The Happy Parade. Most of the songs were written and produced around 2012 or so, but a couple were just finished this year and I have remastered everything as a nice icing on the cake. It features some pretty personal stuff, including "Where Are You Now?" which I wrote and recorded in a drafty apartment in Marion, Kentucky, during the three months I had to live separate from my wife when I started a new job. And then there is the Dementia Cookie Box "Promise," which I recorded while walking the hospital hallways during Stephanie's appointments when we were expecting our second baby. Take your time with these songs, and please pass them along to your friends, or anyone you used to come to the shows with. Tell those guys still driving around Bowling Green with the "i like cookies" bumper stickers about it for me, and please keep tabs on my other music projects, The Voltaic Variety Show, the Snowflake Babies, X-Ray Man and the Stevie B. kids' shows. All of these have icon links on the front page and are all active projects. 

In addition to this music, I have also uploaded a special video message to the YouTube video archives. This message is for my students, and to all young people willing to listen to it.

Thank you again for 20 years of tolerance and interest. 

God bless,

~Steven~

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