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Craig Spector | Outposts

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Rock: Album Rock Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock Moods: Mood: Intellectual
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by Craig Spector

An accomplished musician as well as a bestselling horror author and screenwriter, Outposts follows 2017's Resurrection Road and Spector's ongoing fight with Stage Four metastatic cancer -- a powerfully intimate journey of love, loss, hope, and mortality.
Genre: Rock: Album Rock
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Bit by Bit
4:50 $0.99
2. Requiem
4:10 $0.99
3. Etherium Delirium
5:23 $0.99
4. Hospital Song 2018
4:57 $0.99
5. The Heart of It All
5:48 $0.99
6. Nevermore
4:01 $0.99
7. Lost in a Storm
5:42 $0.99
8. Shine On
6:11 $0.99
9. I Fight On
4:01 $0.99
10. Outposts
4:36 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
“This brilliant followup to Resurrection Road is an immersive cinematic soundscape, an auditory feast that treats the listener to an atmospheric adventure, deeply textured, reminiscent of some of the best from Pink Floyd or Roger Waters. It is obvious that Spector had a lot of fun with this release, like Resurrection Road it is a bit dark at times, but this album is has an element of exploration and discovery, and even wonder. Mr Spector's battle against stage 4 prostate cancer continues, and his latest album is a gift that shows us that after the fear and horror of such a diagnosis, life is still filled with joy, and victories are meant to be savored and enjoyed.”
— Oz Osborne

On June 4, 2016, at the age of 57, I had emergency spinal surgery to remove what I had thought was a pinched nerve in my back, but turned out to be a tumor on my T7 vertebrae. The tumor had bored through the bone and reached my spinal cord; when it constricted the nerves by a factor of 50% my legs gave out and stopped "legging" -- I couldn't walk or stand or even crawl. Four days earlier on Memorial Day, I woke up, stood up, and fell over.

An ambulance ride, eleven hours in ER and then a transfer to Sentara Norfolk General, left me spending twelve days in the Trauma Ward. It was there that I learned that the reason why I had the tumor was that I had Stage Four prostate cancer, metastisized to my bones. No early symptoms, no warning signs, just boom.

So now I know. And I fight.

Now some two years later, I continue in THE ART OF NOT DYING: Tales of Recovery on the Resurrection Road -- a mixed media meta project in really real time. It's still evolving from real life into something one might call 'art' -- but it exists now, for entirely its own reasons... maybe because art imitates life imitating art; maybe because silence is death and some things just need to be said; maybe just because, why the hell not?

But THE ART OF NOT DYING is about more than one man's struggle against a sneak attack from an insidious foe. It's about living: finding and creating the things, situations, and relationships that sustain you, doing the things that make your life meaningful.

None of us know how long we have. We all die. But we're not there yet, so live. Appreciate every moment. Be who you really are. Make your dreams a reality. Take care of yourself, take care of your people, try to leave everything a little bit better than you found it. Love intensely and fiercely. Exercise radical kindness. Take no shit, and give none, either. Fight against evil in the world, starting first and foremost within yourself. Create light in the endless darkness. Find the art in every single thing. Elevate everything you do to an art form. Live courageously, unapologetically. And remember that so much of what we do seems thankless, because we forget to say thanks.

And when the cynical say to you, how can you have hope when the world is so f*cked? Tell them, because if I don't the world will still be f*cked, but there will be no hope.

So fight, like your life depended on it. Because it does.

Which is where my new album, CRAIG SPECTOR: OUTPOSTS, comes in -- songs from the dark edge of mortality and loss, yet threaded with light, and hope, and a fighting spirit. The follow up to 2017's RESURRECTION ROAD, it's 47 minutes in sonic slices of emotional time and space, snapshots from the road that never ends for me.

I started writing while still in the Trauma Ward -- a tune called 'Hospital Song.' That simple little song would lower my blood pressure and calm me down while on the 6th floor ward. I kept writing and then recording once I was discharged, and all through the radiation, the chemo, the endless infusions and injections that are de rigeur for life now. That song appeared in instrumental form on Resurrection Road, and reprises here now with lyrics, which came to me after the first album's release.

I played all the instruments and sang all the parts on this album, and recorded it all on my home studio in Virginia Beach VA -- an iMac with Garageband and Logic Pro X, a lot of guitars (shout outs to Ibanez, Martin, Taylor, and Dean Zelinsky Private Label) and a lot of IKM gear (iKeys, iRig, iLoud Micro Monitors, iEtc...) -- with an assist from Apple and IKM loops. The 21st century is slightly awesome that way.

Like RESURRECTION ROAD and in its own strange way, OUTPOSTS is a personal soundtrack for warriors and survivors all...and a way of demonstrating that not only is there life after cancer, there is life during cancer, too. I turn 60 with this album's release, an age I never really thought I'd reach. But I'm still here, still in the good fight, and taking each new day as it comes.

So, as before, I hope you'll take a moment. Crank it up. Let it in.

And welcome to my Resurrection Road...



to write a review


Craig continues his journey down the Resurrection Road. Fuller sounding with mor
Craig’s last album was Resurrection Road, released last year. Outposts picks up where that one left off. The two albums work and intertwine both lyrically and thematically. Where Resurrection Road was stripped down and straight ahead, Outposts shows more experimentation and confidence from Craig. Outposts has a lot more percussion and sees Craig using loops on many of the songs.
The theme throughout both albums is Craig’s fight with cancer. It has been a long hard battle, but throughout, Craig has been prolific in his song writing.
Like Resurrection Road, Outposts is an “album”, not a collection of songs. It is meant to be listened to from start to finish. It continues the story of Craig’s fight with Stage 4 Cancer. But don’t let that stop you. It is not all doom and gloom. It focuses on now and the future, accepting and surviving, fighting and winning, facing every day. These are songs of mortality and love in the face of the shadow of ever-present death.
Here is a song-by-song breakdown:
Bit By Bit – Starts out with short radio blast sample and then goes in to a nice Neil Young meets Spencer Davis Group song. Upbeat and up-tempo. Some interesting background sounds going on throughout.
Requiem – Very smooth instrumental. Starts out with a semi-clubby beat before changing in to a nice laid back jazzy groove. I am hearing Film Noir meets laid back club music. There is also a really interesting bridge that comes out of nowhere but fits in perfectly.
Etherium Delirium – A laid back dreamy track with some nice flute (yes, flute!) riffs and Craig speaking lyrics that sound like he is trying to hypnotize you. Some nice back up female harmonies add depth to an already deep track.
Hospital Song 2018 – Sparse number with some nice acoustic guitar work. Craig’s vocals are front and center and sound both mournful and hopeful. Strings underscore the melody and add just enough without intruding on the mood and feeling of the song.
The Heart of It All – I’m hearing hints of Animals era Pink Floyd on this track. There’s a nice rhythm track going that using non-traditional instruments to move it along. Craig’s guitar work and vocals blend nicely and weave around each other throughout.
Nevermore – There is some nice acoustic and electric guitar interplay on this track. Craig’s vocals are front and center but not overpowering. The lyrics hit me as almost ethereal. Very interesting track.
Lost In a Storm – Hints of Gordon Lightfoot on this track. Lots of nice guitar interplay with piano. Electric guitar solo in the bridge that lifts this song higher and sends it soaring. Instrumental
Shine On – Craig’s lyrics are the focal point of this uplifting song. It is about focusing on the positive, on the future regardless of your current situation. This is definitely a sentiment that people should be working towards every day.
I Fight On – Funky intro with some scratch guitar work. Another uplifting song about Craig’s ongoing fight with cancer. As he says, he’s “Just a stubborn M.F. with an attitude”.
Outposts – Funky number with lots of soul. Hammond organ, guitar, percussion and vocals all combine to make this one move. It’s a great closing number and offers hope for Craig’s next release.
If you take the time and listen to Outposts, you will get a no holds barred view in to Craig’s daily struggles. You also will realize that through these struggles, he loves, he cares, he helps and he gives. He never stops, never looks back and never asks why.

Tom Clark

Cancer Sucks. Music Doesn't.
Craig Spector's Outposts.

Cancer sucks, but often the results of it can be a creative output. Take the John Travolta movie Phenomenon, for example. One day the guy wakes up and suddenly he's a learning machine. But, as the movie's narrative informs us, all because of a tumor.

Musician and author Craig Spector knows this pain. He's experienced it first hand. Craig's been battling prostate cancer for a couple years now. It's a bitch. The flu like symptoms from the chemo, the mind tricks the drugs and knowledge of the disease play on you, the fear of imminent death. All of these can be both crippling, and – yes – inspiring. Out of these ashes comes a second album from Spector, a companion piece to his previously released album, Resurrection Road.

If you liked Craig's Resurrection Road, you'll dig Outposts. The same can be said for the flip side. Spector is a solid musician, his guitar skills can't be questioned. You can tell he's got a lot going on in his mind. The instrumentals on the album are busy, a wall of complex sound that is at once majestic, and sometimes distracting. They are a good example of the chaos one experiences while going through cancer treatment.

Spector's voice is an acquired taste. You either like it or you don't. Fortunately it doesn't distract you from the final product. He does his best to hide his weaknesses under vocal effects like any good producer. He also lays the vocal track deep in the mix, giving it an ethereal quality.

Music is therapy. It's an art we can create that offers immediate satisfaction. I'm not here to tell you this is a good or a bad album. I'm here to tell you this is the voice of man in the fight for his life, and he's kicking buckets around the room. If those buckets are full of words or musical notes, it doesn't matter. This album isn't about you, it's a about Craig Spector's battle with a disease.