My band, The Caulden Road, released our new Reflexion EP recently. The EP features six new songs and is available digitally on our website (lossless), iTunes (lossy), and is available on CD with a full-color booklet from

The Caulden Road is my collaborative music project with Christian Caldeira. We’ve been working on this new batch of songs (along with a sister EP of seven additional new songs coming next year) over the last year and a half, and I’m really excited to be able to share them with you all now.

Additionally, we’ve produced music videos for each and every song on the EP. You can watch those videos below:

The Early Singles Collection

My band recently released a collection of our early singles, remixed and remastered from the original multitracks, on CD and digital download. You can get the collection on CD here, or you can buy the lossy digital version on iTunes, or the lossless digital version from our website.

And here’s a little video trailer I made for the release, if you’d like to hear a few previews first:

This collection includes everything we released before starting work on our first major EP, and is an easy way to “catch up” on all of the various singles and promotional remixes. And I still really dig these songs, so it was fun revisiting them for this release.

This morning I sold my entire stake in DFTBA Records.

Hank and I started DFTBA in my bedroom in November 2008. We both made music, as did many of our YouTube friends, and we saw the need for a record label that catered to these online musicians.

The idea was simple enough: manufacture CDs for people like Dave Days and bands like Driftless Pony Club, get them into the iTunes store, and pay them a fair royalty on those sales. DFTBA Records was attractive to YouTube musicians not only because many of them were our friends and trusted the brand we were building, but also because we were able to offer our artists better deals, more promotion, and bigger royalty shares than they could get from other places.

Why could DFTBA Records do what its competitors could not? Because we started small. Let’s be honest, there’s not a lot of overhead when you’re running a business out of your bedroom.

Fast forward almost six years. We now have over 100 artists (including musicians, authors, designers, comedians, card game makers, vloggers, educators, and charities), operate out of a 5,000 sq ft warehouse, and have a staff of over 10 employees working with us. We’ve shipped hundreds of thousands of individual orders all around the world. DFTBA is no longer the little company that could; we are now the company that did.

So, why sell?

Okay, so, not to sound cheesy, but, I feel like my work here is done. I’m an ideas guy, a creative guy. I’m not a businessman.

Before DFTBA I didn’t know what P&L sheets were, or what a COO did. I’d never received a K-1 before, and had never used the initialism EOB in my life (it means “end of business”, as in, “can you get this to me by EOB?”). When you’re a new small company, that’s okay! You’ll figure that business stuff out later; right now it’s just important to do cool stuff.

However, that’s not the kind of leader DFTBA needs today. DFTBA needs business people to run the business, and I’ve always been an ideas guy.

Over the last few years I’ve seen so many people leave prominent positions at exciting companies like YouTube to start their own businesses, or to go work for other new start-ups. With every announcement I asked myself “wha… why? Why would you leave freakin’ Company X, they’re so cool!?”

I get it now. For some people, that initial launch and problem-solving and growth are the exciting parts, not the sustaining that inevitably follows.

So I’m encouraging DFTBA to find the right leader for their growing business needs, and I hope that new leader takes DFTBA into another six year run of doubling growth year over year.

I hope that in another six years the DFTBA warehouse is 15,000 sq ft and staffed with a crew of 20 employees. I wish nothing but the best for my friends Hank and John, and all of the artists who work with DFTBA, some of who have become great personal friends of mine.

The services DFTBA offers are still very important in so many people’s lives:

  • The fans who need the support system of an online community because they don’t have one in their local community
  • The designer who is putting herself through college by making incredible shirts or posters
  • The musician who would not have landed on the iTunes charts without DFTBA’s support and promotion

Please continue to support all of these amazing people, as I’ve seen you do time and time again over the last five and a half years.

What’s next?

That was one of the first questions John asked me when we started this discussion a few months ago. Selling my stake in DFTBA Records means I could take an early retirement, but that’s never been my modus operandi. I need to create.

So I’ll continue to focus on my original music and the remixes I produce for other artists. I’ll continue to design cool stuff, and continue my webmaster work for various authors including John Green and E. Lockhart. I’m not going to stop collaborating with Hank, John, or anyone else on the DFTBA team just because I am no longer directly involved in DFTBA Records. I’ve also got some new projects that I’m excited to have time to develop. The first big one will be The Caulden Road’s first full-length album.

And of course I’m proud to continue to be an artist on DFTBA’s roster. DFTBA sells my shirts and music and some of my various other merch.

I may no longer be a co-owner or the President of DFTBA, but I will always be the co-founder. DFTBA is still the awesome thing it is today because I had an idea, and Hank had the guts to take a chance on my idea with his time and money. DFTBA has changed my life, just as it has for thousands of people who shared their work, shared their ideas, or met their friends and significant others through this community.

A few years into the project, when we brought John on as a partner, he changed my life as well. He changed how I think about the way I spend my time and how I invest my time in others, and helped me to appreciate the time others invest in me.

Thank you all for the time you’ve invested in me, and for sharing DFTBA Records with me as we grew our business. I couldn’t have asked for a better five-and-a-half year run. <3

Average Guy (Lastufka Remix)

Okay, here it is! My remix of Raven Zoe’s song “Average Guy”.

Raven released her latest EP Hesitated in October of last year. Then started reaching out to producers to work on a remix for each song on the EP. I chose “Average Guy” as the song really spoke to me musically. When I hear the original recording, I feel like I’m sitting in a dark smokey early era jazz club. I love it. I didn’t want to try to recreate that vibe with my remix, so I instead went for more of a late 90s pop remix. The kind you’d hear thumping out of a car during summer vacation.

Raven’s vocal tracks are the only original elements I used in the remix, everything else is new and exclusive to this mix. The remix features my friend Robert Kyle on saxophone. As I was putting the project together I programmed some sampled horns to accent the chorus, and I liked them so much I reached out to Robert to record a few riffs on his sax. In three full takes he freestyled over a rough cut of the remix and I edited the best parts from each take to create the sax you hear on the final remix.

I’ve known (and been a fan of) Raven for about five years now. Back in late 2009/early 2010 we worked together on what eventually became my first full-length studio album, Erase This. Raven and I co-wrote four of the songs on Erase This, including “Making A Scene”, the opening track on the album. “Making A Scene” also features Robert Kyle on saxophone, so I felt his performance here was a nice nod to the past, while creating something completely new today.

Raven and I have also produced a music video for the remix version of “Average Guy”, which will make its debut in a few weeks. Until then, enjoy the remix and check out the full Hesitation Remix EP, which is available now on iTunes.

Click here to view this post on tumblr.

Full song credits:
– “Average Guy (Lastufka Remix)”
– Written and originally performed by Raven Zoe.
– Remix produced by Alan Lastufka.
– Remix features Robert Kyle on saxophone.
– Assistant Producer / Mixing Engineer: Christian Caldeira.