This album will always be free to download, but do please consider making a donation if you can afford it.
100% of your donations for this album go to buying musical equipment for Girls Rock NC, a music camp for girls and gender nonconforming people.
The equipment is paid for at-cost by Century Sound Labs and donated directly to Girls Rock NC.
Please remember to share the album with your friends and family - anyone you think might know Russ and want just a little bit more of him in their lives.
Total amount donated: $1055
(Updated: March 9th 2017)
This is the running list of what your donations have paid for so far:
Endangered Audio Research Spectravibe Tremolo/Vibrato
Endangered Audio Research AD4096 mk2 Analog Delay
Moxtronix TransTone Fuzz
Korg Volca FM Synthesizer
Korg Volca Sample
Korg Volca Kick
Korg Volca Beats
Korg Volca Bass
Korg SQ-1 Sequencer
Korg Monologue 20%
Korg Minilogue 0%
Korg ARP Odyssey FS 0%
iPad Pro (for use with music apps) 0%
If you can't afford to donate, then call someone you haven't talked to in a long time and tell them you love them.
Why are we here if not for one another?
From 2010-2012, Russell Brill and I wrote and recorded music in my bedroom in Bay Village, Ohio. These are those recordings.
To read the story behind each song, click on the name of the song. Lyrics were transcribed as best as I could - words or phrases in [brackets] are ones I'm not sure of.
Russ made music of his own, as well. He published his music under the name Alone Alone. You can check out his album, Little Darling, Always Faithful here:
I met Russell Bill in 2003, when he was a freshman at Bay High. The first time I saw him, he was wearing bell bottoms and some paisley wallpaper-flavored shirt, bouncing around in the goofiest walk you ever saw.
I knew immediately that we were going to be friends.
But it wasn't until years later, when I came home from my first year at Kenyon, that we started playing music together. He was the original member of King Tut, playing clarinet and saxophone.
At our first concert (I think a Hozzgiving maybe?), he introduced me to Drew Veres, who he said was the best drummer around. We made a few recordings together as a trio, but those are lost to time (unless anyone out there has them?).
Drew and I moved to Asheville, but without Russ, who, at the time, was still deep in the throes of his alcoholism.
Years later, I moved back home to Bay and Russ and I started making music together again. It felt like a fresh start - in fact, it felt like meeting Russ again for the first time. He was sober, and he was noticeably lighter and had even more of a spring in his step.
These are just a fraction of the songs we wrote together. Most of them are lost to time or were only ever half-baked fragments. But what remains is evidence that I got to be there for some of the best years of his life.
Russ had this way of seeing people - when he talked to you, he could make you feel like you were the only person in the world that mattered. He listened, he felt, and he gave.
But one day, Russ and I had a falling out. And then I never talked to him again.
Many of you got to have two more years with him than I did. You got to see who he became; what he grew into. Your last words got to be "See you tomorrow!" or "I'll get that book back to you soon," or even, "I love you."
My last words were "Fuck you."
I have to carry that with me for the rest of my life. And it would be unbearable if not for this music.
You got to be there for him in the last two years of his life. You got to laugh with him, eat dinner with him, work with him, and create with him.
But I have this: these songs, lost for so many years, hidden by time and anger and stubbornness.
This is Russ as I remember him. When you listen, picture us: me waving to him from my porch as he pulls up, Russ jumping out of his car, stubbing out his cigarette, and saying, "C'mon, let's get going - I can't wait to show you this new one."