Saturday, April 30, 2011
If you appreciate the contents of this site please type your address in there and the latest version will always be cued up for you to read. This will be very encouraging to the staff, which will know that there are actually people potentially reading the next post. The intent of the postings will be to explore, explain and document discoveries that spread the means and methods for composing, performing, and sharing recorded music as ordinary humans playing the interesting cards dealt to those of us doing this in 2011. It fuels our industriousness to know there is a reader. Otherwise, it seems crazier than usual to be spending precious time not listening to "How I Wanted To" by Richard Thompson off his 1983 album "Hand of Kindness" or following the success of the Cleveland Indians as the surprise of major league baseball this summer that I was completely unprepared for. Yrs. Trly.--Mgmt.
Friday, April 29, 2011
I had booked a spot at the Yellow Sofa for tonight (Sat. July, 16tth @ 6:30 p.m.-8:00) but my usual backing band, the Silvertone Horns, could not make it due to mandatory vacation time they had to take to recover from the rigors of our incessant and punishing rehearsal and recording schedule.
So like they say at discount fire sales, "Our setback is a bonus for you, the customer." Instead of putting an ad in the paper in the slim hopes of finding and rehearsing with a new schoolteacher/bass player and attorney/lead guitarist in time, I called in some favors and got the very best unattached rock and roll wrecking crew in the valley, The Foregone Conclusions, with Ray Yelle on Percussion, and the Moushabeck brothers, Ramzi and Simone who take turns playing killer bass, guitar and more as the situation requires. They are hands down the most talented musicians young, old or in-between to be found in the Valley or, more to the point, in my rolodex. In case you suspect this whole referring to myself as Mr. Silverstone thing is a spoof, I first met two of the three members of the crew, like, for real, dude, when I was their 2nd grade teacher, a fact that you will quickly surrealistic when you hear how seriously, precisely and assuredly they rock, like well-brought up, considerate, assassins.
Why just yesterday we were in the studio recording tracks for the next Mr. Silverstone album. In the video above, and you can see a glimpse of the monster talent Ramzi commands as he adds lead guitar licks to the outro of our climate change balad "The Ice Age Hotel" while our studio producer Jim Matus oversees the recording at the Old Schoolhouse Recording Studio in Hadley, our home away from home. There will be an advance 3-song EPs will be available at the gig tonight for the lo-lo price of $5.00. You can also listen for free, or download for a fee, at the URLs included below for thee:
Proceeds to go to The Foregone Conclusions who were never in it for the money, but wouldn't mind it if their fans showed the love.
But wait, there's more! This concert will feature massive audience participation as a parade of beloved Yellow Sofa frequent performers will join me for duets on our favorite cover songs, many of which we've actually rehearsed harmony parts for.
Christopher Goudreau -- Eight Days a Week
Christa Joy -- Love Hurts
Dave Franklin--These Days (Jackson Browne wrote it when he was 17)
Jeremy Anderson -- Time (beautiful Tom Waits song, reminding us once again that Tahm waits for no one)
Tom Neal (From West Hartford, CT) and his blue ukelele -- Old Paint (Loudon Wainright III version we used to sing at the dorm in Oberlin)
Frank Cable -- Daniel (Elton John song we both liked in elementary school)
Chris Griffin -- Pony Ride (You haven't heard of it--yet--it's a Mr. Silverstone song)
Plus the Sofa's good friend, the always delightful, Manny Menimore
Just to give you a flavor of the show, we now include and conclude this blogcast with a video recorded back on Thursday. Hope to see you there, or that you can experience the groove virtually or actually. Wishing harmonious vibrations and dissolution of limitations across all superfluous boundaries from all of us (all one of us at the moment) here at Mr. Silverstone's music funhouse.
For more videos of recently written and performed songs, see the MrSilverstoneMusic channel on YouTube:
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Thursday nights from 7-10 the Yellow Sofa Cafe in Northampton (run by the great people who also run the Northampton landmark Booklink Booksellers) offers a superlative Open Mic where performers play 2 songs and stay to listen with sweet and holy attention and appreciation. It's best to arrive slightly before 6:30 to be assured of a spot, as they almost always get all given out by 7. There is a cover charge of $5.00 which is not nothing, but as close as the realities of running a business could allow.
Here's a link to a video of a song I did there called Amelia and Julia. Thematically, it might remind some of the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young song, "Triad" But for reasons my friend Tom explained to me--Tom who like me, loves both Amelia and Julia and Neil Young--found it reminded him of how Neil came to write "Long May You Run." I probably will quit giving this kind of information out anymore and just shut up and play, but if you're interested, this somewhat complicated story goes fully public by the end in about minute 5:32.
(I don't mean to make anyone have to watch this just to find out. Amelia and Julia are my god daughters, and it's really challenging sometimes to be so crazy about them both at the same time . . .But its a really good song about love complications, even if you don't have two overwhelming appealing god daughters who want to fold paper cranes and do hand clapping games and tickle you at the same time.
The latest from Mr. Silverstone and the Silvertone Horns is now available to listen to or download.
There are some songs that get written magically in about 10 minutes.
This was one of them. Yeah, yeah, o.k. That's cool. Whatever.
The precise wording of these rediculously simple lyrics took about 4 hours. Still normal.
But the magic happened when putting down all that percussion, bass, distorted guitar, horns, harmonies-- which took like, forever--and the process took hold of us all and it kept getting crazier and crazier, and no one left, ate, or even took a break until the thing burst into flame, destroyed equipment, burned down the studio building, and spread to adjoining villages and forests until it was stopped only by the waves and wind and the consumption of all fuel, ultimately raging unto sweet extinction by the limitless expanses of the sea and sky over vast aeons of time.
But don't take our word for it. Click and take the "Woodja B With Me Challenge." Be prepared for the rockinitious turbulence of a severe field of groovitation.
A college newspaper correspondent at the Academy Awards ceremony this year went backstage to ask Randy Newman for tips about how to break into the Music Industry. He reportedly said, "Who would want to break into it? It's like a bank that's already been robbed." Wit this mordant and self-effacing is always to be treasured, even in someone with so little need of sympathy as the most successful composer of movie scores in the history of brilliantly done blockbuster computer-animated features appealing globally to families with young children. But the genius of Randy Newman has always included his ability to make charmingly humorous mockery of some otherwise pretty bleak realities, so good on him for this.
Speaking of trying to break into an industry which is has almost ceased to be, over the last three years, I have picked 30 songs I like well enough to want them to be played in headphones other than my own and posted them on Bandcamp. Though there are numerous ways to put music on line, Bandcamp is particularly wonderful for emerging bands and songwriter/performers because of its power and low (no) cost, which allows you to post whatever amount of music you want and have people find it and even pay you for the privilege. You can also simply give it away for them to download as a way to get familiar with it in the quixotic hope that you might someday be able to crow "a record company, Rosie/Just gave me a big advance!" like Bruce Springsteen.
A visit to Bandcamp.com, demonstrates its enormous utility for people harboring any hope of receiving actual renumeration for their music recordings. Here's my example: http://michaelsilverstone.bandcamp.com, but after seeing this, you can also go browsing around and find amazing things, like I did yesterday by clicking on one of the "tags" at the bottom the pages, such as a location tag, (New York City) or a genre tag ("death metal") which allows you to find kindred souls (or perhaps kindred soul-less zombies), in the same location or genre. I picked my hometown area of Northampton, MA and found bands and writers I had heard of before mixed in with interesting strangers. It was an enlightening and often surprising experience to click around. For example, for some reason, there was a lot of music coming out of Israel on webpages laden with Hebrew text when I looked under the genre of pop. I hadn't even considered that making popular music was not an entirely NY/LA Amero-centric phenomenon. This just begins to scratch the surface of the surprises that await, I'm sure.
Some performers (nationally known, and I now presume in Israel, Yemen, and the Ivory Coast as well) sell a lot of their music directly on Bandcamp. I have had this experience. It was kind of mindblowing when it happened. I got an e-mail saying that there was money in my PayPal account from the sale of a some downloads--a statement that took me right back to the extistential questions: What is money? And even more to the point, what is PayPal? Is it real? Are you, reader, am I? And who is the I that asks the question?
- ▼ 2011 (18)