THESE BRITTLE BONES (Chris Jones)

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While doing a little bit of A&R work, I remember an artist I had heard off in Singapore. Going by the name of These Brittle Bones, Chris Jones came out with his first EP at the age of 13. He is now 15 and is looking to release 2 EP’s by Christmas 2014. At the age of 15, Chris shows depth in his understanding of melody and composition and a maturity in his lyrics. He has described his genre as ambient piano folk.

Chris moved to Singapore from the Swansea, UK at the age of 8 and soon after found himself writing his own music. He is now nearing 2 years with manager Jonny Taylor and released a number of singles.

See below for 2 of his singles,  ‘Feckle’ and ‘Bloom‘.

He recently signed with a digital distributor, Believe Music (based out of the UK).Through this partnership, Chris is now on a number of social media and digital media platforms. You can see more of his online presence below:

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/thesebrittlebones/

Spotify – http://open.spotify.com/artist/5KlIaIphSopJ8iyuv6aYrX

Deezer – http://www.deezer.com/en/artist/2766061

Twitter – http://twitter.com/brittlebonesuk

Soundcloud – http://soundcloud.com/thesebrittlebonesmusic

Youtube – http://youtube.com/thesebrittlebones

Instagram – http://instagram.com/thesebrittlebones/

Bandcamp – http://thesebrittlebones.bandcamp.com/

After his self recorded, debut release EP, Leaving the Woods,  he was interviewed by Time Out Singapore where he describes his inspiration coming from “pieces of art, poetry, even tales I’ve heard from others”. (Full Interview – http://www.timeoutsingapore.com/music/feature/interview-these-brittle-bones)

What I like about Chris’ music is that is it is unexpected coming from a 15 year old. His music is extremely emotional and his lyrics complement his composition. The fact that he is young, means there is much room for development, emotionally and creatively. He would be ideal to be signed with an Indie label or a bigger label as his music has room to be collaborated with different genres.

I will be scheduling a call with Chris to learn more about his inspiration, his goals and his vision.

Artist Review: Itzel Salinas (part 1: from Mexico to Boston)

Hello!

I’m back after a very busy week (month perhaps?). Thank you for the feedback on my reviews! I hope you’ve liked my reviews on Yanni and Pink Floyd so far (remember you can always make me suggestions for reviewing anything you wish).

This week I will move from live concerts reviewing into a very interesting and nice young lady I met this summer in Berklee Boston.

Itzel Salinas (Mexico)

Itzel Salinas (Mexico)

Itzel Salinas is a young tenor sax player from Ciudad de Mexico. She started playing sax at the age of 16 influenced by John Coltrane, Charles Mingus and Charlie Parker.

One year from her initial studies, Itzel had the chance to be part of the Mexican international cultural exchange program hosted by Carnegie Hall. There, she played live with Sax player Miguel Zenón (Puerto Rico), which as she says, encouraged her to develop more studies in Jazz.

In addition to her Jazz studies, Itzel also developed classical studies at UNAM music school in Mexico. Today, she defines her playing style as a mix of classic, traditional and contemporary jazz, avant-grade, free jazz and tonus music.

During her musical journey, Itzel has being taught by a huge list of well known musicians such as: Sam Newsome, Nando Michelin, Adrián Terrazas-González, Aaron Siegel, Aldo Salvent, Alex Terrier, Wade Matthews, Cyro Baptista, Oscar Stagnaro and others. To this list we must add all the international musicians which she has played live with, such as: Yoron Israel, Diane Richardson, Charlie Kohlhase, John Kordalewski, Arnie Cheatham, Bill Lowe, Sean Berry, Kurtis Rivers, Seth Meitch, Jerry Sabatini, Wes Brown, Al Patterson.

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Itzel’s first approach to Berklee was taking online jazz improvisation classes with faculty member Gary Burton.

This year (Jan, 2014) for the first time, Berklee organized the first version of “Berklee Latino”, a program focused on bringing the Berklee culture for Latin American musicians. The program took place in Mexico City, where Itzel took part. As a result, she was awarded with a full scholarship to attend Berklee’s “5 week performance Program”.

See http://www.berklee.edu/news/berklee-latino-awards-scholarships for more information of Berklee Latino Program taken place this 2014.

Some quotes of Itzel at Berklee Blogs, regarding her experience this summer:

“Five week (…) was not just a musical experience, but was surrounded by situations and experiences that made this something completely essential, something that made me realice what really surrounds beyond being a professional musician in the actual world”

“You have to set daily goals being at the limit of what it means to you a big challenge, and be careful in the line of what could become a musical frustration, because you might not see progress and leave your goals at half (…) it is crucial to be patient, beyond everything, because in the end it’s a process that doesn’t happen from one day to another.”

See more of Itzel’s Berklee blog review at http://www.berklee-blogs.com/2014/09/de-berklee-latino-al-5-week-program-una-nueva-experiencia/

Itzel and me, outside BPC, Berklee, Boston

Itzel and me, outside BPC, Berklee, Boston

Meeting Itzel was a real pleasure, I could see how she was always willing to collaborate or help people in school. We shared real good conversations there, about music and goals in life. The human factor is extremely important to me, regardless the musical quality.

Today, Itzel is part of a musical project called “Deimusaranea”, with very high- trained musicians from Mexico. Their new 3 song demo was finished while we were in Boston at that time, and was sent to Itzel’s mail-box at mid-August.

I feel very honoured to have with me today this fresh-original copy of their new demo, which was a gift from Itzel to myself.

Stay tuned for the next post! I will be talking about Itzel’s project “DEIMUSARANEA” and reviewing this awesome piece of art.

until next time!

Felipe

Music Festival Deleste – Valencia

This weekend the 3rd edition of a unique rock and electronic music city festival will take place in Valencia.

And I am pleased to announce that I will be on board!!

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It all started thanks to the first TSOAM assignment last month. I checked my local contacts that were related to music and got in touch with them. One of those was a friend who use to always meet at concerts and festivals, for about 15 years. So we started to talk to each other again and one day of last week he proposed that I shadow him during the Deleste, to learn and help with the management. He is one of the people that run the Festival.

So, here I go!

I guess this will be an invaluable experience in a range of the different tasks from marketing and sales to even management. They are a young and vibrant team who are eager to contribute to the growth and popularity of the music scene in Valencia.

Take a look into this video, awesome!

Valencia needs cultural events. The people are avid of culture. There is a lot of talent and innovative ideas around the city and without the institutional support, we need to take the rains and  support the private initiatives that enhance the local music culture by all means . Mucha mierda!!

The Living Room Bar + DENTRO Launch

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I continued to walk the streets of Valencia, looking for a venue that is uniquely different from most live music venues. I got an invite for an album launch of a local band Elial (www.elialband.com) which has been gaining popularity after their release of their new album ‘Dentro.’ The Valencian band have been working on this album for about 6 months. The main recording of their album involved the band moving to a cabin in the hills where the main recording set up was.

For their launch, they decided to choose a local venue, La Vitti (https://www.facebook.com/lavittivalencia) . Situated  2km away from the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain, the venue is like walking into your living room ( except with a massive bar). Furnished with leather chairs, bookshelves and  small round tables the cozy environment is built to keep the audience sitting for longer. Hardwood flooring complemented the furnishing and the Oakwood AER speaker system. For those who are not familiar with AER system, they are the Mercedes ( in fact they are German) of Acoustic amplification.

AER-Alpha-Plus

Below are some pictures of the venue and the event. You will notice the living room like decor and arrangement.

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With a small acoustic setup to talk about the album and play a few songs, Elial took the stage consisting of Alberto Amar ( Vocals, Guitar), Eli Rufat (Vocals, Synth and Keys), Dani Vidagany (Guitar) and Hugo Caminero ( percussion). Before kicking off, they presented a video clip of the making of their song Vacia

Despite not knowing Spanish, the song appealed to me in terms of vocal ability and melody. The guitar effects appealed to me the most and I can draw a comparison to U2’s  The Edge. I see a lot of potential in Elial as well as the venue and hence decided to share this experience.

Elial will be having a launch concert at the Sala Ruzafa on the 15th of November which I am very keen to check out.

I hope you all enjoy their music and buy the album which is available on iTunes.

Primus, & Using Willy Wonka to Spice Up Sales

Photo taken from IMDB

Photo taken from IMDB

This one goes out to all my friends that actually appreciated the original version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, as well as my friends that acknowledge crazy bass lines from the experimental, perplexing, and enigmatic rock group known to many crazy people as Primus.  It’s great to see a band pay homage to great film, but they also did it with some serious bank account victories in mind.

If you watched Willy Wonka, you’d know that the story’s premise entails a chocolate maker, arguably diagnosable for schizophrenia, slipping five golden tickets respectively for five lifetime chocolate supplies into his brand of candy bars sold worldwide.  If you haven’t watched Willy Wonka to know of this yet, please educate yourself and watch it so this article doesn’t sound like absolute gibberish.

Primus ties all of this together with their new release, Primus & the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble, which hit stores today.  The reason I gave a summary of the premise to Willy Wonka is Primus decided to, not only pay homage to it with their album title, but employ this concept of golden tickets into their record release.  Yes, there are “golden CD’s” inside random Primus CDs sold at the moment.  If a fan was to purchase a CD and get one of these golden treats, they would be entitled to a lifetime of free Primus concert tickets.  That’s right, a golden CD means you can watch Primus until your eyes or ears give out while your brain kicks the bucket from all the psychadelics you’ve been taking to enjoy the music.

On top of all of this, Primus is now selling Wonka-Primus-hybrid themed chocolate bars at each of their performances.  Titles and flavors of the chocolate bars are designed to pay homage to former Primus releases.  This, combined with the golden CDs, the theme of their album, and the theme of this album cycle’s live shows and presentations, call for one hell of a movie reference that can seriously make headlines.

Now, I’m not sure whether these ideas came from Les Claypool’s… uh, unique school of thinking, or Primus’ management.  Regardless, this whole album setup is a marketing genius move that not only boosts their record sales, but it adds a special element entirely to the Primus experience and discography.  This is a moment that fans will not forget, and certainly something that encourages you to get engaged and maybe look up a recent Wonka-themed Primus show on the internet.  Personally, I’m not a die-hard Primus fan, but I’m 100% behind creativity that marries both artistic expression and marketing success.  This way, the artist is happy with what they created and the management is happy that they don’t have to go bankrupt.  You get a party that can move onto the next big idea with confidence and us fans love that.

Of course, not all bands are all over the place like Primus.  It’s not easy to be this crazy, but that’s what the band specializes in.  They found their niche.  Not everyone has to make a Willy Wonka themed experience.  They just need to engage us fans in a way that suits their band’s style and school of thinking.  You’ll have happy fans and a happy bank account to make happier decisions in the future.  Plenty of happy overload.  Personally, I love it when my favorite bands do this.  So this is my way of saying, I want more.  When can the bands I look up to begin to think outside the box?

@NishadGeorge

It’s an Indie Thing

Since October is A&R month, Pete Dyson has been giving the Berklee Valencia business students some great insight to the ins and outs of A&R.  Accordingly, an unsigned artist that I think could be successful in the music industry is described below:

Hailing from the DMV (DC, Maryland, and Virginia) area, 24-year-old Cecily has decided that her singer and songwriter talents need to be shared beyond her home base, with the world.

This indie artist embodies an Acoustic Pop Soul flavor inspired by the sounds of Lauryn Hill, Adele, and Erykah Badu. As explained by Cecily, “It’s Acoustic because I like to work with real musicians and real instrumentation. It’s Pop because it has crossover appeal, and it’s Soul because it gives you that warm, soulful feeling, like back in the day.”

She is currently working with Grammy Award winning producer and arranger Benjamin Wright to complete her first album. Being a recent college graduate can inhibit some dream chasers when it comes to funding personal projects, but not Cecily. Last year she launched an Indiegogo crowd funding campaign to help raise money to finish her album. The campaign is ongoing and the link to that project is below:

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/cecily-s-debut-ep

One of Cecily’s greatest musical accomplishments to date, has been the iTunes release of her single “Heaven in Your Eyes” featuring Washington DC native, Tabi Bonney. To checkout some of her music, interviews, and a cappella covers visit her YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/user/CecilyMusic/videos

Chick’s Manager

After 20 Grammy awards, it is no secret that Chick Corea is one of the most important jazz musicians today. His modern style as a pianist and keyboardist is exceptionally compatible with a seemingly endless network of notable collaborators, especially in latin settings. His work as a leader has also led to some new sounds that we are all grateful for. Return to Forever is often the first of many such projects that comes to mind.

Naturally his manager, Bill Rooney deserves some credit for keeping things rolling since he took the job in 2001. I was able to dig up some info – particularly a 2011 article in JazzTimes – which gave a little bit of insight as to how he operates.

Prior to being Chick’s manager, he was the Vice President of Marketing and Investor Relations for Digital Lightwave. From what I understand, this is a company that develops test equipment for telecommunications companies. How this job leads to a career in the music industry I have no idea, but the transition seems to have worked out for Mr. Rooney. Apparently he was an admirer of Chick’s (as everyone should be) long before taking the job. This I can only imagine feeds the motivation necessary to do a job which is not for everyone. Similarly he has worked with Dweezil Zappa, who’s father Frank is someone Rooney disguised himself as in his high school yearbook.

Rooney has been instrumental in setting up tours for Chicks various ventures in the past 13 years (including 2 RTF tours) and is often sighted as “Executive Producer” on recordings. Chick is currently touring Europe with Bobby McFerrin and will be in Mexico on December 29 with The Vigil. I am not aware of any upcoming albums but recently released a 3-Disk recording of one of my favorite groups – his trio with Christian Mcbride and Brian Blade.

http://jazztimes.com/articles/28450-rtf-iv-in-austin-texas

http://www.allmusic.com/artist/bill-rooney-mn0001635093/credits

http://chickcorea.com/concerts/

http://chickcorea.com/albums/trilogy/

http://www.lightwave.com/

Jägermeister, The Defiled, & Icebergs

Acrobatics are still cool!

Acrobatics are still cool!

 

Greetings everyone!  Nishad here writing from the US, and while we are soon approaching the winter season, I came across a story from a place where it’s winter year round.  Enter Greenland, a place where it’s snow every day and you’d be damned if you think you’re going to have a summer day at your local beach.

The Defiled, an industrial metal band on the rise from England, partnered with their sponsorship with Jägermeister, embarked to the land of freezing privates to play a unique 30 minute set for a few natives and a bunch of cameras.  Did I mention that the specific place they chose to play was a moving iceberg?  Yes, they chose to find the perfect broken off piece of ice from their local glacier to set their drums, amps, and PA’s up for a good old fashioned rock and roll show.  I would imagine that tuning their guitars were a nightmare, and their drums probably got cracked.  But it’s all in the name of rock and roll, right?

Now, I’m not going to get carried away and make jokes about playing outdoors winter all day long.  What I’m most interested in this whole deal of things is that the Defiled are a new unique breed of sub-genre popularity.  Their sophomore album “Daggers” was created completely on crowdfunding.  They didn’t have a label for a lot of years, yet they had the cash to continue their day to day operations as a nonstop touring-recording band.  Record label funding is a thing of the past to these guys.  Their virtues came from their partnership with Jägermeister and likely a future in liver failure.

Ignoring these guys’ penchant for liquor, it’s easy to see that they have a model that’s successful.  They themselves seem extremely satisfied that, at the moment, the backbone of their rise comes from completely independent direct-to-fan interactions and smart financial moves.  I happened upon an interview with these guys over their early days; and yes, they had the whole story of a terrible past of god-awful label negotations and scumbags for managers.  These guys are cautious when picking their intermediaries.  But the one thing they’re most grateful for?  Jägermeister.  And not just the drinking.  In numerous interviews, you’ll find that The Defiled will thank Jägermeister as “their first real source of money.”  Surely, these guys aren’t loaded, filthy rich, careless rockstars.  But they’re damn close.

Think about it: these guys heavily promote their sponsors.  Maybe that’s not true punk rock.  But they answer to no one when it comes to their explosive and reckless live shows and record making processes.  Literally no one.  And their fans love it.  Their sponsors love it.  They get to work their asses off while a liquor company throws them cash while they get hammered.  Is there anything wrong with that?  Look at that picture again.  These guys are playing on a moving iceberg.  It’s a record: no one has ever done this before.  It’s gonna be huge when they release the concert itself.  How often do you hear a low-tier popularity band doing acrobatic stunts like this without going bankrupt?  I’ll say it again.  Sponsorships are the future.  Look at a Korn video and you’ll see Monster Energy Drink wristbands on frontman Jonathan Davis.  Challenge yourself to find a pop star’s music video that doesn’t feature an iPhone or Beats by Dre.  Numerous heavy metal bands are now sponsored by bodybuilding company Musclepharm.  Hell, even Japanese band Crossfaith have a song called “Jägerbomb” dedicated to their liquor sponsor.

There’s nothing wrong with it: find a brand you like, make the connection, you promote your favorite stuff and the company gets spotlighted.  From what I can see, independent bands that have good relationships with their sponsors and their fans seem to be happier than the ones that are tied down to too many people.  Now watch the documentary below and tell me these guys aren’t having the times of their lives.

@nishadgeorge

The Artist Who Transitions

Success is a relative term in the music industry; it is fleeting, transient, and differs based on genre, audience and more. An artist who is relevant within a genre or with a certain population today can quickly stagnate, or even lose their following. This season, I invite you to join me in exploring what keeps an artist relevant, especially as situations change. We will look at artists who have successfully transitioned between musical genres, audiences, locations, and more.

In order to make sense of this, we’ll be exploring a few key questions:

  • What was the artist’s music like early in his/her career? How did it change (or stay the same)?
  • How has the presentation of the artist’s craft and image developed over time?
  • What qualities is the artist most lauded for by their fans and critics? Have those qualities stayed consistent or changed? How so?

With a lot of listening, and a little luck, we’ll get a sense of what allowed each individual artist to successfully transition. And hopefully, we’ll learn something about success and ourselves along they way.

First up, Lecrae. After him, it’s your choice… so leave your requests in the comments section!

A PERSONAL REVIEW FOR “PINK FLOYD LIVE AT POMPEII, The Director’s Cut”

Hello everyone!

PinkFloydPompei-0011This time I would like to talk about a band that I’ve listened since I was a young kid.

My first approach to Pink Floyd was more than 20 years ago, because my father bought a Laser-disc (vinyl type, 2 sized audio and video, previous to the DVD) of Pink Floyd’s live concert “Pulse”. From that time to now, I have become a big fan of Pink Floyd’s music and spirit.

Regardless the fact that I recommend everyone to see Pink Floyd’s “Pulse”, this time I want to talk about another epic masterpiece of the band.

“Pink Floyd live at Pompeii” is a concert documentary film directed by Adrian Maben, which features the band playing in the ancient Roman Amphitheatre in Pompeii, Italy. The concert was shot in 1971 and released in 1972. Years later, in 2003, Maben (director) released a DVD version of the footage re-mastered with additional audio/video material.

The DVD starts with space shoots from the Apollo space program and visual space effects which slowly start fading combining with the intro of the song “Echoes” being played by the band live in the ancient Amphitheatre. As the band perform, we can see images of nature surrounding the place, perfectly placed with the music.

A perfect combination of nostalgia, colors and a deep journey about how music was understand and created more than 40 years ago.

The director’s cut version includes recorded interviews of the band, explaining their creative process during the recordings sessions for the big seller album “The Dark Side of the Moon” (1973) on Abbey Road Studios.

We could see the band talking about their music, drugs (regarding their good friend Syd Barret, former Pink Floyd musician) and even a funny reflection about oysters.

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“It’s all extensions of what’s coming out of our heads”, as David Gilmour (guitar and vocals) said, is one of the many phrases the band said in their interviews, regarding the use of the analogue synths and guitar FX for their compositions.

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One of the special moments is the trance moment in the song “A Saucerful of Secrets”. It’s a chaotic song, full of anger colors, with a repetitive and accelerating drum beat, in perfect combination of the screaming guitar FX and the aggressive piano. Roger Waters (bass, vocals) is doing percussion in this song, and experimenting the peak moment when he goes and hits the gong (which the director makes the analogy with the sun). This epic shot is the cover art for the material. The song then continues with a beautifully contrasting peaceful melody, which breaks all the chaos.

“ (…) There was this silence (…) this is the place where the Pink Floyd would have to be, because Pompeii has a lot going for it. It has death, it has sex, ah… and it has something that is still living there, and pink Floyd in that Amphitheatre could bring the hole thing back to life”, words from the director Adrian Maben speaking about developing his idea for the film.

pink-floyd-live-at-pompeiiI still feel that sometimes I need to listen this masterpiece to feed my soul with all this colors and feelings. I recommend all of you to get comfortable, and watch this movie with high volume and let go your feelings.

Feel free to share here your opinion of the movie and/or suggesting me to review about any conceptual musical concert-film that you like.

Until next time!

Felipe