Once upon a time, there was brilliant and wonderful wizard who created a magical technology called the internet. The great minds of the time were so excited about the new technology, they decided to join forces and work together in harmony, for the good of the people. There job; to make the internet accessible to the working class and to discover a new way of connecting villages throughout the land. The collection of great minds hailed their breakthrough as, The World Wide Web.
Just as the great technologies before it, many artisans, musicians, craftsmen and businessmen saw great opportunity for wealth, at a time when there was none. They created games, digital music boxes, moving pictures, and knowledge gateways. They launched magnificent and wondrous portals into the human experience. A wave of renaissance spread through the land as the people shared technology and ideas. There was a long and prosperous period when a vast number of new businesses and people flourished. In time, many businessmen grew wealthy beyond their dreams.
The two young brothers in acoustic-pop band Minor Soul have a bit of a complicated background — I’d tell you where they’re from, but I’m still not quite sure. To be honest, I’m not entirely certain that they even know for sure. What I do know is that Jack and Max Wagner were born in England, grew up in Hong Kong, and now live in New York. To spice up their bio even more, the two brothers even made a few pit stops along the way, including one in Los Angeles, where they joined forces with Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) at Henson Studios to record some songs. Later that year, Minor Soul released a video for “Beneath my Skin”, a song that came out of these sessions.
These days, Minor Soul is staying extremely present online by releasing videos on YouTube, as well as posting tunes that might one day end up on an official Minor Soul release. But, before they release an album, the guys are keen on making an impression on their latest city of residence — New York, New York. Their latest song/video, “Streets of New York”, was produced and co-written with renown hit maker, Toby Gad; whether you’ve heard Minor Soul play before or not, the catchy number is a good briefing on where the band is in 2012, both literally and figuratively.
Formed in 2010, Deeper Upper are a young band from Vilnius, Lithuania, who eclectically mix post-punk influences with modern synth-driven sounds. Daktaras Kestutis (vocals, guitar, keys), Evaldas Arlauskas (keys), Ignas Ivaska (guitar), and Rimas Nasutavicius (drums) played their first gig at a rock contest a few years ago, and won first prize. As winners, Deeper Upper earned a chance to record two songs in a professional recording studio. Soon after, the band would release “Things Behind the Eden doors” and “Last I Saw You, You Were Dreaming of a Blue Sundown”, which earned them their first radio spins, as well as exposure in and out of Lithuania. Throughout the rest of 2011, Deeper Upper played across their home country and released “I Am the Colours”, a single that Mercedes-Benz eventually picked up for one of their promotional mixed tapes. In 2012, the band released their first video, for the single, “In the Sands of a Desert”.
If you’re familiar with Los Angeles – whether you’ve lived there, traveled there or simply dealt with people from there – you are probably aware that there is an infinite amount of musical resources to be explored over there. There are thousands of musicians, thousands of bands and just as many engineers, singers, conductors, promoters and producers. It can be very confusing when you’re trying to find the one person that can help you with one particular project. There are so many pianists, so many singers, so many studios, so many everything! However, since I’ve had to deal with a lot of people in the LA music bubble lately, I’ve realized one thing: everybody is a “producer”. And I mean everybody. It’s almost an honorary title at this point. But really, what is a producer? And what isn’t?
Just for laughs and giggles, go on the LA Craigslist page and browse the Musicians section. Chances are, within the first 10 postings, one of them will say something like:
“Hey, I’m a producer looking to collaborate with other like-minded individuals. If you’re a talented singer looking for a producer to take you to the next level, hit me up! I have tons of beats and I work with all the best computer gear.”
Having spent the summer writing and recording in Finland, NYC-based musician Melanie Edwards recently returned home with a brand new album in hand. Her third solo album, entitled “Back to Basics”, was released on October 2nd and offers a classically-inspired sound with an array of dynamic musical arrangement and a quaintly authentic tone. Edwards defines herself as a musical scientist, combining two different worlds to forge something that comes together as a whole. Personally, whenever I hear the words ‘music’ and ‘science’ together in the same sentence, I immediately think either paradox or contradiction; however, the two don’t necessarily have to live apart.
These days, we often dissociate the soulful from the cerebral, but, as Edwards points out, it hasn’t always been this way. “Art relies on intuition and emotion,” she says. “Science toys with data and facts. But they are both inventive and curious. Look at Amelia Earhart: a writer and an aviator. Leonardo Da Vinci was a mathematician, scientist, painter and architect. As a musical scientist, I’m acting as a channel between the binary. I think art and science are best friends, but can get on each other’s nerves. We all wrestle with collective and individual duality, because paradox is a human condition, but there can be a beautiful balance, between the binary; it’s magic.”
Music Producer; it sounds that nowadays, everybody is reinventing themselves music producers. The danger for indie artists is that they may start working with a producer who is just starting out and doesn’t know much, or again a rip-off simply trying to steal your money. The fact that many music producers also operate online and offer ‘professionally produced tracks’ if you send them your demos via email and pay them through PayPal is also not helping the wealth of indie musicians trying desperately to get the greatest sounding demo they can. The truth is, if you take a good look at many of the most renowned past and present music producers, they all seem to have some of the same characteristics and skills; let’s profile a few of the best in the industry to figure out what you should look for in a good music producer.
Let’s face it, everybody knows George Martin. Perhaps one of the most famed and acclaimed producer of Rock n’ Roll history, George Martin is responsible for many successful Beatles albums. Born in the mid-1920s, Martin learned how to play the piano and the oboe, eventually studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He started out his career recording classical music for Parlophone Records before being introduced to the Beatles by Brian Epstein – the rest is history.
A new type of arts and music festival
Music festivals are popular events all around the world; music and art usually manage to bring people together in a very unique way, no matter what the economic or politic situation is. In Canada, music lovers can choose amongst a variety of festivals including various Jazz Festivals, the Canadian Music Week and more. Americans can enjoy Coachella and SXSW amongst others. Europeans put together such a wide variety of music festivals each year that it’s impossible to count them. However, in the last few years many music enthusiasts have started to realize that many of those festivals are more of a marketing machine put together by big corporations rather than an event bringing people together. One of those music enthusiasts is Mark Levine, of Zeitgeist Enterprises in Houston, Texas. Levine has worked in the entertainment industry for over 15 years and his resume includes some of the biggest names in rock and roll.
It doesn’t matter where you hang out on the web, when it comes to news about your favorite artist, somebody has got it covered. Whether it is a new album release, new tattoo, haircut, fashion miss, who is dating who or an artist embroiled in controversy; the web is really good at getting it in your face – all the time!
But if you part of the growing segment of the population looking for alternatives other than mainstream entertainment, you have to do a little digging.
The best underground hip hop artists?
Well, finding them is not as easy as going to your neighborhood iTunes and picking them out from a ready made list. One must seek out the experts/gurus/enthusiasts in the niche music blogosphere, forums, boards and popular social media channels. The journey doesn’t end there. Why? Because each expert has a different opinion or opposing view on who is who on the web. Lists vary from one site expert to the next.