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Holding Back the Return of Vinyl

My children and their spouses recently gave me a USB turntable and a couple of vinyl records for my birthday. I am extremely grateful, and at the same time, paralyzed. Here’s why.

Vinyl Record

The Return of Vinyl

I’ve had a couple of boxes of record albums on the top pantry shelf for…ever, it seems. The latest date on any of the albums is from the early 1980’s. Those are my albums.

We also have some albums from the 1950’s and 1960’s. They belonged to my wife’s parents.

Time for a flashback: While I was in college, I fell in love with vinyl records. Yes, I LOVE them. I took radio production classes, in which the instructor taught us the proper way to handle and clean vinyl records before playing them. I heard and saw the difference it made in the sound. My dorm had a radio station, where I practiced the things I was learning. I was neck-deep in vinyl every Sunday from 8 p.m. to midnight.

Those albums of mine are in like-new condition. I’m almost afraid to touch them.

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Top 4 Things You Might Read Here

Ja, det er jo ikke det værste sted at holde pa...

More content is coming soon, that fits one or more of the following categories:

  • fun
  • useful
  • inspiring
  • ridiculous

I just want you to know that I haven’t quit on my blog. I’ve been mighty busy with numerous projects (grateful to God for that), but haven’t spent any of my free time right here. Feel free to post any comment you like. (Please keep it clean.) Thanks for reading! –JR

MMMM Food For Thought – Making Music

MMMM Food For Thought - Making Music

Food For Thought

It’s Marketing Mercenary’s Monday Morning, and here’s what I’m chewing on.

I recently watched an on-line video featuring a musician I know. He was playing  a gig in a small club, and it was a style of music I had not heard him play before. It was brilliant.

It got me thinking about a musician’s life. Until they’re superstars, wouldn’t most musicians have to try to find constant work (gigs), in order to make a living?

Forgive me for looking at this topic in a “perfect world” manner…I know about the possibility (or certainty) of rejection…not everyone will love your music. But music is a thing that brings joy to the giver and the receptive listener.  Ideally, making a living making music could be a thing that results in a lot of happiness.

What part of your job or vocation could be like making music? Is there some activity that brings you joy every time you do it? For me, it’s video production. I’m very good at it. I enjoy it. My clients for video production give me great feedback. I’m happy to say that video production is growing in my product mix – I’m serving more video production clients. (This is not a commercial, just my example.)

If it turns out well, and it makes others happy, or helps them in some way… shouldn’t  you do more of that?

This week, make more music. ROCK ON, my friends!

Michael Kelsey Performs in Kokomo – Photo Gallery

Michael Kelsey performs in Kokomo

Michael Kelsey at Oakbrook Church

Around 300 folks gathered at Oakbrook Church Friday night. Three aspects made this an usual group to attend a concert by a solo guitar player and singer:

The age group – from under 7 years old, all the way up to the senior years.

The broad response – everyone I could see was enthralled, from the kids’ participation, to the whoops of enjoyment from an older fellow sitting near me.

The dedication – it was my first time for this artist, and I was strongly in the minority.

I’m going to cut to the chase here – I was impressed, enraptured, overjoyed, and will definitely see him again.

You might have guessed that, from the number of photos, or just from the fact that I’m writing about Kelsey’s show. I might be just trying to avoid the part of this review that will prove the most difficult: describing Kelsey’s performance.

His only instruments were his acoustic guitar and voice. To be truthful, he occasionally used an electronic drum pad as well. He also employed a number of electronic gizmos that “looped” the percussive sounds, music, and acoustic textures, and provided reverb, echo, and other effects. But this was not a celebration of technology. Far from it.

He built and morphed and evolved layers and beats and his voice in an extremely organic and acoustic-sounding stew…yes, it seemed more like cooking…or did it? Perhaps I could describe it as a tapestry that doesn’t reveal it’s pattern until it’s finished. No, still not right. I think the musical experience was more like a kinetic sand painting, where the artist develops one image seemingly from nowhere, then uses parts of that image to make the next image in a story he develops as it moves and grows. *Whew!*

But wait – the show was not just sonic textures and rhythms. Sometimes, Kelsey crafted a rhythm section out of vocal samples, thumps and notes on his guitar, and used it as accompaniment. In other segments, he built an orchestra that swirled and danced with his arms, head and legs – he was physically involved in every way – to tell a sound story that he used to touch the minds and hearts of his audience.

After opening with a sensitive cover of Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes,” his song selection was mostly original. Other compelling covers were “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” and “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” All though these songs were extremely good, his original material was most gratifying. My personal favorite was “Bus Driver,”

Loveless Root at The Social

A little rock, a little blues, a little rootsy, a lot of fun. Loveless Root continues to refine their sound. They opened for Midwest Hype and Twin Cats Friday night at The Social in Kokomo.

Loveless Root

(SEE BELOW FOR PHOTO GALLERY)

Josh Mast, has been with the group full-time for a while now, according to bassist Jesse Bieber. His contributions, both on vocals and guitar, are complementary to Roderick Allen Minch’s more laid-back style.

Bieber also gave props to Eddie Roodvoets, listed on the Loveless Root Facebook page as the guy playing “Alternative Percussion.” If you don’t know how much a percussionist can add to the overall sound of a group, please check out Loveless Root. You can also see Brian Pavey in InsideOut, a local cover band that have previously written about.

Chris Kremer’s sax also helps to gives Loveless Root a full, rich sound not found in most bands you hear in a bar. All three bands at The Social that night have a sax player in the line-up, so the audience got an uncommon treat in my experience.

I have to mention drummer Joey Ray Wills as well. And not because I talked about everyone else. Because he’s the kind of purposeful drummer that puts a solid foundation under the whole performance, even with a couple of tricky timing changes. Thanks for sweating so we could all have a fun evening!

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Great chance to hear original, live music

My friend, Jesse Bieber, has a burning passion for original music. He loves to listen, he loves to perform, he loves to connect with other bands, and even help them find gigs together or alone. In other words, he lives music. I’ve written about hearing his band once before…

Loveless Root at the Mouse Trap

Loveless Root at the Mousetrap

But this article isn’t about Jesse. It’s about the fact that you can hear his band, Loveless Root, tonight at The Social in Kokomo, at 10 p.m.  AND, you will hear two more regional band that Jesse won’t stop raving about: Midwest Hype and Twin Cats.

I have not had the privilege of seeing Twin Cats or Midwest Hype live, yet, so I want you to realize that this is at your own risk. You can get a taste of some of their original tunes from these and other videos on YouTube and the Mousetrap website.

Loveless Root – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzgf5mo9bzo (Some great drumming in this clip!) (UPDATE: This link actually works now.)

Midwest Hype – Something Beautiful – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYneQTTu8Kg

Twin Cats – King Cobra – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JY0oZ5RuOFE

The show will go on until 3 a.m., and it promises variety and creativity that will chase away any Winter “blues!”

The event invitation page on Facebook has all the details (via The Social). Click “I’m attending,” and have a blast tonight! The cover is only $5.

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/event.php?eid=143850198996676

(Credit for the photo above goes to HiddenRelic.net)

InsideOut That Night

InsideOut at Mulligans

It had been a couple of months since I had the pleasure to experience InsideOut. The evening they played to a packed house at Mulligans in Kokomo on 11-06-2010 was a pleasant surprise. They’ve got a little tighter, and, at the same time, more relaxed with their time together. In case you’ve not yet seen InsideOut live, they play a number of great rock classics that few cover bands play, with a few “bar band” standards, and a dose of new hits. And they play it all with a commitment to entertain.

We’re right “in between” that show and their next local gig, which will be December 4, 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Tom Thumb. You can see their schedule for the next several weeks on their Facebook page. I’ve brought out a few of the photos I shot on what will be remembered as “that night at Mulligans.” Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome InsideOut! (Click “Read More”  to see the gallery.)

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Live Music Is Better

That’s what a former coworker of mine would always say, and I believe it to be true. To check out some live, original music, and possibly some tasty covers, you can see Loveless Root (pictured) at the Tipton Pork Festival* on Thursday, 9-9-10, from 8-10 p.m. on the Pizza King Stage. I heard Loveless Root play at this year’s Backyard Grillmaster Challenge (United Way Taste of Kokomo), and enjoyed their jam-band-oriented vibe.

Loveless Root

Loveless Root at the Backyard Grillmaster Challenge

Jesse Bieber (on the right)  describes Loveless Root as blues/rock/jazz/folk fusion. If that’s too many slashes for you to follow, just note that some of their influences have been The Doors, Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead, and Pink Floyd.

I spoke with Jesse recently, and he is passionate about creating and performing original music with his Loveless Root band mates and other area musicians. He’s also committed to bringing more original bands to the Kokomo area.

If Thursday is short notice for you, another opportunity to hear Loveless Root will happen this Saturday afternoon (9-11-10) at The Elbow Room in Kokomo. First, Josh Mast plays from 3-4 p.m., then Loveless Root from 4-5:30 p.m., followed by Barrel of Monkeys from 5:30-7 p.m.

I give you permission to go and have a great time. Now, you have no excuse to miss.

*A “Hoosier Hafta” – something you gotta do because it’s unique to Indiana.

InsideOut at Taste of Kokomo

Saturday, Aug. 21. Don’t get me wrong. We had a great time listening to a jam band (photos coming) and eating the fantastic food at the Grillmaster Challenge. The Taste had some great food, too. But the highlight for my day was getting to see and hear InsideOut. From front to back, their classic rock covers were just as tasty as the best vendors’  food.

Recently formed, they sound like they’ve been playing together for years. Their set list was fun, and they kept things moving. Here’s a sample of what I saw while I listened.* Check their Facebook page for upcoming dates, then go. Seriously, go.

(*My apologies to the band – these are the raw shots, just resized for web delivery.)

Submissions Needed: “Rock Ballads” for the Dentist’s Office Station

I had just sat down in the chair so they could begin the process of putting a crown on one of my molars – #19, as they affection call it. I noticed the overhead speaker was softly emitting Carly Simon singing, “I haven’t got time for the pain…” That seemed pretty funny to me.Musical tooth

While they were still preparing to drill, I heard Air Supply, then Barbara Streisand, then Dan Fogelberg, then Barry Manilow.

I love classic rock. Each time, as the next song played, I found myself thinking, “I hate Christopher Cross!” No I don’t. But I hate him when he follows Air Supply, then Barbara Streisand, then Dan Fogelberg, then Barry Manilow. After that succession, I hate everything.

I was about to suggest to the dentist that he have Bon Jovi Day. (I knew the mostly-female staff would go for that, too!) Then I realized that I would be tapping my foot, and that tapping would transfer all the way up my body. And ANY movement that happens in your mouth while the boss is drilling is a bad thing. So, Bon Jovi Day is a bad idea.

A better move might be some slow guitar blues. Great sounds, but very little toe tapping.

Wait a minute. Boston, Night Ranger, Journey, Meatloaf, etc., all have great ballads. Maybe I could program a 24-hour Rock Ballad station for dentist offices…

What’s your favorite rock ballad?