Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

MIDIMike’s Reviews Are Coming Soon!

As a result of requests from fellow bloggers and ReverbNation members, we are just a few weeks away from launching the new ​MIDIMike’s Reviews Site.  This site will be dedicated to reviewing original music and creative writing submissions every week.  I assembled a​n amazing​ team of reviewers to work with me and they are ​also ​excited to help with this new project.

I have been writing and performing for decades, but recently I struggled to get my material professionally reviewed for my on-line presskit.  I have seen a number of artists struggle to acquire this simple but necessary stepping stone.  Several of you have asked me for opinions on your material and I want to make that advice available to everyone.  I want to be able to give back to all of you for the support and encouragement you’ve given me over this last year.

MIDIMike’s Reviews will  be free and honest.  I will be posting the reviews on my http://www.midimike.com site (which has thousands of views per month) and on the upcoming review site.  You are also welcome to use the review for your own website/blog/presskit when referencing MIDIMike’s Reviews as the source.  The individual review posts are not guaranteed for all submissions, but every submission will receive feedback from us.  I enjoy raw talent, but the submissions should be presented ​as professionally​ as possible.  Your creative works will be handled with the utmost care and you retain full ownership.  HOWEVER: You must guarantee you are the sole author and have full permissions to publish these works.

If you are interested in having your material reviewed, please e-mail: midimikesreviews@gmail.com

Music – You may submit a song or an album for review.  Please send a link to the material in full and any additional presskit material or websites (if available).

Poetry – Please e-mail the poem or poems in full to the e-mail address with any websites/social media (if applicable).

All levels of experience accepted. (If you have any questions, you can also e-mail them to us at midimikesreviews@gmail.com)

Please keep in mind; I do what I can, but sometimes life gets in the way. Please be patient with us while we get this up and running.  I tried to avoid as much legal jargon as possible but there are exceptions, exclusions and I have the final say on what reviews will be posted and for the content of the reviews.

On a more pleasant note, I get to hear a lot of great music from new bands and artists before they become wildly famous and read great poetry before it’s professionally published! Thank you for making the first half of 2015 a blast, and it is just getting started!

​MIDIMike​

I have been influenced by so many individuals, bands, groups and performers over the years it is quite amazing.  I was never stuck in a particular style of music.  I am not a fan of opera or deep country music or blues, for that matter (I know, that will not go over well with some of you! HA!) as I lean to the other side toward open and interpretive styles.  There are a bunch of names we all know and can pretty much agree on if you listen to rock, pop, jazz, R&B, country, etc.   But I have almost always been drawn toward the unusual but talented; the bizarre and clever; off axis dead on target!  I love bands with great vocals and harmonies.  Some of my favorites are quite popular now!  Household names sometimes, but many are just now getting recognition and others never gained much of a following……  I know what at least one feels like, LOL.

After growing up listening to the music of my parents and older brother and sister, I enjoyed groups out at the time.  No need to go over ancient influences here.  But as I was growing more and more music-aware, there were bands I really enjoyed – not just a song or two, but everything they would release.  The Beatles, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Procol Harum, Gentle Giant, Yes, King Crimson, Steely Dan, The Police, Chic Corea, Herbie Hancock, Frank Zappa, Simon and Garfunkel, Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie and others before and after them just kept getting better and better.

Today I love a lot of music, but there are very few bands or artists I love most of what they do. For most it is hit and miss.  Other groups are fairly consistent.  Just no one I go out of my way to hear every song.  Just me getting old, so no need to panic.

If you will, let me show you what has affected me growing up and songs from groups I consider the best of the best.  I will probably get to your favorite groups to, but there are just so many over the years.  As this is not a reflection of history, I will again avoid attempts to be chronologically accurate.   Buffalo Springfield was one that managed to send me a message, and it helps to remember the times and the events surrounding some of these songs and those that lead to their hit “For What It’s Worth”.

I was way to young to know why or when I developed an aptitude for music.  I always enjoyed the musical landscapes around me.  Not just the notes;  with all the talk and technique, notes are still only half the picture.  But I think I can tell you when I developed an appreciation for popular music.  I have many influences but these are different times.  Again, I am not trying to be a learned historian, and as a young kid the timing of events were hazy at best and are not clear to me even now.   You were lucky to have one radio station that played your favorite songs.  Three major network TV stations and no Internet, no cable, no Wi-Fi, no downloads, no digital.  Hard to imagine now.  WE had limited choices.   But there were pockets of musicians and savvy citizens, sharing, listening and teaching, just as there are now.

If you were into astronomy, you could find lens grinders or professors or local enthusiasts that could show you the universe.  Photographers, carpenters, everyone searching for their own needs.  I started searching for new music.  I could say new styles, but in a way they were all new.  I am drifting a little here as I think back.  I have been interested in anything that was beyond ‘standard, normal, traditional, formal or cookie-cutter songs’.  Old movie musicals, TV show and commercial jingles, and the various music cultures (Country, Broadway, Classical, ancient “Pop”…) might have been cute, but after I listened a few times, there was no excitement in listening to the song.  Kinda’ like; I already know the punch line, so why listen to the joke?  I can be a harsh critic.  But fair is fair, I throw stones at my own glass house.

There have been many songs that lead up to this.  I hate to give credit to one song.  I hope I remember the name of a song from Billie Holiday called Strange Fruitrecorded around 1939.  At the time I did not know what it meant.  I was still innocent.  This was devastating poetry mixed with liquid emotion.

From this point on I knew… I knew there was some thing that could reach my core.   I don’t mean to say ‘soul’, but that is the closest and easiest word to use.  Find me at my depth and talk to me.   And that meant I could also talk to others from those depths.   I found a language and at the same time not necessarily a family, but a culture of musicians.  I still have a weakness for female vocalists that make their own way.  I am a succor for a Hammond B3 Organ and a great brass section too.  I would like to share a few of them with you from time to time.