Posts Tagged ‘#genres’

Thank you so much to everyone who participated so far in my “Who Do You Love” post.  There were some very interesting lessons as I collected and listened to the recommended songs  that have influenced us over the years.  I say us intentionally.  You are the best group of people I have never worked with!!  LOL.  I mean that in a kind way.  It is easier for some people to develop good relationships with some one they work with or “serve” with.  The bonds can last a life time.  We do not have that work platform, but the friendships made here are also very strong.

I was equally surprised by two things:  1) I knew a lot of these songs and bands and 2) I didn’t     know a lot of these bands and songs!!  It took me a long time to go through them all.  But there are some gems in here.  Many are the best of their category – NOT necessarily the most popular or the one with the most airplay.  I encourage you to look deeper into comments as I will not list them all here again, but I want to point out a number of them that caught my ear.   A lot of your suggestions were passionate and you can tell there is a lot of history and emotional connections in the lists. Here are just a few – but again not a complete list of the gems you suggested. Please continue to post your musical influences.  I have thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from your suggestions.  I hope others get a kick out of these too!  IN NO ORDER WHATSOEVER

Active Child – what a range the vocalist has.  Unusual set of musical toys, and lyrical   themes and vocal textures blend into a unique soundscape.  They create a house and invite you in.  Well worth the visit.

Switchfoot –  “Hello Hurricane”, This is a clean sounding song. Well recorded and mixed. Driving beats and vocal power that can be smooth and open.  Good blends in harmonies.  Good energy and I like the ay the song builds at a slow pace.

Jon Foreman – The Wonderlands.   Here is another great blending artist.  Nice harmonies and the background music surprises with different arrangements and instrumentation.  Very good dynamics.  Addictive style that is pleasant and easy to relate to.

Bat for Lashes – Laura is a great example of this artist’s prowess.  She quickly sets up the mood and the tone and then lays the lyrics on you with vocals that seem to have more control than humanly possible and enough emotion to cause global warming.

For raw power with a message it is hard to beat La Dispute.  Combining a number of styles into a passionate assortment of lyric driven songs.  A speaking style not trying to be rap that works very well for this group.  Great driving music for a long trip.

I have to mention this because it was cool from an historical point:

https://ahigherrevelation.wordpress.com/2013/05/23/triple-js-20-years-of-hottest-100-countdown-what-did-i-vote-for/

I was really fascinated to check out Barclay James Harvest.  These guys are right up my ancient alley and I have never heard of them.  I know this might not be the most popular suggestion the community has suggested, but they cover all the progressive territory of other bands I am familiar with.  Some of the video clips from around 1979 are out there and worth an evening or two.

I had heard Ed Sheeran before, but wasn’t that familiar with his works.  Nice variety, works on a good image – that is a good guy image and it comes of very well for him. He tries to add variety and the songs are great.  It was definitely worth my time digging more into his songs and videos.  Great voice.  Solid music and production.

Kate Nash – Nicest Thing.  I can see why this is a favorite.  The style is intentionally out there and it has the sneaky ability to pull you in instead.  When you can make comfortable and eerie blend perfectly you have a great emotional landscape play in.   She calls this her territory and of course the lyrics pull you right into the main theme. Good call.

City & Color – As Much As I Ever Could is another great example of a band that has it all. The vocals are outstanding and his control is impressive.  Lyrics are fine and fit the ballad style of this song.  Band dynamics are worked out by what seems to be magic. Harmonies kick in and punch it for added tension and for me the keyboards are a great touch.

Dave Koz’s tunes are cool jams and the performers are all top notch.  You don’t have to be a genius to get into their grooves as well.  Slick mix production.  If it is time to sit back and enjoy, take in a few of these live performances and watch the players do some cool stuff.

Ian Carr’s Nucleus – Roots: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-Cu5TJm0GI This is a great progressive jazz.  Maybe an acquired taste for some but worth checking out for the chops and creative jamming.
Frankie Beverly’s Raw Soul – I Need You: https://youtu.be/U7uJ_zddoSs This is another great jam band with solid grooves and guys that know their axe.  Percussion to die for and the organ player is pretty top notch.  Great live musical fun.

The Hep Stars got by me completely somehow.  You can hear a lot of influences that were dominant at the time.  Good vocal blend and the recordings are actually pretty good. They captured the times and the look and ran with it.  For a blast from the past this is a good history lesson.

 The Raconteurs are a great groove band with a heavy guitar sound.  The vocals and the harmonies are well worth the price of admission. For a lively rocking jam, this is a great place to start soaking up some new tunes.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vu9hj_kMm48

This video stands on its own, but the vocals have to be heard to be believed from The Temper Trap.  Great name too.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMuuc_pqx2s is a great song with a vision.

 Lana Del Rey is one of those artists you have to sample more than one song to get a feel of the true talent.  Maybe listening a few times would help, but once you cross over she has a powerful musical presence.  Try https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_1aF54DO60 for the unfamiliar.

Manic Street Preachers have a great Brit rock/POP sound. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nusymqINrSc is a fun video to start with.  Good clean style, great vocals and they are not afraid of dynamics.  They also love a song with a theme or message, so good for a fun musical cruise.

Acoustic Alchemy are worth noting for a band that has chops and a smooth modern jazz style.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVtQHpwv9sE is a good example of their live performances.  Fun jams and precision licks from a talented group and for a nice addition try a “Shelter Island Drive”.

Notables: 

Ashestoangels

Sufjan Stevens https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asCLMdrWuA0 for eye candy.

From The National, try https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-Tod1_tZdU to set the tone for the evening.  A vocal and visual treat.

Amaia Montero – Quiero Ser and I have no idea what she is singing, but I can understand why it was recommended’

Thank you again.  I really enjoyed this project and thank all that participated and to all the thought put into it, even if you did not post your list!

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You may think this funny, but my first real concert was a Grateful Dead concert.  I was seventeen or eighteen at the time.  I had seen bands perform at parks or other small events, but this was my first concert.  The thing I remember most to this day were the huge balloons that the audience and band members would smack back and forth the entire evening.  I was not that familiar with their music but I had heard references (“It’s not for lack of bread, like the Grateful Dead; dying”, from the musical play Hair, which I also saw!) but had not really heard much of their music before.

The second thing that I noticed was how communal the audience was.  It is unlike other concerts.  Everyone was friendly and happy to be there.  It was a different group of people.  They enjoyed the music, enjoyed the event and everyone got along.  I wish more of the concerts I have seen had audiences that resembled The Grateful Dead fans.

What was your first concert? What do you remember about it?

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 finally completed my response to Who Do You Love? Thank you all for your suggestions. I really enjoyed getting to know each of you a little bit better through your favorite tunes.

It was really hard to narrow this list down to a reasonable size. I have been influenced by many musical artists in my early childhood.  Even if I split them into separate decades there would be quite a list.  I would like to mention a number of artists – ones that might not be in the well-known categories.

I will get started by saying that Peter Gabriel including his days with Genesis is probably the first on my list of influences.  You can pretty much pick any of his stuff up and enjoy even if it is not your normal style.

Eric Burden and The AnimalsSan Franciscan Nights

Jimi Hendrix and The Experience – Little Wing, especially if you do not like Hendrix

Crosby Still and Nash – Almost Cut My Hair, I feel I owe this to someone

Aphrodite’s Child – The Four Horseman – this one just rocks but not sure what it means.

Simon and Garfunkel – At the Zoo.  I often feel like I am living in that zoo.

Bjork- Human Behavior.  I am going to cheat and mention her earlier works later, but she continues to put out a ton of diverse and outward looking music.  I do not like everything she does, but many of her songs are on my must have with me on the deserted island play list.

Black Sabbath – Fairies Wear Boots – again, you just had to be there LOL

Curved Air – Second Album, a bit low quality by today’s standards but this is some great prog-rock and the vocalist is pretty good.  Try Back Street Love, Piece of Mind for the darker side of the group and Puppets and wrap it up with Young Mother for a sampling of pro-rock history.

King Crimson has been a big influence for many years.  I could get you to the early years, but try anything since Adrian Belew joined.  There are too many to list but Three of a Perfect Pair, Elephant Talk, Frame by Frame,  Walking on Air, One Time, and Dinosaur are hard for me not to list.

The Beatles – A Fool On the Hill, ’cause I have to.

En Vogue – Free Your Mind, this is a test to see if your mind is free

Gentle Giant – So Sincere, Working All Day, Three Friends, Funny Ways or one of my favorite tunes of all time – Nothing at All.

Missing Persons – Give, this song and video have been playing in the background in my head every day of my life…… non-stop…… and I enjoy it every time I hear it.

Chaka Khan – I Feel for You, or Tell Me Something Good her vocals have just the purest power and emotion. Give me the chills.

James Brown – I Feel Good, for so many reasons, this is a great tune

Beach Boys – Good Vibrations, sorry, I just had to do that

Jefferson Airplane – Today, one of my favorite depressing love ballads of all time

Paul Revere and the Raiders  – Kicks, we still hear this theme being played every day.

Procol Harem – try Whiskey Train and the live version of A Salty Dog

Steppenwolf – Rock Me and Carpet Ride are pretty popular and rockin

Tear for Fears – Love to Rule the World, c’mon, doesn’t everybody?

Tom Waits – The Piano has Been Drinking, Nighthawks at the Diner and I think one called Step Right Up are killer tunes for the cynical crowd and a good laugh.

Zombies – Time of the Season is a classic song I often wonder how it got any air play at all.

The Sugarcubes – A Leash Called Love and Chihuahua should get you started in the morning.  I also recommend Gold as a great first dive.  Yes, this is the band Bjork was involved in prior to going solo.  For one more if I dare, try the spooky tune called I’m Hungry.  I have spent many long drives with this song.

As many have said, you could go on and on and so could I.  This was more difficult than I though and I have no doubt that I will think of a ton more later!  I have not mentioned a number of other styles of music as you would be cross-eyed by the time you got to the end.  Thank you all again for giving me new ideas and artists to enjoy.  A number of them I have no doubt will end up influencing me as much as the ones from my library.

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Hey everyone!  While the question is open and I still hope people continue to post their most influential artists and bands at https://midimike.com/2015/06/29/who-do-you-love-influential-musicianbands/ , I want to thank everyone for participating.  I have listened to a ton of new music.  With some I was familiar with the artist and others I was not aware of at all!  Even the bands I knew of, the suggestions were songs I had not heard before but were probably the best the artist recorded.  I would like to summarize the lists you posted and make a condensed suggestion article once I have listened to each suggestion a few times.   What music and band we like tells a lot about us in many ways.  This is a good community and we share a number of qualities and talents.  We have our own pulse.  A common foundation that is very cool.

I am fairly new to the blogging world, but after a few months I have learned a lot. Recently, I was amazed at the response and the thoughtfulness in the lists provided by other bloggers in the community  on my Love/Hate post. Comments mentioned knowing me a little better and with so many of you posting your list I have been able to know some of you better as well. In addition to that, I thought it was actually a lot of fun. I would like to suggest another sharing of ideas. I would LOVE to have your thoughts on bands, artists and musicians that have influenced your life. I do not want to restrict this to bands per se, but to include individuals, songs, groups and bands or musicians. I will continue to post articles highlighting bands you may not be familiar with and I hope your answers will make me aware of new bands or artists out there that could be stellar, just not known to me. In fact, over the years I have depended on friends to direct me to great artists and musicians. They do my filtering for me and I get to hear or see really great performances I would never have come across on my own….. I don’t get out much LOL! If you will, please post a list of your favorite artists and maybe recommend a song from each. I am not sure about most of you, but the ‘popular’ songs and hits on a CD or album are often not the best or favorite tracks. I hope this is as much fun as the last one! All genres of music welcome.

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”.

 https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/touch-down/id962542289

For me, sequencing is fun and very versatile.  I am not the kind of keyboard player that can jump in on any song and just start jamming.  I do better if I can take my time and learn, practice, and improve before practicing with a full band.  A lot of this might be from the lack of confidence in the early days, but in reality I find myself a jack of all trades and master of none.  If I had spent more time on any one instrument, I might have gotten pretty good.  Fortunately – or unfortunately, I have always been interested in so many different things that my chops were not the best.  As a percussionist, I was able to hear what I wanted, but did not play drum kits so my feet and hands were always locked in perfect step!  Sequencing gave me the ability to lay down rough performances on the keyboard (and remember I use the keyboard keys to ‘trigger’ the drum sounds, so I am still playing keys).  Once recorded using MIDI – again I am not recording the sounds but the physical action and movements, I could enter the Edit Mode on the sequencer and make corrections to timing, notes, durations etc. until the piece felt good to me. For the drums, the standard practice is to use the Quantizing feature (I can go into this later as well for future posts) to make sure all beats were perfectly ‘on the grid’.  I have used drum machines and sequencers since they first came out.  The sounds are great but too often the result of overusing the quantize feature makes the drum tracks sound mechanical – unmoving – and even impossible for a real drummer.  I preferred to leave a little slop here and there.  I want emotion in my songs, not perfection.

In “Bassics”, I just enjoyed the new sounds I had and played with this Bass Guitar patch and came up with the basic groove.   I like adding textures and unusual percussion/FX sounds to keep the songs flowing and changing.  Available sounds are so much better now, but I still enjoy bringing out these old tunes.

The sound board or audio mixer represents the hub in most audio mixing and mastering functions.  everything connects to the board.  Even the lighting system will use channels in the snake to connect from stage to console.  Things get plugged into and things get plugged out of the mixer as needed.  Today’s mixers are blue tooth USB WiFi fire-wired and light-piped together and will connect to an amazing array of devices.  So far we have focused on what gets plugged to the Inputs of the sound board.  There are a number of connection possibilities for the Outputs as well. We have already discussed some of them earlier, so this can be brief as you already know a lot of this in general.

On most sound boards you have a number of analog-out options.  In earlier discussions we talked about XLR and 1/4″ cables and connectors.  These will continue to be the main ones used for outputs.  On the front or face of most mixing boards you will see a stereo headphone out.  It will usually have its own volume knob and probably a selector to pick the options to Monitor including Stereo Out, Solo, Effects Sends, Effects Returns, Sub or Groups, Auxiliary Returns, and other options.  On the back or the top of the mixing board you will see the panel for Out-put connections in different sections.  There are some rules to determine what type of Audio Cable is used and whether it is a male end or female end and whether it has two connectors or three (or more).

In the early days of mixing boards, microphones and keyboards, it was important which brand you purchased.  If you wanted to get ‘that sound’ you had to have this mixing board channel strip or that particular keyboard.  Later on the computer industry similarly shot through their early days and you had the Macintosh or the Windows PC.  If you were brought up with one you could not be talked into the other.  Most modern equipment from PC’s to Automobiles can do everything.  They all have similar platforms and emulators.  There is style and quality as there always will be, but you can get software mixing programs and microphone/guitar emulator plugins that will make your audio tracks sound like anything you want —-THEY CAN EVEN MAKE YOU SOUND LIKE YOU ARE SINGING IN TUNE!!

So if you like Pepsi, no problem.  Want Coke?  Press this button……  More comfortable using a Mac?  Go for it.

All it takes is cash, a thorough understanding of what all the terms mean and a good idea where all the buttons are?!!?

Enjoy!

As demonstrated in the past, I have shared my compositions and songs with friends and family.  When asked by a blogger (and now a good friend) in a comment on my blog if my songs were available on i-Tunes, I replied that I believed they are but have not checked.  I know this sounds strange and it is!  Of the number of things I have learned and accomplished over the decades, I have not learned how (or desired…..) to promote my own work.  That is one of the reasons why my daughter had to give me a big KICK to start this blog and get my songs out there.

It appears I need another big KICK!  I placed my songs on CD Baby as I am an independent songwriter/performer and I do not have the backing of a major label (Yet???!!).  Thank all of you for checking out this blog and for comments I truly feel are precious and thoughtful.  Many of you are encouraging and supportive and I very much appreciate it.  I want to help others understand the music environment and cut to the root of many systems or procedures we use that seem too mysterious or challenging to beginners.

I did check and I want to make sure you know that my songs (individually and as CD’s) are available on i-Tunes, and they can be found in streaming services like Pandora, Spotify, X-box and many other channels.   If plans go well I will also be releasing more songs this year and early 2016.  My daughter posted the i-Tunes links on the midimike blog recently, and I wanted to let you know if you are not familiar with CD Baby that the songs are available in other channels.  Deep down, maybe everyone wants to be a famous rock star, but I simply want to create original music, help others do the same and share them with people that are as passionate about life as I am.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/retrograde/id962542260

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/dark-energy/id962943592

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/touch-down/id962542289