Bumper Reels 

Film festival season is upon us! But honestly, when isn't it film festival season? Not sure, but I did get the opportunity to work with the Lady Filmmakers Festival this year once again doing music for their Bumper Reel. Last year I was able to attend the festival, nestled in Beverly Hills 90210, CA, and was blown away by the films I saw as well as the associated art, music, and photography. They even let me performed on my vibraphone for one of the after-hour shindigs and this year I will be doing a performance via Skype! I gotta admit, I kinda look forward to not having to move my instrument to perform. These streaming performances could be my new jam.

...here is the bumper.

 

Shit's so Cool 

Oh DAYUM(!) I am excited to share the album cover for our new single, "Shit's so Cool". This time around I decided to collaborate with my good friend and bandmate, Ryan Donahue (Saint Monday, The Dirty Moogs). The photo below is what Ryan was given as "material to work with". I of course had to go get punched in the face first, bruise appropriately, and then pose. 

 

The song was originally titled "Sweet Hummingbird Food" because of the lyric that states "Girl, you're a tear on a cheek, sweet hummingbird food". I worried though that the title sounded a bit too "bluegrass" and actually misrepresented the flavor of the song. It didn't take me long to realize that if I work with an artist like Ryan, he would be able to visually represent that lyric, leaving me free to call the song by what I at one time considered as an alternative title, "Shit's so Cool".

So, the pic below is the final version for the cover of the single! I am so proud to have this represent my work! Thank you some much Ryan for your artistic insight! The single will be out soon and I can not wait to share it with the world!

Oh hey Ryan, "You're the only reason why all this shit's so cool"  *wink wink*

 

Indie Film 

So this Covid-19 thing has been crazy, right? The whole experience has been so confusing, not knowing what to do and how to act appropriately in a world that changed overnight. Being stuck at home has forced me to finish a backlog of projects and clear my mind and reality in a way that only forced isolation can. I even caught myself cleaning all of my baseboards with Q-tips. 

It is weird being in my mid 40's and essentially grounded. 

Fortunately, technology has progressed in such a way that it allowed a collaboration with Apricott Films to come to life! This turned out to be a fun little project about the moment the world shut down. This short film taught me and the team how to push through some creative challenges and develop certain skill sets that weren't needed in our old reality. I am excited to carry these skills forward into whatever our new reality becomes.

Art adapts and grows. Art allows us to still be heard when the rest of life and the world are shut down. What were you doing when Covid-19 hit? Were you stuck anywhere? Did you survive the Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020? Can you relate to the three stories in this film...

It was fun writing the music and doing the sound design for this little gem. It helped me to stay connected to friends and kept me active in a time when activity was difficult to accomplish.

As a side note, the music in this film provides some insight into Project213's next release. It was used as thematic material allowing this film to be a glimpse into a moment in time we all shared while at the same time providing a taste of what's to come....from Project213.

Song Rights! 

The world of cryptocurrency and more specifically, blockchain technology, is opening the doors to so many exciting opportunities. It is starting to hit the music world and I couldn't be happier about that. For one, it should completely change the game of music publishing and artist rights. Blockchain technology is an intimidating topic and many people think of Bitcoin when they hear the term. What I am excited about is the changes it is making in the world of contracts. It allows for a decentralized ledger of agreements that can't be cheated. It is a self-checking, self-regulating, self-governing system that allows a layperson the ability to create contracts. Whether the contracts are for partial song rights or real estate, the basic premise is the same. For those of you a little more familiar with cryptocurrency, or those who want to dig deeper, the Etherium network is especially exciting and emerging as the go-to network for smart contracts.

Let's jump to the world of music. Are you familiar with Vezt? They refer to themselves as the "first music rights marketplace". A place where people like you and I can buy rights to songs and share in the earnings. In fact, I have bought rights to about 12 songs already and am excited to actually have access to some big-name artists like Beyonce. Here is a certificate for one that I bought not too long ago. 

Along with Queen B, I have bought rights to songs by Tone Loc, Johnny Cash, Billy Idol, Lil Wayne, Fergie, Missy Elliot, Machine Gun Kelly, Panic! At The Disco among several others. Contrary to what you might think, you can get started for as little as $5.00. 

How does it work? Vezt is on the Stellar blockchain which allows song rights owners to sell off portions of their rights for a specific period of time. So if we use the Beyonce example from the picture above, one of the songwriters on the track (Jonathan Myvett) is offering up 3.125% of the portion of his songwriting rights for 5 years and he is looking to raise $21,000. So if you have $5 to spend you can actually buy $5 worth of the 3.125% of the song that is available on the marketplace. And all of this is accounted for automatically on the Stellar network and the royalties you earn are deposited into your account quarterly.

Vezt guarantees that you will make your initial investment back (minus some transaction fees), but the idea is to make a little more than your initial investment. Basically I will earn my portion of the Beyonce song for the length of the term, which in this case is 5 years. Once I make my initial investment back, the rest is profit. If I never make my initial investment back in the 5 years, the term will be extended until I do. 

Not only is all of this an exciting and fun thing to be a part of, but it is helping to flush out my catalog and build a foundation for my publishing company, Jaycent Publishing. There will be a future blog post all about that but in the meantime, I am glad I have names like Lil Wayne on my publishing roster helping me to hedge my investment a bit. Thanks, Lil' Wayne and Beyonce for all your help!

Film Festivals! 

It looks like Naughty Jenny is hitting the film festival circuit! I have always loved participating in film festivals and it is kind of the Colossal Cinematic Showcase to get the party started for Project213 this year. This particular showcase will be filled with a bunch of old friends and I look forward to spending the time with them, even if I have to wear a colossally cinematic facemask. Oh and speaking of festivals, I realized that I never expressed my gratitude to the Blow-up International Arthouse Festival for last year's inclusion of our experimental film, Nocturne ((psychosis)). Chicago plays a great host to the arthouse film community and it was an honor to be included. Check out the laurels to both festivals below, and I'll see ya at the movies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Streaming Concerts 

Covid19 sure has caused some changes in the music industry. In my opinion, some of these changes are good and will hopefully remain a part of our musical landscape long after we have this virus under control. ArgosTV, and the streaming of "living room concerts" is one of the good changes. These unique concerts and performances allow us to see the intimate side of performers. They highlight that we are all human, sharing this existence from our homes and sharing the similar goal of just trying to find ways to connect with life and the situations we have grown accustomed to. I am thankful that Argos Productions has included me as a regular performer on their streaming service; a service that has rapidly become treasured by many other performers as well! For me, ArgosTV has become a way to show my inner world of music. It allows me to perform on instruments that are too big and burdensome to move around to different locations. It allows me to experiment with ideas and have access to a full studio of sounds and toys should I need some last-minute "alterations" to my sonic landscape. In short, ArgosTV is allowing me to express my creativity in a brand new way. I hope you follow Argos Productions and support ArgosTV...it is jam-packed with crazy inspiring stuff!

Webseries 

The creators of the comedy web series Vagina Town have released season 1 for streaming on YouTube! I had a blast composing music for the show as well as functioning as the music supervisor. When you watch the series you may even catch me acting in a couple of episodes :). That is what is so cool about indie projects; with the right crew you get to dip your hands into a little bit of everything. Yes, this was the right crew and so many memories were made on this project. Check out the trailer and then set some time aside to binge watch all 6 episodes!

 

This project was filmed exclusively in Boise, Idaho. You might recognize some of the locations from around town and some you won't recognize, like my house. Everything good doesn't have to come to an end though. If you liked the series please consider donating some $$$ to help push season 2 through. Pick an amount you can afford to donate at  Vagina Town TV. Oh, and btw, ' Naughty Jenny' was born out of episode 5. Can you spot an early version of the song?

Xylophone! 

The cool thing about being a composer for film and television is that I need to stay up on as many genres of music as possible. There is so much to learn that sometimes I just gotta take a day off of everything else to just dig into YouTube and study. As part of a music history course that I teach for the College of Southern Idaho, I have a chapter on world music. Check out this video that I shared with my class about the importance of the xylophone to a small African community. This slice of life documentary really highlights some massive cultural differences along with providing a cool authentic soundtrack.

psychoSissy live on ArgosTV! 

Despite the difficult times, we find ourselves in at the moment there are still moments of inspiration to be found. Take for example the onslaught of streaming concerts from living rooms, warehouses, empty clubs, studios, and practically anywhere you can get an internet connection. PsychoSissy was lucky enough to be featured in a live basement set on ArgosTV. Brand new records were cut the day of the event on a vintage Presto 6N lathe cutting machine, and then mixed and manipulated via turntables. It was a blast creating custom sounds for this specific event and even more fun mixing and manipulating the meditative drones into an experimental, esoteric set. Open a bottle of wine and check out the link below for the full hour-long set.

The sounds were created in Logic and then scratched onto the surface of 7" square pieces of plastic. This is the same process that we used for cutting Project213's limited release of 'Naughty Jenny'. Join our mailing list for future limited releases!

Starscape 

I am excited to be moving into the next phase of this project which is an arrangement/interpretation of the marimba solo Starscape by Mitchell Peters. This is a simple and beautiful piece that oftentimes gets overlooked. I thought it would be fun to experiment with some ideas and try to add an alternate reality to the piece. 

In the photo below we are testing out some quirky visual ideas that I can't wait to share. The test of the visuals was a success so now it is time to clean up my playing and hit the studio. 

...back to work!