Friday, November 21, 2014

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Forever Inspired by Jaco

Jaco Pastorius was one of the most prolific electric bassists in the history of electric bass. Everything he played was different from that of other players, unique and leading the groove with style. His death in 1987 was a tragic loss for modern music. The first video below is a treat for those who know about Jaco's music, but who have never had a chance to hear Jaco speak. This video below is a unique window into what matters to him musically, as well as other parts of his life. The video also shows, up close, how he developed and carried out his technique that delivered his trademark sound.

Jaco played with a wide variety of artists and groups. A neat performance from 1979, is when Jaco played with Joni Mitchell on her Shadows & Light tour at the Santa Barbara County Bowl. Watch the full concert at this link:  TheQuietStorm.Com/2014/05/shadows-and-light.html

Just below is the very cool, yet funky and soulful track #2 on his self titled 1976 vinyl album.

Jaco Pastorius - Come On, Come Over

Just below is an excellent concert of Jaco performing with Weather Report, live at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1976

Connect direct with Jaco's official legacy website at JacoPastorius.Com


Friday, March 21, 2014

Quote of the Century (For artists of substance)

"The truth is, if you're afraid to be hated, your art is going to be worthless."

Quote by Bob Lefsetz from his March 18, 2014 post on The Lefsetz Letter titled Being Liked.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Trixie Whitley

Photo of Trixie Whitley by Gregory J Chamberlain

Had one of those months where a song is heard and played dozens of times a day since love at first listen struck. Went to a early December show to see Trixie Whitley at The Satellite in Silverlake. Was already a huge fan of her songs and had never seen her live, but had featured her music videos on MusicLoad.Com, MusicTelevision.Com and TheIndies.Com more than a few times. After the show, bought all of her fan swag including 3 albums, a t-shirt and poster, which is very rare to go overboard like that, but she was just that good live and more that imagined. One of the albums had a live recording of that song not yet heard. It is titled "Breathe You In My Dreams". It was a stripped raw version with just Trixie on the piano (like the take in this first video below) and her seriously passionate voice. It set the hook and it has dominated the stereo systems and headphones all month long.

Finally found the studio version of Breathe You In My Dreams that was released on her most recent Fourth Corner album. The recording as well as the official music video shot by photographer Anton Coene is total excellence. Can't get great songs like this out of the mind.

Trixie Whitley Photo by Gregory J. Chamberlain

Above photos of Trixie Whitley by GC © Gregory J. Chamberlain

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Music Business Translation of Michelle Pfeiffer's "Lesson #2" in Scarface

A young struggling artist asked for words of wisdom on how to "make it" in the music business.

Michelle Pfeiffer's character in Scarface said to Al Pacino's character:
"Lesson #2 - Don't get high on your own supply".

GC's music business translation: If your music is really hot, that is the only calling card you need. This is a worthy mention because far too many artists believe what their publicists write, or if they don't have a publicist, they believe their own bullshit.  In music, that called "getting high on your own supply".
That presents a problem, because ego issues are the first things that usually get in the way of successful long term careers.  Someone with a bad ego problem might have a hit song, for a minute, but hit songs are even more rare these days than ever.  People are always dying to meet the artist(s).  People will smile to the artist's face while the artist flashes the ego.  But all too often, fans and business people walk away wishing they had not ruined their vision of the artist by meeting them. Artists are advised to always have a fresh list of things, other than themselves, to talk about. 
Therefore, don't get high on your own supply. And, don't let small talk that people will feed you about how great your music is go to your head and feed your ego. If you are playing before people or letting people hear your recordings, friends and total strangers will provide ego boosts even when you and/or your music is lame. Most people do not have the heart or the balls to tell artists the truth when they suck or are even mediocre, and they will lie and say everything was great, when it wasn't. It's important that artists never fish for compliments or ask what people think about their music. There is nothing more pathetic, seriously. 
When compliments or criticisms inevitably come, and they will, artists be prepared to give a sincere thank you and take any opening available to move the conversation onto another topic.  Avoid self adulation at all costs and take criticism with a smile and a thank you, even if you don't agree.  Don't let anybody get your goat. 
If you or your music has "it", you might really soar.  If your ego get's in the way even a teensy weensy, that "it" thing of yours will show it's elusiveness and people who might have mattered to your career will likely disappear before the smoke clears. 
One more thing for struggling artists remember is that success is a long road like the drawing below. No two journeys are exactly alike and most of the supposed rules probably mean nothing. So, why not do exactly what you love, think big and be original?  Don't try to live up to a concept or preconceived idea of making what "people want to hear" or the next hip thing. Do what you do for the love of it... for the groove of it. Stay authentic and maintain an uncontrived soul in your music. Success and capital is more likely to follow if you are pursuing your own original sound & style and loving what you are doing. In the meantime, on the road to success, you will be happy, which is probably the most important thing. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012