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 I recently discovered is from 1979, 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 one of my favorite songs from 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."

This quote above is from music industry analyst Bob Lefsetz who publishes the The Lefsetz Letter. The quote was pulled from his March 18, 2014 post titled Being Liked.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Trixie Whitley

Photo of Trixie Whitley by Gregory J Chamberlain

Had one of those months where I heard a song and I've played it dozens of times a day since. 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 my feeds 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 for me to go overboard like that, but she was just that good live and more than I'd imagined she'd be. One of the albums had a live recording of a song I'd not yet heard yet 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. I was immediately hooked it has dominated my stereo systems and headphones all month long.

Then I 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 my head.

Trixie Whitley Photo by Gregory J. Chamberlain
This as well as the top photo of Trixie Whitley © by Gregory J. Chamberlain

Trixie Whitley with Gregory J. Chamberlain
Trixie Whitley and I after her show at The Satellite :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

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

A young artist asked for words of wisdom on how to "make it" in the music business.  It was in the middle of another band's show and I was unable to dispense any advice at that moment.  But after spending a few minutes listening to the artist yell in my ear, I wish I would have asked the artist to join me outside and then shared the following useful concept.

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

My music business translation: Don't believe your own bull$#!t (or that of your publicist!) and don't let the kiss ass 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. It's important that artists NEVER fish for compliments or ask what people think about their music. There is nothing more pathetic. When compliments or when 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 fuck over criticism with a smile. 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.
Lastly, 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 do it for the money. Do it for the love of it... for the groove of it. If you are making music to sound like others who have a hit song now, that is the wrong path. Stay authentic and maintain an uncontrived soul. Success, as well as money, 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

Friday, June 8, 2012

Ruby Jane Smith

I really like the story of Ruby Jane Smith. She learned how to play the fiddle when she was very young and was a prolific live performer in videos I've seen when she was 8 or 9 years old. She has played a great many professional engagements from a young age until present. Her fiddle playing is exceptional.

Ruby Jane Smith when she was younger - She is now 17.
She's only 17 right now, graduated from high school this week and is busy preparing for the independent release of her first record set for a June 19 2012 release. It's titled Celebrity - empire of emptiness.

Ruby Jane Smith has been leading a very busy mobile life. She is a real musician and one of those artists who knows what it means to pay those dues, hone the craft of music and walk the walk.  Her poke at celebritydom through some of her material is beyond her years

She is one of those ultimate indie artists worth a listen. The music is underproduced in a nice way and very organic.  If one looks backwards in time, she covered so much area and so many genres, it's not possible to pigeon hole her. Beyond playing fiddle, she has a unique distinctive voice that comfortably goes ethereal.  And, she is a fine guitarist!.

Her song titled "Wake Up" reminds me of a favorite CocoRosie song, as well a Mazzy Star song.  But she is certainly not emulating anybody.  She's an original.

Keeping it all tight in the family, Ruby's friend, a photographer who had never made a video before, made this one below. This is the DIY (Do It Yourself) world we now live in. Coming across Ruby Jane Smith was kind of like finding a needle in a haystack.  Gems like this who are the real deal are not easy to find.

Ruby Jane - Wake Up

Hear my full handpicked playlist of 10 Ruby Jane Smith performances at MusicLoad.Com

Connect direct with Ruby Jane Smith at RubyJane.Org