“Miranda” my band. Recording and questions on releasing anything new.

Band Web Log (Miranda)

My band is in the process of recording our first CD, in the basement, with a Mac Mini, and a few cheap mics. We’re recording all of the music live, in one take, in hopes of avoiding too much of a layered sound – which I think can sound thin without the right soundboard and equipment at your disposal.

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With thousands of bands seemingly forming every day, how does a band go about convincing new ears to listen? How do you pitch your music, when there are really only several popular formats to use? How do you blend into the white noise of new sounds, retro sounds, remixed sounds, and dubstep sounds? I don’t know, that’s why I’m throwing these rhetorical’s your way, “avid anonymous blog reader.” (Comment below with suggestions) This is a kind of call, because right now there’s a kind of wild west, DIY mentality a foot, which I think can be beneficial to those that are truly creative and willing to format/present their sound uniquely.

I suppose the most creative froth has always found its way up, however this froth is metaphorically multiplying, in many different directions, as I speak. We’ll play shows at local bars/clubs, but the crowds are mostly made up of other bands in similar situations. So how do you get people from off the street to come and listen? Especially when you’re 30, not in college, and have no real college base to draw from; I don’t know. You just keep writing, producing, playing, recording, and promoting through facebook/word of mouth. This isn’t a race. This isn’t a race to get on the radio, a radio that is dying or has been looping the same playlists for the last 20 years. This isn’t a race to get a 3 record deal, that don’t exist anymore, and mostly  big labels are probably always picking out their new acts 10 years in advance.

Even the act of writing about music, always strikes me as funny, but I’m bored and feel like typing something. If you feel compelled in anyway after reading this, check out our live videos. It’s what we enjoy doing, so we do it, anything that results after the fact should always be viewed as spontaneous, fleeting, but appreciated too.

http://www.youtube.com/mirandasongs

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“Distorted Chord Fatigue” or something else?

“Distorted Chord Fatigue or something else?”


 
Cover bands and DJs are a kind of spreading virus that seeks to numb our ears and make our tastes complacent, tired, and worn out. This is all just first-hand experience, as I’ve played in various original and cover bands over the last 10 years, throughout central MA.
 
Cover bands/tribute acts represent a consistent dollar figure that club/bar owners can easily rely on, as the now tired mantra, post-economic collapse of 2008 goes, “but the economy is so bad right now”. It’s also repeated in many other walks of life and playing it safe has never seemed so appealing due to this mentality. You have your Chinese restaurants, your bars with several karaoke nights, and tribute bands that sometimes pay tribute to acts that are recently retired or even currently touring. Then there are several bars, turning towards the Dance/DJ format, which is really emerging as “pop music” among 18-30 year olds. I’m in no way knocking DJs as there are plenty of original, creative, and dynamic local artists that deserve recognition in this field. This is more a reflection on where the original rock bands fit into the scene or if there truly is even a scene left to fit into?
 
Most people want to drunkenly grab the mic and belt out some Journey or dance to some Lynrd Skynrd while sucking down Mai Tais at Chopsticks or Singapore.  But where are the days of the tried and true rock band that could play in the suburbs and build up a grassroots following? The larger cities have been and still remain the only areas to play to a large group of people on a consistent basis. Rock music has narrowed its focus towards a younger audience, playing to college aged kids, and capitalizing on that energy and expendable cash/college loans.
 
I’ve played in an original rock band called “Miranda: for the last 2 plus years around Central MA. I see that a large amount of the people getting into the music, are actually musicians themselves, or are even playing that night with us. There aren’t a lot of casual fans there, just to check out live music. Everybody is either a friend of the band, a friend of a friend, or related to the band member in some way. Maybe original rock music is just in this part of the cycle, where it feels more like a hobby among friends?
 
It also comes down to being 29 and playing original music in the suburbs. I play it safe as well, as I could hypothetically move closer to a larger city and pursue music more directly. I’d say for me it’s the act of creation that is much more of an orgasmic payoff, then a few hundred bucks per gig or an overly curious fan base. However this naive approach can fade too, the longer you live in the great United States of America.
 
Our society is so wrapped up in rapid progression and if progressive dollars are not tied to a creative act, and then we view it as failing or falling behind; Similar to the notion of a job requiring college students or entry-level people to have 4-5 years of relative work experience!? The contradiction here is obvious, but applies to a club, demanding that you bring in 20-30 people at your first gig, which may possibly be 40-50 miles away from your hometown.
 
You also have to consider “unlimited choice” and the ability to get all of your musical needs met via your Iphone, Pandora, Spotify, XM, and the list goes on. Pre-internet, let’s say 1995 and before, people wanted more than what was on the radio, and had a more flexible attitude towards discovering new acts. I think there was a level of open-mindedness that was more rampant and ironically, as we evolve as a people, maybe we’re becoming less open-minded and more into the idea of having a “closed circuit” approach towards entertainment and media?
 
We all plug in our favorite bands into Pandora and a self-generating web of related artists can play on for us for as long as we like. Why step away from the screen? We have the unique ability to be our own DJ, minus the commercials.
 
Why surround yourself with strangers, an unpredictable environment, and pay too much for drinks? The “I” generation model is taking over and it’s much more preferable to hear music when you want to and to know exactly what you’re getting into beforehand. This is similar to the online dating model which seeks to pinpoint everything down in such a precise way, essentially acting as the human resources department for your heart/mind. Leaving anything to chance seems like a waste of time and too imprecise.
 
This current state of live original music isn’t of course all doom and gloom. It forces bands and musicians to truly bypass the tired routes of promotion that acts/clubs have been using for the last 50 years. It forces musicians to be just as much businessmen as they are creative entities. It forces your band to create your own, self-sustaining musical empire, without a staff of people that are mostly in place to leach off of your talent and success anyways.

An Introduction to “Miranda”

-Intro-

A sweltering summer night, sometime in the summer of 2009, a group of individuals conspired to meet together on 50 Lawrence Street. The city: Leominster. The state: Inconsequential. SF had learned that this musical foray was going to transpire, via an internet service grown popular and known know as “the facebook.” AA had notified SF of the peculiar happening between himself and SS. The two had previously met through a website, it’s name: Inconsequential. For over a year, the two would meet in this Lawrencian basement and mash their musical makeup together, until a pretty girl of a song was churned out. At least in terms of bass and percussion. After several unsuccessful tryouts with guitar practitioners, the two were left dumbfounded. Where to turn? Well why not call on a long past, childhood friend to see what the cut of his sonic gib might be?

SF had returned from the arid shores of Arizona and was hungry as ever to join an already developed band. Too old to start something organically, at least too old in his own 26 year old eyes, AA had emailed SF through the already mentioned FB and SF’s creative tingle bone was stroked. On this hot August night, SF ended up at this Lawrencian basement and joined in with the others. SF had previously jammed with AA here, but these get togethers were loose, unfocused, and the occasional little mermaid cover jingle would show itself. AA’s parents were often annoyed of this random noise and the sessions were often cut short, but laughs did ensue, promising something more meaningful for the future.

Skip ahead from 2009 to December of 2009. A few rough cuts had been assembled and the band nervously took the stage at the Lucky Dog in Worcester. The same stage the Stones had once graced, as they warmed up for a much larger gig at the nearby Centrum. At this time SF was struggling with a raw, trebly, solid state sound, beamed from his Fender 212 amp. AA had really only ever played one show in a band setting before and was clearly in a strange headspace before going on. SS seemed confident, but rightly so, as he had written all of the songs. How would the audience react to this all instrumental trio? Would it bore them or would their heads bob like ostriches in heat? This not knowing, added to the nervous behaviors, that were dulled by ales and straight whiskey shots. A large smattering of family and friends appeared at this show, curious to see what this group “Miranda” was really all about. Would they sing songs about them? Would they represent their families in the most honorary way? Or would they witness a side of these band members that they previously were unaware of? Too many questions as this band of 3 stalked onto the stage. The sound guy was high and resembled a grungier Ryan Gosling. The show went off and was a success, at least as good as these songs were going to sound in their earliest of incarnations. End Chapter 1.

http://www.facebook.com/mirandaband

http://www.facebook.com/mirandasongs