Category Archives: News

MFT SESSION Hiatus

In February of 2012 I began inviting bands to come into my studio to record a live 5-song performance for Musical Family Tree. I have been volunteering my time and resources to helping document local music in the hopes that it will somehow help to preserve part of America’s musical heritage. One of the reasons I wanted to offer these sessions to bands for free was because I didn’t want money/capital to the be a determining factor for which bands get recorded and remembered and which do not. I don’t want musical history to be financially biased. There is a lot of good music out there and there are a number of talented bands that may never organize the funds necessary to record a proper album before them dissolve. By offering MFT sessions, I hope to at least at least act like a net beneath the cracks.

The current MFT Session model is based on a pay-it-forward approach that will result in a end-of-the-year kickstarter campaign to help raise enough funds to perpetuate the project. These sessions have become popular rather quickly and I have received dozens of phone calls and texts by bands interested in being featured. Bands have driven to Muncie from as far as Chicago to be featured in these sessions. I know a lot of you are probably thinking… WHERE IN THE HELL IS MFT#010!!!!!!? You have every right to be curious. Up until this blog post, I have been releasing MFT sessions on a bi-weekly basis. I am constantly striving to ensure that each new release is better than the last in terms of content, quality, and format. Currently my only limitations with the project are my geographic location and the availability of local bands. That being said, let’s get on to the reason for this particular blog announcement.

The MFT Sessions that you have come to know and love are evolving.By the beginning of 2013 I am looking to take this project to an entirely new level. MOBILE! So what does this mean? Well, to put it simply… Rather than inviting bands to come into the recording studio to cut a live 5-song EP, I will be taking my studio to the bands. I want to capture the essence of a band’s inner sanctum… Their practice space. By bringing the studio into a band’s practice space, I am hoping to capture a more intimate and in-depth recording. The band will feel more comfortable in their own environment and the surroundings will tell a better story. The focus of our content revolves around the music but will also be augmented by the documenting process itself. The goal is to tell the story of the band being featured from the vantage point of a friend of the band that was invited to a practice. What could be more rad than recording songs in the very spaces that they were conceived?

I am currently putting together a mobile recording studio that will be capable of  traveling the good ol’ US of A in search of up-and-coming bands in the various music hotspots (as well as some lesser known spots). Each session will consist of a photo shoot, video coverage of the entire session plus an interview, a live 5-song performance recorded in the practice space, and a write-up of the entire event. These services will be provided to the bands free-of-charge! One of the most important aspects of this project is to document and preserve America’s musical heritage. I don’t want the ability to raise capital and ensure music sales to dictate what bands are remembered and/or forgotten.

So this is all fine and dandy but where in the hell is MFT#010!?!?!?! About that… The studio has been fairly busy lately and it has caused a few complications with schedules. I am trying to work in as many paying sessions as possible to help pay for the mobile recording studio purchases that I need to make. One of the most important purchases will involve a new vehicle! My car just isn’t cutting it. I can’t fit enough recording gear into it for it to be viable for the project. Ah well, I’ve already been hard at work looking for a new motor vehicle. I’ve actually decided on a 2012 Scion XB. I should be obtaining one of these in the very near future. Anyway, aside from getting a new car… I am also working on securing a number of sponsors from audio equipment manufacturers and distributors. It’s a lengthy process and is taking a lot of time and patience. Oh, and on top of all of this, I am getting married in September! So basically, MFT Sessions are being put on a temporary hiatus so that I can retool the entire project and get it ready for the new format.

Right now I am trying to raise all of the funds necessary to make this project happen via sponsors and my own hard work. However, if I am unable to hit my mark on my own… I will more than likely be putting together a kickstarter to help raise whatever I could not. So if it comes down to the kickstarter, any help would be greatly appreciated.

So I hope this helps to bring you all up to date. Stay tuned… Awesome things are in the works and I am excited to be able to share them with you.

MFT#008: Cowboy Angels

Listen to MFT#008 w/ Cowboy Angels while you read!!!

The studio has been incredibly busy this past week and I feel like I’ve been running around like a chicken with no head. Despite being slammed with sessions, I still managed to find time to record another session for all of you fine people to enjoy. This week I invited Dan Schepper to come in and perform a few Cowboy Angels tunes. I’ve known Dan for a number of years now and I consider him to be a pretty swell guy. Dan is probably known to most people as the drummer for Everything, NOW!, but over the past couple of years his solo project, Cowboy Angels, has been turning some heads. Unlike the psychedelic space folk music that he plays in E,N!, Cowboy Angels can be pretty diverse. At times it sounds like a crunchy old school rock and at others it borderlines some sort of back-country shoe-gaze. Regardless of the styles and genres being utilized, every element has some strange vintage feel to it. The timeless tones that remind me of countless old records.

Since Dan writes and plays EVERYTHING it was a bit of a challenge to record a multi-tracked session in such a way that it would sound like a live performance. To pull this off we opted for single takes. Essentially we froze a piece of time with our technology so that Dan could go back and rock out with his past selves. Is your mind blown yet? I bet you never thought of a recording engineer as manipulator of time! No big whoop.

Back to Dan… He recorded 5 songs. 3 of these 5 are NEW. I could tell you which songs are new but that would take all of the fun out of the hunt. Do yourself a favor and head CLICK HERE to listen to MFT#008 featuring a multi-tracked performance by Dan Schepper. Try not to tap your foot. I dare you.

Now if you’re longing for something to look at while your ears are being stimulated, take a gander at some of these amazing photographs taken by Lauren Bultman Photography. She always does an amazing job and I’m not just saying that because she’s my fiance.


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Last but not least… You can find Cowboy Angels on the internet in the following places.
1. http://cowboyangels.bandcamp.com/
2. http://www.facebook.com/cowboyangels
3. http://www.myspace.com/wearecowboyangels

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MFT#006: Raafiq Alim

Listen to MFT#006 w/ Raafiq Alim while you read!!!

This week I am mixing things up a little bit. Until this point I have only featured bands and acoustic artists… This week I had the opportunity to work with Raafiq Alim (formerly known as Merc Versus), a 10-plus year veteran of the local/regional underground hip-hop scene. He has been compared to such diverse artists as Mobb Deep, Outkast, Wyclef Jean, Wu-Tang Clan, and A Tribe Called Quest. His inspirations include Kool G Rap, Sam Cooke, Bad Brains, Peter Tosh, and The D.O.C. Being from a unique geographical location in terms of hip hop (Indiana), Raafiq represents a rare perspective of the culture. He is currently Vice President of the Indiana chapter of the Universal Zulu Nation and is managed by former Def Jux artist and underground hip hop legend C-Rayz Walz.

The first three songs featured in this session are a collaborative effort between East Harlem, New York native Udi the Erratic Assassin, Indiana native Raafiq Alim aka Merc Versus to form BEDLAM BRETHREN. I took my time to fine-tune these tracks and add subtle changes to make the listening experience unique. The final 2 tracks are previews of a second collaborative effort titled, Mystery School. The Mystery School tracks are not complete. They are merely previews featuring Raafiq Alim’s contributions. The finished versions of these songs will be made available on an upcoming album titled, “Class Envy.” There is no set release date as of this time.


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.
If you’ve been following the MFT sessions that I have been releasing you may notice that this particular session is a bit different; and not just in terms of genre. The whole performance is a different creature. There are no amplifiers or drums for me to capture… the music is essentially pre-recorded and ready to go. This makes it rather difficult to capture the feel of a live performance and so I have opted to approach the hip-hop genre a bit differently. Although there are still elements of the live performance in terms of vocals, I have opted to create a unique mix of the music in addition to the vocals so that there are subtleties in the music that you wouldn’t be able to hear anywhere else. But that’s enough shop talk… I was fortunate enough to sit down with Raafiq Alim and ask him a few questions regarding his transition from Merc Versus to Raafiq Alim, his affiliations with the Zulu Nation, and his outlook on current hip hop trends.

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Happy New Year 2012!

Happy New Year! I hope that everyone made it home safe and DUI-free! With any luck your hangovers are already in remission. I can’t believe it’s 2012 already. Where did all the time go? Eh, I guess time flies when you’re having fun.

I would like to thank The Fickle Peach for asking me to organize their NYE party. I would also like to thank Cowboy Angels, The Bashville Boys, DJ Jannell and The Cocaine Wolves for helping us all bring in 2012 in style. All I did was organize and run sound… The bands provided all of the content. Hats off to them!

Oh, and last but not least… I would like to thank everyone that shelled out $5 to come and celebrate with us! Without you it would not have been as fun. The place was PACKED. We ended up having to turn people away at certain points because we were over capacity! Thanks again for making it a night to remember!

I recorded the show on my new handheld recorder! I will try to put it on MFT at some point this week. Keep your eyes and ears open for it.

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Mikey Mason Unleashed

Mikey Mason

It’s been a while since I updated the ol’ studio blog and much has happened since my last post. Things have been seen, eaten, and experienced. Oh, and some work has been done as well. For instance, Mikey Mason’s album, “Impotent Nerd Rage” has been mixed and mastered and handed over! In fact, he’s already released the album online through his bandcamp site! Show him some love by listening… and if you want to throw in some extra affection, shell out some $$$.

What’s more, he’s already in the midst of shooting a music video for one of the singles! He’s a very ambitious guy and has a lot of plans for his new release. I enjoy his overall sense of enthusiasm and motivation.

Anyway…

I spent my early afternoon hours at the studio with Mikey Mason shooting some video for a song titled “My Next Girlfriend.” The image above is just a glimpse of what is to come.

Mikey has a CD Release Party scheduled for THIS SATURDAY (08/27/2011) at The Fickle Peach in Muncie, Indiana. If you’re a geek or a nerd and want to hear some music that’s directed towards your social situation… show up around 8PM.

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Akai Deep Impact SB1

Akai Deep Impact SB1

This pedal has been on my list of “must-have-pedals” from the moment I first heard demos of it via youtube videos. Alas, I have never been able to purchase one on eBay because they are either selling for $$$$$$$$$$ or the auctions are over within minutes of starting. These are incredibly rare synth pedals; highly sought after by bassists. Ah well, my search is over. At long last, I now possess an Akai Deep Impact SB1. It is magnificent. This is good news for a number of reasons. The first of which being, I now own this pedal and can use it whenever I want!!!!! Secondly, it’s become assimilated into my recording studio and will be made available to the musicians recording with me!

So yeah, fuck all of this noise. I’m going to get back to turning knobs.

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