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Some of you may know that I have been hosting a series of House Concerts at my house this year, which have been a great success and a ton of fun! Some of you might not know what a House Concert is, however. So, let me explain! At one time, if you wanted to see an artist, you would have to purchase tickets and attend the live performance in a concert hall, stadium, or some form of live music venue. The larger the location, the less personal the performance. They can be lost of fun, but often are not much more than what you would experience if you watched the DVD on a large screen with friends. Now, remember when MTV and Much Music started that “Intimate & Interactive” TV show, where huge bands like Nirvana, or Eric Clapton would play in a small setting with no more than 50-75 people? And their music was stripped down to just acoustic instrumentation, so you heard every word? And the audience could interact with the artist – like they were real human beings? That’s sort of what a house concert is like. Artists of all levels are performing all around the world in people’s living rooms. Just like yours. Don’t need a sound system. Don’t need fancy lights. Don’t need stadium seating. Just some chairs, and a space for the artists to sit on a stool, and share their songs in an intimate and personal way. Often, there are snacks and refreshments provided, much like a house party. Fans have an experience they will never forget. New listeners discover a new artist in a very personal way. Artists LOVE these gigs, and so do the fans. I’m hoping that friends and fans will consider opening their living rooms to help my spread my music to new listeners. If you’re interested in throwing a house concert, please let me know! Even it you don’t live close by! We can provide more details as well. Thanks! B
I am going to the Dakota Tavern tonight to take in the smooth sounds of Melissa McClelland. This is an artist who, thanks in large part to CBC Radio 2, and the Barenaked Ladies' Ships & Dip Cruise, I have grown to love over the last year. Her first album "Stranded In Suburbia" is a great disc, with pop tunes baring some gritty honesty in the lyrics. The CD is full of originals, with the one exception of a cover of Bruce Springsteen's highly under-appreciated "Factory". Her second album, "Thumbelina's One Night Stand", is an incredible addition to my favorites list. This is the CD that has won so many over. Just an incredible sound, saultry and retro. Silky vocals and you will not want to turn off. Refreshingly different than the last song that you heard on the radio, or the next song you will hear - that is, unless you visit Melissa's website right now and take a listen to the songs from her BRAND NEW CD entitled "Victoria Day", which was released just this week. So go ahead. Why not? Take a listen. www.melissamclelland.com
My songwriting sometimes resembles life. I start, not necessarily because I want to, but just because it does. It comes out of nowhere, like someone else wanted it to. Like it wasn't mine to create. It's not there one minute and then the other I am scrambling to find a pen and paper, or my laptop to capture the moment. It's sort of an idea... a general movement from one thought to another. I kinda have an idea where it's going, but not really... so I put some music to it to give it a bit of shape, and hopefully to bolster the idea i started, so that it will become the full version of itself. But i'm still not sure what it's going to sound like in the end. The second verse is always a bit tricky. Because I know where the first verse was heading. If verse one was about love, i think I have to keep verse two about love. But then it's me forming something, unlike the original idea, which was prompted by something larger than my intention. So I try to keep some consistancy in verse two, with the words of verse one, but I do my best to allow it to begin to vere into it's own direction as well. Now, I have more than an idea... I have a journey. Still, not sure where it is going to end. To be honest, it doesn't always end the way I hope. I feel like it is a joke without a punchline. But when it does become something beautiful, it is often one line in the song that ties it all together. That magical line that makes it all make sense. And I think that in life, we can experience that too. We might not get the point of everything right off the bat, but there are moments of clarity; those jigsaw puzzle pieces that connect so many unknown parts of the puzzle. And then I have my song done. There is something amazing about having the song complete. But what never fails to amaze me more is, when I allow other sojourners in on my own journey, to add their own music, how much greater the song becomes. I love a good solo, stripped down acoustic song. And I also love to hear what it can become when touched by others.
It's New Years Day. Reminds me of a song by U2... I owe many, many thanks to everyone for helping me kickstart my music this fall. Although I have never really taken a break from music, it does feel like my new material was a long time coming. "Everywhere's The Sun" is doing well, and I am still receiving very kind words from many folk. I have already begun writing new material for a 2009/10 release... looking forward to a great year! By way of an update, although it's taking a little longer than anticipated, it sounds like my music will be available on iTunes and Amazon as well as several other online music retailers within the coming weeks. Songs will be available for individual download, or full CD purchase. From my circle to yours, I hope you have a great New Year!
Okay, so I've been updating a lot of social networks lately. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, ReverbNation, Bebo, iLike, etc. And in most of these pages they ask me "who are my musical influences". I never know how to answer that question! I mean, I could list the bands that I LISTENED to when I was younger, but that would include everyone from The Beastie Boys and Beck to Blue Rodeo and the Skydiggers. I could list the bands that I think my music SOUNDS like, but that could change from one album to the next. I think my answer changes from one social network to the next, depending on how I was thinking that day! lol But, just for interest sake, some of my favorite bands include The Housemartins, Spirit Of The West, and a couple relatively unknown bands, the Water Walk (were on Nettwerk records) and the River Detectives (a duo from Scotland). Who are your faves?
I look forward to Saturday mornings, because I get to doze away in dreamland for as long as this tired soul desires. I'm often let down when my overactive brain, however, won't let that happen. When did 8am become sleeping in? (sigh) That being said, it is a beautiful autumn morning. Brisk, but sunny. Jessy Bell Smith playing on the stereo (www.myspace.com/jessybellesmith). Kids lounging in front of Saturday morning cartoons. Getting ready to go carry some wood up to the house for the wood burning stove... Putting the last minute touches on "Everywhere's The Sun" which will be in print next week... very exciting times! Pre-orders are now available... (www.briangordonmusic.com) Remember to find someone you're thankful for this long weekend - and let them know. ;) ~ Brian
As I'm finishing up my studio time, I anticipate the new CD to be in my hands in just a few weeks! The CD, titled "Everywhere's The Sun" will be available from the website (www.briangordonmusic.com) and within a few weeks of it's release, it will be available for download from popular music sites. If you're in the Toronto area, join us for the CD Release Party on November 8th at P.J. O'Briens Irish Pub! See the website for directions. Free Admission!