Michele Van Kleef / Blog

Recording continues...

So last Friday, I go to the studio not really knowing what to expect as far as what exactly we would be working on. All of the sudden I find myself in the main room with a hanging mic in front of my face and headphones on my head, layin' down the first real vocal track for the new record on Under the Radar! Of course, it's just so rewarding and fun to be there, but to be there to make MY record!!!??? Crazy amazing. Love every second of it. Cannot wait to share it all with you! Happy Memorial Day! Michele


So I guess I am doing my own kind of "Kickstarter" campaign, just without a 3rd party. I am doing it myself, through PayPal, the DONATE button in on the home page of my website www.michelevankleef.com and my goal is to raise enough money by April 24 to be able to pay the musicians and producer what they deserve. It's all grass roots, all over again, just like my Calobo days! We did everything on our own and with the help of family, friends and fans who believed in what we were doing. This is such an exciting time! I didn't think I would be able to make another record and thanks to the words of friend/musician/producer Tim Ellis, I am doing just that. I cannot thank him enough. I am so blessed. If you are inclined, please contact me or visit my website and donate even $5! The price of a Venti Mocha times 808 fans adds up!!!!! WOOT! Peace, Michele

With a little help from my friends...

Hi friends! So the time has come to get in the studio to start recording this record. I've never done this before and want to make sure everyone knows it is strictly for those who want to be a part of the making of this record! However, if everyone who likes this page was able to donate 5 bucks, I could record it and manufacture the record! So please go to my website www.michelevankleef.com to "Donate" or call me, tip me in my tip jar, or message me! Thanks for all the support you've already given me! Peace, Michele

SESSION today!

So today I have another session with my producer, Tim Ellis. I am thinking of re-releasing and re-recording two of my Mackabella songs in a more acoustic fashion... Should be fun. Maybe they will be bonus tracks on the record that you can't get on iTunes... maybe.

Here's to Inessa

Yesterday I had distinct pleasure of being interviewed by Inessa, the great purveyor of music in Portland and beyond... What fun! We met with Tim Ellis at his funky studio space in SE Portland's Division St. neighborhood, complete with the aprapos Asian-inspired decor at a 50's diner-style corner booth in the lobby of Kung Fu Bakery Recording Studios. We talked about the current Michele Van Kleef record and the process of putting it all together and working on the new direction for this particular collection of my songs. She posted the interview on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/inessa-b/michele-van-kleef-and-tim

The link isn't live, but you can always copy/paste it :)

Anyway, it goes perfectly along with the blog I've been writing here. We will meet up again once we get going with the instrumentation part of the recording.

Looking forward to playing at Jimmy Mak's this Saturday! Michele

Week 7! Big jump from the last entry!

Well now that 5 weeks have gone by since my last blog about my progress on the new record, a LOT of progress has been made! Yay! We now have 9 songs figured out and planned! One called "For a Ride" has a very dark, hopeless and painful feel to it. Big surprise, huh? Unfortunately, the sad songs come easy! It's always harder to write the happy stuff. I do have a few happy songs in the hopper though~~ "Chatting in the Shade" which will have mandolin (played by my fantastic friend and former Calobo band-mate, Caleb Klauder!) and fiddle too! This one has an old-time country feel to it and I just love it! It's simple, not pretentious, but very sweet! "One Fine Day" and "Wise" are also pretty darn happy ~~ upbeat and sweet tunes for sure! And, thanks to producer, Tim Ellis, I finally have my own Bluesy tune!!! "It's Been a Long, Long Day" will be so much fun to sing along with on the chorus. This one has some lyrics that I am really happy with and can't wait to get memorized. Then there's "Oh Please", my new fight song, there always seems to be a song about the tensions in a relationship. Part of the chorus: "My head knows exactly what's going on, but my heart doesn't seem to understand..." Well, I am excited about all this. And, at our next session, we are meeting with the ever-lovely Inessa (yes, THE Inessa who formerly reigned supreme at a certain local radio station) for an interview and some pics at Kung Fu Bakery Recording Studio to talk about the upcoming Jimmy Mak's Show 3/23 and the new album! Very excited to share that with you!

Peace, and for the love of music, Michele

My take on the Grammys:

In recent years, I have truly disliked the Grammys-- the silly antics and productions of Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Nikki Manaj made me very irritated. At least this year the focus seemed a little more genuine overall. More actual singing, less overdone production (except Carrie U's dress) and some dang cool bands: Lumineers, Mumford and Sons, Fun.. I liked more than usual. Love Bob Marley and the tribute seemed to make the whole audience really happy, except for the seemingly brooding John Mayer. Hearing Chick Corea was lovely, I had the great pleasure of seeing him live in Seattle at the very intimate Backstage. Too bad CBS cut in after he started! Loved everyone singing the Weight for Levon Helm- I've sung that one many times over the years. The Forrest Gump Ocean thing was very strange. I don't get it. Sounded off a number of times:/ Kind of random ending with LL but whatev. My Two Cents;)

Week 2 - Project MVK

Upon the end of my second pre-production meeting with fab Producer Mr. T, I was thrilled to have 3 songs mapped out. These 3 are closest to ready-to-record, very exciting. One is a dedicated and true story-telling song about my grandmother's experiences during the war. Some of you have heard this one, not many, as I have only performed it a limited amount of times. It's taken better shape and I am so pleased to include it on this record. The second song is one I have been playing live quite a bit lately. It's my homage to the great Joni Mitchell. The story of her. She inspires me so! The third tune is about trying to lay low at work - under the radar... hehehe! I am loving the funky vibe it has taken on! That's all for now! Thanks for tuning in folks! And thanks for helping me along the way: Coming to my shows, buying my record, and helping me get to #1 on the Portland Singer/Songwriter chart! Cheers! MVK

Day 1 ~ Project MVK

Today I officially started work on my new record. I am extra psyched to get going now that I have had my first pre-production meeting with Tim Ellis: producer. It's going to be quite cool to take my time with this one and figure out the overall vibe and feel for the album! Already have three tunes well on their way to coolness, looking toward a total of about 10 new, original tunes. Keep updated through this blog...

It's been a while...

So, my record came out about a year ago. I am very proud of it . I love it actually. Love that it is made up of 11/12 songs written by me and that it was produced by my good friend Scott Schorr and mixed by the amazing Tchad Blake. Very cool! Now it's time to start looking ahead, which ironically enough means looking back at what I have written in the past couple of years while the other record was being made! So, it's time, it's been a while... It's time so start crafting and spending lots of quiet time and not so quiet time putting together the bits and pieces of songs that I have been collecting in my iPhone. I need to sit down and do it! I am excited. It will happen. It's kind of like a test for Grown-ups. I don't have final exams anymore (thank God!) but I view these tasks as personal challenges, kind of like a test, only I am putting it on myself for myself. It's been a while... OK! So I gotta stop writing this blog and start putting my time where my mouth and fingers are! hahaah! bye for now... Michele