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October 2005
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December 2005

Ray Kurzweil, the brilliant inventor of the first synth to play orchestral instrument sounds, is also responsible for many other inventions from flat-bed scanners to print-to-speech readers for the blind to speech recognition technologies.  Plus he's authored some new and compelling books about our future.  Check out this interview with this modern day Thomas Edison, courtesy the tompeters.com blog.  If you're like me, and I know I am, this will blow your mind.  Hang on..


Mr. PC (mp3) from the jazz gig...

Hey thanks to all that came out to the November gigage.  There was the 100YP solo coffee dealy with Berch at the very cool TC Buzz.  Thank you for listening, it was fun.  If you missed it, I'll be back again for more.

There was also the jazz dealy, which I've never officially done before (except for an IMEA jazz concert my senior year in high school).  So I got to play some drums for a change in a jazz quintet format.  Can't believe it took me so long to really go out and do this.  I studied jazz in my early drumming years, but never really applied it in a live setting. It was so much fun that I will have to do it again. 

My friend Brian Choban was nice enough to take a chance on an unexperienced jazzer (me) and I think I did alright.  I guess you can be the judge though.  Here's an mp3 from the evening that Brian recorded on his iRiver: Mr. PC (mp3)

Besides having some great fun, this is a whole new circle of musicians...pretty cool.  In addition to Brian, we had Bruce Lane on keys, Bill Anderson on bass, and the super-talented, 15-year old Adam Larson on sax.  Adam has three CDs of his own and plays in a bunch of different jazz configs.  Any chance to see him live is highly recommended. 

The quintet (with a slightly different lineup) will be back for more pizza and jazz on December 15 at 7:30, Chicago Style Pizzeria, Bloomington, IL. 

I also hope to put together a songwriter gig this month, featuring my friends Geoff Beran and Chris Chambers.  Will keep you posted..

 


A couple live outings this month:

November 17:  I'm sitting in (on drums) with a jazz quartet (my first time), playing some standards at a local pizza joint.  My friend Brian Choban, who plays a beautiful trumput solo on 'I Started Thinkin' and some trumpet bits in 'I'm In Denial', invited me to play, and I can't wait...Chicago Dough Company, Bloomington, 7:30 - 9:00. 

November 18:  I'm doing a short solo set at TCBuzz Coffee in Bloomington, near Best Buy...  I'll probably go on sometime a little after 9:00 P.M.  David Berchtold, who plays fingerstyle guitar on 'About Everything But You', will be playing the rest of the night.  Dave's awesome if you haven't seen him. 


Thanks to a new partnership between CD Baby and Best Buy, over 100,000 independent records, including 100 Year Picnic--As Tall As The Sky, are getting new CD distribution through BestBuy.com. Who needs a record company these days???

It's a new world for music.  Enjoy the ride.

Here's the CD Baby press release if you'd like the full story:

CD Baby Brings More Than 100,000 Albums of Independent Music to BestBuy.com

MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 8, 2005 - Best Buy is launching an independent music catalog at BestBuy.com that will give shoppers access to the largest online library of independent music. Through an alliance with
CD Baby, Best Buy customers can access and purchase more than 100,000 hard-to-find albums sold direct from the artist.

CD Baby handles online sales and distribution for independent artists and labels. More than 75,000 artists sell their music through CD Baby, making it the largest seller of independent music on the Web.

"Best Buy believes the future of music depends on consumers exploring new music and connecting with new artists," said Gary Arnold, senior vice president of entertainment for Best Buy. "As the link between the artist and the consumer, Best Buy is in a unique position to help generate excitement by exposing people to talented independent artists. It's a responsibility we take seriously, and that's why this agreement with CD Baby is so important."

The alliance with CD Baby is part of Best Buy's overall commitment to provide consumers with as many entertainment choices as possible. Best Buy stocks a deep catalog of music that goes well beyond simply carrying new releases. Offering the CD Baby catalog online will provide an even more diverse selection of music to Best Buy customers.

"Best Buy selling deep catalog directly from independent musicians like this is the beginning of a 'long tail' revolution," said Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby. "This will highlight the most amazing musicians in all genres of music, that are bypassing the record labels to sell directly from musician to fan."

The CD Baby alliance will be featured on front page of the music section on BestBuy.com. A link will take customers to a searchable library of independent and unsigned artists. Consumers can browse by
style of music, check out the top selling albums on the site, and can even search by location to discover talent from their part of the country.

About Best Buy Co., Inc.
Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE: BBY) is an innovative Fortune 100 growth company that continually strives to create superior customer experiences. Through more than 840 retail stores across the United States and in Canada, our employees connect customers with technology and entertainment products and services that make life easier and more fun. We sell consumer electronics, home-office products,
entertainment software, appliances and related services. A Minneapolis-based company, our operations include: Best Buy (BestBuy.com and BestBuy.ca), Future Shop (FutureShop.ca), Geek Squad
(GeekSquad.com and GeekSquad.ca) and Magnolia Audio Video (Magnoliaav.com). We support our communities through employee volunteerism and grants from The Best Buy Children's Foundation.

About CD BABY
CD Baby (cdbaby.com) was started as a hobby by musician Derek Sivers in 1998 as a way to help some friends sell their CDs online. CD Baby's democratic service gives any musician worldwide distribution
for their music. Through word-of-mouth among musicians, CD Baby grew into the largest seller of independent CDs on the web, paying over $20 million directly to over 75,000 artists. Apple iTunes invited CD Baby to be one of their backend digital distributors, and now CD Baby's digital distribution catalog provides over 600,000 songs to digital music services like Rhapsody, Napster, MSN Music, Yahoo Music, and more. Esquire Magazine's annual "Best and Brightest" cover story said, "Derek Sivers is changing the way music is bought and sold... one of the last music-business folk heroes." Sivers is Winner of the 2003 World Technology Award.


I'd Take You Anyplace (Alternate Guitar Solo)

"Enchanted by your grace, I would spend another life with you..."

Some of you have probably heard the story about how this song started with a drum track that I did for Tommy Neal.  As an experiment, I wrote a completely different song around the drum track, using a flange on my acoustic guitar, and then adding a few layers of vocals, which you know I like to do.  My good friend, and Thingies bandmate Steve Harris played the big and tasty bass.

This particular version (available for the first time ever!) is a rare mix that I dug out of the studio archives.  This mix includes an alternate guitar solo, played by guitarist Trefan Owen.  Other than my flangy guitar, I think Trefan did all of the electric guitars for this song within 15 - 20 minutes.  And in a matter of minutes, Trefan ripped three awesome solos for this song.  The hard part was deciding what NOT to use. 

Many of you know the one we chose for the record, but I always loved this one too.  I believe it was the first take.  One of the things I always liked about this song was the contrast of the jazzy verse and the big pop chorus, and this solo really pulls more of that jazz element into the song.

If you don't have the original version of this song, check out the original KILLER guitar solo, available on on iTunes for only 99 cents... 

Cheers.