July 6th in Somerville MA

7-9pm TIX

Giants of attention (a note to fellow musicians)

Google, Youtube, Facebook.

When they deleted my myspace account (back in the day) it was an immediate amputation of just over 10,000 friends. Time spent, conversations and threads, and “plays” (remember those?).
For whatever reason the myspace people flagged my account (I had a few hundred friend requests that I accepted -in an afternoon, ultimately a fluke).

What happens when one of the “giants of attention” press a button and wipe out years of hard work?
Because it can happen.

My Youtube channel has become the 2nd best hit when you search for me now.
My Facebook band page requires funding if people are to see it.
And of course, google is always…just doing it’s job.

I’m not complaining because in the end, it’s still better than it’s ever been.

Still, It’s better to invest in your own house (your website).
Keep a blog (rebuilding the porch).
Keep everything updated (nice new paint).
And make it easy to find everything (cut the grass and make sure the driveway is obvious).

Play with the giants but don’t depend on them.

Excerpt from an interview

Q: What do you personally feel you are bringing to the world through your music?
I’m an artist who creates original music.  My hope is that “the world” benefits by listening to it and hearing something that inspires something in their own life, maybe a different way about viewing the highs and lows, the ups and downs.  Music is the medium and lyrics contain the message.  Luckily, I’m a performing musician as well so I get to do this in a live setting and watch it work.
Q: Do you feel when you play standards of the Rock and pop genres that you are bringing something unique to the table and if so what do you think that is?
When playing someone else’s material, uniqueness is a matter of interpretation.  If the interpretation is genuinely my own then yes, something special happens.  The magic is in the attitude of the material and not the recreation of the original.
Q: What do you think drives you to make/create and perform music?
Something that can’t be named or completely understood, much like the mystery of breathing.  You’ve got to do it, so you do it and even when you’re not thinking of it, it continues to do it for you.

The new, the old, and the not so useless

There’s a diner (an old school type) in the city I live in and it’s decorated with relics, including the jukebox that sits at the head of every table (you used to pay 10 cents and listen to your favorite song).  These jukeboxes are no longer powered and have been stripped of their colorful titles.

Fast forward 50 years and today we have spotify.  And in another 50 years?
(I recall Will Smith in “I Robot” listening to Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” on CD).

I hunt for CD’s and bootlegs that have dropped off the radar and that you can’t find on the streaming networks (there’s a lot that’s missing).

Every few weeks a make a “mix” CD for a few people and when their iPods die or when the phone blinks the “energy drizzle,” that’s when they stick those antiquated discs into the CD players of their 5 or 10 year old cars (you have to order one if you want one in todays cars).

Other than having the art, and the notes, (and maybe one with an autograph right?), you’ve got something you can hold in your hand.  It’s not a bad thing to have in the end.

We have access to libraries upon libraries of music and literature.  How much of it do we get to?  How often do we stop and listen?

Yoga and Black Crows

My yoga band “Seva” performing last month at BCY (Black Crow Yoga) in Arlington MA.
Tonight they celebrate their 8th anniversary.  Seva plays early and then I’ll see you all at Bull McCabes.

 

Here and there

I enjoy surprising people who don’t know what I’m doing when I’m not fronting the mighty EGB funk train.

They walk by and say…”hey wait a second, isn’t that Evan?”

I play acoustic guitar here and there, using little club and restaurant gigs to try out new material and work out the songwriting ideas.  And, I always run into someone I know.

People remember the Larcom show (below) but there’s other stuff out there.

 

Novelty and Earnest Hemingway

I was playing a “last second” gig (I file these under -“too soon to call you up and tell you about a thing that I’m doing in less than 32 hrs from now with no real rehearsed “show” or “musical plan of attack”) with a well know fellow guitarist.  We were blowing away solos between two acoustic guitars and trading vocals.  You know, Saturday afternoon fun.

One of his friends brings his 20 year old daughter along and she surprisingly tells us she’s a full time performer, singing and playing keys.  She even has a stage name.

We invite her to sing, she agrees and so begins the challenge of finding a song, or two, that all three of us can get through.  Easy right?  We find a few eventually.

We play some and invite her up, and the novelty of it excites the room to loud hooting and hollering.  We start her first one (“In the name of love” -U2) she pulls her phone up and reads the lyrics adding the “American Idol” over the top vocal phrasing.

Instant disappointment (I hide it from my face, I smile and play along).

How much of “you” -feeling and emotion…can you add to “it” when you have to read the lyrics?

It’s easy to get distracted by novelty, especially now with all the screens telling you what to do.  It’s takes actual effort to do something real.  like writing something that’s actually good, or memorizing some lyrics so you can freely sing them, or maybe interpret them as an artist would.

Hemingway had to suffer a bit to be Hemingway.  The shortcut is the work, in this case memorizing lyrics.

Focus on what?

The news comes in.  How it could happen?  Starvation, government neglect, or even suicide.
We wonder why the story has holes.  And then it’s easy to lose focus.

For musicians, It’s the band member that always shows up late, or doesn’t bother to retain the titles of the songs.
It’s the venue that misspells your name or grabs a bad photo of you and sticks it on their social media page.
It’s the music reviewer from the biggest paper in Boston who clearly doesn’t know genres and apparently hasn’t listened to anything current in the last 10 years (and so his reviews make little sense).

There are so many things to focus on in the new world.  The digital world.  And the attention grab is always at work.

So, when we sit back and put ourselves on airplane mode, what do we focus on?
It’s your choice.

When someone this “large,” “does what he does” there’s a moment here, for us, to decide what we’re going to do with his memory and how we will celebrate his life.

AB

Sometimes in disguise…

After completing a set of shows with local jamsters “Entrain” I was approached by a group of people who wondered if it was me or not…(I was dressed up).

Same thing happened in Boston last Thursday while I was playing with my jazz group “Sauce.”

In fact I’m hosting a special collection of musicians together this Thursday night (on my Shows page).

 

Art all around us…

Crazy talented artist Rich Sullivan produced this (below) and people always look twice when they see it.
I’ve been watching and listening to more visual and video artists over the last few months, playing with some new ideas to go with the new music.

Lots of new music ahead.

Until….then….
Here’s something you can’t get anywhere?