Wednesday, February 4, 2015

KYLE MARTIN - "The Kyle Martin Band"

Kyle Martin, Born 6/25/1987 at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Rosa. Raised in Rincon Valley by musicians Nancy Pettitt-Martin and Craig Martin. Kyle, including by his parents, has been trained by a handful of musicians. To name a few, he took vocal instructions from Melissa Phillipe, Linda Webb Kakabba and Dan Earl. Kyle took guitar lessons starting at 10 until he was 16 years old from Hoytus Randal.
"Diamonds" recorded at Jackalope Records
Craig, Kyle's father,  was a founding member of a comedy/ top 40's rock and roll group in San Francisco called Butch Whacks and the Glass Packs that formed in 1970. Craig died in the spring of 2007 but the band has gone on to extend their playing streak to the "45th Annual Farewell Performance at Bimbos 365 club". It was at this last summers event that Kyle had the privilege of performing "It's Only Make Believe", a tune by Conway Twitty that his father used to bring down the house every year.

Nancy, a drummer, has performed countless times in various country and blues bands in the Mendocino and Sonoma counties. One notable blues band, 2120, was a constant practice in the garage and influenced  a certain developingteen to make some noise of his own with his friends. Lost Leader, a punk band that Kyle; founded, composed, arranged, sung and played guitar in, formed in 2000. Inspired by the 9/11 truth movement, kyle produced a politically charged album under the band name Lost Leader which due to personal differences eventually disbanded in 2005.

The Boogie Room and Gardens, was a house,10 acres and 6 barns that Kyle and a couple friends rented on Todd rd at (then recently deceased, local blues performer) Muddy Rivers old place between 2007 and 2010. Immediately after they signed the renters agreement they quickly turned it into a sacred non profit organization which believed in connecting community with music and agriculture. Unfortunately, the lease was terminated and they were forced to exodus from the land they loved.

Shortly after the demise of the Boogie Room he met his best friend and multi instrumentalist Kevin Cole who started out as the drummer now plays the bass. They released Kyle's First album under his name with the help of an engineer named Paul Lamb who performed bass on the album, along with many other synthesized sound. They are to release their next album in the spring of 2015 under the label of Jackelope studio produced by Doug Jayne and Paul Lamb.  Kyle currently performs bass, guitar, sings and arranges music in the following bands; Jen Tucker, Sally Haggard, The Crux Tent Revival and Kristen Pearce.

Kyle Martin Band, is an ongoing evolution of Kyle's self and his expression, through music. His interests in working together and performing with artists is reflected in the genuineness of his performances.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

VIRAL MEDIA ART - "What Is A Music Video Sync"

Movie Syncs like "The Dark Side of Oz" or "Jupiter and Beyond The Infinite Echoes" spread out over along period of time, hopefully maintaining the sense of  continuity throughout the piece which ads to the overall synchronistic effect. The Video Sync however is based on much smaller increments of time and in most cases the control over those smaller increments of time and space is necessary to make the greater whole appear more co-incidental. It's a magic trick!

Here's an example that I've used for years to try and explain my creative process and it's from my 1st video sync "Dancing In The Rain" staring Gene Kelly doing one of his signature pieces. I found what I call a "1 Drop Sync" in other words, like "The Dark Side of Oz" it has only one start point and runs the continuous length of the piece. It's all about finding the right compliment of mediums and I found the right partner for Gene Kelly in that of Billy Idol... (notice that there are 9 letters in each full name), Billy's "Dancing With Myself" seemed very appropriate to me, a single man dancing on the wet streets of London or New York by himself. Like most of my syncs I have what I call a center point and my ultimate goal is to edit the video or music as little as possible. I look for a major "wow moment" where both mediums connect into something more than just a random moment of coincidence and line them up in my video and backtrack from there. In the case of what I call "Dancing In The Rain" the center point comes near the beginning just as Gene opens his arms in that big Ta-da moment and as Billy Idol's song hits the 1st title chorus... "Dancing With Myself." A true 1-drop sync, no editing just that one start point, wind it up and watch it go!


Other syncs are much more complex to make, juxtaposed subject matter or variations on subjects or music that people may all ready know that somehow now quite are not the same. In it's simplest form
it's a slight of hand trick, you distract the viewer with something they may not expect and make the change while they are unaware. This illusion sets up a relationship with the viewer who knows very well that this is not how the song or video go's... but since all the timing of the movements or dance seem to fit so well the illusion is supported. Vocal based syncs can be the most difficult because I have never been one to make it look like they are really saying the words through micro-editing, rather it is more important to me to have the strength of the music and the connection to the characters bridge that gap. The viewer knows full well that it's not real and since the video is typically made up from famous videos and remixes of original hits you've already have a wide demographic on your side. Demographics have a lot to do with it too, I try develop certain subjects for certain demographics like dance music, which leads me to my "Bollywood SYNC TV".  I re-event traditional story lines based on the nature of the Bollywood films and combine them with amazing new mash ups as soon as they are released from some of the top DJ Producers on the planet. These cultural videos mashed with Western dance music give me a whole new way to connect with a world wide audience, even now in India they are saying... "WTF?"

Welcome to Bollywood SYNC TV

Things have changed quite a bit over the years in the practice of Syncing or video & audio editing, to be more specific kids there was a time when we rolled our VCR tape and set the needle in the groove to experiment with the wonders of multi-media art. Now my laptop holds 10 shows and I can edit them at any given moment. What used to take me sometimes hours to set up, even in my studio now only takes minutes. Terabytes store all of the videos I continue to collect, categorize and store while most of my music video syncing is now drawing from current mash ups of popular songs that I collect and down load from youtube. The reason for the use of these mash ups for me now is because of what we'll call the "youtube Filter Gods" who over see all of the incoming materials and notify you if you are using someone else's copy written piece of music. Mash ups confuse the hell out of the Filter Gods... they don't know which song they should call it... so it gets a thumbs up! In some cases I've found the mash ups better than the originals mainly because of the current state of technology and the ability to extract vocal tracks and alter rhythm and melody with out changing the pitch.

The combinations of materials are endless when you are looking at "all of the classic films" and "the greatest musical hits of all time" thrown into a big blender in my studio to see what comes out. This is where I use that other element in my process that I haven't talked to much about. My personal data base, not the ones here in the studio but the one in my head. It's stored and edited music references and feature films for years, when a band that I don't know plays, I think to myself, I'll mix them like this band or that band and I now days I cant sit and watch a Broadway film musical without wondering what I could match with it. When Bob Hope and Bing Crosby do a road show vaudeville bit I see it as an opportunity for some Beastie Boys. One can hope with all of the medical research that is being done in this field... or out in this field... that they can one day fine a cure.

For Examples go to:

Music Video Syncs
are considered to be a demonstration in the art of synchronization in film and video.
These videos are promotional and not for sale or download. They are considered to
be a tribute or a parody of their source.

These stories consist of rough drafts that will be proof read and finalized
before being included in "Another Day Another Decibel"

Monday, February 2, 2015

THE INN OF THE BEGINNING - "The Feuds Hay Party"

1997-2000: During my tenure as House Engineer at the historic Inn of the Beginning in Cotati California, I had the pleasure of working with a lot of great up and coming artist's and bands, probably to many even to count... The Inn was a small club, about 250 when slammed wall to wall, which was all to common in a small college town with 3000 Sonoma State University students right up the street. With 4 to 5 shows a week, I used to say it was like having concerts in my living room every night!

I was pulled into this new gig after The Cardiff Reefers hung up their touring shoes and I returned home from a 3 week on and 1 week off schedule that had lasted me for about 3 years. I was more than glad to get off the road and back into the Engineer chair for a change, and the chance once again to build a new sound system in a very historic location. The suggestion had come once again from my friend Bill Bowker, he had heard that The Inn was going to reopen and in need of some sound and lighting help. I met with new owners Bill & Lisa and It didn't take long for me to slip in there with a JBL rental system and a 24 channel SoundTracs console from my main supplier and mentor Phil Salisbury of Santa Rosa based Sound Expressions.

For a short period in time, and what I regard as the last hey day of The Inn, The owners spread the wealth around town and danced on the bar... Chris Marvin was the un-official Mayor of Cotati and I got to book and engineer some of my favorite bands. Some were local acts like The Feud and Cannonball, Bay area acts like MIRV and The Mermen. Others were regional and national touring bands like Fishbone, Zuba from Colorado, The Motherhips who stole our hearts and The Gluey Brothers who we pelted with donuts on stage every time they came to town.


Like a lot of local bands that I've worked with through the years I've had a work related love affair with my Alt Cow Punk pals, The Feud. Paul Riley, Dane Osborn, Steve Joiner and Chris Bradley.
We have logged a lot of show hours together through the years at Magnolias, The KAFE, The Inn and The Mystic Theatre . They're a band who can definitely hold their own in the company of some of the finest tour bands that hit our town, with the energy to match. It was largely because of our time spent together that they gave me some creative leeway when I asked them to let me throw the band a "Hay Party" at The Inn of the Beginning.

Posters wear made and the band "Crop Duster" was selected to open for the night, a great combination of down home alt country fun and beer! I placed a nice green bale of Alfalfa center stage and left instructions for Paul Riley the lead singer and bald guy to cut the bale open at the appropriate time during the set. I saw it as the perfect metaphor, a tight crowd at The Inn that needed to loosen up... cut that bale! It wasn't to far into The Feuds set when Paul lurched forward and pulled out a big pair of wire cutters to set the bale free. As the band carried on some ruckus song, Paul cut the wires around the bale and the let it fly! Almost immediately the dance floor and the room filled with the flying alfalfa as the audience grabbed handfuls and kicked that bale up and down the dance floor. From the front of house position all I could see was Paul carrying on with some lyrical antics as Dane and Chris fought to find their foot pedals and Chris completely disappeared behind the drums all together.

The audience loved it! It had all the feeling of a barn dance. A huge layer of alfalfa covered the entire club floor and also floated in the air, it was an amazing effect, our only concern was fire! Fortunately nothing like that ever happened and it seemed that the possibility of anything catching on fire was remote because of all the beer that had been thrown around! The band played a great tear down the house set despite the alfalfa-tectonics and the audience although some with a few bumps and bruises had just as much fun as I did watching this cowpunk extravaganza "The Hay Party."

This story wraps up nicely because it creates a win-win situation for all concerned... reciprocity!
It seems with all of the dancing on the hay on the hard wood floor, the oils in the hay gave the floors a really nice buffing. After we swept up all of the alfalfa we carted it off to the state park. It's not a bad show $ overhead when you get an effect like this for the entire evening, clean and polish the clubs floors and feed a herd of deer at the State Park, all for the grand cost of $12!


These stories consist of rough drafts that will be proof read and finalized
before being included in "Another Day Another Decibel"

Sunday, February 1, 2015

THE STUDIO KAFE - Mojo Nixon & Don Henley Must Die!

When an artist comes to town to play your venue you want to make them as safe and comfortable as possible... The Artist or their representatives include contract riders that go to great lengths to assure that they get just what they need to put on their show or in this one case survive it!

It was the early 90's and San Diego CA. based Mojo Nixon (Neil Kirby McMillan Jr.) had just released a new song called "Don Henley Must Die". If you are not familiar with the works of Mojo Nixon you don't have to go much further than genera's like Rockabilly or Psychobilly to get his point across, decidedly lo-tech and a little rough around the edges in his lyrical writings. It could be said that Mojo was part story teller and part philosopher and that he led a continued assault on pop culture.
The advance sheets came out and I saw that Mojo Nixon's name was on the KAFE's upcoming acts list. I knew of  Mojo through his work with another San Diego based band "The Beat Farmers" and I loved his... Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant with My Two-Headed Love Child, "Tie My Pecker To My Leg," and the controversial "Bring Me the Head of David Geffen,"

I was really looking forward to staging this solo acoustic show, that was until I read the small print in the security clause of the contract that read "Due to personal death threats made to the life of Mr. Nixon a private security company has been hired to assure Mr. Nixon of his safety through the entire show." It seems that his "Don Henley Must Die" song had created quite a stir out there with some emotional fans of Don Henley's and extra precautions needed to be applied to keep him safe at all times. Heads up I thought, I was hoping for a great night of solo acoustic music and now we had a security team to deal with.

Our load-in time came around and Mojo arrived by himself and set up very quickly. I remember going through our sound check together thinking... where's this security team, the safety factor... or am I it right now! He seemed to be a really nice guy and we chatted a little about our San Diego connections and rapped it up pretty quick. Before he took off for dinner I had a chance to ask him about his additional security requests, "Don't worry about that, you'll recognize him at least 5'4 and in uniform... we'll take care of that at door time", he said and took off to eat.

I recall setting up the support act and having them play from roughly 8pm to 8:45, but still no site of any security team for Mojo. It wasn't long before the opener finished their set and I was prepping the stage for Mojo's set when I turned around and was met with "the" security team... He was maybe 5'4" but in both directions, height and width and wearing a security officer suit and cap. It was all I could do not to burst out laughing but I wasn't sure if he was for real or not yet. He introduced himself to me and said that he required very little other than a place to stand near Mojo Nixon. I directed him to a standing place on the corner of the stage near the front door so he could keep an eye on everyone as they entered. It wasn't more than another 5 minutes before Mojo came out to start his set. Before he began he took a moment to introduce his security counterpart and explain the possible risks involved at being at one of his shows... The set began and as Mojo went through his material the security guard eyed every single person in the room all night long with one hand oh his holster, just in case.

To this day I'm not really sure if there were legitimate threats against Mojo's life or if it was one of the best PR hypes I'd ever seen! Either way it was hilarious from the beginning to end and nobody got hurt!

Don Henley Must Die LIVE VIDEO

Lyrics to Don Henley Must Die by Mojo Nixon
This is the sound of my brain.
Then I said, this is the sound of my brain on Don Henley!
Then I said, 1 2 3 4...

He's a tortured artist
Used to be in the Eagles
Now he whines
Like a wounded beagle
Poet of despair!
Pumped up with hot air!
He's serious, pretentious
And I just don't care
Don Henley must die!
Don't let him get back together
With Glenn Frey!
Don Henley must die!

Turn on the TV
And what did I see?
This bloated hairy thing
Winning a Grammy
Best Rock Vocalist?
Compared to what?
But your pseudo-serious
Crafty Satanic blot
Don Henley must die!
Put a sharp stick in his eye!
Don Henley must die!
Yea yea yea

Quit playin' that crap
You're out of the band

I'm only kidding
Can't you tell?
I love his sensitive music
Idiot poetry, swell
You and your kind
Are killing rock and roll
It's not because you are O L D
It's cause you ain't got no soul!
Don't be afraid of fun
Loosen up your ponytail!
Be wild, young, free and dumb
Get your head out of your tail
Don Henley must die!
Don't let him get back together
With Glenn Frey!

Don Henley must die!
Put him in the electric chair
Watch him fry!
Don Henley must die
Don Henley must die
No Eagles reunion
The same goes for you, Sting!
[ These are Don Henley Must Die Lyrics on ]

These stories consist of rough drafts that will be proof read and finalized
before being included in "Another Day Another Decibel"