Posts Tagged ‘ music ’

Music: Worth Repeating – The iPod Iditarod!

Like the title for the new year’s resolution I mentioned in the last post? So it’s a work in progress – but I think it works so far. The Iditarod is an annual dogsled race that takes place in Alaska every year. I find it especially appropriate because of the analogy – 16 dogs to each Musher, and a race that spans over 1100 miles in around 2 weeks. My Iditarod is 26 letters of the alphabet, over 52 weeks, and covering over 160 gigs of music – over 30,000 songs! So, if you want to just see the progress of this adventure through my iPod, that’s what to look for.

So, here’s the premise, as a refresher: 52 weeks in a year, 26 letters in the alphabet, so that’s two weeks per first letter of the bands I’m listening to during those 2 weeks. I’m assuming I’ll have an easier time with the ‘Q’s’ and ‘X’s’ than others, so I’m not going to be too strict on the timeframe, except that I want to finish by the end of the year.

So, we start off with the letter A. (I actually haven’t started yet, but I’m hoping that over the next few days I’ll get through it and be able to report back). Really what I’m looking to accomplish is 2 fold:

1. Identify my favorite artists and genres of music, so that I can expand my music library to get more of the things I assume I’ll like.

2. Achieve a greater ability to describe music – what it sounds like, who it sounds similar to, what I like and why I like it.

That’s the plan at least. We’ll see how it goes…

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2010: Worth Repeating

So, here we are. 2011. That’s twenty – eleven, not two-thousand and eleven, by the way. One of my new year’s resolutions this year is brevity…

2010 (twenty-ten) was a great year. Atop the list of amazing things that happened is that we conceived a child! A baby boy that is joining our family mid-February, some 5 weeks from now. We are excited, to say the least.

Also up towards the top was the opportunity to go on tour with Neon Trees as their Front Of House Engineer (the “sound guy”) and production manager. I spent most of November and part of December touring around the country with them, and am looking forward to doing more shows and touring this year, as they are an amazing group of friends and extremely talented musicians.

Given the chance, I’d repeat 2010, or at least, have another year just like it. But I wouldn’t give up the bigger and better opportunity of looking forward to a brand new year. 2011!

So, in familiar fashion, I’ve got a few new year’s resolutions for this year, but wanted to blog about just one.

I realized while I was out on tour last month that I have a decently large music library, some 200 gb and counting. There was a lot of music I loved, even more that I listened to often, and probably ten times that that I had either listened to once or not at all. Sad really.

So, here’s the plan. I’m taking every two weeks in 2011 and giving each letter of the alphabet some ear time. At the beginning of every two weeks, I will download all of the music that was recorded by artists starting with that letter, and play through. I hope to find some music that I love, discover some music that I should have a long time ago, and weed out some that really has no place in my music library – I mean come on, I can’t blog about music without being at least a little snarky and stuck up…

So, here’s to everyone enjoying 2011. Wish me luck, because I’m gonna be a DAD soon!

Worth Repeating: Live Music

So it says up there in the corner that I’m a writer | producer | soundsmith. Some of you may wonder what a soundsmith actually is/does…right? Well, here’s my definition.

I was looking for a name for my company a couple years ago, my company as of right now consisting of myself. I wanted to use my last name in it, my last name obviously being Smith. So I started off with musicsmith, recordsmith, yada yada, none of em worked. Duh! Light went off and out came SoundSmith. Nice ring to it, right? Well, just as a blacksmith of old worked on various types of projects, I too work in a few different areas of the field of sound. I do on-set and post production sound for film, music and commercial recording in studio, and live sound reinforcement. So, there you have it, I’m a self proclaimed SoundSmith.

I honestly love every aspect of what I do, (which is probably why I am not further ahead in my career), but one in particular is doing live sound. I’ve done bigger concerts and events at places like the Salt Palace, Grand America Hotel, Conference Center for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, BYU Marriott Center and LaVell Edwards Stadium, and Energy Solutions Arena. While I love being spoiled with expensive equipment, huge digital consoles, and enormous amounts of amps and speakers, I too love the intimate and humble setting that is Velour.

I’ve been working at Velour since shortly after it opened, a little over four years ago. I had gone to the venue a few times before asking to work there, and it probably took asking 4 or 5 times to actually start working there, but it was such a cool experience when I finally started. Touring bands from all over the US would come to this humble intimate venue on University Avenue to see a few hundred of die-hard fans ready to sing along to every song. It’s not unusual to hear how an artist or band genuinely loves coming back to Velour because of how much they have loved their experiences here. I’ve heard artists play songs that they’ve never played elsewhere on their tour just as a special gift for such a great crowd.

There’s another reason that I love working at Velour, and it’s not the money…

I’m kind of a huge Indy music fan…

And not only do I get to see some of these great acts come through, but I get to work with them to make them sound great. Some of the few in the last year or two:

Damien Jurado

We Shot The Moon

Sherwood

Benton Paul

Truman

Trevor Hall

Joshua James

Cary Judd

Chris Merritt

Cameron McGill

Hello Kavita

Band of Annuals

Atherton

Paul Jacobsen & The Madison Arm

The Vibrant Sound

The Second Estate

Allred

Rocky Votolato

(just to name a few.. please check out their music. They are all incredible musicians and bands and deserve a listen.)

Last night was one of those nights that really reinforce why I love doing sound there. Rocky Votolato is currently on tour and played last night, and my wife & I love his music. We’ve been listening to it all week in anticipation for this show. Not only is he incredible live, but he’s one of the most humble and down to earth musicians I’ve met. It was a great show, to say the least. Plus, there’s this:

Velour 11 March, 2010

And this:

(notice the awesomeness of my photoshop skills…the actual album is bigger but the scanner only could catch so much of it…)

So yeah, my fan-ness of Rocky has escalated exponentially due to last night.

So, whether you get to sit behind the sound board and make the music sound as good as you can, or you’re in the crowd, I highly recommend adding some live music to your life. If you’re just getting into it, I recommend some Jazz as well, there’s something unique about the genre because the songs are never the same twice if you’re listening to a combo. One of my favorite genres of all time.

Live Music: Worth Repeating!