As industry observer Bob Lefsetz reminded his followers earlier this week, there’s still no standard way to start generating buzz and “make it” in music. Plenty of musicians assume that relentless networking and appearances are what seal the deal—and they’re sometimes right—but Lefsetz’s point was that, more often than not, what breaks you is a chain of random occurrences and pleasant accidents. This notion is reaffirmed by stories like that of Sean Bones’ Sean Sullivan.
I may only be speaking for myself here, but Chamberlin held a special place in our SXSW journey as they were the first band to ever perform a Presskit.to bus session. At the early stage in our Austin stay in which Chamberlin performed, we were still oblivious to the strange Texas law prohibiting an alcohol-branded vehicle from projecting music, so we happily rigged up a PA to play their music out onto the street during their set. For all too brief a time, Chamberlin’s “Maryland” and “Jealousy” provided the soundtrack for our first Demo Day, and for any SXSW-er who was fortunate enough to be passing by at that point in time.
We couldn’t be more excited to premiere their unreleased track “Jealousy” here on IAtv. Check it out in the player above, and be sure to catch Chamberlin on their mini Midwestern tour this week and next if you like what you hear!
It has never been the intention of this website to review or analyze music in writing, but in this instance I will go so far as to say that the strength of Brent Walsh’s voice in person almost knocked the camera out of my hands. To his and all of I the Mighty’s fans’ benefit, this talent is complimented by the top-notch musicianship exemplified by his band mates—check out bassist Chris Hinkley’s frenetic fingers in the video above. That said, who is I the Mighty?
Cambridge songwriter stand-out Sarah Blacker is gearing up for the release of her Perfectly Imperfect EP, and took some time to tell us about how she overcomes writer’s block, a cool service called Concerts in your Home, what effect her career in music therapy has had on her musicianship, and much more. She also serves as proof that it is possible to get your music into Pandora’s catalogue as an independent artist! Listen to her cover Bon Iver’s “Flume” in the player above, and be sure to make your way out to her Perfectly Imperfect release partywith Air Traffic Controller at Club Passim on March 9th!
Read the rest of Sarah’s Green Room Interview here
Those of us who inexplicably choose to inhabit cold, windy, and wet urban areas during the winter months witness the cycle of winter from a unique perspective. First the snow falls and accumulates, then turns to a ubiquitous and semi-permanent white crust and ice combination, then gets covered in dirt, garbage and traffic exhaust, only to finally melt away, reluctantly exposing the raw earth that had been layered beyond recognition, awaiting the nourishing power of spring. Singer / songwriter Brian Marquis’ (Therefore I Am) term for this final stage is “snow damage,” a term that doubles as the title of his first EP as a solo musician. As you will see below, the stages required for snow damage to occur are not just limited to music, nor is the concept of snow damage restricted to the tangible arena.
Musicians are insanely devoted people – there’s no other explanation for the amount of will poured into their unpromising craft and equivocal pain felt and when the vehicle for that craft crashes and burns. After the implosion of his previous outfit left Brian disoriented and disillusioned, he migrated west to sunny Los Angeles to remedy his wounds and re-discover his appreciation for music. But moving as far away from Boston as possible while remaining in the continental U.S. wasn’t the only drastic change Marquis underwent. He switched from being one member in a band to a solo singer/songwriter armed with nothing but an acoustic guitar. He gladly departed from the world of record labels and managers to a more simplistic lifestyle where he gets to be his own boss. Most importantly, he crested the suffocating anxiety caused by trying to “make it” as a musician.
Now in his 30s, Marquis is noticeably calm for someone who once played in a hardcore band. But content does not mean idle. Since re-emerging from his hibernation as a solo artist, Brian has gotten back to basics, the type that had him voluntarily playing for hours as a child. He’s also aiming to become a better guitar player: “When you’re touring so much, I felt like I was good at playing our songs, but I was a bad guitar player” he says. These skills are much more audible and open to critique when not smothered by effects and other instruments, just one factor that’s contributed to Brian also being nervous on stage for the first time in his life.
Cozy up with original tune “84 Rookie Card” and his cover of Thrice’s “Digging My Own Grave” in IAtv’s first ever post-redeye flght morning session, and pick up a copy of Brian’s Snow Damage EP if you like what you hear!