New Crazymakers Single – “Still Keep Coming Back”

Y’all.  We’ve got a brand new single/video for ya today! “Still Keep Coming Back” was one of the first songs we worked up for the Crazymakers recording sessions last year, and it’s still one of my favorites to play.  The video shoot for this one was a hoot – we spent all day in a
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New Crazymakers Live Track - Just Can't Get Enough

New Crazymakers Live Track – “Just Can’t Get Enough”

Fresh music today – a live video take of a previously unreleased track, “Just Can’t Get Enough”.  Cause sometimes you just can’t.

The song was recorded a few months back at the Ojai Underground Exchange. My bass tone is my beloved Fender Jazz 5 with a little Darkglass B7K Ultra fuzz/distortion inserted firmly into an Aguilar Tone Hammer 500. Tight, low, and a little bit crunchy, I was dialin’ for something like dub/reggae after a hot-box session. 🙂

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unchained-melody

New Crazymakers Single – “Unchained Melody”

Aw, yeah.  A beautiful re-imagining of an old classic you might remember. Iggy sings her heart dry on this one, and it’s a contender for my favorite of the 18 tracks I worked on in the studio with the lovely Crazymakers last year.

That said – to give major props where props are due – the bass tracks on this cut are, I believe, from the original demo and come from the amazingly talented instrumentalist/producer/etc David Franz (and fit beautifully alongside his wonderfully understated drum tracks).  I’ll be pleased to play it for ya live, natch.

Enjoy and spread the joy, my lovelies…

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day-at-the-grind

Hustle, Son

It feels great to finally air out all my personal baggage and be moving past it. But now there’s a huge canvas to start working on – my life.  I’ve recently gotten on top of the single dad scenario, moved through awkwardly-wonderful dating adventures, survived kidney failure, (early stages of) cancer and a brutal ACL/medial meniscus reconstruction, fought off lawsuits from crazy, litigious freaks, and rekindled my atrophying musical career. What comes next? I guess it’s time to hustle, son.

Fortunately the hustle is something I’ve always done pretty well (when not spinning wheels in severe trauma or healing mode, natch). I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to structure my life and move forward without losing sight of all the lessons I’ve learned.  If your life is in chaos and you want to move through it – I’ve got some thoughts to consider.  Having spent years on the road both as a touring musician and press mouthpiece, as well as in offices as a product manager and content strategist, my perspective is sharpened to work with lives of all varieties.  Read forth and soak up the insight gained from years of skinned knees and bumped foreheads, good people.

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Don Broco - Technology

Don Broco: Next-Gen Rock

I don’t usually pimp my listening habits here, but this is a special case.  About a year ago, I was pointed at a Bedford, UK band named Don Broco by two industry friends, independently – and that’s usually a big flare in the sky for me that something’s building up.  And holy shit, were they on it early.  Over recent years, rock music in particular has suffered from a severe drought in originality, and I’ve found myself shifting over to listening to more hip-hop, soul, funk, and electronic music in all it’s varieties.  But this band – holy shit.  They’ve found a way to pull much of these diverse genres into one cohesive, unique, individual sound. Their music has a bit of it all- heavy detuned riffs, ethereal electronic pads, a variety of vocal styles, slamming grooves, great lyrics, just a stellar package all around. I haven’t been able to put down their earlier stuff for a while… […]

Iggy T and the Crazymakers: All Caught Up

New Crazymakers Single – “All Caught Up”

Although the EP has been out for a few months now to great reviews, the Crazymakers just released the first official single/music video from our upcoming full-length album  – the first of three videos shot over the holiday season.  I really dig this song’s groove and feel, and Iggy’s lyrics and vocals really seal the deal for me.  Click thru for the video – hope you enjoy watching and listening to it as much as we did making it. If you dig it, we’d be truly honored if you share amongst your friends and family – help us spread the love!

You can also get more info and download the entire EP from our website at iggytandthecrazymakers.com, of course. Keep posted for gig updates and new tracks/videos – much to come in the next few months, for sure.

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Musicians and Road Warriors

Musicians and Road Warriors

It’s easy to fall victim to the stereotypes of the working musician – for both the musician and fan alike. A life of public adulation, excess, and grandiosity (is that a word?). The exquisitely tortured artistes extracting beauty from life’s poignant moments all gypsified and moving nomadically from town to town. But the reality of a career in the creative segment is more blunt, and there’s entire curriculums of required knowledge they didn’t teach me in music school. The kind you have to skin your knees and bloody your nose to learn. The dirty secret of the game is that it’s not good enough to be a talented musician or artist- you gotta be a warrior in both practice and spirit if you wanna live the life longer than a year or two.

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Use 3rd Party Drum Plugins with the Ableton Push Controller

Using 3rd Party Drum Plugins with Ableton Push

The Ableton Push is a super-flexible songwriting tool and its Drum sequencer view is particularly helpful for building out beats quickly. But when you add a third-party drum plug-in to a MIDI track, Push only gives you its general melodic keyboard interface, not the super-handy Push drum pad and sequencing interface. If you want to use a third-party drum module like NI’s Battery or Toontrack’s Superior Drummer with Push’s drum-programming interface, you’ll need to follow a few simple, but often-overlooked steps.

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taking a drum break

Musical cross-training

If there’s one title that should be on my gravestone, it’s ‘bassist’.  I know this, it’s the foundation of who I am.  But I’ve got to admit a dirty secret – being relegated to 4 (or more commonly, 5) strings isn’t enough to quell my need to learn.  Musical cross-training is my new jam.  And I’m not sure I can stop.

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NAMM Show Floor (2014)

Gear Acquisition Syndrome, or NAMM – Day One

It’s the opening day of Winter NAMM 2017, the music gear event of the year for most musicians I know.  Vendors roll out their latest drool-worthy instruments and gear. And there’s a name for the affliction many musicians emerge from NAMM with – Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS).

Umm… Gear Acquisition Syndrome?

Yep, it’s a thing. GAS’s key symptom is a relentless drive to grab your wallet and upgrade all your instruments, gear, and accessories to the shiny new hotness you’ve just played with.  When it comes to GAS afflictees, I’m pretty much a poster child – so it’s a good thing that I’m not attending in person this year.  Restraining my wallet hand is getting easier with age, but from early signs we may need medics at NAMM this year.  It’s gonna be a gear acquisition syndrome outbreak!

Here’s my first two candidates for ‘wallet magnet of the week’.

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Record Great Audio with your Smartphone

3 Simple Tricks to Record Great Audio with Your Phone

There’s an old saying: Nothing ruins a great video like lousy audio. And when using consumer cameras, you’re often stuck with a less-than-optimal microphone to begin with.  But if you have a reasonably modern smartphone, you have all you need to record great audio wherever you might be.  Here’s three simple tricks I rely on regularly to help you get the most out of your smartphone, and capture awesome sound on your next project.

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NAMM

An armchair, post-NAMM wishlist.

I always look forward to January, and my annual trip to the NAMM show in Anaheim to gawk at the cutting edge of music hardware (and software).  When I realized my schedule wouldn’t get me to NAMM this month I was bummed, but kept my ears and eyes peeled online. Despite no significant time on the show floor this year, there were a few announcements and developments at NAMM 2015 that still caught my attention. It should come as no surprise that I’m rather focused on effects & amps for guitar & bass. Here’s my video post-NAMM wishlist, with commentary.

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July 2013: My ear magnets

July was an interesting month for listening. I was a bit over-obsessed with French pop/hip-hop and the grandiose new release from Aussie prog-rock uberheroes Karnivool, but still fit in some old Beastie Boys and a spattering of west-coast American hipster pop fluff. Makes a fun mix for a bright summer’s day.

Connection

I’m going to the NAMM show this year, for the first time in almost 20 years. I’ve been saying 12 (when I last moved from Carpinteria, and its comfortable, less-than-8-hour drive to Anaheim), but doing the math it’s been 20, as I didn’t attend NAMM any of the years I lived here last, either. Craziness. In case you’re confused, NAMM stands for “National Association of Music Merchants”, and is *the* biggest music conference of each year. To be looking back at 2 decades of avoiding NAMM as a constantly-working musician is, frankly, a bit strange to me. Maybe even a bit embarrassing, honestly.

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Cans

Yeah, all the cool kids call them ‘beats’ now, but I never got down with the shoe/kicks vibe either. To me, headphones will always be cans (thanks for that, studio life), and an integral part of my life both personally and professionally. Obviously a clear, uncolored set of cans/headphones are great for studio work so you can translate your mixes/etc to the real world more effectively, but I’ll admit for recreational listening I tend to go for a little more ‘oomph’ in the low end. Having tried a TON of headphones (and headsets) over the years, I’m slowly settling down to three pairs (plus one ‘wildcard’). Here they are, why I still use them all regularly, and their pros/cons from my perspective.

Beats by Dr Dre - Wireless

Beats Wireless – General Listening
Somewhere between the Pro & Studio and the Solo models, the Beats Wireless cans have a great balance of fidelity with some fat low end for a rich listening experience. Although the Studio model is much more accurate, there’s just something about the sound of these that I’ve come to love, they tend to warm up the bass guitar range (my personal focus area of the spectrum) and have a pleasing high end, not too brittle or crisp. But the convenience is the best part, they’re so comfortable and easy to use without the connecting cable that I often forget I’m wearing them, or need to stay within range of my phone/tablet/laptop.

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