AngelaJossy's Blog

Apr. 4, 2008 at 12:33pm

HFC Newsletter SECTION FOUR

Angie's Notes


SECTION FOUR: Angie's Notes


Ghosts and Liars split up. Dammit.

This blog was recently posted on the bands myspace page:

The End.

Hello friends,
It is with sad hearts that we are writing to inform you that Ghosts & Liars is no more. After a year and a half of ups and downs, we got together, drank some beers and agreed that it was time to move on and begin anew.
There is absolutely no bad blood between any of us. The five of us will not only continue to remain the closest of friends, but will also continue to play music together in many ways, shapes and forms.
We’d like to thank each and every one of you that supported us along the way. It’s a tired and old cliché, but we really couldn’t have done it without the love you showed us throughout. Thanks to you and your help, we had a ridiculous amount of opportunities to play some amazing shows with musicians we’ve always looked up to as well as a lot of unbelievably incredible local bands.
For those of you looking to start or fuel rumors as to why G&L is no more, we’d like to wish you the best of luck in spinning this. The love and respect we have for each other is what brought us together to play music and ultimately what led us to decide to to move on from G&L. If you’re looking to spread gossip and false intrigue, we urge you to worry about your own fucking life.
Thank you all again, for everything. If you have any questions, you know how to find us.

Love,
AJ, Chris, Eino, Lee & Rachel.

This is very disappointing news. After a remarkably successful comeback from the split from their former band Some By Sea, Ghosts and Liars had elements of greatness. I especially enjoyed Chris's cunning knack for lyrics, Rachel's sweet vocals and her stunning cello parts. As this group morphs into whatever form they think of next, this time I will remember that this is the band that aims to break our hearts. Again.   

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Meet Deborah Page

She's got the sweet lilting voice, acoustic guitar chops and songs from her heart and he's got the skills behind the laptop and the muscle behind the electric guitar and bass. Together they create a sound that I've been waiting to hear in Tacoma for the last 3-4 years.

I remember seeing laptop bands in Seattle like Kuma and The Fading Collection and thinking that that's the way to go. Less people to rely on, less hassles with ego's, reliable sound, reliable mix (for the most part), less gear to haul and a thoroughly modern sound. They have the basic tracks pre-recorded and then when they play live, they just play the lead parts and vocals over top of the recorded parts. I used to call it the "band in a box" idea. Deborah Page even completes the dream by partnering with the man she loves - making the situation even more ideal. No more worries about band members missing band practice! He's already there!

Paul Uhl plays bass or electric guitar depending on the song. Deborah sings and plays a 12-string acoustic guitar. The Mac Laptop (with garageband) fills the room with catchy rhythms, keyboards, accent sounds and sometimes even background vocals.

When I saw their act for the first time I'd already heard remarks from several people about her talent. What I wasn't prepared for was the emotion that swept over me when they started to play. I instantly loved and hated her. I haven't felt like that since I first saw Storm Large. Of course the hate part wasn't really hate, more of a "Damn she's doing what I wanted to do!" kind of feeling. Then I realized that this was a great moment for Tacoma. Tacoma was finally ready to accept the laptop band. A few years ago the climate wasn't ready. People still needed to see the drummer, the bass player, the keyboard player and whatever other instruments they were hearing - otherwise they compared the band to karaoke or worse, Milli Vanilli. It's totally not that way now. Audiences are smarter and they realize that its not karaoke if you played all the instruments yourself and recorded it. After all, no-one can play all the instruments at the same time - even with a loop pedal (see K.T. Tunstall).  

We are a generation in love with technology. I personally can't get enough weird bleeps and glitches - as long as it takes nothing away from the melody and Deborah Page is a natural at melody-writing. I managed to get my paws on her freshman effort, called simply, For, and its a lovely album. I really enjoy to listening to it in the car, especially in traffic. It's up-tempo but soothing at the same time. Its not quite as adventurous as Imogen Heap but has a similar feeling.

And for the record, I don't hate Deborah Page. I really like her a lot. She's a real sweetheart and a great talent. I sat her down for a quick Q and A recently. Here's what she had to say:

Angie: Deborah, where are you from originally?

Deborah: Tacoma, born at St. Joe's.

Angie: How did you and your bandmate Paul Uhl meet each other?

Deborah: We met on Anderson Island. I was singing at the Island Fair and he was taking pictures of me. We both had the same friends out there for years but had never met till then...2005.

Angie: How long have you been together?

Deborah: Two years, three months and four days. I know, I know, love sick kids. Gag me with a spoon and all that. :)

Angie: Have you always played music together or did that come later in your relationship?

Deborah: I have been playing since the age of seven. My father bought me a three-string guitar. Paul has played since he was 18 years old. It took about 3 months into our relationship before we started to play together... instant chemistry.

Angie: Do you ever foresee yourselves adding more members to your band?

Deborah: The idea of a band would be great. Finding the right drummer, bass and keyboard player that mesh well can be hard to find, but yes, eventually a band.

Angie: Do you have any touring plans?

Deborah: We would love to tour. I think it is a right of passage for any band. No plans yet but definitely on the horizon.

Angie: What is your philosophy about life in the music business?

Deborah: AHH. Well how much ink do you have? It is a crazy business. I think you have to do what you think is right, be smart, and stay true to your music whatever it might be.

Angie: What are you most looking forward to?

Deborah: Learning from and working with people I admire such as Ed Vedder, Vast (John Crosby) and several more....and a pack of M&M's at the end of the day... love M&M'S!

Angie: What are goals are you working toward right now?

Deborah: We are working on our second album at the moment, playing gigs, getting a fan base built up and just trying to get heard - which can be a daunting task at times.

Angie: Who inspires you?

Deborah: I suppose the who, is Life. Almost every song I write comes from something I have felt, seen, been tormented by or experienced. Life, I suppose, has inspired me to do this. I know it sounds a bit corny, but there ya go.

Angie: If you had to describe the subject matter of your album, For, as a whole what would you say it’s about?

Deborah: A random, emotionally unstable, in love, pissed off woman who tells stories and likes a sweet sounding lead guitar.

Angie: What are some of your bands accomplishments so far?

Deborah: We have played some awesome gigs at Jazzbones, Java Jive (it's a classic), The 100th monkey, .... (Still waiting to do Hell's Kitchen .. hint hint...!) Our song "my love" is going to be in a French film called Trombolinton by Christian Penafiel. We played Tacoma's First Night 2008 and are headed up to play at the U District street fair in May. We will play at the Glassroots festival in August and we have several more shows on the way between now and then.

Angie: What other bands are you often compared with?

Deborah: That is a tough question. Several different bands and singers from Joni Mitchell to Shawn Colvin to Portishead to James.

Angie: Which comparison is your favorite?

Deborah: Ummmm, the one where someone thought we sounded like "old time country band"?? Uh, okay?

Angie: How many albums have you done so far?

Deborah: Just one, called FOR. The next one is in the works.

Angie: When you began this one, you must have said something like "This time we should ____"
Can you fill in that blank for me?

Deborah: Take longer. We did our last album.. recorded the whole thing collectively in 7 days. Guitar, drums , bass, keyboard, vocal, the whole thing. I don't recommend that.

Angie: Did you use a producer or is this a strictly in-house operation?

Deborah: Paul produced the album. We had a certain sound we wanted plus we are starving musicians so we figured best to do it ourselves.

Angie: Have you kept track of how many copies you've sold so far?

Deborah: We had 250 made the first run. They sold out in a week. Made another 50 limited edition gone, just got another batch and they are moving quite well.

Angie: What tips can you offer up and coming bands?

Deborah: It's not easy. Stick with it. Play your music because you have to, because you need to. If you never make it big, so what, this is your art, never make excuses for it, just believe in it.

Angie: What are your day jobs? Besides Paul being a terrific photographer of course.

Deborah: Paul has been Surgical Tech for the last 11 years. I do all kinds of random shiza all day long.

Angie: What is the most interesting thing about your band that sets you apart from your peers?

Deborah: I think our sound is different. It's a combination of the 90's grunge with some Sarah McLachlan which was into mixed with 60's guitar that Paul loves. We are not afraid to make an album that has several different sounding songs and put it on the same cd.

Angie: Is there anything else you'd like people to know about you and/or your music?

Deborah: I know we both feel grateful to be doing this ... playing music ... finally doing what we love. Thanks to all of you who listen.

For more information about Deborah Page, visit http://www.myspace.com/pagedeborah44.

See her live April 3rd at Oh! Gallagher's, April 16th at Jazzbones, April 17th at Sanford and Son, and April 19th at Java Flow downtown Olympia.

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Beehive gives us the buzz on SXSW

Local band Beehive just returned from an exciting trip to the Disneyland of the music business, South by Southwest - where new bands are discovered and great bands are celebrated. Click here to read the story I wrote about Beehive for the Weekly Volcano last summer. This week I checked in with the rockin' duo to see how their trip to Austin went. See interview below:

Angie: How/when did you decide to play at SxSw?

Alethea: We were invited to play on Super Bowl Sunday.

Angie: What was the application process?

Alethea: We applied through Sonic bids.

Angie: Was this your first time going?

Alethea: It was our first time playing. We went as spectators to SXSW in 2006

Angie: What was the festival like as a whole?

Alethea: The festival was a lot of fun. 6th Street was entirely closed down to traffic. People would walk up and down the middle of the street, and it was packed with people. It kind of felt like Mardis Gras, and with a SXSW badge you could enter every venue.

During the evening the street was even more packed with people going to shows, while in the daytime, the convention center had a variety of panels with guest speakers like Ice Cube, Lou Reed, and Thurstan Moore, while 6th street venues had smaller label showcases, as well as showcases sponsored by magazines like Filter and Blender. The weather was sunny and warm about 85-90 degrees. It felt like music paradise. Also there is so much going on, it can make it a challenge for more independent bands to get noticed. We made a bunch of handbills and handed them out a few days before our showcase. I think this helped to get people to come out. Having a showcase also helped when talking with people. It seemed to be an ice breaker when talking with industry types.

Angie: Did you meet any new contacts that you think will benefit your band in the future?

Alethea: We did meet people here and there. It was interesting to bump into a lot of Seattle people at the conference too. Most of the contacts were made at shows, in between panels, or through people that we already knew. People were very friendly and would introduce themselves to you without any provocation, so it felt very easy to meet people.

Angie: Did any new opportunities spring from your appearance?

Alethea: We will see, we did meet some people, but I think going with an open mind and open heart, without expectations, is always the best thing to do, because you never know how things will manifest in the future. We met a lot of great people, got a bunch of business cards. Still sorting through them.

Angie: Did you get any press?

Alethea: The showcase we were a part of was mentioned in the Austin-A-list.

Angie: How did your show go?

Alethea: It went really well. It was quite fast, 15 acts in one night. Before we went on, earlier in the evening, we had the privilege of watching J. Mascis from Dinosaur Jr. play. It was pretty awesome.

Angie: How many days did you stay?

Alethea: We stayed for the full music conference March 12-16th.

Angie: I'm assuming that you got to see some other bands while you were there, what was your favorite performance? Did you find any new favorite bands?

Alethea: One group that was a total surprise in regard to our expectations and what we saw was The Neptunes! I think we thought it was Top 40 HipHop that had a fad-ish vibe to it but what we saw was a full band with multiple MC’s that not only brought the true HipHop elements (the 4 elements), but could rock as hard as the best rock bands we saw at the festival. They were tight and totally engaging and made us think about how to up the ante on our OWN live show… Great stuff.

Angie: Did you do any merch giveaways? Did you sell any CDs?

Alethea: Yes, we sold CD’s after our performance, and we offered CD’s and Press Packs to anyone interested in the band during the day at the conference. This is key to networking. Here is a word of advice to anyone looking to make it in this industry: Your CD is pretty much your business card now a days…. Sure a business card is great for bumping into a prospective client or collaborator or if you plan to have a phone call with said individual. BUT… if the goal is for that person to invest in your music, or write about it, play it on radio, or sign you to their label.. you gotta give it away now..!

Seriously, also anyone whom you might wish to play with on a bill or even if they have a lot of friends who will then come out to your show. Think of your CD as a gift or as a reward in those cases. Otherwise your CD is a business card that has ALL your contact info on the CD case and insert, AND on the disk it’s self.

Angie: What would you say to a musician who is wondering if SXSW is worthwhile? Also, would you have gone if you weren't performing just for the networking?

Alethea: SXSW is worth while on many levels, BUT for the indie musician or band, it is an unprecedented way to “Get in the Room” with industry Pro’s and people who have killer advice and ideas for navigating a very fluctuating and changing Music Market / Industry.

I don’t think I would go again without performing, but we did go in 2006 without a showcase and had a great time then too. It was a lot of fun both times. However the first time we went we focused on seeing as many shows as we could, but this time we had to balance between getting ready for our showcase and seeing as many shows, going panels and parties as we could. It was more of blur with a showcase, because there was really a lot to do, and we didn’t want to miss out on anything.. so there was no sleep to be had…

So I think it’s a personal call. The badge is quite an investment financially, but I think it would be possible to do the networking thing, with a wristband or maybe even just hanging out on 6th street. In fact, there were a few people we know from Seattle who went to some of the parties by RSVPing before hand and didn’t even buy a badge or wristband, so it’s definitely doable to go network without buying the badge. However if you do get the badge, the panels are pretty informative, and you get a bag jammed packed full of cd’s and fun stuff..

Angie: Is there anything else about your experience that you'd like to share?

Alethea: People in Austin are really friendly warm people. I really had a great time

Angie: Do you have any music video's on Youtube? If so please send me a link.

Alethea: At this time we have NO music video online but we are in the process of negotiating the making of one. However, if you are interested, a fan has made some videos from Japanese anime and sync’d it up with live and album tracks of Beehive and put them up on MYSPACE. These can be found by going to myspace and searching “Beehive (band) and “anime”. These aren’t cleared but they are entertaining for sure!

For more information about Beehive visit : www.beehivemusic.com and/or www.myspace.com/beehive.

You can see both Beehive and Deborah Page live in Tacoma this summer during GLASSROOTS FESTIVAL on Sunday August 24th. 


 

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