Friday, April 4, 2014

You never get a second chance to make a last impression

Yesterday a Second Life Musician became an Ex-Second Life Musician. Of course the way he went about it was less then dignified.

Lexie was looking at her Facebook page and found a rant from an "Un-named" muso whom felt he was not appreciated sufficiently and was going to storm off in a huff and never play in Second life again. This guy had his finger pointing at everybody.

Now, I feel qualified to talk about being un-popular because while I feel My self and the band "Kinagree Smith" are one of the best acts on Second life, we are by no means popular. And I know the reasons we are not popular.

IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT!!!!

Just kiddking, it's NOT your fault at all. It is the nature of what we do that makes us both GREAT and not very popular. We play an awful lot of Original tunes and  when you drop somebody into a concert and they don't hear songs they know and are comfortable with, They don't have a good time. However, there are a happy few that look for something original, or personable and enjoy what we do very much.


Now the fellow that quit the other day, had an act where he would play flute over  backing tracks. Now that does not really peak my interest and I can't imaging many people would be lining up for an hour of flute tooting. It was kind of unreasonable for him to expect great successes with such an act, however he did expect it and was was very dissapointed when it didn't come after two years of trying.

He did mention he had a few friends and or supporters but didn't mention them by name, and if they are really that few it should be easy to mention them all. Kinagree Smith is a cult band, but I can't name all our friends and supporters. However we do recognize them when they show up.

Now, one of your friends is a Second life ROCKSTAR. She blows out Sims when she plays, and as her friends we are privy to the fact she work her butt off to keep things interesting. She also does popular songs and half the time she plays her bass to backing tracks. She does popular things and adds the talent and hard work to be the ROCKSTAR she is.

Now this blog is not really about what makes you popular or not in Second life. It's about leaving with your dignity intact. You really never get a second chance to make a last impression and as of now I think the fellow in question is very immature.  When you leave please don't underline your failure because only the artist can define failure or success. If you choose to leave Second Life, and must say something, please make a point to thank your supporters. Please don't  throw a childish tantrum.

Second life doesn't owe you popularity. Bring what you got and work hard. But in the end, I'm reminded of the words of a wise quasi blues-man. "The truth don't matter anyway, it is, what it is, what it is".

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

All I want is loving you and music,music,music

I'm not announcing any new big projects here, but I've been bumping around with a bunch of musical instruments the last few days and I'm really feeling my Sap rising. I've devoted my life to music and I still haven't reached bottom yet.

I also spend a lot of time thinking about music and let me share a few random thoughts

Music is shaped by it's audience... and that is not always a good thing. We live in a world that values music as a commodity. The more commercial some bit of music is, the better it is. This is true even in niche genres like ours.   Now I find myself wondering if that is true.

I love music and I've spent four years supporting myself with music. It's was very hard because I didn't make much money at it, but I scraped out a living.

 Then I got a day job.

I still played music ever night but I made enough money with the day job to consider music a hobby. My Day job has provided me with all the musical tool I could ask for and now all my gear is Super Mega. I should be making music like a crazy monkey. But I'm not.

Now that music is not "work" it requires more discipline then I've developed. So the last few days I've been enjoying my new musical toys with random enthusiasm.  I'm figuring the best way to do "something" is to get about doing "anything".

I'm currently laid off of my job, so lets see if I get any more productive. This has afforded me time to make music, but I would love to go back to work.

What was this blog about?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

2013 was a great year for recorded music, but we didn't record any and now it's 2014

Wow it's been quite on the blog for well over a year. Tap,Tap,Tap..... is this thing on?

You may wonder why I stopped writing the blog? Simple, the band wasn't doing anything, so the blog didn't do anything.

The band's problem was band members being sidelined by health issues.While we have been playing shows in Second Life, that is all we could muster and even that was hit &miss. We were by all accounts AMAZING, but I feel deep down inside we could... and have done better.

I'm not writing at this time to make some grand announcement,  Nothing is going on. We are living our lives playing some shows online and snatching a few moments of contentment from the jar.

However.......

Kinagree Smith isn't a BAND so much as a family, and the family doesn't stop with the band members. During the rough times there has be much needed support and frankly I have the desire to be very open and honest with you.

Not that I've been overtly deceptive, it's just that there are rules to writing a BAND blog. EVERYTHING MUST BE POSITIVE! Every thing is New, Improved,  Big, AMAZING Coming soon, Blah, blah, Yeah yeah yeah. The articles are full of useful information but FLUFFED up with happy words.

I don't feel good about fluffing stuff up and I think I'm going to try a different more lyrical approach to writing the blog. Not grim or gritty (gritty is the anti-Fluffy),but...more personal.

In my mind, this is the most logical extension of the  Band/family that is Kinagree Smith.

Okay, let us see if I do anything tomorrow.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

2013... the best year for recorded music ever!!!!


I've got some news about recording projects for Kinagree Smith and the members of Kinagree Smith.

As you may know there have been lots of set back on the way to creating our opus magnum, “Ashes and Dreams”. But now it seems as a conclusion is in site.

On February 17th we'll be entering Unipheye Music studios to actually record “Ashes and Dreams”. And while it has been a long time coming, I earnestly believe it will be worth the wait.

But wait.... there is more.

While waiting to get our “stuff in one sock”, Lexie and I have been writing more songs and some time during the year 2013 we should be releasing one solo collection each.

On Lexie's Solo collection you can expect....

Love Grows
Stay in the Moment
The Plot
When The Rain Starts to Fall
Bitter Sweet
When I Get Home
Where Do We Go from Here
Your Star
And more.....

On Jack's Collection you can expect.....

Why Can't I Hear Myself Screaming
I Sleep in Circles
Older
So Over Me
My Folk Music Want's to Kick Your Ass
I'm In Control
Andy Warhol Chic
And more....

Also, remember late Spring we'll be recording the “2 Big 4 The Internet” EP with Vinnie and Noma.

We've really gotten out of the habit of releasing recorded material, and frankly we need to change that. We are songwriters, we need to be writing songs and recording them so people can enjoy them.

2013 seems quite promising and as always, expect great things.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Broaching controversy


You know we do have a “Keep everything positive” sort of spin on this blog, and frankly it's been rendering me mute. I've got something on my mind and I'm kind of bollixed up until I speak it.

So.....

The following is NOT me being negative, but rather me being mentally hygienic. I feel the need to address this because frankly things are getting a bit out of hand.

Second Life has been commendably generous during times of need. Many large charities have major campaigns in Second Life. They seem to do well.

But frankly.... sometimes so smaller charities, so small you might even call them personal crop up. An example of this would be the “Save Beth's Brain” charity for a Second Life resident that needed a HUGE amount of money to deal with her medical situation. Now personally I don't have a problem with this kind of charity, but some do. Some feel the residents of Second Life are asked to be too charitable.

My personal feeling is, if you want to contribute to a cause, no matter how small that is up to you. I pitched in to “Save Beth's Brain” and I'm sure glad I did.

However, there seems to be yet another group people with hands out waiting for your money. I'm sad to report this group is.... musicians.

First up I want to say I'm not about personally bashing these people. I have nothing against them as people. However, I find their actions pretty messed up. To protect their identities I'll give them Fake/Fake names and not use their real/Fake names. Let's call one “Double Spooky” and the other “BoyLike Can'tDraw”.

Both these guys want to make a record.

Seems they feel it takes either 8,000$ or 10.000$ to make a recording.

They are quite wrong. But that is not really the point. The point is..... Drum roll please... they expect the charitable residents to Second Life to finance their dreams.

Some would argue if people want to chip in.... what is the big deal. I would agree if that were the case, but this is being treated just like a charity event. Yes... They are having benefits for Double Spooky and BoyLike Can'tDraw.

The problem I have with this is, it further fills the already crowded field of charitable events, with an event that dose no social good whatsoever. It doesn't even address someone's emergency need. It only strokes the ego of two musicians that feel their ticket to “The Next Level” should be underwritten by the generosity of Second Life residents.

And the utter travesty of this all is, even if they succeed in raising the money, they will ultimately fail. They seem to think if they make a wicked cool professional record in a real studio, it's just a hop skip and jump to “The Big Time”. But in reality, recording is the easy part. Selling your master work is always the hard, and costly part.

Mostly costly.

If their budget were ten fold larger they might have a slim chance at success. Frankly it's the promotion that cost money, but the promotion also sells the product.

Provided.... people want it.

To sum it up. Let's keep our charity events about actual charity.

Let's not beat the generosity out of our residents with constant hands out for grid wide philanthropy.  

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Kinagree Smith Band House – Week Three; The Wind Cried Sandy by Ira Norman Segall


Week three came in like a hurricane…. no it really did. Hurricane Sandy hit on Sunday and while in our particular spec of land it wasn’t as fierce as we’d anticipated, it was nonetheless a pretty bad storm - we were out of power for nearly three days. We missed a handful of shows and although somewhat cliché, one seriously takes for granted all that one uses excited electrons traveling across a conductor for in one’s existence, both entertainment as well as practical. We were very grateful for its reinstatement.

During the outage, nights were candle-lit and interestingly, I began to get used to the softness of the candles. A brief visitation back to a somewhat simpler existence. Playing tabla by candlelight was part of this for me. I channel deeply ancient energy when I play tabla, so it was a synchronicity of energy and experience for me.

Also during the outage Band House Creative Lab occurred for me in a very interesting way. Jack and I did the only rational thing we could to keep sane and that was pick up instruments and play. We made fantastic music during the first of a few candlelight improv sessions and for me, a compartment dissolved away in that before Band House I would show up in time to set up for a show, Jack and Lexie would already be in show-prep mode and Jack and I may have a few moments of improv but it was couched in a very necessary sound-check or a moment or two of loosening-up, but we really always played songs – the repertoire. Up until this candlelight improv, if I wanted to play totally free, completely improvisationally, I would play with ether of two other musicians that I play with as side-projects. It wasn’t until this particular evening that Jack and I had the free, open, loose, relaxed time to just “go” – just play music; instrumental, no lyrics. I felt the freedom to switch up and play a variety of instruments; the ceramic/fish-skin dumbek, 30” frame-drum, the big udu and the riq. It was, firstly a remarkable experience for me to get to know him on yet a new, deeper level as a player, but it dissolved a compartment for me. A division of sorts between Kinagree Smith and my free-improv side-projects. This was significant for me.

Since then, Jack and I have “gone out” with tabla and guitar in a very, very cool way. Each being that I play with brings a synergy of a different fragrance of musical personality and textures, and it is a deep experience of spirit for me to meet the musical energy and heart-space of the individual I’m playing with as well as the music. I play with deep respect and generosity to the being I’m playing with as well as the music. This is part of what improv is for me and what it means to me in a very deep and significant way, and as much as Jack and I learn about each other when we throw variations into parts of the Kinagree Smith literature or the Jack Kinagree literature each time we play a show, meeting him in a free, instrumental improv environment is a much different experience for me. We grow and players, band-mates and friends.

Band House is a Happening, a creative occurrence.

Not related to Band House; a rediscovery of Barbasol….. next time. Stay tuned


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Second Anniversary Kinagree Smith


To some people it's Halloween, but if you are familiar with the lore of Kinagree Smith you know it all started with an impromptu Jam on October 31, 2010.

Since that history making moment, Lexie and I have had many madcap adventures, like joining up with Ira Norman Segall.

While we aren't rich or famous yet, we sure are having an interesting time. Heck, we've managed to survive the worst hurricane in a century to reach this mile stone.

While I could drone on retrospectively, I'll save that for next year. You've been warned.