Sunday, May 29, 2011

Legendary Music venues, The Birthplace of Larry fine and Ghost Busters... oh my!!!!

Now Kinagree-Smith are part of the Legend

Yes good readers, mark it down as history. Joining a long litenty of historical performances is the EPIC show performed by Kinagree-Smith. Yeah I know I'm talking a lot of shit, but it was a big deal for Lexie and I.

How did operation “Mob Dobbs” turn out?

Well, we didn't seem to draw as many as we hoped for. It being Memorial day weekend seemed to work against us as it seemed everybody had a good excuse for not showing up. Bill and Joe where there, so hurray for Bill and Joe.

I've gotta say, the staff at Dobbs where quite exceptional, and it was one of the most stress free performances I've every played. They were on top of everything and made us feel right at home.

Now during the performance, the front of Dobbs was wide open. We had a good crowd in the bar, but the scene out of the street was amazing. Lexie thinks my reaction to the people outside watching was kind of humorous, but I thought it was pretty cool. These were people not out looking for music, but rather stumbling across Kinagree-Smith and stopping to listen... and wave. I was waving back because I'm a goober and I'm easy to impress.

Now if you missed the live show... and many of you did, fear not, we are here with video in hand (or embedded) for you to enjoy. The performance part of the video was shot by Joe Karp (Not Carp as it says in the video). He was having a little trouble with the camera, but we got some prime live stuff for you.

With this chapter finished, what musical adventures lay ahead? The only way to find out is to keep reading this blog. Thanks again for all of your support, and as always, expect great things.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Two-fer Video Hump day Extravaganza in preparation for Operation Mob Dobbs

Road Trip to Diskmakers brings Operation “Make a disk” to a successful conclusion

Mega thanks to those generous enough to help us with Operation “Make a disk”. Here is the road trip across the bridge to pick it up. I hope you enjoy.

Speaking of conclusion... the photo in the corner is of Bill, and he is the first to buy the new Wartzinall CD. I did try and make a video of the event, but I messed it up by having the camera ON when I didn't want it on, then turn it off for the event. Goodness I'm retarded.... er, Slow. You aren't suppose to say, “Retarded” anymore. Saying the “R” word is sooooo gay.

Anyway, we recorded songs, put them on a Disk and sold that disk to a person. Full circle. Mission accomplished and not in a George Bush kind of way.

Anyway, managed to get a still frame of Bill, so thanks Bill for supporting Independent music.
UPDATE: Bill sent me a better Photo via Face Book.

More music on Video

Did a “Mini Mob” drill at the green rock Monday and here is one of the songs we played. Might put the other one up later in the week.

Operation “Mob Dobbs” this Saturday

This upcoming Saturday. If you are in the Philly area join the Celtic/American Folk RWAK Revolution at the Legendary Dobbs. We are playing a full set so get there early and tell the man at the door you came to get an earfull of Kinagree-Smith.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Operation “Mob Dobbs” is in effect, Touring New Zealand.. the disk not us, and yet another video

Next Saturday the 28th of May Kinagree-Smith at the Legendary Dobbs

Yes it is indeed a very big deal. The Legendary Dobbs is pretty . well... legendary. Lots of people have launched mega careers in music after playing there. Not to say we'll ever make “IT”, but we could use a boost, and Dobbs is a very good place to get a boost.

If any of my Philly people are reading this, you already know how beneficial a good show at Dobbs can be, so mark it down on your calendar and get your funky self down to the show. And if you are going to be there make sure to tell the guy at the door you've come to see “Kinagree-Smith” or we don't get paid. It's all about the draw, and we are hoping we can muster up a few hundred people... or maybe ten.

Once again I mention in music, success comes from appearing to be popular even if you are not and this is a very important opportunity to appear to be popular.

Operations “Mob Dobbs” is in effect. We've got a great show ready to roll and all we need is people to play to. We should have the CD in hand at this time, and your attendance could put you in place to witness a small part of Kinagree-Smith history.

As I post this it is a few minutes into Saturday the 21 of May. Only a week until the big show. We'll be count down the days, and Lexie and I both hope to see you there.

Touring New Zealand... the CD

A good friend of ours has asked us to ship her a copy of “Wartzinall” to her home in New Zealand. She intends to take to the streets with the CD and play it for the Kiwi (People in New Zealand are called “Kiwi”). She plans to video their reaction to the Kinagree-Smith sound and send us the reaction video which we'll of course edit out the bad comments and post to You Tube.

How fun is that?

Speaking of Video

Here is a video from the Green Rock Tavern of me playing “The Conversation Wasn't Over”. I hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wartzinall goes LIVE at MP3.... but what about I-tunes?

The day after we had our release event online, I set about posting Wartzinall to several third party vendors. If you want one or two songs from Wartzinall, now you can get just the songs you want.

But why wouldn't you want them all? Gotta be some kind of crazy person to just want ONE song from Wartzinall. And everybody knows the crazy people on the net all belong to something called MNP and none of those freaks read this blog.

But I digress.

Here is the handy link for those of you whom want to go take a gander. Keep in mind the previews (Pre-listens) are about 0.0001 seconds long, but I imagine the head honchos at Amazon figured with songs as good as the one featured on Wartzinall, you didn't need to bother with a lot of foreplay.

Wartzinall at Amazon

Now in theory, the songs are also suppose to be available on I-Tunes. But it seems I can't search for them without downloading the I-Tunes software, and there are some things I'm not willing to do. In a more perfect world, the people I bought the distribution package from would send me a note saying, “Hey you know that service you paid for? Well.... we didn't rip you off, your on I-Tunes now little buckaroo. Yeeehaaw”. Keep in mind I imagine the guys I bought the package from wearing little red felt cowboy hats, a fringe vest and red cowboy boot with white pipping. I don't even know why I might imagine that... but I do. TMI? Perhaps... I'll press on.

Now had they sent me such a note, and the tracks were not available on I-Tunes... how would I ever know?

Now the Experts tell me... and you know who you are, that I-Tunes is very, very, very important because... well... it just is. I'm not clear on why just yet. Since we are “Going fer it ™ “ I figured we ought to cross all the “I”s and dot all the “T”s.

Wait, I got that backwards.... I need to sleep someday

And you can't spell I-Tunes with out an “I” and a “T”.

And while we are at it, a U-N-E-S are also needed, and lets not forget the “-” that makes it all cute and trendy. but perhaps I explain too much.

So anyway, long story short, if anybody actually has I-Tunes software installed and can check, do me a favor and do so. Leave a comment either way... and yes, I'm looking right at the Experts. And don't forget to call me a little buckaroo.

Yes the unstoppable juggernaut that is Wartzinall, is just a wee bit more available and I think that is probably a good thing. Good things lead to great things and as always, expect great things.


I love progress... it's so progressive

Late breaking news flash. I've updated the Kinagree-Smith web site (web site?), and frankly, while it won't win any awards, it's pretty simple and effective.


While our web ninja labors away at a site that will make your eyes bleed with is cutting edge cool-tastic-ness, we do need something to cover any visitors that might pop by in the mean time.

It's a web page with three links. “All the info” leads to our Reverb Nation page and that really does feature everything a normal band page would have. Then we have “All the news” which leads the visitor to our blog (Ummmm... you are reading the blog now), and last, a link that says, “Live web show/Buy Music and Merch/ The Calendar”. Not really sure what that is linked to, but it seems to fill the gap the other links leave.

I'm really proud of this page. Not because it's particularly clever or anything, but mostly because I'm a lazy bastard. And to get the job done with three links might get me nominated for a Nobel Prize in Slothful Pragmatism.

It's simple, it works and I'm going to bed. Feel free to check it out while I slumber.

When I wake up, Expect more great things.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Head Shots... Finally

Wow, it took forever to get any photos of Lexie and myself. We made a full CD, played a bunch of shows and shot a fist full of videos and until now, no photos of Kinagree-Smith. Even the CD art work is devoid of any photo of either Kinagree or Smith.

Now it's not because we are international men and or women of mystery. It's just hard to get people to volunteer in a timely manner. Remember we have a photography budget of 0.00 $, so that leaves us with people willing to get behind a camera and take their best shots.

Well after months of that not quite working out, I was in full panic mode. In case you are wondering, I'm the one in charge of panicking. Lexie suggested we set up the video camera on the tripod, run the camera and export frames from the video.
Well that worked. Actually I think it worked quite well. I'm starting to wonder if we are ever going to do anything in a conventional manner.
Hey speaking of timely help, Much thanks to Bill for running the video camera for us last night at the Green Rock Tavern. He did a great job and I really just handed him the camera and said, “Hit the red button to record”. Great Job Bill you RAWK.

I'm reminded of the soldiers creed sometimes.

“We the Unwilling.
Lead by the Unknowing.
Have done so much, for so long with so little.
We are now able to do anything with nothing.”

We, and when I say we, I mean all of us, Lexie, myself and all our supporters are the soldiers of folk rock music. Our methods might be unconventional, but the conventional rout is for people with enough money to be conventional. All we have is talent, moxy and some of the best supporters in the world.

So who needs money...

Sep for paying rent and eating and stuff like that.

Things are moving forward and keep expecting great things.

Monday Night LIVE at the Green Rock

We stopped by for a drink, ended up playing a few songs with good friend Ira Norman Segall. And we just happened to have a video camera handy.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Operation “Make a Disk” is GO GO GO GONE!!!!

Good news readers. A few very generous supporters did supply us with the funds to make our first actual CD.

The Files are uploaded and it should be ready in 5 business days. This means we should have it before our career making show at the Legendary Dobbs. Okay, maybe it's not career making, but it's a big deal round about the Philly scene.

Both Lexie and I are on the edge of our seats feeling like big and good things are heading our way. Things have been a bit slow lately, but we have been putting in the time, doing the work, making the contacts, I'm sure amazing things lay right around the corner.

Once again much thanks to our dear supporters because we could not have secured the funds to do this in a timely manner on our own. Thank you thank you and thank you again.

As always, expect great things.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Operation “Make a Disk” is in effect and failure is... well a likelihood, but that never stopped us before

Independence is a wonderful thing, and Lexie and I have been remarkably independent as artist, but we have always been aware of how much our supporters make what we do possible and even reasonable to do. You have always been there for us, and when the situation seems untenable, it's often been our good friends that have made the difficult seem a little less... well.. difficult (I'm reading this to Lexie and she says “Thank you”). While not optimist, we are still dreamers.

We did manage to cobble together a rather nice recording with little more then moxy, spunk and a handful of great songs. We did get some help from our friends of course, Noma played bass and mandolin, Chris played drums and Senjata gave us the perfect Bodhran track to open the CD with. But in the end, it was endless hours of hard work that made the recording possible and delivered on time.

A wise man named Captain Jack Sparrow once said, “There are two things that matter. What a man can do, and what a man can't do”. We can make a recording of some great songs, but what we can't do, at least in a timely manner is pay to have the actual CD manufactured.

Time is of the essence here and let me tell you why. We have a handful of opportunities upcoming where having a actual CD would be of great benefit to us. A music career is all about being “in the right place at the right time”, and making the most of your opportunities.

We have a very high profile show on May 28th at the Legendary Dobbs, and a music festival spot in June. In both situations having a physical CD available would be very useful to us.

There is also an independent public Radio station in Philadelphia that features the kind of off beat music we play. Their support has helped launch the careers of several artist in the Philadelphia area. We do have a connection that could possibly get our songs in rotation in time to get us some much needed attention before our debut at Dobbs.

Perhaps now you can see our need for timely action.

We do need your help.

Our goal is simple, to make a short run of CDs (100 is a very short run), and use them for further our careers. The cost for such a endeavor is 244.00 $.

We don't have thousands of supporters, but we do have more then ten... I think (smiles). If each one chipped in whatever they could afford, we could move things forward and … that would be a very good thing ™.

Please donate as much as you can to the pay pal button below. I know money is tight and whatever you can afford will really help. Time is the issue here, and while not taking advantage of these opportunities won't sink us, it would suck to have to let them pass us by.

Thank you for your support both in the past and now, as always expect great things.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wartzinall restored to 16 bit Glory

The CD version of “Wartzinall” is back up at Reverb Nation. This is the best sounding version of the recording available to the consumer.

It took quite an investment of time to get the Wav files uploaded, but I feel now all is as it should be.

We are having a CD sale for the next week, the CD version of Wartzinall will be 12.99 $ instead of 15.00 $.

I'm also investing some time uploading the Wav files to Indie Spectrum Radio, So feel free to request them and check it out.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Wartzinall CD removed from Reverb Nation Store for revison

Might be news you can use

Okay, I'm pretty sure the likelihood of someone buying an actual CD as this point in history is not great. People LOVE those cute little MP3 files Gawd bless em. But I am pulling the CD version of Wartzinall from our Reverb Nation page to give it the treatment it deserves.

We very much wanted to have all options available on release day. So I uploaded the MP3 files to the "Publish on demand" version of the CD. This was pretty stupid on my part, I should have just let it slide a few days and done it right first time.

I know most people are use to MP3 files and don't really hear the sound degradation, but let me tell you MP3 is a very Lossy file type. While I did make the MP3 files from 32 bit master (a higher bit rate then even CDs use), they still loose a lot of the little details.

Last night while preparing the Wav files for distribution on I-Tunes, I could not help but notice how freaking good they sounded. I figure if somebody is going to spend the extra 5$ for the CD they should get a better sounding product, so the CD will be rebuilt using the 16 bit, 44.1 htz Redbook standard.

Now you might think because I sent I-Tunes Wav files they will sound better then the ones you can get from our humble web site. They won't. I-Tunes will step all over them when they make them in to MP3s because that is the nature of MP3s. And I-Tunes will be using the 16 bit master instead of the 32 bit masters so they will probably not sound as good as the ones on our humble web site.

I understand that you might think this is all an elaborate ploy to talk you into buying the most costly version of the same songs you can get in MP3 form, but such is not the case. The Publish on Demand CDs cost us 5.95$ so we basically lose money when you buy the better sounding CD version.

All I'm saying is there is a better sounding version of Wartzinall. I want to make it available to those that can hear the difference even if it cost me money to do so.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Release, No uncles but lots of ants, and slumber. Reflections on a CD release

Okay, after several weeks of CRAZYNESS, we've finally got our Debut recording placed on the historical time line. If this was if first time out doing this, both Lexie and I would be mistakenly thinking the hard part is behind us. The fact is, the hard part is in front of us, it's just the crazy part that is behind us. If I ever set another release date, it will be far more reasonable.

The Release party

Lexie and I have had our share of release parties, but this was our first together as Kinagree-Smith. In the past we held our release events at Pixel Hill and each one was more spectacular then the last, but we really wanted to push this event to get a bigger audience and Pixel Hill can only hold 40 people max.

Moving from our traditional venue was kind of scary. Lexie and I both seem a little superstitious and we were wondering if the change would spell disaster for us. Harrie's parties have always been top drawer and she's supported each event with hours of hard work, but her reputation was a big part of the draw. Harrie only deals with what she likes, and having her involved with release events always gave them the patina of authentication.

After a long talk with our Team and Harrie, we decided to try to draw a mad big crowd for this event, and move from the “safe as a babe in it's mother's arms” Pixel Hill, to more risky venture at some other venue.

We asked Gwampa if we could use his “Dance Kamp” Sim as it's at the confluence of two sims and able to host a ton of listeners. Gwampa said yes, but he would not be there, so we were on our own.

The night before the big show, Lexie, Desi and Sally were up all night decorating the Sim with Frogs and Lilly Pads, the obvious theme for a release called “Wartzinall”. I on the other hand was up all night preparing the release for distribution, and creating the actual CD for sale at Reverb Nation. I got to bed around 4:30 am and didn't get a wink of sleep.

I had been elbow deep in this project for the last two weeks. I've heard it at least a few hundred times and I realized how very different it sounded. Before I went to bed, I felt that was it's most wonderful aspect. In a world where everything sounds the same, this was different. But in the wee gray hours of the morning, I was wondering, do people even want different? And will they be able to wrap their minds around what we are doing? Did we labor so hard, in vain, crating something nobody would be interested in?

I'm sure some would be surprised I have moments of doubt. I do have them, about at around four AM the morning before a release event. I really didn't get a wink of sleep, and logged online ready for anything. I got everything set up to play and wondered over to the venue. I looked at the map before I went to the venue and only saw a few people there, it didn't look good. But when I got there, I had forgotten something about Gwampa's Dance Kamp, it's two Sims pushed together. The small crowd on the map didn't show those standing on the other side of the line. We had a crowd, and 15 minutes before show time. This is not at all normal for online shows. Most of the crowd shows up a few moments into the first song. To have them lining up in such a significant number was a very good omen indeed.

In the past our release events were all “In world”. But this time we sent the stream to our web site so people not involved with Second Life could join in the fun. Lexie posted the event to her FaceBook page and had several people indicate they were going to log in and listen. This would give us a chance to play for people that might actually be able to make it to one of our live shows locally and that is an opportunity not to be wasted. Lexie insisted I get some sleep... well that didn't work.

The show started, we played quite well, and everything was going great until just about the end of the show, then things got very weird.

I was starting to sweat and I could hardly see so I grabbed my sweat towel and wiped my face, only to find there were ants all over it. Had I noticed before hand it would have just been “Icky”, but after wiping my face with a towel full of ants I had a real problem. Ants don't bite, but man they are distracting. I jumped up, pulled off my shirt and grabbed my ant free bath towel and got most of the ants off as quickly as possible. But a few stragglers manage to survive the big wipe off.

The end of the show was a little... jerky. I would play a bit then stop and flick an ant off my arm or reach up and brush a real, or imagined ant off my neck. People didn't seem to notice. I never stopped signing, with Lexie playing it's possible nobody noticed the little gaps in my playing.

The show was well received and we sold a good number of copies of “Wartzinall”. We had a good crowd online at the event, a few people listening via the web site, so all and all a win for the good guys.

Something odd happened after the show. I put “Wartzinall” on the stream while people were saying their goodbyes and... well people stuck around to hear it. The party lasted with the performance and the hanging out about two hours and 47 minuets. I know this because that is how long the stream was up, and we had a pretty good crowd for the after show. People even showed up and bought a few more copies of Wartzinall.

Playing the songs from the recording at the venue gave us some very valuable feed back. People seem to like it a lot. While them saying so is very nice, the fact they stuck around and listened to it says a lot more. After three plays though the full CD, I was ready for some much need sleep.

Things worked out nicely. A good show, good crowd, good sales, and even a few offers along the way. It was time for some sleep, we earned and fully enjoyed.

Now starts the hard part, promoting the CD.

I would like to thank all the people that worked so hard with us to make this happen. Big thanks to team Kinagree-Smith (Desi and Sally) for the outstanding work and support. Thank to those that attended the show, and thanks to those that hung out with us after the show.

So now the adventure begins, thanks to all you good readers and as always, expect great things.