Friday, August 31, 2012

One more from the Vault, "I could get use to you"

One more vintage vid from the formative years (months???) of Kinagree Smith. Here we are playing "I could get use to you" Live at the Green Rock Tavern in Port Richmond.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Jack Speaks, blah blah blah.... will he ever shut up?

I've had an epiphany lately and thought I would attempt to share it with you. I'll try to be brief and to the point... but by now you must know how I roll.

There is a new music business and a new music supporter (use to be called “Fans”).

In the old music biz, some cigar chewing suit would exploit some doe eyed musical innocent, in effect sucking the life force out of them to provide grist for the music industry mill.

When there are limited outlets for music (Radio and Television), the cigar chewing suits could “Manufacture fans”, by bombarding them with whatever music they happened to be peddling.

Hey everybody loves “The Beatles”, but had Brian Epstein not “Gamed the charts”, by buying thousands of copies of their first single “Love me do”, it's possible the band that changed the world would have never happened.

But all that is the “Old music business”, yes, vestiges of that old business model still linger on, much like a sociological appendix, but the new music business has got it's foot in the door and making BIG MONEY!!!!

The New Music Business paradigm is, “Everybody is a ROCK STAR, just pay your membership fee and your good to go”.

Example, I-tunes. People seem to be under the impression that having a recording available on “I-tune” makes it seem more legitimate. But the simple fact is, anybody that pays the fee can have ANYTHING listed at I-tunes. They take money upfront... and a cut of the profits, and say, “Good luck with your venture, please be aware we will do absolutely nothing to help you”.

You PAY to have it listed.

If you want it promoted you have to PAY someone else.

And if you want a dazzling web presence, Digital press kit, Video.... hey, you need to get that recording MASTERED so it can compete with other recordings.

Pay Pay Pay, Blah blah blah.

The old business as exploitative as it was, took their massive percentage of the money from the back end. The “Artist” had to be some kind of financial success to make the business any money.

But now, everybody pays up front. The people peddling the services have nothing at all invested in the artist success. As long as the payment clears, they'll list you with all the other ROCK STARS, and each and every one of them is just one more “Sure fire promotion strategy” away from THE BIG TIME ™ !!!

Now I feel I should say, I'm not bitter about any of this. I've been burned on the I-tunes thing, and I have used a few services in the past. Frankly I don't have a problem with “The Service sided music industry” as such. The things I've paid for in the past (Digital Press Kit: Reverb Nation) have worked as advertised. Most Services do what they advertise. BUT... and this is a big but, the implication is always you are a few mouse clicks (and a secured payment) away from success.

There is no service you can buy that will lead you to the promised land of stardom.

But... there is hope for “Artist” looking to make a living with their art. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

The new music supporter. This is the pivotal point of my epiphany.

The Members of Kinagree Smith have played a number of “Career defining shows” in the real world. All of this shows really did nothing to further our efforts. Yes we played for bunch of people, displayed our talents for “The Movers and Shakers. We made a few bucks, and spent the buck we made,plus a few extras we had to pull out of pocket. Most of these performances were good to great shows, some even got us good press (without paying for it I might add), but at the end of the day, we were still no further along in the simple goal of... making a living.

But... and this is the odd part, I do earn my humble crust of bread playing music. Not because of the “Big shows”, but rather, hundreds of small shows. The shows we've played on “Second Life” have provided us with a listenership.

They aren't the “Spamie gamey mega numbers” most Service types promote. We've built a fan base one listener at a time. These fans don't get bombarded with our music on the radio, they instead attend concerts, because they enjoy what they hear. They tip us, they book us at their venues, and they buy our recordings.

We live in a world where everybody is SCREAMING..... “LISTEN TO ME”. Everything is flashy, everything is slick, all kind of numbers indicate great success, but at the end of the day, an artist sits with a listener, and provides them with something of value.

Every week, our supporters spend hours listening to our music live.

It's quite amazing when you think about it. This attention is something service providers want to sell, and our supporters give it to us for free.

Thank you all so very much.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

One from the Vault.... Rubber Sky

This is so rare. We learned this song so we could have a short song to fill gaps in our Online shows. We don't often play it live.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Noma Speaks... plus one

Twofer Monday VIDEO MADNESS!!!!!

Here is Noma Speaking about her upcoming trip to the city of Brotherly love... that's Philadelphia in case you didn't know and no there is nothing particularly gay about Brotherly love.

Video Trailer for the upcoming documentary "2 Big 4 the Internet". 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Ira speaks... and BONGO SOLO!!!!

Well it's not really a Bongo. Some kind of weird ceramic drum with a fish skin head, but we try not to talk about that in front of Fluffy the Kinagree Smith Goldfish.

It's just a Bongo Fluffy, relax.

Anyway.... here's Ira.

Part of joining Kinagree Smith meant playing shows in Second Life. For many months
these shows were for me just wanting to play the music with Jack and Lexie. Second life
was still something I didn’t yet have a firm grasp of; it was something “over there” on the
monitors. I didn’t know any of the people that I would hear them greet and interact with.
More than a year later, so many of you are a part of my life. You’ve become friends,
you’ve come to appreciate my craft, my musical statement and expression and you are
very dear to me.

You’ve heard me characterize Second Life as a 21st century extrapolation of the music
market. It really is a unique opportunity to play a concert, literally world-wide, in real-
time. The upcoming project is very exciting because for me it demonstrates how the
Kinagree Smith experience has touched others globally, both appreciators and players
alike. So much so that Noma, for a second time now and Vinny are moved to travel a
significant distance to participate in music with us. They wanted to long before there was
a documentary-project.

Second Life allows us to create a playing-in-your-sitting-room experience and hence
nurtures a remarkably intimate relationship with the people who listen to us. It’s not
like being on the 34th row of a great concert hall; we’re right there with each and every
person who comes to hear us. This intimacy is something that I’ve come to cherish.
My playing is my everything in ways that I don’t have space in this piece to describe
and this “proximity” allows my fingers to convey my heart-space to individuals that
appreciate and genuinely enjoy it in a way that is vastly unique in the history of the
concert-giving experience. I have deep gratefulness for it.

There’s so much more but Lexie told me three paragraphs so I’m stopping now so I don’t
get in trouble with the boss. In 10 days magic will happen, you’ll see.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Lexie Sez.....

Today we have some comments for Lexie Smith, plus a video.

10 days (but who's counting ? ) I   AM !!!!!

OMG , seriously I just asked Jack how many days till 2big4 offically begins and he said 10 days which means my friend Noma is coming back to Philadelphia to visit and play music and jump and and down on the bed in our PJ's and have a big ole pillow fight with. That is seriously an OMG moment. And as If that isn't enough, 11 days , that 11 days Vinniefromohiovisitinglexieinphiladelphia will be here . (NO that wasn't a typo, that was me ,way too excited about meetinghimforthefirsttimeinperson, to stop and use the space bar.)
Here's the thing though, these plans are so extremely precious to me because right after we made them, I mean like the week we made them I ended up in the hospital on life support for a week and almost ruined all these plans permanently. Thanks to some amazing health care and loving support from family and friends globally we are gonna be rocking the first week of September. (Which happens to be my birthday month).

This concert , doc u-drama , cd collaboration is looking to be one of most exciting musical endeavors I have participated in thus far. I have recorded in various recording studios   
 through out the years, and I have played both large and intimate venues in my career. What makes this concert performance so special , will be showing the evolution and reality  of the power you have as an  internet troubadour, reaching musical supporters from all over the globe on a daily basis at times and bring them to one venue in Philadelphia to take part in a movie and concert. I love all of you and I implore you to come to philly on Sept 5th and help us make musical history. OMG OMG OMG.... how is all that for an OMG moment?

2big4theinternt    September 5th Lexie, Jack, Noma, Vinnie ,Ira.... and you 

xoxoxo much love ….


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Vin-naay speaks

Vincent Scarpitti (Vincent Carpthea in Second Life), posted a comment to the blog the other day. I decided to put it up in front here so everybody could read what he has to say.

A Message from Vinnie

Six words: "I wish I had started sooner"!

I first met Lexie Smith on Paltalk in one of the "Live Music" rooms in the early 2000's (possibly pre-911) where we became good friends and kindred musical spirits. She was a seasoned singer/songwriter trying to find an audience for her material, and I was a working professional musician trying to explore the internet for musical possibilities. 

Lexie first informed me of Second Life and its potential for acquiring a following for original music back in 2006. Neither of us were capable of exploiting that potential at that time due to the limitations of our computer systems and internet connections.

Times being what they were, I eventually lost touch with Lexie because my schedule was frantic and I had lost interest in playing/singing on Paltalk. A couple years some point during 2008 (or 9) Lexie began performing in Second Life - unbeknownst to me. By then I had discovered Second Life but was ignorant to the music scene. 

Instead, I was fascinated with building things and the artistic potential for letting my inner child run free in an artistic manner with 3D computer graphics on an often flawed but seemingly amazing platform. Having learned to create "sculpt maps" with Maya software, I had just sold some raw ideas for curtains and bedding to a Second Life retailer in Caledon Victoria City (a private estate nation in SL) when I passed a gentleman on a virtual street bearing the tag "Lexie Fan" (or something of that sort) over his head. I sent this wandering stranger a private message asking who Lexie was (I already had a strong inkling) and he gave me the appropriate information to contact her in Second Life. Upon doing that, I discovered this was, in fact, the same Lexie I knew from Paltalk, so I rushed to see one of her live shows in SL, and reconnected with her, renewing our friendship and catching up in general. It was at that point she introduced me to the music of Jack Kinagree aka Zorch Boomhauer.

By then the music scene in Second Life had grown leaps and bounds, and Zorch was one of its shining stars. I was hooked on his music after the 2nd song I heard and began attending his shows regularly. At that point, Lexie and Jack performed separately from one another and supported each other as fans, but lived in different parts of the US, limiting their ability to play and write together.

I, meanwhile, in spite of having expressed an interest in playing music in Second Life, wandered away from the internet music scene once again to deal with "real life" projects and issues. Several important things happened in my life during that period. For one thing, I lost my songwriting partner and musical collaborator Jack Chesterfield, to heart failure, after having recorded seven albums together over a 10-year span of working together. Secondly, my marriage had ended and I found myself living alone in an apartment for the first time in my adult life. I had gone from living with my parents to traveling on the road in a band to a 21-year marriage. Suddenly I was a musician without a creative outlet as well as a man without a family within arm's reach. That isolation brought me back to the Second Life music scene, arriving once again in 2011 where I discovered Lexie and Zorch "together", now performing under the name Kinagree-Smith. They had recently added an accomplished world percussionist named Ira Norman Segall, and were showcasing their original material as well as some very distinct covers all over Second Life.

That, my friends, brings us pretty much up to current times. In spite of my former self, I assembled the appropriate gear to put myself "in the game" and with the help of Jack & Lexie, began doing my own shows in Second Life, performing scads of songs from my past and present, including many of the songs written during my Chesterfield days as well as a few newly-composed originals. The Kinagree-Smith troup supported me in every possible way. Another musical Second-Lifer, Maia Chrome (aka Our Girl Kia) from New Zealand began managing my bookings in SL and organizing me there (including setting me up with my own podcast stream) and to date I'm approx. 2 months old with regard to performing in Second Life.

Another of the artists I've become friends with since becoming acquainted with the Second Life music scene is called "Noma Falta" (Vallery Barbin in real life), one of SL's most popular performers, as well as an important member of the Kinagree-Smith family. In addition to being a remarkable vocalist, Noma is an accomplished bass player. Since I am a drummer by trade, we began discussing the possibility of making some special appearances with Kinagree-Smith when time permitted which might include some recording. It appears "the time is now". In two short weeks all our forces will converge upon Kinagree-Smith Central to commence with this very special musical collaboration. My heart beats with the anticipation of meeting these people "in real life" for the first time. I have already written one new song to offer up to this project titled "The Way It Goes" - so stay tuned for that! I'm suspending "The Vinnie Show" in SL during that week so I can point all my focus toward the collaboration. My only wish is that I'd started sooner as a performer in Second Life. As this convergence commences, I'm still very much "The New Guy". And so, my friends in the Ether....are you ready?!?

Much Love, Vinnie

Here is a Video of Vinnie Singing with his “Real Life ™ “ band ,”LaFlavor”. Vinnie is singing lead on this video but most of the time he's the bands Drummer.

Monkeys With Guns invade the Hollywood Tavern

What was suppose to be a Kinagree Smith performance at The Hollywood Tavern turned in to a "Monkeys with Guns" show (Jack and Ira). We play "The Cowboy Song" off our hit recording "Hobson's Choice".

Lexie did the "Artistic Camera work" and I think she stopped shooting before the song was over. But interesting none the less. I hope you enjoy it.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

September is going to be busy

We've hinted about big “Goings on” in September, I think it's time to share the scope of our vision. Of course I realize sometimes visions are bit different from the outcome, and because of that, it's risky business.

But risk is my middle name.

The first week of September, Vincent Scarpitti (Vincent Carptha) Vallery Barbin (Noma Falta) will join the members of Kinagree Smith for form an impromptu Cyber Super Group. While this would be wicked cool in and of itself, there is more.

We are planning to shoot a bunch of video footage and compile it into a video documentary entitled, “2 Big 4 The Internet”.

The whole visit almost plays out like a not so lame reality TV show. Nobody gets voted off the island, but we try to do a lot of stuff in very little time.

We are planing to play show in Second Life, Do some recordings, and play a show in real life at The Hollywood Tavern. The Itinerary works like this.

Day one, People arrive.
Day Two, we rehearse the set we intend to play.
Day Three, Play a few shows in Second Life
Day Four, Play the Hollywood Tavern.
Day Five, Squeak in a recording session.

Vinnie has to leave on day five at 8 PM so that really puts a hard ceiling on recording.

We are also doing “The Morning Feed, with Ed Feldman” on G-Town Radio on one of those days.

Why are we doing a documentary?

Well... there is a story to be told here and while it may or may not be entertaining, I'm sure it will be interesting. It's the story of five people who love and respect each other, gathering together to make music. Five people lifting the banner of Internet musicians and showing the world what they can do.

Now perhaps you are saying, “Playing a show at The Hollywood Tavern is not the world”, and I'm not suggesting it is. But a documentary posted to the Internet can reach a lot of people. The Itinerary is next to impossible to keep up with. But we are firm in our conviction that with the proper preparation we can do it.

But we can't do it alone. We do need your help.

If you can participate at any level please do. If you live anywhere near Philadelphia make plans to join us for The Hollywood Tavern show on September 5th. When making a documentary, you don't want to document how poor the turn out was at the live show. And having our Internet supporters attend the show is a great testament to the level of support you give us.

If you bring your video camera and whatever USB doohickey you need to download files with you, we would love to include your listener based footage in our documentary. We can't pay you, but if we use you footage we will include your name in the credits.

We are hosting a “Meet and Greet” at 7 PM before the show. So come on out, shake our hands or hug our necks. Make sure we are real.

We do plan on making a live video broadcast of the live show from The Hollywood Tavern so if you can't come in person, log on and watch. You might want to have a few friends over and make a party of it. You can even take a video of you watching the show on your computer.

I'm really looking forward to this. I really hope you can enjoy it right along with us. We've got a lot to do, but as always.... expect great things.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

While digging though piles of files I found a video that made me smile

It's amazing what you find when you empty out a video camera after a year or so.

We did play 2 of the Suits from "Ashes and Dreams" and it seems like Suit #1 was captured.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It's been ages since our last video... well guess what?

If you were wondering where the videos went to... well, it's a funny story. We lost the little cord that plugs our camera into the computer. So we've had videos inside the camera now for over a year.

Well we have a new little cord and it's time to suck them videos out of the camera and share them with you.

We return with an Epic performance of Suit # 2 from "Ashes and Dreams". This performance was recorded during out Headlining show at German town's primer listening room "Rollers @ Flying Fish".

Yes I know this is pretty dated, but if you weren't there, this will give you a taste.