Silber Newsletter – June 14, 2016

Hello,

Hope all is going well with you.  As mentioned last time the increased feeling of financial stability (if not actual stability) has created a dramatic increase in productivity here at Silber.  The new releases from a couple weeks ago (Chvad SB, Yellow6, & Anda Volley) seem to be getting some attention & that makes it feel like the label is thriving instead of declining.  The weather is hot & the days are long, but things seem good & promising & the future seems unstoppable.

M is We is back with us for an entry in the 5in5 series.  Post punk & proto goth somewhere between Christian Death, The Germs, & Cabaret Voltaire.  Good stuff & only 5 minutes to check out.
Buy or listen on Silber: http://www.silbermedia.com/miswe/feelslikefivedays.shtml
Buy or listen on Bandcamp: https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/feels-like-five-days
Listen on Spotify: https://play.spotify.com/album/6SkL1A9fzdycePg0H6FHNk

Bronze Eye & LD Beghtol collaborated for a 5 minute EP of experimental pop music.  I’m pretty stoked about this EP because the two of them got together because of LD’s 5in5 last year.  Helping artists discover each other & work together has been a goal of Silber from the start, so this is awesome for us.
Buy or listen on Silber: http://www.silbermedia.com/5in5/beld-adventure.shtml
Buy or listen on Bandcamp: https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/adventures-in-love-and-culture-onceability
Listen on Spotify: https://play.spotify.com/album/4yKIDimUAPOAT1YCEdBlqM

Lycia offered up a special with us.  First 50 people to order a physical copy of any of the Lycia or Lycia related releases (Mike VanPortfleet, Tara VanFlower, Black Happy Day) through Silber will get a free download code for the new Lycia album A Line That Connects.
http://www.silbermedia.com/lycia

The new QRD is out in time for Fathers’ Day with a half dozen more installments in our artistic dad interview series (Tanner Garza, JB Sapienza, Jason Handelsman, Jon Madof, Josh Doughty, Loïc Josinski) plus more installments in our guitarist (Casey Harvey (Thrushes), Gabriel Douglas (The 4onthefloor)), touring musician (Nathan Amundson (Rivulets), Aaron Snow (Landing)), & cartoonist (Jeff McClelland, Peter Kuper, Josh Howard) interview series.  Please help spread the word if you can.
www.silbermedia.com/qrd

New Releases coming soon from Dyr Faser, Cloaca, Azalia Snail, Ms, Koyl, Fullness Off Lack, Jon Dawson, Moodring, Hotel Hotel, Lum, Electric Bird Noise, & more in the coming weeks.  Thanks for your interest & support.

Hrt
Brian John Mitchell
www.silbermedia.com
https://www.facebook.com/silbermedia
http://twitter.com/silberspy
https://play.spotify.com/user/silberspy

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Somewhat Relevant – Penny Dreadful #1

Penny-Dreadful-#1If you haven’t seen the Penny Dreadful TV show, it’s worth checking out.  Doctor Frankenstein, a good witch, & a cowboy fighting vampires… wait… that sounds awful… but it really is good with high quality acting, costuming, & cinematography.  So even though comics based on other media generally suck, I showed my wife the preview art & she told me to pick one up for her.  It’s a real let down for me.  The art is stylized & I like that it doesn’t look super comic booky, but I can’t figure out if it’s because of the writing or the art that I’m not sure what is going on.  I can’t tell if it’s a prequel to the show or an expansion of the first season or something that happens between seasons.  It also clearly doesn’t have the ability to stand alone, in fact being a fan of the show I still can’t tell you what’s going on.  So yeah… don’t bother… even if you are a fan of the show.

Penny-Dreadful_interior

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Somewhat Relevant – Rom #0

Rom #0So for those not in the know, Rom is a failed toy from 1979 & a moderately successful Marvel comic in the 1980s.  Because of the comic being based on the toy there are weird licensing issues that have caused Rom to not be reprinted & both drop into obscurity & gain a cult like following.  So anyway, I liked Rom as a kid & while I haven’t re-read the whole series, I have read a couple issues in the past couple years & they still seem good.  The basic storyline is an alien has his body fused into robot armor so he can fight some weird shape shifting magic wielding demonic aliens called Dire Wraiths & eventually he lands on Earth to fight them & interacts with the various Marvel heroes.  So it’s kind of a sci-fi/horror/super hero hybrid.  So the rights that make it non-reprintable also made making new stories unpublishable, but one of the owners of IDW is a big fan & fought to get the rights to continue the series.  Knowing he had such love for the character, I had pretty high hopes for the reboot & I’m sad to say I was really let down.  For me it felt like a fan comic I’d see & not buy at a local convention.  I didn’t like the art & the story was nothing special.  I think there is potential to tell more stories in the Rom mythos that are good, but I don’t think it’s going to happen this time out (nor did it last time out with 2000’s Space Knights mini-series).  I’ve waited thirty years for more Rom stories, but I’m totally satisfied with the old ones & think I’d be fine with him staying dead… even if I admit I’d get a thrill from John Carpenter making a movie about him.

rom interior

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Lately

Okay, I haven’t been posting anything lately.  I do want you to know there is a lot of stuff going on.  The new QRD is done except for converting everything to html.  There are ten 5in5s waiting on me to finish up the label end of working on.  There are two comps waiting for me to master & get the artwork done for.  There are two albums waiting for me to do the label end of things on & another album waiting for the band to finish up some art.  So once I get things rolling they should start coming out pretty quickly.  But getting things rolling seems a little crazy lately.  Currently I’m working 4 part time jobs in addition to Silber & taking care of a baby & it is about as ridiculous as it sounds.  My hope is still to get as much quality art/music out to the masses in as timely a manner as possible.  I have hope.

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Somewhat Relevant – Iggy Pop: Post Pop Depression

People who’ve known me a while know I’m a pretty big Iggy Pop fan. I love the first Stooges record so much that I will buy & listen to pretty much anything he does. That said, a lot of his catalog I haven’t listened to much. Sometimes the producers try to slicken him into David Bowie & other times they try to make him 22 again & I have already got the music I need in those two categories. I need a record from the elder god of punk telling me where he is & who he is now.  The last time someone tried to do this was Don Was with Avenue B & I love that record. Now Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) has done the same thing & it is great. Current & essential & Iggy without a gimmick. A benchmark to beat for best album of 2016. It’s not the Nebraska style all Iggy album that I dream of making with him with him on a 4-track in a hotel room, but it’s probably better than that would be.  Highly recommended.

 


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Somewhat Relevant: Crimson Peak

Crimson PeakI’d say I’m a fan of Guillermo Del Toro. So when I saw the trailer for a Victorian Era ghost story from him I was pretty excited.  If that’s what you are excited about, just stick with the trailer. As this movie itself says, “It’s not a ghost story, it’s a story with a ghost in it.” If you are interested in things like Jane Eyre & Wuthering Heights this is a match for you as Crimson Peak is closer to those than Pan’s Labyrinth.

 

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Slow & Twisting & Frustrating

If you’ve read the past couple of blog entries, you may have picked up on 2016 not being the banner year I’d hoped for.  So more of that is happening lately.  Been trying to find a day job & it is pretty rough going.  A couple hundred applications in & maybe 5 rejections & the rest as no responses.  I did get one job that sounded cool driving people to doctor appointments that I started last week, but while they made it sound like I’d be getting two or three jobs a day (most of the jobs are an hour long commute each way), so far it’s around two a week.  I did get invited to take the postal exam from an application to work locally & I passed the test, but now I failed to take a second test that I never knew about so that’s not looking super terrific.  But hey, how can I complain?  I had a great run of almost being a successful artist/musician for the last seven & a half years & people say change is good.  I really need the security of a consistent income right now.

Right now I’m trying to get the new releases from Thorn1 & Treyverb ready to go.  Then a bunch of other things including Hotel Hotel, Lum, two comps, & maybe a dozen 5in5s & QRD one day & a few comics.  Thanks for your interest & support, it’s always both needed & appreciated.

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Nevada Hill, RIP

Nevada Hill died. I don’t really imagine most of you recognize his name. He was a musician & graphic artist & dad. More or less interchangeable with me I suppose. I was first in touch with him because he was the guitarist for Zanzibar Snails (Michael Chamy’s band that appeared on a few Silber comps). Part of us hitting it off was he told me he was named after one of my favorite movies, Nevada Smith. He had just had a kid when I was launching my musician dad interview series & we did a phone interview, which was rare for me at the time. He had some insight in his interview that really stuck with me about having less free time making you find away to make art more immediately & spontaneously & though I have seldom worked that way, I admit it is where some of my best work comes from. Anyhow, he’s got an interview about being a touring musician in the next QRD (whenever I get my act together & get it out) & even though I knew he was fighting cancer it never occurred to me it would kill him. Sure he was going through experimental cancer treatments, but he was also booking a tour. He was talking about doing something for the 5in5 series if he could work it around his tour schedule, not around his cancer schedule. I don’t know, I only really knew him through a couple of phone calls & internet communications which I guess can be skewed from reality, especially when dealing with us artist types. When a friend who’s a junkie dies of an overdose or there’s another rock & roll suicide it doesn’t really hit me anymore, but when someone younger than me with their act more together than me it really hits. Maybe it’s because it’s the first time a friend has died since my daughter was born. Maybe it’s because I just saw a photo of me for the first time since I lost weight when I had pneumonia last month & can see how close I let myself get to dying (I look like a junkie now more than ever), but right now I’m terribly afraid of not having completed whatever my mission is (that’s a Nevada Smith reference). So thanks Nevada, for one last time helping to give me some perspective. Reminding me my time is short & I have work to do. I’m sorry we never got to hang out. I’m sorry to all you other friends I never see. One day I hope to see you all, but today I’m just going to try to get some work done.

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Darkwave & Space Rock from Heaven Falls Hard & Space Sweeper

Hello,

I hope all is well.  Still recovering from the pneumonia here, but the amount of improvement from a couple weeks ago makes me able to pretend I’m in good health now.  I really feel I live a blessed life, because if I’d gotten this sick a few years ago when I wasn’t married I probably would’ve let the disease go all the way until I died in my sleep.  Enough with the sadness, on with the Silber post rock party!

Heaven Falls Hard
Heaven Falls Hard is a minimalist darkwave band from Virginia.  They formed over 20 years ago & have has the typical struggle of bands in small southern towns of not being able to get attention except in Europe.  I like to thing the isolation of that is part of what’s led to a lot of the sounds of Silber artists.  Recommended if you liked Projekt or 4AD releases from the 1990s.  Anyway, listen at the links below or download from the Silber website.
Spotify – https://play.spotify.com/album/7K31AKIpXRIE8j4RYu8rms
Bandcamp – https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/the-mercy-go-round

Space Sweeper
Space Sweeper is a super group of Brian McKenzie (Electric Bird Noise), Ted Johnson (Tesla Recoils, National Holographic), & myself (BJM from Remora, Small Life Form).  Droning underwater soundtrack of a crashed spaceship made by guitars.  What more do you want?  Listen below or download on the Silber website.
Spotify – https://play.spotify.com/album/4USTnqyKVVIG5W9a9AzY6v
Bandcamp – https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/alien-oceans

We’re getting ready to relaunch the 5in5 EP series with releases from Anda Volley, Cloaca, Bronze Eye, Fullness Off Lack, & Azalia Snail.  So I’m running a Kickstarter to try to get subscribers so I can have money ready to pay the artists when the releases come out instead of waiting six months to see what sales are like.  In addition the prices are lower than normal for subscribing (20% off for 10, 25% off for 20) & you get the releases before they are available elsewhere.  If you can back it, that’s awesome.  If you can post on Facebook or Twitter to let people know about the project, that is also awesome.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/462361469/5-songs-in-5-minutes-ep-series

You may have already guessed, but the pneumonia thing not only kicked my ass healthwise, but also damaged the bank account a little.  So if you need some buttons made or some minimalist mastering done for a record or help with artwork, it’s an excellent time to hit me up.

More stuff coming soon including two compilations & releases from Treyverb, Thorn1, Lum, & Hotel Hotel as well as a new QRD & some new comics.  Thank you for your interest & support, I couldn’t do it without you.  If you want to be taken off the mailing list just let me know.

Hrt
Brian John Mitchell

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Low lately

I saw Low the other night.  They were great.  I feel like 12 years ago or so I saw them about twice a year, but their touring schedule & my life schedule has made seeing them much less common.  Somehow I think this was only my second time seeing them in 10 years.  So anyway, there were a few things I noticed.
(1)    Mimi plays drums sitting down now.  She said it’s cut down on her getting tennis elbow.
(2)    Alan has two super small guitar amps (I’d guess ten inchers), but one was actually used for the drum machine (pointed straight at Mimi, which is a great help as I’m sure any live drummer who has played with pre-recordings or drum machines can tell you).
(3)    For years they have opted to have a soundman as their extra person on tour over a merchandiser.  I never really noticed how important the soundman (Tom Herbers) was before this show.  He really is the secret to them being able to sound as they do, changing the reverb on the vocals from this song to that, transforming the floor tom into a bass drum.  Blending everything together.  I thing for music that is subtle & minimalist having their own soundman is really necessary & I wonder if some other bands I’ve liked over the years could’ve been a lot better live if they’d made the same choice to have a soundman with them.
(4)    This tour they were playing two sets with no opening band & relatively early shows.  I’ve noticed a few bands at their level doing this & I think I like it.

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One Response to Low lately

  1. TripleP says:

    Thanks for the review. It has been many more years for me since I saw them at the 40 Wstt. Do you think he was using a real low wattage tube amp?