Stan Lee, RIP

So Stan Lee died. Over the last ten years or so there’s been a lot of animosity about him having stolen more credit than he deserved; but in general I’ve always kinda sided that his position as editor, publisher, & curator as well as writer/co-creator of the characters made his side of the argument sensible.
But the thing that really makes him interesting to me is if you look at the story of his creativity, it seems he spent his time from age 17-39 hacking away in the comic industry learning his craft & gaining competence at it & exploded on the scene in 1962 with 10 years as one of the hardest working creatives with writing credit on around 600 comics during that period & since then I’d guess he has “only done” 100 comics while spending a lot of time as curator/ambassador/exploiter of his work & the comics medium in general.
I was born in 1975, so by the time I could read Stan Lee was long retired & just a legend & I’m not sure I actually read anything from his classic era until I was in my 30s & read the first 25 issues of The Avengers. I was shocked by the quality & how much I could relate to Captain America (a character I assumed represented everything dumb about America) as a guy feeling isolated & alone in a world that no longer needed him going on quasi-suicidal quests to defeat evil. A broken hero, which I guess is what Stan Lee made popular in the 1960s with Spider-Man & The Hulk & The Fantastic Four & the rest of the Marvel pantheon that have generally been watered down over the decades since Stan let them be taken over by other creators & compromised to be more marketable for kids’ cartoons. So go back & read some of his work. I have a couple of romance comics he did during the 1950s in my reading stack & I hope they’re just as great as the stuff he was doing with super heroes in the 1960s.
So thanks Stan, not just for creating a beloved world of characters that may last as long as Shakespeare’s, but also for letting us know that you can hit your creative peak in your 40s & when you want to walk away from it, that that’s okay too.

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Newsletter & New News

Hey Kidz,

I’m running behind on a lot of things & there’s so much going on I want to go ahead & get the word out about some of them before I forget.

First of all there is a bunch of new music & I am running behind on creating the press releases & all that so they aren’t available on the Silber site or Bandcamp yet, but you can listen to them streaming on Spotify now & I’ll tell you more about their droney goodness next time:
http://tinyurl.com/latestfromsilber

So I have a few new weird audio things of my own that have come out places other than Silber recently. A group of recordings I did on a microcassette recorder for Veduin Hiss – https://veduinhissrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/slang-vol-3 – that I found really artistically fulfilling to take part in though the listener’s mileage may vary! I was interviewed & did a couple of spoken word pieces for a podcast called Spoken Label – https://spokenlabel.bandcamp.com/album/brian-john-mitchell-spoken-label-october-2018 – hopefully I didn’t sound too stupid. Finally I appear via text message on the episode of Gutter Trash about the comic (& now TV show) The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina – http://www.guttertrash.net/gt380/

Here in October I’ve been taking part in the sketch-a-day Inktober thing & I’ve really enjoyed it. The push for me to spend a few minutes a day doing something artistic & feeling like it somehow makes me part of a community. So with that in mind I am launching Dreamcember in December. Basically keeping a dream journal for a month. I made a Facebook group about it if you want to join in telling your dreams or just reading other people’s. I think of the couple thousand pages of vaguely fictional prose writing I’ve done over the years 80% of it is based on dreams & I find real joy & wisdom keeping the dream journal & occasionally reading an entry from decades ago, so I kinda want to help other people get the experience. Anyway, here’s the link:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1612757202359153

Speaking of month long projects, in January we’ll be launching Droneuary, which will be a drone release a day for as long as it lasts. I’ve been really pleased by the amount of interest in the project & already feel like it’s a success for me personally regardless of sales & press (same goes for the 5in5 series – which you can listen to on Spotify to help it rain pennies around here – https://tinyurl.com/silber5in5). Lycia, Baptizer, Nonconnah, Ocean in a Bottle, Llarks, & more already have tracks in with interest from a lot of other folks. It’s going to be fun.

If you haven’t already heard, there are a couple new releases out from longtime Silber friends Lycia & Rivulets. Worth your time to check out as always:
Lycia – https://lycia.bandcamp.com/album/in-flickers
Rivulets – http://shop.talitres.com/products/627537-in-our-circle

Thanks for your interest & support.

Hrt
Brian John Mitchell

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Easier

Generally this blog is just about the label, so I’ll let you know that today I sent four 5in5 EPs off to Spotify with a need to do all the stuff for promotion & proper release on Silber at an undisclosed time.

Meanwhile it’s easier to put some things down in this than to actually talk about it.  It’s October.  Which is still a rough month for me even though my grandmother died in an October 7 years ago now.  Having a kid, the quilt my grandmother made me when I was a teenager is quickly turning into a rag & it feels indicative of all reality.  The years of my life I put so many things on hold so I could take care of my grandmother are drifting away like they never even happened & it feels the same about most things.  The feeling of uselessness, not having made the world a better place & maybe in some ways making it a worse place is overwhelming.  I don’t think I’m unique at all in that regard, though maybe my level of recognition of it is unhealthy.  It’s been pushing me into this spot that I occasionally fall into where it feels like my time on Earth is coming to an end & I need to get my things in order.  This time out I got a life insurance policy just in case & it gives me a certain piece of mind, but I really don’t know what the point of anything else is & I feel I’ve lost a lot of the ability to have joy or pride over things.  That said, I’m still trying.  Trying to push my way through.  Trying to work more so there’s less time to dwell on things.  We’ll see how it all goes, hopefully this oppressive spirit leaves before it becomes to noticeable to the outside world.  Thanks for letting me share.

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Droneuary & more

I’ve been really stressed out lately with some things going wrong, but I’m doing my best to keep upbeat.  Some of you may know there’s been an on again/off again problem with my email host getting my messages marked as spam & I found a mild work around, I’m not really sure if it works or not as I’m still getting relatively little interest in the newest batch of releases; but I know when I look at my allegedly music-centric feed on Facebook I see a lot more about politics & TV shows than music these days, so it may not have anything to do with that or me personally, just be a change of times.

So anyway, I formally announced my Droneuary project last week (it’s different than my original vision from 5 years ago, this one is a drone from a different artist each day) & while I don’t have many tracks in as yet, I have gotten enough promises to fill up January & move into February.  We’ll see what happens.

Thought I should post it here since some of you might be interested that there’s a new album from Low out that is getting pretty good reviews & while I’m not so sure it’s their best album (I’m still stuck on Drums & Guns) it is definitely towards the top of their catalog.  In similar news, Lycia has a new album that’s available for pre-order over at Projekt.  In other similar news I hear that there’s a new Aarktica in the mixing process currently.  In more personal similar news, I cut up & mastered the micro-cassette recordings I did a while back for the label that is putting it out (I’m really not sure what anyone will think of it, but the process has been very inspiring to me & based on it I’m thinking about finally launching the “Silber Special Product” sub-label with a series called “demo demons” where a band/artist does twenty minutes of lo-fi demos – for me that’s the most fun part of music & what I have the most inclination for at this point in my life.).

I guess most people know that a hurricane went through my state.  Most people I know didn’t really get much damage.  However the place my parents got at the beach ten years ago took a pretty big hit & it’s having a pretty big impact on my parents’ mental health, which in turn is having an impact on my mental health.  Years ago when I was taking care of my grandmother (changing diapers & all that) my mother said she didn’t want me to end up taking care of her because nobody should have to do that multiple times in their life, but the reality of it all is closing in now & I think it’s becoming more clear that there’s not going to be anyone else around to do the heavy lifting & I don’t know how it can be done by me with a wife & daughter.  We’ll see how it all goes down & I’ll try not to overthink it & just let things flow & keep doing as much as I have the energy for with family, Silber, QRD, Remora, Small Life Form, the mini-comics, & everything else.  Thank you all for continued interest & support over the years.

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Silber Newsletter – Drone & More from Remora, Space Sweeper, Slicnaton, & Goddakk

Hey Kidz,

I hope all is going well.  Still going at a snail’s pace trying to get all the work at Silber done & hopefully things will be getting structured a little better with me being able to get more things done the next few weeks as the drone cub is back in pre-school three days a week.  Meanwhile we have four new releases for you with more coming soon.  This time out there are releases from Remora, Space Sweeper, & Goddakk all dealing in drone guitar experiments plus an album from slicnaton of electro-acoustics & glitch fused with post jazz.  Links below to purchase or listen or of course you can listen to them all on Spotify here: http://tinyurl.com/latestfromsilber

Thanks for your interest & support, spread the word if you can.

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

NEW FROM SILBER


Remora - Warm Bodies Remora – Warm Bodies
MP3 EP 2018 | Silber 269
1 track, 26 minutes
$2 download
Listen on Silber | Listen on Bandcamp | Listen on Spotify

Since 1996 Remora’s been exploring the guitar as a source for aggressive ambient soundscapes. “Warm Bodies” is Remora’s latest & most ambitious exploration of guitar feedback. Remora leader Brian John Mitchell controlls the feedback on three guitars while five other guitars & a bass are controlled by Nicholas Slaton (slicnaton), Martin Newman (Goddakk, DRLNG), Michael Wood (M is We), Micheal Madden (M is We), & Rowland Yeargan (Sportsmanship).

: Listen to Warm Bodies
: Press Release
: Reviews


slicnaton - ensemble slicnaton – ensemble
MP3 Album 2018 | Silber 268
7 tracks, 58 minutes
$5 download
Listen on Silber | Listen on Bandcamp | Listen on Spotify

Led by Nicholas Slaton, slicnaton mixes elements of jazz, electroacoustics, no input mixing, glitch, drone, & noise. With a background in jazz & classical composition, Slaton comes to the drone & noise table with an exceptionally musical ear & nuance often lost in the genres. On the new album Ensemble he expands on his electroacoustic drone roots.

: Listen to the track Gluem
: Press Release
: Reviews


Goddakk - VI: A Good Day for Crows Goddakk – VI: A Good Day For Crows
MP3 Album 2018 | Silber 267
8 tracks, 38 minutes
$5 download
Listen on Silber | Listen on Bandcamp | Listen on Spotify

The final installment of Goddakk’s exploration of drum machines, analog synths, & aggressive ambient guitars. Melodies & mutations rise only to fall from the sky & be devoured by the carrion eaters.

: Listen to the track A Monument To A Ruined Age
: Press Release
Reviews:


Space Sweeper - Collision Space Sweeper – Collision
MP3 Album 2018 | Silber 266
1 track, 40 minutes
$5 download
Listen on Silber | Listen on Bandcamp | Listen on Spotify

40 minutes of aggressive ambient guitar spacescapes from Ted Johnson (Tesla Recoils), Brian Lea McKenzie (Electric Bird Noise), & Brian John Mitchell (Remora).

: Listen to Collision
: Press Release
: Reviews

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Stuff Done

I have been slow to get things done lately.  Energy has been hard to come by, it feels like the world is trying to hold me back with house problems & sick pets & day job issues & family responsibilities.  But yesterday I played a Small Life Form show at a festival without practicing & literally breaking a piece of equipment when testing my rig & pulled off what I thought was a pretty solid performance (& I don’t think there is a recording, so I’ll be able to think that forever) .  So it put me in a good mood & motivated me to get some things done.  So tonight I wrote three press releases for stuff that has been up on Spotify for a month, but still isn’t up on Silber or Bandcamp or promoted because of me not having the press releases ready.  So hopefully I’ll hear back from the bands shortly & get things going & promoted & move on to the next set of releases & do it again & again until it’s all caught up.

Here’s a story from the miracle department.  For some reason an mwvm track recently got half a million plays on Spotify.  While I don’t know exactly why, my research suggests a track was featured on the go to sleep playlist curated by Spotify.  While it’s disconcerting that this didn’t cause a spike in sales or even listens to the rest of the mwvm catalog, it still makes it feel like Silber’s done some worth while things over the years & it makes it all seem like things are a lucky break away, which it hasn’t felt like for a long time.

More good news sooner than later.

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Living in a Bubble

So the other day the ten year old boy that lives across the street got his first electric guitar (he got it at an arcade, spending $100 to win enough tickets to get it & I didn’t have the heart to tell him it’s a $50 guitar, though maybe $50 guitars go for $100 these days) & his grandmother asked me if he could come over & I could help him tune it. I tuned his guitar & gave him a couple tips on hand position for his fretting hand & showed him that he can do picking patterns with his picking hand (previously just doing the chord strumming). It ends up he already had an acoustic guitar & had been occasionally taking lessons from his cousin for a couple years, so he already had some music stuff installed on his tablet that he brought over. Including a full version of Garage Band. I think the last time I messed with GarageBand was probably 2004 or something like that & things have changed & playing with it for five minutes really enlightened me about music. It was really easy to get good sounds out & using it really made it apparent that the defaults in there are being used a lot for the production music in various TV shows, commercials, video games, & YouTube videos which kinda points to why it seems like the music placement thing seems to be drying up. I mean, there have to be better versions than this & it’s pretty good. It reminds me of the rise of cheap keyboards that everybody got from their mom at Christmas & I feel like eventually made a whole generation of musicians (including me) not really respect the instrument. But it’s fun, it makes music accessible & non-elitist to make & I get why that devalues music in a way, makes it seem more like a game than work, & puts another nail in the coffin in the working musician class. Making music seem more of a hobby than a career. Music being the same as my dad playing tennis is a weird idea to me, but maybe if I can start thinking of music in that way instead of as a failing career I’ll be happier with it anyhow. Anything to let me walk into the future instead of being stuck in the past.

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A Remora Show

So a week ago now I did a Remora ensemble concept show.  The idea isn’t new, I’ve appeared in ensemble concept shows like Triangle Rhysing & the Electric Bird Noise Live at The Basement series; but it was my first time organizing one.  The concept was super loose, make a guitar feedback & try not to be the loudest one doing it with 6 guys & 8 guitars & a bass on stage.  I was stoked to get three of my frequent collaborators on board (Nic Slaton of slicnaton, Martin Newman of Goddakk/Plumerai/DRLNG, & Michael Wood of M is We) plus two guys I’ve only recently met (Michael Madsen of M is We & Rowland Yeargan of Sportsmanship).  I haven’t gotten all the audio sorted out yet (I have three source recordings that were located in different spots in the venue), but I imagine this will be a release at some point.  Everyone who took part said they’d do it again, so maybe it will happen again.  Though I have to check if all the amps survived.  Anyway, here’s the video.

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Harlan Ellison, Rest Restless

So Harlan Ellison died the other day.  He has been pretty inspirational to my aggressive ambient work as far as getting me in a headspace for the post apocalyptic soundscapes to exist.  I probably should’ve told him because you should let people know when you appreciate them.  People post “rest in peace” for him & while I admit I never had a conversation with him, I think he’d find the idea of resting in peace somewhat offensive.  He always said he wanted people to know he could still shock them & to me that’s not the sign of wanting to rest in peace,  so rest restless sir.  Anyway here’s a piece inspired by “I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream.” https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/track/something-organic-to-service-the-machine

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Silber Newsletter June 27, 2018

Hey Kidz,


Sorry there hasn’t been too much news coming out lately.  A lot going on to completely zap me lately & gum up the gears at Silber.  So even though stuff is happening, I’m not really getting the word out well.  But here I am trying to fix all that.


The main impediment to Silber at this point is that we’re facing the same death of a thousand cuts as most labels & artists with a little less money coming in each month & that means me needing to get more income from day jobs, which limits my time to work on Silber which lowers the new content & promotion which of course further reduces the income & that means more work at the day jobs & you see where that means things are headed.  But I love Silber & I’m as incapable of stopping it as I am of keeping it from slowing down.  That all said this past couple of months has been pretty rough, my wife’s grandmother died & it was a pretty hard hit to the family & a week later when we were at the funeral our cat Iris died (fun fact: the Small Life Form piece “It is not safe, but it is warm” is about her sleeping on cooling electric burners).  There’s nothing to be sad about because the grandmother was 92 & the cat was 16 & they both lived full lives, it’s just a problem of missing them giving comfort when needed in ways they did that no one else does.  So we’ll keep moving on.  Working & helping others in the way we uniquely do.


So what’s up here? New music out from Rowland Yeargan, P.D. Wilder, Small Life Form, & a couple remixes for Azalia Snail from Anda Volley & Alan Sparhawk of Low (more info on them all below).


While I’m writing this, there’s a Remora show coming up tonight as a feedback drone ensemble.  We will attempt to record it & see if it’s interesting enough to unleash on the world.  Next month will have the debut live appearance of my Muscle Mass project (primitive dance/drone).  Still planning to record some of the Remora music box material from last year & the Small Life Form organ ensemble stuff before I forget about having done those things.


There’s a lot of new music on Silber waiting on me to come out including Space Sweeper, slicnaton, Goddakk, Stoic Automaton, Luka Fisher, Chvad SB, Philip Polk Palmer, Jon Dawson, Petri Dish, & Nebh.  I just gotta start making a dedicated effort to getting things to come out first & worry about the time to promote them second or things aren’t going to happen at all.


There are a couple comics that came out, but they aren’t even available to order on the website as yet.  One was written by the drone cub & is a two panel comic that was interpreted by half a dozen cartoonists.  The other is the third installment of Seabase 17, which is turning into a near future Cthulhu story.


QRD has a ton of interviews ready to go, but I just haven’t had the time to make it all come together.  I have a goal of proofing an interview a day & catching up, but it’s been hard to get that habit started!


So that’s most of the news from here.  Spread the word if you can.  Let us know if you want to be removed from the mailing list.  Thanks for your interest & support.


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


NEW FROM SILBER

“Field Rep” from the album Neon Resistance remixed by Alan Sparhawk of Low.

Azalia Snail - Field Rep Azalia Snail – Field Rep (Alan Sparhawk Remix)
MP3 Remix Single 2018 | Silber 264
1 track, 3 minutes
$2 download
Listen on Bandcamp

 

Azalia Snail - Head On Over Azalia Snail – Head On Over (Anda Volley Remix)
MP3 Remix Single 2018 | Silber 265
1 tracks, 3 minutes
$2 download
Listen on Bandcamp

“Head On Over” from the album Neon Resistance remixed by Anda Volley.

 

Rowland Yeargan - Close Your Eyes Rowland Yeargan – Close Your Eyes
MP3 EP 2018 | Silber 263
5 tracks, 5 minutes
$1 download
Listen on Silber | Listen on Bandcamp | Listen on Spotify

Five minutes of drone from new Silber ally Rowland Yeargan.

: Press Release
: Reviews

P.D. Wilder - Remember to Remind Me P.D. Wilder - Remember to Remind Me
MP3 Album 2017 | Silber 261
5 tracks, 62 minutes
$5 download
Listen on Silber | Listen on Bandcamp | Listen on Spotify

P. D. Wilder, ex-Hotel Hotel, continues in the age-old tradition of hillbilly beardos playing ambient drone music solo armed with a guitar & a dozen pedals. Now a father, Wilder recorded much of “remember to remind me” during the nine months before his son’s birth. A reflection & meditation on life with change during the anticipation of change. Birth, life, death, birth, always changing always moving forward, always the same – yet always building & changing, drone is forever.


: Press Release
: Reviews

 

Small Life Form - Fragments Small Life Form – Fragments
MP3 Album 2018 | Silber 260
10 tracks, 80 minutes
$5 download
Listen on Silber | Listen on Bandcamp | Listen on Spotify

Small Life Form started as a studio project of sound exploration in 1998 & became a live project in 2007 focusing on electro-acoustics & super simple synthesizers. Fragments collects studio recordings from 2012-2014 dominated by the live rig of the era complimented by a few computer sound sculptures (“slow silence”, “so sincere”, “BPM65″, “fluorescent”, “buzz”). The stage is set with “something organic to service the machine” inspired by Harlan Ellison’s short story “I Have No Mouth, & I Must Scream” for a slab of post-apocalyptic sci-fi doom drone. After mankind has fallen, sound still needs to be explored.


: Press Release
: Reviews

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