Continuing their parade of awesomeness, the groovy folks at Pandora Radio have now added The Lives of Dexter Peterson to their library. This means that you can indeed hear high-quality tracks from the new album for free without the horrible musician-impoverishing guilt that comes from services like Spotify or Grooveshark. Go take a listen, create your own station, and maybe even discover some other awesome music in the process!
And another fan favorite (and one of my favorites) from the recent Anthrocon concert. As of this posting, you can still download the entire concert in HD over at Matthew Ebel dot net!
Here’s the first of a few video clips from our massive Anthrocon show. As of this posting, you can still download the entire concert in HD over at Matthew Ebel dot net!
Being a drummer, you don’t get a lot of opportunity to voice your opinion, especially if you are simply a hired hand. Usually the only people who want to hear from drummers are other drummers. I thank Matthew for allowing me to post my thoughts on his website.
I just got back from playing one of the biggest shows of my career with Mr. Ebel [Ebel's Note: He doesn't call me that in person]. A crowd of nearly 2,000. I feel good quoting this particular number because Matt and I had just over 1/3 of a 6,000 seat venue full. We originally estimated 800-1,000. No, there were WAY MORE people seated. It’s a good feeling to know you’re doing something that so many others get into. My life long dream is to be able to play original music to a live crowd and have people respond so powerfully to it. And they did. It’s truly humbling.
Matt decided to start the show with his Live Stream 60 second count down, broadcasted over three large screens. His thoughts were, “Let’s see if they go for it.” They did.
“10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1……”
We hit the stage to uproarious applause and go right into “Get Over It”. It was all rockets ignited, we’re heading towards the atmosphere. The energy never lapsed. It grew to gigantic proportions. Song after song, the crowd response was deafening. We got them to sing back at us on a number of occasions.
One of the peak moments for me was the transitional piece we do.
(And not because I do all my showing off during this part. It helps though…)
Non-stop it’s “Better Off Dead“, the reprise and right into “Goodbye Planet Earth“. As soon as I yelled the count and we hit that first note of “Goodbye”, the audience went wild. At that point we were hitting the outer layer of the atmosphere.
Later on in the set we played a beautiful song called “Who I Am” from The Lives Of Dexter Peterson. Prior to this, Matt and I were rehearsing and found it funny that the Ben Folds cover of N.W.A.’s “Bitches Ain’t Shit” was in the same key. So, we uh….. decided to play a couple of bars in the middle of “Who I Am”. We really need the crowd recorder to see how many people went for it. It’s pretty obscure and really is just an inside joke for Matt and myself, being HUGE Ben Folds fans. Our ‘Andy Kaufman’ moment so to speak. I got some positive feed back from people afterwards, but I’d really like to see the video or hear the crowd recording.
A few more songs and we end with “I Will Wait For You” in which I play the penny whistle. Unfortunately, on the first chorus, I picked up the whistle and the lights go out. I can’t see the holes. So, there was a rather obtrusive, yet subdued, toot then nothing [Ebel's Note: Oh, the jokes I could make about that...]. The light guy must have realized the goof up. The second time around I was lit up like Christmas. No excuses! I nailed it.
The concert ends. Matt and I walk off stage. We’re hovering above the planet, ready to set off our 3rd stage rocket boosters. The audience is stamping their feet and screaming
“ONE MORE SONG….. ONE MORE SONG…….!!!!”
Being prepared with an encore, I walk out they start screaming
“RUNTT, RUNTT, RUNTT!!!!!!!!”
They’re cheering and yelling, clapping, making all sorts of noise.
“Want to hear one more?!”, I yelled.
I get them started clapping their hands in time, well, sort of in time. Luckily, I have a click track snapping in my ears. I start in with the kick drum, which echoes through that cavernous room. It sounds like thunder, bouncing off the walls and ceiling.
Matt hits the stage, more chanting and screaming. We go into “All Over Again“. The people are on their feet dancing along. It’s full speed ahead, warp 10, headed for the stars!
It’s such a great feeling to positively effect people in such a way.
I had such a good time. I really hope we get the opportunity to do again, next year.
I love you all! THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.
[Ebel's Final Note, I Promise: If you want to HEAR this entire concert, we'll be uploading the recording to Matthew Ebel dot net subscribers soon!]
Video from Eliaphir, shot during our recent Further Confusion concert in San Jose.
This month I played what I believe is only my third west-coast concert after leaving the Christian Music scene… The folks at Further Confusion not only invited me to play their awesome convention, they made me one of this year’s Guests of Honor. How cool is that? It was a truly rad experience, despite the usual first-year-in-a-new-hotel troubles. The people out in San Jose welcomed us with open arms, paws, wings, whatever.
If you want to hear the entire concert recording, of course, you’ll need to head to Matthew Ebel dot net and log in. Members will be able to download the recording for a couple of months, so grab it now before it disappears into the Archive.
I have the best fans EVER.
Music piracy, as we all know, is the sole reason for the downfall of the Big Label Music Industry™, right? Those damn kids with the BitTorrents and the WiFi’s, P2Peeing all over my lawn like they own the place. They don’t value music at all anymore, so musicians will have to earn their living selling shirts or with a side job. Right?
My industry, like many right now, suffers from one major source of adversity: De-humanization. For twenty to forty years “stars” had been bred as an image of an elite icon, something above the rest of us. Rock stars are whisked away after the gig into a locked bunker where only the VIP’s are let in. Rap stars drive Bentleys made of solid gold, at least according to all of their videos. Country stars are driven to the Nipper’s Corner Starbucks in a Hummer limousine, yet are expected to sing the ballad of the blue-collar working man.
When the peak of “legitimacy” in your industry is to become an icon so far removed from reality, you rob the entire process of its humanity.
It’s something like the tale of Icarus from Greek mythology. The larger-than-life images are like wax wings, taking the industry higher as the fantasy appeals to the buying public. Soon thereafter, the perception of music itself changes: Regular human beings don’t make this stuff, rock stars do. There’s no emotional or personal connection with the human being that made that album on that torrent site, so it’s much easier to download it without feeling guilty. The human being simply isn’t perceived as a part of the process anymore.
The wax wings just took the industry so high that they melted under the heat of reality.
At the heart of all creations- music, textiles, cars, websites -there is a human being burning calories and sweating to make it happen. There always has been. We don’t value music or toasters or plumbing nearly as much as we value each other. This new world of new media has made it so much easier for fans to connect with the artists they love. Maybe we can still be larger than life, just not so far above it that our own hubris brings us down again.
The only thing that will save the music industry- and any industry, to be honest -is a focus on re-humanization. Less of the factory-farmed processes and more of a real, personal “I made this” approach. Everyone loves a fantasy, but as any geek living in their mother’s basement can attest, eventually you must connect with other human beings as a human being.
People, at least in this life, are more valuable than anything else.
More concert footage from Atlanta earlier this year, one of my personal favorites to play. This one was actually written for an Atlanta-area fan who was part of my first Entourage. Matthew Ebel dot net All-Access and higher members can actually download the full-quality versions as they come out.
The audio was graciously engineered by Keith Lesinski (same guy that made us sound awesome at the live event), the video was shot and edited by Aaron Zschau.
I got a request for advice from fellow musician Dan Russo and asked if I could post the exchange here. Hopefully this will help some of my other musician friends who follow my blog…
…I have always been super-impressed with your musical skills but I’m more impressed with your focus and determination and, I dare say, manipulation of the interwebs to your whim. I was wondering if you had any suggestions, insights, or advice. Does playing more matter? Does reaching out more matter? Which of your many outreaches works the best?
Honestly, nothing has mattered more to me than cultivating a relationship with my fans. I can do what I do primarily because my fans go above and beyond the call of duty.
This means a few practical things:
- Put yourself on sites that your fans will frequent- Facebook, Ping, Rock Climbing Numismatists Monthly Forums, whatever. Be present where your fans and potential fans are.
- Make sure comments from all these sites are emailed to you. You don’t need to visit every site you’re on to maintain a relationship. If your Livejournal-based fans communicate with you via LJ comment rather than emailing you directly, you’ll still get the comment in your email box if you tell LJ to send them to you.
- Aggregate wherever possible. I use a WP-to-LJ plugin and a WP-to-Twitter plugin for my blog, artistdata.com to cross-post my blog and calendar to Myspace and other sites, and a Notes app on Facebook to pull blog posts to my fan page. This way, I make a single blog post on my own website and it shows up almost everywhere (and all over Google, too). There are only a few sites where my fans are concentrated that I can’t cross-post, so I have to copy-paste my updates there whenever I can.
As for advice about playing more… yeah, I don’t know about that. I finally got an agent last week and I’m going to see how much an increased tour calendar helps. Hopefully that answers your question a bit!