Spaceship Days

Spaceship Days

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

 In the immortal albeit slightly lesser known words of Mr Gump:  

 "It happens."

 The Police. The Fugees. The (real) Smashing Pumpkins. Wham.
 Be it the ubiquitous "creative differences", conflicting egos, or just the desire to move on to something new, Life has a way of getting bands to call it quits.

   After the demise of grey, I myself remember feeling like I had been tossed aside by a significant other for a taller, cooler bass player with bigger sunglasses, a better car, and more comic books.  A scant handful of hours later I found myself at a local venue engaged in some dedicated wallowing with the assistance of a friendly bartender.  I had run into an acquaintance there, another bassists who's band had also passed away after a long period of illness.

Our  boo hooing was largely confined to shouting in one anothers' ear as the live act that was still enviously alive and rocking was quite loud. We used the silence between songs to fill our cups and privately reflect on all the could-have-beens.  Someone had the bright idea to form a band together--but as we both played the same instrument that train of thought didn't travel much farther than the next refill.  I listened to war stories about tour dates with Rollinsband. I divulged until then secret details of our New Orleans adventure. Slowly, the pity party turned into a memorial of the good times. After a while watching other people play didn't make me quite so sad.

Eventually, the show ended, we said our goodbyes and Life -- as it always does -- went on.

  The first time I heard These Black & White Flames I thought "Cool!" 

They had the sound of a band from our neck of the woods even though they lived all the way across the ocean.  We shared some of the same influences.  Following their progress, through video and headphones became a favored pass time. 

 Unfortunately, the band as we knew it is no more. The musician in me was bummed by the news, the feeling colored by understanding and memory. The fan in me though, was saddened in a whole different way. The loss of  getting to hear what a band will do next, one of my favorite things about music, made me frown my way through a listening of From the Inside of Outside.

Hopefully, we will see the members of These Black and White Flames  again.

Until then, I'll always have my ipod.  And the t-shirt.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

It Ain't Easy Being Indie

It keeps happening more and more. We like it less and less.



This past week another indie friendly music site went offline for good.


  Just under a year and a half ago, Spaceship Days was beginning first tentative steps toward the launch of Operation:  Spread Our Music Everywhere .  We started posting a few of our songs here and there online, on sites we’d stumbled across or had recommended to us by friends. 


Wohomusic was one of those sites.




 By then we were getting a little better at the ritual of signing up, adding songs and putting up a picture or three, so it only took about an hour. Before too long wohomusic selected our song “A Little Extraordinary” as a nominee for Track of the Month.


 We won, and a few weeks later received a prize in the form of a t shirt and a very cool framed certificate.  Both came right to the front door, free of charge.


 In the grand scheme of this chaotic ,throbbing, and occasionally confounding  galaxy called  Indie Music, the victory might not have been as important as the discovery of a new quasar, or a star going supernova  but it meant ten forest moons of Endor to the three of us. 


  ‘People are listening, ' it said ' and they like what they hear.’  


  Ultimately, that’s what everyone who sings or plays an instrument wants ; the realization cemented our belief in what it is we are doing, and set the tone for the next several months we spent on woho. It was there where we did one of our first interviews. There where we began our first foray into blogging. More importantly, it was there on site where we made a few good new friends. We will always appreciate those gifts.


     But here’s the thing – we music making types sometimes forget about the people behind those platforms that we use to spread our art across the cosmos. Like us, many of these people do what they do for the love of it, and for the belief that there is good, quality, independent music out there that needs to be heard.  Like us, some  work ‘day’ jobs and build and run these sites with money from their own (sometimes unremarkable) pockets. Like us, they spend hour upon hour refining, and upgrading, updating and corresponding. Like us, they practice and learn.


 They help us get the word out, and sometimes we forget all of the hard work involved.


  To the founders and crew of Wohomusic:  We appreciate all of your support, and are glad to have been a part of the great community that you built with little more than toil and enthusiasm. Best of luck with whatever life has in store for you.


Likewise to every DJ, Web Host, Blogger, Cross Promoter, Chronic Tweeter,  Interviewer, Site Maker, and Tune Sharing Artist Lover who support independent music of any kind: 


  Thank you for your tireless effort, and dedication to supporting the Cause we all share. None of us could do this without you.




M, C, & G

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"Hey, all you need is now!"

I love Duran Duran.

I do not hide my love for Duran Duran.
Anyone who knows me can tell you this.
Many ex-girlfriends have looked at me with curious and suspicious eyes.
Many of my college buddies lobbed grenades of disapproval at me as they "claimed" to listen to more serious, masculine, and timeless music... you know like Hootie & the Blowfish.

To them I say, "pfff"

Ever since that fateful 3rd grade afternoon on the Harrison Township playground, when I first came upon that cassette tape abandoned on the balance beam, I have been a Durannie.
It was just sitting there coccooned in beam of heavenly light (que angels singing). No one to claim it. I examined the purplish cover with the exotic looking woman. One simple word... "Rio".
What the hell's a Rio???

I remember running home, feeling like I had just committed some high crime of covert thievery. My heart was racing as I placed the cassette in my "boom-box". I hit the rewind button until I reached the beginning of side A (remember those things).

What is that sound???

It was like a distant, growing thunderstorm yielding to a burst of sunlight... the title track. I sat there in amazement for 20 glorious minutes (flipped the cassette) and disappeared to even greater heights... I mean, "The Chauffer"... come on. The sounds were lush and alien, instant and dense. The more I listened, the more I discovered. Even my 9 year old brain could tell that there was something darker happening below the surface, even if my long-haired, denim wearing classmates refused to take notice. And thirty years later, those guys probably still wouldn't get it but Duran Duran wasn't for them. This was life altering stuff.

This was not Huey Lewis & the News or the Footloose soundtrack (the only other albums I owned at the time). This was something new and escapist. Sitting in my suburban home in New Jersey, the music took me from barren snowfields to sipping sunshine off the backs of exotic tiger-women. Even in my coduroy OP shorts I felt like James Bond. I am quite aware that my devotion to Duran Duran has as much to do with their ability to take me back to a less complicated time of my life as it does with the music itself. 

Through decades of highs and lows (both mine and Duran's) we have soldiered on together. 

But for me their first three albums and Arcadia's So Red The Rose were the cornerstones which all else was to be judged. They stood as monoliths of my childhood. And even though I have stayed on this ride with them for over 30 years, I will confess that I was doubtful they would ever return to their past musical glory. As far as I was concerned those albums could not be rivaled by any other band including Duran Duran. Sure there were other great bands that came along (Mew, Radiohead, and Catherine Wheel) but that's "apples & volvos".
It's been over two decades since the dinosaurs of all things 80s were extinguished by the meteoric impact of grunge and hip-hop... A welcomed apocolypse... but for Duran Duran a new dawn has crested the horizon. "All You Need is Now" is Duran's thirteenth (and yeah I'll say it) their best album since I found that cassette on the balance beam.

(oh yeah, the tiger-women have been replaced with a leopard).