In June of every year for about the past decade, I’ve played live music as part of the festivities of “A Night in June”, a music celebration which takes place in Pinconning City Park, Pinconning, Michigan, during the month of June.
This year, while I was rehearsing with my fellow musicians, it occurred to me that the festival itself has no “signature song.” So, I set about trying to see if our performance group would be interested in playing a new original song for which I’d provide the lead sheets. The group was in favor, and we rehearsed the tune in anticipation of performance.
I then decided to share the song with CinemaSlice.com for to feature as part of my “Art Lives On” series, in which I’m providing one original song during each month of 2018.
The song is a simple 1950’s-style vintage cowboy or country waltz. The recorded arrangement features vocals, violin, guitar, bass, chorus, and percussion.
During the month of July, in which we celebrate Independence Day, community activities range from parades, fireworks, outdoor concerts and gatherings of families and friends. It’s also a great time for individual reflection about what’s important and to recommit to positive action to benefit self and others.
While I planned to write a song called “You Get My Goat,” I wrote this melody and decided, “This isn’t that song.” For no particular reason, I then changed the title to “Election Day.” After writing the lyrics to the tune, I again changed the title to “What It Is.” This is, in fact a meandering song, starting out as a reflection of frustrations of searching for work in a tight job market, then morphing to an expression of a wish to find meaning in life, then starting a diatribe, an ain’t-it-awful commentary about our culture, then a questioning of whether involvement in social problems is worth the effort, then a decision to embrace action, commitment and self-acceptance, then a wish for others to see their own value and how that value may be appreciated by others, and finally extolling the value and uniqueness of each individual who chooses to try to maximize their potential.
There are two versions of “What It Is” – a moderately slow lyrical version and a faster instrumental version. The addition of lyrics and change of speed tend to create different moods. It’s my hope that after listening, you’ll at least conclude, “It is ‘What It Is’”, and not “You get my goat!” 🙂
The weather will sometimes trick you into thinking the day will remain grey, but just then the sun comes out to play. It wasn’t any different at RiverScene June 1-3 Featuring over 60+ bands, local art, eats, and brews in 2018 at Wenonah park in Bay City, Mi.
The inspiration that is conjured at events in the area is IMPERATIVE to the growth of the scene. I attended as a fam, an artist, journalist, and a contributor.
Why? Showing up for the scene is number one, and contributing is number 2, together they create a natural flow of networking and relativity. People support such events for the opportunities to experience their local culture, with one another, in the open air.
Back with another music piece to add to the “Art Lives On” project! And more directly, to release ART into the world!
When I recently became aware of the toxicity of the innards of a favorite children’s bath toy, the rubber duck, I set about writing a parody song, with different melody, lyrics and chord structure, yet reminiscent of a song that used to be quite popular.
My thanks to Jodi Pierson-Kraska who shared two photographs for this project.
Jason Morisette made a scary movie a few years ago and now it’s up on Amazon and a few other places for everyone to enjoy! On this, our belated April episode of the SliceCast, Jason talks about his love for film and a bit about his film, Locked Away.
After Jason wraps, Justin’s friend and favorite Philly singer/songwriter/jackass-of-all-trades Josh Alvarez takes over with a couple of tracks off of his album, The Lonely Friend.
Here’s how you check out more from Jason and Josh:
ART LIVES ON, in episode #4 of this musical series!
Sunday, April 22, 2018 is Earth Day this year. A bit of the history of Earth Day may be found HERE.
The preservation of the quality and availability of water is critical for health and for the survival of life on our planet.
Drinking water is one of those things that many people in the United States take for granted. One of the amazing things I love about the people in the Great Lakes region is that they have an acute sense of the value of clean water – likely instilled by their love of the Lakes upon which they live. However, it’s that very abundance of water that makes people in this region wonder why water conservation should be an issue. In actuality, water conservation and Great Lakes restoration go hand in hand; the less water we take out of the Great Lakes and consume, the more there is to support this amazing ecosystem. The Lakes are at some of the lowest levels in decades. Every drop counts.
The CinemaSlice Mixtape Vol.42 has been released and once again its a solid compilation of songs showcasing the amazing talent that the featured independent musicians possess. The genres included in this music compilation cover a wide spectrum from everything to Deathcore, Metalcore, Metal, Stoner, Horrorcore, Hip-Hop, Ambient, and even some Acoustic.
This album series prides itself on being eclectic and this installment delivers once again.
Being a fan of the band Clutch, I’d have to say that one of my favorite tracks would be “Search and Seizure” by Seritas. Slow, driving, and methodical this song was right up my alley. “The Melodic Undertow” by KillSignal was another standout for me. With all the different new flavors of metal coming out seemingly everyday, it’s good to hear someone representing the roots of the genre. I also enjoyed “Morning Sun” by Quest the Catalyst & Chase Passion. A lot of the album skewed a little dark in tone and to end on a lighter more upbeat tune was perfect.
Personally, some of the darker, ambient tracks didn’t do much for me. I recognize that they were very well done, but I didn’t find myself wanting to come back to them after a couple listens. If you’re into that genre of music, however, I would suggest giving the dark and disturbing “Griever” by SZar a listen.
“JerkSauce” by XcomboverX, “No One” by The 2nd System, and “Gunslinger” by Skull Chin Spaz are some Honorable Mentions from me, just a few more tracks not to miss out on.
I definitely would recommend picking this compilation up and giving it a listen! It’s best feature is its diversity!
If you’re looking to broaden you’re musical interests, this album is for you!
On this inaugural episode, Justin talks to indie filmmaker Tonia Carrier as part of Women in Horror Month, whose latest feature Bailiwick is a fringe fantasy drama with horror elements. She’s got more horror in the works, too. Fans of other genres will love her offbeat comedy Selling Stupid, as well.
The audio isn’t great, so please bear with us as we figure out some of the logistics on this new endeavor. Tonia is a delight to hear, however… so that should more than make up for it.
See you again later this month with more movie talk and more great tunes!