Friday, 30 October 2009

Mark Mikel update october 2009

Mark Mikel "So what's been going on you may ask?

I've purchased a brand new Mellotron from Sweden and it's taking forever to get it. I ordered it in May. I've been basically obsessed with the excitement of its arrival. But it keeps getting delayed for various reasons. Markus Resch (the only man in the world I know of who still builds these things) has had me first in line in his latest production run of 20 machines. Behind me is the Smashing Pumpkins and Wilco among others.We're planning on using it heavily on the Tabner album and the songs I've been writing and recording with Scott Hunt. Both of those projects are coming along nicely. ST's got about 10 tracks in production right now. I think his album is going to be amazingly cool. Still lots of work to do, so I wouldn't expect to see a release of this until late 2010.The Hunter and I have 21 and we're shooting for 30 before we release anything. We intend to release a CD with 10-12 tracks in early 2010 and we are determined to have a huge lot to choose from. Scott Hunt (for those who may not know already) writes, sings and plays many instruments. All of our songs are written together and between us we overdub most of the parts pretty equally. Like Pillbugs tracks, the songs vary in sound and mood. Some very psychedelic songs along with straight-up pop, rock, r&b and experimental schtuff. Other musicians who have contributed so far include Tabner (guitar), Chalmers (drums), Jerry Glesmer (Flute/Sax), Chris Shutters (guitar/flute) and Ev Harris (drums).But that's mainly what I've been involved with. Thank you all!"

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

The Pillbugs live at Village Idiot Maumee July 21 2009

"The show opened with Mark and Dan Playing "Get away for the summer". They then played "Chastity Rose","No Joke","May","Hanging around at Five",Then Davey joined for "Idiot Smiles" and "Paper Aeroplanes" . Dan and Mark continued with "Greeting Committee" and "Feeding the Seagulls" . Mark,Dan and Cecilia Johnson then played "Popcicle Island" and "It's so Good to be Alive"Mark then invited Muffy to sing "I can Never be a Bird" with he and Dan.Then Finally The four Bugs took the stage to play "Life as it Happens","Hold me so Near","Play the Hearback","Soundman",Son of Shirley","I deliver my Love to You" and an un-named tune from the forth coming Tabner disc.Mark then went solo with "Ball of String".Mark and Dan then played "The Kind of Trouble I want","Red Light Summer". Then Dan took the mic and they played "The Plot Next to Garcia". They continued with "Girl on a Lazer Beam".Then Davey came back for "The Peasant Girls". Dan and Mark continued with "Can't Get It Right (So I'm Loving It Wrong)",Then "Madeline"and"Comburda"(with Davey). "Tho Doth Warm me like the Sun", "Liberty Town of Love". "The Kick around Boy","Pretty Young and Free"(With Davey). "Faceless Wonder","Orange Sky People","Happy Birthday","Delicious","The King of Zorg" and "Out in the Midnight. For a grand total of 38 songs!"

"Still beaming after a few days. The presence of the Pillbugs all on stage was incredible energy unleashed and all I could think of is, they need to play live more! The onstage relationship of these incredible musicians and the power of the music was so palatable, one could eat it up with a spoon for dessert! Do you guys have any idea how great you all sound together? Seriously....I hope that it happens again soon and quite frankly, the whole band might consider doing gigs together first locally and then some light touring. I know family considerations and work schedules have a way of getting in the way but this is way too sweet to not share it with the world....I am a bit selfish and I am very fortunate to have you so close to home, hell, I could walk to the Idiot and back , but what we witnessed was beautiful and so powerful that I think the world is ready."

photos by Anna

Friday, 5 June 2009

The Art Of Mark Roland

Renowned artist Mark Roland known round these parts for his fabulous covers for Buzz For Alrin and Everybody Wants A Way Out has a spanking new website up where you can see great stuff like this below, order limited edition prints and generally marvel at the man's talent.





Check it out here:

Friday, 20 March 2009

Bucketfull Of Brains has new Pillbugs article

The best music magazine of them all Bucketfull Of Brains returns after a 18 month hiatus in time to celebrate its 30th birthday. The new issue features stories on the iconic JESSE HECTOR, the legendary MARTY THAU, THE SONICS, STEVE WYNN, WILLARD GRANT CONSPIRACY, THE PILLBUGS, PAUL & BARRY RYAN, Hugh Gulland remembers NICK SANDERSON, and there's and there's more of the usual features, reviews, blabber and smoke.
you can order it here
check out the back issues here

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Adamic revists the original version of the first album

The truly incredible debut from The Pillbugs. Truly, one of the most forward reaching pop bands on the indie scene. As works they work their way through a long list of influences - The Zombies, Lefte Banke, The Who, The Move/ELO, The Monkees, XTC/Dukes Of Stratosphere, Syd Barrett, late 60`s Pretty Things -- it`s never a cliched, dredging up boring re-interpretation of those influences. More modern bands you`ll hear are Outrageous Cherry and The Resonars and the excellent Rainbow Quartz label. The debut has a strong progressive early 70`s slant with all these pop leanings, pushing song structure to new-minted pastures. Here`s what the bands own manifesto states beautifully and accurately, we might echo: "The Pillbugs are champions of psychedelia in it`s purest form. The goal of the band is to go forward by going backward and with the mindset that we will take psychedelic rock and roll to newer places. We indulge in many sounds and instruments while keeping the music fresh, fun and memorable. We like to take advantage of the fact that music is played primarily on 2 separate speakers. Along with incredible stereo separation, you`ll find songs with strings, horns, backwards guitars and sounds, sitars (all real, analogue and genuine) combined with the more traditional rock and roll instruments. All that genre stuff aside, we`d like to point out that SONGWRITING is king. Our main focus; to write great "gotta hear THAT again" songs." So many great sounds, melodies, hooks and amazing musicianship sprinkle the music here. A Nuggets experience for the 00`s, a new millenium. This tidbit was written about their latest album, but it all applies here nicely, as well: "Like The Beatles with attention deficit disorder, The Pillbugs cut, paste and spackle together a seemingly random starburs of symphonic, hallucinogenic and downright pop-tastic bits and pieces into one long, strange trip of a record. Though the song is paramount, and the hook reigns supreme, The Pillbugs lace each of their pop confections with enough backing harmonies, percussion, flutes and strings, sitars, and who-knows-what-else, that the 72 minute feast takes a few listens to properly absorb! Not that this will present a problem as it inspires all-day listening and singing along."- Toledo City Paper. Extremely Highly Recommended. You want something fresh, different but still wholly accesible for pop sensibilities, The Pillbugs (both of their CDs) are for you!

Mark Mikel on The first Pillbugs/History
MARK MIKEL: I have an early childhood memory of listening to my parent's hi-fi console and the realization of "stereo". My dad had a pair of extension speakers that he'd wire up to play for his outside patio parties and he'd spread them like 20 feet apart. That was when I noticed that certain instruments were sitting next to me and others were coming from way over there. I remember it was Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass. Man, that was unbelievably cool and I couldn't enjoy music on my littleportable monophonic record player anymore. When my parents weren't home I'd convince the babysitter that it was okay for me to wire up the stereo extensions, spread them miles apart and crank them to high heaven. Somehow it never took a lot of convincing for these teenagers to go along with the idea. I learned a lot about music just by listening intensely to only one sideof a stereo recording. Examining what was really "in there". Distinct stereo separation is one of the reasons I like recorded music. I like a left and a right. A good/bad, sun/rain or dark/light side to an album is essential to balance. I miss having "side 1" and "side 2" to artist's releases. That could be a reason a double CD would be much more appealing to me. It wasn't to be a double CD at first though. Things were just going so well. I think we all knew we were trying to make something really special. Our first album wasn't supposed to be just a collection of songs. It was supposed to be a journey into wonderland. Something you could never tire of. A fantasy album. You could say it was basically created as an artistic statement that would be our attempt to validate psychedelia as a vital part of our musical culture... or some crap like that. Really though, it's always seemed like that particular genre has never been respected out of the 1967-70 timeframe. That lways seemed a little narrow-minded to me. The mentality is that if something is really fun, it can't be taken seriously. It's really the same reason that comedies don't normally receive Oscars for "Best Picture".Production-wise it was as ambitious as I am capable of being. I wanted to include not only new techniques but also every sound or trick that I've used in the past. So it HAD to have sitars, phase-shifting, backwards everything, tremolo, strings, brass, recorders, moog synthesizers, 12 string guitars, distorted vocals, walls of guitars, walls of vocals, tape loops and echoed mayhem, along with the usual stuff.I personally wrote out the sheet music for the string parts to seven songs by hand. That's not an easy thing for me to do. I can't read music, but I can figure out how to write it. I just can't look at it and play it. It's more like "Oh, let's see now that's a B-flat quarter note and this is a C", and it takes me forever to get a clue. It was a labor of love though. I couldn't wait for it to be brought to life by the quartet.We made up a poster of all the new songs we had. Many more were written during the months of recording. A few of the songs seemed to write themselves. It seemed like we were unstoppable once we got past tough songs like Undecided or I Could Never Be A Bird. Everything else was pretty much all magically "first ake". The main rule we tried to keep was: Don't record anything the way it is normally done! If we could mic it differently, then we'd do it. If we could run the sound through Leslie speakers, vintage stompboxes or different amplifiers - yeah, baby! The hard way always won out over the easy way. Oh yeah, and absolutely nothing digital.Certain albums were guidelines like The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour, Zappa - We're Only In It For The Money, The Monkees - Head, The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds, Pink Floyd - The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, Hendrix - Electric Ladyland, The Rolling Stones - Their Satanic Majesties Request and Todd Rundgren - A Wizard, A True Star. But the main thing about thosealbums to me was that there were really no guidelines. They were just saturated with pure inspiration, imagination and amazing sounds. The goal was to make an album that could fit snugly in that line-up.Randy Porter did the mastering. He'd been a longtime fan ever since he heard some of the songs from Sorghum Pudding on a Sandusky radio station. He has a great ear and he understood what we were going for. He acquired top of the line ompressors, EQs and analogue/digital converters. Yes, sadly it was going to have to end up digitally on CD in the end. I remember driving an hour every day to his studio in Milan and we'd work meticulously on the sequencing and segues. He had to edit togetherdifferent mixes because I might have liked certain sections of one over the other. I can't hear the edits at all. Great job, Randy. His studio services are very in demand, but he took a month or so of his time to dedicate to our album and he did it out of pure love.The photography was done by (none other than) Scott Hunt. Scotty had put forth many contributions to this album including playing, singing and writing. He wasn't a photographer, I just trusted his judgment as an artist. He took the first definitive photos of The Pillbugs. The CD design was done by my friends Libby and Larry Fish. Libby Koppinger-Fish is a very successful graphic designer and Larry's a talented musician and artist (his friends call him "Fish"). They asked us to pose with umbrellas. We didn't know why at the time. Fish played the piano on Meddle With Me. The tower in the background is part of a Toledo public elementary school called Harvard School. When the principal found out they made the cover of our CD, she brought us in to honor us and address an assembly of parents and teachers. The mayor of Toledo was there and he bought a copy of our disc. Then they asked me to sing some songs for the children. The kids were great. I'd give them a part to do like shouting "the kick-around boy" and they really delivered. The school really treated us like a big deal. None of The Pillbugs ever actually attended there.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Pillbugs on John Talk Radio 2009

Host Name: John Talk Radio Show Name: The Pillbugs are our musical guests tonight Date / Length: 21/02/2009 23:00 - 1 hr Description:h:34381 s:416727
This Toledo Ohio based band is the ''The Worlds most psychedelic band'' . The band will join the show live tonight and talk about their new CD release ''Everybody Wants a Way Out '' . This show will blow your mind.
then grab the download here by scrolling down to On Demand Episodes

Saturday, 24 January 2009

The Rude Boys

Davey Murnen. "Hey Thought you guys might enjoy these. I've recently connected with my old mate Pat Gleespen..He’s the bass player with the red hair. He sent me some photos of my very first band the Rude Boys…name stolen from the Specials( Coventry ) record label.The first shot shows the whole band…Tim Peat Lead Guitar..Pat Gleespen Bass and Vocals… Anthony Makes Rythym Guitar and Vocals…and Me on Drums and vocals…the other two shots are from a back yard party we put on in the summer of 81 just after graduating from the eight grade…the shot with the collared shirts shows us at the eight grade graduation…the band that was playing went to school with my older brother so they let us come up and do 3 songs. My Generation by the Who is the song we are playing ..we also did Labotomy by the Ramones and Bowie,s Suffragette City ..In the middle shot…Tim Peat sat behind the kit so I could come out and sing My Generation…that was always our finale."