Denver Paper Fashion Show

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYLXR9CKE6o]

The 11th Annual Art Director’s Club of Denver Paper Fashion Show just took place on April 10, 2015. Among the many in attendance was SFoM’s bass player, who took footage from the event of Sakura Lab’s “Siren’s Call” dress and edited it together with an instrumental track from SFoM’s upcoming studio project.

For those curious, this is an instrumental version of a song called “Reason to Sin.” The designers of the dress were Tricia Smith, Angela Mavers and Richard Smith. The ADCD Paper Fashion Show is a fundraising benefit for the Downtown Aurora Visual Arts program.

All This Rain! We dedicate this Reading Rainbow Episode to Colorado

Reading Rainbow, everybody! Voiced by James Earl Jones, Bringing The Rain To Kapiti Plain.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBDqPOd-eXI]

Stay safe, stay dry. Don’t shoot any arrows with eagle feathers into any clouds. We’re getting plenty of moisture now.

I think Pearl Jam must’ve watched one of our old videos…

Well, not really… but there are some similarities between the new Pearl Jam video for “Mind Your Manners” on their upcoming Lightning Bolt release, and this old video of us playing “Final Ride of the Ghost King” at the Skylark a few years back. It’s probably our “artiest” video, if you’ll permit me to make up a word to describe it.

Here are the videos for you to compare for yourselves:

“Final Ride of the Ghost King” – SFoM

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaZbu5OZE-c]

We played that night with File 13, a band that’s still kickin’ around on the underground. Special thanks to Dave for letting me play his bass that night.

“Mind Your Manners” – Pearl Jam

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWQYYavheUA]

As you can see, we both felt our songs were about the natural and manmade destruction of the world. And we both like to rock out.

SFoM… Still At It In The Basement

We haven’t given up; we haven’t gone away.

 

A picture of the letter we got from the Red Cross

After the fundraiser, we’ve just been doing our thing the last few weeks. Like learning new material, expanding on old ideas, drinking Busch Light and having a good time. In our effort to ever entertain you, we’re coming up with new ideas on how we can entertain you. Here’s a short list of some of our online endeavors.

 

Speaking of YouTube, here’s a couple gems from recent practice sessions. The first one is (another) Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers cover – “I Need To Know.” One of our favorites. Check it out, and you’ll see why.

This may come as a shock, but there is a little work involved in creating a song. If only it were as easy as strapping on a guitar and making beautiful sounds that you immediately knew couldn’t be any better. Alas, each SFoM original must go through a period of “woodshedding,” as we call it, where we put it on the workbench, cut it up, piece it together and sand it down. Here’s an example of us woodshedding a new song that doesn’t even have a title yet.

SFoM’s first bass player, a dude named Brian Bittmann, has also been making some appearances around the basement lately, trying to add to the stew the flavor and spice contained within the keyboard. Here’s a short little snippet from a happy little tune of his called “Lead” I shot while the band took a little break on a lovely springtime morning.

This is only a little snapshot of what we’ve been working on. Come check us out sometime! It’s the closest you can get to Valhalla in this world.

We’ll be at Ned Kelly’s on May 7 all night. Free show! Cheap booze!

 

The Rise and Fall of Hip Hop Music – A Video Journey Through Rap’s Heyday

As a kid, my dad would tell me that rap music was like disco, and it would one day go away. I think I ultimately won that argument; it appears hip hop is here to stay.

Today, hip hop music is a bit stale. It’ been that way for a few years (there are  exceptions, of course). It’s going through a life cycle, the way rock did. Rock music had its fundamental beginnings in the 1950s, followed a heyday in the 1960s. Then, Rock suffered a gradual decline in the 1970s and ’80s, bottoming out with hair metal buttrock, before it enjoyed a renaissance in the 1990s during the grunge era.

Hip hop’s genesis in the late ’70s and maturation through the ’80s lead to its apex in the ’90s, when it began its own gradual declinine into whatever it is today. Like rock, it cannot be disregarded as a once-great musical genre; it will continue to live and be shaped by the times and the artists that use it as their medium, and will once again be great when it reaches its renaissance.

These are just some thoughts I had while I surfed YouTube for some of my favorite hip songs from back in the day. Below are a few of my favorites that I wanted to share. Enjoy!

“Same Song” – Digital Underground

The musical stylings of Tupac Shakur debuted in this song, which was found on the soundtrack of some piece-of-shit movie called Nothing But Trouble, starring John Candy and Dan Aykroyd.


 
“Regulate” – Warren G. & Nate Dogg

This song was the “Theme From Shaft” of the ’90s. It was just cool. It was featured in the mediocre basketball movie Above The Rim, which featured Tupac. Not a day goes by where the words, “I’m tweaking into a whole new era” don’t pop into my head for some reason.


 
“Juice (Know Tha Ledge)” – Eric B. & Rakim

Another one with an indirect tie to Tupac. This was the theme song to the movie Juice, which was a pretty cool movie about life in the ghetto… at least that was the perception of this suburban white guy as an naive adolescent.


 
“Chief Rocka” – Lords of The Underground

Something was totally cool about these cats. The way they dressed, what they rapped about, etc. Reminds me of when my friends and I would jam this out and go play basketball during summer afternoons.


 
“Passin’ Me By” – The Pharcyde

A non-grunge song about teen angst. A song that about personal hang-ups that lead to depressing outcomes of personal desires.


 
“Pop Goes The Weasel” – 3rd Bass

Sometimes white guys rappin’ is sort of ridiculous. These guys were so ridiculous, they kind of got a little street cred from it.


 
“Mind Over Matter” – Ice T

This song is just bad ass. Ice T might be one of the realest MCs out there, and this song is about just that. The beat and music just makes you want to scowl, and move real slow like a bad mutha-shutyomouth!


 
Hope you enjoyed this little retrospective. Let us know what you think or what I forgot in the comments below.

Peace!

Jammin’ on a Sunday Afternoon

Matty had to take this Sunday off from workin’ in the woodshed, but Breton and I still got together and jammed on acoustics for a couple hours. Here’s a couple highlights.

“Breakdown” by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers. One of our favorite covers, and it usually gets the crowd going. Here’s what it sounds like with a couple acoustic guitars.

“Loving Cup” by The Rolling Stones. One of my personal favorites off Exile on Main Street. I’m pretty stoked we’re adding this to the repertoire.

Hope you enjoyed listening as much as we enjoyed playing them! Make sure you check out some of our original tracks under the SFoM Music link.

Studio: Day Two

If you sit in silence and never speak, what stories will you leave for the young people to tell?
If you live shut away in a forest thicket, how can the sun of wisdom shine out?
No dried-up carcass can be the guardian of the Way.
Wind and frost bring sickness and early death.
Play with a clay ox in a field of stone and you’ll never see the harvest day!

Cold Mountain #53 by Han-shan

Laid down mad bass tracks using Joe’s homemade pedals. The guardians of the Way guided my hands through mistakes and missteps, and turned them into studio gold.

Things happen here. Compression. Distortion. Overtones. Today’s overtones were those of doom and salvation. Screaming guitars, growling bass, thundering drums. Cutting through the rock, pulverizing the stone. Here in this studio, we’re unearthing musical gems.

A day of challenges. Pushing each other to the limits. “Do this! it should be played this way!” let’s do it again. Repetition in the studio gives you that relaxed live feeling. Like you’re playing a set in your living room. I could live in a studio and do this all the time.

Joe Turse’s studio is the ultimate man cave. For musicians anyway. I’m sure, as Coors commercials have shown me, that some men prefer to build boats in their garage with their tools.

When we’re not rockin’, we’re relaxing on big couches or comfortable chairs and reading one of the books off the shelves. It’s an eclectic library. Science, eastern philosophy, poetry. I was going to read Slaughterhouse-Five, but I got caught up in the ancient Chinese poetry of Han-shan, and in a slang dictionary.

Raising the temperature of the room for the vocal recordings. Trying our best to get Breton warmed up. Tea, piano, jumping jacks. As much as we’re trying to polish the sound, we’re also trying to capture our live energy…in every track we record.