Sunday, August 26, 2012

Let's blow it OUT!

Summer I mean! ....As I am writing this the weather is changing and the clouds are rolling in - so what better way to blow out summer, than to celebrate the 7th year of IPO at the Railway all week long!?

Have you looked at this artist list! I mean holy wow - get out as much as you can this looks to be the best year yet, and I am not saying that because I am biased in any way, shape or form....(A few of our faves: Tuesday 11pm Jason & The Diatonics/Wed 8pm - Laurie Biagini/Fri 11:30pm The Top Drawers /Sat 9:15pm Danny Echo)~

Post your IPO 2012 photos on our fb wall for your chance to win some cool merch! Now get out there and partay the summer away!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The right time & the right place with Amanda Bauman

One of my favorite things is seeing the almost spiritual moment, that flash of light that happens when preparation and opportunity meet. It’s a rare occurrence in life, and even more rare in the business of music, but once in a while it still happens and I love to see it when it does.

Take the case of Amanda Bauman, or ‘AmA’; a lifetime love of music, 8 years of hard work and a chance meeting in a bar with the creator of the upcoming series Bullet In The Face, Alan Spencer.

Amanda thanks for taking the time to do this, I know you’re having a busy week! Can you tell us a bit about how you got your start musically, and maybe a bit of your background?

Sure! My earliest memories of songwriting began at the age of 2. I remember running around tirelessly, singing and making up songs in the backyard of our farmhouse in the Midwest. Putting on performances for any relative or baby sitter who would listen. Growing up in the small town of Blue Springs, Missouri does conjure up many idyllic memories of singing in school choirs, lead solos in various plays, and playing flute in the orchestra. It kind of felt like living in a season of the TV show Glee, as my early years seemed to revolve around music in a wonderful way.

Things changed drastically however, when my parents divorced. We moved to northern California where the new middle school I attended had virtually no musical community, and being in the choir was about the most “uncool” thing you could do. All of sudden my training in music stopped and I sunk into a sulky teenage depression which spawned a whole new phase of my relationship with music. Keeping to myself in my room I found solace in bands like Depeche Mode, The Cure, and New Order, and the beginnings of my love for electronica music.

Eventually, we moved back to the Midwest and I attended the University of Kansas. Against, all “practical” advise from family I decided to reunite with my passion for singing and performing. Shortly after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater and Film and a Bachelor of Science in Advertising I moved to Los Angeles an embarked upon the journey.

I’ve now lived in LA for about 14 years. A journey that has led me to become a self produced indie artist with my first full-length album and song licensed to be the theme song for the new dark comedy/satire on the IFC channel, Bullet in the Face, starring Eddie Izzard and Eric Roberts. Whoa, Eddie Izzard!!

Yes! Airing Thursday and Friday nights this week on IFC! It’s very exciting, and of course every artist’s dream. I know every indie artist will want to know: how did you meet BITF creator Alan Spencer and ultimately get your music to him?

I was bartending at the time, when Alan Spencer creator of the show, came to know I was a musician. Alan was sort of like a mentor, always encouraging me to stick to my path. Eventually, I handed over my first EP to him and then he told me he wanted to license the song ‘Dispatch’ for the theme song of the show he was creating.

Honestly, I didn’t believe him at first…. I was sure somehow it wasn’t true…. really, until the day I actually signed the contract! But, wow, what a feeling!

All the years of vocal training with my coach Donald Earholtz, developing my recording and studio techniques with various bands and recording projects, hours of writing with my producer Patrick Doyle suddenly made the 8 years of focus, obstacles and trusting in the process of my development, completely worth it.

It is so exciting when this happens! Has this opened more doors for you, or solidified anything for you personally?

Well, being able to say I have a song licensed to be the theme song for a TV show definitely seemed to legitimize my career as a singer/songwriter! Pretty quickly after the licensing deal I was hired to work with two different producers.

For several months I worked via the Internet with producer Paul Zasky of this great Dub band based out of Vienna called Dubblestandart. In the fall of 2012, I will have 2 tracks featured alongside some pretty awesome female vocalists, including reggae legend Marcia Griffiths, on an album called Women in Dub. There has also been talk of a tour, which would be fantastic.

Also, to be released in the fall, are several down tempo ambient tracks I did lyrics and vocals for with producer Cato, for his album Eccotonic.

That’s amazing, and I love that you are working internationally, I think most artists are not aware of how easy collaboration really is.

Where do you see your career heading – where do you see yourself in the long and short term?

I’ve started writing another set of songs with my producer Patrick Doyle. I’m proud of the first album I’ve written, but do look forward to learning from some of the mistakes I made. I’m hoping to pare back on these next songs I write and create a less produced sound.

Amanda we work with a lot of young and new artists who are just getting their feet wet. Do you have any advice for newbies - music or anything else, from your perspective?

I feel really fortunate to be living in a time where people like me, who want to self -produce music, have so many advantages through social media. It’s seems really important to try to keep educating myself on all the social media outlets that are out there. It can be tough sometimes being in charge of the creative and marketing aspects of this business, but I really credit my meditation and yoga practice for helping me stay centered and open to creative processes.

I think most importantly, as I reflect over the last 8 years of diligently pursuing this dream, I’m highly aware that the passion I’ve felt about music has kept me going. I’m grateful for all the other musical artists that have influenced me with their sounds and lyrics that have somehow healed or inspired me.

You are so grounded I love that! Do you feel like your stability lends itself to you offering something different in your music, or do you do something different from the pack that makes you stand out?

In my spiritual practice I’ve learned that there are really only 2 basic emotions that you can operate from, either fear or love. When you lead your life from love~ meaning loving what you do, loving yourself, your songs, your mistakes, even the naysayers, you learn to trust in yourself and the process. Operating out of fear only leads to self-sabotage and lack of growth. So I encourage any newer musicians out there to give themselves time to grow and learn and to LOVE the journey. You’ll never know how you might be rewarded for sticking to your passion, but when you trust yourself, ultimately it will all pay off.

I agree 100%! And thanks so much for this, I’m really excited for the show this week and to see what will be coming up next for you and your music.

Here is a sneak peak at Amanda’s latest single ‘Come In’....

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A quick chat with Kate Kelton

Of the people who I know that are highly successful, be they musicians, artist, actors or anybody who is a top professional in their field, they all have one thing in common - the are multi talented. Kate Kelton is no exception and if you haven't seen her art, then you know her as the famous tic tac girl, or maybe you've seen her flogging Cadillacs, or perhaps you've read her in Making It In High Heels. Regardless of the 'where', suffice to say everything Kate Kelton does has a snazzy, biting snap, and ooh lala, wait until you see what Kate's up to now ~

Kate! I know you're in NYC for an art show right now, and fresh off the set of Haven, thanks for making the time to do this! I guess this would be a great place to start - your uber busy life; I know you're either working on a painting or on set somewhere, just exactly how do you stay in balance with art and acting? Or is it those two events that actually keep you in balance?

Absolutely!! :} Because one is so solitary and the other so communal, if I lean too hard in either direction for too long, I inevitably pine for the other, so I suspect all the to and fro is ultimately what keeps me from losing my mind.. or what's left of it anyway ;}

And being as balanced as you are, I am guessing it provides a bit of stable ground for you and as I'm all about epiphanies these days; what was your most recent life’s-big-lesson?

To trust myself :} For a decade now I've known that this summer would present a bit of a breakthrough for me, based only on my love of astrology. When I booked & shot my very first series last year, (IFC's 'Bullet In The Face'), I had no idea at the time they weren't planning on airing it until THIS summer, discounting the theory that I'd somehow manifested this all by myself. And yet when I found out I'd be spending most of this summer in Nova Scotia shooting a wonderful, multi-episode arc on SyFy's 'Haven', you could have knocked me over with a feather! Two series. One summer. There were so many times I came SO close to giving up, but trusting myself is likely what ultimately fulfilled this prediction, because when the summer of 2012 was all I had to cling to, it really did get me through the worst of it. Even if it DID still shock me when it finally arrived ;}

Ok yes, let's get to the fun stuff! With Bullet In The Face coming up on August 16th & 17th, I really wanted to ask about this project as it involves some amazing people, and it's your first lead -yah!! Anything that stands out about the experience?

I was not prepared for just how EXHAUSTING it would be, actually! I have no idea how Max Williams did it, as he carries the show on his shoulders, primarily. But the incredible part is how much input you have in creating the character, the nuances of performance, the look of her, etc. You have all these remarkable professionals at your disposal who present you with unending variables to choose from, and it becomes this collaborative art form where everyone's talent gets a chance to shine. That's a long way from, say, doing a walk-on, bit-part where everything is pretty much dictated and established before you even set foot in a fitting room, make-up chair or set. Actually being continually asked for my opinion and input was completely refreshing :}

I like that, it's nice to get to that point in any project where you can really be an active participant, and I must say, you were collaborating with an incredible cast and Alan Spencer and Eddie Izzard hello!? I have to ask what it was like working with Alan and Eddie, those are some huge names!

Life-changing, utterly. The comedic minds and cumulative experience of these two men made for an unforgettable experience. Alan is full to the brim with incredible stories and razor-sharp insight, and can, with one phrase, turn a scene on it's end and expose it's underbelly to the light of day. And Eddie has at his core a strength, intelligence and resilience I was completely blown away by. The level of sensitivity and dedication to his craft was unparalleled, and working opposite him revealed a new surprise I never saw coming, nearly every minute of every day. Remarkable men, truly, the both of them.

Well I agree completely and you all shine in your performances here, and of course, Alan, genius full stop. I know you've been back up in Canada filming for the series you’re on now, 'Haven' for SyFy. What’s it like shooting in Nova Scotia? 

I had never been to the Maritimes before, so I swear, for the first few days I was here all I did was hyperventilate: inhaling the sweetest, cleanest air I think I've ever given my lungs the pleasure of breathing. But then there's the PEOPLE! So sweet, so kind, so generous to a fault. Every one of them willing to go the extra mile. There's such an overarching pride in workmanship, and even on the longest days, you'd be hard pressed to find a grouch in the bunch. Is smiling mandatory here? It could well be. But it's never saccharine or cloying, it's always heartfelt and true. I feel like I've made some lifelong friends here :}

Any Favourite episode so far?
Oh there are so many! Jason Priestley directed our Halloween special, and working with him I was completely unprepared for what a 'mensch' he was. I'd heard he was unbelievably gifted as a TV director, and I knew he was an outstanding actor of course, but I was blown away by what an incredible human being he was. His love of the job becomes completely infectious, and I can still hear his sweet giggle erupting into the wee hours of the shoot as I type this. Unflagging enthusiasm goes a long way when you're in the tiny, airless, cramped rooms of a haunted house for days on end. He made it a sheer pleasure, constantly showing us adorable videos of his kids between set ups, and never tiring of our questions and requests for more stories. Just so wonderful.

Nice! ok, bit of a break from work for a moment, because I recently saw a jar of something on your Facebook page so I have to ask….Any vices or guilty pleasures?

Nutella!! It was my peanut butter having grown up in Europe, and I have zero control around a jar of the stuff. When I shot all those Tic Tac ads, I had no idea Ferrero made not only Ferrero Rocher and Tic Tac's, but Nutella as well! The lovely VP of Ferrero's Marketing ended up sending me a CASE of the stuff: 14 jars! Aaand, it took me exactly 14 days to lay waste to every last one of them. Nutella and toast were all I ate for two weeks straight. I mean. That's a PROBLEM. Hahah ;D

I see no problem there Kate!? Haha - Ok have a WOW for us to end on? (Words Of Wisdom)
I've always loved the saying, "Our heads are round so that thoughts can change direction," by painter and poet Francis Picabia (1879-1953). Becoming too entrenched in any one modus operandi can be a death nell to creativity, so I try to stay fluid and let come what may. Trusting my ability to stay adaptable to any circumstance has helped me in more ways than I can count; in making art, in acting, in traveling, in life really. (I suppose the ONLY thing it doesn't apply to in my life is Nutella! hehe).

And lastly, there is a little photo you have of yourself as a child with your big glasses and shy smile(actually maybe not that shy!), and you've said a few times that you still see yourself as this girl – and well, the characters we see on screen and the themes in your bold and ballsy art are quite different! Soooo, I’m thinking there was a little bit more spark behind those glasses than you let on. Care to comment?

OMG, you're probably COMPLETELY right!! Nailed it :} hahaha

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A rare event you won't want to miss -

If you know Gina Williams, you know excellence. Now, back to the concert piano after a decade - Gina has some pent up energy to get out - be there for it!!