Posted on 27-05-2012
Filed Under (Sunday Shoegaze) by Jon Stinson

I have to give credit to Mother/Father for this one. Back when I was producing and managing them, they turned me on to Violens, and I’ve been a huge fan ever since.

“Truly genius” is pretty much the only way to describe a band like Violens. The three piece band based out of Brooklyn authentically blend shoegaze, jazz, funk, 60s vocal pop, hard rock, psychedelic, and alternative all into one “super-genre” as if they invented a whole new type of music altogether.

And when I say the blend the styles together, I don’t mean that one track might be a shoegaze song, while another track might be a jazz song… I mean they write music that has all of these elements infused into each song in a tasteful, and artistically sophisticated way.

Violens released their new album, True earlier this month, along with the single and video for “All Night Low” shortly thereafter.

“All Night Low” is like the modern shoegaze juggarnaught, and the video perfectly reinforces that power.

True was released earlier this month on Sumberland Records, and is available now via Slumberland Records, iTunes, Amazon, and eMusic

Violens have been blowing my mind ever since the first day I heard them. Definitely one of my favorites.

//Jon
Website: jonstinson.com
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Twitter: @stsn

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Posted on 19-03-2012
Filed Under (inspiration) by Jon Stinson

In my post about What EQ Is For, I mentioned that the story of how the song “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen was a recorded is an inspiration to me. After I posted that, I surfed YouTube to see if I could find a video of Roy Thomas Baker breaking things down in detail. Indeed I did (unfortunately the audio is a little out of sync, though)…

Roy Thomas Baker Discussing the recording of “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Roy Thomas Baker has worked with some great artists, such as Queen, The Cars, Lindsey Buckingham, and The Smashing Pumpkins.

//Jon
Website: jonstinson.com
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Twitter: @stsn

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Posted on 18-03-2012
Filed Under (inspiration) by Jon Stinson

One of my favorite shoegaze bands of the contemporary, nu gaze scene, as well as one that I’ve had the pleasure to meet when the band I formerly managed, Mother/Father, shared the stage with them in Nashville in late September is A Place To Bury Strangers.

“So Far Away” is the new single off A Place To Bury Strangers EP Onwards To The Wall

Onwards To The Wall was released Feb 7, 2012, and is available via Dead Oceans

A Place To Bury Strangers website: http://www.aplacetoburystrangers.com/

//Jon
Website: jonstinson.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/stnsn
Twitter: @stsn

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Posted on 13-03-2012
Filed Under (commentary) by Jon Stinson

What’s the difference between someone who is regarded as a creative, artistic person, versus a person who is generally regarded as non-creative?

In my mind the difference is simply a person who actively pursues creativity, and works on their art every day.

Making art is hard work. There are a million forces to fight in any given moment before an idea can be shipped:

  • laziness
  • fear
  • lack of inspiration
  • lack of time
  • lack of money
  • confidence
  • priorities
  • countless other forces

I believe that people often think they are not capable of being artistic, so they never try to be. The funny thing is, applying this logic even people who are successful artists are not artistic.

People who are regarded as artistic by others, are generally perceived as such because they are willing to take the risk of openly creating bad art, in order to ultimately create something that will inspire others. In other words, they most likely get it right 1 out of 10 (or 20 or 100) times. But it’s this one time that they get it right that causes people to compliment them with the “creative” or “artistic” perception.

Pretty much a year ago, my friend Austin wrote a book about overcoming inertia and meeting creative goals, which he published on his website for free. As a creative person willing to do the hard work of pursuing creativity, you owe it to yourself to download and read the short book (it’s 59 pages).

//Jon
Website: jonstinson.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/stnsn
Twitter: @stsn

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Posted on 12-03-2012
Filed Under (inspiration) by Jon Stinson

Well, I didn’t get to my weekly shoegaze post yesterday, so I’m doing it today instead.

I got turned on to Bear In Heaven a couple years go when they were touring and promoting their Beast Rest Fourth Mouth album.

Now they’re back with a new release (April 3rd), I Love You, It’s Cool

Here’s the video for “The Reflection Of You”, one of the first singles from the forthcoming new album. I love the video’s high quality, but not too high quality indie feel.

“The Reflection Of You” is a pretty synth-heavy track, with some fantastic harmonic movement on the bass dancing underneath from time-to-time. I love Bear In Heaven’s general outside the box creative thinking, and unorthodox approach to making music and art.

Bonus 1:

Check out their other single from I Love You, It’s Cool, “Sinful Nature”, which you can download on their Soundcloud page.

Bonus 2:

Remember when the Eyjafjallajökull voclano exploded in Iceland a couple years ago, and messed up international travel for a few days? Well, Bear In Heaven got stranded at the Madrid airport during that incident. They spent their time in limbo making this incredible video, very fittingly set to their song “Dust Cloud”

I Love You, It’s Cool comes out April 3rd on Dead Oceans/Hometapes. You can pre-order the new album now via SC Distribution

And Check out the Bear In Heaven website, where they are running a stream of I Love You, It’s Cool in it’s entirety, slowed down so slow that it’s lasting 2,700 hours: bearinheaven.com

//Jon
Website: jonstinson.com
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Twitter: @stsn

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Posted on 04-03-2012
Filed Under (inspiration) by Jon Stinson

We certainly can’t get too far into this “Sunday Shoegaze” theme without mentioning my all-time favorite shoegaze band…

You Made Me Realize by My Bloody Valentine

The shoegaze post came late today. Hope your Sunday was fantastic.

//Jon
Website: jonstinson.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/stnsn
Twitter: @stsn

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Posted on 26-02-2012
Filed Under (inspiration) by Jon Stinson

As one of the most desolate and despondent winters I can remember in a long time comes to a close, I’ve found myself staying in on weekend nites lately, instead of socializing with ghosts in search of nothing good.

So last nite I indeed stayed in, reading while the soundtrack of Spotify murmured in radio mode. And that’s when I discovered what hit my emotions as pure nostalgic melancholy – Spotify played me “Live In Dreams” by Wild Nothing.

I might be late to this party, but you know what? I don’t care, I’m here now. I immediately queued up and listed to every Wild Nothing song in the Spotify database. It proved to be the perfect soundtrack to my late Saturday nite of solitude, and the goings on of current life.

And as far as getting into any of the specifics of the music, I’ll just leave it at this: anything that brings me back to the autumn of 1994 I’m an instant fan of.

www.facebook.com/wildnothing

(If it sounds like I’m really depressed right now, please know that I’m not. Music is just a powerful elixir, and Wild Nothing has clearly been successful at evoking an emotion.)

Have a magical Sunday. Cheers.

//Jon
Website: jonstinson.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/stnsn
Twitter: stsn

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Posted on 19-02-2012
Filed Under (inspiration) by Jon Stinson

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a huge fan of shoegaze. A little over a week ago I published a post on a shoegaze band I came across that inspired me, called Field Mouse.

After publishing that post, it got me thinking about possibly starting a series of posts, which would feature a different shoegaze band I’m into every week. I thought doing it on Sunday might be fun, so I guess I’m gonna try it out. Not sure if I’ll keep this up, but it’s a fun idea to try for now.

So to kick this off, I’ve posted another video. This time it’s for “Windstorm” by School Of Seven Bells (from their album Disconnect From Desire).

I first came across this band about a year or two ago. I don’t remember what lead me to their music, but I do remember really being into their song “Babelonia” (also from their album Disconnect From Desire). They had kinda slipped to the back-burner until I turned on the TV Friday nite, and saw them on the Jimmy Fallon show. So I burned a CD, and drove around the rest of the weekend jamming to their music.

School Of Seven Bells is a mix of shoegaze, dream-pop, and also has various electronic elements. The song “Windstorm” is pretty shoegaze-heavy, with the signature synth sound (which is the main hook of the song) encompassing some noise-like timbers, blended with some vocal-like timbers. Being a huge My Bloody Valentine fan, I love how this synth is looped in a strange rhythmic way, and fluctuates in pitch. Pluses are the female vocal, which I love in shoegaze music, and the guitar tones, which are partly due to the choice of the semi-open chord voicings played.

School Of Seven Bells has a new album coming out, titled Ghostory, available 2.28.12

School Of Seven Bells: http://sviib.com

–Jon
Website: http://jonstinson.com
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Posted on 08-02-2012
Filed Under (inspiration) by Jon Stinson

If you’ve been hanging out around Producer Notes or my social network profiles at all, then you know I’m a huge shoegaze fan. Tonite I had another one of those nites where I couldn’t sleep. I finally gave up trying, and instead started poking around the internet for some new shoegaze bands I’ve never heard.

That’s when I came across this fantastic shoegaze/dreampop band, Field Mouse, and their song “You Guys Are Gonna Wake Up My Mom”.

Love the textures, the female vocal with the “ooh’s,” and the song title is great. Indeed made me feel like I was a teenager again, staying up all nite with friends. Which is kinda fitting, since I’ve pretty much been up, sleepless, since about 3:30am. Field Mouse definitely hit the mark with this one.

Check it out:

//Jon
Website: jonstinson.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/stnsn
Twitter: @stsn

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Posted on 06-10-2011
Filed Under (contemplations) by Jon Stinson

Honestly, I’m conflicted to write a “remembrance” post. It seems just a little weird, irreverent, and kind of melodramatic.

But considering the significance of the devices in my life specifically-which were astonishingly a collective work of art that also happened to be revolutionary and powerful machines-something just does not seem right about going along in my day without acknowledging the passing of an icon.

Growing up in my family, we always had Apple computers-never the alternative options, which in those days were pretty much only IBM machines running DOS (Windows had not come around yet). The first computer I ever interacted with as a child was an Apple II. Specifically, I believe it was an Apple IIGS. I played archaic games that had to be loaded from one of those 5.25 inch floppy disks (“Ghostbusters” was my favorite game on this machine).

Sometime in the mid 80s my dad purchased one of the early Macintosh model computers. I know for certain it was the Macintosh SE, but it only had one floppy drive, and a black-and-white screen. This was the computer my dad used as one of the partners in a business he helped start in the late 80s.

Around ages 8-15 or so, my cousin and I were fairly close. We would often spend Saturdays at one another’s houses playing games on the computer. This I remember kind of being my first involvement in the “Mac vs. PC” debate, as his part of the family always used computers of the other platform. Early on, Windows had still not come on the scene, and IBM was pretty much the only alternative to Apple computers. So when I went to Stephen’s house, I was always confused about DOS, and how in the world to use his computer. Once we rolled into the early 90s, I do remember Stephen having some Gateway computers, running early versions of Windows (which I was just as confused by, as from from what I can remember, there was still a lot of DOS involved in these early versions of Windows).

Later on in high school, as I really begin to get into music and recording, Apple computers were obviously a big part of this. At this point, Apple computers may have lost the “Mac vs. PC” debate in the eyes of the public (so much more software had been developed for PC’s than Macs), but the creative community still maintained that those serious about their art had to have a Mac. I remember receiving a full computer recording setup as a gift one Christmas-consisting of an emagic Audiowerk8 card, emagic Logic Audio software (kinda funny/ironic that Apple ended up buying emagic around 2002), a small Mackie mixer, and some Alesis Point Seven monitors. This immersed me whole-heartedly into music and recording, one of the most exciting times I can remember of my teenage years.

In college I continued to explore music and recording, choosing Belmont University because of my attraction towards the school’s music and recording offerings. During these years I owned one of the first iBooks. This was also about the time that Apple computers were finally becoming cool, and anyone who was a hip college student knew that you had to own a Mac. Of course, I had been a Mac user long before it was “cool” ;)

Post college, I got a job a recording studio, and began my career in the music business. Need I even mention that every recording studio in the world has always run Pro Tools on a Mac. So as I began the professional phase of my life, Apple was a key aspect of it.

Once concluding my time an assistant/house engineer at the studio, and deciding to set up my own freelance production and recording business, I of course bought a Mac to run Pro Tools on. To manage my business, I use two Macintosh computers-a Mac Pro as my Pro Tools rig, and a Macbook Pro that I do everything else with (invoicing, accounting, blogging, email, etc). As I think about this now, it’s kind of a neat thing that in essence my dad passed down his practice of using a Mac to run his business to me, as I use a Mac to run my business today.

So while it may seem a bit melodramatic to write a “remembrance” post such as this one, and as I am a bit concerned that publishing this post might come off like I’m taking advantage of the passing away of such a great figure of our time (please know that I’m not. That I am sincere in what Apple represents to me), I simply could not let the day pass without some form of an acknowledgement, as Apple devices have not only been a significant part of my life growing up (I’ve never owned a PC), but also one of the core tools I use today to make money.

It’s kind of weird for me to be saddened by the passing of Steve Jobs. I never knew the man personally. But he has had a remarkable impact on me personally. I’ve drawn a countless amount of inspiration from him throughout my adult life, and aspire to do something that resonates with others-even if it’s just a fraction when compared to him (I’ll be striving for this the rest of my life).

When Steve Jobs was forced out of Apple in the mid 90s, then brought back to revive the company in the late 90s, I began to think about what Apple Computer would be like without him at the helm. And in 2004 when it came into the public awareness that he had been dealing with health-related issues, I began to think about the inevitability of one day Steve Jobs leaving Apple for good. And now that that day has come, it’s kinda hard to accept. A strange and kind of irrational melancholy.

With the passing of such an iconic figure, one can only begin to think about their own life, the inevitability that every single one of us has a day in which we will pass from this earthly existence, and how we spend our time up until then.

Hopefully we each leave a legacy that inspires the world in some small way.

//Jon

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