Boulder Show w/ Pics
March 11, 2010 06:28 PM
Stacy in blue during her stellar performance of "Ambulance" Tuesday night
at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Hey everyone. Hope you guys got the e-blast. If not: here (it's now on-line). We've been diligent in our effort to re-establish all communication streams including this one. I feel like we might have left the previous post (leaving WB) on pause for too long but on such big news it seemed important.
Aftermath. Not surprisingly - fans loved the news. We've received a tremendous rally of support. Every message in our on-line world was positive. Sure - on the outside, there were a few negative remarks. I started to devote a decent chunk of real estate to topic but in a moment of clarity, I aborted. It even included apologies. I hate drama; even if I created it. Peace.
Anyway, things are good, things are happening faster, we're getting more opportunities, we're finding favor with more people, getting inquiries from more entities/ organizations, we're breaking some molds, shattering myths, getting the word out, moving forward... things are happening faster, going so much better. Thanks for being so encouraging.
A great experience. Not gonna lie... the 17 hr drive up [1 show] the 17 hour drive down was brutal... especially the coming back part. We headed for Tyler at 1:30am. To be fair, the 3am to 6am jaunt is wicked on every tour. But it was fun... the Boulder part. And even the drive was pretty ok thanks to iPhones and gas station crap food.
The Program Council people at the University of Colorado in Boulder were so nice to us. How can you go wrong with tons of college kids helping, catering, marketing, interviewing, loading in/out, etc. The whole day was amazing. In fact, perfect. Thanks to everyone who helped put that event on and to all of you guys who came.
REVIEW - Here's a quick interview/review from CU Independent. They're a college media group: Boulder Student Review
Hope you guys enjoyed the night. I don't typically critique Eisley shows and I'm not going to... but all the things I needed or expected to hear/experience at an Eisley show were peaking in a good way in Boulder - clear/present vocals, dynamics, ambient textures/nuances, a balanced mix, that moody Rhodes, big guitar sounds (especially specific parts that are critical to the song... but also tones/volume), pitch, those mesmerizing harmonies... humor & honesty.
Yes, the low frequency that came from Sherri's mic on "I Wasn't Prepared", was unexpected and difficult to eq that room; the house dudes were struggling to figure it out. Tweaking on the overall eq fixed it. Still, no big. I'm their biggest critic... gotta say, I had a big smile.
Glenn Miller actually played here. So did The Grateful Dead, The Ramones, etc.
Collin, bro' merch dude seems preoccupied with a certain unidentified girl from CO Springs. Come to think of it, he didn't sell much merch Tuesday night.
Hope you CO people can come to a show when we're on a proper tour (Denver or Boulder). The rhythm of a tour helps build consistent/better technology, stronger performances and an overall - a good vibe. Anyway - thanks again for coming; wish it could have been a longer set but you get the idea.
Sherri was sick but didn't look or sound it.
Weston under the influence of himself drinking water.
All the Other Whatever's We're Supposed to Be Talking About.
We've been quite busy. SXSW is coming up next week. Here's the link to the e-blast in case you didn't get it: e-blast on-line. I'm not going to repeat all the content in that newsletter but all the SXSW dates/times/info is there. Go get it.
Stacy returns tonight; the next 3 days will be nothing but rehearsal... more like cramming. They're taking out a new song. ARE YOU COMING? After sxsw, we'll have time to think, talk more to you guys about the going's on'z. We don't know details about the future other than we'll get this record out as quickly as possible and tour it. To re-sign or not to re-sign - that is the question. We're split, depending on the day, mood, how much coffee we've had, but the unity in this band is never in question; there will be an answer; we are certain, confident. In fact, there's never been as much.
At the very least, a new foundation for how we manufacture/distribute has to be laid. After SXSW, we'll make a decision as quickly as possible and move on it. We've had label interest and some discussion, even been close but so far, it hasn't been right. Gun-shy. It has to be right; it has to make perfect sense. We appreciate your patience. Again, if the right label doesn't step up, we'll just do this. It's more about you getting the music one way or another... and bringing the live presentation to your market.
No one is reading this far down but but - speaking of 'presentation to your market' - we are discussing the possibility of doing a short 5-6 underplay tour up through the Midwest the last week of June. Yes. Why so short? We don't want to take away from a bigger 2010 headlining tour. The inspiration? We're returning to the cornfields of West Illinois to play a show at an old alma mater of ours - Cornerstone Festival (July 2nd). Thinking we'll make 4-6 stops on the way up. Why not visit some wonderfully quaint B markets and make some new friends?
I'd rather not list suggested markets yet until I get our agent involved. If I say - "Memphis or St. Louis or Little Rock" but Marty can't find a promoter/club for a certain date in that market, it's a no go. Wanna keep everyone happy. You can look at it on a map. Gotta keep it lean.
We loved that experience. Great people... Joe from the band Norcio promoted the show; killed it. They said it was the first time the Spanish Moon sold out since April '07. We'll probably go back. Thanks Louisiana for coming... and singing louder than the music in the room. Here's something the LSU paper did: Baton Rouge interview.
Also - it's feeling like Spring in East Texas and that can only mean one thing: Sherri and I will be happy. We love Winter but hate being cold. Gimmie the sun. Gimmie Spring, mild breezes, ice drinks, flowers, green things. I'm ready to mow, weed-eat again. Bring it.
Eisley Leaves WB
February 08, 2010 10:00 PM
After you read below... click on this clip and dream of an Eisley future full of constant musical
offerings outside of conventional label mindset. I'll post one with better audio *Details/credits
Dear Eisley fans - By now many of you might have noticed that Eisley has neither a 3rd album out... nor a release date for it. There's a reason for that. We've been waiting patiently to fill you in on what's really going on. Tonight everyone was hanging out at the house; we all just said, "let's start talking about this".
Opt'ing Out - No one has any idea how long we've wanted this. In September of '09, just before the Say Anything tour, our contact at WB called and outlined an option for Eisley to leave the label. He agreed we were likely going to get over-looked again. Big layoffs, several well known acts tanked... he had the power to help: "If Eisley wants to be one of those bands who just sits on the label and basically makes records... fine - you should stay... but that's not what I'm getting...". Us: "We never wanted to re-sign. We made it very clear a year ago; we wanted out...but you guys pushed us into staying... if we can get off, yes... please".
Ever heard of an annulment? More like ripping up a contract we worked on for a year. The ink was barely dry. Surprised by this news? Of course you aren't. Upset? You might be - but only because you were expecting a record this Spring. But I've heard the silent screams and the verbal complaints all along the way. Sorry if we're being candid or whimsical with this info; this is old news. We've been operating indie since before Fire Kite ep was ever manufactured but haven't had the urgent sense to drag you guys into the chagrin.
Chronopsis' - Short run down of what has happened during the last year: 1.) Began working on current LP Summer '08 completely outside of WB's knowledge (we decided there was no point in continuing). 2.) We begged to get off the label (actual quote: "Please... tell us where we sign to get off this label"). 3.) They held our feet to the fire, said they wouldn't drop us (option on a 3rd); they insisted we negotiate something that would be good for both of us... spoke of their "retooled label" and about how everything would be different (you can trust me). 4.) We continued working on the record (they got involved financially) 5.) We eventually signed a new deal, made plans for the SA tour 6.) The phone call (para 2) with the good tidings that they would let us out of our deal 6.) We amicably ended of our relationship (hand shake. legal shiz in process) and hit the road happy campers (SA - main support) 7.) WB held up the ep order and you got pissed 8.) WB failed to provide the merch they had promised (we had to scramble, pay out of pocket w/ only about a week before first showdate) 9. We got happy... returned back from the tour 10.) Holidays. People got married. Current. Life is great.
We're not choosing this post to articulate super-personal feelings on this issue but surely you've been reading between the lines. WB's questionable handling of Eisley's career from the dating all the way back to 2002 has been the source of much frustration both from the band and fans. I've been speaking cloak & dagger for nearly 2 years. What a relief to be at a place where we can talk openly about the future.
Nice Bunny Words - We're way more thankful than pissed. Business is business. Sometimes things go wrong. The industry basically crashed, burned and began rebuilding during the time Eisley was on WB. And let's be honest... there was a lot that went right. The same thing probably would have happened anywhere... on any label. The band made music, grew, toured, made more music, toured... repeat, etc. We are still in relationship with the key people at WB and have many friends there who recently came out to the LA show. This honestly isn't sour grapes. We appreciate what WB did for Eisley and hope the best for them. I think it's fair to pose the question: where would Eisley be today without WB? Whether it was the best road... it was the road. We can all ask - "what if..." but what would that accomplish. It's best to be thankful.
It might be fun to go back and talk about all the ridiculous problems we experienced at some point such as wb not releasing Eisley's major label debut in the UK... or perhaps - why they pulled the plug on that ridiculous fan site they insisted on (remember the failed attempt to send fans their cheesy prizes earned through point accumulation?)... we could talk about why they (admittedly) didn't push "Combinations"... or why after 7 years being on a major, the word "single" referred only to text on the paper label stuck to the cellophane on the jewel case (featuring the single: "Invasion") but let's not dwell on the past. They probably blame us. Let's talk about the future.
Long Awaited LP3? - I think you're going to believe it was worth the wait when you hear it. I refuse to bloat. And whether it sounds like a broken record or not we are finishing the record... making it better ourselves. The tracks are being approached from a final edit/magic sprinkles/mixing standpoint.
BUT - we have to make important decisions about the release of this record. All about new options. The band is leery of the current wilds of the industry and we're not entirely sure we want to resign. Majors are all requiring 360˚ deals (screw that) and many indies are incapable of doing more than we could do ourselves. Not saying we are not open. We are. Eyes wide open.
Labels - The good, the bad, the indifferent... I'm not being cocky but any label interested in signing this record/this band is going to really have to want it. They're going to have to be in love with this band from top down or we're not going down that road. They'll have to answer some tough questions. In this market, they might rather not.
Being on a label doesn't mean you're going to be pushed. Not saying WB didn't push Eisley. Just saying - there are no guarantee's. Even if your torch (A&R or significant person - a project manager, etc.) is super powerful and is really into your band, sometimes they're dealing with uninspired, rank and file 'ney-ney' people behind the veil who don't care about your band or have been given another band to push instead of yours. Labels sign SO many bands. That's the game. You can get overlooked as bigger bands take priority. So - it's very possible to be legally signed but practically dropped.
For example - Eisley's radio person was never on-board. She once told me: "yeah, i just don't really get Eisley... never have..." (quote). Everyone loves what they love and I'm not saying Eisley writes singles. I am saying that 'radio' wasn't a battle we could have never won while on WB.
I plan on writing several more successive posts about all of this... signed vs unsigned, what labels promise vs what bands give up, etc. I've learned a few things from working w/ 7 departments at wb, working on the jots and tiddles of a contract w/ an attorney for almost a year, from reading and experiencing first hand the reality of this changing industry... blah, blah, blah. Seems like lately so many bands, managers, promoters that I know are talking about all the crap they're dealing with. Just today I read a very heartfelt message from OK Go to their fans [edit: since then they parted ways and are on their own.] So if you guys are down, let's talk about it. Post a comments here or in Laughing City. Could be entertaining.
SXSW - The purpose of SXSW is to let the industry know what we're doing, stir the pot, showcase live music, let key people hear tracks, see what the interest level is... either find a label we really believe in or release this ourselves. It's really that simple. I could have written a book. Be glad I didn't.
Please come if you can. You can get in line, pay - without a badge. We're stoked over this line-up. Kashmir is one of our favorite bands. Our SXSW contact set this up because she knew this. Also, the Rocketboys are good friends. They're great. I've heard great things about Barcelona.
SXSW Showcase - 3/18 MAGGIE MAE'S Rooftop
Goldheart Assembly @10
1. vigor; verve; pep.
2. courage and aggressiveness; nerve.
3. skill; know-how.
One of my friends at wb (a high-up) once referred to Eisley as "the little train that could". I know he meant well but I would never characterize this band as this huffing/puffing little engine trying to climb a steep mountain but I can certainly attest to their level of perseverance and commitment to what they're doing.
I think it does take moxie but Eisley is not merely trying... they are being. Sure - the business side of this can be discouraging but you don't give up on what you are/who you are just because things are tough along the way. I've said it many times (read exhaustive study in previous journal): this is not about status, fame, popularity, money... or even about the struggle. You don't track your success by how fast you make it up the mountain or whether you even make it to the top of the mountain. It's not how many downloads you get or how many "next big thing" articles they write about you. It's not about whether Rolling Stone thinks you suck or if they think you are the "new god's of new metal" (where is Evanscence?). You don't win by being more popular than your peers.
You win by writing, recording, releasing music you love, are proud of. You get it out there however you can. You win by connecting with people through music. You win by influencing the world around you with your art. Hopefully along the way, you make the difference in someone's life. Hopefully you create a musical backtrack they can call their own. You define yourself by how you positively influence others in space and time. You use the talent God has given you.
*The Silver Springs Video - That's a Stevie Nicks song. Darren King is playing guitar, Jeremy Larson is playing piano at his studio in Missouri and Brandon Goodwin caught it on tape. This honestly was not planned. They were just hanging out... jamming... decided moments before this song just to push the button (track it); Brandon grabbed his video cameras, pointed, taped... edited.
I love it. I thought it was a great segue into more dialogue about how to approach the new world. Eisley hopes to do more and more and more of this kind of collective work... and more importantly - to create more and more and more Eisley music outside the industry construct - with it's worn out, old model conventions. We basically want to do what we want to do. That doesn't mean getting out of the biz', the game, the industry... it might mean we get in deeper. It might mean things like - if we want to play Cornerstone Festival, we do it. We don't care what anyone thinks (Dave Bazan, the atheist, plays CS - drunk). If we want to play a random one-off show in Louisiana, we do it. If we decide to make a live, collective video/recording of Eisley and their enclave of family & friends, we do it. Get it?
The End - We live in a technological world that affords the weak and the strong to be able to create. The digital revolution has changed the music business forever. The industry that monetizes music might be slowly losing the battle but music itself is winning. Major labels are no longer able to dictate what is good or what we should like. iPods are the new compact disc. We now listen to SO much music - from Grammy winning (recycled) artists to our friends' bands who live next door. Anyone can record a record. If small, start-up bands can write & record their own music, play shows, tour... how much more can Eisley accomplish - with or without a label. After all - that's how it all began. This is only the beginning. When you hear the new album, I think you'll agree.
We love you all.
p.s. The Silver Springs video is also on Yahoo - that's great publicity but the sound/video quality suffers: http://new.music.yahoo.com/videos/StacyDuPree/Silver-Spring--218627935 so if you aren't super stoked over the YouTube quality, I also posted it on our server. The quality is way better than either: http://www.eisley.com/myspace/Silverspring_small.mov
One Week Late Wedding Update
January 29, 2010 11:30 PM
The couples + their grandad (my dad just turned 80) - performing the ceremony.
So... was anyone who knows this band really surprised to see a 2 for 1 sale? Hey - it wasn't my doing. Everyone knows that weddings are advanced by women. We have plenty of those around here. I think it was actually Chauntelle and Weston's doing; at least in the beginning. Practical or emotional - once the idea hit the public arena, it was like lighting a grass fire in Malibu on a hot August day.
Wedding Fodder - Anyway, as you might imagine, it was a gorgeous, beautiful double wedding... as double weddings go. What the heck - who's ever even been to a double wedding? Well... I'm sure this was the best one. It was very much like Sherri & Max's wedding: magical. Darren wasn't able to come to Sherri's and we all felt so bad/sad for him. So was he... but he was there Saturday night and I think he'd be the first to admit that he was visibly overwhelmed. So was Max. Man alive. But after the [double] wedding, Darren was verbalizing how special it was... and I said, "hey now you've basically been to Sherri's wedding too... because this WAS that wedding... seriously - all that changed were the lead actors on stage...". ha-Ha... nah, it wasn't identical... Sherri had more pink & BBQ.
It was slightly different for me too. I got to walk TWO brides down the aisle. What an honor. I fought back tears but had to be strong for Chauntelle & Jessie who came out of their girlie bridal room fanning their eyes... "dad, you've got to help us stop crying...". I was like, "ok... focus... look into my eyes... i am a rock..." But inside, i was right on the edge... fearing I would sob like a glubbery poo-baby. I didn't. Rock-man rocked it.
Coming off stage to "Wouldn't it Be Nice if We Were Married"
Credits - Everyone who came seemed to be touched. Yes - because of the emotion... the couples... the moment... but honestly - Kim and Parrish (DuPree) were to blame. They should get a huge hunk of the cred'. You don't know them; just a couple of mom's who have poured their lives into their kids quietly in the background for decades. They rose to the epic occasion... quite expectedly. Cakes and flowers and arrangements and decoration and planning and details and on and on and on... for weeks. If the couples were the magic, Kim and Parrish's work were the sprinkles that gave it visibility. All the eisley girls helped. It was spectacular... lovely. There were few dry eyes.
Sickly Stacy - Few know this but poor Stacy has mononucleosis'. Yeah, not kidding. She came to the wedding sickly... she even danced... sickily. Wish her well. She's still sick. She tracked some vocals today with a swollen globula. I just made that up. Her throat is swollen and she's... well, she has mono... you get tired and run down day after day after week.
Dreams - For whatever history you do or don't know, this wedding was very important. But without getting into all that, I hope it might be obvious... family is important to this band. Starting/raising families has always a part of the dream. Having stated that fact, it might be important to let you guys know that creating music & presenting it (digital, retail, live, whatever) is equally foundational. If you've peered in closely over the years, you probably knew that. It's in the DNA. And it's already working. Sherri is as passionate about her band as ever... even moreso. I know it to be true... (sherri and i emailing back and forth at 5:30am about the band. she's in LA) with all of them. Three new families... there is no wavering. Only dedication.
Behind Scenes - It was funny - that night after the wedding, what remained of our small family were hanging out basking in the aftermath of the amazing night; we stayed up til 4:30am; we couldn't go to sleep. Wired, full of joy. It's funny - all that night at the wedding, friends were joking w/ me about us being empty nesters. What? We still maintain the national average after losing half of our kids. Get real. Plus - everyone lives a few blocks from each other so it's not like things are changing that much.
The day after their wedding, we were all hanging out at our house w/ Garron's gi-normous family and about 4:00 - within about 15 minutes of each other - both newly weds busted in... followed by loud cheers, applause, hugs, frivolity. Sorta awesome. We were all hanging out, relishing the moment, reminiscing about the wedding... laughing at the fun of it all.
Brides w/ an important mom in the middle
Making it vs Living it - I said years ago, this has never been about fame or money. Eisley is unique for many reasons. Being in a family has a built in benefit. The thread that connects them is in the blood... in the mind. Bands get discouraged, get disgruntled with each other, give up; I hear it all the time: "yeah, we didn't make it... we tried but we just couldn't make it..." Make what? ($) Ok... i get that; but seriously... you have to frame this right. Even the tiniest local bands make recordings and get their music out with little or no money. They work and have jobs. They do what they believe in.
You do what is within you. A painter paints. A writer writes. Quitting on the talent... the God-given gift you've been given is just pure (vocabulary mishap). Right? I'm not saying that bands should stay together forever. I'm just saying that you can't stop being who you are... you don't ignore what is in your bones... what runs through your soul... for any reason. I just wanted you guys to know - for a band like Eisley, getting married doesn't mean giving up on what is in them. Perhaps just the opposite.
Finding the Wood - Not sure if many read this buried little Trolleywood blog anymore. I don't care... it's an outlet. Insiders only. I see a jillion blogs out there without ANY comments. If we get a few, it represents 100's if not 1000's of reads. And no - you don't need to re-assure me. "We found the wood, we unfound the wood". And yes - "Trolley's still drive".
And Tweets are so limiting; mostly news chunks when you're a band. Ya'll... Eisley is in this nifty place; news is funny to us right now. Probably doesn't seem like there's much of it but we're laughing at a few things behind the veil. Yes, we're easily amused and we tend to laugh at things others don't so... whatever; you read whatever u want into that. When I say expect news soon, I mean it. We have sxsw coming up, a show coming up and even more... obviously more; trust me, there's more.
p.s. Jamie took a million pics (professionally) at the wedding. So did another photographer. We'll post more for fun when he/she delivers them. Thanks and stay tuned for important news.