It's a double serving of the video-of-the-day!
I used to think this about "Miranda Sings," and then the actress who plays her, Colleen Ballinger, proved me wrong, but regarding Shooby Taylor...you just can't make up this kind of bad.
OK...on to the news of the day:
I finished "King of Pop," the new a cappella Michael Jackson medley, and I'll be recording my tracks on it today, and we'll try to get Julia's done this week.
With as many changes as this site went through with this current renovation, you'd think I'd be satisfied, but I've been doing some research on how to run the chart browser using a database, for more advanced searching and easier updating, and I'm fairly sure I'm going to be making the switch. You'll be able to browse the whole catalog alphabetically and listen to demos, clicking on charts to check out a more extensive details page, and you'll also be able to do a detailed search. I want to make sure it looks nice and matches the vibe of the site, and but, in testing, it seems to handle the data really well and will make it easier to post new material and edit for the site. You really don't even want to know how I post the charts right now. It's a bit cumbersome, I'll just say that.
Alright...off to work!
Julia and I gave an interview to Capital Public Radio on the program "Insight," guest hosted by David Watts Barton, on Thursday. Here's a link to the show page containing the podcast version of the episode. Click "Listen" to check it out. We're the second segment, and we closed with an impromptu a cappella duo version of "Useless Landscape."
The VOTD is in keeping with today's radio theme:
I'm a fan of radio jingles and station IDs, and Julia and I were looking to break into that world for a while, using our home studio. TM Studios and PAMS have been two of the big companies doing these over the years, and since those companies both started in Dallas, my time at UNT exposed me to that world a bit. There are some pretty fun YouTube videos with jingle collections (wow...the time it must take to put those together!), but today, I'm featuring a behind-the-scenes video of some vocal session work.
In arranging news, I'm about halfway through with a new a cappella Michael Jackson tribute medley, tentatively titled "King of Pop." I'm writing it for McQueen High School's (Maribeth Burt, dir.) tour to China this summer. The chart will feature "Beat It," "Billie Jean," "Smooth Criminal," "I Just Can't Stop Loving You," with brief glimpses of "They Don't Really Care About Us" and "Human Nature." Pretty cool. I'm trying to balance the originality of the arrangement (putting in my kind of stuff) with keeping it recognizable for the audience. Should be pretty cool.
I'll have plenty of Michael Jackson stuff in the catalog by the time I do my late May new charts promotion. First, "M.J.," which is a medley with rhythm section featuring "Don't Stop 'Till You Get Enough," "Rock With You," "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" and "Man in the Mirror," then this medley, of course, with four more tunes featured, then I'll also be adding a full chart on "Man in the Mirror," and I've already got charts on "Thriller" and "I Want You Back."
Working on finishing the chart today, and we should have the demo done by the end of the weekend. And that'll be the end of the vocal jazz commission writing for a while. The next one on my plate is for the fall, so I'm probably going to get a head start on the Folsom marching band show, while doing all of the rest of the crazy spring stuff.
I've had a lot of respect for John Hollenbeck for years, and I've loved that he works with Theo Bleckmann, so it's not coming totally out of thin air, but after finally checking out John's "Eternal Interlude" CD (with his large ensemble), I'm totally on board. It's a refreshing album from start to finish, with beautifully unexpected twists and turns and an approach of jazz ensemble writing that's breaking new ground by redefining the roles of each part of the band and the very nature of jazz composition itself. He's got his own kind of treatment of melody that seems to spring from short-ish complex ideas repeated enough that they become catchy, orchestrated and doubled very creatively. His pieces are long and fully developed like Maria Schneider's, but they can go through major transformations that remind me more of the new era of Metheny's writing (as in "The Way Up" and "Orchestrion"). But...as Frank Zappa said, writing about music is like dancing about architecture...and I'm not great at writing or dancing, so I should just use my VOTD to show you one of my favorite pieces from this great album, "Guarana."
Sacramento-area friends! Tune into 90.9 FM today at 10am to hear Kerry and Julia discuss their ArtistShare project and the situation with Sac State Vocal Jazz with David Barton on Capital Public Radio's "Insight."
OK...now that business is out of the way...different business:
I've completed some more Part Tracks, so I'll give you the updated list of available charts. There are now 17 done, and, as I've said before, I've started with the heaviest sellers, for obvious reasons. In other words, it may take a while to get to Pale Blue Dot. :)
April in Paris
Don't Be On the Outside
More Than Words
Slow Me Down
I Want You Back
Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing
Hide and Seek
Sing a Song of Song
Someday My Prince Will Come (women's and mixed versions)
Fly Me to the Moon
It Don't Mean a Thing
Just for Now
And for a third, unrelated item...the VOTD. I haven't posted any videos of Julia's solo stuff yet, and if you haven't seen it, you really must, and if you haven't picked up her debut album Observatory, then I just don't understand. You gotta get it...such a sick album, in my unbiased opinion. Here she is with Ben Monder, Ted Poor and Matt Clohesy (the guys from her album) doing her amazing derangement treatment on "Autumn in New York."
The finalists for the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival have been annaounced, and here are the vocal jazz results:
College Vocal Ensemble Division --
American River College, Art LaPierre, dir.
Contra Costa College, Stephanie Austin, dir.
Cuesta College, John Knutson, dir.
Mt. San Antonio College, Bruce Rogers, dir.
Sac State "C-Sus", Kerry Marsh, dir.
Sac State Jazz Singers, Kerry Marsh, dir.
High School Vocal Jazz Ensemble Division --
Arlington High School, Lyle Forde, dir.
Arts West High School, Jeff Baker, dir.
Downey High School, Cory Olariu, dir.
Folsom High School, Curtis Gaesser, dir.
Fullerton Union High School, Jill DeWeese, dir.
Hamilton Academy of Music, John Hamilton, dir.
Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Pat Bass, dir.
Lutheran High School of Orange County, Daniel Vu, dir.
Congratulations to all the finalist students and their directors! It's going to be a really amazing event!
Today's VOTD is from one of the high school finalists, Downey High School, doing a very nice job on my arrangement of "Scarborough Fair" at the Folsom Jazz Festival a few weeks ago: