"TAKE MY PICTURE" OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO RELEASED!

"TAKE MY PICTURE" OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO RELEASED!

HERE'S OUR NEW MUSIC VIDEO!

Next week we head out on tour to Istanbul and Azerbaijan. We’re SO grateful for the opportunity to represent American roots music overseas and can’t wait to collaborate with all sorts of amazing local artists. Let’s bring some peace to this world through music y'all!

Hope you can join us at Barbes in Brooklyn for a tour kick-off concert next Wednesday, May 11th at 9 PM.

SILVER CITY BOUND TO TOUR IN TURKEY AND AZERBAIJAN FOR CROSS-CULTURAL COLLABORATION, BENEFIT FOR SYRIAN REFUGEES

SILVER CITY BOUND TO TOUR IN TURKEY AND AZERBAIJAN FOR CROSS-CULTURAL COLLABORATION, BENEFIT FOR SYRIAN REFUGEES

Following the recent and heralded release of its EP ‘Take My Picture,’ Silver City Bound will be traveling to Azerbaijan to do concerts and workshops on behalf of the U.S. Department of State's Arts Envoy Program. While in Azerbaijan, the band will collaborate with local musicians and perform at high profile festival America Days.

On their way to Azerbaijan, the band will stop in Istanbul, Turkey to collaborate with Country For Syria May 14 and 15. Based in Istanbul, Country For Syria is comprised of American, Turkish, and Syrian musicians who play a mix of American and Arabic folk music and do performances and collaborations with Syrian refugees all over Turkey. Like Silver City Bound, an accordion is featured prominently in the band.

The proceeds will go to Istanbul & I, an organization that is focused on helping refugees in Istanbul from various countries build a positive relationship with the city and sponsoring creative projects.

Silver City Bound's intent is both to raise money and awareness for the Syrian refugee crisis as well as to show strength and solidarity with other young artists living and working in Istanbul. Together, they will celebrate the positive cultural power of music and hopefully plant the seeds for further collaborative work. Silver City Bound's mission is to promote cross-cultural collaboration and dialogue through American roots music.

A kick-off concert at Barbes in Brooklyn is planned at 9 pm on May 11, the site of the band’s overflowing EP release show. On May 5, a new music video for title track “Take My Picture” will be premiered.

T-48 hours until EP Release and Celebration Concerts

"Take My Picture" comes out in just two days and we can't wait to share it with you! We hope you can join us at our release celebrations in the New York area this weekend. On Friday night we have an epic concert planned for Barbes in Brooklyn. Come at 8 PM for the music and stick around after for drinks with the band! On Saturday we're heading up to The Falcon, our home-away-from-home in the Hudson Valley. 

BARBES
Brooklyn, NY
Friday - 3.4.16
8-9:30 PM

THE FALCON
Marlboro, NY
Saturday - 3.5.16
7 PM
Split bill with Adrien Reju
 

 

Diner In The Sky Wins Independent Music Award (AGAIN)

The news just rolled in that our album "Diner In The Sky" and song "More Than Friends" won the popular vote portion of the 2015 Independent Music Awards! Last summer, the album won the judged portion of the competition. Over the past half a year, fans from around the world have had a chance to vote for their favorite nominee as well. So we have all of YOU to thank for this. We Love You!

Here's the IMA press release:

February 24, 2016 – The Independent Music Awards (The IMAs) today announced the results of The IMAs 14th annual Vox Pop poll, the fan-determined component of the prestigious international program for independent artists and releases. Vox Pop voting began in March, when The 14th IMA Nominees were announced, enabling music fans around the world to discover and support more than 400 nominated self-released & indie label Music, Video, and Visual Arts projects.

This year’s ‘Voice of the People’ favorites differed from the judge determined winners  by a margin of more than 80%.  Fan favorites includingMegan SlankardWe Were SuperheroesBrad Lee SchroederJazzation, and Celso Salim Band are among this year’s Vox Pop artists not selected by the Artist and Industry judging panelists which included Amanda Palmer, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Lila Downs, Chris & Oliver Wood (The Wood Brothers), Lunice, Jane Monheit, Suzanne Vega, Meshell NdegeocelloMelissa Auf der Maur, Sharon Jones, Shelby Lynn, Anthony DeCurtis (Rolling Stone Magazine), Terry McBride (Nettwerk Records) and Jason Olaine (Jazz At Lincoln Center) among many others.

To date, nearly 500,000 fans have championed their favorite established artists and rising stars in The IMAs Vox Pop poll.



Two New Premieres!

Just a short blog post tonight. We're very excited to share with you premieres of two more tracks from the EP. 

Last Thursday, Pop Matters premiered our new version of "I Wanna Get Drunk." (New because we recorded it about four years ago on The Tres Amigos's first CD). "New York’s Silver City Bound play a fun, eclectic brand of Americana that blends in folk, zydeco and a bit of indie rock. You know you can rarely go wrong when there’s an accordion involved."

Not true. You can often go wrong when there's an accordion involved. But when you've got three accordion tracks layered on top of each other and running through different analogue phasers and swirly effects, you are definitely doing something right.

CHECK OUT I WANNA GET DRUNK HERE.

Yesterday, Elmore Magazine, whose tagline is "Saving American music," posted a premier of "Peacockin'" and gave us a really nice quote: "Evoking the sounds of Graceland-era Paul Simon, Los Lobos and Gram Parsons, New York based Silver City Bound (formerly The Amigos) melds genres of the Americana musical vernacular in hopes of bringing it all back home and down somewhere to cut the rug. With a sound driven by a jarringly poignant accordion and a howling electric guitar, Silver City Bound is provides the perfect soundtrack for roadtripping or simply having a few pals over while making up for lost time."

Elmore Magazine has covered a number of our concerts in the pasts and we were happy to give their readers a first listen to one of our tracks.

CHECK OUT PEACOCKIN' HERE.

For those of you who have never released a record before, you may be wondering, what the hell is a premier?? A premier basically means granting a certain online publication the opportunity to post a song from an upcoming album before the full album is released. Theoretically, it creates some hype for the full album release.

In the case of our EP, we decided to work with a publicist named Nick Loss-Eaton to help us secure a series of premiers. Since our goal with Take My Picture is to introduce the band to as many new listeners as possible in the Americana market, we are hoping that by releasing the music in this stepwise fashion, it will actually build anticipation for the big day.

That's all for now. March 4th is just about a week away and we have some big news to share soon so stay tuned!

Are you a mammal or a dandelion? Cory Doctorow's "Information Doesn't Want to Be Free"

Over the weekend, I went browsing in the Greenlight bookstore in Fort Greene, looking for some business and design books that might help guide our efforts releasing “Take My Picture.” Before I even made it to those bookshelves, I happened across Cory Doctorow’s recent title sitting on a staff-picks table. 

The back cover purports, “An essential read for anyone with a stake in the future of the arts, Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free offers a vivid guide to the ways creativity and the Internet interact today, and to what might be coming next.” Anyone with a stake in the future of the arts?? Hey, that’s me!

I read the book front to back in about three hours. The majority of the book explains the arcane, modern state of copyright law as it pertains to the Internet. He makes the case that current technologies and policies put all the power and money in the hands of tech giants and media giants, who are constantly at war with one another, and who tediously and spuriously invoke the support of content creators (artists) in their causes. 

At the same time, Doctorow advises creative entrepreneurs of the 21st century to embrace the (supposedly) free flow of information and to think more like “dandelions” than “mammals”. Being a "dandelion" means creating more and cheaper (in terms of financial input) works of art and allowing them to be freely copied and distributed as opposed to “mammalian” babies which require significant funds, time, and energy. 

“Take My Picture” is a perfect example of one such mammalian baby. Our stated intention with this EP is to garner the interest of the “music industry” at large—perhaps get approached by some labels, agents, etc., we essentially created a new piece of marketing for the new band. Doctorow would probably argue that we have perhaps put the cart in front of the horse. 

Cory Doctorow is not arguing that the book, as an artform, is obsolete or worthless. And I am not arguing that making high-quality sound recordings is a waste of time. More than ever it is important for musicians to be making sound and video recordings and distributing them as widely as possible. However, I am beginning to see clearer than ever how the Internet has inverted the model of music production and consumption that we grew up taking for granted.

As Doctorow says, people are more than happy to buy things from you. If they still own CD players, certain people will buy CDs at shows. Others will by vinyl. People will buy shirts, mugs, bags and other swag. Maybe they’ll buy snacks, or drinks, or hot sauce. There is money to be made selling tickets to shows and things people can buy to remind them of those experiences. 

Furthermore, the Internet and the platforms that host artistic content (like YouTube, Vimeo, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, etc.) really need to be treated as media forms in and of themselves, as opposed to just means of distribution. Just as it’s misguided to take a home video shot on an iPhone and somehow expect it to translate into a successful IMax movie, it feels increasingly incoherent to make audio recordings designed for long playing records and expect them to be captivating on YouTube. 

Artists should be steadily and constantly recording, authentically documenting their progress in whatever social media channels they find most appropriate (this is cause for another blog post entirely), and essentially building their audience and network as they go along. A series of cheaply-produced home recordings or videos are likely going to have a much higher ROI for artists that are starting out than a really expensive recording project. This creative output would then set up the artist to be able to undertake a more expensive project later on, knowing that he or she would have a dependable fan base to buy it.  

I’m more excited and interested than ever in putting our music out in the Internet. What has changed—or what is changing—are my goals and intentions for what comes next. Each moment in time presents a challenge to artists to continue to develop their craft while embracing new technologies. Here are some questions that we need to consider moving forwards:

How can highly-trained musicians embrace the Internet and modern technologies as canvases for their craft and differentiate themselves from the fold? 

How do we find the niche fans and conversations that comprise a potential audience? 

What technologies and tools make the most sense for musical artists to invest in (i.e. recording gear, cameras, studio space, film crews, animators, design teams, etc.)?

How can we use social media as a calling card for live performances and physical sales while still maintaining an authentic voice?

In what ways do live performances, word-of-mouth, and online buzz interact? How can we get them to do so as efficiently and effectively as possible?

Six Awesome Music-Movies to Watch With Your Spouse, BF/GF, or Pet On Valentine's Day Instead of Freezing Your Ass Off Outside

It’s the end of an exhausting week and we’re all feeling a little worn thin. Valentine's Day is on Sunday (and there isn’t a single goddamn brand or business in the world that isn’t reminding you constantly) and the weatherman is predicting freezing temperatures with windchills in the -10s and -20s for NYC. Might be a good idea to rethink that romantic hike along the Brooklyn Bridge promenade and opt for something a little more… well… inside.

Already watched every episode of Masterchef Junior? Then why not cozy up to that special someone—or whatever stuffed animal, electronic gadget, or liquor-of-choice is your physical proxy—and watch an inspiring music-documentary! Here’s a list of our favorites that are 2 easy clicks away on Netflix:

1. “What Happened Miss Nina Simone?” An interesting and provocative portrayal of musician and political activist Nina Simone. She got her start playing classical music and jazz at a bar in Atlantic City and went on to become one of the most recognizable voices in music and politics of her time. (She’s also on Sammy Squeeze’s list of top 5 pianists ever.) 


2. “Muscle Shoals.” Tells the story of the famous studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, where many of the great soul, blues, and rock recordings of the past century have been cut. Wilson Pickett. Paul Simon. Lynyrd Skynyrd. The Rolling Stones. Aretha Franklin. Our personal connection to Muscle Shoals is that we’ve played with Dan Penn—the songwriter of “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” (this song is appearing on our upcoming EP!)—and Spooner Oldham and David Hood who were two of the session musicians known as the Swampers.


3. “This Ain’t No Mouse Music.” This is a documentary about Arhoolie Records founder and folk music impresario Chris Strachwitz. Chris has spent his life travelling around the U.S. and documenting its folk music traditions. From Zydeco in Texas and Louisiana, to Tex-Mex, to Delta Blues, and Appalachian Old-Time, Chris is responsible for finding and working with some of the previously unsung legends of American music. His label Arhoolie and record store “Down Home Music Store” are both in the East Bay. We’ve performed in the store twice and the last time we did, Chris was there filming us with his iconic old camcorder!


4. “Marley.” There are a bazillion (spell check?) Bob Marley movies out there. This one came out a few years ago and is remarkably entertaining and informative. Goes great with some roti or curry goat from Gloria’s on Nostrand (and of course the right smokes…).

 

5. “Ain’t In It For My Health: A Film About Levon Helm.” If you don’t know who Levon Helm is, I’m surprised you’ve even made it as far as our blog. The drummer for The Band, Levon passed away several years ago, after spending many years living up in Woodstock. His barn/recording studio was the focal point for an amazing community of roots musicians in the Hudson Valley that have been very inspiring to us. This movie is really great, but if you want to get even deeper into Levon, check out his autobiography, “This Wheel’s On Fire.” 

 

6. “Straight Outta Compton.” This one’s not on Netflix but it’s worth renting anyways. It’s a dramatization of the career of West Coast hip-hop group N.W.A. In addition to being a well-produced and fun movie, it tells an inspiring story of a group of talented musicians, rappers, and DJ’s who got their start making art that was in direct conversation with issues and events in their community. Everyone should watch this one. 


BEWARE of these Netflix traps which aren’t worth your time and are definitely going to piss off your significant other:

“Keith Richards: Under the Influence” - unless you’re both die hard Keith Richards fans. 
“The Other One: The Long Strange Trip of Bob Weir” - a long strange trip to sleepy land.

Make Music. Make Love. Happy Valentines Day.

It Takes a Village...

It Takes a Village...

If you’ve ever been to a Silver City Bound show, then you’re probably familiar with Justin, Noah, Will, and myself. But just like with any project or business, there’s a much larger community of people who are contributing to making this EP launch a success. This post is about giving props to all the folks that have been involved in Take My Picture up to this point. It takes a village to make a recording come to life.

 

We did our basic tracking at Tiny Telephone Studios in San Francisco, a sweet independent studio specializing in high-quality analogue (tape machine as opposed to computer) recording and vintage gear. The studio is run by indie-rock musician and producer John Vanderslice who brings an incredible amount of good vibes and positivity to the room anytime he walks through carrying unusual synths, spare tubes, coffee filters, or the studio cat. Rob Shelton was the engineer and took a hands on role in the experimentation and hang, helping me explore a variety of vintage amps and pedals for the accordion and even joining us for burritos three days in a row.

 

By the way, “basic tracking,” means laying down just the core instrumental parts of a song: the drums, bass, and in our case, guitar and accordion parts. Once we had these in place, we were able to transfer the analogue audio from magnetic tape into a digital format on the computer, and continue adding to the songs. This type of layered, collage-like process in recording is common practice across the board for most contemporary music—perhaps with the exception of some jazz, classical, and bluegrass recordings that are produced live. It ensures that the underlying grooves of your songs are rock solid and then allows you to get creative, adding the vocals and other instrumental textures in layers that can always be edited and stripped away later if you want.

 

Back in Brooklyn, we worked with our good friend Sam Owens to record the vocals and the remaining guitar, accordion, keys, and other instruments. Sam works regularly at Figure 8 Studios in Prospect Heights. He has an awesome band called Celestial Shore and also performs as a solo artist under the moniker Sam Evian. Sam did a crack job recording and mixing the project and also contributed a lot to the aesthetic of final product. You can hear his angelic falsetto in the high harmony parts on a lot of the chorus vocals.

 

“Take My Picture” is an anthem, so it needed horns. Luckily we’re friends with some of the best horn players in the city. We got Eddie Barbash, Ben Flocks, and Sam Crittenden to join us for a day of recording at Silent Barn Studio in Bushwick. They also helped us get the floor shaking for some rousing stomp-claps on the break-down section of that song.

 

Any hit song requires a music video. We decided that we wanted to make a video that was emotionally evocative, portrayed our personal landscape, and basically introduced Silver City Bound to the greater world. So we contacted Kelly Teacher who had done work for many of our friends’ projects like Bailen, John Fatum, and Sammy Miller. Kelly’s work has a beautiful touch, so we approached her with the challenge of making a documentary-style video for “Take My Picture.” She’s been following us around with a camera for the past month and a half, and has gotten a first hand experience of the weird and wacky world of Americana in New York City.

 

Last, but not least, we brought on Nick Loss-Eaton to handle publicity for the EP release. He’s been approaching blogs about premiers and mailing CDs to various music industry people to try to help us get the word out as much as possible. Nick has worked with some of the best in Americana and is a musician in his own right, and so we feel confident putting the project in his able hands.

 

Now, reading back over this post, it’s humbling to see how we’ve benefited from this incredibly talented community. These are all people doing exciting and successful things with their art, and we’re really lucky to be part of their lives. As this project progresses and as we get closer to the release date, I’m sure the community of people involved is only going to continue expand.

 

If you haven’t already, check out “Take My Picture” and pre-order the album from our Bandcamp page!

 

 

What We Are Not: Robin Thicke and Zombie Accordion Death Metal

We’re only in Day 3 of the countdown to the EP Release, and already there’s so much going on that I’m not really sure where to start. I guess it’s a good thing, but if our degree of sleep deprivation keeps up its current trajectory, we’ll probably be playing zombie accordion death metal by the time the record comes out.

Yesterday, LA-based roots blog, The Bluegrass Situation, premiered the title track from the EP. “The life of a musician,” wrote Brittney McKenna, “isn't an easy one, with long strings of late nights and cheap food wearing on you after a while. New York City quartet Silver City Bound is all too familiar with that specific brand of exhaustion, channeling the feeling into the title track from their upcoming Take My Picture EP, which releases March 4. "Take My Picture" is a surprisingly ebullient tune, one that has shades of Wilco, the Felice Brothers, and '70s classic rock.”

To read the full write-up and listen to the first track from Take My Picture go here!

After sitting on these recordings for so many months, the prospect of suddenly having it available for streaming is exciting and totally terrifying. Even though you know it’s almost definitely not going to happen, a part of you secretly hopes your song is going to become an overnight viral sensation leading to millions of downloads and streams. Then when they put it up online, and a couple hundred people listen to it, the realization sets in that like everything else in life, this is going to be a long, slow process.

Our song is certainly not going to have the viral success of say Robin Thicke or Drake (unless during the Democratic debate tonight, socialist aliens secretly hack into Americans’ minds and hypnotize them into believing that the accordion is an indicator of superhuman sexual prowess). (Anything is possible.) 

But even though it may not go viral, we would love it if as many people as possible shared “Take My Picture” to help us reach a wider audience. And while Brittney’s post on the Bluegrass Situation may not vault us into internet stardom, I think it’s an interesting and surprisingly pertinent reflection of exactly what we’re trying to do in releasing this EP and writing this blog: tell an honest story about what it’s like to be an independent musician in 2016, A.D.

That story is one of flexibility and willingness to participate in lots of different types of musical situations. 

Last night, we had a show at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center. It was a double bill with our friends, Sammy Miller and the Congregation, who bring an inspiring level of creativity, humor and sheer energy to their music. The night was a really beautiful pairing of our Americana/folk repertoire and the Congregations’ “joyful jazz.”

 Photo by Richard Velasco

Photo by Richard Velasco

In addition to being a sweet night of music, the show also sort of helped us to clarify our relationship to the jazz world. We are an Americana band through and through. We play music drawing on a diverse range of American roots styles (and global genres that have always been in direct conversation with American music). While we don’t perform traditional jazz repertoire what can make us appealing to a jazz audience is that we are adaptable, using improvisation and instruments outside of the typical guitar-bass-drums format to tell new stories based on old traditions. And, whenever we need a horn section, we can call on our network of talented jazz musician friends!

In the next few days we’ll be playing at our favorite Hudson Valley venue, “The Falcon,” receiving our CDs in the mail, and signing distribution and licensing agreements. A lot to do and a lot to think about. 
 
For the time being let’s just try to stay as far away as possible from a zombie accordion death metal band and guys like this...

We're releasing a record. Here's our story as it unfolds Day by day. (And Happy Groundhog Day).

Silver City Bound is releasing an EP called "Take My Picture" on March 4th. It's a project we started well over a year ago, and we couldn't be more excited (and nervous) to put it out into the world. We've been a band now for about five years. As working musicians in NYC, we've had some real successes and some real challenges. The songs on this EP are all about those experiences: dreams and nightmares, fantasies, frustrations, love and unquenchable thirst. 

We believe in these songs. Now, all we want to do is share the record with the world. When "Take My Picture" is released—31 days from now to be exact—our goal is to share it with as many people people as possible. How are we going to do that? Well, we're improvising. But not without a plan.

We've decided to start a blog to keep track of our progress along the way. We figured that if you like our music, you might be sorta interested in the Kafkaesque business of independently releasing a record in 2016 A.D. Maybe you'll even have some suggestions for us as we go along! 

You may be thinking, this sounds a lot like the podcasts Serial or StartUp. You're right. We may be obsessed with old American roots music, but that doesn't mean we're going to release this record on wax cylinder and take out ads in the Farmer's Almanac to promote it. 

We're going to try to be transparent and lively in our documentation of this process. Over the next few weeks we'll be setting up a pre-order campaign, looking at distribution and licensing agreements, writing and scheduling social media posts, premiering tracks and music videos, finalizing pricing, having rehearsals, and planning our EP release concert. Justin and I will be dividing up most of the work and my wife, Claire, is going to be helping out, too.

Today (Tuesday) we're going to be rehearsing for our big show at Dizzy's tomorrow (Wednesday) night with Sammy Miller and the Congregation. (Still a few tickets left here.) And tomorrow we're going to be sharing a really exciting preview of things to come, so don't go away. 

Now, let's take some time to explore the extraordinary abilities of the North American ground hog.