Categories
For The Good Music

Time Stand Still

Absolutely epic. This was one of my favorite Rush songs of that era. This group has captured the essence of this song in such a beautiful rendition – without drums.

Categories
Music

Celebrating Neil Peart (aka “The Professor”)

My first concert was in 1984 and it was Rush at the Rosemont Horizon (now, Allstate Arena). I remember the day vividly. It was June 29th and cold. I stood outside my house waiting to be picked up and remember thinking, ‘this is too cold for June.’ My friend and bandmate, Paul picked me up in his beat up Pinto. We took a wrong turn and went way out of our way. Got to our seats for the last song of the opener, Marillion.

My obsession with Rush started years before in 1981 when my cousin popped in an 8-track of Moving Pictures. Again, it was a vivid moment. I remember staring at the radio, listening intently as I have never heard music like this before. As a classical piano student, which I started in 1976, there was a quality to the Rush songs that affected me on a deeper level like no other band.

Neil Peart Tribute Article
Neil over the years

So, from the summer of 1981 to somewhere in the mid-90’s, Rush became my most binged music. I was into a lot of other artists, but as far as listening time goes, it was Rush 10:1. I attended a Rush concert every year they toured Chicago during that same period. Then, there was all the time spent learning bass/keys for most songs on Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures, Signals, GUP and HYF. It’s safe to say I was a Rush junkie.

It’s been 3 days since I heard the news about Neil’s passing and I really think I’m going through the stages. Listening to their 2011 Time Machine album this morning and hearing how wicked Neil’s playing was at age 60 is mind blowing. What Neil had been able to accomplish as a writer and musician, puts him into a class of his own. The complexity, creativity and quantity of his drums parts over the course of 19 studio albums is a body of work that is almost impossible to compare. And, up until 2016, he was performing those songs at near perfection – again – in his 60s! I’m 50 and playing piano/guitar for almost 40 years has taken a toll on my hands. I can’t imagine the toll of that level of playing/touring had taken on Neil. It would be like Tom Brady playing into his 50s.

As a lyricist and drummer, Neil was a pure artist. Never watering down his craft to fit into a more “popular” genre. Yet, by all measurements, Rush is more popular than most pop acts. I can pretty much guarantee Justin Bieber will not be performing at 63 years old.

As a musician and human, I need to thank Neil and Rush for having such a positive influence in my life. They were truly my “companion unobtrusive” for so many years. It’s very tragic that Neil could not get the chance to enjoy his golden years and meet more of the people whose life he changed.

Categories
For The Good Life

Willpower < Mortality

We’ve heard stories of people who “lost the will to live.” And that’s really sad of course, but that’s not what I’m referring to here. As we get older, it becomes apparent that we are in a battle with our bodies to stay healthy. Unchecked, most bodies will deteriorate over time (some faster than others) and die.

When we are young, it’s pretty easy for most people. Eat, sleep, drink whatever – and you just keep ticking. After age 45 though, it seems to all change. Digestion changes, memory changes, joints, etc.. At age 50, or thereabouts, we are in a daily battle with our bodies. It takes a real plan to combat the ultimate breakdown of our systems.

So what can we do to optimize our battles? Well, I think it starts when we are young and we have to be nice to our bodies. The harder we are on them ages 13-40, the harder it will be to do battle when we are 50. However, when the battle starts, it can be a very motivating routine. I find that scheduling time to take walks, do yoga and weight lift actually gets me motivated to work and play!

The reverse is also true. If you get lazy, it’s very easy to slip into zombie-land. This becomes very dangerous as you get older since this routine is deadly.

So, activity + motivation + willpower = true health.

Categories
AI Entrepreneurship Growth

The $15T Opportunity (that’s trillion)

AI (Artificial Intelligence) is set to explode over the next 5 years. After a few years of experimentation and a lot of hype, it seems we’re getting down to business.

A recent Forbes article explains how we got here and where we’re going. As an IT professional who’s been living and learning this stuff since 1989, my take is that the time is right for AI. We’re seeing new use cases every day in every field and from every type of AI application – vision, speech, images and conversation.

Categories
Gigable Growth Startups

Gigable Update: August 2019

It’s really hard to believe we officially launched the beta website for Gigable in December of 2013. It wasn’t even called Gigable then. Our new brand was born in 2014 and we haven’t changed much about it since.

To provide a little more context on why Gigable exists, let me explain a few points. As a gigging musician since 1987, I’ve witnessed a lot of different live scenarios. Many involve playing to a handful of people. All along the way, I thought there had to be a better way to get people out to a gig.

Fast forward 30 years and I’ve learned there are many ways to accomplish a full house. Most importantly, it starts with world-class songs and a great performance. Even then, getting a full room is not guaranteed. It takes many years of emotionally impacting a LOT of people with your music. Michael Gurley said it best, “when a song moves you, the song wins.” And when the song wins, the artist and fan win. In order for a song to move a person emotionally, they need to hear it a lot.

This is all foundation on why Gigable was started. Since 1933, FM radio has been influencing billions of people by showcasing a narrow list of artists and songs (i.e. top 40). There’s a psychology about how people internalize and grab on to a song forever. Radio perfected this for 70 years.

What we’re doing at Gigable is simply just the next generation of “radio.” Curating emerging music and providing a limited selection via playlists. The twist is that we also co-promote the live show at the very same instant.

So, what is Gigable in 2019? We are a music platform that inspires music fans to discover new music and go out to a show. We have a geo-located playlist that helps people find the nearest, next show. We also have a podcast channel that highlights artist interviews and in-studio performances.

Since 2016, our app has been downloaded thousands of times and avid music fans are finding their next favorite artist. This year, we have partnered with a handful of venues in Chicagoland to enable more relevant shows. Some of our venue partnerships include; The Venue, The Haight, Lemont Quarries, Time Out Chicago, Mockingbird Bar & Garden and Hey Nonny.

Soon we will be announcing some exciting new features in conjunction with these venues!

Thanks for following along and get the app if you don’t have it! (It’s free.)

Categories
Music New Music

Official Release: “Save Yourself”

So this new song, “Save Yourself” is not that new.  I wrote it years ago and released it as a demo, which is why it may sound familiar. I took it back in the studio with my good friend Chris Walke on pedal steel and Amery Schmeisser as Producer. They really helped transform and evolve the song.

I’m pretty excited about it and now it’s yours, if you want it.

Click to find it on your favorite digital platform. It would mean a lot if you shared it with someone.

If you’re into CDs (cool!), just msg me on FB or email me and I’ll send you a custom CD with this song and a new demo!

“Save Yourself” Lyrics:

And if I were a better man
I would help you through
Your master plan
If I could – I would

And if I were a stronger man
I would lift you up
I would hold your hand
If I could – I would
One more time

Save me from the urge
To keep trying to save you from yourself
Cause I just need to know
That the game we play
Cannot be won or lost – just played

And if I were a better man
I would lift you up
I would hold your hand
If I could – I would
One more time

Categories
Gigable New Music

New Music – July 2019

At Gigable, we spend a serious amount of time listening to new artists. Every week we find, listen and curate dozens of emerging artists.

Why do we do this? Well, for one, we love music. It’s really a miracle to continually find such talented musicians and songwriters. Just when we thought we heard it all, here comes a new voice or style.

Here’s a list of some our favorite finds on the Gigable blog.

Categories
Music

Music is changing, here’s why…

As a musician, songwriter and co-founder of Gigable, I hear a lot of people saying there is “no good music these days.”

What really strikes me is that I think it’s the opposite!  There’s more great music being produced every day than any other time in history. It’s just that the traditional ways to discover pop music are broken – or perhaps obsolete.

My wife asked me the other day, “who’s the next Rolling Stones?”
Well, when Brit-Pop-Blues-Rock comes back for a solid 10-20 years, there will be another Rolling Stones.

The bands from the 60s and 70s that made it big are a household brand, just like Coke. Two generations of music fans were spoon-fed very few options – and it stuck with them. 

There’s over 100 million songs that have been recorded. How will you pick the ones you listen to for the next 20-30 years?

Tag #newmusicbiz on Twitter and let me know your thoughts!
@mechlin

Categories
Gigable New Music

How we’re building the future of independent music

4 years ago, I set off on a journey and launched Gigable with a few close colleagues. As a consumer service, I knew this was going to be a huge mountain to climb with some rough terrain. I wasn’t wrong.

Since 2014, we’ve produced dozens of shows in 6 states, launched a streaming app and turned on many people to new music. And we’re just getting started.

We’re planning v2.5 for the app, which will feature many more shows and artists and provide a very robust listening experience. We’re also very excited to be working with Amazon Web Services to launch a touring analytics feature that will help artists, promoters and venues optimize their touring plans.

Stay tuned for more! You can also get on my list to get early access to new music and VIP things.

Categories
Music

2017 Revenues for Music Streaming (U.S.)

Streaming revenue in the U.S. has been growing all recorded music revenues since 2015. It was on a downward trend from 2000-2014.

2017 Music Streaming Revenues (U.S.)