Old Blog Archive

Early December Thangs

Last Sunday I played a really fun show at Rockwood Music Hall Stage II with Jess Carvo and her awesome band. It was part holiday songs part her originals. I sat in on alto sax on three songs, good times! After that set I checked out a great songwriter/guitarist Ryan Hommel at Rockwood Stage I. I definitely recommend checking out both of those artists!

My De Snakes contribution this week was an instrumental ambient experiment:

This week I listened to a ton of uber-produced pop music and it definitely influenced the production work I did for clients this week. Fortunately that was in-line with what they wanted but it was the first time in a while where I noticed an immediate change in my production choices after listening to (ok I'll say it...1989) a few times. I've been wanting to share some of the freelance production work I do after it's finished but I've been having a hard time figuring a good way to release it but keep it clearly separate from "my" music. I'm often proud of my production work but to be totally honest not always proud of the songs or the performances by clients who don't really bring it.

Digested another great podcast this week. The Great Debates is hilarious and genius. Two clearly smart dudes get together and in an extremely eloquent fashion, debate absolutely trivial things. I recommend this episode with guest debaters, B.J. Novak and John Mayer. Hot topics are covered like, "A whale is a fish", and "Stupid people shouldn't vote".

Hearing B.J. Novak talk led me to investigate his recent work which aside from his awesome books (One More Thing is fantastic) led me to learn that he recently launched his own startup called List App. It's actually quite good! Tumblr/Instagram/Twitter-quality design/UX and fun uses. I've made one list so far about my favorite albums of 2015.

Track I'm feeling the most right now:

Music video by Robert Glasper Experiment performing I Stand Alone. (C) 2013 Blue Note Records

Picture at the top is a new press photo Alex took of me on a playground bench in Soho.

November Happenings!

Right here, right now. Seeing if I can get back into long-form documenting on the new MP.com Squarespace site.

Will probably keep it to updates on what I've been making and things I've been checking out unless I have a longer rant I'm looking to release.

So recently I joined a songwriting accountability group. It's quite basic, but already yielding benefits. The simple idea is that a group of musicians/songwriters need to publish at least the vague idea of a new-song recording every two weeks. It pushes us all to not sit on material we're endlessly tweaking forever. So far I've released two little song ideas. The first one I definitely think is outlined enough for me to try to form into a real song for future performances and my next record. The second one still has some work to be done but is headed in a nice direction. The end of the second piece features an appearance by my buddy Ben Jacobs too.

The name of the Songwriting Group is "De Snakes" so that's why the Soundcloud account says that. Depending on how I feel about my future contributions to the group I'll keep sharing them here on the blog.

A couple weeks ago I appeared as a guest on a podcast about Bucket Lists where I talked about my services producing records for people who have always dreamed about making music. It was fun and can be heard below or at the podcast's official site.

I've also been doing a lot of remote session playing. Meaning someone sends me a song and I record lots of sax or guitar stuff over it from home and send it back to them without us meeting. It's been fun and a good source of work. Not sure how much of it has been released yet but will share some when we have it.

On the consumption side, there have been two shows, one Podcast, one TV, that have really been rocking my world. The more popular of the two, The Jinx, is crazy. Most people know the story of (crazy fucker) Robert Durst, but the impressive part of this show is the layout and production where they make a documentary more thrilling than Hollywood thrillers. I felt a similar vibe from Citizen Four, where while documenting something real, something highly, highly engaging and thrilling is created.

The other one is more music-nerdy. The Third Story Podcast by Leo Sidran is the first interview-format show for pro musicians that has ever been worthwhile. The questions are so well-thought, and there's a very welcomed lack of bullshit on the show. Favorite interviews have been with Charlie Hunter, Will Lee, Michael Thurber, Becca Stevens, and more. Highly recommended!

Top photo is a bunch of instruments in my home-studio. My sax stand usually just holds my alto and soprano but since I've been recording more tenor lately I've had to leave it out and using a vacant space in my guitar rack to hold it. Cross-instrumentation pollination.

Teenagers believing that their life will be better if they start stabbing old women can only be attributed to someone nefariously convincing them that that would make it so.

For good or evil, education is everything.

#Repost @jusbass1
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Just need a few more strings…and perhaps some taste #adungu #Aladdin

Anyone have any success procuring a Twitter handle that is already taken but going unused?

  #Repost @chrisjmorrissey 
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James Taylor Swift

#Repost @chrisjmorrissey
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James Taylor Swift

  #Repost @erindigsmusic 
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Horns are the new guitars @marcplotkin #apcane15

#Repost @erindigsmusic
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Horns are the new guitars @marcplotkin #apcane15

  #Repost @erindigsmusic 
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@marcplotkin showcasing for #apcane15 here in NJ

#Repost @erindigsmusic
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@marcplotkin showcasing for #apcane15 here in NJ

  #Repost @erindigsmusic 
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Sound check with @marcplotkin at APCA northeast, looking and sounding awesome #apcane15

#Repost @erindigsmusic
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Sound check with @marcplotkin at APCA northeast, looking and sounding awesome #apcane15

  Recorded a rehearsal this past Monday that my computer thinks was created in 1969 and last opened seven years ago. Not really going for a vintage sound here.

Recorded a rehearsal this past Monday that my computer thinks was created in 1969 and last opened seven years ago. Not really going for a vintage sound here.

Just call.

The amount of people today that are too scared to pick up a phone and call someone when they’re waiting on information is so silly. “I’ve been waiting for him to reply to my email or text for days”…just CALL. Now that everyone uses every other medium, it’s actually a really easy entry point. - Old Man Marc.

Only at @brandocs’ hang. (at Beast of Bourbon)