3 years ago I set a personal goal, something I had yet to try and didn't know if I was disciplined enough to do. I gave myself the challenge to write a blog entry EVERY week for a year without fail. A year turned into 2 years, which turned into the recently reached date of 3 years...every week. Some weeks it was easy, and some it was literally the last thing I wanted to do. It became something I had to do which is both good, and bad. Good in the fact it kept me writing even when I'd rather jump in front of traffic, and bad in the fact I never want creativity to be a have to. The majority of the time...I wanted to write something my fans would think is interesting and create a journal that I would enjoy following. That mindset isn't changing...
I'm really glad I did it because what originally was set up as a diary of my job as an on-staff songwriter for Island Film Group soon became a recap of the adventures I had releasing my first solo-album, the journey of producing a disc with Australian actress Gigi Edgley, the rise and fall of COLLIDER, the struggle of maintaining any kind of desire to write going through my divorce, and the continued adventures creating a new kind of music with the nerd-rock of KIRBY KRACKLE.
Someday I plan on going back and reading the 3 years of entries and experiencing the evolution of things by locking myself a way for a week with a laptop...but that's not now. See, it's not the end of something...it's the evolution into something I feel will work way better for me and something I think you all will enjoy much more as well.
Let me share with you the 3 fun things happening this week...
This blog as you know it was created during the time before Facebook and Twitter. Since then, I've enjoyed using those mediums of social media, but also knew the place and value that writing in more than 140 characters brings. For this reason, I need the blog format. With all the changes going on I felt that Blogger no longer served the purpose I needed it to serve. By moving to Tumblr, I will able to share more pictures, videos, official releases/demos, videos, links, and journal entires in what I feel is a richer and more intuitive environment. AKA...A whole lot more fun! I'll actually be posting more than once a week now and almost daily as I share in more detail things I think you'll find interesting vs. the "Greatest Hits Of The Week" vibe of this blog. I can't wait, and I hope you're gonna enjoy it as much as I already do.
With the massive blog overhaul, I thought I'd take the opportunity to redo my site www.kylestevensmusic.com and add some cool new features. Among them inluded now is a discography where it's easier to track the albums I've played on and where you can purchase them. I've put out a lot of stuff over the years and now it's all in one place for folks to easily find if they choose. Feel free to navigate and peep the newness!
iTUNES EXCLUSIVE SINGLES RELEASED:
Earlier in the year, I realized it had been a little over 2 years since I had released any formal releases under my own name. With all my work in COLLIDER and KIRBY KRACKLE, new KS releases had been understandably taking the back burner to my other projects. I'm always writing new material and performing it at my solo concerts, but as far as public releases? It had been a while. I'm changing that today with a brand new track "Matches In The Walls (live)" available exclusively through iTunes. The second single released today is "Vouch For Me"; a yet available to be publicly available track released a little over a year ago though my email list. Today, it's available for purchase via iTunes as well. Expect more singles over the next few months, and I'm enjoying a stripped down sound these days when I'm not attending to the rock bombast of KIRBY KRACKLE...
So, lots of newness and it feels good. Not the end, but an evolution of this site that I know will be that much more fun moving forward. THANK YOU the reader for sticking with me on this site for 3 years. It's been a blast and I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have.
Hopefully, this blog serves for you as the place where notes of distorted guitars and unexpected adventures of both professional and personal life meet to create a chord you can enjoy.
Hey my friends...a great thing is happening this week! This Thursday, June 17th EXPLONE drops it's first album in 3 years in the form of Dreamers/Lovers. Readers of this blog know that I joined the band last fall and since then we've been putting the finishing touches on the new album that we couldn't be more excited for. BTW, I like that band shot but wish somebody told me Liza Minelli had possessed me for that hour.
Here's the way it works...
SIRENS SISTER EXPLONE THE ADMIRALS' CLUB and special guests
The Crocodile 2200 2nd Ave Thursday, June 17th 8:00 PM, 21 , $8
We've been fortunate enough in the past few weeks to get some good play for multiple songs on KEXP 90.3 fm in Seattle, and it's gonna be a solid rock night throughout... Come out and play with us! www.explone.com
Like I said in the last post, next week brings massive changes to this blog and some pretty exciting solo material music news...see you then. :)
If there's 2 things that North Carolina taught me, they're that I will forever be a fan of southern hospitality and that I am now in a new found love affair with all things "buffalo". I'm cereal. Somehow in my 30 short years on this spinning space rock of chaos, the cooling and sweet mix of spiciness and curled cheese has eluded me only now to become my mistress that calls to me daily. By this, I mean that over the weekend at HEROES CON in Charlotte I took a southern tradition with force by indulging after a long days of KIRBY KRACKLE selling in many a nom-worthy hot wing. Momma like.
If you've been reading this weekly blog for a while now, you know the routine of Jim and I flying into any-city-USA and spreading the gospel of nerd-rock. This time was very similar with a few exceptions. First, it was our first time in the south promoting E FOR EVERYONE and it was really cool to meet our friends down there we didn't know we had. It's always a trip and simultaneously extremely cool to hear enthusiasm for the music from folks who you would never otherwise never know existed. May that always be fun and somebody feel free to throat punch me should I ever that for granted (not too hard).
Secondly, this weekend marked the first time KK had ever been invited to participate in a convention "panel". For those unfamiliar with the format, it's like a class put on by the artist/writer/actor ABOUT whatever said artist is involved in. In our case, we were invited to do whatever we wanted to do. Dangerous I know, but we pulled something out that we thought would be both informative and fun and something that would make it new for us. One of my favorite shows to watch in my early-20's was VH1 "Storytellers"; an in-the-round type performance atmosphere where a band/solo artist first talks about a song, then performs it with hopes that the audience reaches a better understanding of the music.
We decided to go with the concept and jumped in BK Lights first for a full hour of stories, laughs, and hopefully more connection between the band, fans and our music. For example...."On And On" is more than a song about Wolverine's overworked schedule, it's also a commentary of how we go through much of our lives jumping from one distraction to the next without ever really centering ourselves. "Vault 101"? Sure it's about the many, many, many, hours we spent playing the hit 2009 game title FALLOUT 3, but it wasn't until I picked up the final master and listened to it in my home with the lights out that I realized it's very much about my recent divorce; a slipping in of the subconscious ego it place unexpected. I have to admit that I was a little nervous taking what people may feel is only fun and light themed music and revealing it was about much more at the same time, but sticking with honestly as policy we were rewarded with fans saying they felt closer to the music and had enjoyed the peeling of layers. It feels different talking about the KK in that context, but at the same time more fulfilling and multi-dimensional. After years or making sure my non-comic themed music held that spirit as well, it felt good to go there with KK when it holds true. We were thankful the fans wanted to go there with us...
While Jim and I were holding the front line in Charlotte, director Todd Downing was breaking ground beginning filming on our as-of-now no longer secret music video for "On And On". I'm so excited for this and cannot wait for it to be completed after receiving emails with the first if the footage stills. Over the past 2 months, actor JD Greene has become Logan and you're gonna smile when you see it. :)
Hope everyone is doing good! Next week is the big EXPLONE show on Thursday, June 17th, and then the following is lots of exciting site changes and new KS release news to share with you...see you soon!
Let me just say that after 5 days in Phoenix with KIRBY KRACKLE I realize that I need the rain. The layer of mold that lies ever so daintily below my skin needs the dampness that the NW brings and living in that oven is crazy town. The end.
Seriously though, we did have a great weekend despite the fact that sales weren't too great due to the crowd mostly made up of the manga-anime set. We write songs about fish women and capes so you can see how that might not work so much for that demographic. Still, the band flew down for a full rock show set which is always fun and I had a great time hanging by the pool and downing gallons of water to make sure I didn't shrivel up in the 101 degree desert heat.
Even though we only got back 2 days ago I'm already packing my bags and stringing up the guitar to head out early morning tomorrow for Charlotte, North Carolina for HEROES CON which should be great for us since it's mostly the meat and potatoes comic book crowd. We'll be doing a panel for the first time which should be interesting since I don't know what we have to talk about for an hour but hopefully fans will have questions about the writing process we can take in between playing songs and talking about what we've experienced blazing a new path in the genre of "nerd rock".
So, since there's a ton of pictures to post up to give you an idea of what it was like, and since I just found out how to write haiku...here you go for something new this week. Don't judge yo. Actually, please do as a documented public deterrent I hope to be reminded of should I ever write them seriously.
Creepy airport pics I like signage very bright security calls
Our spaced out hotel Purple lights were everywhere High School raves return
Convention floor cool Navi, mice, Boba, Bo Duke Smelled like super nerd
Immigration march I saw it with my own eyes Moved me and got chills
Band arrived to rock Spike, James Marsters played folk rock Alice Cooper beer
Here it is, the first single from EXPLONE and our forthcoming disc, Dreamers/Lovers. It's called "Michigan" and was the last song both written and recorded for the new album 3 years in the making by band leader/songwriter Patrick Porter. It's so funny how something added so last minute can be so awesome, but the moment it was recorded it was obviously a stand out track both in energy and a fresh sound Patrick created. I love this track and thanks to some new radio play on KEXP 90.3 which started last week, hopefully lots of other folks will too. Our CD Release show will be on Thursday, June 17th, so mark your calendars and come out and rock with us at the Crocodile in Seattle! Check www.explone.com to stream "Michigan", and for how to get this song as a free download…Turn it up!
The short film above is possibly the most moving thing I've ever watched. About a man coming to terms with the end of his dogs life, "Last Minutes With ODEN" moved me deeply and made me run downstairs from my studio to give Logan a huge hug and let him know how thankful I am to have him have me. If I were you, I'd grab a Kleenex first.
I played Willows Lodge on Friday and just wasn't feeling it. Some nights are like that, and you just put your head down and do the the job cause you know next time will be better. That said, a shitty day came to a close when I came home to find my kitchen blown up and in it's place the first key lime pie I've ever had made for me. Day = much better.
Saturday rolled around and Kristin and I decided to head over to the Georgetown area to adventure and possibly pillage the townsfolk. Now maybe it was due to the fact it was 1:30 and hadn't eaten anything all day, but the lunch we had a small little place called CALAMITY JANE'S completely blew my mind. I'm serious, and Seattle foodies listen up...the ciabatta bun on the burger I had is THE BEST I have ever had. Not only that, but the quirk of the joint is that instead of fries you get a plate full of Cheetos. Also, Frank's Red Hot sauce is my new Jesus Juice. Crazy, crazy, crazy good. Viva Los gorganzola. Yes that's sauce on my face. No, I didn't care.
An interview KIRBY KRACKLE did in Chicago popped up on the super cool site NEWSARAMA (the CNN equivalent for the comic nerd set) and you can watch it by clicking HERE. In other KK news, we're kicking off another 2 weeks of convention travel and concerts starting in Phoenix this weekend for the PHOENIX COMIC CON. The band is going with us for this show and we're rocking the big show concert Saturday night. I also get to perform "Zombie Apocalypse" the night before at a "Zombie Pageant". The weekend should be a blast despite the brain melting 100 degree days we seem to be heading down to burn in. Holy Crap. I complain when it's 85 so I'm probably not gonna be making any friends. Week after that...North Carolina!
Also, Jim and I appeared this morning on The Marty Riemer Show, an awesome webcast that Marty and his partner Jodi Brothers created when they took success into their own hands after getting the corporate chop from 103.7 The Mountain last year. After listening to each of them separately since 1998, it was great to finally meet them, laugh, and play a few KK songs. I was honored they wanted us on after I had been such a longtime fan, and psyched they were as nice as I hoped they'd be. You can listen to the entire webcast interview and performances of both "Zombie Apocalypse" and "On And On" HERE
Finally, LOST (my obsession for the past 6-years) came to a screeching halt on Sunday and hopefully gave the millions of LOST fans closure. Doesn't sound like it did, but I really liked it and thought it was a pretty beautiful message paired with really emotional scoring. It was made even better by a party my friends threw with island themed foods and even "Jacob and The Smoke Monster" cupcakes by DRAGONFLY DESSERTS. Bomb. An emotional ending to what has turned out to be the only show I've ever followed so religiously like a crack addict like fever. Amazing show, amazing memories. I'll miss it very much.
Hi, my name is Kyle Stevens and I am a Seattle based musician that has been writing/performing since 1994. This is a blog documenting my experiences as an professional songwriter, as well as my adventures with in music with KYLE STEVENS BAND, COLLIDER, GIGI EDGLEY, and KIRBY KRACKLE. Thanks for reading, join my email list, and please leave a comment to let me know you stopped by!
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