Gigmor’s New Live Music Marketplace

I’m thrilled to announce the launch of Gigmor’s new live music marketplace. Our mission has always been to develop innovative technology that addresses inefficiencies in the music business. We started by matching musicians with compatible players in their area. Today we added a crucial element: connecting them to paying gigs. The Gigmor network now has 50,000 artists who have played at over 1,500 venues in the US and Canada.

Our team has been working hard since last summer building our new site: a next generation booking platform focused on helping talent seekers find and book qualified talent for their venue or event. (A talent seeker is anyone looking to hire musicians, e.g., talent buyers, venue managers, promoters, event planners, festivals, colleges and individuals.)

Talent seekers can now publish gig posts and when artists apply to those posts, talent seekers can see their music, ratings/reviews and gigging history before making a hiring decision. Artists can post avails, which will become a valuable directory of independent artists for consumers and industry pros alike. Members can follow each other, allowing them to track the posting and booking activity of other members. We’ll soon be adding robust analytics tools that will help quantify emerging artists’ fan bases by city or region.

We’re super stoked about the new site. But we’re really just getting started—we have a ton of enhancements in the works.

We want more people to experience the joy of live music because Gigmor has made it easy to find and book the right talent!

Spotlight on Alex Bloom: The College-Grad Among Us With An Album

It typically takes people a long time, or a while, or a lifetime to figure out what they want to do (in your career, in your life). And it usually takes even longer for most of us to figure out what we are good at (in our careers, and in our lives). Through the rose-colored frames that artistry brings, it’s easy to imagine that the creative types have it all mapped out in front of them. From the outside looking it, the artists seem cosmically preordained.

Gigmor sat down with Alex Bloom, a recent graduate of USC’s Thorton School of Music. A couple of months after graduation, he released his first solo project, Blue Room. Lyrically and musically, the album is touching. It’s only noticeable similarity to music today is in how original it is. Blue Room has complex simplicity —á la the Beatles—with nuances of Fleet Foxes folk and something similar to Elliot Smith. It’s a first album to be proud of. Alex spoke with us about his college experience, his non-cosmic ordination, and how he wrote the album.

Gigmor: So, you did it!  You made an album!

Alex: May 6th it was finished. And then I finished up a short film that will be coming out to soon for the album. feels like something coming to a close. I’ve been getting a lot of really great feedback, and it’s opening a lot of doors to writing with other artists or producing with them.

It’s like updating your LinkedIn profile after you getting a job, isn’t it? The second you get a job, the Internet starts e-mailing you.

Yes it’s like that. When I put out the album I started getting contacted by more musicians and artists being like, “Oh, you make music, too? Great, yes let’s collaborate.” And it’s really nice to feel some sort of validation for all that I’ve been working on for so long. In the meantime, when all things aren’t focused on writing and music, I’ve been working in a studio. I help with production and other little odd jobs around the studio. So that’s been cool. I don’t know, life is in a little bit of weird place right now.

Preach, same.

I spend a majority of my time writing demos and working on music.

I have another age-related question for you. I think that a lot of kids our age (the recent college grads and 20-somethings) are going through the motions of what they think they should be doing right now. They aren’t sure how happy it will make them in the long-term or even sometimes in the short-term, but they are doing it anyways. Do you feel that way ever about music? I’m trying to imagine what these feelings would be like for a young musician or artist or anyone that has started in on some specific, more creative path.

I’ve been working on music since I was about fourteen or fifteen years old. I’ve always had that to fall back on no matter what happens. Going to music school was kind of a consequence of that. I wanted to make music and become a better musician in whatever capacity I could. I still have this thing, writing songs and doing music in general. I guess the difference between me coming home from music school and someone like you coming back from Michigan — they have a job that they go to from 9 to 5. There is more structure there. I do all my ‘work’ on my own time. Or all the time. I don’t know, it sounds cliché.

No, no it doesn’t, it makes sense. You’ve figured it all out then, no more struggle.

(laughing) Yes, yes I’m set. No more struggle. Life is perfect.

Great, excellent. Interview over.

No, honestly it feels more like a constant struggle. I worked with a producer once who asked me about my highest aspiration for my music career and where I see it going. And I couldn’t really answer him, because I haven’t really thought that far ahead. So it’s pretty scary because I don’t know what lies ahead, and I don’t know what will be required from me moving forward in this career path. I just have to keep doing what I’ve been always doing since I was a kid. I’m lucky that I get to do what I love, but it’s still pretty scary. So I combat that fear with low expectations.

Makes sense. Let’s get into the making of the album. How was the writing process for you?

I decided last summer that I wanted to record. I was making demos in a studio in my backyard. I watched a bunch of YouTube videos to teach myself different instruments, like learning how to play the drums and tune them, too. I loved doing it, and I learned how to arrange music in the process. A lot of these songs were from that. Three or four are just from me in my backyard. There are a couple others that will never see the light of day.

In terms of when and how I wrote them, it was a gradual thing that happened over the past year. I wrote “One More Shot” in November of this year. It really all came together at the end of the year — I was taking too many credits at school and things got busy. So I’m glad I eventually got myself to complete it.

How did your music school education play into the making of this album? I don’t imagine that you sat down and wrote charts out for it. It was probably more organic than that, like you just messing around in your backyard.

Yeah, yeah that’s interesting. Writing and composing music for class is so much different for a class. I took a music arranging class and learned a bunch of things that nobody really needs to know about. Or with music theory classes, I would look at the mathematics of music. But when I’m arranging and writing my own music it’s all just by ear. I’m not bogged down by the logistics of it all, of all those things I learned in school, and I think I’m lucky to still have that. That was one of my biggest fears when I got to college, especially since when I got there I didn’t know how to read music.

You listen to the Beatles. You can just tell from listening to your album that you listen to a lot of the Beatles.

Oh yeah. They are the band that I always go back to. They’re probably my favorite band.

It’s that developed pop song vibe you’ve got going that made me think that. The pop song that sounds simple but is highly developed. Kudos to you there.

Listen to Alex Bloom’s album, Blue Room, on Spotify, iTunes, and Apple Music, and make sure to check out his profile on Gigmor.

Photo by Halle Pelfrey

Feature of the Week: M I L K

Today we had the chance to sit down with L.A. based four-piece M I L K, with a space between each letter. The psychadelic-indie rock band gave us some insight on their beginnings, their inspirations, as well as their creative process.

 

Gigmor: Hey guys, thanks for talking with us at Gigmor today. Can you all tell us about yourselves as well as your musical backgrounds?

Eric Marx (vocals/guitar): I have always “made” music; when I was a little kid I remember “playing the rain” on the family piano… I was involved in different projects before M I L K, mostly indie rock and grunge, both in Europe and the U.S. I believe a guitar riff will always carry us to a better place. With this project, I wanted to bring together my love for grunge rock and 70’s psychedelia and so far, we are pretty excited with the results.

Maeve (vocals/keyboard): We write songs together with Eric but I take care of lyrics, keys, samples and everything that deals with production: I love mixing, tweaking sounds… Our gigs in Los Angeles or in Europe are a major part of the band’s life. We actually love to share our world and sounds with the public! Live performance is the core and soul of M I L K ‘s music. On stage, nothing separates you from the public anymore and it is really like …magic!

Dylan Strazar (drums): Before M I L K, I played in several rock projects, mostly in Connecticut where I’m from. I’ve met Eric and Maeva who were looking for a drummer for the band. The band is now based in Paris. I really dig the music and the overall energy. To me M I L K really is the meeting of heavy grunge and psychedelic rock in the likes of The Doors, Pink Floyd or Hendricks.

Allanis Nixer (bass): I come from a family of Brazilian musicians. With Dylan, we really are the rhythmic backbone of the band. Everything that shakes or grooves, that’s us! It is funny how when people see me, because I’m a Brazilian girl, they immediately think “salsa” or a similar style when I am totally into rock!

G: Well thanks, sounds like you each had unique musical upbringings. So about the name, tell us about the spacing. Is there a story behind that?

E: Actually the spacing is more like a visual approach to the word “milk.” When you read “milk” the basic concept that comes to your mind is of a white beverage, a food. Spacing the letters lift the world of from this concept making it more like a name, a signature, an identity for the band while keeping the overall idea of something liquid and smooth …I think.

G: What is your songwriting process like? Have you hit any speed bumps along the way?

E: We have two ways of writing songs. Maeva and I come up with the main melody and lyrics, sometimes with drums and bass sometimes just guitar and vocals. And then we put the song together with the whole band. Or we also excerpt a few minutes from a jam played with the band. This way is the easiest because songs and ideas just pop up spontaneously. Everything is done while jamming vocals, guitar, bass and drums. Maeve adapts the lyrics afterwards. Our song “Give Me Some” is one of these little “miracles”. It comes from a jam in Los Angeles with the band. Music works in mysterious ways.

G: Do you prefer playing originals or covers?

E: We play originals. Writing songs is really creating art and it is great for the brains. Mixing our idea of grunge and psychedelic rock into new numbers is what M I L K is really about. And hopefully these tracks will become ageless songs. That’s our goal. The only song we cover right now is “Dancing Barefoot” from Patti Smith. We are true fans, she’s great! We just gave her song a heavy Doors flavor and we love it!

G: Any new releases coming up?

E: We are in the process of finishing recording and mixing new songs right now. Hopefully they will be ready for downloading and streaming pretty soon. The great thing about the ‘net is that you don’t need to have the full album ready all at once. I like the flexibility of showcasing songs when they are ready one or two at a time if necessary. It keeps the interest up and it is more in tune with nowadays creative process: as a continuous flow versus everything at the same time.

G: Ok last question, how did you find out about Gigmor? Is there anything specifically you like about it?

E: I think you guys contacted us through an email. In fact we love Gigmor because of its musician friendly approach. It is not one of those sites that treat artists like numbers. We can feel like the whole team is standing strong and pushing for music to reach its audience whether it is live or not. Reaching out is a real challenge today given the huge number of bands around. We always need a little help from our friends!

G: Well thank you so much for taking the time to do an interview with us! Check out            M I L K’s song “Give Me Some” below and make sure to follow them on Gigmor.

Written by Gigmor guest blogger: Ari Kapner

Toronto’s Alternative Hip-Hop Collective Earthphonics

Today’s spotlight is on experimental alternative hip-hop group Earthphonics. The band is an eclectic group of three talented musicians who are from three different parts of the world. Earthphonics does a great job integrating their different musical styles to create one consistent, worldly sound. Check out their video for their single “Heartbeat” below, which really shows off their raw passion, and energetic talent.

 

Earthphonics consists of rapper/songwriter AO Gorman, lead vocalist Nicki Mack, and guitarist and producer Paul J. Doron. The members are from Ghana, Slovakia, and Poland respectively. Between the three extraordinary musicians, Earthphonics finds a way to channel a voice that isn’t always heard in modern hip-hop these days. They want to focus on the language that is music and how we can use it everyday to communicate with others more effectively. The group has done a lot of self-promotion to accompany their many performances across the Toronto, Ontario area. Check out their newest song, which was released yesterday, titled “One.”

 

Lastly, enjoy their behind the scenes video for their performance at Landmark Showcase in May 2016, where they won the semi-finals and will be advancing to the final round. It will take place on August 27th at the Mod Club in Toronto. Looking to buy tickets for the final round of the Landmark Showcase? Click here.  Make sure to follow them on Gigmor for more music and updates on Earthphonics!

 

Written by Gigmor guest blogger: Ari Kapner

Trending Now: LaTasha Lee and the BlackTies

Thursday’s spotlight piece is on LaTasha Lee and the BlackTies. They are a retro-soul band whose sound is sure to take you back in time. LaTasha Lee was born in Corpus Christi, Texas and from a young age her mother, Michelle Crayton, knew she was bound for the spotlight. LaTasha continues to shine today, it’s the passion and soul in her voice that channels some of her all time favorite artists into her work.

 

 

LaTasha cites many artists as influences to her music. Among others, LaTasha acknowledges Etta James as one of her biggest influences. From blues legends like BB King and Muddy Waters, to more recent R&B successes like Mary J. Blige and Amy Winehouse, her musical style beautifully encompasses the sounds of yesterday.

 

 

In 2012, LaTasha made it onto FOX’s musical competition program The X Factor, where she placed in the top 50. The next year, LaTasha Lee and The BlackTies released their self-titled album on record label Carnival Beats Soul. Alongside the album, the group recorded over 25 music videos (of originals and covers) for their Youtube channel. After the buzz from the album, LaTasha Lee and The Black Ties got spots at two of Texas’ biggest music festivals, South By South West and Austin City Limits. Her newest single “I Regret It” is available on iTunes so make sure you send LaTasha Lee and The BlackTies some support!

 

 

Written by Gigmor guest blogger: Ari Kapner