SXSW

Just got home from south by south west. Pretty amazing experience. We flew in Thursday. Ate way too much BBQ and got way too immersed into the festivities. Our hotel placement was vital. I know that now.

Friday brought three back to back shows. To get through it all I wore my lucky Detroit pistons jersey.

Saturday brought the amazing opportunity to see LA’s Haim and and NY’s Vampire Weekend. We saw both of these amazing bands under the stars at the Legendary venue Stubbs.

All in all met some great people, caught up with a few that I already knew as great people and played some great shows. A big thank you to the band and the people I work with for making it all happen.

Onwards and upwards folks.

Please join us for the Canadian tuxedo birthday spectacular on Saturday in calgary. (Seven pee em, MacEwan ballroom) (more info on Facebook). But firstly please enjoy some photos from #SXSW

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A boat I saw. 

imageA dog I saw (bandit). 

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PF Changs BBQ anyone? Just kidding. This was our almost having a food meltdown but simultaneously needing a break from bbq and sushi

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Thanks ingrooves and frye boots. We love the boots. 

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Thanks ascap.

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Stubbs for haim and vampire weekend

image A haggard departure. 

I love you all,
Michael

Mexico Bound…

Mexico bound. Leaving Saturday morning to hang at hotel el ganzo. We are headed there with the Blue Microphones team and the trip should be fun. From what I’m told we will be playing a bit, filming a bit and in between getting some surf and sand in. Excitement is starting to set in.

Been home for a couple weeks, lots of family time happened and we did a romantic show in Canmore on valentines. Reminded me how awesome the talented people I play with are. Also announced a hometown birthday show yesterday! March 23rd. Book a flight, stay at my house, bring your Canadian tuxedos.

Michael

NYC Day Three

NYC day three. So far so good. Yesterday we played at the iheartradio theatre and tonight we play the Mercury Lounge. As always one can see my pictures at Instagram.com/ilovembf. I haven’t done any exploring so far this trip, but I hope to take some of the city in today and maybe purchase myself a shirt. Preferably in red.

Last night after the show we had some bourbon cocktails at the iheartradio reception and followed that up with fettuccini bolognese and ricotta cheesecake. We followed that up with cocktails. I followed that up with Star Trek tng in bed. I followed that up with sleeping. 

Michael

Los Angeles: 1/16/13



Left home Tuesday for the sunny skies of la. Landed and sat down for my first meeting of the day. Met with Michael Tiddes about the video we are shooting on the weekend. Dope guy. Excited to work with him. His movie came out last weekend and made 19 mil. 

Woke up this morning and had an interview with MySpace. They are featuring artists for their new platform roll out. Thankful for that opportunity. Tonight I play hotel cafe. We have an 80 person guest list in a 100 person room. Haha

Tomorrow back home for a private event, back here Friday and then home for three days. 

I bought a new suitcase. Big enough to live out of.  May the living out of a suitcase portion of my life begin. 

-Michael

Here is my Highway Playlist!

Behind The Music: World of Black and White

World of Black and White – fitzgerald/levine/west/rosen

I wrote this song in Springfield, TN. Springfield is about forty-five minutes out of Nashville and is where my friend Josiah Rosen was living at the time. He used to be in a band called Augustana. Had success with a track called “Boston”. He and I had been looking for an excuse to hang since we had written “love is an easy thing to miss” together.

I flew out to Nashville from LA and we set out on a 5 day writing trip. Amazing times. He was staying in a little cabin on a little lake and we spent our time writing, hanging on the dock and getting fit at the local YMCA. We tried to write twice a day and hit the gym twice a day. I’m not a big gym rat, but touring had taken a toll on my body and I needed to make a change. This trip was fairly quickly after being on the road in Canada for two months and then on a road trip up the west coast for two weeks.

The cabin I will never forget. A little run down, A lot like a man cave. The owner never came home the week I was there. I crashed on the couch (glamorous lifestyle as an independent artist) (pre deal with trauma 2) and the cabin literally had the largest spiders that I have ever lived with. They literally were the kind of spiders that would have you come to terms with death before sleeping.

We had a night session on the partially screened in porch with some vodka in water bottles and “world of black and white” came to life. The song is a pretty straight up approach at a love song. Done my way. Josiah is always great to write with.

I brought the song back to LA and Jon and I started taking it apart and rebuilding it. The music was simple and Jon wanted to see it with a bit more character. Brian strolled in and within 5 minutes the sha la la chorus was born. Song done. We recorded it that night and it was the last addition to the record.

A love song from Springfield, TN

-Michael


Baby don’t you know I hate watching teevee

But you’re all that I can think of in Springfield, Tennessee

Your eyes, your mouth, your hair

I wanna be up there I started to pack, jack


Down here in the real time I’ve got problems

Could you fly down here maintenant and solve them

Speaking of the French

Lets find ourselves a bench

And make out


In a world of wrong and right,

Truth and lies

Day and night


You put the color in a world of black and white


This doesn’t quite fit in with my plan dear

I wasn’t supposed to meet you yet, that’s why I fear

I’ll quit the job before I’m through

But this job is what I do

We can live with that


Can you feel me, can you see me, do you know my history

I used to be bad news until you met me

It’s like I’m stuck in reform school

And the teacher makes me drool

I’m so cool with that


In a world of wrong and right,

Truth and lies

Day and night


You put the color in a world of black and white


I’ve arrived at a conclusion, I want to tell you

I’ve fallen under the spell you wanted me to

Love potion number nine, tastes just fine to me”

Behind The Music: Human

Human – fitzgerald/levine/west/evans

We wrote human in Jon’s little studio. This was the first time I had written with Brian, and the first time I had met Lauren Evans. It was also the first time I had written a song with so many people in the room. Brian started with a guitar riff, on my Nashville strung acoustic and Jon weighed in on he piano. The lyric really came with Lauren and I literally joking around for a while. She really is a loving person, and is easy to write with. As soon as we had the form we recorded the tune. Lauren is singing back ups as well. I don’t think I recorded my vocal that day for whatever reason.  I think I had to fly home.

None of us were sure if we loved it from the beginning, but this track was the beginning of Brain joining the production team. Jon and I thought that including Brian on the project would be beneficial for everyone. Down to Brian’s studio we went and we started padding out the production of the track. Adding some loops, more guitar, moog, keys. During the second session of Human I recorded the vocal. The track didn’t feel right.

I spent the next day at intelligentsia in silver lake at the computer literally staring at the lyrics. The verses weren’t quite right and the bridge was more sounds than words. Jon taught me to always scribble down the initial creativity as fast as it comes, but to get over being precious about it. If the song isn’t right, then edit it. Come up with something better. Maybe you go back to the first version anyways. I took apart the lyrics and tried to focus on getting rid of fluff, and making every word intentional.

 Once I had the “doc brown delorean” line in the bridge I knew my work was done.

 This song went through changes as well over time. Added things, took others away. I wasn’t crazy about it until I added the Calgary gang vocals. We recorded those group parts in Calgary with my longtime best friend Josh Gwilliam. As soon as I heard those vocals in the mix I was floored on the track again. Mark did a great job with the mix.

-Michael


If it all works out in the end is true

Then why in the middle am I stuck with you

Cheaters are eating up my whole pie

I wanted a piece but I’m left here crying

How many times can I call in sick,

Too slick today to come in – tricked you

Hoping I don’t lose my job

Wait it would be great to lose my job


Seems my life is such a failure


I just can’t figure out

I work too hard to be losing

Its so hard to be human I know but

I just can’t figure out

Seems we oughta be ruling

Guess we’re stuck being human

Human


Paying rent on a rented house,

my girlfriend says that she’s moving out

Aka she broke up with me

Met somebody on FB


Put my foot in my mouth again

How do I drive a car with the key locked in

It’s tainted love in a stained shirt

Which one of you haven’t I hurt


Seems my life is such a failure


I just can’t figure out

I work too hard to be losing

Its so hard to be human I know but

I just can’t figure out

Seems we oughta be ruling

Guess we’re stuck being human

Human


Could I just go back

Doc brown DeLorean

I’m about to have a heart attack

Any objections to me pulling the pin

My boss gave me the sack

Mom let me move back in,

Mom please mom please mom

06.12.12

My friend Brieanne hooked me up with a polaroid camera. She is in love with it, so we’ve laid out the terms that I am to have it for one years time. After that I have to return it. Let the good times begin. Next challenge is getting my hands on some film. I think I will try to find and order some today.

My goal with the camera is to take a photo in every city that I visit. Probably two-three photos a week, depending on the travel. On the back of each polaroid I will write the date, location and a quote on the fly. At the end of this year with the camera I’m hoping to put on a little polaroid art show. The potential is there for this to be fun. I’m not much of a visual artist and I do hope that I’m not offending my visual artist friends.

Here goes nothing. I will keep you posted. In the mean time my instagram account will have to do.

Instagram/ilovembf

Behind The Music: Firecracker

Firecracker" – Fitzgerald/Levine

Firecracker was always intended to be fun. The lyric doesn’t take itself to seriously. Jon and I wrote this after we had written “I will” and “Man Overboard”. We intended to write another fast syllable track, because Man o was so fun to write. With this lyric I wanted to play with each line of the verse focused on the rhyme, syllables, repetition and cliché

The same day we wrote it we recorded it, and as the record came together track by track the production on “firecracker” changed significantly. It started glitchy, with the heavy moog and some other synth keyboards, but over time we stripped it back to have a more organic feel. I came up with the call and answer “oh” part while walking to the bathroom and we were able to pad that out with friend’s voices at home in Calgary. Jon added the Rhoades chords on the chorus on one of our last sessions. Those chords and the drum fills are my favorite parts of this song. We changed the acoustic guitar feel during that last session to a more jangly part. I love the jangle.

We had so many rough mixes of the song, and finally Mark Needham got his hands on it and brought a new sonic sound out of the kick. At first I didn’t dig it as I was so used to the older versions but after taking a few passes at it I soon realized that there was no other way. I love how this track turned out. Esthero sounds great on the song as well.  Good times.

-Michael


Who lit the firecracker

Burning in my soul

You lit the firecracker

Now it’s out of control


I meant to walk by, fly by, night I

Couldn’t go, must stop, beat drops.

Unreal, and educated, I’m elated, confiscated

Eyes lock, she t-t- talks


Who am I, to walk on, I’m strong

Couldn’t if I tried, couldn’t couldn’t pass go

Eyes bat, take that, I fear that she,

Had me at hello


Who lit the firecracker

Burning in my soul

You lit the firecracker

Now it’s out of control


Head to toe, and it shows, hh I know

She’s got it locked up, it signed, it sealed

If she was dinner, she’s a winner, I’m a sinner

I’ll place my order for her, she’s my favorite meal


I gotta tell her, I mean well to sell her, on me, oh my

I’m a fool for you babe

Waiter, pay ya later, alligator, cause I know, know

Gonna marry her today


Who lit the firecracker

Burning in my soul

You lit the firecracker

Now it’s out of control


Firecracker burns, burns so hot,

You got a hold, on me, please stop


I see you staring, no point comparing,

Boy I’d eat you right up, chew chew spit back

So walk yourself away, right now walk today,

Oh why’d you have to walk like that”