Category: Festizio

Coldplay – "The Scientist (Acoustic)" / Back to the start

Coldplay | MySpace | Twitter

In revisiting a particular instance in the timeline of your life, chances are your impression of that moment changes with memories of all that you’ve experienced since. There are pockets in life that seem so perfect at the time. And when you remember them, it’s nice to keep them in the context that they were originally in, to keep them independent in themselves…

I was putting on my shoes, about to head out for a run, when I hesitated for a second and looked up from where I was kneeling down. I observed how lived-in my apartment had grown. I imagined what it would be like for someone to see it for the first time, and if they could tell how long I’ve lived there. I recalled what it looked like and how I felt when I first moved in. I contrasted this image by phasing in the contents that fill it now.

To my left: a cluttered closet adjacent to a bathroom with a single towel hanging on a rod. To my right: a refrigerator with random items on its door. A photobooth strip from the Yelp Holiday Party at the Westin St. Francis. My Performer review of Treasure Island Music Festival 2008. A picture of a dinosaur with short arms trying to reach into a fridge, exclaiming, “My hands are too short!” Straight ahead: the ATR Master Tape we used for recording our second album at Tiny Telephone last month.

A big hurdle in my life has been getting over always thinking about the future and to really absorb what’s happening to me at the current moment. I’m not sure if it’s nihilistic or hopeful, but the fact that we all end up in the same place (physically, at least) is reason enough to stop repeatedly asking myself,

Where am I going?

Where am I going?

Where am I going?

But rather to inquire, where am I now?

Revisiting Old Festizio Recordings

Festizio | MySpace | Facebook | Twitter

In going through my old files, I uncovered a few unreleased Festizio demos for songs we never really used for various reasons. Usually we’ll drop a song if we feel it’s either not up to par or if it doesn’t fit well with our overall sound. However, I think the three songs below have enough merit to, at the very least, revisit on this very happy Friday.

The two photos were taken during one of our earlier shows at Ireland’s 32, a really great Irish (duh) pub in San Francisco. Even after having played at bigger and fancier venues, that night still brought in the most cash for us, as they gave us a portion of the bar tab and, let’s face it, our friends are drinkers.

Keep in mind that these songs are old and are no longer good representations of our current sound. You can check our actual studio work at the links above.

1.) Festizio – “I’ll Never Do It Again”
We recorded this song in our rehearsal studio. At the time, it was one of our better songs but it later fell into our “maybe” pile. Personally, I felt it was a bit too whiny.

2.) Festizio – “Out Of My Life”
Another song we recorded in our rehearsal studio. I wrote this during my big blues rock phase. The shift in style was too much of a jump from the rest of our set so we only ever performed it a handful of times.

3.) Festizio – “Time” (acoustic demo)
I wrote this song when I was still in college. I’m not exactly sure when it was recorded. Someone once told me it reminded them of John Lennon and I took that as a compliment. Please forgive the poor audio quality.

If you’d like to learn more about the thought process behind song composition, I highly recommend this recent Music Think Tank article by Brian Hazard entitled, “The Death of the Bridge.”

Kurt Cobain died sixteen years ago and we’re still talking about him

Nirvana | MySpace

Before our show at Red Devil Lounge last night, I had been watching music performance videos to sort of get me into “the mood,” which is, I think, the equivalent of watching porn before having sex. Though who does that, I don’t know. Anyway, I ran into a Rolling Stone article on Kurt Cobain, discussing the sixteenth anniversary of when the rock icon committed suicide. The article commemorates his life with an amazing photo collection and some updates on his legacy, including his inclusion in Rock Band and the planned biopic on his life, Heavier Than Heaven. Here was a guy, loved and hated musically, that stood for something beyond music, injecting something more meaningful than sex and booze into rock culture. And as destructive as he was, he was/is pretty damn inspirational.

As a musician, I think it helps to constantly reevaluate why you create music. I think great music comes through if it stands for something, if you’re motivated by something more than simply creating melodies for the sake of creating melodies. That’s what separates an artist from a hobbyist, I guess. Artists create largely because they have to. Like the need to drink water or breathe air, their medium is an ingrained form of expression that, whether they want it to or not, needs to come out. Not allowing it to would be akin to never speaking for a kid that can’t shut up.

Nirvana’s performance at Reading, regarded as their greatest, is available on an NME award-nominated DVD. I’m seriously considering finally picking this up.

Bat for Lashes – "Daniel (Mt Eden Dubstep Remix)" / One Year

Bat for Lashes | MySpace
Mt Eden Dubstep on YouTube

I promised myself I would do whatever it takes this year to achieve all my goals. Most notable is the desire to push Festizio, my band, as far as it can go: more shows, another studio release and networking with as many people as I can. Music was always what I felt most passionately about so I think it’s important to do this while I can. I’m not so naïve as to think we’ll be around forever. People get married, have kids, move away or go to space. It’s expected and should be encouraged for everyone (going into space more so for some people than others). One year… to move as efficiently and expeditiously as I can in the right direction.

Festizio at The New Parish

I think we’re off to a good start. We already played a big Yelp Elite Event in Oakland at The New Parish, a new venue opened by the owners of The Independent. We also have two radio appearances and two more gigs coming up in the next few months, including a cool performance at the Chabot Space & Science Center (in the Planetarium, no less).

So, I’m more than happy so far. Unemployed but busy as hell. Time waits for no one. Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’. Sweep the leg.

By the way, if you want to help me on this lofty mission, please tell your friends, family and pets about Festizio. And please do follow us on Facebook and Twitter. You don’t have to buy anything or perform any sexual favors (unless you want to), but rather share us with the people in your life… especially if they’re record producers.

Festizio Acoustic Demo from 2007

I just found the last copy of an unreleased acoustic demo I recorded in 2007. I made a few copies and shared it with some friends, folks at the local coffeehouse and my mom. It’s all acoustic and includes three tracks. The first song was only performed once. The last song you may recognize if you’ve ever seen us play or own our studio album. The second song I can guarantee you’ve never heard before.

1.) Today
2.) Til Lights Send Me Home
3.) Beautiful

Let me know what you think in the comments.

Festizio Performing at Yelp Goes Gaga! at The New Parish in Oakland

Are you an Elite member of Yelp? If so, be sure to RSVP for the first East Bay Elite Event of 2010 because we’ll be performing that night! Not only will it be our first performance in Oakland, but it’ll be the first in a series of belated CD release shows. Because, while our album has been out for awhile, we haven’t properly celebrated its launch.

(Get the album here: CD Baby | iTunes | Amazon)

Better late than never…

Jan 21 – Yelp Goes Gaga!

8 – 11pm

The New Parish
Categories: Music Venues
579 18th Street at San Pablo
Oakland, CA 94612

Those hip to the scene have no doubt heard about Uptown Oakland’s newest hotspot, The New Parish. Created by one of the fellas behind The Independent in SF, uniquely designed and rigged up with a killer sound system, hopes are high for this venue. We’ve just heard that they’ll be granted their liquor license mid-month, and you know what that means right? Elite party on January 21st from 8-11pm!

Oh yes, they’re so eager to get yelpers in the house, the ten day countdown is on for a blow out! To ease into the night, guests are invited to enjoy spirit tastings courtesy of Drink Me Mag and Caribbean nibbles from neighboring restaurant, Hibiscus for the first hour. Then the party will really get kicking when Stunna starts flowing, and yelpers Ryan S and Keane L‘s band Festizio rock the stage! Combining ambient sounds and driving rhythms in a landscape of intertwined harmonies, this will be an outstanding performance. To keep that groove going, we’ll have a special guest DJ come in with an arsenal of banging beats!

So bust out your hottest Lady Gaga-esque outfit and stunna shades, the first East Bay bash of 2010 is going to be blinding!

Festizio in the New Issue of Performer Magazine (Twice!)

Two mentions and listed on the front cover! Not too shabby for our debut in a nationally distributed magazine. Even better, our album appears next to our good friend, Mikie Lee Prasad, a great local musician who we both know and love. The amp review below even features Dangermaker, a band we’ve performed twice with already. The mentioned show was our most recent at San Francisco’s Grant & Green Saloon in North Beach. And yes, that’s a picture of me next to the amp :)

Download a digital copy of the magazine.

Disclaimer: Although I write for Performer Magazine, I had no influence over our album review and our inclusion in the gear review was by request of the National Editor to test the practical usability of the amps.

"Carol of the Bells" / First song done for my Christmas EP!

A friend suggested I record a Christmas album this year. I’m lazy so I’m doing an EP instead.

Here’s the first track – “Carol of the Bells

It’s a song I had always wanted to learn on piano but never owned the music. The next best thing is to arrange it for yourself, I suppose. I even added a new part in the middle to mix things up.

Hope you like it!