Thursday, August 17, 2017
Dave Carlock - A Day In The Life
Originally Posted on 02-28-2014 8:59 AM
In previous years visiting NAMM, I had bemoaned the fact that just a week after I returned back from LA, the Grammy Awards were happening with plenty of Grammy-themed parties and events. This year that all changed with a schedule adjustment which put the Grammys in sync with NAMM Sunday. If this continued in the future, it would be fantastic. I could plan to be in LA a couple days earlier and attend the NARAS Producer/Engineer Wing party at the Village Recorder early in the week. After missing a last minute call this year for a Mutt Lange session by arriving in LA just two days late, I've already determined for the future to arrive the weekend before to be available for sessions. Getting some work in before NAMM festivities is a great way to kick off a week of sensory overload and fast paced reconnection with friends old and new. Sunday is usually a somewhat dead day but this Sunday had me checking out Jules Follett's new organization called "The Sessions". "The Sessions" was created to educate newcomers to the music biz with mentoring sessions at college campuses by numerous industry vets like Liberty DeVitto (Billy Joel), Nathan Watts (Stevie Wonder), Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge) and many others. The Sessions provides the bridge between dreams and reality by Enriching artists' lives through Education, focusing on Empowering and sharpening their business skills in the pursuit of excellence, according to the website. I sat in at a Sessions event that Jules had invited me to, and as we all began to disband, Jules asked me if I was free around 2:30 that afternoon and if I'd be willing to do an on-camera interview with Ndugu Chancler, the man behind the drum beat on Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean". I was definitely game and began doing a bit of research on the great music he'd made before and after his most familiar piece of work. How about this: Stanley Clarke, Jean Luc-Ponty, Donna Summer, George Duke, Patrice Rushen, Carlos Santana, Frank Sinatra, Weather Report, Lionel Ritchie, Kenny Rogers, Thelonius Monk, Herbie Hancock, and John Lee Hooker. That's just the top of his list, a highly prestigious group of pop and jazz artists able to demand anyone's respect, but I did not know he played on and co-wrote... Wait for it... Wait for it... Wait for it... "Let It Whip" by The Dazz Band! Absolute funk classic! The interview was fun and it was a real honor to ask Ndugu questions about his career, the way the music industry has changed, and what inspires him today. Jules, Sharon, and Marissa made everything a breeze. Afterward, they invited me to come see their event at UC Long Beach the following week, which I did, and it led to a spirited jam session with my singing "Sir Duke" and "Sweet Home Chicago" with Nathan Watts and Liberty DiVitto. Moments like these always take me back to being a kid again, dreaming of making music with the greats. I'm so blessed to be able to hang with cats like that in my life, and I don't take it for granted. I first connected with their grooves on records and now I'm grooving with them. Dreams do come true. Shortly after the interview, I ran into Wrecking Crew member Don Peake and we set up a plan to check out his North Hollywood studio the next week with my friend Rob Vukelich (Survivor). Rob's been engineering for Don for about a year or so after relocating from Nashville. I also bumped into Danny Seraphine (Chicago, California Transit Authority), and hugged it out with fellow Benton Harbor native Sinbad. Not bad for a "slow" Sunday at NAMM! And finally on the convention's last day, after scouring all the upper levels of the Convention Center, I found the attraction that had been eluding me all week: the circular keyboard controller designed by Lady Gaga keyboardist, Brockett Parsons. This thing was something to behold! With it's backside hiked up even more impressively than Kim Kardashian's, the klavier was the combination of (3) 88-key keyboards in succession. This convex curvature of the keys made the beast a significant thumb to the nose of every rigid classically-based piano instructor. It would take quite a bit of getting used to for technically demanding pieces, if they could be played at all. I could see Mozart embracing it in its firm rejection of tradition. Salieri, not so much. Brockett and I had a nice chat--he's a very soft-spoken, charming guy with grand vision, definitely well-paired in his work with Gaga. By 5pm on Sunday afternoon, the NAMM show had my dogs barking and I snuck out to the Marriott pool area behind the restaurant and soaked my feet in quiet solitude in the open air, garden hot tub. And to my joy, no one was there. What a beautiful contrast to the pressure cooker of the convention center. Just then, Josh Eagan texted me and invited me to a group hang at Buca DiBeppo with James Zota Baker and some other friends of the Steakhouse Studio at 7pm, which left me just enough time to nod off on a poolside recliner and refresh myself...

Originally Posted on 02-21-2014 11:51 AM
Approaching a Saturday morning at NAMM always gives me the taste of cold fear in my throat. But I'm not sure what scares me the most: not getting a parking place, or being surrounded all day by hundreds and hundreds of Vampire Hookers in the aisles on this unholy day: VAMPIRE HOOKER SATURDAY! Kim Bullard coined that phrase and it's so perfect that I must pass it on to you. However, if Vampire Hookers are your thing you'll feel right at home....

Originally Posted on 02-14-2014 2:06 PM
"AWWWW MAN! I can't believe you were there! I called a cab to get me home from Santa Ana!" Dave Medd (Tubes) shook his head and laughed at the bum luck of it all. "I was going to call you to see if you showed up but my PHONE DIED!"...

Originally Posted on 02-07-2014 1:50 PM
NAMM weekend is a great time to check out live music as well, and keeping your ear to floor about parties can get you passes to some exclusive shindigs with great music. But after the trip and the first day of non-stop submersion into NAMM, I always have to push myself to go out on a Thursday night....

Originally Posted on 01-31-2014 1:19 PM
Omelettes with Tapatio, corned beef hash, and plenty of water proved to be the breakfast menu that prepped Dave Medd (The Tubes) and me for entry into NAMM 2014. A solid breakfast is a must to keep nerves even when trying to find the best registration line for badges....

Originally Posted on 01-24-2014 2:29 PM
Whenever I get into LA in January, it's such a sigh of relief. 10 years living in California turned me into a hopeless weather wimp, I won't even pretend otherwise....

Originally Posted on 01-17-2014 3:47 PM
The National Association of Music Merchants Show is the biggest annual trade show put on to showcase manufacturer's new musical equipment products. They have a Summer show in Nashville, but the Winter one is the treat to attend, being in the home heart of sunny southern California....

Originally Posted on 01-10-2014 3:27 PM
Belief is a powerful thing, guiding everything we do. Belief counteracts real knowledge, overthrows facts, makes people suspicious, and can interfere in all of life's best opportunities. So what do you believe?...

Originally Posted on 01-03-2014 3:23 PM
I've talked to many new artists making their first record over the years and in our conversations, there is one topic that many are confused over. When they ask me if I do "mastering" on the projects I record and produce, I come to discover that they really meant to ask if I MIXED the projects....

Originally Posted on 12-27-2013 8:21 PM
About a month ago, I was honored to receive a top secret message asking me to participate in a massive birthday present for my friend, Grammy-winning mixer Neal Pogue....

Originally Posted on 12-20-2013 5:09 PM
I first met Kareemah El-Amin about a year after I came back to Benton Harbor. With a stand-out name one can't forget in a small town, I heard about her work as a playwright who had made a DVD called "Lockdown Legacy" about the prison system, after fine tuning the work through several theater performances....

Originally Posted on 12-13-2013 4:23 PM
What does "owning masters" even mean? When I first started out, I was talking with NY producer-manager Abby Rosenfeld about one of my collaborations and he asked me immediately who owned the masters....

Originally Posted on 12-06-2013 3:33 PM
Understanding the new music business is a lot like understanding life before and after divorce. After divorce, you have newly-freed single people outwardly reveling in their freedom, yet more privately struggling to reset everything they know about life, just like artists who these days often make music without having to deal with labels....

Originally Posted on 11-29-2013 2:16 PM
This week, I continue a look at the current state of making live music for money from a talent booker, or programmer's, perspective. As we touched on last week, more and more band members are "subbing" out to play with multiple bands to maximize their income. But what about the expectations of programmers? Are band members really interchangeable in their eyes?...

Originally Posted on 11-22-2013 2:28 PM
Bassist Buddy Pearson's Facebook wall is a great one to follow. Aside from holding down the bottom in "Dave Carlock's Funkin' Rock Orchestra", he plays with a cool cover trio called "The UNiT", based in Valparaiso, IN that performs all over Michiana, and he's also in a great improvisational-fusion trio that frequents the city of Chicago called "Freek Johnson". Not only a virtuoso level player, his sense of humor is kinda sick and hilarious. Just my kind of guy!...

Originally Posted on 11-15-2013 4:08 PM
If you have a 30-40 hour job as a employee somewhere, I'll tell you something that you may not know about most musicians, even professionals. Most of them will never have a single, continuing music employer. Think about that for a second....

Originally Posted on 11-08-2013 8:21 PM
This week continues my experiences at the “History Of The Eagles Tour” at Chicago's Allstate Arena as we pick back up at the second set following intermission. Intermission? Paul McCartney & Elton John don't take intermission… Well, at least I'll have one more shot at the merch tables. I wonder if the Eagles thought of that? Nahhhhh…...

Originally Posted on 10-25-2013 8:20 PM
This past weekend, I made the trek through a chilly fall drizzle to Chicago's Allstate Arena to see a friend in the Eagles organization, and at the same time, catch the band live for the first time on their “History Of The Eagles Tour”....

Originally Posted on 10-18-2013 8:20 PM
I've met a lot of people who fancy the idea of being a songwriter. They tell me that they believe that an idea they came up with in the shower, or that time their car broke down is a smash hit waiting to happen. Could it happen? Well, in most cases not a chance. Mainly because they have an undeveloped idea and little to no experience writing songs. So what to do?...

Originally Posted on 10-10-2013 8:19 PM
One of the challenges I encounter making records in Benton Harbor, MI is the lack of music support services. Any business needs solid suppliers, and short of overbuying stock, it's not uncommon to get caught in delays....

Originally Posted on 10-03-2013 8:19 PM
I've been following the last two seasons of the Mendel Center's programming with interest. In recent years, the Benton Township venue had been getting a reputation of being the ones who put the “GRAM” back in PROGRAMMING, giving the family matriarch some place to take GRAMPS on a weekend. The venue booked very conservatively and played copycat with other Michigan venues who were booking some truly snoozy shows....

Originally Posted on 09-20-2013 8:18 PM
Every once in a while, I see a new, young performer out doing their thing as a solo. In a small Midwest town such as the one I'm from, it's rare to find someone stepping out. Sure, high schools have plenty of singers who can handle a spotlighted song in a Talent Show, supported by an ensemble of their friends. But to go out and do an hour set all by oneself is a much bigger move than it appears and it's rife with challenges....

Originally Posted on 09-13-2013 8:17 PM
This week, I saw a fantastic new independent film called Good Ol' Freda. It takes a look behind the scenes of the Beatles' careers through the eyes of the band's secretary, Freda Kelly. Hired on when she was only 17, she worked for the Beatles for 11 years, actually outlasting the band's 10-year existence....

Originally Posted on 09-06-2013 8:17 PM
Steely Dan was the ultimate studio project. Extreme perfectionists who met when they attended Bard College, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker were a dynamic duo who stuck together as bandmates and songwriters until finally getting a break as staff songwriters for ABC Records in the early 70s....

Originally Posted on 08-30-2013 8:16 PM
One of the summer’s biggest songs, “Blurred Lines”, has been banging in car stereos and dance clubs nationwide since its release in mid-March, though the single’s success is knee-deep in controversy....

Originally Posted on 08-23-2013 8:13 PM
My daughter thinks I hate The Smiths. But that really isn't true. I USED to hate The Smiths, but time changes us all, no?...

Originally Posted on 08-16-2013 8:12 PM
When I decided to move back to my hometown in the Benton Harbor/St. Joseph area, I understood that most of my music work would come from other cities nationally, and even internationally....

Originally Posted on 08-09-2013 8:06 PM
Welcome to the fourth and final segment on my experiences surrounding the Paul McCartney concert in Indianapolis, IN on July 14. Before the show, a reconnect with Jay Elliott, singer/guitarist from the Indianapolis pop/rock band Stereo Deluxe, started the evening off on the right foot....

Originally Posted on 08-02-2013 8:05 PM
Welcome to Part Three of my experience at the Paul McCartney concert in Indianapolis, IN on July 14. Last week I described the hang with my longtime friend, guitarist Brian Ray, and began detailing the show’s incredible setlist....

Originally Posted on 07-26-2013 9:15 PM
Welcome to Part Two of my experience at the Paul McCartney concert in Indianapolis, IN on July 14. Last week I talked a bit about Paul’s history and the forming of the current band lineup he’s had since 2002....

Originally Posted on 07-19-2013 8:03 PM
Watching Sir Paul McCartney in concert Indianapolis this week, I suddenly realized that every song he played took me to a place in time, some as flashback, some as surprisingly emotional triggers. It really underscored what good music does. It gets in your DNA. It changes you. The maker of the music becomes an unwitting collaborator to your experience....

Originally Posted on 07-12-2013 8:00 PM
Saying you want to live your musical dreams and making the effort to give it a shot are two entirely different things. Particularly in the Southwest Michigan area, I hear a lotta talk and see almost no action. I’m not sure what it is about the area that breeds a culture of “name your dreams then run and hide”, but it’s pretty common. Almost as common as “don’t have any dreams at all”, which I think is a shame....

Originally Posted on 07-05-2013 7:59 PM
I’ve never seen the movie Xanadu, but love many of the elements that it combined, such as the music of Olivia Newton-John, ELO, producer/songwriter John Farrar, & The Tubes. I’ve forever proclaimed that John Farrar was a genius, which led me to connect with him a number of times in LA....

Originally Posted on 06-28-2013 7:58 PM
From time to time people will ask me about the songwriting process and what it’s like. Songwriting is really the core of popular music and my position as a producer is to first and foremost look carefully at the songs. The reason is wrapped up in this little axiom I tell people: great singers are responsible for great performances, great producers are responsible for great records, but great songs are responsible for great careers....

Originally Posted on 06-21-2013 7:56 PM
Having been the Voice Of The Mendel Center for last season’s radio and TV advertising, I was asked to attend the unveiling of the 2013-2014 Mendel Center Season last week....

Originally Posted on 06-14-2013 7:54 PM
Though the stumbling blocks in a career in the entertainment business are numerous, many of them can be summed up into what I call the Seven Deadly Sins of The Creative. If you feel stuck right now, see if any of these might apply to you....

Originally Posted on 06-07-2013 7:52 PM
I was talking with a fellow producer friend the other day, comparing notes about the projects we were working on. He indicated that he had done a first recording for a well-known artist who was really impressed and that he was waiting for word on moving forward with more material. What he said next caused me to reflect: “I’m not gonna keep calling him, he knows where I am. I know he likes what I did for him.” Been there & thought that, but I decided to be a friend and tell him what all creative types need to hear: “Don’t stop calling—check in once a week to stay in the mix.”...

Originally Posted on 05-31-2013 7:42 PM
I was checking out Lark’s BBQ’s new location on Main St. last week when in bounced Leslie Pickell with her perpetual smile, sunkissed cheeks and hair. “Hi Dave!” she said, and we proceeded to catch each other up on our respective worlds. Leslie is one of the owners of The Livery in the Benton Harbor Arts District and she told me I needed to check out New Orleans’ Joe Krown Trio last Sunday night....

Originally Posted on 05-24-2013 7:45 PM
Trying to participate in the arts in a small town is a real test in patience and dedication. A friend of mine contacted me this week in need of a pep talk. She’s been putting a lot of energy into participating in the local arts community, but she’s feeling a bit locked out by cliques. In neighboring cities of 100,000 and higher, including the Chicagoland area with a population of more than 9 million, she’s built up a reasonable resume over the last few years. Yet in our 20,000 person community, she’s hitting walls....

Originally Posted on 05-17-2013 7:38 PM
In increasing numbers over the years, we hear artists performing covers. But have you ever wondered why? Some I’ve asked bemoan a lack of originality or solid, well-written material in new artists. However, new bands could either have either plenty of solid material that’s entirely derivative or plenty of “original” material that just isn’t solid. What a cover is really chosen for is this: audience building....

Originally Posted on 05-10-2013 7:37 PM
Man, American Idol and other contest shows keep getting a bad rap from musicians. It doesn’t surprise me, I’ve never seen an entire episode top to bottom. I can’t stomach it....

Originally Posted on 05-03-2013 7:36 PM
When we ended part one last week, British recording artist Brian Chatton and I had just arrived at the South Bend, IN photo shoot an hour and fifteen minutes late because Brian was hopeless when it came to directions....

Originally Posted on 04-26-2013 7:35 PM
I first met Brian in the spring of my 23rd year. He thought he was getting free studio time, and I thought he might help me get my big break. We were both wrong, but we also both got a lot more. We we became lifelong friends. Well, wait… he did get free studio time. So I guess I was the only one that was wrong....

Originally Posted on 04-19-2013 7:30 PM
This past week I finished producing a project that’s been simmering for a while. It’s a song I co-wrote with singer/songwriter Chas Burtchett, called “Cristy’s Song”. The thing that makes this particular song stand out is that it’s written about Chas’ young sister, Cristy, who has Autism....

Originally Posted on 04-12-2013 7:28 PM
You know what I'd like to have someone say about me someday? "He's 66 and on top of his game." Really what more could one ask for? Wouldn't we all like to pass "official" retirement age and be fully firing on all cylinders? That’s where Elton John is....

Originally Posted on 04-05-2013 7:27 PM
I tend to get melancholy when my heroes die. Since I'm still pretty young, it’s just starting to happen with some regularity. This past week alone, we lost renowned session guitarist Hugh McCracken and master record producer Phil Ramone....

Originally Posted on 03-29-2013 7:27 PM
Nicknames. I get a lot of nicknames. A lot of people don’t understand the bonding that goes on between those who work together in rock n’ roll. Once respect has been earned, camaraderie often culminates in the creation of a nickname. Depending on its creator, the nickname is usually anything from flattering to amusing; but if it comes from someone in the UK, it’s quite likely to be the type of thing that would shock your mother....

Originally Posted on 03-22-2013 7:26 PM
On a friend’s Facebook wall the question was posed: what does it mean for a musical artist to “sell out”? “Sell out” has been a term of heavy indignance for as long as I can remember and I’ve always thought it was little more than a jealous spear thrown at successful artists by people who hadn’t made it happen for one reason or another....

Originally Posted on 03-15-2013 7:25 PM
Sex, drugs, and rock and roll. That’s what making music is all about right? It’s all wild, all-night parties, contraband and excess, no? In the recording studios I’ve worked in, I haven’t seen it much at all, thankfully. That’s not to say that the producers, musicians, and other creative types I’ve worked with don’t like to tie one on, carouse, or partake in activities that they’d prefer that I not detail for you here; but with pros, it rarely happens in the studios. When it’s time to work, it’s time to work—plain and simple....

Originally Posted on 03-08-2013 7:21 PM
In the last two months, I've been approached by artists/bands looking for a producer from differing genres, be it traditional country, alt rock, alt pop, or AAA. From that group, I believe six of them have a shot at a music career based on ability. But ability is never enough. Ability gets you in the running, but immediately, other criterion come into play....

Originally Posted on 03-01-2013 7:17 PM
I went to see John Denver in concert last week at the Star Plaza, despite the fact that he passed away in 1997....

Originally Posted on 02-22-2013 7:15 PM
“Leslie, ROAD TRIIIIIP…” *click*. Leaving that message for her was sure to get a response and sure enough she called me back shortly after wanting to know what I was talking about. “I’m headed to Berkeley and San Francisco on Thursday for the Sound City Movie premiere and to catch Bill & Tamara Champlin at Yoshi’s. Two must-sees in one night--wanna go?” I asked. “Wow, I don’t know that I can get away Thursday”, she said with some thought. “Are you flying?” “No Leslie, it’s a ROAD TRIP. You don’t fly on a road trip!” I said saltily. “Oh hell no, I’m not doing that”, she replied....

Originally Posted on 02-15-2013 7:14 PM
Picking up from part one last week, I was asked to check out an LA friend’s band at a rehearsal. I could only stay for about 30 minutes, but the female lead singer was an hour and fifteen minutes late. The songs were truly the weak point for the band and I knew I would be in the hotseat. So I told them the only thing I could--my truthful opinion. And, guess who the songwriter was. Yep--the horribly late female lead singer, we’re call her “Kathy”. She was one of those 5’11” women that wear 3” heels. Somehow I had to tell the truth and still get out alive....

Originally Posted on 02-08-2013 7:13 PM
Trips to California always serve a few purposes for me. It’s great to reconnect with friends and keep sharing realtime experiences--you know, kinda like Facebook for those who like to leave the house. Because I’m a social person, that includes a lot of work related things I also happen to enjoy such as going to clubs, visiting artists working in recording studios and hanging at the homes of friends. Aside from being fun, keeping connected with friends leads me to check out bands and aids me in the continual search for great talent and marketable artists. However, producers have to be careful how they check out bands—anonymously in a crowd is best—because doing it the wrong way can put them in the hotseat, which is exactly where I found myself last week....

Originally Posted on 02-01-2013 7:12 PM
I believe that under it all, we humans are intrinsically optimistic. It’s what we do to process that optimism that makes us who we are. At the extremes, one can either be an easy-to-mock Pollyanna or a wrench-in-the-spokes, cynical George Carlin-type who hides that innate optimism behind the thick walls created from previous disappointments. Though I tend to lean toward the positive as a creative type, when it comes to computer-based recording technology—I’m a die-hard cynic. Living on the front lines of music technology for 26 years taught me this....

Originally Posted on 01-25-2013 6:45 PM
"Singers and Musicians are some of the most driven, courageous people on the face of the earth. They deal with more day-to-day rejection in one year than most people do in a lifetime. Every day, they face the financial challenge of living a freelance lifestyle, the disrespect of people who think they should get real jobs, and their own fear that they'll never work again....

Originally Posted on 01-18-2013 6:43 PM
I have to say, I don’t really like Country music. As soon as I hear the ghostly vibrato whine of a steel guitar on a ballad, I’m possessed to exit stage right. For the feeling it evokes in me, it may as well be a Theremin on a science fiction movie—except for the fact that I like science fiction movies....

Originally Posted on 01-11-2013 6:35 PM
Last week’s column was Part Two in the making of my Holidays music video for Newtown, CT. When we last left off, the strings, guitar, bass, drums and percussion had been cut leaving the tracking of the kid’s choir and the shooting the video as the final work on the docket before editing and release....

Originally Posted on 01-04-2013 6:33 PM
Last week’s column was Part One in the making of my Holidays music video for Newtown, CT. When we last left off, I had just picked up ‘Funkin’ Rock Orchestra’ bassist Buddy Pearson from streetside in downtown St. Joseph during his break with another one of his other regular bands, ‘The UNiT’. This was the only apparent chance to get him to play on the track and we had to move fast. Luckily Mapquest said the studio was only a mile and a half from the club, and Buddy was fast, a true master musician....

Originally Posted on 12-28-2012 6:29 PM
To honor the community of Newtown, Connecticut after the horrific tragedy that claimed the lives of 26 elementary students and adults, I decided to produce a music video in the Benton Harbor Arts District for Christmas. This task fell right in the middle of the holiday’s prep but I pushed forward anyway with a goal to have the project recorded, mixed, shot, edited and posted for everyone on Christmas morning....

Originally Posted on 12-21-2012 6:23 PM
In business, music business included, having a unique name of paramount importance. In that, I guess I got lucky with my surname since there aren't too many Carlocks running around out there. But I can't stress enough to new bands and music related businesses to choose their name wisely. And if you really want to make stab at turning your music into business, you really should have it all to yourself....

Originally Posted on 12-14-2012 6:20 PM
Gary Cambra is a talented mofo. The first time we made music together he was a member of the Tubes and I was co-producing the album ‘Tubes World Tour 2001' with Greg Ladanyi and David Foster. The album was a collection of live tracks recorded at The Observatory in Anaheim, CA in addition to two new studio tracks, ‘Loveline' and ‘Digi-Doll'....

Originally Posted on 12-07-2012 6:18 PM
At its inception in the early 50s, Rock N Roll was all about controversy. Its rebellious spirit, sound and manic energy was purely anti-establishment. As a budding young medium, television was drawn to the spectacle of rock n roll, fueling the public's imagination by censoring Elvis' hip swaying....

Originally Posted on 11-30-2012 4:55 PM
Everybody had their fill of triptopan and carbs? Of course you have and now it's back to business as usual. But the one thing we can't forget about this past week is the importance of being thankful....

Originally Posted on 11-23-2012 5:08 PM
I'd always wanted to see Lindsey Buckingham or Fleetwood Mac live, so I was shocked to hear he was appearing on November 16th in Saugatuck, a little arts colony on Kalamazoo Lake with a population just shy of 1000. I wasn't so shocked to hear that the 412 seat Saugatuck Center For The Arts was sold out....

Originally Posted on 11-16-2012 6:13 PM
In September of 2012, I decided to try an experiment. When people meet me and find out about my work as a songwriter and producer, they often tell me about friends, relatives, or co-workers who have a musical talent....

Originally Posted on 11-09-2012 4:54 PM
I like the first flight in the morning. I like driving in the dark with no traffic on the way to the airport, I like sleeping on planes and I like working with Berkeley singer/songwriter Sara Lovell, which makes this trip to San Francisco a special treat for me....

Originally Posted on 10-26-2012 4:53 PM
I think every young artist needs one of two things: either a mentor or a therapist. They need someone detached and wise enough to impart that elusive perspective that will either sail or sink the trajectory of their lives and livelihoods....

Originally Posted on 10-19-2012 4:51 PM
Making a pro independent record is a huge step in the career path of any musical artist. When making a record, an artist must decide whether they really want to give themselves over completely to the pursuit of their career or not. There's no justifiable way to approach a saleable recording in half-measure....

Originally Posted on 10-12-2012 4:50 PM
Today's column is targeted at those musicians and singers who have gotten a bit of a start, they've built up a bit of a fanbase and they're faced with their first real expense as an artist or band: making a recording....

Originally Posted on 10-05-2012 4:49 PM
I received a call this week from an aspiring singer who asked, “What do I have to do to get signed to a record deal?” After a long pause and a deep breath, I told her that right then she had to choose the red or blue pill, because what I was about to tell her would change her perception of everything around her....

Originally Posted on 09-28-2012 4:47 PM
Welcome to part two of my coverage on perhaps the most exciting thing to happen on the artist side of the music business this year: Amanda Palmer. If you don't know who the Dresden Dolls singer is, check out YouTube for her new single release, “Want It Back”, in all of its Not-Safe-For-Work glory....

Originally Posted on 09-21-2012 4:47 PM
This past week the internet has been abuzz with the news of Dresden Dolls vocalist Amanda Palmer putting out a call to have regional “professional-ish” string players and horn players to augment her stage show on her upcoming tour dates on the tour she's calling “Amanda Palmer and the The Grand Theft Orchestra”. She's also gotten quite a lot of press over the summer as setting the record for a Kickstarter.com campaign. She asked for $100,000 to make her new record/art project and tour and ended up raising a whopping $1.2 million from contributing backers....

Originally Posted on 09-14-2012 4:46 PM
It's always good to have a friend like Brandon. When we first met, he was a Milwaukeean 15 year old working on one of the bigger Blink-182 fan-run websites with his 16 year old Los Angeleno friend, Arthur. My work with Blink-182 on their self-titled album, also known as the “smiley face” album, led the two to contact me for a web interview and then a few years later, some filmed interviews for their site....

Originally Posted on 09-07-2012 4:44 PM
The shrimp were the hugest things I've ever put in my mouth--seriously. That was my first impression of the Grand Opening/Guitar Smash celebration at the Hard Rock Café at the Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo, MI. After watching six Fender guitars get smashed by hard-hatted company reps and luminaries Sheryl Crow and Uncle Kracker, the evening kicked into full gear with an hour-plus set from Uncle Kracker and his band on the restaurant's stage....

Originally Posted on 08-31-2012 4:40 PM
I know exactly “why” radio should exist. As a kid, I listened to music radio while alone in my room writing or working on my homework--it was a huge presence in my public school years. It gave me sounds and ideas from somewhere out there that were unlike the world I knew, made the world bigger and stoked my imagination without the visual input of television....

Originally Posted on 08-24-2012 4:38 PM
During my most recent trip to LA, I had an opportunity to check out a new band that a friend of mine had been telling me about for a while now. They were gigging out at one of my favorite hangs, Rock & Roll Pizza in Woodland Hills. Music mixed with New York-style pies is always a good time for me, and I gave a call to another one of my usual partners-in-crime, funk guitarist Gemi Taylor, to come join me....

Originally Posted on 08-17-2012 4:36 PM
Augusta, MI is a little town tucked away off mighty Interstate 94 without even so much as an exit sign announcing its existence. Who would ever believe that a live theatre venue in such a location could even survive? But the Barn Theatre has, for 33 years now, and of course, I've been looking forward to checking it out, but became especially interested when I learned that my friend Fee Waybill, lead singer of the Tubes, was performing there in “The Rocky Horror Show” as Frank-N-Furter....

Originally Posted on 08-10-2012 4:35 PM
Nothing balances me out more than hanging with old friends. Last Sunday the seminal rock band STYX played a full 100 minute set at the Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts in Muskegon. Having worked with the band on their “Arch Allies” record and on Tommy Shaw's solo full length, “7 Deadly Zens”, I had to make the show....

Originally Posted on 08-03-2012 4:32 PM
Last Saturday night, Latin guitarist Bryan Lubeck had his CD release party for his newest album “Tuscan Sky” at the Box Factory For The Arts in St. Joseph. This year marks 22 years since Bryan & I first recorded together in my first incarnation of a recording studio in my upper apartment at the corner of Michigan and Niles Ave. Bryan's 4th full length release marks the 3rd I've contributed to in one manner or another, continuing a musical relationship that was only put on hold during my time on the west coast....

Originally Posted on 07-27-2012 4:29 PM
Well, SW Michigan residents all managed to live through their first year without Venetian Festival. It was a glum week for those live music lovers steeped in local tradition and perhaps most notably for those who worked the festival throughout its 33-year history....

Originally Posted on 07-20-2012 4:07 PM
During the sweltering heat wave most Americans endured through the end of June and early July, I started envisioning some images of milder weather through song. Being a Cancer of the first order and forever shipwrecked on the Isle of Sentimentality, the lyrical sentiment of Don Henley's ‘Boys Of Summer' did the trick for me. I also thought of this track because it was the work of one of my mentors, the late Grammy Award winning Producer/Engineer Greg Ladanyi, whose birthday was July 6th....

Originally Posted on 07-13-2012 3:48 PM
I love Katy Perry and pretty much everything about her, except her first hit, “I Kissed A Girl”. I've always felt that the song's shameless pandering to the seas of young, drunken women who barely rate 1 on the Kinsey scale was nothing but sheer calculation. However, her strategy worked magnificently and the song launched a career that now has the distinction of being the only female artist to ever have five number one hits on the same record....

Originally Posted on 07-06-2012 3:44 PM
For an upcoming jazz vocal record I'm producing for artist Michelle Bythrow, I'm preparing to lay out the final brush stroke with a broad tip: a 12-piece string section....

Originally Posted on 06-29-2012 3:40 PM
Since relocating to the Benton Harbor Arts District, I've watched the Mendel Center with enthusiastic befuddlement. The 1517 seat auditorium in Benton Township has every accoutrement found in a pro theater (minus trap doors in the stage floor). I've toured the venue when planning some of my shows, and I've come to know the staff there. Yet in nearly five years, I've only attended four shows there and two of them were presented by an outside promoter. Somehow that doesn't seem right, but their season roster hasn't appealed to me year after year. I always wondered why in previous years there haven't been more popular artists appearing at the Mendel Center....

Originally Posted on 06-22-2012 3:06 PM
During one of my usual lunges to change my car radio station during an Adele song, I found myself wondering how in the world I could get something other than the Midwest's idea of hit radio or Country music to come out of that infernal dashboard. While impatiently jogging through the FM band at high speed, I managed to find something that sounded fresh at 105.3....

Originally Posted on 06-15-2012 10:22 AM
Every once in a while I'll hear a record the first time and think: “that's a hit single”. Typically referred to as “the undeniable hit” among people in the music industry, when one shows up it's like the feeling of discovering the perfect find for cheap at an antique shop or that amazing jacket at the second hand store that has no business being there for $2....

Originally Posted on 06-08-2012 10:21 AM
In the eye of the storm of production week for the Funkin' Rock Orchestra's Studio 376 show, I went off-grid for a half day out to help out a longtime peer and new friend. Multi Emmy-winning composer and music "reimaginator", Brian D. Siewert, had asked me to sit on the jury and help choose the 5th annual recipient of his “Artist In Motion Scholarship” at his alma mater, Lakeshore High School....

Originally Posted on 06-01-2012 10:19 AM
Anyone who's ever been part of a "big horn band" knows about "THE BOOK". "THE BOOK" is a binder of the sheet music for all the songs for that instrument. Every instrument in your group gets one. Let me tell you, making a 30-song “BOOK” from scratch under a timeframe can bring the strongest man to his knees....

Originally Posted on 05-25-2012 10:18 AM
First off, I have to say that I'm not a huge fan of straight folk music. What I like and dislike about the genre is exactly the same. The songs are more about the lyrics than the music and they almost always feature a sparce arrangement style....

Originally Posted on 05-18-2012 10:16 AM
People like to give me their CDs. I love that. It's really still fun for me to hear everyone's hard work in making a recording because I've been there. It takes guts to put oneself out there and make a recording. I admire that....

Originally Posted on 05-11-2012 10:15 AM
The declined economy has certainly become forefront in everyone's minds in the last few years and artistic types are having a tough time right now if they don't know how to live like an artist....

Originally Posted on 05-04-2012 10:13 AM
If someone plays or sings music well, it's often said that they have a “gift”. But the real gift is being able to make a living doing it. I determined as a teenager that I wanted to do just that, and teaching music lessons in the various things I could play--guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals, and drums--was the start down that road....

Originally Posted on 04-27-2012 10:11 AM
Madonna's new album, MDNA, has made the record books. Dubiously. After debuting at number one with 359,000 units sold her first week, the Material Girl's 12th album has achieved the greatest 2nd week sales drop in history—moving only 46,000 units....

Originally Posted on 04-20-2012 10:03 AM
So many people I've met want to be a music producer. I recently mentored a high school senior named Tom (name changed) who did too. I asked him my favorite question: “What do you think a music producer does?” No one I've asked has ever had a clue and neither did my new friend. The thought that he might like to be something he knew nothing about intrigued me. It sounds cool, I guess. Doesn't everyone want to be something that sounds cool?...

Dave Carlock
DAVE CARLOCK -
A DAY IN THE LIFE
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Dave Carlock is a 30-year veteran of the entertainment business whose work as a recording engineer and producer, touring musician, and songwriter made him Googleable. His continuing work as an Independent Content Creator of Sound and Image has earned him a Grammy Award certificate, two Platinum Record Awards, and a Paragon Award in advertising. Currently, he brings national and international artists to make records and music videos at his production studio in the Benton Harbor Arts District.