Thursday, December 30, 2010

Take Your Pick

...lots of work to do yet, but i'm really looking forward to this!

we'll have the LPs available at this show, as well as some great shirts and tote bags and other things that jared has slapped my face all over. bring your spending money!

here's the LP cover, by the way:

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Get the Message

these are two improvised phone messages left for me last night, back-to-back, by a dear old friend.

RSD message 1 by mikeadams

RSD message 2 by mikeadams

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I'm not really familiar with this game show, but it seems kind of lame to me. I would, however, love to see a list of "secrets" that the guests brought to the show. I'm guessing there were some real interesting characters in those seats.

I've been learning a bit about John Cale lately and getting excited about his music. Specifically, his pop music. More specifically, the albums Vintage Violence, Paris 1919, and Fear. I'm a pretty casual student in situations like this, and I definitely wouldn't consider myself a fanatic or anything, but this stuff feels really good to me at the moment.

I also really appreciate the way he combines the elements of his experiences in minimalist composition with simple, traditional pop rock elements. Probably my favorite thing about writing music (and I think this is because I'm an untrained ignoramus) is combining a few simple things to create something really complex and beautiful. There's no shortage of folks who are really, really good at that, it's just I think John Cale is one of them.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

happy thanksgiving

the holiday season is fast approaching. actually, it's here, but i'm still catching up, so i'm a couple days behind. In honor of those holidays, the spirit of giving, and the love of music I'd like to announce my participation in this charitable, musical endeavor.

Flannelgraph records has organized a compilation of exclusive, instrumental holiday music, of which all of the proceeds will be donated to charities chosen by the artists. I have a brand new song on the comp and the charity i'll be donating to is Bloomington's own Stepping Stones.

I've become somewhat familiar with Stepping Stones in my tenure as a Bloomington government employee. Stepping Stones provides temporary transitional housing for young people in my area who are dealing with homelessness. The staff is very enthusiastic and realistic and I believe their work has a lot of potential to make a huge difference in the lives of folks who would otherwise be faced with hopelessness. I'm excited to support their cause, and i really would appreciate your help in raising some dough for them. Check out the song, check out the other charities, and please throw a few bucks at us if you can spare before you head out for Black Friday shopping.

my track is #2, "Oak Park Lanes", by the way

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

collecting dust

In 2005, during some down-time, I recorded an EP's worth of improvised, experimental guitar jams. After sitting on them for a while I released those tunes in a limited edition of 100 3" cd-rs under the name "Mike Adams & His Dust Collectors", the idea being that i didn't really know what to do with such music so it usually ended up lying in a drawer for a rainy day. Up above here is my first attempt at a full-length "Dust Collectors" album. Once again, it's been finished for quite a while, but I'm just now getting around to making them available to all interested parties. No physical version of this music exists, mainly because, once again, i'm kinda stumped and strapped for time in that department.

My main goal with this stuff is to stretch a little bit, artistically. Most of my time with music is spent writing and recording in the "indie-pop" genre and this stuff is just an exercise in what my mind can come up with outside of those (pesky) parameters. I consider working on this more like a sketchbook than a finished piece, but often times i find that the feeling of discovery that goes along with this music is a little more rewarding. Well, maybe not more rewarding, but rewarding in a different way than i'm used to. Like how your mom used to have some big, curly, poofy hair-do the whole time you were a kid, but now she just got it cut into a short, jagged uneven kate-plus-8 kind of thing. it's just as bad, but it's also different and feels like it has some new energy.

One thing i've really wanted to be able to do since i started working on music like this, in this way, was to try to marry this method with my comfortable methods of writing more pop oriented songs. I think the closest i've come to that so far is with "Oscillate Wisely", which is coming out in January.

Hopefully, as i keep looking for inspiration down these kind of improvisational paths, i'll be able to keep it loose while i also steer it gently toward the more rigid songwriting side of things and bring the two modes of discovery together.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Skeletons in the Cloner

Mike Adams, "Skeletons In The Cloner" (acoustic version) 9/26/10 from Flannelgraph Records on Vimeo.

here's a video of me playing live at this year's celebration of Bluesanct's 15th anniversary. (shot by Jared Cheek) This song, Skeletons In The Cloner, will be on a new record called Oscillate Wisely which is being co-released by Flannelgraph / St. Ives Records on January 25. It's a very different version than the one on the record.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

deep breath

Helium from Torlando Hakes on Vimeo.

earlier this year i had the pleasure of working with my good, and very creative, friend torlando on this short piece. he wrote, directed, and animated the thing (with his partner, william) and i was responsible for the music. i had a real blast coming up with this tune, although we both agreed that it was a bit of a miss, in the end. i mainly blame that on the amount of time we had with everything. all of this was done on an extreme time budget, for the two of them, and for me. i wrote the music based only on my understanding of the plot line and a few stills that torlando sent to me via e-mail. i think we had two meetings to discuss what the music should be like before i really started working. i also did one revision from the original version i submitted before their deadline approached and we were left with what we had. the main shortfall is that i feel like i didn't quite capture the spirit of the images and the story with the music. i let it get a little too dramatic, and it came off feeling a little too sinister. i'm happy with the music overall, i just think it didn't quite get us to our goal when paired with the video. hopefully next time we'll have a little more time to develop things and let them evolve together. also, i'll hopefully be able to consort with my usual collaborators on our next project together, which i think is the best way for me to work in a situation like this. music for visual media requires much more of a balance of emotion than music that stands alone. you aren't required to paint nearly as much of the picture aurally (duh) and i think two heads are definitely better than one for getting there.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Do You Love Me?

another relic from the annals of my childhood mind. i especially love the rack-focus during the steel solo, and the curtsey at the end.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Home Stretch

Bro. Stephen and Cheyenne Mize

Two accomplishments of note for me this week. First is that the bulk of the tracking for Bro. Stephen's new record "Baptist Girls" is finished. This record seems to have come in spurts, beginning last Fall in Warsaw, then some tracking done this Spring in Bloomington and now, thanks to the lovely and very talented Cheyenne Mize, finished up in the dog days of Summer. It's been a long time coming, and it will still be quite a while before this record sees the light of day, but believe me it's worth the wait. Next we'll move on to decide where the mixing is going to happen and who's going to do it. I've had a good time working on Scott's songs. They make for a really strong melodic structure to get creative around. And, most of them are short, so there's never any threat of belaboring anything. It's a nice and easy way to work. Loads of fun.

Mastering "Oscillate Wisely"

Second accomplishment this week (which actually had very little to with me) is that the mastering for my solo record is complete. This record has been about a year-and-a-half in the making. We did the mastering this week with Eric Day at Sleepwalk Recording here in Bloomington. Adam and Eric really impressed me with the amount of life they breathed into these songs and the amount of TLC they spent mixing and mastering this thing. I couldn't be happier with the results or more grateful for these two bums. Treat your friends nice, they probably deserve it. This record should be coming out relatively soon.

And finally in the sad news (for me) category I'm sorry to say that my good friend Adam Jessup, who engineered the first Bro. Steve session, and entirely mixed Oscillate Wisely, just left Indiana today for the great state of Texas. He's become a great friend of mine over the last 2 1/2 years that we've briefly known each other and I'm heartbroken to see him go. I've relied heavily on him professionally and creatively and he'll be sorely missed. I'm sure we'll work together again, but for now, best of luck to Adam and Stephanie.

Monday, July 5, 2010

i'll say she is

this is beautiful.

this is comical.

this is wild. watch the whole thing.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

the winner loses all

Here are three things i've been very interested in this week:

First is this George Jones song. Namely, this video and performance of this song. It's a really catchy tune that absolutely infects my brain. Apparently, it's done that to millions of people over the years...but I am one sucker that falls prey to it's trappings. Concerning the video, that make-up job on GJ makes him look like a corpse that crawled out of it's casket during his visitation because he forgot he had this one more tv appearance to do real quick. In a good way. I also really love his body language and the way he moves. Very unique and stylized. I'm also jealous of the drummer. Watch him go!

Second is this live bootleg of a Cass Mccombs show from sometime after "Prefection" came out. This show was recorded at the Hideout in Chicago. It had some pretty glaring phase issues when I originally obtained it, but i've fixed those best I could. There are also some interesting tuning defects, which actually adds quite a bit of character to these recordings at times. These versions of the songs are much more laid back and prettier than the originals. Not better, just different. Also, I'm totally into the intense vibrato he exercises on a couple of these performances. I don't know much about Cass Mccombs, which probably has a lot to do with why I still like his music. Musically speaking, I like the decisions he makes. Makes me want to make some decisions of my own.

Last, this song came up randomly in my headphones while I was half asleep on vacation with my family recently. At first, I had a hard time telling what language it was in (and what planet it was from). But, without waking up, the whole song started to get really clear. I was making out some of the lyrics and could begin to anticipate where the music was going. Then I fell asleep completely. I still remembered the experience in the morning, so I guessed it was worth remembering. The performance here is really awesome. Especially the diction and delivery of the lyrics. really cool.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I'm from Claypool, IN...

Where's that?

It's near extinction.

Roger Miller is one of my all-time favorites.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

before this game is over, the savior's gonna call out your name

Elephant Micah - Ambiguous Instincts by mikeadams

i've written about elephant micah on here before, but really i can't get enough of this stuff lately. here's a bootleg recording i did of joe at his "welcome home" show a few weeks ago.

i'm interested lately in the relationship between authenticity, creativity, and value. really, it's all relative, but i'm interested in what those relationships mean to me at the moment and how they inform my decisions. somehow i feel like joe's music plays a part in that debate for me.

while you're dinking around on the internet, you should check out dark dark dark's cover of joe's "wild goose chase" over at daytrotter. it's really nice.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I did not create this body

Mike Adams at his honest weight.

I'm Not Worried by mikeadams

Bad Weather by mikeadams

Last year I spent about two weeks (over the course of a month or so) recording a new solo record. The idea was to write and record an album's worth of material in a short amount of time using some new ideas, as well as some old ideas I had lying around gathering dust. The other idea was "no acoustic guitar". And another idea was that I would play every instrument on the record. Then, another idea was that once I had arranged and recorded all of the songs, I'd wash my hands of it and give it to my friend Adam to do whatever the spirit led him to do as far as mixing the record went. It's taken a long time, since we had no budget and lives to tend to, but I'm happy with the results.

These two tracks are both from that record, which is coming out in the LP format sometime later this year on Flannelgraph Records.

Monday, April 5, 2010

tell it to me in Star Wars

i definitely prefer the double bass, but this is great nonetheless.

recently had the pleasure of working with Danny Grody on the Laminar Excursion Monthly project. really a talented dude!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Pug Life

Here's an example of two things I really like getting together; Joe Pug and Daytrotter.

I met Joe Pug sometime between 2006 and 7 when our mutual friend Jeremy invited him to play at the record shop i owned at the time in our hometown. I was pretty immediately taken with Joe, mostly because he was such a sincerely nice fellow. And when he played his songs at the show, they were also very good. A year or so after that, I tuned into WIUX on my way home from work and heard Joe doing a live session in the studio. I changed course when I heard him playing and headed for the radio station so i could say hello. After the broadcast, Joe and I, along with Joe's friend and tour manager Ian headed over to the waffle house for a bite to eat. It was a real nice dinner, and I had a great time time chatting with those guys. So, that's the biography of Me and Joe Pug.

There are a few things i like about Joe's music. For one, he's a great guitar player. I kind of image Joe playing the guitar kind of like my buddy Frank plays the guitar. Not that they're SRV or anything, but I get the feeling that both of these guys are crafty guitar players because they do it all the time. Like it's a tool they use everyday, so it's kind of a second nature, and I appreciate that. Joe's also a great lyricist. He's very poetic, but I also get the impression that he's using his words to squeeze out the things he's thinking and feeling. Because of that, it feels honest to me. And I think the combination of that, plus having spent some time with Joe and thinking he's a pretty honest dude, gives his music a real cathartic quality to me. Not that i'm even paying attention to the lyrics half the time, but once in a while a line he sings will jump out at me and stick to the wall. His songs are believable, his performance is enchanting and believable, and he's a super nice guy. I wish you would listen to his songs.

And pretty much all of the qualities I've listed here about Joe are the same things i feel about and all of the folks I've interacted with over there, namely Sean and Phil. I believe they're honest, and I really appreciate what they do.

this is just a blogpost about two things i like.

Also, my friend Kalah has a tattoo of her dog Gertie that says "Pug Life"

Monday, February 22, 2010

oops, all bloopers

I've been working on some unusual collaborations lately. Unusual in the sense that I'm working closely with some people that I don't often get the chance to work closely with. It's been nice exercise, and a whole lot of fun. Some of them have been quick, as in the (eventually) 2 hour long recording session with Frank Schweikhardt yesterday for the Laminar Excursion series. Some of them are more involved, like the Sleeping Bag record i'm working on with Dave.
Hopefully, sometime soon I can post the three 30-second spots I helped Bryant with. Quick and dirty, but we have similar sensibilities, so most things went smoothly and came out sounding pretty good (albeit, nervous and out-of-tune).

for now, here's an older recording I sat in on with my main man, Jared Cheek. I played lead guitar, and so did Jared. He also wrote the song and played the organ, and/or keyboard.
Midnight at the Hills Layaway by mikeadams

Sleeping Bag drum tracking:

Oh, by the way, the Bloomington Sandwich Co. has won me over lately. Delicious sandwiches. It's a little pricey, but it's got to be. It ain't Blimpie. Plus, if you share with someone it's really not that bad. They've been giving out free samples of italian ice all week. You'd better hurry before they shut that promo down.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

sf59 bootleg

i'm really glad that someone recorded this. it's a great sounding starflyer 59 live bootleg from 2001, recorded at the door in dallas texas. 20 songs, over an hour long. half solo acoustic, half full-band. songs from silver, gold, americana, the fashion focus, everybody makes mistakes, and leave here a stranger (their newest album at the time). not to mention great live versions of ep nights and next time around. i'm a real geek for this stuff, but really it's a great recording of starflyer, arguably, at their live peak. really glad to have it.


Monday, January 4, 2010