The “Band Dynamic”

Thinking a lot lately about the “band dynamic” as I’ll call it – that certain magic that happens with a band as opposed to working solo.  Writing and rehearsing a whole bunch of new songs over the past few months with my brother Randy over at Bedrock rehearsal studios in Echo Park here in LA, I’m realizing how amazing the band dynamic really is.  These past few months has been one of the most creative periods ever for me and working again in a band environment,  I’m coming up with ideas that I know I never would have come up with alone, going places musically that I’ve never been before.   I’d call our new sound “danceable indie pop” – much more upbeat, rhythmic and contemporary than the songs on Shine.  Seeing Tears For Fears this past Saturday at the beautiful Wiltern Theater really inspired me – what an amazing night!  TFF has always been one of my favorite bands and I would go so far as to say 1985’s Songs From The Big Chair is arguably the pinnacle of 80s pop music.  Plus, lately I have a new appreciation of the depth of their 1989 Seeds Of Love album (“Advice For The Young At Heart” is one of my favorite songs of all time).  Roland and Curt have released solo projects, but they never approached the magic of the music they’ve made together.  A solo Mick Jagger never came close to the Stones, solo Beatles never reached the heights of the Beatles together and on and on and on.  Something happens in the band dynamic that is intangible, yet powerfully magical.  I’m understanding this better now that I’m in it again.  So, we carry on writing and arranging with the goal of recording soon.  Look out 2012!

My album Shine is gaining steam at Internet radio.  My song “Shine” is currently featured on Dan Herman’s Radio Crystal Blue Novus Ordo Internet radio show and also on Ed’s Mixed Bag podcast (Expect the Unexpected – Episode 258).  My song “The Promise” is featured on the latest Podcast for Peace (#302)!   I’ve been gaining fans on Facebook, Twitter (over 1000 followers!) and Jango.  Finally, congratulations to Adele for 10 million album sales worldwide for 21.  Wow!  Here’s another new photo of me courtesy of Amber Garvey of The Violet Lights.  Until next time…

Still Shining…

Foster The People’s “Pumped Up Kicks” sounds like nothing on Top 40 radio – what a breath of fresh air and what a surprise to hear this track on KIIS-FM here in LA.  It’s going to be a hot week here in LA – finally getting into the 90s, so I’ll do what I can to stay cool!  We’re working with Jango.com which is an Internet radio site that lets new artists place their songs alongside well-known artists.  We’re focusing on four tracks from my album – “Time To Believe,” “Shine,” “The Promise” and “Another Chance.”  I can be found under “Jeff Johnson (Pop)” on Jango.   Jango is a good way for artists to determine which songs to focus on.  If any of my fans have suggestions on which is their favorite song on Shine, I’d love to know!

On my website, we’re offering a free download of “Another Chance” if you sign up for my email list, so sign up!  In fact, “Another Chance” was added to Internet radio station MullyRadio.com over the weekend.  My brother Randy and I are working every weekend over at Bedrock in Echo Park here in LA on new songs and it’s been an amazing experience.  I’m really excited about the new songs and the new more rhythmic indie pop direction we’re going in.  Listening right now to Hall & Oates “Out Of Touch” from 1984 – what a great track – I think my favorite of theirs.   Here’s something amazing – I’m closing in on 1000 followers on Twitter!  Finally, here’s another cool new photo of me taken by Amber Garvey from LA indie band The Violet Lights.  As they say…click to enlarge!

Tuesday’s The Big Day!

Listening tonight to Peter, Bjorn and John’s Writer’s Block album. I love their 80s styled indie pop, especially “Young Folks” and “Let’s Call It Off.” Been working a lot lately getting ready for the Tuesday release of my album Shine, but also working on some amazing new songs with my brother Randy. We’ve been rehearsing over at Bedock in Echo Park here in LA for the last four Sundays and we’ve come up 13 new songs! It’s me on my vintage 80s Juno 106 synth, Randy on Bass and our new Arturia Spark drum machine. Looks like my next recording will be less A/C and more rhythmic indie pop. I’ll keep you all posted!

Went to lunch in Chinatown at Pho 87 with some friends today. I’ve been going to Pho 87 for more than 10 years practically every week and I always get the grilled pork and vermicelli bowl. It’s LA’s best kept secret…until now (I guess)! For Shine, I have an upcoming blog feature interview coming soon on Such Cool Stuff and I did fun interview with Bruce Oliver for his online radio show Cruise With Bruce which will air soon. Special thanks to everyone who pre-ordered Shine on Amazon and iTunes. I really do appreciate the support!  You can now listen to “Time To Believe” – the lead track from Shine on my YouTube channel. Finally, here’s another cool new photo of me taken by Amber Garvey from LA indie band The Violet Lights in front of a graffiti wall near Melrose Ave.  Until next time…

Jeff in front of Melrose Graffiti Wall

 

Getting Ready For The July 26 Release Of Shine

Well, I’m blogging finally. Most of my focus lately has been on the upcoming release of my album Shine on July 26. I’m finally getting deep into the social media with Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, ReverbNation, last.fm and on and on. It’s amazing how much the music business has changed since my last release in 1995 (my Top 10 dance hit “How Deep Is Your Love”) and how important social media is now. Let’s hope it doesn’t take me another 16 years for my next album!

Despite the challenges in the music business, I think it’s a great time to be an independent artist. I’m working with a great New York PR company – Ariel Publicity – to help market Shine in the cyber world. In just a few days since my campaign began, my songs “The Promise” and “Another Chance” have been featured on two radio podcasts (The Edge 99.3 in Australia and The Indie Music Sampler in Oregon). Quite a thrill to hear these songs on the radio! I do appreciate the new fans who are liking my new music. I want to especially thank all the great musicians who played on Shine and, of course, the “man with the golden ears” Carmen Grillo – my co-producer and engineer. If you’ve read my bio, you’ll know that my music career began writing songs and playing in bands with my brother Randy when we were kids back in the suburbs of Chicago. Well, after a more than 20 year creative separation, we’re back together working on new music here in LA! More on this later. Music I’ve been listening to this week – “Someone Like You” – Adele, “Advice For The Young At Heart” – Tears For Fears, “I Feel For You” – Prince, “Come Down In Time” – Elton John, “Inner City Blues” – Marvin Gaye and on and on. Finally, here’s a cool new photo of me taken by Amber Garvey from LA indie band The Violet Lights. That’s all for now. I will live to blog another day…

Jeff with flowers in Echo Park


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