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Entries on the topic of “Uncommon Ground” 4 results

Clarence Ewing: The Million Year Trip writesSongwriter Showcase: Anthony Cozzi of Radar Eyes, Performing this Friday at Uncommon Ground

Anthony Cozzi of Chicago band Radar Eyes will be one of the performers taking the stage at Homeroom Chicago's Songwriter Showcase this Friday at Uncommon Ground to discuss his music and sonwriting process. Billie Howard had a chance to ask Anthony some questions beforehand...

Who were some of your earliest musical influences?

The earliest musical influences I can remember were the first 45's I had as a kid in the mid '80s. Theses included Tom Petty "Dont Do Me Like That," John Fogerty "Centerfield" and Micheal Jackson "Thriller" LP. I would stand on my head in my bedroom and listen to these records over and over. I soon "borrowed" a Beatles greatest hits tape from my Dad and that became a fast favorite. A little later in my early teenage years I traded a couple of my old Beatles/Stones tapes for three albums that I had never heard before but would change the way I listened to music from then on - Minor Threat - "Complete Discography", Jane's Addiction - "Self Titled"(XXX), and Fugazi "13 songs." The Minor Threat album took about ten listens just to understand what was even happening. The recording and performance on the album is so ferocious, I had never heard anything like it. Then I started to read the lyric sheet and discovered there was a community behind the music.

The Fugazi album was a continuation of what Ian started in Minor Threat but with more emotions than anger as well as dynamics in the instrumentation. The Jane's Addiction album was so weird to me at the time Perry's voice wrapped around the amazing rhythm section and Dave Navarro's spacey, melodic, but heavy guitar - it was like alien hippie punk. But, more importantly what this album did was to introduce me to Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground via the cover of "Rock n' Roll." One other album I bought around this time was Ramones "Loco Live," I basically learned to play guitar to this CD.

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Topics: anthony cozzi, radar eyes, songwriter showcase, uncommon ground

SKaiser writesSongwriter Showcase: James Deia of Blasted Diplomats, Performing this Friday at Uncommon Ground

James Deia of Blasted Diplomats will perform a solo set as part of Homeroom Chicago's Songwriter Showcase. Playing music since high school and a native of Chicago, Deia brings blue-collar rock and roll to life. Head down to Uncommon Ground and check him out this Friday, October 10. In the meantime, here's some Q&A between James Deia and Billie Howard.

1. How did you begin writing songs?

I'd always write riffs on guitar or piano when I was young and would scribble lyrics on napkins or trapper keepers. I had high school bands that never made it out of the basement but shortly before Blasted Diplomats began I was concentrating on completing actual 'songs'. It was nice timing when we started because I had a ton of songs sitting around.

2. How has being in a band (Blasted Diplomats) with other talented songwriters changed your own songs?

We're lucky because we all contribute songs so there's never a shortage of material. If I think something I'm working on is undercooked, someone else can suggest an idea. Then I'll do the opposite of that idea or something. But really, every songwriter should have a sounding board.

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Topics: blasted diplomats, james deia, songwriter showcase, uncommon ground

SKaiser writesHomeroom Chicago Songwriter Showcase featuring Che Arthur of Pink Avalanche this Friday

It's practically the eve of Pink Avalanche's The Luminous Heart of Nowhere release (November 18) and the Homeroom Chicago Songwriter Showcase is featuring the group's guitarist/vocalist, Che Arthur. Staying true to Midwestern roots means slipping in for a listen, folks. He'll be at Uncommon Ground this Friday, October 10. Here's a quick chat with Che Arthur done by Billie Howard.

1. Who were some of your earliest musical influences?

In the early 80s, when I started playing guitar as a 12 year old, I’d say my influences were probably the pop of the time - Prince, etc.  My guitar teacher at the time would show me songs by Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, and other classic hard rock stuff, and I’d say by 13 or 14 that stuff was influential for me.  Then around the same time (ages 12-14) I was discovering punk, which eventually became a bigger influence on my writing (and my life) than all of the other stuff. 

2. How has your songwriting changed over the years?

It used to be words first.  I used to always carry a notebook around with me, and I’d fill it with whatever thoughts/lines/ideas crossed my mind.  I’d then pick from that stuff after writing music, finding lines that fit the mood of the music I’d come up with.  Now it’s very much the opposite.  Now I typically come up with a bunch of music, then as that stuff takes shape I sit with it and think of lyrics.  Sometimes I’ll have a few lines floating around in a notebook somewhere and i’ll build from there, but it almost always comes after the music’s written.  Now, with the most recent Pink Avalanche record, I’d say probably only a third of those songs had lyrics when we got to the studio to record them.

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Topics: che arthur, pink avalanche, songwriter showcase, uncommon ground

SKaiser writesMaigin Blank of Whales, Performing this Friday at Uncommon Ground

Maigin Blank of  Whales, is part of the Homeroom Chicago Songwriter Showcase this Friday, October 10. It's easy to fall away in the sophisticated rock, heavenly pop, sound of Maigin Blank's vocals. The event is at Uncommon Ground (3800 N Clark St). Get an inside scoop on Maigin Blank here at CHIRP Radio! Interview done by Billie Howard.

1. Who are some of your earliest musical influences?

Around 7 or 9 years of age, I was influenced by very awful pop music of the likes of Debbie Gibson and Madonna, etc. The only cool thing that I can remember is that I was also into Julee Cruise after seeing her on Twin Peaks (television show), when my sister or dad would be watching it (I couldn't figure out what was going on though.) I even traded my sister for her copy of "Twin Peaks soundtrack" on cassette, mainly to listen to "Into the Night" and "The Nightingale". It wasn't until my formative pre-teen years when I finally got into the "better side" of music. My family lived in New Zealand at the time and it was the early 90's, so "independent" music was accessible and much more appreciated.

2. How has your songwriting changed over the years?

I used to be very fixated on writing "honest" lyrics, and that the lyrics had to drive the song. I think now it really is all about having a catchy and interesting melody. If you have that, you can have any kind of lyric you want.

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Topics: maigin blank, songwr, uncommon ground, whales