Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011/Black Friday Record Store Day

Hello No-Star Nation,

ONCE AGAIN it's been way too long since our last update post. But as always, there has been, and continues to be a lot going on!

First of all, all of us in Your Mighty No-Stars, and the team at Nocturnal Productions and The Sonic Vault Recording Studio wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, a Happy Holiday Season, and a very early Happy New Year! We hope you had a great time with family and friends, and remembered to give thanks for all of your blessings... especially in the US, we have so much to be thankful for. As our president so aptly put in his recent address, let's remember to try and "pay it forward" this season and this coming year.

What's been happening? Well, things have been a little slow on the live performance front, but we've been using that time to do a lot of "undercover" work on the studio, the record label, and the band. We do want to thank all of the folks that have come out to some of our shows at the end of the summer and in the early fall. We especially had a great time at Vizzi's in October. We hope to be back there real soon. Stay-tuned here and at the main website for breaking gig news and information, and be on the lookout for our club and concert tour schedule for the upcoming 2012 season.

In the interim, we've had several projects and some travel keeping us busy. Here's a bit of an update:

* Our annual Christmas show at Hess Rd. Weslyan Church is just around the corner. Hard to believe that the core of The Mighty No-Stars have been the core of the live band for this event for at least seven years now! (I _believe_ this is year number eight?)... Rehearsals are coming along nicely, and we've got some of the material that audiences have come to know and love, as well as some new surprises and guest musicians and singers for this year. Come check out the show. It's FREE, and you get to see and hear some of WNY's finest musicians playing in a _very_ different context. This is Christmas music, performed with some very special arrangements; a show that you don't want to miss. This year's shows are on December 9th and 10th, with a planned redux of our additional performance in East Aurora (E.A. Weslyan Church) on Sunday, December 11th. These are free gigs! See your No-Stars and lots more fine musicians play the sounds of the season with finesse and aplomb! 'Nuff Said? See you there!

* The Sonic Vault has been busy the last few months. We have completed a new No-Stars demo, a new original and two new covers for the next album (we keep plugging away), a video for Roots Report charter Yvonne Schmidt, and have been busy working on demos for upcoming broadcast jingle projects, as well as on-hold music and voice-over for a local business. We also have lots of plans for upcoming projects that we'll be able to tell you more about as events unfold. Stay-tuned.

* Bruce and I recently made our (what is becoming an) annual trip to Nashville for the Producers and Engineers Summit at Welcome to 1979 Recording Studio in early November. This is an AMAZING event for anyone into recording, production, music, or just plain-old technology geeks. Seriously though, I've been to a lot of workshops, seminars, and summits in my many years in the music business. This is one of the most cost-effective, informational, and fun events out there. Chris Mara and his wife Yoli put on an outstanding summit. In the past three years, we have met producers, engineers, musicians, and mastering engineers with gold and platinum all over their walls; people that have worked with bands and solo artists like REM, Led Zeppelin, Porter Wagonner, the Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, Janis Joplin, The Raconteurs, Motown Records, and on and on and on. And _all_ of these folks are extremely pleasant and approachable and willing to share what they know. Thanks again to Chris and Yoli and all of the staff, presenters, and volunteers that made this such a great event. We are already looking forward to next year! Not only did we have a chance to sit in on some great recording sessions, talk turkey with very experienced and skilled music folk, but we also toured a very in-demand mastering facility, and a _busy_ vinyl record pressing plant with a storied history (United Record Pressing). We somehow managed to get out and see some live music on the Nashville strip, and check out Ernest Tubbs' Record Store (picked-up some great stuff!). If you're into this kind of thing, you should join us in Nashville next year...

* Speaking of records, today was Black Friday/Fall Record Store Day 2011. Nocturnal Productions took part in the festivities by providing some swag for some blessed record store clientele at two locations this year-- The Record Baron in Kenmore, NY, and Replay Records in Hamden, CT. We sent almost 50 pieces to each location as give-aways to loyal customers, including the new one from Yvonne Schmidt ("Foolproof," produced by Grammy-winner Tom Hambridge), our chart-making album "Blues Power," the 80AD collection of Buffalo/WNY 80's bands called "You'll Never Work In This Town Again! Vol. 1, No Hit Wonders," an album from Australian electronic artist Aspen, and some great material from Lo-Note Records (the new one from Bunky Moon and some great Jazz from Big Octave). Watch upcoming Record Store Days for more Nocturnal Productions freebies! And thanks to The Record Baron and Replay Records for working with us on this year's promotion; check out these great stores if you get the chance... Knowledgeable, helpful, fun staff that will help you find what you want!

* We started a new arm of Nocturnal Productions Music Group this past year, devoted to helping to promote independent artists working in the genres of Blues and Jazz. We helped to get vocalist Yvonne Schmidt's record on the charts, on the web, and in-the-news. If you are an independent Blues, Roots, Americana, or Jazz artist looking for affordable promotion and publicity, get in touch; we'd love to talk over the possibilities with you.

* Just a reminder for the "season of giving": We are still taking donations for our dear friend and founding No-Stars' bassist Joel Thomas. Visit for more info. Thanks in advance for helping Joel and his family in the fight against ALS.

That's about it for now. We hope to see you at one of the upcoming Christmas shows. Check back here for more news and info.

Until then, God Bless & Good Blues,