Brad Spurgeon's Blog

A world of music, auto racing, travel, literature, chess, wining, dining and other crazy thoughts….

“Borderline” – Fifth, and final, Song and Video of the Melodium Sessions in Montreuil

August 17, 2014
bradspurgeon

Borderline music video

Borderline music video

PARIS – In recent months, I posted my first four videos and recordings of the songs I recorded in the studio in February, in the posts for “When You’re Gone Away” and my song “Crazy Lady”, and “Mad World,” the Tears for Fears song,
and “When You’re Gone Away,” another of my songs. As I said in the previous posts, I plan to do different style videos each time, and today, with my final song from the session, “Borderline,” I have again added several new elements as well:

As with the others of the five-part series of songs I recorded at the Melodium Studio in Montreuil outside Paris in February, I recorded this one with my favorite lead player, Félix Beguin and drummer, Jeremy Norris – both of whom are in two excellent Paris bands, The Burnin’ Jacks and the Velvet Veins – and also with Scott Bricklin – a Paris expat musician originally from Philadelphia – on bass. Together, as I mentioned, we spent three days in the studio.

The beauty of doing these recording sessions was the incredible cohesion and talent I was surrounded with in Félix, Jeremy and Scott and their wonderful arrangements and Félix’s mixing. All three have worked together extensively, and often at the incredible Melodium Studios, and of course, I have gigged with Félix regularly in the last five years. So it was all just so together.

So with the above song, “Borderline,” I complete the Melodium session recordings. But I still have a couple of other recent recordings and videos to add in the coming months – including a new song I just finished writing last week – so I’ll keep you posted.

“If I Only Had You” – Fourth Song and Video of the Melodium Sessions in Montreuil

June 1, 2014
bradspurgeon

Brad Spurgeon - If I Only Had You

Brad Spurgeon – If I Only Had You

PARIS – In recent weeks, I posted my first three videos and recordings of the songs I recorded in the studio in February, in the post for “When You’re Gone Away.” and my song “Crazy Lady” and “Mad World,” the Tears for Fears song.
Today, from Paris, I am posting my fourth video and song recording, another of my own songs, “When You’re Gone Away”. As I said in the previous posts, I plan to do different style videos each time, and this one is has a completely new element in it – a guest vocalist and…a “co-star” in the video, I might call her.

But this song is also quite different from my other songs, in being the only song that I actually wrote at the request of another musician. It was an interesting exercise, because I wanted to write for this other person’s style, but also put my own spin to it, and equally, make sure that the song was completely true to my own heart. When it turned out that the other musician – actually, a duo – said they liked it but never acted on it, I decided to record it myself….

As with the others of the five-part series of the five songs I recorded at the Melodium Studio in Montreuil outside Paris in February, I recorded with my favorite lead player, Félix Beguin and drummer, Jeremy Norris – both of whom are in two excellent Paris bands, The Burnin’ Jacks and the Velvet Veins – and also with Scott Bricklin – a Paris expat musician originally from Philadelphia – on bass. Together, as I mentioned, we spent three days in the studio.

In the coming weeks I plan to finish this cycle of videos with my final song, “Borderline,” and then I plan to put out a CD of the whole, as well as others of my songs.

The beauty of doing these recording sessions was the incredible cohesion and talent I was surrounded with in Félix, Jeremy and Scott and their wonderful arrangements and Félix’s mixing. All three have worked together extensively, and often at the incredible Melodium Studios, and of course, I have gigged with Félix regularly in the last five years. So it was all just so together.

“Mad World” – Third Song and Video of the Melodium Sessions in Montreuil

May 9, 2014
bradspurgeon

Mad World (Brad Spurgeon)

Mad World (Brad Spurgeon)

BARCELONA – In recent weeks, I posted my first two videos and recordings of the songs I recorded in the studio in February, in the post for “When You’re Gone Away.” and my song “Crazy Lady.”
Today, from Barcelona – although the video was filmed in Paris – I am posting my third video and song recording, which is the only cover song I did during the session, for one of my regular covers: Mad World. As I said in the previous posts, I plan to do different style videos each time, and this one is definitely a slightly madder video than the previous two – as befits a song like “Mad World,” by Tears for Fears (later covered brilliantly by Gary Jules).

As with the others of the five-part series of the five songs I recorded at the Melodium Studio in Montreuil outside Paris in February, I recorded with my favorite lead player, Félix Beguin and drummer, Jeremy Norris – both of whom are in two excellent Paris bands, The Burnin’ Jacks and the Velvet Veins – and also with Scott Bricklin – a Paris expat musician originally from Philadelphia – on bass. Together, as I mentioned, we spent three days in the studio.

In the coming weeks I plan to continue making videos of these songs and releasing them, and then I plan to put out a CD of the whole, as well as others of my songs (and a wicked cover song). The videos, as I said, will all be quite different; the first one I did while walking around Paris and being filmed by Raphaëlle. With “Crazy Lady,” I decided to have a completely different kind of fun doing a completely different kind of video to illustrate my song, drawing on black and white films from the public domain to try to illustrate this song with a story to tell that is a little tricky to illustrate otherwise! With “Mad World,” it too is in Paris, but I decided to add a few mad aspects of my own personality – as you will see – and some mad places in Paris.

The beauty of doing these recording sessions was the incredible cohesion and talent I was surrounded with in Félix, Jeremy and Scott and their wonderful arrangements and Félix’s mixing. All three have worked together extensively, and often at the incredible Melodium Studios, and of course, I have gigged with Félix regularly in the last five years. So it was all just so together.

“Crazy Lady” – Second Song and Video of the Melodium Sessions in Montreuil & Mysterious Elsewheres

April 10, 2014
bradspurgeon

Crazy Lady

Crazy Lady

PARIS – A couple of weeks ago, while in Kuala Lumpur, I posted my first video and recording of the songs I recorded in the studio in February, in the post for “When You’re Gone Away.” Since then I have been working on the second video while I was in KL, in Bahrain and now in Paris (where I’m back again for a few days before taking off for Shanghai). I’ve now finished that second video of the five-part series of the five songs I recorded at the Melodium Studio in Montreuil outside Paris in February, I’m talking about the video for my song “Crazy Lady.” As with “When You’re Gone Away,” I recorded “Crazy Lady” along with my favorite lead player, Félix Beguin and drummer, Jeremy Norris – both of whom are in two excellent Paris bands, The Burnin’ Jacks and the Velvet Veins – and also with Scott Bricklin – a Paris expat musician originally from Philadelphia – on bass. Together, as I mentioned, we recorded five songs.

In the coming weeks I plan to continue making videos of these songs and releasing them, and then I plan to put out a CD of the whole, as well as others of my songs (and a wicked cover song). The videos will all be quite different; the first one I did while walking around Paris and being filmed by Raphaëlle, and adding two bits of “mystery footage” from the past and from elsewhere in the world that I took – see if you can spot it! This time, with “Crazy Lady,” I decided to have a completely different kind of fun doing a completely different kind of video to illustrate my song, drawing on black and white films from the public domain to try to illustrate this song with a story to tell that is a little tricky to illustrate otherwise!

The beauty of doing these recording sessions was the incredible cohesion and talent I was surrounded with in Félix, Jeremy and Scott and their wonderful arrangements and Félix’s mixing. All three have worked together extensively, and often at the incredible Melodium Studios, and of course, I have gigged with Félix regularly in the last five years. So it was all just so together.

“When You’re Gone Away” – First Song and Video of the Melodium Sessions in Montreuil, Paris and a Mysterious Elsewhere

March 26, 2014
bradspurgeon

When You're Gone Away

When You’re Gone Away

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – This post has nothing to do with my location of sitting in a hotel room high above hot and humid Kuala Lumpur, where I will be working and playing music for the next week…except perhaps that high in the air (although not high in the head) is also where I was when I edited this music video of the first of my songs from the Melodium recording sessions last month in Montreuil.

In fact, yes, this post is all about a chain of events that started at the Melodium Studio in Montreuil outside Paris last month, that continued in the streets of Paris’s Latin Quarter over the weekend and that I finalized on my flight to Kuala Lumpur from Paris last night. I’m talking about the video that I put together for my song “When You’re Gone Away,” the music of which I recorded in Montreuil last month, and that I filmed in Paris over the weekend and that I edited on the flight and uploaded in my hotel room in Kuala Lumpur.

That actually seems a fitting chain of events for my song called, “When You’re Gone Away,” that I recorded along with my favorite lead player, Félix Beguin and drummer, Jeremy Norris – both of whom are in two excellent Paris bands, The Burnin’ Jacks and the Velvet Veins – and also with Scott Bricklin – a Paris expat musician originally from Philadelphia – on bass. Together, as I mentioned in a blog item about my session at Melodium Studios, we recorded five songs, of which “When You’re Gone Away,” is one.

In the coming weeks I plan to continue making videos of these songs and releasing them, and then I plan to put out a CD of the whole, as well as others of my songs (and a wicked cover song). The videos will all be quite different; this one was fun, as I did it walking around Paris and being filmed by Raphaëlle, and adding two bits of “mystery footage” from the past and from elsewhere in the world that I took – see if you can spot it!

The beauty of doing these recording sessions was the incredible cohesion and talent I was surrounded with in Félix, Jeremy and Scott and their wonderful arrangements and Félix’s mixing. All three have worked together extensively, and often at the incredible Melodium Studios, and of course, I have gigged with Félix regularly in the last five years. So it was all just so together.

In the Recording Studio at Melodium with Félix and Gang….

February 14, 2014
bradspurgeon

Melodium Studios

Melodium Studios

MONTREUIL – There has been a big blank hole on this blog for the past several days as I have just spent four of the best and most important days of my life, rehearsing for a day, and then spending three days in a studio recording five songs, four of mine and a cover. That may sound like hyperbole or exaggeration, but really, I mean it. It was certainly four of the most enriching days I’ve had, and I am hugely impatient to show the results, but I won’t do that until the five tracks are all properly mixed. So in the meantime, just a quick post to say what I was up to.

It was Part II of a project I started nearly four years ago when I went into the studio to record four songs as part of my worldwide open mic and musical adventure, another media aspect to my open mic film, open mic book and this blog – i.e., the music I have written and been singing during this period. My goal is to do a full CD, and I now have nine songs recorded in full band mode, and I will add one or two in solo acoustic and maybe one live from an open mic somewhere…. I will put up links below to the first four recordings, from 2010, which I recorded live in the Point Ephemere in Paris. As soon as I have the mixes to the stuff I did this week, I’ll make that available somehow too!
Melodium Studios
But for the moment, a bit more on this week: Aside from my own guitar playing, singing and songwriting, another one thing that ties together the recording sessions from 2010 and this week is the presence on the tracks of the lead guitar player, Félix Beguin. I have spoken about Félix frequently on this blog, as he is also the lead guitarist of the bands The Burnin’ Jacks and Velvet Veins. These are two fabulous up-and-coming young French bands, the former of which had one of its songs featured on the Rock&Folk compilation CD last month. Raphaëlle – whose video “Mississippi” I put up last week – also contributed chorus and a fabulous vocal part on one of the songs.
setting up the leslie
And anyway, this time, Félix did much, much more than just play lead guitar on my songs as he did three and a half years ago – by the way, we first played together at the Lizard Lounge open mic in November 2008! – as he played lead and keyboards and did some backup vocals, and he engineered, recorded and even basically produced the five songs we did this week, along with Scott Bricklin and Jeremy Norris. Norris is the drummer for both of the aforementioned groups, and Bricklin is an American musician from Philadelphia who has lived in France for a decade now, and who has an illustrious history of making music – he is a multi-instrumentalist, and a singer-songwriter (I have one of his albums on which he plays basically all instruments).
Melodium with 2 Rockers
Working with these three guys was superb in many ways, but not the least interesting aspect to it – which helps in the music – is that they are all used to working not only with each other, but also at the studio where we recorded: Melodium Studios in Montreuil, which is a funky neighborhood located just outside of Paris. Félix and Scott are both regular engineers at the studio, so everyone knew each other and the working environment, and it paid off in the music. In fact, it was three days of bliss in this amazing, spacious cellar studio that has several rooms, some really nice equipment and a warm and highly competent staff.

The Amazing Leslie Speaker at the Melodium Studios in Montreuil

One of the high moments in terms of the equipment was when they pulled out the absolutely wonderful antique Leslie speaker and ran the keyboards through that, and then later ran some vocal chorus stuff through it like the Beatles first did in the mid-60s. The Leslie, devised in the 1930s, uses a rotating fan-like device to distort the sound waves and give it a sound like an organ.

Together, we recorded my songs “Borderline,” “Crazy Lady,” “When You’re Gone Away,” and “If I Only Had You.” For the cover song, we recorded “Mad World,” which I have been playing for a few years, and notably, with Félix for about four years on occasion. But this time, this is a monster of a cover song, unlike any version I know of “Mad World,” and I can’t wait to show it here!
my J-200 and the singing space at the Melodium studios
In the meantime, here are the songs I recorded live at the Point Ephemere nearly four years ago. Believe me, the quality of the new ones is incomparable. (I feel like I’m boasting without showing the result – which is an empty boast – but I’m sooooo excited!)


Lighter, shrimpy, easy to download but less good quality file versions of my 2010 live recordings at the Point Ephemere in Paris. These are NOT the studio recordings of five different songs that I just did at the Melodium, and on these recordings Félix played lead on “Memories” and “Except Her Heart,” while Laurent Zarby played lead on “Let Me Know,” and “Since You Left Me”:

Memories

Except Her Heart

Let Me Know

Since You Left Me

Big, fat, heavy, high bandwidth better quality file versions:

Memories

Except Her Heart

Let Me Know

Since You Left Me

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