Saturday, December 27, 2008

CD Baby Editor's Pick!

CDBaby has chosen my new album, "The House We Built" as their Editor's Pick, and they are featuring it on their front page. Here's the full review:

"A confessional piano-pop album about divorce doesn’t sound like a very cheery audio affair, but thankfully this keyboard wiz (who currently performs with Miley Cyrus) has the good sense and talent to set his lyrical melancholia to bright, bouncy melodies. Behind the earnest, emotive vocal delivery and aching falsetto there is infectious optimism. Mike Schmid’s sound is reminiscent of a smoother Ben Folds Five, a more ambitious version of The Fray, or Scott Fisher if he were to use more electronic elements in his production. This album is a must-have for any fan of modern, dreamy pop-rock."
Thanks so much to the folks at CD Baby for their support!

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Friday, December 26, 2008

AMC John Wayne marathon

Cable network AMC just used my song "Lullabye (Christmas is Here)" in the promo for their annual John Wayne Christmas movie marathon. The song is available on iTunes, as part of the Snow Day EP.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Podcast Features

The first episode of F-Stop Beyond, a photographers' podcast, has featured "To Show You My Love." Check it out here. Also, the ETC podcast has featured me again, this time using "Born Yesterday." You can check that out right here. Both songs are from my "High Cost of Living" album, available on iTunes and CDBaby.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Republic Can't Feel Your Pain

"Prague...You'll come back a bug."
Grover, Kicking & Screaming

On the train from Berlin to Prague, there was a very distinct point at which we realized we were no longer in Germany. It looked like this:

In our travels to London, Amsterdam and Berlin, we had seen McDonalds, Starbucks, H&M...all the same stuff we see at home. Things weren't really that different. You could usually find someone who spoke English.

Prague, on the other hand... Prague doesn't care about you. It doesn't care that you are lost or cold or hungry. It says, "You're in the Czech Republic now, fool. Deal with it."

And we loved that about it. But not at first.

When we arrived, it was a Sunday night around 8pm-ish. The train station was dirty and filled with sketchy-looking people. We were all creeped out. So we quickly jog-walked to the exit. Above ground, the streets were empty. There was an eerie calm in the city.

We wanted out immediately. But instead, we went to dinner. At a restaurant called "People." I thought perhaps we would be on the menu.

Alas, tasty tasty food at (what I think were) reasonable prices.

In Prague, the currency is Czech Crowns, which has to be the dumbest currency ever. Want an ice cream cone? That'll be 45 crowns. Wanna see a string quartet concert? 250 crowns. I about had a heart attack when I went to the ATM and withdrew 2000 crowns (approx $120). Of course, it all starts to make more sense after a couple days.

While we definitely felt we weren't in Kansas anymore, there were a couple modern blights to remind us of home:

Day 2. During the daylight, the city was much more beautiful, and much less sketchy.

Jaco, Candice, Jamie and I decided to make our own walking tour of the city. Spotting a castle on a far-of hillside, we decided to walk. It was up a very, very tall hill, of these:

Knee Pain, Just for You!

At the top, we toured the giant castle, as well as the cathedral next door.

Took 3 Whole Weeks to Build!

After that, we walked around the city, watching painters paint on the bridge, puppeteers puppeting in shops, and the aforementioned string quartet concert. A gorgeous day. By the end, nobody wanted to leave Prague. Except me. I was too psyched about Paris!

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Early, Early Morning

Extra sleepy = extra adorable.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's That Time of Year Again!

'Tis the season to break out that festive sweater that doesn't match anything and start strewing lights over every surface you see! Hope you've started shopping (I haven't).

In honor of the holiday season, I've decorated my blog all kinds of garish colors and added holiday songs to the music player. Don't forget that my Snow Day EP is available on iTunes (link button below), and you can click on "Gift this Music" to give it to your loved ones.

Mike Schmid - Snow Day - EP

What are you doing to prepare for the holidays? Hit me with comments.

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Rockefeller Tree Lighting

Playing on the roof in the middle of Rockefeller Center can be quite an exhilarating experience. New York City is a meat locker this time of year, as we learned when we played on the roof last year in NYC. So, know that when I say "exhilarating," I mean "frozen extremities and sore throat" exhilarating.

Me. Exhilarated.

Cold, cold, fun times.

If you live on the west coast, you saw "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree":

If you live on the east coast (in certain markets only), you also saw "Full Circle":

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Ich Bin Ein Berliner

We took the Eurorail from Amsterdam to Berlin.

We headed straight to Brandenburg Gate, and started soaking in history immediately.

Okay, so neither Candice, Jaco nor I had any clue what the historical significance of this gate was. We even read the big plaque thingy. Basically, it had something to do with fighting for independence. Anyway, it was big and pretty and important.

Moving on.

We went to a "traditional German restaurant," whatever that meant. Well, that meant wieners.

And heavy, starchy weightiness in our bellies.

Imagine the digestive tornado to follow. Germans have cast-iron intestines.

We then proceeded to ride the subway everywhere.

We met some really awesome German folks, who became our new friends. Partying ensued. At one point, we had a big sing-along. The Germans sang Kate Nash, the Americans sang Third-Eye Blind (okay, well Jaco did). But everybody knew all the lyrics to Oasis. It's universal.

Eventually we found our way to a party that everybody in town seemed to be talking about. Super "underground." (Of course, how "underground" could it be if everybody was talking about it?) It was a giant dance party held in a former power plant.

Note the 3rd Floor Rocking Out

There was much dancing and frolicking and stumbling about.

On the way home, I noticed that someone had written "Someday you will be loved" on a car window:
It was late, I was not-quite-coherent, and I had only seen German written everywhere. For these reasons, I suddenly felt very emotional, and started taking approximately 973 pictures of said window. Jaco and Candice had to convince me of my lameness and pull me away from the car.

And thus the night ended.

Back to our cheap little hostel we went.

Cheap Hostel Room for Three, Please

As we were totally slumming it, Jamie wanted nothing to do with us, and rented a beautiful apartment elsewhere in Berlin. I'm sure he was having fun, but we were roughing it.

Day two: we strolled down the Berlin wall.

The Most Berlin-y Picture I've Ever Seen

Over the next two days, I decided to brush up on my German (I took a few years of it in high school, but had since forgotten much). And there was more dancing. More partying. More taking the subway all over German creation.

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Keyboard Magazine

I am featured in this month's Keyboard Magazine. The article focuses on the Miley gig, and the gear I use. You can read it online here.

The magazine is available now at newsstands everywhere.

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More On Flickr

You may not know, most of the entries on this blog contain just enough pictures to tell the story, but there are usually other (prettier) pictures.

They go on my Flickr stream (of which you can now see a preview on the right side button under the music player).

So if you're ever reading a post and want some more pictures, just click on that button to go straight to the photos, where you can look at them individually, or click "Slideshow" to get your own fullscreen pictorial tour. Hooray for technology.

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Hot Girls On Bikes

Amsterdam. Beautiful, beautiful Amsterdam.

After BBC Switch, Jaco, Candice, Jamie and I flew from London to Holland for a little time off.

We stayed on this houseboat.

Which was very exciting,

and showcased a gorgeous view at night.

The streets were full of people on bicycles, flying every which way. It seemed incredibly dangerous to me; I always felt on the verge of being mowed down by some two-wheeled maniac.

One of Jamie's good friends wrote a song about the city, called "Hot Girls on Bikes," due to the scorching hotness of said girls on said bikes. They all looked like models...whizzing past us at high speeds. Jamie was totally into it, because he just likes to look, and not actually talk to girls he finds attractive. I didn't love it as much. By the time I even noticed them, they were already gone. Somehow though, it seemed a fitting metaphor for my lovelife.

Amsterdam is all about Overwindowing

We spent 3 days walking, relaxing, eating, walking, going to museums, eating, walking, and massaging our aching feet. The Van Gogh museum was quite moving.

Our final day in town was punctuated by an extremely random and violent hailstorm, which was kinda fun.

Hail on the houseboat next door.

Then we were off to Berlin.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Beds Are For Silliness

The sweetest boy ever, subtitled for your convenience (and coherence).

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey Day, Y'all!

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all have an incredibly relaxing day, and eat way too much.

What an incredible year it's been.

I am so thankful for:

  • my amazing superboy Noah
  • my crazy surreal job
  • great friends
  • a ridiculously supportive family
What are you thankful for?

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

BBC Switch

About a month ago, when we first arrived in London, I was immediately stricken by the sheer Britishness of it all. Somehow, it was even more British than I was expecting:

The UK is a Cartoon Version of Itself.

For Real, Though.

But of course, we weren't there to sight-see; we were there to work.

We were playing a show called BBC Switch, which was aimed firmly at teens. No one over 19 in the crowd, which meant no parents, which meant a room full of crazy adolescent Brits. The energy in that room was electric, and we all had a blast.

Backstage, Kelly Osbourne interviewed Miley, surrounded by every camera in the United Kingdom...and made her do the limbo, for some unknowable reason:

Afterwards, the band went to The Defectors Weld, which has a dress code I will never understand. You are not allowed entry if you're wearing a hat. Okay, fine. So this just means they expect a certain higher level of dress, right? Well, no. You are also not allowed in if you're wearing formalwear. Wha-what? So you've got to just be right-down-the-middle then. The principal of this made me want to leave immediately. I don't wanna be anywhere that particular.

We stayed for a few drinks, and then Clay, Nadia and I left for a very special British treat:

Magnum Classic. Best Ever.

Yummy yummy ice cream.

On the way home, we saw this sign:

Anyone Wanna Take a Crack at Interpreting This One?

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Sunday, November 23, 2008


The American Music Awards took place tonight, and we spent all day hanging out at the Nokia theater waiting for them to start.

But seriously, what a blast. In the morning, we ran through the whole show. We did our little "Fly on the Wall" thing with Miley (the birthday girl turned 16 today!). We shared the stage with 30 -- yes, 30 -- dancers. That was some crazy chaotic choreography.

After we ran Miley's song, I ran back into the auditorium and watched the rest of the show. Incredible.

Beyonce blew the house down, and her dancers were cr-a-a-zay. Even during dress rehearsal, she got a standing ovation. How can they dance like that? Doesn't that hurt? I hope they have dislocation insurance.

Sarah McLachlan was lovely and perfect, Annie Lennox mesmerized us with her voice, and at the very end, Coldplay came out and checked for their song. Not only did they sound gorgeous, but as Clay (our ProTools guy) says, "y'all seem real nice."

When a tiny smattering of paper leaves fell from the ceiling, Chris Martin exclaimed, "That looks like crap! Is that all there is?" But alas, there would be more paper butterfly confetti for the real thing.

After the big runthrough, we waited in an impossibly long line for roast beef and mashed potatoes, and as I was leaving, I saw Chris Martin waiting for his own little slice of beef. He smiled at me. What a nice gent. And also, did they really have to wait in that line? Isn't there someone to fetch Coldplay some beef?

Backstage, all the Miley band members ran into people we know. The world of professional bands is pretty small, and we always see the same peeps at these shows. I ran into a couple folks, including the radiant Daphne Chen (who played violin on my newest album, "The House We Built"). Tonight, she was playing with Leona Lewis.

It's always a challenge to find ways to pass the time at these awards shows. Usually there's a lot of standing, sitting, napping and reading. But this time there was a gifting suite. We basically moved in. I got a sweater, a yoga mat, a shirt and a tie.

Then we hopped on stage, and this happened:

3 minutes later, we were done.

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Trucks & Bubbles

So recently, as you may know, I've been doing some traveling.

Last month, I spent a lot of time in Europe and took tons of pics and videos. Last week, I spent time in Washington with my beautiful and amazing son, Noah, and took lots of pics and videos. Since I wanna tell you about everything right now, I'm gonna pretend this is some kind of artsy film and intercut the two. Let's start with Noah.

For this particular visit to see him, my parents came along with me. They have only met Noah briefly twice, so this was a wonderful time for them to get to know him.

Noah has grown a lot in the the two months since I last saw him: he's running around like a champ, has become exponentially more verbal and has discovered the joys of roughhousing. He tumbles, bounces on couches and beds, and runs full-steam-ahead at the wall (this was quite alarming).

He also loves bubbles; demands them with great frequency and passion, and then dances like a drunkard in the ensuing bubble storm. It's probably the most charming thing I've ever seen.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New Player

I've added a music player to the site, so you can listen to a sampler of my songs while you read.

If you like it, you can share the player on your own site (just click the SHARE button).

If you don't like it, just hit the PAUSE button and enjoy the silence.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sweet Sixteen

We've got some catching up to do. In bits. About a month ago, we played Miley's Sweet Sixteen birthday party at Disneyland. Several thousand screaming girls dragged their moms to see Miley sing, and also saw:

  • Billy Ray rockin' it out (yay!)
  • Justin and Brandy joining in on guitar (yay!)
  • Dancers on boat floats (I was worried for their safety)
  • Mickey Mouse (pretty sure that was a girl in the suit)
  • A jumbo check presented to charity (where do they get those made?)
  • Tyra Banks being odd ("she's just being Tyra")

Real Me on Fake Ride with Fake Miley

L to R: Mike, Jaco, Billy Ray, the Kay Hanley Mime

After that show, it was off to Europe.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Synecdoche, New York

Just got back from seeing "Synecdoche, New York," Charlie Kaufman's new film. This time he directed it too. I'm a huge Kaufman fan (Eternal Sunshine is an all-time favorite) but I didn't expect to love this one as much as I did. Incredible cast plus music by Jon Brion (BONUS!) Phillip Seymour Hoffman, as usual, is lovely and sad and real.

This ambitious, surreal movie takes "meta" to a whole new level. Hysterically funny while deeply heartbreaking and thoughtful; this is by far my favorite film of the year so far. I'm going to be thinking about it for weeks. You owe it to yourself to seek this one out.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yay America!!

Sometimes, things go right. As my friend said, "tonight is truly New Years Eve."

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Saturday, November 1, 2008

All Night Yahtzee Rocks The Socks

I love my fans. They are quite a creative bunch, and I always enjoy seeing what they're up to. This video was just brought to my attention by Aaron Picar. Please to enjoy "To Show You My Love" as performed by All Night Yahtzee.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Way Way Away

Still in Europe, doing a round of promo for Miley's "Breakout" album. WiFi access has been spotty at best for the last 3 weeks here, but I've taken buckets of pictures, so plan on full disclosure when I return next week.

Until then, here's a video of a monkey waiting tables:

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I'm Still Here

Yes it's true. I have not vanished from the face of the planet (does the planet have a face?) and the rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated (I'm just a little bit dead).

In all honesty, I have just been really busy: Miley gigs, recording sessions, bingo night at the Eagles' Club... You know how it is. And the sloppy, cyanide-filled icing on the cake is I recently acquired a cold. I realize that I got a bit of a reputation as Mr. Sick Face last year (while sloshing in the petrie dish we call a "tour bus"), but this year, I haven't gotten sick since the end of said tour in February. So let's look at it like "celebrating eight months sober...from viruses."

But I assure you, the tap has not dried up (okay that sounds a little gross segueing from virus talk). New blog entries coming your way shortly. Find something to hold on to. We'll pull through this together.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Stripped Is Live!

Many thanks to my reader Shannon, who pointed out that our episode of Stripped (read my original post here) is now live at The whole band got some serious camera time, and it's quite an enjoyable, intimate show. Check it out, yo.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Beatz 'n Rhymz 'n Lame Requestz

Dear Rappers of the World,

Please, I beg of you, stop requesting that I "put my hands in the air like I just don't care." There are only 3 possible outcomes here:

  • I will not put my hands in the air, because I just don't care
  • I will not put my hands in the air, but feel guilty about it
  • I will put my hands in the air, signifying that I most certainly do care, or else I wouldn't be following your instructions
I have never in my life seen anyone throw their hands in the air in order to signify their lack of care. This does not happen.

So stop asking.

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Monday, September 8, 2008

Kosher Dumplings & Unkosher Music

I had a beautiful show at Genghis. Thanks to all the lovely folks that came out, listened, bought my new album and just generally reveled in the Jewish Chineseyness of Genghis Cohen.

Here's a pic I took from the stage during the show:

Shiny Happy People

(Pic courtesy of Robyn Horton)

With my supremely talented and supremely kind friends Andrea & Jan Stolpe.

Andrea and Jan went above and beyond the "friend call of duty," as Andrea hocked merchandise and collected cash for me, while Jan chauffeured my car around and roadied my gear offstage, so I could be free to talk to audience members afterwards. I'm grateful to have such awesome friends.

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Friday, September 5, 2008

Additional Cuteness

Here are a few more fun moments from my week with Noah: looking in the mirror, playing with hats and practicing our holler. The third and final clip is the cutest thing ever.

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

In the Pack N' Play

Ya know, just sittin' in the pack n' play, listening to the Pixies, sayin' "hi".

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See Me Live This Saturday!

Do you want to:

-Hear great new music?
-Bask in the glow of Mike Schmid (and buy his new CD)?
-Have some critically acclaimed Chinese food?
-Sit in a pew for no apparent reason and pretend you're having mixed drinks in church?

Well, boy are you in luck! You can do all these things this Saturday night at Genghis Cohen!

Mike Schmid @ Genghis Cohen
Saturday, September 6 - 8:30pm
740 N. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Everything In Its Right Place

Sometimes, you see a thing on a shelf. And that thing belongs on another shelf.

Also, toaster pastries are totally fun to play with in their shiny silver wrappers, so that's why the box was empty: they were scattered throughout the room.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Eating & Dancing

Eating is fun and dancing is fun. So why not combine them? That's certainly Noah's philosophy.

You will also see in this video, that he:
  • Loves Regina Spektor (thanks Mom!)
  • Doesn't love a water bottle in his pasta
  • Can totally do that spoon thing himself (no help needed!)
Be sure to stick around, as the dancing gets even better towards the end.

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Monday, September 1, 2008

On the Playground

Ah, the sweetie. I had an wonderful time getting to know Noah better. Early in the week, we went to a playground, and I learned that he:

  • enjoys a good jog now and then
  • can be hard to keep up with while enjoying said jog
  • is quite adept at climbing stairs and turning wheels
  • loves observing people (especially girls), and saying "hi" to them in the sweetest voice you'll ever hear
  • enjoys loud rocket balloons
  • is the most adorable thing ever created (oh wait, I already knew that one)

More video coming!

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Week-Long Hug

All this week, I've been up in Washington state (Tumwater, to be exact), visiting my sweet little Noah. He is truly a miracle, and we've been having a great time playing, eating, sleeping and playing some more. It's quite a wondrous thing to watch him experience the world. I'll post some pics and more details when I get back home.

During the custody proceedings, I'm only allowed 2-3 hours with Noah per day, so there is a lot of waiting. Which is boring. At the moment, I've actually stooped to watching MythBusters in my hotel room. This is because I've run out of fun things to do in Tumwater, of which there are about three: go to a park, go to a movie and...okay, two. I could also go for a drive at 10 miles per hour and then pull out slowly in front of oncoming traffic, which seems to be supercool around here.

Just counting the seconds till I get to see that perfect boy again.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

New Album Now On iTunes

For those of you that prefer to buy music digitally, I'm happy to announce that The House We Built is now available on iTunes for your listening pleasure. Click the button below to open iTunes.

Mike Schmid - The House We Built

And after you hear the whole album, I would love it if you would leave a review!

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Honking Fail

Hilarious. I absolutely hope this is for real.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Today's the Big Day!

Yes yes y'all. The time has come. My new album is out! It's waiting for you at CDBaby. There's a 30% discount if you buy more than one. Tell your friends!

In conjuction with my new record, I also have a brand new website! Very excited. Check it out - Thanks so much to my web designer, Sarah Camp (at Bravos Media), for her hard work to get this ready in time for release day. Kudos!

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Monday, August 18, 2008

The Teen Choice Awards

The ceremony was held at the Gibson Amphitheater at Universal Studios, and it was a veritable cornicopia of celebrities, Dippin' Dots, and fancy swag.

Mostly, we:

  • Rehearsed
  • Waited around for hours
  • Got bored
  • Ran to the theater and saw Step Brothers (no masterpiece, but a great way to waste some time)
  • Hung out in the green room (I literally rubbed elbows with Scarlett Johansson)
  • Got bored
  • Hopped on stage
  • Played the song
  • Left the building
In that time though, I saw Posh & Becks, Katharine McPhee, that long-haired dude from Lost, the Jonases (nice to see them again), LL Cool J (Nadia desperately wanted a picture with him), a bunch of teenage celebrities I've never heard of, Fergie and those Davids from Idol.

Another day at the office. Yawn.

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Connie Kim @ Tangier - Prepare to Be Amazed

Connie Kim creates some of the most beautiful and unusual music I've ever heard. Her songs conjure a world of voodoo dolls, talking fruits and circus performers, as heard through an antique victrola. She's playing Wednesday night at 8pm at Tangier in Los Feliz. I'll be on keys, melodica and glockenspiel, and we'll be joined by a string section and band. She puts on a spellbinding live show. You won't be disappointed.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008


Pete Wentz hosts a video premiere/live performance show for MTV on Friday Nights, called FNMTV (pretty clever right? Oh, "not so much?" OK). It's nice that MTV is actually playing music again, though.

We performed "7 Things" and "Fly On The Wall." It was a live broadcast, so it involved lots of pre-scrambling and then a quick blast of show, and then the inevitable let-down afterwards.

Teresa the choreographer.
She tells the dancers to jump, and they say "How high?"

My super-new, super-awesome rig, courtesy of Roland

Nate on a perch.

SuperFreakVashon attempts to protect his secret identity,
while Kay and Nadia nurse inner ear infections.

I finally landed myself in the padded room.

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Pre-Order My New Album Now!

My brand new album, The House We Built, is available for pre-order at You can purchase it now, and it will ship to you on Tuesday.

You can also hear clips of every song on the new album at! Just click on the MEDIA tab.

I am very excited about this incredibly personal project and I would love your support!

Buy the CD
MIKE SCHMID: The House We Built
click to order

Once you receive your copy of the album, let me know what you think by writing a review at CDBaby, or commenting here.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008


Miley was invited to perform on ClearChannel's Stripped, an unplugged show for radio and the internet. I'm not sure yet when it's going to air, but you can check repeatedly and obsessively till they put it up.

The show was taped in the historic Capitol Records building. While we were there that day, Aretha and Rod Stewart projects were happening in other parts of the building, and pictures of Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole lined the halls. This place is kind of a big deal.

It was an intimate show for a small audience of contest winners who flew in from all parts of the US. They were mostly young children, who were ridiculously adorable. They sat in reverent adoration of Miley, as she sang her heart out and chatted casually with the band.

I invited my parents, since they haven't been to a show in awhile.

Me and my Dad in the control room

My friends, Janie and Gary were also in town, so I invited them as well. You can read Janie's account of the taping on her blog.

Nadia and Drunken Zoolander

We had a lot of fun, and put on a good show. if I do say so myself (dusts off collar). It was a nice change to play these big pop/rock songs in a stripped-down acoustic context. It's a testament to how good the songs are, that they held up so well. Also, that grand piano I was playing had some seriously awesome ghosts in it. You could just feel the history on the ivory.

Shiny Happy People

Afterwards, Jamie (who was the Musical Director for the day, as Stacy was in NY) and I hung out in the studio and lent our ears for the mix session, which went late into the night. I was just happy they asked.

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