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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