Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Good Morning America

So the giant machine that is the Miley Cyrus production invaded Bryant Park, and New York City did not know what hit it. Thousands and thousands of young girls and their moms (I think there may have been two or three young boys) piled in, filled up the park and then continued to spill up and down the adjacent streets.

Call time was 6:30am (after rehearsing the night before), so we all yawned our way through the van ride, but by the time we ambled on stage and heard all the kids screaming for Miley, their boundless enthusiasm psyched us all up for sound check.

Isn't that THE Kay Hanley?


Running through a couple songs before the show


Checkin' the mix, checkin' the mix... Sibilance? Sibilance?


Jacozilla takes on New York


video

After the GMA fashion show, the weather, and some stupidity about "staycations" (and we waited on stage during all of this), we finally got around to Miley's segment. As always, she came out like the little pro she is and knocked the interview and concert right out of the park. She's just always on, even ridiculously early in the morning.

Hot people and their hot moves


Some girl came up and did karaoke with us

It went very smoothly. And once again, I was barely on camera for five seconds. Schmid Island is an exotic destination; most cameramen are not up for the trip. They like to stick to the safe zones, namely Jacotown and Jamieland.

The whole show was done by about 9:30am, when we should still have been in our beds, sleeping like the west coast slacker musicians we are.

Then Nadia and I walked, like, 87 blocks for some bagels.


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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Today I'm OK

My new album, "The House We Built," is coming out August 19th! But you can hear my new song, "Today I'm OK," right this second at www.myspace.com/mikeschmid.

Go ahead, judge a book by it's cover:

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Stadium of Fire

Ah, Utah: state that I never planned to visit. First we filmed our big 3D movie in Salt Lake City, and now we were performing at the Stadium of Fire 4th of July Spectacular in Provo. What a unique place. The state slogan is "Home of Mormons and Meth Labs."

Upon arrival we were greeted by the strangest street fair I've ever seen. For sale: BBQ chicken, Miley Cyrus paintings, marshmallow cannons, Mormon prophet dolls (he recites scripture when you push him!), all manner of pyrotechnics, swords and katanas, and a variety of BB guns. Jaco was eyeing the BB shotgun with laser sight - only $5!

Provo is home to a large amount of ethnic restaurants. Stacy was sure that most of them were terrible. Wandering for nearly an hour, looking in windows for any sign of authenticity, the whole band eventually decided to eschew the Mexican, Italian, and blah blah blah places, and went for the yummy smelling Indian place. It was a surprisingly tasty meal. We all left stuffed.

Afterwards, I walked around town with Nadia, the new background singer. Candice has left us, and Nadia came in to take her place. I had a nice long talk with her about life, love, god, etc. A good night.

The next day, we arrived at the stadium... OF FIRE! --(Sidenote: every time I heard the words "Stadium of Fire," I also heard a big 80's drum fill and some squealing guitars accompanying an "Eye of the Tiger"-like vocalist. STADIUM OF FIIIIIIIRE! It's EXXXXTREEEEEEME! MONSTERRRR TRUUUUUUCKS!)-- I digress.

We came. We soundchecked. We conquered.


We also tested out some giant columns -- OF FIRE.


Jamie refreshed Miley's memory on the chord progression for "I Miss You."

Some of you have also noticed that Stacy wasn't there. Well, he actually was there, just not on stage. He broke his arm playing softball, and has to sit out for six weeks. But he's still the Musical Director, and still bosses us all around. His replacement is an awesome guy named Nate, who previously played on that Rockstar TV show.

The big (drum fill) STADIUM OF FIIIIIIRE!!!!! show equaled the weirdness of the previous day's street fair. It was hosted by right-wingnut, Glen Beck, and included a performance by Blue Man Group.

Much fanfair.


Much FIIIIIIIRE!


Some flags


And fighter jet flyovers


Close call

The best part though -- during the show, the words "Stadium of Fire" came up on a screen all fiery (of course!), and then my dream came true. Out from the speakers came a huge 80's drum fill, and nearly note for note, the beautiful symphony of cheese, exactly as I heard it in my head (minus the "MONSTERRRRRR TRUUUUUUCKS!" part). I laughed for nearly a half-hour after that.

Speaking of fire, check out the hotness (L to R: Kay, Nadia)

At one point, 1300 dancers filled the field and acted out all the sports of the summer Olympics in 7 minutes.

video

Why? Umm, dunno. Just seemed like a good idea at the time.

Oh yeah, and we played some music too.

Then we had pizza and went home.


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Monday, July 21, 2008

TV Guide

You may remember this picture that I took on the tour:


It is now being featured on page 39 of the current (July 21-August 3) issue TV Guide magazine, in the cover story about Miley and her big cool life. Check it out.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Don't Forget To Set Your Tivos!

Don't forget to set your Tivos this morning for Good Morning America on ABC, where we'll be playing 3 songs. A fourth will be on their website.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mosio

Jott has been really useful, and I also wanted to tell you about another awesome site, Mosio. You send a question, either on the site, through a text message, or with your voice using Jott. Questions like "where did the custom of 'knocking on wood' come from?" Then within minutes, somebody somewhere (or a bunch of somebodies) answers your question. And you can even have the answers texted back to you if you're away from a computer. Simple and awesome.

I tested it out by asking "Where did the name Mosio come from?" And within 55 seconds, I got a text on my phone telling me that it stands for Mobile Sociology.

So, next time you're on a long road trip, arguing about which year some obscure album came out, let Mosio settle it. But make sure to place a few bets first.

You could even try asking for the meaning of life, if you want to hear a few random strangers philosophize. But, note to my mom: I doubt you'll get good results if you ask "who was that guy in that movie about the thing?"

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Jott

This blog entry is coming to you through my voice, being dictated through Jott.com, which is pretty much the coolest thing ever.

You can dictate e-mails, text messages, add stuff to your to-do list, send Tweets, etc, while driving on the freeway. Just what we all need, right?

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Tiddy Bear

There are at least ten things wrong with this.



Don't you dare order one.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Bodysnatchers

Woah. Cool.

I like machinima, but this is the first time I've seen it used to create art.


Radiohead: Bodysnatchers from Overman on Vimeo.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Back To Kazoo

When you write a song and send it off into the world, you never know how people are going to react to it, or what they're gonna do with it. Sometimes, your least favorite songs end up in TV shows and films (no one's complaining). Other times, your favorite songs end up like this:



There are actually three more videos like this. Found them while poking around YouTube. It makes me so happy to see my fans having fun with the music.

(Thanks to YouTube user claris2991 for letting me post her video.)

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The "7 Things" Shoot

Well, the video for "7 Things" is finally out for all to see. So I suppose I can talk about the shoot now.

First of all, have a look:



We showed up bright and early at the set in Hollywood. None of us had any clue what we were supposed to wear, so we showed up with suitcases full of clothes. After talking to wardrobe and narrowing down the options, and being accessorized (I got away easy with just a belt), we grabbed some breakfast from the catering truck.

Then into hair and makeup. They basically just touched up our eyes, glanced at our hair and let us go - mostly they're just around for the girls' use.

We finally made it out to the set, which was just a giant white cyc, filled only with our instruments. Brett Ratner greeted us all, and we were off to work.

Miley came out and we performed the song several times with the camera fixed in one place so they could shoot wide, medium and tight shots of Miley. The song is very fast, with a chorus that's already basically double-time, so imagine our surprise when Brett announced he wanted to shoot a few takes at 48 frames per second.

Perhaps this requires a little explanation: film is normally shot at 24fps, and as this is a breakup song, they wanted slow-motion shots of Miley smashing/breaking/ripping up stuff. So in order for the shots to play in slow-motion, we have to shoot them twice as fast. Which means, in order for us to be synced to the music, we have to play the song twice as fast. So we were trying to play basically at quadruple-speed. Imagine how goofy that looked.

So, while a chipmunked version of the song played, Miley smashed a Guitar Hero guitar, a real acoustic guitar, as well as several items she brought in.

After a couple hours of performing the song full-out, Brett asked if we were tired. Stacy responded, "Our show is pretty long, so we're used to this." They let Miley go, and brought out a few other teenage girls to stand in for Miley. And by a few, I mean piles and piles of them. The concept of the video is that all these girls are going through the same kind of nasty breakup. "They're all in it together." Okay. Nice in concept. But in execution, it meant we had to shoot the whole video about 27 more times.

Several hours went by. Girl after girl would amble up to the stage, shift into "rage" mode, and sing through the song while having a "hormone moment." Brett kept saying to us, "only two more girls," and then they'd bring some more in from the street or the sky or something. They must have had a van on Hollywood Boulevard, kidnapping tourists.

By the time we finished all the girls, we had been rocking out at double- and quadruple-time for nearly nine hours. In the early takes, we looked energized and youthful, but by the end of the day, we were looking sluggish and haggard. For a little schizophrenic fun, watch the video again, and notice them cutting back and forth between these looks.

And once we were sweaty, tousled and near death, it was time for our closeups. Yes. They routinely save these for last, when you look disasterously bad.

We only had to "play the song five more times," one for each band member to get a closeup. At this point, Stacy's back was really hurting from leaning over a drumset since dinosaurs roamed the earth. And my back and neck were feeling some serious whiplash. So, "five more times" had a torturous ring to it.

So we thrashed and rocked and knocked about for another hour (in between every shot, gear gets moved and stuff gets reset, so everything takes longer than you'd want). By the end, I was forming blisters on my thumbs, my fingernails were seriously split/ragged/bleeding, and we were all ready to drop.

Voila! Music video magic.

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