Between the Bars by Elliott Smith

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I had a friend and guitar student many years ago that first introduced me to Elliott Smith. I had heard of Elliott and his music several times from different people, and this friend was the one I finally listened to, caved, and bought everything that Elliott had released. I look back on a lot of his recommendations, and smile, because they all have remained a special location of my own heart.

Elliott in particular was a wounded and struggling soul, who carried around so much weight and shared his burden—he did what any great artist should do: become the voice of those who can’t quite eloquently articulate his/her emotions or feelings.

The man struggled with addiction, and this song, from as far as I can tell, is about being an addict, seduced by a bottle of alcohol, like a lover. Powerful words and heart in this tune. He reduced me to tears the first time I heard it back in 1998 or so.

As always, thank you to all of the Patreon supporters who are helping and allowing for me to make videos such as this one, along with all the material I have released this year. 2018 has been the best year yet in terms of the amount of music I released. I will try to do better for 2019.

If you are an active Youtube user, please feel to give me a like and subscribe to my channel, if you dig what you’re hearing. The support means a great deal to me.

New Single "The Needle of the Human Race" on August 30th 2018

My latest single "The Needle of the Human Race" will be available at all digital distribution locations on August 30th 2018.  You know the drill:  Spotify, Apple Music. iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Soundcloud, Bandcamp—all the places.

This was one of the first mixes I had completed from Patreon backers.  A special thank you to all of these people for whom of which this is all happening, because of you and your belief: Erik Gomez, Fernando Gallegos, Heather Renz, Amy Armitage, Austin, Bob Emerson, Bridget Mackiewicz, Carey Brown, Carson Fonseca, Fern Rouintree,  Brenda Matea, Ashley Thom, Jake, Janet Woodward, JayPee, John Sinambal, Joshua Jon Day, Judy and Jody Timmerman, Kelly McDonald, Lex, Matt Vitale, Megan Kaplinsky, Ron Feldman, Sarah Lim, The Luna Eclipse, Tim Grobaty, Yeggi Watts.

The song was mixed by Jon O'Brien at Music Box Studios in Fullerton, CA.  I recently had it mastered by Mark Chalecki and his amazing attention to detail that I admire a great deal.

A big thank you to all of my friends that played on this song.  Frank Reina on drums and Scott Dibble on Keys.  Most of all, thank you my friend Dave Gonzalez who played bass on this tune.  God bless him.  He passed away before having the opportunity to ever hear this song, completed—it breaks my heart to say that—it hurts even more to know that he is gone.  Then again, perhaps people such as Dave never really die, or are gone—they simply become music.  I will lean in that direction with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face.

A big thank you to my friend Ryan C Jones for the cover photo of this song.  If I remember correctly, he shot this photo on his phone.  You are such a gift Ryan and I am deeply appreciative of you, your talent, and your kindness. 

For anyone interested in Pre-Saving the song on Spotify, simply click the image above and it will put you in a place to do that.

Most of all, thank YOU (the person reading this) for finding interest in me and the music I'm making.  You validate my life and efforts.

New Single NO VACANCY released today!

Hey Everyone,

I just released a new full band single today called "No Vacancy."

Here is a link to find the song on your favorite listening platform:

http://smarturl.it/tx0xoc

It is available everywhere.  You name it.  You can listen to it there.

 

For your convenience, you can also just visit my NEW SINGLE page here on this website:

https://mikevitalemusic.com/new-single/

You can also click the album cover and it will take you to a landing page for several of the popular haunts to listen to new music (i.e. Spotify, Apple Music, etc).

Thank you to Frank Reina, Brad Cummings, Tom Bremer, Scott Dibble, Ryan Lipman, and Mark Chalecki for making art with me.

THANK YOU to everyone on Patreon for your help in releasing this new material.  I mean this with all my heart:  I can't do it without you (I tried).  This is working: what we are dong together.  I am more prolific as an artist than I have been in years because of your financial help. I have been releasing something constant and consistent every month since May 2018, because of you.

I want to take a second to thank all of these individuals especially for their continued contributions and help:  Erik Gomez, Amy Armitage, Fernando Gallegos, Heather Renz, Brandi, Bob Emerson, Joshua Jon Day, Carey Brown, and Tim Grobaty.

If you like this song, thank you.  It came from my heart.  It is my life.

 

 

New Single NO VACANCY on Tuesday July 31st 2018

 Artwork by Joshua Jon Day and Mike Vitale

Artwork by Joshua Jon Day and Mike Vitale

I'd say I'm dropping new music—but it's more like a drip—from a broken water faucet. 

I'm releasing a new full band single called NO VACANCY on Tuesday July 31st 2018.  It will be available for streaming as well as digital purchase that day on all your favorite music streaming haunts: Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, Google Play, Youtube, Soundcloud, iHeartRadio, etc.  AND if you are a really amazing person who still buys music (bless your heart) you will be able to purchase it as well on iTunes, Bandcamp, Google Play, Amazon, and every other digital retail location that is known to man.

In all honesty, this is one of my favorite songs that I have written and produced with friends.  It turned out really lovely and I am so very thankful to have had such a wonderful cast of musicians who helped to flesh out the arrangement:  Frank Reina on drums, Brad Cummings on bass, Scott Dibble on rhodes piano, and Tom Bremer on electric guitar.  A song is only as good as the people you have playing on it and I am very fortunate to be surrounded by all these beasts of badassery.

The song was mixed by Ryan Lipman and mastered by Mark Chalecki.  Thank you guys for making this sound so beautiful and pristine.  I am in awe of your talent.

Artwork was done by myself and my friend Joshua Jon Day.  I took the photograph and he helped me fashion a fabulous album cover out of it.  I really find these old neon signs to be so beautiful.

I make no allusions of being a phenom when it comes to new releases.  I cross my fingers that songs will connect with people and they will share.  This song is no exception.  However, I do try to do my part to find avenues of exposure for songs such as this.  Spotify recently started a submission process for playlists on unreleased songs, and I submitted this tune for their consideration.  Keep your fingers crossed that the curators find something to like in this song and select it for many a playlist.

Most importantly, thank you to everyone on Patreon who helps me to release this new material.  I mean this with all my heart:  I can't do it without you (I tried).  This is working: what we are dong together.  I am more prolific as an artist than I have been in years because of your financial help.  I want to take a second to thank all of these individuals especially for their continued contributions and help:  Erik Gomez, Amy Armitage, Heather Renz, Brandi, Bob Emerson, Joshua Jon Day, Carey Brown, and Tim Grobaty.

My deep and sincere gratitude for letting me do what I love to do: make music and play it.

Record Store Day Performance - Youtube

Here is a live video of me performing my song TIME MACHINE in Long Beach, CA.  This was an In-Store performance on Record Store Day, April 21st 2018, at Dyzzy on Vinyl.

If you dig it, please help me share the video!  Thanks to our very own Megan from here on Patreon, for capturing the footage and sharing it!  

If you dig this, you can find more by visiting my Youtube Channel here:  http://youtube.com/mikevitalemusic

GONE now available on Spotify, Apple Music, and all Digital Retails Locations

Today is the big day!  I have been working on releasing new music, that I produced myself, with the help of some very talented musician friends:  Frank Reina, Brad Cummings, Tom Bremer, and Anthony Castiglia.  Much of the audio was captured by either myself or Frank Reina.  The mix was done by Ryan Lipman and the mastering was handled by Mark Chalecki. Artwork is by Alper Yesiltas.

In all honesty, it has taken way too long to release this music.  On the flip side, I'm not exactly rolling in the dough, either.  Thanks to my friends on PATREON and to saving up their contributions, I was able to release this tune as well as prepare several more that I will hopefully be releasing in rapid succession (once a month) over the course of this year.  This is the first on many.

Here is a link to find several of the places where you can either purchase or stream this song:

We will be celebrating the release of this song on THURSDAY JUNE 14th at THE MINT in Los Angeles.  The show starts at 9:30PM.  My friend Marcus Von Rittberg will be performing a set at 9:30pm and I will be playing a set with Frank Reina on drums, Tom Bremer on electric guitar, and Paul Jones on bass at 10:30pm.  Tickets are available in advance for $10 here:  

June 14th 2018 - The Mint 6010 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, CA.  Music starts at 9:30PM.

Thank you to everyone for their kindness, love, and support.  I am deeply appreciative of the positive vibes and energy.

- Mike

HOUSE SHOW JUNE 2nd 2018 - YOU'RE INVITED!

I am playing a solo acoustic show celebrating the release of my new full length acoustic duo album entitled EMPTY CIRCLE

This is the third year in a row that I have played this particular backyard, and let me tell you: it's a good time and I would be honored to have you there.  Yes you.  You reading this. Here is the skinny:

 

 

Saturday June 2nd 2018

Jody and Judy Timmerman HOUSE SHOW EXTRAVAGANZA

305 Nieto Ave. Long Beach, CA

$10 suggested donation.  Music starts at 5pm.

All ages welcome and you will be surrounded by wonderful people there who are kind and polite and have a great sense of humor, so please do not feel as if you would not be welcome.  You will be, with open arms.  Trust me on that.

Here is a write up that the Long Beach Independent did to advertise for the show June 2nd 2018:

http://www.longbeachindependent.com/2018/05/listening-to-mike-vitale/

If you are interested in checking out the new acoustic album, it is available for purchase and streaming at these fine online locations:

Psst. I have a secret for you.

 Cover art by Alper Yesiltas

Cover art by Alper Yesiltas

I just released a full band single for a song called GONE.  It's with the band behind me.  It's not officially being released until Tuesday June 12th 2018 , but since you are here, and you're reading this with those beautiful eyes of yours, I thought I would share it in advance with you.  It is only available in this one place and you can stream it and purchase it here, until it is officially released in the broader digital distribution market places on June 12th (iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, etc.).  Check it out now, funk soul brother.  Right about now (click the image if you want a direct link there—yeah, that's right "I'll take you there."

Long Beach Independent

I recently had the opportunity get some press for my new  acousitc album EMPTY CIRCLE by the Long Beach Independent.  Here is a link to checkout the article below.  Thank you kindly to Jewell for the interview!

 http://www.longbeachindependent.com/2018/05/listening-to-mike-vitale/

The Jungle - Single

Make no mistake.  From here on out, this year, there will be a rapid succession of music releases.  This is for the month of May.  This is something that was originally released as a The Hawkline Monster song, before I decided to make my own life difficult and go back to using the name my parents gave me (Mike Vitale—what a douche).

With that being said, this song, as of May 26th 2018, has been added to all digital streaming and digital retail services under my own name: Mike Vitale.

I am very proud of this song.

It is a song I wrote about us. It’s about people. It’s about how we behave like complete animals, yet, want to have some sort of unique distinction above them, as if we are not one ourselves. 

Given our penchant for war and destruction, as a species, I find this to be a pertinent topic that should be discussed, even if within the confines of a song. My desire is that the more we are aware of our instinctual animal behavior and our emotional base reactions, such as aggression and fear, the more we might move beyond our reptilian brain, or what Arthur Koestler referred to as the ghost in the machine. This song features my friends Frank Reina on drums, Cory Clark on electric guitar, Brad Cummings on bass, Jesse Nason on synth, and myself on vocals, acoustic guitar and electric guitar. It was mixed by Barrett Slagle and mastered by Pete Lyman.

Here are a few digital streaming links that you can use to listen to this song:

Spotify:

https://open.spotify.com/track/0GzkZ9M7ltL9M53HXofjZx?si=V0v9cr2mT32iPx7YpuCW0A

Apple Music:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-jungle-single/1390269918

AND

Here are places where the song can be purchased:

iTunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/mike-vitale/260074369

Bandcamp:

https://mikevitalemusic.bandcamp.com/track/the-jungle

Google Play

https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Mike_Vitale_The_Jungle?id=Bata2klx4ujrvfgotft3mjryldi&hl=en

Amazon MP3

https://www.amazon.com/Jungle-Mike-Vitale/dp/B07DBHW38V/ref=sr_1_5?s=dmusic&ie=UTF8&qid=1527705217&sr=1-5-mp3-albums-bar-strip-0&keywords=mike+vitale

It exists on everything known to man for streaming services and digital purchase sites, so just let me know what you want a link to, and I'll send it to you.

I have another single that is literally about a week away from being released.  It is a full band version of the song "Gone."

No joke people.  2018 is going to be all about me playing a lot of shows and releasing a lot of music.

What I would love for you to do is to help me spread the word about these songs.  Word of mouth is king.  Please talk about them to people so that they do not die a slow death of ones and zeros on the world wide web, in obscurity.

EMPTY CIRCLE is now available on Spotify

My sense of humor had been cryogenically frozen along with Walt Disney's head.  THE GOOD NEWS: It just thawed out and it's building a theme park, being crowd sourced by Spotify royalties.  Think a cross between Dollywood and Disneyland.  Help us name the theme park in the comments below.

To open directly in Spotify App:

spotify:album:7hYN1Z5NkNlEfcuPGGQ1C7

To use a browser to open the link:

https://open.spotify.com/album/7hYN1Z5NkNlEfcuPGGQ1C7

Thank you for listening!  

EMPTY CIRCLE is now available on Apple Music

Empty Circle by Mike Vitale (that's me!), is now available for digital streaming on Apple Music.  If you are an Apple Music user, go ahead and click here to give it a listen:

 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/empty-circle/1384636182

If you're not an Apple Music, go ahead and click it anyway.  I have no idea what will happen.  Let's find out!

 

Moon

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Oh, why hello there.  Good to have you here.

So, in tandem with my last post, I'm balancing my time a lot more efficiently.

I began using a spreadsheet yesterday to help keep track of how long I work on things.  It's allowing me to do a whole bunch of different tasks all in one day—and, Presto:

Here is a mix I was working on this morning in my three hour window.  It's for a song I wrote called Moon.

The first lines of the song came from a story that my friend told me.

He was visiting an animal sanctuary populated by former circus animals who were rescued once their tenure with the circus had ended.  One animal in particular captured my interest and my sympathy.  It was an elephant.

My friend Josh told me that the elephant would take three steps forward, and then three steps back, repeatedly, for an indefinite amount of time, which was very peculiar—so much so, that he asked the person who was giving them a tour of grounds, why the elephant was behaving that way.

The tour guide said that the elephant was chained to a pole for most of its young and adult life.  The chain would allow for enough slack to take three steps forward, and then three steps back.

Three steps forward.  Three steps back.

Three steps forward.  Three steps back.

That was life for that elephant—an intelligent and beautiful creature.

While there are many elements to this song, this is one of them—and we all deserve to be free.

It is amazing how powerful a habit is.

However, outside of the context of this song, I had a lot of fun putting this together.  My friend Tom Bremer played lead guitar.  I sang and played rhythm guitar.  I also mixed the song.  I engineered this one myself too.  For audio nerds (like me), it was recorded through a Universal Audio preAMP that I've never tried before called a Twin Finity 710.  I used an AKG C414 on the lead guitar and used my AT4033 on the rhythm guitar.  Vocals were through the AT4033 as well.

It probably sounds like amateur work, but I do the best I can—and I'm learning.

I hope this finds you all smiling and well and that perhaps you my find something to like in this tune.  It has deep sentimental value to me and my life.

- Mike

Acoustic Album

Aside from all the full band material that I have been working on over the past few years, I am also nearing the completion of an acoustic album.  I'd like to share one of the tracks with you.  It's a song called EMPTY CIRCLE.  I just posted a video of it today on my Youtube Channel.

It deals with the end of my last relationship.  In hindsight, it was a good thing.  However, at the time, I felt like a small child lost in the woods at night, walking in circles, trying to find his home.

EMPTY CIRCLE
words and music by Mike Vitale

I was a table
But now I'm a rug
It's raining outside
Your shoes are covered in mud

I was a Christmas Tree
But now it's past Christmas Day
I got tossed out
With the crumpled gift wrap you throw away

It was fun while it lasted
But now I'm left here feeling slanted

Walking in footsteps
Don't seem to be mine
A snowy path of prints
Through a forest of pine

Off in the distance
There's a vanity light
It shines through the window
Of my home at night

Wearing the same clothes I wore yesterday
Chill of snow numbs my pain

As this crooked line
Becomes and empty circle
I was opine
But now I'm non-verbal

I am a footnote
To your storied life
I'm all alone
You're someone else's wife

A tiny table
Place setting for one
The holiday supper
Has already begun

As a child lost in the woods at night
I search for a pathway towards the light

As this crooked line
Became and empty circle
I was opine
But now I'm non-verbal