The Incredible Shrinking Brain (Acoustic)

This song has been proven popular amongst strangers. Maybe you’ll like it? Are you a stranger? I don’t want your candy. No, I’m not going to hop in your car with you. This is called The Incredible Shrinking Brain:

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THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING BRAIN
words and music by Mike Vitale

I feel like a mime with a painted on sad face touching an invisible wall
And it’s a crime I can’t see this behind my shit talk fueled by jealousy and alcohol
Sure, I’m overly critical, but by now I should know better
Maybe I’m just too hard on myself and it doesn't really matter

The longer I live the less I know for sure
When I was a younger man my certainty was premature
There’s all these abstract explanations I could conjure up in vain
But I’m the man with the incredible shrinking brain

Do you feel like an actor dressed up in black face? 
We’re really just canaries in a coal mine
Carried out the shaft like a suitcase, soot trace, smeared across our face and brow
War on race, preference, sex, and creed are indelible 
and noxious as the fumes
And right before we lose our consciousness 
collective conscience looms

The longer we live the less we know for sure
When we were a younger brood our certainty was premature
There’s all these abstract explanations I could conjure up in vain
But we’re people with incredible shrinking brains

Create the fertile furrows from a farmer’s plough
Two fathoms deep shouted across the bow
"Anger and hatred are caustic to the vessel in which its stored,
Far more than to anything on which its poured."

The longer we live the less we know for sure
When we were a younger brood our certainty was premature
There’s all these abstract explanations we could conjure up in vain
But we’re people with incredible shrinking brains

Empty Circle (Live From My Living Room)

Here is a live video of me performing a tune about being dumped right after Christmas.  Hey, there is never a good time to get dumped.  It might as well be after Christmas.

I am very proud of this song.  It's a piece of my life.  Perhaps you might relate to it.  Perhaps not.  It is without a doubt, one of my favorite songs that I have written.

As always, thank you so very much for making this such a special year for me.  

I am working very diligently on my social media presence at the moment.  Namely Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, so if you feel like connecting on any of those formats, I would be thrilled. Links can be found at the very bottom of this message.  Also, if any of this stuff that I am posting is good, please share.  I would be honored.  Word of mouth.  On social media.  Whatever you fancy.  Sharing is the biggest and best thing you can ever do for me.

All my love,

Mike

Live at The Hotel Cafe on September 20th 2018

Hey Friends!

Tom Bremer and I are going to be playing an acoustic duo set on the Hotel Cafe main stage this Thursday September 20th 2018 at 7pm. We’re playing in support of the incomparable Matt Andersen who is out on tour. We would be thrilled to have you there.

Advanced tickets are available on the Hotel Cafe website. Here is a link to purchase:

https://www.hotelcafe.com/tickets/?s=events_view&id=7958

If you have never had the opportunity to hear Tom and I play together, this would be the perfect opportunity for you to do so. We have been playing together now for several years and used to play quite frequently together at LAX, in the Bradley Terminal for international travel passengers.

Tom is the second guitar player on most of my acoustic album I released in May of this year called EMPTY CIRCLE:

http://smarturl.it/lvmdy2

Here is a video we did last week together. It’s a cover of The Grateful Dead classic “Friend of the Devil.”

I hope this finds you all in good spirits (I’m personally in pajamas) and that we might be able to share some vibes with you on Thursday night at 7pm.

- Mike

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.

Ernest Cline

Man, just when I thought balancing my time was easy—I realize, it's not.  A piece of advice for myself: don't listen to other people who claim to be experts on things.  They're not.  It reminds me of an Ernest Cline video that I really like called "Dance Monkey Dance."  A matter of fact, here it is:

I posted this video many many years ago on all of my social media because the message felt real and true to me.  To this day, I still watch this video and it resonates with me.

We must all learn to listen to our own hearts.

This year, Ernest Cline has a new movie out called "Ready Player One."  It is being directed by one of my childhood heroes: Steven Spielberg.  Ernest is good art and good art speaks for itself.

I am a small grain of sand supporting the weight of his accomplishments as an artist, and I'm proud to be that.

- Mike

Rereleasing Old New Things?

You know, there is nothing quite like rereleasing new old things with a new old name and then trying to act like they're new.  They're not—yet they are depending on who you are.  

While I'm sure that less than one percent of the total human population knows me, there is also 99.5% of a human population that doesn't even know I exist.  I'm targeting them, but I'm writing to you, the .05%.  Confusing?  Where are these percentages coming from?  Yeah, I confuse me too, and I have no idea—it's just math.  But, let's proceed anyway.  Just act like you understand this half-wit-crossed-eyed buffoon putting one word in front of another like they mean something.  He's got a good heart.  I promise.  Pat him on his head, give him a cookie, and he's back to typing.  Delicious cookie, by the way.

So, I made this video with my friends.  It was under the name The Hawkline Monster.  But, I went back to using my own name, Mike Vitale.  So, I had to re-upload it to my new old Youtube channel:  www.youtube.com/mikevitalemusic  

I took down the old video, which had a lot of views. I don't want to have two videos for the same thing. That's confusing—like this blog entry. So, I'm going to donate my old new Youtube Channel and its contents to science. Wait, Science just got back to me, and said, "we're good," so scratch that last sentence.

I'm following suit with all of my online streaming services as well.  This may take a week or two to fully happen.  I'll let you know when I get 'er done.

In the meanwhile, I appreciate your patience.  You can find anything and everything concerning me at Mike Vitale Music.  When I play by myself or with myself, I am Mike Vitale.  When I've got all my friends playing in the band with me, like this video above, we are Mike Vitale and The Hawkline Monster.  The cast of musicians playing with me in the studio and at live shows, is a revolving door or awesomeness and I am grateful for their immense talent and wonderful hearts.  Every song I write is only as good as the people playing them with me, and these guys are amazing.  My undying gratitude to them for our friendship and epic musical orgies.  I would compare us to the movie "Caligula," but I've never seen that movie, so it would be coming from a place of ignorance if I did—so I won't.

That's it for now.  Love you!

- Mike

The First (sort of)

I am trying to eat a bowl of oatmeal right now.  If I were to be completely transparent, this is posing a challenge for me today—eating I mean.  I am full of anxiety.  I am about to put myself out there as I used to do, for years.  This starts off as a frightening experience.  I have been here before; I have been there before; and it is comforting to know where this road leads: to good places.  Life is about taking risks.  All the fun stuff resides on a horizon, riddled with land mines of mistakes on its forefront, on a field of hard work.  In recent years, I have stepped on quite a few land mines.

I was spilling all of my emotional entrails and sharing a lot of what I was feeling right now, on this very page, for the past hour.  However, the delete key on my keyboard has replaced the many paragraphs I had just written, with this sentence.  Now I am here.  I have managed to finish the bowl of oatmeal and I feel a bit better.

I used to do this a lot.  Journal my thoughts, I mean.  I might again because I find it very cathartic.

Believe this, because it is true: I stopped posting these journals (blogs) because my roommate told me he thought it was "kind of lame."  He had his reasons for sharing his thoughts on the matter.  Who is to say whether he was right?  I can say that words are powerful, both my own and everyone else's.  What I give credence to is my own decision, though.  In hindsight, I believe I shouldn't have listened to him.  Only I know what works for me.

Forgive me for not sharing all that is running through my head this afternoon.  I need to get back to what I am working on.  I am putting together a Patreon account to help fund more live recording videos on Youtube.  When it is completed, I will try to remember to post a link to it here.  In the meanwhile, here is a link to my Youtube page:  http://www.youtube.com/mikevitalemusic

Should you happen to find something to like on there, I would be honored to have your subscription and your attention.

I just completed making a video that I worked very hard on.  The recording was effortless because Frank handled that, but mixing the audio myself was very difficult (it took me nearly 3 months).  We have performed this song many times together live, so no rehearsal was necessary. 

The finished product is what it is.  It's a song I wrote called "Fool For You."  I recorded it live with my friends Frank, Tom, and Brad.  My friends Damian and John did the filming and the lighting for it.  They are all amazing artists and I absolutely adore making creative stuff with them.  The Patreon account is to help fund that desire.  People deserve to be payed for their talents and the money is going to them.  It will pay for rehearsals, production costs, audio mixing, video editing, and hopefully studio time.  I would like to focus exclusively on new material I have written, which will require rehearsals before recording the song live.  It will also ensure faster turnaround of a finished product.  Here is what we made together:

 

 

This, what I am writing, is for you as much as it is for me.  If I were to keep it to myself it would just be for me.  I prefer this though.  Thank you for taking the time to read it.  I have much to share with you.

xoxo

- Mike Vitale