Category Archives: Gabriel

Kris Orlowski – Local Indie Folk Artist Visits PlayNetwork

If you hang around the Seattle music scene long enough, you are bound to meet local singer-songwriter Kris Orlowski sooner than later. Much to our delight, he and his band recently passed through PlayNetwork  on our PlayLive stage for an intimate performance. It’s easy to see how he has firmly established himself as a familiar face in Seattle’s indie folk circles, and is very well positioned to expand into wider recognition regionally and beyond.

It’s been a joy to see firsthand people’s positive responses to hearing his music played overhead in places like Starbucks or at SeaTac airport. Kris really is a great example of how PlayNetwork connects with a great local musician and everybody benefits: the company, the artist, and the audience. Seeing social media posts from excited fans surprised to hear the music in unexpected places proves that PlayNetwork provides valuable exposure for artists and a valuable service for businesses and brands. And it makes Music Supervision a very fun job to do!

Kris’s most recent project, in collaboration with violinist Andrew Joslyn, is an EP titled “Pieces We Are” which will be released on October 13th. The release show at the Triple Door sold out very quickly, so another date has been added. The second show is likely to sell out too, so get those tickets while you still can!

Gabriel Marowitz, Associate Music Supervisor

NW Native Vicci Martinez takes the PlayLive Stage!

Tacoma, WA native Vicci Martinez was a singer and musician long before her successful run on NBC’s “The Voice” in 2011. Identifying primarily as a singer/songwriter creating and performing original material, she was admittedly a bit hesitant to jump into the reality TV arena at first. Not wanting to compromise her artistic integrity, Vicci reportedly passed up an early opportunity with American Idol before coming to terms with the realization that the exposure to a massive TV audience is actually a perfectly viable way to launch a career in today’s music industry.

Working closely with Cee Lo Green, Vicci was able to take full advantage of the television platform by ending the show in 3rd place overall. She recently cut her first single “Come Along” with her famous mentor featured on the track. Picking up tons of new fans, industry connections, and adding the weight of a Grammy-winning artist to her debut release on the Universal label (sorry Cee Lo, no pun intended), Vicci Martinez is living her dream. A talented singer and solid guitar player, she will be riding this wave of success for some time to come. Here is a recent video (just published) of a stripped down, acoustic performance of the new single. Enjoy!

Gabriel Marowitz, Associate Music Supervisor

Music Review: Katie Herzig on the PlayLive Stage 5/9

Katie Herzig’s recent performance at PlayNetwork lit up the PlayLive stage,  and many faces in the crowd, with her all-girl ensemble and catchy pop songs. No, she’s not taking a page from Jack White’s playbook; she reconvened with her full band later that night, adding the guys into the mix for their show at the legendary Crocodile in Seattle. We lucky PlayNetworkers were treated to a stripped down, intimate performance of songs from her 2011 full-length album The Waking Sleep and other past projects. Katie and crew played with precision and control, the two guitars and cello combining to create an even and balanced sound that complimented her hushed vocals very well.

Katie Herzig - PlayLiveHer onstage banter between songs was a highlight of the set. Katie recalled accepting the challenge when called upon to relieve Fergie on a project for a movie soundtrack. The song born of that endeavor is the playful and irreverent “Hey Na Na” and due to complications onstage resulting from a tube amp and stomp box not quite getting along, the song was performed precisely in that manner (sorry for the inside joke, guess you had to be there). It was also fun to listen to Katie describe the experience of hearing her music played overhead while out shopping. Resisting urges to tell everyone in the store it was her voice coming through the speakers she played it cool, electing instead to quietly sing along while secretly hoping someone might notice. Everything about that story sounded very much like an artist describing the first time they heard themselves on the radio. So there you have it, straight from Katie Herzig: PlayNetwork is the new radio! (Actually, Katie Herzig never said PlayNetwork is the new radio, I just made that up)
Anyway, it is no surprise that Katie recently heard her music played in a store somewhere. The average consumer almost certainly has as well. She was one of our most used artists overall last quarter, placed in practically every single brand that PlayNetwork works with. That is a testament to the quality of her songwriting and talent. So if you think you’re not familiar Katie Herzig’s music, chances are pretty high that you have been exposed to it at some point. As long as you leave your house every once in a while, that is.

We’ll leave you with a little something from her performance:

Gabriel Marowitz, Associate Music Supervisor

PlayLive Shows This Week: The Front Bottoms & Lost in the Trees

Exciting news from the PlayLive Mainstage… we are gearing up for not one, but TWO excellent performances this week. We will be vacating our desks today and Tuesday to party with The Front Bottoms and Lost in the Trees. Man, work is such a bummer sometimes isn’t it?

THE FRONT BOTTOMS – Monday, March 26th

“We kinda thought we were a punk band but then we’d play on bills with real punk bands and we’d be like ‘Whoa, were not punks. What the hell are we?” – The Front Bottoms

With that quote from The Front Bottom’s drummer Mathew Uychich, it’s pretty clear that his band is simultaneously defying labels while searching for a defining identity. The fact that Mathew is also listed as the band’s official bullhorn player further supports that claim. The Front Bottoms have been tearing up the New Jersey (Bergen County, to be exact) DIY scene for some time now with their catchy brand of pop-punk. Their songs are irreverent, playful and above all thoroughly enjoyable.

Currently on tour with Say Anything, the internet has helped The Front Bottoms get their name out there. They were approached by a director from Spain named Pablo Nieto who saw them online and wanted to make a music video for their song “Maps”. You can see in that video below how lead singer Brian Sella pretty much has a smile plastered on his face the whole time, which means that you can’t help but enjoy yourself as well. PlayNetwork is looking forward to having fun with The Front Bottoms on Monday, March 26th.

LOST IN THE TREES – Tuesday, March 27th

Ari Picker, the composer/songwriter behind Lost in the Trees, was once asked in an interview why young people tend to be averse to orchestral music. He suggested that many kids may have been turned off by the strict discipline and rigidity they experienced while taking piano lessons or playing in the orchestra growing up. Or perhaps the manner in which classical music is presented, what he called a “stale, upper class, Ritzy environment”, is unappealing to younger generations.

I personally experienced before-school piano lessons in the living rooms of stuffy old ladies and the dictatorial rule of a few middle and high school orchestra directors. While my exposure to classical music didn’t inspire me to practice Mozart concertos for 3 hours a day, it was certainly the impetus for a musical journey into other genres that continues today. Had Ari Picker been there to hand the 13-year-old me a Lost in the Trees album, I might have been playing a different tune (sorry, couldn’t resist).

Picker explains that despite perceptions of younger generations, “there a lot of badasses in classical music, and people would think it’s cool if they learned about it in the right context.” It’s no coincidence that his project Lost in the Trees presents elements of classical music in a modern, popular setting. Part of an ongoing trend that could be characterized as “chamber folk” or “orchestral pop”, Lost in the Trees have just released their second album titled “A Church That Fits Our Needs”. Coming off an impressive and well-received performance at SXSW, the band will be playing the PlayLive Mainstage on Tuesday, March 27th. Check out the video below for a behind the scenes look at the recording process and inspiration behind the new album.

Gabriel Marowitz – Associate Music Supervisor

Your Worst Gig…

We’ve all been there. Anyone who has ever been in a band or involved in another form of live entertainment can tell you about “that one time” it all completely fell apart. Get on stage enough and you’re gonna screw it up bad sooner or later. Some have horror stories about bombing in front of hundreds of people, others will never forget the humiliation of playing to an empty room (I don’t mean that figuratively, I mean it was just you and the bartender, and he was out having a smoke for most of your set). And then there are the times when your equipment failed, or you forgot to bring the hard drive that had all of your beats and samples to the gig, or your drummer got wasted and passed out on stage after the second song. It’s all been done before, but that doesn’t make it any less painful when it happens to you. The only consolation is when it’s finally over and you think, “At least it will never get any worse than that… right?”

If you’ve ever performed in any capacity, or have been to a show where you felt awkward and embarrassed for whoever was onstage, here is an entertaining website that will give you real, first-hand accounts of the sh** hitting the proverbial fan. Music journalist Jon Niccum has taken some real gems he’s heard over the years and compiled them into a website called The Worst Gig. Read, listen and watch some of your favorite artists tell you about the gig from Hell. Notable entries from Fitz and the Tantrums, Flogging Molly, Gillian Welch, Alice Cooper, Wilco, and many others.

Gabriel Marowitz, Associate Music Supervisor

Jessie Baylin and The Watson Twins visit the PlayLive Stage This Thursday!

PlayNetwork is excited to welcome Nashville based singer/songwriter Jessie Baylin to our stage this Thursday! She will be joined by The Watson Twins, who contributed to Baylin’s new album and are currently supporting her on tour.

Jessie Baylin set out to make a record that sounded timeless and was clearly inspired her musical heroes, but with songs clearly rooted in the present. A truly committed artist, she wasn’t afraid to take the longer and harder road to achieve the best possible result. Baylin recorded her new album Little Spark on analog tape, forgoing the modern day luxuries of digital multi-tracking. Without the ability to punch in or easily make edits, this method of recording requires one perfect take from start to finish. In a recent NPR interview she admits the process “was really exhausting sometimes. But I think it makes a difference, because there’s a performance on there.”

All of us at PlayNetwork are looking forward to being treated to another performance, this time in person. Check out this video trailer featuring Jessie alongside the producers and musicians behind the album as they work through the recording process. It’s amazing to watch music being created using this classic technique.

Gaberiel Marowitz – Associate Music Supervisor

DoesYour Band Need Some Buzz? Try Making a Viral Video.

Ever feel like there are just so many bands out there making music nowadays?  You’re not wrong. In today’s Digital Age there are more groups than ever writing and recording music (which is a GOOD thing). But it does make it increasingly difficult for truly talented and gifted artists to differentiate themselves from the clutter of amateurs, unsigned acts, bedroom musicians and indie bands all vying to be heard and discovered. One proven method to stand out from the crowd and create some buzz is, of course, the ancient art of the viral video.  Perhaps the best known case of a band jumpstarting their career via a video short is the example of OK Go, whose video for “Here It Goes Again” features the band performing a delightful dance routine on treadmills (sound familiar? The video has been viewed upwards of 60million times, and you are probably responsible for at least 3 of those).

So you wanna make a viral video? Well, turns out it’s not so easy to dream up and produce an original, creative and endearing video idea with little to no budget that will garner millions of YouTube views and skyrocket your career into the stratosphere overnight. But it’s not impossible… enter (previously) unknown Burlington, Ontario rockers Walk Off The Earth whose unique performance of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” has achieved 4.5million views in the first four days of its existence. For God’s sake, the band doesn’t even have a fully built website yet: “Welcome to the official website of Walk off the Earth. We are currently busting our ass’s to get this site finished.” This stuff really does happen overnight, and spreads so quickly that even the band itself is caught off guard. Here’s a great quote from WOTE’s Facebook page that just about sums up what I was trying to say earlier about today’s music industry:

“To all the independent musicians out there. I hope this shows that you can make a name for your band with no help from record labels and management and next to no money. Stay true to your dreams and your passions, whether they be music related or not. Don’t wait for people to help you because they never will. The only time the music industry will want to help you is when you have done all the work yourself! “

Congrats to Walk Off The Earth for being awesome. And for making a freaking cool video that people dig while effectively displaying their talent to the world at the same time. Without further ado:

Gabriel Marowitz - Associate Music Supervisor

How Do Musicians In Today’s World Approach Their Careers?

Here’s a great blog post by Chris Pandolfi, banjo player for The Infamous Stringdusters (one of the hottest up-and-coming bands on the forefront of the ongoing evolution of Bluegrass music). Chris talks about his band as you would any other business. You might be surprised to hear a musician discussing topics like sustainable growth, investments in infrastructure and personnel, raising capital through seed financing, supply chain management and strategic partnerships, but all of those things are mentioned here in one way or another. Of course, he doesn’t ignore the most important piece of the puzzle which is the end product itself: original music and its performance.

Just goes to show how musicians today are also independent business owners and brand managers, and perhaps now more than ever need to be well versed in both art and industry.

Gabriel Marowitz
Associate Music Supervisor

2011 – One Of Gabriel’s Favorite Things

Next in our ‘best of 2011′ series, is a favorite of Associate Music Supervisor, Gabriel Marowitz. If you’re a fan of bluegrass or skilled musicianship you’ll enjoy this, and if you’re not a fan…well, you just might become one.

Chris Thile & Michael Daves – Sleep With One Eye Open

This album rocks because Chris Thile, possibly the best mandolin player alive, met a dude named Michael Daves at a bluegrass jam in New York City and discovered that Michael was pretty damned good himself. The new friends decided to go old-school and cut an album together playing all their favorite bluegrass tunes; naturally, they went to Jack White’s place in Nashville to make the record where they stood around the mic for a day and ripped through some live takes. What we get is a classic and authentic sound with a lot of youthful energy and bravado.

- Gabriel Marowitz, Associate Music Supervisor – PlayNetwork