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The Crystal Method Talks RE:GENERATION

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The new documentary, RE:GENERATION is causing a bit of buzz among music fans.  Within six weeks of the release of clips of the film, they’ve amassed more than two million views.  The tracks from the documentary have exceeded 1 million streams.

With talent such as Skrillex, The Crystal Method, Pretty Lights, and Mark Ronson (and many more) collaborating with legendary talent from The Doors to The Funk Brothers to LeAnn Rimes to the Berklee Symphony Orchestra, it’s easy to see why the film and its music are so intriguing to such a wide audience.

We caught up with The Crystal Method recently to talk about the film:

TBB:  How was it making the documentary?

The Crystal Method:  It was great!  When we saw the premier on Thursday that was the first time we’ve seen the film.  We’d only seen little clips of it before.

TBB:  How was working with the Funk Brothers for the new song “I’m Not Leaving” for the RE:GENERATION PROJECT?

The Crystal Method: It was great. A real honor, a real privilege, and you know, the whole experience in Detroit was just really amazing.

TBB:  Was it something new to you?  I know you guys have funk in your music. Listening to your material, I know you guys have messed around with it.

The Crystal Method:  We really like that sound.  We think we’re always doing some version of that, but you know, much more modern – way our style – but no, we love old soul, funk, R&B.  We don’t create it now – that real slick, kind of mellow R&B – we like more of the roots R&B.

TBB:  Did Amir Bar-Evel approach you guys for the documentary?

The Crystal Method:  I think the producers of the movie really kind of came up with the idea. Then they tried to get the best director available, so they approached Amir.  I think we may have been approached before the director was on board, you know, and we thought it was a good concept.  As more and more people came on we knew it was gonna be really good, and a really serious project.

TBB:  Do you guys still go back to recording in your house at all?

The Crystal Method:  Well, where we’re at today is our studio in North Hollywood, but we both have little home studios at our houses still, and we both do some work there.  Our old one – the bomb shelter – that was out of our house, like, built inside a two car garage.  It was pretty serious for us back then, you know.

TBB:  How do you guys come up with the lyrics that are in your songs sometimes?  Do they just come to you, or do the artists that are featured on the track inspire them?  How do they come about?

The Crystal Method:  We don’t write a lot of lyrics.  The lyrics in the Marjorize track [were] all inspired by us, you know – just looking, going around Detroit from the day of filming, seeing all kinds of stuff in Detroit that meant a lot to us.

TBB:  Do you guys do that kind of thing a lot, or do you just kind of make the beats, and then the featured artist starts performing to your beats?

The Crystal Method:  Yeah.  A lot of it is that.  A lot of times we’ll rely on whatever vocalist we’re working with to help with the lyrics, and then sometimes we will write them as well.

TBB:  How big do you think this documentary is for the genre?

The Crystal Method:  For a music documentary, it’s pretty big.  I think it’s premiering at like 176 cities or theaters, or something like that – which is big. I never thought there would ever be a big release of it.  I thought just maybe some showings in LA, New York, and then just go to IFC channel, but yeah, so I think for me the documentary is a pretty big deal.

TBB:  What is your favorite venue around Atlanta?  Do you enjoy performing at larger venues, or the smaller places?

The Crystal Method:  Sort of the midsized ones that hold about 1,000 people or so.  There was one called Club Opera.  Our favorite ones are Beta in Denver, that’s a really cool club.  This place called Voyeur in San Diego, where we just played at, and Avalon in Los Angeles is really good.  But yeah, like playing really big festival shows – those are totally different.  You know they’re a lot of fun, a lot more people, but you don’t really have that close connection with your crowd like you do at your smaller clubs.  We’re gonna play Atlanta at Castlevania’s thing he does down there, so we’re hoping to get back soon.

TBB: Have you thought about going back to doing a radio show that broadcasts on the regular radio stations, and moving away from Sirius?

The Crystal Method:  The good thing about Sirius is there are no commercials at all, and that’s really cool.  It can reach everyone in the United States and Canada, so that’s really cool, too.  When we were on in LA, it only reached LA, so it’s kind of nice being on a station that can reach more people.

TBB:  Did you guys do podcasts or anything in between, or did they just know you from being on the radio and approach you guys?

The Crystal Method:  No, no.  The indie radio station got turned into Spanish talk radio station, so we were just totally off radio for a while until the Sirius people.

TBB:  How do you guys like that companies like Nike, and basically every movie and video game seems to call you guys to use your stuff?  What does it say to you to know that you are the ones those companies call when they need the music for their product, movie, or video game?

The Crystal Method:  It’s cool! You know, it’s a nice, huge compliment.  They kind of go to us for more action oriented things, which is cool.  So yeah its nice, I mean ‘cause you know you can’t just try and put out music just on records and radio anymore.  There are so many other things with movies, and tv, and video games, that you’ve got to try and take advantage of everything.

TBB:  One more question for you before you go.  Did you know that there are albums out titled “Music inspired by The Crystal Method”?

The Crystal Method:  No.  I have not seen that.

TBB:  How does that make you feel?

The Crystal Method:  I’ve never heard of it.  I’ll have to listen to it before I know how I feel.

 

Artists to Watch

Cry With Us! Puddles Pity Party in Orlando

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Ange Alex

I owe him a poem:

Here’s a story of a sad clown who one night in February was traveling through O-town. 

He brought a suitcase and a lot of gum, he brought music and videos and tons of fun.

He sang high but mostly he sang low, and he put of one hell of a good show.

He gave a bearded guy a cupcake and danced with a lady, a wolf he would make

There is no doubt he is a boss sir, he even got love from Kevin Costner.

Fans filled the plaza for a night of delight as the 7 foot clown gave us some real insight.

He sang Bowie and Queen and even some Who, also Cash, Lorde and “Let it go” too

Videos played of pets and babies crying, also beautiful artwork and people smiling.

Last night Orlando was anything but mad as we showed much love for a clown that is sad.

Ok, I’d cry too after that poem. Here’s some more info:

If you haven’t been to see a Puddles Pity Party show, you are missing out. 

The show had me smiling and laughing so hard my stomach hurt, but I was also moved so many times by the range of Puddles voice. True entertainment never gets old and I have a feeling he is going to last forever.

I loved the interaction he had with the crowd. He pulled numerous people up to help him on stage and all of them were good sports, one man even singing the entire song, “All by myself” karaoke style! The show was so well thought out and planned but with room for some hilarious improv. Especially at the end when he pulled the 3 fans from the audience dressed like clowns. At the end of them performing together, Puddles suddenly remembers that he is scared of clowns! Genius! 

Hands down one of the best performances I’ve seen in years.

 

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Holiday Fun

Kingsized Holiday Fun! Big Mike is Back at the Variety Playhouse!

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Big Mike Geier and his Kingsized Rock ‘n Roll Orchestra, along with the Dames Aflame Dancers, Lil’ Santa and other special guests, bring tidings of comfort and joy with their signature glitz and glamour in what has become a tinsel-time tradition at the Variety Playhouse. The all-ages 90-minute show features your Holiday favorites by the likes of Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Andy Williams, Heat Miser, The Grinch and more!

Photo: Emily Butler

We caught up with Big Mike to ask a few questions.

TBB: Big Mike! It’s been a couple years since we had the pleasure of seeing you perform live. We are so excited to be back in Atlanta and we are ready for this show. What can you tell us about this years event?

Big Mike: Welcome back to Atlanta, Ange! We’re also excited to be in town for another wild and wonderful Holiday Jubilee. We like to honor the tradition that the Jubilee has become and don’t mess too much with the format. You can expect the always magnificent sounds of the 12-piece Kingsized Rock ‘n Roll orchestra performing your favorite holiday classics and the dazzling Dames Aflame dancers providing the glamour. The show is all about holiday nostalgia, whatever that means to you: Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, Donnie Hathaway, The Grinch, Rankin Bass, Peanuts, the Dreidel Song? It’s all in there.

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Music Gallery

Turkuaz at Aisle 5

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Brooklyn based funk band Turkuaz played at Aisle Five in Atlanta last week and here are some shots from the show!

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