Tuesday, August 25, 2015

That "Are You Serious?" Moment


I almost deleted the email.  Then I looked a second time.  No, really, someone said we didn't suck so much.  

We are humbled to let you know that we received the 2015 award for "#1 Audio And Music Producer in Portland"   Well, look at that.  I guess that means that we have a lot to live up to.  
Cool your jets, Kanye


We appreciate everyone who made this award possible:  A great team of engineers, songwriters, musicians, and interns here at BBP.  Our cast of artist talent ranging from the casual musician to the world touring acts.  Lastly, to the internet reviewers (google, thumbtack, etc.) who thought kindly about the music we produce here. 

Looking forward to continuing to make artistic ideas become a reality.  Now, back to that album I should be working on right about now (sorry, Katrina!)...

-Jozi & Dave
The BentBeat Team
bentbeat.com
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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Jesse Lee Falls Releases Studio Album, “Play My Guitar”

Portland, OR, May 05, 2015 --(PR.com)-- “Play My Guitar” is a collection of original songs written and performed by Astoria-based blues rock guitarist Jesse Lee Falls (www.jesseleefalls.com). The album has 10 tracks that reflect the artist’s musical journey over the last four years. “Many of the songs I’ve been playing for years for different audiences,” said Falls. “Those songs became a part of my identity as a musician and performer. But others were written very recently, even after we started the recording process. The cool thing about the album is that they all work together to sound seamless and show off what my music is about.”

The project features Jesse Lee Falls performing all lead vocals and guitars, with guest musicians and vocalists appearing on every track. “The great thing about this project is how diverse it is,” said producer Jozi Bently. “But even with such a wide array of musicians and artists stepping in to join, it’s still a really accurate picture of Jesse’s live feel. On top of Jesse’s signature lead guitar work, we added rock organs, harmonicas, and female vocalists, all of which are a part of his regular live performance but none of which he does on his own. It’s great to have all of those outside pieces in one spot and have the album still really sound like Jesse.”

Falls has been performing and recording original music since 2007, but this is the first full-length release he has created with label BentBeat Productions. “I’ve played as a solo artist and also with a specific band, but by the time I met up with BentBeat I was pretty much on my own. The label and I worked together to create an entire project that was true to my personal sound even with the presence of all the guest artists. This album really gives a better accurate representation of my music than past projects.”

Jesse Lee Falls’ album was produced by BentBeat’s Jozi Bently and Dave Beatty, who were introduced Falls in 2011 after he had just begun exploring the idea of recording a project. “It may seem like a long time to make an album,” said Beatty. “(Falls) lives in Astoria and our base of operations is just outside of Portland, so recording sessions were tricky to schedule. But Jesse is extremely talented and it was worth it to everyone to take our time on the project until we’d gotten everything to the place where we loved it. It also gave us a chance to really search around for the perfect guests artists, like Erin (Atkinson) and Jeff (Dotter),” who recorded featured vocals and mouth harp on the album respectively. “The extra time for the music to evolve and the collaborations to fall into place made for a great final product.”

“Play My Guitar” is available on Amazon.com, iTunes, Spotify, and all major music sites. A public release party will be held in conjunction with the Ground Zero 20th Anniversary Party at 8pm on Friday, May 8, 2015, at Star Theater, 13 NW 6th Avenue, Portland, OR. Jesse Lee Falls will be performing and BentBeat Productions will be present to speak with attending fans and musicians who are interested in collaborating to release their own music. Portions of Jesse’s performance will be broadcast live on FM News 101 KXL in Portland as well as radio, podcasting, and affiliates nationwide.

About BentBeat Productions: BentBeat is based in Portland, Oregon. BBP’s focus is on partnering with musicians to produce, record, and release high quality broadcast-level music through social media and mainstream distribution. BentBeat’s portfolio is available on Amazon.com, iTunes, Spotify, and all major music sites. Please join in supporting musicians.


Contact Information:
BentBeat Productions
Dave Beatty
503.489.8275
info@bentbeat.com
www.bentbeat.com

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Robins and Mouses and Lawsuits! Oh, My!


First off, let’s put it out there that we are fans of the music of both Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams.  We’ve had the pleasure of seeing each of them perform a couple of times. Thicke’s performance with Chicago at last year’s Grammys was worth the trip.  Pharrell has had a great run most recently with the likes of Daft Punk, the Voice, and Hans Zimmer.

 
For anyone who thought we were kidding about Hans


Being that you clicked on this article, you’re probably aware by now that a jury decided the Thicke/Williams/T.I. collaboration of their hit “Blurred Lines” had, and I quote, “too many similarities to Marvin Gaye’s ‘Gotta Give It Up.’”  Apparently, “similarities” equate to $7.3 million awarded to the late great's estate. ("Estate" means "there's nobody left alive who had anything to do with writing the original song.")

Okay.  Let that sink in for a minute.  The writers freely admit to being inspired by Michael Jackson and Marvin Gaye.  This is not a Vanilla Ice rip-off where Mr. Ice (or his lawyers) tried to convince everyone that he didn’t outright steal the hook from David Bowie/Queen’s “Under Pressure” (Like this).  This is a style.  A muse.  An idea. 

It's possible that dad had just seen 'Flashdance' here.

When it comes to composition copyright infringement, the legal system has repeatedly found that stealing is about the “math” of the notes.  Either the notes are the same, or they aren’t.  It's a simple equation with very little room for interpretation.

Let’s take this new precedent further.  Moving on to the obvious next step, it wouldn't be unheard of to have the following lawsuits immediately filed against the “Blurred Lines” writers:

  • Michael Jackson's Estate for using a similar “Ooh” sound to his signature hook
  • Bee Gees because he sang in falsetto
  • Roland Corporation for use of their 808 Drum Machine
  • James Brown for letting T.I. rap during the middle eight
  • Christopher Walken for grotesque overuse of a cowbell




"I've got a fever... for a lawyer."

This ruling comes within the same few weeks that Tom Petty’s people “mentioned” to Sam Smith’s people that “Stay With Me” sounded awfully close to “I Won’t Back Down” (Example of why this is absurd).  Smith said “oops” and gave up 12.5% of the writing credit to Petty (Tom’s last name is really unfortunate in this example).  It's definitely no coincidence that Smith’s song was queued up to sweep the Grammys that same week, and Tom was up for an award in his category as well.  Nope, no stunt here at all. No sarcasm either.  Move along.

If, and I repeat IF, we the jury conclude (at the upcoming appeal) that a song “sounds like,” “has the feel,” “reminds me of” another song, then let’s all just go back to painting pictures on cave walls.  


"Egyptians, I'll see you and your hieroglyphics in court."

A standard question we ask when we start working with one of our artists is, “which artists inspire you?”   We follow that up with “Who would you say that you sound like?”  And even more audaciously, “who would you LIKE to sound like?”

So, where does that leave us?  What is the solution?  Who would have the most to lose out of this “similarity” case going against Thicke, Pharrell and T.I.?  The easy answer is “the record labels.”  OK.  True.  It’s possible that all of us production companies and record labels could be in a bind to the point that we’re having to build instruments that have never been used, make up notes that have never been heard, and write with words that have never been said. After all, if every formula has already been used, it's up to us to create new ones. But hey, let’s call that impractical.

"Hey, hey, hey!  $7.3 million, please"

So, let's brainstorm for a minute here:  Which single company has the most to lose on past and future projects, intentionally mimics song styling, and has the biggest pile of cash at stake?  Walt Disney Studios.  Yes, The Mouse.  If you have ever spent any time in front of The Disney Channel, spent a long day at a Disney theme park, or went to see “Frozen” for the 6th time with your children, you are well aware that they freely capitalize on music that “sounds like” other pop music.  If all of the sudden that was *poof* gone, you might as well lock the doors to the kingdom.

You don't get to see a sequel

-The BentBeat Team
BentBeat Productions
bentbeat.com 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Hobbit Grammy Wrap-Up


All right, I've had time to decompress, process, and gather my thoughts. There was a week of bottomless lows, stratospheric highs, and nothing really in between. There were performances all about that bass low, that wailing guitar high, and lots of in between. I know everybody’s dying to hear The Girl’s summary of Music’s Biggest Night (and even if you aren't, here you are reading it, right?) so heeeeeere we go. 

First, let’s get that dress issue out of the way. Overconfident as I was from six months of boot camp, I waited til 48 hours before takeoff to slip into it before I packed it into the suitcase. Let’s sum up: “Slip into it” became “squeeze, squoosh, jiggle, pinch, wiggle, suck, and exhale buckets of air into it” and I still looked like three or four pigs fighting under a blanket.
"Didn't she use us in an earlier bit?"  "Yes, but it's still funny."
Yep. Fail. Big ol’ fail. Nope, didn’t fit. So the short story is after a few hours at the mall and lots of consults from lots of professionals, I was presentable enough to sidle down the red carpet hiding behind the Elf. God bless the Elf and her long legs that are tall enough to hide hobbits! I feel like BBP made a decent showing thanks to her and the Boys. Nice job, BBP Team! 

Hey! We made it to the red carpet! Sophomore Year goal=in the bag.
There are no words.
Now I’m not really a carpet kinda gal, so the rest of this post is me diving into what I consider the meat of the evening: the performances. I’ll warn you right now- if you don’t really care for a quick recap of the evening’s highlights, stop right here. I’ve been mulling over this spectacle for two weeks now, and I have strong opinions. It’s possible that I may suffer a full body snark implosion if I don’t get some of this out, so here goes, from Miranda Lambert’s top to Beyonce’s bottom:
"I'm just glad I'm getting more press than Madonna's bottom."
AC/DC: Let me just admit that when this band was in its prime, they weren't really my cup of tea. I was a little young for rebellion rock, and I thought they were probably trying to suck my soul out through my ears and send me to hell (I said I was young).  I knew only two things about them: 1. their singer screamed really high notes and 2. their song talked about Hell and if I listened to it I’d probably go there (I said I was young).  When they handed out plastic light-up devil horns at the show’s opening, I giggled a little and thought it would be pretty funny. 
Spoiler alert: The wall-o-guitar amps weren't actually plugged in.
At the last minute LL Cool J told us they’d be opening the show and I prepared myself for a world of disappointment. And I was never been so WRONG in my life. These guys ROCKED. Dudes can still bring it. Their staging, performance, and pyro were perfect. The audience was eating out of their hands and the energy and excitement in the room shot up to a level that it never fully returned to. Even though I was pretty much an AC/DC virgin, at the proper time I enthusiastically donned my devil horns with the rest of the crowd (except for Sam Smith, we saw your smug little side-eye shade buddy) and rocked. out. And it was fabulous. FABULOUS, I tell you.
Apparently Sam Smith's hair stylist texted him: "Don't you DARE mess up my masterpiece."
Right after this, Sam Smith won Best New Artist. I’m going to keep my mouth shut and opinions off on all awards. Just 'cuz I don’t wanna.

Then Ariana Grande sang something about pieces of something? I admit to not knowing the song or even really much about the artist...but wow, that chick can sing. And kudos to her for doing what every single person who is on that stage SHOULD do: finishing the performance with a completely overwhelmed moment that clearly albeit silently said “I can NOT believe I’m on this stage.” I appreciate you appreciating it, Ariana.
Humbleness.  An appreciated quality.
And then Tom Jones walked out on stage...I’m sorry, Jessie Who? Who cares, it’s Tom Jones! Let’s go on record here: He’s no Angus Young, but hey, I feel like I just saw a little bit of music history.

So Pharrell won best vocal performance for the live version of “Happy”- and pretty much everybody was happy.
Even the minions were surprised that the song debuted on their soundtrack.
Then Miranda Lambert. Ladies and gents, this was amazing. Even though I lived in Nashville, I’m not a huge country fan (let’s not delve too deeply into BBP's history and make me expand on that statement, eh?).  Actually, it’s one of my least favorite genres, so I’m not terrible familiar with her work. I have always been aware that she writes and performs some pretty fun music, so I was looking forward to it. I wasn't disappointed.  This lady rocked the entire house. An unofficial poll afterwards asked attendees if there was any song that they heard for the first time that night that they still remembered, and “Little Red Wagon” was the sole answer. 
Let's use... a big, freaking red fan.  No one will expect that.
Great performance, great hook, great memory to keep the tail of your shirt-dress down (looking at you, Madonna), and great job all around. My favorite bit of trivia about this performance was how everyone asked me “what on earth she was saying” that got censored by the TV station. I was perplexed by this question because I couldn't remember any "bad" words so I went back and watched her song.  The answer is “nothing.” The stations censored a full two seconds of her song for absolutely no reason.  She thought about saying a bad word but used her mic to censor her single offending syllable herself. I’ll call it classy. 

Here’s where Sam Smith won best pop album. Fine.
"Oh, where shall I put all these?"
Then I’m pretty sure Kanye sang something. My notes tell me so, but I can’t remember it.

Because then Madonna sang something. It was called an Illuminati Orgy by many media outlets.  I call it pretty freakin’ MADONNA and I sorta didn't care if she ripped the rest of her dress off a’la Janet and played a thumb war with one of her little four-legged minions. It was MADONNA and I GOT TO SEE HER. My eight-year-old self checked something off her bucket list and y’all can form your own opinions. IT WAS MADONNA. AND WORTH IT.
Not too shabby for 56
Beck won best rock album. Not Beyoncé. And the world apparently turned backwards for a few minutes to try to rectify this travesty of injustice, but hey, Beck still won. INTERNET: SHUT UP. IT WAS A BETTER ALBUM.

Whoops, I wasn't going to insert my own opinions about awards. That last opinion wasn't about the award but about Beyoncé,  who should probably get a refresher on Hooked on Phonics before she complains about not getting an award. Jeez. 

Oh look, and now Beyoncé won best R&B performance. You’d think this would satisfy the internet, but alas,they continue to ride their surfborts into the waters of hatred of all things good music.

So, Ed Sheeran and John Mayer appeared to save the day. They did a respectable job of turning things around but probably only because they pulled ELO out of their back pockets and the room, at least, forgave the rest of the music “lovers” for their Bey worship and enjoyed a lovely moment. This was pretty great, people.
John: "For all of the Taylor Swift songwriting fans: You're welcome."
Gwen Stefani and Adam Levine. This is one performance that I personally was just a little bummed by. I suppose it was a decent performance but I didn’t really love their vocals, and call me crazy but I sorta thought it was all fairly unnecessary. Grammy watchers love to see the great duets the Academy cooks up for this special night, and correct me if I’m wrong but don’t these two hang out on a TV set once a week or so for the whole world to see? I might be wrong. I don’t watch reality singing TV but I could have sworn I saw them push each other’s buttons on NBC. I feel like we could have watched this one any old time.
"Want to sing at the Grammys?"  "Sure, why not?"
There’s this dude named Hozier who walked out then, but he was basically just a hoser compared to Annie Lennox who came out of nowhere and absolutely put a spell on the entire room. This woman was and is amazing. Hey Academy: next year we want to see Annie and Angus sing together! That’s the only way we’ll be able to top this. She was great.

This is getting long, eh? I think I should throw down some quick one-word reactions for the next few bits:

Miranda Lambert winning best country album- sure!

Pharrell and that piano dude and Hans Zimmer and the Bellhops Tour de Feet o’ Flames- happy!

Domestic violence PSA- uhhhh…

Katy Perry- wow.

Tony Bennett and his overdressed Personal Health Aide, I mean, Lady Gaga. Underwhelming, but amazing. In reverse order, and I know I said one word summaries but I really feel like I should give each of them their own word. Because I don’t want anyone thinking I’m giving Lady G an “amazing” rating, but Tony deserves it.
"I love my job."
Usher and Stevie Wonder- ahhhhhhhh. (That’s “satisfying”, in case you wondered)

Eric Church/Brandy Clark/Dwight Yoakum- (sorry everyone) forgettable. Literally. I can’t remember anything about any of them… But, I did sorta have to pee by this time so I was a little distracted.

Rihanna, Kanye, and Paul McCartney- it’s almost like someone took a musician lottery, threw the names in a Yahtzee cup, and created this collaboration. But it worked. Really, it did. It was honestly really great.

Here’s where I really had to pee so the next bits were a blur of things that included: 

Somebody I don’t remember

Beck.

Weird dancers and some white-haired chick singing in the corner.
I can't make this up, people.
Sam Smith.

Beck.

Chris Martin?

Oh look, Sam Smith again.

A dude who had a lot to say and I’m sure it was important but my potty dance is starting to get funny looks.

The "In Memoriam"- UM, WHERE WAS JOAN RIVERS, WHO PREVIOUSLY IN THE AFTERNOON ACTUALLY WON A GRAMMY?!?!?!

And literally the most over-hyped, underwhelming, disappointing close to an awards show ever. And not just because I had to pee, but because it just...was. Sorry, John. Shouldn’t have hitched your wagon to Beyonce’s bum, er...star (see above, shoulda asked Miranda if she’d make an exception for you to hop on her little red wagon. The show would have ended with a lot fewer raised eyebrows).

So, you want to know what I really thought of the whole thing? 

Loved it. 

It was great. 

No question, it was an amazing night, an amazing lineup, and it absolutely delivered. Personal preferences aside, some really talented people got together and put on a pretty fabulous show. I have been asked many times over the last two weeks what I thought “the best part” was, and I have a hands-down opinion on that one that I alluded to earlier: AC/DC wins. No one over the course of the evening was able to bring the audience back to the level that they opened the show with. Annie Lennox was a close second, but the night was for the Young. Angus Young, that is. And despite some controversy that surrounded this performance, as a musician and a music lover I’m giving this one to the old dudes. I hope the batteries in my horns hold out til next year, and I can’t wait to see what 2016 brings to try to top this show!


...And now, I think I’ll go eat a salad. Have to fit into another dress in 11 months, after all. 

The BentBeat Team
Follow us @bentbeat

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Grammys 2015


Well, that was awesome.  A great long weekend at L.A. Live, topped off by music’s biggest night. Fun was had by all.  Here are some of the highlights (from The Boy's point of view):
No apples were hurt taking this photo
A tribute to our freshman experience last year

Girls in pretty dresses
Yes, the BentBeat ladies had their day on the carpet.  Everyone was honored to be walking over (*cough*) I mean, PAST Ryan Seacrest, John Legend, Pharrell and the like.  I think our gals rocked it.

Then there were some other people on the carpet too...
No doubt it's Gwen Stafani
LL Cool J hitting a perfect pitch near Anna Kendrick
Pentatonix harmonizing about their win earlier
And then, there's stuff like this:
We knew we liked him
Before John Mayer, aka, the best guitar alive who didn’t have an album recorded sometime in the 60’s (haters, begin) took the stage with Ed Sheeran, John stopped to sign an autograph for a wheelchair-bound fan.  You will only see this picture from Team BentBeat (let’s just say that cameras were discouraged from where this was taken…shhhh).

The main event:
Right?
We made some predictions (really, just our votes) in a few categories on this blog on Dec 15th.  The ones we’re most “Happy” about (get it?) were:

The Band Perry, Paramore, Pentatonix, Tenacious D (yes, Jack Black’s metal duo), and Weird Al.  Nicely done, everyone.  
And, yes, during the commercial breaks: Every. Single. Phone.
An honorable mention to Max Martin (Producer of the year) for working with Katy Perry on both “Unconditionally” and “Dark Horse, plus that other gal he produced…

"Do these shoes match the color of the envelope I'm opening later?"
Yes, Taylor was there.  Thank goodness I didn’t see Macklemore anywhere. We would have had words.

And to top the trip off – a little reward on our way back to PDX:
Oh, believe it.  There's a shuttle.

Let's do this again soon, shall we?

The BentBeat Team
Follow us @bentbeat


PS: Thanks to our PhotoGal, a great addition to our team on the carpet this year!
We couldn't have done it without you

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Four Days to the Grammys: For Updates From the Floor…


The boy here.  Well, the time is upon us.  The reason I’m the one giving the update today is because both the Hobbit and the Elf are currently doing all the things necessary for girls to do in order to fly to L.A. on Friday morning.  In the Hobbit's case, that means changing her mind about absolutely everything at the very last minute, so she's at the mall with 72 hours til show time shopping for a new red carpet dress. Well planned, Hobbit. Anyway, that means… you’re stuck with me.
Maybe not "Fifty Shades" stuck...

So, we want y’all to stay informed (Yes, I just “y’alled” ya, deal with it).  However, no matter how much we love all of you, we have absolutely no plans to sit down to a computer anytime between now and probably next Tuesday if we can help it.
Your children will mock you for having ever used this

So, we’re going to make you a deal.  Follow us on twitter, facebook, and the occasional Instagram (if you really want to) @bentbeat – we will be giving “live” updates all weekend starting midday on Friday from La-La Land itself.  We promise not to spoil the televised fun for the west-coasters, but we might give you an update from the ‘pre show’ when they give out the Grammy for best cow bell performance..

**Note: for you non-tech types, just keep checking in on our social media posts this weekend**
"Look, I turned it on."
We thought we’d make it fun.  What better way than with a fun game?  Here’s the rules (they’re simple, stay with me):

1. Post a status/tweet using both the hashtag #GRAMMYs and our name @bentbeat in the same sentence. No, a post that simply says “#GRAMMYs @bentbeat” will not count… this is entertainment, people - be creative (you gotta work for your prize.)
2. The first 15 people will get a personal video message back from Team BentBeat either on Saturday or Sunday from L.A. Live. See? We'll work for your prize too. 
3. Sit back and watch the fun.

To sum it up:  No more blog posts here until we get back and recover.  Follow us and watch the hijinks begin.

#roadtothegrammys

The BentBeat Team
bentbeat.com
info@bentbeat.com
503.489.8275

Thursday, January 29, 2015

11 Days to the Grammys: The Final Countdown


The Elf here, again.  I thought it would be appropriate to do “The Final Countdown” (cue theme music) for our trip to the Grammys.

Day 11) Dust off my old CD’s and start listening.  Yes, it is true: I graduated in the late 80’s, and I am most excited about seeing AC/DC live.  Oh, and here’s hoping that Madonna is better than last year.

Day 10) Go running.  Help friends move.  Listen to Sam Smith (because I don’t know any of his music other than Stay With Me, and I probably should).
Mother must be so proud

Day 9) Try on my dress to determine necessary accessories.  Isn’t that a mouthful?!  But seriously, I still need to purchase undergarments, jewelry, and probably something to control my Elf-like hair!

Day 8) OMG!  I’m going to the GRAMMY’S, and I get to walk down the RED CARPET!!!  And I get to see Lady Gaga sing with TONY BENNETT, and so far, it looks like no head-banging from Taylor this year!  Go running.

Day 7) Pack.  An Elf can never be too prepared.  Packing early will ensure that I have all necessary supplies for anything that comes my way on Grammy morning.
Don't judge

Day 6) Go to the Apple store.  It is obvious that my last-leg-now-apparently-obsolete iPhone 5, will need to be upgraded so I have appropriate technology to take pictures and capture the Elf and Hobbit experience for all of you.  And…run, AGAIN.
Maybe I should reconsider my running WITH the phone

Day 5) Set the DVR to make certain we record the festivities, and read the program so I know who (besides Weird Al) is up for Best Comedy Album.

Day 4) Call my Hobbit friend to make certain there isn’t something I forgot to do or pack.  I may have the long legs, but she has all the creative brain-power.  She will inevitably think of things I never even considered.  Then? You guessed it: run, for the last time prior to our trip down the red carpet.

Day 3) Fly to Los Angeles.  YES!  Did I mention I am going to the GRAMMY’S?!!  Oh, and eat salad and drink lots of water, so I don’t become a bloated Elf in the travelling process.
I'll just have a Diet Coke

Day 2) Pick up our tickets, and try not to stare and look star-struck when George Michael walks by.  Note: I am so jealous of “The Boy”, who actually did see him last year!

Day 1)  Get up early, put my Elf self together, and look stunning for the cameras all day long. And, most importantly, ENJOY every single moment of this amazing day!  After all, it is not every day one gets to go to the Grammys!

#roadtothegrammys

The BentBeat Team
bentbeat.com
info@bentbeat.com
503.489.8275