Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Mike Brandow: BBP's Newest Artist

It’s been a while since we’ve posted, and what have we been up to in the meantime? Well, we’ll tell you! There’s been lots of behind-the-scenes going on: moving, mixing, ADR-ing, conference-attending, etc. The boring stuff, right? 

Buuuuut, there’s one thing we’ve been working hard on that is pretty exciting, and we couldn’t wait to share it with y’all. It’s time for us to welcome a new artist into the BentBeat family: Meet Mike Brandow! Mike hails from Eugene, Oregon and came to us with the goal of publishing a project “35 years in the making”- and we can’t wait to get into the studio to work on it! (In fact, we can’t wait to get into the studio to work with him on this project… and the next one… and the next one… and the next one…) 

We first met Mike in our songwriting class at Worship Northwest conference. His special combination of exceptional skills and unique sound caught our eye immediately.  After many conversations and considerations, we all decided it would be a fabulous idea to work together.  He’s in the middle of money matching fundraising for the album that we hope to see in an early summer release, and he’s doing great! To get a taste of Mike’s style, go check him out at his Kickstarter that can be found at mikebrandow.com. Welcome, Mike! We’re excited for the journey ahead! 

The BentBeat Team

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Sunday, June 12, 2016

Chris Voigt Releases Studio Album, “All I Need"

Portland, OR, June 10, 2016 -- (PR.com) -- 
“All I Need” is a collection of original songs performed by Salem-based worship leader and musician Chris Voigt (www.chrisvoigtworship.com). The album has 12 tracks with varying musical styles and will be released in tandem with a Spanish-language version by label partner BentBeat Productions. “These songs reflect several aspects of my perspective of worship,” said Voigt. “What worship means to me can’t be fully realized inside of just twelve songs, but anyone who listens to this album from beginning to end will come away with a fuller and more meaningful understanding of what worship really is.”

The project features Chris Voigt delivering all lead vocals, with guest musicians and vocalists appearing on every track. The Spanish-language sister project was also sung in its entirety by Voigt. “This project was really a foray into new territory for all involved,” said producer Dave Beatty. “The number of songwriters and musicians alone was more than we’ve ever had involved with a single project. Added to that was a multitude of consultants, advisors, and translators being that none of the songwriters speak fluent Spanish. It’s pretty amazing how the entire thing came together and created something that I consider both universally relevant and also incredibly personal to Chris and his ministry.”    

Voigt has been involved in leading worship for over 25 years, and this is the first full-length studio album. For this project, he teamed up with BentBeat Productions, a Portland-based boutique label. “I’ve always surrounded myself and my ministry with what I consider the best team of like-minded people I could put together to accomplish what needs to be done,” said Voigt about the partnership. “BentBeat had the ability to help shape the music into a really good album, but more importantly they respected our goals and message for this album. They just became part of the team.” 

The album was produced by BentBeat’s Dave Beatty, who was introduced to Voigt in 2015 after attending an event hosted by Chris Voigt Worship, a non-profit ministry dedicated to equipping and encouraging worship leaders around the world. “It was a very short time from inception to completion of the project on our end,” said Beatty. “Chris’s ministry has had this publication in mind for quite some time but we were partnered at just the right moment to make the music happen and happen well. There is such a stellar cast on this album that the final sound is pretty spectacular. We were even able to tap into Dayspring Fellowship’s [Voigt’s church in Keizer, Oregon] choir for some of the tracks and get a great ‘live’ sound.”

The Spanish-language version of this release was inspired by an upcoming trip to South America. Voigt and his team will be traveling to two different countries to facilitate their International Worship Conference. “Local churches in South America have access to far fewer resources than we do in the States,” said Voigt about the bilingual release. “We hope that having this music available will help them take their worship experiences and team members to a higher level of skill and understanding.” 

“All I Need” and its sister release, “Eres Todo Para Mi”, are both available on Amazon.com, iTunes, Spotify, and all major music sites. 

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 both 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.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Grammy 2016: Four Big Predictions

Yep, we get it.  There are worse jobs to have.  We get to sit and listen to music every day, all day long.  We are going to take that into account and not feign a "poor poor us" moment where we complain about the inconvenience of working all day in the medium that we love. However, as our spouses can attest, it could be argued that listening to “music” and listening to “one note” over and over again for 15 minutes might not be exactly the same thing. 

"I know exactly what you mean."
Not the most fun. And not everybody can do that. Some people can't take more than 5 minutes of the same note over and over again. This brings us to the Grammys-  the time of year when everyone’s finally done watching football and the band geeks get to shine for a week. 

What if I told you that marching band was a sport?
On Monday night this year (because apparently even the lovely Taylor Swift can’t compete with Valentine’s Day), we will be privy to a red carpet full of people who CAN (and do) listen to one note over and over again for 15 minutes. Well, they probably listen for 45 minutes or so. But hopefully in the end, they created some music.  

In our last entry, we asked you, our faithful followers, to vote for your favorite “non Taylor Swift” nominees in a handful of categories.  Here’s what came of the top four categories and who we are calling out for the big night at the Staples Center.

No, not you, Kobe.
The “Big Four”

Alabama Shakes, Sound & Color
Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp a Butterfly
Chris Stapleton, Traveller
Taylor Swift, 1989
The Weeknd, Beauty Behind the Madness

This is the big one.  The Top Prize.  The whole CAH Deck.  Will Kendrick Lamar or Taylor Swift win?  Wait – déjà vu:  Don’t we recall them both being up for the exact same award in 2014? Who won that last, very close race to the finish line?

Oh, yes, now I remember.
We know.  You don’t like rap and you switch stations when you hear country. Let's get over that right now: Taylor has obviously made herself a full-blown pop album while Kendrick is on the hipper side of hop.  Lamar’s album is definitely the underdog here, but certainly is the rooting favorite (especially after getting “Macklemore’d” in 2014).  Which obviously brings us to…

BBP Winner: Alabama Shakes, Sound & Color

Ok, that's who we WANT to win. But we'll actually predict this one goes to Taylor Swift, 1989

D’Angelo & The Vanguard, “Really Love”
Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars, “Uptown Funk”
Ed Sheeran, “Thinking Out Loud”
Taylor Swift, “Blank Space”
The Weeknd, “Can’t Feel My Face”

So, here’s a fun fact:  We’ve already covered that Max Martin and Shellback are on our fruit basket list for the rest of our lives.  If, and we do mean if, “Blank Space” and “Can’t Feel My Face” both end up duking this one out, our beloved producer pair will be competing with (drumroll) THEMSELVES. 

"I'll take Swedes in Pop Music for $100, Alex."
So, since the academy tends to spread the love around a bit, it is entirely possible that they will strip the dynamic duo of this prize in favor of the ear-bliss that is Bruno Mars and the 70’s-o-licious sounds of Mark Ronson.  However...

BBP Winner: Ed Sheeran, "Thinking Out Loud"

Sigh. Again, we wish.  It would be nice to throw a Grammy next to Ed Sheeran's name especially after, especially after the Great Snub of 2015. But as this is a production award, we really think it goes to: Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars, “Uptown Funk”

Kendrick Lamar, “Alright” (songwriters: Kendrick Lamar, Mark Anthony Spears and Pharrell Williams)
Taylor Swift, “Blank Space” (songwriters: Max Martin, Shellback and Taylor Swift)
Little Big Town, “Girl Crush” (songwriters: Hilary Lindsey, LorWeMcKenna and Liz Rose)
Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth, “See You Again” (songwriters: Andrew Cedar, Justin Franks, Charlie Puth and Wiz Khalifa, songwriters)
Ed Sheeran, “Thinking Out Loud” (songwriters: Ed Sheeran and Amy Wadge)

Ah, yes – Song.  This is the award for the 300 level.  Here’s a secret: The Staples Center isn’t a quiet room.  In fact, when you’re watching it on Monday, listen carefully after about the first 30 minutes.  Any time there’s a pause between presenters, you will be able to hear the “hum” of the room. That’s everyone talking to each other about who they saw at the pre-show, which artist just got robbed, or what dress Lady Gaga is wearing tonight.

...or not wearing
When this award (finally) comes up, listen again.  The room will be SILENT.  The cheap seats are finally on the edge of their composition book to see which “song” will win. Because, yes – it is all about the song. 

Kendrick – great job asking for help from Mr. Happy.  Little Big Town – a perfectly delivered, patient vocal hook.  But, let’s be real…

BBP Winner and Prediction: Taylor Swift, “Blank Space”

"I'll write your name."
Courtney Barnett
James Bay
Sam Hunt
Meghan Trainor

For those of you playing along at home, Trainor’s “All About That Bass” was up for record and song of the year last year, Meghan wasn’t eligible because the full album wasn’t released before the deadline.  Meghan, you took a good song and added a gutsy image to it (yourself). We can’t NOT like you for that.  Good showing, James, but... 


Hopefully she won't meet the same fate.

Now, if you’re my teenage daughter, the only question left is: “Father, do you believe that these nominees truly reflect the mastery and skill of all the works released from the last year in contemporary music?"  Yeah, not really...  Her real question is: "What about Adele?!?”  

So, I will answer the same way I answered last year when Taylor wasn’t up for more awards: The Grammy eligibility period covers commercial releases from October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015, so Adele’s eligible for next year.  I guess we’ll just have to go to L.A. again next winter. 

Poor, poor, us.
Stay tuned, our flight leaves Portland at no-o'clock Saturday morning. Antics to ensue. Next stop: The Red Carpet.

The BentBeat Team
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Monday, January 4, 2016

What if Taylor Swift Didn’t Win?

Editor's Note: We want to know who YOU would choose for second place in each of her six Grammy categories. Cast your votes at the end - J+D

It’s awards season again, and we’ve dusted off the garb that we hopefully will fit into come red-carpet time.  So, let’s get this over with:  Taylor’s "1989" album will sweep the 2016 Grammy's.  

Pictured here preparing for her contribution on the next "Fifty Shades" Soundtrack

Answers to your FAQ’s:

  • Yes, it is that good.
  • No, it’s not just because she’s popular.
  • Yes, it is really good.
  • Everyone likes her music (or can at least objectively appreciate why "someone else" likes it).
  • Why haven’t you bought it yet?
  • Max Martin and Shellback are pure producer genius.  We wonder if either of them needs a job…

Like we needed an excuse to add this picture to this post.
This is an amazing album.  We could throw around comparisons like “Thriller,” “Pet Sounds” or “Sgt. Pepper,” but only time will really tell if it lives up to that level of respect. Having said that:  Tell me exactly, when was the last time you listened to an entire album start to finish more than one time?

That's what I thought.
Now that that’s all over with, let play a game.  Let’s all suspend reality for a minute and pretend that Ms. Swift’s most recent brilliance came out LAST year.  Wait… didn’t it?  I seem to remember stuffing a child’s stocking last Christmas…  Oh yes, now I remember. 1989 was released in October (not to be confused with "Shake It Off," which was only a single the summer of 2014).  Why is that important?  That is JUST AFTER the September 30th Grammy cut-off to allow for a whole year plus of ear-worm bliss.

Did I miss the deadline?  Whoopsie, my bad.
So, here’s your challenge.  Rather than us going on and on about TS1989 (which, may remind you, deserves to win), we want to give “the other guys” some airtime.  We would love to know who YOU would vote for in each of the six categories where TS will take home the golden idol.  Plus, we added in a bonus question for “best new artist” for a total of seven questions.  Take a minute to put your votes in (it's just seven, people), and we will tally up the results on our next entry.

BentBeat's Pretend 2016 Ballot (VOTE HERE)

Till then,

The BentBeat Team
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