Kicking off the 2015 series of unplugged gigs

This year we will focus on building our performance chops by putting ourselves in a tough situation: nothing but an acoustic guitar.  Just like the early days of Simon & Garfunkel — we’ll be rocking the stage at our neighborhood coffeehouse.

Here are a couple of pictures and set lists from the first two gigs, on Friday Jan. 30 and Friday Feb 6.

Jan 30:

  1. Dark Room
  2. Half Step
  3. Boy Was Waiting
  4. Web
  5. Solar Ascent
  6. Promised Land
  7. River
  8. Sun
  9. Sister
  10. Elephant (Damien Rice)
  11. Scarborough Fair (Simon & Garfunkel)
  12. Cult
  13. Arms Lost
  14. Out of the Ocean
  15. Unexpectedly
  16. August Moon
  17. The Must-Save List

Feb 6:

  1. Dark Room
  2. Solar Ascent
  3. Half Step
  4. Boy Was Waiting
  5. Scarborough Fair (Simon & Garfunkel)
  6. Promised Land
  7. River
  8. Sun
  9. Sister
  10. Arms Lost
  11. Cult
  12. Elephant (Damien Rice)
  13. Unexpectedly
  14. Web
  15. The Must-Save List
  16. August Moon
  17. Out of the Ocean
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The EP “Everything to Your Cause” Is Released

We are excited to finally share these songs with the world.  Please head over to Bandcamp to purchase or to the EP page to read more about how this song collection came together.

We are also planning to take this release to likes of iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.  And a generous NoiseTrade release is in the works.  If you haven’t done so already, please join our email list, and you’ll have access to every free track we offer, including some that we don’t make available anywhere else.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the production, plus our family and friends.  And above all, to our listeners — we appreciate you!

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Would You Like to Be on Our EP?

We’re busy mixing our next EP right now, but we have an urgent need for some audience participation.

First, listen to this rough mix of the middle instrumental section of the song “PK.”

If you thought that this section was missing something — you are right, it is.  And you could be that missing ingredient.

Our idea originally was to find some clips of movies or other audio snippets to mix in the background starting about 7-8 seconds into this clip, all the way to the pounding section kicks in around 1:22.  But then, we realized that a better idea may be to collect a few monologues and mix them in.

So, here’s what we’re looking for: a monologue in any language (non-English is actually preferred) that’s at least 1 minute 20 seconds in length.  We want it recorded on your mobile phone or computer, with plenty of background noise — we definitely don’t want nor need a pristine, good-sounding recording.  Noisier and grungier, the better.

Now, what the monologue is about is up to you, but we want it to give the listener a sense that something is not quite right with this person (whether the listener understands the language or not).  Ideally it’ll start innocuously but then it gets creepier or darker as it goes, and by about 1-minute mark you’re certain that something is definitely wrong with this person… think, it’s like a scene from some psycho thriller movie.  (It shouldn’t be comical/funny in any way)

But we don’t really need you to plan that out.  Just make up something quick, on the fly.  It could be a fast, manic talking on slow, breathy whisper.  It could be screaming, weeping, or manic.  Oh, but please keep the content to be PG-13 at most — no swear words or graphic violence/adult matters.

We’re hoping to have a few monologues and mix them all in, so the chances are, your voices/words may be unintelligible.  We’re just wanting to create a somewhat cinematic atmosphere, perhaps a montage of scenes where you’re starting to see the true, dark nature of the character is revealed.

Once you record your monologue, please get in touch by tweeting to @arikoinuma, befriending and messaging Ari on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ari.koinuma) (or posting on the Minnasia page), or leaving a comment here.  We’ll figure out a way to get the recording sent to us.

Fine prints:

  • We reserve the right not to use your recording.  We can’t know whether what you contribute will fit in the context or not, until we get it.  We appreciate your effort, though.
  • Your name will appear everywhere we can list credits for the song (unless you want to be anonymous)
  • You’ll receive the free mp3 of the song (just by submitting a clip, even if it doesn’t end up in the song)
  • You will receive no other financial compensation for your contribution.
  • By sending us your recording, you’ll grant us license to use it in any imaginable manner.

Thanks, we look forward to receiving your contributions!

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Acoustic Duo Gig at Dunn Bros on Grand, August 25, 2014

The second gig in the same venue, we were hoping to tweak things that could be improved.  And we did.  We put in a pair of Damien Rice covers, and realized we’re a lot like him.  We have a video of us rehearsing “Elephant” on our Facebook page.

But the other highlight was playing “Half Step” a song from our upcoming EP.  It’s one of the most demanding songs vocally, but Bob nailed it like he’s been singing it all his life.  Here’s the video to prove it:

Photos

Set List

  1. August Moon
  2. The Dark Room
  3. Half Step
  4. Boy Was Waiting
  5. Ice Burns
  6. Solar Ascent
  7. Sound of Silence (Simon & Garfunkel)
  8. Promised Land
  9. River
  10. Sister
  11. Scarborough Fair (Simon & Garfunkel)
  12. Elephant (Damien Rice)
  13. The Raid
  14. Cult
  15. The Blower’s Daughter (Damien Rice)
  16. Unexpectedly
  17. The Must-Save List
  18. August Moon (reprise)
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Acoustic Duo Gig at Dunn Bros on Grand, July 29, 2014

 

 

 

So we had to get some rust off of ourselves so we booked a couple of acoustic gigs at a local coffeehouse.  Two voices, one guitar.  We thought, if we can sound good with just that for 2 hours, then we’ll be OK with just about any other situations.

 

Did we sound good for the entire 2 hours?  Mostly — of course there were rough edges but no trainwrecks, either.  Above all, we enjoyed getting out and getting caught by a few ears.

 

Set List

 

  1. August Moon
  2. The Dark Room
  3. Boy Was Waiting
  4. Ice Burns
  5. Solar Ascent
  6. Promised Land
  7. River
  8. Sun
  9. Sister
  10. She’s All I Need (Bob solo)
  11. Sound of Silence (Simon & Garfunkel)
  12. Scarborough Fair (Simon & Garfunkel)
  13. The Raid
  14. Cult
  15. Unexpectedly
  16. The Must-Save List
  17. August Moon (reprise)
  18. The Dark Room (reprise)

 

Photos

 

IMG_0010

IMG_0005 1 IMG_0003 2I played also, but didn’t bring a tripod to do a self-timer shot :-) — Ari

 

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Cello Back in Mix for the Fall EP

We just reconnected with Daniel Zamzow, who played the cello for us on Promised Land.  He’ll be playing for us again for the upcoming rock EP.  In addition to our work, please check out his solo work and his main band, Cloud Cult’s last studio album.  He’s a man in demand, for sure.

The project is coming along well, with the cello parts almost ready for score preps (meaning, the parts is more or less mapped out and now it just needs to turn into scores) and bass and drums mostly tracked.  At the current rate we’re hoping to release it some time in September.  The experiment this time is to explore the sound of a band made up of electric guitar, cello, bass and drums.  Having string instruments in a rock band isn’t exactly rare but we think how these four pieces fit together will create a fresh sound.

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It’s Always Nice to Get Kudos

Recently we were mentioned in a couple sites that specialize in discovering good music.

First, the indie music review site The Equal Ground gave us a nice write-up regarding our classically-inclined Promised Land:

Minnasia puts intense passion into Promised Land, which demonstrates how much thought, care and love they have for this album’s message and story. Promised Land’s sound and vocals create an elegantly beautiful masterpiece.

4.1 out of 5 stars!

Next, OpenUpAndSay.com featured our prog-rock opus Bleeding Redwood on its June 4 post. You’ll need to check out other fine finds listed on this site.

In other news, work is progressing on our next EP — we’re mostly finished with the drums, working on bass and arranging cello parts right now.  This is the first time we attempt to combine cello and electric guitar, and we’re excited about the potential of this combination.  It’s going to take longer than originally planned, but we hope to have it out by the fall.

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