Thursday, April 28, 2011

Upcoming changes...

Good news! We've got a few changes coming up for the Muse Music Blog:

  1. We have moved the blog to Go on... check it out!
  2. We will be posting more frequently to help you stay up to speed on Provo news and events for summer 2011.
  3. Instead of posting exclusively about events at Muse we will also cover other great stuff happening elsewhere in the local music scene. Stay tuned for more on that...
Remember to check us out on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. As always, we'll keep the good times coming. Peace!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Reliving the 90's

Muse regular and local icon Drew Danburry has embarked on a video project with friends and fellow musicians that we are proud to be a part of. The project, called "Reliving the 90's" does just that: relives some of the most memorable songs of that decade. Each episode features a guest Provo musician and friends performing a song from the 90's at Muse Music. The songs are recorded in Muse's studio.

Episode 1 of "Reliving the 90's" debuted this month. It features singer/songwriter Katie Brandeburg singing a version of Lisa Loeb's "Stay". A new episode will be uploaded to the "Living The 90's" Youtube channel every month for the remainder of 2010.

For now, enjoy Episode 1, featuring Katie Brandeburg, with Drew Danburry, McKay Stevens (The Vibrant Sound, NightNight), Jordan Clark (Shady Chapel), Jake Haws (Adding Machines), Scott Robinson, & Gordon Barlow. Episode 1 was filmed by Eddie King and edited by Chris Duce:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Monday Night FREE Rockumentary Series

We've made some slight changes to our Monday night schedule for 2010. Our movie night, formerly at 10pm, will now begin at 9pm. We will be showing "rockumentary" themed films every Monday through the end of April 2010.

Our rockumentary series began two weeks ago with a showing of "Miroir Noir" which chronicles Arcade Fire in the making of their 2007 album "Neon Bible". Last Monday we watched "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart: A Film About Wilco".

As a result, our free open mic night, also held every Monday, will now begin at 7pm. Since both the open mic and movie night are free to the public, we ask that you support us in the form of a purchase from our cafe.

Here is the schedule for the remaining Mondays in our rockumentary series:

1/18: The Devil and Daniel Johnston
1/25: Hype! (Seattle Music Scene)
2/1: Heima (Sigur Ros)
2/8: Genghis Blues (throat singing in Mongolia)
2/15: Meeting People is Easy (Radiohead)
2/22: Directions (Death Cab For Cutie)
3/1: Anvil: The Story of Anvil
3/8: It Might Get Loud (Jack White/Jimmy Page/The Edge)
3/15: DiG! (The Dandy Warhols/Brian Jonestown Massacre)
3/22: Spend An Evening With Saddle Creek
3/29: You May Need A Murderer (Low)
4/5: New York Doll
4/12: The Carter (Lil Wayne)
4/19: Kurt Cobain: About a Son
4/26: Spinal Tap

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Saint Sebastian's School for Wicked Girls Interview

We recently interviewed Micah, Cole, Leo, and Brett who collectively make one of Provo's awesomest bands, Saint Sebastian's School for Wicked Girls. Their shows are filled with a lot of energy and their songs are fantastic. They are playing this Saturday, December 6th at Muse Music Cafe with Coup De Grace and Maple Grove. The show starts at 8pm. Seriously, you don't wanna miss this one.

So you guys have an interesting name. What is the inspiration behind it?

MICAH: we were looking for something sassy. "Saint Sebastian's School for Wicked Girls" came from The Simpsons when Milhouse's girlfriend was sent off when the two of them were caught kissing in Bart's treehouse. Who is in the band and what role do they play?
MICAH: Me, Cole, Leo, Bret… our roles are becoming less distinguished as we go on. We're more equals, all writing and producing the music.

How long have you all known each other and how did you meet?

COLE: Micah and I have known each other since '99. We met at a battle-of-the-bands type concert at Ricks college. We've been playing together almost straight since then. During one span when we weren't—while I was in Korea—I introduced a friend to Micah and they eventually formed a band in 2002 called Magnolia. Leo was in that band. So, Micah and Leo have been playing together ever since then. And then Bret's the drummer that didn't leave us. He's been with us since last year and we hope he doesn't leave soon.

How did you first get interested in music and/or playing music?
LEO: I've always been interested in music. I remember watching crappy 80s videos with my sister after watching the Thundercats. That's a pretty big part of my childhood—cartoons and music videos.
MICAH: I just started writing music when i was little. I always have, always will… BRET: I started playing in clubs when I was 13. It has pretty much been a staple in my life since then.

What aspect of making music excites you the most right now?

LEO: Creating, playing, performing… it's always been the same and it will never change.

What aspect of making music gets you the most discouraged?

COLE: Struggling to write new songs, to change with our personal growth and interests, and to balance making music with work and family life.

MICAH: Originally, we just want to be this straight rock thing and it's not really us anymore, nor is it very appealing.
But bringing in those things that would make it more appealing takes so much time and it seems like the band's more of an afterthought now. We don't have the time to put in the kind of time it would require to do what we want to do.

In what ways does living in Provo, or other places you have lived effect music you create or your music taste?

LEO: Places don't effect the music i create or my musical taste.
MICAH: I never really look to my surroundings for musical inspiration. The scenes in Rexburg and here are really different now… there's a lot of synth and tight jeans.
COLE: I don't really feel like we've ever been very connected to the Provo scene. Not that we're above it or anything, we just never really seemed to fit. Ugly duckling or something.

BRET: (take or leave it…) Living in Provo has put a bad taste in my mouth for playing music. Everyone takes themselves so seriously, and does absolutely nothing to warrant it. Bands play at same venues once every other month and put out a CD every two years. Whenever the new fans arrive in the fall they can pretend they are celebrities for a while. I have resigned myself from trying to do anything about it. Any band that doesn't fit into the already established mold is shunned, and any band who sucks up to said celebrities is privileged. It's more funny than anything. The only reason to write music anymore is Provo is and try and piss people off.

What band or musician do you love? Is the music you listen to similar or different from your own?

LEO: I listen to many bands. I listen to music that's similar and definitely i listen to stuff that's totally different.

MICAH: I don't really feel like I stick to a genre… unless you want to call it "indie." But indie covers such a huge spectrum now that you could be listening to anything really.

COLE: The music that i listen to is often quite different from what we play. I like artists like Jens Lekmen and Beirut—artists that really make the most of their instrumentation. And I love The Beatles. Also, I've been really into hip hop like the Blue Scholars and Kanye West.

Can you describe the music making process for you as a group?

MICAH: um……… it would be nice if that were clearer.

COLE: Broken.
MICAH: Basically, it's been "micah has an idea and he brings it to the band," but now, the whole band tries to bring something to the table.

COLE: Part of dealing with the change that I mentioned earlier is re-learning how to make new music in a new way. We combine in the music writing process more now than we used to, but we still haven't quite learned how to be what we want to be.

What are the main themes of your songs? Do you think these topics will change over time?

LEO: I have no idea.

COLE: Micah writes a lot about growing up, i think. it's hard to understand a lot of what he says.

MICAH: If you look at How to do Everything Correctly, the overall theme of the entire album is revisiting childhood. Now I kinda wait for the song to dictate what it's going to be about. It starts out as a mumble to a melody. And then some words will form. Then some more. And then it starts to becomes about something. And, eventually, it has meaning—it turns into something. Once i know what the songs about, I can go back and write the song because I have a subject.

How has your music evolved since you first started songwriting?
MICAH: gotten better. haha.
LEO: I don't think it's changed that much. Technology changes, but songwriting is still the same.

COLE: I don't know. I think we have changed. It's messier now, for sure. And, although I think we like giving the audience a good pop hook to enjoy, we also try to challenge them a bit more—whether it be with time changes, dissonant chords, noise jams or whatever… and then we try to reward with something really beautiful on the other end. We push ourselves compositionally more now. Either that or we're bored with what we typically used to do and that's why we do what we do.

Do you have a favorite song to perform?

LEO: Carpal Tunnel.

COLE: Yeah, that's at the top because it is, musically, probably our best compositions. And Kandahar has been really fun because it's a dirty, happy, rock song and both us and the audience tend to enjoy it. But, I think our favorite changes.

MICAH: I'm hoping that our new song will be our favorite song to perform. It's pretty cool… I like what we do.

COLE: Exactly. If we ever have something new that generally jumps to the top.

What can you tell me about your instruments? (i.e., Are you subject to brand loyalty or will you play with whatever's available? What made you choose the instruments you have now?)

LEO: I use a Rickenbacker 4003 Bass. I'm not loyal to a brand, but I won't just play whatever's laying around. I love guitars so I chose quality instruments. I've loved Rickenbacker basses since I was twelve. I went to the music store and tried it and I bought it.
MICAH: Mine were the best sounding instruments for my budget. And they're all classic instruments. The amp is a remake of a classic Fender amp. And the Danelectro—while not the most sturdy guitar—the sound is a classic sound. I don't really have brand loyalty, but aesthetic loyalty—It's gotta sound good and look good. I don't have a sponsor, so i have no loyalty. My loyalty can be bought—or at least paid for.

COLE: I'm never totally comfortable with what I have because I always kinda of feel out of place in the world of electric instruments. So I like trying new things out—be it pedals or amps or guitars if someone has one to loan. But, recently, i've started growing into my sound and would be less apt to swap. I think I finally found the guitar that fits me… and I can't even think of what it's called right now. Bummer.

What advice do you have for people who want to write and perform their own music?
COLE: Anytime you step out of your comfort zone, it's generally going to be appreciated by the audience. Be honest. Don't give too much heed to the trends. Provo's too mired in them as it is.

LEO: Do whatever you want to do. Be yourself.

MICAH: Quit. Go get a job. haha. It's addictive. It's hard to get out of. I can't stop. It will ruin your life.

BRET: Do it. Just go on tour as soon as you can if you're serious.

How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Do you have a website with sample songs or a CD?

LEO: Yes.

COLE: And like a million other places littered throughout the web via CD Baby. even iTunes. We do have a CD.

Any last words?

LEO: Queria mandar un saludo a todos los que me conocen. Y, siganme que no los voy a defraudar.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Yaks Interview

Today, we sit down with The Yaks, recent Muse Battle of the Bands winners, and talk about their fascination with cowboys, Outkast, and retro garage rock. Don't let the 14-15 year old age fool you; these guys know how to rock!

Muse Music Café (MMC):

What's the name of your band? (What's the origin of that name? Have you changed the band's name before?)

The Yaks: Originally, we were called “Nothing But Flying Yaks”. Everyone called us “The Yaks” or “The Flying Yaks”, so we eventually just gave up and shortened it to “The Yaks”.

MMC: Who's in the band and what are their contributions?

The Yaks: Schuyler plays the bass and sings. Joel plays guitar and sings. Tagg plays guitar and sings. Danny plays keyboard. Creed plays drums and is a recording wizard. We all contribute to the songwriting process.

MMC: What genre of music do you consider your work to be? Who are your major influences?

The Yaks: We all listen to a lot of different kinds of music. Our biggest influences are probably older bands like the Beatles and the Kinks, but we also dig newer bands like Grandaddy, Belle and Sebastian, and DR. Dog. Our genre is a kind of a garage rock/country rock/indie pop mix.

MMC: How long have you all known each other? How did you meet?

The Yaks: We have all lived in the same small area. Danny, Tagg, and Schuyler are the original yak gangsters, and they started playing together around 2005-ish. Joey and Creed had been jamming in Jazz bands and stuff since before then.

MMC: When did you form your band? What inspired you to make music together?

The Yaks: Our newest version of the yaks came together around this last April. We all loved to jam and play music, and its cool that people think we are the least bit cool and can dig our stuff. We would still be playing even if no one liked us at all. Frankly, the Yaks only try to impress the Yaks.

MMC: What can you tell me about your instruments? (i.e., Are you subject to brand loyalty or will you play with whatever's available? What made you choose the instruments you have now? Was it cost or was it a style/model/brand/color preference?)

The Yaks: I wouldn’t say we have any brand loyalty or anything. But both Joel and Tagg play Fender Telecasters through Vox amps. Strange. Actually, the whole story of all our gear is kind of a joke, because Creed is really a guitar player, and Joel is really a bass player. So Tagg plays his guitar through Creed’s amp. Joel plays Schuyler’s guitar through Tagg’s amp. Creed plays Tagg’s brother’s drums. Schuyler plays his own bass through Joel’s amp. And Danny plays his own keyboard, which is awesome. Very confusing, but we are all cool sharing our stuff, which is nice.

MMC: Where have you performed? Do you have any upcoming shows?

The Yaks: We have played at Kilby Court , Solid Ground Café, the Velour, and the lovely Muse Music. Our favorite gig though, is at this Halloween party that Joel’s and Danny’s distant family puts on. There are less indie kids, and more costumed dancing kids. It’s very fun. Our next show is at Muse Music on December 18th.

MMC: Does the band have a favorite song to perform? Do you ever play any covers? Do you usually have a set play list?

The Yaks: We usually try to have a set list, but we usually forget to make one. Our newest song, “Pushing Daisies”, makes everyone go wild, so that’s our favorite right now. We play some covers, most of them Halloween tunes like “monster mash”, “I put a spell on you”, and a Harry potter medley. We also play “hey ya” by Outkast.

MMC: Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs? Do you think these topics will change over time?

The Yaks: Our main songwriters are Joel, Tagg, and Schuyler. Everyone really contributes to the arranging though. Mostly, we don’t really write about anything. We try to put two words that sound good next to each other, and that’s about it. Every once in a while, a song might contain a phrase about our feelings or something. Maybe someday we’ll actually write about something.

MMC: Could you briefly describe the music-making process?

The Yaks: Someone will bring a cool set of chords to a practice/jam session and from there we just begin building off of it all together. And we eventually have a performable song. But the songs are generally subject to change over a period of time. There have been exceptions from this process when we have written a song around our recording process.

MMC: What are your rehearsals generally like? (Do you have a set time each week in which you practice or are rehearsals more spontaneous?)

The Yaks: We know it is an awful habit, but we generally get together and practice/write when we have a show coming up in the next week or two. We hope to fix this by playing more shows closer together. Maybe then will we completely finish writing the material for our next album.

MMC: How has your music evolved since you first began playing music together?

The Yaks: The overall musicianship and level of our playing has definitely been one of the bigger evolutions in the band. But the depth of the actual songs has gone to a much greater level with better lyrics and deeper grooves.

MMC: What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?

The Yaks: Gaining the Indie-kid’s approval as a viable source of music. We are still working on it.

MMC: What's your ultimate direction for your band?

The Yaks: One word: Hollywood .

MMC: What advice do you have for people who want to form their own bands?

The Yaks: Play what you want, and not what everyone else wants. Play shows only when you’re ready, we found that out the hard way. It wasn’t pretty.

MMC: How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Do you have a website with sample songs or a CD?

The Yaks: Right now we only have a Myspace (, but we have a website in the works and a potential facebook page.

MMC: Any last words?

The Yaks: Nah.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Matt Weidauer Interview

Few musicians have accomplished what Matt Weidauer has been able to do musically in the past few years. Each of his songs are polished folk gems which sound mature well beyond his years. His lyrical themes range from riding trains to family illnesses to God. His music carries an extremely sincere, honest, and warm tone. Matt is a Utah valley native who grew up in Cedar Hills. His is starting work now on an EP with a full length album to follow. We recently caught up with Matt to talk about what inspires his music, how he got to where he is now, and his mild obsession of Iron Madien. We plays at Muse Music Cafe Thursday, November 21st at 8pm.

How did you first get interested in music and/or playing music?

When I was in 7th grade I became infatuated with punk music (like so many of us!) I bought "Face to Face: Live." That album made me fall in love with music. I originally wanted to play the drums but decided on learning the guitar. From watching live punk videos I knew I wanted to be on stage. Certain bands laid a musical foundation for me like the get up kids and face to face.

What aspect of making music excites you the most right now?

I really enjoy writing lyrics. Most of my guitar parts are fairly simple minus a few little diddy's. So I love finally finding that line in the song that kind of connects the chain and makes it become my own. I love it.

What aspect of making music gets you the most discouraged?

As well as lyrics getting me excited, at times lyrics get me very discouraged. Some times it is sort of like trying to leach something from my bones without being able to find it. Another aspect is striving for originality. It is difficult finding a distinct sound. It is a matter of refining it down and having it become my own. This is very hard sometimes.

In what ways does living in Provo, or other places you have lived effect music you create or your music taste?

I don't think living around Provo has effected my style of music. I have always played the style I wanted to regardless of my surroundings. Although for the time I lived in Hawaii I found the island style music slowly began to creep into my playing. But the islands are less musically diverse than the mainland. So I don't think Provo has necessarily effected my music.

What band or musician do you love? Is the music you listen to similar or different from your own?

Right now I'm listening to a lot of M. Ward, Johnny Cash, Fleetwood Mac, Calexico, and Matt Pond P.A. Most of the music I listen to is similar to my style. But I also have a passion for Iron Maiden and other power metal bands. In fact I am working on converting some Maiden songs into folk songs. But I primarily listen to indie music.

What happens during the song writing process for you?

Most of the time I begin with a tune on the guitar first. Some times I have a good idea lyrically or a good topic, then I would add guitar. But mostly I begin with the guitar and then the lyrics. The two tie together as the song progresses. Usually I write music in my car at night. Often times I use the things I am seeing around me to spark ideas for lyrics.

What are the main themes of your songs? Do you think these topics will change over time?

My songs usually are about actual events in my life. I have a few that are fiction. I always try to incorporate God into my music. Some of my lyrics are embellished a bit by western themes but most of them are true. I don't think my themes will ever change. It is easy for me to talk about God because he is the one who is making all of this possible. And I'm sure I will have many more experiences to write about.

How has your music evolved since you first started songwriting?

When I was 12 I began learning punk/ska songs. Those changed into emo songs. Those turned into metal songs. And those became folk songs. That is kind of how I have musically "matured" over the years. The first song I ever wrote was in 8th grade and it was very similar to "Dashboard Confessional" or something like they would play. Now my songs are more personal, less emo, and more western and folky. I really feel like this is my home in music.

Do you have a favorite song to perform?

My favorite song to perform is called "A Just and Perfect Man." It is the story of Job from the Bible told as if I were him. In a way his words become my own and it is a way for me to express the way I feel. I really love playing this song. I wrote it when I was 17 years old and it hasn't changed since then.

What can you tell me about your instruments? (i.e., Are you subject to brand loyalty or will you play with whatever's available? What made you choose the instruments you have now?)

I do not suffer from brand loyalty. I play on a Guild GF-60 acoustic guitar. I love the sound and playability. If I could afford it I would probably buy a Gibson or a Taylor. For now the Guild is working great. I used to own an Epiphone Hummingbird that I loved. Years ago I owned an old beat up Fender acoustic. That is what I wrote a lot of my old songs on.

You play with a backing band. Who are the members and what are their contributions?

Sydney Rigby plays violin and the late Derek Lowry played harmonica for me. My brother, Jason Weidauer, also is occasionally playing bass with me. They have added so much to the songs to give them more of a unique and distinct sound. In time I plan on having more of an assortment of friends playing different instruments for me. Derek Lowry's recent passing will be a great loss to our music and our lives.

What do you hope to be your ultimate direction as a musician?

Right now I'm just grateful people like my music. Of course I would love to go some where with it but for the time I am very content playing local venues that I love with the people that I love. I imagine I will never stop playing music whether I go some where or not.

What advice do you have for people who want to write and perform their own music?

Just write the music you want to write. Don't write the music that influential people are telling you to write. Write what you feel. Be original but not off the wall. Have fun and love it.

How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Do you have a website with sample songs or a CD?

I have a facebook fan page. Most of the songs are older recordings and live material. There are also live videos on youtube.

Any last words?

Thanks everyone who has supported me since I began playing music. Thanks friends and family. Thanks muse music. Music is the greatest.