Post Christmas gig

On the 4th Friday of each month, Joe and I play this super-great gig
with bass virtuoso Cliff Hugo and his wife, singer Cynthia Tarr.

Not only are they both great musicians but really great folks on the
human-level too.

This all happens at The Olive & Vine in Glen Ellen, CA.

Welcome to the Rob Michael Landing page

On Twitter I'm @AtmosTrio-- in real life I'm guitarist Rob Michael. 

For the past couple of decades I have been "Living the Dream" of an active professional musician and I have enjoyed a very successful private teaching practice in the San Francisco Bay area.

I lead the Atmos Trio, an instrumental guitar trio which features myself, Joe Shotwell and Drew Waters. We gig frequently in the region and hire ourselves out as sidemen for recording and performance purposes.  You can find our music on iTunes or on CDBaby.

I do music and music technology related clinics. Also a fair amount of consulting with audio pros who find themselves cussing and fussing with their gear too much.

Apparently, I can string a sentence or two together as I occasionally do work as a freelance writer for music magazines. 

If I can be of service, give me a call.

Contact: Rob Michael

Cool Services I never knew I had for free--taken away

For several years, AT&T/ SBC/Yahoo--whatever they call themselves these days, has been the service through which I receive my phone/DSL and other services. They suck, though probably no more than their competitors. I have heard tales of woe about pretty much everyone. 

Like the time my Promo rate DSL contract ran out, they decided to charge a $50/ mo. When I checked their web site, the fastest DSL service in my area was $25. I called them on it and they made it right--but it left a bad taste in mouth.

Today I received this email:

Honestly, I never knew I even had a Flickr "Pro" account and now I have only one month with it--unless I'd care to pay for it. Had I known that I had this "Pro" account, I would have likely used it instead of the free Picasa account that I use for much of my photo hosting.  Honestly, I spend so much time baby sitting ATT's billing department for erroneous charges that I apparently miss-out on some legitimate content that comes from them in my criminally large pile of junk mail.

Who knows--maybe they provide free health insurance, parking or a shoe shine service as well. I would be none-the-wiser.

Is it just me? Do you know what (so-called) perks you have access to as little add-on items to the services to which you subscribe?

Gigs in odd places

We've all been there. The gig in the most unlikely of places. Airport terminals, bus stops, driveways, wheel-chair ramps... Screwy places.

I was going through some photos and found one that I had forgotten about. Not because it was bad, it was actually quite posh. Located in the beautiful Napa Valley Wine country, the Pine Ridge Winery holds a secret that belies the greenery of it's exterior. 

300 feet into the hillside is a subterranean dinning room you almost can't believe.

It's a cave. When informed that I would play in a cave,  I immediately pictured bats, water running down walls, stalactites & stalagmites.

Yes--it' a cave, but an upscale one. Stucco walls, tiles floors, electrical fixtures. The tunnels were filled with barrels of wine that opened-up to the chamber we see here. 

Now the acoustic qualities are another story: they we quite strange... but man-- funky cave.

Atmos Trio Sprout

"Living the Dream"

Atmos played a lovely holiday-toned wine tasting in beautiful downtown Yountvile (Near Napa) in northern California's wine country.

Since I can never seem to remember to take pictures of much of anything, here is a photo that I gathered from Google's "Street View." Much of the SF Bay area is available with photos of every street. It's a neat yet creepy feature. My wife entered her father's address into Google maps and found that she could actually see him sitting on his front porch...

Anyway... even though we played outdoors (in December), the temperature was not too cold, and the music was happening.

Nice folks out here in the Napa Valley.

Posted via email from atmosmusic's posterous

Did Coldplay copy Joe Satriani? See for yourself...

Rock guitar legend Joe Satriani has recently alleged that pop sensation and Grammy nominated Coldplay copied a substantial portion of his composition "If I Could Fly" in their hit song "Viva La Vida."

Upon casual listening, there is definitely some similarities. The tempi are close, but that can't be copyrighted. The chord progressions are similar, but you can't copyright that either. 

But what if we take a closer, more musicological view?

Fig.1 is a transcription of the Satriani piece during the "Chorus."

Listen for yourself. The melody, played on guitar, should be your focus at 00:49.

Fig. 2 is the "Verse" of Coldplay's Viva La Vida. While Coldplay perform their song in the key of F minor, this excerpt has been transposed to the key of B minor so that comparisons can more easily be made.

Here is the Coldplay tune. Check out the vocal melody at 00:14.

The chord progressions are nearly identical: Satriani uses Emin9 as his opening chord in his theme. Coldplay utilized GMaj7, the relative major alternative chord. 

The melodies are identical with the exception of the vocal "pick-up notes." The note choices in the main theme are likely the catalyst for the lawsuit. Though not earth shattering, the note choices on these chords are not "everyday rock radio" choices either: The use of the F# (the 9th of the chord in Satriani's tune and Major 7th in the Coldplay version) is a chord extension as is the E on the Dadd2 chords. These are choices that would be typical of  a more informed musical ear and somewhat less probable of sheer coincidence.

Personally, I think Joe's case might just have some traction to it. Then again, in the history of popular music--there are plenty of far more egregious examples: Think of almost any hip-hop tune... no offense--but seriously...

What do you think? 

The Gift of Jazz Music.

Here is a free music player that includes songs from our two most
recent CDs: "Atmos Trio" and "Atmos Plays Water."
Please enjoy it and pass the along to anyone else you think would might it.
Click to play Songs from Atmos Trio:
 Steve - Atmos Trio
 Mr. Tippy Toe - Atmos Trio
 Another Slip - Atmos Trio
 Armando's Rumba - Atmos Trio
 Havona - Atmos Trio

Posted via email from atmosmusic's posterous

Residence at 33 Revolutions

Rob will be hosting a series of performances at 33 Revolutions in El
Cerrito on the 4th Wednesday of each month beginning in 2009.

There will likely be different people playing in the band each night. 

All ages always welcome at 33 Revolutions.