New Guy

Hey Madisons Family,

This is Mike speaking. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Madisons’ newest member (I play drums), and I thought I’d take some time to fill you in on my impressions of being in this band, including some highlights of what we’ve been calling our “Summer of Madisons.” I also want to mention how insanely lucky and blessed I am to be surrounded and respected by people who love life and music as much, or even more, than I do.  

Throughout the summer, we’ve been promoting and showcasing the music from our newest album, You Can Take Your Sorry Ass Back To West Texas!  It’s been a crazy couple of months, but I wouldn't trade them for the world.

It all began on a flight in June to Toronto. During our 10-day stay there, we played an official NXNE (that’s the Canadian version of SXSW) show and a huge BBQ in the suburbs for some amazing fans.  We got to see Niagara falls and a bunch of really great NXNE bands. We found out that alcohol is expensive and hard to find, but the natives are crazy partiers!

We came back to Austin and prepared for our CD release show at the Saxon Pub at the beginning of July. Known as one of the best sounding venues in Austin, as well as being iconic, we wanted to make sure we put on a good show there.  I think we were all more than surprised when we found out that a line had formed outside of the Saxon!! First, the venue sent some staff home because they'd never heard of us (almost nobody in Austin has). They bar quickly became overwhelmed and over crowded, so they stopped letting people in. After that was under control, the doors reopened and the venue quickly filled to capacity, leaving another line outside. Screaming fans, drunk people knocking over our stage monitors, Dom’s awesome stories about his dad, and a brief banjo-jam to the tune of “Tiny Dancer;” how could that not have been an amazing night!

We just came back from a mini-tour, where we played three shows (plus 2 acoustic after-shows) packed into three nights. We crammed into the back of a van (along with all our gear) and drove 10 hours to Springfield, Missouri, where we played a show for a fan of Madisons, who was celebrating his 40th birthday.  Ben and his girlfriend, Liz, have been fans of the band since it was known as Jubal’s Lawyer, and we had the opportunity to play at their local (and badass) bar.  The two of them were beyond hospitable, and we still can’t get over the fact that they put us all up in their house, each of us with our own bed. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BEN!

The next night, we had our Denton CD release show at Rubber Gloves, where we played at a great venue with amazing musicians, including George Neal and The Holler Time. Also, and much more important, this was the night that Oscar’s foot and Jocelyn’s violin became viral video stars (if you have not watched this, and especially if you already have, do so now): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rt5N_FQYKOM&feature=youtu.be). 

Everyone who came out to see us at the Dallas CD release the next night got to watch us, along with J. Charles and the Trainrobbers and Telegraph Canyon, play to a 200+ crowd at Club Dada in Deep Ellum. I cannot express how intoxicating it is to play for a room with that much energy!  Although, to be perfectly honest, it may not have been the crowd that was responsible for our intoxication…  That night, at the after party, Dom got to play and sing as much as he wanted without fear of killing his voice, as we had already played our last show, and the rest of the band all accompanied him at different parts of the night with our acoustic instruments (I finally got a chance to play my cajon!).  Needless to say, the drive back to Austin on Sunday was rough, especially for Nick, who did not sleep all night and I’m pretty sure never put down his banjo (gotta impress the banj-hoes, right?).

What’s even the craziest is that two days after we got back to Austin, and despite our lack of sleep and just general exhaustion, we were all stoked to work on new music that might end up on a potential new album!! Music never sleeps!  

We are really excited to finish off “Summer of Madisons” at The Blackheart on Rainy Street this Saturday night.  If you can make it, there’s no cover and we go on at 11:00!!! 

LEARN ABOUT IT!

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Letter From Karen

Hi Dominic – I wanted to send you this note to let you and the band know what an amazing impact you had on the people you met here in Canada at our street bash. We threw that party for the sole purpose of you being in town, but what you gave us that day was so much more – and we thank you!

When I tell people who couldn’t make it that we had a band play at the party, they are impressed and wish they could have been there. When I tell them all the stories – Jocelyn facepainting with the kids…Oscar & Jocelyn taking the time to nurture the musical spirit of a young violinist and a sax player…all of you letting us be “musicians” with you…the autographs…how much the band enjoyed interacting with our friends – that makes people get a bit teary every time. As I go on to tell them how much fun it was to watch a group of talented musicians who are on their way up, performing with the energy and passion of ones who have music in their blood, they get the same smile on their faces that I have now just thinking about that day.  

All this to say that I really want you guys to know how much we enjoyed not only your music but your presence here with us “up north”. Glad you had a good time on your first time in Canada…hope you see you again.

As an aside, we have had the funniest “Madisons” moments with the kids since you left:

-          Megan was beside herself that Maria left behind her pink bow hair clip…and she wears it ALL THE TIME.

-          The girls still talk about Mustache Man all the time (ya Nick!).

-          The girls almost came to blows over who would get to keep the sunglasses that were left behind. To your corners, ladies…

-          Megan has decided that when we get her a new bike soon, she has to keep the seat…because it was signed by the AMAZING GODDESS JOCELYN.

-          Eva (the little violin player) wears her cap every day…because the VIOLIN GODDESS signed that too.

-          They proudly wear their shirts all the time and explain to everyone who you are.

-          Emily feels like she is best friends with Kelly, as they “hung out” together for ages.

-          The girls both play their CD’s all the time and know pretty much all the words now.

-          I hear them telling all their friends that a famous band stayed at their house…and when none of their friends believe them, they are so pissed. It’s hilarious.

We have some great pics which I am not sure if AJ sent you yet. If not, I’ll make sure to pass them along too.

OK, I am totally rambling now so will sign off – appreciate you listening to the comments of a music-lovin’ mama in Canada…

Take care and say hi to everyone – also congrats on your album launch party – sounded like a huge success.

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We're Back!!!

Hi Everyone!

It's been a long time since we've made a blog post, but we're due for sure. I'll try and keep it short.

First, a few updates. Obviously, we're coming out with a new record. We worked very hard on it and we're very excited! However, we're also pretty anxious to see what people will think. Making art can be scary and rewarding all at the same time. We're working with a publicist this time around to see if we can reach more fans. We're so bad at marketing ourselves it's sad, but we're gonna try a little harder. Maybe it's good, maybe it's bad, but at the very least, it's gonna be out there, fuck it!

It's very expensive for a band to pay to get shirts, CD's, go on tour, record, and purchase equipment. All of these things cost money and frankly, we don't have very much of it. So why no kickstarter? It's very hard for me to ask for money, extremely hard. You always wanna ask family and friends first, but none of my family and friends have money either. If I want this to happen, I'm gonna work my ass off and save up. I'm not here to guilt people into giving me cash for my shitty band. If we really want to make music, quality music, we need to do it ourselves and own it. We need to be good enough so that people who can afford to will support us with what they can. We might try a fundraiser in the future, but for now, we'll do it the old fashion way, hard work.

There have been a lot of changes since the last album. Most notably, we have 5 new members. New additions in order of appearance are Thomas Damron (bass), Nick Kukowski (banjo), Jocelyn White (violin), Cameron Cummings (lead guitar), and most recently, Mike Rothschild (drums). My good friend Oscar Gomez is still holding it down on the trumpet. It's hard for a band to go through so much turnover and survive, but we made it, just barely:) In this sense, we're still a very young band, but the songs are strong, we're all committed, and we're getting better every day. To my band, I love you guys so much! Thanks so much for sticking with it! To everyone else, seriously, you've gotta come see a live show! This is the best we've ever sounded!

Purchasing the New Record!

On June 3rd you will be able to purchase our album all over the internet digitally. That includes Itunes, Amazon, CDBaby, and a ton of other places I don't even know about. Around that time you should also be able to stream it on Spotify. 

THE ONLY PLACE YOU CAN PURCHASE A PHYSICAL CD WILL BE ON OUR WEBSITE! Not many people buy physical CDs, so we decided not to invest a ton of money in physical inventory or in the distribution of it. Buy it directly from us. If we run out, we'll burn you a copy and send it for way cheaper! If demand warrants it, we'll invest in more CD's, but most people like free music. If you come to a show, we'll give you a free burned copy. We always run out, so grab one fast. We've handed out thousands of copies of Desgraciados. That doesn't make us rich, but we're excited people are listening. We'll hand out free copies as long as we can afford it. We'll never say no to an unsolicited donation, but I know what it's like not to be able to experience something because your pockets are empty. I'd hate for any kid at a show to miss out on grabbing an album because he or she is broke. Please, take it! Share it! (If you made it this far, I'll tell you a little secret, there are 5 copies available for sale at Waterloo Records in Austin TX starting today. If you can't find them, ask a clerk for help.)

As time goes on we'll be posting lyrics, stories behind the songs, and guitar chords if you care to play them, so stay tuned!

Lastly, thank you guys so much for listening! Some of you guys have been with me since Jubal's Lawyer, and that shit blows my mind! We're having a lot of fun and we're working super hard! Buy and share if you can, every little bit helps out. Or, listen for free and keep it to yourself if you like, we made it for you:)

Dominic


 

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Chords "Flying Car"

We've gotten a lot of requests for the chords for this song. We can't seem to get them published anywhere because the internet is a dumbass! So, here ya go!  

Flying Car:

Capo III

F=012300
F2=112331
g=010023
G=standard G
Intro 
C, g, C, g

Verse
C                             g                                                  C
He was 17 when the taught him how to love on her just right
C                                               g                                                     C
He'd steal his parent's van they'd drive off, she once stabbed him with a knife
C                                  g                                     C
Three babies later and a factory job it's all he's ever had
C                                      g                                            Am
He lies awake at night and says out loud I guess it's not so bad

F       C                     Am
aaaa aaaad It's not so bad
F       C                                  Am F C Am F C 
aaaa aaaad I guess it's not so bad


          F2      C                  Am    G
When I grow up I'm gonna be all better
          F2            C                              Am            G
Gonna have a big house and some sustainable relationships
          F2               C                Am         G                   F2
Gonna travel all the time in my futuristic flying car and my
   C                 Am G   F2  C, Am, G, F2, C, Am, G, F2..... (start over at verse)
addictions will all  be  gone 

Cg 2x

C                                          g                                                         C
She’s much older now and in retrospect she should’ve just shut her mouth
                                                             g                                              C
She’s Got a sweet deal she lives with a drug dealer insider her parents’ house
                                                    g                                                       C
No kids come to visit now, they’re always blamed for the condition of her life
                                                  g                                                               Am
Years lost to a smoke filled room, bruises and guns till the next time she gets high
F   C                Am
IIII IIIII She gets by
F   C                                    
Am F C Am F C 
IIII IIIII the next time she gets high

C g 2X                                                            

C                                                               g
He never left the same small town where his kids grew up and he sees them time to time
C                                          g                                                        Am
Lives down at the local bar, he never found it like he had with his first wife
F  C                     Am
Iiii iiiife His whole life
F  C                
Am F C Am F C 
Iii iiiiife his first wife
F2        C                   Am  G   F2 C Am
And he thought it was all    his fault
      G               F2 C Am G
He ruined them all
       F2 C               Am    G     F2 C Am G
And he knew it was all     his    fault
        F2       C                  Am    G
When I grow up I'm gonna be all better
          F2             C                              Am            G
Gonna have a big house and some sustainable relationships
         F2               C                Am         G                   F2
Gonna travel all the time in my futuristic flying car and my
   C               Am G   F2  C, Am
addictions will all  be  gone 
           G      F2 C, Am, G,   F2.F2 F2 F2        C,G,C

They’ll all be gone

 

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Long Time No Blog!

At Rachel's request, I am making a new blog post. I've had tons of interesting ideas about titles and topics, but my laziness beat out all of them. So, here's a quick rambling update.

1. Lineup Change

Ms. Jocelyn White is our new violin player. Mr. Nick Kukowski has picked up the banjo and Sir Cameron Cummings is playing lead guitar. If you see them at a show, please buy them a shot and welcome them to the band. Or, if you snuck your whiskey into the show (as we often do) give em a swig from your water bottle and a pat on the back.

Chuck Short is no longer our lead guitar player. I say he was fired, he says he quit. One thing is for sure, we're all still great friends! He's currently my roommate and resident drinking buddy. 

2. Time

It appears as though I have less and less time to make music. I got a new job. I really enjoy it, but it's very demanding. Our calendar is noticeably sparse because of this. It's not that I don't have time for shows, because it's easy to get a couple hours on the weekend. What I don't have is enough time to practice or write new material. If we put on a show, I want to make sure it's a good show. No point in inviting everyone to a shitty show. I hate when we sound like crap. I don't want to subject anyone to that.

A lot of people tell me "Who cares if it sounds bad? Everyone will have a good time and no one will even notice but you! How did you get so sexy?" I always have them same answer- reconstructive surgery, and I don't care if no one can tell, I can tell. I want to put on a good show. I want to write and play good songs, I want to keep getting better. If I'm not proud of what I'm making, I don't think I should present it to people as my art. I'm not saying everything we do is great, but I do want it to be the best we're capable of. We're not an attention factory, we're musicians. I want to make good music. the result, fewer shows, better quality (hopefully:).

3. We Still Suck at Marketing,

But We're OK With That, Kinda.

We should be reaching more people. We should be playing bigger venues. We should be getting more media attention. These things aren't really happening, but we're not bitter. It's not anyone's fault but ours. This blog post is one example of that. I should write something cool about a show, or about the band's past so people can relate, but I feel really stupid doing that. Instead, I'm gonna ramble on and make you read a post of unfinished thoughts and rants. It's not very polished, but I really like shit like that! I think it's honest. That's kind of a good excuse for being lazy, and kinda the truth that drives my whole creative process.

We have a lot of very successful friends and they work very hard. I'm not gonna lie, there was a time when I was jealous. I would be like "We're way better than them! Why are they in a commercial, or playing a big show, or getting good write ups?" You know what the answer is? They bust their asses to create opportunities and they deserve every bit of success they have! Also, they're good bands, they practice a shitload, they network, and they believe in their art. I was being a bitter asshole!

I do know all of this to be true, but at the same time, I'm not very interested in working on that stuff. I'm also, not confident enough. Maybe someday I will be. Or, I will have the balls to pay someone to do it for me. Until that day, I wanna write songs I'm proud of, hang out with my friends and family, and relax a little. Just because all of those other things aren't happening doesn't mean the music isn't good. I'm content with the state of things. I get to watch my son grow up, spend time with the ones I love, play awesome shows, and not be crushed under the wave of anxiety that accompanies me asking someone to please listen to my music. It's a win win!

Lastly, Thank you!!

To everyone who enjoys the music, thank you so much! Even though I can be a whiny bitch sometimes, we're not looking for anyone to feel sorry for us. Our goal is to make good music and entertain you! We're both confident and insecure, so thank you for being an audience we feel we can be honest with. You da best!

Hope to see you at a show soon!

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Andrew Covers SXSW - Part II

CONTINUED FROM LAST POST

Sometimes, I want out. I enrolled in community college this summer, to go back to major in PRACTICAL COLLEGE DEGREE. I am still yet to register and doubt I will, not right now anyway. So here I am.

Without going into the gory details, Madisons has impacted me in ways I couldn’t have imagined. We’ve made some beautiful noise. We’ve done some dumbass stuff. I’ve met some really cool people who will never leave my heart. Also, I’ve burned some bridges. Profound impact? Yes, and not all of it good… but sometimes, great. Last night, at SXSW, was one of the great moments. It made me think: stick around, dude, one more tour, another show, another album.

If one of my composition students had written the above, back when I had students, I would probably scribble into the margin: “Where’s your thesis?” If one of my creative writing students wrote it, I might ask what lends this piece unity? I can’t answer those questions, but I guess this is a letter to the band, and to our fans (again: hi, Chris! Hi, Sal!, hey, Cara!), that I guess I’m not doing much else for a little while longer, so why not this?

Sorry for the intimate, gushy post. I know, I know, there's not much SXSW coverage here, and I ought to just print this out and glue it into a diary or something. Next time I’ll write about, I don’t know, say, the closing down of clubs downtown, the movement of the scene over to the east side, the impact of the GOP Primary on local music, something lofty, heady, relevant. Until then,

-Andrew

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Andrew Covers SXSW - Part I

“Music is my savior… but I was maimed by rock and roll.” -Jeff Tweedy

Dom asked me to write this week’s blog post. In my past life (read: prior to this year), I thought of myself primarily as a writer, but I haven’t written much lately, and that’s as good a reason as any to take a jab at a blog, complete with epigraph and all. Sorry if this is a little too personal, but I'm going to use this space to work some things out on paper, as "writers" are wont to do, and since we're still feeling out this whole band blog thing, I'm just going to go for it.

I try to go easy on myself for not writing, for walking away from my novel. To be honest, I don’t do much of anything but music lately. Madisons has sort of taken over my life, taken up my time, and energy and focus, and I don’t always know how I feel about that. I think a lot of us in the band feel that way. We love this shit, but it’s a lot of work, it takes a toll, it really gets into your head. And we aren’t even a “real” band.

But last night, during our set at Betsy’s Bar, Madisons did feel like a real band. Delusions, maybe, probably, but I do know we had eight (count ‘em, EIGHT!) talented people up on stage and we were just blasting. We were killing. We had our few loyal friends (shout out to Chris and Sal, Cara and Jerm, Kristen, friends and fam), but what was exciting was the people we didn’t know. We turned heads at the bar. We packed the place with passers-by who heard us and came in off the street. People aren’t usually so open to checking out new bands, but SXSW has been going on, so right now it’s in vogue or whatever.

SXSW has got me thinking about being a musician. It’s Sunday now, and the last of the showcases are going down. The Cult is going to close down Auditorium Shores this evening and then the street crews will come through and clean up our plastic bottles and cigarette butts and torn wristbands. Even before they finish handing out music awards tonight, the media’s proverbial “swarm of musicians” that has kindly and hopefully descended on Austin will have already begun dispersing back to their respective local music scenes where many of them will leave the bustling obscurity of SXSW for the lonelier obscurity of their hometowns. It’s no different for Madisons, for the live music capital of the world. I’ve been around enough ATX bars to know there are just as many bands playing to empty bar stools in here as anywhere.

That’s just the way it is. No one makes us do it. We choose to. Or, sometimes, we choose not to do something else, or much else, or in my case right now, anything else. We hang around. We play shows and pass out CDs. Sometimes it’s great. Other times, excuse my melodrama, it really hurts my soul. Like Dom said in the last blog post, we put a lot into this. Sometimes I don’t know what I’m getting back out of it. Great friends, for sure, the feeling of accomplishment—but that feeling’s fleeting. Sometimes I’ll be breaking down my rig at the end of the night, and the turnout might have been poor, or maybe I just wasn’t feeling it, and I’m on some continuum between buzzed and tragically drunk, and I’ll just feel like, “What am I doing? Is this all there is? Am I really choosing this as my life?" Then a few nights later I go and do it again.

The choices we make. In my experience, a lot of them are more circumstantial than we think. They’re not turning points so much as sustained patterns of behavior. If you’d have told me last year that I would spend the next year with the same group of people four, five or more nights a week trying to collaborate on the same project, any project!, I would have called you crazy. I was a serious writer, temporarily legitimized by way of academia, and I thought this band stuff, this taking it seriously, was behind me. But here I am.

CONTINUED IN NEXT/ABOVE POST

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Why a blog you ask?

Because we suck at Twitter mostly.

If you're following us, or worse yet, know us personally, then you already know we're TERRIBLE at marketing ourselves. We're not good at promoting shows, or even booking them, but we make some pretty good music.

We started out making songs for ourselves and slowly got better at it (in our opinion). The plan is, and always has been, just to make something we would be proud to show our friends and family, but ultimately we'd like to impress ourselves. All of us are kind of weirded out by the idea that only big time rockstars with the Clear Channel get to make music, especially when some of our favorite artists rarely get radio play.

This isn't our life. Most of us have very time consuming jobs and families. Rest assured, we are not delusional. However, we do work very hard at this and have had a lot of fun making music we all enjoy.

Our biggest dilemma is creating this band and being scared that everyone thinks we are wanna-be rockstars. We don't have the heart to leave up a bio (we hate bios). We are very insecure about sharing any of this at all. But, if we're gonna do this, we might as well do it right.

We've been very lucky that some things have gone well for us (the album is coming along great)! Some things have been harder, but stuff happens. We're still terrified by the whole booking shows process but it bothers us less and less. To date we've had 10 people quit the band, but that's the way it goes.

We are complete DIY. We have 1 tuner for the whole band, but we manage; we're scrappy!

We hope you guys enjoy what you hear and we plan on doing this as long as we reasonably can. We're not making a ton of money, but we're having a lot of fun! That's plenty!

Thanks for reading,

Madisons

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