I am currently in medical school in Phoenix, AZ and will graduate in 2011, which limits the amount that I can record and tour. I have played music since childhood and began releasing music semi-commercially in 2003. My first proper album was a self-released CD called "Animal Diseases." This album contains 15 lo-fi tracks, many of them legitimately about animal diseases!! This album is still available from my website (www.jacobsmigel.com). Animal Diseases was recorded at home in mono on my brother's computer with a primitive USB-interface, over the period of 10 months or so. I played all the parts on the album and designed the album art.
I made several hundred copies and distributed them freely to friends and anyone who was interested. Some friends of mine who enjoyed the album were Britt, Amanda, and Joel who started the DIY indie-label called Not Not Fun Records. NNF released my second album called "Full Grown and Talking About Fountains," which came out in 2004. A companion 7" followed several months later, which fulfilled my curiosity about what my music would sound like on vinyl. Until this point I had only given my music away and I had not played more than a few live shows.
I began playing shows in Las Vegas and LA, and then went on a west coast tour with two other bands on the Not Not Fun Label. Around this time I also stated performing in my friend and band mate Joe Kendall's musical collective called *Las Vegas Club*. Not Not Fun Records released our "Whiskey Flats," album in 2005. Whiskey Flats is the instrumental soundtrack (or score) to a non-existent 1960s western film. It is a very moving and unique folk/space rock/western album packaged in a DVD case with aged-paper art, comic book, track notes, and stickers for only $7 (postage paid).
It is still available through my website (www.jacobsmigel.com). In July of 2006 I released an album of found sound called "Eavesdrop: a wealth of found sound." Eavesdrop is a collection of anonymous recordings found at thrift stores, yard sales, and in trash bins over the past four years. These unaltered tracks come from audio or micro-cassettes, 8-Tracks and home-recorded records. Many of the clips are segments from audio diaries, tape-letters, the sound of road trips, fights, crying, family moments, telephone conversations/messages, or the amusements of children or the mentally handicapped. A minimum of editing or manipulation was used in the making of this album.
I did not add music to the tracks (or mash them up), but instead served as preservationist (or curator) to present the listener with the most powerful recordings in their natural state. Some are funny, some are ridiculous, others make no sense. A few are so perfect I cant believe I actually found them. Eavesdrop is a scattered documentation of what I call "the golden age of personal recording (1965 - 1986)." It is about the wonder that is putting our experiences, feelings, and lives down on tape.
The album's ~80 minutes is spread over 40 tracks. The album includes 28 pages of track notes, transcripts, background information, and additional resources. Album art is a collage of found photos collected over the past two years, and each CD comes with unique "found scraps." In addition to this, six of the album s tracks spawn whole other albums that are available as hand decorated CD-Rs. I released two albums in 2007. The first was "In Gods We Trust" by *Las Vegas Club* which was the third album of instrumental rock from the mind of Joe Kendall.
Each song on the album was inspired by a god, deity, supernatural creature, or religious figure from human history. The album is possibly LVC's masterpiece, loaded with classical guitar, baroque jams, video game guitar solos, orchestral drumming, screams, and latin chants. All of it, an adventure in high fidelity. Shortly after this I released a full length album of music called New Mexico, which I tentatively called my "last album" as I was to begin medical school a few months after its release.
New Mexico combines song writing, field recordings, spoken word, and personal research to celebrate (and tell the story of) my family's mountain retreat: a run-down adobe cabin. Though the album is a trip through the montage memories of childhood, it is ultimately about growing up. The CD is housed in a hand airbrushed and ink-stamped digi-pak with extensive liner notes. After my first year of medical school I embarked on a summer tour with *Las Vegas Club* for which I released a special found sound CD called "Band Nerd Love". This is a full-length love letter cassette (recorded sometime in 1985) that I found at a thrift store in Las Vegas, NV in 2006.
It was authored by Martin, a know-it-all music nerd who loves to hear himself talk. Band Nerd Love is an amazing artifact from the life of an American teenager, steeped in the type of egoism, self-loathing, and suffering that typifies teenage existence. Guaranteed to make you cringe. In 2009 my brother and I finally formalized what had been years of artistic collaboration by forming a real side project called The Smigel Brothers. Our first digital single, "I Stayed Up All Night," which is available on iTunes, was inspired by our hard working one-time neighbors: Jason and Eddie Wallace.
The song is an admittedly bizarre pitch-shifted rap song about the Wallace Brother's blue-collar adventures, and how they were able to work such long hours: by drinking coffee through a beer bong!! This song is amazingly fun to perform live as no one ever seems to expect me to do something like this on stage. After two years of medical school I was able to return to my hobby of music making with 2009's "Hope This Passes The Secretary..., a rarities collection featuring 14 tracks from singles and compilation albums, as well as found sound, live, and previously unreleased tracks. The artwork was designed by my friend Sergio Martinez. The album also includes is a hefty booklet of detailed track notes (as has become my tradition). I still write and record music as time allows and occasionally play live shows with bands or people that I like: Deer Tick, Las Vegas Club, The Smigel Brothers, Drew Danburry, Stephen Steinbrink, and Black Camaro. Upcoming: (depending on when you read this) -Smigel Brothers Tour 2009 -New rarities CD "Hope This Passes The Secretary..." out on Dec. 26th, 2009 Read more on Last.fm.
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