April/May Greyscale

I’ve been messing around with shading and greyscale lately, as you can see! Below are my newest editions: a portrait of my cat Hitch, a few aliens, a peculiar mermaid, some robots and a selfie!

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What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Greetings, interweb denizens of the 21st century! It’s been a few months since my last post, but I’ve been very busy writing new music and working with some very special side projects, so please forgive my absence! While my work-in-progress “Dreamtime Bric-a-Brac” album is enjoying a small hiatus, my band Dingo Down has gone through unprecedented changes that might just rock your world!

Sadly, Dingo’s founding guitarist has recently left the country to find peace in a small town in Germany! His savage, cunningly tasty guitar licks and abrasive (yet hilarious) demeanor will be sorely missed amoung his bandmates and close friends! Good luck and Godspeed, Mr. Baker! We eagerly await your return!

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In other Dingo Down news, we are ecstatic to introduce a new addition to the group, a fantastically skilled and creative drummer, Ian! We been playing with him for a few months now, and he has fully been indoctrinated in our little Dingo Den! Please welcome Ian at our next show, which we hope will be coming soon this Fall! Check out more Dingo Down comings and goings at the newly reconstructed dingodownband.com!

Exciting stuff, and if that wasn’t all, I’m very proud to announce a brand new project I have recently had the pleasure to join! That’s right, I am currently playing keyboards for The Filth, an art rock/synth pop outfit with a steadily growing live repertoire! It’s been a hectic few months learning/writing keyboard parts and vocal harmonies, but we’ve been collectively diligent and excited to be playing a few show in the very short future! I’ll leave here a few links to get your Filth on, but in the meantime please check us out Friday, October 14th at The Mint in west L.A! We go on at 11:40 pm, and promise a fun, fresh and filthy show! Click on the official Live At The Mint poster and follow The Filth on Facebook and Instagram! More information will be available as soon as I get it!

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That’s all for now, faithful followers! Stay tuned for more Dingo Down AND The Filth live shows, as well as new tunes as we go! Thanks again for visiting!

 

 

 

 

Dreamtime Bric-a-Brac #2

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Possible Album Cover Idea

Phew! It’s been a busy few months since I’ve posted anything about my most current project, “Dreamtime Bric-a-Brac,” but you can breathe easy, dedicated listeners, I’m still collecting  and scouring my brain for more material. Between my busy schedule with Dingo Down and the Tinkershop, I’ve had a few moments to add four new songs to the Dreamtime playlist! I’ll go through them song by song for your reading pleasure.

 

“Wooden Manikin In Repose” – Sometimes my imagination takes me to unrealistic versions of real places, and two of the four new songs (the other being “Encantado”) take place on the terrifying edges of the Amazon river. This song envisions a little poseable artist’s manikin taking a nap on a small Amazon river landmass. The figure gets whisked away by the strong river current and floats downstream in the most calm way. It’s a small scene with a snippet of serenity. I used my globular kalimba for the first time in a recording, and am anxious to use it again; it was a ton of fun and strangely dynamic for such an unassuming little toy! I added a click with another wooden toy percussion I have and whistled a little tune on top.

“Windchimes and Pinwheels” – This song is an attempt to score a little cat video my wife and I filmed one day off of our four cats in the garden porch. I’ve been playing around with video these past months, and on an impulse decided to score some of the hastily filmed clips. This track is all piano, and I tried to convey my opinion/feelings of each cat through each musical segment. It’s not perfect, but it was a learning experience. You can view the full video on my Youtube channel here. Since “Dreamtime” has no actual concept, I decided it can live on as a track on this project/album.

“Encantado” – This is the other Amazon song on “Dreamtime Bric-a-Brac.” I read a Amazonian legend recently, where a pink were-dolphin lures people into the great river and drowns them. I was inspired and immediately set up my keyboard. The story is pretty awesome, and combines my fears/fascination of both lycanthropic animals and river dolphins. I’m over-simplifying the story and am not giving the myth it’s due credit here, but you can read all about it in your local library (okay, I guess you can just google it.) This tune was purely my KORG X5D Music Synthesizer and nothing else. The keys are mostly jammed and the buttons have been mashed beyond use, but I honestly love that old thing! I’ve done other Amazon songs in the past, so I ought to put together a compilation album one of these days.

“Catgrass” – This song is featured in the first cat video I put music to. My wife filmed a little montage of each of our four cats, and I created a little mood piece to tie it all together. I wanted to capture the solitary mood of our porch garden sanctuary where our cats gather and relax. I used the vibes sound on my KORG digital piano to represent the lonely windchimes and then put a soothing organic bass line using my ESP fretless bass guitar. I love playing that particular bass guitar; I’ve even made the transition from my Fender Jazz to the ESP exclusively for my work in Dingo Down. You can see the full Youtube video here.

Six songs down, ??? many to go! Not sure where this project is headed yet, but I’m excited to find out! Listen for yourself with the newly updated Soundcloud player below, which features every song on “Dreamtime Bric-a-Brac”  so far!

 

Pinkus’ Monster And Props Tinkershop

Greetings and salutations, Interweb Denizens! I want to share today some exciting items of interest that I’m sure you’ll get a kick out of! First and foremost, I’d like to introduce matthewpinkus.com’s newest page, “Pinkus’ Monster and Props Tinkershop.” This page is a joint venture that mixes my music and unique art with the genius tinkerings and monpropslogo002artistic magic of Rhianna Pinkus (my amazing wife!)Together (for the last few weeks,) we have been experimenting with multi-media projects, from showcasing our crazy cats to making music videos for my band Dingo Down. We are open for business and ready to bring our unique imagination/vision to your project! Until we build an official home for the Tinkershop, I’ll be hosting the page from here, so check out our page often for more videos and behind-the-scenes footage and pictures! Please visit and “like” us on Facebook and sign up for our blog postings for our newest tinkerings! (Below – Some pictures and still shots from our video for “Moonage Daydream)

Check out our video for “Moonage Daydream” (as covered by Dingo Down) below! More videos on the way, so come back often!

 

 

 

Busting Up My Brains For The Words

While my “Dreamtime Bric-a-Brac” endeavor is slowly growing, my band Dingo Down has been in the studio recording a special project near and dear to our hearts. The recent passing of the iconic musician/artist David Bowie was a blow to all, and it hit us Dingoes pretty hard. As webmaster and social media publicist for Dingo Down, I’ve had to write these Bowie blurbs for the past few days in order to get the word out about our recordings. I’ve definitely been busting up my brains, so I’ll share here what I wrote for our Facebook statement I posted last night.

A few months back, the world lost a REAL rock and roll legend. David Bowie was a true artist, inventor and innovator. His passing leaves a hole in the hearts of musicians and music lovers everywhere.

We Dingoes were taken aback that January evening (in the middle of our Sunday night rehearsal) when we heard the news; devastated would be an understatement. Each one of us Dingoes was inspired by David Bowie in a very unique and individual way. That sums up David Bowie to me. Every human can find something special that touches their heart, soul and imagination in his prismatic oeuvre, whether you’re a Starman, Scary Monster, Goblin King or Afraid of Americans!

We humbly submit to the world a small token of our gratitude for the man who gave us so much music and memories. Follow the link below to our bandcamp page and download Dingo Down’s own take at some favorite Bowie tunes. Enjoy, and thanks for listening! – Matt Pinkus

That’s it folks. Rock and roll still lives on, if not just a little weaker for the absence of David Bowie and his unique artistic vision.  Now on to “Message From The Action Man,” our take on a few of our favorite Bowie tunes.

We recorded “Moonage Daydream” and “Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)” in a “live” environment at our local rehearsal/recording studio in West L.A. We ended up just using the drums, some guitars and vocals, as the bass and some other minor details weren’t up to snuff. I recorded my bass parts as well as backup vocals later on with Laine (Dingo Down guitarist) at the engineering/production helms. It took a few weeks to do, but it was definitely a labour of love.

Message From The Action Man” also features my first non-bass guitar contribution to Dingo Down. When Rachael (Dingo Down’s lead vocalist) proposed doing a piano driven Bowie song, I immediately set to work at the keys. I spent a few good days of solidly learning and rehearsing “Oh! You Pretty Things” from “Hunky Dory,” one of my very first forays into the world of David Bowie. I had also learned the piano part for “Lady Stardust,” but we didn’t have enough time/resources to add a fourth song to the EP. Rachael and I did the vocals and then called it a night! You can listen to “Oh! You Pretty Things” below. All in all, I’m pretty proud of our tribute to the man who gave so much music to our lives. Thank you, Mr. Bowie.

 

 

You can also download the whole three song EP (including album artwork, done by yours truly) at the link HERE.

Tanzanian Astronaut Potato Salad

Hello to everyone out there in internet land! This year I made a pact to dedicate more time to matthewpinkus.com and post more blogs and much more music/projects. Stay tuned in the next day or two for some new music featuring a brand new song from “Dreamtime Bric-a-Brac,” my latest project.

In the meantime (and maybe even in the Dreamtime,) I’d like to share a project I worked on a little over a year ago with my friend Nate Pottker and a little future astronaut with a heart for the stars. In my darkest cynicism I’ve been known to take a few jabs at modern technology and the future of music, but I’ve got to admit, we’ve got some amazing tools and a brand new way to create and share music around the world. My personal views took a turn when my friend Nate asked me to help out on a special project for a special kid.

Gideon Gidori and his Tanzanian Astronaut Potato Salad!

An aspiring young astronaut in Tanzania by the name of Gideon Gidori started a “potato salad crowdfunding” project to jump-start his schooling to become “Africa’s first black astronaut.” After some media attention and many Youtube views later, Gideon wrote a riff on the guitar aimed to promote his cause with a fun and informative song/video. I’m very proud and honored my friend Nate (with connections to the aspiring young astronaut) asked me to write a song around the guitar riff Gideon had written. I grabbed my acoustic guitar and a few other “rock” stand-bys to record a short little tune he could later add lyrics and vocals to. Below you can hear my original recording and mix for “Tanzanian Astronaut  Potato Salad” with the original working title “Gideon’s Dream Song.”

 

I used the following instruments for this recording:

  • Ibanez Acoustic Guitar
  • ESP Fretless Bass Guitar
  • KORG SP-250 Digital Piano (for the organ track)
  • Various Percussion (Bongos, Tambourines, Egg Shakers)

I had a lot of fun doing this song, and it it was swiftly written and recorded in one night. Sometimes it takes a while for a song to be created and grow, but I was loaded with inspiration (and not to mention a pretty small time restraint) as you can see. Below you will find the Youtube video and a link to Mr. Gidori’s kickstarter page. I’m proud to have been a part of this young man’s journey to become an astronaut and search the galaxy. Thanks for letting me share this moment with you folks at home!

 

 

 

 

Dreamtime Bric-a-Brac #1

Greetings adventurers! As promised, I would like to share some new music I’ve been dreaming up. I’m not quite sure where the direction of these songs are heading, but it will be fun to find out as I go! I’ve named the current project “Dreamtime Bric-a-Brac” as a working title, and once again I am experimenting with a new effects pedal. These two songs also feature a few new instruments as well as some I haven’t used before in my experiments. I’m also really excited to show off some of my new toys (as pictured below!)

“Here There Be Tygers” – This tune (named after the Ray Bradbury short story) features my new LINE 6 M5 STOMPBOX MODELER (thanks, Chi!) hooked up to my KORG X5D keyboard synthesizer to create some funky low-end lead lines. In a lot of my songs, I never really know where it’s going to go (the true definition of experimental music,) I just mess around a bit until I’m having fun with a sound. After this, I’m able to imagine what instruments I want for a certain feel or concept. This song also spotlights my new Stagg EDB-3/4 Electric Double Bass (more on this in a future blog!) I finished this song off with a chromatic harmonica, more keyboard sounds and a drum track. The solo at the end is a fun touch, and gave me much needed practice on the new double bass!

“Lady Of The Lift/Room 318” – Once again, this song is a dreamtime bric-a-brac, lost in some dimension with no real back story yet. This song starts off with yet another new toy of mine (it was a plentiful holiday,) the small and eerie Stylophone Retro Pocket Synth. This little synth is so cool and almost too much fun! I will give a full blog’s worth of attention at a later date. The electric double bass is prominent with a ruddy and tipsy drum track. I then added a piano part with outro using my KORG SP-250 Digital Piano. This one was a lot of fun to record, especially getting to mess around writing Stylophone harmonies.

I’m looking forward to getting back to work on this project as soon as I can. I’d like to add some video of the recording process as well. I also will be adding details on the M5 Stompbox, double bass and Stylophone in their own separate blogs. Until then, check out these two tracks with the Soundcloud Player below! Thanks for dropping by!

 

 

Happy 2016!

Happy New Year from matthewpinkus.com! 2015 was quite the whirlwind, wasn’t it? It’s been almost a year since this website/blog had it’s debut, and this year will bring much more music, more frequent blogs and all new instruments to show and tell!

Here are a few things I would like to bring to you in 2016:

  • New music as I go. Instead of waiting to compile albums, I will post what I am working on as I write/record to give you the insider process on my compositions and concepts.
  • Detailed samples and sound of the instruments I play and compose with. Including reviews and recommendations.
  • I want to adopt a “work-in-progress” attitude and show every level of my album artworks, even the duds on the cutting room floor!
  • Frequent updates on live performances and Dingo Down announcements.
  • Stocking the Pinkus Store with physical merchandise, including T-shirts, mugs, calenders, stickers, buttons, artwork and hard-copy compact discs/vinyl.
  • Give away much more digital music!

I hope your new year is prosperous and musical! Stay tuned for tomorrows exciting blog, with all new music as I go!

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