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.

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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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“Pony Up” for Dingo Down

In just a few short weeks, my band Dingo Down will be releasing our very first Ep, “Pony Up.” Digital downloads will become available as well as hard copy CDs complete with album artwork done by yours truly! Keep checking back here for updates as they come! You can order the digital download at the matthewpinkus.com store as well as Dingo Down’s online store in the near future.

The five song Ep is a testament to the “live” feel of a Dingo Down show, and features a raw (yet disciplined and dynamic) energetic sound. I am very pleased with how “Pony Up” turned out, and I’ll always have fond memories of recording with the Dingoes and Jorge Costas at RedCello Studios. I’m looking forward to presenting “Pony Up” to the masses and to a stage near you!

Visit dingodownband.com for more “Pony Up” news as well as live dates!

Pictured below are the front and back covers of “Pony Up.” The design/concept and illustrations were done by myself and colored/edited by my talented wife, Rhianna Pinkus.

Mark your calenders, Dingo Down is back at Molly Malone’s on November 5th! Click the link below to see our Dingo event page!

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Original Music For Your Retro Game

I love music. Correction, I love video game music. Of all my musical inspirations, nothing will ever be closer to my heart than classic Nintendo RPG scores. From my hero, Nobuo Uematsu and his Final Fantasy scores, to Koji Kondo’s Legend Of Zelda theme and everything else in between! I’ll take it all, even the lesser known, off brand, not-quite-ready RPG’s from my childhood weekend binges; you know the ones!

That being said, I want to be a part of your vision! I am passionate about my music and will bring my diverse style, knowledge, technique and imagination to help take your game to the next level. Pun intended (I’m sorry.) I specialize in conceptual pieces, with individual character themes, leitmotifs, ouvertures and story driving tone poems.

Check out the player below to hear some samples of songs I wrote exclusively using the Casio ToneBank CT-395 Keyboard. These tunes are for a concept album I am working on presently, titled “Cara De Niño Goes To Town.”  You can also hear some of my other instrumental music on my Elemental Pea page.

Thanks for checking out my work. If you have any questions or would like to hear more music samples, please contact me at matthewpinkus@gmail.com or mentalpea@gmail.com. You can also leave your contact info below; I will get back to you as soon as possible, and look forward to working with you!

Bedtime Stories For Moon Children

After taking a much needed hiatus, I am back with a brand new album ready for moon children of all ages. I’m very proud to present the newest edition to the Elemental Pea catalogue, “Bedtime Stories For Moon Children.” This conceptual project is an all instrumental homage to my favourite pre-space age science fiction authors and a birthday present to a special little girl named Evalyn.

Bedtime Stories For Moon Children” began years ago after I had read H. G. Well’s classic “The First Men On The Moon.” I was particularly struck by the colors and mood of the storytelling, especially the chapters describing the eerie journey on the moon’s surface. I envisioned sepia in tremolo, and knew right away which instruments I needed to recreate the novel. I recorded a few tracks using a Fender Rhodes piano sound on my Korg keyboard and an acoustic guitar with a spacey tremolo effect. Unfortunately, my early attempts to capture this book were lost in the great hard-drive crash of 2012, but I always had pieces of the idea in my memory. Years later, my brother and his wife had a little girl, and now she is nearly two years old. I decided last year to start on an album of lullabies to give her for Christmas, but the writing and recording took a little longer than planned. But here it is, almost one year later, and I’m very happy to share this album with my little niece and the rest of you Earthlings!

Though the songs are a little dark and brooding for a children’s album, I feel it still has an innocent nature and a strangely melancholy playfulness I recall experiencing in my own early years. The concept and titles of these songs are based on the works of Romantic, Victorian and mid-20th Century writers who were also inspired by that mysterious orb in the nighttime sky; authors such as H.G. Well, George MacDonald, Jules Verne, H. P. Lovecraft and Ray Bradbury. Do yourself a favor and pick up a few classics from some of western civilizations greatest thinkers and dreamers!

I wrote and recorded the first half of this album towards the end of 2014, and came back to finish it earlier this summer of 2015. The chronology of this album is almost a cross section of a year of my life in music form, keeping in tune with the overall mood and concept. I used Korg Keyboards, an Ibanez acoustic guitar, and my Fender Jazz and ESP fretless bass guitars for everything you hear on this album. I really hope this collection of moody lullabies takes you to that little old satellite; where exotic vegetation grows on the mottled moon surface, precious gold is mined in turquoise subterranean cities, and the cats prowl among dilapidated columns and deserted ionian temples.

Below are two tracks from “Bedtime Stories For Moon Children” for your listening enjoyment. If you are interested in purchasing the full album, check out the store section of this website here, or visit my bandcamp site which also includes a few extra goodies!