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Weekly Top 40 - NenesButler presents the music Blog charts - 27.11.21

Weekly Top 40 1 Lay of the Land - The Shop Window 2 Stay Right Till The End - Finn Forster 3 Dial Tone - Marigold Ingot 4 Time Traveller - My Friend The Chimpanzee 5 Better Day - Mayflow 6 Kaleidoscope - Soda Cracker Jesus 7 Tears of a Clown - Us4 8 Come Alive - Prince Bishop 9 Students of the UK - The Rezner 10 Lamplig - Original Mix - Uncle Kid 11 a dream i dream - MY BABY 12 3000 Miles Away - Swerfey, Laer Xirtam 13 Candle Dance - Who Parked The Car 14 Good Like That - Thea FitzGerald 15 The Past 6 Months - The 139 16 Whole Love - Robbie Boyd 17 Whisky Sunburn - Birdman Cult 18 keep your distance - ART FICTIF 19 At Eye Level - Einsam 20 Human - DAMIEN 21 Nice T-Shirt - Voodoo Bandits 22 Dracula - DRAG 23 Backseat Show - Nevin 24 Done In - Elephant Memoirs 25 Broken Heroes - Cristal B. 26 Sugar Shock Treatment - Jolphin 27 Pariser Nacht - Blaues Einhorn 28 Jump It - Fantast 29 Head in the Clouds - Rose Avenue 30 Church of England - Sapphire Blues 31 U F Os - oooey gooey 32 Strange

"Immovable objects vs irresistible force" by Sean Boots

Sean Boots

Sean Boots is a singer, pianist, guitarist and songwriter based in Seattle, Washington. In a past era he fronted Seattle's Amateur Lovers and has now re-emerged as a solo artist after several years of self-imposed musical hibernation. With the Lovers he released a single studio album under Stone Gossard's (Pearl Jam) Loosegroove Records, Virgin White Lies, considered by Huffington Post to be one of the "Underrated albums of the 90's". 
He toured Australia with Ben Folds Five in support of their Whatever and Ever Amen album and spread the power pop gospel across the USA with numerous tours down the West Coast and a notable performance at the CMJ Festival in NYC. He's been featured with his band in Keyboard Magazine, his song "Rubik's Cube" plays as credits roll in the documentary Cubers, and he was a staple in the Pacific Northwest post-grunge music scene, playing alongside Dandy Warhols, Harvey Danger, Green Apple Quickstep, Super Deluxe, Ben Folds Five, and even the Bay City Rollers.
In his latest form, Sean is now taking on all writing, performing, recording and producing responsibilities. His tunes all come packaged with catchy hooks, sweet-crafted melodies laced with tight harmonies, and honest storytelling through his clever but blunt lyrics. His guitar work is vintage, bringing a 70's retro vibe to his sound. He rocks the piano with Billy Joel-inspired fervor and has recently begun performing all the drum work for his productions.
He's begun releasing new material in 2020 and is currently working on creating a studio album. He will most likely be performing live solely from his home as the global pandemic continues to rage on.

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Immovable objects vs irresistible force

Ein Lied über die Sinnlosigkeit mit Freunden über Politik zu streiten. Oder im Allgemeinen, Themen zu vermeiden die von einer normalen Gesprächsbasis zu einem Streit führen. Zu einem Streit führen, aufgrund anderer Auffassungen oder Standpunkten. Es gibt bei Freunden doch mehr Gemeinsamkeiten, über die es sich lohnt zu reden vielleicht sogar zu diskutieren. Seinen Standpunkt zu vertreten ist eine Seite, die andere sollte uns aber Akzeptanz lehren. So in etwa die Thematik. Das Ganze verpackt Sean gekonnt und wundervoll im Genre des Soft Rocks.
Besonders auffällig das Klavierriff das sich wie ein roter Faden durch den Song zieht. "It took months to work out all the smaller details, but in the end it’s probably one of the better songs I’ve written.", sagt er in Bezug auf dieses Riff. Und ich muss ihm recht geben, dieses Riff hat schon einiges zu bieten, die Kombination mit den rockigen Parts des Tracks sorgt für Varianz, das Arrangement ist perfekt gelungen, es stellt Raum zur Verfügung, Raum welchen die Instrumente nutzen können und auch tun.



Q&A

Sean Boots is...?

...self sufficient. I write, perform and produce my own music and videos, and even built my primary electric guitar from scratch. I try to do something musical everyday and am very quick with coming up with new music, but struggle with coming up with lyrics. I get up every morning at 6 am and spend at least 3 hours in my basement studio working on various musical and video projects. If I don’t have anything in particular that I’m ready to dive into, I will pick an instrument and practice it. I consider myself a jack of all trades/master of none. And while I enjoy being good at a lot of different things, it annoys me that I’m not really great at any of them. Because of this I work hard each day in an attempt to improve my skills.

Who inspired you to make music in general and especially to the song "Immovable objects vs irresistible force" ?

When I was young I took piano lessons and found out that I had a pretty good ear. I was able to listen to the radio and convert the songs into piano pieces. This made practicing piano much more fun and so I did quite a bit of it during my free time back then. I also had an inspirational piano teacher in high school who encouraged me to play and also write music that I liked. My parents bought me a keyboard and P.A. system right before I went to college and I played in numerous bands prior to graduating. Neither of them were all that musical but strongly supported my efforts to become a musician.

Immovable Object vs Irresistible Force is a song about the pointlessness of arguing about politics with your friends. Many of mine are either further right or further left than me on the political spectrum and I’d just begun realizing that it’s not worth it to have these kinds of disagreeable conversations with them. I now understand that it’s very unlikely that my own hardened views will be changed with any single argument and my best efforts to change their minds usually also fail as well. There are so many more interesting topics out there but we always seem to gravitate to the ones that make us like each other less. I don’t have a total embargo on talking about these topics, but I try hard to not allow the conversation to devolve into an argument.

The piano riff in the verse was something I just accidentally played one day when I sat down to just noodle around. I knew I had something and recorded it into my mini recorder so I wouldn’t forget it (I often do this). It took months to work out all the smaller details, but in the end it’s probably one of the better songs I’ve written.

What can listeners expect from the EP "Amateur Hour"?

There are six songs that I put enormous time and energy into writing and recording on this record. I wrote most of them several years ago and recorded them all in 2020. Every single vocal and instrument part was performed by me in my basement studio. Several of these songs were initially intended for my old band, Amateur Lovers, but we broke up years ago and those tunes were pretty much orphaned as a result. The title of the album is a bit of a nod to that, and also to the fact that I did everything myself. I use the standard pop lineup: piano, guitar, bass, drums throughout. There isn’t a lot of electronic stuff in it, but it’s still very poppy. I think it rocks pretty hard in a few places and I am proud of the lyrics throughout. Vocal harmonies are very important to me, they are strewn throughout!

Do you remember the first ever Pop/Rock Song you listened to?

I’m not 100% certain this is the actual first one ever, but the first one that I remember listening to (and loving) was “What a Fool Believes” by the Doobie Brothers. I have a very specific memory of that song playing on outdoor speakers while I was walking down a set of stepping stones towards the swimming pool at a recreational center in Mission Viejo, California. The weather was sunny and hot, the song had my head bobbing and it still fills me with this warm happy feeling today when I think back to it. “Freedom of Choice” by Devo was the first album I ever owned.

When do you decide that a song is ready for a release?

I listen to my songs hundreds of times and try adding all kinds of different things to them before I finally decide that they are ready. This is a torturous process for me and I am never certain that I got it right in the end. In terms of the mix itself, I make sure the song sounds good in my car (#1 most important), on the main studio monitors, on my phone and also on a smaller lower quality bluetooth speaker. If I can be satisfied that it sounds decent in all four of these places I will allow myself to put it out in the wild.

What do you prefer more, the stage or the studio?

I have a strong preference for spending time in the studio. I rarely play live shows anymore. I like the control and comfort I have in the studio. I do love the feeling of playing to hundreds of people live, but don’t enjoy lugging around my gear and am not much of a night owl these days.

What is your creative process like?

When I write music I usually just sit down with a guitar or piano and noodle until I discover some kind of interesting riff that I want to work with. I’ll usually record it on a mini recorder or my phone so I don’t forget it, but then I’ll start singing random words and phrases to try and figure out what a melody might be. If I’m fortunate enough to come up with a musical verse and chorus, I might record a quick take in my DAW and drop that mp3 on my phone. Then for the next several days I’ll listen to it in the car over and over again trying to find a melody and maybe even some functional lyrics. In the car I don’t have to be self conscious about singing ridiculous out-of-tune lines, it’s the safest place I can think of to write music, where no one else can pass judgment. The ultimate goal here is to write a full song’s worth of lyrics with a workable melody, a process that usually takes months to finish.

Once I have the lyrics and melody written, I’ll start figuring out the instrumental parts. I usually finish the piano part first, but prefer to start the recording process by recording a bass line to a metronome. I never start with drums because I write the drum lines such that they fit with the music. I particularly want to get the bass drum and bass guitar to be in sync as much as possible. I use an e-drum set so that I can record using midi. This allows me to swap out drum sounds and find the exactly right sound for the song. I often spend way too much time on this process, the drum sounds are just too important to ignore. I don’t like the sound of quantized drums, but I will spend some time fixing the more egregious mistakes in the DAW here.

When I have a drum/bass line recorded, then I’ll just play the other instruments over the top of the groove until I find something that I like. This can take days. I do it for piano, guitar, organ, sometimes synths. Once I decide a part is ready, I’ll record it and do as many takes as necessary to get it right.

Vocals are difficult for me to get right, I spend the most time on this. I almost never get it right on the first take, and I spend a lot of comping to make sure each phrase is the best take.

Mixing is done in mono for the most part, I definitely believe the song should sound good in mono when it’s finished, and usually once that’s done the stereo version will sound amazing as well. I have a particular strategy for using EQ and compression with each part, but don’t go overboard with using plug-ins and effects.

What is the most useful talent you have?

I’d say that my ability to hear music and transfer it to the piano relatively quickly is probably the most useful skill I have. It’s particularly useful for turning imagined ideas into realities.

How do you feel the Internet (especially Social Media platforms) has impacted the music business?

I have mixed emotions about social media. On the one hand, it’s made music more accessible for the masses. As a music consumer I can now hear any song I ever want to hear for free on Spotify and YouTube. This is amazing, I’m not sure kids these days understand how special this really is. It used to cost 15 bucks any time you wanted to listen to a record.

As a producer of music it’s not quite as rosy. It’s great that I can now act as my own label and distribute my own music to hundreds of platforms for a very cheap price. This makes it possible for people to hear my music despite not being signed to a label, which is amazing. The problem is that it’s become so easy for everyone and therefore everyone is putting music out, which makes it impossible for anyone to ever stumble upon my music without a large advertising effort.

It also feels like most social media platforms are bad with organic growth and tend to match me with people who are also making music, not with people who might enjoy the music I am making. The “follow me and I’ll follow you” is nice for accumulating numbers, but it doesn’t find real fans. Finding people to even give the music a single listen has been a struggle.



What’s next for you?

I’m currently still in promotional mode for the EP, and am trying to figure out exactly what comes next. I think I’ll likely record a couple cover tunes to keep my recording/producing skills fresh, and will begin the long process of writing new material soon. I’ve been practicing my guitar daily and also working on creating a pedalboard that suits my needs. I’m also planning to build several more guitars to round out my collection.


This song has been discovered via Musosoup 
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