2016/2017 A Look Back & Forward with Silber

Hello,

Happy 2017. I hope all is going well for you. While I didn’t get as much completed in 2016 as I’d hoped to, looking back I did get some things done & hey, that just gives me more to look forward to for 2017! Here’s a look back & forward at this year here at Silber….

Last year we ended up helping make 8 albums & 15 EPs available from Electric Bird Noise, Yellow6, Small Life Form, X-Bax, Heaven Falls Hard, Space Sweeper, Treyverb, Thorn1, Azalia Snail, Anda Volley, Chvad SB, M is We, Bronze Eye & LD, Dyr Faser, Cloaca, Koyl, Premature Burial, Luka Fisher, Magnetic Ghost, Remora, & Nonconnah. It’s a lot looking back & I’m surprised that’s all from the same year. I feel bad because I still have more that I’m the slow down on them coming out from Fullness Off Lack, Jon Dawson, Andrew Weathers/Shaun Sandor, Moodring, Hotel Hotel, Lum, Ms., & DR plus two compilations & all of that should be coming out early in the year this year. In addition to that there are new releases almost ready to go from Thorn1/ Mis We (a split single), Space Sweeper, Dan West, Moon Gravity, DR, & Small Life Form; plus studio stuff in the works from Remora & Azalia Snail & I’m sure some other stuff will turn up, so it’s promising to be a big year. If you missed some of the releases from this year you can download them all in one swoop for $30 on the front page at www.silbermedia.com or listen to them streaming on Spotify https://play.spotify.com/user/silberspy/playlist/7hFtrbrr0PEAJTzAoC6Yda

On the comic front I wrote a couple dozen scripts & I got I think 4 comics that just need layout done, but I somehow didn’t actually put out anything except the experimental comic/storybook hybrid I did with Bride of Silber called Faun & a short I did with Nate McDonough that appeared in Copy This. Hopefully I’ll get back on track & put twelve out this year. I’ve been talking about doing a little book that will be 100 dream vignettes (I’ve still been keeping a dream diary like used to appear in the blog, just not typing it anywhere) with a sketch done for each one in the near future as well as a slightly larger than my normal minis that will be a collection of vignettes about small town life. So things are going to happen for sure, I just need to be patient & realize my scarcity of time.

I thought I’d put out zero issues of QRD last year, but saw I’d put out two a mere six months ago. Time’s a limited resource for me these days, but QRD will be back. Hopefully sooner than later. My personal goal is to complete a lot of the other projects on my plate before committing to work on another set of interviews.

I’ve started to try to get the blog happening more regularly again. Not the tedious day to day stuff as much as reviews of whatever I feel like. Trying to get my writing chops back up to snuff to make working on other things easier & less daunting. I probably did about 15 posts last year & this year I’m already up to 3. We’ll see how long it lasts.

I do think this will finally be the year I launch my long threatened podcast. At one point I had a name for it, but I forgot it now. I wanted to do something that kinda used a phrase I often use like Joe Kendrick did with “What It Is” & Jared Catherine did with “Figure It Out”. My basic idea is the same format a lot of the podcasts I like do where it is a half guided conversation & my idea is each week I’ll talk to a different one of my artistic friends about what they are currently working on. Like I said, we’ll see if I can get to it before the end of the year. But I’m open to name suggestions.

Thanks as always for your interest & support. It’s always good to know some people still care about the work we’re doing.

Hrt
Brian John Mitchell

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Emerald City

I think pretty much everyone born after 1940 has the 1939 MGM version of The Wizard of Oz stuck in as the definitive version of the story & so do I.  It’s a part of childhood & for me connected to various other good times.  When I heard they were making a TV show based on The Wizard of Oz I wasn’t too excited, but when I heard it starred Vincent D’Onofrio as The Wizard, I felt a need to check it out.  I’ve been a fan of his since I saw him play Robert E. Howard in The Whole Wide World & I thought he was really great in the Daredevil show as Kingpin.  This show as far as I can tell is fairly unrelated to the MGM version or the Oz books, to the point where it would be better to have just changed a few names & have it be its own animal.  Oz is family friendly in my world & the few sexed up ideas in here are less than necessary.  I think if you want to make a sexy series about someone flung to a strange new world you could have easily gone with John Carter of Mars or a dozen other pulp stories that would fit the mold better, but I suppose a more recognized brand sells better.  I will probably end up watching this series more hoping for D’Onofrio to have an episode where he’s the main focus, but if it ends up starring Dorothy every week I’ll check out for sure.  I’m not sure if it is a positive review of the show or a negative review of television in general that I’m going to watch another episode.

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The Terminator 10, 11, & 13 (NOW Comics)

Terminator

First off I’d like to say this image is appropriately blurry.  So back in the late 1980s there was a Terminator comic by a short lived but fairly well distributed publisher NOW Comics.  I’ve been a fan of Terminator since my brother brought the VHS home when I was 9 & I was spending a lot of my money & time on comics when this book came out; but I never bought it because I didn’t like the artwork, though in retrospect it’s not really much worse than a lot of comics of the era.  The genre of this comic is one of my favorites, post-apocalyptic road trip — which I didn’t realize was a genre much less one of my favorites until I read this.  It’s kind of a mess & doesn’t compare to things like Killraven, Kamandi, & Ex-Mutants; but it’s fun enough for a comic you can often find for under a dollar.  One of the things I find interesting about this book is it pre-dates T2 & has it’s own really weird interpretation of Skynet.  Over the years we’ve all come to think of Skynet as an unbeatable logic machine, but here Skynet is more of a developmentally stunted artificial intelligence; which kinda makes more sense in a way if mankind is to stand a chance.  Imagine if you gave all the knowledge & power in the world to your junkie cousin & you see how there could be hope of humanity’s survival.  So while I wouldn’t say these comics are good, you could probably read the whole series in an afternoon without feeling any more guilty about wasting your time than if you spent the day scrolling through Facebook.

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From The Desk of Warren Ellis

From The Desk of Warren EllisAbout 5 years ago my grandma died & I kinda lost my mind.  I spent the next couple of years traveling the country in a haze doing music & comic book stuff.  Whatever city I ended up in I’d try to find a local comic shop & dive into their cheap bin & flip through the nostalgia.  Occasionally I’d buy some stuff, but I’d very rarely end up finding the energy to actually read them, so I have what feels like an infinite read stack.  I picked up the first two issues of From The Desk of Warren Ellis I believe at a con in Fort Wayne, but it could’ve been at a con in rural Ohio.  Anyway, I assumed they were collections of short comics, 4 page fillers from early in his career & such, but I read this last night & it ends up they are collections of his blog entries from the 1990s.  Thoughts on current events & career struggles that are often just as valid today as 20 years ago.  Interestingly enough to me, the entries don’t seem to have gone through a grammar checker or editor before being re-published & I’m fine with that; I feel like it makes the experience more human & immediate.  So the whole experience of reading them last night was really inspirational to me.  It made me want to start doing the blog again not because it might matter to someone or people might read it; but because I realize if I want to start actually working on things I care about again in a meaningful way, I need to start practice the craft of writing more.  So here we are, my first entry of the year & I plan to start posting more than I have in years.  I get that people aren’t likely to read every entry & I don’t really expect them too.  I’m just trying to force myself to get back in a groove where I can write at the level I used to feel I was capable of again.  Because one of the worst things about feeling you’ve done good work is feeling like there’s no reason to do non-good work & falling into the dread of never doing anything good again.  So I’m getting ready.  I’m going to try to start doing good work again & the start is working at it every day, forcing myself to have the extra few minutes.  I feel pretty sure it will make me a happier & better person.

So if you came across this entry simply looking for a review of this comic, it’s not a comic but it may inspire you to start working on one & what more can you ask for?

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Christmas EPs

Hello,

Merry Christmas, I hope this message finds you well.  Running it a little closer to Christmas than anticipated, but we’ve got five special EPs from Small Life Form, Yellow6, Electric Bird Noise, Nonconnah, & X-Bax this year.  No covers of Christmas classics, but plenty of droney & noisy & shoegazery shimmery walls & guitar experiments.  You can listen to them all for free on our website at http://silbermedia.com/christmas/ & you can download them or show support for a couple dollars. You can also listen to them along with our past Christmas releases on Spotify at https://play.spotify.com/user/silberspy/playlist/2vOOsPkcz99CBsMJudwAJM 


Remora’s rarities compilation is still available for free download on Bandcamp.  98 tracks & 6.5 hours. I’m not sure I’d ever call Remora the flagship band at Silber, but I would say it’s been my main music project for 20 years.
Listen or buy on Bandcamp – https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/scraps-scrapes

More soon.  Thanks for your interest & support & spread the word about the new releases if you can & if you want to be taken off the mailing list just let me know.

  Hrt
Brian John Mitchell
www.silbermedia.com
https://www.facebook.com/silbermedia
http://twitter.com/silberspy
https://play.spotify.com/user/silberspy

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New Music from Remora, Luka Fisher, & Magnetic Ghost

Hello,

Happy Thanksgiving.  I hope you all are well.  Doing my best to be thankful for the relatively good place I’m in even though life has been routinely difficult this year.  But hey, life is supposed to be hard work anyway right?  We’ve got three new releases ready for you now & then in just a few days the Christmas EPs will be ready.  Maybe more stuff too as I’m trying to get out all the stuff that’s been waiting on me, some for over a year now.

Magnetic Ghost
So first up is Magnetic Ghost’s debut Loss Molecules.  It’s a bit of a post punk & post rock hybrid.  The thing it reminds me most of is Windsor for the Derby’s Difference & Repetition, which is an album that gave me a lot of ideas about music.  Anyway, you should check it out.  I agreed to put it out after hearing the first three minutes.
Listen or buy on Silber – www.silbermedia.com/MagneticGhost/lossmolecules.shtml
Listen or buy on Bandcamp – https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/loss-molecules
Listen on Spotify – https://play.spotify.com/album/4mwQocOx3oBlz5tbAQdCBH

Luka Fisher
Luka Fisher put out a 5in5 last year & he recorded another little EP for us (this one 3 songs in 7 minutes).  Improvisational drone collaborations.  Worth checking out.
Listen or buy on Silber – http://www.silbermedia.com/LukaFisher/minddrone.shtml
Listen or buy on Bandcamp - https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/mind-drone-business
Listen on Spotify – https://play.spotify.com/album/2WqtztfODfxQhq345omwKL

Remora
Finally there’s an epic rarities release from Remora.  98 tracks & 6.5 hours.  Available exclusively on Bandcamp as a free download for the next month, so nothing to lose — especially if you listen to it at work!
Listen or buy on Bandcamp – https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/scraps-scrapes

More soon.  Thanks for your interest & support & spread the word about the new releases if you can & if you want to be taken off the mailing list just let me know.

  Hrt
Brian John Mitchell
www.silbermedia.com
https://www.facebook.com/silbermedia
http://twitter.com/silberspy
https://play.spotify.com/user/silberspy

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There are things going on

I know, I never update the blog.  I do keep thinking about updating it, so that counts as something right?

Anyway, a lot going on since last time.  About a dozen releases I’m working towards getting out before the end of the year including the Christmas releases.  Pretty excited about the new one from Magnetic Ghost (on Spotify, still working it up for the Silber site & Bandcamp) as it’s been a while since I’ve worked with an artist as enthusiastic about their work instead of a little jaded.  It’s the kind of thing that keeps you going.  Also I can say the same thing for Luka Fisher (once again on Spotify, still working it up for the Silber site & Bandcamp).

I’ve got a bunch of comics that are ready to go & have been for quite a while, but I just can’t seem to find the time to clean them up & set them up for printing.  Sometimes the work part feels a little too much like work.

Hoping to start on the new QRD soon as well, but I want to get all the stuff above done first.  Similar with my thoughts of starting a podcast.

In the life category, me & the family went down to Myrtle Beach to meet the Electric Bird Baby & when we were down there my daughter Violet (she’s one now) came down with a fever & was throwing up & we had to go to the hospital for most of a day.  It took a team of 4 nurses to get an IV in her so they could give her an initial dose of anti-biotics & fluid & stuff.  It’s the first time she got sick enough to go to the hospital instead of the doctor, which I’d say is good since I’ve known a lot of people who take their kid to the hospital a half dozen times the first year.  She’ll finish up her anti-biotics this week & then I need to take her to the regular doctor for a follow up to make sure she isn’t sick any more.

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New Drone & Darkwave from Koyl, Cloaca, & Premature Burial on Silber

Hello,

Hope everyone is doing well.  Life is good here at Silber even if I am struggling to get everything to happen in a timely manner.  The hurricane that came through & flooded a lot of communities around me had no effect here in the new Silberia.  The power didn’t even go out, but then walking around the neighborhood I saw an oak that feel splitting a neighbors house in two, so I count my blessings that things are so good for me.  My little drone cub just turned one & in good health & spirits & that she vacuums up all my spare time is something I don’t mind.  Silber has always been about family to me anyhow & it’s interesting how huge of a percentage of Silber artist.  So anyway on with what’s up lately including three new 5in5 EPs.

Koyl - Fingerprints
Koyl comes to Silber with five songs in five minutes, one about each finger. But are the fingers originally on one hand or are they fingers from dead men stitched together to tell tales of angst & woe? No matter, now they all are part of the one & making incredible soundscapes with a guitar & lapsteel.
Buy or listen on Silber: http://www.silbermedia.com/5in5/koyl-fingerprints.shtml
Buy or listen on Bandcamp: https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/Fingerprints
Listen on Spotify: https://play.spotify.com/album/0RGPOSGY42MBliHNbjjJt2

Premature Burial - Factions
Joshua Heinrich (Fornever/Black Wedding) returns to Silber for a 5in5 EP with his Premature Burial project. Mixing industrial & ambient elements, f/a/c/t/i/o/n/s paints a portrait of the current political climate of divisiveness & corruption. The bureaucracy is spreading like a Kafka novel. Listen to Premature Burial while you’re on hold for hours.
Buy or listen on Silber: http://www.silbermedia.com/5in5/PrematureBurial-factions.shtml
Buy or listen on Bandcamp: https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/factions
Listen on Spotify: https://play.spotify.com/album/71nRox49Xq7Xr09ixIiPN5

Cloaca - Almsgiver
Cloaca has offered up five minute long aggressive ambient drones created with pedals & a mixing board. Numbing & overwhelming like the chemicals in your IV before brain surgery….
Buy or listen on Silber: http://www.silbermedia.com/5in5/cloaca-almsgiver.shtml
Buy or listen on Bandcamp: https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/Almsgiver
Listen on Spotify: https://play.spotify.com/album/3LFDxh9rqp5nv8HpXCDVbK

Something went weird recently where some of the Silber Spotify playlists went private, but I fixed it & you can check them out here:
Last Ten Releases – https://play.spotify.com/user/silberspy/playlist/4nuz7tocaNt9OkFetPsHhG
Entire 5in5 Series – https://play.spotify.com/user/silberspy/playlist/7ge7yufxSf6IR9Tpu7YIgh
Entire Silber Catalog – https://play.spotify.com/user/silberspy/playlist/27NjmkRh1NqqDYIf64Fmp1

New Releases coming soon from Ms, Fullness Off Lack, Jon Dawson, Moodring, Hotel Hotel, Lum, DR, Remora, Small Life Form, Magnetic Ghost & before you know it Christmas EPs from Electric Bird Noise, Yellow6, Remora, Small Life Form, Baptizer, & more.  A batch of comics about Robert E Howard coming soon (all drawn, just need to set them up to print). & of course inevitably a new QRD.

Thanks for your interest & support & spread the word about the new releases if you can & if you want to be taken off the mailing list just let me know.

Hrt
Brian John Mitchell

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Doing Things

Hey, still alive here.  Still slowly doing things.  Last week I unveiled the Remora music box set & people liked it.  I suppose eventually I’ll record some stuff.  There’s some videos on YouTube.  I’ll post them here in the blog at some point.

Got a couple panels more done on a comic that’s been almost done since June.  Like everything else I need to just put forth an effort to get it done.

In a similar level of needing to get it done are three 5in5 EPs that need press releases & then about 9 other releases that need some love that I am the only one holding back.

Doing a little more work towards getting the big Remora twenty year anniversary release to happen.  Who expected I’d be doing stuff this long.  It’s crazy to me.  Especially that I haven’t gotten much better over two decades!

So yesterday I ate a chicken sandwich that was fried in peanut oil (remember about ten year ago when they approved GMO peanuts & I developed an allergy & lost 20 pounds in a month?) & I have occasionally had something with peanut oil in it over the years by accident & it just made me need to rush to the bathroom, but yesterday was a little bit scarier.  Typical bathroom rush, but my lips & tongue were clearly swollen & it was a bit difficult to breathe.  I took some antihistamines & it seemed to calm down after an hour, but I think maybe I need to go to a doctor & get an epipen or whatever.  I think it really becomes more clear every day that I don’t have what it takes to be a touring musician anymore.  Goodbye past life.

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Reviews & More

A lot of random things going on right now.  There’s a Remora show next Wednesday.  Also on the bill are Electric Bird Noise, Clang Quartet, Tesla Recoils, & Bret Hart.  Should be a good one of all of us 40+ noise/drone geezers.  Still trying to get the Remora set I have planned functional.  Then next Thursday we’re doing a Space Sweeper recording session (me, Brian McKenzie, & Ted Johnson).  Last time we made something good enough to release, hopefully that will happen again this time.

So I had a problem where my emails to the city (I’m on a local commission) were bouncing.  Ends up they use a place called SORBS as their spam filter & I’d been blacklisted.  It took a while to figure out how to contact them & it ends up someone reported me to them as a spammer two times (presumably two newsletters, can’t you just request to be taken off the list?).  The company offers you to be removed from their blacklist by paying a  fee, but they waived it for me since it was the first time I had contacted them.  Kinda weird.

Some of you may know the guy I refer to as my little brother, Joseph Hausman.  Anyway, he recently moved to Albuquerque & moved into a musician house, so some recordings from him may come into existence.

I got contacted by a guy putting together a comic anthology & I’m trying to get something done for it.  He also has a gig were he makes video trailers for comics & he’s going to start using some of the Silber catalog as the background music for them.  The guy is full of enthusiasm, but somehow it doesn’t really make my jaded old man heart beat faster.  Instead I’m just waiting to watch him give up.  Which is kind of a bad attitude & I’m trying to turn it around.

Put three new 5in5s in the cue for Spotify, still need to get them ready on the Silber side of things.  Cloaca, Koyl, & Premature Burial.  Will let you know when they are ready to go.

A couple recent reviews below.

M IS WE: FEELS LIKE FIVE DAYS
Silber Records still clings to its 5×5 ep promos: an EP with five minutes music of one band for familiarization. Sometimes this leads to nice EP that grabs our attention and curiosity, which is the intent of these promos off course.
M is We is a band led by the American Michael Wood. The music is a kind of lo-fi post-punk and indie rock in the style of bands like The Pixies, Ride, The Fall… You understand that something like that will sound like… well… music to our ears. And indeed we hear five Impressions that make us yearn for more. From the experimental and weird opener Three Hour Wait, 30 Second Ride to the more Pixies-rocker Tired and you would swear that Kim Deal is playing the bass.
Princess Frown is an unadulterated punk scream trying to kick stand. Okay, it’s all lo-fi, but it has a heart and a soul. And is that not the foundation for good music?
~ Wim Guillemyn, Peek A Boo

THORN1: THE LEAVE OF LEAVES
This time we didn’t get a 5×5 release by Silber Records, but a full album. The project Thorn 1 is the brainchild of Evgeny Zheyda from West Siberia. Ten years ago he started his project and on The Leave of Leaves he presents music that floats between post-rock, drone pop, slowcore and post-punk. That’s a lot of genres, but these are the elements that characterize his music.
Opener and title track The Leave of Leaves is a long drawn out and introverted track which captivates until the end. The track sounds a bit dark and obscure. Lorca sounds more cheerful and playful because Zheyda introduces a melodic percussion instrument. I think it is a marimba.
Maybe it is due to the isolation in distant Siberia, but the sadness is present in nearly every song. Listen to Stun, a track that lasts for about ten minutes. The vocals by Zheyda are quiet, frugal and almost meditative. 14-40 is a cover and almost sounds as a singer-songwriter track. The Russian language adds an exotic touch to the atmosphere. Strings are used (synth), as in Minus Mercury, and they bring serene heat to the song. Don’t think of strings as they are used in lavish and emotional pop songs.
Thorn 1 is a very pleasant surprise wit anh original and unique sound and strong compositions. Very nice!
~ Wim Guillemyn, Peek A Boo

DYR FASER: DYR FASER
Dyr Faser manage to cover all manner of soundscapes and vibes in this 5 minute EP with a massive array of curious and confronting sounds that will take you on a deep dark cave-live journey. There are elements of post-punk, electronic, industrial, and psyceldelica mixed together here, all working together to create a thick atmosphere.
‘Just a face’ is a chilling electro/punk offering. Full of thick atmosphere and a curious eastern twist it paves the way towards a deep dark journey. ‘Until then you’ lifts the energy. Sounding somewhere between Nine Inch Nails and early Cure there is a confronting and menacing feel felt throughout. ‘To be desired’ brings in a cool if not creepy psychedelic vibe into the sound creating an airy haze. ‘Only the dark’ sees some no wave / shoe-gazer elements creep in courtesy of a slow and hypnotic guitar that lulls you into submission before leaving you behind. The EP closes in a slightly chilled out fashion with the slow ‘Take the one’ that soon unravels into oblivion.
This is another great 5in5 EP that crams in some amazing atmosphere and feeling all into 5 minutes!
~ Tomatrax

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