Make Music Madison

 

I'll be playing a show next week Tuesday the 21st for Make Music Madison at the Central Park stage.  Please see my calendar on the side bar for the specific info on that.  You can also read more about this awesome event below!

What is Make Music Madison?

Make Music Madison is an annual citywide, free, outdoor day of music held on the summer solstice, June 21. Initiated in 2013 as Madison’s entry into the international summer solstice music celebration, we join over 700 communities around the world in kicking off summer by filling the city with music. Make Music Madison turns the city into a stage, and offers a full spectrum of performers the opportunity to display their musical skills.

2016 provides us with our first mid-week event, opening new possibilities for venues and musicians. Coffee shops, restaurants and businesses all over Madison will be looking for musicians to fill their locations with song. Performers along the bike paths could bring music to the morning commute. Lunch patrons may find themselves serenaded by a middle school strings quartet. And after 5, the city will explode with music.

  • Make Music Madison is: Performed by Anyone, Enjoyed by Everyone.
  • A way for all Madisonians to celebrate the summer solstice, enjoying the longest day of the year, while sampling a buffet of musical merriment.
  • A DIY city-wide celebration when almost any way to make music can and will happen.
  • Make Music Madison is open to music makers of all ages, skill levels, and musical persuasions.

Make Music Madison may be Performed by Anyone, Enjoyed by Everyone, but it still takes a dedicated team of volunteers to bring it all together. We have a small board comprised primarily of group leads for larger teams of volunteers who focus on venues, musicians, matchmaking, mass appeal events, technology, publicity, and fundraising. In addition we have a single part-time paid position for our executive director.

 

 

Challenge #5 - Location

 

I've had a busy week and haven't quite found the time to finish writing my location song for tomorrow's challenge... I do have the guitar part and hook, but the verses are taking a bit more effort than I was hoping for.   I've been tossing around a few different ideas as far as the location goes and haven't quite settled on anything yet, so I guess it will be a surprise all around!  However, I do have a good choice for a signature song that I think will go over well.  I'm actually looking forward to playing more than one song at this next challenge as I'll be a lot more comfortable going into the second song after having warmed up with the first song.  As things get down to the wire I'm excited to see who gets to go onto the finals.  I have a good feeling about getting to the final 3 and have been thinking about what I might do for a final set already, but don't want to speak too soon as I still have the hard work to put in before this next challenge.  Either way it has been a great ride and has made for a very busy and eventful May!!

As I didn't share them yet, here are the lyrics for last week's challenge:

Doubt
 
Staring through the window of her soul
Is cloudier than most the storms that I have ever known
She’s got me stuck in my head again, again, again, and again
Is there no end to the murky waters that I’m continuously drowning in?
 
Doubt
Just when I thought I had figured her all out
Doubt
She makes me keep loosing truth
 
Tattered and torn, I’m weary and worn thin
From traversing these miles through mine fields of indecision
She’s a beautiful fountain of poison to wish and wish and wish upon
It’s out of my power she’s come to destroy and devour all reason
 
Doubt
Just when I thought I had figured her all out
Doubt
She makes me keep loosing truth
 
I had it all figured out
I had it all figured out
I had it all figured out
I had it all figured out
 
Doubt
Just when I thought I had figured her all out
Doubt
She makes me keep loosing truth
Doubt
Just when I thought I had figured her all out
Doubt
I know I’m loosing truth
 

Challenge #4 - Emotions

 
I finally finished the lyrics for my song Saturday, and have been fine tuning them as I rehearse for the show on Monday.  I drew the emotion "Doubt" and although I wanted to not make my song title super obvious, I ended up titling the song "Doubt" anyway.  I ended up somewhat writing the song from a viewpoint as if I was in a relationship with doubt.  The guitar part is a lot more driving that you would expect and has a killer breakdown that I'm excited to share with everyone!  
I don't know how well I'll be able to observe my growth as an artist while I'm still in this competition, but I can say that I've surprised myself with being able to come up with a new song over the past 3 weeks that I'm not only ok with, but actually excited to share with people, which is generally not the case.  I'm like a song a month maybe kinda guy.  I'm hoping that all this work will be the jumpstart I need to finish the CD that I'm currently writing and not burn me out!
I'm excited to see what the next challenge will be if I get through this week.  I'm not really looking for anything in particular as I kind of like the surprise of each new challenge.  I just hope that it will spark the creativity in me as well as fit the guitar part I already wrote when I was coming up with ideas for this week's challenge!
 

"Into the Grey" Voting and Lyrics

 

Challenge #3 turned out excellent and was well received all around.  Here's link to check out the video and vote to help me along in 105.5 Triple M's Songwriter Competition.  Here are the lyrics as well!

http://www.projectm.1055triplem.com/pages/12439796.php

Into the Grey
 
Cool taste of that misty morning numb
Carelessly she continues wandering on
Through the fog
Uncertainty the only constant in her life
Of black and white she walks between those lines
Stuck in time
 
Struggling to truly see the other side
So slowly she steps into the grey divide
 
Puzzling mystery is hers alone
Reluctantly she embraces the unknown
Down this road
 
Struggling to truly see the other side
So slowly she steps into the grey divide
 
(Solo)
 
Struggling to truly see the other side
So slowly she steps into the grey divide
 
Maybe someday she will see through the other side
Finally she’ll step away from the grey divide
 

Lady in Red - Challenge #3

 

In this week's Project M challenge we all received the same picture of a woman in a red shirt walking away down a road that curves into the fog ahead.   Here's what I had to say about this week's challenge, and don't forget to help me out and keep voting!

http://www.projectm.1055triplem.com/pages/12439796.php

Alright, so I'm feeling pretty good about the competition so far.  My song "Bike Snob" went over well with both the judges and my fans which definitely helped.  I think I'm now getting into the swing of things as I continue on.  
The hardest part of all this for me is probably writing the lyrics.  At least its the most time consuming thing and they need to really capture the essence of the song all around.  I find myself to be more of a guitarist first and a lyricist second so I try to use it to my advantage by writing all of the music in a way that I think will best convey the feel and emotion of the song.  I'll then try to find the right melody for the different parts of the song as well as a rhythmic meter for the lyrics to fit in.  Throughout this process I'll brainstorm different words and phrases that help to really capture the full meaning between the melodies and lyrical content, and then I'll try and try again until the pieces seem to fit right which seems to be the most difficult part!  
My song for this week has a tentative title of "Into the Gray" and I'm still working on the lyrics.  As you know, we all got the same picture that we have to base our songs on.  What I'm thinking so far is to use the woman walking away in the picture as the character and then use elements of the picture to compare to her journey forward through life from the moment she's stuck at in the picture.  Things like overcoming uncertainty and embracing the unknown come to mind.  I'm looking forward to finding the finished product as I write more and then to share it with everyone!

 

 

Bike Snob Lyrics and Voting!

 

You can vote on and watch the video of my week #2 challenge song "Bike Snob" for the Project M competition right now! Here's a copy of the lyrics for your enjoyment, and remember that you can vote as much as you like, get a good burn going on your left mouse clicker finger!

http://www.projectm.1055triplem.com/pages/12439796.php

I’ve got speed
I always take the lead
Two wheels are all I need to be free
Pedaling my steed
These chasers cannot catch me
They’re just squirrely on their fixies
Ankles tattooed up with chain grease
See I know their shift is weak

I’m always down at the L.B.S.
Where the techs and wrenches can tweak my set
I’m more pretentious than all the rest 
With this yellow jersey and matching spandex

My ride is sweet
Best one on the street
Cost the entirety of my yearly salary but
I’ve never seen defeat
Sportives just ain’t for me
I’ve crushed Spain, France, and Italy
I’ve got mad technique and bomb leg physique cause
I’m a super cyclist freak

I’m always down at the L.B.S.
Where the techs and wrenches can tweak my set
I’m more pretentious than all the rest 
With this yellow jersey and matching spandex

(break down)

I’m always down at the L.B.S.
Where the techs and wrenches can tweak my set
I’m more pretentious than all the rest 
With this yellow jersey and matching spandex

I’m always down at the L.B.S.
That’s the local bike shop if you’re not hip enough for that reference yet
I’m more pretentious than all the rest 
With this yellow jersey and matching spandex

 

Bike Snob

 

So this week, my challenge was to write a song with the title of "Bike Snob".  At first when I drew that slip I thought that I had the worst choice out of all the other titles that were drawn, but I just kinda dove right into writing and actually came out with something I'm pretty stoked about.  I started with just the guitar part and tried to write something that was more up beat with a verse riff that reminded me of riding a bike.  This song is definitely a stylistic detour from my first performance and the type of material I'm currently writing for a CD, however I chose a style that comes very naturally to me which I thought would help given that at first I was a little stumped with coming up with material.  I started brainstorming on lyrics by looking up cyclist jargon online and sketching down more rhythmic/rhyming phrases which came together nicely with the guitar parts I wrote.  All in all I'm pretty happy with the outcome of the song and am excited to share it with everyone on Monday!

 

Project M!

 

I've been fortunate enough to make it to the top 8 in 105.5 Triple M's Project M songwriter competition which means I get to really compete and write new songs!  I'll need your help each week to vote for me to help me continue on... Here's some info on the voting and the competition:

Please go to:

http://www.projectm.1055triplem.com/pages/12439796.php

Just click my name and click the vote button, you can vote as many times as you like! 

Each week we have a new song writing challenge to complete, which pretty much means writing a new song. Each performance challenge is on almost every Monday in May at Funk's Pub (2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd) and the finalist performance is at the High Noon Saloon on the 26th. The first challenge was to perform one of our best choices for an opening song, I chose my song "All I Wanted" and you can watch the video via the voting link as well (turned out great!). Now, at the beginning of the show at each week's new challenge performance someone will get eliminated. Next week's challenge is that we each had to write a song based on their sponsor Just Coffee's flavors... I got "Bike Snob"... I'm currently working hard to kick this one's ass so I can move one. I'll keep this updated each week with the new challenges, and of course will cancel it if I get eliminated... which hopefully with your help won't happen!
Thank you all for your support! :D

I also have to write a blog for Triple M each week as a contestant.  I'll be sharing those as I continue on as well... Here's my first one:

Hi, I'm J. Marsden and I've been very actively playing guitar, singing, and writing music over the last 15 years of my life.  I've played all types of musical genres throughout my career, however now my solo songs are more in the vein of Alt. Rock ballads with a spacey country western swagger to them.  I've played a couple hundred shows with various bands, but have recently been branching out as a singer songwriter over the past year and am grateful to be a part of Project M this year!  I'm really looking forward to the songwriting challenges so I can push myself to be creative in a new way, and I'm also excited to see the creativity of the other contestants!  I'll be performing a personal and fan favorite song of mine at for the first challenge.  I feel this song best represents where I am and where I'm going with my solo songwriting career.  I look forward to seeing everyone on Monday

 

Welcome!

 

Welcome to my brand new website!  Kick off your shoes and take a look around.  More great content coming soon!