Monday, November 17, 2014

Happy Birthday Jeff Buckley


For past few years, I have been fortunate enough to meet many amazing folks who are passionate about Jeff Buckley's music while paying tribute at various concerts in Chicago, Toronto & Ann Arbor. It's helped me work through the disappointment of his passing & helped me connect to the love that still lives on through his music. Today would have marked Jeff Buckley's 48th birthday. Here are a few live performances of Jeff's songs I've done over the years including a new video dug up from the archives of Last Goodbye. I'll be with fellow tributers in spirit today. Happy Birthday Jeff, we miss you.


"Last Goodbye" by Jeff Buckley.  Live at Crazy Wisdom Tearoom in Ann Arbor, MI. 2/14/14


"So Real" by Jeff Buckley. Live @ The 15th Annual Jeff Buckley Tribute at Uncommon Ground in Chicago, IL. 11/14/12



<3

-Spencer


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Tightrope Walker EP now on I-Tunes, Google Play, Bandcamp & Spotify!

So many digital channels for hearing music, so little time... that's why I've consolidated all my links to my debut EP Tightrope Walker for you right here! : ) Hopefully your preferred download site is listed here, if not how about suggesting it in the comments below? Please help me spread these links & music out into the world! Thanks again for supporting independent artists!




Tightrope Walker EP on

 I-Tunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/tightrope-walker-ep/id924068534?ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Google Play:

https://play.google.com/store/music/artist/Spencer_Michaud?id=A7mqkkruab6up34k7ldepm5y7mm&hl=en

Bandcamp:

https://spencermichaud.bandcamp.com/album/tightrope-walker-ep

Spotify:

https://play.spotify.com/artist/0bvFlcU0f1jL9FELEN0yvy

: )

-Spencer


Friday, September 12, 2014

The Hero's Journey & Why it matters now more than ever

Back in college, I had a wonderful children's literature instructor that turned me on to the work of Joseph Campbell & Carl Jung. In the series, The Power of Myth, (based on his work in the book The Hero with a Thousand Faces) Campbell sat down with Bill Moyers and discussed the common themes, archetypes and story arcs of what he called "the monomyth". I was in awe as Campbell broke down ancient stories such as Gilgamesh & The Iliad, & connected them with modern day myths such Star Wars & The Wizard of Oz:


Recurring themes such as the CALL TO ADVENTURE, THE REFUSAL OF THE CALL & THE BELLY OF THE BEAST came up time and time again in all shapes and sizes and through out cultures that had no way of communicating with one another. As I studied further, I started making connections to my own life and found a well spring of human experience to draw upon for my art as well as my sanity in dealing with the ups & downs that came with the various stages of life. I started recognizing the recurring characters in my life, WISE MENTORS, THRESHOLD GUARDIANS & SHAPESHIFTERS, the various psychological masks that we all wear at different points in time. It helped me find connection and most importantly hope during times when things seemed the bleakest

In a modern age where information is coming at us at a pace that is hard to process & life becomes more & more automated, it is of great value being able to take a step back and see how we fit into the great human drama & find a sense of timelessness in our shared cultural stories. The Hero's Journey provides us with a center, a deep well of shared experience that helps us recognize our rites of passage and keeps us pushing forward on the road of life.

Want to learn more about the Hero's Journey? Join me for a six week class through the Ann Arbor Rec & Ed that focuses exclusively on the Hero's Journey & how to apply it's themes to your life & your art! Class starts Tues. 9/16!

Creative Writing: The Hero's Journey

Drawing from the depth psychology of Carl Jung and the mythic studies of Joseph Campbell, the hero's journey can be a valuable road map for any aspiring writer or artist. In this class you will explore the common structural elements found universally in myths, fairy tales, dreams, and movies. Through the study of stories such as The Wizard of Oz, Star Wars, and Harry Potter, you uncover techniques that will make your work timeless. Instructor: Spencer Michaud. 6 weeks. Tues. 3-5pm SESSION 1: 9/16 – 10/21, SESSION 2: 11/4 – 12/9 Tuition: $125 per session

https://apm.activecommunities.com/aareced/Activity_Search/creative-writing-the-hero-s-journey/36465

https://apm.activecommunities.com/aareced/Activity_Search/creative-writing-the-hero-s-journey/36466

FREE Musician Community Building Workshop: Mon. 9/15

Recently I was asked by my good friend, local music DJ & promoter, Matthew Altruda from 107.1 FM's Treetown Sound to appear on a panel discussion session & networking opportunity for local musicians in the Ann Arbor area. I have appeared on Matthew's radio show a number of times and really appreciate all that he does for our local music scene. On Monday, Sept.15th we will be sitting down with other local musician, talent buyers & booking agents to discuss how to make sense of this Wild West known as the music business & what steps you can take to find the right kind of success for you. This is a FREE workshop and a great opportunity to meet other people in the industry! Won't you join us?

https://www.facebook.com/events/695614330526386/



Musician Community Building Workshop.

FREE // 7PM to 9PM - 9/15

Espresso Royale 214 S Main St, Ann Arbor.

Open discussion about moving forward in the music business. Topics will included booking, festivals, touring, networking, money, youtube, social media and all of your questions. This is also a networking opportunity to meet other musicians and spread your music.

Hosted by Matthew Altruda- Sonic Lunch & Tree Town Sound hosted by Matthew Altruda 6PM Sundays 107one FM

PANEL:

Jason Berry- Talent Buyer - Blind Pig - Ann Arbor, MI

Ashley Flohr- Account Manager for Music & Live Events for Google

Jeff May- Booking agent for Fleming Artists

Randall Moore- Musician & Management for The Ragbirds

Spencer Michaud- Musician & Washtenaw Community College Instructor.

Friday, September 5, 2014

SHOW TONIGHT / NEW TIGHTROPE WALKER EP AVAILABLE / FALL CLASSES

Hi Folks!

Whirlwind happenings around here! This is truly going to be a great fall. I'm happy to announce that my new EP Tightrope Walker is now officially out digitally and in final physical form! It's been a long journey to this point and I am extremely grateful for all of your encouragement and support. I am blessed to have so many great people in my community! : )

I have released the digital version first on Bandcamp & you can download it here:



Please help me spread the word by sharing the link to your friends and on your social media platforms! Since I am releasing this independently, YOU are my best advocates for spreading this music to the world! Thank you in advance, your check is in the mail. ; )

I will also have brand new physical copies of the EP TONIGHT for sale at my show at the Crazy WisdomTearoom in Ann Arbor. The show starts at 8:30pm & is FREE / ALL AGES. Please join me in celebrating this long-awaited accomplishment!





I also want to let you know that I am in the process of trying to get the title track from the EP in a new movie coming out next fall about Philippe Petit & the World Trade Center Walk starring Joseph-Gordan Levitt & directed by Robert Zemeckis. It's called The Walk & you can help! Please follow their twitter account: https://twitter.com/TheWalkMovie & tweet them this link for Tightrope Walker, asking to put the song in the film! We'll get this thing in there grass-roots style! : )

Last but not least, I will be teaching a number of classes through AnnArbor Rec & Ed this fall! I would love for you to join me as we explore a wide range of subjects and expand our collective consciousness together! Offerings include: Guitar, Songwriting, Astrology, & *NEW THIS SEMSTER*: Modern Music Business: DIY & Creative Writing Workshop: The Hero's Journey. Classes will be at Pioneer High school in Ann Arbor & will start Sept. 16th. Check out the link below for complete information & registration:





Thanks again for all your support!

<3

-Spencer




Wednesday, August 20, 2014

BOOM! Full 4 song Tightrope Walker EP now available for Download!!


Here it is folks! The full 4 song Tightrope Walker EP available for download at:

https://spencermichaud.bandcamp.com/




All Songs Written by Spencer Michaud
Produced by Spencer Michaud & Ross Federman
Recorded by Jim Roll @ Backseat Productions, Ann Arbor, MI
Mixed by Jim Roll
Additional Mixing by Ross Federman
Mastered by Roman Vail @ JLM Mastering, Brooklyn, NY
Album Art by Tanya Andrews & Betsy King
Album Layout by Midwinter Design

Spencer Michaud: vocals, guitars, keyboards
Graham Lapp: bass
Gabriel Craft: drums
Alex Belhaj: keyboards, organ, guitar
Zach Nichols: horns, bowed saw
Erin Zindle: violin
Kevin Morgan: background vocals
Brent Hegwood: background vocals
Jim Roll: banjo
Mike Boyd: guitar
Ross Federman: additional percussion & effects

CC-BY-SA 2014 Spencer Michaud

Thank you to everyone who made this possible & supported me throughout this project and my creative endeavors up to this point. It is truly humbling to be a part of such an amazing community of people. Special thanks to all the generous kickstarter backers, to my Mom & Jim, Dad & Gail, Tanya, Sophie, and Ross for getting me to the finish line. 

Kickstarter Backers:

The Dirty Birds, Swanna Saltiel, Jim Roll, Charlene Kaye, Jenny Jones, The Ragbirds, Michelle Fortin & Patrick Racine, Todd Kessler, Appleseed Collective, Pamela Mennel, Kitty McGarry, Michelle Dow, The Longest Day of the Year, Matthew Neagle, Jennifer Steinmann Ross, Matt & Jess McCumons, Joe Arozarena, Sarah E. Nugent, Eve Povolo, Melissa Andrews, Susan Aitken, Alessandra Noelting, Mary Reilly, Susie Keat, Staley Krause, James Aitken, Frances Ross, Michael Riley, Brent Hegwood, Roseann Milano, Caitlin, Amy, Mike Michaud, BJ Walraven, Tanya Andrews, Paul Capling

This music is licensed under Creative Commons: CC-BY-SA which supports your freedom to share & be creative with this work as long as you include original credit (attribution) & use this license (share-alike). Please help spread this music to the world! Thank you for supporting independent art!

Additional Media, Merchandise, Tour info & updates can be found at:

Artist Website: spencermichaud.com


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Ann Arbor Rec & Ed Classes w/ Spencer Michaud

Registration is now open for a number of personal enrichment classes that I will be teaching through Ann Arbor Rec & Ed this summer! I am so excited to be working with a great organization like Rec & Ed and have the opportunity to help people achieve their creative dreams. : ) Check out this article by David Fitch from the Washtenaw Voice if you are curious about my teaching style!:

http://www.washtenawvoice.com/2014/02/songwriting-instructor-inspires-through-experience/

















Below you will find courses that I am offering and links to register. Classes begin June 18th and go for 6 weeks.  Feel free to message me if you have any questions!

https://www.facebook.com/events/469802699821035/

Guitar for Beginners 9th Grade - Adult:

Grade 9-Adult. Calling all aspiring guitarists! Whether you are a future rock god, jazz cat or campfire strummer, basic fundamentals and a strong foundation in technique is essential. Gain the beginning skills you need to launch your musical dream! You learn how to make easy chord shapes, strumming patterns and basic music theory that can be applied to almost any style of music. Sign up today to improve your string knowledge! Instructor: Spencer Michaud is an experienced songwriter, performer and teacher. 6 weeks. Mondays 6-7pm, 6/23-7/28 Tuition: $95

https://apm.activecommunities.com/aareced/Activity_Search/guitar-for-beginners-9th-grade-adult/35512

Songwriting Workshop:

Grade 9-Adult. Do you have a song to share with the world? Explore what makes a song great. Build the skills and confidence necessary to turn your ideas into finished and fully realized songs. You study the basic concepts of lyric, melody, harmony and rhythm. Structured activities help you beat writers block and become more prolific. Open to beginners and seasoned songwriters alike. Students are encouraged to bring their instruments, but no previous experience or instrumental knowledge is necessary to benefit from this class. Instructor: Spencer Michaud is an experienced songwriter, performer and teacher. 6 weeks. Mondays 7:15-9pm, 6/23-7/28, Tuition: $135

https://apm.activecommunities.com/aareced/Activity_Search/songwriting-workshop/35513

Creative Writing Workshop:

Whether you have the heart of a poet, the visionary imagination of an author or just words in your head that are screaming to get out, this class is for you! Conquer that writer's block once and for all with an array of in-class writing exercises, thoughtful discussions and confidence building creative writing techniques. Over the span of six weeks you will focus on creating a meaningful story arc, writing from your senses and courting your inner muse. Instructor: Spencer Michaud. 6 weeks. No class 7/9. Wednesdays Noon-2pm, 6/18-7/30, Tuition: $125

https://apm.activecommunities.com/aareced/Activity_Search/creative-writing-workshop/35507

Astrology:

Astrology is much more than a horoscope in a newspaper! It is an ancient language that can help you understand yourself and the world around you. Explore the major symbolic components of Astrology including planets, signs, elements and aspects. Gain a better understanding of how to read a basic natal chart. Learn highly effective techniques for identifying your own unique talents and inner wisdom. Instructor: Spencer Michaud. 6 weeks. No class 7/9. Wednesdays 2:30-4pm, 6/18-7/30, Tuition: $95

https://apm.activecommunities.com/aareced/Activity_Search/astrology/35498


Upcoming shows in June:

6.12.14 - Pittsfield Township Farmers Market - 4pm

6.19.14 - Chelsea Sounds & Sights - 6:30pm

6.25.14 - Ann Arbor Summer Festival: Grove Stage - 6pm

6.27.14 - Yellow Barn - 7pm


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Upcoming shows: May / June

Hi Friends!

Here is a peek at what I've got coming up this spring. In May, I will be joined by singer-songwriter Vincent Colbert for a series of solo shows. Vince is a talented artist that participated in the Polar Vortex Songwriting Game with me the past few months. You can check him out here:

http://www.vincentcolbert.com




We have an early show THIS FRIDAY May 16th at B-24's coffee shop in Ypsilanti at 5pm. This will be a FREE / ALL AGES show.

On May 25th, we will be traveling to Kalamazoo for a pre-memorial day show at the Vine St. Neighborhood Association at 1pm. Joining us at this show will be another talented musician, Kaitlin Rose:




In June, I have a series of outdoor shows, starting with Chelsea Sights & Sounds on June 19th & then Ann Arbor Summer Festival's Grove stage on June 25th. I'll be rounding out the month at the Yellow Barn on Friday June 27th as part of a "Summer mini-folk festival" featuring:

Emily Rose - http://www.reverbnation.com/emilvrosemusic
Audra Kubat - http://www.audrakubatmusic.com
Andru Bemis - http://www.andrubemis.com
J. Washburn Gardner - http://www.jwashburngardner.com
Ebb Tide - http://www.ebbtidetrio.com

Looking forward to seeing you all soon! : )

MAY / JUNE SHOWS:

5/16 - B-24's w/ Vincent Colbert - Ypsilanti, MI

5/25 - Vine St. Neighborhood Assc. w/ Vincent  Colbert & Kaitlin Rose - Kalamazoo, MI

6/19 - Chelsea Sights & Sounds - Chelsea, MI

6/25 - Ann Arbor Summer Festival - Grove Stage -Ann Arbor, MI

6/27 - Yellow Barn - Ann Arbor, MI

: )

-Spencer


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

EP Pre-release: Sat. 3/22 @ The Ark / Sneak Peek Track!

Hello Friends!

Exciting things are happening around here! : ) This Sat. 3/22, I will have 50 limited edition, hand-signed & numbered "pre-release" copies of my Debut EP Tightrope Walker at the Ark when I open for the Ben Daniels Band! I am also including a free digital download code on each copy of the CD! Doors open @ 7:30pm. I'm on at 8pm sharp!


Tickets can be purchased here: http://theark.org/3827.html



Here is a sneak peek of the first track off the EP called "Guinevere":






https://soundcloud.com/spencermichaud/guinevere

Meet me beneath the blossom tree
Before the day overtakes the night
Just make sure that no one sees
Be like a white shadow
Moving like the wind against the night

I'll flash my candle four times
One, two, three, four
The raven's watching from on high
Oh but we must stay away from their prying eyes
If we want to meet tonight
If we want to meet tonight

You have disarmed me Guinevere
I'm laying down my sword
And I'm lowering my shield
I'll brave the pyre
And I will brave the flames
Just to lose my honor
In your arms again

Meet me beneath the blossom tree
You know your secret
Will always be safe with me
No one can tell us this is wrong
Cause our love is the grail
They've been searching for
And searching for so long
They've been searching for so long

You have disarmed me Guinevere
I'm laying down my sword
And I'm lowering my shield
I'll brave the pyre
And I will brave the flames
Just to lose my honor
In your arms again

I'll brave the pyre and the flames
Just to lose my honor in your arms again
I'll brave the pyre and the flames
Just to lose my honor in your arms again
Just to lose my honor in your arms again

Just to lose my honor in your arms again

Thanks again for your support! I always welcome your feedback. Looking forward to seeing you all soon!


: )


-Spencer


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Polar Vortex Songwriting Game

A few months ago my friend Mike Vial proposed doing a song-a-week challenge with a group of local and regional musicians. It would go like this: each week we would pick a phrase, write a song using said phrase, record it & post it for the others in the group to see. He called it "The Polar Vortex Songwriting Challenge". So far it has been an amazingly productive experience for myself and others in the group. I've written more new material in two months than I have in the last year! As an independent artist, it's also helped me feel the pressure of a deadline and learn how to release the need for perfectionism.

Admittedly I have a tendency to work slow.  I have been know to hem and haw over small details and delay sharing my finished work. (Yes, the EP is still coming!, lol) But this game has taught me the value of letting go. Originally,  I was hesitant to share these songs publicly, (They are basically demos that are written and recorded, sometimes in one take, at home.) but I feel good about the songs and hope that there will be folks inspired by hearing about the process.

Recently I came across a very inspiring video by Ira Glass that encouraged people to overcome the gap between your TASTE and your SKILL simply by being prolific. I am taking that advice to heart:


I have started a new soundcloud page and have been posting the songs there:

https://soundcloud.com/spencermichaud

Feel free to follow me and leave comments! : )

This week's phrase was "Chasing my heart". At first I tried to write about the story of Artemis and the hunter, but found that I was having trouble developing the story. (What else can you do but chase her? If you catch her, Zeus will SMITE you!!) So I shifted mid-stream to the story of a street photographer named Vivian Maier whose photos were recently discovered by a Chicago man who bought a few mysterious cases of undeveloped film rolls at an auction. This allowed me to surround myself with her imagery and imagine her thought processes as she snapped her way through the big city on her day off from her job as a nanny. I always do quite a bit of research before I write a song. I approach songwriting as a novelist or a method actor would; complete immersion in the subject of interest. It helps me come up with imagery that I would never have been able to invoke just from memory.

Here are the fruits of my labor this week:



Black & White
It's the perfect light
Late afternoon

Spots & Stripes
Under hats & ties
Their faces bloom

A baby cries
The clown weeps too
It's a story of lines
Shadows & clues
Snapping through the city streets
Who knows what I might find
Behind the Brownie box
I am the spy

Fur & Lace
Their hands embrace
I crank the spool

Dirt & Grime
Father time
Can be so cruel

The tired old men
They hypnotize
Lightning & leather
Frame their eyes
Rusting in the dusty corners
The ancient soldiers sigh
Behind the Brownie box
I am the spy

Chasing my heart
In the storefront mirrors
I am the ghost without tears
Scatter my soul in the undeveloped rolls
Maybe one day I'll reappear



Stay tuned for more updates on this project!

Here are some upcoming opportunities this month to hear me perform some of these tunes live!

March 7th: Plymouth Coffee Bean w/ Vincent Colbert & Acoustic Resonance 

March 22nd: The Ark, Opening for the Ben Daniels Band!

March 30th: Voxtropolis Grand Opening Event, Bab's Underground Lounge

As always, I am grateful for your support! If you would like to help patronize my art there is a donate button to the right ->

(Any little bit helps free up more time & resources to create more work!)

Thank you for supporting independent artists!

: )

-Spencer

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Folk The Police 2014

Thanks to everyone that came out the Blind Pig on Sunday! I had a great time participating & enjoy the lovely music community that we have here in the Ann Arbor area. : ) Check out my version of Poison by Bel Biv Davoe:


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

WCC Songwriting Class Feature Article

Big thanks to David Fitch over at the Washtenaw Voice for his great article highlighting my MUS 146: Songwriting class at WCC this week! I enjoy my work as a teacher and it is always a new adventure every semester. : ) You can visit the Voice here:

http://www.washtenawvoice.com/2014/01/local-songwriter-brings-craft-to-washtenaw/

Local songwriter brings craft to Washtenaw

By DAVID FITCH
Staff Writer
photo of Forest Geesey
Student Forest Geesey watches his classmates perform. Geesey said that he was not nervous to perform because of his history of such doing such things. For others, it was no small feat to share their final project with the rest of the class.
Students sang about everything from losing their keys to wanting to get away from Michigan in the year-end performance for a songwriting course at Washtenaw Community College last semester.
The performance, which took place in the Student Center Community Room, while not a comfortable task for some performers, showcased students’ prowess as artists.
Local singer-songwriter Spencer Michaud has been teaching a songwriting course at WCC for the past several years and has been bringing students the opportunity to express themselves and to hone their skills.
Michaud, who plans to soon release his own EP, gives students practical information related to being a musician from his own experiences.
“There’s kind of a different flavor (each semester) based on my creative endeavors,” said Michaud.
And for some, the class is an oasis where they can develop their dreams and hear from others on the same paths.
“Sometimes our class can be a bit like group therapy, too, because we are talking out issues that may have prevented us from expressing ourselves fully,” Michaud said. “(People) like being able to see that they are not alone in that process.”
Thomas Harris, a 20-year-old music production student from Ypsilanti, had been producing music for years when he took Michaud’s course, but he still found the class helpful.
“It allowed me to connect my thoughts with my emotions,” said Harris. “It’s a way to vent. You can just take the class to learn how to write your feelings down on paper.”
Lindsey Klebba, 19, of Hartland, who already writes music and performs extensively, said that the course was helpful. And she spoke highly of Michaud.
photo of Melissa Welsh
Melissa Welsh shares her song in the final performance of a songwriting course taught by local musician Spencer Michaud.
“He’s very knowledgeable and a lot of fun,” she said.
And Michaud has a different message for his students than they may hear outside the classroom.
“That’s another cool part of the class is people get to talk about, well, maybe a parent wasn’t as supportive of this and said that they couldn’t do it, or maybe they said that they had to quote-unquote ‘get a real job’ or something like that,” said Michaud.
“I try to be balanced, I say that being a musician is hard work. It’s not an easy job… if they put their mind to it, and they keep at it and keep working at their craft, that there are ways to make a living being a musician and doing creative things,” he said. “That’s not something that everyone is telling them all the time.”
And besides helping students hone their skills individually, the class gives the chance to make connections and to work with others. Often instrumentalists and songwriters from the class teamed up for a project.
“We kind of turn into a creative family by the end of the year,” said Michaud.
While he cannot take credit for his students’ successes, Michaud acknowledged that it is exciting to see where students go from his class. Former students include Jetty Rae, Dan Henig, and Joshua Simmons.
Rae has been a featured artist in multiple festivals and events including being picked by Sarah McLachlan and Terry McBride as a local artist to perform at Lilith Fair in 2010. She has released several albums. Henig is an Ann Arbor-based singer/songwriter who achieved Internet fame when his cover of “Get Low” by Lil Jon and The East Side Boyz went viral.