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Mike B

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Mike B last won the day on July 19

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About Mike B

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    Acousticus Bostonicus
  • Birthday May 1

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    http://www.reverbnation.com/mikebirchmusic
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    Methuen, MA
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    mikebirchmusic.bandcamp.com
    youtube.com/mikebirchmusic

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  • Lyricist, Composer or Both?
    Both
  • Musical Influences?
    Todd Rundgren, Neil Young, Beatles, anyone and everyone!

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  1. the 4th pre-release song from my upcoming album, 'Love and War'. Wasn't sure which song I was going to show this week, but the news made the decision for me.
  2. Mike B

    Goodnight Texas, Goodnight Carolina

    Nice... not sur eabout the changes in the first line of the last chorus, as the hook/title needs to be there - maybe a repeated verse at the end, brining back the original first chorus line?
  3. Mike B

    Just a Little Bit

    Hi John I'm not sure the 'precious' lines really work for this, guess it would take the right singer to make it work? In the 2nd verse you introduce 'Freddy' - why? The song doesn't seem to be about one person specifically that I can tell, this confused me. (Freddy Mercury?)
  4. Gave Resolve another shot with the old Win 7 machine. Nope. Added 5 JPEG photos, as soon as I tried to do some color correction, it crashed.
  5. Mike B

    Temptation

    Hi TC, I think the PCs are stronger than the chorus, however, you'd need to use 'tempation' in the last one (at least) to make it a good hook-chorus.
  6. Mike B

    Chord Progressions

    I'm glad I don't write for the 'general listening audience'!
  7. Mike B

    Chord Progressions

    Hardly an extensive enough list to say "most of the biggest songs in the last 50 years follow a same chord progression". Funny thing is you have named some of the songs I HATE to play live because they're so boring - yet when requested ...
  8. Mike B

    Empty Pages and Lost Songs

    Empty Pages and Lost Songs Released November 2015 1 HUMANITY ZOO 4:33 2 EMPTY PAGES 4:38 3 BOSTON BECKONING 3;43 4 THE UNRUNG BELL 3:41 5 THUNDER MOON 4:27 6 LIFE WAS FINE 2:56 7 THANK YOU 3:36 8 50 YEARS AGO 5:05 9 THE CHAINS 3:29 10 A BETTER DAY 3:50 11 DREAM 3:34 12 HOUSE OF STONE 4:25 13 ONCE IN A WHILE 4:38 14 NEVER EVER 4:28 15 YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU 4:52 All instruments and vocals: Mike Birch except drums on Humanity Zoo, Boston Beckoning and A Better Day by John Belancieri. All songs written by Mike Birch My 3rd album of original songs. ‘Empty Pages’ refers to the track of the same name (see explanation below). ‘Lost Songs’ – some of these songs were dropped from the previous two albums for various reasons, or hadn’t got recorded in time for them. The album title was inspired by Tolkien’s “Lost Tales”. This was my 2nd album recorded using a computer DAW, and was slowly learning the ‘ins and outs’. I had done some acoustic treatment in my room (rockwool bass traps – not ‘acoustic foam’) and inexpensive but decent monitor speakers (JBL LSR305s) that at last allowed me to hear the low end of my mixes. Track 1 ‘Humanity Zoo’ A statement on the current human condition, people locked to their online devices, in cages of their own making. Humanity Zoo Day after day we work and we work Color dissolves, monochrome lurks Graffiti and garbage, city of dirt Strain to see through the grit until eyes hurt Bright colors leech away from the never-ending threat And we blame ourselves all day, it's so easy to forget We're human Trudging along like 1984 drones Heads bent sideways, stuck to iPhones Don't notice or acknowledge the person next to you All just exhibits in the humanity zoo Bright colors leech away from the never-ending threat And we blame ourselves all day, it's so easy to forget We're human The reflection of our souls can be beautiful When seen from a stone's throw away But face to face with the universe's soul Can make us scared of life's passion play Bright colors leech away from the never-ending threat And we blame ourselves all day, it's so easy to forget We're human, we’re human Inside the cage looking out Outside the cage looking in We're all human In this humanity zoo Track 2 ‘Empty Pages’ I read a short story where the protagonist describes how people live (and look at) their lives: one big event after another (births, deaths, marriage, job changes, etc) and tend to forget or ignore the day-to-day living and what is going on all the time. Similar to a hardcover book, where the chapter always starts on the right hand page, sometimes there are blank pages between the last page of the previous chapter and the first page of the next chapter. In fact, though, in our lives these aren’t really ‘blank pages’ at all, they are filled with all the things that make our lives what they are besides the big events. Empty Pages Nothing seems to happen Everything’s bleak and bare Thoughts and words unspoken No one seems to care All past times are gone Written into history So much going on now Blinded by what we can't see Seems like life is just a stack of empty pages Stuck between memorable times Always trying to fill up space that’s gone on for ages As if emptiness was some kind of crime The last chapter ended yesterday All the happiness, sadness and pain Every day starts a new page Work, play, sunshine or rain Yesterday's chapter is over Tomorrow's hasn't begun Today all we do is hesitate Thinking of all we have done Seems like life is just a stack of empty pages Stuck between memorable times Always trying to fill up space that’s gone on for ages As if emptiness was some kind of crime Tonight let's do something different Write our names in the sky Fill up all the empty pages With what it is to be alive Seems like life is just a stack of empty pages Stuck between memorable times Always trying to fill up space that’s gone on for ages As if emptiness was some kind of crime Track 3 ‘Boston Beckoning’ I started writing the original version of this song in the late 80s when a Boston radio station had a contest soliciting a new state anthem. Unfortunately, they wanted a ‘lead sheet’ submitted along with a recording, so I never completed the song. Fast forward to the infamous 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, as the city and area recovered from this horrible incident, I dug out this old song, and rewrote it. I had already finished the production work for my second album by the time I finished recording this, so could not include it on that album. Boston Beckoning I can see you in my mind's eye Shining in the morning light Golden rays of sunrise Making you look so bright Watching Bruins and Red Sox games Dancing to the latest tunes Partying all night long Under a New England Moon I can hear Boston beckoning In my mind, in my heart I can hear Boston beckoning All the miles can’t keep us apart I remember your sparkle Like a night of a thousand suns I remember all the good times The excitement, all the fun When I'm away All the miles bring me down When I'm away from you I just can't wait to get back to Boston town I can hear Boston beckoning In my mind, in my heart I can hear Boston beckoning All the miles can’t keep us apart When things go bad, people are put to the test Boston's people have proved they're the very best Always aiming to put things right, no matter what's gone wrong Boston's proud, Boston's Strong! I can hear Boston beckoning In my mind, in my heart I can hear Boston beckoning All the miles can’t keep us apart I can hear Boston beckoning In my soul, in my heart I can hear Boston beckoning All the miles can’t keep us apart Track 4 ‘The Unrung Bell’ The idea for this song came from a guy at a meeting I was attending. Basically – if you don’t ring that bell, you have wasted the opportunity to do something. It represents potential. Of course once you ring the bell, you can’t ‘unring’ it. The Unrung Bell Opportunities go flying by Chances missed, no logic applied Worries abound, a mind that’s scared Retreat to shadows, no one cares Hear the silence A call for help Hovering unheard An unrung bell From the dark a quiet voice Defining need to make a choice Concerns still linger – where to begin Strength will come from deep within Hear the silence A call for help Hovering unheard An unrung bell No pasts return, no regrets Live for now, never forget Today is the day, live it well Listen to the ringing of the bell Must step up, take a stance Forget doubts, one last chance Make it right, truth to tell Raise our hands, ring that bell … An answered call for help Hands together tell Of the ringing bell Hands together tell Of the ringing bell Hands together tell Of the ringing bell Track 5 ‘Thunder Moon’ One of the Native American names for a seasonal full moon, this song is about the craziness that is happening around the world due to global climate change. Thunder Moon Remember winter, just a short while ago Snow Moon glows above ice and snow Now summer's here, cities aflame Warnings unheeded, are we to blame? Ominous future is hovering near Panicking people shaking with fear Times are bad, things are getting worse Fury unleashed under the full moon’s curse Hot July night Under cold stars Where are we now Has it gone too far Will the answers Come to us soon Waiting in the light Of the Thunder Moon El Nino, polar vortex, what does it mean? Iron Eyes crying over what might have been Drought and wildfires, devastating floods Inhuman violence leads to rivers of blood Dark clouds tower up far overhead Lightning strikes down, lives torn to shreds Monsoons and tornados across the land How much more can we stand? Hot July night Under cold stars Where are we now Has it gone too far Will the answers Come to us soon Waiting in the light Of the Thunder Moon Track 6 ‘Life Was Fine’ This song started as a nostalgic look to the past, but then it became about a friend who was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident on July 4th of the year we graduated high school. The song was used to memorialize deceased classmates in youtube videos for the Sandwich (Massachusetts) High School Class of 1974 and Class of 1975 for 40 year class reunions. Life Was Fine Something sparks a flood of memories Those childhood days full of energy Everyday life hoping for so much more The whole world waiting just outside the door It's been said that you can never go back Can't change the past, alter the facts Forget bad things, learn from the times When things were so much easier and life was fine Hey old friend it's been a while So many ups and downs, frowns and smiles Have to admit I hadn't thought of you Too much going on, too much I've been through I know it's said that you can never go back Can't change the past, alter the facts Forget bad things, learn from the times When things were so much easier and life was fine Wish we could talk together again I wish the good times hadn't come to an end But you were gone in the blink of an eye I look up to the sky and I wonder why I know it's been said that you can never go back Can't change the past, alter the facts Forget bad things, learn from the times When things were so much easier and life was fine Life was fine ... life was fine Track 7 ‘Thank You’ A song prompt from the monthly songwriter circle I co-facilitate, suggested as Thanksgiving approached. Definitely a ‘thank you’ to my wife! Thank You Every day things Tend to be ignored Unacknowledged Never explored Easy to go through life, eyes half-closed Just go with the flow, nothing opposed Life’s too busy Hard to stay focused Bleary eyes What matters goes unnoticed It’s easy to decide just to get by Better to take the harder road and try Thank you for doing what you do I just want to say thank you Light the dark Chase monsters away Sometimes forget What’s done every day It’s not easy to try and remember All the things that become part of forever Thank you for doing what you do I just want to say thank you Track 8 ’50 Years Ago’ I wrote this on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Beatles playing the Ed Sullivan Show for the first time, in 1964. At 7 years old, it had a big influence on my life. The audience cheers heard in the second and third choruses and outro of the song are actually pulled from the tv show’s soundtrack – all the screaming girls in the audience. 50 Years Ago It was a different time, it was a different place Men in suit and ties, the first man in space Women wore pretty dresses, took care of kids and homes Cleaning up the messes, talking on princess phones 50 years ago, shots heard 'round the world Flags at half mast, all flying unfurled Wasn't it just yesterday, no it was a long time ago So much has come and gone, time moves fast and slow It was a different time, it was a different place Selma to San Francisco, Martin's dream for the human race Fighting in Asian fields, destroyed so many youths Students wouldn't yield, trying to expose all the truths 50 years ago, music heard 'round the world Rock and roll, long hair, the screaming of the girls Wasn't it just yesterday, no it was a long time ago So much has come and gone, time moves fast and slow Where did the time go What happened to innocence Where did our minds go Nothing makes any sense 50 years ago, music heard 'round the world Rock and roll, long hair, the screaming of the girls Wasn't it just yesterday, no it was a long time ago So much has come and gone, time moves fast and slow Where did the time go 50 years ago ... Track 9 ‘The Chains’ Lyrics were originally penned by another songwriter, who ‘gave’ them to me to use unconditionally. Incidentally, he’s the limo driver who inspired the song on my 4th album, ‘Mr Limo Driver’. When he posted these lyrics on a music forum I commented that I’d like to try something with them, and he gave me permission to use them without crediting him. So, thanks again Mike (14music)! The Chains Tell them old stories And how it was wrong Make sure they remember It’s never been gone Tell them the mountain Is so hard to climb It’s ok to dream, but It may not be time Preserve the fears from long ago It’s not the same, but don’t let them know You need to justify the blame Always remind them……of the chains Live in resentment No reason to try The past is their anchor You keep it alive Preserve the fears from long ago It’s not the same, but don’t let them know You need to justify the blame Always remind them……of the chains They crawl because you tell them they can’t walk Then you comfort them and say it’s not their fault Preserve the fears from long ago It’s not the same, but don’t let them know You need to justify the blame Always remind them…..of the chains Remind them of the chains Remind them of the chains Track 10 ‘A Better Day’ Trying to be hopeful, after a depressing start. No idea where the lyrical inspiration came from (except the obvious Monty Python line), but the overall feel and music have some Kinks influence. A Better Day It's always darkest before the dawn A better day will always come The sun comes up on a brand new day Last night's darkness is swept away Can't change the past, don't even try Keep moving forward, keep your head high Always look on the brighter side of life Forget what's wrong, do what's right Looking back won't help anything Look ahead, smile and sing: It's a better day, a better day It's too easy to sit and dwell on the past Regretting every decision you made too fast Morning gives the chance to start again Embrace today, yesterday was then Always look on the brighter side of life Forget what's wrong, do what's right Looking back won't help anything Look ahead, smile and sing: It's a better day, a better day Here's knowing the sun will always shine on you Here's wishing all your friends will always be true Here's hoping you will never lose your way Here's wishing you a better day You never know when your time will come Better enjoy everything no matter where its from Don't say 'it's not your style' Enjoy your life, laugh and smile Always look on the brighter side of life Forget what's wrong, do what's right Looking back won't help anything Look ahead, smile and sing: It's a better day, a better day It's a better day, a better day It's a better day, a better day It's a better day, a better day It's a better day, a better day It's a better day Track 11 ‘Dream’ An old song lyric that sat unused for many years, rewritten and recorded for this album – and never played again! Dream A needing plea, a hopeful tear Hard to believe it’s another year Gone by Wishing away a lonely day Hoping for a bright sunny ray From the sky Trying to put all the stupid things from the past behind you Hoping against hope that someone will try and find you Thinking you’ll never find someone to remind you What it’s all about Dream yourself a dream Of how it all could be What do past and present mean When you’re waiting to be free A quiet time, then a hopeful sign A pair of eyes that sure catch mine So deep More than black and white, feels so right Maybe tonight I’ll see the light When I sleep Trying to think of everything I can do to find you Thinking of how I can get some kind of sign to you Hoping against hope that I can remind you What it’s all about, what it’s all about Dream yourself a dream Of how it all could be What do past and present mean When you’re waiting to be free Track 12 ‘House of Stone’ This is one of the ‘lost songs’ from a few years before, originally titled ‘House of Glass, House of Stone’, about people who either put their whole lives out there for all to see, or those who do the opposite and hide their life’s details from others - a comment on the internet and social media. I completely re-recorded it from the original version. House of Stone Shut off from the world behind walls of cold stone Never reaching out to others, always so alone Can't see the people as they walk on by They can't see you or hear you cry Won't you come out of your house of stone? Life is too short to be living it all alone Open up the door, spread your arms, open your eyes Life can give you such a wonderful surprise Smiling at the world behind a wall of glass so clear Never hesitating to show the heartache, and the fear People staring in at everything they can see Every little detail as open as a book can be Won't you come out of your house of glass? Life is too short, you got to make each moment last Stop catering to the world, think what you can do When you stop living for others and start living for you Won't you come out of your house of stone? Life is too short to be living it all alone Open up the door, spread your arms, open your eyes Life can give you such a wonderful surprise Come out of your house of stone Come out of your house of glass Come out of your house of stone Come out of your house of glass Track 13 ‘Once In A While’ Another ‘lost song’, this one dates back to my high school years. I recorded it twice before, including a version for my 1st album, but didn’t like how it came out, so scrapped it and started again. This is a much simpler version (the first version had 16 guitar tracks alone!) After playing a solo version of this song at a songwriting seminar I attended, I came to the realization that all songwriters have different ideas on that makes a song ‘good’, and how songs should be crafted – and there is no one ‘right’ way to do it. Once In A While Once in a while I like to sit by myself And think of you It took me a while to realize You're a part of all I do Then when I see you again It makes me feel so good Oh I hope it'll never end I'd make time stand still if I could You came into my life When I needed you most You made my life fresh again Oh I hope you know (That) when, when I see you again It makes me feel so good Oh I hope it'll never end I'd make time stand still if I could Once in a while I like to sit by myself and think of you... Once in a while... Track 14 ‘Never Ever’ A love song for my wife and life as it was developing at the time. Never Ever Sleepless night ends with a tired dawn Lonely day the sun just can’t warm No ambition, nothing to focus on Head is hurting like a nearing storm At a loss, can‘t figure what to do Then hope arrives, a bright light that is you Never ever thought of what I missed Never ever believed that a kiss Could lead to such bliss Never ever thought love could be like this Never ever like this Colors return, more than shades of grey Don‘t have to hide my head inside No fear of what happened yesterday Whatever I decide, I’ll know I tried Aim to win, I know what I must do Find the light, the light that is you Never ever thought of what I missed Never ever believed that a kiss Could lead to such bliss Never ever thought love could be like this Never ever like this Can’t guess about tomorrow The future I can’t control The one sure thing I do know: Today feels good, good right down to my soul Never ever thought of what I missed Never ever believed that a kiss Could lead to such bliss Never ever thought love could be like this Never ever like this Track 15 ‘You Can’t Take It With You’ The last of the ‘lost songs’ on this album, this one was a fictional ballad I wrote in the mid-80s. the open ‘cowboy’ guitar chords and twangy Telecaster and slide lead guitars give it kind of a ‘country music’ feel, although that was not my original songwriting intention. You Can’t Take It With You We all remember Mary Back in those days wild and scary Riots in the street, the Vietnam un-war Mary kept pushing us for more She said our band could change the world Just four guys and one determined girl So we worked and tried, sweated it out We'd listen to Mary as she sang and shout You can't take it with you You got to give it what you can, when you can You can't take it with you You got to try, try the best you can When calmer days finally returned We'd been lucky, no one got burned Kids doing drugs, we just kept working harder Doing songs about nukes and Jimmy Carter Mary pushed us on, hour by hour She said, 'we've got the power Can't take the time to sit and rest Cause you know we can be the very best' You can't take it with you You got to give it what you can, when you can You can't take it with you You got to try, try the best you can It was just a few years ago After a long Saturday show A car cash - Mary was lying there Bright white sheets, blood in her hair She looked at me and said 'give me your hand And promise me you'll never break up the band' You can't take it with you You got to give it what you can, when you can You can't take it with you You got to try, try the best you can We keep playing our songs Trying to right all the wrongs Like Mary taught us, so long ago You've got to give all, but go with the flow You know that we still believe That Mary's still with us, there’s no need to grieve Somewhere out there, amongst the crowd Head held up, standing proud (she's singing) You can't take it with you You got to give it what you can, when you can You can't take it with you You got to try, try the best you can All of these songs can bought/downloaded at Bandcamp, or iTunes/Apple Music or streamed on Spotify
  9. Mike B

    You can't, I can't (edited 06/13/18)

    Hi Maia, welcome to the Muse! First off, I'll tell you that this doesn't read much like a country song, more like a pop song to me. Country songs tend to have a fairly 'regular' rhyme structure, your lyrics have no rhyming at all. Of course, the music can make or break any rhyme or no-rhyme lyric. I don't think 'You Can't. I Can't' or any form of that is particularly good title - the line itself is buried in the middle of the chorus (and not even in the final chorus) and its not clear hey either 'can't' - specially when the bridge (?) has them getting together.
  10. Set up a big video screen and stream the video!
  11. Mike B

    Chord Progressions

    JOe - I disagree with your statement about 'last 50 years'. I've found this single chord pattern per song more of a trend in the last 15-20 years (at most). I'd love to see your list of 'older' songs that do this, especially the list for "most of the biggest songs in the last 50 years follow a same chord progression". To me - someone who plays out regularly and hears other performers play, too - I find these the most tedious songs, both to listen to and to play. I notice right away when a person is oding a osng that doesn't do any kind of musical changeup, just the vocal change (if any). I can certainly see/hear the value of it for someone performing solo and using a looper. I have a friend who uses prerecorded loops, and its very easy for him when the song doesn't change chord patterns at all, otherwise he's doing the toe dance to change from loop 1 to loop 2 and back.
  12. I don't know details on what the video cards in the computers are 9at work right now). NVidia in the Win 7, I know that. Rendering always took some time in 1080 HD, but never had any issues but the speed of processing. I have Roxio and Seriph and one other video program, never had any card issues with them except the speed of processing HD.
  13. Guess it is a graphics card issue with my Win10 machine, as 14 didn't work either. SO I moved the file over to my WIn 7 machine, and after installing, I got a 'quick set up' pop up, which indicated that I should be able to do some color work with the card in tis computer - I don't remember getting this quick set up screen on the Win 10 machine. So I opened it up and dragged a few photos and short video clip into it, but nothing shows up in the visual 'screen' area - I can see the items on the timeline, but nothing plays.
  14. I'll try that. I run other video s/w on the computer with no issues. Will see if I can find that free version 14. If not, I'll try it on my Win7 computer. Thanks
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