Saturday, November 16, 2013

Old Vine audio...

Old Vine is now on Bandcamp. That means... Lots of listenable Voodoo-folk audio for your ear-bulbs!

If you visit our site, you'll notice there are two records currently up on it. Both are works-in-progress at the moment... "Cavernous Spaces" is our forthcoming EP... original music, and a couple of original arrangements of creative covers. "Voodoo-Folk Live; B-Sides and Covers" is... pretty much how it sounds. An evolving collection of live covers and alternate takes. Alternately, "Cavernous Spaces" is our "actual" record, and our demo aimed at concert-venues, "Voodoo-Folk Live" is our demo as a bar-entertainment duo. Together, they should showcase pretty thoroughly what me and Mickey do as Old Vine.

Cavernous Spaces-

Voodoo-Folk Live-

We are currently also looking for suggestions as to where YOU'D like to see us play. (not just the city... we get lots of "play in Nashua/ Manchester/ Boston!" requests; we're looking for more specific suggestions... like, what bars or venues would you come out to see us play at?) We have two alternate sets- a longer bar-entertainment set (mostly covers), and a shorter, venue-focused set (mostly originals). Versatility is my favorite aspect of this particular act.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

More Old Vine...

Old Vine  returns this Wednesday to Great American Tavern in North Reading, Massachusetts. (We are resident there every week, but the first one was different than most because we were up against World Series Game 1 [an interesting challenge], and the second was cancelled because of the sixth and final game of that series [go Sox!]... so this is our first "normal" week of our stint there.).

Here are some clips from our first night there...

"Like" us on Facebook, say "yes!" to the venue's event-invite, come down, drink some beers, sing along!


Saturday, October 19, 2013

"Old Vine"... details, explanations, etcetera.

OK, here goes something I told myself in the past that I'd never do.

I recently played a benefit-show, as a duo with my friend Mickey Fearon... it was for a good cause; we put together a 3-hour set of eclectic and entertaining covers, peppered with a few originals, to entertain a crowd aimed at helping out a friend in need. This was done somewhat spur-the-moment, with very little preparation.

Surprising to both of us, this worked out pretty well. Somehow, this collaboration turned into an actual "thing." That "thing" is now called Old Vine.

Here's the thing. Me and Mickey have been friends for a while, but we have pretty opposite tastes and musical-backgrounds. Turns out, that works out pretty well. Mickey is a classic-rock kid, I'm an indie-rock kid. I'm a jazz guy, Mickey digs the blues alot. Mickey learns covers note for note as a guitarist and NAILS them, I'm a performer first-and-foremost with a background in original music in concert-venues; I hadn't played or learned any cover at all in YEARS. Turns out, we balance each other out well. My weaknesses in regards to what we're doing are Mickey's strengths, and vice-versa.

Somehow, this odd outfit landed a residency.

We're playing Wednesdays, starting this week, at Great American Tavern in North Reading, Massachusetts. 8:30 to 11:30.

Sure, we're playing acoustic bar-rock. But I promise- our set is WEIRD. Me and Mickey's ideas of "standards" are VERY different... which should make for an interesting experience for just about any sonic-palette. We seriously cover everything from Cab Calloway to Outkast to Johnny Cash to Death Cab to Clapton to M.J. to Kanye... and pretty much everything in between. Expect to hear some hippie shit, expect to hear some hipster shit. All in the same set, mixed with stuff your grandmother might whistle along to. I'm not kidding. And then we mix an original tune in just to mix it up a bit. 

So, come out on some Wednesday and hang out. It'll be fun. And "like" us on Facebook... and check out some videos from that first event that got this all started...

Monday, September 9, 2013

New Music (Tonal Couture, Solo-stuff, Snazzmobb)

A few music updates. I've been pretty busy as a musician lately. Here's some stuff I've been working on.

Snazzmobb is still plugging away at refining our set, now that we've finally settled into a refined bass/ drums/ keys trio arrangement... we're currently polishing edges and editing our press-kit, hoping to start shopping it to venues and promoters soon. I'm not going to lie, it's been a tumultuous year for the outfit, with quite a few strange setbacks befalling the initial lineup I set up a year ago this month, with the intent to fast-track the act to playing out quickly and often by mid-winter of last year. Through that time-period, we ended up writing a set three times longer than it needed to be, featuring songs from all the various phases of the band's still young, yet already rocky, lifespan. That long-form set meandered and wandered, was probably interesting in some ways, but not at all moments what we had initially set out to do. We've recently sliced that set by a third, leaving the content that reflects what we sound like NOW, and we're really happy with what we're almost ready to unleash. Accordingly, the demo that we recently released already feels outdated, as it was recorded as a duo with a bit of a different focus... I hope to drop some sort of an accompanying single soon to demonstrate the current feel of our content.

I recently also started playing with a downbeat instrumental dub act on the seacoast, called Tonal Couture. This project is POLAR opposite from Snazzmobb, and I LOVE that. While the snazz is a rambunctious, high-energy, venue-focused dance act, Tonal Couture is super relaxed and ambient, better suited for swanky martini-lounges and chill-out-rooms. It's fun to play, and fun to listen to. We record our sessions, and we've made select cuts available on our Bandcamp page, as part of the possibly-fictitious un-album (quickly becoming a bizarre future box-set of some sort), called "Future Rarities and B-Sides Without A-Sides." There are 12 tracks up at the moment... check them out, and enjoy.

Also, I've started working on a post-LeVautourEnsemble phase of solo-content. This time around, I'm using my own name (well, sorta... I'm dropping this stuff as "Bernard LeVautour," which is how I've usually billed myself in recent musical-projects) and promising myself to drop the "experimental" schtick and finally make music that I would actually want to LISTEN to. Expect sparse, down-tempo electro-jazz type stuff, mostly... because that's what I tend to actually be most into. Here's the first track I dropped to debut that sort of content...

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Snazzmobb album-release!

My indie-dance-rock trio Snazzmobb dropped our demo-EP, "The Violent Taste of Hot Sauce," last week!

It is available for free streaming and download on  our brand-new Bandcamp page... Five tracks are streamable live, plus four downloads rounding it out to nine if you choose to download!

Also, more of our material is now available on Youtube!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Updates... Etsy, Snazzmobb, etc.

I updated my Etsy site... in addition to the prints and original-pieces associated with the initial "5 Icons" series that I made the site to make available, I've now expanded it to include... well, pretty much all of the pieces of my work cluttering the walls of my studio that I would be more than happy to find a new home for. Accordingly, I think the listing-prices on this stuff are mostly pretty good deals... but nothing's set in stone, so message me directly if you want to haggle. Or if you live in the greater-Boston area, message me before ordering to see if it's possible to avoid shipping and fees.

Also, Snazzmobb is on Tumblr now! Check it out! Follow us, share us, like us... whatever it is you Tumblr people do over in Tumblr-land.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Help Wanted- Consummate Performer/ Snazzmobb Keyboardist.

Want to play the coolest key-rig in the business? My band Snazzmobb is looking to fill a hole in our live-lineup. 

We are looking for a consummate, energetic performer to join our show, to spazz out behind this contraption while filling in some holes in our live sound. 

While a skilled keyboard player would be the ideal fit, this role, to be perfectly honest, is not particularly musically challenging if the right person doesn't choose to make it such. First and foremost, we are looking for an absolutely electric performer with a basic working knowledge of music, the ability to push buttons and follow directions. Someone who is, say, usually a guitarist, with a good sense of rhythm and the desire to put on an explosive show, could be as good a match for this role as someone with professional synth experience.

Job responsibilities would involve playing some very basic keyboard parts (many of which are already written) on this rig, which is extremely simple and easy to use (it's built from a mid-'80's Casio- an ultra dummy-proof keyboard.). Additionally, this person would be responsible for controlling a rack of assorted noise-making junk... pushing play-buttons on sampling-devices, cuing loops, etc... basic tasks that would free up the hands of other members, to allow us to do more of our trademark spastic performing and less gear-juggling and button-jockeying. All such tasks are carefully and clearly documented on extensive set-notes ("$nazz-Note$") that we meticulously (compulsively?) update following each weekly session. 

This act has been practicing primarily as a bass/ drums/ vocal/ noise duo for the past several months, following some complications with the original lineup that was put together in the Fall of 2012. With this arrangement, we have an entertaining set of songs written, a demo, a press-kit, and a stage-rig, all nearly complete and ready to start booking shows, waiting mostly on finding the right person to fill this particular role. We also collaborate remotely with a cast of talented individuals for song-craft, sample-production, etc, such as Adhesiveslipper (Noise-wizard/ Headhat Records bossman), Sammie Ryan (Sinestetici), etc. 

Ideally, this act will perform live (hopefully soon) as an extremely high-energy bass/ drum/ keys trio. Despite the stage-rig built extensively out of modified pieces of mannequins (this keyboard rig is just one of several elements that work within a coherent visual theme) this is most definitely NOT a concept-art project. Our goal is is merely to entertain people, to make weirdos dance, to offer audiences a crazy good time, to turn concert-venues into really wacky parties while we play. If this sounds like something you could get passionate about, you might be the person we're looking for. If so, we practice on Friday mornings, usually 10:30 to 2 or so, in Hudson, New Hampshire. Email me at if you're interested in giving it a try. Feel free, of course, to share this with your friends if YOU'RE not who we're looking for, but you think you might know someone who is.

In the meantime, here are a couple examples of the sort of thing we're doing, a couple teaser-videos we've dropped with some content from our forthcoming demo "The Violent Taste of Hot Sauce"-

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

New Snazzmobb content!

My new band Snazzmobb posted a new video-teaser yesterday. This is the second released track from our forthcoming demo-EP "The Violent Taste of Hot Sauce." (watch the first one, "Real People, Real Sex," here.)

This one's the only content that we didn't write in our current set (ready to debut live soon... peel your eyes.) This is an original medley arrangement, with all due respect and reverence to His Purple Highness.

Enjoy, and feel free to share with your friends.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Project-update post, Part 3- Visual Art.

After a hectic holiday-season, I finally got my Etsy shop back up to date.

There are currently 41 items for sale there... some are made-to-order prints, others are one-of-a-kind originals... all are part of my "5 Icons" series... Which is a project that I'm calling "finished" for the time-being, with the exception of special requests or custom commissions.

Ideally, I would prefer not to have the original versions of the stuff I make prints of in my own possession... So I'm going to try to not start a new series of prints for the shop until I can liquidate some of the one-of-a-kind stuff. (There's a whole lot more original stuff hanging on the walls of my studio that isn't up here because it's not from this series that I'd be MORE than happy to sell/ barter. Email me if you're interested in seeing some additional offerings or if you're looking for something in particular.)

(If you're local to the New Hampshire/ greater-Boston area, please get at me directly before ordering from the Etsy site to see if I can possibly save us both some shipping/ surcharges/ hassle.)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

An Unorthodox Album Release...

I have a new album out and available now... in a totally different form and format from how I usually release material.

This one's called "Bernard LeVautour- Vulture From the Vaults {a live dj-set of unreleased rarities and back-catalog cuts}"

A physical, limited-run pressing is available via my Etsy site-

Click here!

A blurb from the liner-notes, to explain a bit about what it is-

"I haven’t quite figured out yet if this is intended to be a CD that’s packaged in an art-print, or an art-print that comes with a CD. So let’s call it, somehow, both. 

The print is a limited-edition digital/ photo-reproduction rendering of a painting called “5-icons,” the only place where all five images from my “Iconography” series appear in the same space.

The album is a single-take live-mix. It’s dirty. It’s messy. It was recorded direct to Type II cassette-tapes on an ancient Tascam 4-track, because that seemed appropriate, as there’s material in this mix that dates back far enough that we were using those things without irony.  Much of the mix is improvised, and I broke a turn-table and plowed my way through a whole slew of other technical issues throughout the mix. 

I wanted to release some sort of compilation of my own unreleased back-catalog cuts and rarities from my musical past, but I wanted to do it in such a way that wouldn’t enshrine or fetishize moments  from the past. Therefore, this mix is often in some ways somewhat irreverent. In terms of mixology, my impulse veered often toward stubbornness- the highest quality, best-known, most successful recordings dropped into this mix tend to be the ones that I made the largest effort to dirty up and in some cases possibly even “ruin” into unlistenable noise, while allowing certain cuts from far more obscure past-projects that most won’t even know I worked on to spin clean, almost undisturbed. 

Basically, this is just a filthy mess that I felt like I needed to get out. For some reason, I feel better now that I did." 

For $15 you get both the limited-edition print, and the disc that's mounted into the back of the frame.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Snazzmobb content-teaser.

As I mentioned at the end of the last entry, I do have a third project-installment update coming, about visual-art. Soon.

In the meantime, though, I have a couple more music-related updates to tack onto the last post.

First, my band Snazzmobb now has a sample-track from our forthcoming demo-EP streaming on Youtube!

This song was inspired by a spam-bot that was harassing the band's Twitter account (@Snazzmobb) mercilessly for a while. We got literally HUNDREDS of messages a day for about a month that just read, "Real People; Real Sex!" (followed by a link that we're not quite dumb enough to open.)