Mental Notes
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Mental Notes

Brooklyn, New York, United States | SELF

Brooklyn, New York, United States | SELF
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Mental Notes is an original jam band comprised of intelligent musicians that play a high-energy combination of old school acid rock, funk and hip-hop. Mental Notes combines elements of diverse musical styles to create an intense listening experience. Mental Notes plays throughout the New York City area, and, having seen them perform for the past few weeks, I strongly recommend that, if you are around New York City, you check this band out. If you are not in New York, they have a great live CD available, Close Your Eyes & Open Your Mind.

Over the past decades "jam" bands have occupied a unique place in music. Mental Notes pick up where the traditional jam bands leave off, putting their own spin on the jam genre. A CD version of a song may run four minutes, but, when performed live by a jam band, can run three or four times as long. Mental Notes uses the extended jam format of traditional rock bands and expands on that by adding large doses of hip-hop, funk and rock.

If you are familiar with the southern rock sounds of The Allman Brothers, Government Mule and The Outlaws, or San Francisco musicians such as The Grateful Dead, Neil Young and Santana, then you know that when jam musicians perform live, they connect with their audience in a way that makes the audience feel that they are participating in an event that no one aside from the people at the show will ever be part of. This connection is made with the audience through the musician's rendition of familiar songs played in an extended format.

Jamming is primal. It is not about the band; it is about the connection between the band and the audience and the audience members with each other. Think about jam bands this way: when making love with someone that you are really into, do you want it to last several minutes or several hours? For jam enthusiasts the answer is several hours. While not literally looking for nonstop three hour jams, the jam fan wants two things from a jam band: (1) faithfulness to the structure of the song; and (2) time.

As jam aficionados know -- and staying true to that lovemaking analogy while we're at it -- it is not nearly enough to play a song for 12 minutes or more, it is about maintaining the overall cohesiveness of the piece while permitting it to expand on its elements. In other words, the rhythm section is the anchor for the band, allowing vocals, guitars, horns, keyboards to explore and experiment, while maintaining the structure of the song. For any great jam, the listener needs enough time to sit back and take in all the elements without being forced to absorb everything in a four minute radio-friendly format.

A jam band provides its audience with time to go from one aspect of the performance to another at their own pace. The audience can focus on each of the musicians and what they are doing, without needing audio cues to get their attention. Mental Notes is in the mold of the quintessential jam band. They allow you the freedom to go where you want to go at whatever pace you desire.

Mental Notes has a fresh sound and a loyal following. They are one of the hot local bands on the New York scene. I definitely recommend that you check out one of their shows.

Mental Notes is: d (squared), bass; d (one), guitar; travesty, drums; spiritchild, mc/vocals; lloyd, trumpet; and static dj. | April 2002


Steve Nathan is a freelance writer covering the music scene in various cities. Currently on assignment in Hawaii, Steve has written about bands from coast to coast.

(c) 2002 Steve Nathan, licensed for use by Blue Coupe magazine.

http://www.bluecoupe.com/urban/mentalnotes.html - Steve Nathan (Blue Coupe Magazine)


"Mental Notes" Live
Mental Notes is an original jam band comprised of intelligent musicians that plays a high-energy combination of old school acid rock, funk and hip-hop. Mental Notes combines elements of diverse musical styles to create an intense listening experience. Mental Notes plays throughout the New York City area, and, having seen them perform for the past few weeks, I strongly recommend that, if you are around New York City, you check this band out. If you are not in New York, they have a great live cd available by mail.

Over the past decades "jam" bands have occupied a unique place in music and Mental Notes picks up where the traditional jam bands leave off and puts its own spin on the jam genre. A cd version of a song may run four minutes, but, when performed live by a jam band, can run three or four times as long. Mental Notes uses the extended jam format of traditional rock bands and expands on that by adding large doses of hip-hop and funk to rock.

If you are familiar with the southern rock sounds of The Allman Brothers, Government Mule and The Outlaws, or San Francisco musicians such as The Grateful Dead, Neil Young and Santana, then you know that when jam musicians perform live, they connect with their audience in a way that makes the audience feel that they are participating in an event that no one aside from the people at the show will ever be part of. This connection is made with the audience through the musician's rendition of familiar songs played in an extended format.

Jamming is primal. It is not about the band; it is about the connection between the band and the audience and the audience members with each other. Think about jam bands this way: when making love with someone that you are really into, do you want it to last several minutes or several hours? For jam enthusiasts, if you analogize to music, the answer is several hours. While not literally looking for non-stop three hour jams, the jam fan wants two things from a jam band: (1) faithfulness to the structure of the song; and (2) time.

As jam aficionados know, it is not nearly enough to play a song for 12 minutes or more, it is about maintaining the overall cohesiveness of the piece while allowing it to expand on its elements. In other words, the rhythm section is the anchor for the band, allowing vocals, guitars, horns, keyboards to explore and experiment, while maintaining the structure of the song. For any great jam, the listener needs enough time to sit back and take in all the elements of the song without being forced to absorb everything in a 4-minute radio-friendly format. A jam band provides its audience with time to go from one aspect of the performance to another at their own pace. The audience can focus on each of the musicians and what they are doing, without needing audio cues to get their attention. Mental Notes is in the mold of the quintessential jam band. They allow you the freedom to go where you want to go at whatever pace you want.

Mental Notes has a fresh sound and a loyal following. They are one of the hot local bands on the New York scene, and I definitely recommend that you check out one of their shows.

Mental Notes is: d (squared) - bass; d (one) - guitar; travesty - drums; spiritchild - mc/vocals; lloyd - trumpet; and static - dj.

Article Copyright © 2002 Steve Nathan, licensed for use by getgigs.com Steve Nathan contact

Sounds Copyright: Mental Notes - "Dis-Ease" from the CD "Close Your Eyes & Open Your Mind" © 2002 Multi Creations, licensed for use on getgigs.com contact

Photos Copyright: Ian Spanier © 2002, licensed for use on getgigs.com contact

Flash Design Copyright © 2002 Matt Kieffer/ TelXtra Interactive.
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http://www.getgigs.com/Music/180jan.htm - Steve Nathan GetGigs.com


Discography

5 Albums for Mental Notes (all lyrics & arrangement by spiritchild, music by David Dovo)
Through Sips of Love and Hallucination 2009
Close Your Eyes & Open Your Mind 2001
Event Horizon 2002
Hope Out Loud Peace Festival (live) 2004
Cosmic Slop Hip Hop Volume 1 new paltz (live) 2007
Cosmic Slop Hip Hop Volume 2 rebar (live)

2007Composition/Production/Arrangement by David Dovo)
True Human Design (EP) 2008 (Composition/Production/Arrangement by David Dovo)

5 Solo Albums (written, composed & arranged by Spiritchild)
A Tribute To Nina Simone (The EP) 2004
Creative Politics Chapter 1 reports from the rhythmic poet (mixtape) 2005
Eclipse of Hope (The LP) 2007
Dark Matters (Double LP) 2010
Electric Cinnamon (LP) 2012

Compilations for Movement In Motion
8 Volumes Of Music for Collective 2003-2007
see www.movementinmotion.org for details

2 Spoken Word With Music Albums
Cataclysm 2000 Ainsley Burrows
Deep Space Harmonica 2008 SmokiFantastic

1 Tibetan Hip Hop Album
Liberation 2004 Namgyal

Photos

Bio

Welcome to the Evolution of Hip-Hop

Armed with their unique signature sound, New York City's original hip-hop ensemble Mental Notes has been attracting diverse audiences for almost a decade.

Their eclectic fusion of old school hip-hop, funk, electronica, jazz and acid rock continues to break the boundaries of the New York live music scene.

Mental Notes has consistently added to the pulse of New York's musical and social heartbeat. They have been a previous guest on Air America Radio, appearing on Chuck D's highly praised live talk show. Most recently, Mental Notes bassist and songwriter David Dovo composed the original film score for Jerusalem in Exile (part of the "Art and Apathy" film documentary project of Eyes Infinite Films), an official selection and winner of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival. While the lead vocalist/emcee Spiritchild has produced several film scores, spoken word albums for Nuyorican Slam Champion Ainsley Burrows and SmokiFantastic, as well as releasing several solo albums projects with include A tribute to Nina Simone, Eclipse of Hope and Creative Politics to list a few.

Collectively, the members of Mental Notes have collaborated and or shared the stage with a series of diverse artists including legendary producer Hank Shocklee, hip-hop virtuosos Dead Prez, Black Moon, soul-funk horn legends Tower of Power and Latin dance sensation Gloria Estefan.

Mental Notes vocalist Spiritchild has been privileged to work with revolutionary spoken work activists Last Poets as well as Brooklyn's Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra. Bassist David Dovo's diverse talent has led him to create remixes for rap pioneers Public Enemy and work with such acclaimed jazz artists as saxophonist Daniel Carter and share the stage with Billy Martin of Medeski, Martin and Wood. Guitarist Fro has shared the stage with nationally recognized jazz-fusion artists Deep Banana Blackout, Garaj Mahal and the punk inspired Screaming Headless Torsos. Drummer Eran Asias toured the globe and recorded with such artists as Patty Smyth's Scandal, Will Lee and Dem Brooklyn Bums.

Together, this collection of prolific musicians create an intense listening experience that rivals any sound to come out of the hip-hop scene in recent memory. Mental Notes invites you to be a part of the evolution of sound by bringing their unique fusion of experimental hip-hop.

Mental Notes has toured internationally to Mumbai and New Dehli in India, Egypt, National College and Community Tours throughout the states. Locally, Mental Notes has played the Blue Note, S.O.B's, CBGB's, Triad Theater, The Knitting Factory and other local listings.