Michael Mangia

Michael Mangia

BandAlternativeRock

Michael Mangia (pronounced Manja) is akin to a diverse range of artists such as Tori Amos, Ben Folds, Spiritualized, Travis, Rufus Wainwright, but offers his own unique perspective as songwriter and storyteller.

Biography

Michael Mangia does not mind digging around in the dirt – Hollywood dirt – to celebrate the beauty that lurks in the dark, clandestine corners and underneath bedsheets and facelifts. Michael Mangia is the David Lynch of the Hollywood music scene. His melodies are beautiful works from an extraordinarily gifted singer-songwriter-pianist, but his lyrics reveal something more – an underlying sense of the sordid that comes from having grown up in Hollywood. “It’s a mixture of the dark and the beautiful together – two sides of the same coin. My songs are definitely for people looking for three-dimensional music.”

Mangia (pronounced Man-ja) is a songwriter and storyteller whose first break came when he was 18 and met four-time Grammy-nominated producer Johnny Pierce. He flew out to Nashville where the two recorded his first EP, Virgins.

Shortly afterwards, he bought his first stand-up piano, which he nicknamed "Stein." Jokes Mangia, “That piano was just a kindergarten-type console, but he had the heart of a Steinway… He thought he was a badass!” With the help of “Stein” and a handful of other musicians (including one of the drummers from death-metal legends Slayer), Mangia began writing and recording almost everyday. He released his first self-released album, a largely piano-based opus entitled Utopia, when he was 21 years old.

While promoting Utopia, Mangia started to reap the benefits of his hard work when a couple of his more dramatic songs were picked up and used on the cult daytime NBC soap, Passions. More importantly, Mangia made the move from Hollywood to a loft in downtown Los Angeles, which he then converted into a high-tech recording studio. It was there that he began what was to become his most ambitious project to date, The Invisible Wall.

“The best part of having your studio and your home be the roof you live and work under is the musical liberty that it provides you. If you can’t sleep, you can get up and just create. I even have the freedom to break the sound barrier with my piano and not have the police show up! That’s what allowed me to experiment and consequently inspired the uniqueness of The Invisible Wall.”

Ultimately, The Invisible Wall became the story of a painter, taking listeners through his canvas, which is filled with the lives of addicted porn stars and their admirers, children’s sci-fi fantasy, Italian mobsters, and the façade-filled world of Hollywood. “As the tale started to reveal itself, I found myself piecing this one wildly crazy puzzle together from different angles, time zones and states of consciousness... It's an exploration of the facets of one’s self you can wish to look at or not.”

Deciding to produce the CD himself, Michael took a new approach this time around. “In order to translate the abstraction of the ideas in my heart and head, I had to play around with a different sonic palate than what I was used to. And so I brought in some really amazing guest players who added to the base of the iceberg. Each of these musicians opened up more doors and gave additional dimension to songs that were originally written on solo piano.” In fact, the guest roster for The Invisible Wall includes industry veterans who have frequently worked with artists ranging from Alanis Morissette, Fiona Apple to Macy Gray and Gary Jules.

But perhaps the most extraordinary aspect of Michael Mangia is his live performances. No longer content to deliver simple concerts, Mangia now incorporates an unusual degree of performance art into his now legendary shows. From the pink megaphone he regularly uses for sonic effects; through the sketchpad of illustrations he flips in time with certain songs to provide a “live” music video effect; to the suitcase filled with Barbie dolls and accessories he uses as illustrative props while performing his single, “Barbie Doll,” Mangia is clearly no ordinary performer. He occasionally even uses slideshow backdrops to create a multi-media sensory journey. “It’s all about bringing the music to life through these added visual aspects. I don’t just want people to hear the songs – I want them to experience them.”

Equally unusual is the diversity of people that venture out to see Mangia perform. “I get goths, I get ravers, I get couples out for a romantic evening, I get audiences looking for something wildly different, I get people who just come for a good time, I get people who just come to get away from the humdrum of work. What I want is for every single one of those people to experience a different dimension of themselves through my music.”

Lyrics

The Invisible Wall

Written By: Michael Mangia

This Invisible Wall surrounding most of this gangrened tower • That’s when we were 4 feet tall • I got away from it somehow • All the way down/Past suburban mini-malls • To the local tour/Hitchhiked with Gothic girls • Then I heard the calls • Come and stand up against the glass • And leave all that you hide behind • Then I’ll meet you at that alternate path • Rerouting till there’s no more urinating laughs • It’s in the moment you can wait so long • In a Memorex or Kodak show • Yeah we had way too much confusion • Now behind the wall the slides have begun • Now this boredom never seems to end • As another will go the rest come back again • And through the cellular chords clocks will tone • Now reel to reel I’ll go • All the way down/Past suburban mini-malls • To the local tour/Hitchhiked with Raver boys • Then I heard the calls • Chorus • Early morning creeping through the blinds • I’m leaving now before the LIGHT bends time • Grip the ceiling • Mannequin the bed • As buildings tumble in the distance I tread • Down • When the land stretches further than the eye • And you’re seeing more in the mind • And you’re collecting the memory lines • Strobes the pictures of your past crimes • And I’ve got only one thing left to say • It’s hello and goodbye and a hey • ‘Cause now I’m headed through that crystal clear wall • Where all the slide shows have begun • Yeah behind the wall the slides have begun • Yeah behind the wall the slide she’s become • Yeah behind the wall the slides have begun • Yeah behind the wall the slides he’s become • Yeah behind the wall the slides have begun • Yeah behind the wall the slide it’s become • Yeah behind the wall the slides have begun • Yeah behind the wall the slides they’ve become…

Drunk

Written By: Michael Mangia

She dozed with Cuddy and Sark • Speed Racer’s coming through her dreams • So you lift one leg/I put the other down • We slip and fall through town • When you find yourself in that mess you been • Drowning • To drive me away • Even if I was to go off the deep- end • I’d learn my lesson from the come down • So take a seat and then I’ll get to you • When the time is soon • All the kids have gone overboard • When you’re coming out of what they’re going through • I don’t want to seal the secret • I don’t want to make believe this is solely for me • I just want a real reason • so don’t show me in just 5 seasons south • So you come with me and then you cum again • Then you’re ready to go • I can’t take too much more of this • Tomorrow the show is gonna close • Yeah tomorrow you’re gonna wake up so alone…

Life Support on Xmas

Written By: Michael Mangia

Six years ago
I’m running down the stairs to see through walls
I wonder if he’s come
To take me off the life support
Or will the Hatter go Mad, if I never get the words out in time?
So sad you’re gonna have to go
But right above the sky is a carnival show
Where I will meet you down the road

Sent a telegram
But love got lost in a polygraph
And every word between keeps me up like a ten ton truck

And takes me to the first
From Confession rooms to the Hurst
With the loudest cough in the room
Aunt L.A.’s machine-gun laugh on a broom that lies
Past the analog moon

There were only 2 times I spoke
Those were written those were times I wrote
In the winter you left me by fluorescent lights
Walks along the Atlantic coast, marathon talks political jokes
Now I wonder which cloud you’re on tonight
With nuns to my left and father’s always right

And takes me to the first
From Confession rooms to the Hurst
With the loudest cough in the room
Aunt L.A.’s machine-gun laugh on a broom that lies
Past the analog moon

You stick your left hand in
You stick your left hand out
You stick your left hand in and you shake it all about
Do the Hokey Pokey and you turn yourself around
That’s what it’s all about
You cut yourself a seem to crawl out of the song
I was wrong
And Hush…Hush…

Wet Dream

Written By: Michael Mangia

Yeah it’s the worst disease, feeling 2 extremes in me · Fashion to the left, white trash to the right, it’s my scene •Time tracks collapse in your mind, of all the things you’ve done to yourself · Feeling just like a hooker without the green • Nobody ever told me so: Jesus had an all-girl show last night at the coliseum • As I walk out your front door, checkbook in hand keeps the score · Of every business trip you’ve been on, you didn’t need a car, you rode a w-horse • Stopping now at a Motel 6, adding more weight to the other fist · Strike up a match, take a deep breathe, as the flame grows real taut I’ll never forget • Traveling through the halls and you see them fuckin’ in your head · And I can’t recall all the stupid things that were said · Just to get back at that thing that you hid last night in my Wet Dream • I want to run past your hidden withdrawals · Take to the elevator screams as the ceilings cave in to sin • When I hear that sound, I wanna spin it out take it down to the ground · When all of your boys have finally gone • Traveling through the halls and you see them fuckin’ in your head · And I can’t recall all the stupid things that were said · Just to get back at that thing that you hid last night in my Wet Dream

Ticker Tape Parade

Written By: michael mangia

Polliana came to my hometown · Wrestling with cameras · Dodging all the corporate circus crowns · Word gets out and you’ll have them in the center of your palm · But 10 years from now when you’re just another no-one • This boy’s been playing that same power chord for days · In front of a crowded mall in his supermarket phase · They’re calling summer out of the loudspeaker in the store · She left her mind checked out on aisle 74 • When it’s been said, and you’ve been done · You’re only gonna get yourself tongue-tied to be another one · Yeah you’ll fall faster than a convict on the run · Red carpet now · Black curtain then · Rolling out and down until there’s none · Well I’ve told you before, should I tell you again · Don’t be late for your Ticker Tape Parade • Now all she does these days is sell soap opera to the globe · A missionary stare that she rehearses on her own · Like an actor who’s been talking to the air · Roll the dice twice and getting love from a rocking chair • Well it’s been said, and you’ve been done · You’re only gonna get yourself so high to be another one · Yeah you’ll fade faster than a Kharma Khameleon · Red carpet now · Black curtain then · Rolling out and down until there’s none · Well I’ve told you before, do I tell you again · Don’t be late for your Ticker Tape Parade • Well it’s been said, and you’ve been done · You’re only gonna get yourself so proud to be another one · Yeah you’ll fall faster than that cosmopolitan · Red carpet now · Black curtain then · Rolling out and down until there’s none · Well I’ve told you before, should I tell you again · Don’t be late for your Ticker Tape Parade

Heavy Metal Lover

Written By: Michael Mangia

Doesn’t matter what you do
You can do it again but it wont get through
Cuz you’ve been talking hurricanes and storms
It’s been raining hard but my umbrellas strong

Pseudo dictator
Handsome Hitler
Putting drugs in my tea again
Why can’t you just say you don’t want me around?

That heart is made of paper mache
It’s been hiding in a cave waiting for wind to set its sail
But you never could appreciate the real thing
Until he was 6 feet under the ceiling

With a coat and a cane
And a very big name
In a car that takes up too many lanes
Guess I should have known
I really knew all the time
You can’t judge a house
By an exterior view

You were the one back in the 2nd grade
Screaming for attention
Playing aggressive games
While hiding under an angels face
For all that you lacked
I’m sure you never replaced

Pseudo dictator
Handsome Hitler
Putting drugs in my tea again
Why can’t you just say you don’t want me around?

Discography

2005 Album "The Invisible Wall"
2003 E.P. "Live Sessions"
2001 Album "Utopia"
1999 E.P. "Virgins"

Set List

30 min-3 hours, original music and the following covers:
Radiohead's "Kharma Police" and "Maps" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.