MY BROTHERS & SISTERS
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MY BROTHERS & SISTERS

Kansas City, Missouri, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Kansas City, Missouri, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Pop Alternative

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Sep
21
MY BROTHERS & SISTERS @ Plaza Art Fair

Missouri, United States

Missouri, United States

Sep
07
MY BROTHERS & SISTERS @ The Brick

Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Aug
16
MY BROTHERS & SISTERS @ CrossroadsKC

Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Jun
14
MY BROTHERS & SISTERS @ The RINO

North Kansas City, Missouri, United States

North Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Nov
15
MY BROTHERS & SISTERS @ The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Dec
31
MY BROTHERS & SISTERS @ Davey's Uptown Rambler Club

Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Oct
14
MY BROTHERS & SISTERS @ Johnson County Library - Central Resource

Overland Park, Kansas, United States

Overland Park, Kansas, United States

Jul
08
MY BROTHERS & SISTERS @ Santa Fe Commons Park

Overland Park, Kansas, United States

Overland Park, Kansas, United States

Jun
17
MY BROTHERS & SISTERS @ Boulevardia

Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Jun
16
MY BROTHERS & SISTERS @ Record Bar

Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Music

Press


"Songs from his Soul"

You could say Jamie Searle suffered for his art. He disappeared in the wilderness for it. He sold nearly all his possessions and moved into a windowless office space for it. He lost a lot of sleep — a lot of sleep — for it. And he obsessed about it to a point where friends and loved ones started to wonder whether his quest was devouring him.

You could also say Searle immersed himself in his art, devoted himself feverishly to creating and unleashing the lavish music he’d been hearing in his head since 2008.

You could say all of the above because it’s all true. And if you wanted to blame (or credit) the Beatles for it, that would be true, too.

In mid-April, Searle released “Violet Music: Volume 1,” the inaugural recording by My Brothers and Sisters, the band he founded about five years ago. It’s a sprawling work, a polyphonic parade into and through a variety of music genres — funk, soul, R&B, jazz, gospel — all written, charted, scored and orchestrated by Searle. Nearly two dozen musicians worked on it. Recording took more than a year, involving three studios and two producers. And the budget well exceeded expectations.

Yet he finished it. And the week of its release, Searle was distributing copies, on vinyl and CD, to friends and colleagues like a new dad handing out cigars.

You could say this first-time father of a 4-month-old daughter is celebrating two births these days.

“The first time I heard the finished record, it was weird,” he said. “It was nerve-racking and exciting. I wanted to make an album that hadn’t been made yet, that didn’t exist. When I heard it, I thought, ‘I did that.’

“So it’s here now, but it doesn’t really exist if people don’t listen to it. So, I want people to hear it.”

Searle didn’t pick up a guitar until he was a teenager, but here was plenty of music in his life before that. He was born to a single mom in Protection, Kan., a speck of a town near the Oklahoma border. When he was 5, they moved in with his grandparents in Hays, Kan., so his mother could go to college. She wanted to become a teacher. That’s when he discovered his first love.

“I really got into break-dancing,” he said. “My grandparents had HBO, and the movie ‘Breakin’ 2’ was really big. I completely loved it. I watched it over and over and learned all the moves.”

Music was a regular part of his environment. His mother was exposing Searle to funk, R&B and disco. “I heard a lot of Roberta Flack,” he said. His grandfather introduced him to Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass and country music. “I liked it all,” Searle said. “I had no biases.”

When he was 7, he and his mother moved to Kansas City so she could look for a teaching job. She ended up managing apartments. When Searle was 14, a friend showed him how to play Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” on electric guitar.

“The moment I started playing, I thought, ‘This is it,’” he said. “I stayed up all night, sitting on the edge of his bed, learning that song.”

It wasn’t the last time he lost a lot of sleep over music.

He was 16 when he started his first band, Cows Don’t Eat Beef. It played loud, sloppy, hardcore punk — an expression of his teen alienation.

“I was really feeling a lot of pain in my life then,” he said. “I had no father, my mom’s gay, I was living in Kansas, going to a Catholic school (Bishop Miege). I was listening to Black Flag and Rage Against the Machine.”

That band lasted one gig. “We played a birthday party on a porch in Overland Park,” he said. “The cops were called right away and shut us down 15 minutes after we started.”

His mother was wary of the music culture and its affiliation with drugs, so for a couple of years, Searle sequestered himself in his room, teaching himself guitar and learning the tricks of the masters, like Jimi Hendrix.

Then he met Bill Sundahl, a catalyst and co-conspirator in Searle’s early music life. In 2001, when Searle was 19, they started the band It’s Over. Its first incarnation was a more chaotic extension of Searle’s first band.

“There was lots of yelling and screaming and rolling around onstage and knocking each other over,” Sundahl said. “Lots of distorted guitars and overwrought bass lines. We both wrote lyrics to the same songs, often they had nothing to do with each other. It was close to punk, but not.

“At the time, we thought we were making brilliant art. I listened to some of it recently and thought, ‘Wow.’ And not ‘wow’ in a good way.”

“Bill was into Pantera, we were both into Queens of the Stone Age,” Searle said. “Lots of hardcore screaming stuff.”

It’s Over rumbled and roared along for a few years, but by 2004, Searle was in his early 20s and no longer an angry teenager venting his angst. Instead, he was becoming more interested in songwriting and musicianship, a change that didn’t dawn on him until he got hold of a copy of the Beatles’ “Rubber Soul” album.

The first track on “Violet Music” is called “Fall Winter Spring & Summer.” It’s a blast of orchestral rock with an array of accents: funk, R&B, pop. It’s rife with riffs and runs and fills from horns, strings and guitars and lustrous vocals and layers of harmonies.

“It’s a very thick and rich album,” said Andy Oxman, who helped produce “Violet Music” at Soundworks Recording, the studio he owns in Blue Springs. “There is a lot going on most of the time. It’s very dynamic.”

Searle wrote, arranged, charted and scored everything on the album. He also sang lead vocals, played rhythm and lead guitar and added auxiliary percussion and synthesizers. The sound of My Brothers and Sisters is light-years away from the noise and fury issued by his first two bands.

And Searle says the Beatles were the catalyst for him to become a serious songwriter and musician. Specifically, it was the “Rubber Soul” album, when the Beatles were reaching their peak as songwriters and studio wizards.

“The first time I listened to ‘Rubber Soul’ I thought, ‘I can’t play these (It’s Over) songs again,” he said. “I felt such a sense of deliberation and so much invention in (the Beatles) music. I felt like I’d reached my limit in It’s Over and I was repeating myself. So I started to write completely different songs. … I was going to be serious about it.”

So he and bandmate Ryan Donegan started collaborating, changing the sound of It’s Over dramatically. That was late 2004. Sundahl had left the band right at that transition but returned not long after. “I was an immediate fan of the new stuff,” he said. “I really wanted back in.”

“It was still kind of punk rock but with melodies,” Oxman said. “It was like punk rock meets the Beatles.”

It’s Over toured regionally for three years and performed three times at the South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin, Texas. By then, Searle had grown increasingly interested in devouring as much as he could about music theory and history, so in 2007, he enrolled in music classes at Johnson County Community College.

He also started exploring classical music and big band jazz, devouring books and autobiographies (Quincy Jones) and studying scores (Tchaikovsky, Brahms). It all inspired him and aroused grander ideas.

“I realized that where I was, I couldn’t do what I wanted to do, what I was hearing in my head,” he said. “I needed more help, more training.”

It’s Over called it quits in 2008, the same year Searle was accepted into the Conservatory of Music at UMKC. That was also the year he started composing songs for My Brothers and Sisters.

It didn’t take forever to make “Violet Music,” but it started to feel like it might. The entire process lasted about 18 months, required 23 musicians and comprised thousands of man-hours in the studio. Money became an issue.

In October 2012, Searle launched a Kickstarter campaign to cover the financing. More than 50 backers helped him exceed his goal of $4,000 by nearly $200.

“The Kickstarter really helped out,” Searle said. “But I could see right away that it wasn’t going to last, not when I’m paying a string quartet $400 for three hours of time.”

So he hatched a plan. On Craigslist, he found a low-rent office space in Grandview. Then he sold everything he owned — all but musical instruments, some books and all the clothes he could fit into one trunk. And he moved into the space, turning it into his living quarters and studio.

“I had a hot plate, some clothes, computer and my guitars because that was where I was doing my guitar parts for the record,” he said. “I went to the community center every morning at 6:30 and showered.” And then he went back to his office space and worked on his record, impressing his fellow tenants.

“I was always back there by 7:30, and other people in the building were like, ‘That young man is really after it!’”

He was after it, all right, but “it” would take awhile. Because of the many parts he was recording, and because of his obsession to get them just right, tracking alone took a year, much longer than the few months Searle had anticipated.

“There were so many different musicians and pieces,” Oxman said. “And Jamie is so meticulous.”

“He tends to be a perfectionist,” said Angel Gibson, one of four vocalists on the album. “It can get tedious. But he scores charts like no one else. Jamie is special. He wanted to make something that was beyond all of us. He always wanted something extra, something more. And we were all happy to be part of it.”

Producer Joel Nanos was enlisted to mix and master the project at his Element Recording studio in Kansas City. It wasn’t the usual project, he said.

“Jamie threw everything he had into it, so there were a lot of files and parts to sort through,” Nanos said. “I remember one song even being over 130 tracks. Most were over 75 at least. Sorting that out was a very big job.

“Each song really needed a unique approach. I somehow had to get all of those different sounds to jell. I wanted it to have a very timeless sound once it hit wax, like it could have been made in any decade.”

Money wasn’t the only challenge. The project was also taking a physical toll. Searle had left the conservatory about a semester short of graduation, frustrated with its approach and confident he could teach himself what he wanted to know.

But he was also working as a guitar instructor and had regular music gigs at two churches. He spent much of his waking time working on the project, grabbing cat naps here and there.

“I was working every night, sometimes until 4 in the morning, then I’d kind of pass out,” he said. “I’d get up and pour coffee down my throat to stay awake.”

The lack of sleep and money issues eventually got to him.

“I reached a point where I started having doubts about whether this was the right thing to do,” he said. “A lot of people started worrying about me. They told me I was starting to lose it a little. I was feeling so exhausted. I started to wonder, ‘Is this taxing the people I love?’”

But there were moments when inspiration would arrive and revive him. Like the time he’d left his office bunker for a week and went off into the woods to “fish and live like a wild man.”

“There’s a song on the album, ‘I’ll Be Leaving With You,’” he said. “For months, I had the first two lines of that song, nothing else. I didn’t push it. I knew the rest of the song would come to me eventually. I was on a hike, and it came to me. I ran back to my campsite and wrote the rest. Moments like that, where you capture the soul of the song, are so rewarding.

“So I decided that, right or wrong, I was going to finish the album, no matter what.”

In October, Searle moved into a Brookside house with Melissa Backstrom, a singer he met while recording the project. She is the mother of their daughter, Nezra, born in December, a few months before the album was officially done.

Asked to describe the sound of My Brothers and Sisters and “Violet Music,” Searle is careful with his words. “I say we’re a 14-piece pop orchestra that covers a lot of styles,” he said.

Asked what was most gratifying about making the album, Searle said, “Working with so many great people in so many fields: musicians, engineers, designers. I learned so much. I learned a lot about myself.”

The feeling is mutual. “Jamie is a really interesting guy,” said Michael Gregory, who played guitar on the album. “His take on music is really unique.”

“I’m very proud of the finished product,” Nanos said.

Despite all the expense, time and sacrifice, you could say Jamie Searle is satisfied with the process and the results.

“I’m feeling real positive about the future,” Searle said. “Yeah, it took awhile, but I’m real proud of the record and proud of everyone who worked on it.”

Sundahl agrees: “I think now that it’s out, no one is going to remember it took forever to come out. They’ll just think it’s a great record.”

Read more here: http://inkkc.com/content/art-to-excess/#storylink=cpy - INK KC


"Jamie Searle has a Grand Plan for My Brothers & Sisters"

You could say Jamie Searle suffered for his art. He disappeared in the wilderness for it. He sold nearly all his possessions and moved into a windowless office space for it. He lost a lot of sleep — a lot of sleep — for it. And he obsessed about it to a point where friends and loved ones started to wonder whether his quest was devouring him.

You could also say Searle immersed himself in his art, devoted himself feverishly to creating and unleashing the lavish music he’d been hearing in his head since 2008.

You could say all of the above because it’s all true. And if you wanted to blame (or credit) the Beatles for it, that would be true, too.

In mid-April, Searle released “Violet Music: Volume 1,” the inaugural recording by My Brothers and Sisters, the band he founded about five years ago. It’s a sprawling work, a polyphonic parade into and through a variety of music genres — funk, soul, R&B, jazz, gospel — all written, charted, scored and orchestrated by Searle. Nearly two dozen musicians worked on it. Recording took more than a year, involving three studios and two producers. And the budget well exceeded expectations.

Yet he finished it. And the week of its release, Searle was distributing copies, on vinyl and CD, to friends and colleagues like a new dad handing out cigars.

You could say this first-time father of a 4-month-old daughter is celebrating two births these days.

“The first time I heard the finished record, it was weird,” he said. “It was nerve-racking and exciting. I wanted to make an album that hadn’t been made yet, that didn’t exist. When I heard it, I thought, ‘I did that.’

“So it’s here now, but it doesn’t really exist if people don’t listen to it. So, I want people to hear it.”

Searle didn’t pick up a guitar until he was a teenager, but here was plenty of music in his life before that. He was born to a single mom in Protection, Kan., a speck of a town near the Oklahoma border. When he was 5, they moved in with his grandparents in Hays, Kan., so his mother could go to college. She wanted to become a teacher. That’s when he discovered his first love.

“I really got into break-dancing,” he said. “My grandparents had HBO, and the movie ‘Breakin’ 2’ was really big. I completely loved it. I watched it over and over and learned all the moves.”

Music was a regular part of his environment. His mother was exposing Searle to funk, R&B and disco. “I heard a lot of Roberta Flack,” he said. His grandfather introduced him to Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass and country music. “I liked it all,” Searle said. “I had no biases.”

When he was 7, he and his mother moved to Kansas City so she could look for a teaching job. She ended up managing apartments. When Searle was 14, a friend showed him how to play Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” on electric guitar.

“The moment I started playing, I thought, ‘This is it,’” he said. “I stayed up all night, sitting on the edge of his bed, learning that song.”

It wasn’t the last time he lost a lot of sleep over music.

He was 16 when he started his first band, Cows Don’t Eat Beef. It played loud, sloppy, hardcore punk — an expression of his teen alienation.

“I was really feeling a lot of pain in my life then,” he said. “I had no father, my mom’s gay, I was living in Kansas, going to a Catholic school (Bishop Miege). I was listening to Black Flag and Rage Against the Machine.”

That band lasted one gig. “We played a birthday party on a porch in Overland Park,” he said. “The cops were called right away and shut us down 15 minutes after we started.”

His mother was wary of the music culture and its affiliation with drugs, so for a couple of years, Searle sequestered himself in his room, teaching himself guitar and learning the tricks of the masters, like Jimi Hendrix.

Then he met Bill Sundahl, a catalyst and co-conspirator in Searle’s early music life. In 2001, when Searle was 19, they started the band It’s Over. Its first incarnation was a more chaotic extension of Searle’s first band.

“There was lots of yelling and screaming and rolling around onstage and knocking each other over,” Sundahl said. “Lots of distorted guitars and overwrought bass lines. We both wrote lyrics to the same songs, often they had nothing to do with each other. It was close to punk, but not.

“At the time, we thought we were making brilliant art. I listened to some of it recently and thought, ‘Wow.’ And not ‘wow’ in a good way.”

“Bill was into Pantera, we were both into Queens of the Stone Age,” Searle said. “Lots of hardcore screaming stuff.”

It’s Over rumbled and roared along for a few years, but by 2004, Searle was in his early 20s and no longer an angry teenager venting his angst. Instead, he was becoming more interested in songwriting and musicianship, a change that didn’t dawn on him until he got hold of a copy of the Beatles’ “Rubber Soul” album.

The first track on “Violet Music” is called “Fall Winter Spring & Summer.” It’s a blast of orchestral rock with an array of accents: funk, R&B, pop. It’s rife with riffs and runs and fills from horns, strings and guitars and lustrous vocals and layers of harmonies.

“It’s a very thick and rich album,” said Andy Oxman, who helped produce “Violet Music” at Soundworks Recording, the studio he owns in Blue Springs. “There is a lot going on most of the time. It’s very dynamic.”

Searle wrote, arranged, charted and scored everything on the album. He also sang lead vocals, played rhythm and lead guitar and added auxiliary percussion and synthesizers. The sound of My Brothers and Sisters is light-years away from the noise and fury issued by his first two bands.

And Searle says the Beatles were the catalyst for him to become a serious songwriter and musician. Specifically, it was the “Rubber Soul” album, when the Beatles were reaching their peak as songwriters and studio wizards.

“The first time I listened to ‘Rubber Soul’ I thought, ‘I can’t play these (It’s Over) songs again,” he said. “I felt such a sense of deliberation and so much invention in (the Beatles) music. I felt like I’d reached my limit in It’s Over and I was repeating myself. So I started to write completely different songs. … I was going to be serious about it.”

So he and bandmate Ryan Donegan started collaborating, changing the sound of It’s Over dramatically. That was late 2004. Sundahl had left the band right at that transition but returned not long after. “I was an immediate fan of the new stuff,” he said. “I really wanted back in.”

“It was still kind of punk rock but with melodies,” Oxman said. “It was like punk rock meets the Beatles.”

It’s Over toured regionally for three years and performed three times at the South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin, Texas. By then, Searle had grown increasingly interested in devouring as much as he could about music theory and history, so in 2007, he enrolled in music classes at Johnson County Community College.

He also started exploring classical music and big band jazz, devouring books and autobiographies (Quincy Jones) and studying scores (Tchaikovsky, Brahms). It all inspired him and aroused grander ideas.

“I realized that where I was, I couldn’t do what I wanted to do, what I was hearing in my head,” he said. “I needed more help, more training.”

It’s Over called it quits in 2008, the same year Searle was accepted into the Conservatory of Music at UMKC. That was also the year he started composing songs for My Brothers and Sisters.

It didn’t take forever to make “Violet Music,” but it started to feel like it might. The entire process lasted about 18 months, required 23 musicians and comprised thousands of man-hours in the studio. Money became an issue.

In October 2012, Searle launched a Kickstarter campaign to cover the financing. More than 50 backers helped him exceed his goal of $4,000 by nearly $200.

“The Kickstarter really helped out,” Searle said. “But I could see right away that it wasn’t going to last, not when I’m paying a string quartet $400 for three hours of time.”

So he hatched a plan. On Craigslist, he found a low-rent office space in Grandview. Then he sold everything he owned — all but musical instruments, some books and all the clothes he could fit into one trunk. And he moved into the space, turning it into his living quarters and studio.

“I had a hot plate, some clothes, computer and my guitars because that was where I was doing my guitar parts for the record,” he said. “I went to the community center every morning at 6:30 and showered.” And then he went back to his office space and worked on his record, impressing his fellow tenants.

“I was always back there by 7:30, and other people in the building were like, ‘That young man is really after it!’”

He was after it, all right, but “it” would take awhile. Because of the many parts he was recording, and because of his obsession to get them just right, tracking alone took a year, much longer than the few months Searle had anticipated.

“There were so many different musicians and pieces,” Oxman said. “And Jamie is so meticulous.”

“He tends to be a perfectionist,” said Angel Gibson, one of four vocalists on the album. “It can get tedious. But he scores charts like no one else. Jamie is special. He wanted to make something that was beyond all of us. He always wanted something extra, something more. And we were all happy to be part of it.”

Producer Joel Nanos was enlisted to mix and master the project at his Element Recording studio in Kansas City. It wasn’t the usual project, he said.

“Jamie threw everything he had into it, so there were a lot of files and parts to sort through,” Nanos said. “I remember one song even being over 130 tracks. Most were over 75 at least. Sorting that out was a very big job.

“Each song really needed a unique approach. I somehow had to get all of those different sounds to jell. I wanted it to have a very timeless sound once it hit wax, like it could have been made in any decade.”

Money wasn’t the only challenge. The project was also taking a physical toll. Searle had left the conservatory about a semester short of graduation, frustrated with its approach and confident he could teach himself what he wanted to know.

But he was also working as a guitar instructor and had regular music gigs at two churches. He spent much of his waking time working on the project, grabbing cat naps here and there.

“I was working every night, sometimes until 4 in the morning, then I’d kind of pass out,” he said. “I’d get up and pour coffee down my throat to stay awake.”

The lack of sleep and money issues eventually got to him.

“I reached a point where I started having doubts about whether this was the right thing to do,” he said. “A lot of people started worrying about me. They told me I was starting to lose it a little. I was feeling so exhausted. I started to wonder, ‘Is this taxing the people I love?’”

But there were moments when inspiration would arrive and revive him. Like the time he’d left his office bunker for a week and went off into the woods to “fish and live like a wild man.”

“There’s a song on the album, ‘I’ll Be Leaving With You,’” he said. “For months, I had the first two lines of that song, nothing else. I didn’t push it. I knew the rest of the song would come to me eventually. I was on a hike, and it came to me. I ran back to my campsite and wrote the rest. Moments like that, where you capture the soul of the song, are so rewarding.

“So I decided that, right or wrong, I was going to finish the album, no matter what.”

In October, Searle moved into a Brookside house with Melissa Backstrom, a singer he met while recording the project. She is the mother of their daughter, Nezra, born in December, a few months before the album was officially done.

Asked to describe the sound of My Brothers and Sisters and “Violet Music,” Searle is careful with his words. “I say we’re a 14-piece pop orchestra that covers a lot of styles,” he said.

Asked what was most gratifying about making the album, Searle said, “Working with so many great people in so many fields: musicians, engineers, designers. I learned so much. I learned a lot about myself.”

The feeling is mutual. “Jamie is a really interesting guy,” said Michael Gregory, who played guitar on the album. “His take on music is really unique.”

“I’m very proud of the finished product,” Nanos said.

Despite all the expense, time and sacrifice, you could say Jamie Searle is satisfied with the process and the results.

“I’m feeling real positive about the future,” Searle said. “Yeah, it took awhile, but I’m real proud of the record and proud of everyone who worked on it.”

Sundahl agrees: “I think now that it’s out, no one is going to remember it took forever to come out. They’ll just think it’s a great record.”

Read more here: http://inkkc.com/content/art-to-excess/#storylink=cpy - The Pitch


"My Brothers & Sisters to present Well Honed Ode to Tim Burton"

His infatuation with the films of Tim Burton goes back to when Jamie Searle was 6 years old. And it wasn’t only the movie itself that enraptured him.

“I remember as a kid, standing at the TV and watching the main credits to ‘Beetlejuice’ roll,” he said. “It excited me so much. I was obsessed with it, reacting to the music. The movie was great, but the main titles sucked me in. They made me go to the TV and watch with intent. I fell in love with it.”

That infatuation lay dormant for a while, but it never expired. A few years ago, Searle bought a recording of the film’s soundtrack, which aroused his interest once again.

“It started gnawing at me, wanting to do that music to satisfy the 6-year-old in me,” he said.

So he started transcribing the music, some of it by ear because “I’d listened to it a million times,” he said.

Right before he finished, a grander idea hit him: “I decided to do a bunch of (Burton) stuff and do a Halloween show.”

That was back in August. After a slew of 12- and 14-hour days scoring music, he quenched his ambitions and composed a multimedia tribute. “My Brothers & Sisters Presents: The Films, Music and Costumes of Tim Burton” will be performed Friday night at the Riot Room in Westport.

My Brothers & Sisters is the pop orchestra Searle founded two years ago. In mid-April, it released “Violet Music, Volume 1,” a lavish collection of songs that tap into a variety of genres, from funk, soul and R&B to jazz and gospel — all written, charted, scored and orchestrated by Searle.

For the Burton project, his band will be augmented by more than half a dozen other musicians who will help deliver the ornate sounds that make up the music of Danny Elfman, who has scored many of Burton’s films.

“Clarinet, flute, harpsichord, church organ, tuba, everything you hear that adds to the drama within those scenes will be there,” he said. “(Elfman) has lots of rhythm. So there’s glockenspiel, xylophone and tons of tambourines. It really adds a lot.

“Musicians who normally don’t do orchestral things are coming through and doing amazing work. And orchestral musicians who don’t normally do rock ’n’ roll and R&B are having lots of fun with it.”

And there are plenty of duties for his band’s three vocalists.

“In ‘Ice Dance,’ the main feature is the vocal,” he said. “In the main titles of ‘Beetlejuice,’ toward the last third, there’s a haunting vocal that goes through. ‘This Is Halloween,’ there’s a gigantic chorus that is mostly vocals. And the ladies are doing an amazing job learning those parts.”

The performance will feature plenty of visuals. All performers will dress like characters from Burton movies. Each number will be preceded by a monologue that introduces the piece. And the corresponding scene from the movie will be projected on a screen behind the band as a piece is performed.

The set list will include “This Is Halloween” from “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Clown Dream” from “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure” and the main titles from “Edward Scissorhands” and “Beetlejuice.” Then there’s the finale: “Ice Dance” from “Edward Scissorhands.”

“That part in the film where Winona Ryder goes out and starts dancing, I’m going to cue two big fans to start blowing, and then we’ll start tossing fake snow at them and it will be snowing all over the bar,” Searle said. “I’m so excited for it.”

After that 40-minute set is finished, My Brothers & Sisters will perform two sets of originals and covers.

As he studied Elfman and other film composers, Searle said, he learned a lot about the union of film and music.

“Most of it is about capturing the illusion,” he said. “When you’re watching a film, you can’t focus on every note. So you have to get the most clear, vivid illusion as you possibly can. Scoring to be dramatic rather than specific, especially with a reduced orchestra, is paramount. So you have to make sure everything feels as dramatic as possible. If you listen to music videos and early films without the music, they don’t make sense. Getting the two together heightens each other’s drama.”

Searle said for now there are no plans for a repeat performance of his tribute. Instead, he’s using it as an inspiration and a springboard.

“I think this is the tip of the iceberg as far as how far I can push myself creatively,” he said. “There has been something consistent in what I’ve done, and that’s to combine things — amalgamation. Now I’m painting with a broader brush, bringing literal worlds together. That’s where I’m headed.”

Halloween night, he’ll arouse and combine an array of worlds, including the one he was living in when he was a young boy entranced by the sights and sounds of Tim Burton.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/entertainment/ent-columns-blogs/back-to-rockville/article3422151.html#storylink=cpy - Kansas City Star


"Album Review - Violet Music : Volume I"

Album review: My Brothers & Sisters - Violet Music: Volume I

My Brothers & Sisters is the brainchild and passion project of Jamie Searle. Since deciding to leave his former band—It’s Over—to increase his knowledge of music, Jamie has been studying and working to compose, perform, and record Violet Music: Volume I.


My Brother & Sisters is a large band reminiscent of the soul revues of the 1960s. Weighing in at a staggering 15 members, the band presses right into the listener with a force embodying Phil Spector’s wall of sound. Violet Music: Vol I lifts off with “Fall Winter Spring & Summer.” Insistent horns and punching guitar pull the listener in immediately. Try not to move. I dare you. Pay no mind to the lyrics seriously challenging you to follow your passion; you will dance whether you mean to or not.

From the frenetic pace of the opening track, the sparer “If Once”opens with just Searle’s voice. Soon the band joins in and fills out the song that focuses on a person’s search to balance priorities in life. “How to Move, What to Wear” departs from the established mood, floating in sultry and straightforward. It has a very Sade “By Your Side” vibe.

Keening strings welcome persistent percussion as Searle’s voice takes on an almost Jack White sensibility in “In My Sights.” “I’ll Be Leaving with You,” with its delicate string arrangement, beckons you to listen as Searle’s voice—subdued and intimate—like he’s singing to you alone in a crowded room trying to convince you to take him home. The smooth edges of “You Should Have Known” slide in and out of focus. Searle offers a cautionary tale poured in the calmest of voices served up with an I-told-you-so chaser. “Pillow Bella” has a Bollywood feel with the harmonies and pulsating rhythm of a Technicolor dance number. “The Devil & I” is that track you want to play when you get in the car after a long day—complex and mellow. I can see you now, windows down, singing along, “try to relax.”

My Brothers & Sisters sends us on our way with “In You I Find.”Sparing, compared to the rest of the album, this track seems lonely, like it is sitting on a fire escape in the rain, a love song fighting with the notion of all that has happened to the lovers before. This is a get-up-and-move record. Whether it is a slow dance or something to shake to depends onto which track you drop the needle. - The Deli


"The 114 Best Recordings of 2014 (#3: My Brothers & Sisters, Violet Music Vol. 1)"

Jamie Searle won critical acclaim as lead vocalist and songwriter for the band It’s Over, winner of a Pitch Music Award for Best Live Act. He left It’s Over to concentrate on his music education as a student of UMKC’s Conservatory of Music where he has immersed himself in musical theory, compostion, harmonic structure, melody. Out of school, Jamie spent a year and a half recording the full length release of material he composed for a large ensemble of musicians. The result is: “Violet Music Vol. 1″ the debut full length release from Jamie’s band, My Brothers & Sisters, a collective of at times up to 18 musicians, including a strings, horns, percussionists, bass, keyboards, vocalists, and back-up vocalists, and Jamie on vocals, guitar and conducting. Jamie Searle joined us live on the show on October 29. - Wednesday MidDay Medley (90.1 FM KKFI – Kansas City Community Radio)


"Crossroads Summer Block Party"

Crossroads Summer Block Party

The grills are smoking; the sun is shining (theoretically at least); school has ended until fall. But there’s one last thing that needs to happen before it’s officially summer: The Crossroads Summer Block Party. Featuring some long time favorites of mine, some new favorites, and some bands I’m super excited to see for the first time, this year’s block party is sure to kick off the summer right.

One of the bands I’m excited to see for the first time is The Yeomon. The Yeomon gives off the same vibe as Mac Demarco–chilled out and without a care. The band’s slowed-down slacker-rock meshes together associative lyrical drifts and hazy instrumentals to create a sound that is laid back and perfect for any summer evening. But despite their slow-motion surface, The Yeomon keep an energy at the core of their sound that makes it impossible to look away from their music.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Monta at Odds. The band has been a favorite of mine since their 2014 release, Robots of Munich. The record riffs on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep to create a sci-fi world from the musical tapestry the band weaves together. Every song has a catchy hook that’s made weird in some way. Flowing from seven minute plus epics to more radio-friendly song lengths, the band is comfortable writing in various song structures. That combined with their amazing live show makes Monta at Odds a band to see.



Ghastly Menace recently released their debut, Songs of Ghastly Menace. The album is full of orchestral pop that can burst through the walls of its own sound or stay crouched in the corner letting their beautifully subtle melodies and harmonies enchant anyone who stumbles upon them. This potential to be quiet or loud gives Ghastly Menace an edge–every second of their songs swerves into new and surprising territory.



The Phantastics blend bravado and soul into every inch of their sound. From their funk and jazz inspired instrumentals to vocals that backflip through their melodies with enough linguistic firepower to fill a Thomas Pynchon novel, the Kansas City based band makes songs that blister from their records and heats up a stage. While their music is dynamic and a treat, the first sentence describing their inception made me love them: “On a cold December night in 2010, Earth, Wind and Fire crawled into bed with Hed P.E. and made passionate romance.” Yeah, The Phantastics are the cleverest type of fun to hit the stage.



My Brothers and Sisters fill the stage with sound and people. The band’s hot, James Brown feel makes them a force to be reckoned with both on record and on stage. My Brothers & Sisters sounds like the crispest pop on its debut and like the funkiest big band on stage. These two feels makes the band surprisingly dynamic. Truly My Brothers & Sisters can fill a variety of sounds and roles, seemingly without trying.



Organized Crimes makes some of the most interesting electronic pop. One part Starfucker, one part LCD Soundsystem, one part Liars, one part Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Organized Crimes has a sound that is more unique than anything coming out of Kansas City today. Their songs are catchy and build tension throughout. Their live shows are a spectacle not to be missed. Their sound is bouncy and fun–a perfect complement to a block party that starts the summer.



Illphonics, almost single handedly, made me more excited about Middle of the Map 2015 than previous years. Their sound jumps between the most produced rap and jazz-infused old-timey tunes. Illphonics takes the themes Outkast brought to the mainstream to another level entirely. If that (i.e. improving the sound Outkast pioneered) doesn’t intrigue you, then their aurally and visually stunning live show will.



Rounding out the show will be another long time favorite of mine, Your Friend. The Lawrence-based singer-songwriter makes songs that are stunningly beautiful. Sounding like Bon Iver and Grouper in collaboration, Your Friend works the art of the slow-boil to perfection. Her songs start ethereal and beautiful and slowly reach a fever pitch, constantly inching toward an earthier and grittier sound.



These eight bands couldn’t be better suited to usher in the summer. So come out June 5th to 19th and Wyandotte and experience some great art and some fantastic music. The Crossroads Summer Block Party starts at 6pm and will be going strong until midnight. You do NOT want to miss this. - Brian Clifton, Mills Record Company


Discography

Violet Music : Volume I

Folsom Prison Re-Imagination Single

Photos

Bio

IN THE RUINS OF THE THUNDERDOME LAYS THE BIRTHPLACE OF THE ELECTRIC MASSACRE KNOWN AS MY BROTHERS & SISTERS. WE FORGED WHAT WAS LEFT OF THE OLD WORLD INTO THE TWISTED ARTPOP MEGALITH THAT WANDERS OVER ALL THAT REMAINS ... SHATTERED MYTHS, SPARKS OF BYGONE FEUDS, A FORTUNE OF MYSTICAL OBSESSION.  

Nominated for a Pitch Music Award for 2014 album of the year, their debut, Violet Music : Volume I, has become a sensation on the airwaves of Kansas City.  Music editor Tim Finn of The Kansas City Star wrote that the record is, “…a sprawling, polyphonic parade that blends funk, soul, r&b, jazz & gospel.”  And, “..it’s a blast of orchestral rock … rife with riffs and runs from horns, strings and guitars, lustrous vocals and layers of harmonies,” in regards to the opening track.  Angela Lupton of The Deli Magazine writes of B–Side “Pillow Bella”, “ … has a Bollywood Feel … and the pulsating rhythm of a Technicolor dance number.”  “Try not to move.  I dare you,” she taunts.

Band Members