There were a few years there–the late 60’s and early 70’s–when underground FM radio thrived in Chicago. FM was new then, not yet corporate, and it offered, on weak frequencies, some very eclectic and adventurous broadcasting. I’d stay up late at night and record from the radio—musicians I’d never heard, but who fascinated me: Sibelius, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Skip James, Ornette Coleman, Doc Boggs. The tapes had no genre boundaries or even taste parameters, really–half the time I didn’t even know if I exactly liked the stuff I was recording. I didn’t yet have enough musical context to fully appreciate it. But I craved the soundscapes the tapes created. Avant garde and folk musics seemed much the same to me. It was all musical texture—fresh and new, especially the stuff that was old.
The conversation always goes the same way. Our friends, our family, they eventually say something along the lines of “You guys are pretty good, I bet if you wrote songs that were more mainstream, you could make it.”
First of all, that’s assuming we haven’t “made it” and what is “making it” anyway? So often in the music industry, we are constantly aware of the ones who have “made it.” Their videos are full of gold chains, models, fancy cars. They make money hand over fist and have crews of a hundred people making sure their every photo, blog, article, makes them appear to be super human. Yet their songs? Their lyrics? Almost always the same regurgitated fluff.
by The Real Mac
The song Too Late off our recently released EP Smoke Signals, which to the naked ear sounds like a love song about two people who are realizing they may be near the end of their relationship is, in fact, an analogy of a story that happened to myself and a friend of mine while backpacking across Europe.
A few years ago I was traveling from St. Ann to Kingston, Jamaica. While on the highway I noticed a police jeep signaling me to stop. I wasn’t speeding nor was I doing anything out of order. So I hesitated a bit to make a halt. But the cops insisted. Therefore I finally pulled over.
My brothers and I started out deejaying and producing as Chalice Palace Music in the late 90s, still Teenagers. Most of our productions were with local upcoming talents from our hood. At that time, we never had a distribution deal, so most of the work was unreleased until 2004 we released a few 45s. But we still had a long, long way to go until to receive recognition.