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 The Coffeehouse Sessions

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Stalls_Standing
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PostSubject: Re: The Coffeehouse Sessions   Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:25 pm

Wow I've only heard City of Lights, but I can hear SO many Gaslight Anthem riffs, and So much Tim Armstrong in his singing
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PostSubject: Re: The Coffeehouse Sessions   Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:26 pm

Rude Girl is exactly the same as Roots Radicals too!
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PostSubject: Re: The Coffeehouse Sessions   Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:30 pm

Or Journey To The End of the east bay is what I mean
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PostSubject: Re: The Coffeehouse Sessions   Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:44 pm

Not to sound like a total creep-o, and this may have already been covered, but I remember it being debated when The Coffeehouse Sessions were performed and it was somewhere between the age of 15-17.

Well I was listening to the song on The Coffeehouse Sessions, "Some Day it Fades" and it mimics "Shit Stroll" by Against Me! on Vivada Vis. And considering Vivada Vis was released in 1998 and Brian Fallon references in Meet Me By the River's Edge, "I've been here for 28 years", it means he was 18 or late 17 when he did this.

Meh, nothing real important, but my small and only portion of information and source to add to this thread.
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Jukebox Romeo
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PostSubject: Re: The Coffeehouse Sessions   Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:14 am

I'd be very surprised if Brian had heard Shit Stroll back then. Against Me! were EXTREMELY underground when Vivida Vis was released, and had very few fans. Tom from AM! was quoted in 2007 in Racket Magazine saying:

Quote :
NO ONE fucking liked us. (laughs) No one! Our first year of shows was just like us showing up, me and Kevin and unloading my acoustic guitar, and Kevin unloading his drums; which was like this weird home made kit, and people were like "What the fuck is this?" and making fun of us. No one liked us at first, and now there's all these people saying "I've loved you since (Vivida Vis)." “No, you didn't. No one liked us when (Vivida Vis) was around. I was there at the shows! There were TEN people there, what are you talking about? I know you weren't there."

so i highly doubt Vivida Vis woulda made it all the way to Jersey from Gainesville. also, it has been noted that Brian is not really a fan of Against Me!'s music, though he's good friends with them. and that zine article says that Chris Eissing met Brian in 1995, and the article's from Sept. 1997. it mentioned the album, so it must have been released prior to the article. therefore, somewhere between the ages of 14 and 17. if I remember correctly, the info in iTunes said it was released in 1997, meaning Brian was 16 or 17
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PostSubject: Re: The Coffeehouse Sessions   Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:47 am

I hadn't really had time to sit and listen to these songs. I did over the past couple of days. It's Me.....totally beautiful, almost makes me cry. Ugh. Side note: Pretty sure Brian was born Jan 28 1980.
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Jukebox Romeo
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PostSubject: Re: The Coffeehouse Sessions   Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:06 pm

yeah, i finally got around to listening to it a few days ago. mostly pretty weak songwriting, but there are a few really good songs. i love his version of Auld Lang Syne. the lyrics he wrote for that are incredible
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lynchyeatspizza
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PostSubject: Re: The Coffeehouse Sessions   Sat Apr 18, 2009 3:02 am

Stalls_Standing wrote:
Wow I've only heard City of Lights, but I can hear SO many Gaslight Anthem riffs, and So much Tim Armstrong in his singing
have you heard Buffy by Surrogate Mac. At about 2.55 or there abouts Brian puts on Tim Armstrongs voice, and it sounds soo just like it!
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TheMeanLittleMan
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PostSubject: The Coffeehouse Sessions   Mon Jun 22, 2009 2:35 pm

This is Christopher Eissing, the Mean Little Man of Mean Little Man productions. After dealing with a number of years of family illness and loss I resurfaced hoping to reconnect with some friends I had lost touch with. I was blown away when I saw how successful Brian's music has become. Its quality and his lyrics were never in question. I knew if he kept at it, it was only a matter of time.

I've sent Brian a message through his management in an attempt to reconnect. At one time we were good friends. We had a falling out that normally wouldn't have lasted more than a couple months, but timing put distance at the same time.

That said, the history of The Coffeehouse Sessions begins at the Timestill Cafe, however it wasn't recorded there. The cafe had a huge area draw for its open mike nights. Thats where Brian and I met. He was about 16 at the time. I was not long out of college, but we struck up a good friendship. He was actually the one who gave me the nickname The Mean Little Man, which became a nomacher for my production company and nom-de-plume for years after

I had had experience in the music industry, and was producing some small projects at the time.

The Coffeehouse sessions was a quick tester demo we recorded in a room I was renting in Somerville. It was semi-live in that they were 1-take cuts with the guitar and vocals done at the same time. I laid a lead over a couple tracks later, I can't specifically recall which ones. He did a secondary vocal track on a couple as well.

We did a short run of just a couple hundred tapes to begin with. The idea was to get him used to recording and hustling the albums to help learn the biz, and then to do a more robust 4-song demo once some things were polished. It was a rough demo, and wasn't intended for any major release. If you find any, I also used a pen-and-ink drawing I had done for the cover.

We released it locally in some record stores. I was working in Internet, but I wanted to wait for the better demo to put stuff out there. This was way before there was any site to easily upload for distribution, and we were taking baby steps. At the time of the Farm Funk Fest debacle in '97 our relationship was strained. We had a couple disagreements that happened at the same time life took me out of the area. By the time things started settling down for me, and I was hoping to reconcile old friendships, I no longer knew how to get in touch with a lot of people. Brian was one of them.

I believe I still have a few sealed tapes, but not many. I don't know what Brian's wishes are for the album, so I'll leave it up to him when/if I hear back from him. I do still have the 4-track masters stored with other things I did at the time, but I can't attest to to their quality due to the time in storage.

I hope this clears up some of the questions about The Coffeehouse Sessions. Please let me know if there's any questions I can answer.

Chris Eissing aka The Mean Little Man
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Daire
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PostSubject: Re: The Coffeehouse Sessions   Mon Jun 22, 2009 2:44 pm

Thanks for that post Chris, make sure you stick around! It's fascinating to learn more about the back story to TGA. I hope you and Brian get the chance to talk, or patch things up a bit.


PS What was the Farm Funk Fest?


PPS If you ever looking to offload a couple of them tapes, lemme know! Razz
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PostSubject: Re: The Coffeehouse Sessions   Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:02 pm

wow dude, thanks for writing that up. that's really cool to find out a bit more about this. and if you ever start sending out some of those last few tapes to people, count me in
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TheMeanLittleMan
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PostSubject: Re: The Coffeehouse Sessions   Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:15 pm

Daire wrote:
Thanks for that post Chris, make sure you stick around! It's fascinating to learn more about the back story to TGA. I hope you and Brian get the chance to talk, or patch things up a bit.


PS What was the Farm Funk Fest?


PPS If you ever looking to offload a couple of them tapes, lemme know! Razz

Thanks! I hope so too.

As for the Darm Funk Fest... that was a 3-day music festival scheduled to go down in Franklin NJ in May of 1997. I had met the producer while I was doing pickup gigs in New Brunswick. According to him he had just enough cash to get the doors open on the event, but didn't have promotion. I agreed to take the role for a cut off the per-ticket sales. In the 6 weeks leading up to the event, I managed to get radio spots, a full spread in the Entertainment section of the Star Ledger, and representation from the Aquarian and other media. All on a budget of about $500 out of my own pocket.

The event was actually an annual big campout party/concert thrown by a couple New Brunswick locals and about 30 of their closest friends. They would pool their money and hire a couple good bands for what was essentially a private party. The event had been broken up by cops in the past. The lore had it that one year Moe was arrested along with all the partygoers who couldn't make it into the woods fast enough.

Jones, the producer, lined up about every act in the New Brunswick area. He also booked Yasgir's Farm, Jefry Gaines, and other known acts. I made sure to get Brian on the bill as well as some other locals from NW NJ. Jump for Joy, a local BMX group took 2 acres of the farmland and put together a sanctioned competition. They went so far as to hire bulldozers to create a regulation BMX track at their own expense.

Jones was a slick character. I had been in the game since I was a kid so i pushed him on things like permits, sanitation, security and EMS. He had all the answers.

That was until the day of the event. at 11:45, 15 minutes before the first of over 30 bands was to start, police barricaded the entrance. The actual owners of the land had never been notified of the event, and learned of it that morning when reading the paper. No permits had been applied for. Not for the event, the bonfire, or anything. Jones never showed up. We lost our minds of course, and had to deal with staying out of jail.

I don't know what Jones was thinking, but my guess is that he was hoping to get a bunch of people and their money in before it got shut down. He never showed up and neveer got paid.

The BMX and secutiy/sanitation people sued the hell out of him. To my understanding he never showed up for his court appearance.

I never saw my $500. The last time I spoke with jones, which was in the week after the debacle, he remarked "Sorry, but you can't get blood from a stone" to which I replied "Maybe, but I'd be happy to repeatedly smash the stone with a hammer for satisfaction just in case this time it might bleed"

Eh. In hindsight $500 is a small amount compared to what I learned from it I guess.

http://www.legendsmagazine.net/69/where.htm

As for the tapes, I have to go through and see how many I have. I will digitize one immediately for safe keeping. But as I said, I'll leave it up to brian as to what he wants to do with them. They're his songs, and I have zero interest in personal gain from the album.
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Daire
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PostSubject: Re: The Coffeehouse Sessions   Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:32 pm

Wow! You got burned there man, 500 quid is a lot of money at a young age, is to me anyway! Hope it didn't set you back too much at the time. Sounds like it would've been great if it went ahead.


Can I ask you how promoters get going? Is it possible to just set up yourself offering your services to local bands and clubs? Or would it be recommended to do some sort of business course or something like that?



Thanks.
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TheMeanLittleMan
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PostSubject: Re: The Coffeehouse Sessions   Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:19 pm

Daire wrote:
Wow! You got burned there man, 500 quid is a lot of money at a young age, is to me anyway! Hope it didn't set you back too much at the time. Sounds like it would've been great if it went ahead.

Can I ask you how promoters get going? Is it possible to just set up yourself offering your services to local bands and clubs? Or would it be recommended to do some sort of business course or something like that?

Thanks.

Thanks... at the time it was a huge hit more to my psyche than anything else. I had hinged too many future plans with the assumed success of the festival. It took a toll on my personal relationships and confidence. It would have been great if it went off, but it would have just lead to a bigger fall later since the focal personalities were dishonest. Learning you can't trust someone for $500 is a small price.

As for being a promoter? Thats a tough one. The rules have all changed since I was in the thick of things. Start small. Get to know your clubs, the clientelle, the players in the scene. Trust your gut. Reputation is everything. No quick win can replace it. Work with people you trust. And don't be too hard on those you can't. They have a purpose. Know their weaknesses and strengths. Harness one, and minimize the impact the other can have.

Be brutally honest to yourself. Be brave and take chances, but bet with your head, not over it. Whether its a band, or a DJ, or a special interest night at a club or party or whatever, do it for something you're passionate about. You're not always going to make the right call. You're going to make mistakes, and thats ok. You're going to have nights where there's more people on stage than at the establishment. And they often will follow nights where you had a line out the door.

Thats the philosophical side of things. As for the mechanics? Start small. Find a group you like operating locally and help them out. Don't take on the whole shebang at once. Learn the personalities at the clubs and the players. Learn your audience and what they react to. There are so many more channels today to get the word out thanks to Twitter, Myspace, Message boards. When you find a club that you know and trust try a themed music night. Get the message out any way you can. Align yourself with popular people in the scene. (Every scene, even at the local bar level has a 'queen' who can dictate cool/uncool)

Education is always good. Mainly in how to manage the money you make than to teach you how to promote. However, don't let your studies get in the way of your education. Not everyone is destined to create huge shows. So do what you love passionately and honestly and the size of the crowd won't matter.

There are a lot of books on the music industry. Read them all, and when you're done, reread them. It is a dirty business with few standouts, so knowing the intricacies can only help you do better.

As the following increases, so will your opportunities, and your experience. If the crowds dwindle don't cling to tight. See what others are doing that you aren't.

The main things I learned about the scene are this:
- the band/DJ/jugger/etc is the show. Without them you're promoting nothing. Go with something you love and can trust.
- Entertainment has two purposes for a venue. 1) To bring people to the venue that would not have normally gone that night. 2) To get everyone who goes to stay 1 drink longer than they intended
- Get the girls. For every girl that shows up, 5 guys will follow

Thats the fast brain dump on the subject. I hope it helped.
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ral
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PostSubject: Re: The Coffeehouse Sessions   Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:26 pm

very cool to hear some of the history behind this. definitely put me on the waiting list if these are ever available.
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PostSubject: Re: The Coffeehouse Sessions   Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:18 pm

Hey dude nice posts- thanks.

I reckon the lists for those tapes if you were to distribute them would be pretty extensive- you could add me to it for one! Maybe if you are able/allowed to get the songs out rips for everyone to download would be better- but of course, that may not be your call. Thanks for the info anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: The Coffeehouse Sessions   Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:25 pm

Yeah man, I'd be really interested in getting hold of a copy! Better to go out to some fanatic Gaslight fans then in the hands of ebayers looking to make some quick money.
In all honesty, I am quite amazed at how far in the past this forum has managed to dig! Someone should start compiling all this for the "Unofficial Gaslight Anthem Biography".
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PostSubject: Re: The Coffeehouse Sessions   Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:57 pm

I like your philosophies on show promoting. I plan on becoming a big part of that scene when I transfer colleges next semester, away from the city. In Philly, I hang fliers and spread word, but your right, it is tough to make people actually move. I find that to truly sell a band, it helps to get very personal with people about it, no matter how exhausting that can be.

Anyway, I'm a big fan of Brian's, and I hate to beat a dead horse, but I'd love to get a tangible copy of The Coffeehouse Sessions. Also, I know that four-track demo isn't quite finished, but if you get the OK from Brian, I'm sure everyone here would love to hear it.
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PostSubject: Wow   Mon Jun 22, 2009 7:05 pm

I'm totally blown away with how well he's done, and the fans he's amassed. I'm not surprised. When I found him on the Internet I didn't care what he was doing these days. To see he's made it is really fantastic.

If/when I hear from him, I'll see what he wants to do with the album. I have zero interest in putting it out on a pay site, or some indescriminate download site. It was the fansite that helped me locate him. And its been his fans that were there for him over the past years, not me. This album belongs to him and the fans way more than it belongs to me.

I'll keep you posted.
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PostSubject: Re: The Coffeehouse Sessions   Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:29 pm

I downloaded The Coffeehouse Sessions, but the quality isn't that great, I mean I seriously don't have a problem with bad quality music (Vivida Vis for example) but it just sounds really muffled to me and I can't understand a word.

Is this how it is, or did I screw something up?
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PostSubject: Re: The Coffeehouse Sessions   Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:41 pm

It was recorded around November of '96, mixed and repro'd in early '97. It was all recorded and mixed on cassette 4-track.

I was unaware of it being available for download. Could you share the link? I'd love to check the quality to see how far it is from the original.

My guess is that it was digitized from a multi-generational duplicate someone had.
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PostSubject: Re: The Coffeehouse Sessions   Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:28 am

I think this is it...........

http://www.mediafire.com/?zkmkyrikzmj
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PostSubject: Re: The Coffeehouse Sessions   Tue Jun 23, 2009 4:18 am

It's on the forums audio rips master page.  http://thegaslightanthem.bigforumpro.com/audio-f6/audio-rips-master-list-t512.htm  The quality's not all that great, but it's still very awesome! How different is it to the version you have?
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PostSubject: Re: The Coffeehouse Sessions   Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:43 pm

ok... I got the green-light from Brian on getting the tapes out. I still have to go through my stock and see how many I have. I doubt its more than 20, but they ar all cassettes, still in the shrink wrap.

Is there a head-honcho with the fan group?

I'd like to work out with them how we're going to get these out. I don't have enough for everyone that will likely want one, and I really want them to go to uberfans who are going to appreciate them.

Once I find the masters, I'll digitize them for the fans to get the cleanest normalized version possible. This way anyone who gets copies of The Coffeehouse Sessions can hopefully fight the urge to open the shrinkwrap.
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PostSubject: Re: The Coffeehouse Sessions   Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:54 pm

I think we'd all be genuine fans on this board. The fairest way would probably take the list of names and then pull names out of the hat until all the tapes are gone.



Having said that, if you wanna give them out on a first come fisrt served basis, I'm not gonna complain! Razz
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