Sunday, December 29, 2013

Looking forward to 2014, reflections on 2013

2013 year has been one of the best years of my life both musically and personally.  Although J was born in 2012, I feel as if I got really got to 'know' him this year and he has really developed his own personality.  I traveled to the birth place of surf music and performed with some of it's progenitors alongside some of my heroes and influences.  Not only that, but The Mystery Men? had the opportunity to play throughout California meeting friends new and old, having many worthwhile experiences along the way.  The band also recorded and released it's debut full-length album, "Sonos Delirium".  I had not one, but two opportunities to serve as producer on projects for Kill, Baby...Kill! and Gemini 13.  One of my best friends flew me to Colorado to perform classical guitar at his mountainside wedding overlooking Crested Butte.  I had over 40 performances this year including festival dates with The Mystery Men? North Carolina and Florida,  successful Christmas shows in Tennessee with the Silent Knights, and I even served bass duties for a Beach Boys cover show in Southern Florida.

Although 2013 may be difficult to top, I believe a great many thing to come in the new year.  MOONBASE has studio time booked for our upcoming full-length.  I'd love to do even more producer work in 2014 and have already been tapped for several projects.  The Mystery Men? will be performing at the final Hukilau in Ft. Lauderdale.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Video from Chad Shivers and the Silent Knights holiday performance at the Earl 12/13/13

The Beach Boys Christmas album in it's entirety
The Ventures Christmas album in it's entirety, featuring the Jingle Belle Dancers
The Silent Knights:
Chad Shivers - Guitar, Vocals
Nicholas (Nick) Bazemore - Vocals, Guitar
Matt Lawley - Vocals, Guitar
Matt Steadman - Bass guitar
Eric "the talent" Balint - bells, percussion
Sean Zearfoss - drums

The Jingle Belle Dancers are Cherry and Mo.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Ventures / Beach Boys Christmas @ the Earl 12/13

This year marks my fourth, The Silent Knights third, performing the Ventures Christmas Album at the Earl.  This year we've decided to 'venture' out and do our own show and added the Beach Boys' Christmas Album as well.  The incredible Grinder Nova will open the show.  Tickets can be found at Ticket Alternative.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Producer for Gemini 13's upcoming EP

Later this month, I will be returning to the role of producer for Gemini 13 on their debut EP!  They are hoping to record three songs with the Mystery Men?'s own Jay Wallace.  Gemini 13 is an up-and-coming trad surf combo from Atlanta.  Stay tuned for more updates on the project and in the meantime, Gemini 13 can be found on both ReverbNation and facebook.

Mention on Luxuria Music's Fiberglass Jungle podcast

Fiberglass Jungle's Jonpaul Balak presents the very best in recordings that fall under the wide instrumental Surf Music umbrella. This base encompasses the “pre-surf” instrumental Rock n’ Roll tunes of the late 50s, the classic “First Wave” originators of the early 60s, the “Second Wave” bands of the late 70s and early 80s, the crossover, genre-blending “Third Wave” bands of the 90s, the cutting-edge, description-defiant melting pot of current-day innovators, as well as a healthy dose of Spaghetti Western, international styles such as Japanese Eleki and Finnish Rautalanka, Surf-Guitar-based Exotica, Easy Listening, and Crime Jazz.

This podcast has been quite supportive lately, playing tracks from both the Squares and the Mystery Men?  The most recent episode from 10/12/13 played a track from the album I produced earlier this year, Kill, Baby...Kill!'s "Corridor X", followed by a mention of my name!  

Please be sure to check out Fiberglass Jungle.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Video from Jeffrey Bützer and the Bicycle Eaters' performance at the Goat Farm 6/29/13

Video of entire performance from Jeffrey Bützer's release show for the album "Collapsible" at the Goat Farm June 29, 2013.  Features Jeffrey Bützer on piano, toy piano, glockenspiel, melodica, and accordian, Cassi Costoulas on vocals, Kristen Haverty on cello, Eric "the talent" Balint on glockenspiel, melodica, and percussion, Matt Steadman on bass guitar, Sean Zearfoss on drums, and myself on guitar.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Creative Loafing's article on Jeffrey Bützer's new album "Collapsible".

Jeffrey Bützer embraces change with Collapsible 

New album stays classy while breaking the old-timey mold

Multi-instrumentalist Jeffrey Bützer's next show will celebrate not only the release of a brand-new album, a French pop-inspired opus titled Collapsible, but also the change in musical direction that the album signifies. In the beginning, much of the material heard throughout Collapsible was originally conceived and arranged to appear on a solo album of Bützer's original numbers played on toy instruments. But when the project failed to come together, it freed up those toy instrumentals for a more realized project, incorporating several of Bützer's Bicycle Eaters bandmates, including Cassi Costoulas (vocals), Chad Shivers (guitar), and Kristin Haverty (cello), as well as numerous special guests. The result is an album that balances fairy-tale-esque songs with real-world piano-driven numbers that come to a head with the album's most defining moments as "Barbiturates and Bear Traps," "Les Feuilles D'aluminium," and "Pickpocket."

The most notable addition to Bützer's typically cinematic repertoire are the French song lyrics heard throughout the album courtesy of French singer and first-time Bützer collaborator Lionel Fondeville. Fondeville wrote the lyrics for each song with Costoulas' luxuriant voice in mind. Costoulas, who was trained in classical vocal music at Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts at Pebblebrook High School and Emerson College in Boston, sings in various languages, including French, Italian, Latin, German, Spanish, and Swahili. "After spending years learning the sounds and the feelings behind the words, singing in different languages becomes less scary," Costoulas says. She goes on to say that although she isn't exactly fluent in French, Fondeville did provide her with translations and pronunciations to guide her through each song. "It helped so that I didn't unknowingly butcher his beautiful lyrics."

Recorded in the summer of 2011, Collapsible hits the Atlanta streets this month.
"Mixing took a while, because I kept changing my mind on things," Bützer says.
Working alongside producer and Bicycle Eaters bassist Matt Steadman, the two crafted the final cut after sifting through about 20 alternate takes that ended up on the cutting-room floor. As a result, Collapsible is the product of gradual change, fueled by new collaborations, slight adjustments, and additions to the Bicycle Eaters' live lineup. Though these small changes weren't completely conscious, Bützer admits that he wanted the album to diverge a bit from his previous material. "I wanted to get away from any Tom Waits or gypsy music," Bützer says. "I get compared to newer, trendy gypsy music a lot, but I don't listen to any of that kind of music."
Despite the changes, both subtle and obvious, the music still resonates with the same cinematic pop appeal that has defined Bützer's work all along. "People still say it sounds old-fashioned, so I guess I won't get away from that," Bützer says.

In the past, most of Bützer's music has been released under his name. And after much deliberation with the album's collaborators, he stuck with the solo moniker for Collapsible to keep from having his favorite album to date, and any future recordings, mistakenly perceived as a side project or a release by a new band. "I don't have an ego about music," Bützer says with his self-depreciating sense of humor on full display. "It's hard to convey that to people when you play under your own name and put it on T-shirts."

Atlanta Music Guide's interview with The Mystery Men?

Interview: The Mystery Men? Playing @ Mashable Social Media Day Atlanta – June 27th

June 17, 2013 | +
the mystery men
Formed from different corners of the Atlanta music scene, the shadowy figures of The Mystery Men? play their own brand of reverby instro surf music. Always with a mind toward the creative, The Mystery Men? are continuously looking to hypnotize new and old fans alike! Attendees of Mashable Social Media Day, will get the chance to not only chat with peers about the perks of new social media tactics, but they will also get the chance to see and hear The Mystery Men? perform!
Atlanta Music Guide caught up with Mr. JaGa of the band to ask him how The Mystery Men? utilize social media. Check out what he had to say!

What has been your most memorable gig as the Mystery Men?
There have been so many to be honest, but if I had to pick one, I think it would be Instro Summit 2012 in early May at The Cave in Chapel Hill when we unveiled our 3-guitar lineup. I think we felt like a different beast, and played to a very receptive (and packed) house. There was magic in the room that night.

I noticed you all have unique names (Mr. JaGa, Mr. RiHa, Mr. EvJa, Mr. JaWa, Mr. TeBa) I’m assuming those aren’t you’re real names. Is that part of the mystery behind the Mystery Men?
That is correct. Those are not our real names. Further information on this topic is highly classified by our organization (and further backed by affiliate organization The Southern Surf Syndicate).

What was the first social media outlet you used to get your music out to the public?
As, I suspect, with many bands… MySpace, though we found ReverbNation VERY early… probably around the same time (and greatly prefer it!!).

What kind of impact has social media had on your band?
TREMENDOUS impact. Without social media we wouldn’t have a reasonable way to get word out about our shows and records. This is true with our local crowd through your basics like Facebook, ReverbNation and Twitter, but also globally with more focused outlets (particularly with such a specific genre of music) as the forums over at

Would you say that using social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) is the quickest, easiest way to reach a large amount of fans? Give us an example of how you’ve used social media to reach out to your fans.
I would absolutely say that this is true. All of our shows are promoted through Facebook, Twitter and ReverbNation. These tools are VITAL in creating awareness about when and where we play. We link up all of our social media accounts so they relay the same info and provide links to all of them via our webpage ( This way we feel like we hit all of the people at each different outlet with either event invitations or simply announcements as well as those not connected on social networks through our website. As people who have played live music since the early 90′s, we fully embrace social media as a VERY efficient way to market ourselves. I honestly don’t know how we did it all back in the day.

This Mashable Social Media Day event is a unique gig to play. What can attendees expect from your live performance?
Attendees can expect an aggressive and melodic dance of reverb and rhythm with a dynamic performance. Our masked players like to engage with the audience so it’s not just “watching a band”. We want people to have fun and get swept away… we provide the soundtrack. What we want to do is create an experience.

What are the plans for the Mystery Men? for the remainder of 2013?
The Mystery Men? actually have some pretty exciting plans this year! We are very close to releasing a new full length CD in late July titled “Sonos Delirium”. On top of that we are very excited to have been invited to play the annual Surfguitar101 Convention in Southern California on August 10th. This is by far the biggest and furthest reaching event of the year for surf music not to mention all located right where this genre of music was born. We are honored to play, and are very excited about playing a handful of shows on the other side of the country!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Kill, Baby...Kill! new album, Corridor X, now available!

Kill, Baby...Kill!'s new record, Corridor X, is now available for purchase at Deep Eddy Records, cdbaby, and iTunes.

Kill, Baby...Kill! is an "apocalyptic surf punk" (and to me, so much more) band from Anniston, Alabama.  Members include Noah Holt - guitar, Erek Smith - bass, Chris Eagle - keys/samples, and Josh Jackson - drums.

Corridor X is the debut full length from KBK and also marks my first effort as a producer.  We are all very proud at how the album turned out and hope everyone enjoys it.

An incredible in-depth review by Noel at Surf Guitar 101 can be read here.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Inspirational albums of late

1. Hayden - Us Alone
Hayden - Us Alone by ceshivers on Grooveshark

2. Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings The Flood
Neko Case - Fox Confessor by ceshivers on Grooveshark

3. Volebeats - Solitude (incomplete album)
Volebeats - Solitude by ceshivers on Grooveshark

4. Real Estate - Days (incomplete album)
Real Estate - Days by ceshivers on Grooveshark

Most of these albums took a few listens to grow on me but lately I've been listening to little else.  They are all very well written, mostly vocal (Solitude contains a great many instrumentals), somber pop albums.  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cover for "Collapsible", new album from Jeffrey Bützer

The cover for Jeffrey Bützer's new album, "Collapsible".  The album features many guests including most of the Bicycle Eaters on several tracks:  Cassi Costoulas, Vocals (seen above); Kristin Haverty, Cello; and myself on guitar.

An album release show is planned at the Goat Farm (Warhorse) for June 29, more details to follow.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Looking forward to 2013, reflections on 2012

In 2011, I was devastated with the breakup of Sorry no Ferrari and had doubts of my future playing original music.  2012 shattered those doubts and brought many great things.  First and foremost, my son J was born.  The surf music community welcomed me back with open arms as I joined The Mystery Men? and started a new project, MOONBASE.  Playing with The Mystery Men? reminded me of just how much fun I could have playing surf again, and the role as third guitarist forced me to expand my capabilities and better myself as a musician.  MOONBASE provided a well needed creative outlet as well as the opportunity to play alongside some of the most amazing musicians I know.  2012 also saw the first release from Jeffrey Bützer and the Bicycle Eaters (the Hiding Plastic Spiders 7"), providing part of the score to the Center For Puppetry Arts' Peter Pan, a story on NPR featuring the Bicycle Eaters, and over 30 performances!

Many great things are in store for 2013.  I am currently producing an album for the incredible Kill, Baby...Kill!, a new role which is offering exciting new and interesting challenges.  Both The Mystery Men? and MOONBASE anticipate the recording and release of their debut full-length albums.  A great number of shows are already on the books including The Mystery Men? performing in California for the Surf Guitar 101 convention!