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!