I love PODCASTS

There, I said it. I've been a fan of podcasts since before I had an iPod. That's right, the one with an "o" instead of an "a." I love the idea of independent people creating public media. It's like my favorite radio show, but without the need for huge advertising bucks to support it. So I figured today, I'd let you in on some of my watching and listening habits. Oh, quick spoiler there, I prefer listening to watching. Take that how you will. IMG_0233-0.JPG

I love radio drama. I have since the first time I heard one. (The star of my vinyl collection is a Firesign Theater recording of Nick Danger) Currently I hang in there with the Welcome to Night Vale crowd. Lovecraftian horror just makes me all tingly. There are no dogs allowed in the dog park is a frequent statement around my house used to describe everything from that creepy feeling you randomly get to a much more literal statement about bureaucratic ridiculousness. If someone wanted to get me some scout badges for my guitar strap, I would be grateful.

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Oh, WBEZ Chicago! I'm a longtime listener of This American Life. And I'm totally hooked on their new spinoff Serial. This American Life is a little easier for spare moment listening since it's multiple stories in one episode.

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With Serial, you need to give yourself some time to really listen to a whole episode. Major warning here, episodes of Serial don't come out nearly often enough, and it's highly addictive. Imagine a drug dealer who is constantly away on business and you'll understand my feelings on this great piece of radio. Seriously, I'm jonesing for a new episode just writing about it.

IMG_0236-0.JPG I'm also a big fan of the short story as a form, and science fiction as a genre. Escape Pod is easily one of my favorite podcasts, and I think it's also the very first podcast I started listening to. It's the one I constantly recommend to people. Stop wasting time and go subscribe to it. If you're into horror you can also check out their sister blog Psuedopod and if fantasy is more your thing (winter is coming after all) try Podcastle.

Ok, for music, I used to listen to All Songs Considered. I'd still love to, but I just don't have the time. It's a long format, meandering piece and I found I was constantly 2 weeks behind and it was starting to feel like work to digest songs I wasn't even really interested in. I do miss the occasional moments of gold I found. I discovered Songs: Ohia through All Songs Considered, so I can't badmouth them. I've just started trying out The Current Song of the Day. So far, just one dud, but since it's only one song, if I'm not into it, I can move on without feeling like I'll miss something better if I refuse to wait it out.

For sheer authenticity, it's hard to beat Old School Record Review. (Just putting cards on the table here, yes, Black Horse Motel was interviewed. Yes, it was awesome, and yes, it fulfilled my dweeby life goal of being on a podcast. I'm like that.) Still, David does a great show and the associated blog is great long form writing about music.

-Galen

So Many Shows!

photo contestHey everyone! Just wanted to update our lovely fans on our upcoming shows this summer. We've been very busy this summer so you'll have plenty of chances to come out to see us play! Also we are still running our photo competition, so bring yer cameras and take photos and video! See the rules to the photo competition over here ->

Some Upcoming Shows of Interest July 12 Newtown Square, PA @ Burlap and Bean w/Joy Ike July 25 Brooklyn, NY @ Union Hall w/Hannah & Maggie and Jus Post Bellum July 26 Newtown Square, PA @ Colonial Plantation at Ridley Creek State Park July 26 Chestnut Hill, PA @ The Mermaid Inn w/Hannah & Maggie

Musikfest Aug 2nd Bethlehem, PA @ Music Fest Cafe

Philadelphia Folk Festival Aug 15th Schwenksville, Pa @ Philadelphia Folk Festival Lobby Stage

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Galen, Desiree, and I have all been busy writing new tunes! The band is currently working through three new songs. If you catch us any of our upcoming shows, there is a good chance you'll be the first to hear them! So come out and see us play, and bring your cameras!

- David

Tetris - Black Horse Motel Edition(& June 15th venue change)

First some business. Our June 15th show at the TLA has been moved to the North Star Bar. Same Black Horse Day, same Black Horse lineup... just a much more intimate venue. Come on down, get up front, shake your money maker. Unless your money maker is particularly lewd, in which case, shake something that is more appropriate. New info: June 15th // North Star Bar // 21+ // tickets here - $15 Lineup: Black Horse Motel // Onward, Etc. // Skinny Lister

For the rest of this blog post you're going to need to choose one of three soundtracks. I'm a fan of Choice C, but I understand if it's a little too hardcore for you. Choice A Choice B Choice C

Music chosen? Let's go!

Tetris in Clown Cars Let's talk travel arrangements. Black Horse Motel is not a tiny outfit. Granted, we're certainly no Polyphonic Spree, but 5 members can equate to an unusual amount of gear. Especially when you start to consider what instruments we play. We've got Megan, rocking a full drum kit. This isn't some paired down jazz kit, and it's certainly no marching snare. This is a rock band stage kit. It takes up some serious space. Desiree plays a cello. For those who don't know, it's like a violin, only enormous. (The upright bass is like a viola only enormous, thank heavens we don't have one of those... yet.) Now Ryann is at least nice enough to keep her kit small. A fiddle we can fit around other instruments in the cars. (Cars, plural, we'll get back to that.) Dave, banjo, that's not bad. Oh right, plus a guitar, plus a mandolin. Now myself, I try to keep things small and compact, you know looking out for the band, just an electric guitar, and acoustic guitar, a pedal board, maybe a square-neck resonator once I get the pickup installed, maybe the round-neck resonator for finger picking... You know, small footprint. Then of course there's the real space takers. I am of course talking about the melodica and the bells. If we throw in a harmonica, a fife, a penny whistle, a slide whistle or a kazoo, we're never going to get everything in there.

Right, the cars. You may have seen movies where bands travel around in a piece of specialized band equipment called a "van." Here at the Black Horse Motel stables we like to define "van" as any group of cars whose owners are foolhardy enough to allow us to use them to transport equipment. It's a good working definition and we really love our "van." Also, I don't know if you've ever had an intimate relationship with a cello, but the person in the backseat of our van certainly has. All I have to say is Desiree is one lucky lady to get so much time with that most sensitive and yet fun-loving instrument, the cello. Aw shucks, now my guitars are getting all jealous.

-Galen

EP release and Kickstarter rewards shipped!

Well, it’s been a while since we have given you all an update, so I better get to gettin’.  We’ve been super busy with recording our album, which is going swimmingly.  We are nearing the end of recording sessions at Forge Recording with Ron DiSilvestro and are moving into the mixing stage.  But more on that later... In the meantime, we have also released a 4-song EP!  We recorded these four songs over two days several months back, with the help of friend and producer Edan Cohen in Desiree’s house.  The EP was mastered by our current producer, Ron Disilvestro. It’s available for download from our Bandcamp site : blackhorsemotel.bandcamp.com.  Bandcamp is a great site that small and unsigned bands can use to distribute their music.  We also have very limited physical copies available.  Contact us or come to a show to get your hands on one of those!

We’ve gotten a lot of questions about this EP, so here are some answers: 1. What’s an “EP”? EP stands for “extended play” i.e., longer than a single, but shorter than an LP or “long play” record.  These terms harken back to the days of vinyl. 2. Oh, so you’re all done recording already? or This is what you guys did with the Kickstarter money? Nay. This recording is not what we created our Kickstarter campaign to record.  Our Kickstarter project was created to fund a full-length studio album, which we are in the midst of recording right now.  This EP was a quick 4-song project we did cheaply and with some favors from friends.  It was designed to give us something to send to promoters, radio stations, etc. until we have a full album and as a gift we could give our Kickstarter donors. 3. Can I listen to it? Sure!  You can stream it from our Bandcamp site: blackhorsemotel.bandcamp.com. 4. Can I buy it? Well, of course! Digital copies of our EP are available at our Bandcamp site: blackhorsemotel.bandcamp.com. We also have limited physical copies.

-----------------------------------------Kickstarter Rewards--------------------------------------

We have also been (finally) getting your Kickstarter rewards out to you!  By now, everyone who donated to us at level 4 or below ($10-$100) and elected to receive rewards should have them.  These include buttons, stickers, necklaces, download codes for our EP and t-shirts. (If you haven’t received your rewards, please contact us at blackhorsemotelmusic@gmail.com).  For those of you who donated more than $100, all rewards pertaining to our full-length album will be fulfilled once the album is finished. We are looking at a February-March release, but more concrete info will be coming very soon!

Again, thank you so much to everyone who donated. We will be forever grateful! -Megan

A long, hot, BHM summer

Here we are, a week into July trying to beat the heat by writing new songs, booking shows and getting ready to record that full length album!

    JUNE

BHM decides on Forge Recording Studio to record their first full length record with Producer/Engineer Ron DeSilvestro. - It was a long and arduous process. We visited more than a handful of studios, each one better than the last. We met several talented owners, engineers and producers that we hope to work with in the future, but in the end, it can only be one for now.

BHM plays their very first festival - elseFest - We opened up elseFest on a hot and buggy day in Wagontown, PA (Yes, this actually exists). There were only a few souls brave enough to come out of their shaded camping areas and sit on the brutally sunny hills, but between the listeners close up and afar, we got a great response. We managed to sweat through our set before a severe storm came through and postponed the main act. Hopefully next year we can go again and play after the sun sets!

Des gets married - To wrap up the very last day of June, our cellist, Des, got married in the picturesque countryside of Upstate, NY. After the DJ wrapped up the dancing portion, a band finished up the night... and what better band? but yes, BHM. Des played her very own wedding reception - an exclusive private show for a bunch of drunken friends and family dressed in 1920's attire!

    JULY/AUGUST

A happy Independence Day to all!... and holy horseheads, this is one ridiculously hot summer. Here are a few amazing ways to beat the heat with cool drinks, cool friends and cool music:

Thursday, July 12 - BHM with The Jersey Corn Pickers and Emily Arin at Milkboy Philly Saturday, July 14 - BHM with The Grand Nationals and Sons Of Bill at North Star Bar Friday, August 10 - BHM with Christopher Paul Stelling at Milkboy Ardmore

Please stay tuned for more updates. There are so many things going on right now!

you did it!!!

From all five of us, thank you to all our Kickstarter donors and supporters: friends, family, friends of friends, co-workers, colleagues, old fans and new fans.Final donors: Mary Love, Thereasa Perry, Sara, Rachele Cipollone, Liz Janczewski, Chris Rios, Jonathan Truitt, Antoine McIntosh, Fawn Harmer, Joe Martinez, Nick Montgomery,Ted Richardson, Cooze, Jason Dillalogue, Timothy Morris, Jesse Chin-Yet, Eric Nusbaum, Brianna Hansen, Rick Dale, Eric, Judy Lindfors, & Rick Estacio

Can you believe it??? We surpassed our goal and raised over $10,000. Such a huge triumph! We are truly humbled by this entire experience. Because of you, Black Horse Motel is one step closer to fulfilling our long awaited dream. We can finally breathe and refocus our efforts.

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Now, we enter the next phase. The five of us are in the process of looking for a studio and a team of engineers that can best execute an album that represents what is "Black Horse Motel." More importantly, we are in the zone. Writing and creating new musical magic is our current focus. Our job as musicians will never be done. Performing is our passion. Creating equals breathing!

Again, thank you all so much for helping us continue to live the dream.  We are truly grateful. Black Horse Motel is prepping to bring "SEXY" back!

- Johnell

Upcoming Shows:

On Friday, May 25 at 8pm, we are performing at Arlene's Grocery. http://arlenesgrocery.tunestub.com/show.cfm?id=76351

On Friday, June 22 at 2pm, we are performing at our first music festival - Something Else Fest! http://www.somethingelsefest.com/

there are still reasons to donate to our Kickstarter

Hey everyone!Just wanted to let you know that even though we are all really excited about hitting our goal on Kickstarter, there is still more work to be done. Most people don’t know this, but both Amazon and Kickstarter will take a percentage of our donation total. We have done the math and it adds up to about $800! So before we celebrate too much, we want to raise that much over our goal to cover these loses. But we only have until Thursday, May 10 at 4pm! We know that with fans like ours, this will be a breeze. So if you have been waiting to give and thought “oh well, they already made it”, we still need your help! So please keep donating and don’t forget about the awesome giveaways we have lined up!

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Our project ends Thursday, May 10th at 4pm. Please donate before then!

- Dave

P.S. We heard the first mix of our EP, and it sounds great! Make sure you get it!

win tickets! (& kickstarter updates)

kickstarter

We have three big updates on our Kickstarter Project! To check on our progress, view rewards and videos, or to donate, click here or the donate button below.

Update 1: Win 2 FREE tickets to see us perform LIVE on WXPN Philadelphia! On April 29th, we will be live in the XPN studios as part of the Folkadelphia series. We have been invited to bring a small 20 person audience. Beginning Tuesday, April 11, the next five (5) people to donate $10 or more to our Kickstarter will receive two tickets to join us for this intimate live performance. The performance will be played live on WXPN and also recorded and streamed on XPN's website! Come be part of the party! Winners will be contacted through Kickstarter to confirm prize. If a winner does not wish to or cannot attend the XPN even on April 29th, tickets will pass to the next eligible donor.

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Update 2: We just recorded a 4-song EP! We spent March 31 - April 1 with our good friend Edan Cohen (who made our Kickstarter video) recording four songs that we will be releasing soon! Everyone who donates $25 or more gets a free download of the EP if we meet the $10,000 goal! Check out pictures from the "Ardmore sessions" here.

Update 3: We have roughly one month left and over $3,000 more to raise! Please help us reach our goal! Click here to donate.

The $10,000 we are trying to raise will be put towards making our first studio album. This money will cover time in the recording studio with a professional engineer/producer, mixing and mastering of the album, pressing and packaging of CDs, fees for digital distribution, and a small amount left over for some basic merchandise like buttons, stickers, & T-shirts.


Two FAQs about Kickstarter:

What happens if you do not raise the full $10,000?

If we do not raise $10,000 or more in donations by May 10th, we will not receive anything. Kickstarter will not charge your credit cards until May 10th and only if we reach $10,000 in donations. (Click here to find out more about how Kickstarter works). PLEASE help us by donating any amount. As you can see in the paragraph above, album-making expenses add up very quickly. It would mean the world to us if you could help us reach our goal!

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Is it possible to contribute even after BHM reaches $10,000?

Yes. $10,000 is the minimum amount we have to make to hit the goal and get the money. However, once a Kickstarter project's goal is reached, contributors may still donate if they wish. Our project ends on May 10th whether we reach our goal, exceed it, or fall short. Rest assured, if we are lucky enough to receive more than $10,000, we will put it to good use. More money is never a bad thing in this situation as it could allow us more studio options, upgrades to CD packaging, more merchandise, etc.


If you can't contribute, or already have, could we ask you to help spread the word by sending this around to your email and Facebook contacts?

We want to shout out a HUGE thank you to everyone who has already donated! Donor list since our last post: techie_grrrl, Max Kleinman, Kara Manning, LTaylor, Judy Hotchkiss, Kathleen Manning, Michael Southerton, Courtney Wilkinson, Ellen Logan, Tanyon Sann Allison, Patricia Richardson, Nicole Logan, Christopher Thomas, Charlene Berger, Bill Fulforth, Laura Dendyuk, Kelly McGrogan, Michael Manning, Kyle Cassidy, Lucy Willingham, Shana Drew, Jeron Frame, Roseann Kelly, Helen Brewster, James Green, Amanda Bertie Michaels, Shirlene Kirk, Lou Tardona Jr, Susan Taylor, Sheridan, Shana, mdiamond, Sarah Cradic, Regina Paluszkiewicz, Mike Feurstein, Stephanie, Jennifer Mulrooney, Jeffery Fields, Jim Tessmer, Charlie Salomon, Derek Stephensen, Larry Duczkowski, scrmblr, Kristen Klem, The Beat, Dave McKelvey, Carman Spotto, Christine Mullen, and Cindy Beal.

We have truly been blessed and humbled by the number of people who believe in this project. Thank you, THANK YOU!

welcome wagon!

Greetings, friends!  We bring you tidings of great joy!  After many weeks of craigslist-ing  and auditioning, we have found a new singer/guitarist! Before we get to the creamy center of this post, we want to take a moment to thank everyone who answered our ads, took the time to speak with us, prepare, and come audition.  We met a lot of great people and musicians, but in keeping with the Highlander code, there can only be one.

One fellow stood out as the right fit for BHM, and we are very happy to have him.

If you please, a round of applause for Mr. Josh Cradic!

So, who is this mysterious character, you ask?  Well, here are a list of fun "facts" about our newest member (not verified in any way by Josh):

  • Josh is the tallest in the group
  • Josh has a sweet beard
  • Josh has a lovely voice that blends lovel...ly with our voices
  • Josh is super laid back and makes good vibes
  • Josh is pals with Falkor, the unofficial 5th member of BHM (soon to be official*)
  • Josh loves Game of Thrones and by extension, all other nerd things, including, but not limited to: LOTR, Star Wars, Monty Python, Star Trek, Magic: The Gathering, WOW, D&D, cosplay, anime, manga*
  • Josh will be a whiskey drinker very soon*
*Statement may be completely false.

josh cradic This mysterious photo is all you get for now.  For more clues, you'll have to stayed tuned to blackhorsemotel.net or facebook.com/blackhorsemotelmusic for updates on new songs and shows!

Thank you again for all your support and we hope to see you through the bright lights of the stage soon!

- Megan

falkor

goodbye to Andras

Some of you may already know, and to others this may come as a shock, that Andras has decided to leave Black Horse Motel. He asked that we post the following letter to all of you:

Dear Friends,

I've had the great fortune of being part of a wonderful troupe of musicians while meeting many of you over the course of the last year. It is then with equally sad sentiment that I have to let you know of my departure from Black Horse Motel.

Although our musical pursuits have flourished rapidly in recent months, I have had a long standing commitment to a future career in medicine. Unfortunately, the moment arrived when a decision had to be made whether I press on with the band or accept an invitation to start medical school this coming September. While it doesn't diminish the sadness I feel in departing, I take some comfort in knowing that it is for some (hopefully) worthwhile cause.

Fear not. Although you may notice some lineup changes and adjustments along the way, the band will forge ahead into exciting and yet uncharted territory. Keep your eyes peeled and your ears to the ground, because I'm sure something great is coming.

Thank you to everyone who came out to shows or sent words of encouragement our way. Black Horse Motel would not have grown to be what it is without your support.

Be well, friends and take care,

Andras

One door closes...so please stay tuned. More news about what's next for Black Horse Motel coming VERY soon!

summer updates

Wow, how time flies when you're having fun! Here's a brief rundown of what we have been up to since May (in descending order)

  • We've got one more show coming up before we take a small break. It's this Saturday at the Bus Stop Cafe in Pitman, NJ with April Mae and the June Bugs, who we had the pleasure of meeting while we both competed in the Music-a-Live! Philly band competition in May (see below). It's a coffee shop/record store, so we will be doing a more-than-usual acoustic set. Come check it out: The Bus Stop Cafe

    148 South Broadway, Pitman, NJ

    7pm - BYOB, $7

  • We have been playing around the Philly area like crazy lately! Most notably, we had awesome shows at The World Cafe Live, North Star Bar, and The Fire in Philly, as well as the Baby Grand in Wilmington, DE, where dear BHM friend James Suit filled in for me on drums! Thanks again, James!
  • Speaking of last week's North Star show, it was killer. It was a real treat to play with such talented and NICE people as New Sweden, Cait Black, and James Suit. We had so much fun with all the cross-pollination that happened - Andras and I singing with James, James singing with us, New Sweden with us, us with them. It was a big happy noise! We also want to thank the incomparable Johnell Lawrence for joining us once again on violin! Here's a pic that pretty much sums up the night: (more pics here)black horse motel and new sweden Want to hear what this sounded like? Of course you do! Here's a video (courtesy of James Suit)
  • The band bought me an awesome birthday gift: a custom BHM kick drum head. One more step to legitimacy! black horse motel drum head
  • For the entire month of May, we participated in the Music-a-Live! Philly band competition, held at The Legendary Dobb's on South St in Philly. 14 bands started it off, with eliminations each week. Bands would perform and be judged immediately in front of the whole audience, American Idol style! Judge and audience votes would then be tallied, and bands would be placed in ranking order. The next week, the bottom 4 bands would play 1-2 songs for a lifeline. One of those bands would then advance to the next round. Since so much time has passed since then, I'll make a long story short - we were never in the bottom four, and in the end, we got second place. Not too shabby for our first battle of the bands. By the way, the winner was instrumental jazz fusion band LP Stiles. Give them a listen and you will understand why we didn't mind taking second to them. We all agreed that it was one of the best things we could have done for our band. Knowing we were going to be judged forced us to up the ante. Songs were picked apart, transition piece were written, playing was tightened, harmonies were nailed down, and everything was practiced, practiced, and then practiced again. The excitement of positive feedback from the judges and audience and advancing every week fed our energy. By the third and fourth rounds, we tapped into a vein, and started enjoying ourselves. It would have been nice to win first place, but it didn't really matter. We were honored to be a part of it, to meet so many great people, make contacts, etc. More importantly, we improved. We started a ball of energy rolling that has continued into the many shows we have played since. We watched as the crowd warmed to us over the weeks. We've found a groove and a confidence. So, thanks to Music-a-Live! Philly, Dobb's, and EVERYBODY who came during the month to support us and the other bands. We appreciate it more than you know!

    Here's a video of "Wheatstraw" from round three. The audio isn't great, but we're having a hell of a time!

      Thanks for reading and we promise to update about our EP release and merch soon! - Megan

busy bees

We have been very. busy. It's been an exciting few weeks for the band, so if you haven't been following our Facebook updates, allow me to get you up to date:

  • Early in the month, we played a super fun house party at Dave's. We went for an au natural acoustic setup, so not to folk-rock North Philly too hard. A surprising number of people came out and they were a great audience. We hope they had as much fun as we did. Des' friend, and new BHM friend, Tom Barrett was also on hand to take some photos during and after the set. Check them out if you like!
    andras dave shoot happy bhm-147-edit

  • Mid-April, we began recording a 4-song EP at Kawari Sound Studio with the awesome Matt Muir. We spent two long days/nights in the studio and banged out the majority of vocals and instrumentation. It was a real success for the group, as our first time together in a professional studio with limited time and budget. It was tough at times, but everybody brought their A-game, dug deep, and created something that we are very proud of. We are really excited for everyone to hear the finished product.  Check out some behind the scenes pictures!
    bhm-103-edit bhm-008-edit bhm-026-edit bhm-037-edit

  • Last Friday, we played a show in Newark, Delaware at Home Grown Cafe with our friends New Sweden. It was a blast and we are hoping to work with them again soon. Please check them out if you haven't already. They put on a great show and have certainly made fans out of us.

  • This week, we returned to Kawari Sound Studio to put some finishing touches on our EP. In the next few weeks, we will be editing, mixing, and mastering. Stay tuned for info about the release! Excitement!

  • Last, but not least, next Tuesday, May 3, we are competing in the Music-a-Live! Philly battle of the bands, hosted by The Legendary Dobb's on South St in Philadelphia. We were chosen, along with 13 other bands, to compete for prizes and help benefit music programs in Philly. The contest takes place the first four Tuesdays in May - 3rd, 10th, 17th, and 24th. Bands are judged by a panel of professionals and audience participation. That means we need YOU! Please come out this Tuesday, May 3 and support us!
    Check out the Music-a-Live! Philly Facebook page here.
    RSVP to the first contest event here.

We hope to see you soon (Tuesday, May 3!)

-Megan