Tag Archives: music

Cousin Affect – University of Arizona

Well I said I was going to put up some footage from our show at the University of Arizona…about 5 months ago…please accept my apology! Sometimes things get too busy and priorities shift, and once you’ve been away, it’s always harder to come back.

The setting, the stage, the weather, and obviously the band were all beautiful this night in Tucson, AZ back in October. For not having a show in quite some time (and having no practice), we were surprisingly sharp. The show went off without a hitch, and the T-Locs (Tucson Locals…U of A term…) were very accepting of our sound. It was an incredible experience for me personally since I attended school there from 2002 to 2006. Here’s a little highlight video I put together. Enjoy!

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Embry Riddle – Prescott, AZ

I am back in Chicago, and I already miss the group. I can’t wait to get back in October.

The time leading up to showtime is often hectic and hurried. Lots of times there is a band in front of you frantically (or as is the case with lots of bands…taking their sweet a** time!) trying to clear their gear off the stage. More often than not, you set up your stuff, you plug in, you do a quick sound check, and you’re off and running. Most audio engineers (apparently they don’t like when you call them “sound guys.” found that out the hard way) use the first song or two as their sound check. I always adjust my set lists accordingly. I’m certainly looking forward to the days when our sound checks are more like this one. Once we got set up, we were able to jam for a solid 30 minutes to make sure everything sounded perfect. It is such an advantage when schools allow us to do this, and I feel like the show experience is exponentially better when we’re given this opportunity. Most bands will agree, but I think it’s especially important for the Cousins to have perfect sound. This is a video I put together using the “sound check jam session” as the backing audio. It’s nothing special, but I feel it gives a little insight into how much the 7 of us love being around each other and how honored we feel to be able to play music for people who want to listen. Check the video out in HD 1080p (HD settings are under the video, on the wheel icon closest to the center). Make sure to watch all the way to the end for “Timo’s Final Thought.” See you again in October, Arizona.

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Extended Family

The Cousins are playing tonight in Prescott, AZ for the first time since the IndieFest in Vegas on April 28th. I have been in Chicago working on new music and other creative ideas to further the Cousin Affect project since the beginning of May, and I never could have been prepared for how much I would miss playing with these six people. Over the years, we have had some different lineups come and go, but these people you see here…this is Cousin Affect. I can’t begin to describe in words how much I enjoy playing music in the live setting. On top of that, to be able to share that experience with the unbelievably talented people in my group is almost unreal.

Scotty C. is one of the most talented kids I know. His energy and charisma on stage make it impossible for our fans to not have a good time watching us play. He’s my longest friend in the group and it’s been incredible building so much musical chemistry over the years. When I first started producing music on my own, I was always jumping at the opportunity to get Scotty C. on a track. The kid always kills it.

I’m not sure I would do her singing ability justice by trying to contain it with the English language. Jessica is soul. She’s an unbelievable talent, and I’m lucky enough to now call her one of my best friends. She has an awesome husband and two wonderful kids, and their family has been so much a part of Cousin Affect. There’s nothing better than writing lyrics knowing that Jess is going to be the one singing them in the final product.

Sax man is one of the best people I know. He has been an extremely positive role model to me and to the rest of the Cousins. Dan and his wife Denise have done so much for this project and my appreciation for that is endless. He puts in long hours for the success of this project and doesn’t get nearly the credit he deserves. Aside from that, he is the most talented musician in our group. Sax man can take over a show. I feel so lucky to be able to play shows with that level of talent and call him one of my closest friends.

Timo. We’ve been playing shows for about 4 years now, and I’m not sure any of us could find a time when Timo messed up. He just doesn’t ever mess up. He’s such a rock on the low end for us. I always feel like his talent isn’t recognized enough. Timo on the bass is a huge part of why Cousin Affect sounds like Cousin Affect. I knew from the second I saw him pick up the bass that he was perfect for our sound.

D believed in this project when no one else did. He was there in the beginning. He was the one up on stage with me embarrassing ourselves at our first few shows. He has always believed. That’s given me so much confidence and strength spearheading this project forward. He’s an ill emcee and a fantastic writer. He’s a great story of perseverance. When this project gains the success I know it will, D will be there.

The first experience I have of Meche is him dunking all over my face on a fast break in a men’s recreational basketball league. And to make it worse, he was so nice about it. So I couldn’t even secretly hate him inside. Tragedy. He’s also an incredible talent on the drums, a good man, husband, and a solid father to his kids. He may play it cool back there on the drums but trust me, he’s having the time of his life. Don’t be fooled.

As this project moves forward, I’m not sure if the lineup will always stay exactly the same. That’s something I’ve learned about the business. It’s a tough industry. Unfortunately, it forces you to make a lot of poor life decisions in order to even have a chance for success. I know because I’ve made them. Not everyone has the opportunity to put themselves out there like that. I understand that. I have so much appreciation for these six people for embodying this project and believing in it. In a perfect world, the seven of us will play to sold out arenas all over the world. I have hope because sometimes things work out perfectly. But even if the lineup changes in the coming years, I will never forget these six people. We share something indescribable. If you’ve been to a show, I hope you’ve felt it. I’ve been in the music business for a long time, and I’ve seen countless bands play live music. I’ve never seen a group have more fun on stage than us. At the end of the day, as cliche as it sounds, that’s what it’s all about.

We’re playing a few shows in Arizona in October. I will keep everyone posted. And I’m going to try and post some video from the Prescott show in my next blog entry. Show day.

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This’ll Get the Princess

I feel like anything I say about this video will take away from how unbelievably awesome it is, so I’m going to keep it short and sweet today, folks. For anyone who knows me, video games (more specifically, video games on Atari, original Nintendo, and Super Nintendo…okay, I’ll throw in Nintendo 64 too…) have a special place in my heart. I’m not going to try and act like Mario and I haven’t been through a lot together. I consider him a friend, a partner, a mentor, and a referee (Mike Tyson’s Punch Out anyone?). So I’m sure you can understand why this video hit home for me. I’m sure some of you may be a few of the 22.5 million views this video has, but don’t act like you don’t want to watch it again. If you haven’t seen it, take 2 minutes out of your day to travel back in time through one of the sickest warp tunnels this side of Koopa Beach.

Please take a look at some of my other posts if this is your first time here. I welcome all comments.

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A Change is Gonna Come

This is Oscar. We ran into him while filming in downtown Chicago last week. He was nice enough to let us film him singing. In fact, he may have been the nicest person ever. Excluding my mother, that is. Nice try, Oscar. Anyway, he shares his music performing on the street every weekend. You can see his love for music in his face. And you can see it in the face of the man sitting on the wall behind him. He is an incredible singer. It’s crazy to run into talent like that on the street singing for change. I exchanged information with him and am working towards collaborating on a track soon. Stay tuned. For now, enjoy this classic from Sam Cooke.

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I Want To Be Ordinary

Kenney and I walked around downtown last weekend and captured all sorts of cool footage. We were trying out some different settings and techniques on our camera. Some of the shots turned out pretty interesting. I love the “I want to be ordinary” sign. Sometimes I think people need that reminder. I threw this video together quickly to share with all of you. Once the video was completed, I transferred it to my laptop, took it into my music studio, and recorded myself playing piano while watching it. I had not written the song prior to watching the video and let the images directly inspire what I was writing. Everything was made up on the spot, and it was all done in one take. It was a fun challenge. Enjoy the video and leave me a comment if it inspires you in any way.

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The Real Work Starts Now

I have been in Chicago for almost 3 months now. It is finally starting to feel more comfortable. It’s still hard to believe it’s not just an extended visit. After getting settled, I have really felt inspired in the last month or so. The neighborhood I live in is quite an inspiration to say the least! If you have ever stumbled across the intersection (specifically the NE corner) of Belmont and Sheffield from the hours of midnight to 5 am, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Either way, my business and creative partner and I have been working on some huge ideas. We are looking to release about 10 videos of varying concepts, a full length record, and a documentary in the coming months. I am constantly thinking about it. For those of you who know me well, I already have trouble sleeping. The prospect of these visions coming to fruition is doing a number on my already unfathomable bed time! I’ll sleep when I’m…ya, it’s cliche…you know the end. I am loving it here in the Windy City. I have a feeling it won’t look like this in the winter though…

Tell your friends to prepare for some big things in the coming months. My mind is spinning and it can’t be stopped.

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Pentatonix – We Are Young (Fun. Cover)

I love this song. Sometimes it’s difficult to love a song that’s so popular, but there’s no getting around it for me. It is fantastic. I really enjoyed this cover. Parts of this video give me goosebumps. It inspires me to give that same feeling to others through innovative deliveries of music. I can’t wait for some of my creative and innovative ideas to come to fruition in the next few months. For now, enjoy what makes me tick. The bass man is quite impressive, so try and give this a listen on some decent speakers if you can…or headphones will do. Trust me.

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“Stand By Me” -Straight No Chaser @ Hardee’s

This has always been a really inspiring video to me. There’s something about the power of music that causes the world to stop. I’ve always wanted the world to stop for my music. I still believe it will. Enjoy the video, everyone!

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“Shelter” (acoustic) – Mike Woods of Cousin Affect – Lakeview Sessions

This is the first video shot, edited, and produced by myself and Mike Kenney as a part of the Lakeview Sessions. It’s an acoustic version of the first track “shelter” off the Cousin Affect album “Fresh Foreword >>”

Make sure to check out the video in HD. It looks much better like that. Enjoy and tell some friends to check it out. Every view helps out.

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