Everything you wanted to know about synthesizer but were afraid to ask! Thank you to the Seagram Synth Ensemble – James Reesor, James Dowbiggen and Dave Klassen whose No Moving Air album has provided many hours of listening enjoyment. Thanks also to Robert Daniels from Visions In Sound for cohosting tonight! And of course, special surprise guest Dr. Kathryn who had some comments and questions of her own.
Topics tackled tonight:
Starting out as students
Synths, maintenance, analog vs. digital, and more
The next gig (July 15 at TheMuseum in Kitchener)
Favourite players and influences
Formats such as tape and vinyl
Why No Moving Air was never released on CD
Who their favourite professor at school was and why
Top 3 science fiction films
And of course, their new single “Ephem”
“Ephem” is unique as a single, as it comes in a brand new format. It is a piece of art and a statement about the way we consume music today.
This was a fascinating interview for me and I hope you give it a watch.
The LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or More with Mike Ladano & Robert Daniels
Episode 113 – The Seagram Synth Ensemble
Please give a warm welcome to James Reesor, Dave Klassen, and James Dowbiggen — otherwise known as the Seagram Synth Ensemble! This trio of talented musicians first came to our attention with their excellent 2019 LP, No Moving Air. Not only did the vinyl look great, but it sounded amazing. No Moving Air is a soundtrack, or soundscape, of synth excellence, taking the listener on a journey.
Now the trio is back with a new (sold out!!) single called “Ephem” and, well folks, there’s no other word for it besides “innovation”. The guys have not only come out with a new song, but also a new format. It comes in the form of a small black box about the size of a guitar effects pedal. Plug in a 9-Volt battery and a pair of headphones, and you can hear “Ephem” …but not forever! It’s not just a song, but also a piece of art designed to make a point about listening with intent. Music is instant and disposable these days, so the guys decided to say something about it with this project. We will find out all about that, and much more tonight on the LeBrain Train.
LeBrain Train exclusive! Find out how Jason Bieler inadvertently caused Michael Sadler of Saga to go on a fitness regime! Only here!
In all seriousness, Jason Bieler was an awesome guest and we had a great time quizzing him about as many of his projects as we could squeeze in. Thank you John T. Snow for getting this interview, and for ample research and questions! From his collaborations with Jeff Scott Soto to the Baron Von Bielski Orchestra and back to Saigon Kick and Super TransAtlanric, we tried to cover it all. With a guest such as Jason, the jokes also flowed steadily and we had plenty of laughs and insight.
If you missed it live, check out what Jason had to say about:
The new single “Sic Riff”
Upcoming singles and the next album
The comments section
Being a singer
Rock Candy reissues, deluxe editions and box sets
Guitars and gear
Working in Sweden vs. at home
Videos and collaborations with other artists
And yes, the Michael Sadler story
It was truly a pleasure to spend Friday night with Jason. Keep your ears open for plenty of new music over the coming months
The LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or More with Mike & John
Episode 112 – Jason Bieler (Saigon Kick, Super TransAtlantic, The Baron Von Bielski Orchestra)
Thanks to John T. Snow of 2Loud2OldMusic for this one! JASON BIELER of Saigon Kick fame will be on board tonight to discuss his newest project The Baron Von Bielski Orchestra, new tune “Sic Riff”, and his past as well. Known as one of the funniest and nicest guys in rock, Bieler is multi-talented. His brand of rock runs the gamut from progressive to mainstream. His collaborations with artists such as Bumblefoot and Jeff Scott Soto are highly praised. This is a chat that we are looking forward to big time! “What You Say”? Take the pain to far and distant places, and if you ask of Jason, he’ll tell you all the stories of life!
Do not miss this one — we will try and ask your viewer questions live!
Some big news for LeBrain Train fans! Two new interviews are scheduled!
Thanks John Snow from 2Loud2oldMusic for hooking this one up! Next week, June 17 at 7:00 PM E.S.T., John and I are proud to present JASON BIELER of The Baron Von Bielski Orchestra! Also formerly of Saigon Kick, this talented singer/songwriter/guitarist has a brand new tune out called “Sic Riff” from a forthcoming new album, and we’ve been rocking to it steadily. Quirky but catchy off-center music and a quick wit is what Bieler is known for and I can’t wait to discuss his tunes new and old. John just saw him live with Jeff Scott Soto recently and is burning up with questions!
The following week I am very excited to talk to the SEAGRAM SYNTH ENSEMBLE! This talented trio has just released a new single called “Ephem”, but there’s more to it than that. “Ephem” exists on a brand new format, one which requires listening with intent. We’ll delve a bit deeper into this experimental release on June 24 at 7:00 PM E.S.T. It’s more than just a new piece of music. It is a piece of art designed to make us think about how we consume music today. We’ll also discuss their 2019 album No Moving Air, gigs and gear.
The always difficult-to-please Chris Sarre called this a “Top Five” show last night, and I’m flattered but have to agree with him! Thanks to Rob from Visions In Sound, and Harrison the Man Metal Man for showing off your music and entertainment collectables last night. From rare CDs, autographs and Australian exclusives, to board games, books and odds n’ ends, we saw a lot of cool items with great stories behind them.
The LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or More with Mike & Friends
Episode 111 – Cool Collectables! Helix bass, Rob Daniels and Harrison Kopp!
Tonight I’ll be showing off some previously unseen treasures of my collection. The summer months offer a wealth of riches, including a variety of things at the cottage. From books and magazines to toys and games, and finally my new acoustic bass formerly owned by the late Don Simmons of Helix, there will be plenty of fun things to look at tonight. Rob from Visions In Sound, and Harrison the Man Metal Man will be on hand as well with their own treasures.
While this episode will be less focused on music than usual, it will be 100% zoomed-in on fun.
NOTE: I am not a musician, so no song requests on the new bass! I am a casual fan just looking to fart around to some records this summer on the porch. We will be taking a nice close look at the bass but I will not be able to play you a song.
As always, your participation is encouraged and desired. As David Lee Roth said, “It ain’t no good without an audience” so please like, share and join us live!
Though John and I both have diminished cassette collections compared to the glory days, we had more than enough to show off for an hour. John has acquired some lovely copies of some of his favourites from Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Billy Idol, Needtobreath, Kiss, and many more. I had some oldies from Quiet Riot, Judas Priest, Bonham, and more, but I think much more interesting were the homebrew tapes I have left. Some are “bootlegs” that I made and some are copies of albums, but the artwork in some cases were pretty cool. I spent a lot of time making cassette copies of things like the two Blackjack albums, 24 kt Purple by Deep Purple, and Guns N’ Roses Live at the Ritz. We also looked at a whack of cassingles by a variety of bands, some newer releases, some cassette box sets, and more.
After the cassettes, we played a quiz game and had John guess the identity of surprise mystery guest “X”. Well, John guessed after one clue. But we thank “X” – aka Lana! – for joining and talking about the new Def Leppard Diamond Star Halos, and the news of a Spinal Tap farewell film.
Thanks for an awesome night John & Lana, and all who watched and participated in the comments! See you next week – CanadianGrooves and Uncle Meat will be back for a Tenacious D – Nigel Tufnel Top Ten list show!
The LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or More with Mike & John
Episode 109 – Cassettes “Snow & Tell”
It is true when I say that 95% of my cassettes went into a Thunder Bay landfill. Then I misguidedly dumped more when I did some downsizing in 2019. Only recently have I realized that there are diehard collectors (cough cough Tim Durling) out there who want albums on every format, including cassette. They don’t necessarily play them, they just show them off. There are a bunch of tapes I wish I kept for that reason. Helix – Wild in the Streets with glow in the dark cassette. Sammy Hagar self-titled with a weird cover that wrapped around the outside of the tape case. Dozens that I recorded myself, with my own artwork on them. All gone, forever.
Tonight, join John Snow from 2Loud2OldMusic as we gather what remains of our tapes for a truly magnetic “Snow & Tell” show! What we have left is what you will see tonight. A lot of mix tapes, and I hope you enjoy. I know it’ll be fun to dig through these old cassettes. My oldest tapes go back to about 1984. My newest are from 2022. John has small selection to show off as well, so join us tonight for some tapes!
Did Harrison really cause Erik and Rob to walk off the show? Did Rob drop two “F-bombs”? Did Harrison actually smile in the featured image? Was this one of our best shows ever?
“It’s true. All of it.”
Our esteemed panel of Jedi masters tonight were:
Erik Woods – movie and soundtrack expert
Robert Daniels – movie and soundtrack expert
Harrison Kopp – young fella who grew up on prequels and Clone Wars
LeBrain – old fart
Opinions veered wildly on the 11 Star Wars films we examined in great detail tonight. While you may never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy, I also will contend you will not find a more passionate Star Wars discussion than the one we had this week.
Truly one of our best shows, and we barely scratched the surface of these films. Perhaps a deeper dive is in order for the future.