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2013: 6 Countries, 3 Continents...
2014: New U.S. and Europe Tour, Radio Campaign, Bonus Discs

2013 was an amazing year for Adam Marsland...coming out of a self-imposed retirement from doing original music (a period which saw him busy producing and doing sessions for other artists) with the surprise June release of The Owl And The Full Moon, his most extensive U.S. tour in 10 years, and his first-ever shows in Europe and Asia...60 shows and 37,000 miles.

First came Europe, where Adam performed at both IPO-Liverpool and the Beach Boys Britain convention, as well as sitting in with friend and protegée Norman Kelsey, whose soulful CD On The Rebound was one of Adam's many production efforts at his homegrown Karma Frog studio. Then it was off to a string of well-received shows in Holland and Germany. Adam's return to Los Angeles coincided with the death of his mother, so between tours he flew back to the east coast to attend the funeral.

There was no time to grieve, however, as a two month U.S. tour was just getting started. The 14,000 mile solo jaunt was one of his most successful ever, with Adam being surprised at the warm reception he received in his first major tour in years. The trip was only marred by a sleep disorder that threatened to derail the junket several times -- Adam jokingly dubbed his summer "the falling asleep around the world tour" -- and after returning back to Los Angeles some two months later, he at long last received treatment for a severe case of sleep apnea.

After the treatment, Adam felt reinvigorated and stated that "he had his fire back at long last" -- a process that had started with the release of Owl. Much healthier and happier than he had been in a long time, Adam surprised many by taking a surprise trip to Asia, narrowly missing experiencing the Phillipines typhoon and performing in Tokyo for the first time ever, pleasing crowds with fluent Japanese stage patter.

Longtime friends in L.A. were stunned at Adam's renewed energy on his return from Asia, embarking on new plans and being scene around town with a sense of purpose and vigor not seen since his punk rock days with Cockeyed Ghost. On top of a full recording schedule at Karma Frog, he and the Chaos Band embarked on a new "50 songs of the Beach Boys" concert in December (Chaos bassist Teresa Cowles having sat in with Brian Wilson during the summer and appearing in the upcoming Wilson biopic as Wrecking Crew bassist Carole Kaye), and Marsland announced he was preparing four discs' worth of new material with the Chaos Band for bonus CDs to raise funds for the next round of promotion and touring.

January brought more exciting news: for the first time ever, this perennially under-the-radar artist announced that M:M Music, the #1 independent radio promoter in the country, would be promoting Owl to AAA and non-commercial radio around the U.S. The Owl track "No One's Ever Gonna Hear This Song," unanimously singled out as one of Marsland's finest and most poignant tracks to date, would be the lead single. The initial response to the album has been strong, and Marsland will be following up with yet another round of touring: the U.S. in February-March (including his first shows in the south in 10 years), then a proposed whirlwind trip to England, Scotland, Ireland, Holland, Germany and France in May. While Marsland tours solo, the Chaos Band is experiencing its own success: Teresa Cowles and Evie Sands were tapped to tour with ex-Fleetwood Mac Jeremy Spencer.

By any measure, 2013 was a year of great challenges and great triumph. Will 2014, the 20th anniversary of Cockeyed Ghost's first gig, finally break through Adam's heartfelt brand of pop music to a wider audience? Adam just grins and says, "I'm happy to be alive, happy to be making a living doing what I love, happy to be happy again. This is going to be a great year!"

The Owl And The Full Moon]

The new album, "The Owl And The Full Moon," will be officially released June 24, 2013. It is Adam's 11th album counting his days with Cockeyed Ghost, and his first since 2010's "Hello Cleveland."

Adam Announces New CD, "The Owl And The Full Moon"
2013 American and European Tours,
"Nonstarter" Fundraiser/Preorder Campaign

After weeks of dropping hints of a major announcement on his Facebook page, Adam Marsland made an official announcement via youtube on March 11, 2013. After a 3 1/2 year retirement focusing on production, engineering and sideman work, Adam was doing an about face and putting out a new album of original music, The Owl And The Full Moon. The video featured snippets of several songs, including pieces of videos for two lead singles, "Contamination" and "No One's Ever Gonna Hear This Song."

That wasn't the end of the news. Adam dropped an even bigger bomb by announcing his first full national tour in five years and his first European tour ever. Details of both are still being worked out, but the websites for International Pop Overthrow and Beach Boys Britain have both confirmed his appearance at their events in Liverpool, England in mid May.

Stating "I don't have a day job to fall back on" Adam also announced an audacious fundraising/pre-order campaign dubbed "NonStarter", modeled after Kickstarter but done directly with the artist, and with no set monetary target. The goal of the campaign is to defray touring costs and to hire radio and press promotion for the new album. To entice buyers, Adam prepared several bonus CDs of unreleased and rare material, including "Adam Marsland Productions," a sampler of production work done by Adam at Karma Frog in the last several years, and "Adam In The '80s," a two-CD set of material culled from that decade, a murky and undocumented period in Adam's life, though apparently one where a great deal of recording was done (Adam was writing songs from elementary school, and was in the studio by his early teens). Finally, he offered up sealed copies of his exceedingly rare 1990 vinyl LP FLAKE CITY. The goal: to raise as much money as possible to fund the album promotion and keep Adam afloat for the next several months. (Go to the Nonstarter page for more information.)

The new album came out of nowhere. Adam gave no indication that he was working on his own material and seemingly was focused exclusively on production work and sessions for other artists. He indicated that the new CD was a "one man band" album, and that the only other musicians on the album were Eric Summer (Get Set Go, Mike Viola) on strings, Probyn Gregory (Beach Boys) on horns, and bandmates Evie Sands and Teresa Cowles on backing vocals. Each of Adam's albums have broken new stylistic ground over the previous ones, and to judge by the samples on the video, the album's hallmarks will be a prenounced soul influence, downbeat orchestral pop, and abundant Beach Boys harmonies.

It's the latest surprise in a twisting, turning career that now shows no signs of winding down anytime soon. The official release date of "The Owl And The Full Moon" will be June 24, 2013.

Adam Interviewed In Two New Books Released In June

Two new music books released nearly simultaneously in June 2012 featured, among a stellar lineup of contributors, chapters featuring interviews with Adam Marsland, talking about his history as a promoter of power pop music in the 1990s, and later as an interpreter of obscure Beach Boys material.

Power Pop Prime Vol. 1 by Bruce Brodeen of Not Lame Records fame is a compendium of interviews and memorabilia from the mid '90s power pop explosion, during which time Adam was actively involved in promoting the genre and his own nascent punk-pop band, Cockeyed Ghost. In it, he talks about his career, the changes in the music industry, and his role in helping foment the "L.A. Pop Underground" that was a big part of the Southern California music scene in the mid '90s. In a limited edition run of 500 copies, the book is nearly sold out.

50 Sides Of The Beach Boys by Mark Dillon is a more mainstream-marketed book, timely released to coincide with the Beach Boys highly successful 50th anniversary tour. 50 different people are interviewed for the book, including the Beach Boys themselves, Zooey Deschanel, Cameron Crowe, Alice Cooper and many others. In his chapter, Adam talks at length about the 1971 track "Long Promised Road" that was the namesake for his 2006 album of Dennis and Carl Wilson covers with the Chaos Band. Author Dillon cites Marsland's comments as "some of the most insightful in the book."

For his part, Adam said: "what a thrill to get to talk about music that I loved and meant so much to me, and what an honor to be included."

Adam's Karma Frog Studios Takes Off In A Big Way;
Norman Kelsey's Second Album Released In July

After a transitional 2011 that found Adam involved in a slew of projects, including a frustrating stint producing and writing for a Standells comeback album that ended in misunderstanding and disagreement, 2012 has found Adam's small project studio, Karma Frog, becoming a more and more sought-after recording facility for Los Angeles and even out of town musicians to come and get the benefit of Adam's production skills and old school analog approach to digital recording.

"It's been crazy," Adam said. "I had about two bad weeks after I quit the Standells, then the phone started ringing for the studio. Except for one slow month, it's gotten bigger and bigger ever since. I was booked nearly solid in May and June."

At $185/day, Adam's garage studio is one of the most inexpensive live drum rooms in Los Angeles, but people have not just been coming for the ability to track bands for less. Adam's old-school approach to recording ("I try to get a good sound in the room, then I stick a mic in front of it") has attracted clients who want to get away from the pitch-corrected, sterile sound of modern records but don't want to deal with the hassle of recording to tape. One prospective client asked if Adam used an expensive NEVE console strip to get the warm analog sounds on his recrdings. When Adam answered negatively, he was asked how he did it. Adam just shrugged. "This is the way I learned how to record. This is the way we always did it. New recordings just sound like crap to me. There's no life, no air."

One of the biggest projects of the last year at Karma Frog was Norman Kelsey's soulful second CD, tentatively titled So Sophisticated, which wrapped production in May. It's the second full-length to be tracked at Karma Frog and "is the best sounding record I've ever personally produced," said Adam. "I'm very proud of it." Working closely with Kelsey, Adam lined up an impressive array of session players to help with the recording, including Evie Sands, D.J. Bonebrake of X, noted session drummer Kevin Jarvis, Rahmlee Davis of Earth, Wind and Fire/Phenix Horns, and Larry O. Williams from the GAP Band. Adam contributed keyboards, percussion and guitar to the effort. "We were going after the vibe of a late '70s soul record and I think we just about nailed it," Adam said. Kelsey was reportedly thrilled with how the album came out, and recently toured England in advance of the new release.

2011: A Busy and Crazy Year...
Adam Quits Standells

2011 has been a busy and tumultuous year for Adam Marsland. In October 2010 came the announcement that Adam had joined forces with legendary '60s garage rockers The Standells, and as music director for that band helped restore the group to its legendary '60s level of performance at several electrifying shows. The band announced plans to record a new album, and Adam undertook producing, songwriting, and lead vocal duties for the bulk of the tracks before sessions broke down over disagreements how best to finish the album.

"Things were not as they originally seemed," Adam said a few months after leaving the band. The departure was far from amicable; Standells leader Larry Tamblyn blasted Adam on the Standells' Facebook page and on his own page, calling Adam an egomaniac and accusing him, based on one word of one line of a bio posted elsewhere on this website, of "advertising himself as the ex-frontman of the Standells." Adam mostly stayed silent on the topic, lamenting the band's choice of framing his depature, and casting the split in basic financial terms. "The band wasn't working," Adam said, "and the sessions for the album were dragging on and on, and to me becoming needlessly complicated. I was starting to have real problems making the rent because of the time commitments the band required. I tried to explain this to the guys, but they were all retired and also didn't really have much engagement with the modern music industry. I was trying to pull together working mixes for the record and saying 'guys, I need time to work on this, I have to do other stuff to pay the rent, you have to leave me alone for a little while' and it just never happened, I just kept getting hassled. They just did not understand my reality, and when I tried to put together some framework where I could do what they needed me to do and still stay alive, they viewed it all with suspicion. I had busted ass for the band, and I didn't like being treated as if I was trying to screw them. Things kind of deteriorated from there, and eventually it got so weird I split."

It turned out to be a prescient move as immediately after his depature, the remaining three members were sued by the Standells' original guitarist, Tony Valentino, claiming part ownership of the band name. Valentino and the remaining Standells have both previewed dueling new "Standells" recordings in 2012, but Marsland's recordings with the band remain unreleased. "I will tell you," says Adam of this "Marstandells" album. "The stuff I recorded with them sounded way more like the classic Standells than anything either of the competing versions of the band have done since. If that makes me an egomaniac, so be it. But it's the truth. I signed on to the band to help preserve and enhance their legacy. I was told that was the whole reason for the Standells revival, but I had to conclude in the end there were different motivations at work, and if that was the case, I wanted no part of it."

Quitting the Standells turned out to be a good move from a financial standpoint, at least: one of the bones of contention prior to Adam's depature was his decision to prioritize promoting his studio business over the band. "I had to," Adam says. "I was losing money on the Standells project, and it was also starting to really stress me out. The studio business was one of the only things keeping me afloat, and that was with just a few clients." Once Adam focused on the studio, he says, "my income went up a LOT, almost immediately, and it's kept improving for the most part. It's great to not be sweating the rent every month. And it was good to return to more familiar surroundings, too." Originally planned as a demo studio, the resulting masters were of such high quality that Adam opened his "Karma Frog Studios" for outside work and began doing custom songs, publishing demos, and various other recording efforts from his home. The biggest and best project is his production of the second full-length album from Norman Kelsey, who has electrified audiences with his performances at Universal Citywalk and the '70s Show. With high-grade session players on board, the classy effort is scheduled for completion and release in July 2012.

Adam Marsland's Chaos Band was still going strong throughout the year, though not focusing as much on Adam's music as the band backed longtime member Evie Sands at a few highly acclaimed shows, and also dazzled audiences with regular performances (most notably their "Adam's '70s Show" gigs, featuring a string of guest performers and a high-wire act of covers such as "Funeral For a Friend" and "Marquee Moon") at L.A.'s roots dive/musician hangout The Cinema Bar.

Adam's resume was also full with a diverse array of guest appearances, the most notable of which was three shows with reunited SST art-punkers Trotsky Icepick, opening the Meat Puppets' west coast tour. He also enjoyed himself filling in and flying in with various Beach Boys tribute bands, and also mounting his own Elton John tribute show. He even did several gigs playing guitar with a disco band at a nudist colony!

The only thing missing was Adam's own music...but there were signs that Adam's desire to tour and promote his own work might be reawakening as he performed two one-off solo shows on the road, in New York and San Francisco, during the fall. 2011 has been a year of big change, new opportunities, and a steady stream of high quality work for Adam. The future looks bright indeed.

Adam Produces New CD for Adam Exler;
"Semi-Retires" From Playing Original Music After Successful March Tour

February through May 2010 found Adam busy at his newly-christened Karma Frog Studios recording his first start-to-finish recording project, producing a new album for ex-Everblue vocalist Adam Exler. The album, entitled THE WRITING'S ON THE WALL, will be out later in June and will be available on CDBaby.

Adam produced the album, basing the arrangements on Exler's home demos, and played the bulk of the instruments on the album, including guitar, bass, keyboards and percussion. On drums was ex-Cockeyed Ghost drummer James Hazley, working together with Adam in the studio for the first time since 1997. Kurt Medlin and Teresa Cowles also made appearances, as did members of the popular L.A. band Get Set Go. The 11 songs were completed in a whirlwind three months (broken up by Adam's northeast tour in March), and the finished product received high praise from Adam's production mentors Earle Mankey and Steve Refling, with Mankey saying the album sounded "almost mastered."

Hear songs from the Adam Exler album at Adam's studio myspace page.

Starting the first of the year Adam made the transition to full-time working musician and with the release of the HELLO CLEVELAND album in January, indicated that he was going to de-emphasis his own music and had no plans to record any more original music in the forseeable future, with the exception of work that he was specifically comissioned to do. The brief spring northeast tour Adam underook with bassist Teresa Cowles and drummer Jon Braun was deemed successful by all concerned, but there have been no concrete plans made for further touring this year, and in posts on his myspace page Adam has stated he was considering abandoning playing original music altogether, citing declining interest and CD sales and the failure of the GO WEST album to attract notice. His band, Adam Marsland's Chaos Band, has started playing highly successful '70s-oriented covers shows with various special guests at L.A.'s well-known country music joint, the Cinema Bar, and these have been increasingly popular while the band's regular originals-oriented shows at Brennan's Pub are being phased out partly due to declining crowds. Given that music is now 100% of Adam's livelihood, it's understandable that he might want to break from the grind of promoting and playing his own music and going with what's easier, and pays better, for awhile.

Adam is now on the lookout for new production clients for his studio. If you're interested in discussing a project with him, please contact him at adamghost@aol.com.

Cockeyed Ghost Reunites Dec. 6;
First Show in 7 1/2 Years --
James Hazley Joins LUDLOW lineup

The band that first brought Adam Marsland's music into the limelight, Cockeyed Ghost, reformed to play a short set at a memorial show for a fan at Brennan's Pub in Marina Del Rey, California on December 6, 2009.

This was Cockeyed Ghost's first show since 2003 and its first show with all the members in 7 1/2 years. The entire lineup that recorded the band's final album, LUDLOW 6:18, was at the show, along with the drummer on the band's first two albums, James Hazley, in his first performance with Cockeyed Ghost since 1998. This was also be the first time that members from the two classic lineups of the band will perform on the same stage.

The show was also be a reunion for a lot of musicians that came up with the band in the "pop underground" scene in the mid 1990s. Also on the bill will be The Retros, Lisa Mychols (of the Masticators), The Dons, Receiver, PG-13, Waking Hours, Evie Sand,s SparkleJets*U.K., Piper Downs and Maple Mars.

The concert is in honor of Jeff Glenn, a local music supporter who passed away from complications of diabetes earlier this month. Glenn was instrumental in getting the band its regular gig at Brennan's Pub.

There was a large crowd when the band took the stage, and despite being a little rough around the edges, the group was clearly excited to be playing together again. The ground performed 7 songs total: "Theme From Ludlow 6:18", "Ludlow 6:18" and "Burning Me Out (Of The Record Store)" from the LUDLOW 6:18 album were played from the lineup that recorded it, then James Hazley took over on the drums for explosive versions of "Halo Boy," "Buzz" and "Asian Hero Worship" before taking up the guitar for a closing version of "I Hate Rock 'n' Roll." Energy was high on the stage and in the crowded room that clearly relished seeing the band onstage again.

The band hung out together for hours after the show and were clearly enjoying being together again. Though there's no specific plans for a future reunion, all the members indicated that they would be open to doing another gig if the right show presented itself. Adam and Kurt are still active in the Chaos Band, and Severo Jornacion is now full-time bassist for the Smithereens.

Cockeyed Ghost reunion

Together For The First Time In 7 Years: Cockeyed Ghost basks in the afterglow of a successful reunion gig on December 6, 2009. l to r: James Hazley (drummer from 1996-98); Severo Jornacion; Kurt Medlin; Adam Marsland; Robert Ramos. Below: Cockeyed Ghost in 2000.

Cockeyed Ghost

Hello Cleveland album cover

ANOTHER New Album?
Adam and band record HELLO CLEVELAND in one day...
Satirical, Punk-Flavored CD Will Come Out In January
Adam Indicates It Will Be His Last

Adam first announced it at a few shows on his east coast tour in October, but no one believed it. Then the Cleveland Scene broke the news: Adam booked one day with death metal producer Bill Korecky in a studio outside of Cleveland to record an entire new album -- 14 new songs written in the van the week before.

Improbably enough, it was true, and even more improbably, in just 7 hours and 47 minutes a fully realized new Adam Marsland CD entitled HELLO CLEVELAND emerged. Described by those who have heard it as "the anti-GO WEST," the song titles tell much of the story: "A Town Called Asshole," "The Night I Bought Micky Dolenz A Beer," "My Name Is Jonas Brothers" and "Flight of the Stinkbug" are among the satirical, hard-edged tracks on the album. Now the album is at the pressing plants and has an online release date of January 23, 2010. In addition, a sardonic video (Adam's debut as a director) for the track "My Name Is Jonas Brothers" is now up on youtube.

Why a new Adam Marsland CD, just 5 months after his multi-layered double GO WEST -- a satirical punk album recorded in less than 8 hours?

Maybe something just snapped. When Adam released GO WEST last August, at first all went well – a top 25 placing on amazon and a slew of rave reviews.  But with the album's broad range and scope it did not break through to a wider audience. Marsland wound up back in the same tiny clubs he started out at, playing to unreceptive crowds for little or no money, and the GO WEST album not breaking through to wider critical attention than his prior albums. With promotional and tour costs mounting with not much to show for it, his initially optimistic mood soured rapidly. As he blogged, "I wanted to do something more productive with this band than lose money playing for people that didn't care."  Maybe he reasoned that if no one was listening, then he could say whatever he wanted.

Regardless, Marsland announced his intention to record an entire NEW album the following week, on the band's day off. Where are the songs? asked his band.  He hadn't written them yet.  No sweat.

In the next few days, in the van, at clubs and crash pads, Adam and his band worked up 14 new songs 180 degrees from the layered, thoughtful pop of GO WEST.  Liberated by his own obscurity, on the song "The Worst Thing (I Ever Did)" Marsland shouts:  "no one ever gets the point anyway/I got nothin' to lose, man, so I won't play/The worst thing that I ever did/was tell the truth!" and proceeds to take vicious aim at the sorry state of rock 'n' roll and a society obsessed with trivia, itself, and celebrity (but that could care less about celebrities as real people).

Incredibly, Hello Cleveland was recorded in exactly 7 hours and 47 minutes (by comparison, the Beatles' Please Please Me album took 9 ½ hours, and they knew the songs), and the results, which only needed minor editing, don't need to be graded on any curve.  The sharp, spontaneous band performances (by Chaos Band bassist Teresa Cowles, keyboardist Charlie Zayleskie, and drummer Jon Braun, with vocal help from Adam's old friend Bill Stone from defunct Cleveland band Paranoid Lovesick) harken back to Marsland's punk days with Cockeyed Ghost, with some Descendents and Frank Zappa thrown in the mix.  The sound, courtesy of death metal producer Bill Korecky (Mushroomhead), is both immediate and larger than life.  The songs -- "A Town Called Asshole," "Fuck Nihilism," "Dave Matthews Again," "Radio Hell" – speak for themselves…a blistering, 30-minute screed that if nothing else cements Adam's reputation as a totally unique – and mostly overlooked -- voice in music. If it winds up being, as Adam has publicly stated, his last album, it's a great cry in the wilderness to go out with.

GO WEST Hits Amazon Bestseller List First Day Out; Peaks at #22;
Garners 135 College Radio Adds

Friends and fans primed for months to hear Adam's new double CD GO WEST swamped amazon.com on Monday, landing the CD for a short while at the front page of amazon's bestseller list, sandwiched between Coldplay, Michael Jackson and Dave Matthews Band.

GO WEST's sales surge propelled the album all the way to #22 on amazon's bestseller list, and stayed in the Top 100 for two days. It also peaked at #17 on the rock chart, #8 in new releases, #3 among singer-songwriters and #1 on the "movers and shakers" chart. With an awesome new video (directed by Mike Schnee) for the first single, "When I Lied To Everyone," a week of awesome new tracks previewed on myspace, a national push to radio and press (courtesy of The Planetary Group and In Music We Trust, respectively), and a fan-based push to place GO WEST in the national indie album charts, this is the culmination of a three year groundswell of interest in Adam's music after a long period in the wilderness.

Radio promoters The Planetary Group reported that as of November, GO WEST had been added at 135 college radio stations around the country, Adam's best-ever performance at college radio, including his days with Cockeyed Ghost.

Order GO WEST at Karma Frog's online store here.

2011: A Busy and Crazy Year..

2011 has been a busy and tumultuous year for Adam Marsland. In October 2010 came the announcement that Adam had joined forces with legendary '60s garage rockers The Standells, and as music director for that band helped restore the group to its legendary '60s level of performance at several electrifying shows. The band announced plans to record a new album, and Adam undertook producing, songwriting, and lead vocal duties for the bulk of the tracks before sessions broke down over disagreements how best to finish the album. Adam then elected to end his association with the project and return to his own career.

There was lots to return to. Adam Marsland's Chaos Band was still going strong throughout the year, though not focusing as much on Adam's music as the band backed longtime member Evie Sands at a few highly acclaimed shows, and also dazzled audiences with regular performances (most notably their "Adam's '70s Show" gigs, featuring a string of guest performers and a high-wire act of covers such as "Funeral For a Friend" and "Marquee Moon") at L.A.'s roots dive/musician hangout The Cinema Bar.

Adam's resume was also full with a diverse array of guest appearances, the most notable of which was three shows with reunited SST art-punkers Trotsky Icepick, opening the Meat Puppets' west coast tour. He also enjoyed himself filling in and flying in with various Beach Boys tribute bands, and also mounting his own Elton John tribute show. He even did several gigs playing guitar with a disco band at a nudist colony!

Probably Adam's biggest focus in 2011 has been his increasing work as a producer and engineer at his home studio, Karma Frog. Originally planned as a demo studio, the resulting masters were of such high quality that Adam opened it for outside work and began doing custom songs, publishing demos, and various other recording efforts from his home. The biggest and best project is his production of the second full-length album from Norman Kelsey, who has electrified audiences with his performances at Universal Citywalk and the '70s Show. With high-grade session players on board, the classy effort is scheduled for completion and release in January 2012.

The only thing missing was Adam's own music...but there were signs that Adam's desire to tour and promote his own work might be reawakening as he indicated he would do a couple of solo shows in the northeast in the fall. 2011 has been a year of big change, new opportunities, and a steady stream of high quality work for Adam. The future looks bright indeed.

 

 

First Studio Album in 5 Years
Set For Release on August 18, 2009:
"Go West" Will Be A Double CD Set!

After a marathon two-month burst of recording activity, Adam Marsland has finished his first album of new original material since YOU DON'T KNOW ME (released in September 2004 and recorded in spring 2003), and it will be a rarity for an indie artist: a double CD set.

Via his myspace blog, Adam has been keeping fans apprised of the progress of the new album, with growing excitement despite setbacks such as the theft of some of his recording equipment, computer gear and musical instruments (see below). Recently, Adam has been polling fans as to whether they thought a double album of new material would be excessive, citing the scope of the album and the number of songs underway. "I'd rather do two albums of 21 songs than one disc of 18," he wrote recently, citing concerns about people being able to absorb that much material in one sitting.

Adam, Steve Refling and Earle Mankey have nearly completed the finishing touches to the 23 songs on the album, each having a hand in the final mixdown and Earle doing the mastering for the entire double-disc set.

The album marks a significant break from Adam's past work. It's his first original album to be recorded digitally, and the first he produced himself (longtime producer Steve Refling is supervising the production and mixdown). It's also his first to be recorded mostly at home, and the results so far have been, in the words of bass player Teresa, "close to something really amazing. Definitely Adam's best work." Adam himself has said "the new stuff blows everything else I've done away." The album has been done with the help of the entire Chaos Band, though they are more involved in some tracks than others. Unlike YOU DON'T KNOW ME, which featured a wide array of guests, Adam played many of the instruments himself, with singificant cameos by friend and L.A. alt-country fixture Rich McCulley, session drummer Tommy Rickard, and Eric Summer of indie buzz band Get Set Go.

The title of the album: GO WEST. Like his well-respected LUDLOW 6:18 album with Cockeyed Ghost, it's something of a concept album, with its own storyline and themes that carry through the entire record, but aren't explicitly spelled out. Adam first conceptualized the album while on tour with the Chaos Band in 2006, and sporadic recording took place later that year, in 2007, and early in 2008, but it's only in the last few months since Adam returned from tour that the project has gone into high gear. In November and December Adam was almost constantly recording and refinining the material, and writing new songs to go with the ones already recorded. Working at a breakneck pace, in some cases he was able to go from writing the song to a finished track in the course of a few days. After final mixdown in January, two additional songs were added -- his first songwriting collaboration in a decade (with Teresa Cowles), and a studio remake of a live song featured on DAYLIGHT KISSING NIGHT. Ever the perfectionist, and bearing sole production responsibility for the first time, Adam continued working on remixes and refinements to the album as late as mid-May, finally proclaiming in a blog on May 18, "NOW I got your album, suckers!"

Only a few people have heard the songs that have already been recorded, and they run an even larger stylistic range than Adam is known for; for the first time he ventures into electronic music (including a disco tune!), and funk, while other songs mine dark, moody territory similar to Kraftwerk or Adam's hero, Dennis Wilson. In between, there is plenty of the pop melodicism that Adam is known for (and returning on a few songs to the hard rock sound of Cockeyed Ghost), as well as the brutally honest, sometimes dark, emotional lyricism. On the other hand, one song, "Grateful For The Rain," as been described as "almost sickeningly commercial," by one band member, an unapologetic tribute the the '70s AM radio music Adam loved as a child. One track sung by Evie Sands, the Stevie Wonder-esque "Two Children In A Bed," elicited a thumbs up from Roger Manning of Jellyfish, who couldn't tell if the track was old or new.

Also, for the first time Adam has reached back to his pre-Cockeyed Ghost days, revisiting a song called "Learning The Ropes," first released on a vinyl album in the early '90s that Adam has sinced disowned. He also recorded two early Cockeyed Ghost songs that never made it to an album: "Talking About Myself" and "Like Other Men," and one, "Cut and Run," that was only released in a live version. "A lot of the first disc is about coming of age in your early '20s, and finding out who you are for the first time," Adam explained, "so I went back to some songs I wrote in that time period to capture those ideas"

The storyline of the album, which loosely follows the progression of someone's life through their 20s and 30s, touches repeatedly on themes of isolation, loneliness, and social confusion. Always willing to push the boundaries of what's acceptable in a "pop" tune, with songs like "Ginna Ling," Adam explores some of his edgiest lyrical matter yet with new tracks such as "1 in 4" and "My Pain."

The recent events in Binghamton disrupted release plans, but the album is still on track for a street date of August 18, 2009. A full promotion to radio and press is planned, with a tour to follow at the end of summer.

GO WEST cover

studio

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Top: the cover from the new album, assembled from multiple submissions from fans. Below: The Chaos Band with Steve Refling recording in 2007, at the first sessions for GO WEST.

Tragedy Strikes Adam's Family Again in Binghamton Shooting Rampage

Seven months after Adam's elder brother Stephen died suddenly of a heart attack, tragedy has struck the Marsland family again. Adam's sister-in-law, Hongxiu Mao Marsland, was one of 13 victims who died in a shooting rampage in Binghamton, New York on April 3.

Hongxiu Mao Marsland, 35, who emigrated from China in 2004 and worked as a nail technician, married Adam's brother David last July. She was, according to Adam, "the best thing that ever happened to my brother for sure," and had been at the American Civic Association in Binghamton taking an English class when a disturbed gunman broke in and shot everybody in the room. Hongxiu, known as Amy to friends (though not to the family to avoid confusion with Adam and David's mother Amy), died instantly.

Adam and Teresa had met Hongxiu at Steve Marsland's funeral and again at their performance in Adam's hometown last September, and both were very impressed with her humor and vitality.

After the shocking incident, Adam flew home to upstate New York to support the family and attend the calling hours and funeral services. Because of the closeness of the community and the publicity around the shootings, hundreds of people attended the calling hours, with local media and Fox News in attendance outside. The family remained mostly in seclusion, with David only giving a few selected interviews to the press in the week following his wife's death. Adam's mother was particularly distraught by the shootings (Adam's and David's father died in 2002).

After news of the shootings because widespread, condolences for the family came in by the hundreds to various blogs and also on Adam's facebook page. Adam described his whole family as "devastated" and thanked everyone for their support on his facebook blog.

David Marsland is also a musician with long and deep ties to the upstate New York area, and was a mentor to Adam when he was a teenager, giving access to his studio and musical equipment and inviting Adam to his first professional recording session when he was 15. Among those calling to pay their respects were a large cross-section of the upstate New York musician community, who know David for his years working in the area as a musician and recording engineer.

Hongxiu and David

David and Hongxiu Marsland at their wedding in July 2008. Hongxiu was killed in the Binghamton, N.Y. shooting rampage on April 3.

Adam Miraculously Recovers Stolen Gear
After Thanksgiving Break-In

Adam's Reseda home was the target of a burglary over Thanksgiving while Adam was away visiting relatives. Adam lost several prized possessions, including his Fender Telecaster and 20" IMac. Thieves also stole recording equipment but thankfully, Adam had backed up the digital music files for his new album and stowed them in another part of the house, and did not lose any recording.

Adam and the band managed to get back on track recording in just two days, but "it was a real blow," Adam said. "it was my best guitar, my newest keyboard, my computer, my laptop, my recording interface...and I didn't have the money to replace any of it."

Miraculously, just over a month later, Adam received a call from Al Gomes of Big Noise Management, saying the LAPD had just contacted him after a google search. The three most valuable items -- Adam's Telecaster, I-Mac and Korg keyboard - had been recovered!

As Adam learned more, the story got more unbelievable. A local man, Cesar Delgado, had bought the items at a swap meet and brought them home. While his 19-year old son Matthew was beginning to reformat Adam's computer, he noticed the various video and music files on the desktop (including footage, thought to be lost after the burglary, of Adam's 2008 tour), grew curious, and investigated via the internet. When he found out about the burglary via Adam's myspace page, he immediately informed his father and they proceeded to contact the authorities. "They were a little condescending," Matthew admits, because they did not initially believe the evidence, but the Delgados persisted, and soon Adam was reunited with his beloved guitar.

Adam gave the Delgados the $200 reward he had posted for recovery of the guitar, and offered other rewards, all of which they refused. "Anything else would have simply been wrong and one only has so many opportunities to do such an act of kindness," said Matthew. Adam has already vowed to dedicate his new album, GO WEST, to the Delgado family.

"It is a HUGE deal for me," Adam said. "After the break in, I just decided to head down and finish the album, but I was in real financial trouble. I didn't have enough money to replace the items and without them it was going to be difficult to work as a musician. To get all the stuff back, including the computer with all the data on it, is simply incredible. And I never dreamed I'd see that guitar again."

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Adam holds his beloved Fender Telecaster immediately after picking it up from the police station. It was lost for six weeks after a break-in at his house.

Adam Marsland's Chaos Band
Join Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, Dick Dale
At Carl Wilson Foundation Event

Beach Boys cluster

All the performers, including Adam Marsland's Chaos Band, join Brian Wilson at the Roxy for the grand finale. Left to right: Darian Sahanaja (behind Adam); Adam (at organ), Gary Griffin, Alan Boyd, David Marks, Justyn Wilson, Wendy Wilson, Dick Dale, Brian Wilson, Brett Simons, Carnie Wilson, Diane Rovell, Marilyn Wilson-Rutherford, Ginger Blake, Jeff Foskett, Al Jardine, Billy Hinsche, John Perry, Teresa Cowles, Nicky "Wonder" Walusko, Eric Vesper. Evie is behind David Marks. (photo courtesy L.A. Record)

Adam at Roxy

Adam onstage at the Roxy.

Chaos at Roxy

The 7-piece Chaos Band at the Roxy. Left to right: John Perry, Alan Boyd, Teresa Cowles, Kurt Medlin, Adam, Evie Sands, Eric Vesper. (photo by Jorge Barba)

Seeing history: Adam jams with Beach Boys David Marks and Al Jardine (both playing his guitars!)

Sunday, October 19 was a special night in Los Angeles as three founding members of the Beach Boys, and various members of their families, came together to perform and celebrate the life of the late Carl Wilson at a star-studded show at the Roxy Theatre on the Sunset Strip. The show was a fundraiser for the Carl Wilson Foundation, marking the 10th anniversary of the Beach Boys guitarist's death.

Adam Marsland and his Chaos Band were right in the thick of things, with Adam acting as musical director for the event and Chaos being the designated house band, backing Beach Boys Al Jardine and David Marks, The Honeys, and Carnie and Wendy Wilson of Wilson-Phillips, along with playing their own set of songs from LONG PROMISED ROAD: SONGS OF DENNIS AND CARL WILSON LIVE.

The biggest draw to the event was a set by the legendary Brian Wilson and his amazing band, which includes members of longtime L.A. pop band Wondermints. The evening had special resonance for Adam not just as a longtime Wilson fan, but as he and Kurt (as Cockeyed Ghost) did several shows with Wondermints at the Roxy in the mid '90s when both bands helped spearhead the "Poptopia" movement in L.A.

Although Adam had performed with Wondermints occasionally before they began backing Brian, and Brian Wilson Band members Probyn Gregory and Nelson Bragg have sat in with AMCB in recent years, this was the first time both complete bands have played side by side since 1996.

AMCB was asked to participate by event organizer and longtime Beach Boys sideman Billy Hinsche, who had seen the band perform several times. After checking out the LONG PROMISED ROAD album, Hinsche asked Adam if he and the band would perform at the show, and if Adam would take over as musical director.

The show had added to an already busy schedule for the band on the heels of Adam's two month tour. Beach Boys archivist Alan Boyd, who augmented the band for the Wilson shows, and former Chaos Band member John Perry, who left the band shortly after recording LONG PROMISED ROAD, both returned to the band for this show, as did percussionist Eric Vesper.

The band began rehearsing for the show a month prior, with Adam working up intricate harmony and instrumental arrangements for all the performers and coordinating the set. The band did a mini-set of songs from LONG PROMISED ROAD at its Oct. 17th Brennan's Pub performance, then convened with most of the performers for a dress rehearsal on Oct. 18th, which went extremely well.

The actual show began with a filmed tribute (put together by Alan Boyd) to Carl Wilson, followed by a set by In Bloom, fronted by Carl's son Justyn and nephew Carl. Then came a rousing set by Dick Dale, his first appearance since the beginning of the year, following treatment for cancer. Just before the show, Adam had received a guitar lesson from Dale in the dressing room.

Master of ceremonies Hinsche then introduced Adam and the band, who performed four songs from LONG PROMISED ROAD: "Long Promised Road," "River Song," "The Trader" and "Keepin' The Summer Alive." The performances went off flawlessly and got a great response from the packed house, which included Brian Wilson, who saw most of the show prior to his set.

Adam's opening comments for the set mentioned that the first Beach Boys albums he had owned were those where Carl and his brother Dennis, rather than Brian, had taken the dominant role. "Young independent musicians are still trying to figure out what Carl did in the studio," he said, to the cheers of the crowd.

The band then backed founding Beach Boys David Marks, along with Wondermint Nicky Wonder, on two songs: "Summertime Blues" and a blues original called "Big Wave," that rocked the house.

The Honeys then came out and, with Billy Hinsche, performed the Beach Boys hit "I Can Hear Music". The AMCB arrangement was faithful to the Beach Boys' version, with Kurt holding down a simple drum beat and three people playing percussion. During the a capella breakdown, eight voices in counterpoint harmony brought the crowd to its feet.

Carnie and Wendy Wilson performed two Carl-authored Beach Boys songs from the late '70s, adding their liliting alto harmonies to Adam's faithful and harmony-rich background arrangement. The last song, "Full Sail," ended with a spectacular a capella round and a final, rich five-part harmony, which again got a rapturous response.

Al Jardine's set was next, debuting two songs from his upcoming album POSTCARDS FROM CALIFORNIA, and a Beach Boys oldie, "Honkin' Down The Highway". Jardine's sons and David Marks joined him for the rollicking set, during which Jardine singled out Adam and the band for praise for their performances.

Brian Wilson and a truncated version of his famous band closed the show with a mix of Beach Boys hits and songs from his new acclaimed album THAT LUCKY OLD SUN, after praising the band and Alan Boyd in particular for their set. Al Jardine joined Brian for "Help Me Rhonda," and then all the performers, AMCB included, took the stage to perform "Barbara Ann."

The night was judged a huge success by all concerned, and Adam Marsland's Chaos Band received high marks for their work on behalf of the show. "We were just thrilled to be a part of it and work with all these people that I have admired for so long," said Adam. "Thank you Billy Hinsche for giving us the chance to show what we can do."

Click here to read Adam's blog about the show.

Death, Illness Mar Adam's First National Tour in 5 Years;
Adam Receives Warm Hometown Welcome

Adam on tourTorkTucsonNYC

Scenes from the road: Adam and and in Philadelphia (top); Adam and Teresa with Peter Tork (middle); Adam rocks out in Tucson and NYC (bottom)

After 7 1/2 weeks on the road performing on his first national tour in five years, Adam Marsland is back home in L.A. and back with the Chaos Band. Starting July 26 and finishing on September 14, Adam's Summer 2008 Tour compised a total of 37 shows as well as 4 media appearances. Adam had only toured twice since 2003; a three week tour with the Chaos Band after the release of YOU DON'T KNOW ME, and a two week Chaos Band tour in 2006 with Alan Boyd performing the Dennis and Carl Wilson set. Both tours were focused in the midwest. This tour, behind the DAYLIGHT KISSING NIGHT album, was the first full-scale tour Adam had launched since retiring from solo touring in 2003.

Although the tour was successful in meeting expenses, refocusing attention on Adam's songwriting and garnering substantial press (thanks to Adam's publicist at inmusicwetrust), as well as extremely good CD sales, it was "one of the roughest tours I have ever been on," Adam said. An extensive remodeling at Adam's house disrupted tour planning just before leaving, making for confusion and disorganization once the tour started, and the first week Adam became ill with the stomach flu, soldiering through several shows alone while he fought off the bug.

Teresa joined the tour in Kansas City, and the tour was starting to find its footing when, just minutes before taking the stage in Chicago, Adam received word that his eldest brother had died suddenly in California. This forced cancellation of two shows as Adam flew back to the west coast to preside over the funeral, and then back east for a second service. Despite the tragedy, Adam resumed his schedule and completed the tour. His misadventures continued on the trip back as Adam nearly lost his car on a flooded Texas road, only escaping by tearing off the rear bumper of his car.

Despite an exhausting and emotionally draining trip, the tour served to position Adam for the release of an album and subsequent tour next year, with the benefit of more lead time and better organization. "I was able to focus on my own songs in a way that I wasn't able to do five years ago, and it resulted in a lot more CD sales," Adam said. "The best shows on the tour were really, really good. My goal is to use what I've learned to focus on those kind of shows the next time around."

The high point of the tour, Adam and Teresa both agree, was a week of shows in the northeast with drummer Jon Braun and keyboardist Charlie Zayleskie. This tight band played a powerhouse series of gigs, including a memorable six-piece concert opening for Monkee Peter Tork, culminating in a triumphant homecoming gig at the Labor Day Picnic in Greene, N.Y., Adam's hometown and the site of his first-ever gig years ago. The local mayor introduced the show, presenting him with a proclamation from the village welcoming him home. His mother and many childhood friends were in the audience, and his surviving brother sat in on guitar for "The Foghorn." His first piano teacher even surprised the band onstage, playing keyboards on "The Big Bear." It was one of the best shows of the tour and "made the whole thing worthwhile." Both Adam and Teresa have expressed an interest to tour with this "east coast Chaos Band" again in 2009.

Follow Adam's adventures on the road (and, if you like, contribute to the blog and tour) here.

Check out video of Adam on tour in Denver and the band's homecoming show in L.A.

 

Adam’s New CD “Daylight Kissing Night” Hits Amazon’s Top 40

March 18, 2008 saw the release of Adam Marsland’s long-awaited compilation CD DAYLIGHT KISSING NIGHT: ADAM MARSLAND’S GREATEST HITS. As the first album containing new original material from Adam in four years, as well as the first to be marketed to mainstream retail outlets since 1999, no one was sure what would happen.

Nobody expected what DID happen -- fueled by a massive word-of-mouth campaign, the album made Amazon’s Top 40 best-selling CDs on the strength of pre-orders, and stayed in the top 20 rock chart until Amazon revealed they had run out. The few retailers that had ordered the CD far enough in advance also quickly sold out.

The new CD represented a big gamble -- a lavish full-color booklet, with pictures and lyrics, a sumptuous remastering job by Earle Mankey, seven tracks newly recorded or reworked, 20 songs in total -- all list priced at $5.99. The idea was to appeal both to Adam’s newer fans from myspace, the LONG PROMISED ROAD album and fans of the Chaos Band’s live shows, and reinterest the older listeners from the Cockeyed Ghost days, encouraging them to pass on extra copies to people who didn’t know the music. The CD’s release coincided with Adam’s return to full-time music making. It couldn’t have started off better!

Order DAYLIGHT KISSING NIGHT from amazon.com

DKN cover

Wrecking Crew liveAdam and Teresa (top left) perform with legendary drummer Hal Blaine and other members of the legendary "Wrecking Crew" in downtown L.A. in June 2008. Julia Fordham is on lead vocals; musical director Shawn Bryant is to her left.

 

The Wrecking Crew in the studio
Adam shares a laugh with Hal Blaine (left) and Don Randi (right) in the studio as Anny Celsi looks on.

 

Jerry ColeAdam trading guitar licks with the legendary Jerry Cole, at one of his last recording sessions before his death in 2008.

(photos courtesy Kerry Getz and Shawn Bryant)


Jamming With Legends:
Adam (and Teresa!) in the studio
and onstage with Phil Spector’s
“Wrecking Crew”

Adam’s resurgent career as a studio musician recently got a big boost as he spent two days in the studio cutting tracks side by side with Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famers Hal Blaine (the most recorded musician of all time, with 35,000 tracks to his credit) and Don Randi. Also on hand was legendary session guitarist Jerry Cole (Byrds, Raiders) in one of his last ever sessions -- the guitarist behind "Mr. Tambourine Man", "Wouldn't It Be Nice," "Tequila" and countless other songs passed away earlie this year --as well as Nelson Bragg from Brian Wilson’s amazing band. Producer Shawn Bryant had brought them all together to recreate their classic sound for the soundtrack of his upcoming surf documentary, “Makaha.”

Adam played acoustic and electric guitar, keyboards, and Hammond B-3 organ for the session, which covered a number of songs that the Blaine, Randi and Cole -- members of the famous “Wrecking Crew” stable of musicians that dominated the West Coast recording studios in the 1960s -- originally played on, including “Good Vibrations,” “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” “Surf City,” “California Dreamin’” and “Be My Baby,” on which Adam got to play four-handed piano side by side with Randi and got to trade (and learn) licks with Jerry Cole. At a later session, Adam arranged the complicated backing vocals for some of the songs and took part in the singing along with fellow Chaos band member Teresa Cowles.

The colloboration took another step further, first in front of a Celebrity-studded audience at NAMM, and then in June at an outdoor concert in downtown L.A. following a screening of Denny Tedesco (son of guitar legend Tommy Tedesco)'s new documentary "The Wrecking Crew." At both shows, Adam was on hand to sing and play guitar/keyboards while Teresa added vocals and percussion. Among other performers were British diva Julia Fordham, guitarist Kerry Getz and two of Don Randi's children on lead vocals. Bassist for the downtown show was Chuck Berghofer of "Barney Miller" and "Boots Were Made for Walkin'" fame.

"To be up onstage with these legends immediately after watching a movie that justly lauded them for their accomplishments was both an honor and incredibly intimidating," Adam said. "I've gained so much knowledge and confidence being around these guys and working with them," further thanking Shawn Bryant, who he first met playing with Anny Celsi, for bringing him in to the gig.

There is talk of further Wrecking Crew appearances -- with Adam and Teresa on board -- in the fall after Adam returns from tour. Stay tuned!

Adam's other recent adventures have included a trip to Ohio with members of Tripsitter to perform Beach Boys tunes at a private party, and a steady gig with roots-pop singer Kaz Murphy, in a crack band that includes members of Fountains of Wayne, The Posies and Gigolo Aunts. He's already got a busy schedule waiting for him (and other members of the Chaos Band) when he returns from his own tour in the fall.

Hear the MAKAHA versions of "Wouldn't It Be Nice," and "Monday Monday" featuring Adam and Teresa.

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left to right: Don Randi, Jerry Cole, producer Shawn Bryant, and Adam

Lilli Oldfield, Vocalist on “You Don’t Know Me” Passes Away at Age 46

Bay Area vocalist and friend of the Chaos Band, Lilli Oldfield, fell victim to liver cancer in January 2008.

Lilli Oldfield sang on two tracks on Adam’s 2004 YOU DON’T KNOW ME album and was invited to join the Chaos Band in its early incarnation. She had a long career as a singer and guitarist, most notably backing John Cale and as one of the Screaming Divas. She also was a sought-after clothing designer who got her start designing outfits for Heart.

The band put up the previously unheard 6-minute version of “What The Hell,” featuring Lilli’s soulful belting on the outro, as tribute to Lilli. On March 1st, friends of Lilli’s held a memorial celebration of her life in Mill Valley, California.

Lilli Oldfield

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