Sunday, March 16, 2014

New Press Release for Liz Chidester's New Album, People Pumping Pedals, on CAUDog Records (Pop/Folk)


Liz Chidester’s New Album (Pop/Folk)

People Pumping Pedals
Announced by CAUDog Records
March 18, 2014 – Chicago, IL – Liz Chidester, a Chicago-based vocalist and guitarist, has written and performed all the songs on her debut original Folk/Pop album People Pumping Pedals, released by CAUDog Records. Chidester performed at Mayne Stage, one of Chicago’s premier listening rooms, just last month to promote the album, and is performing local and regional shows throughout 2014, gaining acclaim:

"Songwriter Liz Chidester has become a local favorite at our venue. Her new record, People Pumping Pedals [draws] inspiration from Stevie Nicks. It is almost perfect that this record came out in the dead of winter. It is a good one throw on when staying in and watching a snow storm outside your window."       - Ryan Sweeney, Talent Buyer, Chicago, IL

Chidester, originally from the mountains of Virginia, has hiked to the top of the songwriter scene in Chicago, bolstered by experience in theater and cruise ships, as well as a steeping in jazz standards. “Folk and jazz go hand in hand in that they carry on a sound, culture, and story-telling tradition,” says Chidester. After connecting with members of the staff of CAUDog Records, Chidester worked closely with Producer/Engineer Ellis Clark to complete People Pumping Pedals, all within a year of moving to Chicago.

“Liz Chidester’s delicate but profound delivery, unquestionable musicianship and her sense of humor, draws comparisons with greats like Joni Mitchell. The sound on her new album is smooth and professional, reminiscent of Sarah McLaughlin. Definitely a young artist to watch.”   – OnAxis Music, Chicago, IL

With a large repertoire, she has pinpointed patterns, mirroring classic hits from many eras. She sees a variety of influences like pop, funk, and Motown as [art forms]. Writing songs since she was three, her upbringing in the folk and bluegrass tradition evolved naturally as she mastered stage presence and delivery. Her debut album is “about movement, and love, and taking risks, and remembering where you come from,” says Chidester. With positive reviews, fans are excited to see where it is taking her.


Title track “People Pumping Pedals”

Hear it on Liz Chidester’s Official Website:

Soundcloud link:


“Go to Chicago” Live at Mayne Stage, 2/12/14

Liz Chidester, originally from the mountains of Virginia, moved to Chicago on the coldest day of the year in the winter of 2013. Since then, she has become involved with the Chicago songwriter crowd: Chicago Acoustic Underground and the Chicago Songwriter Alliance, and has performed at various bars and restaurants in the city, including Mayne Stage, the Uncommon Grounds on Clark and Damen, Elbo Room, Tonic Room, Abbey Pub, Bird's Nest, Parlour on Clark, The Greenhouse Theatre in the Beast Women Cabaret Spring Series, and The Den Theatre in her Chicago theatre debut as Glinda in the New American Folk Theatre's "Marvelous Land of Oz." Liz performs standards with jazz guitarist Jarvis Raymond at Nite Cap Cafe, and is a singer/guitarist in the roots music band The Cherry Trio. She also plays guitar for the premier iO improv team Virgin Daquari.
Before moving to Chicago, Liz was entertaining audiences at sea all over the Western Hemisphere on Carnival Cruise Lines and Holland America Line as a variety band singer and host. Liz is happy to announce that she recently released a record under the Chicago Acoustic Underground's label CAU Dog Records in January of 2014, available on iTunes, CD Baby, Bandcamp, and Amazon. Liz Chidester is classically trained Soprano/Belt singer, and a graduate of the School of Music at James Madison University,Harrisonburg, VA.


Soundcloud:                                                                      ###

Friday, March 7, 2014

How to Make a Billion $: Money in Urban vs. Indie Rock Lyrics

In Pitbull's song Back in Time, there's this lyric: "Trying to make a billion out of 15 cents". It's a similar attitude to 50 Cent's Get Rich or Die Tryin' album title. There's struggle in those words. It's a bit of machismo in there, but it speaks to reality rather than idealism. At least urban musicians know the odds they're up against.

Let's compare that to a random selection of indie rock/alternative rock/folk lyrics. These lyrics also use the word "money": 
"Our love is all we have...Our love is all of God's money" - Wilco
"Mobiles chirping...Take the money and run" - Radiohead 
"Youth is beauty, money is beauty, hell, beauty is beauty sometimes." - Ani DiFranco

When searching for indie-rock or alternative lyrics that use the word "money", we are hard pressed to find an indie rock song about making money. Instead, money is a philosophical concept to play with, or a part of a story in third person. The lyricist in the non-urban realm (folk, alternative, indie) is often talking about money as if it's just another character in a play.

The exception is blues-based music. There is I Need a Dollar by Aloe Blacc. Any coincidence that the artist is African American, and more connected to the urban world of rap? Not only is this a tip that America still has work to do before everyone is equal economic footing, it shows that every artist and genre speaks about money differently; some excessively and some not at all. It's referred to in a variety of ways.

This brings up the questions:

When and how do artists/lyricists talk about money in their songs? - Look at the lyrics of bands you like. How do they discuss money. Look at your own lyrics (if you write lyrics) do you ever write about money? If so, how?

When and how do artists/lyricists talk about money with their band, manager, engineer, producer, etc. - How do you discuss payment with your band, subcontractors, clients, etc.?

As an artist, are you looking at money as a need, or as a philosophical concept? - If it's a need, make a plan. If it's a philosophical concept, bring it down to earth.