Venice's music is featured this week in the Sunday Sundown podcast. Check it out!
December 19, 2006
While supplies last, Venice's new CD "Amsterdam" can be purchased in the U.S. over here. This is a limited edition version containing a bonus CD with three extra tracks. There are only 90 copies available, so you'd better move fast!
December 18, 2006
One of the very special moments from Saturday's Christmas show was opening act Charlie Vaughn's cover of Venice's "Washington and Lincoln." Think about it -- Kipp wrote the song about the death of his father, so that means that Charlie was singing about the grandfather he never met. Charlie and I wanted to share his performance of the song with everyone who couldn't be there in person, so here you go, enjoy. (By the way, that's Kipp introducing him, in case you don't recognize the voice.)
You can listen to two more performances from Charlie's set over on his MySpace page. Be sure and check out "Simple Life (live)," which includes backup singing from Roman, Dutch, Rowdy and Avalon Lennon. With all of Kipp and Michael's children up on stage performing together, this was the entire next generation of Venice offspring opening up the show.
And hey, speaking
of Venice... Their new CD, "Amsterdam," was in
extremely short supply this weekend, because the box of 100 copies
they were expecting to have on sale was late in shipping. So
of course it arrived today. Murphy's Law, right? Even
as we speak, we're working out the logistics of how to make them
available to you guys, so watch for that announcement here on
this page in the next couple of days.
December 16, 2006
Venice is featured this week on the "Ed's Mixed Bag" podcast. Check it out here!
December 2, 2006
I'm pleased to announce that Venice's opening act at the Belly Up and the Malibu Performing Arts Center Christmas shows will be none other than Kipp Lennon's oldest son, Charlie Vaughn. If you haven't heard his story yet, scroll down and read the October 22 news entry. And you can now watch a video of Charlie performing on his MySpace page. (Scroll down and you'll see it on the left.) So needless to say, if you have tickets for one of these shows, make sure you get there early enough to catch Charlie's set. And if you don't have tickets yet and you live in the area, you might want to get on that...
Speaking of the Malibu gig, here's a nice poster for that show which you can download, print, and hang up around town or at your schools or offices. Thanks!
In other news,
there's a nice interview with Michael and Pat over here. Just scroll down
until you see "Venice Interview 8-11-2006."
November 26, 2006
If you're not already aware of Venice drummer Jamie Wollam's other band Avion, do yourself a favor and head to their MySpace page over here to listen to four of their tracks. Sounds great, right? Well, I'm happy to report that they've just been signed to Icon Records, and their amazing sophomore CD, "Pain is a Megaphone," will be released in April, with touring to follow. Congrats, Jamie!
For those of you in the Los Angeles area, Jamie and Avion's lead singer Steve Bertrand will be doing a special 2-man acoustic set tomorrow night (Monday, November 27th) at 8:00pm at Molly Malone's, in the back room. (757 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036 -- Between Wilshire and 3rd.) Jamie won't be playing drums, he'll play acoustic guitar and sing backup. Cover charge is only $5. Trust me, you won't want to miss this!
Jamie is also working with an artist named Drake Bell (co-star of Nickelodeon's "Drake and Josh," for those of you with teenage daughters), and he'll be performing as part of Drake's band on "The Regis and Kelly Show" on Thursday, November 30th, and on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" on Wednesday, December 6th. You can check out Drake's music over here.
No wonder Jamie
couldn't join Venice on their current Dutch tour. Busy guy...
November 18, 2006
John Vester has asked me to announce that he'll be performing two concerts in Holland at the end of December:
22, 8:15pm. Moluke
Historisch Museum Sedjarah Maluku Kruisstraat 313, 3581 GK
Utrecht Tickets: 15,00
For reservations, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
23, 8:30pm. 'T Kommissiehuys "Fond Farewell Concert"
Kommissiewei 1, 971 RL Nijega
For reservations, call 0512-372972 or e-mail email@example.com
October 26, 2006
This Saturday in Holland, Venice will be on the television show "Top of the Pops." The program airs on Nederland 3 (BNN) and will be broadcast at 19.00 hrs - 19.50 hrs. (7pm-7:50pm.)
Here are some fun YouTube videos:
October 25, 2006
John Vester has asked me to let all the LA fans know that while Venice is off in Holland promoting their CD, he's holding down the fort in Venice, CA, and will be performing this Saturday at the Venice Carnevale, on the Grand stage, 4:15-5:00pm, backed by a 5-piece band.
October 22, 2006
For those of you who don't frequent Venice Talk, I'd like to share a couple of sections of a very revealing article that was recently posted on our forum. This is from a magazine called "Revolver," and I'm only printing the English translation here (provided by Dutch fan Erna Van der Graaf), for the fans in America and other non-Dutch-speaking countries. For the full article in its original language and the accompanying pictures, I strongly urge everyone reading this in the Netherlands to pick up an original copy at your local newsstand. This is one you'll definitely want for your collection.
Kipp and Michael are talking about the darkest periods in their lives. "People sometimes think we lead smooth and easy lives, and that our music is all sweet and lovely. But there's definitely a dark side to the Lennon Family. Its a crucial part of our lives and our music. Over the years, we have been spared nothing, not even murder. Its almost movie material.
Those "important revelations" turn out to be really shocking and are spoken about spontaneously, one after the other. Halfway through the conversation, the Lennon men look at each other with astonishment. "To be honest, we've never discussed all this before," Kipp says, as if surprised with his own openness. He stays silent for a while, and then continues, "But while we're on the subject..."
Its just a tiny step from eternal life for Katrina, a niece of Michaels who was murdered, and has a song dedicated to her on "Amsterdam." "Heartbreaking" is how Michael describes this young girl's fate. "She was so young. She hung around a group of boys and girls that were so wrong for her. A real criminal street gang. One day, she decided to start a new life. She went back to school, found a job after that, and was leading what you might call a normal life. She just made the terrible mistake to go to a party one day, where some of those gang members were present. There was a fight that night. I don't want to go into the details, but she was murdered." Kipp continues, "And you should know we stem from a big family with a very warm connection, where love comes first. Such tragedies are so hard to handle. But they do happen, every now and then."
Then, after some hesitation, he starts talking about his father, who was murdered too. He was shot by a disturbed fan of his sisters, who were very famous in the fifties as the Lennon Sisters. "They appeared on TV every Saturday evening," Kipp says. "That was a big deal in those days, because there were no more than 4 TV stations in the entire United States. There were even dolls of them that you could buy, so you can imagine how popular they were. It also attracted the wrong crowd, like stalkers. There was one guy who stalked them day and night, and had set a goal for himself to marry one of them. One day, he approached them really aggressively, and when my father tried to stop him, he pulled out a gun and shot him. I was nine years old at the time."
Recently tragedy struck again, when their eldest cousin died. "And this while our youngest cousin is facing death right now, because of his addiction to heroin," Michael says with a sigh. "This leaves us with two options. Just give up because of what is happening to this young boy, or be happy about the great life our eldest cousin has lived. Our choice is to hope, and we try to convey that message to our fans through our music. This is how we can spread happiness to our public, even if we had a terrible day."
Kipp: "While we're on the subject, I've carried a heavy load for the last twenty-five years that has finally been lifted. When I was twenty years old, and my girlfriend was just seventeen, we had a baby, but were not able to raise this child. We were simply too young, and thats why this little boy was given up for adoption. That's haunted me since then. Not a single day passed by where I didn't wonder how he was doing, and if maybe he was angry with me for not handling my responsibilities. A few years ago, I just couldn't take it anymore, and I went looking for him. This might have been the best decision I've ever made. Turns out he held no grudge against me, and he's been around in my life and house all the time since then. He even plays the guitar and writes songs!"
Michael: "That boy is the sunshine in our lives. We all are so happy things turned out the way they did, because we could imagine what Kipp must have felt like."
Kipp: "It seemed to be destiny. My mother was really bothered by the fact that she had never met my son. On her death bed, she finally got to meet him. The last piece of the puzzle fell into place. She had eleven children and forty grandchildren, but still she missed that one. At her funeral, my son sang for her. Isnt that the best ending ever? Another chapter in the life of the Lennons ends positively."
Text: Harry de Jong
Kipp's newfound son is Charlie Vaughn. If you'd like to go back and listen to the Venice songs that Kipp wrote about him over the years, (which until now you've probably never known what they were really about), the ones you'll want to put on are "The Only Love I Had," "Comes It Now," "I'll Keep My Fingers Crossed," and from the new album, "Weight Has Been Lifted" and a section of "Life is Like a Movie" ("...the lost prince has returned"). You can listen to a few of Charlie's demos on his MySpace page. And for those of you in Los Angeles, you can catch Charlie's next gig at Monroe's Bar on Sunday, November 5th at 8:30pm. 8623 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069. I hope to see all you local guys there!
If you'd like
to discuss your reactions to this article, you can do so here. (When you get
to the bottom of the first page, click on the number 2 on the
bottom-right to read the rest.)
October 14, 2006
A quick amendment to yesterday's post. The television show "Mooi weer de Leeuw" was taped today, but it doesn't air until tomorrow (Sunday) night. It will also be rerun on Monday night.
October 13, 2006
A few things for you Dutch fans to look out for:
1. Saturday, October 14: TV show: "Mooi weer de Leeuw," from 20:25-21:25, Nederland 1
2. Saturday, October 21: Radio show: " Spijkers met Koppen," from 12:00-14:00, Radio 2 (live)
3. Saturday, November
11: Radio show: "Cappuccino," from 09:00-12:00, radio
October 12, 2006
Got a few new things for you today:
Here's the new television commercial currently airing in Holland.
Here are the audio clips from the new album.
And here are the video clips from
"Ally McBeal" where Vonda Shepard sang Venice songs,
now in Quicktime!
October 9, 2006 - Update
Apparently my post from a couple of days ago caused some confusion. I've gotten several e-mails, and have read a few posts, asking whether Venice has changed their "First Three Songs" rule. I've now checked with Michael, and Venice does not have a "First Three Songs" rule. We're not sure where that came from. The fact is that Venice does not have any policy on cameras whatsoever. Many venues, however, do. So if you want to bring a camera into a show, you would be wise to contact the venue first and find out whether they'll allow it. If they do, the band will not veto that decision.
But I'd like to
throw my two cents in. This is just me -- not the band,
not the management, and not the label -- so it is not official
and it is not policy. But it occurs to me that this "First
Three Songs" idea is a smart one. It can be very distracting
to be up on stage trying to give a performance and having to deal
with random white lights popping up from all directions temporary
blinding you. In addition, it can be equally distracting
to be sitting in the audience trying to enjoy the show and then
having to deal with the same blinding white lights regularly drawing
your attention and imparing your own vision. So if you do
plan to document the concert photographically, and the venue says
that it's okay, why not get what you can during the first three
songs, and then put your camera away for the rest of the show
as a courtesy to the band and to those around you? I think
that would be a really nice thing to do.
October 9, 2006
Here's a note from Michael Lennon:
Michael here, checking in with all of you who are wondering how the hell it's going. Well, I'm happy to say that the new drummer for this tour, Martijn Bosman (Kane), is a great guy, a great drummer and a quick learner. We've had two days of rehearsals with Martijn in a little studio in Almere. The owner is in a band called "Chuck Wagon" and they even play some Venice songs in their set......pretty cool, huh?
We arrived to a rainy day, which contrasted with our sunny California departure, but in one day, we sprinkled Venice dust on the Netherlands, and now, on Monday, we have sunny skies again..... (We'll try not to use up all the magic dust too early......we've got a long tour ahead of us.)
I hope to post some pictures and/or video soon, but I haven't had time to edit out the nasty, naked shots.......you know how we get when we're on the road.
Tomorrow we start our first real rehearsals with the full lights and sound.....very excited to see the new stage design and to play the new songs.
Well, that's it for now. I'll be updating you soon. All you American friends, feel free to come on over. The Dutchies are real friendly and will give you a bed to sleep in and feed you some meat and potatoes for free.
Love you all,
Until next time,
October 6, 2006
The band is in Holland now, rehearsing for their two-month Netherlands theater tour that begins next week. So this seems like a pretty good time to remind all you Dutch fans about the meet-and-greets. After any concert on the tour, find the line in the lobby and stand in it, and you can meet the band and have them sign anything you'd like. If you want to take pictures with them, that's fine too, but please remember that you're not allowed to bring cameras into the show, so you'll have to leave your camera in your car and then go out and get it after the concert ends.
There's also a little-known policy about the meet-and-greets that I'd like to share with everyone. If you or someone in your group is 16 years of age or younger, you can walk straight to the front of the line. And we'd like to ask everyone reading this that if you see anyone in the crowd who looks like they're 16 or younger, please inform them (or their parents) about this rule, since there's a good chance they won't have visited this webpage or seen this news item. And I don't think there'll be any signs announcing it either. It's strictly a word-of-mouth thing.
September 25, 2006
Hey California fans, if you don't have plans this Sunday night, here are two great options for you. First of all, there's this:
Then that night at BB King's at Universal Citywalk, Venice's drummer Jamie Wollam will perform a set with Steve Bertrand as an acoustic duo singing Avion songs.
Want a real adventure? If you leave Carpinteria by 6:45pm, you should have no trouble attending both.
September 20, 2006
Some great news from Michael Lennon:
I am excited to announce that Venice's "Amsterdam" is at #8 in the "Top 100" Albums charts in the Netherlands!
I want to thank each and every one of you that bought the CD or helped spread the music of Venice.
We have a long way to go and a long road ahead of us, but this is a great way to start.
Looking forward the tour.
Your grateful pal,
September 12, 2006
Here are those pictures Michael proimsed us. Click here.
September 11, 2006 - Update
A quick note from Michael Lennon:
Jamie, Mark Harris, Kipp, Marky, Pat, Nick and I played an industry only party tonight, Sept. 11, at the Panama club in Amsterdam. We could only play one song off of our new album, but we also got to do "You Can Close Your Eyes" by James Taylor with Ilse Delange. It was awesome. We invited her to join us some night during our October - December tour. For our one song, we did "Weight Has Been Lifted," and although the monitors were a bit shaky, the energy pulled us through.
We can't wait to hit the Paradiso on Thursday with our sound, our lights, and of course, most importantly, our "FRIENDS".......(FANS!!!) There's a new energy that will be there Thursday night. It not only comes from the new songs but also the memories of the songs from some of the old shows......some of the Venice favorites. This show will set the pace for the upcoming "Tour of the Netherlands 2006."
Well, more to come. I hope to post some pictures soon.
Gotta get some sleep so I can get ready for Thursday.
September 11, 2006
I finally have the different album release versions for you:
Plato and Media Markt will get the standard version only, with no bonus CDs. This version is slightly cheaper in price.
Free Record Shop, VanLeest, Fame and Bijenkorf will get the standard version plus a bonus CD containing the songs "Medley," "Easy to be Hard" and "We're OK." This version is packaged together in a limited edition digipack. Only 7,500 units were printed and will be sold.
Music Store and V&D will get the standard version plus a bonus CD containing the songs "Medley," "Katrina" and "Bahia." This is also a limited edition, as only 5,000 copies were printed.
If you plan to purchase the album from any store not listed above, you might want to phone them first and ask which version they're carrying.
A few people have e-mailed me about the medley, asking whether this is Venice's Beatles medley or their Beach Boys medley. It is neither. This is their "Under the Boardwalk" medley that fans have been enjoying at Venice's acoustic shows, now expanded to include a couple more soul songs that have not yet been performed live.
be Hard" is a cover song from the play and movie "Hair,"
which has previously been covered by Three Dog Night. Mark
Lennon sings lead. "We're OK" features Michael
Lennon on lead vocal and a 10-piece string section. "Katrina"
was previously released on Mark Lennon's solo album, and is performed
here as a piano version with some Venice harmonies added. "Bahia"
is acoustic guitar only with Mark singing in Portuguese.
September 8, 2006
The "Amsterdam" sampler has been removed from MySpace, but in its place are four full songs from the new album. Check 'em out over here.
And here's the new bio.
August 25, 2006
Venice's new CD, "Amsterdam," will be released in Holland on Universal Records on September 18. That's the album cover, above. The track listing is as follows:
1. Weight Has
3. It's Too Late for Me Now
5. Radio Game
6. Not Enough for You
7. Bittersweet Life
8. Ashes in the Snow
9. My Life is Like a Movie
10. The Lost Weekend
11. The Romance that Never Was
13. One More Song
In addition, select music stores will sell two different special editions, each with a different bonus CD containing additional songs. Further details will be posted as soon as I get them.
You can listen to a sampler of the new songs on our MySpace page, over here.
A few days before the album hits stores, Venice will throw a CD release party, performing many of the new songs live with a full band on September 14, 20:30, at the Paradiso in Amsterdam. A limited number of tickets will go on sale for fans beginning September 2 at Ticket Service (0900-3001250) and other known booking addresses.
will begin selling the album to American fans just as soon as
our shipment arrives. It probably won't be on September
18, but we hope it'll be shortly thereafter. So there's
no need to pay hefty import fees, because we'll have it available
for you as quickly as we can. We're even hoping to set up
a pre-ordering system, so that we can have the CDs out the door
to you the day they arrive. So watch this news page for
that pending announcement.
August 10, 2006
A quick word from Mark Lennon:
I just found VERY last minute that I got the opening slot before Dennis DeYoung (of the band Styx) at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, next Thursday, August 17th. John Vester will accompany me on acoustic guitar and we'll do a 45 minute set of some of my favorite songs from both Venice and my solo album, "The Demo Sessions."
This is going to be an incredible evening because Dennis DeYoung's 2-hour set will feature all the hits he made famous while fronting the band Styx, such as:
Come Sail Away
The Best of Times
Suite Madame Blue
The Grand Illusion
Rockin' the Paradise
And many more!
The doors at the Canyon Club open at 6pm and I'll go onstage around 7:00 or 7:15pm. This is an all-ages show. The only way to get a seat is to make a dinner reservation, so call right now and get yourself a table! (818) 879-5016.
Tickets are $39.50 through the Canyon Club
and Ticketmaster, BUT... if you join Gold Star Events, you can
get tickets for this show for just over $20 per person... check
For driving directions or more information
about the Canyon Club:
More information about Dennis DeYoung:
Markylennon.com merchandise will be available, as well as all of John Vester's music.
Visit my website!
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
July 7, 2006
At the end of the month, Venice will release a new album in Japan, titled "A Band Called Venice." This is the band's debut release in this country, so even though it is a greatest hits set, it won't be promoted that way.
Here's the track listing, as well as the albums that the tracks originated from:
1. Think Again
(Welcome to the Rest of Your Life)
2. Sweet Aloha (Welcome to the Rest of Your Life)
3. Precious Stone (Welcome to the Rest of Your Life)
4. For a Dancer (with Jackson Browne) (2 Meter Sessies)
5. Right Where We Left Off (Pacific Standard Time)
6. Most of Us (Welcome to the Rest of Your Life)
7. The Road to Where You Are (2 Meter Sessies)
8. Unbreakable Heart (Welcome to the Rest of Your Life)
9. Guinnevere (with David Crosby) (2 Meter Sessies)
10. I'll Keep My Fingers Crossed (Pacific Standard Time)
11. Welcome to the Rest of Your Life (Welcome to the Rest of Your Life)
12. The Family Tree (new studio recording)
13. Starting Here Again (Live at the Royal Carre Theatre DVD)
14. The Man You Think I Am (Live at the Royal Carre Theatre DVD)
15. If I Were You (Live at the Royal Carre Theatre DVD)
16. One Quiet Day (Live at the Royal Carre Theatre DVD)
May 31, 2006
Michael sent over some pictures from the Holland recording. All of these photos were taken by Marius Suiker.
May 29, 2006
Ladies and gentlemen, once again, I give you Michael Lennon:
It's Monday morning and I woke up in my own bed with the sun shining. Although the weather in Holland is not too bad, it sure is nice to be home in California.
I have to be careful not to hype it too much but we left Amsterdam on such a high. This new record is really "Venice".......everyone that visited the church during our recording was really blown away.
The last 3 days of recording were the most important.......the vocals. Most of the vocals were recorded with the 4 of us up on a stage that they built in the middle of the church. We were facing each other in a circle. Each guy had his own dedicated microphone, but there were also ambient or room microphones that capture the sound of the 4 of us as a group as it sounds in the beautiful and natural reverb of the church. When I heard playback on some of the songs, it's almost like 3-dimensional sound. There is an energy on these recordings that was missing on the past recordings.
All tracks were cut live with the full band. Most of the vocals were cut live with all 4 singers......this was key to capture that "venice live" vibe.
During the entire process of recording, we were often stopped by the beautiful church bells of a nearby church. We would wait for them to stop and then continue recording....well, on the last note of the last vocal recording, we all were holding our notes out and as the band track was fading, the bells started ringing....we left it on the recording because it was so appropriate.
Well, there's still much to do regarding album artwork, sequencing of songs, picking songs, etc., but overall the second-to-last stage of this album is complete.
I would like to thank Amber and Matt for all their hard work in helping find new ways to reach that next plateau. Also, there are too many Venetians to mention here that are volunteering to help out as well. WE CANNOT DO IT WITHOUT YOU GUYS.....FOR THAT WE ARE EXTREMELY THANKFUL.
I will list these people in the near future but have to get back to hugging and kissing my wife and kids.
Please be patient for this new album.....there's rumors of 12" limited edition vinyl's being printed.
I really think this one will make everyone happy.
We love you and again appreciate all the support.
Pictures are coming soon.
Gotta make breakfast for the kids......Daddy's home!
Michael - Venice
For the record (no pun intended), the folks generously putting in hours of work every week to help spread the word about Venice are Karin Abelmann, John Bruil, Tineke Bruil, Monica den Hartog, Michelle Mathieu and Erna Van der Graaf. A huge thanks from me too, guys!
The Netherlands tour dates are now posted on the Tour Dates page. A HUGE thank you to Gerda and Erna for looking up all of the addresses, phone numbers and URLs, and saving me hours of work!
May 23, 2006
The tour dates for Venice's Holland theater tour at the end of the year have just been released. It's going to take me some time to research all of the addresses, phone numbers, URLs, etc. for each of them, but in the meantime, you can take a look at them over here.
And now, a new letter from Michael Lennon:
Today was an amazing day in Venice history.
Not only did we cut 5 tracks today, but the first 3 were cut live with 10 string players. It was an amazing thing, to hear our new songs fully realized. These musicians were so good it was scary. Our good Dutch friend, Gerbrand Westveen, arranged the strings, and I think when you hear them you'll agree........he knows how to bring the best out of the Venice songs. (Gerbrand was the arranger and conductor of the Gelredome show we did with De Kast....."Baby's Calling"....."One Quiet Day"!)
I remember playing the very first song this morning with the strings, and I turned to my left to look at Pat and he had tears in his eyes, as did I. It was definitely an emotional day and one that couldn't have gone better.
That being said, this morning, before we left for the studio, I was a wreck.....not knowing what to expect.......It's quite a bit of pressure to play a song live with 10 pros sitting in front of you....also hoping that the actual arrangements would be as expected.
The string section was so impressed that we were actually recording the songs live with them, and they were not just playing to a pre-recorded track.....it was magical indeed. Many of them offered to play live with us in the future, and we've also made some new fans.
If you really think about it, we'll be making an entire record in a little more than a week's time. That's really amazing in this day and age.
Every day we get faster at cutting the tracks.
We were also lucky to have Marius Suiker join us today, to help take some photos and shoot some video.....Thank you Marius.
Well, I'm dead tired from an awesome day, but wanted to catch you up on the "Hot News!"
Gotta be at the studio at 10 tomorrow.
I will try to post a photo or two of today's activities when I can go through them.....busy, busy!
Hang in there....every day we get closer to the release of the new album.
Adios muchachas and muchachos,
May 18, 2006
Although today was a short day and somewhat boring to music lovers, we were able to set up our instruments, get comfortable in our new home and play through some of the songs to check instrument balance, etc.
Tomorrow will be the starting of the actual recordings, although there are still some details to work out.
We shot some video today, but you will have to wait to see that. I will go through the limited photos I have from today and try to post some soon.
Talk to you soon,
May 17, 2006
Here's a note from Michael:
Today was our last day before we start the recording of the new Venice record with Universal / Flow Records. This is a very exciting and somewhat unknown journey we are about to embark on, but I have faith that great things will come from it.
Tonight we had an amazing dinner with all involved......the band, the label, management, and most importantly, the hi fidelity recording company...Turtle Records.
Tomorrow will be out first day of setting up and starting the new album.
I will do my best to shoot some photos, videos, etc. and to keep you posted with short diary entries like this one, but I can't promise too much. As you might know, I play guitar and sing in the band.
Anyway, more to come soon. Please send good energy in our direction and stay tuned for the next exciting episode of....."Venice in Amsterdam"..............Hey, that's a good album title.
See you soon.
Michael - Venice
And here's another short video from Michael's camera.
May 16, 2006
Click here for a quick video greeting from Michael.
May 15, 2006
Two pieces of news for you today. The first is I've finally updated the fan covers page. People have been sending songs in to me for the past six months, and I've been too busy to get to them. Last night I finally set some time aside, went through all my old e-mails, and found and posted as many of them as I could. If you've sent me one and you don't see it there now, please send it again and I'll try to get it up right away. My apologies to everyone involved for not taking care of this sooner.
The other news is this note from Kipp:
Hey everybody. This is Kipp Lennon, writing on behalf of my cousins and brother to give you a little update. Well, we finally finished writing and rehearsing a bunch of new songs, and we're flying over this week to the Netherlands to record our new album. We've got a lot of great new stuff and we're fired up to get started.
Here are some of the song titles: "The Lost Weekend," "Rewind," "One More Song," "Weight Has Been Lifted," "I Thought You Would Be Here," "Not Enough For You," "Radio Game," "My Life Is Like A Movie" and a lot more. You obviously don't know any of these songs yet, but imagine a lot of polkas mixed with opera and elevator music... Well, I don't want to give too much away.
On the 1st of May, our pal, keyboardist Nick Bult, flew here to LA from Holland for a week of rehearsals with the four Lennons, Mark Harris on bass and Jamie Wollam on drums. As most of you know, each of these guys brings such a great vibe to our shows and songs. We can't wait to make the actual album now. We'll be recording it at a beautiful, old, wooden church in Amsterdam over the next couple of weeks. We'll try to check in now and then with a progress report while we're there, and maybe some pictures as well.
Anyway, we thought some of you might like a glimpse into what these rehearsals looked like, so we threw together this little slideshow. (When I say we, I mean, of course, Matt Levitz with some help from us.) Special thanks go to Matt and also to our main gal Friday, Amber Guerra, for once again going above and beyond the call of duty, taking the time to come down and hang out and get some nice shots to document the rehearsals. The final preproduction stage!
Thanks folks, and we'll talk to you soon. Adios!
Our modest little
slideshow can be viewed by clicking here. You'll need Quicktime
installed to view it.
April 16, 2006
Happy Easter everyone!
I'm happy to announce
Venice's brand new MySpace pages. Amber
and I, with help from the band, have set up one page for Venice and one for Pine
Both pages contain new bios, and on the Logs page you can
listen to four previously unreleased live recordings. Follow
the links and check 'em out, and then those of you with your own
MySpace pages, please add both of these to your friends lists,
add the music tracks to your own pages, talk about this in your
blogs, and spread the word any way you can!
March 30, 2006
Hi everybody. It's been a little while since I've posted anything substantial here, so I think it's high time for an update.
Venice is currently hard at work writing songs for the new album. In fact, even as you read this, the guys are down in Vista at the family home known as "Hideaway Hill" (which most of you know they sang about on their first album) working on new material. It's helpful for them to take some time away from the distractions of wife and kids to really concentrate on the work, and the gorgeous environment of the locale always helps to inspire.
The new album will be recorded live-to-tape. This is significant because it's the first time Venice has ever done this. What it means, basically, is that as the tape rolls, the band performs the songs together, all at the same time. They can see each other and play off of each other, and theoretically the recording will capture the energy and chemistry and magic that is present in their concerts. This is opposed to the way Venice has always recorded albums before, which is one instrument or vocal at a time, with each person alone in a room, listening to their demo through headphones and doing their part over and over again until it's perfect, and then later combining all of the separate elements into one recording.
This is also going to be the first studio CD that Venice records in Holland. As you'll recall, "Welcome to the Rest of Your Life" was recorded in the Bahamas, and all the others were done close to their homes in Venice Beach. ("Two Metre Sessies" was partly recorded in Holland, but was not a studio album.) As it was explained to me, there are engineers in Holland who have won awards for their work doing live-to-tape, and their studio is an old wooden church with great acoustics that will lend itself to the album's vibe.
On May 1st, Venice's Dutch keyboardist Nick Bult will fly to America and head down to Hideaway Hill with the entire band (including Jamie Wollam on drums and Mark Harris on bass), and they'll spend a week rehearsing the new material exactly as if they were rehearsing for a tour. Then this lineup of the band will all fly to Holland and record from May 13 to May 31.
(So for those of you who have e-mailed to ask whether Venice will participate in Topanga Days or the Venice Carnivale this year, the answer is no, because it conflicts with the recording.)
The album is scheduled for release in Holland in late September, on a major label that we can't announce yet, and will be promoted with a 2-month Dutch theater tour from mid-October to mid-December. Dates will of course be posted here on Venice Central as soon as they're confirmed. U.S. release should be in early 2007.
In other news, I know a lot of you are curious about the McCabe's taping. You saw that I recruited volunteer camera operators here on the news page, and the Venice Talk reviews mentioned cameras all over the room. Here's what I can tell you. On the first night of shows (four Lennons only), I directed a four-camera shoot of Venice's two shows. (Venice provided the blank tapes.) I and three other volunteers taped all night from various points around the room, and it wound up being kind of a practice run because we had so many technical problems. I don't think that material will ever be released. But it taught me a lot, and the following week at the two full band shows, we fixed a lot of the problems and added two more volunteers, and I directed a six-camera shoot that came out much better. (You can view the show's set list right here.) I've been working very hard for the last month with the twenty four hours of footage that we shot that night (six cameras times two 2-hour shows), editing it down to one multi-angle 2-hour show. Most days have involved me working at the office for 8 hours, driving home, and then working until 2am or 3am on this Venice stuff. And you don't even want to know the kind of hours I've put in during the weekend. Suffice it to say, my kids miss me. (And they look bigger than I remember. How did that happen?) But it's all been worth it, because I've got a cut now that I'm pretty happy with. It's the late show in its entirety, and it's a lot of fun to watch. Though I have to warn you, even with all of the cutting, it's got a real homemade feel. There are camera bumps and shakes, and the pans and zooms aren't always perfect, nor is the framing. Some of the angles have kind of a grainy quality to them, and others don't. Sometimes I didn't have the coverage I needed so I stole parallel moments from the early show, and the sync, if you're watching closely, is just slightly off. And color correction is a nightmare because quite often you'll be watching one angle and the lights make everyone look red, and then you'll cut to another angle where everyone looks purple, and the change is jarring. That's an issue that can be fixed, and I'm spending a lot of time with it right now, but there's not much I can do about the rest. To be quite honest, you're never going to confuse this with a professional release. It ain't "Live at the Royal Carre Theatre," not even close. But taken in the right context, it's entirely watchable and a lot of fun. And I haven't even told you about the best part yet. Michael Lennon bought himself a new device that allows him to plug his laptop into the soundboard and record audio as sixteen separate tracks. He taped these McCabe's shows and is giving them a proper mix, so I'll be able to replace all the audio with tracks that sound amazing. The band just watched my latest work-in-progress cut down in Vista the other night, and I got an e-mail from them saying that they liked it a lot. So now we just have to figure out what to do with it. I believe we're leaning towards a DVD release around Christmastime, that we would only sell at shows and on Venice Store. Possibly with an accompanying double-live CD of the show. We're not sure yet. Please share your thoughts with us on Venice Talk. We read all the fan feedback and take it into consideration. Is this something you'd want to own, despite all the problems I described?
It seems like now is a proper time to acknowledge and thank our McCabe's camera volunteers: Susan Brody, John Daly, Jon DeLong, Bob Hernandez and George Rangel.
And hey, since we're on the subject, are there any fans in San Diego who own DV cameras who'd like to volunteer to shoot the Pine Mountain Logs show at the Belly Up Tavern in two weeks? This one would not be for release, just internal use, but you'd get free admittance into the show and an eventual copy of whatever is cut from it, so that's not a bad deal. Venice would provide blank tapes. Please e-mail me at email@example.com with "Venice Camcorder Request" as your subject line. Thanks!
Finally, I'd like to announce the release of the John Vester/Mark Lennon "In Concert" DVD, taped at De Duif in Amsterdam on their "Two Voices, One Guitar" tour, with special guests Kipp, Michael and Pat Lennon, and Nick Bult. The 35-track DVD also contains a 25-track CD, unique backstage views and four bonus tracks. Dutch fans can purchase this DVD over here. For American fans, an NTSC version (playable on U.S. televisions) will soon be available on Mark's website, over here. If you have Windows Media Player, you can click here for a video preview.
Okay, that's enough
talking for one day. Back to color correction I go!
February 26, 2006
Here's a very nice review of Venice's Galaxy show.
February 18, 2006
I've got enough camera operator volunteers now. Thanks everyone!
In other news, I've been getting a lot of questions from fans who have received a mysterious e-mail asking them to confirm their address for a Venice list. I've investigated, and it turns out this is legit. Here's a letter that will soon be going out to everyone on the Veince mailing list:
You were recently sent an email regarding an update of our database for the mailing list of our band, Venice.
We were supposed to have included a personal message, like this one, explaining that we were updating our database and that our friend Christal Chacon is handling it for us using a PLAXO database system. We inadvertently left off this little explanation and consequently some of you were a bit confused about what exactly the email was and who Christal Chacon was. So, rest assured, your information is perfectly safe and confidential and we are only trying to update the database so that we can more efficiently send out notices, updates and announcements regarding the band, our music and our live shows. You only need to yea or nay whether you want to remain on our list. The notice we are sending you is a standard PLAXO update form but you can disregard all the personal info questions. We don't need any of that. Just a confirmation that you want to remain on our list. Sorry if there was any confusion.
We hope to see you soon.
Hope that clears everything up.
February 15, 2006
Attention all Venice fans in the Los Angeles area. If you own a mini-DV camcorder and you're pretty good with it, and you'd like to donate some time and help out with a Venice project, please e-mail me ASAP at firstname.lastname@example.org. Use "Venice Camcorder Request" as your subject line, and I'll have a filter set up to snag your e-mail away from my ruthless spam filter. Thanks!
January 30, 2006
If any Californians are still on the fence about coming to the Galaxy show this coming Saturday, I can tell you it's going to be a great one. It's an acoustic show, which always means lots of hilarious banter between songs, and a lot of rarely played originals and covers. It's a very different show from their rock set, and it's always very special. On top of that, they'll be debuting several brand new songs at this show, so you won't want to miss that. And the multi-talented Tim Moyer is one of the opening acts. If you want to sit near the stage, you have to make a dinner reservation, so call the number on the tour dates page and book yourself a table. And I'll see you there!
Now, if you're looking for something to do tonight, Monday the 30th, Venice's bass player Mark Harris will be playing bass at the House of Blues on Sunset Blvd. in a 10pm show called "Bandage!...The Rock Opera." Mark even sings a few lines in the song "The Bass Player is Nobody." Looks pretty wild!
January 2, 2006
The Christmas show is now offline. Hope everyone enjoyed it!