To our dear family, friends, artists and clients we were honored to work with this year!
We wish for you a lovely holiday season and a better 2021!
Falalalalalalalala! We know every single person in the world has been struggling to some degree this year. It’s been tough, it’s been hard, it’s been sad, it’s been frustrating and downright crazy. However, there were good things too: watching and re-watching great tv shows, learning to use zoom, growing a garden, cooking more, nurturing a love of wild birds and discovering tiktok. I’d love to say we did more or learned many new skills and crafts, but the uncertainty of the world put inspiration at bay. Kenny did have time to produce a few of his own songs, and we released videos for them, so that was good.
We are lucky to have always worked from home/studio, so that was not so different for us. As we did not travel this year we really miss our family and our friends in California more than usual. We stayed home, we stayed safe, wore masks and kept our distance from other humans. We still went for walks at Shelby Bottoms park, but could not pat every dog that walked passed us (which was super hard) and we had to psych ourselves up sufficiently to buy essentials from the supermarket.
What gave us joy was still being able to work with wonderfully creative souls who all made fantastic music this year! Surprisingly and thankfully, we were busy.
So onward to a hopefully better year! We wish for you a Happier New Year and hope you enjoy this different kind of holiday season! Make yummy food, nap, go for walks, call and zoom friends and family, watch movies, play and/or listen to music.
Kenny enjoyed making this Christmas Song for ya’ll – (as with all his songs he did everything, production, performance, orchestration, mixing & mastering) hehe, my sister Jessica Fong in Australia made the super cute video (in record time) with the help of my niece Caitlyn and I (Sabine) did the graphics. A very family affair!
C’mon C’mon C’mon started its life on a different trajectory than it ended up on. Originally, I was writing a song for a placement opportunity, and the basic feeling was supposed to be ‘nostalgic’. I got that part moving along just fine, and as it’s written now, that part would have worked out. Samples were given as an idea for the type of sound and feel they were looking for which lent toward a melancholic pop/indie vibe. Usually, that is right up my alley, as well as those familiar music know. But when I’d play the song, which at first was just on acoustic guitar, I kept playing it at a certain speed, and that speed took it out of a melancholic feel. I tried to slow it down and make it more weepy, but nope, this song wouldn’t have it.
I abandoned my initial mission, forgot about the placement, and served this song as it wanted to be served. It just wanted to be kind of a Brit pop type thing—a hair punky, with an upbeat feel. There was a whole other section of lyrics in the bridge, which is just instrumental now—where the widdley-woo guitar solo is. They were cool, but it was murky and just wasn’t working, so I went for some guitar fun, which fits the theme of the song, as it ended up being about my musical journey in a way, and it was ripping guitar riffs that pulled me into music in the first place.
The idea of the song is that musical styles, and even fashion styles (which often accompany music styles) always seem to repeat and come back around again… what was in style once will likely come around again—I mean, how many times has punk rock come and gone now?
We saw a time in the 90’s when the old swing sound came back around again (and everyone sounded like an updated Cab Calloway), rock-a- billy had it’s day again in the 80’s and brought with it that 50’s fashion, and here in Nashville on our favorite local radio station, Lightning 100, I hear so many bands that sound like they’ve revisited the 70’s and 80’s again for inspiration.
I’ve had a few questions asked of me regarding the line ‘the drink and then the sound is brown, ’til the strong and clear take down the town…’ — the brown drink is whiskey, the brown sound was what Eddie Van Halen’s sounds was labeled. Both of those fell out of favor at some point, but now we know bourbon is the big thing again after the years when strong, clear liquors became popular and almost destroyed the bourbon industry— and the 80’s saw that more clean sound (drum machines, clean guitars, etc.) swallow the big guitar sound. Then came the whole grunge movement and ‘alternative’ bands like Tool, Dinosaur Jr., and Smashing Pumpkins that brought back the wall of sound again.
And so it goes…round and round… what you like may pass out of favor, but it will come back around.
So sing your song!
WATCH THE VIDEO
LYRICS: C’Mon C’Mon C’Mon by Kenny Schick
Yesterday or years ago
it’s all the same and we don’t know
that time’s moved on
and nothing’s gone
we talk away the day and so
the night walks in and steals the show
it’s been too long
still sing that song
the one that’s always dances in my heads
the tune that always gets me out of bed
Na Na Na Na Na Na Na
Life’s as short as the day is long
no one else… can sing your song c’mon c’mon c’mon
the latest style it’s all the rage
it flies away and leaves the cage
and then it’s gone
but not for long
the drink and then the sound is brown
’til the strong and clear take down the town
but it’s ok
cuz it won’t be long ’til we see you again
and the coolest kids will want to be your friend
it’s new, it’s old, it’s bought and sold
the salvage yard then solid gold
and should it stand the test of time
rewrite the lines repeat the rhyme
202 started with hopeful thoughts for many. Premature hopes would be dashed on the proverbial rocks as 2020 tumbled down the cliff. It moved ever more rapidly to becoming the worst year in recent history for the entire planet.
The Ghost of Nashville is about how Nashville suffered one of the earliest big blows of 2020. In the early morning of March 3, a deadly and unpredicted tornado ravaged Northern and East Nashville.
In East Nashville, where Kenny Schick, and his wife, Sabine Heusler-Schick run Basement 3 Productions, a music production company. Many of the businesses that made East Nashville vibrant (including a very popular music venue, The Basement East) were torn to pieces, just a few blocks from the Schick’s ‘compound’.
On the heels of the tornado, the whole planet went into lock down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nashville, is a town where music, entertainment, tourism, and restaurants make it a destination. It is a town full of musicians who rely on gigs and touring they immediately felt the full impact of the shutdowns. Black Lives Matter protests and riots had Nashville unravel quickly as opposing ideologies and contrary opinions clashed.
Musicians and the music industry that gives Music City it’s identity, an industry who’s employees often struggle to eek out a living even in the best of times, hangs on the verge of extinction in Nashville, and many wonder if the clubs, the artists, the hotels, the restaurants will survive. Even before all this, concerns of the rapid growth and rising housing costs had threatened the survival of an already challenged music industry, and the charm and history of Nashville.
A lot of Questions
It is with this whirlwind of thoughts and fears that Kenny Schick penned the song, The Ghost Of Nashville, a tribute to his hometown of just 3 years. Schick and his wife had fled the San Francisco Bay Area. Some of the highest costs of living in the country had gutted the once thriving community of artists. Nashville was growing quickly, but this place called ‘Music City’ was on a downhill trajectory. Economic growth alone could potentially devour the very industry that attracts so many to Nashville.
‘The Ghost Of Nashville’ leaves listeners with lots of questions,. Schick hopes it inspires thoughts and new ideas that will lead to preserving the heart and soul of Music City.