Current Projects: “Death of Superman Lives: What Happened?” and Dweezil Zappa Behind-The-Scenes

Here are a couple of projects I’m currently involved with.

Dweezil Zappa's New Album

For the past few months, I’ve been hanging out with Dweezil Zappa and documenting the recording process for his new album. One of my favorite people to work with. He’s currently funding the record through Pledge. We’re hoping to compile all of the footage into a behind-the-scenes video to accompany the album. You can still support the project by pre-ordering the CD here: www.pledgemusic.com/projects/dweezilzappa


Death of Superman Lives

I’ve been filming interviews for Jon Schnepp’s first documentary project, “The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened?” since the beginning of the project. Getting to visit Kevin Smith’s house was the highlight for me. As of right now they are wrapping up the editing, and the film will premiere at Egyptian Theater Hollywood on April 30, 2015.

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Aristocrats “Culture Clash Live” Added To Shop

Aristocrats

Hey Aristocrats nuts: I just added the latest Live CD + Live DVD combo pack to The CarlKingdom Shop. 8-Song CD, 9-Song DVD. All Live, and shrink-wrapped.

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7-String Bassist, Jeff Hughell

Here’s a video I made for Seymour Duncan at NAMM 2015. It’s a 7-string bassist named Jeff Hughell. His music reminded me of Behold… The Arctopus.

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Morgan Movie Blu-Ray Release!

Morgan_BluRay_Art

Available on Blu-Ray in the shop.

-Carl.

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Morgan Agren’s Solo CD

Batterie Deluxe

Hey folks, I recently bought a batch of Morgan Ågren’s first-ever Solo CD from the label in Japan. It’s called Batterie Deluxe and it’s got guest appearances from Devin Townsend and Fredrik Thordendal of Meshuggah. And of course, Morgan’s other weird friends!

If you’re in the US you can get Free Shipping on it by entering the code: import

Go check it out, and hope you love it!

-Carl.

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Sex & Religion: My 2nd Documentary (That Won’t Be Released)

Sex & Religion Title

In March 2014, after finishing up my music documentary about Swedish drummer Morgan Ågren, I decided to start a new project about my most listened to album of all-time: Steve Vai’s Sex & Religion.

It seemed like perfect timing to me. It was the 20th anniversary of the record’s release. It was the album that brought the world Devin Townsend, who I consider to be the greatest rock vocalist, ever. It was a totally unlikely record, with a heavy story behind it — a classic rock n’ roll fairy tale gone wrong. I felt like if there was a story out there for me to tell, Sex & Religion was it.

I spent some time researching and gathering as many materials and information as I could. I bought a ton of memorabilia from eBay. Press kits, posters. I downloaded every bit of video and even audio from that I could find from the tour, media interviews, magazine interviews from Japan. I started tracking down people who worked on the record, in any capacity. I put it all into a very large document and was ready to make it happen.

Conveniently, Devin was coming to Los Angeles to record Z2. I fired off an email, asking if he’d participate. He humbly agreed to help me.

(Technical side note: I decided to shoot the whole thing in 4K UHD with a RED Scarlett. I rented it and some Zeiss CP2 lenses a few days before the shoot and tested them. The Scarlett, which I think was not well-maintained, gave me a lot of problems, but that’s another story.)

Anyway, I showed up at the studio in Hollywood with, literally, a hundred questions for Devin. It took 2.5 hours to get through them. I asked him everything I could think of: his memories of anyone involved, locations, song lyrics, the recording process, the tour.

Devin made a few things very clear:

1.) He did not want to speak for Steve, or anyone else.
2.) It was a long time ago and he’s barely listened to the record since then.
3.) He was very thankful to have Steve as a friend.

I took the footage back to my studio and edited it into a 20-minute short “presentation.” I was so proud of it. I managed to make something I considered very fun and artistic, and I felt it relieved some of the tension of the story.

I sent it to Steve, excited to hear his reaction. I had gone into this promising that I would not continue work on or release the documentary without the permission of everyone involved. At this point in my life, I can understand that the people and their lives are more important than a movie that could be made about them.

Over the time period of almost a year, Steve and I exchanged e-mails about it. I really tried my best — but in the end, Steve decided that if there was someday going to be a Sex & Religion documentary, he’d probably want to produce it himself, but that he had no plans to do that. He was very nice about it, and kept the door open to future projects.

It was kind of a bummer for me, but it felt like a good answer.

So: I feel it’s at least fair for me to share a few screenshots and tell the story of my little project that never got released. I experienced a lot of excitement working on it… and who knows, maybe in a hundred years someone will dig up my project files and release it.

-Carl.

Sex & Religion: Devin

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Mr. Bungle’s Disco Volante (VINYL) Added To Shop

5.0.3

I’ve just added a very limited quantity of Mr. Bungle’s Disco Volante on VINYL to my shop.

This was a significant album that contributed to my understanding of “the elements of music” when I was in college. It is also one of the few albums that brought 20th century “film scoring composition” to rock audiences.

Go get it in The Shop!

-Carl.

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I’m Quitting Spotify

Spotify

Morgan and I have been talking about the topic of Streaming lately.

I’ve decided to pull my musical releases from Spotify, etc.

I decided it would be fun to share my reasoning here.

1.) I listen to Spotify! Any artist / label that makes their music available on Spotify is voluntarily giving it away (or agreeing to whatever terms are particular to their arrangement). So when I listen to a bunch of Bon Jovi power ballads (which I do), I do so guilt-free. It’s a square deal.

2.) I do make some passive income from Spotify. Here’s my most recent payment via CDBaby’s Digital Distribution:

$6.37 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Apple iTunes
$5.49 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes-Canada
$1.25 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$1.20 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$1.08 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$1.03 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$1.00 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.87 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.71 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Amazon MP3-JP
$0.58 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.50 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Rdio
$0.50 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.49 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.44 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.42 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.36 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.36 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.36 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.32 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.29 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.26 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.26 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.26 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.25 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.25 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.23 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.23 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.22 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.22 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.20 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Match – Canada
$0.19 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.18 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.18 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.16 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Muve Music
$0.15 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Rhapsody
$0.14 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.13 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Rhapsody – Mechanical Royalties
$0.13 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.12 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Rhapsody – Mechanical Royalties
$0.12 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.12 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.11 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.10 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.10 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.10 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Rhapsody
$0.10 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.10 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.09 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.09 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Match – Europe
$0.08 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.08 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.08 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.07 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Samsung Music Hub
$0.07 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.07 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.07 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.07 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Beats Music
$0.06 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Xbox Music
$0.06 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.05 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Rhapsody
$0.04 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Match – Americas
$0.04 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.04 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Deezer
$0.04 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.04 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Xbox Music
$0.04 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.03 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Rhapsody – Mechanical Royalties
$0.03 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Samsung Music Hub
$0.03 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Match – Americas
$0.03 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.03 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.03 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Rdio
$0.03 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Radio – Americas
$0.03 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Match – Norway
$0.03 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.03 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.03 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Match – Americas
$0.03 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.03 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Rhapsody
$0.02 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Rhapsody – Mechanical Royalties
$0.02 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Match – Americas
$0.02 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.02 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.02 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.02 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Muve Music
$0.02 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Slacker Radio
$0.02 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Match – Americas
$0.02 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Match – Americas
$0.02 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Muve Music
$0.02 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Muve Music
$0.02 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.02 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.02 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Xbox Music
$0.02 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.02 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.02 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Xbox Music
$0.02 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.02 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Radio – Americas
$0.02 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Match – Americas
$0.02 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.02 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.02 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Rdio
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Radio – Americas
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Match – Norway
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Rhapsody – Mechanical Royalties
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Rhapsody
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Match – Americas
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Rdio
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Beats Music
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Match – Canada
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Match – Europe
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Match – UK
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Match – Americas
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Match – Americas
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Radio – Americas
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Match – Americas
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through iTunes Match – Europe
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify
$0.01 for DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SALES through Spotify

3.) On the other hand, I make around $250 a month / $3,000 a year profit (average) selling stuff in my shop. That average actually means (at the most) $1200 and $6 (at the least) in any given month, depending on what I release. To me, as an almost 40-year-old married dude, spread out over a year — that’s hobby money. Still, I like making money. Feels good!

4.) I don’t need exposure on Spotify. People who are interested in my weird stuff can easily find me, and probably already have. I don’t expect more than a few thousand fans, and Spotify is only deterring people who would otherwise pay a few bucks for my records.

5.) I have a small and personal enough audience, that if you like my music, you can buy it directly from me. It’s not expensive, and it’s not hard to do. I’d prefer to keep myself in business than keep Spotify in business. (NOTE: Of course, this is the opposite of what I believed in 2008 when I offered all of my music for free on my website. I changed my mind on this topic over the years, because as I became an adult and took on responsibilities, money became valuable to me.)

I’m not on an angry crusade against Spotify — I think their software is fantastic (and I love my Bon Jovi power ballads). It just doesn’t fit with my own personal business model.

-Carl.

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How I Plan To Stop Being An Asshole In 2015

Opinions

Barbara Cochetas over at Bell Sound Studios in Hollywood recently asked me: “Got any New Year’s Resolutions?”

I had my answer prepared, because it was the same answer I gave to my barber.

“To stop being an asshole.”

“You’ve got a lot of work ahead of you,” she replied.

It was the best resolution I could come up with, but I hadn’t put much thought into it. It was just something I blurted out when getting my hair cut. But it’s actually something I want to do, and it a simple (although not easy) behavioral change I have been implementing.

Avoid sharing opinions (especially those that are negative) about unimportant subjects.

Unimportant subjects might include music, movies, how people park their cars, clothing, entertainment, grammar, pseudo-political issues, and anything else that a.) doesn’t really affect my life in any way and / or b.) I can’t / am not going to do anything about. For the musicians reading this, It’s kind of like adding a “noise gate” to my brain. Things below a certain threshold stay muted. When asked for my opinion, I try to remember that image above.

I’m going to be 40 this year, so it seems like a good time.

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PHOTOS & REVIEW: The Aristocrats @ Alva’s 020115

Marco Minnemann

Alva’s is the best venue for watching complicated music.
Plenty of parking.
Early shows: 5pm.
You get to sit down.
No drunks.
If you forgot earplugs, they’ve got some at the front desk.
The hollow floor resonates, so you can experience the low frequencies through tactile sound.

The Aristocrats (Marco Minnemann, Guthrie Govan, and Bryan Beller) are recording a new album.
They decided to rehearse the material in front of an audience for 4 small shows.
I went to see it with Chuck Parker.
The band sounded great!

You can order their previous albums in my Shop.

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