Apes for Indie

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Michael Jackson ~ Death as a wake-up call

So much has happened in the lives of those of us who remember the beginnings of Michael Jackson. He was someone whose force could not be ignored… even if you were not a fan. He was part of the fabric of our lives and often, the soundtrack of our lives as well. He infiltrated the world’s sound waves and video waves, as well as the depths of our curiosity and playful hearts. He amazed us and confused us at the same time.

I cant help but think today of the magic he has taken with him from the planet. I’ve been trying to examine just why so many people, (including myself), feel so “blue” and sad about the loss of someone we didn’t know personally. His songs will live on so why are we so distraught? I think it is simply because he seemed like a superhero … a somewhat supernatural phenomenon that would never die. Yesterday he did and it’s almost like getting up on Christmas morning at just 4 years old, and having your parents tell you there are no gifts under the tree because there really is NO Santa Claus! That is the only way I can describe this feeling I have. The child in me feels let down by a crashing dream. But is that his fault? No way. We let ourselves fantasize about who this man was. Nothing is indestructible these days… why should he be different?

Michael’s voice, music, dance moves, outfits, and persona, brought us to another place… a place we needed to visit and a place we must now reconsider as only a moment in time. We were just woken from a sweet dream and it is, indeed, heartbreaking. The one who weaved the magic fantasy is gone… no wonder there is a void.

May Michael find all the time to be a little boy now and may he play freely without our eyes judging his every move. He was sort of sacrificial lamb for the world and for the arts… (a form of child labor disguised as something far from a crime). We all watched, we all applauded, we all stood unknowing what damage he was incurring on the inside over the years. Some of us even laughed and judged. In a way, we objectified him… but he helped us to do so. It seems that’s all he ever wanted was love… not love for his “talents”, but love for who he was underneath it all. The only way he thought he could get that love was by entertaining with perfection. What a shame. Love is most certainly pouring forth in abundance now.

I hope all artists, (who tend to be a little different and more sensitive than others), take good care of their bodies and minds so that they don’t leave us terribly early on such a continual basis. The chemical numbing only serves for the short term. We must one day feel our pain and face it or be destroyed by the very chemicals we think are protecting us. The numbness is the enemy… not the feelings we must face. This a dreadful trend that needs to be stopped. I am venturing a guess in this instance but toxicology reports will tell the tale. We must not judge.

Peace from The Apes For Indie


June 26, 2009 Posted by | Commentary, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

James Maddock ~ Your Stars Have Aligned

James Maddock

James Maddock

When the stars align, a British-born songwriter makes his home in the Big Apple where he frequents venues like Rockwood Music Hall. He blesses the patrons there, (and at other lucky venues), with his awesome compositions. This is one of those artists that can really give you the chills in a very good way. You will want to read on…

James Maddock’s songs paint many pictures; some of them melancholy, some of them sweet, … but ALL of them just plain memorable! This EPK/video is imbued not only with his great music, but also with powerful imagery of New York city’s grit, mystique, loneliness, and yes, … even romance. Listening to Mr. Maddock’s music made me feel that he had channeled profound experiences into fine art. He also seems to have a soft spot for the place he calls his home. As a native NY’er, I cant help but really understand that (-; Here is your blog mate…

The first track he treats us to is about a very specific ‘moment’ in time.  The arrangements are just beautiful and James communicates a very gentle, loving message with a voice that is unmistakably masculine in texture. The time and place he seems to hold in such high regard is the moment of a “Sunrise on Avenue C”. I got the feeling he did not want to leave that time and place. After listening, … neither did I.

The second track briefly visited in this brilliantly done EPK is “When the Stars Align”. Today happens to be an astronomical new moon and yesterday was the summer solstice, (first day of summer). So it is fitting that we blog about James tonight! You will also get a glimpse of James’ personality and songwriting approach in the video. I liked him, (as an artist AND as a person) right after I clicked the (PLAY) button… I’m pretty sure you will too.  It’s good to be well-liked as well as mega-talented James! We also think your accent is endearing so congratulations on having it all!

The third song touched upon in the EPK will be posted in it’s complete mp3 format below: “Hollow Love”. Enjoy this amazing journey:

I loved the agitation of the acoustic guitar throughout this song… giving it exciting movement and energy. It is full of hooks too and hints at a sense of humor in lyrics such as, “All night I sit up and ‘drink’ about you”. The love I have for the work of this songwriter is by no means hollow.

[MP3] James Maddock ~ HOLLOW LOVE

Please see the following link for more of James Maddock and his scheduled appearances: http://myspace.com/jamesmaddockmusic

June 22, 2009 Posted by | New York, Songwriter Reviews | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Will Derryberry ~ Leading to Perfection

Will Derryberry

Will Derryberry

Approximately two years ago, I came across Will Derryberry’s music page on myspace. I think he sent me a friend request… or was it the other way around? I really cannot remember but I DO remember the song that began playing as his page opened up. The introduction set an immediate mood of profound introspection. The best part was… I didn’t know I was being led there because the vocal quality and soul-speak of the lyrics transported me… weightless and unaware. Does this sound dramatic? It was.

I’m writing this blog as I look out of my front window at the Hollywood hills. The sky above is casting June gloom but I find myself energized while I write about this very special songwriter and musician. The depth of lyrical content in the song, “SEVEN” is nothing short of brilliant. I had to find out which symbolic meaning of the number “7” he had drawn his inspiration from.



This led me on a search that ended with Pythagoras, (an ancient Greek philosopher interested in numbers and their meanings). He discovered the relationships between mathematics and music, proposing that sounds and their relationships with other sounds can be measured using numbers. Pythagoras called “7” a perfect number. I don’t know what Will’s reasons were but when you read the lyrics, you’ll see how I drew my hypothesis.

Lyrics ~ “Take these hands, and turn them around, (seven) times.
Pointing in the right direction, leading to perfection”.

Perfect? Well, pretty damn close… listen for yourself! 

[MP3] Will Derryberry ~ SEVEN

Hey! I’ll bet you enjoyed that huh? Well, how about a LIVE video of the second featured song? Will is from northern California and has been working hard on his craft up there for many years. He has new material to talk about but I’m hoping you will follow him on twitter @derryberrysongs for the latest news, as well as visiting his other links listed below. Here is Will’s song … “California”.

I like the way he has lightened things up a bit in that song, while continuing to honor his penchant for intimacy with the listener.

In closing, Will has actually done a lot of the work for us by making this video at an earlier time. It nicely weaves his body of work with his stated intentions in a very personal way. You’ll be refreshed to see the genuinely humble nature inside of this artist, despite the fact he has earned several television song placements and a highly polished quality. He has arrived at his stated intention by bringing us to a sort of “restoration” with his songs. I am left to wonder at the end of this video and in closing of this blog, why everyone hasn’t already heard of this guy. So why don’t you spread the word? Maybe one day we will be able to say, “we knew him when”. How exciting!

Find out more about Will Derryberry’s music at the following links:




June 15, 2009 Posted by | Apes for Indie Music Blog, northern California, Songwriter Reviews | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment


The Apes just experienced their first critic. This viewpoint came out of the blue on Twitter. He must have caught our tweeting stream by mistake because he was not following us, nor were we following him. He was a music blogger, more experienced than us but not half as nice, (laughing).

The point of writing about this? Well, if you can draw ANYone, even critics in your first (3) weeks of blogging, at least you can say that people are actually reading your heartfelt material. We like the attention… even if it is negative. This ‘gentleman’ didn’t like the fact that we were tweeting @ people, encouraging them to follow us on twitter. We spread our blogs that way. And why do we spread our blogs? … to expose the artists to people who don’t know about them. It’s not about US, … “Mr. music blogger from Illinois”, so you didn’t hurt our feelings. The Apes are just fine after your unsolicited attack (-;

Keep up the good work you are doing in your blogs though, we were very impressed. Just don’t lower yourself again by attacking a ‘fledgling’ blog site that obviously means well and likes to have fun. Let us handle things our way, … the NY way, (in a friendly but aggressive manner). You see… we don’t just expect people to ‘fall’ upon these blogs about our featured artists, we plan on ‘directing’ and ‘inviting’ them in to share our passion in a very direct manner. We wont be apologizing for that and we wont be changing our M.O. any time soon. If the followers on twitter don’t come, at least we know the @’s were noted by the recipients and perhaps they clicked on our site to read the blogs. We have accomplished our goal, followers or not.

What was disturbing about this fellow was that he used very negative and ‘personal’ language in a ‘public’ manner, (which wasn’t constructive at all). If this person had presented himself in a more professional manner via direct message or even by following us, perhaps we could have learned something positive from his ‘expert’ opinion. Instead, we were left wondering what psychological issues he might be facing, which is not why we are here folks.

Peace to all and may you find a bounty of wonderful music via our blogs in the future,
~Apes For Indie~
PS: Please see our most recent blog post. You will see that we mean well:
Then perhaps you will follow us on Twitter too? ha ha!

June 10, 2009 Posted by | Apes for Indie Music Blog, LA Songwriter Reviews, Los Angeles songwriter reviews, Songwriter Reviews | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

AMY KUNEY ~ Bird’s Eye View of a FUN songwriter

Amy Kuney

Amy Kuney

This newest blog was inspired by what singer/songwriter Amy Kuney has done already at what seems like a pretty young age.  I am encouraged by the sense of fun she injects into her songwriting, at almost every turn.  It’s refreshing and what I hear leaves me excited about what she will create next.  Her vocals are reminiscent of Fiona Apple, but with a spirit that is uniquely her own.  I sense a hint of spunk is attached to this songwriter’s persona… but that’s just a guess.

Let’s take her song, “Chocolate”, for instance.  I wont post it here.  I will only be presenting two songs from each artist in these blogs in the hopes that readers will seek out their websites and youtube videos instead. (See links at bottom of page). Chocolate is quite delicious and dare I say this again? … FUN (-;

You may have already heard Amy’s song, “All Downhill From Here” on a popular television show. This blog is merely a spring-board on your way to discovering Amy’s music.  You may want to visit her myspace page for other gifts. I don’t feel that “downhill” is the direction this song-writer is headed in … quite the opposite.

*That brings me to the first track I will formally present in my blog: “Simple Things”. 
I love the texture of her voice here.  It is so warm and inviting.  I love the way this song sings the message.  It is quite lovely.  Having written songs myself, I can say for a fact that, … songwriting THIS good,  is NOT a “simple” thing. I feel she has done a really good job here:

The next song featured is also from her latest effort, A Bird’s Eye View, entitled, “Thank You”. 
I love the playfulness in the melody and the delivery here on piano. You will enjoy watching and listening. It really had me singing along.

Well, here are the links to Amy Kuney and her promising world of music.  And no Amy, … thank YOU!
*By the way, she is playing at the Hotel Cafe, here in Los Angeles on June the 16th. I might be there.




June 8, 2009 Posted by | Songwriter Reviews | | Leave a comment

SADIE JEMMETT ~ British Songwriter Digs Deep

Sadie Jemmett

Sadie Jemmett

When I first heard this musician’s magic, I was on the front page of http://100000fans.com (a wonderful new site for artists).

The lead song on Sadie’s line-up peeked my interest right away with it’s hooky melody and guitar intro.  Then, … the pure and  completely unaffected vocals rested upon my eardrums and I was ENTIRELY sold. I then read a bit of her bio…

There was the story of a woman who had lived so fully and sometimes, quite hard, in such a modest number of years.  By the sound of it though, I am happy to say she is now thriving musically.  On her myspace page, the default picture showed her walking with her daughter, a peak into her life’s main priority, (aside from music of course).  What amazed me most was the imperceptible barrier between songwriter and song… something that delivered an emotional reaction.   Art is really good, (in my humble opinion), if it summons shared emotion without ‘TRYING’ to.   It just poured forth, unedited by ego.  This woman is a natural.

I listened to and downloaded the album so I could experience the songs “Entirely” …which just so happens to be the name of the lead track and my favorite on her latest effort: The Blacksmith’s Girl.


*Since I have limited time to blog with, I will only be writing about two songs from each artist featured weekly.   I wish I could do more but I will leave that to the professional bloggers and podcasters.  My point is, it was VERY tough choosing the second song to write about.*  I chose it for personal reasons as it seemed to touch on something I too have experienced:

“Another Way To Be” manages to have an impactful chorus while remaining light as a feather.  Nothing is beat into you on the track but you surely get the point.


I hope you will go to the sites mentioned below to check out more of this rare talent.  Her videos are not to be  missed as you will see the more aggressive side of Sadie and a great deal of musicianship, guitar-wise.

Bravo for Sadie Jemmett!  I wish her bundles of success in her career.  My hope in writing these blogs is that the artists themselves, like what they hear about their efforts.  When I have more followers… I will be re-tweeting the links to all I have written to give them more exposure, which is my other main goal.

By the way, you can donate to this artist @ http://100000fans.com and download the album for free.

Here is the link to her official website as well.  Note the tabs that connect to multiple social networking sites that she is on.  Impressive:  http://sadiejemmett.blogspot.com

After reading Sadie’s bio, I wished I, myself had some money to invest in her talent.

~Music Blogger @ Apes For Indie

June 1, 2009 Posted by | Songwriter Reviews | , , | Leave a comment