Michael Chocholak
Me and Eye
New School
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play hi-fi  Straw in the Wind
play hi-fi  Red Pepper Road
play hi-fi  Bone Point
play hi-fi  Black Cat Road
play hi-fi  Tom Badger
play hi-fi  Simoon
play hi-fi  Jack Knife
play hi-fi  Spirit Train
play hi-fi  Crow Spirit
play hi-fi  Heyoka
Tracks from my six string alter ego.

Initially a guitarist, my first guitar had a crank on the side and played "Home On The Range". I always preferred cranking it backwards. Later a cousin who toured with the Don Cossack Dance Troupe gave me a seven string guitar from East Germany. This led to some interesting music as at the time I didn't even know how to tune a SIX string guitar. Bought a Gibson SG. My Slavic grandmother was terrified that I would subsequently 'ruin' my life by becoming a gypsy troubadour. No such luck.

My music covers a lot of ground from blues to abstract electronics, but there's still usually a guitar in there somewhere. And that's what the various tracks here are all about.

Leather Smile grew out of jamming with some guitars & amps in an empty grain silo one summer. Nothing fancy, nothing digital (well, ok the keyboard was); just the basics plugged straight into an old X15. Toss out some ideas, play a few hooks, jam on them and then do a take. Move on. Everybody looking for something different out of it, mostly exploring dynamics, form, chance. Nobody was thinking about releasing anything. 15 in the can (including a disco ear bleed) and people kept asking to hear it. So the Zone did a cover of the Blonde Bombshell's lips and we came out with Insect Hands.

After that I took it into the studio with some keys and effects and did the solo release HotWired, based on an electric recipe of rock, jazz and blues. Cyberpunk rocker John Shirley (City Come A Walkin, screenplay for The Crow, and his latest Crawlers) heard it and that lead to a collaboration called Minds in Collision with John doing lyrics & vocals over my music.

The most recent tracks here are from the soundtrack to YellowJacket, Misha's current novel in progress, a contemporary western and it's all amplified acoustic.
Why this name?
It was on my birth certificate.
Do you play live?
Is this a 'kiss and tell' kind of question?
How, do you think, does the internet (or mp3) change the music industry?
It opens up music for both the artists and the listeners like never before. I think the real potential is still untapped.
Would you sign a record contract with a major label?
Band History:
Played and jammed in a few bands performing original material. Spent the late 70's as a recluse in an old house surrounded by sonic objects, running 20 foot tape loops on multiple recorders (didn't know about Fripp yet). Got heavily into abstract music and electronics (still am - check out my Brandy of the Damned page), but I'm always drawn back to the guitar.
Your influences?
Django Rheinhardt, Charlie Christian, Les Paul, The Ventures, Wes Montgomery, Jeff Beck, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jimi Hendrix, Mahavishnu, Bill Nelson.
Favorite spot?
I'm living there; Badger Sett.
Equipment used:
Gibson SG, Ensoniq keys, various boxes.
Anything else...?
Go listen to the tracks...

And check out
Coaxial a growing collection of collaborative tracks.

The Other Shore a streaming station of alternative and 'experimental' tracks from a variety of very cool artists.

Strung a stream of mostly alternative... guitar music - what else! Not what you might expect, but then... why would I do that?

Songs From the Void a streaming station of compositions created with satellite transmissions, short wave, vlf... music from the invisible world.
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