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Learn To Submit Quality Music with Mark Felsot/Little Steven
92.3 KGON / Portland

KGON Workforce member Matt Meyer Got Schooled with Guitar Center. It was a once in a lifetime experience, meeting Little Steven at the Bruce Springsteen concert on March 28th, getting up close and personal with Mark Felsot, the producer of Little Steven's Underground Garage, and getting tips on how to record quality material. Mark and Matt talked about a variety of topics and Mark shared stories and suggestions on the best ways to produce great music.

Q&A with Little Steven's Underground Garage show producer Mark Felsot and KGON listener Matt Meyer

Matt Meyer: Do you guys have pretty much carte blanche over whatever type of music you want to choose from?

Mark Felsot: It's Steven's Garage Band. So, Steven's definition of garage rock is guitar, bass, drums, singer, and maybe every now and then, a Farfisa organ, but then he adds on top of that "Or whatever I say it is". You know, he likes the old girl groups of the '60s, Ronettes, things like that. That doesn't generally fit the standard definition of a garage band, but it fits Steven's standard definition. It's bands that contain that same element of melodic songs with an edge to them of some sort.

MM: I've always heard the complaint that rock and roll has become corporate, you know, all the edges have been smoothed out. Do you find that to be a hurdle in finding music to play?

MF: Not in finding music to play because there's bands out there making records. We get e-mails "Hey check us out. Here's our myspace page. Listen to us." There's plenty of bands out there. Not a lot of garage rock is getting signed to major labels. That's partly why Steven started a label last year called Wicked Cool Records. And he has signed a lot of garage bands. ... He finds them. Even when he travels, people bring him CDs. "Check this out." Somebody sent me a CD, and I went, "I think Steven will like this." I sent it back to the office and three weeks later, one of the tracks was ____. (7:28) So he heard it, and he did like it. You never know where it comes from . When he goes to Europe, he's finding the hot Swedish band, he's finding the hot Dutch band. They're making the show left and right.

MM: Our campus radio station is now strictly Internet. ... One of my colleagues heard that the more you limit it, the more you compress the dynamics of it, the better Internet streaming will be.

MF: Does that sound better on the Internet? I don't know. Does that make it easier for streaming? It's almost like a sacrifice. Do you do that to sound because it's easier to stream, then what are you getting on the air? My attitude is, put the turn tables back in the control room and play vinyl. ... Nothing sounds better than vinyl.

MM: I agree with that, and I still have all my vinyl and working turntables.

MF: There are some bands who are, as new projects come out, they make them available in vinyl. They are now going to be making a CD version of the vinyl in the way that it's mastered. When you're mastering for CD, it's one way. When you're mastering for vinyl, it's another way. So you could make a CD of the vinyl. This is for someone who has a really good old audio system. That's where you want to play that CD. That's the best way to get the vinyl sound. I can't explain any more to it because it's beyond my comprehension. I really found that interesting. That's not to say the regular CD is bad because the regular CD is going to sound great in everybody's home system. But if you have a really high quality system and you want to play the vinyl version of the record on CD.

MM: If you're looking for that vinyl experience ...

MF: You'll still get it. You get the dynamics of the vinyl that the CD misses -- the warmth.

Guitar Center locations within 50 miles of Portland:
Guitar Center Beaverton
9575 S.W. Cascade Ave.
Beaverton, Oregon 97008
Phone: 503-644-9500
M-F: 10-9 | Sat: 10-7 | Sun: 11-6
Guitar Center Clackamas
13029 Southeast 84th Ave.
Clackamas, Oregon 97015
Phone: 503-654-0100
M-F: 10-9 | Sat: 10-8 | Sun: 11-6

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