Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Novi Split Contest!

The wonderful folks at Hush Records have given A Better Offer a few cds and posters to give away from our featured artist. And I really want you to have this record. Yes, you A Better Offer reader and Shifted Sound listener. So I'm going to put my teaching abilities to the test here. I have written for a full week about Novi Split and his music. I am going to ask you one question, that you can find the answer to on this site. When you know the answer, send an email (with the answer of course) to by Friday May 4th with the subject Novi Split for Free! Make sure to include your mailing address and we will randomly choose the winners next Saturday. The question follows...

Who booked Novi Split's tour?

Okay, send in your responses to win free music shipped to your door. If you haven't hear Novi Split yet, here are three tracks that completely rule from the new record "Pink in the Sink."

Friday, April 27, 2007

Novi Split--A Better Offer Exclusive Interview (part two)

Here's the second part of my interview with David J. from Novi Split. And I decided to make you all wait one more day for the contest info. It will be posted tomorrow evening. The good news is that there is a good chance that you'll win some free music from Novi Split...So check back tomorrow.

ABO: In my opinion, one of the highlights of your new record, "Pink in the Sink," is the track "Leaving It". It's heartbreaking and lovely and the same time. The lyric, "your cold dead eyes are so bright to me," is completely heartbreaking and it captivates that feeling of knowing something has died, but no wanting it to end. Yet somehow, when I hear the end of that song I feel like everything turns out okay (hence my lovely opinion) Can you tell us about inspiration and your take on that song?

i've met a lot of incredible people in my life that i wish i could be. and i become very obsessed with people when they bring a joy to my life. i seem to love and respect these people through any situation they bring upon themselves, even if its clearly wrong. i watched a documentary about a woman who falls in love with serial killers and marries them while they're in prison for life or on their way to be killed. and i also watched a few 'romantic' movies in which the same story always repeats. you get this girl and this guy and they fall in love and then something fucked up happens and they break up. but then something even more fucked up happens and it makes them realize how important love is and they get married and thats the end of the story, but thats bullshit because humans aren't designed to get over anything. we hold our anger right into the fucking grave. we build walls and we kill everything. the idea that someone i cared for and myself can just wake up one morning years in the future and our minds can connect once again against impossible odds for just a moment is insane. then there's also the idea of pornography or drugs or any other thing you can be addicted to and the idea of becoming a man and leaving that all behind in the search to becoming a better person. to redeem the world by not giving into the world. its hard starting a new life when you can tolerate the shitty one you're in. its not worth the gamble. its a fun song to sing.

ABO: You seem to really enjoy doing cover songs (especially some offbeat ones). What inspires you to cover songs? And what is the greatest cover song you think that has ever been recorded?

people seem to forget that sinatra wrote like 0.01% of his songs. he just liked songs he heard and sang em. same with most every folk musician. its not much different than that. covers are the best thing about being a musician period. as for the best cover ever... theres a few. johnny cash's cover of 'a boy named sue' is up there. rod mckuen's cover of 'long long time.' al green's version of 'for the good times.' any song where its hard to imagine that anyone else wrote it because the relationship that the cover artist has with the song is so sincere, you know thats a good cover. how about UB40 doing 'red red wine.' how about harry nilsson singing randy newman, the whole record.

ABO: Finally, what are listening to right now?

i've been listening to the knife, graham lindsey, andrew jackson jihad, todd snider, as far as new music. rod stewart, randy newman and the frogs when it comes to classic rock. its hard for me to introduce new music in my life. when i like an artist i usually have to listen to everything they've recorded before finding someone new. i cant believe how much music gets released these days. some people put out like three records a year. find a hobby.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Novi Split--A Better Offer exclusive interview (part one)

David J. from Novi Split was kind enough to take the time to talk with A Better Offer about his music, his love of cover songs, and his favorite musicians. We had so much to talk about, we broke the interview into two parts. And let me say, this is by and large the best interview I have ever conducted. David J. is just awesome and I hope you'll enjoy reading his responses as much as I did. Below is part one of the interview, and we'll post part two tomorrow--as well as the information about the Novi Split contest (free cds folks--free cds), so check back often.

ABO: Tell our readers a little about how you began to make music with Novi Split and how your experience with your former bands may have lead to Novi Split.

when i was about fifteen, me and a bunch of kids who all played metal decided to buy an old 1/4 inch fostex tape deck so we could record our bands and pass out tapes at school. all the equipment was always left at my house, so i would take whatever tape was left at the end of the reels to compose bad hip hop loops with a 1.5 second sampler that was in my friends guitar effects processor. then i would throw metal funk solo's over that and polish them off with really quiet vocals because i was scared of my voice. and thats just something i learned to enjoy. it helped me explore ideas that didn't fit into the sound of whatever band i was playing in. i was in a few bands growing up. at fourteen, i was in a band called 'your mom' that sounded a lot like the frogs. acoustic metal riffs with fuck word after fuck word improvised over the top. those were my glory days. with the exception of that band, i would always hit a wall with my writing. trying to write a collection of songs with a familiar tone bled me dry. i would get bored and turn to my 8-track and write a hot latin inspired metal funk song and i would feel like i was in the zone again. so i just kind of made the decision to live in that zone for awhile when dave jensen asked to put out some of the demo's i was working on. i thought he was crazy, but now someones interviewing me.

ABO: I've heard that the way you approach making and recording music is a little different than the typical artist. Can you tell us a little about how you write and record the songs for Novi Split?

the writing and recording process is a very spontaneous thing. a record i'd be listening to would skip and i'd record that and compose music over it then bang on a table, mumble some bullshit into a mic and you have a song. over the years i might have refined it a bit, but it always starts with a rhythm or a beat and then i put way too many instruments over it and then tear it all down but saving fragments of tracks i thought were cool and filling in the spaces. i do the same thing i always have but just put in about 10X the work. its natural to do at my age. its fun to see how far and stupid you can make your music sound. the performances are usually done in a couple takes. actually, everything but the rhythm tracks on this new record. i wanted a little more swing. i still dont know about mics or how to point them. it seems that the more expensive ones sound better and you point them at things you are recording. i wish i knew more about the tech side of all of this. ive just learned to manipulate signal into doing what i want it to do through EQ'ing and other avenues. i used to do a lot more 'field recordings' at different locations. now i just stick to places i think no one will be listening to me. solitude make for better recordings.

ABO: Tell us about the tour. What lineup are you taking on the road with you? And what are the setlists like?

the tour is something i booked myself. im not very good at it but i manage. i usually go out with a guitar. its hard to find a friend or two that would be willing to take a few weeks off of work to tour with my project. but for the east coast i found matt eckel a great musician who hates his job. perfect. he will be playing harmonica, piano, and drums all at once. its an experiment to see if i can get along with another person on stage. the set list usually include songs that i have written, songs my friends have written and a couple over covers that im obsessed with.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Novi Split on Tour

Here's what left of the Novi Split tour. You should definitely get your little behind out there and see them if they are coming close to your hometown.

APRIL 27 2007 Milwakee, Wisconsin @ 8th note coffee house w/ city on film

APRIL 29 2007 Cincinnati, Ohio @ alchemize

APRIL 30 2007 penn state, PA @ claudia's house

MAY 1 2007 PHILLY, PA @ spazz house


MAY 4 2007 Boston, Mass @ the lily pad

MAY 5 2007 Buffallo, NY @ 99 custer

MAY 6 2007 Toronto, Ontario @ the boat

And if you haven't heard his music yet, here's another MP3 for your listening pleasure. The track is called "Leaving It" and in my humble opinion, it's one of the most heartbreaking and lovely songs I've ever heard check it out.

MP3--Leaving It by Novi Split

And stay tuned, because we have an exclusive interview with David J. from Novi Split as well as another contest with free stuff!

And you can pick up his record from Hush Records here.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Background on Novi Split

NAME: David Jerkovich


BANDS, PAST & PRESENT: Novi Split. Ill Lit. The Real Diego. Kind of Like Spitting. The Cherry Chans. The Sexy Sexies. Sexplosion.

LYRICAL INSPIRATIONS: Records. Smart people with great ideas. I can't think of one inspirational moment that sent me over any edge though. I wish I had a Purple Rain moment to talk about. I wish I had a basement with a piano and a purple bike. You bet your ass. I write and record everything in a bathroom. It's what I've always done at the end of my nights. I swear to God, I sit on the can and play guitar all night. When I was younger I remember this kid telling me he wrote songs on a cliff outlooking the ocean. He said he felt some "real shit" out there. It was nice to think that it happened that way for people.

FAVORITE SONGWRITERS: I think we can all agree on the greats. People like Springsteen, Roger Waters, Phil Ochs, Tom Waits, KRS-1, Leonard Cohen, Woody Guthrie, Marvin Gaye, Prince, Billy Bragg, David Berman, John Lennon, Willie Nelson, etc. They all have the ability to make you and your whole crew say, "damn." But what really intrigues me are the questionable songwriters. People like John Prine, Raekwon the Chef, Robyn Hitchcock, Randy Newman, Rod McKuen. The people who seem to hit you in a way that even your crew can't understand. The songwriters you're almost embarrassed to love are the best....

Check out this track by Novi Split to get a taste.

MP3--Novi Split, California Skies

And check out the links to the right to hear more Novi Split

Sunday, April 22, 2007

New Featured Artist: Novi Split

Here we go again. For the next two weeks we will be covering Novi Split exclusively. We will have all things Novi Split. If you haven't heard their music yet, check out the links to the right. There is plenty of music to start with. But check back often because A Better Offer will have TONS of information about Novi Splits music, band information, and current tour dates--as well as MP3s and an exclusive interview. That's right. That's how we roll here at A Better Offer.

UPDATE! Download an MP3 of California Skies by Novi Split

Here's your first chance to support the brilliant artist that is Novi Split. Buy his record here.