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Author Archives: paulms

About paulms

My name is Paul Shapera, a musician working under the name Mocha Lab. I make albums, theater shows, videos, dance pieces, commercials and move around a lot.

Help Fund Dolls Live Performance In Bayreuth Germany!

FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE WATCH THIS VIDEO!

THAT IS AWESOME, RIGHT?!?!?

https://www.startnext.com/steampunkbayreuth

An incredible team of thespians at the University of Bayreuth in Bavaria, Germany is putting up Dolls and they’re trying to raise a simple 580 Euros to do it. 580 euros! Come one, that is not much. The poor arranger/music director should be making that each day due to mental anguish. (I am actually so ashamed of the state of the scores that i am working on a full score release late this year.)

In their own words:

Dear friends, I want to ask you for something.
I am currently working on a musical theatre project, that will hopefully be performed in July at the University of Bayreuth. The team is incredibly talented and we are very excited about the result of our collaboration.
My part in all this is first of all arranging the music for our instrumentation, rehearsing with the singers and instrumentalists, conducting the performances and playing an instrument myself.
Our biggest issue right now is the financial side. We have an array of ideas, concepts and plans, that we can only partially realise. If we reach our goal, we can all realise our plans in our respective fields and make something truly amazing. Every Euro brings us closer to achieving that!
Of course there are perks, that you can get by donating. You can find more information and a trailer on the project page. Thank you so much for your support!

P.S.: In case you can’t support us financially, we would appreciate any kind words or other support and we would love it if you could share this link with your friends and family. Thank you!!!

Take a look over at their funding page: https://www.startnext.com/steampunkbayreuth and see if you can’t help out. Who knows, Germany’s pretty close and pretty cheap to get to, so i might attend this one. Especially because that promo… that was SERIOUSLY sweet.

 

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Listen To Chicano Batman, ‘Freedom Is Free’

Chicano Batman Freedom Is Free

You need more 70s  dripping , Brazilian tropicalia, spacey psychedelia, and slow-jam soul in your life. That is why you should listen to Chicano Batman’s new album, Freedom IS Free. Chicano Batman is this awesome LA band channeling a groovaliscious, 70s infused psychedelic pop and i so dig this new album.

Listen here:

https://www.npr.org/player/embed/516630938/516644757

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Stragglers – Trailer – A Retro-Future Low-Fi Sci-Fi Adventure Featuring Lauren Osborn

Lauren is in an extremely cool looking project of VHS sci-fi madness that you should definitely check out.

A retro-future romp through the lives of the least important people in the galaxy. Written and directed by Ben Roper and produced in-house by RAPTURE, ‘Stragglers’ is a 32 minute proof of concept sci-fi film that tells the story of the galaxy’s least successful couriers as they take on the first, and what may be the last job they ever do. Merging a soundtrack plucked straight form the 80s with true indie-film special effects, Stragglers is a retro-future sci-fi adventure that takes in lightspeed emergencies, long lost senators, inter-planitary rescue missions, talk of gods and impending doom and features a score written by highly acclaimed composer James McCarthy.

You can follow them on FB to keep track of the project’s fruition.

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Album Engraving By Casey Kikendall

First, let me thank you all for your purchases on Friday. We raised $100 for the ACLU. Every bit, bit by bit.

On other fronts, right before i left for the week in Belgrade i’m about to wrap up (my mom flew in from Pittsburgh to visit her two grandchildren) i got package in the mail. The package was a metal engraving of one of my album covers AND IT IS AWESOME. I only had time to gaze at it and rub my buttered belly on it for a few minutes before leaving, but i did snap a picture:

h1.jpg

IT’S SO FREACKIN AWESOME.

It was made by Casey Kikendall who will be starting up an Etsy some time soon and who has my personal adoration and recommendation. Huge thumbs up. The Yugest. The best thumbs. All the way up. Remember you heard it here first, Casey Kikendall’s work is wonderful.

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

This Friday, Stand with Bandcamp in Support of Immigrants/Basic Human Values

Folks, on Friday, Feb 3rd, beginning 8:01am GMT, Bandcamp will be donating 100% of their cut from all music sales to the American Civil Liberties Union. I intend to match this, by donating 100% of my share of album proceeds during this time as well. Any sales i receive will go fully to the ACLU. Maybe there’s the odd album you’ve been thinking of picking up. Well, Friday would be the day, assuming the ACLU and an album or two of mine is something you stand behind.

https://mochalab.bandcamp.com/

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Hadestown: Why We Build The Wall (Stop what you’re doing right now and listen to this)

Hadestown by Anais Mitchell is FREACKING AWESOME. WHY YOU NO TELL ME ABOUT THIS BEFORE NOW?!?! Seriously, just stop what you’re doing for 4 minutes and listen to this here song.

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

The Mechanisms: The Bifrost Incident. (aka If you listen to only 1 Mechanisms album, this would be the one)

The Mechanisms, The Bifrost Incident

https://themechanisms.bandcamp.com/album/the-bifrost-incident


The Mechanisms are a young band i have been championing for some time, because 1. they are trying to do something no one else is, and 2. i like what they are trying to do. It is right up my alley.

If their first few albums can be rough around the edges at times, well, that’s how bands start.

But there comes a point in a band’s development, maybe they switch from a local bar to a bigger club on a better night, where suddenly they bump up a notch. And it’s noticeable. I mean, they were always good for some beers with your friends on Thursday nights, but one night you’re there standing in the new club, staring up at the stage, and thinking “Holy shit. Wait a minute. These guys are… Fuck. This is some shit right here.”

This is some shit right here.

Yes, loftier words were never spoken in an album review, and with any luck that will be the catchphrase that underlines their first magazine cover feature, but bear with me, because i really do mean that seriously.

There is no question, and i mean NO question, that on the album The Bifrost Incident, The Mechanisms have just leveled up. This album does what they do, tells a fascinating story reworking mythology and geek tropes, and ion between AWESOME narration are steampunk laden songs, sometimes an aria from whatever famous myth character has just appeared on the scene. But this time… it really packs a punch. It hits harder and more precisely than ever before.

The album aims at a mood and it does not putz around, it goes for it, nails it, and as the album goes along that mood deepens and deepens until you really do find yourself standing there, staring up at the stage with your drink only half drunk thinking “This is some shit right here.”

It takes everything The Mechanisms have been doing thus far and does it better. Does it with more focus. Does it with more skill and craft, dopes it with more of a punmch to the gut, and does something they’ve never quite done before, they envelope you in this mood, this dark mood, like, REALLY envelope you, and at some point it’s not quite fun and games anymore, you’ve become their bitch. This mood has captured you.

There was a time when you were at this bar laughing with your mates, and Betty snorted her cocktail out her nose and you all guffawed and John said something about the band and you yelled in his ear over the noise: “Oh yeah, this is good!”

Another night at the bar, same crew, you’ve all been taking a piss out of Tony and Audry just went to get the next round and Daphne said something about the band and you yell over the noise: Oh yeah, this is cool!”

And now here you are. Alone. New place. Your crew isn’t here right now. You’re not sure where you are. There’s the band.  Do they have new gear cause it seems like… you’re alone now, alone in the crowd staring up as they play. And you’re not laughing. You’re… really listening. You’re… sort of just muttering to yourself. “”Holy shit. Wait a minute. These guys are… Fuck. This is some shit right here.”

Check the album out here.

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2017 in Uncategorized