Monthly Archives: November 2008

The Best Johnny Encore Video…EVER!

Hey there, dear friends! Well, this is a very special day, as I’m happy to present (and effectively, SNEAK) the new, as-yet-unreleased Johnny Encore single, PHOTOSHOP DREAM GIRL.
This track has been in the making for some time, and because we haven’t yet released it on Adobe TV, I simply couldn’t take it any longer. With the brilliance of Kush Amerasinghe and Karl Soule in the edit bay & me at the mixing desk, we created a totally new, totally unique Johnny Encore experience. And naturally, this all takes advantage of new features in Photoshop CS4, After Effects CS4, Premiere Pro CS4 and Audition 3. Check it out NOW!!

Photoshop Dream Girl by Johnny Encore from Jason Levine on Vimeo.
And the BEST part about this video?? It’s presented to you, here, IN TRUE STEREO SOUND!! YES! Special thanks to VIMEO for being so awesome and actually allowing HD vids with stereo sound. I’m a happy, happy man. 😉
Stay tuned for the next batch of Short & Suite episodes on Adobe TV, as Karl and I will cover the making of this musical masterpiece (and you’ll get to hear the raw elements of how I created those backing vocals, and the overall late 50s vibe of the original pop tune).
Until next time…
Blog on.

More Short&Suite Episodes…and the All-time Best!

Hey there, friends! Well, just a short post to let you know that two more Short&Suite episodes have been posted @ Adobe TV. The most recent episodes cover the making of Johnny Encore’s “In My Heart and InDesign” video, which takes advantage of the Cartoon Effect in AECS4, and I highlight the creation of the music by getting a real gritty, dirty sound to this standard blues-based tune.
What’s also special about *these* episodes, is that I wound up having to re-record new drums and hammond organ, as Johnny and I simply weren’t happy with the original drummer’s performance. That, coupled with a need for some ‘dirty B3′ allowed me to step right in and add some chops! The link above refers to Part 1 of that series. Be sure to check out Part 2 as well!
Now…my FAVORITE S&S episode is coming soon. It deals with the making of Johnny’s “Photoshop Dream Girl”, and frankly, I believe this to be one of my favorite recordings that I’ve ever done. Once again, I wound up recording new instruments and singing a whole array of backing vocals (done 50s doo-wop style) and the whole piece just really gels. In a word (or two): fricken’ sweet! I might just have to post the video and sneak it BEFORE the episodes release…Hmmm…yeah, I think so…
Until next time,
Blog on.

Small claim @ FAME, and the magic of the iTunes Store

Hello, my friends! I had started writing this post from the Netherlands, when Greg, Rufus and I had just kicked off the final week of our European CS4 launch tour. It’s since taken me a week+ to get back to it! However, this post is entirely about music. In fact, it’s about two very recent experiences that truly highlight the music buying issues we face in the retail and online worlds.
Case in point, I made my usual patronage to FAME in Amsterdam upon arrival Saturday evening. And like last time, though I wasn’t able to acquire EVERYTHING on my ‘list’ (yes…I do make lists when I enter ‘the temple’…hehehe)…the selection was pretty good this time around, and I wound up snagging a couple of gems, recently re-issued and re-mastered, and left feeling happy. The selections this time around: Fela Kuti (two albums, remastered, Zombie from ’76 and Open & Close from ’71), Brian Auger Oblivion Express (Closer To It, ’73), West, Bruce & Laing (Whatever Turns You On, ’73), Metallica (Death Magnetic, 2008, and the source of much controversy…but that’s for another blog post), and lastly, the remaster of The Who (A Quick One, 1967), and the last Who remaster I needed to replace my old 80s-era MCA CD.
A small, but rocking (and totally eclectic) selection from FAME
My Claim *from* FAME
A typical experience, and though the selections have thinned out over the last year or two, FAME continues to rock. I just love the place.
However, 24 hours prior to arriving in Amsterdam, we had just finished our final gig on the Nordic CS4 tour, and I was desperately in need of some musical inspiration. Not for any particular reason; I just needed to rock out — and to do that, I was going to grab some Deep Purple. (obviously, a release that I didn’t already have)…So what did I do? I went to the iTunes store, found what I was looking for (an archive release from Montreux ’69, available in iTunes Plus) and began purchasing, waiting for the rocking’ times (and the fab Gillan screams!) to begin.
note: for those who aren’t aware, the iTunes Plus versions are 256kbps AAC, *without* copy protection, and currently the highest quality available on iTunes
BUT…the moment the download began, I noticed a problem…the file sizes were simply too small for the files to be ‘iTunes Plus’
Hmmm. Perplexing. Perhaps I was mistaken? Perhaps my compression math was off? Or, was I right? READ ON, as this is where the story gets good

Continue reading Small claim @ FAME, and the magic of the iTunes Store

Shortcutting to Brilliant in the Netherlands & Belgium

Hello, my friends. The European CS4 Launch Tour series has now ended, wrapping our final week with 3 cities in the Netherlands and 2 in Belgium. It’s hard to believe that when we (ie, Greg, Rufus and I) began this CS4 Launch journey, it was mid-September. Now, nearly 7 weeks later, we’ve been to 10 different countries and have showcased the ‘brilliance’ of CS4 to over 10,000 people (and that’s JUST seminars). Crazy stuff indeed, and the pleasure has indeed been ours.
That being said, rather than simply recap everything a-la the play-by-play, (and maybe because the nearly 240 days on the road have finally started to catch up with me) I figured I’d keep this post short, and let the final images of the tour speak for themselves. It’s a random sampling of pics, more random than simply ‘audience shots’…but I hope you dig ’em. Ja.
CS4 Launch, Utrecht, in a classic Church; perfect for ‘Evangelizing’ 😉
adobe CS4 launch Benelux Jason Greg Rufus
Healing People Daily @ Janskerk in Utrecht…and singing! Photo by Floris Porro
adobe CS4 launch Benelux Jason Greg Rufus
Post-show, back in Amsterdam, Jase & Greg do an impromptu set at a Belgian bar on the Zeedijk.
adobe CS4 launch Benelux Jason Greg Rufus
The majesty of le Grande Place (with holiday lighting in place), Brussels
adobe CS4 launch Benelux Jason Greg Rufus
Our pal, Alan Rosenfeld explains the magic of the iPhone’s camera to Rufus & Greg, Brussels.
adobe CS4 launch Benelux Jason Greg Rufus
Letting it all hang down, post-show, Netherlands.
adobe CS4 launch Benelux Jason Greg Rufus

Continue reading Shortcutting to Brilliant in the Netherlands & Belgium