Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Sometimes Solitude

Sometimes Solitude is a mostly acoustic psych rock song turned heavier with classic rock elements that take the listener on a mystical journey. On speaking of the Holy Grail, one of my favorite writers Joseph Campbell quotes " ‘They thought it would be a disgrace to go forth in a group. Each entered the Forest Adventurous at the point he himself had chosen, where it was darkest and there was no way or path.’ You enter the forest at the darkest point, where there is no path. Where there is a way or path, it is someone else’s path; each human being is a unique phenomenon.
The idea is to find your own pathway to bliss.” Read more about this HERE.

Sometimes, being by myself is a way for me to energize. It's the place where creativity comes out of. It's a place to listen and hear your spiritual essence. A place of accepting yourself and where you are and yet also to be moved from.

This song is magnificently produced by John Fields at Creation Audio in Minneapolis. I was unsure on how to proceed if at all with this song because I felt my home made demo was really good but John was totally the right person to lift this song up from where it was and make it truly epic.

The song starts with the sound of cicadas which are the tracks I recorded from home of actual cicadas outside. With a wash of cymbals comes the acoustic guitar and we're off on our own journey. I brought a mandolin in for the session hoping that we could somehow incorporate that and luckily I was able to figure out a simple part. We wanted a Led Zeppelin percussive tap tap tapping like Ramble On so Sean Gilchrist beat on his chest for that effect.

Sorry for the poor video quality here!

I sing in a lower register like Nick Drake or another one of my favorites Liz Phair and the detuned acoustic guitar melodic line makes it more mystical. John added wonderful Mellotron strings and it's just perfect. Fields also plays bass here too.
With John's direction I built up the vocal in the second verse and the band hits full. Here I played a12 string electric through a little amp and WOW YES soooo good! Loved that sound we got with that. Perfect! Alot of elements giving forth a Zeppelin II or IV feel with this song which I love.

This is also a moon song which becomes evident in the bridge. I find the moon to be one of the most fascinating things of nature. I'm always looking for it in the morning or at night heck even sometimes it can be seen in the day! This song touches on the phases of the moon and it's journey from dark to light and it also symbolizes to me the dark and light elements of ourselves that each of us has and to recognize and accept those parts of us that make us a complete human being.

This song is great for remembering your individual path, your own essence, your essence that,  although is of it's own, is part of something much bigger. It's perfect with your morning coffee, a walk or run by yourself, a car ride, traveling on your own. So proud of this song and the work Fields brought to this. Sometimes...enjoy solitude.

We love that you stream this song wherever convenient but please purchase this song to support us as artists at Amazon, iTunes, Bandcamp etc

When I think about,
All you do for me,
Every day of the year,
You're everything to me,
Nothing more to be,
I keep on showing my self.

When I'm traveling,
To or where or when,
I keep on telling my self,
Sometimes solitude comes across as rude,
But I feel good when I'm there.

Well when the moonlit sky gives birth to midnight,
It all begins from here,
From the dark to light.
I once thought about how sad I'd be,
If I never heard the sound within me.

Early morning rise,
Coolness in the air,
Heading out on my way.
'Cause sometimes solitude,
Energizes me,
To be alive everyday.

Hear also on Pandora

“Something I can relate to.”(What I’ve been listening to) -  The Diversity Of Classic Rock

"Sometimes Solitude” delivers nostalgia to music lovers who have experienced an immersion into the sea of Classic Rock and carries an education for Indieheads without that experience, but who have a respect and appreciation for the roots of today’s music. Better yet, it does so within a vehicle having a polish that reflects modern day sensibilities. In “Sometimes Solitude,” Little Man captures the soul of the acoustic classics…” - Indie Obsessive

"An innovative magic of energy...the construction of the song evokes memories of Led Zeppelin. What a ride." -

"Just gorgeous" - Andrea Swensson DJ 89.3 The Current

For further reading on solitude, check out this article by Brent Crane in The Atlantic magazine.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Little Man Produced By John Fields - New Music!

I am super happy to announce that Little Man will be releasing new music this year! On top of that it's even more exciting to have John Fields a well known top producer collaborate with me and take the reigns as producer, engineer and mixer.

See John Fields project roster

John has worked with Soul Asylum, Jonas Brothers, Jimmy Eat World, Miley Cyrus, Pink and so many more artists you've heard of. You can expect a good mix of rock, acoustic and psychedelic rock with these new songs keeping the classic Little Man vibe yet nudging a little more modern here and there and interpreted through John's lens. John is taking these songs to new heights further than I could have expected. Things are sounding amazing so I can't wait for you to here them!

Finding someone to record your songs can be a difficult thing. As an artist I find it difficult to trust my songs in another person's hands. The albums Little Man has put out in the past sound fantastic and I wanted to keep moving in that direction and give these songs the treatment they deserve. I've got an album's worth of songs demo'd out and it was a matter of finding the right person to interpret these songs in a bigger way. I wanted more than just the band rocking, these songs need more realized elements and those production tweaks and additions are important especially for some of the more laid back songs. While trying to spread the word that I was looking for someone to record our upcoming album, a few people recommended John Fields. I wasn't too familiar with him but I had heard his name before as a top producer here in Minneapolis. We met up and had a great meeting talking about classic rock and bringing in more modern aspects to my music. Fields brings in an element that is all his own in a creative way that bumps these songs up so many more notches. It's so fun being in the studio with Fields working out the new material. He has great recording techniques and is very creative in the process which makes it a joy to be involved with all that. Below is the first track we recorded. There's so much more to come plus the BLVD video so sign up on the Little Man Mailing List and we'll keep you posted!

Are you ready?! Here's the first single!

Send us a reply, how would you describe the new song? 

Click the cover below to get BLVD from your preferred music source
Chris Perricelli - Vocals and Guitars
Sean Gilchrist - Drums
Brian Herb - Bass
Mark Mallman - Keys
John Fields - Synth

Monday, August 21, 2017

Creating a Bowie Inspired Costume 2017

It's been an honor to join so many of my local musician friends to play a tribute to David Bowie at First Avenue called Rock For Pussy every year to benefit Feline Rescue Inc. in Minneapolis. This year I worked with local designer Megan Zwack to create a Bowie inspired costume for RFPXIII!

Photo by Tony Nelson

Photo by Paul Lundgren
A person’s fashion, especially a great costume, beams out energy. To me, it’s a catalyst to playing a role and inspires a good performance. Wearing a custom design is entertaining and fun but it can be even more so for the audience. I wanted to pull in a local designer to be a part of the Bowie tribute as collaboration between local music and style scenes. Music and fashion, especially if we’re talking about David Bowie, certainly go together.  His music has such a wide range and so does his style. So many people, both performers and audience members get dressed up for this show.
Megan sewing up finishing touches

Dr. Zwack is Megan’s own clothing brand and we connected on social media first. Music has been a major part of her inspiration.

Photo by Emily Hooper
“I have never been conventional in my approach to design and have always felt like a black sheep in the design community.  As a designer I have always found it difficult to create in terms of industry standards and have been completely uncomfortable with terms like ready-to-wear or resort wear.  Each of my collections or individual pieces is a song, a story, an album, or the soul consciousness of a musician or group ranging from Bobbie Gentry to Black Oak Arkansas.  The Dr. Zwack Lake Street collection is inspirited by the Wolfmother album Victorious.  The creative process starts with a song and I use my design skills, with fabric as my medium, to bring that song into physical form as a musician would use an instrument to create the song itself.  I have known from the start of my design career that my soul purpose is to dress musicians and singers for stage performance. After cutting my teeth in the local fashion design world, garnering skills and expertise, I am fully ready to branch out.  When designing for Chris Perricelli, inspired by Ziggy Stardust, I was very careful to amalgamate and ennoble the soul of both musicians while carefully riding the line of sophisticated design and costume ensuring that the story of both talents were represented.” – Megan Zwack

I had a feeling I should just contact her about making something special for this show. I sent her a message and she was thrilled for the opportunity to create something so we made plans to get together about it.
Hopping over to Eat Street Social we sat at the bar and flipped though one of my David Bowie books for inspiration.  We discussed costume possibilities and she was eager to work on a fun glam rock project.  
This was my first time meeting her and we hit it off quite well talking about music and style. She’s got an early 70’s vibe and a great personal style herself.
Photo by John Botkin

Megan’s first design concept came from her drawing:
She bought Italian silk material. One with a kind of a snake skin pattern for the jacket and the other was silvery metallic for the pants. She also scored some red vinyl to be displayed on the inside
and along the back of the collar of the jacket. After measurements and a session of pinning with a muslin pattern she got closer to pulling it all together. The design morphed into a fantastic glam rock costume that seemed to nod to Bowie from his Ziggy era all the way up to his more modern pieces.

Megan also lent me her hand made and cut Bobbie Gentry Stage Coat fringe jacket to be worn with my star pants that she altered along with a crazy full colored vintage polyester shirt. You can find this fringe jacket and more of Dr. Zwack’s hand made clothes at Showroom and she sells also by appointment on-line.

I wore the star pants, shirt and fringe jacket for the first set and then her full custom piece for the second part of the show. The clothes felt and performed really well with me and I couldn’t have been any happier with how it all turned out. On top of that it was a great show!!
Photo by Charles Robinson

Photo By Joe Teachworth

Photo by Danny Contreras Jr.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Soulful Automatic Turns 10!

Released in 2007 Little Man's Soulful Automatic was the band's debut album on Eclectone Records. Our third full length release. It's hard to believe the time that's gone by with this precious gem of an album. It got great press reviews and earned the band alot of recognition locally and bumped us into the national scene as well that continued with with an official SXSW show and a fun tours that hit points east to New York City and back.  Minneapolis City Pages did a cover story as well and named Little Man "Best Rock Band 2007". I couldn't believe the cover story opportunity. It started as a premonition.I practically woke up in a gasp waking up my wife saying "cover of the City Pages!"  I pitched promo info to City Pages as soon as I could get it together and hoped for the best. Eclectone had also put in some good words for some sort of coverage.

City Pages sent out writer Pete Scholtes to spend a day or two following me around with band and day to day stuff. City Pages art director Nick Vlcek invited me over for a photo shoot. I had no idea this was to be a cover story up till maybe a day before it was published and I didn't know what the cover would look like either. I was thrilled!! I scooted off to City Pages the morning it came out and watched pallets and pallets of this magazine get loaded out and picked up to go all over the Twin Cities and beyond. My first look at the magazine... "Next Big Thing" it said! "Little Man Singer Chris Perricelli Takes His Shot." WHAA??!! That's quite a statement. A tall order there. My goodness this is crazy! A big flood of happiness overwhelmed me. "Go forth and do your work well!" I yelled at all my faces. Pete and Nick did an amazing job with it capturing an honest look into myself and what I do. So grateful for the opportunity to get the music I created with a cool bunch of people out to so many more people and to be supported by the label and the city as a band, songwriter and musician.

Eclectone Records was a Minneapolis based label run by Scott LeGere and Martin Devaney. It was awesome to have a team behind you helping with promotion, direction and support. The record was already recorded and I wanted to get it out as soon as possible.

I shopped it out to many national labels prior. There was even an interest at Atlantic Records for a short time up until my A&R contact got laid off. Eclectone was new and local run by good friends and I couldn't wait to release this record.

I worked with four different producers to fully realize songs from demos I had previously recorded. I wanted to work with producers I had admired and wanted them each to record specific songs. At this time, along with myself, Little Man included Ryan Otte on drums and Ben Foote on bass as the core band. The Soulful Automatic sessions used many more musicians to help.

Here's some thoughts on the making of the record:

Producer/Engineer: Ed Tinley
Songs: Come Undone, Prize Fighters, Tire Fire, California Baby
Ed has been recording Little Man since early on. He recorded a bunch of Ike Reilly music as well as Liz Phair who I'm also a really big fan of. He's a great friend and we've built alot of trust regarding Little Man music over the years. Recording with him is one of my favorite things. I traveled down to the Chicago area to record with Tinley over a few days at Ike's Diamond City studio, which was formally an old hunting lodge. A really cool big wood cabin of a place. Opening track Come Undone evokes a Led Zeppelin III vibe. I sing falsetto and use a twelve string guitar here and also added the air organ and xylophone.  Ed also suggested we string my guitar with all high strings (Nashville tuning) for a couple of these which created a more chime crisp tone. I loved it. We tracked from the guitars up adding layers of guitars and vocals for this session. Ed played bass and another longtime friend and former core band member Dave Cottini played drums on these tracks. Dave and I gel like musical brothers having an unmistakable, nonverbal, musical connection when we play. Very creative player. These songs have an openness, breathy, velvet character to them. Just beautiful. I get choked up hearing these back sometimes.

Producer/Engineer: Chris Dorn
Songs: Out For Miles, Soulful Automatic, Light Years
Chris Dorn plays in a band called The Beatifics. My wife introduced me to them back before I moved to the Twin Cities and I really dug the songwriting and production of their records. I wanted these songs to be slightly more modern sounding and I also needed help finalizing the songs themselves. Chris Dorn has a great sense of rock/pop songwriting sensibility. He offered great advice and additional parts to these songs. Dorn was also quite creative and meticulous when it came to mixing these. In particular the title track Soulful Automatic. After the song was just about mixed and finished he went back and tracked a compelling background vocal as well as an acoustic guitar. I heard it back and knew I didn't play or sing those parts but man I loved it! Ben Foote's melodic bass line on this song is so memorable. Ben is smart and quite accomplished in the study of bass and offered a modern touch and subtle uniqueness to these songs. In Out For Miles Ryan Otte's drum intro is perfect. Dorn made that huge. Ryan's playing is earthy, rock & roll. He has impeccable timing and feel. We also accomplished getting those Harrison-esque harmonized slide guitar hooks to sound just right. Dorn came up with the chord change modulation at the end of the song.

Listen to my home recorded demo of the title track:
Producer/Engineer: Mike Wisti
Songs: Shag If You Want To, You Love It, Shimmering Stars And The Moon Majestic
Mike Wisti recorded a great local band called Faux Jean and I was fond of the band and their recordings with him. I wanted the songs we recorded with Wisti to have more of a garage rock feel and I knew Mike could do this for us superbly. His studio is called Albatross in Minneapolis. We recorded live together to tape. Ryan Otte and Ben Foote for this session. This was my first time working with Mike. He's very much super knowledgeable about his studio room and the sound we were going for. Very interesting person and has kind of a mad scientist creative energy about him. I played Vox Continental keys on Shag which was pretty sweet. We recorded some backwards guitar for Shimmering Stars and Wisti lit up with excitement mixing this song in particular saying it was so MAJESTIC! Hence, that's where the title came from. Also I should mention that I met our current bass player Brian Herb at this session because he transferred the tracks from analog tape to digital. Good friends ever since.

Producer/Engineer: Jacques Wait
Songs: Undertow, Ride
Jacques was also in The Beatifics with Chris Dorn playing guitar and he also recorded Beatifics music, which I adored, so he was someone I was desperate to work with. Alot of people in town suggested him to produce. He could really understand the classic/modern combination I liked. We recorded at It's A Secret in Minneapolis owned by Dave Russ. Ryan Otte played drums on these and Jacques played bass. I also brought in Pete Hofmann to play electric Wurlitzer piano. Jacques is very precise and calculated in getting great tones and laying down tracks. I think we recorded the basic tracks to tape and overdubbed digital. We did harmonizing lead guitar parts in Undertow and recorded guitar through a rotating Leslie speaker cabinet in Ride. These tunes are clean, sharp rock/pop goodness. So happy to have finally worked with Jacques. Undertow became the popular radio single.

Very different sounding tracks but with the perfect track listing (which took quite a while to figure out) and expert mastering by David Gardner it combined to make a very cohesive, well balanced album as a whole. A great album to hear and experience in it's entirety. This is classic Little Man.

Little Man will be performing most of these songs March 4th 2017 at the 331 Club in Minneapolis. Come help us celebrate!

You need Soulful Automatic in your music library. Here are some options:

Get it on CD at CDbaby
Download it at iTunes
Download it at Bandcamp 

Little Man albums Of Mind And Matter, Orbital Amusement and Original Face followed Soulful Automatic. We are just about to hit record for our next one. Stay tuned!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

It's fun to mock the rock: Stonehenge!

As the kickoff to 89.3 The Current's 11th birthday, the radio station hosted a screening of the movie "This Is Spinal Tap" the classic music mockumentary from 1984, at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul. Little Man got to open with a half hour set. What a blast!!

I figured to live it up, play the part and have fun with the opportunity. We played our own songs, deciding not to cover any Spinal Tap but played it up in a Spinal Tap kind of way. From my previous posts you know that I'm into glam rock and the fashion of the genre. I wore red satin pants with furry boot covers and had a leopard print long sleeve shirt. I decided to cut off the sleeves to make it a tank like Nigel wore in the movie but botched one side accidentally. So now I didn't have a shirt but saw these cut sleeves on the floor, so I put them on backwards on my arms and they became glamorous glam rock wings! I loved it. I made a necktie scarf out of the rest of the shirt's remains. In addition, my wife helped me with some great make-up. And oh yes, I did have an armadillo in my trousers.

Two days before the show my wife and I brainstormed how we could do something special for the show. We thought it would be hilarious if we lowered a mini Stonehenge onto the stage just like in the movie. Watch the scene HERE. We didn't have much time though!! Brigid said she could make one and thought she could get it done. I really didn't think it was possible in the amount of time we had. The night before the show she got stared while I was at rehearsal with the band. She kept sending me updates but I kept it secret from everyone including the band.

It was looking great. I contacted the theater to see if it was possible to do what we wanted as far as rigging goes and they confirmed they could. (Yes!) The day of the show Brigid was completely determined to finish the monument by the time we had to leave for load in at the theater. She cut, sanded, painted, glued and glittered what would become the greatest stage prop ever! It was to specs too, 18"! She attached it to a base to make the rigging easier, plus we didn't want it to fall apart while it was hanging there. The paint and glue weren't even dry yet. Although if it did fall apart it would have been a classic Spinal Tap moment regardless.

You should have seen the look on Brian Herbs face when he saw the mini monument in the van when I arrived at the rehearsal space. Completely bowled over. Sean too laughed in disbelief. "We're going to lower this down on our last song!" I said and we had a good laugh. It got us really excited.

Sound check photo by Sean Gilchrist
The Fitzgerald Theater is a really beautiful, old opera style venue. Last time I was there was when I worked with Ike Reilly in 2001. Everyone was surprised when we showed up with our prop. Alan, one of the theater tech's, rigged and hung it way up in the rafters. I made sure to tell everyone not to post to social media about it yet. Sound check went very well although it's a little different playing in a theater like that but very fun. Also, it's a little bit of a maze backstage just like the Spinal Tap scene. They provided delicious food from Cossetta's in the green room area. I was a little worried we'd be provided with coldcuts and miniature bread ;). 

Mid descent! Photo by Allison Wagner
Brian Herb, Sean Gilchrist and myself. Photo by A.Wagner
Brian Oak, who just recently became a Current DJ, MC'd the evening. They had pre-show Rock Band video game set up for the audience on the movie screen. Brian introduced us and out we went! Really fun to play that stage. The audience was great. I could see many of them out of their seats dancing. The set was a good rock'n  8 songs long. The last song was Sun from our last Original Face album. A perfect closer to accompany our descending Stonehenge. And then it descended on the opening chords of Sun, slowly lowered from the rafters and the crowd went bonkers. YEAHHHHH!! The lowering of the Stonehenge piece turned our show up to 11. It gave us that extra push, you know?! Brigid gets the MVP for sure.

After a standing ovation (Thank you!!) we we headed off stage, with some big laughs. My band mates are awesome. It means a lot to share these experiences with them. Not easy to play such a short set sometimes though. It felt like we were just getting warmed up and wanted to play another. After the monument was unharnessed we got it out to the theater lobby during intermission and people gathered to take pictures with it.

Then "This Is Spinal Tap" started. I hadn't seen it in it's entirety in years. Just hilarious. See it if you haven't! So, so fun to be a part of this. Now what to do with our little Stonehenge??

This drawing by Eric Tretbar was given to me on the Zodiac scene!

Special thanks to Gretchen Webber for the video. If you have pictures or video from that night, please feel free to share them here with us!

Friday, November 13, 2015

There Is A Mountain

I was recently asked by Scott Herold of Rock The Cause to to choose a song to record for a Donovan tribute album to benefit Huntington's Hope. I was very excited to have the opportunity to do so among other local artist and popular national as well. Donovan is a spiritual folk hero in my eyes. I love his fuzz rock stuff too but his acoustic songs strike a chord with me. I chose to do "There Is A Mountain" a song he recorded in 1967."

I immediately recognized this song's Zen content as the ancient koan goes, "First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is." The song carries the wisdom of "thusness," seeing things as they are and accepting that. I've been interested in and have been practicing Zen and meditation for many years (see my previous post on mediation) and I often draw inspiration from that sort of practice to create songs for my band Little Man. So in a similar way, I feel where Donovan is coming from and appreciate his work and was thrilled to have a chance to record it and be a part of this compilation.

photo by Emily Utne
The song is simple just as its content is and I wanted to keep it that way in my version. I didn't deviate too far from the original because of it's natural, organic feel. That's where it should be. It kind of repeats like a meditative mantra. While studying the song I noticed (for the very first time I'm sorry to say) that the melody is the same in The Allman Brothers "Mountain Jam." I had no idea The Allman's got it from this song. I'd been jamming to that song for years as a kid playing right along with it gaining my chops on guitar. So there is a tad of that in there too. You can here my version of Donovan's "There Is A Montain" and purchase the album Gazing With Tranquility to benefit Huntington's disease at Rock The Cause.

First there is a mountain.
You are brought up to know what a mountain is. Picture it in your mind, draw what a mountain looks like to you or go out and witness one. Massive stone object with white cap peaks. Separate from you. But a mountain is made up of so many things; rocks, dirt, trees, insects etc. Where does a valley end and a mountain begin? Show me?

Then there is no mountain.
A mountain is a human concept. It's what we call a mountain. We give it that name, thus we separated it from all that is, from us. It is useful to use language to communicate something but the word mountain is just a symbol. Go past that symbol. The mountain is not separate from you. From multiplicity to unity.

Then there is.
Back to being a conceptual mountain but this time carrying with it the wisdom of no mountain. This is the mystical realization. Nirvana is ordinary life. See things as they are. Thusness or suchness. Living in the world as a part of it and not separate from it is the wisdom. Know the multiplicity in unity. Also there is that spiritual seeking element that comes full circle. One might feel the need or the desire to seek God or Nirvana, enlightenment, spiritual bliss etc. You take that journey and then realize that you can't seek what you already have or are. It's not outside or separate from you. You return. Zen is ordinary life. Enlightenment is here and now. You have the wisdom, living in this world with all of it's joy and suffering and everything in between for which you cannot separate yourself from. It's all you.

But then again that it's self is just a concept... Zen is something to be experienced spontaneously. Experiencing with out labeling. Dropping all concepts is like an empty cup ready to be useful and receive or like a mirror that reflects but does not hold. Music is a great Zen-like thing in that there is no destination in a song. A song IS. Alan Watts said something like "if getting to the end of a song was it's intent, all musical pieces would be finales and the orchestra would be playing as fast as they could to get to the end". You listen and follow along to a musical piece and then it's gone. You physically can't hold onto it. You don't normally suspend that lovely chord forever and want to hear that chord for eternity because it makes you happy. The chord changes and you accept that.

There is so much to read about Zen, Buddhism, Eastern philosophies and all sorts of meditation techniques. This link on The Ox Herder is a good one that fits with my theme here with this song. Look into it if it interests you but while gaining that literary knowledge can be good, doing and experiencing them is at the heart of it all.