BY GREG BAKER
November 28, 2003
Ed Hale first showed his skill as a musician and songwriter with the Broken Spectacles and has in the new millennium reaffirmed his status as a thoughtful, progressive, top-notch musician fronting culture-blending rock outfit Transcendence. Thanks to him, some FTAA demonstrators enjoyed the use of a media center any politician would be proud to call campaign headquarters.Unbeknownst to police and media, many groups of protesters set up shop in Transcendence headquarters, a two-story building in the Design District. Phone lines were installed, cubicles erected, and laptops were ported after a local musician who knew a protester told Hale that the demonstrators needed housing space. The media liaisons for the various protest groups, whose main purpose was disseminating info to the mainstream media, had been operating out of a downtown ”convergence center,” where space was at a premium.
After seeing this pathetically bare-bones arrangement — a note on one wall listed pens as a necessity — Hale opened his doors. He met and talked with reps from some of the groups — including steelworkers, ecologists, lawyers, and publicists — who would soon be conducting secret meetings to, among other things, prepare for a Wednesday afternoon press conference at
City Hall.Hale’s biggest contribution to the preparations was probably the hammering he gave the phone company after being told it would take five days for phone lines to be installed in his building. After explaining the purpose of the phones — to create a real media center for people demonstrating — Transcendence HQ had, within a few hours, all the phone lines necessary. And a DSL to boot. (”The lady was so nice. She even gave me her cell number in case I had trouble installing the DSL,” Hale said with a touch of awe.)Their operation up-and-running, the protesters’ City Hall strategy worked. All sorts of media showed up at the event: English- and Spanish-language, print and TV, mainstream and not so. But there were no cops and no problems, even when protesters went into the City Hall building itself, demanding to see a ghost: The invisible Mayor Manny Diaz had supposedly left his office after meeting with Commissioner Angel Gonzalez. (Side note: Has anyone ever actually seen Manny Diaz?)
Transcendence just released a new CD, Sleep With You, and has been working to make it a success. ”Fourteen hour days,” Hale said, describing his recent schedule. ‘Talking to station people, sending out press kits. On Tuesday [November 18] I got an e-mail telling me that we’d [begun receiving airplay] on 100 stations. But I was so absorbed by `The Matrix’ — people putting their lives on the line for what they believe in, people taking action, the way the [demonstrators] worked together, like one person working the phones while another goes to buy food for everyone else, while someone else takes the phone — that I hardly had time to notice.”
‘Spending time with these people and listening to them really opened my eyes. The AFL-CIO guys were so cool, and they were thanking me for letting them use the space, and I’m saying, `No, no, thanks for coming and talking with me.’ Long after the demonstrations, the indie media guys were still here disseminating info. The cops try to spin the media, so it becomes necessary to defend the truth.”
If all the protest groups in the Matrix combined forces — as many did here — the organization would be too much for cops, too much for cities, too much maybe even for George W. If The Matrix were real (and who’s to say it isn’t?), America could become a nation of high moral standards and beneficent behavior.Adam Hurter, a demonstrator who traveled from Massachusetts specifically to denounce the FTAA, said, “The key thing is people coming together and working co-operatively for a world not run by corporations; people who come together with a spirit of hope that we can change the corporate system and who try to build communities to replace the corporate power structure. And we were really interested in connecting with the people of Miami. “Ed Hale made the connection. In more ways than one. And The Matrix grows.”
TRANSCENDENCE LIVE IN CONCERT – JUNKIE – NOVEMBER 2003
TRANSCENDENCE in concert performing the song Junkie from the Sleep With You CD to a packed house in a small club in Miami, Florida. November 2003. Then-keyboard player Jon Rose couldn’t make the show so the band played as a four-piece. Junkie isÂ a song that was not normally a part of the band’s regular sets and the band had never performed it live until this particular night. Ed had been pushing to add the song to their sets but the band was concerned that because of the repetitive nature of the song and because there is no set pattern to the transitions between the verses and the choruses except through the lyrics that there was potential for the bandÂ to get lost. Hence bassist Roger plays it pretty safe and sticks close to Ed to hear the lyrics and to cue the drummer.
WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO WORK WITH ED HALE OF TRANSCENDENCE – BY GIL MAGNO
Dear Students, Friends and Readers:
I have started a series of updates to publicize those of my diligent students who are working in their art and who actually have contributed to society in the form of a CD recording or performances that bring joy and entertainment to others. I am very pleased to announce that I now working with Ed Hale of the band Transcendence. As many know, Ed Hale & Transcendence are known worldwide.
Even though I have had hundreds of students who will use their voice singing rock, Ed didn’t seem to fit the part. He seemed too developed a being to be a rocker. Then he gave me a copy of his CD, Rise and Shine. I listened to it very carefully and I was flabbergasted. Even though the songs are played in rock style, I could actually hear what he was singing about. It wasn’t just a confusion of noise mixed with rhythm to which the voice was an accompaniment. I fell in love with that CD.
Most rock-and-rollers have no imagination in playing rock. Since most only know three chords and play them infernally loud, the voice becomes a blur; and all this is loved by the nightclub owners, because with the people driven crazy they will buy more and more booze. Ed’s music is not that kind of confusion. You can actually sit down and listen to it with pleasure. Every song is distinct in melodic content. I call it a Concert Rock Band. The band has recorded I believe, seven CDs. You can buy them in stores or order them from CDBaby.com or Amazon.com.
Here’s what Ed Hale had to say about our classes: “Working and studying with Gil Magno is working/connecting with an aligned soul, no pretense, no compromise. He is connected to all highest ideals of man and this comes across in his teaching so you walk away from a lesson with him feeling as though you have come in contact with the highest and best in you. It is pure inspiration that lasts for many days after the lesson ends.”
[Marcus Pan, Legends Magazine]
“The musical group known as Transcendence is a tight-knit collective of some of the most notable musicians from the Miami and New York music scenes who first came together in 2000. The band is known for their reverence for melody, and an often eclectic and sometimes unnerving yet enticing tendency toward stylistic changes. “Smoothing across genres like a skater on ice, Ed Hale and company show amazing songwriting skills throughout Rise and Shine. They have just released a debut on TMG Records that is one I cannot listen to less than twice a week… Fusing such styles as brit-pop, Brazilian, rock, new wave, and classical – among others – Transcendence create a wild array of songs but somehow hold them together with left-field bite.â€http://www.transcendence.com
Magnoart Studio & Publications
Gil Magno – Vocal Coach/Author
SHOWY, BRIGHT, AND INVENTIVE, TRANSCENDENCE STRIKES A CHEEKY POSE
|Indie-music.com CD ReviewÂ Reviews: Ed Hale and the Transcendence ~ Rise and Shine
Posted on Tuesday, October 08, 2002 @ 05:46:22 EST
Artist: Ed Hale and the TranscendenceCD: Rise and Shine (TMG REcords)Home: Miami, Florida
Quote: “Showy, bright and inventive, and strikes a cheeky pose in the process”.
By Heidi Drockelman
Rising up from the ashes of an almost industry-apocalyptic resurgence of bubble-gum pop, there are several artists who are putting their most confident foot forward and taking a leap into the â€œspace oddityâ€ air that Bowie left his footprint in years ago. In the golden age of glam it wasnâ€™t uncommon to hear artists take risks in almost every song, pushing their own outer limits and pushing the listener to explore their own depths of tolerance and normalcy. Ed Hale and the Transcendence have taken a look back, a look forward, and incorporated this in their current musical vision.
Just the name of the band can speak volumes here, where the material coincides with a modern glam swagger to create the complete package. For so many artists, their image is all they really have â€“ they donâ€™t write their own songs, they barely perform live, and sure, they look good, but shiny pennies get tarnished with time. Ed Hale has taken a page from Bowie, Pulp, Iggy, and yes, U2, to reinvent the modern version of glam rock. While much of the material is showy, bright and inventive, and strikes a cheeky pose in the process.
The best material on this record reflects a sense of whimsy, sincerity and a fierce fight to remain true to the basic elements of what makes a good rock record. Songs like â€œMotherâ€ (not Glenn Danzig, donâ€™t get worked up now), â€œBetter Luck Next Timeâ€, and â€œLetter to a Friendâ€. There are also several forays into the hip-hop arena, although at times this combination seems forced, the effort and approach is still notable.
The fact is, while a few of the experiments in alchemy donâ€™t always sit well with me, I appreciate and applaud Haleâ€™s talent, willingness to take a risk on himself, and his audience. This is a different kind of rock record, and one that will grow on the listener after many spins because of its versatility and after a few listens, some of the songs you might not have been attracted to at first will suddenly click into place.
An interesting way to get to know Ed Hale, and I look forward to future releases.
http://www.transcendence.com or http://www.tmgrecords.net
NOT A ROCK BAND – ED HALE AND THE TRANSCENDENCE TRAVEL THE WORLD RIGHT HERE IN MIAMI-DADE
By Omar Perez
Originally published in Miami New Times: July 18, 2002
For a long time, Ed Hale’s sense of geography depended on rock and roll. “I knew about England, of course, because of the Beatles and the Stones, and I knew about Ireland because of Sinead O’Connor and U2,” Hale says matter-of-factly. “That was the way I related to the rest of the world.”
Ed Hale transcends musical borders
So it makes sense that it was FM radio, not CNN, that turned Hale on to the globe. More specifically, it was the sad state of music spewing out of the mid-Nineties. Grunge had just blown its brains out, and headless, flannel-wearing chickens rode the momentum over the airwaves, waiting for an inevitable death. Hale’s interest in music almost died with it. Then he opened up to new sounds from other countries, plunging into everything from Brazilian to West African to Italian songwriters and artists. “It started to inspire me,” he says. “You can hear in their music the joy and the passion that they have for making the music, as opposed to here in America. [Here] it’s like they’re making music just to be famous.”
In Dungeon Studios in North Miami, Ed Hale and the Transcendence (drummer Ricardo Mazzi, keyboardist Jon Rose, and newest members Roger Houdaille on bass and guitarist Fernando Perdomo, who’s known for playing in seemingly every South Florida band) are making music too. When high-fives fly around the room after Perdomo lays down a guitar track — a squealing, feedback-driven intro to one of the band’s newer songs — it’s obvious that the members of the group see music notes instead of dollar signs.
One more reason for the band to celebrate is its Rise and Shine debut, which thrives on a mÃ©lange of musical influences without paying homage to any one in particular. The opening “Better Luck Next Time” draws from early Bowie elements, with Hale’s English enunciations sprinkled over classic-rock-honed guitars and frolicking pianos, which keep their momentum on tracks like “Do You Know Who You Are?” and “Mother,” where a dreamy haze of guitars gives way to a rising chorus. A rumbling funk bass line starts “The Journey (A Call to Arms),” while a more international flavor makes its mark on songs like the franglais (French/English) “Ma Petit Naomi,” where mariachi horns serenade as electric guitars toast to Americana and beer-and-chicken-wing rock. The upbeat, tribal backbone of “TrÃ©s Cool” sees Hale spit out a list of pop culture references and figures.
Considering his rhymes, Hale wonders out loud, “I love rap, but I don’t know if I can rap.”
“He raps like a white boy,” Mazzi jokes.
A military brat, Hale moved from city to city while growing up. While in Atlanta he met Murray Silver, a music critic who co-wrote Great Balls of Fire: The Uncensored Story of Jerry Lee Lewis and taught a music class at an arts college that Hale pursued in lieu of high school. The professor took the young Hale under his wing and signed him to his small label, releasing Eddie in 1987. (The album has since been re-released by Hale’s current Miami-based TMG Records label.) Hale landed opening spots for area acts including the Georgia Satellites and the Alarm, but the musician lifestyle demanded too much of the teen. On his parents’ advice, Hale returned to South Florida, where he once lived in West Palm Beach. “I think I was too young to take care of myself very well,” he remembers. He enrolled at FAU and started taking courses in philosophy.
One day while listening to the radio, Hale heard a woman win a contest who had the same last name as an old friend of Hale’s from junior high: Sabatella. Hale got in touch with her brother, musician Matthew Sabatella, and the two formed Broken Spectacles, a band that made a name for itself in South Florida during the early Nineties. Despite modest success, the relationship among the musicians grew tense. “The only time we would talk was during rehearsal, and when rehearsal was over, we would all go our separate ways,” he remembers. Finally the Spectacles called it quits in 1994. “Years later I get a call from Matt, and we asked, ‘Why did we stop speaking?’ And we both couldn’t figure it out.” Today the two are friends once again.
Broken off from the Broken Spectacles, Hale picked up his guitar and traveled the East Coast as a solo artist for about a year, landing in New York City and releasing the appropriately titled Acoustic in New York. “I was very excited about the music I was making, and the things I had discovered that I couldn’t do in a band,” he says.
Unfortunately he also encountered financial hardship. “I was sleeping on couches and I was really, really broke, and it was becoming unbearable,” Hale says. “I remember standing in front of this McDonald’s on Broadway hoping that I’d get a dollar or two for playing just so I could go in there and get a cheeseburger. As an artist, every day you just wait for that phone call.” Finally around Christmas of 1996, Hale headed to Miami.
The post-NYC period was tough. “I was associating so much negativity with music-making,” he explains. “When I picked up a guitar to write a song, I would feel bad instead of good.” He put away his guitar for about a year and traveled the world for two, immersing himself in every type of music he could find. For a while Hale was hooked on country. “I’d set the nightstand radio to a country station and I really started falling in love with it,” he says. “I liked the way they can fit a thirty-year story in two-and-a-half minutes. And the musicianship is great.
“Who knows, maybe in ten years we’ll be doing country,” Hale quips.
Perdomo counters: “I’d like to try gangsta country: drive-by-on-a-horse kind of thing. Yo yo yo with a cowpoke.”
While Hale was shedding his bad associations, the Bolivian-born Mazzi was looking for a project. “I just wanted to play music,” Mazzi says. “It didn’t matter what it was.” Mazzi, who also was going through a period of musical experimentation, teamed up with Hale in 1998. “His songs are infections,” Mazzi says. “At first you hear them and you think, ‘Why is he doing that?’ and then you go home driving and you realize he has some catchy stuff.”
It was catchy enough for the folks at MTV, which signed a licensing agreement with the band to allow the network use of six of its songs on Road Rules and The Real World. The single “Better Luck Next Time” has been getting airplay in such far-flung burgs as Fairfax, Virginia and Indianapolis, Indiana.
“We all wanted to do something completely different than what we had done in the past with other bands,” Hale says. “We purposely tried not to be a modern-day rock band.”
ED HALE, TRANSCENDENCE RISE TO MUSIC’S SAVING GRACE
South Florida Sun – Sentinel
Broward Metro Edition
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Author: JASON KNAPFEL LOCAL SCENE
Date: Jun 28, 2002
Remember when rock ‘n’ roll could save the world. … At least some of us thought so. Today, protest songs virtually are gone from the pop music medium.But, there’s a voice that carries the torch for idealism in South Florida. Not that Ed Hale and Transcendence want to be the patron saints of lost rock ‘n’ roll souls. Hale, however, does bear more than a musical similarity to U2′s benevolent globetrotter Bono. He finds that there is an inevitable responsibility tied to his creative expression.
“I think for a lot of artists, no matter what their medium, social and political activism are inextricably tied to the creative process,” Hale says. “The mission is to entertain and to inspire.”
So what is his cause of choice? The liner notes of the band’s latest release Rise and Shine reveals a variety. Take your pick of Web sites from The Covenant House to alternative “radical” book publisher AK Press.
Hale’s social fervor started as early as his first attempt at songwriting. At age 16 he was writing Dylan-fashioned protest songs. That began a musical journey that took him from influences as diverse as the Kinks, REM and Broken Spectacles (with local luminary Matthew Sabatella) to ’70s glam and electronic pioneers like William Orbit. The culmination is his current work with Transcendence.
But eight years since Broken Spectacles broke up, the childhood friends retain a kinship.
“It was like a marriage,” Hale says. “We were four guys who lived together, played together and spent every waking hour together for six years.”
He and Sabatella have been friends since childhood.
“We played our first show together when we were 18 years old. We had absolutely no money and when a club would give us money after a show we would just look at each other and laugh and say, `I can’t believe we are getting paid for this! This is so cool.’”
What separates the best from the rest is a diverse taste in music. And Hale has an insatiable appetite for all things musical. To reference that aforementioned group of Irishmen that inspire him, he still hasn’t found what he’s looking for. In his CD’s liner notes he says, “I churn and burn through 10-20 albums a week.”
And it wasn’t until he left the confines of Western music that he became the musician he is today. Everything from Brazilian to African sounds renewed his vigor, after becoming indifferent to his culture’s music.
If Hale were in The X-Files, he’d most assuredly be on Fox Mulder’s side. Why? Well, let’s say that he doesn’t find government cover-ups a stretch.
He dedicates an entire verse to it in the dance grooves of The Journey (A Call to Arms). First they killed Kennedy and covered it up/Then they killed the King and they covered it up …”
He’s also quite clear about his view of the current administration.
“The last few years, there has been a lot of talk about the shift that we are all making in consciousness towards a more peaceful, open-minded and spiritual state of humanity, regardless of what the evil powers in Washington and the media would have you believe,” Hale says.
“Speaking of which, isn’t it ironic that we just experienced one of the most peaceful and prosperous eight years in our history and then less than a year into the new Republicans’ administration, the entire world seems at war?”
He then takes a step back: “I’m not a Democrat by the way, just a watchful ally to the human race.”
Not everything is politically motivated. Better Luck Next Time and Love Is You are both nods to David Bowie. The latter could be an outtake from Young Americans; the former is an ode to passing through life with unfulfilled dreams.
Rock musicians aren’t known for longevity. Could it be that the best tune on Rise and Shine is a telling insight into Hale’s missing out on pop stardom?
“It has nothing to do with the stardom, although that’s a great perk,” Hale says. “The joy is in the music, because writing/ discovering a new song is the most orgasmic thing I have ever known.
“But on a deeper level, I think that for an artist it is that constant craving, nagging suspicion that you are on the edge, and that any minute you have the potential to discover some new sacred ground or solving some holy mystery.”
Jason Knapfel’s local scene appears the last Friday of the month in Showtime. Please send news to Local Scene, 5768 Northpoint Lane, Boynton Beach, FL 33437 or e-mail knapfel@ directvinternet.com.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.
World Party – Ed Hale Blends Alt-Rock with World Genres to Tackle Weighty Matters
Originally published in Miami Herald’s Street Magazine on January 25th, 2002
Article written by Rene Alvarez in his Underbelly column just before the release of the new Transcendence album RISE AND SHINE
Rene and I went way back alreadyÂ byÂ the time this article came about. He was the long haired dark and moody chick magnet lead singer for Forget the Name back when I and the boys in Broken Spectacles were just starting to cut our teeth and get our feet wet playing in the local bars of south florida. Rene and and Jose and the rest ofÂ the crew were already well established local rock gods. Years passed. We played a shitload of shows together and were always very friendly. But that local comraderie was always accompanied by a subtle competetive vibe that i beleive now is just a natural extension of being young and hot (or perhaps just hungry or ambitious) in any industry. By the time we all went through the fire a few more years, bands breaking up, new bands forming, solo acts igniting and extenguishing left and right, some of our contemporaries ODing or dying in other crazy ways, then the crew who were still alive and kicking and still involved in the music scene in some way or another bonded more and more.
Rene got this job writing for the now defunct Street Magazine. WhichÂ was great for the scene becauseÂ there was a spell whenÂ local scene literatti hero greg baker stopped writing about the local scene; i never got the scoop on the detailsÂ because i was living in new york during those dull days. all i know is that by theÂ time iÂ got back to miami that scene was as dead as it is today. all the local music hauntsÂ had been turned into dance clubs and discos. live rock music was hard toÂ find. But soon i started hearing things from people. going to various places around the tri-county area to catch shows. running into the same old crowd.Â I saw Rene perform with Debbie Duke on bass and Derek Murphy on drums at Power Studios and it just blew me away. i will never forget that night. Nill sang too. And i felt ripped apart by the dichotomy of how good these guysÂ still were and howÂ deadÂ and lonesomeÂ the scene was at that point. Miami is not a dead town. It’s just dead to pop and rock music. If those guys wereÂ doing shows in the carolinas or new york, they’dÂ pack the clubs.
Long story shortÂ Rene starts writing more and more and performing less and less. Nill still packs ‘em in at the Road on his own terms, charging whatever he wants to at the door and is still totally fucking brilliant and the envy of most of us there. I throwÂ a new group together — thinking i wanted it to be the anti-broken spectacles. No four guys all for and one for all mentality, but more of a collective of great players,Â really culturally diverse, age-diverse,Â style-diverse, just whoever i met whoÂ was great on their instrument, had a good attitude, and dug what we were doing.Â We record Rise and Shine and give it to a few people before its release. Rene calls me one day and says he is asked to cover the CD release party for Street Magazine and i’m like “you fucker, whats up? Don’t rip it apart too bad.” And we have a good laugh. He emails me all these super-cryptic questions and asks me to send him back answers. Good questions actually. That was how the article came about. There is no text version of the article because the magazine no longer exists, not even online. Too bad. Rene filled much needed niche in that scene for a long time.
The only version that exists today is this jpg scan of the original article. Click on the thumbnail and then click again. It will open in its own window and then you can blow it up to read it.
This is the first official article on Transcendence that I know of.
Ed Hale & Transcendence Catch It Live!
By Frances PerezÂ
Published in New Times Magazine Miami: January 24, 2002
CafÃ© Nostalgia, 432 41 St, Miami Beach
Performing at 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 30. Free. Call 305-604-9895
Subject(s): Ed Hale and Transcendence
Ed Hale and Transcendence touch down this week with a CD-release party for their new Rise and Shine. Atlanta transplant Hale first appeared on the Miami scene as one of the Broken Spectacles. When the Specs broke for good in 1994, Hale hit the road for two years, traveling the world and picking up French, Spanish, Hebrew, and a slew of musical styles along the way. Now he and his bandmates (Jon Rose on keyboards, Duane Allen on guitar, Ricardo Mazzi on drums, and Stroman on bass) offer what they call “planet music” â€” a dynamic mix of Brazilian grooves, Latin rock, and mostly English-language lyrics. Hale’s smooth vocals range over guitar riffs, hip-hop blasts, and trance/techno beats. In the words of one of the Transcendence’s latest tunes: “tres cool.”
EARLY LINE-UP OF TRANSCENDENCE PERFORMING BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME LIVE IN CONCERT 1999
Early line-up of Ed Hale’s then-new band Transcendence performs song Better luck next time from the Rise and Shine CD in 1999 at the Mardi Gras Festival in Hollywood, Florida. This was back when the band was still being called Ed Hale and Transcendence. Ed had been out of the popular Broken Spectacles for five years by then, released a solo album – Â Acoustic in New York -Â in 1996, and toured up and down the east coast as a solo artist several times before moving back to South Florida and forming Transcendence. Only two of the band’s original members seen here are still in the band today, Ed and drummer Ricardo Mazzi.
Broken Spectacles Live Concert Footage 1993
Three songs from a 1993 concert appearance byÂ the band Broken Specatcles featuring Ed Hale and Matthew Sabatella when they were still singing together. The songs are Julian, Your face aint that pretty, and Inaugaration Day. All concert footage of the Specs was thought to be lost until these songs recently surfaced. The venue was dark but you can still see why people were so crazy about that special something that “Eddie and Matt” created when they sang together. Broken Spectacles broke up in 1994. Ed Hale and Matthew Sabatella both pursued solo careers. Sabatella first with the band Sabatella, and then using his own name. He released two albums, Where the hell am I, and A walk in the park. He now performs with the group and under the name The Ramblin Gamblers. Ed Hale went solo under his own name just after the break up. He released one solo album, Acoustic in New York and then formed the rock group Transcendence who have released five CDs. Reunion any time soon boys?