Ing | Dial: An Operock

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Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock Pop: Brill Building Pop Moods: Type: Soundtrack
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Dial: An Operock

by Ing

Dial: An Operock encourages people to make the most of their lives, be in the now, enjoy live theater & music, and look for the good in the world. Note: physical release features segued songs & bonus DVD w/ Astrophobia video & Hi Resolution 96/24 audio
Genre: Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Drop
4:41 $0.99
2. Bobby's Theme
3:14 $0.99
3. Big Sleep
3:16 $0.99
4. Long Walk
3:33 $0.99
5. Dial's Theme
2:22 $0.99
6. Pretty Bird
3:40 $0.99
7. Astrophobia
6:07 $0.99
8. Middleture
5:53 $0.99
9. Kickstart Your Day
3:02 $0.99
10. A Little Bit of This
2:46 $0.99
11. Men In the Mirror
5:51 $0.99
12. Orbiting the Truth
5:29 $0.99
13. Crossroads
2:58 $0.99
14. Eyes Wide Open Shuttered
5:33 $0.99
15. You Are Loved
3:52 $0.99
16. Somnambolution
6:37 $0.99
17. Come Out and Play
4:52 $0.99
18. Dial Up Sunshine
2:19 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Liner Notes by Writer Michael Layne Heath:

Once upon a San Francisco there was a group called "ing."  Mark Smotroff & Sean Mylett came to this music head‘s attention when the duo played the Eagle Tavern in early 1998: "Two guys with big acoustic guitars", my journal entry of the night noted: “very friendly…equally tuneful’.  

Over time they plugged in, harvested a rhythm section in the finest of Bay Area soil, & set about creating a modest but detectable buzz up & down the West Coast.  Theirs was an exciting, independently minded, ancient-to-future pop vessel, with a songbook containing more than a handful of potential alternative chartbusters.  These guys & their counterparts genuinely know the score: how soul-corroding it can be to try to ‘make it’ as a musician, yet how sweet as well.

But then, it also takes a mess of help to look beyond such gamey goals as pop stardom, or even its indie counterpart. Truly ambitious creative minds are always extending outside comfort zones, beyond market expectations. Thus, if you’re a musician with a lifetime’s mental scrapbook at command & the passion to make a unique mark therein, why limit oneself to a place in the charts that will inevitably be overtaken by next week’s model/flavor/lifestyle accessory? It then becomes imperative to look beyond well-trampled playing fields, to endeavor to stake a glowing plot on the event horizon.

Perhaps it was this desire for creating something more long-form, thematic & dig-this-maaan ambitious that led Smotroff to devote stolen moments of as many years as there are seas, Salome veils & brides for brothers...shaping the vocal & instrumental components that make up this journeyman (& bird’s) tale: Dial.  The effort exerted would be admirable even if the music wasn’t as delightful as it is.  But believe me, friends, it is.

Dial, in so many words, is: cinematic, Herculean, protean & highly terpsichorean, comprising a cast of searchers, seekers & sleepwalkers, at least one learned man & a thousand cormorants.  Spiritual, scary, provocative. Transporting & transforming.  Optimistic & ominous.  Bubblegum & acid (both the dance stream & hallucinogen), demanding of both the outer & inner space of the listener.  Spruce, engaging & ear-wiggingly delightful.

Smotroff’s is an oracular odyssey sculpted from lessons learned & audio vibes absorbed, via endless spins in Monkeemobiles & Magic Buses, with destinations as far flung as Swindon, Sausalito & Blue Jay Way.

Recently an ascendant wave of Broadway musicals have emerged that genuinely Rock, even dare we say, Rawk.  So where, you may ask, does the substance & spirit that Dial conveys in such a highflown climate deserve to be?  Among that which, like its namesake, can perch comfortably at its glassiest, summum bonum peak. 

Michael Layne Heath


Dialing Up Sunshine: Additional Thoughts By the Composer

It started in 2003 when our drummer Lliam Hart cornered me after practice saying: 'Hey I think you have a musical in you.' He looked at me with a serious but encouraging grin. He knew something I didn't. I put this in the back of my head.

Months passed; ideas came & went. And then a strange dream delivered a clear vision named Dial. I jotted down the story, set design ideas, scene changes, character profiles & even some lyrics. I went back into a deep sleep.

The next day I discussed Dial with my late life partner Jack Juhasz, he a student of music & expert on what he termed "Vocal Musical Theater." Intimate with everything from Anna Bolena to the Animaniacs' Hip Hopera, Jack liked the story & said: "See where it goes."

Songs flowed & the sequence of notes that became Dial's theme emerged, a magic melody which soon coursed throughout the musical.

Demos were assembled. I played them for Jack & Sean (Mylett, lead singer of our band) & later for musical compatriot John Ashfield. All felt I had something. Recording began just as the band decided it needed a breather -- things happen for a reason it seems. Then Jack suddenly got sick, devastatingly passing away mid-2005. My musical life froze until early 2007 when new clarity emerged, enabling me to pick up the torch to finish Dial.

16 songs grew to 20, then settled on 18. The overture worked better near the middle. A "Middleture?" Why not? Tommy had an "Underture," after all. Sean asked to sing "Astrophobia," committing him to the role of Dial (grin). Friends old & new made the crowd of Somnambulists roar. Andy Zamenes brought British-bird Savoy to life. Rick Cantor channeled the entire Borscht Belt into Old Norman. And animator John Schnall forged visuals stored in my head into lively strangers in a strange urban wonderland. Its been a trip, really.

At Dial's heart is my love of live music & theater, an art form at risk due to dwindling attendance, resulting in venue closings. Maybe Dial will help. If even one person gets excited about live entertainment, then I know it will all have been worth it.

Come Out & Play!

Mark Smotroff
July 2010

PS: For more info on the storyline, please visit :-)



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