Michael Shipley | Blood & Vanity

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Blood & Vanity

by Michael Shipley

Guitar-driven pop-rock adorned with eclectic instrumentation. Unusually thoughtful lyrics, from dark to playful, run through these songs of loss and celebration.
Genre: Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Quiet On Set
0:17 $0.49
2. You Better Believe
3:24 $0.99
3. Gotta Run
2:34 $0.99
4. Long Way Down
3:43 $0.99
5. These Days
3:49 $0.99
6. Jigsaw Puzzle
5:03 $0.99
7. Only Dancing
3:16 $0.99
8. Hands On You
2:30 $0.99
9. Unpredictable Girl
3:36 $0.99
10. Walking Through Ghosts
3:43 $0.99
11. Used to Know You
3:17 $0.99
12. Don't Let Me Forget
4:16 $0.99
13. Ja'lulu' Kojo'di
0:37 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Blood & Vanity" is the debut album from Michael Shipley, a successful TV writer/producer from such shows as "Family Guy", "My Name Is Earl", "American Dad" and many others. On this collection of recordings, Michael has given free reign to another side of his creativity -- a lifelong passion for guitar-based lyric-driven songwriting.

Working with friends and a cast of guest musicians from around LA, Michael has crafted an eclectic group of songs, ranging from a quiet acoustic guitar/cello ballad to full-blown band songs with jumping horn sections and soaring gospel choruses. In between those extremes, "Hands On You" and "These Days" are rollicking pop tracks, albeit shot through with moments of darkness.

Stretching in another direction, "Don't Let Me Forget" pays homage to Michael's family's multi-generational relationship with the Native American Maidu people. A number of Native American musicians graciously agreed to be featured on that track as well as the final cut, "Ja'lulu' Kojo'di" which in Maidu means "Flute In The Valley". True to its name, that track features Ben Cunningham-Summerfield, who still makes and plays the traditional elderberry flute of his Maidu ancestors.

Taken as a whole, "Blood & Vanity" can be listened to as a journey through Michael's own varied experiences, from the chaos and celebration of life in Hollywood, through personal loss, through dreams of escape, all the way to the deep roots of his family and the universal peace of nature.

We had a fun, deep and surprise-filled time making this record and we hope you have the same listening to it.

If you order the physical CD, it comes with a sixteen-page booklet of lyrics and photos from the making of the album.



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Blood and Vanity

Rockin' through a passionate life
“Blood and Vanity” takes one through the varied, complex, and emotionally-charged inner landscape of the musician. Where the many artists today seem intent on appealing to a specific sub-sub-culture with a narrowly-defined “sound,” this distinctive album is clearly Michael Shipley’s highly-personal expression of the richness of his life experience. Yet it remains extroverted and highly-accessible through articulate lyrics and hook-driven song-crafting.

And beyond a series of mood tapestries, many of the tracks hum with a dynamic inner tension. Unpredictable Girl, while lyrically expressing frustration with a lover who teases and disappears, bubbles with a upbeat guitar riff and piano bridge so catchy, that--just like the girl--they pull one back in for the rollercoaster ride--over and over again. Jigsaw Puzzle’s eerie chanting, snarling lead vocals and buzz-saw guitar melt-down rail against the chaos and death they evoke, a far more compelling howl of torn anguish than one-dimensional punk/metal nihilism and despair.

These are songs that reveal their complexities with repeated listening, which is made easy and enjoyable by skilled musicianship and immaculate production ranging from You Better Believe’s engaging wall-of-ebulliant-sound to Long Way Down’s pre-digital sparse beauty. There are no throw-aways or fillers here, the artist’s passion and commitment to his music comes through on each track.

Ann Wexler

Amazingly thoughtful lyrics
Michael Shipley's debut album is a mix of poetry and a personal journal set to music. Each song takes you on a journey through an intensely emotional experience, sometimes in an upbeat way and other times in a somber way. Either way, it's fantastic!


Genuine Genius
The brilliant poetry of an expansive mind and a passionate heart shines like wildfire in these boldly delicious tunes. I can't wait to receive my CD so I can listen to them over and over and absorb all the colorful layers of emotion and supple textures of rhythm.
Michale Shipley Rocks - brilliantly.