Bringing a new band to life

Raise the Bar Band - FINAL LOGO

This year has been phenomenal so far, and Carol Deminski Productions has gotten off the ground! I’m now managing three different bands: Carol Deminski and the Little Jazz Birds; The Carol Deminski Dixieland Band and now… the Raise the Bar Band too!

The Raise the Bar Band came out of my desire to play a wider variety of music beyond jazz, and to keep my band members, and me, playing out on a regular basis.

I started by thinking about what kind of music I wanted to focus on, which wasn’t easy. There are so many bands out there doing cover material, and I didn’t want to be playing songs that — while I enjoyed them — were being over-played. In my opinion, we don’t need another band doing Allman Brothers and Jimmy Hendrix covers, although I love both of those artists / bands.

So with that as my guide, I set off on a journey to bring together songs I felt were cohesive as a group. Things I liked and would want to sing, and would nod to my roots as a singer coming out of a jazz and blues tradition. For example, Stevie Wonder’s Sir Duke is a pop song with a terrific dance beat, but the lyrics talk about the great lineage of jazz heritage we have in the works and performances of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, and others. So yes, that’s on the list.

Certain artists began to pop up on my radar as I spent many hours listening to songs I loved, and then meandering around on YouTube, serendipitously moving from one video to the next with “suggestions” that sometimes appealed, and many times didn’t. This process of coming up with a core repertoire took weeks. Songs moved back and forth between a primary and secondary list (which I still have) and then even within the primary list, became further prioritized based on what might make sense for a 3 hour show … the typical length of time a band plays.

I’m often told that I’m organized, and I don’t disagree. That said, the process of finding the initial band repertoire was a lot of FUN. I wound up with early rock and roll, mixed in with fun “classic oldies” that people will know and love – but haven’t heard in awhile – along with New Orleans flavored material too. ALL of it is highly danceable too.

While I was doing that, I was simultaneously pulling together a group of musicians who wanted to do this music. That was also challenging because it’s no great secret that music is not a high paying endeavor.

—->I could diverge at this point and do an entire diatribe on how musicians are vastly underpaid for their talents, but I won’t. <—-

So for a musician to agree to get involved with my project, it meant a bunch of things. The music I was choosing was something that appealed to them, and they would enjoy playing it. Maybe they knew a bunch of the songs already, and they were willing to learn the ones they didn’t. And very importantly, they would be willing to REHEARSE.

Rehearsals are a dirty word to some musicians. For those that don’t want to rehearse, they will flat out refuse to get involved in a band project because it takes too much time. I get it, even if I may not like it! There has to be a balance between how much time you spend learning new material, and working on your own practice, which good musicians ARE doing on their own.

So I was very lucky to find excellent quality musicians to play with who agreed to participate in rehearsals. It’s not like we’re rehearsing every week, but we have to be able to get together just enough to nail down song introductions and endings, and for everyone to know their parts.

…so far, so good. I had a list of songs I liked, and group of musicians who wanted to play those songs with me.

The next hill to climb was … who would give us a chance to play this material at their bar / nightclub / restaurant, etc?

This is the part of being a bandleader that is pretty tough. Without existing relationships with club bookers where this kind of material was being performed, it meant I had to go to the phones and start from scratch. Until now I’ve been booking jazz gigs, so I’m in the process of expanding my reach to venues who want cover bands, and those types of venues are usually quite different.

I’ve spoken to some bandleaders and others about this part of the business, and they absolutely detest it. Some people dread making cold calls because of the rejection they have to face.

When I first started the process of making these calls, I didn’t like it either. It might take 15 calls with a NO answer to get to one YES (maybe more.) The amount of follow up to get the right person on the phone AND get a yes from them is time consuming. But now, after months of ploughing in and just doing it, I find I enjoy “the hunt” and “the close.” There’s a satisfaction when I book a new venue where I haven’t played before, and I’ve been able to establish enough of a rapport with the booker so that my band has a shot to come in, wow the crowd, and be invited back for that extremely important second gig.

Thankfully, given my time and energy, my band is now booked for a couple of gigs, and once I’m able to have my band on videotape playing this material, I’m 100% sure I will be able to book even more gigs.

If you have read this far, please be sure to visit the Raise the Bar band page here: http://CarolDeminskiProductions.com/raise-the-bar-band. There you’ll see a photo collage of artists that inspired me for the band’s song list, and photos of band members.

If you are also in New Jersey, and want to attend a Raise the Bar Band show, go to the Carol Deminski Productions website and check out the SHOWS  tab, for a complete calendar!

THANKS!

 

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Announcing the new Carol Deminski Productions website!

Hi All!

I have put together a website to make it easy for people to find me if they are looking to hire a Jazz/Blues band!

Please check out http://CarolDeminskiProductions.com!

On the website you can find a Contact Page; music videos; a show calendar; photos and bios of some of the musicians who play in my bands; a produced events page, and more!

carol-deminski-productions-website-feb-2017

Take a look at the “Shows” calendar page for a list of events, beginning with the next available show. Right now, it shows my event for tomorrow night at the top!

Carol Deminski Productions - shows.JPG

Click on the graphic on the left side, for the event poster, so you see the whole thing… it looks like this!

glen-rock-inn-poster

On the “Shows” page I hope you’ll notice I’ve gotten into creating a poster for each gig I’m doing. Some of them are very colorful.

On March 5th, I’ll be playing a Sunday Brunch event at Ocean Place Resort & Spa, in Long Branch, NJ. That hotel is located on the beach, and the restaurant has a beautiful view of the ocean, so I chose a watery ocean themed poster style.

ocean-place-resort-mar-5-2017

When you check out the site, if you want to reach me, feel free to use the Contact form!

If you know of someone who is looking for a high quality Jazz/Blues band, I’d appreciate any referrals too. It’s always tough, when getting started, to build an audience and I can use all of the friend-referrals I can get!

Thanks, and I hope you like the new site!

Continued Success for Singer Celebration!

singer-celebration-dlv-dec-17-2016-v2

One of the popular events I host each month is Singer Celebration. I’ve written about it on this blog elsewhere, but I thought I’d mention that there is a big Holiday Edition of this event coming up this Saturday night.

Details: Singer Celebration, Sat, Dec 17th, DLV Lounge, 300 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair, NJ. 9pm to midnight. SINGERS are welcome to come and sing a favorite Jazz, Blues or Holiday tune with my swingin’ band! It’s a great opportunity to meet lots of other singers from the area.

And if you are interested in live music performances in New Jersey, please look at my Facebook page: @CarolDeminskiProductions. There you will find a list of events.

Another place you can find more information is Carol Deminski Productions. I have music videos, photos, along with other tasty goodies you will enjoy!

We will continue on with Singer Celebration in 2017 too….

For the January Show, we will have an amazing Featured Jazz Vocalist!

singer-celebration-dlv-jan-14-2017-v3

For the February Show, our Featured Vocalist will be a fabulous Blues singer!

singer-celebration-dlv-feb-2017

 

 

Photos from Singer Celebration, Aug 27th

Singer Celebration collage - Aug 27

Top Left – Right: John Bianchi (v); Michael Mittelsdorf (d); Jim Bogle & Erez Lirov (t) … Middle L – R: Joy Elaine Foster (v); Me & the band; Jackie Johnson (v) …………………… Bottom L-R: Amanda Benjamin (v); Michelle DiBlasi (v) and Patricia Walton (v)

 

 

I’m happy to report that the August 27th Singer Celebration was a success. We had 11 singers, including me and our featured singer, John Bianchi. John did a wonderful job playing clarinet and singing 3 tunes including his original composition “I’m Going Back to My Dreams” (which he started off by playing a ukulele introduction – so charming!)

I started us out with a Dixieland theme on I Ain’t Gonna Give Nobody None of My Jelly Roll, followed by Exactly Like You. We continued the theme all night, with John singing ‘Deed I Do in the first set, his original tune in the second set, and I Have a Feeling I’m Falling in the third.

Our first guest singer, Cliff Walston, sang Dexter Gordon’s Cheesecake, with lyrics he wrote,  based on Cliff’s experience of seeing Dexter play in Europe. Cliff always adds so much to these evenings by sharing his amazing life experiences with us.

Cliff Walston

The parade of singers continued all night, with me and John singing in every set, while 3 new guest singers came up and sang one song each, within each set. That worked out very conveniently to 11 singers!

Another observation from the evening was the incredible audience. Sometimes people tend to leave in the third set, as it gets later, but that was not the case this time. Not only did we maintain a full house all night, people continued to sit at the bar after the show ended! To me means they were enjoying themselves so much they didn’t want to go.

One person told me that they felt like they were in New Orleans during the show; another couple who dropped in for a drink and hadn’t been aware of the show, wound up staying all night, clapping for every singer, and taking photos and videos.

The band was truly amazing. They played enthusiastically all night! My house band is a group of 7, keyboard, bass, drums, guitar, trumpet, trombone and saxophone. With our featured vocalist sitting in with clarinet, brought us up to 8. Then, somewhere in the second set, a trumpet playing friend showed up and sat in for the rest of the night, bringing the house band up to 9 players … with an awesome 5 piece front line, and a solid 4 piece rhythm section.

With this kind of playing power, the guys were able to stretch out in each set on instrumentals: Jubilee; It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got that Swing; and Ain’t Misbehavin’ … because who doesn’t love Fats Waller?

To bring the evening to a close, I sang my favorite finale piece, St. Louis Blues, a W.C. Handy tune made famous by Bessie Smith.

Considering the appreciative audience, the support by the singer community, and my terrific band – without which none of this is possible – we are going to do another Singer Celebration on October 15th, at the same location, the DLV Lounge in Montclair, NJ, from 9pm to midnight.

The October 15th event will be an experiment for me, because I’m going to make it a Jazz & Blues mash-up. My Featured Vocalist (to be announced on the PUBLIC Facebook invite soon…) is a Blues singer, and between the two of us, we will provide the thematic foundation for this next event.

I hope to see you there!

Singer Celebration - DLV - Oct 15 2016

Singer Celebration – THIS SATURDAY – Aug 27

Me and Michael - Priory April 27 2016

Carol Deminski, MC and Lead Singer with Michael Mittelsdorf, Drummer

 

SINGER CELEBRATION is this Saturday, August 27th, at the DLV Lounge, 300 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair, NJ. The action starts at 9pm; there is No Cover.

There will be a fantastic 8 piece band, including: piano, bass, drums, guitar, trumpet, saxophone, trombone and clarinet! We also have a terrific Featured Vocalist, and numerous singers… hopefully, including you!

Come on out and join the fun! Sing a jazz song with us, and meet the other singers and musicians in this wonderful community.

The DLV is a cozy place which regularly hosts live music. I’m glad we are part of their line-up. I look forward to seeing old friends, and meeting new ones. See you there!

DLV Postcard - final resize

Singer Celebration – Aug 27th

It’s getting to be that time again, for another Singer Celebration event at the DLV Lounge in Montclair, NJ. On Aug 27th, I’ll be hosting this end-of-Summer get together for jazz singers and musicians!

Saturday, August 27th, from 9pm-12M, DLV Lounge, 300 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair, NJ.

Carol and The Little Jazz Birds - DLV band regulars

I’m happy to say that the band that’s been playing at these events (since March) has had a lot of the same players. This time, we’ll have most of the same guys back again, including Steve Johnson – trombone, JJ Bell – tenor sax, Jim Bogle – trumpet, Michael Mittelsdorf – drums, Jon Boudrot – guitar (and this time, also ukulele) and Billy Carrion Jr. – bass.

Ahh, but who will be on the keyboard? I’m glad you asked! We will be fortunate to have the talented Max Marshall, who you may also sometimes find playing keys at Cleopatra’s Needle in Manhattan.

Max Marshall on piano

But, if you know the Singer Celebration program, you also know there is usually a featured singer. And this coming show is no different. I’m proud to announce that John Bianchi will be not just our featured vocalist for the evening, he will also be on the bandstand playing clarinet for the night … bringing our amazing bandstand to a whopping 8 players.

John Bianchi by Barney Bishop

Not only can John sing and play clarinet, he also plays saxophone, guitar and as you see in this photo, he rocks a mean ukulele too. As you might imagine for someone so talented, John also writes his own songs, and on show night he will perform “I’m Going Back to My Dreams” one of his original compositions. (I have heard him sing this piece, so trust me when I say you will not want to miss his charming performance!)

And what, if anything, is still missing for show night?

YOU, that’s what!

There are so many talented jazz singers that have come through to perform during these events, I’m very grateful to have all of you participate! I’m hoping to see some folks that have been supporters from the beginning (you know who you are!) as well as some new faces too!

Please join us, Saturday, August 27th, from 9pm-12 midnight … DLV Lounge, 300 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair, NJ.

The DLV doesn’t charge a cover, although our hard working band appreciates tips.

Hope to see you there!

July 16 Singer Celebration A Success!

I held the third Singer Celebration event at the DLV this past Saturday night, and we had 9 singers participate! By all accounts it was a highly successful event, and I was really happy everyone seemed to have a great time.

Dlv singer collage july16

The singers were terrific and we heard lots of standards, including a few examples: Night and Day; Pennies From Heaven; Cheek to Cheek; How High the Moon; A Night in Tunisia; Let’s Get Away from It All and our finale for the evening was I Got Rhythm.

Carol and band at DLV July 16 2016

We also had a swinging, 8 piece band to back up our singers. It was a total luxury to have a fabulous, four piece front line and another four piece rhythm section. The guys had a great time – they really love playing for singers!

Since this series is so popular, I will host another Singer Celebration on Saturday, August 27th, 9pm to midnight, at the DLV Lounge once again. We space each event about six weeks apart, and that’s been working well.

DLV Postcard - final resize

If you sing jazz tunes, please come to this event and sign up to sing. If you enjoy an entertaining evening with a large variety of singers, and a terrific and talented band, come out and be part of the audience.

There’s no cover charge for this event, and the DLV offers reasonably priced refreshments which makes for a cozy and fun night for all.

This PUBLIC event invitation is also available on Facebook.

Hope to see you there!
Carol

July 16th Singer Celebration at the DLV Lounge

Hi all,

We’re gearing up to have another successful Singer Celebration at the DLV Lounge, on Saturday night, July 16th, from 9pm – midnight. DLV Lounge, 300 Bloomfield Ave., Montclair, NJ.DLV Postcard - final resize

As I’ve done before, I will be the MC and lead vocalist, and I’ve invited two talented singers to be my Featured Vocalists for the evening. Stephen Santoro is a talented young man who loves to both sing the standards and play trombone too. Cliff Walston is a respected Jersey City jazz elder who sings jazz, writes his own lyrics, and is an artist too. Cliff is also a founding member of the Spirit of Life jazz ensemble.

Singers are welcome to come and sign up to sing one with the band. These events have been HUGELY popular, so I do recommend coming early to secure a seat and to get a slot on the sign up list.

And speaking of the band, we will have a killer band. Not only will we have an 8 piece (yes, 8 piece!) house band, with Nick Masters (p), Billy Carrion (b), Michael Mittelsdorf (d), Jon Boudrot (g), JJ Bell (sax), Jim Bogle (tmpt), Stephen Santoro (tmbn), Steve Johnson (tmbn) but we will ALSO have numerous guest musicians sitting in. I’m expecting other bass and drummers to show up, but my friend Chisoo Kim is planning to bring her fiddle (although she also plays bass too!) and so on…

The DLV Lounge is a cozy spot, serving a simple comfort food menu (chicken wings, shrimp and grits, fries) along with cocktails, beer and wine and an extremely friendly vibe.

Come on down, whether you sing or play or just want to hear an amazing night of entertainment.

There’s NO COVER for the show, but tips are graciously accepted.

When the jazz bug bites

I used to laugh when I heard “the jazz bug bit” (name of famous musician) and their life wasn’t the same afterwards. I didn’t understand it at all, and moreover, I thought it was an exaggeration of someone who really loved to play music and did it well.

But lately, I’m beginning to understand that the “jazz bug” is something real. It’s obsessive. And I have been ‘infected’ with the jazz bug (some would suggest I call Dr. Jazz, but I don’t think that would cure me!)

When I started my journey, WAY back in the Summer of 2014, I had a very simple goal. I wanted to be able to get up at a local jazz jam in my neighborhood and sing a few songs with the band. I knew that the musicians playing at the jam were professionals, and so I felt that since I hadn’t been a singer previously, that it was important that I take a few lessons to make me competent enough to get up in front of others and sing. (And no, I had never done – and still haven’t done – karaoke.)

After half a dozen lessons or so, my excellent jazz vocal teacher wisely suggested that I begin taking vocal technique lessons. I was so enthusiastic about my progress to date, and still very excited about the prospect of singing in front of an audience, I jumped at the chance to study with my most excellent vocal technique coach.

In retrospect, this was one of a few turning points for me, because it moved me from wanting to “just get up and sing a few” to really understand the mechanics behind what I needed to do to sing properly. I didn’t realize it at the time.

Eventually I had my public debut, and had to conquer my absolute terror of singing in front of a live audience. (Something which I have conquered to a great degree, although I still get a bit fluttery from time to time.) The debut went well, and there were so many people around me who were incredibly supportive. They offered advice, lots of applause and praise for each baby step forward, which was undeniably motivating to keep me going when things were tough.

Soon I was getting feedback (correctly) that my repertoire was limited as a beginner, and I needed to work on expanding my song list. And so began a period of more intensive study of various singers and material.

This led me to periods of frustration, entirely of my own doing, because I liked songs that no one else knows. Of course, this led me to a new teacher, who could work with me to help me learn these lesser known songs and write charts for me. He also was helpful in giving me introductions to basic theory, and blues and gospel scales too.

As all of this was going on, I began increasing the amount of time I invested in getting out in public to sing. And the more I sang in public, the easier it became to sing in front of live audiences.

Along the way, I learned more and more about how to interact with musicians, including knowing that I had to tell them the key for my song, explaining what tempo I wanted, and eventually when I learned more, giving them information they needed to help play the song before and during the performance (the bridge goes to Bb Minor; or, let’s do this as a bossa; or, touching the top of my head when I was supposed to come back in, indicating I wanted to sing the song from the top.)

And again, there were times I was frustrated. For example, when I was learning how to sing behind the beat, I realized I needed more help on my sense of timing. So I decided to take lessons with a drummer to help me internalize this sense of timing. His help was so invaluable, I know I took a leap forward in my ability to “swing” jazz songs due to his instruction and help.

I sometimes think that maybe, if I had started as a kid, maybe I would have picked this stuff up over many years of practice. I would have had lots of time to internalize many lessons and evolve my skills.

As an adult though, I feel a sense of intense urgency to learn things as quickly as I can… and frankly, to work hard when I have internal resistance to doing things that will help me up my game.

I regularly re-organize my practice routine to help me maximize what I get out of my practice time. And I just stumbled upon a helpful (and free!) handbook that I’ve been reading that is pushing me forward yet again.

Jamey Aebersold Jazz Handbook: http://www.jazzbooks.com/mm5/download/FQBK-handbook.pdf

Perhaps my biggest weakness right now is my ability to improvise during a song, in the way I’d like to be able to do it. I’m not trying to be Ella Fitzgerald, but I would like to feel a sense of freedom when improvising that I don’t feel today. I have plenty of other things I’m still working on, and I strongly suspect it’s a lifelong path I’m on, but for right now, improvisation is a critical jazz skill that I need to nurture along more forcefully than what I’ve been doing to date.

When I go back and listen to all of the recorded lessons I have had, with EVERY SINGLE TEACHER who has given me their valuable time, advice, guidance and mentorship… they have all told me that I needed to do stuff that I refused to do. Like, memorize scales. Like, sit down at a keyboard (every  day) and tap out notes and sing them. Like, start improvising everyday when I sing in practice. (This seems so obvious.) Like, take the two most common jazz blues keys of Bb and F, and improvise to them. (This last piece of advice is spelled out directly in the Jazz Handbook referenced above.)

I am obsessed with getting to the next level. And many days I wish I was 20 years old so I had a few extra decades to play with in order to get to many next levels. But I don’t. The clock is ticking. Hell, Charlie Parker was dead at 34, and I passed that mark long ago. Oh well. I’m too fanatic at this point to stop anyway.

The jazz bug is real. I’ve been bitten, and I can’t wait to scratch my itch.

May 7th at the DLV Lounge!

Singing at the DLV - Carol and Michael

“Carol Deminski and the Little Jazz Birds” will be playing at the DLV Lounge in Montclair, NJ on Saturday night, May 7, 2016, from 9p-12M.

Please join me and my band, including keyboard, bass, drums, trumpet and trombone … sit ins welcome! I’ll be the hostess and lead vocalist. We’ll have two featured vocalists, along with many expected guest singers. It will be FUN for participants and audience alike!

The DLV is a small club which emphasizes live jazz. They have jazz jams on Tuesday and Thursday (9-11:30p), special Latin Jazz nights, and other jazz performances. The DLV is homey and inviting, with reasonably priced drinks and a newly opened kitchen offering comfort food. DLV Lounge, 300 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair, NJ, 07042.

 

 

 

Dirty Thoughts

This is a rant. You have been forewarned! 🙂

In May 2015, I was preparing to leave the country for a few months. In preparation, I bought some new clothes and accessories, and I ran around trying to figure out what to pack. I also went through my wardrobe and washed a lot of clothes, setting things aside in piles, until it came time for me to pack it all up and haul it half-way around the planet (to the Philippines.)

I did my last load of laundry in my washing machine just before I left. I thought the machine was a little cranky when it stopped, the inner stainless steel tub wasn’t moving as freely as it should have.

Then I left my apartment for months, and when I came back, it turned out that the slightly cranky inner stainless steel tub of my washing machine was in full revolt – it wouldn’t much move at all.

My local gas and electric company offers something called a “Worry Free” contract on individual appliances. You pay a little bit each month, and then if you have a problem, you call the company and they send the repairman out to fix it. If you need parts, and it’s covered under the warranty, they order them (free to me, the customer) and then install them (labor is also free.) It’s a good system, and I’ve used it for several years.

So when I returned home, in September, I had some laundry to do. I realized my machine wasn’t working and began to haul my clothes to the local laundry mat to wash. In the meantime, I called for the repairman to come and diagnose the problem so the machine could be fixed.

Well, it turns out that my machine couldn’t be fixed. It was a front loading washing machine, about 9 years old, and the outer tub and ball bearing got locked up, which is why the tub wasn’t spinning on the inside. This is, apparently, a common thing to have happen with these machines. Also, because it’s an extremely difficult part to fix (you’d need to take the entire machine apart inside a machine shop, then re-install the outer tub and the ball bearing…) it’s not covered under the warranty. And, the repairman told me, when the part is not covered, the labor to make the repair isn’t covered either.

And how much would the labor be, if I wanted to proceed with the repair anyway? Oh, about $270 AN HOUR, the repairman informed me.

Argh. No, it’s not worth it to repair a machine that’s 9 years old when the labor is $270 an hour and it would take at least 4 hours to make the repair.

Alright, I thought, then I guess I need to buy a new washing machine. I’m all for doing my best to repair appliances where possible, but this washing machine was kaput.

Off I went to Sears, Home Depot, PC Richards and a few other appliance places. Boy, was I shocked when I got there!

It turns out that in the past few years, washers and dryers are now the size of a small car!

My 750 square foot apartment has a small, 27.5 inch wide and 32 inch deep “closet” to house BOTH my washer AND dryer – one stacked on top of the other. That’s all the space I have for the machines. I can’t create more space in a 100 year old brownstone.

Appliance manufacturers aren’t interested in accommodating apartment dwellers. They want to sell “SUV sized” washers mounted atop a gigantic platform.

If you have the space for an SUV washer, good for you. And if you haven’t been out shopping for such appliances recently, you may also be in for a shock. As of January 2016, the starting price of many washing machines is at least $700 USD, but most are more than that.

And once you purchase the washer, your costs aren’t done. Then you need to pay for taxes, delivery, installation and a stacking kit.

Hmmm, wait a minute. A stacking kit. To stack my 9 year old, perfectly functioning dryer on top of the brand new washer?

NO. It turns out that you can’t do that. Maybe you could do it, but you’re not supposed to do it. Why aren’t you supposed to stack an old dryer on top of a new washer? According to people that SELL washers and dryers, it’s because the little bracket that attaches one unit to the other won’t work with non-compatible machines.

And why should I care about that? Because the new washing machines turn at least 800 RPM (and many of them spin much more rapidly than that, with the highest end machines spinning at 1400 RPM. Trust me, that’s very fast!)

The manufacturer doesn’t want to provide you with a warranty on the new machine unless it’s attached to another brand new machine that is its mate, with their blessed bracket of choice. This helps ensure that the vibrating washer doesn’t push the dryer on top right off the machine. (That can’t really happen inside my 27.5 inch wide closet, but that’s beside the point.)

Does this sound like a scam to you? It does to me!

Many of the older sales and repair people I’ve spoken to about this tell me that these new machines cost a lot more, and their expected life span is a lot less. An old machine might have lasted 10-12 years, and the new machines might last about 7. For that privilege you will pay triple the price of a better made machine produced 8-9 years ago.

BLEH.

It’s taken me months of research (and procrastination) to figure all this out. And at the moment, the only thing I’ve settled on is that I need to buy a new washer AND a new dryer to replace my broken washing machine.

But in looking for a new machine, 95% of what is offered is much too big for my tiny closet.

My old washer had a 2.65 cubic foot capacity, which represents the amount of clothes it can wash. If you did a search for washing machines today, you’d find most machines have over a 4 cubic foot capacity, which is great if you have room for your SUV-washer. We of the apartment dwelling tribes cannot house 4 cubic feet of washing machine (let alone the SUV dryer that can’t stack on top!)

Instead, manufacturers are making smaller machines.

To summarize: my 2.65 cubic foot washing machine broke. As a result, I need to throw away my perfectly functioning dryer. When I buy a new washer and dryer, it will wash and dry FEWER clothes. I will pay a LOT MORE MONEY for these machines than what I paid for the ones I had, and the new machines will have a SHORTER LIFESPAN of use than the machines I had!!

Yeah, that stinks!