Half Dead, Stayin’ Alive and Forward Motion

by Colleen Dougher, CityLinkMix

It’s one thing not to get anywhere because you’re not trying hard enough. But giving something your all, only to have your dreams shot down again and again, takes a toll, eventually makes one want to give up, almost.

The video that Dreaming in Stereo just released for “Half Dead,” is drenched in that resigned feeling, as an unsmiling and seemingly numb Fernando Perdomo emerges in a parking garage and begins somberly singing “I’m in very poor condition, battered bruised and left for dead. Someone call in a mortician. Death can really get inside your head.” Next we see him cradling his guitar in a descending elevator …

“Half Dead,” from Dreaming in Stereo’s debut CD that was just re-released with a bonus track on Perdomo’s new label, Forward Motion Records, was written after a very frustrating period for Perdomo. For starters, he felt devastated about his 2007 departure from Price, a Miami Beach band that had just signed to Geffen. As a guitarist without songwriting credits in the band, Perdomo would have made little money and been required to move to Los Angeles, which meant abandoning his role as bassist/musical director for local singer-songwriter Hilary McRae.

Instead, Perdomo stuck it out (hence his song “I’m Not Gonna Move to L.A.”), and McRae became the first emerging artist signed to the Starbucks/Hear Music label. Unfortunately, her Through The WallsCD was released in mid-2008, just as Starbucks scaled back its musical offerings and turned its share of management reigns for the label over to partner Concord Music Group, where CDs didn’t get the promotion some artists planned. Perdomo says the deal became “just another Miami almost-sure thing that went to crap.”

Rather than cry over shattered dreams, Perdomo poured his emotions into the songs that compose Dreaming in Stereo.” Initially, Dreaming in Stereo was a solo project, rather than the full band it has become. “Basically it’s the ballad of a pirate,” Perdomo explained after the CD’s release last year. “Both of his sure things sunk and now he’s on his own in a small boat, but with amazing aspirations.”

Vic Kingsley & Fernando Perdomo photo by Samantha Thrall

Those aspirations continue with the official kickoff of his label, Forward Motion Records, at a party last night at Van Dyke Café. Already, the label had plenty to celebrate including the release of Yves Giraud’s CD Hello and Jorge Moreno’s single “Thank You” on iTunes, the new video for “Half Dead,” and Forward Motion Records becoming an official showcasing label for Miami Music Festival, which will be held Nov. 12 through 14.

Also, Perdomo and Vic Kingsley, the Miami singer and guitarist for Los Angeles band The Westar are recording a Kingsley and Perdomo CD, Fake Smiles, that’s due for release on July 24. Meanwhile, check out the dangerous duo’s country-fried version of the Bee Gees’ Stayin’ Alive.

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