Tuesday, December 1, 2009

phylosophy


I recently made a little money providing lead guitar and acoustic rhythm guitar to a guy in North Carolina for his next Christian CD. It was really a fun project and I really hope that the trend continues and someone else finds me in there. We did this through a website called StudioTraxx.

I used that little bit of fundage to pay for the release of my instrumental album on Tunecore. 'phyosophy' will be released on or near December 31st to iTunes, Napster, and Amazon.com's MP3 site. The new album will have 14 instrumental songs that were composed and recorded for a couple of the internet songwriting challenges that I participate in, namely FAWM and 50/90. If you know me, you'll most likely get a notice that it's available. Heck, even if you don't know me, I'll try to let you know. That's the fun of it. - I have quite a lot more songs (with lyrics) as well, enough for at least two more albums. After this release, I shall start the process or re-recording some of them and putting together new CD's. This time, however, I will bring in other musicians instead of doing it all solo like I have on the past collections. If you're a friend of mine, you probably play an instrument - don't be surprised if I ask you to play on these new albums. Please say, 'yes'.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tattoo



Last weekend, my daughter came up from Hollywood to go get a tattoo with me. She chose a little design of two little proper English Gentlemen holding a kite and a "brelly" respectively. I chose a dragon. We went to Sacred Tattoos in downtown Oakland and both of us were inked by Jesse.
If I do get just one more, I've been wanting to get an ambigram of both my daughters names. (Chelsea and Chloe). But, I'm done for a little while.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Two Month Posting? Really?

Well, here it is, November 2nd. My last entry was on September 2nd. I guess you slow down after a while of doing something. I'm not going to say I'll do better either - it is what it is.

My 50/90 output was about 23 songs this time. A few of those were collaborations, so my mileage may vary. There are a couple keepers in there I should think. I'm going to regroup and listen to what I have so far from this last 50/90 and past FAWM's as well and see if I can put together a new album. I've actually already put together a preliminary list and the working title for the project is So Far So Good. I'll share the list next time.

Back in May, I found a website called StudioTraxx where I registered as a studio musician for hire. I've heard nothing until just now, when I got two requests for quotes. One is a project songwriter in North Carolina doing a Christian album and the other is a woman songwriter who needs some help with acoustic guitar on one of her new tracks. Amazing. I love making tracks and getting paid. It doesn't get much better.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Two Week Posting


50/90 is slowing down. Not only for me, but a bunch of the usual suspects are dropping out officially. I'm dubious that I can write and demo any more in the slightly less than a month we have left. But, I'm not quitting. I may have one or two more inside if that fickle biatch muse decides to visit.

In the interim, I have created another instrumental
called: When She's Away
I had some fun making this one into a little video - you Tube: When She's Away Video
(The video contains some Super8 footage taken by my Dad in about 1956 or 1957. )

I did another collaboration with 1B King. He sent me some lyrics to a song he calls 30 Weight and Black Lace. Says it should be a roadhouse/Biker Bar kind of jam. So I created a 4 plus minute jam, in E, and added a couple leady bits and a lot od space for Bob to put in his licks and the vocals. As soon as 1B posts it, I'll share with you, my singular reader. (Hi JP)

Since my last post, I have acquired a pair of A M A Z I N G speakers for my recording set up. My buddy Norm sold me a pair of Tannoy Studio Reference Monitors for $100! Holy shit, what a difference. I had to buy a small power amplifier to drive the monitors.

Until next time...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

After a long pause...

...perhaps it's time to jot down a few 'musical' notes all up in here.

I am sorely behind in the 50/90 challenge. That's okay though since I'm not shootin' for the full monty. I don't have the time or resources for that. I will write a post a few more in the 43 days left I should expect.

Since last post, I have 4 = 1 collab!

3rd Floor Flat is a tune that I wrote the words to a number of years ago, and Tim Ryan penned the music. It was never recorded by us, so I finally took a stab.

Rock Song was born due to a very bad day at work. I just needed a little bit of rock and roll therapy - thank goodness I had the presence of mind to turn on the recorder while self-soothing myself in a rock kind of way.

The Languor of Summer doesn't have any music to it yet. It had been so hot in our house over a few days that I had to find something good to say about it.

The News is my collaboration with cts. Craig took my tune 'Rock Song' and added his special take on some cool words around the news of the day.

The Way It Is would be my one and only Hip Hop song. Inspired by cts' words on our collab.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I have 12, but it's really 10

I had scheduled all of Saturday to work on songs. But, Chelsea called and let me know she was on her way up from LA and wanted to crash at our place. She was up to attend her 10 year high school reunion! (Really?) So I spent most of the day with her and worked a little on some tunes. After she left for the party, I was able to find a few hours in front of the DAW. It was absolutely wonderful to get to spend time with my eldest daughter. She's pretty amazing!

50/90 continues and I've still a bit behind. I like where I am though and I'm rather fond of what I've produced so far. Speaking of So Far... So Far So Good is a little love song I wrote for Jane. After I finished it, I couldn't share with her 'cause she was mad at me. I had to wait until that blew over.

Red Beans and Rice is another one that worked out. It was one of those that almost wrote itself. And I recorded it in a very short time - only two takes!

And I recorded a little weird 2 and a half minute rock song called Powerwalk. I couldn't think of a name for it and Becca (visiting grand niece) came up with the title.

I've got one more to demo in there called Bringing the Devil Home and perhaps I'll record Billy Sea's version of Variety Show.

Heigh Ho

Monday, July 20, 2009

Questions

I got questions, baby. My new 5090 tune is called the Question Blues. I recorded the guitar and vocals in one take together. Then I added the harmonica and the hand drum.

Here's the link: Question Blues

Got me some questions, baby
I got some questions on my mind
Got me some questions, baby
I got some questions on my mind
And I been a-wondr'n
If I've just been blind

The pleasures of indiscretion, baby
You made arrangements on the sly
Pleasure and indiscretion, baby
You made arrangements on the sly
I have no choice but to
Counter with good-bye

Who was that guy I saw you with?
What's his name, are you takin' the fifth?
When did it all go so wrong?
Where did I start to get strung along?

What's up wit you, Baby?
Inquiring minds want to know
I seek some understanding, Baby
Inquiring minds want to know
I just need to step back
And try to keep in control

Who was that guy I saw you with?
What's his name, are you takin' the fifth?
Where did it start to go all wrong?
When did you start to string me along?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

15 Days Into 50/90: 5 Songs

Well, three actual demos with lyrics, and two lyrics with no music yet. Perhaps I can record something this weekend. I haven't been able to record in either GarageBand or Logic Express - for some reason I get the "beachball of death". (Mac version of the blue screen...) I can program loops and playback already recorded files, but it will not let me add a real instrument. I figgered that it's a resource issue and did some long needed administrative computer stuff. But freeing up all that memory didn't really do anything. I may have to re-load the software, butI'll research it a bit more.

My two new sets of lyrics are these: Variety Show and Francois Leared to Chachach√°
------------
There is this web songwriting tool that I "Stumbled Upon" called Lilac Writer. It's an online songwriting tool to help you write lyrics with built-in references, organization & collaboration tools. (That's from their page). I was contacted by someone from that organization to be e-mail interviewed for their blog. I've answered the first set of questions and I'm waiting on the follow ups. Fun, huh? I really do like their site, I using it as a place to write for the 50/90 challenge. Watch this space for further development.

By the way, follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/phylobeans not that I keep up with it very much yet, but I'm getting it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I Plod Along


I seem to be at par or a little ahead of the game on 50/90! This has been rolling around in my little head for a few days. Jane and I went over to JP's for some playin' and grillin' - and he helped me sort it out a little better. This is what I came up with...

Here is my third song:
(click on the title to stream it or "save as" to download the MP3)

"call me phylo" (c) 2009 Phil Bearce

It's amazing what you can see
When you open up your eyes
Do you find that you were wearing
An elaborate disguise?

And all the folks around you
Walk around in such a daze
Assuming that you'd rather
Just have the good ol' days
_______________________________

The name that I was given
An apostle's I did share
Of the Twelve named: Phillip
It was my Mother's prayer

You can call me 'phylo'
There are structures I must draw
So I can make a living
Torn from the corporate claw
______________________________

But I can make some music
I play a mean guitar
Harmonica and mando
Underneath the evening stars

And when you come and listen
With your coffee or your beer
I'll play for you my stories
And share with you my fears

But also all my laughter
And the joys that will surround
And you'd complete the circuit
As the music comes around

Monday, July 6, 2009

Three Months of Constant Writing!

This last weekend, the Fourth of July Weekend, marks the start of my second attempt at 50/90. I already have two songs done and posted; Full Deck and She Taught Her Children

My plan this year is to only post songs that I have demo'd. Last year I would get too excited over finishing a lyric and post it with the idea that I'll get to the demo at some point. Some of those words still don't have music. - There are already 278 songs written and at this writing, there are 87 Days, 21 Hours, 34 Minutes, and 17 seconds left til the end of the time. So my upcoming days will be filled with following my fellow songwriters' journey on the path to 50 songs, as well as keeping my own mind open to whatever comes and chasing (and hopefull catching) that elusive muse.

Jane and I went over to palomine JP's house yesterday with a tri-tip to grill and some sweet white corn-on-the-cob to throw on the barbie as well. Had a lovely late lunch/early dinner and played music. I recorded most of it with my field recorder onto an old ipod. It did an amazing job. I have yet to upload those files and do a small bit of editing. If there's anything worth posting - well, watch this space!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I haven't written in a while...


But, I haven't really had that much to talk about. (Musically)

My band, Country Grunge, played a little private show last Saturday at a community pool in Fremont. We were well received and we sounded pretty good. Norm's son, Rod, opened for us for the first hour, and we played the last two hours. Rod came up and helped on a few and we did the same for his segment.

Norm got an e-mail from some Peninsula attorneys who want us to play for functions in Palo Alto. Norm sent back that we charge $600, but we're flexible. Funny.

I'm going over to Rhys' apartment tonight after work to work on a few things and do a mini vocal section. Norm's off to the cabin for the weekend already.

Not much else going on - I'm walking the fence on doing 50/90 this year - starts July 4th and goes 'til October 1st. Big time commitment. We'll see.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

No New York, but I have a new song!

Perhaps it wasn't meant to be, but my Mother's health has put the kibosh on our trip to New York. We might revisit the plans again in September, when it was originally planned, assuming she's okay enough to travel. She doesn't feel bad - except she's a bit pissed off that she had to cancel. She apparently asked the doctor if he realized just how important this trip was? Her health is much more important.

As I was growing up and learning the guitar, I started playing Crosby, Stills, Nash (and Young) tunes - after all, it was the 70's and I was rock and roll. But they had a few country-laced hits - and the one she liked was "Teach Your Children", Graham Nash's tune. I, of course, learned to play it and from that point, my Mom always asked me to play it for her. I guess it reminded her of why she had kids.

My idea was (and it still might work), is that I wanted to write a song and have my Mom and me sing it together at a recording studio during our little trip together. I will record this and leave space for her harmonies. I hope she'd be up for this - I haven't told anyone about this plan. She sang in her youth and apparently sang with Peggy Lee in NYC in her early twenties, (that woulda been in the 40's).

Here are the lyrics:

She Taught Her Children Well
© 2009 Phil Bearce

She was always there when we needed her most
The five of us are all now grown
Despite sibling jealousy we’re all real close
Prepared us for the unknown

Raised five on her own without much support
Taught us how to run in the races
She kept us safe and showered her love
The provision of her graces

We all stay on the path - no extremes
We never really raised any hell
Learned by example and fed off her dreams
And she taught her children well, lord
She taught her children well

She danced with a sailor one night on the base
He tended the bar there some nights
They dated and wed and crafted a family
And we all out fought the good fight

Time marches forward and comes to pass
Don’t you ever ask them why?
We make a world that they can live in
And watch our children grow by

We all stay on the path - no extremes
We never really raised any hell
Learned by example and fed off her dreams
And she taught her children well, lord
She taught her children well

Lead Verse - Chorus

Monday, May 11, 2009

Return of (the) Spring Jam

photo by JP

The 'Jam' returns just as the spring returns. It occurred to me that the title I gave to this event, "The Return of Spring Jam", can be used in two ways - Since I'm bringing it back, it's the return of the event. Going forward, it's be the Return of Spring' Jam - therefore I can keep it for the annual event. Good, I'm glad you're with me on this.

After all the planning and running around - and mostly getting the house together, it was totally worth it. We had about 30 people, musicians and 'listeners', crammed in our small house and spilling out into the backyard. I stressed a bit over the logistics and how everyone would be situated and whether or not they'd want to plug into something. But after a while, I started to figure that it will be what it is and what's the point of worrying about it. The musicians just started playing music - like we do. The day progressed organically and music was pouring out onto Georgia street and filtering it's way out to the backyard as well. Pictures taken by Grego and Michelle can be found here: SpringJam Pics

I also got to reconnect with a couple musical Davids that I haven't seen in quite a while. David L. and I hitched cross-country in 1975 and I've known him since the early Seventies. We worked together at Pied Piper Pies in San Diego. And David F. and I worked together at Hewlett Packard back in the Eighties, where we had a standing conference room reservation to play music at lunch on Wednesdays. Falcon and I played Fogelberg's The Reach again after a bunch of years. Funny how it comes right back. I won't lose touch my friends again.

My buddy Grego manned the two video cameras, and kept them going through most of the party. So hopefully there'll be some righteous footage of some of the finer moments. I have yet to see the tapes.

Jane and I made two kinds of chili, a vegetarian pot and a meated one as well. The veggie one took the longest - we started that around 6 in the morning. The meat version was a bit overly meated but very tasty. All the fixins' as well, cheese, onions, cornbread Madelines. We'll not use Chinet bowls again though, they got a bit soggy. There is so much of everything left - we had to freeze a bunch. We'll be eating chili for a long time to come. I wish I liked beer more, we have many bottles left.

I have so much fun playing music with my friends, I will have it again next year. It will be better as I learn from my mistakes.

Next stop: the Stinson's SUMMER JAM out in Twain Harte in July. It's a goody!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Country Grunge

My band, Country Grunge played a show at Mission Pizza last Friday night. We've played there countless times. Some of those shows were good and some were not so good. Friday's show was one of the good ones. The sound was mixed pretty good and the huge crowd was eating pizza and drinking some beers and raising the noise level to a small roar. But all four of us were in good spirits and looking forward to playing music no matter what. This was the first time we've been in front of people since our show in early February!

We are the only non-bluegrass band they let play there. The owner, Phil Willis, keeps upgrading the equipment and adding to the stage. He's actually bolted the mic stands to the stage, all in a line across the front, since apparently, you can't trust musicians. He will have just installed new speakers, or some H-U-G-E sub-woofers in the corner. It's always something. But he's benevolent pizza guy and lover of live music and that keeps us coming back. And he always comes up right after the show and grabs whatever tips we made, and pockets them. Then he comes back and gives us all a twenty dollar bill and a pizza to take home. You can't beat that.

We didn't get any shows booked for this year at all. Somehow we missed the boat. Although he calls us when some other band either can't make it, or has broken up all together.

We have a few songs that we've recorded at various times at Mission, here are a few:

Better Than Ted written by me
Everything Changes written by me and Tim Ryan
Fences written by Norm Stinson
I Believe Written by Norm Stinson

They're a little rough, but it's live.

I'm not sure what's going to happen with the band in the next few months. Norm is leaving Sony after a long tenure and if he can't get work consulting, he'll move to his cabin and rent out his house here. That would change the whole dynamic of the band. Norm is the lead singer! I would like to continue on, but that would make ME! the lead singer. Oh no, that can't happen. So something will change - I will be playing music, I'm just not sure with whom.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

My Upcoming Trip to New York

In exactly 57 days, I will fly to Salt Lake City to join my mom for a week in New York. The itineraries are finalized and it's a done deal. I have been waiting for this trip for quite a while. A number of years ago, my mother decided that she'd like to travel with each of her children on separate trips before she can't travel anymore. In a wisdom only my mom understands, she chose to start with my baby sister, Janine, now in her late forties. They had an adventure in Costa Rica and then cruised around the Caribbean. Next it was Paul's turn. He and mom took an Alaskan cruise up the inland passage. I saw pictures of my mom standing on a glacier and in the helicopter that took them up there. Then Julie and mom went on yet another cruise. Dave had always wanted to go to Hawaii to surf. So that's where they went.

So finally it's my turn. I just couldn't subject my 83 year old mom to another cruise, so I suggested a trip to Memphis and Nashville, where I could pay my respects to legendary songwriters. But my mom countered with New York City with a side trip upstate where we can visit with her family still living there. It's a still pretty big crew, she was one of nine children. This will probably be the last time I'll see most of those folks. I haven't been there since 1966!

So here's how the trip looks:

6-19 - I fly to SLC
6-20 - Me and Mom fly to Albany. Visit the old folks in Gloversville for a few days.
6-23 - Mom and me take 4 hour train ride from Amsterdam to New York City
Empire Hotel (near Central Park and the Lincoln Center)
(I'm supposed to find a Broadway Show to see - assuming we can get tickets)
6-27 - LaGuardia back to SLC then back home.

That's it - I'm really looking forward to it. The time has been noted and approved on work calendars and I'm ready to travel one on one with my Mom.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Some new Pale Moon Sky pehaps?

A number of years ago, I was one half of the acoustic rock duo called Pale Moon Sky. I had met Tim Ryan at the local Benicia, California coffee hangout called "In The Company of Wolves". It was owned by a very colorful and lovely lesbian couple, Deb and Deb. We played there on and off for three years on this little postage stamp sized stage, trying like hell to sing over the cappuccino machine. Tim and I wrote some pretty cool folk-rock tunes and we eventually put together a CD called This Feels Like Home.

Tim retired and currently lives in paradise, well it's called Lahaina, Maui, and he is starting to resurrect his musical efforts. I had two songs from my FAWM '08 collection where the melodies just wouldn't come to me. So I sent them to my old buddy in Hawaii and asked if he would take a stab. He was agreeable, and after a couple iterations, we may have a new PMS song comming. We're going to try to produce this tune across the Pacific Ocean. I will post it up as we get closer.

------------------

On another note: I started another blog that no one will ever read. It's called "la cuisine de mi familia", and it's a collection of recipes from my immigrant Italian family. There are two recipes up currently, but I'll post more as I get time. This is the food of my people - which is to say that in no way has your health been considered in the making of these dishes. Back then, that's the way it was - you eats your food, you takes your chances. But oh, how tasty it was. I'm in my late 50's and I've been getting these sent to me ever since I set out on my own in this world.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Need to Blog?

I don't seem to have a burning desire to write anything here anymore. I've opened this editor a couple times in the last few weeks, stared at it for a few minutes, then unceremoniously closed it again. I'll try to keep my self control together for at least a paragraph.

My band, Country Grunge finally managed to get together again after a long 45 day break. Since we didn't have any shows lined up, it was a nice break. But all four of us missed it. In the interim, we have gotten a couple new shows at Mission Pizza, our old haunt. The new thing, though, is that we're finally recording something. We have recorded in the past, but it's always been a "live' recording with microphones placed wherever they'd fit in the room. Rhys, (bass/guitar), brought in his iMac and we've recorded separate tracks of Normie's tune, "I Want To Test". Here's the file so far: http://grunge.philbearce.com/ Norm and I did the ooohh's and the background harmonies. I think it's good.

I haven't written anything since FAWM really, but I sent two of the songs that I never found the time to demo to my old songwriting buddy, Tim Ryan. He lives in Lahaina, Maui and is starting to get back into music a little. He just sent me an MP3 of his take on the song. Tim and I were called Pale Moon Sky at the very end of the last century - we had a good run. We had one of our songs from the CD This Feel Like Home played on a TV show. It was a good time. I was in my forties.

The next big thing on the horizon is the return of the 'Spring Jam'. "What's that?," you might ask. For ten years, I hosted my own annual event. Some years, it got pretty interesting with country pickers sitting in with punk drummers sitting in with Celtic harpers sitting in with guitar players of all stripes. - Then, along with my first marrige, that all ended. My friend and bandmate, Norm, took up the call, though, and hosted his own Jam in the summers up at his cabin in Twain Harte. - So I'm bringing it back in May. I've invited a couple FAWMers who live nearby, but I didn't want it to end up getting out of control with a lot of folk I don't know. Who knows, perhaps in subsequent years, we'll change it up.

Wow, I guess I found a few things to say. Heigh ho...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Spring Ahead

We are now six days past FAWM and I'm still kind of in a daze. That last little push was really fun for me. With all of the amazing collaborations this year, I really didn't write and demo 14 songs. I had only 11, but still my ticker said "winner". On the last day, and with those few uninterrupted hours left, I composed a suite of three instrumental acoustic guitar pieces bringing my tote board to 23. Mine plus 9 collaborations! During the month, I learned more about what I can get away with using the tools that I've collected. I only used GarageBand once, all other tunes were demo'd using Logic Express.

So now I've got to go back and learn how to perform two from this years crop of my songs to play at the showcase on the 14th. I hope I can remember the chords.

The next big project - and one I'm looking forward to, is to re-mix some of the instrumentals for my album 'phylosophy'. It never got mastered either. I'd like to release that one.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New Organic Blues

There are only three days left for FAWM. I've slowed down a bit, even though I have only written 11 songs. Although my list stands at 19, eight of those have been collaborations. I recorded a piece that was supposed to be used for one of my sets of lyrics that had no music. It kept not working for the words, so I just added more layers of instruments. I started with a drum track that I programmed, then added midi bass, the basic guitar changes, harmonica, and organ.

I have had so much fun listening to these five versions (so far) of my little blues piece that I called New Organic Blues. It was called a ”smokey bed track” by devin (FAWM) and it's in the key of Am.

http://fawm.org/songs/1812/ My original New Organic Blues

http://fawm.org/songs/1859/ “Sunrise Mississippi” - Billy Sea

http://fawm.org/songs/2352/ “New Organic Blues” - Todd Norem

http://fawm.org/songs/2502/ “Dearly Departed” – cts

http://fawm.org/songs/3782/ “ A.D.D. Blues” - Errol

http://fawm.org/songs/5032/ “Hanging Around” - devin

I really liked my guitar solo in there.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Just Nine Days Left!


The end of the writing and recording part of FAWM is quickly approaching. Although my tote-board says that I’m a winner, that’s not entirely true. I admit that I’ve only written 10 songs so far. (I still have to demo two of those.) Five of the ones up there are collaborations with other FAWMers. Please check out Dearly Departed with cts; and Outside Walkin’ with Steve Key. On Dearly Departed, I provided the music part and cts wrote and sang the words. On Outside Walkin’, just the opposite. I wrote the lyrics and Steve wrote the music and sang it. (He also made a slight [sanctioned] change in the lyrics).

Steve_Apple_Head is organizing an After-FAWM Showcase where I’ll be performing a couple of my 2009 FAWM tunes alsongside other California FAWMers. (See Flyer) It’ll happen down in SoCal the middle of March. Bonus: My two daughters live not far from there – another chance to see ‘em! Yay!

A few days ago, I went to my local pro-audio shop and bought a large-diaphragm USB microphone. I always had to hook up my mixer to plug the recording mic in for the phantom power. This eliminated that – but I forgot to think about how I would monitor the current track and the recorded playback at the same time. The tech-savvy FAWMily came to the rescue and gave me many great suggestions. And on my own, I discovered the AUDIO/MIDI control program on my iMac, which did the trick. Now I get it. The more I do this – the better I get at using all these lovely tools.

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Brand New Week To Use


Here it is, Monday again. I had a pretty good weekend. Jane's cousin Susan is here from Boston and they've been mostly doing things together. So....

That left me a little time on Sunday to write and demo a little blues piece that I called "New Organic Blues" . I kept trying to put some words in there, but nothing came to me. So I just kept adding layers of music instead. Finally, I posted it as such and offered it up to anyone wanting to put some words in. My old friend Billy Sea wrote one called Sunrise Mississippi over those changes.

This is a picture of my daughter Chelsea doing stand-up at the Hollywood Improv. She's getting some very amazing opportunities of late and her comedy career seams to be taking on a life of it's own. She and her boyfriend are coming over tonight and she's bringing a DVD of some of her performances in the last couple months. - You will be seeing her - keep an eye out!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Disjointed Day

But nice. I got to sleep in a little this morning, something I almost never do. I thought it best to have the doctor see me and make sure that I'm okay after being brutally rear-ended on Monday. I am okay. Got to work around 12:30 and grabbed some lunch. Did my due diligence and now I get to leave in a half hour or so to go rehearse with the boys. (We have a one hour little show at the Nomad Cafe in Oakland on Saturday).

I had a nice and rather untypically long conversation with my Mom last night on the way home from work. She suggested a time for us to have our little trip together. She has planned and paid for one on one travel adventures for her each of her children -
STARTING WITH THE YOUNGEST! Amazingly, I'm next. Mom and Janine went on a Carribbean Cruise, She took Paul on an Alaskan Cruise, Julie and her went to the Carribbean, and she and Dave went to Hawaii. When she finally asked me where I want to go, I mentioned Nashville (for obvious musical reasons). But she countered with New York City! Hmmmm, interesting. While I've never been to either place, New York is indeed intriguing. One goal I have for this trip is to write a song that we can sing together and book some time in a recording studio. She recorded as a young woman and had quite the singing voice back int he day. Now in her eighties, I'd like to share that with her - she is, after all the reason I do music. So it looks like we'll schedule our trip sometime in September. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Day 3 - I'm Okay

I was a little bit worried that I'm being left behind by all the amazing songwriters doing FAWM. There are so many songs posted already and it's only three days in!. But that passed like a little gas. I've posted two songs (well, the lyrics anyway) so far. I'll get to the demos forthwith - but I keep getting waylaid.

First, I was so antsy about getting started, that I re-arranged and re-connected all my recording equipment no less than six times getting ready. I really wanted to start on February 1st this time. Then, after FAWM got started, and when I did have the time, I had absolutely no ideas! I think that I wanted it too badly - and inspiration wouldn't come.

The, last night on my way home from work, I was rear-ended! My little CR-V had no discernible damage - at least I can't see anything. Not so lucky with the other guy - his engine lid was peeled back like a sardine can. Anyway - I was kind of looopy last night (shock?). Needless to say - no recording last night.

That all said, Jane and her cousin are going on a 'road-trip' up to Seattle for a little over a week. That leaves me a ton of time in which to woodshed and hopefully get a few songs done. I'll have a bloodbath of time!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Day 2: FAWM

For the next 27 days, 13 hours and 46 minutes, I'll be thinking about writing songs. Every year in February, I submit myself to the rigors of trying to write 14 songs in 28 days. FAWM (February Album Writing Month) is an amazing environment to write in. You get instant gratification in the form of other good songwriters listening and commenting on your demos and lyric sheets.

This year, my own goal is to write and demo 14 rock songs. This is a challenge to me since I write mostly acoustic type music. So this will make me stretch a little.

I have this nagging feeling that I'm behind and it's only the second day in. Granted, SuperBowl was on the first day and I'm at work the 2nd day. I should be okay once I sit down at my workstation and start laying down some trackage. But, then again, there are 435 songs written so far, 44 just in my watchlist. Sheesh!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Getting Ready to FAWM!

Well, now I've gone and done it. I created a blog which means that I have yet another distraction that'll take up more of my time. But at least it's creative - and that appeals to me.

I'm about to jump into FAWM again this year. The acronym stands for February is Album Writing Month - the idea is to write (and demo) 14 songs in 28 days. My wife tolerates (only just) my time commitment to this, but I have to regulate myself a bit or I'll be at the recording equipment longer than I should. I usually having such a great time in there creating music, that I lose my sense of time. Until my back starts complaining.

I will share the tunage that comes from my trouble mind right here. Watch this space.