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. My original New Organic Blues “Sunrise Mississippi” - Billy Sea “New Organic Blues” - Todd Norem “Dearly Departed” – cts “ A.D.D. Blues” - Errol “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!