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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Digital liner notes

Now that the first Thirteen Conversations release is out, I thought I'd share some background info on it. I love it when bands do this, so I figured this would be fun to do.

-The recording of these songs came from a suggestion my old bandmate Dave made. He wanted to test out some vintage equipment he acquired and asked me to record with him. He said the music could be any style, so I jumped at the chance to record some emo-tinged stuff.

-A majority of the riffs on these songs were written in 1999. I was in the middle of college and spent a lot of time in my dorm room playing guitar. I kept coming back to these riffs over the years, and they are almost exactly like how I originally wrote them.

-I recorded all the drums and guitars last year. I also recorded vocals and bass lines, but I didn't feel very confident as a singer and played a bass with dead strings. I wrote new lyrics and used a brand new bass when I recorded again. Only some backing vocals in the bridge of "Born to Run Away" were from last year.

-"Born to Run Away" is absolutely an homage to Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run." My spin on it is running away from your life and finding yourself in a state of flux.

-"No Future, No Furniture" as a title is an homage to the often-used Sex Pistols lyric of "No future for you!" The title also pays homage to Everyone Everywhere's "No Furniture." Just a fun fusing of things in a song about being forced to start over.

-The drums were recorded first. I tried to play to a click track, but my playing was way too stiff, so I trusted my instincts. I slowed down in a couple of spots, but I think only one time is very noticeable.

-Both songs have layers of guitars. I believe "Born to Run Away" has four on the choruses.

-The intro to "Born to Run Away" is in mono. That's a direct lift from Motion City Soundtrack's "Everything's Alright."

-The cover photo was taken behind my house. Since this release is my first few steps into putting my own music out there, I thought this was fitting. Pure coincidence that it looks like an E.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Thirteen Conversations

I've teased this before and now it's available for the Internet to hear. This is Thirteen Conversations, my new musical project. I play all the instruments and sing. The audio is a little choppy due to .WAV conversion, but you can hear where I'm going.

Enough talking, let's get to rocking here!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My three dogs

My beagle Victory has been an only child for almost four years. She gets along with every person that visits our humble abode, but one day in the near future, she'll have two other dogs around her at all times.

Jenny has brought over her two dogs, Sunny and Truvy, for weekend visits. Aside from a brief "Who the hell are you?" exchange and a minor tussle during in their first meeting, Victory got along great with Sunny and Truvy. Sunny is an old dog, but she's still lovable. Truvy is still very young and a firecracker upon seeing you. Yet she calms down and is glad to snuggle with you at any time. That leaves 9-year-old Victory as the middle daughter.

When it comes to feeding the three dogs, we feed them all at the same time. Amazingly, all three chow down and don't try to eat each other's food. When it comes to sleeping for the night, we will absolutely need a bigger bed. No doubt about it: a king-sized bed has to be the way to go. Sleeping in a double bed with Victory and Truvy (Sunny always sleeps on the floor) has made for some light sleep nights, awkward sleep positions and sore back muscles.

I never had more than one dog when I was younger. Now looking at a future with three dogs under one roof, I'm not overwhelmed. I'll certainly look more where I step and my lap will almost always be occupied when I sit on the couch. I can handle that, and I look forward to it.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

45

I was fortunate to cover the first public screening of 45, a documentary on Spector 45, last night. This is my first movie review for the paper, but it's written more like a concert review. I definitely came away from the screening moved and touched by what I saw.

Read my full review here.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Priorities

I'm happy to say that I have found some steady employment after my layoff in 2011. This is not a full-time job, but it certainly is steering me in the right direction towards one. I have enough time during the week to work my job and find a new full-time job; meaning, I don't spend hours at home wondering and pondering what more I can do.

As my schedule has become a little busier, I want to keep doing the positive activities that helped my mind stay afloat during my post-layoff period. Be it walking the dog, doing improv, or writing new material, I want to keep those priorities in check. Those are some of the things that helped me through a long rough patch in my life, a patch I hope to see further in the distance in the next few months.

Life has thrown me a lot of obstacles in the past few years, but I prefer to not let them derail me from what I want to achieve in the future. My seemingly-lowly existence has been elevated by wonderful people around me, and they've inspired me to see a more realistic and brighter view of tomorrow. It's more about "can" than "cannot."

I'll add this: whatever fears I've had in the past about achievement was just phony insurance. There are no guarantees things will work out tomorrow, but that doesn't mean things won't work out either. So I make time for the things that really matter in my life: a loving relationship, friendly dogs, desires to stay mentally and physically healthy, good ties with friends and family. Those closest to me have seen me at my lowest, and I certainly want them to see me at my highest.