Thursday, July 30, 2015

hard fire

it's hard. because i feel so scattered and un-care-free to be on the blog like i used to be.
and that is life and it's ok. really. but every now and again i feel the need to chime in because it's not quite time to close the book on it. i've been working hard and been able to do some fun things that are meaningful to me. to make things that people see and then do more is truly a gift.
but right now i'm thinking of music and thinking of these things:
i have a lot of records and used to get caught up in the object and then trying to get more records. all the records. but what is it that made me want the thing? the object? it is because the music. the music that made us want to do things and be more than what we were. or to remember the thing that was. or to be in the thing that is happening. and that is not contained in an object so maybe let's chill out on the object collection and remember that what is important is the thing that is un-grasp-able. it is the feeling and the sound.
speaking of:


holy crap, bruce. bruce reminds me (us) to not think i know so much. i remember being in college and having the feeling that bruce springsteen was terrible. and some guy i just met told me that nebraska was good and i thought "you are a maniac". but he was right. and i thought to myself maybe this whole idea that these musicians that everyone loves are terrible is wrong. why do i think i know so much? and it turns out that bruce has some things that did something for me. not everything, but some things. like this thing. thanks, bruce. zen boss. boss zen.

also:

i feel a tortoise chicago whatever phase coming on. dear family, i apologize in advance but not really. more on this later but maybe this is the jazz for me right now. maybe i felt some things before that need re-feeling.

and now i am going to go do the wii fit because that is what i do now. because i want to feel good and sometimes it's nice to play a dumb game while the kid sleeps and then watch a movie and go to bed early. it's another gift, really.


Monday, June 22, 2015

notes on

take this pinecone, child


-so if you organize your books by color, how do you find the book you're looking for? do i have to remember that "the year of magical thinking" has a green spine if  i want to read it? i went into that installation at adobe and it was really incredible, but i couldn't find anything. which was fine because it was art. but i don't get it, man. do i have too many books? do people not really read their books?

-yesterday was father's day. it was my second as a dad. the kid went ahead and walked his first long solo steps. he wasn't doing it for me or even walking towards me (he was going to somebody he just emt and wanted to go down the stairs) but it was incredible. there was a brand new joyful and proud feeling i'd never had before. something truly outside of myself (but in?). what a thing!

-yesterday was also Go Skateboarding Day so i went to the local park to solo shred. when i began to shred i was reminded that i don't get out skating as much as i want to ever since the kid was born and that i am even more terrible at skateboarding than i have been in a very long time. that felt terrible. so i made the most of some cruising and carving and scratched out a few things. i'd love to blame it on the pretty crappy park (it is crappy) but really, i felt kind of old and embarrassed. i hereby resolve to not feel like that anymore by making time to shred regularly! seen!

-i am still trying to get the hang of all this parenthood and creative-hood and be-hood. man it's hard sometimes!

-i played music with my friend the other night in front of people. it was a show. we opened for a band another friend started. they are great! and popular! i had that thing where stiffened up in my mind and felt self-conscious and sucked into a whirlpool of negative vibrations and whispers. i then reminded myself that this is why it's ahrd to make things and do them in front of people! this is why it is difficult to offer things unto the universe at times! it is our job to push through these moments and continue to contribute! beside nobody remember and nobody cares! except me because i'll probably be thinking about it when i'm 85 years old and about what i wish i would have done differently so that people would like my music and therefore me. just kidding when i'm 85 i'll have it all figured out and be sitting in a lawn chair looking at something in the distance.




Tuesday, May 26, 2015

SUNLIGHT episode 6

today is the day:




thanks WARM RATIO
thanks Luna Music
thanks General Public Collective

thanks for listening

Monday, May 25, 2015

source and flow and real


i've gone off about charles schulz before. truly believe he is one of america's finest artists of the 20th or any century. every now and then i dive back in. his stories that include snoopy's brother spike are my favorite. 



this is comedy gold! or the saddest and truest thing ever drawn.





this particular frame i found very special.

so much so that i used to as the basis for a poster i'm making for an upcoming music show with my friends in Hiss Golden Messenger.

come if you can!



Friday, May 22, 2015

SUNLIGHT episode 5

i recorded these songs in my basement almost two years before they became a record in the physical world. as the time drew near i felt like i wanted to record these songs as i'd been playing them to myself: singing and strumming guitar. my good friend Todd felt the same way and set up a mic and a recorder in his basement and over the course of a few afternoons i played them all again. we drank tea and ate lunch and it was great. this version is available on side B of the SUNLIGHT cassette or for pay whatever digital.

the release show is tonight and i am stoked. thanks for listening.



Thursday, May 21, 2015

SUNLIGHT episode 4

this is what i recorded "SUNLIGHT" on. the old fostex multitracker XR-3. i think this is my 4th machine. i buy one everytime i see one because 1. they break 2. they are cheap 3. you don't see them everyday. the reason i love this machine so much is the  little black bubble in the upper left hand corner. that's a built-in condenser mic. it picks up everything within about 5 feet of it, including the sound of the tape spinning and recording. that's the constant hum and rustle you hear through the entire record: layers of tape rattle like a babbling brook. it's not for everybody but it suits me. i don't really enjoy the mechanical side of the recording process: settting up mic's, checking levels and all that. with this i can just press record and lean in close. 
i typically would sing and play guitar first onto one track. then play drums and sing onto one track. then play drums and sing onto another track. i would bounce the drum tracks down onto the 4th track, freeing up 2 more tracks for a bass (which i would plug in direct) and another vocal. this was how every track on the record was done, with the exception of the two songs with cello on them. for those i dumped the 4-tracks onto and 8-track cassette and did two tracks of cello. maybe a handclap or two to round things out. then i took these tapes down to magnetic south in bloomington, where john dawson put everything in his computer and evened out the levels, fuzzed up the edges a  little and generally worked his mixing and mastering magic. thank you, john. 
when it was all done my friend todd robinson took the mixed files and put them in the sound oven like a fuzzy cake and then we sent it to the record plant. thank you, todd. 
it's just that easy. you should do it!
ps if anyone has a fostex xr-3 in working condition i will buy it from you.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

SUNLIGHT episode 3

when i made this record i wasn't thinking of what it would look like. i wanted it to look how it sounded and i didn't know what it sounded like until the end of mixing (which was done by john dawson at magnetic south in bloomington, further edits by todd robinson). i had a big box of photos from my grandmother's house and i found some that looked like a vacation road trip. maybe to visit my dad at the army base. there were a few with a donkey. it looked like how i felt about these songs. 
i chose this one:


the photo was taken by my grandmother or grandfather of my uncle in a car. i think the donkey is saying hello. or telling a secret. or just checking him out. or wanting his sandwich. either way it's another being on earth and it lived and this was a moment of it. 
thanks, burro friend.


this is what the record looks like. i spruced it up and wrote my name and the title small at the top.
thanks, computer and pencil.


this is the back of the record.  i thought about my family a lot when i made these songs up and when i recorded them. my grandmother had not yet passed and my son had not yet been born. i dedicted the record to both of them because they are part of the thing that i am in, the long body in different bodies. do you know about the long body? look it up. warm ratio is the label run by some friends of mine here in indianapolis and i feel very grateful for their help in making this exist in the physical world. 
thanks, dudes.


this is the design for the labels. side one says hello side two says adios. wave to the record when you listen to it, coming and going. 
thanks, record.