Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Yearly wrap up

I'll keep this brief: good riddance to 2010, in a nutshell. I need not recap my life over this year--anyone who knows me or reads this blog has an inkling of how trying this year has been. So I turn another page and start the next chapter.

On a better note, however, four songs have been recorded and the overdubs are happening as I write. "Don't Worry Baby, I'm Not Your Victim", "Wash Away", "Bed Of Thorns" and the Grant Hart-tribute, "She Can Hear The Angels Calling" have guitars and multi-layered vocals; the bass and drums go next. Although the city was hit by over a foot of snow, I managed to spend time with some dear friends who I hadn't seen in a while and had the pleasure of catching up. Five consecutive days at the gym and a total (holding) loss of 18 pounds feels great.

All that was on my "to do" list during this two week break has been accomplished and for that, I am very happy. Not to mention relaxed.

So onto 2011. See you (perhaps with The Punch Line) next year.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

You don't have to tell me now

It has to be said, Xmas has never meant anything to me. Not in a spiritual way; not in a symbolic way--and I hope it doesn't come off Scrooge-like. It's just another day. Aside from the fact that I'm not Christian, I've just never found it to be worth its merit, simply because it's always seemed such a farce. Gifts should be given to those we love whenever we want because we love them. I know that sounds like such a broad and obvious statement, but it's one component to my point of view. A gift should always be from the heart, with no motivation of reciprocation behind it. You give because you want to--very simple. Thanksgiving is a much more spiritually uplifting day--a day of gathering with loved ones to "give thanks" for what we may have: love, companionship, understanding. In short, the true blessings in life.

Nonetheless, in the calm and quiet solitude of today, I am working on the new songs with a focus and clarity I haven't had for years. The guitars are tuned and set; the recording equipment is marked and prepared. How much I will complete and achieve, I don't know, but I do hope to get four songs down and done.

And so this is Xmas... And?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


These daily trips to the gym are now visually paying off, as well as making me feel great. How vital is it to feel good and do something that aids in the process? Cardio today, plus some ab crunching and working out my upper back and shoulders; tomorrow, it's another round of full weight workouts. Being on vacation, I have the joy and leisure to get out to the gym early with no one around and take my time using all the machines I need. And yes, there is some minor "pain" involved, but it's well worth it. Amazing how something unhappy can lead you to someplace positive instead--the opposite reaction of what one would usually expect.

Yet another new song is starting to take shape on the horizon; venturing into new lyrical areas seems to be the order of the day. Tomorrow, after I come back from the gym, the intention is to spend the whole of the afternoon recording "full production" demos--at the least, I want to get "Wash Away" and "Don't Worry Baby..." done; maybe take a shot at "Bed Of Thorns" as well. Having bought some gear for the guitars was a smart and helpful thing. There is a chance, I'll be doing some photos over the weekend as well.

So far, so good--I have two full weeks off from my day job and already the items on my "to do" list have been ticked off, one by one.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The magic band man

Don Van Vliet 1941 - 2010.

I just got word that the almighty Captain Beefheart has passed away. I am devastated. I am hurting. He was a profound influence on me. I cannot express how I feel at the moment except to say I am pained.

Sure 'nuff and 'n yes I am.

Tears won't stop.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Keep on pushing

The days move like a runaway train; for this I'm grateful. Time speeds up and distances grow further. More and more I feel relief from the pain. It's been a bitter pill to swallow but acceptance was always my saving grace. As the sadness diminishes with every passing day, so too does my desire to grow further beyond who I have been and who I am today.

The gym, in the words of a very dear friend and confidant, is now my solace; my sanctuary. 4, maybe 5 days a week, I'm in there, working out full-on. The weights have become my friends; my partners. I think about the things that brought me unhappiness; my general, normal frustrations and then I feel the drive. I work myself; I work my body hard. I take my time and I don't strain--even after a long day of work, I feel refreshed and revived when I'm done. Other days that I don't lift weights or use the machines, I do cardio, which brings me up in a different way. It's a more meditative time when I'm on the elliptical or the treadmill. I think about me and find a sense of compromise and rationale. I keep a sharp eye on my eating habits; I try to get a decent amount of rest and carry a small amount of hope in me everyday. Hope in strength, hope in my health and maintaining balance.

Writing songs has once again become part of my natural flow. I take my time and mentally lay the songs out; map them in my mind so that by the time the words are completed on the paper, I know what I want to do musically. No longer do I have to backtrack and say "what do I want to do with this one?"--the song is already born complete. My voice is rich and full; my playing is regaining its skill and the passion is there; it's back and even when I do my nightly exercise--30 to 45 minutes--I don't mail in my performances.

When friends call and say "let's get together", I no longer think of reasons not to go and see them. I've reconnected with so many wonderful, genuine people in a completely unsettling time and made new, good friends that I have no desire to lose anyone. Plus, my conscience, for good bad or indifferent, is completely clean. And everyone's honesty and forthright was a big part in the healing process. Sometimes, "told you so"'s are done lovingly and for you to get out of your own way.

I look at this blog and think, it's now 6 years old. Unbelievable. I read back on some of the older postings and think what an arrogant asshole I was. I don't believe that to be the case anymore. I'm hell of a lot older and it seems, by circumstances unwanted, a hell of a lot wiser. So I keep on pushing.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Remember love

I'll keep this short. It's been such an emotional headspin of a time that I can't think about John today. This is the 30th anniversary of his murder and I think I would start to cry. I've had enough of tears and sadness and it's a memory I'd like to not be engulfed by.

Just listen to his music. Let it try to heal you. Like I've been letting it try to heal me.

I wasn't dreaming of the past... I just had to let it go...