Friday, June 30, 2006

Could this be a sign?

I'm practicing this song from the Black Keys. The funny thing is the audience featured in the video will probably be the same type of audience that I sing to when I hit the Bend, Oregon music scene. Old and retired people.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Looking at INDIE from Back of Line

I discovered that there is a local indie label here in Bend named Piggyback Records. It's a brother and sister operation that took over a house on five acres, they converted it into a studio and offices "surrounded by sage, coyotes, and an awesome view of the Cascade Mountains," reads their web site.

Now the siblings are out discovering, producing, promoting and distributing music from Bend based bands. They currently have seven bands signed. One of which I feel a little bad for because they have to break up and reform with another drummer. It's a sad story. Blame Amy has done an excellent job getting their music out into the community's eyes and have developed good songs that they plan on touring with to promote their new album with Piggyback. One fella sold his house, they all beefed up their credit card holdings, secured leave of absences with their employers and acquired passports for a tour in Europe, but the drummer had to quit because he didn't want to leave his kid and fiance behind, leaving the other band members in a state of "what the fuck do we do now?"

I can see how this issue really hurts the hopes of a lot of up-and-coming bands. Looking at my own life and aspirations, it raises my own questions of what I'd do in that situation. Since I'm married and have a good job that I wouldn't want to put at risk, I'd take the family-first stance as well. I'd rather have the financial and reputation security of a well known one like Warner Bros that supported both my family and artistic pursuit, but...what are the odds of that???? The fact is I'm four-hundred walking miles away from even singing at a local watering hole, but over time this may become a senario that I'm forced to deal with. Looking at it positively, I still have odds, maybe three-million to one, and not a zero chance in hell's basement that I could smartly develop into something a big label would be interested in backing.

Monday, June 26, 2006

I made the cut!

I knew I did something, either very right or very wrong, when the drummer behind me machine gunned the band to the final cord of D.

The immediate smiles from the band gave me a relieving sense that what I just did - was a good thing. I had just finished 10am Automatic by the Black Keys and was still shaking from when I lost of control of my body while I maintained full control of my vocal cords and shouts.

Wow! Whatta way to start things off. The other song didn't go as well because of a combination of me not knowing the lyrics to some of the other songs and me learning my first rock n' roll lesson, if you're going to go all out - bring some water to cool down the pipes.

So...I'm in! Now it's time to practice, practice - drink some water, practice and then practice some more.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Audition on Sunday

The Band members I met with last light are giving me a chance to audition for them Sunday night. I've got to memorize three songs from their cover list, two from The Black Keys and one of my choice.

Wish me luck!

School of Rock

I met up with the band setup last night around nine at a place called Central Oregon School of Rock. I walked into the old western looking building off of OB Riley Road on Bend's southwestern side of town and saw a hardwood floor, stage, old theater seats and a few people setting up gear.

Turns out the place was a non-profit school for kids and adults who want to rock. I met the owner and he gave me a tour while the band was setting up. "Right now the live rock n' roll music scene is horrible," said the man, "but wait five years when these kids are older, this town is going to be on the musical map and compete with Portland!"

It was inspiring.

I really didn't get a chance to learn the lyrics, so a majority of the time I stood and listen to the band play. The drummer has wild, afro-looking gray hair that reaches for everywhere around his head. He wore a camouflage visor and had on a whisky shirt.

I can see why this band needs someone with the lyrics, not caring how he/she sings. They get their cues from the singer. I'm not sure if it'll go anywhere or you'll see me on stage at a local pub with these guys. I'm still going to take singing lessons. This'd help me develop stage performance and continue on the long road ahead.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Thars du jump ARRRRGH!

I'm amazed how fast and unpredictable the tide is during my quest in these rock n' roll waters. Yesterday evening I stopped by to meet Tim, the lead guitarist of a band he is piecing together in Bend.

I was picking up a cd of songs that he wants to cover, hoping "to develop tightness with the band members with the inspiration to develop songs in the genre," he said over the phone.

I didn't know what to think of Tim. Over the phone he had a southern draw and a deep voice. In my mind's eye I pictured a big guy with long hair with tatoos, kind of like Rob Zombie. When I met him in person he looked more like Philip Seymour Hoffman.

He gave me the CD that had the music from The Who, The Black Keys, Buzzcocks and The Kinks. My first impression of Tim was great. Not quite sure what his impression on me was though. But it was good enough to invite me to a practice session with his band tonight at 9pm in some industrial park.

Tim told me to expect wierd things from the bassist. "He likes to hit his head against the wall when he's angry," he said.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Craigslist gets me another gig

So, after yesterday's oust from a potential band I decided to lick my wounds and find a professional singing coach in Bend. Almost immediately I was contacted by another band who are practicing at a rented space and need a singer to gell the musicians together.

I told him I sang The Cure's "Just Like Heaven," and it sounded just like hell. He said he didn't give a shit. Just needs someone with the rock and roll heart and desire. I'm picking up their demo cd today and will be meeting with them on Thursday night.

Yesterday I had a very unique experience, thanks to a good friend, to go to a practice session of the Bond Brothers. Wow! Those fellas are tight! They're coming out with a new album and are opening for Super Diamond soon. They want to get to the level of opening for the big shows at Les Schwab Amphitheater. I can see em' doing it.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Rock n' Roll Bud Nipping

I was cut this AM from a possible band set up. I'm actually quite fine with it. It was way too soon for me to give an audition (last Sunday) without ample practice and vocal development. I'm happy; however, that the folks nipped the bud quickly. To me, it's an experience that I want to enjoy exploring, not living up to standards that existed before me, in this case the 80's. This gives me room to grow and look for another band, maybe start my own from the ground level.

I've learned to appreciate rejection. I can't tell you how many times magazine and book editors turned down my spec. manuscripts. It sucked. I began posting the rejection letters on a wall and valued it as my "wall of shame."

I got a big break though and I poured all of my effort, writer development and spirit into that one big project, ultimately launching me into the world I desperately was trying to be a part of. Rather than being a writer who was trying to break into the industry, I was viewed as a "find" and an "undiscovered, talented writer."

In a way, that's exaclty how I want my singer/song-writer path to go.

Onto the next gig.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Blue Monday

I had a great, relaxing weekend. Shannon and I kicked off the weekend on Friday by trying out a chicken recipe. Last month, Shannon went to Portland with friends and brought back a bag of Lime, Lemon grass, Pepper with Peanuts. They were really, really hot - especially when you accidentally crunched down one of those small red peppers. Yeeouch! Shannon picked out (most) of the peppers and poured them in the food processor and poured peanut oil while it was in motion. We coated the spicy peanut butter on chicken skewers and threw them on the BBQ. The heat from the grill tamed the spiciness! They were awesome.

Saturday was very fun. Went to the Saturday market and we went to our friends' wedding. The weather was beautiful and reception was fantastic. It was celebrated at Aspen Hall, where Shannon and I tied the not last September. Brought back a lot of very fun memories.

Sunday was also great. We started off the day with some French Toast, hashbrowns and turkey bacon. Call our fathers and wished them a happy Father's day. We went to Home Depot and got some Herbs and plants for the deck and inside. Stopped by my step-father's house to wish him a happy Father's day and tried out KFC's Layered chicken bucket...yuuhh hu hu hummy,

I also had my singing audition on Sunday. Boy, that was humbling. You never really know what you sound like until you listen to yourself through a microphone and monitor. I've got a lot of work to do. My problems were, timing, and staying in key. I mask my inability to reach the higher notes by signing it with a raspy growl.

I'm definitely going to seek out professional training for vocal development. I really like Eric's set up. He has all the equipment he needs to do weddings and events. Very extensive and impressive. He spent a majority of his life in the music scene and was quite popular in Colorado, playing keys for Men About Town.

We are shooting for being gig-ready by next winter. Plenty of time for me to develop my pipes, get my rhythm and shoot for a dream.

Today it's Monday. I'm interested in learning New Order's song Blue Monday so I pasted the lyrics below for my own use.

How does it feel to treat me like you do?
When you've got your hands upon me
And told me who you are
I thought I was mistaken
I thought I heard your words
Tell me, how do I feel
Tell me now, How do I feel

Those who came before me
Lived through their vocations
From the past until completion
They'll turn away no more
And I still find it so hard
To say what I need to say
But I'm quite sure that you'll tell me
Just how I should feel today

I see a ship in the harbor
I can and shall obey
But if it wasn't for your misfortune
I'd be a heavenly person today
And I thought I was mistaken
And I thought I heard you speak
Tell me how do I feel
Tell me now, how should I feel

Now I stand here waiting...
I thought I told you to leave me
While I walked down to the beach
Tell me how does it feel
When your heart grows cold

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Cartoon Weekend

Last weekend Shannon and I went to the Sunriver Wine Festival and met up with some very good friends. While getting ripped on some good Oregon wine I decided to have my mug sketched out by a cartoon artist. It turned out great. I put it up on my banner on this blog.

On the music front. I'm excited to join a band called Wretchro. They, two other musicians in the band, haven't heard me sing yet. They love my attitude though. They told me to memorize the following tunes:
The Cure: Just Like Heaven
The White Stripes: Seven Nation Army
Ramones - I Wanna Be Sedated
Billy Idol-Mony Mony, White Wedding
Violent Femmes: Blister in the Sun
U2: Desire

I hope I don't dissapoint them.

We are focusing on creating one original song a month. Then covers will be filler rather than the show.

This is sweet.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Superfluous Decade

What are people going to be talking about during the 00 decade? I remember when I was in the service, using the military clock, we coined midnight as “balls,” and 12:30 as “balls 30,” mainly because most dudes would rather be kicked in the balls before they stood the midnight watches.

I’ll tell you right now…there’re a lot of people who’d rather be kicked in the balls than standing watch during the 00 decade. My tour to the persian gulf wasn’t anything like this.

Why Superfluous? Well, because we have too much of same friggin’ thing, now including numbers in dates, like today 06-06-06.

Let’s see….where was I during the first 6/10ths of this “Superfluous” Decade?

On 01-01-01 – I was hung over up after a crazy night out on the town, celebrating New Year’s eve in the Dirty “D,” downtown Bend. Depressed and lonely.

On 02-02-02 – I was unemployed and hung over after a crazy night out on the town, celebrating my latest unemployment check in dive bar outside of in Scottsdale, Arizona.

On 03-03-03 – I was working for Home Depot as a “Night Stalker (er I mean Night Stocker).” Didn’t meet Shannon yet…but soon both of our lives would be on a collision course.

On 04-04-04 – Shannon and I were having a fiesta with our first four-legged child, Sage, who by the way had way too much tequila that night.

On 05-05-05 – I was poor as hell, working tons of freelance gigs, working for a film company who'd later betray me and working for KTVZ. Shannon and I were saving every crumb for our upcoming wedding.

On 06-06-06 – I wrote this, thinking about all the devilish things that I did in the past and my future as a rock and roll star. I’m happily married and finally feel that superfluous is exactly what I need in my life right now.

Who knows what will happen on July 7th, 2007

Friday, June 02, 2006


Wow! So quick? A co-worker is a wedding dj/keyboards/bassist/80's fanatic. I dig the 80's...if anything it'd help me learn my own voice and style. Kind of like learning how to spell and punctuate before I write a book - something I did before. He told me in the future he'd like to give me an audition. I asked him to give me a song to practice and he gave me The Cure: Just Like Heaven.

Cool. Here we go. Practice, Practice and more practice

I've copy and pasted the lyrics below

The Cure: Just Like Heaven
"show me how you do that trick
The one that makes me scream" she said
"the one that makes me laugh" she said
And threw her arms around my neck"show me how you do it
And i promise you i promise that
I'll run away with you
I'll run away with you"
Spinning on that dizzy edge
I kissed her face and kissed her head
And dreamed of all the different ways i had
To make her glow"why are you so far away?" she said
"why won't you ever know that i'm in love with you
That i'm in love with you"
Soft and only
Lost and lonely
YouStrange as angels
Dancing in the deepest oceans
Twisting in the water
You're just like a dream
Daylight licked me into shape
I must have been asleep for days
And moving lips to breathe her name
I opened up my eyes
And found myself alone alone
Alone above a raging sea
That stole the only girl i loved
And drowned her deep inside of me
YouSoft and only
Lost and lonely
Just like heaven

Thursday, June 01, 2006

MyCrochip Factory

Don't touch anything and stay in line.
This glass encased room holds in the air.
Watch your step as you come inside
and be mindful of the robots that are everywhere.

Put on the suits that are hanging on that wall.
You’ll notice that we keep this area nice and cold.
Now, these glasses will help protect you all
from those lasers designed to steal your souls.

Welcome to my, my, my, my, Mycrochip Factory
Where you’ll find, oh you’ll find, find, find,
All sorts of semiconductor technology
Only in my, my, my, my, Mycrochip factory
You can find, yeah you’ll find, find, find
The latest in transistor circuitry.

Here’s where our scientist develop the master plan
They program all the robots from behind those doors.
And over here we make our own blenders,
calculator keypads and our own office hores.

If you look right up ahead
You’ll notice our ingenious gadgets all around the room
They’re created for to do things for you instead
Some items will be in the store very soon.


What’s happening to my, my, my, my, Mycrochip Factory
Where you can find, oh you can find, find, find
Plenty of semiconductor technology
Only in my, my, my, my, Mycrochip factory
You could find, yeah you could find, find, find
The latest in transistor circuitry