2011 resolution #1: record a snippet instead of tweet

January 6th, 2011

Last year I experimented by writing new lyrics everyday in 140 characters or less & tweeting them. It was strange to try to write chronologically and to so publicly post what I would no doubt change for the final version. Frankly, I felt really caged but creativity is said to thrive in constraint. I dunno…I developed some severe writer’s block last year.

So this year, I’m writing for at least 15 minutes a day and recording whatever comes out it. I’ll post it and tweet it if it’s not too horrible and then we’ll see if I should’ve waited for the final version! My goals are getting over shyness, perfectionism, writer’s block and that mean voice in my head that tells me to keep control instead of letting go.

What are you doing this year to stimulate your creativity? Tell me about it!

I wrote today’s snippet called “cold world” under my brand new Seasonal Affected Disorder light box and I think that is pretty obvious when you hear it.

Artwork by Erika Keuver

a snippet of song – cold world

Resolution #2 is to get a music player on the blog, I know this link I’m using is bad user experience 🙁

What I’m doing now

December 13th, 2010

Since abandoning the idea of writing songs one tweet at a time, I’ve found myself…not writing songs. When I do they come only as fragments. I’d like to cut out more time to start writing lyrics for songs I find on creative commons sites, the idea of being a MacBook only musician appeals to me. What I’m missing, and this is coming up in my day jobs as well as my “night” one, is the thread of the story. Finding, inventing and telling stories is my vocation and hobby but I find it harder and harder to stay creative and keep my inner critic from prematurely killing creative impulses. How do you keep ideas fresh, flowing and flush?

Last year I wrote songs based on fairy tales, and I though I like these songs a lot, it does seem “done.” Should I try to write a song after each book I read? Is the world ready for another song about steampunk?

From Endarkened93 Youtube channel. Kind of a Billy Joel quality.

Album has new price on bandcamp!

October 19th, 2010

Lost Saints for Long Roads is Pay What You Will price. That’s right you can digitally download my and Roger Palmeri‘s luscious tunes at a low minimum price or donate a little more to keep us on the Internet. I hope you’ll take a listen!

Lost Saints for Long Roads Album Cover

Bandcamp is an awesome service for musicians to make their music easy to listen to and purchase on the Interwebs. I’m still on iTunes, Rhapsody and Amazon if you prefer those sources. The price hasn’t changed their yet but we’ll look into it.

We’re also working on a new design for this website as well as me just working out some more songs already!

Why so busy? Did you get a day job?

October 17th, 2010

Yes, and then some. This fall I leveled up my volunteering at Washington EnsembleTheatre, an amazing collaborative ensemble of fiercely talented artists and designers who volunteer massive amounts of time, energy and passion to bring some beautifully edgy work to the stage. I have been spending a lot of time as their Community Manager, working with the team to establish a blog, regular facebook goodies, and bring excellent shows like Sextet to new audiences.

Working with a local theatre is very important to me and I dedicate oodles of time to reading and seeing art. But I haven’t had one doodle of songwriting inspiration since I started. I think this year is about working to celebrate other people’s art. Hopefully, my own is simmering back there, ready to explode in the spring.

Sextet

Go see Sextet for a incredible musical experience

My blog is so green it’s rusting

September 10th, 2010

I just haven’t been musical lately, instead spending all of my time on client projects, twittering about content strategy and watching True Blood. I’ve only written one song I’ve liked this whole month…

My heart breaks a bit
Each time you mention it
Feel a fever on my skin
Start hoping I can believe in

This thing we’ve started
goes too far
and I’ve got to guard my heart
Keep it in one piece
So there’s something left
when you leave

A heart of ice can melt
too fast
Same as a heart of glass
breaks so easy
And that’s why you need me

To keep a good check on the path
we’ll find our own way back
when it’s all over
You’ll be glad that I told ya

Don’t get me started
When I get going
There’s no way of slowing
Down my love
I’m going down by love
I’m holding on too fast
I can’t control it

Don’t make me show it
Don’t make me show it

My French is so rusty it’s green

May 26th, 2010

Want to help me write cajun songs? Please suggest changes! I don’t know what I’m doing, vraiment 🙂

I already have to change the song I’ve been tweeting ’cause if I thought my French was bad, my Cajun is much worse. My vocabulary is probably less than that of an average two year old, so I take a lot of liberty with my translations to english in order to preserve the rhyme.

La Belle Mechant

Mon ‘tit amie, mon amour
Pourquoi tu veux casser mon coeur?
Je t’ai donné tout mon argent
les jolis bijoux et grands cadeux
Mais tu est satisfaits jamais
pas dans les nuits ou matinées
Mon amie, ma chère
Doucement, doucement avec mon coeur

Tu es la belle du bayou
‘vec les cheveux noirs et les yeux bleus
mais tu badjeule comme une ‘tit puce
jamais content, jamais douce

English Translation

Oh, my sweetheart, my love
why do you want to break my heart
I gave you all my money
pretty jewels and big gifts
But you are never satisfied
not in the mornings or the night
My sweetheart, my dear
be careful, careful with my heart

You are the belle of the bayou
with black hair and eyes of blue
But you pick and nag just like a flea
never happy, never sweet

Touring Cajun Country

May 24th, 2010

And trying to write a cajun song. I was inspired by seeing the Pine Leaf Boys play in Breaux Bridge, LA. La Poussiere dance hall is the real deal cajun dance hall, locals fast waltzing up and down the wood floor, smiling, gliding, twirling and laughing. These are the nicest people I have ever come across in my travels. They made me get up and dance, and I can’t dance and I hate to dance, but you just have to dance in cajun country.

My luck held later at the Blue Moon Saloon in Lafaytette, Roddie Romero and members of the Duhks played until the wee hours. That was straight up dance music and I had to dance again – I love the music but I’m telling you folks, I ain’t no dancer. Sunday, took a long drive back to New Orleans while listening to KRVS 88.7 cajun music Sunday.

I’m getting me a squeebox, cover your ears.

hiatus

April 19th, 2010

Starting a new direction in my career means taking another musical hiatus (though I keep hoping Paul will learn guitar and then we can write songs together. Until then, I’ll try not to psychoanalyze the lyrics as I work more and more in social media, remotely, and experience most of my human interaction through my Mac.

I took a ride, it was slow
it took a long time
Started out, the sun was low
the road was winding

Why I like some spam

April 6th, 2010

I totally agree with this spam comment:
“Great article. There’s a lot of solid information here, though I did want to let you know something – I am running Ubuntu with the up-to-date beta of Opera, and the look and feel of your site is kind of bizarre for me. I can understand the articles, but the navigation doesn’t function so solid.”

Maybe not that my blog post was a great comment but other stuff. What a real-looking comment! Made it read it, good job spammer.

Because I made an album and still wish to sell it, I have a website. Because I can, I have a blog on that website. No one visits it. Paul said he would redesign it and I hope that helps. But I know most of the issues I face can’t be fixed by redesign.

Issues like I’m no longer in a band, I’m not creating new audio or video, I don’t have any shows coming up, I’m not recording anytime soon, my blog posts are lyrics only, I don’t spend any time or money promoting myself online in any way.

So I write lyrics on my blog and I get comments from spammers, especially in Russia. Sure, I add their IP addresses to the blocker thingy and I click the spam button – but these folks are my audience! I try to pay attention to their comments. Some of my spammers are right, I do need to redesign my navigation and get an RSS feed and all of that stuff. In the current set up, no one’s listening to my songs.

Maybe no one wants to and that’s fine but if my site is preventing people from doing it, then I should address it. And I will, when I have less work to concentrate on, which will be months from now. Keep that spam coming!

Genealogy sneaks into song

April 2nd, 2010

My aunt has been filling me in on the extensive Genealogy research she’s done regarding our relatives and those of emigrants to Louisiana in general. With both Cajun and Quebecois grandparents, my own interest has been in those peeps coming from France. Honestly, I’m too new to understand much of what I’m learning, I’m just loving the names: Aglae, Arthymis, Oglarde, Octave, Maximeline, Vitaline, Seraphine, Janvier, Felanise, Domitile, Apoline, Hercule.

And the very best my Cajun great grandmother – Louisiana Champagne. SO I have to write a song about her. This is my tribute to New Orleans, why I don’t live there, why I still wish I did, and just in general love to my favorite American city.

Louisiana Champagne

Everybody knows that I can’t handle my liquor
Not long ago, I used to try but those days are past
Even with a name like a Bourbon Street stripper
my kind of fun don’t come by the bottle or the glass

Louisiana champagne that southern sensation
Louisiana champagne a lifetime libation
embracing the emotion, a personal devotion
to live it up the Louisiana way

I’m talkin about food that’s still worth tasting
music that makes you want to dance
If the night’s too short, the band keep’s playing
show you do it up a la Louisiane