1. The ARTEMUS Challenge

    My fellow musicians. I’m challenging myself and you to write a song. The catch? Using only your acoustic guitar, voice, and whatever is in your house (musical instruments excluded. No keyboards, drum machines, etc.) The goal is to create a song using natural percussion that would be lying around the house. If your anything like me, I rely on too many things to craft a song. This is an attempt to go back to my roots. Focus on meaningful, personal lyrics, and utilize whatever I can (beer bottles, chairs, fence etc.). And then to share what we’ve made. Who’s in?

    1. Don’t talk about the Artemus Challenge

    2. The only “real” instrument you may use is an acoustic guitar (and you voice, of course). Everything else must be things that can be found around your house (NO MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS. If you own a keyboard, you may not use it)

    3. You MAY use an external microphone, however the idea is bare bones so I will be using only the microphone provided on my laptop.

    4. No effects units may be used. All effects must be created using natural reverberations, etc.

    5. It MUST be a brand new song. Nothing that you have ‘tucked away’. This is the honor system here. It’s an exercise in song writing.

    6. OPTIONAL: Somehow (video, blog, pictures etc.) you must document the different things your using. Just as an insight into how you have decided to create the sounds you did.

    Other than that, it is all about being as creative as possible. Any genre. Whatever you want to do. Think of it like Pioneer Day back in Elementary School. The idea is to record things like our forefathers recorded them. Using creative tricks to accomplish what we take for granted now. Not only that, but I think it will create some very interesting sounds.

    The DEADLINE is Friday at Midnight. 7/13. Good Luck!

    2 years ago  /  1 note

  2. 5 Great Songs that would embarrass any man (But mostly me)

    My friend and I we’re talking the other night about songs that tug the heartstrings. So much so, its to the point I can’t listen to them in public anymore! There isn’t a hotline to call for the confusion you feel after a good Lifetime-Movie-a-thon style cry. So we are taking to our respective blogs. You know, keeping it private!

    This is a loving place, no judgment here! Feel free to prove me wrong and judge the crap out of me!

    TIE- Peter Gabriel “Don’t Give Up” and “Mercy Street”

    This might be cheating but I’m ok with it. Since I was old enough to know what great music was, So have been one of my favorite and most played albums. The two tracks that stood out we’re Don’t Give Up and Mercy Street.

    Mercy Street is a song all about longing for what used to be so familiar and what you’ve kept sacred all those years, only to find it wasn’t what you remembered. Who hasn’t felt like that, honestly. It’s a universal theme that I return to on a daily basis.

    Don’t Give Up is a beast all of it’s own. What would hit you first? How about Kate Bush. She can make any grown man weep. Like a girl. A very hideous girl. Second: the theme. It’s all about being at your wits end and getting as bad as it can get, and that little voice (Which sounds strikingly like Kate Bush…) telling you quite literally ‘Don’t Give Up’. It strikes every chord and I defy you to hold back the weepy’s.

    The Beatles “Blackbird”

    It could have been any song, really. Perhaps “Here Comes the Sun” or “All you Need is Love” or even “Baby your a rich man” (I’m very poor, it hits me where it hurts). But it HAD to be Blackbird. Why? Because Paul McCartney, that’s why. I believe it was Paul at the peak of his Paul-ness. He was never better. The words aren’t what necessarily make it sad, it’s the imagery. The image of an old man on his porch playing this beautiful song that nobody will hear. A song he’s making up and will never remember (or even care to remember). I dare John Lennon to make me feel like that old man on the porch the was Paul does. 

    TIE David Bowie (but mostly Peter Gabriel) “Heroes”

    Nobody has ever said David Bowie is anything less than amazing. Heroes is one of his best songs. It was 1977 and Bowie was still a few years away from giant hits like ‘Let’s Dance’. He took the gradual build of his earlier albums and crammed it into a single song, producing a Volcano of sound.

    The version that really brings home the subtly of this song is by Peter Gabriel. It feels like cheating because, really, I could make this whole thing about his songs. The thing I enjoy the most about Gabriel’s version is he stripped away everything and all we’re left with is this slow build that explodes at the end with just pure emotion. The same could be said about his version of the Book of Love .

    Spock’s Beard (multiple off Snow) “Love Beyond Words” “Solitary Soul” “The Great Nothing”

    I was trying to stay away from band’s that nobody has really heard of but Spock’s Beard is one of my favorite bands of all time, which means I have carried their music with me through everything. With “Love Beyond Words” its not even the lyrics. It’s the piano melody AFTER the song that gets me everytime, as well as ‘Solitary Soul’. The lines “I see your heart/I know what you’ve been through/I know you. Come be a part/you know you belong here/ so dry your tears and let love beyond word (come fill your heart)…”. It’s so simple and the way Nick D’Virgilio is singing it just hits home.

    'The Great Nothing', however, really does it. It's a long song. It's the story of dreams. More specifically, it's Neal Morse's personal story, and I think that's what makes it touching. Any musician can relate to this song. It goes:

    One note timeless/Came out of nowhere
    Just when all hope was gone/And nothing matters
    But that it’s breathing/It ends as it has begun

    No thought/No need to say something
    No message to run/From the ashes
    Out of the great nothing/Without a buzz or a showing
    Out of the great nothing/With nobody knowing
    It plays on and on …

    Its the story of us all, really. We write, not for the love of it (even though we do love it). We want to write something that last forever. We want them to feel. Well done Neal Morse. It’s remains one of the most powerful moments in my music loving life.

    Porcupine Tree ‘Collapse the Light into Earth’

    Have you ever seen a Kangaroo play Super Mario with a cat? It’s THAT beautiful.

    Porcupine Tree makes the list because they we’re the first band that wrote with the kind of scope I had hoped to write with. Probably the biggest shaper of my musical identity is Porcupine Tree and this song has a lot to do with it. Beauty without being boring. Lyrics that go beyond the page and linger in your head long after that metaphorical needle has reached the end of the non-existent record player. It’s an important song and it has meant different things at different times to me. Isn’t that what music is supposed to do?

    I wish I could pick a part of the song that made it wonderful, but this seems easier:

    Please visit Inspired Alien to see my friend Charan’s list

    2 years ago  /  0 notes

  3. Comic Con preview!

    Finally have all my pictures from Comic Con! Will be sharing in a few, along with my personal experiences. Be right back…

    2 years ago  /  0 notes

  4. It’s a rental… (Taken with instagram)

    It’s a rental… (Taken with instagram)

    2 years ago  /  0 notes

  5. Taken with instagram

    Taken with instagram

    2 years ago  /  0 notes

  6. Phil Collins- I Missed Again

    I could listen to Phil Collins all day long. Don’t mind if I do, actually!

    2 years ago  /  0 notes

  7. Deadlines…

    I’ve set myself many deadlines recently. Things that need to get done, that I wish could get done, before my big show May 27th. The first was put together the band. Check. After that was the setlist. Check. Well almost…

    I lack one song. A single song. One song that is more in my ‘new direction’. My songs are separated into two time frames. Before These Days and After These Days. Everything Before These Days I consider…not very good. They will be played, for sure, but I need one more new song to balance out the old and the new. I was tempted to dip into Another Year Colder material, but I won’t. 

    The Deadline? Wednesday. After that, I’ll consider it too late to bring a new song for the band to learn. An entire song in 2 days. These Days was written in a single day so shouldn’t be too hard.

    The next one? In the Air Tonight. I plan on doing a full band version (FINALLY!) so I need to create the drum loop (since the actual version is impossible to find and I don’t own a Roland CR-78).

    After that, it’ll be all Albums and music videos, but until then this is what i’m working with.

    2 years ago  /  0 notes

  8. Looper- Staring Joseph Gordan-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt.

    This movie has the potential to be the best Sci-Fi movie of the year (Although Prometheus is really having an early lead)

    2 years ago  /  0 notes

  9. The Singing Drummer (Or, Shut Up And Play)

    For the uninitiated, I am a singing drummer. Can’t help it. Tried to give it up a while back but I can’t help but slip every time I hear In the Air Tonight. I’ve decided that, to honor my fellow Singing Drummers, I will compile a list. I love lists. In researching, though, I discovered that we are a rare breed. I didn’t realize how few and far between we were. I think that’s why whenever we’re seen in our natural habitat, people just stare.

    This is in No Particular Order

    Read More

    2 years ago  /  0 notes

  10. Healing Colors of Sound

    Right now, i’m doing multiple things. I’m writing music as well as listening to music. Specifically The Musical Box by Genesis. I’m waiting for it to inspire me. All it’s doing is relaxing me.

    That’s the biggest issue I have with music, the only time it inspires me is when i’m in no position to USE such inspiration. In cases like this, it calms me and quiets me and I want nothing more then to let it sing me to sleep. Cruel, ain’t it?

    But it does confuse me often. Just when I think I know what I want to do musically (such as write catchy pop songs and be overall loved), the music I ACTUALLY listen to makes me want to aspire for greater musical enlightenment (regardless of the absolute lack of talent to do such a thing. Its ludicrous)

    2 years ago  /  0 notes