Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Chaos Theory Meets Rumination

Strange how life moves - how some pick a path that leads them up *there* while others follow a path that leads them down *there*. No one ever knows until much later.

It was almost a decade ago now. In 2003 I left a cushy 40k dead-end-to-me job in Boston for a life of who-knows-what-the-fuck-will-happen 0k in NYC. No longer would I be a fucking web developer. I was now to be a permanent full-time musician.

If I could.

Do I regret the choice? No. But it has meant some... interesting times for me.

I admit I didn't enter New York City with the best mental and spiritual infrastructure. Musically I've been broken for a while. My confidence has been 50% at best since leaving Oberlin.

But this didn't matter to me. I was in NYC!!!

Anywho. I landed in a very interesting time for LGBT musicians. Outmusic was a rather centrifying force. Numerous musicians - largely in NYC but really across the country - had connections and there was really a feeling of moving _forward_ as queer artists.

It was during these times that I met and started to follow a rather captivating young man: Justin Tranter. A Berklee grad (ironically) he had an amazing stage presence and a rather scalpel-precise ability at songwriting. His band at the time was just as electrifying. I stood in sheer awe of his bassist[*].

The point I have bringing Justin up is that, a few years later, he cast off basically everything he'd done and reformed himself into the band now known as Semi-Precious Weapons. If you follow Lady Gaga, you may very well know who this band is. Certainly they had a cameo in her "Telephone" video.

The irony is that Lady Gaga apparently used to open for Semi-Precious Weapons. The Diva of the 00's - once a mere tangent to someone I knew. The connection is... baffling.

Oh, I'm sure if you asked Justin who "Toshio Mana" is, he'd probably scratch his head perplexed at best if not respond with an outright blank, "sorry - no clue." Maybe he'd remember the name Freddy Freeman. Probably "Outmusic".

But, at that time, I lost track of Justin. SPW just didn't catch me as much as he had solo. And ... well, life made it more and more difficult to keep up with his shows. I honestly couldn't tell you any of their tunes while I could still sing some of his older stuff.

Such is life.

In the meantime life took me down a rather different course. I won't pretend to have made the best of choices. I won't pretend to be the smartest person alive nor the most business savvy. In part I have my beliefs - some of which I've stood by, others I've sacrificed.

Regardless it's been years now. I've been homeless. I've slept on subways. I've been a failure. I've been a refuge in my own damnation. I've been my own, "behind the music" episode.

Where I am now is drastically different than where I expected to be. In some ways it fits better - I'm teaching music, I'm still working with James. In some, it's nowhere near good enough - I'm no longer in NYC, I'm not gigging enough.

But life changes so drastically and so quickly... What *is* one moment may have little bearing on what is the next. Do you fight now? Or fight later? It may mean everything and it may mean nothing.

You never know.

  • I remember getting a compliment from the guy after a gig I did as Daniel Cartier's bassist. I never quite believed it. I never felt I deserved praise from the guy.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Progress or something like...

Yes, again with the silence.


Seriously, though, there have been some major changes in life. Back in April or May I FINALLY left that goddamned store - something I think was very definitely LONG overdue.

The story behind that is actually kind of amusing. The whole economic situation threw the chain into some turmoil - as it has with basically every sector, of course. There were some heavy changes in management and all of a sudden the pressure was on the store to axe all part time employees.

Yes. Seriously. Get rid of the people we don't have to pay additional shit for like health insurance.

O... K...

So the second-in-command of the store had a talk with me informing me that they needed me to work Wednesdays and, if I couldn't do this, my job was in jeopardy. Well I've been working at Settlement since before I took the Sam Ash gig. It's my best day there. I get paid roughly $25/hr there versus just over minimum wage at the store.

Oh. And I actually LIKE teaching! Guess what I was NOT going to kiss goodbye?

A couple days later I was at the school getting done with my teaching duties. I walked downstairs to put my roll sheet away and fill out my time card. The branch director turned to me and asked if I was still working at Sam Ash.

"It's funny you ask," I told him and then laid out the whole OMGWTFBBQ I was in.

"Ah. What would you think about working here in the reception desk?"

Needless to say I was floored. I went from insane near-melt-down stress to euphoria in such a short time... Yes, I HAD fantasized about getting fired and no I was not horrified at the reality of the situation. But to have an option like working at the school more just sort of fall into my lap?


So a couple days of serious thought pass and I gleefully gave my two weeks notice at the store. (Ironically one guy quit and I was suddenly very much NEEDED. But so goes the karma, right?)


Life since then has been an interesting roller coaster. I'll spare the details for now and just say that, overall, I am *MUCH* happier. I'm paid less per hour but saving so much on time, travel, and sanity that I can't even begin to complain about leaving. There's some bullshit I'm getting sick of and the honeymoon has sort of worn off. But... yeah. NO SAM ASH!!!

Still, I'm actually now in a rather... interesting position. I have an opportunity to get more involved with some of the programs. Specifically songwriting.

I'm actually VERY excited at this notion. I'd love to teach theory more and I'd love to teach songwriting. But of course it does bring up that whole, "well look at the not-so-kid-friendly stuff I've written" pink elephant that's been sitting on my table.

Yeah... *cough*

So I'm at that juncture in my life where I have to evaluate that rather openly gay stuff I've written and figure out how to... address it in the context of children or non-adults. I don't want to completely back into the closet of course. But I don't think some of my lyrics would win parents over - even with the queerness aside!

At the moment I simply took the two songs in question and made them "fan-exclusive" on ReverbNation. But if you just google my name... Yeah. Open secret time!

Sunday, March 14, 2010


I've lost it.

No, not my mind. Though certainly that, too... But rather my old logo for Project::in•fin•i•ty - my old experimental/concept art-ish music.

See I started the project back in 1995 or so. (God, 15 years!) Naturally, it's been evolving. Or changing. I'm not sure the "progress" implications of "evolve" are being met currently... But more on *that* later.

Anywho, the logo I developed was a dorky little thing that's most appropriate for today - a π/0 enclosed in a circle. Why? Well for one "pi" just happens to be an abbreviation for "Project::in•fin•i•ty". Divided by zero? 'Cuz it results in something undefinable.

But why a circle and not an ∞? I'm not entirely sure. If I had a reasoning, I've forgotten. I think perhaps that the ∞ just seems so obligatory. A circle is often used to refer to something unending and cyclical. Plus it's just a kinda visually cool way to (contradictorily) bind up the symbolism.

There's a sad irony to this. A couple days ago I started compiling a list of all the stuff I've started producing/writing/developing in the past few months. Now I spent the better part of 2007-2009 virtually devoid of any creative products. I wrote maybe one song during that time - one for my most recent ex. (And it's a craptacular tune if you ask me...) So for me to look back and acknowledge a sudden blossoming of creative energy was REALLY revitalizing.

Of course that came to something of a screeching halt today. I just... Well, a friend had sent me a link to an iPhone orchestra. And when I finally pulled up the article this evening?

I really started questioning the quality of this creative streak I've been on.

Okay, I fully acknowledge that "quality" is a rather ambiguous subject and a rather useless yardstick when it comes to art. But... well, see music is a selfish thing. For me at least. When I create, when I play, the important person to please is *ME*.

Bottom line: if I walk away unhappy, I failed.

That doesn't mean the audience has no say in the process, of course. Indeed I'm glad when others can appreciate what I can't. It does help sometimes. And sometimes the point of a performance is not so much the piece or song as it *is* the audience's reaction - pulling that string there, pushing that button there, evoking that thought/emotion/experience here...

But if I walk away unhappy then... what have I done? For me? Nothing. And as someone who pushes himself to create the best he can? I've created and given something *I* consider sub-par to others. Again: NotGood™.

See I'm not entirely convinced the mindset of "let it be what it will be" is always appropriate. If I'm just playing for others, then what am I doing other than vomiting a mass of musical ideas at people?

"Here. Would you like some 'tasty phrases'? *RALPH* Or perhaps some 'bittersweet melody'? *HURL* Well maybe what you think I think you think you want is some 'sexy beats'. *UPCHUCK*"

Yeah. Not something *I* would appreciate.

Back to the point, though...

These videos just remind me that I'm in a constant state of dichotomy. Experimental vs pop, difficult to chew vs. easily disposable. I... I don't know. I don't have any focus.

Ultimately, while I'm rather happy with some of the stuff I have created ("Cold" and "Jesus Year" being two where I feel I pretty much nailed what I wanted to say and _how_), I don't feel like much of any of it is really propelling me in the directions I want to go. In fact, in many ways, they're the complete opposite - that cute little knick-knack store you just *have* to go back and check out even though you're DREADFULLY late for an important meeting...

Oh, I know that life is very much more about the experiences along the way as compared to the actual goal. (And, believe me, I have had some AMAZING experiences along the way) But... too often I find myself in this situation - where I realize I'm backtracking farther than I want - and that, in these times, I'm really desperately angry with myself.

See I'm frustrated that I have no direction or no focus. I'm doing too many things and yet getting nothing done. I do have a vision, things I want to do, things I horribly miss. But how to get to them? I don't know. I keep getting sidetracked.

I keep running. And running. And getting nowhere.

And all I feel like I'm really doing is running in circles.

Friday, March 5, 2010

And introducing Mr. McHappy Tunes!

I've been pretty heavily at work on some tunes for another Trannywood Productions film. I'm having mixed success - mostly in that my computer keeps deciding to crash at the least-convenient times. Or just generally starts fucking up - it's all about the same, really.

And then sometimes I start working on something, get in a groove, love it, and only later realize it's not really... appropriate. That's happened a couple times now.

Ah well. I have much coming soon!

The fun part today was getting a call from June. She needed to get together with someone and jam. I know that feeling. So I obliged and had her come over.

We had the usual sort of, "well, what should we do?" sorta ... collapse in. LOL. (I've really been so mono-focused on the TwP stuff!) I played her some of the stuff in progress and putzed around a bit.

Eventually I came up with a riff and, after a moment, we went with it. It's nothing horribly fancy - Bm, F#m, A, E. Etc. But, as I can often do, within the span of roughly 15 minutes I had the outline for a song.

Well, all except the lyrics of course. LOL.

Over the course of the couple hours we shaped it up. After the verse, the chorus came pretty quickly. I dithered about for a while on a "bridge" section before finally deciding on a ... well, I guess "chunky" quarter-note heavy 4/4 or half-time-ish pump thing.

You've heard the idea before. I know you have.

After that comes the typical drop down to soft before the build to the last chorus... Yes, it's formulaic. And YES, I LOVE IT.

When we got done she asked me to put together a demo of it. So after she took me out for dinner I decided to whip up something quick-ish.

It's not often I write something kinda upbeat. (And yes, I was the primary songwriter this time.) I think having her here to sound a lot of ideas off of helped. There's something about having that energy to play with puts you in such a different head space.

In the hour or so I threw it together I'm actually fairly happy. It's probably a little more radio-friendly than a majority of my stuff. And again it's a bit derivative.

Still, I'm having fun!

But yeah, I'm trying to figure out where this one is going, too. The phrase, "hot mess" is stuck in my head. And, believe it or not, I kinda think it's gonna be a little bit of a feel-good-ish tune.

I just kinda wanna celebrate all the "freaks", "crazies", and eccentrics - the people who can go outside many social conventions, wearing their catsuits and costumes to Walmart, etc - who make this world a lot more interesting of a place. Those who can throw judgment out the window and walk the street unafraid. Those who can remind us (if we let them) that we need to get over ourselves and *be* ourselves.

Yeah, I know it's been done before. So what? I'm writing a non-morose tune! Why it's even a little ... dare I say it? DANCEABLE! *GASP*

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Dizziness of Enforced Solitude

A couple nights ago I randomly thought of an old NYC-era tune of mine that I honestly haven't thought of since. It just kinda sprang back into my mind from nowhere and for no particular reason that I can determine. Sort of analogous to that unexpected visit by an old high school friend, I suppose.

"Hey! Long time no see. Was in the area, thought I'd see if you were still around!"


Progress on this particular song has been minimal at best. However it *did* inspire me to start looking back at older projects. In particular I've been sorting through the stuff - samples, ideas, crazy sounds, etc - that I've storing on this computer since mid 2006.

There's a bunch of stuff on here that I... I can see myself doing some really wacky and awesome things with. Sampling the dishwasher, bowing and striking the disk platter, recording traffic sounds, sampling this and that, digitally messing with said sounds... (Sadly I still have to retrieve some of the sampling I had archived from before my Mac died.)

I just have to figure out _how_. *sighs* I really need to sit down and tackle more of that.

But that brings me to an... interesting juncture in my career right now. I've really been trying to focus on the singer-songwriter stuff and neglecting my more experimental-ish side. I've been drowning myself in my pop-centric tunes in the goal of getting out and playing more.

It's... I want to say it's a necessary evil. But I can't convince myself of that. Part of me is asking myself, "was that the shark we just jumped?" I don't consider most of my stuff _pure_ pop - there's a lot of stuff I throw in that kinda moves it a bit away.

However there is *still* that nagging voice. I mean the pop is a LOT easier to write. I don't have to think anywhere near as much. I don't have to second-guess myself as often...

But... yeah.

I'm still at a loss for lyrics, though. I find the more I work with words, the more I hate them. Or rather I hate my inability to really pull some awesome shit outta them. :/

I've got a good half-dozen songs on the burners right now - all with incomplete lyrics. Phrases, verses, choruses, a bridge here, a prechorus there... I'm beating my head against walls to flesh them out further. And all I'm getting is bloody plaster.

At least both "Cold" and "(I've got a boy) Stuck In My Head" are relatively complete. The latter just needs some more work on the arrangement. The drums are still missing elements and the verses need some more padding/layers. "Don't You See" is also pretty far along. Again, lyrics are missing, I need some more instrumentation, and the drums/percussion need attending to.

Still, that's three songs/demos moderately far along. Yay!

I also got inspired and picked up an older song. Someone forwarded me an article about John Mayer trying to apologize for using the "n" word. The irony? That, upon reading it, that's probably the least of the WTF-isms. I mean, "my dick is a white supremacist"?!?!?


Well, let's hop, skip, and a jump back a few years. I think it was 2006 - *maybe* 2007. His song, "Waiting On the World to Change" was... somewhere on the charts. I don't remember where. He really wasn't anywhere on my list of things to listen to.

But then, in a fit of fury, a friend pointed out the song to me - focusing on the lyric content. "It's hard to beat the system/When we're standing at a distance/So we keep waiting/Waiting on the world to change" And of course I immediately shared his anger.

As someone in a marginalized community, this really affronted my sense of decency. As someone who faces daily a dozen battles - both internal and external - just for being on this side of a political hotbed, it appalls my sense of responsibility. It reeks of apathy, laziness, and selfishness at best - white privilege and a slushy slew of -isms at worst.

Almost immediately a counter-song started forming in my mind. "Would YOU just be 'waiting' if you actually had to face some of this shit?" is what I want to scream in his face. "Would you just sit around and hope that life somehow got better for you?"

I'd actually just started toying around with the whole DADGAE[*] tuning then, too. Took one little riff that I'd conjured up already and *whisk* I was off. At least for a little bit. Once again the lyrical barrier sorta sprung up and, while I've never completely put it down, I just... yeah. Have a bit to go.

Somewhat recently a few more lyrics had come to mind. A chorus, "I'm glad that your load is light/So you can bask in your privileged life", has existed for a few months. Tonight I cobbled together a second verse and something of a bridge.

So I sat down and recorded what I have. I need to fix some spots. It's ending much too cynically - something which is contrary to the whole point. It's not that we can't fix life; it's that life ain't gonna just fix itself. Plus the bridge is a tad too jarring right now. (I think I just need to calm down a bit on the emoting!)

  • I hereby declare I will pronounce this DAD-GAY. *nod*

Friday, February 5, 2010

Jammin, 2

In what's likely to become something of a reoccurring phenomenon, June and I returned to the Whitpain Tavern tonight for their open mic. This time, however, we arrived sufficiently early - before it even started, actually - and acquired ourselves an actual slot.


We dithered about what to actually play this time. Neither of us seemed to have realized we'd actually have to *think* about what to play. And, in the end, we kinda cobbled together a couple songs. I'd do "Road" (a bootLICKERS tune I do a fair amount) and my own song, "So Glad..." while June opted for a couple blues jams.

Oh, both of us are quite experienced onstage now. Neither of us got in front of the mic with any timidity or hesitation. So, from that perspective, it was all good.

Musical performance? Well, that was a slightly different barrel.

We grabbed a couple of the other regulars to join in - a bassist and another guitarist. We know them. They know us. We all know that none of us are newbs.

But... well, "Road" isn't exactly the most straightforward song. It's not crazy, but there's a couple oddball chord changes. And I didn't *quite* warn the bassist enough. Luckily he's the sort who just kinda shrugs and barrels on through with a smile.

It's all good. We're all just having fun, after all.

But of course my own tunes are even a bit more oddball. I intentionally write non-standard structures - skipping sections, tossing in a few unexpected chord changes. I don't write the typical verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/chorus sorts of things. Granted I do have my own formula (and can get a bit too entrenched in it) but it's... well it's just not always the easiest to explain before-hand within the span of a minute.

Especially when the lyrics come a thousand words a minute.

I ran over a couple of the chord changes with him a bit more this time. It's fairly easy chord wise. But then the guitarist jumped in and it sorta... just kinda... took off. LOL

Oh, it was a bit of a trainwreck. I skipped sections left and right, dropped out a whole verse and the break... The biggest problem is that we just couldn't hear each other well enough and I couldn't get enough eye contact from the other guys to properly cue somethings.

*shrugs* But I had fun!

Furthermore it was just another sort of step for me - an evolution of (small) sorts. I was up there just kinda letting go and letting one of my babies just sorta... happen. Oh, I was doing my best to keep on top of things. And I think I did _ok_. But...

*shrugs* It was fun. And I wasn't freaking out. At least not much. I was definitely on my toes. Otherwise, however, I'd already settled comfortably into the mindset of, "it will be what it will be."

Oh, I admit it. I've totally been tempted to chart up my tunes on the chance I'd wind up in this situation. I haven't yet, of course. But I may just do that.

For now? I'm just happy to have done this and pushed myself a bit further forward. YAY!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

"Why I shouldn't date" bullet point entry #453,652,335.85

As I mentioned (somewhat) recently, I'm a rather visual person. A lot of my thoughts, lyrics, and songs have a visual element that either inspires them or imbue them.

This time is no exception.

A certain young man kinda entered my life a bit ago. Oh, it's all completely tangential at best. He lives over there, I live here. We've never met in person. We do naught but trade a few comments or such here and there. I'm not going to pretend there's something going on that's clearly not.

But still... A> he's adorable and, B> he's good at taking these pictures that just... OMG. There's something about them - the smiles and looks he captures, sometimes the post-processing... Just make me wanna wrap him in my arms and do naughty nice things.

And, being the irreverent dreamer that I am, I could all easily create this version of him in my head with a personality and being that *I* like and thus fall in love with this concoction that exists solely in my head...

Yeah. See, I actually do that with guys I meet and date anyways.

No, I shouldn't date. :D

But anywho... This time it just sorta sparked off a couple lyrics that, coupled with this tuning I've been using, have sorta spiraled off yet another song. Lyrically I really wanted to be _explicitly_ gay. And both tender/romantic and yet *quite* suggestive.

So far I'm pretty happy with it. Though I'm not quite convinced of the final lyrics. It does almost get a little bad-romance-book-ish. Hrmmm. I also *may* add a tin whistle melody in there as it does border a bit on the too-repetitive side.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Jamming again

After some dithering, June and I decided to head up to the Whitpain Tavern in Plymouth Meeting, PA for their weekly open mic/jam session. It's often quite fun as usally everyone just sorta piles together in random ways and configurations. As, as it usually happens, we got there *late* and thus only got the last two spots.

This time, of course, I decided to do some solo/front stuff. It's not the best venue for most of my stuff - a bar with a bunch of rowdy-ish musicians. I think many of them would appreciate the writing. But... not the best energy. My songs tend to run just a *bit* too melancholy.

I did some quick calculations and decided to try "Better This Way?", "Dreams" (by Fleetwood Mac), and "Moondance" (by Van Morrison). Well, the last one got dropped off the list as one of the (many) groups ahead of us pulled that tune out. Ah well.

Started off with "Better This Way?" and felt pretty decent about it. Took it a tad too fast though. On the cool-ish side, a percussionist jumped in on it. I really like having percussion on it. But they were bongos and not congos. The higher pitch didn't quite fit in my brain right.

"Dreams"? Was more of a nightmare. I asked a couple guys to hop on and jam with me on it. However, not only did I forget a bunch of lyrics, I do it differently than the original. And there was a bit of a clash. LOL.

Still I'm happy to say I weathered it well. I didn't succumb to my prior bouts of immediate self-loathing. Just took it all in stride as a, "well, this is... interesting!"

And again I got a couple compliments on "Better This Way?"! From a guitarist! Yay!!

Next time I think I will try some other tunes. Perhaps "So Glad..." or "Jesus Year". If I can make the slow songs _groove_ enough, they'll fly. And "Jesus Year" has a certain blues edge to it that I think could go well. Even if it is a slit-your-wrist-er. *heh*

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Flow, river. Flow...

I'm starting to find a new workflow on this machine. It's *NOT* ideal. But... it works.

And I'm at the point where that's good enough. For now.

I had intended to sit down and get some ideas down for a tune I started writing last night. (and by 'last night' I do mean Friday night now. EEEK!) However, as creativity sometimes goes, I started writing something almost *completely* different. I just got this riff in my fingers and was like, "MUST. DO. SOMETHING."

That was at about 4 or 5pm today... AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

I'm grooving on it. I'm flowing with it. It's not caught me like 'trains' did. But... that's okay. I keep wanting to experience that tsunami of creativity that hit me those four days - when 'trains' went from a mere thought to a completed 'demo'.

Nothing is ever the same.

There's technical issues. I *may* clean up some of the sloppy guitar work. I may not. I may re-record some of the parts. I may not. I don't know these days. I may just nudge them into something a little less displeasing to my ear.

I only have so much of my perfectionism I can allow to run amok.

The funny thing is that I'm just kinda... letting it go. The riff I started off with is the primary "verse" riff - that really bluesy thing. After that I think I came up with the chorus next and then the sorta prechorus. I still want to develop that bridge...

But yeah, it's not in the sonic world I started thinking of initially. But... well frankly I just don't care too much. It will be what it will be.

And I know it will be an angry tune. LOL. Expect some rather... graphic metaphors.

P.S. I'm still in the DADGAE tuning!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Writing from this side of the line...

I seem to have a fascination with writing from... either the 'wrong' side of the line ("Far", "Don't") or the grey side of the line ("Better This Way?", "Can You?"). Rarely do I seem to write anything from the sunny side of the guilt/blame fence - where I'm clearly the "good guy".

I guess you could blame it on my growing up in the late 80's and early 90's. There's a sort of enjoyment I get from mining my questionable self-esteem. There's more interest in exploring the darker side of the psyche - especially if I *can* craft it into something that arouses sympathy or empathy - rather than dancing in "sunshine and flowers".

This time around is no exception.

I started writing this a few weeks ago. I don't remember the exact impetus other than just playing around with me DADGAE tuning. But then the first few lines came to me and I started envisioning something about dating someone with commitment issues. (Like me, perhaps? *HAH*) Then a real-life encounter took over and it turned into something... a little darker.

Regardless here I am singing from a vantage where... there's not really anyone on the "right" side.

And I like that.

Evening Gown

one shoe off and one shoe on
and you can't decide which foot is wrong
one shoe on and one shoe off
and you know: one step and you are lost

so please tell me just what you want me to see
and please show me what you would like to believe

one foot in and one foot out
and you like to stir these water about
one foot out and one foot in
and again we watch the games begin

so please tell me just where you want me to go
and please show me what you don't want me to know

'cuz you could lead me on
if I just play along
so spin me round
and take me down
I'll play your evening gown...

dot your i's and cross your t's
but you can't decide which demons to appease
cross your eyes and laugh at me
but inside you drop down to your knees

and you would lead me on
and I'd just play along
'cuz sometimes touch
is just enough
to take the place of love

so go and lead me on
and I'll just play along
these roads are kept
the dust well swept
I know this tune
so when you're through
we'll see who laughs
and who is last
and when you're looking back...

one shoe off and one shoe on
and you ask just where your bed has gone

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Got home a few minutes ago from my first _solo_ gig post Rochester. It's... it's an interesting feeling. Overall I'm satisfied-ish with my performance. Given what's happened in the past, that's actually a good thing.

My voice wasn't *quite* where I wanted it to be. The last few numbers felt rough vocally - I'd over sung myself and my voice just ended. The first couple felt rough confidence-wise. The voice would have been okay (I think) but I just hadn't found my head/music space yet.

I think part of that was just being in a different environment than I'm used to. It was very much a house concert - someone's living room, no sound system, no phallic microphone in front of me... I really had to *think* about how I was performing. If I wasn't singing loud enough or if I was playing guitar too loudly there was no recourse - no one to boost a level.

It was what it was. It was how I did. No aid. No crutches.

That's not a bad thing, of course. For one I really like the environment it put me in. Lord only knows most of my material is on the more melancholy side. And I felt a little more at ease to perform the less-than-perky-and-upbeat stuff. Or rather a little less stress to do that perky-and-upbeat stuff.


Interestingly it seems that "Better This Way?" is really becoming one of my 'signature' tunes. I'm just really finding it emotionally and thus vocally. I really _get_ it every time. I don't know why this strikes me as odd, but it does. I really didn't put a whole lot of emotional effort into writing it. It just sorta happened. In fact I sorta tried to keep it more bland in a manner.

"Jesus Year" also felt pretty good except that, at the end, my voice was definitely starting to lose it. I would have stopped there but it's such a downer of a tune that I didn't really want to leave on that note.

My one kinda frustration is that I had started to put together this whole line in my head of what to do and how to link it all narratively. But then I abandoned that - in part because I just simply forgot.

Oh, it's not entirely bad. You can't always just make a set-list and then stick to it - especially not when it's a new forum for you. But, at the same time, I like having a thread that ties it all together. I don't think the thread I improvised was _bad_, just not as satisfying as what I'd pre-thought.

Ah well. I got several compliments. And, if nothing else, I feel decent about it. I wish I could feel like I totally rocked the house down to its knees but... I guess first steps first.


Set list - as much as I remember it
  • I Want Someone (Dave Montana)
  • Road (the bootLICKERS)
  • Better This Way?
  • Can You?
  • So Glad...
  • Jesus Year
  • Mello Hell
  • Half Moon Bay