January 30, 2009

I Live On The Writers Block

If you found a map of Writers Block, you'd find that its outside of town, right on the border between the suburbs and the country. You know where I mean, that nice paved road that bends to the right, but only sort of ... you could still go straight on to Writers Block, but its on a dirt road. Most people don't want to drive on a dirt road, so I am stuck there.

The little cottage has yellow walls, a dirty white carpet, and a few couches. It hasn't been cleaned in years. Ironically, it hasn't been cleaned since I last wrote a song that I felt was any good. Yeah, in this cottage I write my songs. I don't play guitar here, thats somewhere off the ground. Sometimes its more grounded, like in the rickety tree house out back, and sometimes its way up there on that mountain, where everyone can hear me but noone can actually see me. 

I really, really want to clean this place up. Its a mess. Full of oddball memories, like this duck pillow, an old lawn tractor, and strangely enough, a laundry center with a dent on the corner. (its blue, if you must know.) There's a St. Patrick's Day shirt in the corner, but I don't dare pick it up because thats where my cats used to pee. Every once in a while I look at that birthday card slash coloring book page that my sister once made for me and I smile. But then I remember that time, and I think about how I used to sit in this room alone, staring blankly out the window, saying nothing, phone unhooked from the wall.

Do I have any reason to continue writing music here? I mean, I'm still a strong young man, I don't need this cottage anymore. Cell phones have made staying disconnected rather pointless. Unless you leave it in the car. Why would I leave it in the car? 

I guess it doesn't ring much anyway.

So I walk into the kitchen and there are dishes there, white Corelle dishes with a green design ringing around them. The floor still has that shiny brown hue with the odd design. The walls have a velvety texture to them, a reddish color. Reminds me of a house I used to have nightmares about as a child.

Anyway, a redesign?

Maybe I should do as every artist does (or should) and throw out everything he knew/knows and start again. Light a match, end this cottage's existance. 

I think I'll do that.

The duck pillow isn't important anymore anyway. 

January 29, 2009

How Frustrating A Day In The Studio Can Be

Don't let anger steer you wrong.

Over the last few months, I've been sort of itching to get some real recordings out there. As I mentioned in my blog yesterday, I really would like to find a studio to get five songs or so down on real, gosh-honest CD format. And actual sales-piece. 

I sent a letter to another musician, Ray Lanich, who lives down in Cochranton. Him and I were at Docksider the same night a little over a month ago. His CD, "I'll Play A Song For You" seems pretty professionally done and I was curious where he did his recordings at.

"I do them at home."

So, I decided to start again today, give it another shot. After all, I have a really good microphone and a very expensive guitar pedal that features on-board recording technology, so I should be able to get something good, right?

Not so fast, apparently.

I decided that I'm going to start this process with a song called, "Little Sister", which as most of you know, is a 'lullabye' of sorts to my sister Kori. I really like the song; I recorded it about four years ago one night within an hour of writing it. A true "genesis" recording. Very good. 

I would like to recreate it with a little more feeling and a slide guitar in between all of the parts, which would be very tasty, in my humble opinion. 

So I sit down into my "studio room" to get going around 1 pm. I get everything set up and play the song the first time through, this time through a microphone plugged directly into the pedal. 

Not loud enough.

Tried again, this time playing the guitar THROUGH the pedal. 

Sounds like its recorded in a tin can.

After two hours of wrestling with it, I took a nap.

Woke up at four, and the last two hours I've been wrestling with the sound levels, playing it through one time, transferring the data to the computer, and it still sounds like crap. I don't know if I'm my own worst critic or something, but I tell you what, I just can't get this stuff down, and its extremely frustrating.

But I suppose its not as frustrating as working at that hotel. But anyway...

January 28, 2009

A Long Vacation

Blues, blues, blues.

Its now been what, 31 days since I've written? I'm so sorry for not doing so. I just get in these funks and I just don't feel like writing. But I'm pretty sure if there wasn't folks I directly emailed this blog to, nobody would read it anyway. 

Not that I need to prove anything. 

Anyway, so far, 2009 has been nothing about control and preparation, as I wished it had been. Oh well. New Years resolutions are for suckers anyway :)~ . 

As most of you know, I played my very first show on the 17th of the month at Clancy's Pub and Pizza, where I also smash the strings on Tuesday nights. The show went off pretty well, some hitches, but nothing terrible. The owner was pleased (although he was out of town, so much for impressing the guy.) I played some of my originals (some I'll never play in public again) and some covers (that I forgot some lyrics from, oh well) and I just noticed I use parentheses way too much.


Work sucks. Hotel sucks. Its just a job. Its all screwed up now.


Amanda and I are doing great! We have had the opportunity to spend a lot more time together and I think its been good for us. We're both talking a lot about "redecorating" our apartment at the least cost possible. (Anyone have any cool places to get nifty furniture?) Since we're not going to be moving any time soon (see "Work."), we are going to try to make where we live cool. 


Anyone locally know of anyone with a studio? I'd like to self-produce/record, but if I could pull off a small five song demo-style CD for a small price, I'd rather do that. 

I'll try to have a little better format next time. Not sure if this one worked out.