Friday, December 31, 2004

Resolve This

Back from Puerto Rico late last night. All in all a fabulous time with family and just taking in the ambiance of this warm and amazingly American yet un-American tropical island. Anybody who ever said anything as unthoughtful as, "If they're gonna live here, why don't they learn to speak English," should be air dropped into a foreign country. Then you should be forced to order food in a restaurant, get your car fixed, deal with the post office, look for a job and have to work for a minimum wage, or less, deal with enraged drivers when you can't figure out the road signs, violate any number of local customs because you haven't a clue. Eye opening experience, that. And then go ahead and try to learn that language that is foreign to you while you also try to scrape for your survival. And while you're at it, try to recall what, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free," means.

Even if you don't sport a "Proud to be an American" sticker on your pickup truck, you're damn lucky to be one and living here. Listening to foreigners from all over the globe, you can get an understanding of why there is reason not to be proud. I'm not whining about, though. I believe that whatever course you take to try to change things for the better in this land, it has to start with yourself. My personal philosophy is that we should be an ambassador of the goodness within each of us. Represent the better part of yourself to everybody else. Start from there and you have a much better chance of making changes in the world.

If that sounds like a New Year's Resolution, it's unintentional. My resolutions come daily and never need a holiday for an excuse. It's the only way I get anything done. That and listening to my wife. But if you're so inclined, go ahead, make some goals today but write them down. And read those goals to yourself every day this year. It's the only way to make dreams come true. I'm not a prayerful person. Never have been so you won't find the word in my lyrics. But I do know for certain that people who believe prayer works, do so because they make it happen. Praying or wishing for something without action is selfish nonsense. Prayer with action does work the same way that my goal setting and daily review of goals works. Call it psychology or religion, I don't care, whatever lights your candle. It'll work if you want it to. Just don't try to "save my soul," please. I'll take care of that on my own. It's on my list of goals. So I resolve once again to not ignore my goals this year.

posted by Bud @ 8:31 AM

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Have Yourself a Merry Little Colostomy?

This is so thoroughly inappropriate for Christmas Day. I wrote a lyric but couldn't finish it well enough to post it. So that has become a NEXT Christmas song. Instead here's a link from Monkey Filter that is just a teensy Orwellian but especially Ashcroftian.

Please don't forward this to anybody at the Justice Department. Because if they make nudity in the privacy of your home illegal, it could get very messy. We'll all be catheterized and have to be fitted with colostomy bags. That might help generate business in at least that sector of the consumer's market next Christmas. But as much as I carp about the over commercialism of this holiday, I like it the way it is compared to getting a crate of Depends under my tree next year.

I'm taking about 6 days off so...
If you're into Christmas, I hope yours is very happy indeed.

posted by Bud @ 12:00 AM

Friday, December 24, 2004

The Dangerous Lives of Mimes

Here's a major difference in cultures for you from Boingboing. The city of Bogota, Columbia has hired street mimes to shame traffic violators. And the people seem to love it. Is it just me or am I over reacting? I predict that if they did that here, some enraged driver would run up a sidewalk to squash such a mime. Especially one who had the audacity to make fun of his horn-blowing, hand-jesturing, bumper-tapping behavior. There isn't a bigger patron of the arts than me but I don't want anybody mocking me in public. Even when I was teaching the kids had the courtesy to do it behind my back. Most of the time. Mimes live dangerous lives in this country, I think.

I could probably use a mime, though, to help me avoid eating a lot a bad stuff this holiday. An obnoxious little pastey-faced creep in suspenders making piggy faces at me if I reach for a cookie or five. It took me 8 months to even get around to trying to drop my Christmas fat from last year. I'm not gonna pork up this time. It may be hard in Puerto Rico however. How do you say, "How many fat grams?" in Spanish I wonder? I'd still have an unnatural desire to punch out the mime however. And this coming from a lifelong pacifist.

posted by Bud @ 5:52 AM

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Drop Names Not Bombs

I have to drop some names here because I made the mistake of mentioning one whose ads keep popping up on this site. I have nothing against the guy. His success proves that anybody can do it. And that is a good thing. I just don't want to be identified with him musically. I know I'm no Bob Dylan but I'm told I sound like both Bob and his son Jakob Dylan. Wouldn't you like to be around the table with them this holiday? Or any holiday? Or even over a greasy burger in some fast food joint on a Tuesday?

The name Paul Simon keeps popping up when people describe me too. I don't know why but I won't argue. At least there haven't been any Alvin the Chipmunk comparisons for me to deal with. And if I get any ads for him, IÕm going to firebomb Google Adsense. Oops, Homeland Security, if you're monitoring this for possible terrorist activity, I didn't mean actual firebombs. I meant those little red candies that are so spicy they...Well you must know what I mean. Wait, is there any body home at Homeland Security these days?

James Taylor isn't a bad guy to get compared to. I play some of his riffs and I use Taylor Guitars ( no relation ) exclusively. Some kids have mentioned John Mayer to me but I don't know what to make of that. If it's shameless flattery, I'll take it. The guy is fantastic. And I love the kids for mentioning me in the same sentence.

Mark Zampella, my producer, insists I have certain phrasing that reminds him of both Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead and Sting. These are not names to argue about. These are names to drop in certain company. It's amusing that name dropping is a vitally important part of promotion in this business. I didn't make up these rules. I'm just trying to play by them. If I made up the rules, there wouldn't be any. Except, "Love thy neighbor." That's a good one.

posted by Bud @ 6:21 AM

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Why They Have Tanning Salons in Florida

I'm becoming a shut-in. Meals on Wheels may need to deliver a protein shake to me. I'm computer-bound. I've been picking up my guitar for approximately a hour a day. That's about 20% of what I used to do. Getting web presence is very time consuming. I'm sure there is a medical condition caused by over telecomputing and I'm at risk. I need a federal program to study this and help me out. Well, at least study it. Government agencies love to pay for studies so they can either avoid what they don't actually want to do or spend more money than is necessary to do what nobody else wants them to do.

Okay, by modern corporate standards, I'm over dramatizing. My studio/office is at least two standard cubicles big. I have full walls with a very nice view if I bother to turn around and look. I can listen to music as loudly as I want while I work the web. Loudly enough to miss phone calls and door bells. Loudly enough to remove paint until Cathy wanders into my periphery cutely smiling and peasantly distracting me from time to time. You can't get that at work without being charged with sexual harassment!

I know there are a lot of other web musicians out there. I'd like to hear from some to find out what part of their lives they give up to both make music and sell it on the web. Cyber contact is important, my fellow web folks. But actual human contact where you can use all of your senses is pretty essential to writing about people. I do not want to hear music about video game characters. Ever. I have to get out more. Even if it's just to the tanning parlor.

posted by Bud @ 7:13 AM

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Hits But No Scores

While I'm getting more and more Blog hits every day and jumps to my music page people are finding it difficult to buy. Paypal is an obstacle for many people, it seems. Something about signing up for anything on-line that asks for a credit card. Especially when you're still in high school. Or have an unnatural fear of uttering your credit card number out loud or typing it into cyber space. Now you can buy my CD by check off of my CD page.

posted by Bud @ 7:40 AM

Monday, December 20, 2004

Fa On Your Fa La La

I don't think I've been the turd in the Christmas stocking. I just described what I saw while shopping to the tunes of holiday music. Now the "paper of record" New York Times noticed the same thing in today's article by Michael Wilson .

But in defense of people who can't get enough of this music (or Jimmy Buffett for that matter) I will say that a constant barrage of any one genre of tunes in an inescapable situation, such as the work place or dinner with in-laws, can lead to certain brands of insanity. Like the unnatural desire to plug ones ears with depilatory wax and dive under a bulldozer. Isn't the UN looking into just this kind of abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo?

posted by Bud @ 7:07 AM

Friday, December 17, 2004

CD's Enough to Sit On

Last night went fine. Not too cold and the gaslogs worked fine. Little Trace amp worked well but my biggest fan, Mark M, said he noticed the difference and prefers my full rig. Can't argue with a guy who consistently tips me several times a night. He also was thrilled to buy my CD.

Picked up the rest of the CD's today. Now, how to store 1000 of them? Cool dry place and all that. In Florida that means, not the garage or attic. My studio needs some serious rearranging. Cardboard shipping cartons as furniture? I could make a chair, building block style, drape it and put cushions on it. If I don't sell these things fast enough to eliminate the arms and back pretty damn fast, it's going to be a very expensive and unattractive piece of furniture. I want that thing reduced to a very low bench by Spring.

posted by Bud @ 1:17 PM

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Cold Snap Won't Stop This Guitarist

Another day, another big CD mailing and a list of chores I must do before I spend some quality time on music. It's unreasonably cold and I can't figure out how to make the air conditioning system start pumping some heat. That's how unused to chilly weather Southwest Florida is; even the heat pumps are confused. Below 72 is the Florida definition for unreasonably cold, by the way. Or at least my definition. I actually found a pair of corduroys and a flannel shirt that I kept for what, sentimental value? My virtual "I Love New York" logo?

I could easily blow the Althea's gig off tonight but I'm looking forward to the challenge. A heat-producing hand condom of some sort would be useful. A Holofiber rubber glove that fits like skin would do the trick. I think I can solve this one, though. They actually have gas logs under my tent. So I'll stay as close to that as I can, use my little 100 watt Trace amp instead of the big PA and play to what will most likely be a very small crowd. If anybody out there invents that glove, I want a cut for the idea. You can't hide from me!

posted by Bud @ 7:36 AM

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Blow Up the Song and Dance Man Santa

Another foray into Wal*Mart for last minute stuff. The notion of saving time there is laughable. And if time is money I think I'd rather spend the extra shekels to avoid being run over by a dizzying array of desperation vehicles, motorized Rascals and shopping carts out-of -controlled by people who should be required to pass a test to use them. The singing/dancing Santa robot there is SO annoyingly obnoxious. If I had to work there like the poor lady who is stationed 10 feet away in the flower booth, I might have to run a help wanted ad for a terrorist. Christmas commercialism is really quite enough to turn me off from this time of the year for good. Somehow I rally, though.

My CD is ready and I'm shipping. HoHo Ho. This is NOT a Christmas promotion, but I am going to charge for postage after the holiday. I spent most of yesterday mailing those things. The real promotion starts in January when I pound the coffee house circuit (most notably Stir the Soul), my dinner gig at Althea's and whatever else I come up with. But I will have to start charging for shipping after Christmas.

Another trek into still more stores today. They tend to drive me out before I'm finished. I can't seem to build enough stamina to endure even a mini marathon of shopping. Even a one-stop to buy wrapping is like a 5K run to me. I return home exhausted and decidedly pissy. Ah, the loneliness of the long distance shopper.

posted by Bud @ 7:03 AM

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Need Some Hot Music

Temperatures below 70 have become intolerable to me. I should put the song Heat Wave into my act as an incantation when I have to endure an evening of 68 degrees. Or even that old Peggy Lee much-covered tune Fever. Please comment if you can remind me of other heat related songs.

A lot of my gigs are outside under a covering of one kind or another. Snowbirds from the midwest dominate this west coast of Florida. So 68 is a very warm night indeed for these folks. I'm out there with a thermal undershirt and trying to keep my fingers warm on my music stand light. Most of my patrons, on the other hand, are in shorts and mopping sweat with their Ohio University hankies.

I did a gig at the Hilton on the beach last December where I kept moving my amp closer to me for heat. I was one sea breeze away from sitting on it with a lowered mic stand. There were sea gulls threatening to cuddle up to my leg. I was trying to stay warm in the standard poolside musician attire of khakis and a Hawaiian shirt. Meanwhile there were bikini-clad people by the pool sauntering over, Coppertone in one hand and a request list in the other. "Which Jimmy Buffett song did you want to hear, miss? How about Volcano? Something to warm us up? Margaritaville again you say? Sorry I did that three times this hour already, give me another 15 minutes so we don't chase that AA meeting away."

posted by Bud @ 5:33 AM

Monday, December 13, 2004

Old Songs, New Songs, Smoky Songs, Blue Songs

There's a fair amount of age discrimination even in old-guy-rich Florida. I try to resist the call to perform really old rock tunes. That would be the fifties. It's just the boredom factor. If I'm bored, I look it. It's the reason I never taught kindergarten. Old cliche' songs have the same effect on me as nursery rhymes. I do need acting lessons. My pal Davis Turner often says, "Well that's my favorite song!" when asked to do one he is sick of. The standards I do are ones I've heard covered by more contemporary people. They are actually fun because they are more challenging. Cool chord changes.

I like a lot of the new music and often find acoustic unplugged versions that sound terrific. This tendency of mine does not have particular commercial appeal. Young hangout bars do not necessarily warm up to older guys doing new music.They want it to look like the video, I guess. I prefer to perform fully dressed. Older people are sternly prejudiced and lean resolutely toward the music of their own youthful era. And of course there is the Jimmy Buffett thing to contend with here in Florida. I think I remember once liking Margaritaville but you try taking four requests a night for it and see how it stands up on your hit parade. Before you do request it of any musician, be aware there are an equal number of patrons who would pay not to hear Buffett. I once got a $10 tip from a couple for not playing it and another tip for continuing not to play any.

I think the solution to this is complicated but not undoable. I'm gonna play new music covers and my own tunes between every classic oldie or standard I do. Gradually get the regulars used to hearing it. I've noticed this works quite by accident, so I have to institutionalize it. As for the younger bars, I may have to go in disguise. I don't look old but I don't have tattoos, piercings or a substance problem to give me "that look." Or I could hire a sexy bass player. Cutting my take in half to provide eye candy. Naah.

Being a nonsmoker, nondrinker puts me at a distinct disadvantage in these places. I love the coffee house because I can be myself but it's hard to keep a crowd when they all need to go outside to take care of their nicotine Jones. So I'll go to work on a smoking song or two. I have a bawdy barroom song that is only for late when all inhibitions are gone. It's unfinished and may remain so. I don't think I could concentrate on my performance if people started removing clothing.

posted by Bud @ 6:43 AM

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Cue the Crash Music

Organizing musicians may turn out to be like being in a band with all frontmen. I'm trying to organize a Sarasota Musicians Meetup. Lots of people are listed. Nobody shows. Nobody has met anybody. I notice this phenomenon on the Tribe too. Hundreds of submissions of new music. You can count the responses from other musicians on one hand most of the time. But I will persevere. It's important for us to get together. I've met some astoundingly generous musicians in other ways. It's just hard to get them out when they're not working.

Waiting in a very nice local Panera Bread for people to show up and Meetup, I naturally got to focus yet again on the piped in Christmas music and people's reactions to it. This time it was more a background to what was going on. The music didn't seem to effect people as much as in my last observations. But it made a wonderful score for one little drama I witnessed. With the one guy who reacted to the music.

A man in a Santa hat bounced in time to Brenda Lee's Jingle Bell Rock, a huge novelty in the 50's. So overdone today. I almost rather hear a heavy metal version just for the change up. But Mr. Santa Hat was so into it, he didn't realize he was spilling coffee and potato soup on the floor and on himself. This invited scorn and disgust from his wife who was sitting and trying to get out of the way of this impending scalding Niagara. And he is just one more spill away from becoming a snarling, cursing Santa. He holds it together, however, and bounce-steps off to get napkins. On his return he slips and falls in the mess he intended to clean up. As if in a movie, the impact came nearly on the last beat of Jingle Bell Rock. And as if ordered by a music director for the same flick, Mr. Santa Hat struggled to his feet under a barrage of wifely verbal abuse and began to feel his butt for what the rest of the restaurant patrons could see was a lumpy wet tan stain on his pants. This of course happened to the refrain, "SIMply HAVing a WONderful Christmas time..."

It IS beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

posted by Bud @ 6:00 AM

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Hypnotic Yuletide Song Loops

In the mall yesterday to find the item I was baited into Wal*Mart for yesterday. Retailers look desperate. And bored. I saw a black dude running a cell phone kiosk and nodding his head to Dean Martin crooning Blue Christmas. An Asian girl in a Chinese food stand was actually lip synching to Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer. I got the distinct impression from this that these poor working stiffs have been listening to this holiday music loop for weeks. A pimpled 17-year-old floor sweeper was chewing gum to keep time with The Chipmonk Tabernacle Choir doing The Little Drummer Boy. I was race walking through the food court when a rendition of Jingle Bells done by barking dogs in barbershop harmony, at first made everyone stop chewing and swallowing. I thought, "This is it! They're all gonna bolt for the doors!" But in about about four beats, or in this case barks, they resumed ingesting dangerously fatty foods and nodding and chewing along in time. All robot expressionless and android cheerful. I got the hell out of there. It was so Stepford Shoppers.

posted by Bud @ 5:54 AM

Friday, December 10, 2004

Hard to Write This Christmas Song

A present for Cathy with cash in the store is the only way to go. On line with a credit card she'd find out before I wanted her to. On line research revealed that Wal*Mart has it for less. What a surprise. Christmas shopping in Wal*Mart to save a few bucks could be a bit like taking a short cut over a very bad road. Once when I took my mom there to do some holiday shopping, I witnessed a man attempt to kick his four year old for leaning on a fire door and tripping the alarm. Lucky for the little bugger his Dad was too drunk to connect. How unfortunate that he had to get in a car with him. But I digress.

I drive to Wal*Mart and avoid multiple games of Demolition Derby in the parking lot with fleet of aged Cameros and Mustangs. They have purple lights under, enormous hand painted designs of mythical creatures or flames on them and wings on the trunk. I'm shopping on Death Star. Then I patiently wait in line behind a platoon of octogenarians in Rascals. They each wait for the auto door to close and then open again. Put an old person in an electric cart and they need to play with every other electric device they meet. Don't let them near the remote control gas logs! But I'm still composed and relaxed. Even mildly amused. They're cute, really. They disperse inside like silent random cosmic rays. I never see them again and I worry for a while that they have been swallowed up and recycled into mannequins. I think I recognize one in the support hose section.

In the department for the object I'm searching for, I'm distracted by arrays of other useless stuff and people dressed like hookers. Whole families, three generations, in spray paint. I wonder if a fashion law is being violated or if there are new ones that came to be while I was locked up recording in my rubberized vocal booth for half a year. I'm afraid to even talk to them to say, "Excuse me, you're blocking the aisle." I just want to get away from here. Far away. It occurs to me that they might be undercover cops and will bait me and arrest me for talking to a hooker. How can the word "undercover" even be applied to them?

I try several departments and ask several helpful minimum wage Wal*Mart employees. The item is not in the store. It was once but it escaped to a Sharper Image. I thread my way out. Past still more hooker families. I witness a full grown man throwing a temper tantrum. There is something in sporting goods his wife won't buy him.

I'm back home now, internet shopping. Let's see, how much to three-day that sucker?

posted by Bud @ 6:00 AM

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Guitar Store Bag of Sharks

In Sam Ash Music Superstore to buy a guitar for one of my students yesterday. No piped in music there so that the throngs of guitar buyers can hear themselves play Stairway To Heaven, I guess. This is a good place for your iPod until you want to hear yourself play your own safe cliche' tune. I stationed myself in the setoff acoustic guitar room and waited my turn. It was a mad house. And a Christmas song nearly turned it into a bag of sharks

First, though, I grabbed a Big Baby Taylor . I had to actually play "musical stools," plopping my butt down the second another customer got up to replace a Dobro on a wall covered with many splendid guitars. Okay, a few were made of questionable woods and in third world nations. Possibly by nine year olds who quit school. I put the Big Baby through it's paces with John Mayer's Why Georgia and then just played my own tunes. I was amazed at how much better it sounded than my baby Baby Taylor. But no way would it fit in the overhead on the airplane. So I resisted the urge to buy it and sell mine to my student. But that is a very sweet $400 acoustic guitar. I highly recommend it for students who don't have an airplane issue.

There were about half a dozen stool sitters plucking away lightly. One of them started playing Christmas tunes. Disjointed bits of different things. The rest of us reacted. It was hysterical to watch. One guy played Delta Blues stuff as loud as he could, gripping the neck and gritting his teeth. Another rolled his eyes, sneered and tried to stare the holiday plucker down. Two stopped playing with looks of annoyance. They tried to take the guitars out of the room but were herded back in by the manager of the drum room. One stopped playing and smiled as she listened to Good King Wensisomething-or-other. I put my ear as close to my guitar as possible and played at a normal volume. I may be easily irritated but I'm nothing if I'm not polite. Cathy occasionally has to browbeat me to that position, I must admit.

The Seasonal strummer eventually sensed a disturbance in The Force when the Delta Blues guy began hammering at string-breaking volume. So he came to his own mini-crossroads and decided. He ended Deck the Halls in the middle of a Fa la la. He put the guitar back and wandered out of the room. Peace on Earth...

posted by Bud @ 6:12 AM

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Holiday/Christmas Song

It's that time of the year to brush up on or learn some new Holiday/Christmas songs that don't annoy the living crap out of too many people. Everything you do in this category will send a shiver up the spine of somebody who happens to be stuck listening. Even the most cheerful and harmless secular seasonal tune is guaranteed to piss somebody off. Cool jazz progressions can't guarantee that somebody's heavy emotional baggage will not drag them into depression as I do the pathetic-white-guy-NatKingCole thing.

It's truly a wonderful season for many people. I believe, however, that there are at least as many who fight deep despondency over the sounds, sights and smells that confront our senses beginning, these days, with the end of Halloween. It often lasts up until the last diehard neighborhood elf family finally takes down their lawn decorations after the Super Bowl.

I'm totally neutral on the whole celebration thing. The over commercialization annoys me the most. As for the music, a lot of it was never that good to begin with and what's left has been done to death. Still, I can find nearly 10 songs I don't mind performing once a year. My good friend Helen Avakian has written and recorded a couple of really nice ones. But I don't think I will attempt to write something for this genre. It's the passion thing. It would be insincere of me to write something I have such ambivalent feelings about. A bit like writing commercial jingles. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

posted by Bud @ 6:09 AM

Monday, December 06, 2004

Singer /Thong-Writer

I have to say I'm delighted that I have a store where you can get a Feel My Love T-shirt, Teddy Bear or thong, among other tasteful gifts. Having my name on a T-shirt or Teddy Bear or baby bib is a fun idea. I'm not sure how to classify the feeling I get when I think of my name on a thong. I couldn't resist adding it to my store, however. The thought of having the words "Feel My Love" there are amusing in a debauched sort of way. The thought of my name being there as well is so totally irreverent and outlandish it both cracks me up and prompts me to look for an excuse. Like, I was drunk or it wasn't my idea or I thought a thong was one of those things you wear on your feet on the way to the shower. But I have no such excuse. And besides, the Bonobo Family is on all this stuff too. So you know I was just monkeying around.

It's my mother's 88th birthday yesterday. She's 88 and cute as can be. A thong would be SO inappropriate for her. Perhaps a refrigerator magnet or a baseball cap.

posted by Bud @ 6:03 AM

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Sanity Is Overrated

What motivates a person to spend inordinate amounts of time satisfying their passion? What drives a person to:

spend countless hours Christmas shopping, decorating, sending cards; covering every square inch of their house, their boat, their dog with Christmas lights; to spend every moment at a party talking about the minutiae of their golf game, grip by grip, swing by swing, hook by slice, chip by by putt; to follow a sports team to the point of having their logo tattooed to their ass, painted on their car, engraved on personal belongings; to collect knick knacks that cover more space than is available in their house; to rescue animals to the point of risking rabies; to spend every waking moment writing songs, thinking of songs to write, playing new songs, learning old songs, performing songs, talking about all of the above.

We all probably regard each other as seriously obsessed. And perhaps disturbed. Sanity is overrated. It's more of an ideal than a reality. And that is a song. It's already written and copyrighted. But highly political in nature so it won't emerge just yet as these times are too overly charged with political tension as it is.

posted by Bud @ 9:26 AM

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Music Music Music

It's mostly about music and what inspires me, Google! I mentioned the word "birth" once long ago and all Google does is feed childbirth ads to by web site. I'm not a midwife, I never gave birth, although I was present at the birth of both my children. I've written to Google Adsense about this and even allegedly blocked certain sites from my Blog, all to no apparent avail. Is it only my screen that continues to show these ads? I've refreshed, shut down, restarted, unplugged, everything but hit my CPU upside the hard drive with a microphone stand. If there is anybody out there who is seeing different ads than I am, I'd appreciate it if you let me know.

I'm resisting subtitling this next section The Rhythm Method because who knows what Google will put on my ad links. But I'm listening to the rhythms of stuff around me to get beat patterns for new tunes. The dripping of water from my hot tub to my pool is a neat one. Bird calls are also a good resource. Construction guys all have their own rhythm when they use those nail guns. My early recording inadvertently had some of that on early tracks before I changed my recording schedule. Machinery of all sorts can be inspiring.

Song Writing
My guitar student, Jim, keeps coming in with very good songs he has written. I really love the small amount of collaboration I can offer in fleshing out the guitar parts. This is something I really enjoy doing. So I'm seeking developing song writers to work with in this manner. Ideally, people who need some more guitar instruction and are also working on writing songs. IÕm just beginning to get back to the next collaboration with my song writing pal, Kathy Feeney. Took me weeks to find where we had left off. I hope she has an ample supply of "Aquafresh," her sometimes muse. We have a lot of work to do.

posted by Bud @ 10:01 AM

Friday, December 03, 2004

Hell is Relative

If there is a hell I will go there for anything dumb I did to students over the years. And Sister Mary Confusing will be there to meet me. I know that every bit of self doubt that haunts me from time to time is a result of having done 17 years of hard time in various catholic school classrooms. I don't have a learn-by-rote mind. I was very ill-suited for what those girls slammed me with daily. As a teacher I was the anti-nun but I know I missed with kids who were ill-suited for me.

I can only think of about five kids whose nightmares I may haunt but there had to be more that that. If I messed them up that badly they are not reading my Blog all these years later unless they are stalking me to plan my demise. I'd apologize by name but maybe I'm wrong in my perceptions. A little paranoid. So let's leave it at a general SORRY, KIDS!

I can forgive Sr. Mary Confusing in her many versions over the years but I can't say much in the way of forgiveness for the catholic school system. It's astounding to me that my parents actually paid money for that. I know they meant well. Their version of "well" differs radically from mine. Well rhymes with hell. And given the reaction to my song about Sister Mary Confusing, I'd have to say I'm not alone. I thought Jacob's Hurricane would be the most popular song on my CD because it's so close to home after this past summer. But the good sister creates a lot of reaction when I perform it live. If people love villains, I guess she's made a bigger impact than any hurricane.

posted by Bud @ 9:06 AM

Thursday, December 02, 2004

No Turn Signals on Birds or Fish

Following Cathy down the interstate for five and a half hours at 80 MPH made me feel like a pair of geese. I wrote a song about it, naturally. Amazing how she anticipated what I wanted her to do through her rear view mirror and I was able to match her every move from lane to lane and around slower or erratic traffic. I don't think there's any huge mystery to flocks of birds or schools of fish that seem to move as one unit. I think they're just able to follow a lead much faster than humans. No turn signals on a bird or fish. Otherwise their predators would be able to figure out what they're gonna do next.

Speaking of songs, my CD is shipping next week, I'm told, so there is much greater hope that it'll be ready for Christmas. To anticipate that, I'm running a prerelease sale with free shipping from now until the end of the year. Click here or on the banner at the top of the this blog.

posted by Bud @ 1:09 PM

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

The Opposite of Hot Tuna, Continued

Cold hurts. People argue about which is worse, hot weather or cold, but they lose sight of this fact. Stub your toe on a freezing cold day and it's way worse than on a hot day. Unless it's sunburned, perhaps.

But my aversion to cold may be associated with having to walk home from school on cold windy days. I didn't seem to mind it that much on weekends. Especially if it snowed and there was something to do. When I got old enough to be in charge of moving snow and driving in it, my attitude changed dramatically.

Having lived in Florida now for two years, anything below 70 is unreasonably cold. I deeply resent it when it happens here. Usually it's only late at night but we have our days. A nasty trick of nature. It happens more frequently in the winter up here in north Florida where I'm vacationing now on Amelia Island. Down in Venice on the South West coast, it's more unusual.

The most unpleasant winter memory of my childhood, then, involves a family down the block who must have been on an all fish diet. I delivered their paper and once a month had to knock on their door to get their money. On a cold blustery day, an open door into a warm house was extremely welcome. Except there. When they opened to my knock, I was frozen from behind by the day's arctic blast and assaulted by the rush of warm fish monger air. They were nice people. Always smiling. But I think it made them seem demonic in the context of a house that smelled like the dumpster outside an all night fish restaurant. I often went months, not collecting their money to avoid them.

It occurs to me that the life of an Eskimo or anyone living in a northern seafaring/fishing town would be as unpleasant to me as a double stretch in Hell. Yet there are people who retire to places like that. Sr. Mary Confusing said Hell is a hot place. That's her opinion.

posted by Bud @ 7:00 AM