Sunday, July 31, 2005

Rachael's Flash Dance!

This is better than being flashed at a gig. Rachael of Ramblings, wrote a review of my CD about halfway down her Sunday post. Check it out. Apparently my song about Sr. Mary Confusing has inspired her to dance without pants! Video requested.

You should read Ramblings every day anyway. Rachael has some AMAZING true stories. Her latest series on her experiences with carnies will give you brand new insight into some of these folks and into Rachael's unique way of approaching life. You won't regret blogrolling her.

posted by Bud @ 11:19 AM

Need Some Time

I promise to be back with an actual post very soon. Busy gig and writing schedule this weekend. And, oh yeah, a personal life. Check in tomorrow.
posted by Bud @ 6:26 AM

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Cyberian Studley

In Cyberia I am such a stud.
Buddette Miss Vicki gave birth to Buddette. Gestating in a matter of a couple of days.

Anne Marie apparently became pregnant while watching an aquarium. Then I arrived and somehow it became my baby boy.
AnneMarie's Baby I'm as confused as everybody else by this turn of events.

posted by Bud @ 5:21 AM

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Working Tape of Cruel in Utah

Okay, I've talked about it long enough. I need some input now. Lisa at Bored Housewife is a beautiful writer. I spotted some lovely images in her blog and asked her permission to adapt it to a lyric. I've reprinted what I did below. These are two links for you to listen to of where this song is in production SO FAR. I did minimal production to them. One guitar take and one vocal with a punch-in on the bridge. A tiny little bit of delay on the vocal. A work tape is just a sketch book.
Venice Train Station 4

I hope you'll give me some feedback on what you think of this piece so far.
Click Here for Hi-Fi

Click Here for Lo-Fi (dial-up)

CRUEL IN UTAH copyright 2005 by Lisa Anderson and Bud Buckley

Instead of you, we had too much rain this spring
And everybody else felt as shifty as I had been
People didn't know then what it would bring
I was sure it wasn't you, I'd never feel you skin again
'Cause it's not just the weather that's cruel in Utah
There's loneliness and boredom to drive you insane
If my smile was the last thing that you saw
You must be dead to be never coming back again

The desert summer rushed in, abrupt and breathless
Adjusted it's skirt and wiped smudged lipstick off it's cheek
Then breathed down on us hard enough to cause a death wish
The desert's no place for the meek

'Cause it's not just the weather that's cruel in Utah
There's loneliness and boredom to drive you insane
If my smile was the last thing that you saw
You must be dead to be never coming back again

With the thunderstorms of September the rain restarted
But instead of spring's shiftiness there was seething rage
The full moon made us crazy and I was more than broken hearted
And everything unnatural took the stage

Tall slender women swayed in the wind like trees
Their skirts and jewelry sounding like dried leaves
Children burst into flames when tears used to do just fine
As their pets ran off seeking fine cigars, expensive wine

I'm gonna grab a bolt of lightning with my bare feet in the mud
It'll give me a little shock, I'll give it a little tug
Roll it into a little ball and stuff it in my pocket
Ride the lightning into the storm, a sorry loveless rocket

'Cause it's not just the weather that's cruel in Utah
There's loneliness and boredom to drive you insane
If my smile was the last thing that you saw
You must be dead to be never coming back again

posted by Bud @ 5:10 AM

Monday, July 25, 2005

I'm Busy Everywhere

I've been so busy I didn't realize I was also simultaneously romping it up in Cyberia.
I apparently got married to Miss Vicki. Vicki and Bud sim WeddingMiss V, I know you're busy too but did we register anyplace? I also impregnated the latter Philly Girl and I believe I did the same to Anne Marie. AnneMarieBarfing in SimThis is all quite a shock to both me and my wife as I had a vasectomy about 29 years ago. Here in Florida and all over the Bible Belt, I should imagine, there are huge billboards with a Reverse Vasectomy ad. I wonder if I called that 800 number in my sleep. What a disappointment that would be for the Theocracy if I were to spawn a heathen child.

And my wife cried, Reverse your Vasectomy?
Give that phone the heck to me.

I swear I'm working on some real lyrics and tunes lately. That was just to amuse myself.

Speaking of odd things involving babies, what do you name a baby that is born in a toilet? Flushing? Porcil Annie? Do you nickname it Old Yeller or Crapper?

I'm always lethargic the day after a gig. So, no, I didn't record anything for you to listen to. But today's a possibility.

posted by Bud @ 5:35 AM

Sunday, July 24, 2005

The Naked Tickler

Some headlines like this one scream to be songs. So here's what spilled out of me as I read the story:

Lock to shoot, you won't get much sleep tonight
Wear combat boots and tuck your feet in tight
On safety issues I'm not a stickler, but
He won't dismiss you, The Naked Tickler

The Naked Tickler, There's nothing sicker
Must be sipping some strange elixir
You better beware of the Naked Tickler
Yeah, you better beware of the Naked Tickler

New Smerna Beach is a suburb of Daytona. The Naked Tickler just may be some deranged NASCAR fan looking for stimulation between races. It is also the site of many shark attacks from a couple of years back. So it could just be some surfer who had his board shorts bitten off by a denizen of the deep. You have to get your kicks somehow.

Florida is a wonderful place for other reasons. But you can see why Dave Barry and Carl Hiaasen and Tim Dorsey NEVER run out of material?

Yesterday's gig at Bella Luna Cafe in Venice, FL, was fun as always. I do love that place.
Bud Buckley at Bella Luna2 I'll be back there in a couple of weeks to entertain for their Customer Appreciation Day. They're having a free wine tasting during my gig. Earlier in the day there will be free mini muffins with their Award Winning Coffee. They were recently voted Best Coffee in Venice.

I did perform Cruel in Utah for the first time since I reworked it. See yesterday's post if you are in the dark here. I had performed an earlier version at Stir the Soul a couple of weeks ago. I'm playing Stir the Soul again on Thursday and intend to give this new improved version a twirl. If I have a moment or 300 to spare during the week, I'll record a work tape and post it here. Did I ever mention how slow I am at learning new stuff? Paying for studio time is out of the question for me. I do it here or it doesn't get done. I'm kind of on the short bus of musicians.

I did write a spontaneous blues lyric today, though, for a customer. He was telling a story about how his 92 year old mother was sick and rather tired of living but had an amazing sense of humor. He wrote her a birthday card with a fake gift certificate to Dr. Kevorkian. She got quite a howl out of it. I would have liked to have known her. Anyway, I came up with:

She's old She's old, and she's no more workin'
She's old She's old, and she's no more workin'
Screw the Birthday cake, Call Doctor Kevorkian

I guess you had to be there. They thought it was a pisser.

Also Sherry, one of the owners, asked me to write a Bella Luna Song. And so I will.

posted by Bud @ 5:10 AM

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Helpful Input and the Non-Thong Picture

Input from all my blogger pals has been extremely helpful. Thanks to all who chipped in an opinion. Consensus is that I should use more pics and other media and accomplish this while reducing the file size. I'm working on it. Cathy will take some shots of my gig today and we'll see what happens.

Cathy Baker-Feel My Love TanktopHere's one shot for experimentation. This is my Friend Cathy Baker who taught with me in NY. She's wearing the Feel My Love tank top to one of the Benefit Concerts I did up there in April. Yes, April in NY means you wear a sweater too. The back story here is that another mischievous friend gave me a hug and whispered in my ear, "Cathy Baker is wearing the Feel My Love Thong." Mrs. Baker and I have a history of teasing the crap out of each other. So when she arrived and I gave her generous hug, I stage whispered several times loudly, "Show me your thong, show me your thong." I looked up to see her husband, Jeff standing within handshaking distance behind her. So I shook his hand without letting go of the hug and stage whispered, "Never mind, never mind." I left it to her to straighten all that out.

At today's Bella Luna Cafe gig, for the first time, I'm going to perform Cruel In Utah, a song I wrote based on a blog from BoredHousewife, AKA Lisa. The coolest images in the song are Lisa's. I rearranged them into a lyric and added some images of my own to make it work as a story. I'll post the MP3 soon but I'm sure it'll undergo more revision. I think I'll do more of that on this blog with the understanding that none of this stuff is finished. I'm just gonna put up what we call work tapes in the music business. They aren't even demos but many of you have been curious to hear what I'm working on rather than just read about it. I have a few more steps to get this organized.

Let me know how this picture loads. I tried cutting the pixels in half.

posted by Bud @ 5:57 AM

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Blog Review In

If nothing else, I'm pretty fearless about hanging myself out there for people to make up their own minds about who I am. If you can't do that, you don't belong on a stage of any kind. So I submitted my blog for review to Blogadvance.

As I commented back to them, I think it's a very fair review. The author admitted his/her prejudice about my style of music, commercial blogs and his/her profound need for multimedia. That gives a lot of credibility to what he/she says.
The main objection seems to be the lack of photos on this blog. My wife, being my photographer, feels the same. I've gotten several complaints from frequent visitors that they can't load this site when I put photos up. So I've been avoiding that.

Any opinions out there about that? Or suggestions? Am I doing something wrong when I post pics that slows dial-up to a crawl?

I live to serve you. Lay it on me.

posted by Bud @ 9:59 AM

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Song About Denial

I'm not bubbling with the thrill of having done my civic duty here over the past couple of days. I feel like I've been forced to choose between the only two unpalatable entree's at a roach infested greasy spoon diner. And if I ever put up a lyric with that metaphor you'll know where it came from. Although my experience is not one I care to write about in any detail. Not any more than I'd care to write a song about a colonoscopy.

Colonoscopy Song

They went up the tube to have a look around
Turned the corner and said, "ooo, look what we found!"
We'll just reach out and snip it, see what we can see
You can lie there with an an IV drip and watch it on TV

Colonoscopy, fun as can be
The best drugs and reality TV
Colonoscopy, Colonoscopy

Once again, I've produced musical comedy. Make an offer and I'll finish it. Otherwise it's just a passing commentary. Which, by the way, is fine with me.

The details of the case I sat on were upsetting enough to avoid wanting to talk about them. I should be excused from duty for at least two years rather than one for having been on that particular jury. And although the judge was excellent and the facility was first rate, the system is suffering from the less government syndrome.

When taxpayer groups scream about paying for government services they never consider that the very things they hold near and dear, like the criminal justice system, do not run efficiently with less personnel. The state's case was very poorly organized. When a law officer has a caseload for two, mistakes are going to be made. When the rate of pay is pathetic, the best people are not going to compete for jobs. The prosecution is forced to present a case around neglected procedure and inarticulate testimony. The jury is left to assume in some cases what should have been proven with proper police procedure. When you send a person to jail, you want to walk out of there feeling like there was ironclad evidence. Some people are good at constructing walls of illogical assumptions to justify their actions. I wonder if they sleep well or if they are so wired to denial that their conscience just yawns and rolls over.

That's where the song should be. A song about denial and the abandon of logic. The dependence on assumption and prejudice to justify your thoughts ideas and actions. Songs about abstract ideas are sleep inducing. Songs like that move people to change the station, eject the disc, start a loud conversation about power tools. So naturally the song writer going down that avenue must construct an interesting metaphor.

I'm tempted to work on a list song here.

Don't call me garbage picker, I'm a recycling rep
Don't call me a thug, you better watch your step
Don't call me ass man , I'm a proctologist
I won't say you're tasteless for that jock that you kissed

If you say it, it must be true
And you can believe anything you want to

This is pretty weak but that's the vein I would take. I'm not going to expend the effort while I'm still trying to get this bad taste from my mouth, illogical echoes from my ears, nagging doubts from my mind. All that is exhausting. Check in if you think I should continue.

posted by Bud @ 7:05 AM

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Jury Duty

I'm on jury duty for a couple of days so I won't be posting. Not even allowed to tell my wife what case I'm on. It's driving her NUTS! She's over the edge honest about everything but somehow she thinks I should break this law. I will not break under torture, your honor.
posted by Bud @ 5:30 AM

Monday, July 18, 2005

Junk Science

Warning: Junk Science here in, but not as good as the "junk science" the White House refuses to acknowledge.

Last post I wrote of my attempt to observe relationships. How couples project or radiate their relationship to others. It's comparatively easy to spot those who are pissed off, perpetually pissed off or the opposite. That is, deeply in love. I'm trying hard to keep this PG13.

Long term couples grow to look like each other. Here in Florida, I get to see this a lot. But I see it in middle aged couples as well. To a lesser degree, certainly, but you can see the mutations beginning in the attitude and facial expressions. That's where it starts. Attitudes overpowering genetics. Not surprising when you consider that a flounder's eye actually migrates to the other side of its body. So a husband and wife cvoming to look like each other isn't nearly as dramatic. I suspect that long term common diets have something to do with it. Aside from manboobs and balding women, there are other more subtle similarities. Briefly put, a couple eating a fat rich diet for 30 years and ingesting the same collection of food additives and household poisons are both gonna start to look like baggies of congealed bacon drippings. I warned you this was junk science.

I regularly see a couple in their fifties who look enough like each other to be brother and sister. Same size, weight, coloring, facial structure and expressions. This may be natural selection. Like when people resemble their dogs. But in the past couple of days I've been trying to focus more on younger couples. There seem to be about an equal number who have similar physical characteristics and those who you wouldn't guess would choose each other. Blind dates? Arranged marriages? Does anybody do that anymore? But this is more about how they all act together. Or put another way, how well they lead me to assume enough about their relationships to write a song.

Yeah, it's always about songwriting. I warned you months ago how obsessive I can be.

Here are some common themes from my observations: Young handsome couple who keep an unnatural distance from each other. They don't look like they've been fighting. He looks clueless and she looks too shy for her astounding good looks but indifferent to his attempts to involve her in anything going on around them.

The nonstop dancers who never make eye contact and never have conversation. She dances well. He has just enough moves to fake it for one dance.

The couple who are starting to look too much like each other AND they are both looking in other directions. Both deep in thought about things that are not them.

Those last three groups could be melded into one couple for lyric purposes. See how songs can reshape reality. Who needs drugs?

Contrasted with those are the couples who look like each other because they have the same smile and gait. They may or may not be talking to each other but they are certainly riding the same blissful wave and they are enjoying each other's company there. In this is a subgroup who are so physically different from each other that observers might have to conclude that love conquered all.

For instance, I saw a hunky athletic guy with a short hunchback. He held on to her lovingly.

A delicate young Asian with a dumpy tall gray psuedo-biker dude. She looked at him wistfully

A very pretty 20 something chick with a fortyish doughboy. He stroked her continuously. They disappeared for a while and came bake smiling and more relaxed.

A handsome, even if a bit smarmy, 20 something guy with a woman well past her prime. She held an invisible leash, I think.

Yet all of these couples shared a smile that told me it was working for them.
I think to write a song with this material I need give less attention to the physical stuff. Maroon 5's "Beauty queen of only 18, She had some trouble with herself" says a lot more than "Hunchback girl with gym rat dude, knows it's love not luck" or"China doll with old biker dude, She has some trouble with her eyesight"

I'm leaning toward writing three contrasting verses. Start with the couple who obviously can't stand the sight of each other because they look too much alike and they don't like what they see.. Then the couple who is teetering between coming back together into one cojoined image or splitting apart to find better matches. And finally to the couple who despite their different appearances glide through life like a benign molecule. And no, benign molecule is not a good phrase to put in a lyric.

The trickiest part is the chorus that has to make the overarching point of this whole exercise. This is the kind of stuff that robs me of sleep. But I won't be mentioning this subject again unless or until I come up with something. The best I could do now is a prody of the afore mentined Maroon 5 song. An earworm if ever there was one.

Thank you for emerging yourself into this sometimes unstable substance that is my imagination.

posted by Bud @ 5:03 AM

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Pass The Salsa

Went to a salsa concert last night on Sarasota Bay. Idyllic setting on the back lawn of VanWezel Performing Arts Center. WAYzel not WEEzel. It's an enormous purple, Frank Lloyd Wright designed building that I've grown to love. Concerts inside are killer. The sound is perfect and so is the view. The view outside is killer too. Sunset over Long Boat Key. Lots of diverse people bouncing about to the salsa beat. And some bouncing all wrong but they were having fun.

My mission was to watch couples and see how they communicate without words. And how they communicate their relationship to me, the dark-bespeckled voyeur. I love my new shades. Cathy hates it when she can't see my eyes. I don't purposely do that. I just find them more comfortable than my regular specs. Besides they give me a lot more viewing time when I don't want people to notice. Forgot my notebook but that would have blown my cover worse than Karl Rove.

Couple number one was right in front of me. Sixty-ish. Slightly overweight. Bored. Both of them had lost their chins. Not misplaced them. It's just that their chins merged with their necks so that there was no discernible difference. Mrs. was talking loudly on a cell phone. So loudly that I could tell without trying that she was just talking to talk, not to relay any important message. Now I was bored. Husband read with great detail the classified ads of the newspaper. Often out loud to his wife who was busy saying lethally boring things into her cell phone. A man with a very unfortunate dye job asked her with a smile to please not talk so loud. It was apparently interfering with his listening to the interminable sound check the band was pretending to do. Chinless Cell Phone Lady ignored him. Chinless Newspaper Reader loudly read an ad about a low milage Oldsmobile.

I thought, oh, how interesting, we're about to see a fight. But Bad Dye job and his wife Mrs. Smiling Too Much, got all passive aggressive and kept looking at their tormentors and shaking their heads sadly. As if to say, "What Hath God Wrought?" They noisily and animatedly folded up their chairs and found another piece of lawn. Mr. and Mrs. Chinless didn't seem to notice.

The next couple sat next to me with two very large and exceedingly well groomed poodles. A black and a white. Bill and Shelby. Shelby, the black one and I became instant pals. Their owners did have a slight resemblance to their pets but not enough to take a photo and submit it to ONE-OF-THOSE-PET-PEOPLE-SITES. This couple seemed to communicate to those around them by talking to their dogs who wanted very badly to sniff crotches and lick hands. They were clearly two people who had no other life. Lucky for the dogs, I guess. They were all cute but just different from me. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

The sound check took ninety minutes. Everyone resisted making stereotypical Cuban jokes about looking around for spare parts. Even when all 11 members of the band and their families and roadies seemed to be just standing around looking as if Jorge was going to arrive any minute with the stuff he salvaged from the Rhumba band down the beach. Finally when the parts arrived or when their cigar break was over, they started but had to take another twenty minutes to turn everybody's mics on and level check each of them. We were awfully glad that this band was actually good when they finally revved it up. The band leader had a HUGE Carlos Santana fixation but he pulled it off well.

We had moved our chairs by this time to a place closer to the water and actually behind the stage. We could hear fine. Even the outside of the building had unbelievable acoustics. So I settled in for some people watching. I started to notice how much alike long standing couples looked. Attitude, expression and demeanor all perfectly matched in the best examples.

This is one of those experiences I need to think about for a long time before it becomes anything in the way of a lyric. But I will attest to the fact that crowds such as this are rich mines waiting to be exploited. When I'm not already so busy and drained. Perhaps The Sabbath will be inspirational and I'll think of more to tell you. Perhaps not, heathen that I am.

posted by Bud @ 5:10 AM

Thursday, July 14, 2005

So You Want To Be a Rock n' Roll Sim Star

I can't think of another reason why I would celebrate that somebody is spreading rumors about me. But having a Sim double affair in Cyberia by the design of somebody in Hong Kong.... Somebody I've never met.... That is both strange, harmless and hysterical. So this is the price of fame!!! No such thing as bad publicity, right? Brad Pitt has the flu? So what, I broke a fingernail. I need that sucker to play the guitar. And I have a headache. And I have a mild sleep disorder. Give me some publicity for that. I'm a SimStar.

Here's a little ditty 'bout Bud and Miss Vicki
He was really with Marie so it got a little sticky
He couldn't resist the vixen from Philly
Got caught with his pants down and feels awfully silly

Hey now life goes on
Long after the thrill of Sims are gone

Parodies are too embarrassingly easy. But fun.

Check out all my co-bloggers who share an apartment with me in Cyberia.
Miss Vicki, Anne Marie and the creator Xtessa.

And don't forget the instigator Panthergirl

posted by Bud @ 5:10 AM

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Sim Drummer

Bud Buckley, Independent recording artist, blogger, performer and Sim character. I am NOT going to get myself addicted to Sim games but I'm delighted to see I'm a character in one. Panthergirl at The Dog's Breakfast, has been putting all her blogger pals into sim games and posting the scenarios on this site. She has me playing drums just to stretch myself out in the first episode. You'll have to scroll down a few entries. Xtessa did my sim as part of Panthergirl's project.

It amazes me when people seem to be in my head. One of my early guitar teachers was a drummer named Don Abrams. I should try to find Don. Last time I talked to him was around 1985. He was selling meat in San Diego. Earlier, in the mid seventies, he was actually my student teacher when I was a clinical prof at SUNY New Paltz Campus School. It was a cool gig. Lots of title and fun, light on the money. But I started taking lessons from Don and the amazing thing was his studio apartment was the basement of a funeral home. For a couple of years, I would go there after school on a Friday and rock n' roll with a wake going on just above our heads and across the driveway. "Are you sure this is okay?" I never failed to ask. And Don never failed to answer, "I paid my rent!"

We often went for pizza afterward. First climbing up the basement steps and reverently nodding our heads to the mourners. Sometimes they looked at us as if we were vermin emerging from the depths. Vermin with guitar case. I think that's a Salvador Dali painting. If it isn't, Aymiee, get started. Could I possibly write a lyric about that? Yeah, I can hear you already, Becky, anybody who can write about sea snot can write about rockin' during a wake. Don would walk me back to my car parked next to the mourners. Belching and licking pizza sauce from his mustache. Pizza stained vermin with guitar case.

But Don was a drummer and he taught me guitar like a drummer. All rhythm. I did stretch myself out, Panthergirl and Xtessa, and you made me dive into that fun memory with your clairvoyance. He made me play drums sometimes to find the beat. Don actually played drums with Jesse Winchester when they were draft dodging in Canada. I liked Jesse a lot. I just recently found his Rhumba song. That was a hoot. Now that I know how to rhumba, it would be fun to do that song. Can't remember enough of the music, though. Maybe I'll find the tape and maybe it won't be melted. And maybe Karl Rove will turn himself in for prosecution for blowing the cover on one of our spies.

posted by Bud @ 5:10 AM

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Weather Terror

Another storm is on the way, I see. Five named storms before the All Star Break has to be a record. But we have no global warming. Cyclonic storms breed on warm ocean water and we're in our second unusual storm year in a row. But we have no global warming. It must be a terrorist plot.

Few people want to listen to music complaining about that. It's too upsetting. Not even I want to hear songs about that. And I feel strongly about it. Bob Dylan swears he wasn't a spokesman for the antiwar movement in the sixties. He swears he wasn't a spokesman for anything. For people who are predisposed to disagree with his statements of denial, he's as believable as Carl Rove. We see The Rover getting away with his doctrine of plausible deniability and it gives us all hope. Hope that we can beat speeding tickets. Make plays for women we are not married to. Start fights for bogus reasons. Continue fights for reasons that didn't exist before the fight began. Pretend we didn't know we got the wrong change in our favor. The list goes on. Contribute your own if you feel like it.

The way to make a listenable point in a song is to pick an everyday issue that most people could get behind. If listeners want to apply the principal to global warming or lies from the white house, that's up to them. As a writer performer, I can always take a lesson from Rove and company and construct plausible deniability. "I wasn't singing about global warming. That was just a little ditty about a hot day. There are lots of hot days. Lots of cold ones too." We are pretty familiar with the drill. We get drilled often enough. To paraphrase Seinfeld, It's a song about nothing.

Here's where I might start, should I be so inclined to go that way:

She whines all the time, Things are so different now.
He cracks right back, Can't take the heat you should split
She shrinks at his stink, I would if I knew how
Can't move from this groove, not sure I caused it either

What happened to those perfect days?
It's either too hot or too cold here
Days filled with longing, nights filled with fear
What happened to those perfect days?

This could go off in several directions or change completely or just fry up like a worm on the pavement in downtown DC. Just wanted you to see how things can happen. I don't like the track of this next storm named Emily. But every wish I make for it to turn, puts somebody else in danger. Get storm ready, everybody. Those terrorists won't quit.

posted by Bud @ 5:39 AM

Monday, July 11, 2005

One Man's Hurricane is Another's Sunny Day

Sitting here in South West Florida, I'm breathing easier because the second hurricane in a row passed us by without knocking any palms loose. I had to let a little water out of the pool. Probably wasted some chemicals. I think my lights flickered once but not enough to have to reset the digital clocks. Or I could have just been yawning.

While I'm thinking this and glancing out the window at the sunshine on Sunday. The northern gulf coast was getting hammered again with a category 4 hurricane. Dennis the Friggin' Menace. My sigh of relief becomes their gasp for air.

London celebrates victory of winning the Olympic bid and has to lick its wounds twelve hours later after multiple bombings.

A London paper releases a secret document announcing a scale back of troops in Iraq creating enormous relief for the loved ones of soldiers while there are news stories about another beheading.

Jobs are up but lack of medical insurance is a national crises.

We go could go on and on. We live in a world of yin and yang. Squeeze the ball in one spot and it pops out in another. Always seems to be an equal opportunity for evil and hardship vs. goodness and joy to have their day.

Our sanity hinges on how we perceive that balance. Bank account half full or half empty? I'll always be at the bottom or there's no place to go but up? My personal preference is to set a goal and keep it clearly in mind so that there is no place to go but up. If you go where you're looking.

I hope my lyrics reflect that. At least most of the time. Everybody deserves a good scream once in a while. UndergroundandFrozen Shadows are two of my screams. Dreams That Matter and Windswept Girl take a more positive approach. I think I should try to keep my ratio of anguished scream songs to uplifting hopeful songs at about a 1 to 5 ratio. The one is enough therapy.

So I'm not writing about terrorists or hurricanes this week. Besides I have my hurricane song published already. I ought to pitch that to Nashville since they're getting so much bad weather. It's not a country song but they could do what they want with it. If they want to pay for it.

posted by Bud @ 5:38 AM

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Uh, You Got the Joke, Right?

Okay, enough is enough. It's time to send you to the source of where the Swedish up the skirt legislation came from. Have a look here and you tell me if it's real or not.

You have to admit, though, it seemed ever so slightly plausible. But the rest of the stuff on this list of stories! B'tude and DB and the rest of the Hawaii blogger gang will be shocked to discover that Bush wants to sell The Aloha State.
This list of hysterical put ons can be a comedy sketch writer's candy store. For me? I'd just like to write the music. If anybody out there wants to produce a pilot, let me know.

What's really amusing is that Weekly World News on Line has a section called Chamber of the Bizarre. Apparently just to give their other sections credibility. I love the story about seniors going punk in Florida and calling themselves spunks. To quote the story, "Seniors today are raging against the machine. It might be a dialysis machine, or a cardiogram machine, or a osteoporosis machine, sure. But regardless, we're raging against it."

A lot of this stuff needs a rewrite but the ideas are often fall on the floor laughing funny. I know I'll return here every time i come up dry with an idea to write about. Like tomorrow, probably. Unless this hurricane knocks the power out.

posted by Bud @ 5:42 AM

Friday, July 08, 2005

First the Swedes Now the Chinese

This news story out of China got me thinking about contrasts in culture. Don't miss the last paragraph and the editorial comment attached to the story. Yesterday we had a look at a law promoting the gawking up women's skirts in Sweden. Today we are expected to be shocked by the news that Chinese women can get into an amusement park half price if they wear a mini skirt.

Imagine a marriage counselor for a troubled couple, the husband Swedish, the wife Chinese. This has musical comedy written all over it. But I'm NOT going there today. It is fascinating that a liberal pacifist nation values rather open sexual mores, while an uptight communist nation with a more violent history condemns showing skin. There are too many questions and only half-assed answers for me to get further involved in this.

I wonder if Bruce Sprinsteen had this in mind when he wrote "I'm On Fire." Does anybody but me question this bride-to-be's judgment in accepting this flamer's proposal? Is she wondering what anniversaries might be like? Instead of make-up sex will there be partially loaded firearms involved?

Honey, if you think my proposal was a flamer
Wait to you see our anniversary
You know I can't do nothin' tamer
That could avoid a ride in a hearse for me

I'm on fire but you ain't seen nothin' yet
You drive me insane and this is what you get
I'm on fire and it and it's understood
There'll be a hospital in our neighborhood

This is probably a punk song, huh?

Sorry, this is how I amuse myself when I have nothing good to write.

posted by Bud @ 5:27 AM

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Legal Eager Beaver

Okay, here's a bit of cultural difference for which I really need more explanation. The Swedish Parliament has not only legalized looking up ladies skirts, they promoted it with a glass floor for all to enjoy. Read this and see if you don't have some of the same questions I have.

First of all, how did the proposal for such a law come to be? Were people being charged with illegal peeking?
I'd like to sneak a peek right up your skirt
We need a law that's raw, so I can flirt in this tantalizing fashion.

Jag skulle lik till smyga en kika rtt upp till din kjol Vi nd en lag den dr er r , s JAG kanna flirt i denne tantalizing moden

I'm working on inner rhyme schemes and extending past the final rhyme but this is only gonna be a song the Swedish can appreciate apparently.

Secondly, don't they have enough skin mags and porn and strip joints in Sweden? Is this law like a poor man's peepshow?

Honey, I'd give you every dollar for a peek down your collar or a peek through your shirt
But now it's legal and it's free to go on a visual spree with a gander up your skirt

Honung , JAG skulle ger du varje dollarn fr en kika ned din krage eller en kika igenom din skjorta Utom nu den er laglig och den er fri till frutstt en visuell festen med en gskarl upp din kjol

Thirdly, how little do I actually understand about female psychology to wonder why these Swedish woman get off on showing their undies or lack there of?

I crave a good shave and stay in the pink
I might add some light so I can give a good wink

JAG lngta efter en god raka och bli inne den skr JAG makt tillgga ngot ljus s JAG kanna ger en god blink

And fourth but probably not finally, I wonder if equal rights legislation can be far behind. Will men be given the right to flash? Ending the uniqueness and fun of career raincoat-wearing perverts in Sweden?

I used to flash my stash for a thrill
Now it's more fun to be long in the thong with a pill
Every Tom, Dick and Rik is airing out their package
So now it's fun to hide my gun and obscure my backstage

JAG anvnd till blixt min stash fr en spnning Nu den er mer nje till vara lng inne om thong med en piller
Varje Tom Dick och Rik r airing ute deras packe S nu den er nje till djurhud min pistol och dunkel min underhand

I'm certain something was lost in the translation.

But I needed to come up with an exercise for a course I'm taking on different kinds of rhyming. Thank you for providing me with something out of the ordinary. Even though this will never go another line. Unless, of course, somebody wants me to develop it into a comedy sketch. You reading this Andy?

posted by Bud @ 6:11 AM

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Java Democracy

Gig at Stir the Soul Coffeehouse tonight. It'll be fun as always. Very diverse and mellow crowd. The crowds keep getting bigger there too. Daney Jelley is doing an amazing job of building this business and this music venue. It's hard to get a gig there. I usually get in about every two months, it seems. It's interesting to read Daney's comments on his e-zine. It's apparent he's had to field some flack about the image of the place. He handles it, like he handles everything, gracefully and honestly. He's a prince to work for.

It's a pretty interesting microcosm of how our society treats perceptions, differences in life styles and social standing. And age. Once he wrote about the misconception that it was a Christian coffeehouse. He responded that he could just as easily be accused of being a Buddhist or muslim coffeehouse. People are welcome to come in and sing about whatever they want. And I've heard them do it. Done it myself. This place defines freedom of speech. If you're not sure what the spirit of our constitution is beyond fireworks, go sit through some of the amazing open mic sessions on Monday with host James Albritton.

So my neighbors in this decidedly upper middle class gated community, drive past STS and see motorcycles parked there. They get the feeling it's not their kind of scene. No valet parking either. What am I doing living in this neighborhood? The reasons are long and complicated but a quick summary is this: We stumbled into the smallest house there when it was still affordable and I thought I might still be playing golf. I didn't give any thought to the idea that I'd be in a minority group. I'm not bothered by that concept. I've always been in a minority group even though I'm a white guy. I learned a LONG time ago to work with it instead of using it as an excuse. But that's fodder for another blog. Maybe tomorrow or the next day. But for the record, I could no longer afford to buy there, nor have i ever got around to playing golf since we moved to Florida. It's all music all the time. And commercial free, too if you ignore the obvious self-promotion that goes on here.

I can attest to the fact that I'm welcomed and accepted at Stir the Soul. Even though I'm not a regular hanger-outer there. Even though my outside interests, my station in life, and my age, are probably different than the majority there. I'm sure I'm not regarded the same as many others who frequent the place but I'm not the same as most so what should I expect? People eventually learn that I'm very young for my age, rather tall for a short guy and reasonably cool for a white guy.

That's why the coffeehouse scene in general has the potential, at least, to be the perfect model of life in a free democracy. Stir the Soul and Poughkeepsie's Cubbyhole and my other fantastic regular gig, Bella Luna Cafe', are excellent models of this.

So for many, STS, looks like a place they usually avoid. And if I followed that same logic, I wouldn't be living where I do. Or relearning that people who are SO different from me are still people. People I like. People whose friendship I can depend on. Perhaps they consider me to be a total eccentric but they don't hold it against me. I hope they learn from that and visit a coffee house some day soon. Even if I'm not gigging there.

posted by Bud @ 9:02 AM

Monday, July 04, 2005

Bitching About Independence

Happy Independence Day. I wax nostalgic about it all on Malicious Go there and check it out. Take a look around that fun site while you're at it.
posted by Bud @ 6:30 AM

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Nourishing Feedback

Yesterday's gig at Bella Luna Cafe went superbly. The new Bose PA system is better than I thought. I already went on and on about it yesterday if you care. The extra added advantage is that I can hear myself so well it gives me a lot more confidence. I had the thing unloaded and set up in 15 minutes. Sound check was the easiest ever because I could actually hear what the house hears. This instant feedback lets me perform better. When I can't hear clearly, I'm guessing that what I'm doing may or may not be coming across the way I intended. This baby takes the guess work out of it. My confidence was soaring. I played and sang way better, felt way better than normal.

The way you look on stage when you think you might sound good is totally different than when you know you sound good. You just put more into it. Take more creative risks. People were very complementary yesterday and I made way more in tips than I usually get.

Enough about music, though, there's a larger lesson in this. Feedback is so important. It's value in our lives can't be over estimated. You can't go wrong giving a person feedback. Honest reaction. As long as it's not obviously shallow and contrived or over done. I know people who try too hard and it always wears me out even though I appreciate the intention.

There's an art to it and some people are artists while others are hacks. But it is so perfectly clear that the key to a good relationship on any level is honest, effective feedback. Communication. Two way. Make it the bench mark of how well a new relationship might go or how well an old one is going.

Quite coincidentally, Bored Housewife inspired me to write these two lines yesterday from something she mentioned in her blog:

Disjointed thoughts like severed worms baking on the pavement
Battles we fought, unendearing terms, faking what they meant

I just know this is gonna become a lyric involving relationship problems. But first I have to finish the music for Cruel In Utah, the lyric we wrote together. It's getting there.

posted by Bud @ 5:32 AM

Friday, July 01, 2005

Pricey Perfection

I haven't gigged with my new Bose Personalized Amplification System yet. That will happen tomorrow at Bella Luna Cafe. I haven't even figured out how to run my voice effects processor through the thing. But I love this new PA system like a Chronic Gear Junkie would be expected to.

This thing is way too expensive but I learned a long time ago that when Cathy says I ought to get something she is usually right. I don't know how she gets these cosmic feelings but I don't argue with them. She was right about the last three out of four guitars. That's better than I could do, and I play the things. She doesn't know a six-string from a mandolin. But I'll go with her feeling damn near any time.

Helen Avakian introduced me to it when we did our songwriting session last week. I was instantly hooked but figured I'd never own one. I backed away from it as if it were really good drugs. Cathy overheard us talking about it at dinner last week. Yesterday she told me to drive up to Tampa and get one. She doesn't have to tell me stuff like that twice. I damn near left here in my underwear.

First of all this rig solves two problems for me right away. I no longer have to lug so much heavy equipment to a gig and I no longer need to buy an SUV to make it easier to do that. It fits in the trunk of any car. I saved thousands in car payments and chiropractor bills! Think how much I can save if i buy ANOTHER one! Is is like taking drugs, isn't it?

The sound quality is better than anything I've ever played through by a magnitude that is beyond my ability to calculate. The seven foot tall speaker tower is only four inches square and is mounted in a flat base that houses the amp itself. It stands behind me and projects out about 160 degrees. There is also a sub woofer. It is totally true sound. I hear what the audience hears. I no longer need a monitor. I can hear myself with this thing better even than my in-ear monitor. Everything has it's own carrying case.

Now I can sell a lot of this old stuff that works fine but I'll never be happy with any other sound again. I feel like a different performer with this thing. Wait 'til after tomorrow's gig and I'll tell you what I really think. I know it won't suck.

posted by Bud @ 5:08 AM