Sunday, February 26, 2006

Know Thyself Among Drunken Dogs and Vengeful Ministers

warninglabel Is there anybody who actually likes what they see or hear when they see a video of theme selves? I know there are actors who can't stand to watch themselves. I guess we all have higher opinions of ourselves than what we see. But we are who we are and strangely enough some people think we're pretty damn good. And some people don't. that will never change for any of us.

I've been watching the edited and unedited footage of my promotional video. I can't say for sure when it'll be up here for you to see. My son, Jason, is my web master. And he is a brand new father to an amazingly beautiful little girl named Stella. So he's a bit preoccupied at the moment. I am too preoccupied with a lot of other stuff to figure out how to get video up without which is useful but not of high quality. But I suspect we'll be up with that in a week or two.

On the subject of self perception vs. what others think, here's a useful and illuminating little device that Golfwidow posted not long ago. It only takes a minute and you can run one of these for yourself. Basically, you pick six words from a list that you think describes me best, based on your limited knowledge of me. Then I compare it with what words I would use to describe myself. Take a look. It's fun and possibly helpful. And it's Monday. You didn't really want to hear about my weekend...

About how Cathy and I, both non beer drinkers, went with our best friends, Mark and Nancy Zampella to an event called Rhythm and Brews. We love these guys and ALWAYS have the best of times just being around them. This event was like being the only caucasians in an African village, or the only straight people in a gay bar, or the only prudes on a nude beach, or the only vegetarians in a rib joint or...well I'm sure you can come up with your own out-of-place similes. But Cathy drank wine and I had a few sips of some sweet stuff. The music was mostly very good. It was one of those outings where people bring their dogs. Fun to watch as I don't keep pets because of allergies. As people got drunker, I noticed that the dogs started taking advantage. Poodles on tables are not my idea of cute. Large mastiffs humping little fluff balls, also not for public consumption. Another interesting phenomenon is that there was a long line to the men's room but no line to the ladies. Most unusual. Guys drink more beer for sure. Well, most of the time, Rachael. But still, it made one imagine a place where there must have been dozens of women squatting behind a camper or something. We had enormous fun taking this in and always finding something to laugh at.

Oh, and I'm waiting to hear from Pat (God's Gonna Getcha) Robertson on what sort of punishment this gospel singer was getting when he died while performing. And if I were a praying type person, I'd pray that the Rev. Pat would meet is maker while under a three hundred pound Black Moslem transvestite hooker, his drug paraphernalia strewn about the room for Smoking Gun to publicize. You won't hear it on Fox News, that's for sure. That's not anger or anything, I just thought the image would cheer up your Monday.

posted by Bud @ 10:17 PM

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Gap Shots

I'm trying to understand what must be missing from people's lives to be so needy they will adapt extremest positions on life, religion and politics. This article about former All-Star baseball catcher Darren Daulton got me thinking about that. Yet AGAIN. Seems like this dude and some others believe the world will end on Dec. 21, 2012, at 11:11 a.m. Hmm, one of those new 50 year mortgages might leave you some extra cash to really live it up with the time we have left. I'm trying to remember if and when I ever felt that fired up by something. Or so desperate, that I needed to believe that if I committed myself to some extremest position, I'd be "saved" in some way. Pick your form of salvation.

I never want to offend anybody's beliefs. If you need it, you need it. It's okay. I need LOTS of coffee. And I need music. And I need the love of my family and friends. Most especially, I need Cathy. And of course that list is in reverse order. Although I do everything better with LOTS of coffee. Those are my needs but I don't force them on people or make value judgements about people if their needs aren't my needs. People who spurn coffee are perfectly fine with me. Leaves more for me. If you don't care for my music, that's fine too. I'm just a channel through which it is funnelled to who ever wants to listen. We can't all have the same friends and family so you'll have to love your own. And you can't have my wife. But I'm delighted to share her. Up to a point, of course. She IS a treasure. But she sleeps with ME.

So that's my operative theory. People attach themselves to holy causes in many different forms to fill a gap. If I lost Cathy and became tone deaf and we elected a Mormon president who declared that in the new theocracy, as opposed to the present one, there would be no more caffeine, well who knows what ology I'd cling to.

So this just popped into me and out my fingers. If you knew Cathy, you'd understand why she's Gracie, here. That is if you knew who Gracie was. But you may be too young. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Full of Grace
(First Draft Copyright Bud Buckley 2006)

Gracie wakes me with a smile even though I've been up for hours
Makes me forget, for a while, mass hatred and crumbling towers
Can't even remember how I filled my life, pre-Grace
That was such a different time, a different place

It's a damn good thing I'm full of Grace
'Cause otherwise the human race
Would be unsafe from how I fill that gap
Emptiness is surely what makes us snap
Yeah, I'm full of Grace, full of Grace, full of Grace for now.

Billboards, bumper stickers, church signs try to molest me
I refuse to let fundamentalist wingers get the best of me
I just turn up the music, look the other way
Don't even worry about if they have their way

It's a damn good thing I'm full of Grace
'Cause otherwise the human race
Would be unsafe from how I fill that gap
Emptiness is surely what makes us snap
Yeah, I'm full of Grace, full of Grace, full of Grace for now.

When Gracie says Goodnight, I know the day's not over
She'll make me laugh at the world's sometimes dangerous odor
When Gracie says Goodnight again and spoons me back to sleep
I'm eternally grateful she has my soul to keep

It's a damn good thing I'm full of Grace
'Cause otherwise the human race
Would be unsafe from how I fill that gap
Emptiness is surely what makes us snap
Yeah, I'm full of Grace, full of Grace, full of Grace for now.

The music for this will have to wait. Have a terrific weekend, Everybody!

posted by Bud @ 11:25 AM

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Don't Give Me Any of That "Grandpa" Crap

I'm only gonna mention this once because I'm proud of my son and daughter-in-law. They had a baby daughter, Stella, on Sunday around noon, San Francisco time. I couldn't be happier for them. And I hope my ex-wife now will stop the conception pressure on my daughter who is trying to get her teaching career going. She doesn't need a baby right now. My Cathy refuses to be called Grandma or Step Grandma or anything of that sort. It'll just be "Cathy," thank you. And I'm not really up for the label myself. Can't I have the privilege without the title?

The age thing wouldn't bother me if it wasn't for how other people treat age. I don't look my age and never have. So I could easily lie about it. People who have known my age for the past ten years have accused me, to my face and I'm sure behind my back, of dying my hair. I laughed it off as a minor annoyance. No matter how I tried to get them to examine my roots, they were still suspicious. So I've lived for quite a while with people assuming that. If I have to dye my hair, what's the difference?

The real problem is the way people treat others who they think are too old. Too old to be doing what they are doing. An absurd argument. If they were too old, they wouldn't be doing it. I guess it's the way of the young to get even for having been told they were too young to do stuff. But jeesus, that was a LONG time ago. Let it go, already.

I didn't actually hear the Stones at the Super Bowl. There were too many sixty plus year olds standing in front of the screen saying derogatory things about this skinny old guy prancing about the stage doing rock 'n roll. So if he sounded bad, I don't know. But listening to and reading other people's reactions really upset me. It's clear that the old people bitching were jealous that Mick can still strut like a 20 year old. The dude invented that niche of Rock. I hope he does it 'til he dies. And Keith is, by his own public admission, lucky he didn't die long ago. He plays better guitar and has written better licks than 99% of the people who criticize. Okay I made that number up, of course. But I haven't heard a person yet who was putting down the Stones who will ever be 25% as good as they are now.

There are lots of people in the music profession or in the performing arts in general that I don't care for. It's just a matter of personal style and taste. It's never a value judgment. If somebody is willing to give a person money for performing then there is a solid case for them being capable. For every person who thinks you suck, there is another who thinks you are quite good. What does that prove?

So I'm saying emphatically that everybody should just shut up about performers who suck. Alter that statement to, "I don't care for that style." Or else get up on a stage and do it better. But if you do that, you'll be far more sensitive to criticism. You'd have to be a complete horse's ass to ever put down an other performer when you've faced the terror known as an an audience yourself.

The same goes for dissing older people. I'm surrounded by lots of old people. This is Florida. Many of them are frail. Many have been "rode hard" and show it. It's annoying to try to drive near them, walk behind them and, sometimes, explain anything to them. But guess what, kiddies? No matter what you do, short of offing yourself early, that's gonna be you and me. And it happens a lot faster than you can imagine.

My anger about this is pushing me to lie about my age and not admit to many people that I'm a grandfather. Because I know it automatically stereotypes me in the minds of the Young And The Smug. Hmm, good name for a soap opera. Or a Rock band. I don't think I can out and out lie about it, but I think I'll avoid the topic. I'm not as outraged as I would be if I were a minority in this country putting up with generations of racism and bigotry. I'm not trying to equate my situation to that. But it's damned annoying.

Today's diatribe brought to you by Confessions of a Singer Songwriter, where you can buy Bud Buckley's critically acclaimed CD, Feel My love for $10. Postage free. It'll assuage your guilt and touch your heart in other ways as well. E-mail me at Do it for the old guy.

posted by Bud @ 10:38 PM

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Tattooless Tattoo Man

Kiss it

I don't do tattoos for the same reason I don't do bumper stickers or buy clothes with the manufacturer's logo emblazenoned on them. I don't want to be that identifiable or stereotyped. I'm open minded. My thinking can evolve. I can evolve. And no court order can stop me. There IS no design I want on me that badly that I know I'll be happy with for life. I don't care who you voted for, what you'd rather be driving, how many of your kids are honors students, or what you believe or don't believe. And I will not bore the crap out of you with my personal philosophies, habits, etc. as you tailgate me up the interstate.

That being said, there is a very useful and appropriate metaphore in the act of choosing a tattoo. During the recording of my CD (which you can buy from me postage free for $10 by sending me a message through my Contact button on the left) my producer, Mark Zampella soothed me when I was unhappy with my sound on one particular track. I was just unsure about the choices I had made and recorded. He said, "Look, it's like my tattoos."
"Huh?" I said taking off the earphones.
"People ask me," he said,"if I ever regret my tattoos. I tell them no because they represent who I was at that time in my life. You have to accept who you were and that you may be somebody else now. And eventually somebody else again."

So that's how I started to relax about my CD and not be overly self critical. I knew I'd get better. And I am better. And although I am not a tattoo kind of guy, what Mark said spilled into a lyric. Naturally it became (evolved into) something else. Another love song of sorts for Cathy. It's unusual for me because I had written the music separately on one of the last visits to our Amelia Island condo before we sold it. I rarely write music without a lyric in mind but this time I did and somehow the lyrics, written months later, and the music fell together without too much adjustment.

I'm just giving you the first verse and chorus to listen to. When percussion and bass and harmonies and all come to this song, it should be a different tattoo altogether.

My Tattoo
Copyright 2005 Bud Buckley

Bad ideas seem so perfect when they first inflame your mind
Possibly they'll show no mercy going from bad to worse in time
The taste of now, sweets that sour, not rich enough to stay
Need something to last something thicker than what's so phat today

My tattoo shows you where I was at that place in time
My tattoo advertises my one time state of mind
That's why I wrote this song, I wrote it all for you
Years from now I'll hear it like an audio tattoo

Bad idea, though you were too much I should have snatched you on day one
I just watched, I couldn't touch, afraid to take you on the run
Your voice, Your smile, your every move printed on my mind
Indelable all the while, obvious but I couldn't cross the line

My tattoo shows you where I was at that place in time
My tattoo advertises my one time state of mind
Don't need a dragon, a bleeding heart or creature from the zoo
I wear you in my voice and smile, you're my infinate tattoo

posted by Bud @ 10:51 AM

Sunday, February 12, 2006

A Tale of Two Venues

One of those weeks that was so good but so busy that I'm glad the Sunday gig is canceled. And on the seventh day he rested. And ate too much.

Don't you hate it when you learn something important but you're not sure what it is? I had the best tipping week ever. Don't know why. I put myself through heavy self analysis this week when I had time between guitar lessons. Key to promoting your music is knowing in clear terms, what the hell your music is and who your ideal fans are. You'd think that's easy but, "Aahaa!" I say to you. It is NOT. Or I'm particularly thick headed. Well, I'm definitely brain damaged, anyway.

But my performances are a tale of two venues. My coffeehouse/cafe sets are a mixture of my own tunes with more hip covers that I've adapted to my acoustic style. Think unplugged. Think Rob Thomas alone on the beach with an acoustic. Think Elvis before he was Elvis in his trailer with an acoustic. Think John Mayer without all those licks. Think Damien Rice with just one acoustic. Think Paul Simon without Artie. Think Led Zep without the screaming. Think Lennon/McCartney alone and not trying to impress anyone but themselves. I've been compared to Dylan a lot for reasons I don't quite get. And Sting and even Bob Weir. And others. Okay, whatever, but those guys alone in their living rooms.

Then there is my mainstream tourist Florida set. Mainstream oldies while trying desperately to avoid Jimmy Buffett. I'm not dissing him, I'm just VERY tired of him. Maybe you have to be a Florida musician who gets 500 Buffett requests a night to understand that. The fans at this set are primarily, but not exclusively, older and also prone to ask me for Frank Sinatra and Englebert Humperdink. That's a real guy's name. Honest. At least a name he gave to his real self. A musician friend of mine suggested that I use the following line upon fielding such requests, "Oh, I'd love to but Englebert (or Frank or Barry or whoever) and I have a mutual exclusivity legal agreement. I don't cover his songs and he doesn't cover mine." If they point out that Sinatra is dead I would say,"See that's how binding that agreement is. He took it to his grave."

My late twenties to early forties fans buy my CD's. The oldies fans tip me well. I'm going to cut an oldies CD for them. I could really use some suggestions on which oldies to cover. Most of my readers are younger but I'd SO much appreciate your oldies selections because around here, most of my sets are mixed ages. So I still need to be able to please different parts of the crowd even when one group vastly outnumbers the other. My partial set list is here. If you have time to check it out, it may help. Hmm, I just noticed its ALL messed up. Jason, HELP! If you have time to check it out, it may help. But I'm TOTALLY open to learning new OLD stuff. So let me know what you'd like to hear if you were in a cafe where an acoustic guy was doing oldies. Please?

It is my goal to post at least part of a song I'm working on later this week.

The promotional video is edited and I'm working on getting a Quicktime version done so I can post that as well.

I'm chipping away at other work tapes and if anything is listenable even if not releasable, I'll post them as they are done.

Have a splendid week This is a three gig week for me. And two doctors and possibly a dentist. No problems. Just warrantee check.

posted by Bud @ 8:35 AM

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Asshat "Musicians" and Asshats at ASCAP

You know how you feel when you get to work and discover somebody's taken a dump on you? You can either work in a state of depression, or anger, screwing up your output or you can draw inspiration. Shower off the ickiness and feel rejuvinated. You know I choose the latter. My Altheas's dinner gig is fun for different reasons than some of my other gigs. This steady twice a week work in it's third season demands I pay attention to my "audience." I use the quotes because they are primarily there to eat or to wait to eat. So I work over a lot of chewing and conversation and order taking. You don't ever want to play louder than the order taking. It can really screw up a person's dinner and therefor a waitress's tip. Don't ever piss off a waitress. They have access to sharp objects, things that burn. And they have the ability to turn a crowd in your favor. Or not.

So a I'm setting up at Altheas's. Greg, the owner calls me over and tells me the following story. "I'm in here during the day, which I never do, and I'm fixing the air conditioner. This waitress finds me and says there's a musician who wants to talk to me. I tell her I'm busy. She says that the guy claims he is 'Way better than Bud Buckley even thinks he is,' and that he wants to play for you now. So I told her to tell the asshole that Bud is a personal friend of mine and he can get the fuck out of here." I would censor this for the young'ns but it would violate the spirit that is Greg.

Greg didn't bother to get the guy's name. I was shocked that another musician would resort to something like that. My memory, such as it is, did a quick inventory of musicians who I may have pissed off. Nothing came up. This made me a little paranoid at first. I thanked Greg for having my back and reminded myself that this is why I give him an extra half hour and play every "Third Thursday Stroll" for free, even though he doesn't belong to the civic group who sponsors it.

The incident inspired me to be at my best, even when it's easy to just be background music and ignore everybody. I had my best tipping night there in three years and sold a CD without even mentioning that I had one. There's a lesson there.

I've written before about the generosity and camaraderie of musicians. At least those at my level. We are indies. We play small venues and sleep in more modest accommodations where we would never trash the hotel suite. Our groupies tend to be family members and close friends. We often willingly share our stage when we notice another musician in the room. We say nice things about each other publicly and privately. And we mean it. The few musicians I don't care for, I keep quiet about. When I hear a non-musician dis a player, even if the criticism is legitimate, I find something nice to say. That's just the way it works. That's the way it should always work.

Last night at my Bella Luna gig I discovered that the kid who dissed me at Althea's was making the rounds with his guitar and asking to perform for owners. During their rush hour. Brilliant. His name is Mike. I don't know him. I will find him. He tried at Bell Luna but it was the rush hour there too. The kid is a rocket scientist. I told Deja about it and she said the guy was real annoying and that she would advise her father NOT to hire him. So the good news is he's not a professional. He's a total jerk. I was concerned it might have been somebody I know that I'd have to confront. Actually I still want to confront him. He's giving us a bad name. I don't care if he can play and sing his ass off.

Saturday's Bella Luna gig was fun as usual. Not a big crowd the night before Super Bowl but people were tipping well. I did an Elvis's Don't Be Cruel for the first time on request. I did it slowed down and soulful. No hippage, though. It was very well received. The second half of the evening was all my own material. This was because a stranger appeared at the bar and began looking in my direction and writing. Cathy picked up on it immediately and thought "ASCAP spy." These parasites report you to ASCAP if the venue isn't paying ASCAP dues. Small venues with music a night or two a week cannot afford ASCAP dues. I wrote a diatribe about that here months ago. Cathy told me instantly and I switched to my own stuff and stayed there even after it was determined he was writing a letter to his son. So I got to play a lot of stuff I haven't done in a while or at all for that matter. I wasn't backing off of it once I got started. My practice is to sprinkle my stuff in when there are a lot of people in the room who only know or care about the oldies. That is, OLD people. So this was fun and I got to tell some back story. An ASCAP raid wouldn't bother me or the places I work since I can play my own stuff all night and so can all the other singer/songwriters who work those places. We'd just have to put a sign up that says "original material only" and stick to it.

Emily, who is rapidly becoming my favorite waitress, afterward demonstrated her new sign language for "ASCAP in the HOUSE or NOT." It involved a provocative gesture toward her own ass and an adjusting of her cap, followed by either a double armed wiping out gesture for NOT or a vigorous nod for IN THE HOUSE. Gotta love Emily. She does a very nice bit on my promotional video which should be edited in the next couple of weeks. Deja is just my favorite person who works in a venue. She is more management so she's in a different category even though she is an amazing waitress as well, who always remembers what the regulars like.

Bud Buckley At Bella Luna CafeCathy took a ton of shots last night to try to capture my new look. I had a full beard for my entire adult life. Cathy and our hair dude, Bill, cajoled and wore me down so that I shaved it down to a goatee. NOBODY noticed. So now I'm shaving and hating it. For no apparent reason other than to please Cathy. But that, of course, is good enough. A little facial hair is nothing. I'd give her an organ or a limb if she asked.

posted by Bud @ 10:14 AM

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Really Spaced Out

Gig, teach guitar, record, re-record, gig, teach .... Such is my life. Not that I'm complaining. Just hard to squeeze in writing time. But I'm reading all of you, my blog pals.

This bit of news came on Tuesday as I was preparing lessons. This blog has been been voted "Most Likely to Be Contacted by Aliens" by the folks at Blog in Space and they will feature a screen shot of this on Feb. 2. I wonder which shot they'll use? With my luck it'll be my screenshot of Golfwidow's blog. So visit Tomorrow, February 2.
Blog in Space Badge

I wanted to post another song but I'm just not happy with the way it's sitting in the mix right now. Even for a work tape. I won't get another shot of it until tomorrow, I don't think. But life is all good.

posted by Bud @ 8:36 AM