Sunday, April 30, 2006

Golfwidow's Badge of Honor, Andy's cool stuff.

Busy weekend. I have nothing but this. This isn't exactly nothing, mind you. It's very important to my pal Golfwidow. Therefore it's important to me. I made a small contribution and became one of Golfwidow's Athletic Supporters. Heh.

The proceeds from this 2006 Danbury Amateur Golf Tournament benefit the Hanahoe Memorial Children's Clinic.

She gave me this badge of honor on a day when I really needed it.
I sent that Man of Hers to get his golf on

I love this lady and she's highly witty. If you haven't read her, please do. Go NOW.

I must also report that like Golfwidow, I also received a 7 inch penguin and an outrageous DVD from Andy last week. His way of thanking me for guest blogging while he was away. Too bad if you missed it, I did a rare political rant because, what do I care if it's on somebody else's blog? But Andy's blog is always a riot and he links to some more riotous people like himself. So go there NOW as well.

Have a splendid week. If i neglect to post this Humpday, never believe another thing I say.

posted by Bud @ 11:39 PM

Friday, April 28, 2006

Don't You Hate Missing a Hump?

Oh, I missed Hump Day. I was gigging that night and stressing about having lost my date book on Tuesday. It hasn't found it's way home yet. I have all my birthdays in it, and some are not written down anyplace else. I plan to solve that by buying a box of Sorry I Missed Your Birthday cards. I have a few gigs in there that I didn't' transfer to my site calendar yet. I hate it when I have to go to a venue owner and say, "When am I playing here again?" It's almost an invitation to get dumped. I have a couple of doctors appointments in there but I think I may have them written down elsewhere. I should check as one is next week sometime. You know how doctors hate to be kept waiting.

This is the first Friday I haven't played a gig since December. I have a private party gig tomorrow but I have nothing to write about. And yes, I missed posting on Hump Day as promised, Rachael. I'll try to do better next week. Just because I'm playing fewer gigs doesn't mean I'm less busy. People like me always fill empty time up with more stuff than can fit in the emptiness. It's like this perverted attempt to defy the Laws of Time and Space. The spillage from the overfill either lies writhing for attention on my studio floor or it starts to fill up the next chunk of emptiness that comes along.

But I will not fill up this chunk of emptiness called a Friday blog with any MORE nothingness. You may quietly thank me and move on now to somebody who has actually posted some brilliance today. My blogroll is packed with them.

Happy Friday, everyone.

posted by Bud @ 6:45 AM

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Job Security: The Lost American Ideal

Just finished my third season at Althea's Restaurant and agreed to a fourth season starting next January. This is in keeping with my lifelong work ethic of never leaving a job before I know where the next one is. I've always been a job security freak. That's why I can live comfortably now on a pension. It worries me that various members of my family don't share that need. I have a lot of scattered gigs booked between now and August. So I should have more time to work on recording this next CD.

When I have a big project like this facing me, my ADD shows. I'll probably start dozens of new songs before I buckle down and finish the ones I've chosen for the CD. Weird concept isn't it: Art as an avoidance mechanism for finishing art? But who knows what side streets will lead me into whole new boulevards of creativity? I've had several songs turn into completely different songs that way. And I'm in the position of having too many songs for one recording. It'll be interesting to see if the ones that don't make the cut will ever find there way onto a CD. I'll continue to perform them live when the spirit and situation move me.

So today's diversion away from finishing one song is to explore a lyric idea about security. See first paragraph-- told you I was ADD.

I like how John Mayer on his newish blues trio CD explores the word Gravity. "Please stay the hell away from. Gravity wants to bring me down..." But the word "security..." doesn't, to me, have the same kind of sound where you could just use it in a lyric gracefully. I blogged about this over a year ago. That is, a lot of words and phrases just don't do it for me in lyrics. "Chevy" is a terrific sounding word for a song about cars. Volkswagon is not. And I'm a guy who has had nothing but bad luck with Chevys. So for "Security," you need to hunt for either synonyms or metaphors.

The following paragraph, should you choose to dive in, is a stream of consciousness event on this subject. Feel free to skip it. breeds need for security...
people cling to that which keeps them safe from the things they fear the most. Even if that thing they cling to is fraught with a different kind of danger or unpleasantness. So a lack of confidence that you can find safety elsewhere can cause you to nest in a bed of repugnant hostility as opposed to uncertainty. The devil you know and all that. Women stay in abusive relationships, I've witnessed, for a variety of reasons. The ones I've seen are: security and the lack of confidence that she can find something else; fear of reprisal if she runs; and strangest to me, a pathological need to find pleasure in the pain. Woman who never got over the attraction to bad boys, dangerous boys, are most likely victims of the latter. But these are my own generalizations, not text book....Shakespeare's Falstaff seems to profess a particular disdain for security. He even rhymes "security" with "enemy" in Macbeth. Artemidorus warns Caesar ":...look about you: security gives way to conspiracy."
shelter asylum confidence refuge commitment haven fortress hideout respite...

Coming up with a hook metaphor for this concept is so difficult when I make a conscious effort to eliminate cliche's. Eliminating them is my crusade, in case you haven't been reading me that long. So that means unless I want to sell this song in Nashville, I have to avoid such phrases as "port in a storm," "lifeboat," "diamond in the rough." Now don't start on me about country music. It serves an important purpose. It's just not the way I choose to express myself. The fact that it's popular is proof that there is a need for it. I don't claim my way is better. It's just my way. And in reality, anything uttered that is really clever is destined to become a cliche'. I just don't choose to use already established ones.

Sometimes to get at a subject you have to go at it from it's opposite: Insecurity. I kept thinking of riding a rail to a definite, secure goal but that analogy doesn't work in America like it used to. Fewer people take trains. Busses seem to keep plummeting off highways. A song about a long distance bus trip on questionable tires could work. A life lived in a beat up Chevy in rest stops along the interstates, might be a good one. Make it one of those Korean Chevys. Ah, my revenge against Chevys.

ADD pops in again to report that I'm having a hard enough time figuring out a song order for the new CD without throwing this idea in the mix. So this has to go on another disc. And that's another way to say, this isn't happening today 'cause I have two gigs I want to get new songs ready for this week.

Futile exercise that? Not at all. Nothing is wasted when you take good notes. I'll mine this pit again pretty soon.

It was a lot of fun being featured on Woodnotwood's Music Monday last week. I made lots of new friends. I hope you'll stop by there often and see what Trisha's up to. Michael Manning published his second interview today about our good friend Denny Shane. Be sure and check that out.

Have a splendid Monday. I hope to have something up for Hump Day.

posted by Bud @ 7:09 PM

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Wasting Away in Clicheville

There's a highly successful Florida musician who I will not mention by name. I don't want people landing here when they enter his name in a search. They might be offended and that is not my intention. He's had some monster hits that he could easily retire on. Including one about a mythical town/state of mind named after a tequila drink. I wish him no ill will. I applaud his success. This is a very crazy business that proves every day that success is not necessarily dependent on one's actual talent. That is to say there are untold thousands of excellent musicians out there who will never be heard from on any broad level. I have a keen dislike for the profession of critic. When I read or hear something outright nasty about performing artists of any kind, I become sympathetic even if I really dislike them and/or their performances. This is true for me about 95 per cent of the time. Naturally there are exceptions.

I know it's ridiculous to suggest that all critics should quit and find honest work elsewhere. This is a country where jobs above minimum wage are becoming more and more rare. If it wasn't for a sudden awareness of national obesity, you'd be able to get fries with ANYthing. Besides, there are untold millions of equally mean spirited people who love to read or hear hateful comments about a performer. So the argument can be made that critics are just giving people what they want. Kind of like drugs and prostitution. And corrupt politicians. If you voted for them or didn't vote at all, you asked for it. And you deserve carcinogenic, cardiac arresting fries with that.

But back to the Florida musician whose music I got tired of in, oh, the seventies? The musician whose music is requested most often by out of town tourists who don't know many other songs or artists. These are people who stopped keeping track of popular music when Peter Paul and Mary and the Kingston Trio were top of the charts. These people think it's hip to make the same request of a local singer/songwriter that 9178 others have made in the same town in the same week in the same bar. I'm sure you'll agree that even if I were Leopold Frigging Stakowski and the request was Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, I'd be pretty damn tired of it. Come to think of it, I am pretty damn tired of it. It's the classic music equivalent of the aforementioned song about a mythical town/state of mind named after a tequila drink. Used to be cool until everybody got on to it and nothing else, and wouldn't get off of it.

So I managed to book an out of season gig at a high end venue through a booking agent. This is a spot I played only once before and suffered one of those sound system train wrecks while the owner was present. Didn't think I'd ever get another shot at that joint. But I'm coming back. My sound system thing is flawless. I'm talking BOSE, baby. I was feeling on top of the world because I have another shot at this relatively high paying gig. Until the agent told me I'll be expected to play lots of (fill in the name of the dude I refuse to mention by name here) because this is Florida.

I'll do what I'm paid to do. All performers are prostitutes, after all. But what is the auditory equivalent of a condom?

I'm working on a setlist strategy that will satisfy the demands of this job while at the same time expose people who are contemporarily challenged, to slightly newer music and all out new music. Music written by me, as a for instance. Hey-- contemporarily challenged, a new catch phrase to describe people whose radios broke in the sixties. See how polite I am to those I disagree with? I should get a shot at the UN before we destroy it. Or at least I should get a shot at being in charge of their elevator music. You got the bomb? Well, Feel My Love. Ice caps are melting? Frozen Shadows, man. That's the most boring speech I've ever heard, if you want me you gotta Move Me. Immigration? Open Shore as long as you have a visa. Tired and confused by the state of world affairs? Seek refuge Inside the Night. Or head for the Underground.

This meeting's too friggin long, Please Let Me Go.

posted by Bud @ 8:51 AM

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Brain Damage, Dementia, Denial

Florida is loaded with people who are in the last part of their lives. A common joke, if you can call it that, when hearing a siren is, "There goes another condo up for sale." Even old folks are heard saying that. Gallows humor or whatever, it's just an admission that we live to die. And we're surrounded by people who are closer to death than they are to a future bright with promise.

Cathy and I are relatively young, living among the older. That means we live in this partial denial that we don't have to think about our own impending check out time. I'm having every medical test I can get my still ample insurance to cover. I take excellent care of myself but nobody, we've learned, is exempt from unexplainable maladies. We recently had a discussion and an agreement. We need to rehearse a code phrase now before we reach an age where we might need a heavy dose of reality. Something that says, "You've totally lost it, you're not thinking clearly. You have to depend on me now to help you make sense." Cathy, having lost her Mom to Alzheimer's has said that she should prepare a bottle of lethal sedatives that are labeled in large print, "When you no longer remember what these are for, swallow the whole thing."

My close friend and lawyer, Ed Haas has sold us on having a Health Care Proxy, as opposed to a Living Will. It's more binding and can't be interfered with by "ethics committees" some hospitals employ.

So besides having several friends and neighbors battling life threatening disease and having just recently finished seeing the final season of Six Feet Under, as well as a French Canadian film about death called Barbarian Invasions, I coincidentally posted a snippet of my new song Please Let Me Go, last post.

I've had the best reaction to that and I thank those of you who remain enthusiastic fans. Trisha at Woodnotwood is posting this rough take in it's entirety today for her Music Monday post. You can go there to hear the whole thing if you have the bandwidth and the inclination. But I hope you'll at least visit Trisha's site. She's a beautiful writer and has linked to many other beautiful writers. One of these days, Trish and I will collaborate on a lyric. I hope you'll drop in and visit. Have a good week!

posted by Bud @ 11:21 PM

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Please Let Me Go Sample

About a year ago the nation was barraged by a news story regarding the right to die vs. the conflicting wishes of rival family members. Naturally, it became a political issue. I love Sunday's Doonesbury contrasting the loss of life in a war started for still debatable reasons with stem cell research. Check it out.

This lyric has been sitting in my music stand a long time. I published it here last year with an explanation. I'm not the sort of songwriter who likes to write political message songs, although I have. I think you get a lot more milage out of a lyric that can be looked at in different ways at different levels. Metaphor is my lover.

Here's a snippet of the song as I've been working on a work tape lately. Yeah, it took me THAT long to come up with music for the lyric. That's just the way I usually work. I have a lot of riffs in mind for the song but haven't learned to play them smoothly yet. So this is just a first take. The whole lyric is right here and here is a verse and chorus of the song itself. Sorry dial-uppers, I feel your pain but...

copyright 2005 by Bud Buckley

It took too long to find you,
I did me over and you found me
The price so high I was blind to
The cost of letting you astound me
But now it's time and it's been time for a long time
Yeah, it's time and it's been time for a long time

If I could, I'd take you with me
Feel your smile deep in my soul
We both know they can't reach me
So I beg you, Please let me go

We left home behind
To find a new place
And life was kind
To our searching embrace
But now it's time and it's been time for a long time
Yeah, it's time and it's been time for a long time

If I could I'd take you with me
Feel your smile deep in my soul
We both know they can't reach me
Don't make me beg, just let me go
Feel me begging to just let me go

Before you, life was more hard
Than the face I showed you
But together we starred
A love story overdue
But now it's time and it's been time for a long time
Yeah, it's time and it's been time for a long time

If I could I'd take you with me
Feel your smile deep in my soul
We both know they can't reach me
Feel me begging to just let me go

Don't make me beg, don't make me beg, don't make me beg, just let me go

posted by Bud @ 11:47 AM

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Spaced Out But Not Always Wired

Before I begin today's scheduled programming, It was Michael Manning's Birthday Yesterday, Golfwidow's Birthday today and Jay at Kill the Goat needs to find out how to make the balls drop.

My internet cable service from Comcast has been going down every day, twice a day at the same time. It stays out most of the night. My entire subdivision is suffering. Comcast can't figure it out and also can't figure out who we should call. It's gonna be fun getting a bunch of retired Republicans to picket the Comcast building.

But while we can't get this stuff fixed on Earth, my blog has been beamed to outer apace for the 8th time. Here's the actual message I got from

Dear Humanoid:

Blog in Space apologizes to each and every blogger not yet reading Bud Buckley's blog. Have you checked it out lately? Not only does it get the Blog in Space team more excited than winning lottery numbers and fried twinkies, but they've got Intergalactic fame fighting for your right to Intergalactic Freedom of Speech!

This certificate hereby signifies that on April 1, 2006 the Blog in Space team confirmed with Deep Space Communications Network that lift-off of transmission number 8 took place at approximately 9:30 p.m. with Bud Buckley's blog transmitting for 48 minutes! Will this launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida bring us the discovery thousands of us bloggers have been waiting for? We feel good, real good.

Disclaimer: Please keep in mind as the celebration nears for the 10th transmission that all inquirers of the weird should be brought to your local veterinarian. We don't know much about greenish goops, extra antennae or alienophenophobia...

When The World Isn't Enough,

- The Blog in Space Team

This is a pretty cool outfit, parented by MindComet. They asked me to do an interview next week. I'll keep you informed. If I can. If Comcast fixes my hookup.

Oh, yeah, I'm burying this part here because , I'm not that thrilled with my performance, but: click the video link on the left if you want to see my promotional video. It's to get local jobs in the off-season, not to win a spot on a tour. It was produced by my multitalented CD producer Mark Zampella. Check him out.

Blog in Space

posted by Bud @ 5:40 AM

Monday, April 03, 2006

My Baby

Choked-back tears for dinner the other night. My Dinner gig, it should be explained, although quite lucrative for me over the last three years, is on the edge of being an outdoor gig. I'm in a room attached to the restaurant that is made of canvas on three sides and the roof. The front is usually open to the sidewalk where there are more tables for the sidewalk cafe. I play to my room and the sidewalk diners. It works well. I keep those waiting to get in entertained, and I keep the outside diners entertained and I get a fair share of passersby. Tips are usually quite good. It's a money/exposure gig. Not an artistic achievement. But I'm kind of a branch sticking out into a stream, catching everything that passes by.

Thursday night, I could see in my periphery a woman who appeared to be, by posture and profile, in her thirties. She sat alone on a bench, listening to me. She came to attention when I did the Who's Behind Blue Eyes. Her applause was enthusiastic and I said, "Thanks, you like that one, huh?" She said she did and asked me if i could play You Are My Sunshine. I couldn't remember the changes and said no. I started to do the Beatles Here Comes the Sun but found I couldn't yet handle the fingerpicking with a cut under my middle fingernail. I was apologetic. She was understanding and then explained that You Are My Sunshine was her "Baby's" favorite song. "He died a year ago today, " she said. I'm sure my response was appropriate but you can never say the perfect thing in this situation. She told me her baby was 23 years old. I was stunned and told her she didn't look that much older than 23 herself. I didn't feel this was taken as a come-on line. But she told me she was 50. I told her she looked fantastic. "Brilliant," I'm thinking too late, "I'm giving pick-up lines to a woman in grief." Well, she was in the shadows. She didn't look anywhere near fifty. Under the harsh glare of sunshine, perhaps, I might have seen the toll her sadness took on her face. She said she was brand new to Venice and asked if I played here all the time. I told her to take my card and check my web site for my gig calendar. She was thankful and then took off. I saw her staring into the closed antique and redemption shops across the street later on. Turning to each dusty object like a page in a scrapbook. I knew she could hear me from there when I sang, by request, Bill Withers' Ain't' No Sunshine.

I was deeply moved to be reminded that your baby is always your baby. Cathy reminded me later that when her Mom was in the last weeks of her life, suffering from degenerative Alzheimer's, she cuddled her and said, "My baby! What's your name again?"

Yeah, that's gotta be a song but later. I'm too choked to get a thought down in verse.

Saturday's Bella Luna gig was the last one there until November. And as Diane Salhoff, a beautiful singer said, "It was titsaranious!" Diane was flying high after she and her husband Jim performed some of Jim's songs, with me on harmonica. They were terrific and I think we've successfully seduced Diane into thinking about gigging more regularly. That, I guess, is the working definition of "Titsaranious."

It was an extremely fun night and I opened the mic a bit after that for a family to sing songs to one another. Very tender moments there. I was unsuccessful, however, in getting Cathy, or my trainer Jitka, or any of the Bella Luna staff to sing a song.

My harmonica debut, apparently didn't suck. Even though harmonica is just a constant succession of sucking and blowing. So I'll do that more often. Carie Pigeon would have been proud of me. She was gigging in St. Petersburg. I'll have to arrange a pop-in on her after my dinner gig when she plays the season closer at Bella in two weeks.

Happy Monday, everybody. I hope you're not late for work today. I'll be to Yoga on time.

posted by Bud @ 5:33 AM