Sunday, June 25, 2006

Time Out for Other Work

Crunch time to get some songs banged into shape. I'm sending off my roughest cuts, most of which were posted here at one time or another to my producers and musicians so they can start thinking about what they would do with this mess before I hit the studio for real. My original plan was to try to get some usable tracks for them to hear but there are just too many interruptions in my life now.

I frequently read blogs where people are flirting with the idea of not blogging for a while or anymore at all. Only to see them pop up again within a short time. Addicting, this stuff, isn't it? I hate the feeling of missing so much activity on various blogs that I don't know what the hell is going on when I do come back.

I'm not going away permanently. But I will be scarce around here and around your sites as well. I'll only post if there's something of interest. The rest of the time is pretty mundane hard work to get my songs recordable before I make the NY trip late August.

My priority list is: Family, guitar students, friends, music, blogging. But the overarching priority, if I can use that old term, is my health. Whichever one of these priorities I happen to be paying attention to gets my fullest attention until my ADD or "brain damage" kicks in and I'm on to the next thing.

Checked out the location of my July 4th gig. Harpoon Harry's is a huge harbor side restaurant at Fisherman's Village in Punta Gorda, FL. Amazing views of the harbor where Hurricane Charley took a sharp right turn and leveled a large part of the area. Hurricane's love and feed on big wide wind tunnels with warm shallow water. And while Charlotte Harbor saved us, being thirty miles to the north, they took a beating from which they still have not completely recovered. But Harpoon Harry's and the whole wharf area is just fine. I'll be playing on the bow of a faux pirate ship, welcoming the patrons in. Daytime gig with lots of exposure. To people, media and, oh yeah, the sun and other weather related elements. I'm sure to have pictures. I'm resisting wearing any pirate gear. It wasn't suggested so it's not required. It's bad enough I'll have to sing a lot of that Florida singer who's famous song about a popular tequila drink is STILL nauseatingly popular after all these years. Such is the plight of a performer in Florida. Give me your northern and midwestern tourists and I'll give you all the audio cliche's you want.

I took a brief look through my blogroll and found that Golfwidow has posted a hysterical podcast. Michael Manning has a captivating interview with former astronaut Frank Borman. I have a pretty damn entertaining blogroll. You may not hear from me for a while so I suggest you check out some of my blog buddies if you haven't done that yet. Have a splendid week. I'll be back when I can bring something tasty to the table.

posted by Bud @ 3:43 PM

Monday, June 19, 2006

Notable People and Great Friends

To begin with it's Bored Housewife's Birthday. If you don't already know her. You'll soon love her. Go have a look and wish her a Happy B-day. She co-wrote a song that's gonna be on my new CD. Also my good pal Michael Manning is a superb writer and interviewer. He visited me in April and hopes to relocate near here from Cincinnati. He did my interview recently and his newest interview is with Andy Martello. Andy is a great friend of mine who I visited last October in Chicago. Again, if you haven't visited Andy, he's a guaranteed good time.

You should aslo see his terrific interview with Golfwidow here. This is one amusing lady! I love how we're making such terrific blog buddies. It makes me realize that if we set aside the stuff we can't agree on (politics, religion, sexual orientation, or as Golfwidow says, Chili Recipes), we can achieve world understanding if not actual peace. My blog buddies are so diverse, it's either a model of the UN or a recipe for a riot. Maybe that's the same thing but you get the idea.

The problem with working alone as I do musically, is the lack of input. As I get newer versions of my songs ready to record as worktapes for my producers, I'm having a very difficult time deciding on which versions to submit. Opening the creative process up to a committee can be very treacherous and that's why I've avoided it. But I'm still pretty undecided. I hate to burden them with multiple versions but it looks like that's what I'm gonna do.

My coffee house gig last Friday at It's a Grind was fun. Good crowd. Nice people. I booked one more there in August just before I head for NY. I also have two July dates there. This Tuesday I'm at Stir the Soul which has been having various management turnarounds lately. I hope it comes together as it is a terrific place. Still teaching lots of guitar lessons and interacting a bit with young song writers on line.

Father's Day was nice and mellow. It used to be a joke when someone young or female said, "Happy Father's Day" to me I'd often respond, "Thanks, same to you." When my son, Jason, called Sunday I had to stop and think that it wasn't a joke anymore. And I heard Stella gurgling in the background. And the World Turns.

Have a splendid Monday, Everybody.

posted by Bud @ 6:52 AM

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Back With a Smile

Got in late from San Francisco . 2AM EDT. On the ass end of Tropical Storm Alberto. Kind of a fun bumpy ride the last hour. I always liked roller coasters. The scariest part was not in the air but crossing Tamp Bay Skyway in 40 MPH winds. Sea Lion at La Jolla The time zone thing always bothers me more coming East. There is no chance I'm going to get caught up on blogging anytime soon. But I'll plug away. Lot of guitar students to get caught up with and a gig Friday.

People rave about San Diego but I have to say I much prefer LaJolla where we stayed. Gorgeous coastline with caves you can explore. If you left yourself enough time, which we didn't. We spent an entire day at the San Diego Zoo which may be world famous but to my eye, rather viewer unfriendly. We gave Old Town and the Gaslight District a drive through and weren't impressed enough to park and visit mostly becasue we were too tired and running short on time.

Bud at Taylor Guitar Factory Taylor Guitar Necks The Taylor Guitar Factory was the highlight of this leg of the trip. Somehow I managed NOT to start lusting for still another guitar. But I know I'll be selling one and getting another. Taylor puts their money where their mouth is. They have done everything humanly possible to recycle, protect the environment and promote US business. They gladly share their secrets with other American guitar manufacturers if it's in the interest of protecting the environment or natural resources like tone woods or just showing the world that American made guitars are well worth the price. No, I didn't get an endorsement deal. They don't give away guitars to their endorsers anyway. They let them use two a year but they have to trade them in and you have to tour. I'm not touring. I'll gladly buy another Taylor when I want one. If you could see what they put into their product, you'd be hard pressed to find a better made instrument anywhere. Interesting that one of the Breedlove brothers works in design at Taylor and that Bob Taylor goes on camping vacations with the Breedloves and the Martins and a few other guitar maker big names.

We spent an enjoyable evening in Orange County visiting Cathy's oldest nephew Jay, his wife Debbie and their beautiful youngsters, Nick and Emma. Sort of wetting my appetite to meet up with my first grandchild the next day.

Stella Meets  Granpa Bud

San Francisco is my favorite spot on the west coast even though the weather is ridiculous. Fifty degrees in June? They think 70 is hot. Meeting my new granddaughter, Stella, was the high point of my year! I'm not gonna gush. You've heard this kind of stuff way too many times before for it to be novel or even remotely interesting. People have babies, people love their babies, people inflict everybody they know with too many baby pictures, baby stories and baby what have you. Stella is a beauty and I loved every second I got to spend with her. I'll fully accept the grandfather tag when I hear her call me that.

Stella smiley

We got to spend a fair amount of time with my son, Jason, and daughter-in-law, Anne as well as my step daughter, Mickey. Mick teaches at the California Culinary Academy so we ate there when we first arrived. The food was excellent but I can't remember it as I was busy showing Stella around the dining room. She loves to be walked past colorful objects like the yellow-checked wall. Yeah, we got our groove on right away. We took her to the zoo the next day and she wasn't as impressed with the animals as we were. We saw more in ten minutes at the San Francisco zoo than we saw in an entire morning at San Diego. Stella's focus at just under four months, is probably only close enough to enjoy the human primates that took turns holding her.

Building In San Francisco Chinatown

We stayed bundled up in the only warm clothing we own until we drove down to San Jose to see Mick's new place and have dinner. It's warmer at night in San Jose than it is on a sunny day in San Francisco. I thoroughly enjoyed driving through San Fran. Big city driving only bothers me when there is grid lock. The only nerve wracking part there, is coming off the 101 at the right place so you don't wind up going over either the Bay Bridge to Oakland or the Golden Gate. Even with GPS, it's not clear to me so I wind up getting off an exit or two early and finding my own way. The Bay City has lots of interesting driving challenges, like trolleys and bike lanes, midtown four way stop signs, unnaturally steep hills and gorgeous women who seem to benefit from walking up and down those hilly streets. Parking is every day's biggest nightmare and people with garages must back out into traffic. But it's a very pretty town, both naturally and architecturally. People there, are more likely to see things the way I do too. As accepting as I am to everyone's beliefs, it's still nice not to feel hostility from your surroundings for the way you believe. That's a vacation everybody should take from time to time. And then go back to living among those who are different from us. Remember, they think we are totally out of it too.

I'll do my best to make the blogging rounds this week. Those who comment here go first.

posted by Bud @ 10:45 PM

Monday, June 05, 2006

Outa Here Again

"Heading Out To San Francisco..." words I often have to sing when a certain beach tune maven is requested. This of course to avoid singing the song about the place named after the popular tequilla drink. I am indeed heading off to San Francisco by way of San Diego and LaJolla. Gonna see some relatives, the SD Zoo and hopefully the Taylor Guitar factory in El Cajon. I own enough Taylors to be a stock holder. They ought to give me an endorsement deal. When I get to San Fran (look, I get there often enough to be on a nickname bases with it) I'm going to see my new granddaughter, Stella. Oh and his parents too. Love, ya, Jason and Anne. And my stepdaughter as well. Love you too, Mick.

So I'll be missing from this page for a while and from yours. Here are some things to consider while I'm away:

Our friend Denny Shane is related to the patron Saint of Brewers as well as more royalty than I can remember. He has been doing family tree research for 30 years. He may be delighted to find out that for a mere $320 he can have his DNA compared to an enormous data base and discover, like this Florida gent, that he's related to Ghenhis Khan.

Speaking of my adopted state of Florida, we are mostly relieved to know that our state legislature and Governor (whose name rhymes with tush) must have solved all our problems of over developemnet and environmental pollution and disaster preparedness. So they have officially made it legal to dine with your pet. But you still can't take it to certain hotels if there is a hurricane.

In still more Florida news, we have two new nominees for the Darwin Awards. How much helium do you have to inhale to levitate? How much to die?

I'll leave you with these Words of Wisdom:
When I hear somebody sigh "Life is hard" I'm always tempted to ask "Compared to what?"

I hope I've been through Most of the hardest parts. The hardest of the hardest has to be the end.

See you next week some time.

posted by Bud @ 6:12 AM

Friday, June 02, 2006

Phish Spam

No disrespect to the tasty canned meat or the rock band but I hate spam and phish. I don't get that much spam on my Blog comments so I'm NOT using those annoying verification puzzles you all seem so fond of. Those things are like a high school typing quiz and they force me to put my coffee down. My e-mail spam, though is ingenious. Also at the height of brilliance is the phish e-mail that look exactly like my Pay-pal account and e-mail account. They try to trick me into giving up my password and credit card numbers about seven or eight times a week.

It's only fitting that a Pulitzer Prize be awarded to the world's most brilliant spam. Leave it to Weekly World News to show us what that might look like:

Prize committee honors poetic power of junk e-mail

The subject line read:

Reve se (a)(g)(i)(n)(g) while you sle. . . ep!

"The use of a reverse-slash in the word reverse was itself inspired," Preminger said. "And the use of an ellipsis, a grammatical pause, to suggest 'sleep' was genius. And the parentheses, suggesting age, was perfect. The dates of a life are always encased in parentheses.

You can see the entire article here.

And you can probably see something fresh from me Monday but then I'm going to California for a week. I'll be in the San Diego/LaJolla area Wednesday and Thursday, I think. Then up to San Francisco/ Next weekend. If you're going to be in those areas at that time, tell me quickly so we can arrange a Blogging mini confab.

posted by Bud @ 7:04 AM