Sunday, January 28, 2007
Go HybridJust finished screening Who Killed The Electric Car? I love our new home theater. The movie was not shocking given the cast of characters. I highly recommend you rent it. Then make a statement by at least inquiring about buying a hybrid car. I'm gonna get one within a year. It's not about if it's more economical. It's about using less fossil fuel. It's about making a statement that we should support the development of better alternative energy. It's about creating a market for that kind of thing. This isn't a political statement. I don't do politics. It's a moral imperative from a devout non-religious citizen of the planet.
This is a very busy four gig week. and the usual guitar lessons. I love it, really, but I'll miss most of you in Blogland. I'll do my best to at least read. May this be another splendid week for all of you.
posted by Bud @ 8:31 PM
Thursday, January 25, 2007
STUDIO UPDATEA lot of my studio stuff is working now thanks to an amazing sound tech I got to meet through Sound Advice where I bought the last of my equipment. I'm extremely lucky to have a guy who has been a touring musician and knows his way around all the stuff I want to do. Tony has an amazing story to tell but I wouldn't do it here without his permission. It involves finding his biological parents and siblings after 28 years to discover that they are all in the music business. His sister is a big name local blues singer who just finished a tour with another very big name band. I not only found a very capable sound tech but a friend. And a bass player. Haven't met sis yet but it's gonna happen.
The problems I still have to iron out are mostly things I can do on my own. I'm still waiting for the cabinet people to give me a couple of doors and a drawer and another cabinet because, you know, you can never have enough places to hide stuff. The window people have to put in some custom window treatments and storm film. Damn, I hate calling that stuff window treatments. It's a code for, "We are going to overcharge you--big time." But there is no choice. I have a crescent shaped window with a southern exposure. I have to have it covered or continue wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap every time I sit down to work. The landscaping has started but that will drag on for a while. Cathy's new room is spectacular. She inherited my old studio, enlarged it and redecorated. It serves as her office and can convert quickly into a guest room.
When the hole thing looks good, I'll post something. Possibly video. More probably pix.
Things did not turn out exactly as I planned but I'm happy with it anyway. I tend to dream big. If things don't turn out, I adjust my dreams. I don't send in more troops or try to change the subject about something I know nothing about. That would make me look like a total dufus, wouldn't it?
Still trying to iron out the production plan for the CD. It's making me antsy. I should write a song but Dave Matthews already did "Ants Marching."
posted by Bud @ 12:50 PM
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Get Me WiredWhat a week. The highlight, the absolute persistent solar flare that has colored my every waking moment, has been the ongoing cosmic struggle to rewire my house for sound and video. Every hole that is drilled, every cable that is snaked, every bushel of money that is spent is done so with the certain knowledge that it will be obsolete and unnecessary within 5 years. Just like when you buy a computer. Probably just like when I buy an iPhone. But I plunge forward. I'm not even gonna ask why. I am a gadget junkie but on only about a seven and a half on a scale of ten. If I were a ten, I might make better decisions or at least know how to do this shit myself.
I'm sitting here waiting for the third day this week for the audio wiring dude to show up for a one day job. I like this guy enormously. I trust him. He just keeps running into unexpected hurdles. Like Bose equipment is so proprietary that none of the cables can be substituted by others that actually are long enough. And then there is the problem of trying to unravel the mess left by the company who originally wired the house for sound. My biggest problem, though, appears to be a case of having the audacity to imagine something that's not ever been done. Decisions must be made soon. So far I'm working in a sound studio for the deaf. Give me a blindfold and a sore throat and I'll be the Helen Keller of folk/rock. For now I own some amazing expensive equipment that doesn't yet actually work.
Another decision that must be made soon is my recording schedule and location. It appears that the bulk of my recording will be done in NY. This presents a logistical nightmare. Again, my wants and needs are exceeding practicality issues. I hope to announce soon what I'm gonna do.
The third thing occupying my mind is promotion and reestablishing contact with old friends who were my students. Even if I wasn't in the music business, I'd want to stay in touch with as many of them as possible. MySpace has done some of that and it's probably necessary to keep an active site going there just to stay in the music mix. Even though Myspace is in the top five most annoying things on the planet in a list that includes a few politicians, TV personalities and jock itch. Then it occurred to me that most of the kids I taught are in college now or beyond. That's where FaceBook comes in. So I got in there. Old guy with guitar showing up on friend lists that sometimes look like tease shots for Girls Gone Wild. But it's the best way to find and keep in touch with this gang. Eventually I'll have an easier way to let them know what music is coming out from me. But it would be very helpful to my appearances if you would "friend list" me on your FaceBook if you have one. A few more mature faces might keep me off the predators list. I'm in there under Bud Buckley, as opposed to Old Guitar Dude.
All this thinking and decision making and reestablishing contacts is exhausting. But my low key dinner gigs are being well received and generously compensated. Not sure how that works. Helen always claims she's tired. I never thought I was. Listening to my work tapes, I know I'm not. But my dinner patron fans seem to love what I'm doing. I think there might be a passion in my singing created by the tension between singing low and slow oldies dinner music while on enough caffeine to simulate a line of coke.
Another three gig, multi-guitar student week coming up. And oh, yes, the wiring. I dream for a computer that you plug everything you own into and it just does what it's told on voice command. I'm sure Apple is close. and I can't wait for my iPhone. Have a splendid week, everybody!
posted by Bud @ 5:03 PM
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Time of the Month?Jay of Kill the Goat got me thinking about cycles. Although she was obsessing on a cycle that gives her intense pizza cravings, I started thinking about cycles of energy. Life on Earth seems more chaotic than it is, I sometimes think. The tides are quite even and predictable as are the phases of the moon and planetary motion. Mercury is starting its retrograde soon which astrologers say is a cycle during which we are most likely to see mechanisms break down. If that is true I tend to think it has more to do with the people who run and maintain the mechanisms. People, clearly don't pay much attention to what's actually important. As a life form we probably suffer from overconfidence in our intelligence. So things get very fouled up. Like the environment, like the "war on Terrorism," like the Rosie/Donald feud.
I once successfully used a commodities trading system that was based on tidal motion. It worked well. (But not so well that I wanted to continue risking investments. I'm more of an explorer than a gambler.) It had more to do with each individual commodity's history of change superimposed on the tidal cycles. It gave some basis for predictability. So I think it's possible to plot the cycle of anything that has a cycle or is plottable and superimpose it on such a known cycle as the tides or the moon or whatever. And possibly come up with a general prediction. The problem, of course, is in plotting a cycle of something like the rise of insanely stupid politicians, the popularity of extremely vacuous celebrities, or my ability to make two words rhyme that are not moon and June along with a tune that is not Mary Had a Little Lamb.
I wonder if things that run in cycles that we can or cannot plot, will be thrown into utter chaos as the earth warms even more and our natural cycles are thrown off. We are already seeing more pestilence and bacterial and viral phenomena because of the climate shifts. While performing Friday night I was bitten on the forehead by a mosquito. Few things will throw you off the beat more certainly than that. It is possible that reggae was born that way. Mosquitos usually take January off here in Florida. They hop on a Carnival Cruise or something and come back with diseases. Is there anybody out there who hasn't noticed some unnatural weather taking place near them?
I've always been a very fortunate person. Maybe it's just my attitude. But I think it's entirely possible that I'll write what should be a monster hit song or collection of songs just in time for an insect borne epidemic that leaves most of the world's population deaf.
I better write faster.
posted by Bud @ 3:02 PM
Sunday, January 07, 2007
BuCarie DebutWhat a weekend. Three very fun gigs. Many guitar students. No recording but some lyric work on a new song. Again a few too many parties. But I'm back to bike riding and weight training.
One of my students, James, has been writing songs and he's really taking off. We're working on one together. Some day in the not too distant future, we'll share it here. His wife, Vashti, is also a classical guitar student of mine. She's lately taken more of an interest in songs that are not classical but apply some classical technique. I love this melding of styles and techniques for the way it stretches my thinking. I don't think I’ve ever practiced a piece of classical music that didn't give me a riff idea that spun off a melody idea that eventually either became a song or it's sitting there waiting for me to finish. I'm not a classical guitarist by any stretch of the definition. My finger style was taught to me by a fine classical guitarist, Helen Avakian. And I teach the beginning level of the art. But the real lesson here is that we all should look beyond our usual way of looking at and doing things if we want to escape any kind of rut we may be in or heading toward.
At Bella Luna Cafe, Saturday night, I had such a fun gig. My young friend Carie Pigeon, who is going to sing on my CD, drove down from St. Petersburg and we had a quick, Cathyesque dinner. Which is to say yummy, light and nutritious. We worked on three songs together for about twenty minutes and then went to the gig.
Something about this place turns me on. I always feel like putting more out there. Carie's backup vocals and little lead guitar fills were exquisite. I can't wait to work with her again. I'll drop in on her Bella gig Saturday after my Althea's gig. We decided after people said they liked our sound together, that we would call ourselves Bucarie (long u sound and accent on the car) if we worked together as an act. That name kind of demands some world music, I suppose. I am buying a tongue drum to complement the one my producer Mark Zampella got. It should show up someplace on the CD.
I will make every effort today to clean up a recording or two. Then we're off to an Eastern Orthodox Christmas party. Eighty people. Good chance somebody will fall into the pool or at least drop some spanocopita in there.
Happy Monday everybody. Stop wishing them away, it's one seventh of your life!
posted by Bud @ 5:45 PM