The Future of My Music

NOTE: As always, the blog is not a direct transcription of the video.

I’m resigned to never playing with a band again. That is how I feel at this point in time. First of all, I don’t have the time. Second, I don’t have the patience to deal with the egos, picky attitudes, and generic bullshit that comes with dealing with others. For examples of that, watch the video.

My goal is to record my acoustic material while slowly but surely gathering the equipment needed to record full band songs. When it comes to the “band” material, I can sing, play lead/rhythm guitar, and play bass. The only other person I was going to need was a drummer, until I discover a drumming program called EZ Drummer.

I need a Digital Audio Workspace (DAW) and an interface, which will allow me to get the sound of the instruments on my computer. There is something I can buy called PreSonus, which is an interface that comes pre-packaged with the DAW called Studio One. So for the price of one thing, I get two items that I need. Maybe some of the pickier musicians out there reading this blog will say Studio One sucks and lacks a whole bunch of features, but you know what? It will serve its purpose for now. I can always upgrade later. Aside from the drumming program, DAW and interface, I will need (1) a bass, (2) a microphone, and (3) a good set of headphones. That last item there will help me with mixing the songs. As for mastering…I’m not sure if Studio One is capable of that. If not, then I will save up to send my music out somewhere to be mastered. (Albany Audio Associates might be a good bet. I trust the ear of its owner, John Chiara.)

As far as distribution goes, there are several methods: (1) creating a music page and sharing on Facebook/Twitter/etc., (2) uploading to CD Baby, (3) posting on Reverb Nation and Soundcloud, (4) put up live performances on YouTube (which as some of you know has finally begun), (5) upload to Amazon an iTunes, and of course (6) hit up open mic nights AND/OR schedule my own acoustic shows where I can bring along CD’s as merchandise…not to mention gather people’s emails so I can send them a link to buy music online if they prefer to get their music digitally. This approach will allow me to peddle the full band stuff while playing acoustic material.

In short, fuck bands. Aside from needing to get the equipment described above, I can do this all by myself.

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It’s Not You…Even Though It Is

To this day I cannot understand the advice people give me about not taking things personal. When I say “things,” I am mainly talking about rejection.

Here’s an example: I met a woman for coffee a few months ago. We hung out for about two hours. Our conversation was very relaxed, intelligent and fun. There were no awkward pauses of any kind. At the end she paid for my coffee AND initiated a hug good bye.

A few days later I emailed her and said I’d like to hang out, stressing it was just as friends with no pressure of worrying whether or not it would turn romantic. She said, “Thanks for the offer, but I don’t think we’d make good friends.”

Um, excuse me? Come again? Did I miss something? We had a great time! So what happened? Well, I didn’t bother asking her for two reasons: (1) her mind was made up, and (2) the answer would probably just upset me. So why bother?

Now I ask you: how am I NOT supposed to take that personally when MY friendship was being rejected?

And to be honest, I feel the rejection of friendship is more hurtful than the rejection of romance. That I can understand because you are basically saying to the person, “I like you, so…do you want to sleep together someday?” But with friends you aren’t doing that, so I don’t see what the problem was. And not to be arrogant, but I am a pretty cool guy to have as a friend. I’m funny, smart, full of odd bits of knowledge and interesting things to say. Not only that, but I am an incredibly LOYAL person too. So who wouldn’t want to have a friend like that?

Well, I know of one person: the lady from the coffee date!

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Careful With That Spine, Eugene

NOTE: What follows is not a direct transcription of the video, so all my readers out there would benefit from watching the speech as well.

I hope there are some Pink Floyd fans reading this. Otherwise the cleverness of this title is lost.

For the longest time, I was a spineless bastard. Bullies had a field day with me. Not only did I not get physical with them, but I wouldn’t even stand up to them verbally. Women also got their shots in, keeping me on an emotional yo-yo until THEY decided to cut ties. (One week they’d say they might want to be with me, keeping me on edge, and then they’d say “okay, let’s do this.” I’d get reeled in, only to have them give me the boot a few days later. A few of them would keep this pattern up for months, getting a thrill out of the fact that, for them, I was attached to puppet strings.) And who can forget the mothers of my twins and oldest son. They had a REAL field day jerking me around with the kids, which is sad because some women only WISH the father of their kids wanted to be as involved as I do…but that’s a topic for another blog.

Then in the mid-2000’s something changed. Shortly after I got into fitness (P90X, Insanity, etc.), I realized I was taking less shit from people. Not only did I stand up to these attacks, but I jumped into defense mode without any hesitation. It was a thrilling discovery. All those years of cowering were OVER. I won some standoffs, and I lost some, but at least I COULD stand now.

However, this newfound spine did not come with an owner’s manual. As it turned out, I had a lesson to learn.

Occasionally people would say things to me that I thought were insults or an attempt to bully me. My new pride would instantly swell up, and I’d fly off the handle. I’m talking a brutal, vicious attack…like wing chun with words. It wasn’t until later that I realized the person was NOT trying to insult me or, if they were, I could have handled things a lot more gently…and yes, civilly.

When you have been bullied your whole life and then finally have the courage to stand up for yourself, this is the danger you face. You want to exercise this courage every chance you get for fear that, like a muscle, it will atrophy if you don’t use it. So you read insults into the slightest off-center remark, and you POUNCE like a rabid wolverine.

Clearly, this is not an acceptable way to act.

What’s the answer then? How do you stop yourself from exploding? I have come up with only one suggestion so far: take a deep breath, pause before you speak, and say to yourself, “You don’t KNOW it was their intention to insult you. Talk to them and find out for sure before you flip out.”

Finding your spine can be a blessing and a curse. What you have to remember is what our man Stan Lee wrote at the end of Spider-man’s origin story: “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Use that spine wisely.

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Why I Prefer Spirituality Over Religion

I probably won’t have a lot of friends after this blog (there seem to be a lot of religious people on my Facebook friends list), but I call it like I see it. Either agree that we disagree, or remove me. I’d prefer the disagreement, but history suggests that religious people will NOT be tolerant (and they sure as hell won’t be forgiving) of the message I send in this video.

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“True” Smashing Pumpkins Fans Versus…Aunt Lindsay

Aunt Lindsay is NOT my real aunt…she is just a friend, and she made me open my eyes to an unusual aspect of Smashing Pumpkins fandom.

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The Algorithm of Love

Have you ever wondered what makes people a good romantic match? Me too…

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Why I Did Not Go Back to State Employment

Some people think I am crazy for turning down the state job. Those people don’t know there are more factors to it than just the place of employment. Here I explain why:

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