Sunday, August 14, 2016
Tuesday, August 09, 2016
I haven't posted anything to this blog in more than two years - almost three, actually. That in itself is maybe due to how things seem to speed up as we get older. Summer seems to last maybe a month-and-a-half - that kind of thing. But the ease of posting/sharing/revealing in the Facebook era has also been a factor, I believe. In order to include any hypertext or links I'll have to go back to some old posts where I can view the codes used. Do we necessarily have to regret the changing of our tools and methods? I certainly cuss with impatience when I've got to use a manual screwdriver these days (usually when I'm too lazy to go out to the truck to get the powered version). Easier is better?
Cape May Songwriting Workshop - Sept. 13-16 2016
Friday, February 01, 2013
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Went up to Vineland last night to hear Shawn Colvin at the Landis Theatre.
Sunday, September 30, 2012
So - I guess I was wondering whether performing songs would help me with songwriting. I think it has. There is a component to the good song - singability. I was just listening to a few songs on the International Songwriting Competition website. There was at least one that I started humming along with about halfway through. The songs were on a page of past winners in the various categories - I was listening to the 'folk' and 'singer-songwriter' categories, of course, though I also listened to a jazz vocal composition from a woman in Ireland.
I've been 'playing out' a lot this year - usually two to three nights a week at the Pilot House and I've also been hosting an Open Mic at The Mad Batter on Sunday nights. Playing more often has improved my guitar playing and given me opportunities to try different approaches to phrasing with my songs.
One thing that I'm not sure I know how to do yet is 'work' on songs. I keep my notebooks with me almost all the time and write things down in them just about every day. It seems that I'm usually waiting for some idea to reach a critical mass where it sort of finishes itself - the results are . . . mixed.
I've got a few tunes that I guess I consider finished, but they feel to me as though I was forcing them to conclusions just to have something finished. That's accurate, because I pushed some of them along in the time between being accepted to perform at Singer-Songwriter Cape May and the date of the actual performances. Just a side note here - I'm remembering that my friend George Mesterhazy was there at the real 'first' performance at the Pilot House - it put me much more at ease to have him sitting at a front table. His comments afterward were so encouraging.
I should also say that I've got a few that I consider finished and pretty good. I get good reactions to 'Driver Has No Money' and 'Country Song'. I've been asked who did the 'original version' of Driver and several people have asked me if it was available on CD. A guy who was an editor at Time Magazine and currently writes a blog for Huffington Post complimented a performance of 'Country Song' and offered to forward it to a producer friend in Nashville. At this point I want just one quiet morning or evening to record basic versions of the better songs for official copyright submission.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
The first thought in my mind was 'oh, no - guitar fingers!' . . .
The stitches were taken out 12 days later - the healing process is going well. Somehow my body is pretty good about healing, especially my hands. I had done something similar - worse, actually - about 26 years before when working on another table saw. That accident shredded the tips of the middle and ring fingers on the left hand and they ended up about 1/4" shorter than they had been.
(I started a song a while back about the abuse suffered by the left hand of a right-handed carpenter)
Back then I was more actively pursuing the side career of pottery - it was my major in college and I had made various attempts to make a living by it. I think that working clay with the fingers as they healed had a positive effect on the whole process. It seemed to me that connecting the mind with the fingers in order to create something made the healing a more organic process - a less passive process. Actually, I've never tried to put it into words and so I'm finding it a bit awkward to describe what I thought I was doing . . .
I was thinking recently, they say Eskimos have a hundred different words for snow - I should have two hundred words for luck.
Friday, March 02, 2012
3/02/12 Early, like 1:37 AM
Been working on Worthless Man - trying to make it not suck. It is a ponderous downer of a song, so it seems the latest thing that I’m trying with it is to do it way uptempo. I’m liking this so far, but I’ve been liking what I did to it until I didn’t like it anymore. The chord changes are falling together in a way that I’m happier with. Two verses, a bridge, an instrumental verse (c’mon, Tom Naglee!) and two last verses. Liking the shape of it for now, hoping to do it tomorrow at PHOMN.