Archive for May, 2010

wednesday wallop #21 > sunshiny day

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010
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by now you shouldn’t be surprised that I had another song planned. I had the tracks laid down and the basic melody in place, and then I shrugged. I asked my daughter and wife what I should write a song about… “sunshine” they both replied. So, I sat down to start over and play with that idea and lo, and behold, sunshiny day came out. Once the melody idea was in place – I decided to write about the last couple of sunshiny days we have had as a family, click on the blue button to stream the song sunshiny day

if you would like to purchase an album – go here. If this is your first time at the site, fyi, you will notice a style in this song which is quite different from the “norm”…but one of the joys of this project is that I don’t really have to worry about a label or others expectations – I just write and publish – and you are welcome to join me on this journey. If you would like to see some top picks from the fans go here. The only thing I can say for now on this whole topic of songs, good VS bad, inspired VS routine, successful VS failure is a quote from Leonard Cohen I read recently “I don’t know where good songs come from, if I did, I’d go there more often”…have a great sunshiny day!

Fair freshness of the God-breathed spirit air,

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010
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Pass through my soul, and make it strong to love;
Wither with gracious cold what demons dare
Shoot from my hell into my world above;
Let them drop down, like leaves the sun doth sear,
And flutter far into the inane and bare,
Leaving my middle-earth calm, wise, and clear.

‘Tis hard for man to rouse his spirit up—
It is the human creative agony,
Though but to hold the heart an empty cup,
Or tighten on the team the rigid rein.
Many will rather lie among the slain
Than creep through narrow ways the light to gain—
Than wake the will, and be born bitterly.


Fight of the money bags & strong boxes

Monday, May 24th, 2010
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the fight of the money bags and strong boxes
(click image to enlarge)

this is dated from 1567 by Peter Bruegel. Perhaps a better title might be “the battle of the piggy banks and strong boxes”. After all – the warriors at left are pottery and not bags. This print has been called “a satire on the forces of war and plunder…one of the least complicated subjects by Bruegel to read”. Wealth fights wealth in a mad dehumanized melee. Mammon and murder, now and forever, one and inseparable. In the words of Dr. Barnouw: “All wars are engendered by greed. it is not the poor who make war but the rich who rob each other…Strong boxes and barrels filled…with gold ducats…those are the forces that clash on each battlefield. Below the engraving are three couplets in Latin, and three in Flemish, the latter supplying a rhymed text. Freely translated, the Flemish runs:

Have at it, you chests, pots, and fat piggy banks!-
All for gold and for goods you are fighting in ranks.

If any say different, they are not speaking true –
That’s why we’re resisting the way that we do…

They’re seeking for ways now to drag us all under;
But there’d be no such wars, were there nothing to plunder!

Translation of Latin caption: What riches are, what is a vast heap of yellow metal, a strong-box filled with new coins, among such enticements and ranks of thieves, the fierce hook will indicate to all. Booty makes a thief, ardent zeal serves up every evil, and a pillage suitable for fierce spoils.

wednesday wallop #20 > be blessed

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010
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this one has been poking ye old muse for about 72 hours now…it has been a very busy week – with numerous appointments and events. This here song represents the big “20”…20 weeks of wallops…I might be hitting a stride…not sure…feeling a rhythm…you know what rhythm is? Any recurring motion, symmetry (it isn’t just limited to drums – and the wallop must qualify). We have a very simple, maybe even hummable song this week.. Last week I used a flute, and liked the sound so much it is back with gusto. not exactly crushing rock and roll – but I think it works. I checked with my label while I was brushing my teeth this morning, and they let me release it…I looked in the mirror and I sez “any objections to releasing be blessed”? It was unanimous – “go ahead ” … The song is inspired from the first Psalm and DOAOS. I hope as you listen to this you are blessed. Seriously, life is so good, with Spring bursting forth, the Lord smiling on us, and hope abounding…don’t let the enemy distract you from the one true source of blessedness…OK? Go ahead and click the arrow to stream be blessed

new album artwork

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010
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album cover designed by Kaylee

album cover designed by Kaylee

this is the artwork for “burning love” which is a bundle of songs (don’t you just love the word bundle?) I wrote in 2009. My daughter Kaylee made the burning heart with charcol she retrieved from our fire pit. If you want to order this album go here. I am in the process of putting together a second album entitled “refresh”. More albums should be coming along as the Weekly Wallop progresses. I am debating some B-sides and singles approaches too.

wednesday wallop #19 worlds full of wonder

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010
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OK – I tried to make this song a kind of lo-fi affair. I started with a cheesy sounding synthesizer – obviously I tweaked it wrong, as it sounds more like a guitar to me than anything – maybe its because I ran it through a guitar rig? Naaaaa. Anyway – as I did the vocals I decided to keep the 4 tracks of “comp” vocals in the song, and it seems to me that it gives an added “oomph”. Comping (for those that don’t know) is when you take several tracks of vocals – in my case 4 – then take the best bits of each to make the final. I know, I know – it isn’t pure, but I figure if the biggies can do it (I have heard of artists doing 60 tracks of comp vocals), I can do it. What this means is there are some rough patches – as I did not sing exactly the same on all 4 tracks – but I like it. What do you think? This song features some brush drum work, flute, strings, wah guitar, synthesizer an interesting dynamic between a swing and straight pulse, a kind of acapella bridge…drums kick hard on the outro (if you have good speakers – the tom fills will shake your house). It is indeed a world full of wonders – I hope in some small way I have brought a sense of wonder to your day with this song. I am finding as I grow in my walk with God surprising wonders beckon daily, often unexpected…worlds full of wonder

I am also on the lookout for some cheapo apple speakers to help me get a better perspective on my mixes, if you or anyone you know has these old Apple speakers – please contact me.speakers

wednesday wallop #18 > only one can stay

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010
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this week features a jazzy piece sans vocals. I was going to have the chorus be “only one can stay” with the plan of developing the lyric idea further in the way of serving two masters, or being double minded… as the song stood, tottered and began to walk, I decided I enjoyed it without vocals – so here you are. As I mentioned, from the standpoint of how inspiration hits, this piece is nothing like the other wallop I thought of doing this week – you could say they are diametrically unlike each other. Really, it is strange to think emotions / moods / styles can coexist without any apparent discomfort but they do, and it is anyone’s guess how the details work between transmission and reception. I should mention as I approach the 1/3 way point I am really, really enjoying this process, and I hope you are too! I would heartily recommend the forcing of deadlines to anyone in any creative field, or anyone busy with a project that is still sitting in the closet – that you know you just need to start. Is it a book? Write a chapter a week. Painting or drawing? Do a piece a week. Video? Do 52 shorts. You are bound to learn and get better at what you are doing, and you will likely find yourself much more productive than you ever imagined. As far as success goes, obviously money and recognition would be great, but it cannot be the driving factor. I believe we need to enjoy the actual process of creating (the plucking of the string, daubing of paint, imagining of words or scenarios etc) if there is to be any hope of passion and inspiration. Anyway – here is only one can stay stream only one can stay

I am not a hype guy…

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010
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I really do have a rather extreme wallop – it is the most aggressive song I have written – with crunchy guitar and that driving double kick triplet feel – well – I did it on a single bass but you will get the idea…there may be a vocal feedback fuzz effect that will accompany the whole fiasco – but I am not sure yet…so why do I bring this up now, on the eve of the next wallop? Well – I ended up doing something else at the last minute. It is a rather opposite direction, jazz-ish, ambient. So – if you were holding your breath for the extreme – I apologize, but it should be up soon – in the meantime – I am thinking of the name of that extreme song…something along the line of skruds cacophony in A…catchy eh?

album status

Monday, May 3rd, 2010
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putting together the best +/- 12 for this release. I am debating not to do 2 albums – but rather 1 with a possible b-side additions… this means I have 3 choices on the artwork. Depending on how quickly I have this mastered – we might have a release in the next weeks. As always – stay tuned. Also – be forewarned – the next wallop might be a bit extreme. 🙂