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Monthly Archives: December 2004

Nightflying Birthday Bash- report

Last night I was invited to play for Nightflying‘s 24th Anniversary Bash at George’s Majestic Lounge. The details were pretty vague and when we got there, we found out that we were supposed to play 3rd on the stage that was out back. There were 5 bands playing on 2 different stages.

Well, we were waiting around to play and then got bumped to 4th in the lineup. I wasn’t really excited about waiting around all night to play, but that didn’t bother me as much as with every band I realized that we did not fit in with that crowd.

Realize that I’ve never been really comfortable in a bar setting. I’ve played in some clubs and bars off and on, but I’ve never really hung out in bars or been very comfortable in them, so I wasn’t sure how I was going to go over in this situation anyway. Then, I’m realizing that every one of the bands playing out on the patio stage are total blues bands rocking out for all they’re worth. I have nothing wrong with that, but for anybody who’s ever heard me play, you know that I am totally not blues/rock out kind of musician.

Not only am I realizing how much I will not fit in with the flow of the evening out back, I’m also realizing that I would fit in so much better with the acts performing up front. By the 4th act up front, 3 had been acoustic/solo performers and one non-blues band. So, by that time I talked to Joe Giles, who was supposed to be up next. I’d never met Joe, but I knew he had a rockin’ band and that they did rock and blues type set. I simply asked if he cared about playing up front or out back and he said it didn’t matter. Hallelujah! So, about two songs before we were supposed to get up to play, we were swapped. Unfortunately, the band out back was still playing and all of our instruments were stuck behind that band.

Anyway, this is weird to explain how it happened. The thing is, I just figured I’d play the gig because I was asked to, but I didn’t really expect anybody to give a rip or even listen, no matter whether we played the front or the back. Much to my amazement, I was completely wrong! Granted, there were a ton of people (both members and fans of the female band that had played earlier) that were there when we started the set, and not by the time we ended. But, the people that were around really seemed to listen and really seemed to dig it! And not only that, but we had a great time.

And then, as we were tearing down, this guy comes up to me and introduces himself as a manager of George’s and starts talking about how they have all kinds of people playing in there and that he really enjoyed what we did. So, apparently he might be coming to my Arsaga’s gig tonight, and seemed really interested in trying to get me on some opening slots of some of the bigger bands that they get playing in there! Crazy!

So, all that to say: we ended up having a great night and it may end up being way more beneficial than I ever thought it was going to be. Thank you so much to Nightflying for inviting me to play.

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Posted by on December 17, 2004 in Uncategorized

 

Producer Perils

I’m in the middle of producing a young singer/songwriter’s first record.

I don’t claim to know everything, and honestly I’m making it up as I go a lot of the time, however, I have done this a couple of times. And before I started producing for other people, I spent about 7 years living off my music, making my own records, and getting them out there and selling them to people. I don’t know everything, but I am way farther down the road than a lot of people.

The other thing is that I am a good guy. I’m not trying to screw anybody. I’m a singer/songwriter first and a producer 2nd and I’m THE LAST person that is going to try to screw another artist. I know! I’ve been there. I had to figure it all out on my own! And the other thing, is that I LIKE to help other, younger artists figure out some of the stuff that I had to figure out on my own. I’ve done just that everytime I’ve produced for somebody else.

This artist is pretty talented and we’ve done a lot of pre-production; more than I’ve ever had the opportunity to do on any other record. We went through almost 40 songs and re-wrote and wrote additional verses and ended up with a pretty good batch of songs for this first project.

The thing is, every time I turn around, artist treats me like I’m trying to screw (him/her) over.

For Instance:

The artist wanted us to draw up a contract. This was a great idea, and one that I usually neglect. So, I scouted around, talked to a number of friends who are producers, got ideas, talked to my lawyer, found out what the artist wanted and drew up what I thought was an incredibly soft, simple, lenient contract. I wasn’t trying to bind the artist to anything unreasonable. I wasn’t making promises that I don’t know if I can keep. I simply drew up a contract that put my needs and protection and the artist’s needs and protection in black and white, so that hopefully we could both be on the same page. No good. I’m the only person the artist knows to get this kind of information, so anything the I put in the contract, no matter how soft, reasonable or lenient, that protects my interests, then it pretty much had to go. And yet, I had to add in all kinds of things for the artist, no matter how much I tried to explain that they were beyond the scope of this kind of contract. What we finally ended up with is not completely without its use to me. It’s very balanced in the artist’s favor, and I’m pretty ok with that, it’s just that the few things that were left in my favor are really important to me.

What this artist doesn’t realize is that this whole deal is overwhelmingly lopsided in his/her favor and yet I am still scrutinized as if I’m trying to stick to him/her. What this artist doesn’t realize, is that all of the time we put in for pre-production and re-writing will end up being donated by me. What this artist doesn’t realize is that I should be getting co-writing credit on a number of those songs that are ending up on the CD. There’s no way I’m going to ask for it or even mention it because the artist would FREAK OUT! And yet, I’m not so concerned with any of that stuff if the artist would simply believe me and trust that I have his/her best interests as my primary goal. I only bring up all of these things that I’ve just let go trying to make that fact clear.

Obviously, I’ve gone to great pains to be discrete about the artist’s identity. I don’t know if the artist would ever happen to visit this blog.

If so, my only hope is that you’d begin to understand how much I’ve given to this project without any promise or hope of return. My compensation for what I have and will put into this is so negligible, it’s almost funny. There are studios right in this area that my compensation wouldn’t pay for 5 days of recording time, and that doesn’t even include the musicians, songwriting help, arranging or production.

I know. Everybody else is thinking I’m being pretty self-righteous and whiny baby. If the deal was/is so bad, why’d I agree to it? Honestly, I like the artist and I like the music and I never thought that this far into it, I’d still be fighting for the artist’s trust.

And if I am being too self-righteous and whiny baby about all this, it’s my bloggy and I’ll write what I want to.

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2004 in Uncategorized

 

Welcome to East Hall Recording

Well, it’s about as official as it’s going to get. Follow the link and check out the new home of the Recording Shack.

The story so far:

A couple of years ago, I started getting to know this guy, Chris. We realized quickly that along with being musicians, we share many of the same interests. (star wars, comic books, movies, X-men, music/recording gear…) I knew that he had a lot of equipment and it got to where he’d loan me gear if I needed something and we’d listen to each other’s mixes of projects we were working on, etc.

About a year ago, he started working on his dream of building and running commercial recording studio on his property. As construction progressed I got more and more excited (and a little jealous) for him about how great a facility it looked like it would be. He already had tons of gear, but now he was going to actually have a studio that would easily rival most of the studios in our area.

I am still not sure why, but one day we were talking about how cool the studio was going to be and Chris just said, “You know, you should be my partner.” Let me think…Ok.

And now, the studio is finally ready. We’ve (mostly Chris) has been working on the web-site and flyers and getting ready to let everybody know that we’re here and ready for business. If you know anybody needing any recording of any kind, send them my way. We need some clients.

Check out the web-site. Let me know what you think.

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2004 in Uncategorized

 

TX postponed & Freaks and Geeks again

So, I had it all worked out for a sub to go to TX for me that would have done a bang up job and who owed me a lot of money, so it was all going to work out. However, when I called the peeps to see if that would be cool with them, it sounded like they were a little relieved. I’d forgotten that this was the first year they were attempting to do this, and apparently, they’d not publicized it as well as they’d hoped and there weren’t going to be a whole ton of people and definately not as many as they hoped.

So, they offered to have us come for a retreat scheduled for April instead and their staff could handle the responsibilities for this weekend. So, now I just need to figure out how to pay for the transmission.

in other news…

Last night some friends came over for chili that we haven’t hung out with for a long time. We were all trying to figure out whether to watch a movie or what. Well, I’d been telling them about Freaks and Geeks for some time and we’d just never gotten together for them to see F&G. Of course, it’s been a couple of months since I’ve watched an episode (since my six feet under fascination). Long story, shot version: We all fell in love with F&G again! They ended up staying over here till nearly 2am and I think we watched about 5-6 episodes all together.

Why must TV suck so bad? And why must any show with any goodness in it be cancelled after one glorious season?

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2004 in Uncategorized

 

ARRRGGGHHH!

Tomorrow, Holly and I are supposed to leave for La Grange, TX where we’re supposed to lead worship for a Jr. High retreat. I wasn’t really excited about this, because it’s a long trip. We’re to be paid pretty well for what we’ll actually be doing, but when you factor in the travel, it just means we’ll have a little bit of money that we didn’t have. Not to mention the fact that we need some money.

So, this was all well and good and then I was just driving the car we were going to take, and the transmission went out! (I’m trying to keep my mind on the good fortune that it went out today and not tomorrow on on our way to TX.) But, not only will it take at least $1000 to put in a new transmission, we’ll have to take the van to La Grange which is going to increase the cost of us simply getting there and back!

I am considering attempting to hand the whole gig off to a guy that I just finished his first CD. He owes me all that he would make on the trip anyway, so I could probably come out about the same and I wouldn’t have to drive there! He’s already said that he’d be interested in doing this, but I can’t get in touch with anybody at the camp to see if they’d go for it, plus I’ve having reservations about giving up the gig just because, you know, it’d be giving up a gig.

argh. I hate cars and I hate needing money.

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2004 in Uncategorized

 

currently reading

I finally finished Wizard & Glass which is the 4th book in Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. I liked it and I’m really into this cycle of books, but I thought I was NEVER going to finish that one! And I’ve got 3 more to go!

I have at least 3 friends that have just recently finished the series and keep saying they want to talk about it, but I don’t them to give anything away to me. So, I hope they still want to talk about it when I finally finish.

I already have the 5th book, Wolves of the Calla. But I’ve decided that before I jump into it, I’m going to take a break and read something else.

A friend told me about the book, Lamb, The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal. So, I went ahead and checked it out from the library, even though I was in the middle of W&G. Well, my check out time had run out, and I still hadn’t finished W&G and I couldn’t re-check the book because it’s somebody else has put it on hold. Argh! So, I’ve just not taken it back to the library and I’m racking up over-due charges and fellow library patron is hating my guts.

Obviously, the book is a work of fiction. Can you imagine if the New Testament started with Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Biff?

So far, I’m really liking it. It’s funny and silly, and not meant to be devotional fiction for the faithful by any means, but so far, it seems very respectful of Jesus and who he may have been as he was growing up.

I’ll keep you posted.

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2004 in Uncategorized