Why? Because my thoughts are complex and full. There are bits of motorsports, music and craft beer woven in there. Life is too short to keep these threads all to myself.
I have to write.
I am blinded, but I see things you don’t. My ears are augmented receptors of grace. In the words of Roger Waters, I have amazing powers of observation. And I’m not afraid to clue you in on that fact.
I need to write.
I’ve watched motorsports for 35 years. Today I saw perhaps the most outrageous finish I have ever seen. Ever. Seen. How is that possible? Because there is always something waiting around the bend that is new, unforeseen and remarkable. Today was one of those days. I so love Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
I need to write.
I am working on a song that is about returning home to a small town. I am fixated on the idea of one blinking red traffic light, like a place I know called Pearson in Central Florida. The song is so disco, Modest Mouse and New Order wrapped into one. Man I wish I could play the bass. The one openly gay dude in Pearson would appreciate that.
I must write.
The latest batch of Dogfish Head beers, on the IPA side specifically, have some nasty hops. Nasty, as in bad. They taste like burnt shit. I couldn’t make it through a 4-pack oof 90 without gettinga headache. Perhaps they had to harvest from somewhere else this season. I am not buying their beers for a while. This sucks, because they are my favorite.
I will write.
So there has been a lot of interesting developments in my musical world lately, a lot of good energy and focus. First, I have been playing at lot with my friends in Blue Sky Drive, which has been wonderful and motivating. Nothing quite like playing in an original band, which I have discovered I truly missed. Rehearsals, gigs, good times…. it has been real enjoyable to say the least. It is really good not only to be musically engaged like this again, but to be lucky enough to have fallen in with such a fine group of good people is just the icing on the cake. The universe works in wonderful ways sometimes..
Last Autumn was a really productive writing period for me. I was composing primarily on piano creating songs that were pretty inwardly directed. This is a sharp departure from how I have been writing for most of the past decade, which has been a sort of disembodied experience. I’ve been conjuring fictional characters and circumstances that I thought were interesting – well, at least more interesting than my real life. I mean, I am still in love with a lot of those songs, but this most recent burst of creativity has been entirely different for me. Maybe it has taken ten years for me to get comfortable writing about the things in my life again. Maybe it took my oldest leaving the house and heading off to college to stir those deeper, personal emotions of self-evaluation, joy and longing. Whatever it was, it was a nice burst that came from a powerful place and I tried my best to harness it and commit it to song. The result is a full-length album’s worth of material that needs to be brought to life. Read moreNo comments
|1 – Child In Me (download / play)
2 – The Doorway (download/play)
3 – Halfway to Forever (download/play)
4 - Carried Away (download/play)
Time feels like a fortress moving in and around me.
Moving with a grace that can only be evil….
It’s been over 20 years since I first broke out an acoustic guitar and wrote these songs. The intervening years span so much in my life that I can’t help but wonder who that kid is on the other end of these recordings. His voice has so much more anger than I remember. He’s simultaneously in the shadow of his father’s death and on the cusp of a new life. It is so bittersweet to hear this stuff again.
The 12th of Never started as a fluke thing because I had been toying with the idea of doing something altogether different than the electronic/synth orientated stuff that had framed my early days in bands like Some People’s Children. I had been strumming on an Ovation 6-string for a year maybe, influenced by artists like Mary My Hope, Sinead O’Connor and the usual old Roger Waters colorings that still remain in my musical palette to this day. I had cobbled together these four songs and hassled my friend from SPC, Tip Ledgard, to play some limited percussion on it. I saw an ad in the old Rag magazine for a demo recording studio in Boca run by Bob Gaffney, who happened to be the brother of a childhood friend of mine. So i called him up and arranged recording time starting in the summer of 1991.
I remember this because there were fireworks going off in the background as we were trying to track vocals in his converted townhouse studio. I even think a bottle rocket or two made the final recording.
I was playing with Black Janet at the time and somewhere along the line I got to talking will Kelly Christy from Vesper Sparrow, another local perennial favorite, and she offered to lend her voice to the recordings. At first, I wasn’t sure how it would work but in the end, her voice really completed the recording. Her harmonies on “Halfway to Forever” and “The Doorway” still chill me.No comments
As we know by now, back in late 2001 I lost much of my eyesight. I was 35 and doing all the things a middle-class white guy should do. I was married, had two kids and had a mortgage in a house in suburbia. I was a web developer, graphic designer working freelance in a post tech-bubble busted world. It wasn’t so bad, being freelance. I was getting work and leaning on new Flash skills (LOL!) and kept the ship afloat. But then BAM! There are spots in front of my left eye. Not a big deal, really, except I was born with a shitty condition in my RIGHT eye which left it rather weak and useless. You just can’t imagine. Read moreNo comments
So how observant are you? You up for a mental challenge?
When I released Dust of the American Pixel back in 2009, I realized there was a fair degree of self-indulgence going on. I was able to make the album I wanted to make since I was a geeky kid, complete with the big, concept-album themes and accompanying epic sounds. It is fair to say that it had some serious Floyd / Waters influences going on, as well as a bit of the more prog side of Radiohead and the like. I succeeded in self-producing it and even manufacturing it myself, which was its own experience. And while I’m not happy with it as a whole as I am compared with my latest album, “In Transit,” I feel it is something worth revisiting from time to time as it seems to be standing up quite well.
One thing I was able to really do that I don’t know if many people know about is the “Pixelbomb Puzzle” that is hidden within the work. This puzzle really is, in many ways, more interesting than the album itself. What I embarked upon was this idea that there were hidden codes in the music, the linear notes, the videos and such that would lead the intrepid listener through a series of clues and destinations that would unlock an alternative version of the album. Think of it as a Di Vinci code-like treasure hunt with the reward being a new album.
The first clues were in the video for “The American Pixel Part 2.” If you watch the video, you see the kids holding up a series of signs. A serious fan soon figured out that the signs were related to a common wordset, which if you took them over to pixelbomb.org and entered them as a password, you would be taken to a new destination on the web and the fun would really begin.
The password is also disclosed in the very opening of the record in Morse Code. The answer is stonestaticblue.
So as I said, if you enter that into the puzzle password field at pixelbomb.org, you will be taken to a new site, the fictitious fanatical environmentalist site for” The REAL Report,” home of Martin Trigo and his Radical Environmental Action League. There is some rich content here. Funny shit if I do say so myself. And, it is here that you find the first alternate track, an acoustic version of the record-opening “Electric Primitive Reaction,” whose opwning line is, “You call that a real report?” Get it?
There is no real problem to solve here, no puzzle. All you need to do is fil out the “Join Us” form and you’re taken to the next clue.
So why am I divulging all this now? Well, when I first put out the record I really didn’t promote it very well, and I hadn’t worked on this part as much as I should have. And frankly, people were kinda clueless to the puzzle’s existence in the first place. So now you know. And there’s another reason:
Today is Pi Day.
The next clue is located in the above video, and the song is, fittingly, “Innocence or Pi.” It features my great niece Sophie – ain’t she cute? The clue is in there somewhere. I hope you are into the challenge. Watch it and see what you can find.
Also, just FYI, there is a “lost track” for this record that was never recorded, the epic finale which is, in my mind at least, one of the best songs I’ve ever penned. Never heard by anyone and the fitting coda to this little art project. Get through the entire puzzle and this song will be uncovered.
How good are you? How smart are you? Channel your OCD and see what you can come up with. The harder you try the more fun we’ll have. Good luck and thanks for caring