Tag: music

Real Drums Are Better Than Electronic Drums

Real Drums Are Better Than Electronic Drums

It’s been too long since I’ve played an acoustic drum set. From my days in high school in the percussion ensemble, to the shows I played in the pit for, and the gigs out in New York with my band, I miss hitting things and making lots of noise. 

I attribute my hiatus from drumming on real drums to living in various apartments where, understandably, making loud noises with drums wouldn’t be looked upon too favorably by the neighbors. Thankfully, I’ve had an electronic drum set to get me by in the last few years. It’s not the same, but ’tis better than nothing. 

I found a rehearsal studio here in town that offers a drummer’s practice room; a small space which drummers can rent out for practice. It’s even “drummer budget friendly” also – $15 gets me two hours time – perfect! 

I went down the other day and had a lot of fun, and wanted to do it again; this time, I brought some recording gear with me and put together a little video. It’s not perfect by any means, but it sure did feel good to get back behind the real drums for a change. Perhaps it’s some motivation to find a band to play with now!

 

I’ve Been Busy in the Studio This Year

I’ve Been Busy in the Studio This Year

So far, 2017 has definitely been “The Year of the Studio”

I’ve been quite busy making music, and it feels great! First, with Tera Johnson’s album HOME coming out last month, now I’ve just added another to my list of releases. Another long time friend from college, Aaron Christenson has just released the first of many EP’s entitled “I Am Disaster” recorded by yours truly, in-house at my studio, JBRecording.  I also write a blog post about Aaron’s new release, in which you can also listen to the tracks we had done together. 

Aaron and I will be collaborating on 3 more tracks over the summer, so be sure to stay tuned for those coming up later on.  

Hold On

Hold On

Those two words can mean so many different things…

It’s a physical thing… Like, while on the subway, “The train is about to move… Hold on!”

Or… when you’re on the phone with someone, and you’ve got someone ringing your door bell…

“Hold on…”

Or if you’re going through a really tough time, and your best friend while consoling you says “It’ll be okay, just hold on…”

It’s also the title of a classic song from when I was growing up, that’s always been one of my favorites. That being said, just a little bit of backstory:

I’ve always been truly humbled and blessed to have such wonderful and talented people in my life. Last year, I started working on a project with one such friend, Tera Johnson who called me up out of the blue (we hadn’t seen one another in 15 years)  and said, “Hey, I’d like to do an album with you.”  The last time we’d been in a studio together was when we were both in college, and recording some project for either one of hers or one of my classes.

We’d kept in touch through Facebook as many of us do these days,  but it’s usually limited to seeing whatever someone shares to their profile. Pictures of kids, fun times, vacation posts, rants, etc… it’s not the same as staying truly connected.

I couldn’t say “no” to her request; I was truly humbled that she wanted to work with me again after all this time. She booked a plane and came down here to Austin some time after that phone call, and it began back in early 2016. She showed me some of the songs she’d been writing as of late, and some that she wanted to put together into a new album project entitled “Home”.

After the first day’s work in the studio, we were relaxing and unwinding, and decided to watch the movie Bridesmaids – a truly hilarious film. For those unaware, the song “Hold On” by Wilson Phillips is featured in the movie, as one the lead character and her bestie hold dear. As the movie was ending, Tera said “Hey we should go record that!” – Even after we’d worked all day in the studio, but both being the artists that we are, went up and did just that.

A few hours later, and some looks of surprise and exclamations of “Hey, this actually sounds pretty good!” – the song made it to the album, and is now the last track on Tera’s newest album HOME. We didn’t stop there, though. In addition to the song being the last on the record, it’s the first of a few music videos to come out for the new album.

You can find more information about Tera on her website, terajohnson.com,  her Facebook, and her YouTube Channel

Enjoy!

 

Update: June 2017:

After sharing this on social media, the incredible Carnie Wilson herself chimed in and said she enjoyed it! So cool!!

Favorite Music: Live Performances

Favorite Music: Live Performances

Music speaks to us in so many different ways.  It can make us laugh, it can make us cry, it can help to heal us during a tough time; it’s like the best friend that’s always there when we need it.

Periodically, I’m going to share posts involving songs or performances of songs that have special meaning for me. 

The first one, is one of the best live performances I’ve heard… but to simply refer to listening to this as “hearing” it, is just not doing it justice. This is the gold standard in live performance, because Whitney Houston takes an arena packed with people and transports every single one of them to a special place with her performance of “A Song For You” 

Listen to this with your eyes closed; it’s true beauty in simplicity. 

Since I’m specifically referring to live performances, I can’t neglect to mention Jennifer Holliday’s performance of “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” from the Tony’s in 1982.  

I love to see people who truly connect with the material, and show it in their performance. This is another one of those performances that, if it comes up in a YouTube “watch this again” feed, I always stop what I’m doing and do just that. I think Jennifer Hudson did a fine job in this role in the Dreamgirls movie, but I can clearly see where she took her inspiration.  Holliday isn’t just singing this, she’s feeling it, which makes for a unforgettable performance.  Do you have any favorite live performances? Post a comment, let me know! 

 

Gimme Shelter – Playing For Change

Gimme Shelter – Playing For Change

Found this in my “New Videos” of YouTube… I’ve been following this for some time now, a group called Playing for Change, that takes a mobile recording studio around the world and records street performers playing together, and edits things like this. Phenomenal.

Country Music… Who knew?

Country Music… Who knew?

I love music, this is a given, but I may have found an untapped phenomenal resource for

really well-written songs

… Yes, country music. Probably country-pop more specifically, because I can’t say I’m jonesin’ for some twang right now, but I love a song with great lyrics and that is equally performed with the talent befitting a song of that caliber. Rascal Flatts delivers on that, and I’m in the process of funding a few cups of coffee for them while I’m writing this.

I started a new Pandora station the other day for Rascal Flatts specifically, and I’ve been marking just about all the songs that have come on as a result. Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, phenomenal stuff. I’m interested to check out John Rich’s stuff too, being a fan of The Apprentice and him having won he certainly deserves a listen since I liked the stuff he did sing here and there throughout that show.

If you’ve never used Pandora, you need to. It’s given me a great appreciation for music, even more than what I’ve had my entire life. At first it was funk, then dance music, now country-pop. Who knows what else I’ll find on there?

February approaches…

February approaches…

What’s so special about that? Well, nothing really. But, it’s not so much about that date as something beginning, it’s a milestone for the month prior having been completed.

The band’s album is done, CD’s are available, and we just may have some opportunities knocking at our collective doors. The hard work just might be paying off. More details to come, I promise. I was exhausted when that was done but it was certainly worth it.

I’m getting to dust off my camera, thank goodness. Had a great shoot with Rob the other day and got some great results. I’ll post a few up here in the next few days, but I’ve been learning a ton from him and I’m excited about what’s to come. It’s nice to have a mentor, and opportunities to learn. I’m deeply grateful for that and for what may be down the road.

My main website is coming along, I’m trying to keep a constant pace going so I can put a firm date down on a launch. I don’t want to take too long, but not rush through it either.

I canceled my WoW subscription so I won’t have any distractions since I’ve got so much to do. Sell off excess stuff on eBay, start apartment hunting, book photo shoots, work on my website, get my ass in gear (physically!). So, I’m trying to be diligent with keeping myself on track to be healthier, maybe I can use this blog to hold myself accountable. Now’s as good a time as any to take better care of myself!

Speaking of taking care of myself, I need some sleep… Good night, and thanks for reading, and for your support.

Music is fuel for the soul

Music is fuel for the soul

Have you ever heard a specific song that just makes you think of someone? Whenever that song comes on, you find yourself envisioning a perfect setting with that special someone. Holding them in your arms, having everything be for lack of a better word…perfect.

Is there someone in your life whose smile can turn your worst day into your best? When you look into their eyes, you find yourself at peace; when they walk into a room, no matter what for, you feel a sense of comfort and warmth; when they touch you on the shoulder you feel like you are wrapped in a warm blanket, and nothing can harm you or cause you pain… I hope everyone can find someone like this to have in their life. I hope that even if you don’t, that a song can bring you to that place, if only temporarily, while you wait to meet your soul mate. I’m still waiting, and I’m not giving up hope.