Inside Thoughts

It’s incredible how much has changed in the world in only a couple of months. And what will change for the rest of this year, and subsequent years is anyone’s guess. What I do know is that the surge of art, music and creativity as a result of everyone’s isolation should not be underestimated. It should be applauded and allowed to flourish. Artists around the globe have been stepping up and using inventive ways to share their craft with others, largely through online technology, so we can all be entertained and support each other. Because you know the majority of artists could always use the financial support, in times such as these, especially. Utilizing the internet has never been more important, and not primarily for meme postings or trash talk. It’s now a collected culture and worldwide togetherness at a grassroots level that’s never truly happened until this time, and from here on we should all think about what’s next for our planet and how we’re going to achieve it.

I make music, not as frequently as I’d like. It isn’t my day-job (secure at the moment), and career shifts and setbacks are affecting many, so other musicians have it much worse than I. The purchase of ANY artist’s music will undoubtedly make a difference, so I suggest you explore and dig deep to find and support whatever you love and appreciate, locally or globally, and spend what you feel you’re able to. I just completed another album that was added as another RPM Challenge for the month of April, and it’s pay-what-you-like at the moment because I’ve often issued them that way. Over the years, I’ve mostly thought of my musical contributions to the world as just something to share, as money can’t really buy happiness, however, even small cash influxes mean something today. If anything, just to know some people enjoy it, and I’m doing something right. Either way, it’s there for listening to, and if you want to contribute, you can.

I’ll end with this: the arts are here for good, and although not as inherently essential as health workers these days, they have been vital in humanity’s well-being for centuries and certainly for our immediate future. Whether you’re a creator or a supporter, just keep doing it. It’s what’s needed right now, and through whatever connection you’re making, feeling better is the goal. Let’s start with that.

Freshly Frozen Sounds

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Ok, here’s the first posting in quite awhile, and it will be brief for now. I freshened my website, and just dropped another new record for February, because it’s my favourite month to do so. This one was recorded from a live performance at The Ship Pub in St. John’s for the monthly Night Music from Sound Symposium. The theme is obviously a chilled ambient one, due to the frigid temperatures and massive snow we’ve had in the area. Lots of randomized arpeggiated synths and granulated shifting over drum loops made for a polyrhythmic frozen feast you’ll let thaw naturally within your earholes. Enjoy, and warm up.

Vigoda For The Win! Burgers! RPM!

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So it’s been almost a year since the last post. Why? Life moves, y’all. And you move with it. Sometimes online social posturing takes a back seat while you manage other tasks or ignore them altogether. And lots has happened, inevitable as death itself. So let’s not recap, and I’ll instead tell you I planned to try my iPad app to let me post here after taking some choice shots of the last two nights of homemade burgers I made and devoured. Thing was, it was on my fancy camera, so I dropped the files to my Google Drive in the hopes of accessing the pics. To my dismay, no. So instead I put on display some earlier art I made from a beauty screenshot of Abe Vigoda, who’s been in the news as deceased. For real! On that note, I wish everyone a joyous National Peanut Butter Lovers Day, a thank you to February for all time, and I made another RPM record, suckas! More to follow! 

Home Safe And Sound

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It’s been a couple of weeks since I’d returned safely to the ‘City Of Legends’, St. John’s, from my exploratory sojourn in Western Canada. And as much as I feel slightly defeated by my inability to securely transplant into those new surroundings, I feel okay about it because I am here. Not much has changed in six months, but enough for me to notice — the downtown construction of new buildings continues, and the landscape of businesses shifts ever-so-slightly. The things that haven’t changed are what keep me smiling here, which I’ll outline for you now.

Last week, after a rousing Beatles jam session with my good pals in Ad Lib To Fade (as a seven-year garage jam band drummer), I wanted to drop in on some Water Street sounds. I’d been curious to see how The Black Sheep was doing with their now regular lineup of musicians, and to hear how the room felt. My buddy Brad Jefford was playing guitar with his latest jazz trio ‘plus’ for his fresh Wednesday jam location, and they were really cooking, nestled in the front corner and mere feet away from my lean-to at the bar. I could see why musicians were playing there, cozy and intimate as it was with the patrons inside. It was also the week we hosted the East Coast Music Awards, so there were some early bodies floating about. Splendid time out.

On Friday I managed to catch some of the Rising Star Showcase at The Ship Pub, a favourite haunt. It was okay, but lacked the vibe I wanted. It certainly wasn’t like the ECMA’s I recalled from years ago. Saturday night was a better story. I crashed for the weekend with my friends Jon and Lo, and we went for supper at the Adelaide Oyster House, a new spot for downtown dining. The food was scrumptious, and the company was hilarious. Then we made it up the hill and out of the busy part of downtown for the busiest, strangest, non-ECMA show in the city. The hardened Peter Easton Pub, a live music venue in a previous life, now had party people spilling out into the street for Green & Gold, The Novaks and The Mark Bragg Band. I think the gig was more for the crowded spectacle than anything else, but what a time! A time enjoyed with more close friends I encountered there.

That’s what it comes down to — my close friends and family, good musical experiences and stimulating environments. Those are the important things I notice here that haven’t changed, and make me smile. The welcoming people that make my hometown what it is, and the community that has graciously accepted me back into the fold. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here making my way in this world. One day I’ll repay everyone in kind, and let’s say it’ll be sooner than later. Thanks for the support, everybody.

Future Success Stories

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I make music every year, but February’s annual RPM album creation was slightly different for me. After many years, I finally went for a new geographic locale, which is nice. Then there are the thoughts of starting a fresh career direction in life when there’s an apparent recession in the area. So I’ve discovered a few things recently:

  • bigger cities are artistically exciting and necessary for weird-scene seekers (yours truly)
  • money, earlier not a priority issue for me, is actually really important to extended survival
  • at my age, job seeking has become much pickier and more difficult
  • the need for specialized skills is immense, and I seem to have the wrong ones, or not quite enough of the right ones

Thus the title and inspiration behind my new release, Future Success Stories. A life in flux is scary business for anybody, but also liberating in its freedom to choose whichever path you wish. I wonder how long before I know where mine leads, and how much debt that requires? Ultimately, artistry is a road to poverty, but I rather enjoy making art because I can’t help myself. So for now I’ll just give you that something I love doing, and deal with figuring out my most desirable day job at a time in the not-so-distant future. What a story. Maybe I’ll make my own.