Friday, August 1, 2014

"Why Honey Sings" Video

Don't expect a Duran Duran masterpiece, but I made a music video.  I entered a local talent contest (at least I think I did; I wasn't sure if the Web entry form actually worked) since I decided to play out again (cue up "Talent Show" by The Replacements, but I'll skip the pill-popping part).  The contest was looking for all ages material, so I chose an older song with no cuss words and fairly broad appeal in that it wasn't about an old man hanging out at the library or an administrative assistant plotting revenge on the people who made fun of her musical taste.  I figured a love song would be good, and since I had been playing "Why Honey Sings" lately, I chose it.  It's also a short song, so I figured there would be less chance to screw it up. The contest rules asked for a video, so I filmed myself playing it.  It's a pretty boring video, but the performance is all right, and I assume that's what the talent contest folks are looking for.  I did break out my old shiny shirt ($2 at the Fashion Bug sidewalk sale in 1997, if I remember correctly) to provide a hint of visual appeal.  I would have liked to have shown the guitar, but anytime I moved back enough from the camera for it to show up, the sound quality dropped too much, so y'all just get a cross between a webcam shot and the second half of the Bruce Springsteen "Brilliant Disguise" video.  The best thing about the video is that after I filmed it and filled out the contest application, I noticed a little tiny note that said that if the entrant were a musical act, then all that was needed was a sound recording on SoundCloud.


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sam Ash Open Mic

I checked out the Sam Ash open mic last night.  It was pretty cool.  As with most open mics, the only people there were the performers and a couple friends of theirs.  I appeared to be the only one who just showed up to listen in general.  Some talented folks were playing, and they got some random musical collaboration whenever someone would try out a drumset or keyboard in the middle of their song, which added a nice Dadaesque spice to the open mic.  I likely will attend the next one on Wednesday, August 6th at 7 p.m. and play some of my new songs.  I believe that I will fit right in with the other middle-aged dudes playing Bob Dylan songs (except I won't be playing any Dylan songs).  There were no female performers, which I found odd, but guitar geekery is primarily a male bastion anyway, so it's probably not surprising (one guy even played "Stairway To Heaven" to check his tuning).  Each performer gets a $10 gift card apparently, so that's a good deal.  I can use it to buy a Bob Dylan songbook and then return to play Dylan songs, so I can fit in even better.  The Sam Ash I'll be playing is located at 5700 Mayfield Road in Lyndhurst, Ohio USA.  If you get there by 6, then you can hit the Entenmann's outlet a couple of doors down in the strip plaza and get some cheap bread and donuts.  There's also a Skyline Chili in the plaza, which might be the most north of Cincinnati that I've ever seen one of those.  So, if you're really bored, then feel free to come out and stock up on going stale raisin bread, chow down on chili on your spaghetti, and hear some Dylan and Fright!  It's free (though someone might try to sell you a bass or something). 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Third Monster Of Party Beach Trailer!

The third trailer from Monster Of Party Beach is out!  This one includes a couple moments with me in my role as a cop.  I spoke with director Mark Justice yesterday and he said that he's trying for an August release, but even if that goal doesn't get met and the film doesn't get out until the fall, that would be just fine since it's a horror movie parody and that would be perfect for the Halloween season.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Purslane: The Driveway Dinner

For the last week or so, I've been eating purslane, a little plant that seems to love growing in my driveway and patio.  I used to pluck it out, but then I read somewhere that purslane was edible and nutritious, so I decided to give it a try.  So far, I've had it with couscous, with rice, and in a burrito.  It's crunchy and yummy.  I've been eating the leaves and stems, so pretty much the whole plant, except for the roots.  Being not used to eating plants that sprout up in my driveway, I proceeded cautiously, but I've gotten pretty good at identifying it from a couple lookalikes who are poisonous (here's a good article for identification).  I didn't even have to grow this plant from seed nor plant it, so that's the best kind of gardening!  My next experiment will be to see if it can replace spinach in a sandwich.  If it could, then that would be great, as my first spinach crop is all gone and the second one won't be ready until late in the summer.  Like blackberries, purslane is another good reason not to use lawn chemicals.

Monday, July 28, 2014

La Bibliotheque Fantastique

I recently traded zines with Antoine Lefebvre, a zine publisher and artist from Paris, France.  It had been some time since I traded internationally, and I was a bit shellshocked by the rise in international postage prices.  Yikes!  It's a good thing that Antoine also copublishes his work electronically at La Bibliotheque Fantastique, so that you can check out the great assortment of zines and other publications, including classic dada publications, without having to pay postage.  Print is still cooler, but it's certainly not cheaper!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Stepping Out Again

I stopped writing songs in 2005. I had a nice 15-year-long run, but it seemed time to stop. With marriage and a full-time job, I didn't have time to be in a band anymore, so there didn't seem to be a need to write any new songs, especially with so many old ones to pick from when I felt like playing music by myself. In addition, most of my little time available for creative activities was taken up by writing. I did a lot of literary readings at that time, so it still kind of felt as if I were playing out in bands, except I didn't have to lug heavy amplifiers around town (I am reminded of something David Thomas of Pere Ubu said, something to the effect that rock and roll mostly involved moving big black boxes from one side of town to the other), which was pleasant.

However, the muses apparently weren't going to be satisfied with poems and stories; they wanted songs, so, in 2012, music started pouring out again. Even though I still took care of my responsibilities, I made a deliberate effort to reserve time for the activities that I most enjoyed such as writing and playing music, even if I only got to playing guitar once a week or so.  Apparently, the secret to happiness is doing more of the things that make one happy, so I followed that mantra.  I also made a vow to play out again, but only when I had a set of eight new songs, one cover, and one old song. Well, with "Soldier Through" being the eighth new song, it appears I will have to keep my vow (the cover is "Pack Of Lies" by Fatima Mansions and the old song is "Why Honey Sings"), so I'm thinking about either hitting an open mic or two or getting a bass player and drummer to flesh out the songs, or maybe even both. If anybody has suggestions for either one of those approaches, then please get in touch. I've been out of the Cleveland, Ohio USA music scene for long enough that I will basically have to start all over, which I'm kind of looking forward to.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Song: "Soldier Through"

I wrote this song for anyone going through a rough patch.  I was aiming for the feel of a Stooges b-side.  The static on the recording is by design, so there is nothing wrong with your speakers or your broadband connection.  It popped up as an Audacity error, so I decided to make use of it.  Percussion this time is provided by a pair of old boots.  The everpopular mouthbass provides the bassline, such as it is.  I found a cool MIDI synth that I intended to conjure bass sounds out of, but it didn't play well with Audacity.  Maybe next time I can get it to work.  You can check out the MP3 here.  Really, this stuff is much more fun and cheaper than therapy.  The lyrics are below.  It's the same deal as always.  If you like a song, then feel free to cover it if you're in a band or whatnot.  I love to hear covers of my songs, so please let me know about your version.  If you start making money, then send me a check/we can work out a deal.  Similarly, if you want to use a song for your Youtube video or whatnot, then just let me know.  It's usually fine by me unless it's a commercial product or whatnot (and then it's likely fine as well--I just want my cut).  Find out first though.  Write me at wredfright ATATAT yahoo DOTT com.

I got hired, and I got shit on.
I got fired, and I got spit on.
I got sick, and no one cared.
I threw up, and everyone just stared.

But I'm going to soldier . . . I'm going to soldier through,
so I can find my way . . . find my way through.

It was my turn, and I got ignored.
I told my story, and everyone looked bored.
So now it's one foot in front of the other.
I will not cry out for my mother.

If I'm in Hell, I'm going to keep going.
That's the only way out, and that's the only thing worth knowing.
Some people say that I should give up,
but marching on is the only way to sip from the victory cup.

Written July 2014
Recorded July 2014