Nanotron

August 21st, 2009 |

There is a song on my upcoming record called “Wait Child Wait” that desperately needs a Mellotron part in the chorus. The Mellotron is the keyboard heard in the intro to Strawberry Fields Forever and as luck would have it I don’t own one. Not only do I not own one I also don’t have anything that sounds even remotely similar in my collection of hundreds of keyboard patches.

Last night I went searching around the net to see if I could find anything affordable that might come at least close to emulating the Mellotron sound. After much searching through keyboard libraries that cost at least $150 I came across a Mellotron plug-in called Nanotron. And get this, it’s free.

After seeing that it was being offered for free I figured it would probably sound about as bad as all the other free libraries I’ve tried over the years. I was wrong. Very wrong. It sounds phenomenal. I can’t believe it.

I went and grabbed a MIDI version of Strawberry Fields and ran it through this thing and was left giggling with excitement.

Here’s a short mp3 of the intro played through the Nanotron.

I’m Not Dead Yet

August 18th, 2009 |

I keep telling myself I need to get back to blogging. Then myself always reminds myself that video games are a much more entertaining way to spend myself’s time.

My little gaming addiction has reared its ugly head over the past few months and it has (as it always does) gotten a wee bit out of control lately. With that said, if any of you happen to play Quake Live my in-game name is “DrewJohnson” (I’m so creative) so look me up and I’ll be happy to apply a rocket to your face.

Here’s a quick rundown of what I should have been blogging about over the past month.

– Riley took swimming lessons. He still doesn’t know how to swim.

– We’re remodeling our bathroom. That means everyone in the house is angry all the time.

– We bought one of these for Riley off of Craigslist for a tiny fraction of what they cost new.

– The money for recording the album is all gone. Nothing is finished.

– I wrote and arranged horn parts to two songs for Javier Mendoza‘s upcoming album.

– This Saturday I’ll be playing my first live show in probably three years. It’s the Satisrocktion festival in Arkansas.

That’s it for now. The basball game is about the start. I’m really going to try and get back to blogging regularly. Sorry for my lack of discipline.

Riley is Seven

July 16th, 2009 |

Yesterday was Riley’s seventh birthday. I can’t believe he’s made it this long.

My mom took us all to The Muny to see Godspell last night. It was really good. It had a rather messed up view of the biblical stories it was portraying but other than that it was rather entertaining.

Here’s a picture my mom took of Riley right outside The Muny.

Worship Leader

July 12th, 2009 |

Last Sunday was a pretty big milestone in my life. I was asked to be one of two worship leader’s at our church and last Sunday was my maiden voyage. Of course I was very excited to move into this position. Last Sunday and today both went pretty smooth so I’m very thankful for that.

Today after the service one of the boys in our church who I believe is about eight years old came up to me and handed me a picture he had drawn of me on the back of the bulletin. It’s awesome.

Our Apple Tree

May 11th, 2009 |

We planted an apple tree tonight. So what? you say. Well this is not just any old apple tree. This is a Honey Crisp apple tree. If you’ve never had a Honey Crisp apple go out and buy two dozen right now. I’ll wait. They are far and away the most awesome apples ever to tempt a mortal.

You may consider asking if your local grocer offers any financing or same-as-cash deals before you pick up too many of these suckers because they are pricey to say the least. Thus the apple tree.

In only five to seven more years we’ll be able to remove the Honey Crip apple line from our monthly budget because we’ll be churning out these puppies for free. Jealous?

If you squint really hard you can find the tree in this next picture. It’s about two pixels wide.

See it? Well look again. Now do you see it?

You might notice that Lilly is eyeballing the thing trying to figure out a way to grab it and make her escape without Angel raking her to death.

When I was dumping the camera tonight it was obvious that Riley had gotten his hands on it because there were about 74 pictures of completely random objects around our house. Here is one that I liked.

This is such a great picture of Lilly’s eye boogers and runny nose that I just had to share.

Big Weekend

April 30th, 2009 |

Big weekend coming up. Tomorrow night I’m going to see a reunion show of Dino‘s very first band, The Hype. I think it’s been twenty years since that band was formed. Fifteen maybe? Ten? I don’t remember. Anyway, the show marks some anniversary of the band’s forming or first show or something like that. I’m very excited to see them play. They will be playing a bunch of 80’s covers and I can’t think of many things that I enjoy more than 80’s covers. That was not facetious.

They’ll be playing at Helen Fitzgerald’s from 6:00 to 8:30 so come on out because I’m going by myelf and I hate that.

Then Saturday night Angel and I will be celebrating our 11th wedding anniversary by having dinner at The Melting Pot.  We did the same thing last year and I liked the food so much that we decided we’d do it every year. I don’t think anybody will be getting any tattoos this time but you never know.

After dinner we’re heading to the saddest fun show you could ever want to see. The Maxtone Four will be playing their final show and they’ve asked me to sing on a couple of tunes so that should be a blast.

So lots of milestones this weekend. You should come to one of them. Let me suggest that you not choose our anniversary dinner.

My Teeth

April 15th, 2009 |

I had a bit of a milestone in my life today.

Those of you who know me personally know that I have these awful, brown stains on my front teeth. I don’t know what they’re from but I’ve had them for as long as I can remember.

I was never all that self conscious about them until about six or seven years ago when The Drew Johnson Band made an appearance on channel five. I watched the tape of that with some friends and acquaintances and one person said to me something like “Dude, what is going on with your front teeth?” From that moment on I became acutely aware of those stains on my teeth.

I was going to dig up some pictures to show the stains but I’m too tired to go digging right now and the other thing is that I have very few pictures where I’m showing my teeth because I hate them.

The thing that is such a bummer about having those stains is that I actually have extremely straight teeth. Dentists always ask me if I wore braces as a kid but I didn’t.

So on to the whole point. Today I went to a new dentists. Angel’s dentist. I’ve been griping about mine for years and Angel finally talked me into making the switch. I went in for a basic new patient check-up sort of thing. He asked me “Are you happy with the appearance of these front teeth?” He knew there was an obvious answer to that question. Then he said “I think I can fix that.”

Within sixty seconds he handed me a mirror and asked “Is that better?” They were gone! I wanted to cry. I, like, totally wanted to kiss him right on the lips. I couldn’t believe it. He said “That’s on the house.”

Basically all he did was to grind off the very outer layer of enamel from those teeth and the gunk came off with it.

There is still plenty of whitening to be done because I was a smoker for many years but now at least there’s hope and I’m not afraid to smile any more.

Good day.

The Crib

April 4th, 2009 |

We finished up the living room today. This whole thing was pretty much Angel’s brain child from the beginning. She started off by wanting a dog that would ruin our furniture by urinating on it and then eating it. I have to admit, it seemed a strange way to go about remodeling our living room but I’ll be a monkey’s sailboat if it didn’t work.

Here is what our furniture looked like a few years ago before the urine and drool.

It doesn’t look like that any more.

We had to resort to buying some slip covers for three of the four pieces and they look pretty nice in a relaxed-fit sort of way. 

Here are some pictures of the process.

The stripes were Angel’s idea and she did all of the hard work. I think they turned out great.

Here’s the awesome Country Gentleman I was talking about.

I’m glad we’re done. Now we can get back to letting the dog tear up all the new stuff.

Cancelled

April 3rd, 2009 |

You know it’s been a long day when you don’t check your email until 9:45 PM.

There was a last minute cancellation of the recording session last night. Nobody’s fault, it was just one of those things that couldn’t be avoided. We’ve rescheduled for next Wednesday and Thursday nights.

Angel and I (mostly Angel) finished up remodeling our living room tonight. It looks really cool. We’re very please. I’ll probably have some pictures tomorrow.

Tired.

Good night moon.

What Happened To The Band?

March 17th, 2009 |

Over the past few weeks I’ve been asked the question “Is this a band record or is this a solo record?” multiple times and in multiple formats. And now that you’ve seen the video from a couple of days ago I’m sure many more of you were asking the same question but just never wrote or called or knocked.

Of course some of you may not know that the rhythm section in the video was not the same rhythm section as in the band but let me clear this up.

This is a solo record. The musicians in the video are studio musicians. The decision to use studio musicians instead of my own musicians was not an easy one. I’m a band guy at heart. I’ve been playing in bands almost non-stop since I was sixteen. I love being in a band.

The problem with using the guys in the band was a logistical problem not a talent problem. Scheduling rehearsals was a total nightmare because, now that we’re all grown-ups, we actually have family responsibilities, church responsibilities, job responsibilities, and so on. And if scheduling rehearsals is hard you can imagine how much harder it would be to schedule studio time.

Lou (my drummer) and I are still very much interested in playing music together but for right now I really wanted to get this record made. So the decision was made to use some of Jacob‘s crew.

I hope this clears up any confusion.