Hey It’s Done

July 30th, 2007 |

I’ve got a couple of very short mp3’s that you should check out. Both of these were recorded within the past couple of hours.

The first one is Riley being Riley. He wanted me to record some music he’d written. At the end of each “song” he would yell out what I’m sure is soon to become my and Angel’s new catch phrase. I just clipped off the end of each “song” and put them back to back so you could hear the evolution of the thing. He is a complete spaz so all the racket you hear in the background is him jumping up and down as he performs.

Get the mp3 here

The next thing is what will soon be the finger-picking guitar part for the pre-chorus of my new tune called Sin No More. I’ve been kinda fascinated with this style of playing since around Christmas but this is the first song I’ve written that incorporates it. Before I recorded this I had just figured out how I want to play the pre-chorus so I recorded it as quickly as I could while it was still under my fingers. I rush the part pretty bad and it’s rather sloppy but it just my way of jotting it down. I think it’s kind of cool.

Get the mp3 here

Yesterday Chris Gustave came over and spent the day with us. That was super cool. He hadn’t been to the house in years so I was excited to get to hang with him again. We had quite a bit of catching up to do and quite a lot of pig parts to eat so we did just that. I played him a bunch of demos from my new record and he seemed to approve so that was certainly encouraging. He’s got a big opening coming up in September and said he’s going to have quite a few new pieces so start saving your money now.

I lied

July 25th, 2007 |

Yeah, so, like, that whole bit about how I was going to try and blog more often was apparently a total lie.

Angel and I had a long conversation the other night about how a dad/husband/musician should divide his time so as to be effective in all three disciplines. The resulting plan did not involve blogging. So, by reading this you are actually promoting my poor behavior. You wretch!

Actually, Riley is spending the night at my mom’s tonight so we can watch LOST in peace. The “so we can” from the previous sentence could be interpreted as “which will allow us to” or “because we wanted to”. Pick whichever you think best suits your idea of our parenting skills.

Here are some random things that have crossed my mind lately.

Drummers who realize that it’s not their job to make music funky are always the funkiest drummers. ?uestlove is a perfect example of this. He doesn’t ever play those ridiculous beats that white drummers think are funky. He (often) plays very straight beats and the funk happens in how elastic the instruments around the drums feel in relation to an (almost) static pulse provided by him. This is not true in every case but it is the case with most of the drummers who I consider funky. Houseman (G. Love and Special Sauce) is one exception that immediately comes to mind. He is a very busy player but very funky at the same time. The make-up of his band lends itself better to his approach.

The episode of LOST we watched last night was the best one yet. It’s the one where Claire finds out what happened to her when she was abducted. Finally an episode without some time-killing, pre-crash back story. I get it! Jack’s dad was a schmuck. Let it go. If I have to sit through another episode where I’m forced to learn one more time why Sayid likes to torture people, I’m going to torture people.

I’m almost done recording a song that has got me pretty excited. It’s sort of a Squirrel Nut Zippers meets Western Swing type thing. It’s totally over the top. I really dig it. It’s got thumb-style guitar playing, thick vocal harmonies, diminished chords, fuzzed out Tele licks, and percussion parts that sound like they were played by Tom Waits himself.  There are like 42 tracks so far. 42 tracks of total self-indulgence. Sweet.

Drive

July 19th, 2007 |

I intended to write something about being driven. In fact, I did write something about being driven. Then I deleted it. On purpose. It came out all wrong.

People are praised for being driven. MTV had (has?) a show called Driven. Books about how to become successful are ubiquitous. Drive is seen as an asset. A good character quality. The sign of a person who knows what they want and is willing to do anything to get it.

It’s a lie though.

I know people who are driven. I’ve been that way myself. Drive is not a strength. It’s a treatment. It’s our attempt to stop the bleeding. And it never works.

Picture this, somebody just slashed open my belly with a chainsaw. It’s bad. If I don’t do something it’s going to bleed until I die. I decided that I can treat this problem with my own abilities. I attempt to write my wound a beautiful song. That doesn’t work. I get a job making lots of money for the wound. Still bleeding. I have an affair for the wound. I dance really pretty for the wound. I get my face on the cover of Rolling Stone for the wound. Nothing ever works. The wound is not impressed.

This is a lot like what I see from people who are driven.

Having the desire to write excellent music and share it with the world is a perfectly innocent and beautiful goal. But sometimes that’s not the end of it. People who are driven have motive. They’re trying to prove something to somebody. And no matter how much money you make or how many albums you sell it will never heal the wound you’re trying to heal.

God has healed my wound. Now I just play music because I love music and it brings me exceedingly great joy, not because I hate myself and think that if enough people love me it will heal me. Deal with the wound. Deal with how you were offended. Deal with the source. No matter how many men tell you you’re pretty it will never fix what your mom said about you being ugly.

A passion for excellence is one thing but drive is another.

4 8 15 16 23 42 Hike!

July 16th, 2007 |

Here’s what has happened since we last spoke.

We went to our first ballgame this season. We played the Giants so we got to boo Bonds. That was cool.

In the immortal words of Mark McGwire “Steroids is bad.” I say cell phone pictures is also bad.

Here’s Riley being as cute as his dad. And whenever I find the guy I’m going to punch his stupid face.

Fredbird asked to have his picture taken with Riley so we charged him $25.

Angel and I have become hopelessly addicted to Lost. We needed a new show to sell our souls to and Lost has fit the bill swimmingly. Dino has raved about the show which – when it comes to movies – means that you should run screaming in the opposite direction. It seems he got this one right however. Maybe his horrible taste in films doesn’t really translate to TV. We’re on disc two of season two if you’re following along at home.

Riley turned five yesterday. It’s truly a miracle that we’ve been able to keep him alive this long. Happy Birthday Riley.

Angel’s family was in town from Georgia for the whole weekend. They left this morning and I’ve given Angel 24 hours to lose the accent she always picks up when they’re here. They say things like “What do you won’t to eat?” And if whatever you won’t to eat tastes funny then you should “smell of it” to see if it smells funny too.

This is from Riley’s party Friday night. Our scanner is an embarrassment. Sorry.

Left to Right: Angel’s Uncle Rickey, Riley, Angel’s mom Connie, Angel’s dashing husband, Angel’s self Angel, Angel’s Grandma Lee, Angel’s Grandpa Oscar.

I’m going to try and get back in the habit of blogging. It’s hard though. I’ve been doing really well at spending less time on the puter which means more time with the family.That’s good. But less time on the puter means I only want to do the things that are most important to me and right now recording is way more important than writing about recording.

‘Cause If I Slip Then I’m Slippin’ – Snoop

July 8th, 2007 |

Blogging is slipping down my priority list at an alarming rate. Sorry. I’ve been doing a lot of recording lately so that has taken up most of the time I allow myself to sit in this seat. The recordings are cool though. I promise.

I learned tonight that I’m going to be leading worship for three out of four Sundays in August. Our worship leader is going to be out of town so I get the gig. Put it on your calendars. Think of it as coming to see my new band really, really, really late on a Saturday night.

Something’s Coming

July 4th, 2007 |

I don’t really have much to say right now. There’s a lot going on on the music front but not really anything I can talk about as of yet. I see the troops starting to gather. The clouds beginning to swirl. I can see it coming. It’s good.

I just want to get this on here so I can look back in a year and remember when it all started.

Last night I talked to my cousin Bryan on the phone for a long time. In the liner notes of his album that was released last year he says “Drew: I believe it all started with you, and I believe it will be completed with you.” God is amazing.