Jan 24, 2012

Technology Central

Guest post written by my buddy Aldo Mays

There's nothing like the drone of the TV from the living room when you're trying to have a family dinner and I can't get my daughter to eat with us to save my life. She's pretty much obsessed with technology and when I told her last week there would be no texting at the table she said "Fine! Then I guess I just won't eat!" That won't really work. So anyway, I finally got her to agree to eat if she could watch TV during the  meal...I figure it's baby steps.

Anyway, we got http://get.wildblue.com/ internet at home, too, and my intention was that it would help her with her homework and I'd be able to do some online banking but really she spends all her time now on social networking sites and "chatting" with her friends. I don't mind a little technology and it sure has made my life easier in some ways but it's really ruining our family dynamics and I think my daughter's technology obsession is getting a little bit out of hand.

Not Even Close To "Done With This"

I'm continually writing new material and I don't see myself stopping anytime soon. Sometimes I feel like I've only just begun. But occasionally I can't help but look back at old material and bask in my few but very pride filled musical moments of my past.

I will always remember the story behind the creation of my song "Done With This" very well. It was my senior year at the University of Maine, the last week of finals before the end of the fall semester. It was getting down to the nitty gritty of my core business classes, final projects, long papers and extremely boring group presentation sessions that everyone was required to attend. In the last presentation of the session in one of the biggest lecture halls on campus I could barely stay concious. The only thing keeping my nodding head from drifting off to dream land was my pen as I wrote down every angsty feeling that flowed through me at that moment. The more I wrote, the more I woke and the more I woke, the more I just couldn't stop.


The rest of the session flew by in a sea of words and a rush of inspiration that almost carried me all the way to the neighboring town of Old Town where my guitar waited in the small upstairs bedroom of the house I was renting with some friends. Quickly a guitar a riff floated into the air and the lyrical melody soon after. It couldn't have been more than hour after I got home when I had a rough version of "Done With This" recorded on my computer.

 I don't know how many times I've told this story but no matter how dull it may seem to anyone else, it never gets old to me. Recalling this moment in my songwriting history makes me think of why I love writing music in the first place and why I don't think I can ever stop for as long as I live.

Rock on.

Jan 22, 2012

Mom's Worries

Guest post of the week by Brittany Booker

Mom's been so concerned with money lately which I guess I can respect but she needs to chill out a bit. I love her to death but it seems like every other word she says is about coupons and taking money out of the bank and looking for good Internet Packages Deals that she can save money on...I think it's because she's going to retire relatively soon and needs to make sure she's got enough money to live on but you know, at the end of the day mom worked really hard for a lot of years and I know she's got plenty of money. I don't she felt financially secure since dad dies but she knows that me or my brother would take care of her if anything every happened and we needed to - I don't know why she's such a worry wart. I love her to death but she needs to chill out otherwise she's going to have a heart attack or something from being so stressed out all the time!

The Best Laid Plans...

You can't say that I didn't have good intentions. You can't say that I don't have the skill or the desire to create. But you can say that I don't have the absolute go-getter attitude that gets things done.

In my post, It's About Time To Let The Music Flow, I mentioned on online course that I was pretty excited about that I was sure was going to get the music flowing once and for all. Honestly, it started out great. I spent the first 2 weeks jamming out a half hour of ideas everyday. With the Garage Band running I just played, not really thinking about what I was doing just basically going with the flow and letting my unconscious mind send those notes down to my fingers to be played and recorded. It was a little frustrating at first but as the sessions added up the ideas became more complete and more interesting.

By the last session I was feeling good with the amount of original material I created as well as the quality of that material. But when it came to listening back and picking out those ideas the momentum quickly faded. Those ideas that I was so excited about were few and far between and even the ones that I was most interested in still seemed dull and overall uninteresting. At that point I felt like the last 2 plus weeks had been wasted and the album that I was going to have to show for all that work wasn't even one song closer to being in existence.

Since then, things have changed a bit. I've continued to write like I always have before, letting the ideas come as they do and building them slowly into a somewhat cohesive piece. I currently have 2 or 3 songs stuck in that oh so common phase of mine that involves me playing what I've completed over and over again until it makes me sick only to be perpetually stuck without a bridge, a solid ending or an interesting enough hook.

It seems to be my curse and overall I feel like it comes down to confidence and the lack of drive to just sit down and get things done. I so badly want these songs to be completed and see the light of day. I want to share them and be proud of them. I want to jam with some other musicians and turn these songs into a complete composition. How I do that is the question of the century.

I'd really like to take a lot of these principles from the course and run with them. I already know that they have a major difference in my songwriting by the quality and number of ideas that have been arising even after I kind of gave up on the program. I know I've probably said it a hundred times but I just need to do it, as insanely hard and idiotically simple as that is.
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