Posts Tagged ‘touring’

Congratulations on a Life Well-Lived… So Far

December 28, 2009
It was a good year

Looking back on this year fills me with a deep sense of satisfaction for having lived out so many dreams and seeing so many people and places all over America. For the first time in forever I am living up to my potential and doing what I love with integrity and honesty. As usual, a lot of disappointments occured, but all hurdles were overcome and led to better things eventually. Ever since I was a kid I dreamed of travelling throughout America with people that I considered to be great friends as well as awesome musicians and artists. Now I can say I’ve done that. While we unfortunately are not playing together today, my experiences in Strangefeather inspired me to continue on another path with new friends and expand the family that is such a vital part of why I make music. For all of these things I am so grateful to the fans, supporters, musicians, club owners and staff, who all play a vital role in keeping live music alive all over America. If I was ever without hope before, it is now completely restored.

 
Weddings are fun…

Just listing the accomplishments of this past year makes my head spin: Played 100 shows in 25 states accross America on three seperate tours, with as many as 52 gigs in one 65-day period, reaching thousands of people’s ears along the way. Released “Interstellar Lounge Music” and played on albums by Monsters are Not Myths and TV Mike & the Scarecrowes. I’ve also written about 60 new songs and cut some new tracks in LA with Jenni Alpert and Eric Boulanger. I held down a steady job during all of this, too, which wouldn’t be possible without my awesome, accomodating bosses. I’ve been places and seen things that I never even thought existed, and met hundreds of wonderful new people along the way. I’ve learned things about my self that I never knew before and pushed both my physical and mental limits beyond their capacities. I’m glad to say that I’m still crazy after all of this.

A lot of people admit that they would never be able to do what I do. To get things done I’ve had to rough it a time or two. Lots of sleeping on floors and in the backs of cars, waking up cold and going days without a shower. Living off of only the most basic of gas station fast food for weeks at a time. Being constantly broke for days on end and staying in sketchy situations with questionable people. Getting ripped off by bars and fixing broken buses and bass amps, playing at puppet shows and chinese food buffets, drinking other people’s beer, being asked to play “Free Bird” again, and lifting lots of heavy stuff are all part of the job description, and none of it really bothers me in the least. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve learned a lot of what not to do, and I feel like I am ready to start being wise now. Because there are no financial rewards for surviving all of these hardships, there is a sense of adventure in everything I do, and it’s ultimately more satisfying than making a heap of money. Of course, I am now learning how to do both at once. I must admit that there were moments in the past year when I wanted to give up on everything and just be normal, but it was from these darkest moments that I gathered the perspective to continue onward, and am stronger because of it. For a long time I’ve thought I have what it takes to be a musician. Now I know it’s true.

 

Still rockin’ in the free world

My goals for next year are simple. Instead of playing so many shows, I want to play better venues with better sound and for more people. I want to perform and write with as many successful and talented musicians as possible and make better records. I want you to be able to turn on the television or radio and hear my songs playing. I want to tour with different bands and see what works. I want to take more airplane flights and I want more guitars and recording gear (maybe even unlimited studio time?). Most of all, I want to make a name for myself as a solo artist and continue to express how much I enjoy what I do. Again, I have all of the wonderful people in my life to thank for such a priviledge. For now, I am content with sitting back and reflecting on my accomplishments and taking it easy for a little while. Happy New Year!

 

Goodbye 2009, Hello 2010!

NOW is the Craziest Time of Year

December 1, 2009

Sometimes when dreams come true, it's not a good thing

Now is always the craziest time of year for me. I even have the numbers to prove it. My website stats are through the roof, my email box is full of frantic interactions, and now my blog is getting more action than ever. In the past, I have barely survived the mayhem, only to become ill afterwards and burn out for the rest of the year and months afterword. Last November was a great example. I was working 2 jobs, playing in 4 bands, releasing a record (which involved flying people into town and many rehearsals), and playing way too many shows back-to-back. I remember sometimes hopping from one gig to the next, calling people to ask them to turn on my amp for me. 

I’ve gotten pretty tired of overburdening myself and not sleeping right for weeks. It seems every time I burn out it takes 3 months just to get back on my feet. I could see how being a musician working for a record label that keeps pushing them when they’re burned out probably contributed to the demise of many a great talent (and Britney Spears). This year was no exception in the busy department. I released yet another album and had a great record release party at the Make-Out Room. All the cd’s and their packaging was hand-constructed, and I had to organize the entire night of 3 bands (it’s hard enough to organize one band!). Now I find myself embarking on a short 1-week tour (my third of the year), only to be faced with the daunting task of booking a longer one in March (tours book 2-3 months in advance). Meanwhile, I’ve been bouncing back and forth between SF and LA in what spare time I have to record new material and am still in the process of moving all my stuff next door, getting two new roommates, and dealing with the insanity of the remaining roomie.

But this year I made myself a promise:  I Shall Not Burn Out. I know it’s like saying that I won’t get old and die, but I’ve prepared as much as possible to avoid the inevitable. After having gone through this routine a few times, I’m able to anticipate the onslaught of insanity and avoid stress by eliminating things that aren’t important. I have taken as much time to get good rest and lay off the booze a little. I’ve taken on less work for money in exchange for the things I really love, and spent time socializing with good people and eating good food. I walk at least a couple of miles every day, and I try to focus on the most overwhelming tasks first and deal with the less important details later because most things come together at the last minute in my life anyway.

So far I am doing ok, although I can already sense the inevitable overwhelming sensation that follows accomplishing so many tasks and makes me wonder if I’ll want to do anything else ever again after surviving the experience. Accomplishing so many goals in such a short time is a wonderful feeling. It’s as if the entire year has built up to one maelstrom of events, and it’s all very climatic. I’ve had some great moments recently that I will remember for the rest of my life. But with the feeling of accomplishment comes a vacancy of inspiration, and it always takes time to realize new dreams and think them through enough to gain the confidence to enact them and following through. I plan on taking some time off in the second half of December to recover, but not for very long. I hope I make it through to the other side this time with a positive attitude and desire to keep moving forward. I don’t want to take another step back like I have so many times before. I’ll see you on the other side and let you know how it goes.