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National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo)

Posted by on 5:31 PM in Uncategorized | 0 comments

November is a magical month, when a Page’s thoughts turn to the number of words he can cram into a novel in just thirty days. Every November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Participants, like myself, have just the thirty days of the month to write a novel of at least 50,000 words. Sound easy? It’s not. Sure, there is an entire year to prepare, work through outlines, do character sketches. But, what do I do? I usually wait until the last minute and fly by the seat of my keyboard. The first year I completed NaNoWriMo was 2012. I wrote a novel, a terrible thing (I can admit it, and with pride, it is terrible – like a highschool freshman trying to write like Bukowski or Palahniuk) called A Toothsome Crooked Grin. Really, it was bad. I knew it when I wrote it, but I thought I would still pursue it – albeit, in a very lazy & uneventful way. I entered a contest through Amazon.com to win a publishing deal. All participants had to come up with their Back of the Book Blurb. Here’s mine. Mommy is a whore, Grandma has dementia and the stuffed hedgehog says the way to healing is through self-mutilation.     Joseph begins his story here, and he’s just a child. Walking through this open window he tells his life story – of scarring violence, empty relations and two-faced morals. Everyone in his life is affected from Sarah the school nurse to Thomas the awkward cohort, and even The Tooth Faery. This is not a story about revenge or redemption. This is simply the story of someone who has been broken.     The slums of California are the backdrop for this Coming of Rage story and full of vile sex, sin and extremes where no one is innocent. This is Joseph’s disturbing and sordid life, driven through his point of view and leaving very little to the imagination. This is a study of human nature that no one wants to admit to seeing, the downside of the coin on the bottom of the world.    Laughably bad, right? Well, the novel isn’t any better. The following year I began a new story – one that, unknown to me, would become a trilogy. But, I am no Martin, Tolkien, or Asimov. I began with the idea of the prompted journal entries of a madman in an asylum. And so, I began my second book and met Charlie. He is the opening voice of Dime Store Sycophant. The first book goes through a series of weird changes, points of view, and even crosses genres (terribly). It went on through two sequels – Dime Store Revisited and Dime Store Closing. Where the first novel changed from one genre to another, the following books took on lives of their own. Unfortunately for them, the first book isn’t as good as they are, – and, unfortunately for me, none of the three are worth the work of editing, re-drafting, and working towards publishing. So, why do it? Honestly? Because it is fun. It is a month where my entire focus is on creating something purely for fun! The part of me that focuses on this or that with music is set aside. This is the part of it that some of my friends find a bit out...

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Where Does The Time Go?

Posted by on 2:15 PM in Uncategorized | 0 comments

       Having a place at home to record is both good and bad… Sure, I don’t have to pay a ton of money for studio time – which is great when I’m having a day of bad takes, but I still won’t get that Studio Sound that many musicians think of…. But, there is one upside/downside than not many people think about…        When I sit at my little at-home studio, there are times when I come up with song ideas back to back (my all-time record is something like twelve ideas in one day). I don’t mean full songs or instrumentals, I mean little pieces – riffs, chord progressions, verses – that I think are too cool to lose! So, I record them. And, honestly, they usually sit there in the recording bank for a long, long, long, long, long time before I give them a listen. And, to make it worse, I usually have to be pretty desperate in my writer’s block to listen to them! Just think, hours – maybe even days – of puzzle pieces of songs! Sounds great, right?     Well, what about the time I spent recording those things that I could have been working on a song that is already written? A song that is almost there, it just needs a bass groove and some mixing done to it?       Six hours later…         What happened? I thought I had a full day to work on music… I have an entire list of things to do: recordings, overdubs, second takes, fiftieth takes, mixing, production work, vacuuming, dishes, dogs & cats to pet…      This is where my time...

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Being A Nerd & The Ideal Rock Star Life

Posted by on 9:21 PM in Uncategorized | 0 comments

So, let’s get this out of the way… I’m kind of a nerd.I research everything that even vaguely interests me; guitars, amps, effects, authors, movies, mics, and even the cables I use for my instruments. So, in the spirit of research, I looked up different topics to blog about. One of them said to write about “the ideal rock star life you want to live!” Yippee skippee… I’m sure a ton of people want to hear about how someone like me wants a huge pad that would put the Wayne Manor to shame, a lot of cars that are far too expensive to drive, or a lot of random expensive possessions that I shamelessly flaunt with my group of “friends” while on a world tour that costs more than the national budget. Pass. You want to know what my ideal rock star life looks like? You might be surprised… My ideal life is actually pretty quiet. I want to live somewhere close to water – a lake or an ocean. I want time to lay in a hammock and read, time to pet my dogs and cats (of which there will be many, of course), and the freedom to not worry about any bloody day job, and instead focus on my passions: music, writing, reading, learning, teaching, helping people, food – both cooking and eating.The ideal town/city would be small enough to hang out at the coffee shop where everyone knows my drink, but big enough so I could go there and read a book by myself and not have to talk to anyone if I didn’t feel like it. Also, have burritos/nachos, Thai food, Indian food, and sushi close by and open all hours would be great… Independent bookstores and music stores that I could support with my purchases for myself and gifts for friends… A farmer’s market with yummy food and supplies. Geographically, someplace not sweltering hot (I’ve already lived in Phoenix… Twice…), and not cold enough to snow – although a fire on a snow day, a lot of food, funny movies, animals, and my lady (excuse me, partner) are a beautiful thing – but I’m sick of the snow…I want a house that is big enough to offer the people I consider family a place to stay. Maybe not a house, but something like a villa or a hotel. A place that is comfortable for me, but also for the people that I care about. I would love to have a room that is soundproofed and functional as a home studio. Sure, give me lots of instruments, amps, effects, cables, and a fast and amazingly well-behaved computer to record with.I want the ways and means to offer help to people. If I have a friend that wants to go back to school – boom, school. If there are people that would get help by taking care of animals, come help me with mine – I’ll have plenty of them! If some aspiring artist sends me something and I see the talent & passion in them – come record at my studio & let’s see how we can get your music out there! Someone needs a good book recommendation, here I am – The Page at the ready!There has to be a garden, my lady loves gardening, and I love...

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A Short List Of Thanks

Posted by on 3:12 PM in Uncategorized | 1 comment

I would like to take a moment to show my appreciation to some of the people that have helped me along this journey to this first album.Julie – you gave me a guitar, food, pedals, food, love, food, and occasionally, cookies. Thank you for everything.Timm – thanks for always being Timm. You always inspired me. Made me think and made me laugh. Even now, miles away from each other, and with my bad contacting habits – you’re still my friends and brother.Omar – I finally got a banjo!Rick – you gave The Storyteller a name & a title. You also helped me find strange new sounds along the way.Ric – always fun with puns and wordplay, but also thinking of things from new angles.Shawn – You helped me start this. Hopefully we can share a stage again, and work together in a studio. (Pause)Cap’n – Thanks for all the laughs! And for (trying) to keep me on track.John – Thanks for the photos, and the totally geeky music discussions.Don – Always fun, always interesting, always new, and usually with food.Preston – What can I say? I admire ya. And you make me laugh and think.Mr. P. – You introduced me to Tom Waits AND John Milton. You sorry yet?Brian – Thanks for all your work with Mastering, and being a cool cat. Shepherd – Yeah, I went there. Thank you for everything. The Andersons, The Smiths, The Baileys – HI! And… You know… Thank you for everything.Dan – Happy to have you as a friend & a fan. Wish we could have met under better circumstances.Tres & Raj – You were there from the beginning – Noodling on the guitar started to turn into songs and experiments from a mad scientist. Now, this is the beginning all over again. No...

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The Story of The Storyteller’s Impasse (kind of)

Posted by on 6:22 PM in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The Storyteller’s Impasse started out as a different album. There were songs about personal issues, songs about politics and the fall of heroes. Things were different when the album first went from ideas to songs. But, as life happens, things changed. Where I lived, how I saw life, even my surroundings changed. With that, the songs changed. More songs were written.Most of the songs started coming to me when I was living in a tiny cabin here in the mountain town that I currently call home. I would sit on my back porch with my guitar and start strumming. I learned very quickly not to do this without setting up a recorder on my phone. I was able to capture thoughts and ideas as soon as they sprang to mind. To be honest, most of the ideas and songs that came to me were trashed; they were songs that left no room to grow, to become. The others, the keepers of the group, I worked on when I could – when they would allow it. A few of these became key songs of The Storyteller’s Impasse: Mr. Tom, Sad Little Shelter, Ode, Killing Time, TX. I held on to other songs and ideas that came along before and since. I narrowed down the songs for this album and I see a future for the songs that haven’t been recorded, or even heard, yet.I’ve already been asked, “Who is The Storyteller?” There’s a long answer and a short answer. The short answer is this: The Storyteller is that little voice inside your head that makes most of your decisions. The Storyteller is the one who tells you who you are and what you do, it tells you your limits and expectations, that little (read: HUGE) voice in your head that tells you everything that is wrong with you and your life – and keeps you in a place of discontent. The idea of The Storyteller was brought about by a book – that I shall name on a later date…Until then…       -David The...

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What if all the What-Ifs in life happened?

Posted by on 3:21 AM in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I’ve been asked where I get the ideas for my songs and who these people are in them… Let me answer this question with a few questions of my own… What did Kilgore Trout daydream about? Who were the other Dread Pirate Roberts? What if the guys from Alice in Chains got hammered with Tom Waits, Cat Stevens, and James Taylor? Has anybody ever wondered what it would be like if Don Quixote were a musician? What if all the What-Ifs in life happened?   I could go on for quite a while. Really. I could. In case you can’t tell, a good portion of my inspiration comes from literature. Thus, my name… The Page… I could make a list a mile long of the books that have inspired me, kept me going, added to my dreams, or just been incredible to read. Patrick Rothfus, I’m looking at you, dude.Carlos Ruiz Zafon, you too!Daniel Kraus…Dan Millman…Julia Cameron…Tiffanie DeBartolo…Joe Hill…Robert Bly…  I mean, sure, life experience comes into play, too. I’ve had quite a life, but this isn’t an autobiography.Some great movies have gotten my creative streaks going, too (like Snatch, Lucky Number Slevin, Southland Tales, City of Lost Children, Time of the Gypsies).And, of course, the musicians. There are so many musicians and bands that have excited and inspired me along the way. Far too many to name, but if you want to check out a few…Sean RoweThe MermenColin HayBucketheadEnnio MorriconeJoe GoreTelevisionDave Van RonkTom WaitsTemple of the DogRy Cooder  Again, for the books, movies, and music – I could keep going… But, I think this blog post is...

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Love The Mistake (It’s Like “Love The Bomb” – Only… Not)

Posted by on 4:05 AM in Uncategorized | 0 comments

At coffee, I run into everyone. Our town only has one coffee shop, so it’s easy to find everyone there. I ran into a couple of musicians that I’ve jammed with, and I dig their tunes! Well, like me, they signed up for Distrokid – and like me, they have the eternal musician’s struggle: Record, listen, hear the mistakes, re-record, listen, hear something “lacking”, re-re-record, listen – and so on.          The thing that a lot of us (musicians, writers, artists, people) do is that we work hard on whatever our passion is, look at it, and then find everything wrong with it. Even when it’s someone like me who LOVES the little mistakes (read: “nuances”) that make things imperfect, I constantly hear things that need to be fixed. Even when a recording is produced and polished, I love having a little something that is off in it, but it has to be just the right kind of wrong.          So many of us keep shelving things because of those little mistakes. The wrong drum hit at that moment, a wrong note hit, a line of lyric misspoken – more and more things make us keep our music/art to ourselves.                                          WRONG           Listen to some of the great recordings of the past. Listen to Zeppelin live at The BBC, listen to Tom Waits’ recordings in a barn (or his amazing VH1 Storytellers), listen to BB King live, or John Fogerty! They all have these moments that the rest of us struggle with! And, what do they do? They keep going! They released the music, they let the art out! Sure, a lot of artists rely on the beauty of our technology to help produce a “perfect” track…. No comment.          So, what do we do? Do we allow our mistakes to be a little part of our performances and recordings? Do we keep all of this wonderful music, writing, art to ourselves out of fear of our worste critic (it’s ourselves – The Storyteller), or maybe we just do something crazy like emphasize the mistake?! Whatever we decide to do, just get the art out there! Perfect or not, just bloody let it out!               Someone once asked the rhetorical, “what if Hendrix had left his music on a tape in the studio instead of releasing it or playing shows? What about Kurt Cobain or Joe Cocker? What about Janis Joplin? They all made mistakes, hit “wrong” notes, they were all perfectly human on their recordings – so why can’t you be?”          That was the thing that pushed me over the edge. Sure, I still want things mixed and sounding like they do in my mind – but if there’s this or that on there – a dog or car in the background, or a note that doesn’t quite go with the tune, or even a ragged vocal moment – I let it sit for a while before I say I need to try again. And, as I let it sit, they grow on me and I learn to love those little moments in the songs. Even the hiss of the amp can sometimes add another dimension to what I’ve been working on.          It...

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Who Is The Storyteller?

Posted by on 3:45 AM in Uncategorized | 2 comments

The Storyteller is an idea that I took from a book that helped me in a lot of ways. Transcending Evolution by Richard H. Barker. I would try and think of how to describe The Story, or The Storyteller to you – but I think this quote from Mr. Barker’s site (www.transcendingevolution.com) would do it. Your story acts as a lens through which you experience reality, but it can also become a wall between you and reality; it can become less a window and more a mirror.Your storyteller translates the world into words, which in itself is not a bad thing, but problems arise because it instills within you a powerful bias to value the description of reality more than reality. For instance, our inborn capacity to be empathetic is described in words (“laws”), which we are compelled to value more than empathy.Your storyteller considers any info that has been incorporated into your story to be the Truth. So, when presented with any new info that is contradictory to your story, your storyteller judges it to be untrue and thus a threat, just as your immune system judges anything within your body that has genetic info (DNA) that is different from yours to be a threat. This becomes problematic when the new info is actually truer than the competing info already in your story.New info that does notcontradict your story is highly valued by your storyteller, who incorporates it into your story without any consideration of its value to you.   For me, so much of the making of this album (and my life) has been changing the script of my Storyteller. But, for the sake of the blog, let’s keep it on the music. I’ve always battled wanting to make music, writing it, recording it, releasing it – and being… Me. For so long, folks like me who grew up in the ages of record deals and radio airplay have been of the belief that we need the industry and managers and things like that in order to be successful musicians. Well, the times they are a-different than they were. After a lot of wishing, hoping, dreaming, doubting, and believing it could never happen, I went for it. Obviously.   Now, I’m sure one or two people (if there are that many people that read this thing) expect some schmaltzy Seize The Day & Your Dream Will Come True thing. Well, here’s a big ol’ cup of disappointment for ya. Ain’t happening. Nope. Just letting you know how some of this came about.Now, back to your internet browsing or crocheting or cat videos or… I don’t know… Maybe go to Mr. Barker’s website & buy his book. Just an...

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The Short Version…

Posted by on 1:06 AM in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The Storyteller’s Impasse… Man, this album took a long time – and then happened quickly. I started working on the album in late 2014 with my friend, Shawn, who gave me great feedback and was an awesome bandmate back in our Pedro & The Pages days. He helped as a friend, arranger, producer, and co-instrumentalist & singer. (HEY, SHAWN! If you want to work on anything while you’re living on the other side of the country, It’d be awesome!) *ahem* anyway… Things happened. Work stuff, personal stuff, life. Life happened. Doesn’t that always seem the way? Well, Shawn moved away and I still had these songs that I wanted to get out…Eventually, it happened. I got an older mac and upgraded it as much as I could. I found my old microphones (only one of which that is “good” – but, hey, we work with the tools we have), and I set up in the bedroom with my guitars & a recently purchased banjo. I recorded, edited, re-wrote, re-recorded, and so on… I combed through my songs and lyrics and picked the ones that became The Storyteller’s Impasse to be the first to be released.          BUT WAIT! THAT WASN’T WHERE IT ENDED! Oh wait…. That’s actually about...

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Brain, Fiverr, And A Small Bit About The Home Recording Thing…

Posted by on 10:47 PM in Uncategorized | 0 comments

  Oh the joys of recording in a home studio… The strange noises that sneak in – dogs barking, cars going by, planes, chickens (who do the chicken version of barking), and the ever-buzzing cell-phone.There are some parts that some musicians, like myself, are not adept to. Mastering is a process that I can’t say I have even begun to… Well… Master. So, I talked to some folks in my little town and on-line, looked for advice wherever I could. I ended up with an idea from a blog: Fiverr.I had an idea at first to have the album mastered by eleven different people (you know, one for each track), but that came to an end shortly. Finding people was easy, finding someone who I could trust with my ideas and input without feeling like I was left out of the loop on a very important part of the process was hard. Harder than I expected.I combed through so many different candidates on Fiverr.com – someone to not only master my music, but who might (dare I say) enjoy it. I messaged a few people, even got a few replies, but one stuck out from the rest. Brian.He didn’t just respond with a simple, “just buy it and we’ll work out the details later” like so many others did. He was patient, polite, and damn funny! In an internet kind of way we shook hands and the job was his. Over the course of about a week, we messaged back and forth about this detail and that, jokes, jibes, jabs, and kudos. He sent me work in progress, last minute ideas, and went with every out-there description I sent his way. I would shoot him thoughts on this song, or that instrumental and BOOM, never much time later, there was a new message from Brian at Fiverr. He sent me thoughts on this piece, and I would honestly consider them because he listened to the tracks! How do I know? Let’s just say, the Devil’s in the details. I didn’t hesitate to message him about anything I was concerned about, and he would write back with answers galore, thoughts, questions, and jokes. And Zoidberg, we both sent a lot of Zoidberg.Brian brought gave my music some breath, and some breadth. No bread, though. He kept the bread for himself, gluten hording SOB he is… But, he did a fine job, in my opinion. I think it’s cool that I can go online and find someone who will do this kind of thing! And do it well, too! Needless to say, I’ll be talking to Brian again soon, more music coming out, and more ideas getting set to tape (digital tape, I mean…).I have to say, thanks Brian! B-Ri. B-Rooney. Drove my Chevy to the levy but the levy was Bri…. Thank you. You helped me not only complete the finishing part of this album (my first!), but also helped me to feel a bit more confident about it.  (For those who are wondering – BrianFiverrMusic is the guy’s handle)   On the next post…Who are these people I sing about? And do I really know a Captain of a ship that is truly that...

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