moondust

18 Jan


I feel like some kind of magic moondust of David Bowie’s ghost is following me. I have no other explanation for how I suddenly started to strum “Space Oddity”. Or how I wrote a David Bowie cut up poem so confidently, with the calmness of thinking about Chinati Hot Springs. Maybe that’s what I meant when I wrote “The Ghosts On the Lake”. And perhaps it’s true and meant to be that spirits are borrowed from the dust of the earth (and the moon).

top favourite music from 2015

28 Dec

Albums

  1. Liberman by Vanessa Carlton
  2. The Firewatcher’s Daughter by Brandi Carlile
  3. Just Kids by Mat Kearney
  4. 1989 by Ryan Adams
  5. Pageant Material by Kacey Musgraves

Songs

  1. Son by Sleeping at Last
  2. Sweet Nothing by Gabrielle Aplin
  3. Poison Tree by The Milk Carton Kids
  4. Fight Song by Rachel Platten
  5. She Used to Be Mine by Sara Bareilles

Special Mention

EP: Crescent St. Blues by Jake Klar

Favourite Found Artist: J Wagner

Concerts

  1. Brandi Carlile & Gregory Alan Isakov/Morrison, CO/Red Rocks Amphitheatre
  2. Gregory Alan Isakov/Salt Lake City, UT/The State Room
  3. The Piano Guys/Morrison, CO/Red Rocks Amphitheatre
  4. Chromeo/Salt Lake City, UT/Red Butte Garden
  5. Taylor Swift/Salt Lake City, UT/Energy Solutions Arena

top favourite music from 2014

1 Dec

Albums

1. Wish I Was Here (Music From the Motion Picture) by Various Artists

2. Wish I Was Here (Original Motion Picture Score) by Rob Simonsen

3. White Women by Chromeo

4. Song Spells, No. 1: Cedarsmoke by Sea Wolf

5. Lost On The River by The New Basement Tapes

 

EPs

1. Ancient Light by Allman Brown

2. Live @ Air (Live) by Daughter

3. Wild Desire (Live Sessions) by Sugar & The Hi Lows

 

Songs

1. Stay With Me by Sam Smith

2. Shake It Off by Taylor Swift

3. Sister (Hushed) by Andrew Belle

 

Concerts

1. Paul McCartney/Out There/Salt Lake City, UT/Energy Solutions Arena

2. Gregory Alan Isakov/Morrison, CO/Red Rocks Amphitheatre

3. The Eagles/History of The Eagles/Salt Lake City, UT/Energy Solutions Arena

4. The Beach Boys/Salt Lake City, UT/Utah State Fair Park

5. Lord Huron/Salt Lake City, UT/Urban Lounge

music lessons have ruined music for me

9 Oct

I highly regret signing myself up for voice lessons at Guitar Center. I try to avoid confrontation, but maybe it’s time I talk to the manager there.

I’ve had a spew of terrible music teachers, but this has been the worst. I’ve never felt more degraded and worthless as a musician and I’ve been doing music for 21 years.

The first lesson was a half hour long, mostly introductions and I told the instructor of my music background and goals. I’ve been doing this for a long time. All I want is a better, more focused and controlled voice.

The second lesson was an hour long and I thought I could learn more in an hour lesson. But no. The instructor kept going on and on about some other country student he teaches. When I looked at the clock, 5 minutes had passed by. I played a few songs, including “Operator (That’s Not the Way It Feels)” by Jim Croce and I was being asked about the lyrics. He asked me what the lyrics mean and I gave him my interpretation. After I told him, he seemed to be looking for a specific answer. I told him nobody knows what the song really means except for the songwriter who wrote it. What a waste of time. I also told him I’ve read and studied lyrics A LOT. Then we went onto some random sight singing exercise from the Guitar Center lesson book, which I don’t even care about.

The third lesson was a half hour long again and I thought maybe it will be ok this time. A second or a third chance? Again, no. I hadn’t had a chance to practice at all this past week, but I did do the reading from the Guitar Center lesson book. He talked somewhat about the book, then went on to explain how he went to some concert and the singer was terrible. Then we did this yoga/imagining there’s a light/breathing exercise. I don’t know how it’s going to help, but singing isn’t magic in that aspect. I sang “Operator (That’s Not the Way It Feels)” by Jim Croce again. The instructor keeps telling me I should sing differently from the artist who wrote the song, but when I try to sing it in the same rhythm as a cover of “Operator (That’s Not the Way It Feels)”, he says I’m doing it wrong and I need to sing it like the artist. He then asks me to identify the verse and chorus in the song. Again, what a time waster. I am more than capable of reading from sheet music, but my brain doesn’t think of labeling the verse and chorus in sheet music form. I know the difference between a verse and chorus, thank you. I’ve been writing songs for the past few years and I have a self-published and self-released song on iTunes, Amazon, etc. which I am proud of.

Overall, I’ve never had a more negative experience. This has been all talk and hardly any singing. If I wanted someone to talk to, I would have seen a psychologist instead. I’ve spent way too much money at Guitar Center. I’ve purchased almost all my gear at Guitar Center since I got my first guitar 10 years ago. I was a fan. But here’s my middle finger. I am done.

practice magic every day.

7 Aug

Sometimes I find myself complaining about practicing. Practicing piano, practicing guitar, practicing singing, practicing writing. Then I remind myself I get to do this. It has always been my dream to be a musician. To be in a studio recording my first album, to sing my songs in front of a crowd, to be on the road. Practicing is part of what this dream entails.

I like to think music is magic. That my favourite musicians are all wizards that craft magical songs out of thin air. Magic. Then I remembered that even Harry Potter and all the greatest wizards practiced magic. That there’s a place called Hogwarts, where wizards study and practice magic. Magic is learned and practiced. And so goes with music. One must practice magic every day.

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