Stop.

I was glad to finally finish up the Valentines Day release. That song came out as it was intended so being that it took six weeks to complete didn’t bother me as much. I’ll never claim to be a singer, it was never my strong suit – it’s all about getting it out, and to get it out before it strangles you on the inside is really all I can ever do. Thanks to everyone who looked into the release, reposted it, downloaded it or at least gave it an ear. To me it was a lot to regurgitate and remember  again, and now that it’s done I can move on to the next thing I have on my list.

I took a week off of writing and working since I felt like six was enough, but now I already feel the grind of reality pushing. I believe sitting idle and thinking too much sandbags me. I have too many ideas in my head, and in order to keep them going I have to keep them in motion – while I can. What I find works best with me, is really having to cut myself off from a good part of outer distractions. The less I know about whats going on around me, the better off I am when it comes to getting things done. I have to keep my momentum going, if I don’t it lags behind and drags me down. Honestly the best way to get away from the things that I can’t live with the most is to write about them and yell about them. And there are plenty of ways to do that. As to some, I know they come across as a grain of sand – and well to others I guess I really don’t care how it comes across. It all comes down to how you sleep at night. Which I am sure you know.

Lately I have been doing some experimentation with stop frame motion video. And I have an idea for a video, which in turn will accompany another track (the third of the Widow Sessions). It’s funny that this is actually the first song I wrote for AFE, my first original that I was performing at my last few shows. The song in turn is called “Pillow“, and since it has yet to be recorded, putting together the sessions to layout the song and a video at the same time should prove to be quite the challenge.

Those of you familiar with stop frame animation know that it is no fast process. You are talking about probably at least 400-600 frames that have to be recorded individually to cover a four-minute song. I have some really neat ideas to cover those 4 minutes. A whole black box of them in fact.

With all of that I will crawl inside my hole, those of you that know how to reach me can obviously do so (I respond better to direct messages than status updates). I apologize for my lack of sensitivity to some of the social media out there. I just really don’t care much anymore.

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Cut the teeth out at the pink

So there was this apartment that a women I dated lived in for a while. Not in the best part of town, not under the best circumstances either but it was a place to live during a short transition period. Very small, very dark and I remember it always being cold. I don’t even think there was much on the walls, except for the black comforter I think that was mine that draped stapled over the bedroom window. It’s weird that this place, and the things that went on there have always been embedded in my brain. I don’t recall anything bad ever going on then between us, or even in what we each had going on in our separate lives.

What I do remember is that, and the odd thing mostly – is without any external superfluities, no excesses of anything that  can really get in (because there was literally no room, physically or otherwise) you are forced to open up a distance in your head. And through this distance, sometimes you can find a connection with someone that overpowers everything in the outer world. It’s that connection that I believe long-lasting, deep relationships are built on. When the world pushes in tight up against your shoulders, and you can’t  see or feel anything but what you have to, when you can disappear into a feeling of ‘this is all that really matters’, that moment, that feeling is a seed for something undiscovered and greater than what we are put here to understand.

I can’t explain why some things stand out more than others and how the bad things that happen can ultimately ruin tons of memories for me. But the very few spots that even though seem minute, find ways to nurture future events that can lead to a better, fuller life. Why these things linger around I can’t begin to understand. Why when you push them as far back as you can (even with anger and bitterness) they somehow find their bouyancy  to again resurface at a later day.

It’s these lingering connections that I believe are road guides, leading you to the next part of what you are expected to become (whether they are with the person who bred them or not), we have to try to somehow find light in them.

And I really do hate this day, and not because of what it means. Not because of all the people out there making their dinner reservations and secret getaways, gift wrapping and flower delivering and all that comes with that. It’s when I see and hear the words like “oh this is just another day, we don’t do stuff like that anymore” and “well you know, it’s just not that way between us now”. It’s those things that mangle me on the inside. That really, I see you have no idea what I am taking about in the paragraphs above, or could even relate to it by far. I’m not talking about fairytale endings (since we know that doesn’t exist), I am talking about real human strong intimacy that can last for years between people who live miles apart and who may not even speak to one another anymore.

How can something like that live on under dire conditions, and in some – it not even be a breath of air with the person that they stand and lay next to every night?

Maybe I am crazy, and maybe I am a fool. But I have experienced things that were real, even if they were just signs pointing me towards what comes next. To you, is it really “just another day?”. I hope that for me, it’s never “just another day”. Even if I hate it, it will always be more than that.


This is my first song published to iTunes, you can download the song by clicking the link here. Thanks.

Lock it up.

My second single from my solo original work AFE “Widow Sessions” will be released on Feb 14, 2012 and available for download via iTunes. I have been working on this track for about 6 weeks, and each new session helps me unravel more about taking leaps.

The track “She Hides When It Reigns” is probably one of the most personal original pieces I have done in 25 years. I doubt anyone will get the sampling reference in the song (props if you do), but this has really been about getting these things out of me, and not so much about how someone perceives how I am doing it. It’s all about doing it, and using that inside pull to guide you.

Whether i’m screaming, just playing, writing or storytelling there is always a reason for it. If I leave a fingerprint anywhere, on anyone – then I’ve accomplished what I set out to do.

Again, the track will be up for download on Valentines Day, but for the diligent ones it will air  Monday Feb 13 on the Old Man & Bitter Girl Podcast. Definitely check that out, their 1hr plus radio show is always a great time.

-S

Dradis

It’s been about 6 weeks that I have been off the grid. I have noticed that sometimes it takes an absence to create a presence. Odd as that sounds, silence can speak more than screaming can on occasions, contraire to some of my previous performances. I can’t say that I know what good it can do, but being away from distractions has helped me imagine situations to write about ‘in my head’ more in the last month than probably over the last year.

Over the last ten days I have contributed about 15 tracks to some music that has been pressuring me for a while, I still have more to do in the coming days to attempt on getting this song out by February 14. Over the dozens and dozens of songs I have written in the last 10 years I’d say that I have put more attention to this set of original music than any pieces I have ever worked on. I can’t say I call it my favorites, but these songs are about survival, songs that I have written out of conviction, not out of necessity.

Each is its own. It has its own fragments that build into what feeling I bring to the surface. I enjoy doing these songs under the most simplistic situations. One mic. One room. A good bit of premeditation and under several sessions. Where as in a band we could essentially finish a tune in one day (in the punk rock days anyhow) – I will spend weeks now on ambient sounds, samples, mic positioning, the hand pats on the outside of my guitar. Really the things that not many will notice but they are all to me, integral to being a part of the big picture of this story I continue to tell.

I have not been a fan of Feb 14 over the last 4 years. Not even sure I can remember too many good ones before that – but this new song is very fitting to release on that day. That day is really the reason that this part of my adventure even exists, more especially this song “She Hides When It Reigns”.

It’s not for ‘anyone’, it’s happening because of ‘everyone’. It’s not for being without ‘one’, it’s for being without ‘someone’. I hope all of you that day find time to enjoy the good connections you have with yours, skywrite how much they mean to you if you can.

The terror of the view

Woke up this afternoon and began working on laying the tracks for a song I wrote called “She Hides When it Reigns”. Against my normal routine of playing guitar along with a metronome or ‘click track’ I just decided to try it straight with the tempo that I made for it, so that the song plays from me and not me playing on the schedule of the tick tock. Most of my recordings are done along a fixed time measure, but this time I am trying for something a little different.

“She Hides When it Reigns” has been a working idea I’ve had for a few months now. It’s about a person who spends their life ‘running from their feelings, instead of running towards them’. Instead of focusing on things inside that they seek, they are over saturated with their outer world. They spend their days awake being too involved in what is surrounding them, that it frightens them to much to take a leap in a direction of what they really want, and what they really need.

Living like that is so against my grain, it makes me sick on the inside. I could never walk in those shoes, I couldn’t lie awake in a bed and have one thought about the person next to me – that the person was not indeed that person that I was put on the planet to lay next to. But yet so many people sleep that way, for so long. I really can’t begin to understand, and never know how they sleep. But it’s only one part of the equation I suppose. It’s when you wake up and finally realize that it isn’t you and it’s not them, that’s when you know that it is too late and too far gone.

Instead of you feeling like you are the puzzle piece that fits into ‘life’, you have to really believe that ‘life’ is the puzzle piece that fits into you. You should make yourself the picture, and step away from painting yourself into the picture of another. Out of convenience or circumstance or whatever, It’s always your choice.

It’s when those feelings “reign”, when they overpower us, it’s like skywriting. How to hide from that I’ll never know. How you do it will always be a mystery to me.

And there is really no circumstance strong enough, there is no situation loud enough – that could ever dilute my desire to chase and fight for what I want. Why anybody would sand bag their own existence with that, is something I will never understand.

So here I sing.