Saturday, February 18, 2012

Acoustics

Top 10 artists who can control an auditorium with just a guitar voice and nothing else...for those of you who don't know. I'm deeply passionate about music...and everything...but mostly music.


*Some of these songs have other instrumental embellishments but never need them, I just like these tracks. And in the words of my friend Briant...'if you can't play live, you ain't shit'.


10. Neil Young (Say what you want my 'Alabama' friends but it's almost undisputed Neil's talent to write a simple and powerful song and transcend a moment when he sings it.)


9. Simon and Garfunkel ('The Graduate' is one of my favorite films, Bridge Over Troubled Water's is one of the best albums ever made and SImon and Garfunkel were modern day mistrals, they wrote songs that were stories but stories with a universal meaning…and the only reason they're as low as they are on my list is because of how quiet they sing. I mean even James Taylor will belt it out now and again.)


8. Tegan Quin and Sara Quin (This is my list I don't care if Neil and Simon and Garfunkel are legends. I can listen to Tegan Quin's haunting sweet voice for hours and it puts me in a different place. I thought they were cute because of the novelty that they were twins not because of the novelty that they were both lesbians. They both write in uniquely different styles that clash gorgeously in the most simple songs with a vitality, peppiness, and sexuality that an older writer couldn't have.) (I realize the Thermin and concert doesn't prove my theory but those are great videos - minus the chipmunk singing)


7. Ben Harper (Passion, he pours his heart into ever song he writes, soulful, gospel inspired, honest, human. He's not afraid to let his voice be shattered if he feels it.) (sexual healing for pot, seriously) (I'm not gay but he's seriously a sexy man)


6. Ben Gibbard (The lead of 'Death Cab for Cutie' writes the most poignantly simple songs with so much vague specificity that makes almost every song he writes instantly relatable.)


5. John Butler (Talent---John writes from his heart, but a lot of the songs are like pop songs with just enough complexity in the lyrics to quell any critic, however…his ability to pluck a string better than almost any man on the planet is what makes John Butler a gem among music.) (One of the greatest guitar instrumental's in the history of music) (That's 12 strings by the way)


4. Tracy Chapman - (A haunting jaded voice and a passionate heart bigger than the sun, what can be said about Tracy that isn't already felt strait to your bones) (The famous one) (The best one)


3. James Taylor (If you've never been in love before you may not be able to relate to the poetry that James writes. His guitar may be strung from his own trampled heart strings…but as removed as his love songs are they never come across as from the heart of a jaded man.) (I couldn't resist - Fucking hate country, fucking love this fucking song...I'm a passionate man, pardon my curses)


2. Richie Havens (In my opinion the most talented African American folk artist in the history of music. He captured Woodstock and generations with his song "Freedom" that you'd of thought would have been rehearsed and prepped but he just made it up, Johnny on the spot, or Richie on the spot, and captures the festival.) (Still sounds amazing at about 70 he's probably my favorite single artist (next to Bowie) I admire the most)


1. Bob Dylan (This James Dean styled Court Jester captured the imaginations of 4 generations so far and after a stroke, and singing nonsense in a voice that's barely understandable can make an audience skip 3 heart beats in a single word. Bob is by far one of the best there has ever been.)



*Bonus video*


Personal Quote

Being hyper-deal oriented and having a decently solid memory while also being hyper active is sometimes a curse but mostly a blessing I wouldn't trade. Life moves fast it's the only thing that allows me to keep up with the pace without getting washed underneath the tide

Monday, February 6, 2012

Broken Hearts Never Mend.

Broken hearts never mend.

I've met so many guys and girls too afraid to ask out 'that person' for 'this, that, or the other' or 'because they know it won't work out...and the thing I've learned in life is truly...nothing ever does...just sit back and enjoy the fucking ride. Cause that's all life is...just a ride. And it's all dependent on weather or not you've got a good seat. So find your happiness in the world and ride it the fuck out.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Reflections

'blogs are the wailing walls of the internet' - anonymous


'I saw the best minds of my generation torn apart by madness' - Alan Ginsberg's ~ Howl.


When I think back on my life experiences I have to feel amazed I've survived this long in utter chaos.


My favorite alcoholic beverage is absinthe…that's no joke, you can ask my friends (for special occasions though and hard to get my hands on good stuff), though I don't mind Southern Comfort & Sprite, a good beer (or bad beer if you ask my aficionado friends 'Kirin' is probably my favorite) or perhaps a White Russian if I'm inclined. (Like if I've watched 'The Big Lebowski' recently)


In a two year period after collage I went around with my friend's local band (Undertoe Hopscotch) and only missed two shows in a two year period and helped set up shows and go to a music conference until they broke up.


I worked in broadcast news for 2 years as an editor, cameraman . . . . and YES!!! The leprechaun station. For some of the coolest nicest guys in the world. (Some jackasses too but I won't mention them)


I've seen bands as various as GWAR, Tegan and Sara (I found this, didn't shoot this), Muse (same drill, found it didn't shoot it), The Birthday Massacre, Tool, Nine Inch Nails, Evan's Blue (*festival*) and B.B. King (*festival*) none of this includes my experiences working on the Jay Leno Show or Tonight Show with Jay Leno (where I currently work) because I rarely get to see either the rehearsals or performances. (Not very professional to be there, unless I have to run something down and the band happens to be rehearsing.) (The experiences of working on this show are vast and too many to count, yet some days move on without anything wild passionate or fun happening, and yes I've seen quite a few famous people walking around the hallways yet it doesn't amaze me…cause I'm working…in work mode. Now if I saw them out in my day to day life like Mila Kunis (seen at a Panda Express) or Rob Zombie (seen at a cafe) then I'm amazed and or shocked - Christopher Nolan (Ameoba Records). Although when I worked at my old video store I did get to recommend Michael Bean (Terminator, The Abyss) a movie he later told me he enjoyed ('Moon') and that was gratifying.


I've been in love, I think twice, but the second girl didn't stick, the first one stuck for 2 1/2 years…to the point where it's been almost 6 years since we broke up (I'm 25 now so we dated 17-18-partly 19 *broke up 3 months before I graduated collage - yes I graduated at 19. It was a short program - 13 months) people still ask me about her. Apparently we radiated closeness through the years. A friend told me if we ever broke up we'd stay friends forever…bullshit. And if you heard my ranting about suicide in vague notions in my previous posts that past life was part of that. The moments go a little deeper to the point I can't remember and most of it is just drama. Her father almost accidentally (or maybe purposely, he was drunk) killed me once…but that's a story I might write a script about later. (I was recommended to by two friends of mine to do so.)


It's been about 13 years since my very first gig. Grip, Key PA, actor . . . . (*Insert video here*)


A short documentary I spent the past 3 years picking at the footage is now on Redbox (Featured on a film called 'Killer Eye: Halloween Haunt') around the country featured on a Full Moon film.


I've worked with an internet celebrity, who's quite sweet and different than her persona online, but refreshingly so. Who I actually went out and supported a short film she directed which blew me completely and utterly emotionally apart the likes of which I have trouble describing.


When I was around 12 or 13 or so, I can't ,and wouldn't want to remember I was on an emotional drug for ADD that cause me to sleep for 16 hours at a time and emotionally shut off for about 4 months. It literally created depression. The chemicals in your brain that cause happiness…where shut off…like a desert waiting for rain…I wasn't there.


I've had 4 seriously suicidal friends 1 of which is dead and another 1 I'm not sure about since I lost touch.


I've worked with gang bangers and drug dealers leading out Greyhounds at a racing track at my first job. They were just kids looking for a strait job. Some of those guys were great guys. I haven't had the pressed steak in there in almost 5 years.


I was diagnosed with a disorder known as mania . . . the polar opposite of clinical depression. Meaning the chemicals in my brain that produce happiness are working overtime.


My father has stories from his past that he lives with that remind me where he came from. And him and I went through few of the same things I won't write about on this blog.


My parents divorced when I was very young. It did not affect me whatsoever…and people ask me that, but almost every person I've ever met in my entire life has been through the same thing. And some of my friends whose parents are still together they might as well be divorced because they don't get along anyways. Besides I can't remember what my parents were like when they were together…I don't have much of a memory of them interacting together. I think my Grandparents are the only truly happy very long lasting couple I've ever met.


I've shot a gun maybe 3 times and don't like it. I have sort of an aversion to guns related to the 'suicide' post from earlier. I don't think they're manly or impressive unless I'm going hunting, then they're a necessity. But I haven't gone hunting in many years. Since I was about 10 years old. But I still remember the way my Dad's venison stew tasted. And I still think deer as delicious as they are, are truly beautiful and graceful animals.


Almost died in a log cabin from carbon monoxide poisoning.


My first dog had 3 legs. And my longest living pet iguana (outlived his life expectancy) was crippled. I got a call about Iggy's death after I won 50$ playing cards in collage.


Almost died in an apartment (because my blood oxygen count was going down by the second…to the point I needed an adrenaline shot) because of dust.


Now that I live in California (smog city apparently) my asthma is almost cured…I haven't used an inhaler in over 7 months. I used to use it every single day, sometimes twice a day.


I haven't read too many novels but apparently have a large vocabulary. I'm more adept to reading books with short stories or articles in them.


I've dressed in a gorilla suit waving a sign on the side of the road to make rent.


Despite living in my most expensive apartment yet, with some of my most expensive bills when I first, very first moved to Los Angeles I managed to survive for 2 1/2 years on gig to gig PA money. And now I have a steady job and can barely pay my bills.


I have many memories involving prison visits, late night phone calls, one of my best friends having cancer (he's survived by the way) and some difficult situations involving near homelessness and money that I won't go into here.


Despite having severe athsma (In Alabama it's almost cured here) I won the physical education award in high school, also the drama award, and got poetry published in a book through a contest that probably any shmoo could have won. I think I won the physical education award because I showed up on time with a clean uniform, in between rounds of either basketball all football I'd have to run to the sidelines and take a hit of my inhaler to breath then get back in the game and despite my skinny size still tried my heart out. I guess I just loved the idea of fresh air.


Once a girlfriend of mine fixed the wing of a cicada…when she let it go it flew beautifully…seconds later it was ate by a hawk. (or some kind of large bird)


For a short period of time we had a bird live in a wreath at our house.


And ever time someone insinuates that I'm somehow inexperienced at this thing called life because I'm only 25 and maybe because I'm white and seem to have come from a wealthy family (they're half right) all I can think is…who the fuck do they think I am...?


And many more stories . . . . but I'm constantly thinking and constantly reminding myself of what I have done and what I think I'm capable of doing and hoping to find no limits.


'To live would be an awfully big adventure' - Peter Pan

Friday, February 3, 2012

Thoughts.

'If you have something deep in your heart you should find a way to share it . . . maybe you should make a film about your past' - A pharaphased peace from a private message.

If you've read my past couple of posts or read my blog you probably realize that I have deep personal thoughts all the time. A kin to nightmares sometimes.


I now feel apart of the industry I've spent 12 years trying to get in. I got my very first gig back in 1999 . . . . <- my first gig. I'm somewhere in the background. (Grip/PA/ and all around crew member) I think I learned more on that 3 day shoot that my mom used to drive me to than 13 months of film school at Full Sail. Though without film school I wouldn't have met as many wonderful friends who are helping me perform some miracles soon.

When I was 17-20 my life felt like it was collapsing on me. And it seems I've survived that. Some men wish they were hercules but I'd rather be Atlas, because I think I know how he feels.

Currently I'm working for one of the biggest shows on television and despite the day to day annoyances that invariably are apart of working in any level of media I know that it's a blessing being there. No more gorilla suits on the side of the road, no more suicidal phone calls from friends for hours, no more loaning money, no more sleepless nights (unless my neighbor argues with his wife at midnight again) *.*, no more crying alone underneath a bed, no more working with gang bangers and drug deals (okay this is kind of a joke, I did but at a legitimate job (Greyhound track) and they were a nice crew most of them fresh out of jail and legitimately trying to reform and be good guys and almost all of them I'd still consider good friends if they'd recognize me.) But I've past it. Onto the next level. I still struggle to pay my bills . . . . but I've found a balance.

I know I'm expecting great joy in my life soon. Something I've been working on for a long time but my family taught me that sometimes when you're expecting greatness in your future you need to reflect on not so greatness in your past and respect that . . . . you're there . . . . you've made it . . . . you've survived it . . . . you've past it . . . . and you're not budging your life for any mother fucker. Things are coming. Changes. I think I can be so melodramatic because I know how much 1 less smile and 1 word differently can affect another person. 'I love you' and 'fuck off' can affect people for the rest of their lives if it hits at the right time. But that's life . . . and life goes on. Music makes me smile and so does sharing my thoughts.

I started this movie last night by Ken Russell called 'The Devils' about religious corruption something that I kind of understand being raised in the bible belt at a school that required bible as a course (not kidding).

People think when I speak my mind that I'm speaking it too much, that I'm thinking too much, that people really don't care or want to know and the thing that gets to me the most . . . is how many people's blogs, facebook posts, jokes, thoughts and things they let out of their mouths are simply mindless unintelligent small talk with no rhyme heart or reason but just to remind people that they're there and they have an opinion on stuff and things...which despite that is almost useless anyways. Conversations sometimes feel like the lyrics to a bad pop song as much as I long for meaning and heart, I'd be guilty if I said I didn't love bad pop songs. If I had one word to describe myself it'd be misunderstood. My twin brother has known me for 25 years and he doesn't get me most of the time. It's taken a lot of work for us to get each other...so why am I always so surprised when someone else from my regular life 'just doesn't get me' . . . . well what are you gonna do.