audio blog post for May 24, 2016. Enjoy!
Well, it’s been a hectic few months. I’m back to trying to juggle some jobs and make a somewhat regular schedule (i’ve been juggling 3 jobs the past two years). So, I’ve put off some recording and other financial projects. It can take a while to get used to saying ‘no’ to certain things but, you can’t do everything. When i meet musicians, the most interesting thing to me is what jobs they perform to pay the bills. Carpenters, Real Estate agents, Bartenders and more. You’ll hear more about these jobs as you see musicians discuss it more. It’s a new reality for musicians.
For those who may not know, I have a more social side of the internet. My other side is Huskermould. You can find me on most social networks. I only mention this because I discussed this news on the personal social side. I recently invested some money in a local, independent record store (Black Buffalo Records). The question i ask myself is not investing in a store, it’s whether i should’ve invested the money in my art? Whether i thought i should take a bigger chance/risk to believe in my music. I won’t lie, i thought a lot about this. I believe in me but can you or would you put a dollar amount on it? Maybe it’s insurance in case thee music never takes off? Lots of ways to look at it.
I have to leave you now but in appreciation for the visit, i leave you with a new song. Enjoy.
Here’s a new audio edition of the blog (Note: its around 10 minutes long). Enjoy!
Seems I need to update you on the comings and goings of Heartbreak A Stranger. So….
- The recording in the studio was on hold for the summer. I want to pay some more money towards the studio time before I move forward. Plus, it’s a little too warm to record during the summer months. When I have enough money paid, I’ll move forward with the recording.
- I’ll be recording some live video renditions of songs past and present in September/October. I’m just working on lining up some locations around the city. Once again, I’ll be working with Andrew Fleming. Looking forward to shooting some video.
- I have a live gig in Halifax. Look for the show in early October. I’ll be on a bill with a couple of well known musicians. I’ll be first on the bill so, getting early to the show is paramount if you want to catch my set. I’ll have more news as we get closer to the date.
This fall is shaping up pretty good. I’m looking forward to showing you what I have in store.
Let’s get updated on the latest news :
I’m still recording tracks with producer/musician Jason Mingo for a future full album release. Eight of ten tracks have the foundation laid down (vocals, guitars etc.). You can hear some of the songs over on the Soundcloud page. The drums will have to be farmed out to a drummer and another studio (The same way tracks for the Trenton EP were recorded). There’s no concrete date yet for the album release. The main focus is to pay for everything, then devise a marketing plan in co-ordination with the release date.
Recently had a meeting with filmmaker Andrew Fleming and we’re working on shooting some more video over the summer. It’s in the early planning stage but I think it’s something you will enjoy. I will let you know it will include unreleased material. I’m looking forward to you hearing songs in a different way.
Well, let’s see if I can get you up to date on what has been happening here at Heartbreak A Stranger HQ :
- I’ve been recording some new songs in preparation for a 10 song album. So far, I have 4 songs that are about 80% done (You can hear some of the songs. Just click on the ‘songs’ category). Once again, I’m working with Jason Mingo. We have a usual routine : I come in with words and music, we bash around some ideas, record them and BLAM!, done. It usually takes 6-7 hours to complete this part of the recording process. There is more to be done after this (drum tracks still have to be recorded). It is more rock orientated sound.
- I’ve met with local film maker Andrew Fleming. We tossed around some ideas for some more short films to be made in the future. I’m looking forward to working with Andrew again. It’s nice to flex a visual part of my brain. I have ideas but I need help to have the ideas come to life. My ideas are only as good as they are practical. Meetings with Andrew are pretty simple : I give Andrew some general ideas about what I would like to do, Andrew gives me some feedback/adds some ideas and BLAM!, pretty much ready to go. The Short film pieces will be shot over the next 12 months. I’m looking forward to this.
- I’ve decided to host a tribute show to Lou Reed. March 1, 4pm at The Company House in Halifax. I’m approached another musician to play a David Bowie set. Makes sense. A tribute show to artists whose music has been intertwined. I’ll have more on this show soon.
Well, that’s it for now. That is the latest and greatest news. Onward and upward.
Usually the end of the year (in this case, a 2013 year in review) means different things : best-of lists, gym memberships, diets, resolutions etc. but, for me, it’s time to look back at what I’ve achieved and a look to the future. I need to perform some sort of ‘musical inventory’ to put everything into perspective. I don’t think I’ve done anything close to this in my life yet, I’m tackling this for music. A lot happened this year and I have to make sense of everything that happened. I guess I’ll be creating my own report card. I also have to prepare for 2014. Still a lot to be planned for the new year. I have a lot of work ahead of me. It’ll also be a lot of fun.The more I work, the more I find out what I can do. It’s an interesting personal journey. I’ve visualized a lot of goals but I also need to write them down.
In the meantime, there is a lot more to offer to you, the reader, on this site. A lot : audio and video posts, new tunes, old tunes, cover tunes and whatever else comes across my mind. If you’ve been on this site, you’ll notice I will try different things to keep it interesting for me and, hopefully, for you. There is more to do. Some things you may have seen before, maybe not. It’s my job to be different, to keep you interested. I’m not re-inventing the wheel but I’ve learned the artists who succeed are the ones who create their own ideas. Follow their own path.
I don’t think of everything I do as a timeline (days, weeks, months). For me, its a road. A journey. I hope you enjoy everything that happens here. You may not like everything but, I will try and make it interesting.
Knowledge. Besides playing, writing, networking, recording, and on top of regular work and life duties, I have to work on the business of music. Knowledge is power. I read a lot on the web but I also listen to a lot of podcasts. I have a job that allows me to listen to my mp3 device while I work. On average, it’s 3 hours a day that I can cram in podcasts. Some are music related and others are not. I’ve found some podcasts on my own and have had some recommended by fellow musicians/friends. I look at this time as bonus studying. I thought I would share some of the podcasts I enjoy :
Brian Thompson – Brian is better known as his on-line name ‘Thorny Bleeder‘. He has 3 podcasts :
- DIY Daily – a daily podcast that focuses on self-motivation and positivity
- Music Biz Weekly (co-hosting with Michael Brandvold) – usually covers advice and topics on all facets of the music industry
- Rock Start Branding Podcast (with Michael Brandvold and musician Greg Kihn) – discussing the marketing/branding of your music, image and more
You can hear the podcasts on Brian’s site here.
The Upward Spiral – Music professionals discussing many aspects of the music business. Listen here.
Sodajerker – Two songwriters from the UK who talk to fellow songwriters (Johnny Marr, Paul Williams, Ron Sexsmith and more) and discuss all things songwriting. Well thought out questions and really in-depth. If you’re a songwriter or enjoy the art of songwriting, it’s worth your time. Listen here.
These are a few of the podcasts on my radar. If you have any recommendations, drop me a line via social media.
Last week I was sad to hear about the passing of Lou Reed. I heard reports that he was not well but, still, surprised me. Everyone has a starting point for an artist. Most people know the song ‘Walk On The Wild Side‘. I guess for me the New York album was my first introduction to this discography. Top to bottom, every song grabbed me. Next was Songs For Drella, then Magic & Loss. The words of a poet, telling stories of New York City, sexuality, drug use and more. Stories from another world. Then you go back to the earlier albums: Transformer, Berlin, Coney Island Baby, The Blue Mask. Even albums that get panned have a few great tunes (i.e. ‘Kill Your Sons‘). Then going back to his first band, The Velvet Underground. Launched a thousand bands. Punk, experimental, glam, new wave musical styles. Lou taught me you don’t have to use a lot of chords. Keep it simple. I can hear his influence on my songwriting. Little turn of a phrase. Its weird for me to hear an influence.
I mentioned this on my social media feeds but years ago I released an EP entitled ‘Hello, It’s Me’. It was named after the Lou Reed/John Cale song from Songs For Drella.