Last week I found out that I was nominated for Best Acoustic in the San Diego Music Awards. What an honor. What can you do to help? VOTE! Just click here and vote vote vote! Once per computer…maybe try your iPhone…Blackberry? Each one helps.
Thanks and see you soon,
Tomorrow morning (Fri, 02July) sometime between 9 and 9:30 am, we’ll be playing a pair of songs on channel 6 supporting their San Diego Living segment. This is all part of the shows we’re doing to promote the Staring at the Sun compilation CD. See the flier below. I hope you can tune in.
Then, on the 11th we’re at Lestat’s and the 21st we’ll be at U31
Thanks to everyone who made it out to see the show at The Casbah on Sunday. It was a tremendous success with several segments on live radio. We’ll have some terrific photos to show soon from that one, as the esteemed Martin Haeusler was on hand to take photos of the show.
it’s been a while. We’ve been in the studio working on some new things. Nothing is finished, but we have a few pictures and a few tracks played live in the studio.
We recorded at Big Fish. I can’t quite remember where it is…somewhere up the 5N near Encinitas, but DEEP in the hills. Awesome place. We worked with terrific engineer Ben Moore and the tremendous producer Bart Mendoza.
A video from our recording session. This is the first of three. If you like it, please go to youTube and leave a comment/rating. Thanks!
A few more pics from the NPMT.
Here are a few of Steve Poltz with his band, The Rugburns. Steve is such a talented artist, and more prolific than I had remembered. He’s been at it for a long time…since ‘92 by his account, but I met him in ‘92 and it sure seemed that he’d been at it for a few years by then
His site is here: poltz.com
These guys are incredibly energetic, and played tons of songs I remembered well…but no Gold’s Gym Guy…c’mon Steve, I know you could hear me yelling that out!
Here’s a pic from the songwriting panel, featuring: Jack Tempchin (The Eagles, Tom Waits, etc), Steve Poltz, Scott Russo (Unwritten Law) and Quino (Big Mountain). These guys spoke candidly about what it’s been like writing songs for a living and the ups and downs of the writing cycle. Each played a song or two, mostly new material, and talked about how they found inspiration. Amazing.
Jack Tempchin talked about his penchant for three- or four-chord songs. He reminded me of other songwriters I’ve seen who approach the guitar as not much more than a vehicle for getting the song out, rather than something that needs to be practiced for all hours of the day.
Steve Poltz showed us his mastery of finger-style playing for a couple songs and more than established his ranking among the best in the business. He says he gets up early nearly every day and plays/writes. He called his songs gifts that he’s happy to receive. I get a feeling that beneath his humbleness, he’s an incredibly hard worker.
Scott Russo (Unwritten Law) was late for another engagement, and so played a new song and left early, but before he did, he talked a bit about growing up playing Green Day on the guitar and played a few riffs from them. He said, something like, good artists borrow, GREAT artists steal. He makes a good point about using your influences to your benefit.
Quino (Big Mountain) played his classical guitar and talked about the success of their song, Baby I Love Your Way. He spent quite a bit of time in Hawaii and told stories about the scene there and how it influenced his music.
Here are a few pics from the NPMT. It was a great day of music; San Diego felt more like Austin than southern California. The day was full of music-related seminars covering topics from music marketing to booking shows at the local venues. Great stuff. The highlight biz stuff, for me, was the interview will bass-playing legend, the incredibly humble, Nathan East. He told lots of stories about what it was like to play bass for so many different talented writers, ranging from Dolly Parton to Michael Jackson.
Check out the youTube video of him below. Great, great man.
Here are a few pics from some of the acts I caught along the way:
Last weekend, Allen and I went to NYC to play a couple shows in Manhattan. The first was at the 169 Bar, deep in the East Village. A bit ago, and episode of Flight of the Concords was taped there, and they’re quite proud of that
The place is just south of Chinatown and everywhere we looked we saw Chinese writing. Great spot. Here’s a pic of me and Allen from the street and a couple from inside the show.
From the 169, it was on to the Doublecross Lounge, a private spot somewhere closer to mid-town. Here are a few pics from the after-show show
So, we did a really cool spot last weekend on NBC news here in San Diego (KUSI). It was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find my voice that early in the morning, but we made the best of it. Anthony played his ancient stand-up bass and really filled out the low end. Allen and I were both playing new guitars. Good times.
I was so nervous giving the interview that I started to space on Anthony’s name…haha. Sorry, bro
It’s DEEEEP on the lower east side…like WAY lower Get down there and check this place out. It’s really cool. They filmed a Flight of the Concords episode there. Sweet! We’re getting excited about a trip east. Stay tuned for a possible surprise show later that same night.
Thanks to Michelle M for the awesome flier design.
Live, full-band show: June is here and we’ve got only one show this month, at The Bitter End. 18June at 9pm.
WE HAVE NEW MUSIC :) Good stuff that we’re happy with. Don’t miss it!
If you’re on the mailing list, you’ve already received a download link. Sign up now and find out what you’re missing (how [...]
so, I busted out the old old PlaySkool play-n-sing toy that I’ve had seemingly for ever. It makes for some interesting pictures. These are from our early show at Canes in Mission Beach. Thanks to everyone who made it out at 7:15 pm!
I’ve got a solo show this week at The Bare [...]
So much live music. Here’s a quick recap…Last thursday, played a fun first show downtown at The Bitter End. Thanks to everyone who made it out for that show. As a first full-band show we were working into the arrangements we’d been working on in practice and getting more comfortable with it all.
By the Saturday [...]
Astra Kelly throws a Monday night acoustic show at Dublin Square in the Gaslamp district of San Diego. She invites local indie artists and plays their tracks on the radio to promote the show. She interviews the headliner and plays excerpts of that interview the Saturday after the Monday night show.
It’s a good [...]
Please see the LIVE page for a few upcoming shows in April. I’ve got a couple acoustic, and three full-band shows. One is even all-ages.
Practices have been going well. I’m trying to keep my jumping around to a minimum…can’t scare the drummer before the first show
If you have a chance this weekend, check [...]
Cathryn Beeks, with Listen Local puts on a show now and again called the Acoustic Alliance. It works like this; a set of four players take the stage and play any three songs they want, in the round. So the first person goes, then the next and the next, until everyone has played one song, [...]
He’s a guy named Mat Weddle. He seems like a really cool guy. I’m watching his second video now (below).
He’s come up with an amazing idea, but first…how did I find out about this guy. Well, a while ago he recorded a terrific cover of the song Hey Ya. I stumbled upon it [...]
So, there’s this MASSIVE music show in Anaheim, right next to Disney Land. It’s four days long, but you’d have to have a death wish to stay for that long. There’s a ton to see, but like anything else, too much of a good thing is still too much
So I went up [...]
I’m here in Utah, on my way to Wyoming for some skiing in Jackson Hole. The snow has been amazing. Spent a night in Brian Head, UT. It snowed three feet and it took 3+ hours to drive up the ten-mile access road to the ski lodge at 1am. Unbelievable
On the [...]
Caught an early-night show at the Casbah last night for Publicists! Great stuff. I had a guy (not from Publicists) about a month ago hand me his business card and say, “we’re the best power-trio in San Diego.” Quite a statement especially given the number of talented musicians here in SD. Hmm. Well, I never [...]
Check out the deals available on the ‘store‘ page. In a couple days, there will be deals on CD’s, shirts and some in-studio live acoustic tracks. These will be available only to friends on the mailing list, so subscribe now and we’ll get you all the info you need to download the new tracks!!
If you [...]
The Uglysuit. What a tremendous live show those guys put on. It was an incredible performance. These guys released my favorite CD this year with their label debut.
About 12 of us went to The Casbah last night to see these guys, but I had only purchased 10 on line, due to ordering [...]
That is definitely worth a read.
It seems that Joe Satriani is taking Coldplay to court over copyright infringement. He’s saying that his song “If I could Fly” contains a guitar rif that Coldplay ripped off in their song “Viva La Vida”. Really?
Go to the site above and listen to the songs. Same? Different? Really, I [...]
Take a look at this really interesting article on the NPR site. It also links to a couple audio samples which are quite good by the artist Dallas Green.
Check this guy out. Great stuff.
It says today that he’s had 20,000 plays. Wow! Can that be real?
I hope you enjoy.
I dropped by to play a couple of acoustic songs at Lestats last night. It’s a terrific open mic, every Monday night. The sign-up process is a bit tricky, but it’s part of the charm. Here’s Lestat’s link… http://www.lestats.com/main.htm
Interestingly, the stage is named after a long-time journeyman songwriter, Gregory Page. It’s terrific to see him [...]
Get your bling-bling going with THESE! I bet my stuff would sound spectacular blasted through some of these sweet, diamond-encrusted earbuds. They’re from a Belgian designer, Casa Gi. They have 118 diamonds.
Should be on everyone’s MUST-HAVE list…on my way to get mine.
Today, Erin was able to get CDs placed in M-theory and Off the Record in Hillcrest. These are two terrific independent record stores and I recommend regularly stopping by there whenever you have some spare time. It’s a great way to find some new music when you’re in need. There’s still something [...]
There’s this idea, I think Jack Black mentioned it in the movie, High Fidelity, about the fourth song on a record being a very important song; maybe it’s THE most important song. Maybe it’s the BEST song! Hmm. This was something that I’d never heard of before entering the music business. I can remember getting [...]
So, as I sift through long lists of email contacts, working out the ins and outs of getting a few reviews and some indy radio play with my new record, I started thinking about the older days. Way back. Anyone remember staying up WAY too late because that was when the local [...]
When I recorded ‘Without a Bridge’, I had the honor to play with some terrific musicians. One of them was the bass player, Shawn Davis. Well, he’s doing great things playing bass with Nikka Costa. Here’s a video of her on Lenno a few days ago. Shawn is on the far [...]
Ok, first. Keane fans…they have a new record: Perfect Symmetry www.KeaneMusic.com. It’s definitely a departure. Not even sure just yet, but listening now…I’m using www.LaLa.com
Check that site if you haven’t yet. It’s a different way to listen to and buy music.
Ok, most of the items are in place to start sending [...]
When I was traveling around the world writing this record, I met a great guy, Robert, in Hanoi. He is now embarking on his own sojurn and was nice enough to leave this post…check it out. His travels are nearly always worth following, as he tends to find the more obscure adventures.
Here we are in [...]
The CDs were delivered today. Artwork looks awesome, even the CD itself, with the picture of the green suitcase, has a cool vibe. I couldn’t bring myself to open the wrapper on one; it has been a long time coming and now that I have them, it just doesn’t even feel real.
So, the first few [...]
So, a local company,collarFree has done some work on my new T-shirt design. Looks damn sweet. We’re still working on the colors, but they should be here soon, along with the TANK shirts (in the right-side bar…just scroll down).
Well, didn’t end up playing this past Friday, but the event was terrific.
The CDs are [...]
So, a while ago, during the writing/production stage of the new record, ‘Without a Bridge’, I put a few things up on OurStage.com. This is a site where the fans vote songs up/down in pairs and eventually, depending on relative ratings, songs move up/down the charts. Well, I had a couple in the [...]
So, it’s been a good week. The CD’s are being born as I type…all those little discs, just waiting to take their first breath. I’ve heard a lot of you have been waiting for them. I want to announce that if you made a digital download, I’ll automatically contact you and get [...]
So, that’s that. Months of work and finally the project is in the hands of the replication house. I’m using Groove House. They do audiophile-quality duplication work, so I’m excited to hear the result.
I’m working on a few marketing ideas and some give-aways to come. Also working on some live shows…who [...]
Today, I posted a brief interview video (on the video page) with David Furlin. Dave won a local Emmy for his contribution to San Diego’s Newsscene coverage of the local fires. Dave came by with a massive camera and equally-impressive tripod and we went back and forth with a few questions and thoughts [...]
Ok, I guess I jumped the gun on Friday. So, it’s Sunday, and I think I’ve got all the php (read, hell) code figured out. It seems to be working well. The music is up for download, the mailing list works (well, we’ll see, anyway) and the content is as good as I can make [...]
Well, I finally put up a bit about the songs on the upcoming album. I will certainly fill this page out a bit more, but I thought this would be a good starting point. Use the “music” link up top to get there. Let me know what you think.
This is really such a simple song; only three chords (F - G - Am). I play this one acoustic lots and have had more than one person tell me it was a favorite. This is how the song first started; I wrote it with the loops and repeating guitar pattern. I've always thought I could sound more like David Gray in the way he uses bits of electronica, but I have never felt that, in the end, the songs I write should be done like that. It's something that I battle with all the time. Having said that, I really love this version. The lyrics on the CD version are much different, thanks to hours of rewriting and a huge boost from Hamish Wyatt. Hamish lives in Brisbane, Australia. He and I traded this one back and forth one afternoon. He gave me the "wine, sweet with reasons" line and just blew me away. Thanks, Hamish! -z
This one is fun for me to play live, if somewhat difficult to sing. I'll play this one or Forever Again as an opener usually, just because they both move along so well. I worked and worked on this song, trying to make it fit on the record; in the end, it was just too different and I couldn't find it in me to get it to sit like the others. For this reason, I left it off the record. This is an unmastered version. I hope you like it. Thanks for listening! -z
I have played this song all over the world for lots of people. It's quite a bit different from my usual songwriting style and that seems to be great for some and a bit off for others :) I remember playing this one in a guy's house in Poland to a few new friends and a couple bottles of fine Polish Vodka. I finished it and everyone asked me to play it again and they all sang along. Such a priceless night. I wrote the whole song in less than 15 minutes on the sofa in my living room a few years back. It's quite an obvious song, but one I really enjoy playing. I couldn't make it fit on the album, although I tried and actually recorded it for the record. I nearly always bring this one out for live shows. -z
an in-between stage. This was just an idea I had been kicking around for a while that made its way into a song. I didn't even play that acoustic part...it was a LOOP! I think I played most of the piano, but some of it was looped as well...and the lap steel...all looped. People line up to give me a hard time about the phaser effect on the vocals, but I still like it that way. Enjoy this one from the vault! -z
the 1994 song Like Flowers for the Sun. I had written a poem about an experience in San Felipe, Mexico and that was the impetus for the beginning. This song became the title track for our 1994 Polygram/Polydor release. It's like another lifetime ago. I have always liked this song, with its unique drums and the laid back feel. I played this song for a couple new friends I made on a small island off the coast of Thailand. Their response was so positive, it shocked me and was enough to motivate me to re-record it. I hope you enjoy this one from the vault. Recorded with producer/mixer Mack (Queen, Zeppelin, Stones) in LA. -z
with Jesse. The two of us had recorded this one a few times together. This is the latest, if you can call it that. This version has been around for many years, but is still one of my favorites. Lots of big harmonies there, drawing, as always, from my huge roots in CSN. -z
Next week: With You (Electronic Version)
Fresh shirt designs are here! They're going fast. Click image for store.
Kelly Green - What is Zank
What I'm listening to right now...
Angus and Julia Stone is a duo from Australia. I keep getting emails of friends running into them over there...lucky!
Check it out at their site.