Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Siren and the Cajonero

Once upon a time there was a Cajonero. He travelled the lands far and wide, following the rhythm of life with his cajon. It was his charge in life to provide a beat to life as it occured around him. From simple conversation to the hustle and bustle of a city street to the wind blowing through the trees, he sensed the rhythm in it all and would play his cajon to make life whole. For what is life without rhythm?

During his travels, he realized that his cajon hadn't fully reached its purpose. Although he had enhanced the life of all the occurrences around him, there was still one thing missing.

The locals on the coast spoke of a Siren. A figure of mythology that dwelt just off shore in the foggy morns that drew in the fishermen, mariners and sailors with her voice. Hers was a voice so mesmerizing that the men at sea would follow its sound, even into trouble. But unlike the mythic dames of yore, it was this Sirens intent to find the right accompaniment to her sultry, seductive tones. To date, no one had proven to be the one to match perfectly with her voice.

When the Cajonero came to this seaside burg, he overheard the locals speaking of the siren. Intrigued, he decided to wait for a foggy morn to catch her voice upon the still, damp air. For weeks no fog had rolled in and the Cajonero spent his time in the town square providing a rhythm to the life of this drab, colorless village. Slowly bringing life and purpose to the daily routine of this village, its denizens began to grow accustomed to the rhythm of life the Cajonero provided. The town elders approached him and asked him who he was and what his business in their town was.

He explained that while his intent was to pass through, he became intrigued with the tale of the Siren. That it had become his mission to hear her and have her voice move his hands. The elders warned of the danger inherent with the Siren. Many men at sea had been lost forever to her voice.

The Cajonero didn't waiver.

It finally came to pass that a thick fog blanketed the fishing village one morn. Within the dense veil the subtle sounds of the Siren began to meander through. The Cajonero awoke to her voice and began to walk toward it. He followed the sweet sounds to the end of a rocky jetty where the sea suddenly calmed and the tide went out, giving the Cajonero a dry path to pursue the voice. The voice grew louder as the Cajonero came upon a large rock where sat atop a woman who's beauty was matched by her voice. When she saw the Cajonero she stopped singing. She knew something was different about him. This was no fishermen, mariner or sailor. No, this was a man that would complete her voice.

She smiled down at him and motioned for him to ascend the rock. No sooner did he reach the top, and the Siren, did the tide come back in. Stranding them atop this rock.

She began to sing, he began to play.

Last night at Java Jones we had the pleasure of being seduced and mesmerized by the siren like voice of Brenda Xu. Accompanying her on the cajon was Ben Kent. How good do you think these two are to inspire such a story? I found myself mesmerized by her. Sometimes being put into a trance like state. The rhythm and timing of Ben's cajon playing are impeccable. He plays as if his life was meant solely to create the perfect beat, in perfect time and perfect harmony with the voice of the siren.

It was a night of music that I would follow into the densest fog. It was a pleasure to have them both play. Don't miss your chance to see them.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Brain Garbage

Is it true that we only use like 15% of our brain? What is the rest of it doing, loitering? Panhandling for booze? I'm trying to get it off it's a$$ and come up with some more songs to write.

But apparently, the left part of my brain isn't listening. It's the creative side. Pretty much the only side of my brain that works. Ask me to come up with a song for you based on a theme and it'll be done in 15 minutes. Ask me to create a budget and I'll hunch forward slightly, drooling, and become catatonic.

It's an affliction, this creativity. It comes and goes when it wants. Hanging out with those cells from the wrong side of the brain. Smoking. Spray painting graffiti on the sides of the imagination train that was supposed to bring me ideas. Curses! Thwarted by my own rogue brain cells!

Usually, during this time of the year, I'll write 15-20 new songs. Something about the short daylight hours depress me and spurn ideas for songs. But this year has been lean. Two new songs have arisen. and it's almost been a month. But I'm guessing that ultimately, quality over quantity is what is important.

So, to you, left side of my brain that is being sparsely used. Get off your lazy behind and fire into gear before I evict you with a bottle of turpentine (what???). If I could, I'd eliminate the brain garbage with the rest of the household trash on Thursday. Trim it down to that 15% I supposedly use and start saying that I'm using 100% of my brain...

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Community is an extremely important thing. Having many people capable of performing various functions in harmony together makes life easier. What I know how to do may be something you aren't capable of doing. So I can perform it for you. What you know how to do may be something I am incapable of doing. So you can perform it for me.

Having multiple people performing the same thing for others can create a healthy competition and can help those performing to step up their game in order to make sure that the absolute best service is being performed. In some instances, like in music, it's even better to have multiple people doing it because it creates a variety.

So I say that you can't spell community without "u" "n" "i".

You can't have a community without you and I.

With that in mind, let's all keep in mind that the world will not revolve around one person, ever. It is as important to support those around you as it is for those around you to support you. Reciprocity is a key to a healthy community. Respect for variety is a key to a healthy community. Respect for each other is a key to a healthy community.

Unity is better than division, always.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dreams and Child Rearing

How many of your favorite artists can you think of that grew up with an ideal childhood? I can't think of any. It makes me wonder something.

If traumatic/non-ideal/broken home environments create artists, then how do you rear a child in a loving environment and encourage them to be an artist if that's what they want to do? I say it's totally possible. I think encouragement to follow a dream is the greatest gift a parent can give to their child.

It was 85-86 and I was in 7th grade. I loved riding my skateboard. Tony Hawk was becoming a household name for skaters and he was just a couple years older than me. I watched him pull off incredible maneuvers in pools and half pipes in Southern California from my home in Southern New Mexico. We didn't have much of a scene at that time. We had one drainage ditch we could ride and had to look far and wide for a half pipe. We began building really crappy launch ramps and quarter pipes. We eventually built a half pipe in a friends grandmothers back yard. It was awesome. By this time it was summer before 8th grade and we spent that summer constructing this beast and skating it all summer long. However...

In Southern NM in the mid 80's you were considered a trouble maker if you rode a skateboard. Constant harassment from cops for crimes committed by gang bangers (another obstacle to avoid for us) and minimal support from the city (they would pour gravel down the side of the drainage ditches we would ride to keep us off of there)led us to pursue other avenues. Like drinking and drug experimentation. So instead of getting exercise and pursuing what would become one of the most popular of the extreme sports of today, we became degenerates.

Tony Hawk, on the other hand, and his friends were getting sponsored and supported and were travelling the world and today he has sponsors such as Club Med and Video Game companies and snack foods. As he rightfully should. He was the image of my childhood. The image of how, with the proper encouragement, love and support, a child can grow into the farthest reaches of his/her imagination.

Nourish your child's dream. Regardless of how far fetched it may seem to you, remember that you once were a child with a dream and that NOTHING is far fetched to the mind of an 8 year old. The worse thing you can do is cap or stifle a child's dreams.

Professional skater, musician, writer, doctor, lawyer, teacher, astronaut, cartoonist, actor, law enforcer, builder and on and on. All are legitimate. All exist. All are options for our kids. And for US. Because I have never stopped dreaming and don't plan to. Because without the dream, you wouldn't have seen me on stage playing my music, heard my songs on the radio or seen me holding my baby.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Heaven and Hail

Go to Heaven for the climate and Hell for the company.

I believe this was a Mark Twain quote. Correct me if I'm wrong but it was turned in to a pretty phenomenal song by a friend of mine, Dave Booda. He was my featured performer last night at the Coffeehouse Radio Live @ Java Jones East Village.

I first heard this song a year ago. Dave and I sat side by side o stage at Swedenborg Hall for the Songwriter's Acoustic Nights Showcase. We each were allotted three songs to play. That was one Dave played. It went over extremely well. So he was kind enough to play it for me again last night. It was like having my own semi private Dave Booda concert. Semi because there were a handful of other people that came out as well. The down pouring rain and the hail kept people away.

Eventually, in San Diego, people will need to learn that rain will not melt you. Is it wet? Yes. Will it kill you? If you're driving and trying to text and talk on your phone at the same time, possibly. Is it fun to be out in? Yes! Is Dave Booda's musical performance worth braving the elements? Absolutely!

Dave has a secret that I won't share. After March 9th I'm sure he'll share it but until then I won't spill it the way I did last night. But the good news is that you will have more chances to see him perform here in San Diego. I would highly recommend it.

Daves singing and guitar playing are easy on the ears. His presence on stage is very calming and he's a guy that's easy to like. His 5 track CD, Datcho Willy will get worn out in your CD player. My personal favorite is All My Love. It's a song that continues to stick in my head and I have no intention of evicting it.

Check out Dave soon. Next up on his calendar is Escondido Joe's on January 29th. He'll "be giving all his love for you"

photo taken from Dave's site. I don't know that clicking it will get you to iTunes but you can try


Who am I kidding? Music has shaped my world since I can remember!

1976, Las Cruces, NM: I vividly remember my dad's vinyl collection. Cap't & Tenniel, ABBA, Dr. Hook etc. In my sisters room was the Eagles Hotel California. These were all on vinyl. The 8 Tracks were in the car. I remembered how scared I would get when they would sing "they stab it with their steely knives but they just can't kill the beast". A Beast?!?! Yikes.

1977, San Diego, CA: In the back of my Uncles' VW bus with my cousin Joe, we wold sing Walk This Way by Aerosmith from their Toys In The Attic 8 Track. We would laugh and point towards our eye as if we were walking into our eyeballs. Because we were idiots. Because we were 4 years old. Whatever...

1980's Las Cruces, NM... again: In third grade I had memorized Freeze Frame and Centerfold by the J Geils Band along with Dirty Deeds, Done Dirt Cheap by AC/DC and I Love Rock N Roll by Joan Jett and the Black Hearts. I slowly realized I had the ability to memorize all these songs I loved. That Summer, my song was Electric Avenue by Eddie Grant. I would sit by our stereo, which was also a record player. A Massive phonograph that I would stare at and wait for the magic to emerge from. On Wednesday nights, I would two step dance with my mom to the country western station.

The sounds that came from there. Wow. The people singing couldn't have been real people. It was impossible to ever be that person. Wasn't even worth dreaming about.

In 5th grade my brother introduced me to break dancing and my cousin, Moe from San Diego, introduced me to Newcleus' Jam On It. Rap music. It made sense to me. It rhymed it was fast it was awesome! Then the Beat Street soundtrack and Ice T on the Breakin' soundtrack rappin Reckless. Trips thru the desert with my dad introduced Louis Prima, ZZ Top, Willie Nelson, Manfred Mann and the Earth Band, Johnny Cash and the Highwaymen. Harry Chapin and Neil Diamond were played a lot as well. We would listen to a cassette tape called "Hooked On Classics" as well.

All these incredible types of sounds that were pouring into my ears. It was an overload a beautiful, beautiful overload. In high school we finally had Mtv. Mtv showed music videos. They had a show called "Yo Mtv Raps" hosted first by Fab Five Freddy and later by Ed Lover and Dr. Dre. Not the Dr Dre from NWA. Wait, you don't know about NWA? Eazy-E? Red, Yella, Ice Cube, Dre and Eazy-E were NWA. The front runner was Eazy-E and the whole group followed shortly behind spawning such mc's as the D.O.C. Up North from Compton in Oakland was a rapper named Too $hort rappin' about Freaky Tales and The Ghetto. The Digital Underground was doing the Humpty Dance and a young kid named Tupac was "clownin' around when he hung around with the Underground". No one had died yet.

When I went in to the Army, I began listening to soundtrack themes like Conan the Barbarian's Anvil of Cromm by Basil Poledouris and Heavy Metal like Pantera and Slayer. Training to kill made me appreciate heavy metal music. Towards the end of my Army career we were listening to a lot of Techno and Industrial music. At one time, a buddy of mine took me to see a show at a little restaurant. It was Leon Redbone.

A roller coaster journey through a wide variety of sounds has led me to where I am today. A singer/songwriter with a broad base of musical influence. I feel bad for people that only listen to a certain type of music. It's like eating the same piece of bread for the rest of your life. It'll nourish but won't help you flourish.

From not daring to dream of even being a person that I heard on the radio to being the person being heard on the radio. What a trip...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Rhythm and You's

"Music transcends hate, political lines, race and religion. The only thing more beautiful than music is the heart that created it."

This is something I posted on my Twitter recently and truly believe. It's a quote not from some ancient philosopher or great humanitarian. It's a quote from a very simple place. A quote from my heart.

Music is everywhere. Cultures are defined and recognizable by their style of music. In every village, every town and every city around the world, there is someone that plays music and is beloved for it. Throughout the world people share a love for the SAME song on many occasions. People who are at odds with each other probably share a similar playlist in their iPod. Warring gangs probably have the same CD in their cars. Competing nightclubs and radio stations will play the same songs. It is the glue that connects, sad to say, invisibly and unknown.

People will go to a concert to hear a band and mingle with people they might never ever talk to outside of the venue. But why? Why not continue the relationship. Why not let music bridge divides and heal old wounds. How better to coexist with one another than with harmony and rhythm?

John Lennon said to give peace a chance.

Why not let music have a chance to create peace?

photo by Alfonso de Alba of I.Am.Lost Photography

Alter Ego

There's a movie out there that you watch repeatedly or just channel into your thoughts whenever you are doing something. A character that you think typifies exactly who you would be in an alternate dimension.

I am Samurai Jack.

I am trying desperately to find the song I wrote about this awesome cartoon created by Gendy Tartakovsky. This has got to be my favorite cartoon and character of all time. This is in a list that contains William Wallace, Conan the Barbarian, Riddick, Jedis', King Leonidas, Mickey O'Neill, James Bond(as played by Daniel Craig), that kid from Stomp the Yard (because I secretly wish I could dance like that) and Beowulf.

I fancy myself a bad ass warrior, for the most part. And in my defense, I'm a veteran of the US Army Infantry- a real warrior. trained in some Shi Do Kan Karate and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Qualified expert on numerous weapons and Combat Life Saver qualified. Now I can add to that resume of training the instinctive, primal, genetically coded need to defend and protect my little girls.

None of this really has anything to do with music. It's more of a thought I have when walking away from a show through alleys and dark streets. It's the that I channel my Samurai Jack alter ego. Rockin' a crowd and then fighting crime, seeing that justice prevails. Can you tell that I'm the youngest of four and had to occupy my own time with my imagination? Haha. There are days when I'm not sure which is my reality and which is my imaginary world, but then the baby will cry and need a diaper change. Reality rears up. It doesn't have an ugly head. It has the beautiful, angelic face of a tiny little person that calls me "daddy".

One of the few people that can melt the heart of this samurai.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Guitar

Many people who create have a favorite tool they use. Whether it be a brush for painting, a chisel for sculpting or a pen for writing. It is the tool that is most comfortable to the artisan and is almost a kind of good luck charm.

I have a guitar.

It's a Takamine G 230. The first guitar I ever got. My sister got it for me. I honor her in my own way by always using it to write my songs on. It's as if she is part of every song I write because it is composed on the guitar she bought for me so many years ago.

My sister is well and good. I don't do it as a memorial ritual as she will most likely out live me. I just hope that the songs I write upon it will be able to have as meaningful of a life as my sister has led. She'll deny any accolades towards her but I'll say just how awesome she is. She is awesome. In every way imaginable.

So my Takamine G 230 is my tool of choice. It has acquired a number of tattoos over the years and has the look of a truly travelled guitar. The thing sounds awesome in an intimate setting. It was, for all intents and purposes, my "girl" for the years leading up to the time I met the woman that I now call my beautiful wife.

But Takamine never got jealous. She understands her worth. She knows she has a huge amount of value in my life. She has endured two children so far and a two puppies and of course, my wife. She has played on the Vegas strip, at beaches, in parks and in countless houses and apartments. She has been the subject of many photos and drawings.

She's my Takamine. She is my co-writer. Am I her tool?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Throwing Things At Walls

You heard the term "throw it against the wall and see if it sticks"?

I think it refers originally to boiling spaghetti. I could look it up on Google or Wikipedia or something like that but I'm gonna go with my notion. When you boil spaghetti, you know it's ready, when you throw it at the wall and it sticks. Yes, that sounds like the beginning of a verse of a song but it's not.

It's a saying that relates to ideas.

Now, I don't write a song, ball it up and throw it. I "throw it" by playing it repeatedly until it is committed to memory and then unleashing it on the public. If the public reacts favorably then it is safe to say that it has "stuck to the wall". If the public does not react well then it hasn't cooked long enough or it just wasn't good. It happens.

I've heard that for every 100 songs you write, 2 will be good. That's a daunting statistic to an aspiring songwriter. But sometimes it's easy to write 10 songs because ideas will come at you in a rapid fire manner. Sometimes all of these end up being songs you'll never end up using in your repertoire. But the exercise of writing is very healthy as is any kind of exercise.

Once the song is something you know is favorable, it comes time to play it over and over until you absolutely hate it and hear it in your sleep and the hook repeats like a broken record in your skull. Now that you can't stand the song, it's time to perform it for the public and act like it's your favorite. Isn't that sweet? But with the proper mental frame-realizing how blessed I am to even be able to play songs for people- I've learned to not hate the songs but love them more and more.

Because each song is a relationship. There is a birth, there is a discovery/learning process and an evolution and a love that grows, for me, with each song. A very personal place dwells in each. I can see the place and time in my mind where the song was born. Where I first threw it against the wall to see if it would stick. The parental like pride I feel when a song is well received is the same a parent feels when their child does well at anything.

You listening to my songs and sharing your time with my song is a very meaningful thing to me. When I get comments from people about having one of my songs in their head or singing it in the shower or that their kids actually dance around while listening to it is a gift. I thank you for that. For taking my song into your heart and your home and making it part of your family so to speak.

And now: the Chad Lasagna

1 lb lasagna noodles
1 lb of ground beef
1 lb of Jimmy Dean Regular Sausage
1 can Hunts tomato sauce
Shredded mozzarella

Boil the noodles for 10-12 minutes and drain. Get a 9x13 baking dish and lightly grease.
Brown the meats and drain. Put them both in a bowl and mix them together, make sure they're not too chunky.
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees
Lay three strips of lasagna in the baking dish, top with tomato sauce spread across the top of the noodles. Top with the ground beef/sausage combination. Top with mozzarella. Repeat this process 2 0r 3 more times depending on the depth of your baking dish. The last layer will be lasagna noodles, sauce and mozzarella.
Cover w/ foil. Bake for 25 minutes, uncover and bake for 10 more minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes.

Guaranteed to make you a member of the clean plate club.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Troubadour

I'm the troubadour/not the man you're lookin' for/I know where the gettin's good/that is why I came back here for more...

It's from one of my newest songs titled "the Troubadour". I'm pretty much i love with it. The same way I fall in love with most of my songs. The others don't get jealous. The only feeling or emotion they have is whatever I give them at the time I sing them. It makes it very easy for me to pursue other songs. Now I don't treat humans this way. No way. My wife is number one. Whether I'm around her or not. She will always retain that spot. But with songs it's different.

Yesterday I had my guitar case out, singing and playing for the crowd at the farmers market. It's a great time. It reminds me of the montage i the movie Once where you see Glenn Hansard playing throughout the different days and the people hanging around and dancing and throwing money in his case. That was me yesterday. People hanging around, dancing and throwing money in my case. People do that because they like what they hear and it makes them happy, triggering a physical response which is dancing. Followed by smiling and laughing and throwing money in the case. It's great when people are happy.

People respond favorably to music when there is a good variety. A set list is very important just as a script is to a good movie. It tells a story. It establishes a character, it develops the character and the it brings the character through different challenges and triumphs. Up and down goes the tempo of the set. Drawing in the attention, getting the listeners to fall in love with the character and then taking them through the highs and lows. The fast songs to the slow songs. How will this movie end??? The suspense is riveting!

But if that movie only had one speed and never deviated from it, if the character was never challenged in any way or faced adversity of any kind, it would be a BORE!If the radio station only played songs of the same meter and cadence over and over again, if there was only a high tide or a low tide...

There would be no growth in the person, no excitement in the play list and no waves in the ocean. It would take the DYNAMICS completely out of it. It would be rendered undynamic. Not dynamic. Dynamicless. Adynamic. One of those is the word. Not sure which one until I hit spell check)


I am a troubadour. I don't have a boss. I don't go to meetings. I don't have clients. I don't wear suits, unless I feel like it. I don't do karaoke and am not looking to take direction in what and how I play. I spend enough time going over my arsenal of songs and strategically placing songs in certain positions for the purposes of story telling. It is designed to have an Ebb and Flow. A up and down. A dramatic build up to make it more memorable. It's entertainment. The people paying for the entertainment don't always see it that way. Most of the times at certain locations they want the music to be upbeat the ENTIRE time. They are the ones paying for it so they're entitled to that opinion. But this is my blog and I'm entitled to mine. As they're saying this, basically saying they aren't happy with the fluctuation in music, the people that are listening-the shoppers, patrons, drinkers and eaters- are more than happy with the selection, the time changes, the meter changes, the variation in song styles. It comes back to this; variety is the spice of life. Without spice, there is no flavor.

Flavor is good, it tastes better than money...

photo by Tommy Bryant

Saturday, January 16, 2010

If Dylan Wore A Skirt

The Coffeehouse Radio Live was treated to something pretty damn awesome last night. Former featured act Will Edwards showed up to play, that was sweet. Dennis Driscoll made his debut as a listener (Long overdue) and we had a young man all the way from Co. Wicklow in Ireland named David Benett who was awesome.

But the night was capped off by yet another outstanding Featured performer.

She is best described as Bob Dylan in a skirt- but with a voice. A penchant for songwriting that is unapologetic, personal and very relatable. Lindsay White is a musician that wears her emotions on her sleeves, musically speaking. After listening to her you feel like you've known her forever. And that's a good thing. She's a person you want in your life. A bright smile, a sharp wit and a voice that can be set on your ipod to "repeat".

Lindsay is accompanied by her percussionist, Joel Mendoza. Joel is flat out awesome. I get to borrow him from time to time from Lindsay. The two of them fill a room with not noise, but music. A sound that you don't want to stop. Joel brings the boom on his Machudo Cajon with his ankle shakers, tambourine at foot and impeccable sense of rhythm.

Another great night. Another brilliant night. Don't miss out on the chance to hear Lindsay White!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Song Writing

I write everything I do. I don't work with anyone on my lyrics. However, I do draw inspiration for lyrics from others from time to time.

I just finished writing a song called "Let Your E Go" and it was inspired by my friend Missi, the DJ for Rock 105.3. She had posed the question "what would the world be like without ego?". I responded with a song. My friend Lindsay White once posted a status update on Facebook that related to how being at a mindless job can suck the creativity out of you. The song "Daydream" was born. My friend Stacy Tyree was at a stop light when she witnessed quite the ironic episode of hate and the song "Bumper Stickers" was born. So inspiration for song writing is everywhere and within everyone you meet.

So maybe I should've begun this post with "Everything I write is inspired by people places and things around me. Sometimes it's an act of kindness or a question posed by a friend that can spawn a new song" as opposed to "I write everything I do". Maybe my ego got in the way and I should let my E Go.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

the American Idol Dillema

Simon is leaving. Now, the debate begins as to who to bring in to replace him...

I've been approached by fans on occasion that say "you should try out for American Idol". I think it's flattering that someone would say that but the truth is is that I don't have an American Idol singing voice. I have a Chad Cavanaugh, Dead Man Walkin' singing voice.

The people on American Idol have these freakish vocals that transcend normal humanity. The beauty of American Idol is that this gives these people an audience that they would never have. Some of these people are in local bands singing cover songs and originals but never really challenging their voice. Others may be karaoke champs in their hometown and some may have only sung in the shower.

That is until...

Until they have to go before the panel of judges which traditionally have been Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell. Last year introduced Ellen DeGeneres. I thought that was odd. I think Ellen has been a wonderful pioneer for her community and is an accomplished comedian, actress, voice actor and talk show host. But judge of musical talent? I hit on this point a bit for a reason. I'm getting to that reason. The reason is this.

Simon Cowell, arguably the backbone of this show and the true embodiment of objectivity and ZERO sugar coating, is leaving. Simon's harsh criticism and acid laced tongue have become legendary. Many reality shows based around a specific talent have followed suit and brought on a judge, typically with the English accent, that really "says what people are thinking but too scared to say". Most of the time coming off as just being flat out mean, his criticism is ultimately what will make this wanna be artist the best they can be.

Now he's gone. Well, after this season anyway. Who will they replace him with? You can't bring in some celebrity who already has a fan base and expect him/her to bring to the show what Simon did. You can't bring in an "American Sweetheart" type and expect people to buy off on the fact that now they're not so sweet. So who do yo bring in? Who... do you... bring in?

I've got an idea. Work with me on this. It would be hilarious! I propose to bring in someone who has no clue about music or talent. I propose to bring in someone who has no problem with crushing peoples' dreams and aspirations. I say they bring in a despot, a cruel, tyrannical leader from one of our enemy nations around the world. A person who wipes his ass with human rights and pisses on the idea of individual freedoms and expression.

Bring in Kim Jong Il or Ahmadinejad.

Every time a hopeful Idol would come before the panel to sing, the judges would give their feedback as such:

Randy: "yo, dog, I really feel you on that song. You really hit the notes. I got you right here" Pounding his chest with his fist.

The hopeful nods his head and smiles, saying "thank you"

Ellen: "Ya know I think you've got a real gift there, kiddo! I'm gonna have to book you on my show after this is done"

The hopeful nods his head and smiles, saying "thank you"


Wouldn't that be hilarious??? They would replace Simon AND turn it up a notch.

And now, I leave you with this: Phonetic isn't. Good day.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Sometimes people get upset when you plug what you do. Here's what I say to that. If you were plugging what I do, I wouldn't have to. So when that day comes, I'll back off.

Ya dig?

I'm independent. I don't mean in the Kelly Clarkson sense of the word. I mean. I'm by myself. If anything is to get done it is to be done by me... for now. Let me add something to this, though. There are some awesome fans that I have that do help out a bunch whether it be in the form of helping with a show flyer, recommending my music/fan page to other friends and showing up to my shows. All of those are massively huge helps and are GREATLY appreciated. There are also some awesome DJ's on the radio that have been putting getting me spins in a consistent way. Jane and Missi are very much loved and appreciated for doing this.

I am still independent. I do not apologize for this. Everyone starts somewhere and in order to grow and reach a larger audience it takes time and most of all-word of mouth. As a result, I will continue to plug the things I do in as tasteful a way as possible but I do ask for your help on a couple things.

In the social networking realm I am present on Twitter- @CCMusicSD, and fan page at and on Myspace-

I ask that you please share these links with your friends so as to help me spread my music out to people. Doing that is a massive help. 6 people telling 6 people telling 6 people helps the fan base grow exponentially.

Thank you all for being a reader of my words and listeners of my songs. I am truly grateful!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Aloha and the Alt Rocker

I put on a weekly show that I have talked about here on the Stay at Home Rock Star. It's called Coffeehouse Radio Live @ Java Jones East Village. Last night was the first event of 2010 and it was awesome!

My featured performer was Taylor Begert. Taylor is now living in LA but is originally from Seattle. He brings an awesome Alt rock sound the likes of which you'd hear on a 91X. is highly recommended. We met almost two years ago to the day. I was fill-in-hosting for a friend at Java Jones when he and Kenny Eng were booked to play. It ended up being a night where I would meet two new friends that are like family to us now. Taylor's guitar playing, powerful voice and thought out lyrics just flat out rock! His CD has seen a lot of time in our player and once you get one, you'll see why.

Another real treat last night was a young lady that I played a festival with in October of '09. It was headlined by Matisyahu and was completely insane! That is where I met Cindy Santini. A girl that can make her guitar sound like a Uke or jam on it like a true rocker. She just recently played with Donovan Frankenreiter during the ASP World Tour Pipeline Contest and In Memory of Eddie Aikau Big Wave contest. She is currently signed to a label, Bonded Records, and once you hear her you know why. Voice, lyrics, guitar playing and presence. This girl is the whole package and it's pure Aloha. is a recommended sight and she is scheduled to be the featured performer on April 9th.

Thanks to these two for helping to kick off 2010 in an awesome way. I also want to thank my good friend Ves who can sing his a$$ off, Chuck for his turned down, hilarious show tunes and Alan Land for always being an awesome performer.

Don't miss next week when Lindsay White comes downtown to rock the Coffeehouse!

Friday, January 8, 2010

the Homogeneous State

Remember the notion that variety as the spice of life? Well then how did I become a terrorist for not driving the same car as everyone else?

I was parked yesterday waiting for my wife. I noticed at one point that every car on the road where I was was a Prius. It was a frightening sight. The idea of a fuel efficient car is not a frightening thing to me. The idea of conserving energy and resources is not a frightening thing to me. I'm cool with all of those. I'm cool with the Prius. I have friends that drive them. Friends that actually live a very conscious life as it pertains to the environment and conservation. Unfortunately, the vehicles that existed when I was getting my new car that could accomplish such tasks were all too small and unrealistic for my needs as a family man and a musician with gear to haul. Keep that in mind. Because if I were to buy a Smart car, it wouldn't be too smart on my part. A Prius won't fit my family or requirements for space as a musician.

So what scares me about a Prius?

It's as if you are being told what vehicle to drive when you are rewarded for getting a certain type of vehicle by the State. It's as if you are being told how big of a family you are allowed to have by the types of vehicles that are "suggested". It's as if you are being told what type of occupation you are being told to have by the types of vehicles that are being "suggested". It's as if you are being told that if you need a larger vehicle for family, or gear to haul because of your job, that you are a "terrorist". And to see the Homogeneous look of every car being the same reminds me of a dictator that wanted everyone to be blonde hair and blue eyed.

I put that in quotations because I think it's highly ironic that a guy who is a veteran of the United States Army Infantry that served his country honorably would be referred to as a terrorist for driving an SUV by people who have never served a day in their life and have a false sense of entitlement because they were merely "born" here. People who feed on the idea that because they were born here they shouldn't do anything to earn the freedoms that are and were provided by people who gave up their rights for them. Show a little appreciation. It's not everyone. That wasn't a blanket statement. But you know it's true.

For all you so called environment lovers who follow the mantras of these so called environmentalist gurus, here is something for you to ponder.

Why did these guys go to a global conference to discuss the state of the eco system and the made up global warming scam in their private jets and limos instead of being conscious of their "cause" and doing a tele conference? Yes, I said scam. How much money have these people made off of the Global warming scare? If you're going to incriminate people for making money on war and oil then be fair and point the finger at these people as well.

And Now, Crock Pot Pork Ribs:

First of all, get Crock Pot Liners. Makes clean up simple.

Dump two bottles of your favorite BBQ sauce into the pot. Add the pork ribs. Set it on low and come back in 5-6 hours. You'll love it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

the joneses

Remember when that family moved in to the neighborhood or when that kid showed up at school and everyone was in awe? They couldn't do anything wrong and everyone wanted to emulate them and compare everything and everybody to what they were doing.

I remember them. They still exist. They're called the Joneses and everyone wants to keep up with them. People will give you advise to be more like them or do what they do if you want to make anything of themselves. You know what I say?

F**k the Joneses!

I don't give a rats tattouille as to what they are doing or how they do it. I didn't sign up for this world to be a carbon copy of some ideal. I came here to be me. You are more than welcome to do the same. Think of the liberation you'll feel when you swat that 800 pound gorilla off of your back and start making yourself happy. How? By being yourself.

Magazine covers are for zombies and people that can't think for themselves. There is no one more unique in their make up than the person staring back at you in the mirror. I think it's time you start smiling back at yourself and loving you first. Go on and make it happen. You can do anything you put your mind to. If you can envision yourself doing it, then it will be done.

But you have to believe that.

and now, for the greatest chip dip ever:

1 8oz. block of Philadelphia Cream Cheese
One tube of Jimmy Dean Sage sausage
1 can of Ro-Tel tomatoes (spiciness to your taste)

Brown the meat. In a separate bowl, that can be used to serve as well, mix the cream cheese and the contents of the can of Ro-Tel, juice included. Mix in the browned sausage and serve.

Goes great with Tostitos chips and also on sourdough toast/toast points. You can use any flavoring of Jimmy Dean that you want. I have found that using the original Philadelphia Cream Cheese (Not generic or non fat) gives it the greatest flavor. It's okay to serve it cool.