Doing the Quarantined Music Thing

Watch me play an acoustic version of “Dead Weight,” a song I wrote for my Boston ska band, The New Limits. It’s been a regular part of the live set for the last couple of years but we haven’t gotten around to recording it. The song, written long before this devastating pandemic, is largely about cutting toxic people out of your life. Take care of yourself and those around you but don’t be afraid to end relationships with the folks who don’t return that care. I’m not sure it counts as irony, but that’s the last thing anyone wants to be doing right now.

Learning to Record and Sync Audio and Video Simultaneously

I was completely befuddled by how folks were doing multi-camera multi-track remote audio AND video recordings (there must be a better word for this). So I made one myself to figure it all out. The music was written on the fly and almost every track was recorded in one take. This was less about a great tune and more about figuring out the workflow. The whole thing took about three hours from start to finish.

I recorded the audio in Garageband, filmed the video on my iPhone 7, mixed the audio down, and then did the video edit in Adobe Premiere Pro. I probably went a bit overboard with all the clicks and claps in the intro but it made the sync so much smoother. The hardest part was doing each track in one take.

When One Virus Reveals Another

I can’t stop thinking about this 2012 tune by UK band Sonic boom Six called “Virus.” Far be it for me to tell anyone what a song is really about but here goes.

It’s NOT about a medical virus. It’s about all of society’s ills and failures–and our participation and willful ignorance is the sickness. Here we are with a real honest-to-god pandemic that’s just exacerbating and shining a spotlight on all of these societal failures. “No one is immune or fit to defend.” We are wholly unprepared to deal with the medical virus and we’re sure as hell unprepared for the ripple effects it will have on every other aspect of our lives.

It’s like the nurse that’s working a twelve hour day.
It’s like the thirty-five grand for a bottle of champagne.
It’s the multinationals avoiding their taxes while they’re raising VAT for bailing out all the banks.
It’s like the kid that’s smashing up the Cash Converter.
The bonus for the bosses of the corporate merger.
The way we call a quarantine for everyone else and never even realise we had the virus ourselves.
And I’ve seen, no vaccine, only the writing on the wall.
White Blood cells inside our system don’t work at all.
And I’ve seen, no vaccine, only the writing on the wall.

Honoring Juneteenth

I was well into my 30s before I had learned what Juneteenth was. And it’s not a national holiday.

Christopher Columbus is a part of every grade school curriculum. And that genocidal sociopath gets a whole weekend.

That about sums up America’s legacy and priorities.

February Album Writing Month Cover Art

What I Learned During February Album Writing Month

I… I… I did it?

This year I participated in February Album Writing Month. The goal is to write 14 songs in 28 days. And, I met the goal!

Now, admittedly, a handful of the songs I wrote in that period were built from ideas, hooks, riffs, and lyrics I had kicking around before February 2019. However, the month-long challenge was my motivation for finishing them. (more…)

Learning Adobe Premiere Rush

My full time job is on the administrative staff of The Clubhouse Network (the corporate side, of sorts). On Saturday, I was helping support staff on the member-facing side (the retail side, if you will), The Flagship Clubhouse. While spending time with members and mentors, I was charged with creating something. The space places an emphasis on creating, not consuming. Additionally, we use the words “mentor” and “member” because everyone is a student. Everyone should be learning at any given time. (more…)