Kickstarter Explained – What’s this Whole Thing About?

Here’s the link I spoke of in the vid, give it a click and check it out!: http://kck.st/1lA7uXh

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Happy Anniversary – “Troubled Mind” Turns One

Troubled Mind Album CoverToday I realized that yesterday – April, 13th 2014 – marked the one-year anniversary of the release of my debut album Troubled Mind. It seems a bit surreal to me; so much has happened since then, musically and otherwise, that Troubled Mind feels like ancient history – yet today I’m reminded of how young it is and how little time has in fact passed since its release. I feel like time has played a nasty trick on me…but I suppose it does that to all of us.

I could go on a long, undoubtedly incoherent rant about time, relativity, change, and progress – and the situation has me more than halfway tempted – but I will reign in my long-winded, quasi-philosophical bravado for the sake of instead saying a simple and genuine thank you to all of you who have been there from the beginning, and also to those of you who are just discovering and appreciating my work. To be able to sit here in awe that only one year has passed is a truly incredible – and daunting – experience…an experience I owe to you all. Artists are nothing without the fans that make it possible for them to continue to pursue their work. I can’t wait to celebrate the anniversary of the soon-to-be “Nowhere to Hide” EP with you all!

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The Writer, the Player & the Performer

"Here’s the scoop: I identify myself as a writer first and foremost..."

“Here’s the scoop: I identify myself as a writer first and foremost…”

I get asked quite often how I identify myself: am I a lead singer/frontman, an entertainer, a musician, a writer?…

Here’s the scoop: I identify myself as a writer first and foremost. As I make progress in my profession I actually find myself becoming more and more introverted rather than outgoing – preferring to be alone to think and to write. While I’m known for my songwriting, my writing is not limited to songs alone – I also write essays, stories, long thought-trains, and even have a substantial chunk of what will be my first book written.

My singing and musicianship are skills that I have been working hard to develop in order to bring my songwriting to life – they come much less naturally to me than the writing itself. However, the more proficient I become as a singer and musician the more I find myself enjoying those skills and wanting to pursue and develop them for their own sake.

I actually don’t identify myself as a performer at all, but rather view performing as a sort of necessary evil. It is a double-edged sword though as there is something powerful and wonderful about delivering my work to a live audience and making that personal connection with my fans. However, the stage is not where I naturally thrive and more often than not it makes me very uncomfortable; which is somewhat odd as I can recall a time in my past when I had absolutely no qualms about putting myself in front of an audience and making a fool of myself – or otherwise.

So, there it is in a nutshell. A writer first, singer & musician second, and a performer by necessity. If you’ve got any more burning questions feel free to leave a comment, I’d be more than happy to answer them for you!

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Homosexuals and Intellects



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Not Even the King

I remember seeing Alicia Keys’ new album Girl on Fire for the first time when I stopped off at a Starbucks for a little pick-me-up before setting out on the road again. I’ve always loved her music and I was in need of something fresh to listen to so I bought myself a copy with my coffee. All the tracks aren’t created equal – but between “Brand New Me, “101,” and “Not Even the King” I think it’s fair to say Alicia nailed it. So, without further adieu, here’s a fantastic live version of “Not Even the King” performed in Manchester Cathedral. Song lyrics are posted below the video – hope you dig them as much as I do!

“Not Even The King” Lyrics

Money…
Some people so poor; all that they’ve got is money.
Oh, and diamonds…
Some people waste their life counting their thousands.

I don’t care what they’re offering,
How much gold they bring?
They can’t afford what we’ve got,
Not even the king.
They can’t afford what we’ve got,
Not even the king.

Oh, castles…
Some people so lonely; what good is a castle
Surrounded by people?
But ain’t got a friend that’s not on the payroll…

Oh, and I don’t care what they bring;
They can have everything
They can’t afford what we’ve got,
Not even the king.
They can’t afford what we’ve got,
Not even the king.

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Came charging to get what we got
They offered the crown and the offered the throne;
I already got all that I want.

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men;
They came marching through
They offered the world just to have what we got,
But I found the world in you,
I found the world in you.

So darling, listen:
Your arms around me worth more than a kingdom
Yeah, believe that
The trust that we feel the kings never felt that…

Yeah, this is the song we sing,
We don’t need anything
They can’t afford this;
This is priceless.

Can’t afford what we’ve got,
Not even the king.
Can’t afford what we’ve got,
Not even the king.

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The Method to the Immodest Madness

I can always count on myself to laugh at my own jokes.

I can always count on myself to laugh at my own jokes.

I’ve been lovin the feedback from you all on the [virtually] nude intro vid and talking up the new work; it’s awesome to see everyone diggin’ the sense humor and jumping on board with the project! To tell you the truth I was expecting a larger backlash from outspoken disapprovers, but so far there has only been a very small handful of prudes who apparently didn’t appreciate my latest film work – but life’s too short to coddle their boring asses anyway.

I made the decision to do something outside the box and lighthearted simply because I don’t think it’s healthy to be too heavy too much of the time. My music – especially on this upcoming EP – is heavy enough as it is, so, for the sake of balancing it all out I thought it would be a breathe of fresh air to embrace a more humorous approach to introducing the latest work. It’s definitely been exciting to interact with you all and to watch this project take shape – it’s been making me even more anxious to get my new music to you!

Click here to check out the new vid: New EP Recording – “Nowhere to Hide” [Video]

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The New EP Project Launches on April 1st!

IMG_3745
It looks like it’s really gonna happen – it’s almost time to launch the campaign on release #2! It hasn’t even been a year since my debut album “Troubled Mind” released, yet, so much has happened since then it almost seems like ancient history…

This new EP, “Nowhere to Hide,” will definitely be a departure from my previous work. I think during my first release I was subconsciously trying to be something, with this release I am consciously making sure that my work reflects nothing other than me as I am – showcasing my eccentric sense of humor & my unadulterated musical style and voice.

Needless to say, I am very excited about this project. The pre-sale campaign starts on April 1st…less than one week away! Be sure to keep an eye on things, I’ll be plastering the intro video link up all over the place as soon as it launches.

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“Ain’t an Elegy” – Home Sessions

I’ve been telling you all that I have new music and I’m working on all these projects, but since I haven’t produced anything for you to see you’ve just had to take my word for it. So, filmmakers Tyler J. Schwab, Ruebin Buchanan, and I all got together to shoot a few of these “Home Session” videos to give you a taste of what I’ve been working on. These are all shot in my private home-studio; this is the place where all of my writing and compositions come to life. This first track we’re sharing with you all is called Ain’t an Elegy, you can find the lyrics below the video.

“Ain’t an Elegy” lyrics:

Ran as hard as he could in the cold of the night,
Warm blood in his hand.
The dull glare of nothing left, vodka on his breathe,
Knees wouldn’t let him stand.

He fell in the road, he felt his eyes close,
The tire missed his head.
Sober cleared his mind, when he stood he felt alive,
He knew he wasn’t dead.

Oh, I ain’t goin’ out this way,
Not gonna die today.
This ain’t an elegy my death song will have to wait.
Tell the speaker not to waste the grace and praise,
Hold your prayers and your tears,
Save some money on the bouquets.

Oh, the driver jumped out and asked, “Are you alright? You need a ride?
Why you layin’ in the street?”
In a dazed gaze he looked around, rose up from frozen ground,
And stood back up on his feet.

Said, “I danced with Hades, felt the warmth of the deep cold,
The stab of the Devil’s teeth.
But he freed my soul and laughed as he let it go.
Said this ain’t the day for me.”

Oh, I ain’t goin’ out this way,
Not gonna die today.
This ain’t an elegy my death song will have to wait.
Tell the speaker not to waste the grace and praise,
Hold your prayers and your tears,
Save some money on the bouquets.

Thanks for pullin’ to the side I’m doing fine,
I just went a bit astray.
I think I’ll take the time to take in the night sky,
He turned and walked away.

Oh, I ain’t goin’ out this way,
Not gonna die today.
This ain’t an elegy my death song will have to wait.
Tell the speaker not to waste the grace and praise,
Hold your prayers and your tears,
Save some money on the bouquets.(x3)

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The Beautiful Imperfection of True Art

Perfection is a bit of a perplexing word. By definition, perfection is flawless, it’s untainted and pure. Yet, the pursuit of perfection, specifically as it pertains to the arts, is destroying art’s necessary imperfection. Art is defined as many things; the most accurate definition I have come across is “an expression of the soul.” Now, humans, by definition, are the very epitome of imperfection. We are beautifully flawed in every way, so an expression of the soul would convey, and necessarily contain, those human imperfections; that’s what gives art its meaning. All of this over-produced music that is flooding today’s top 40 charts is washing out the true art and replacing it with “media noise.”

Here’s the issue: I can listen to pop music, and even enjoy it. A lot of it is fun, energetic, and it’s easy to listen to. But, I can listen to it knowing what it is. I know it’s auto-tuned, over-edited, and mixed to death with sophisticated software; I know it’s not the expression of one artist, but rather a team of writers in a room studying demographics and linking buzz-words….I get it. The problem is that not everybody does. In fact, there is a very large wave of today’s younger population who have only ever heard that commercially produced media and they think it’s “real” music – that that’s what it sounds like when someone sings into a microphone, that instruments naturally make those noises, and that because hooks like “whip my hair” are catchy they exemplify good writing.

“I think perfection is ugly. Somewhere in the things humans make, I want to see scars, failure, disorder, distortion.” -Yohji Yamamoto

I think the issue at hand here is that today’s pop music consumer has absolutely no attention span. We’ve got smartphones, 500 TV channel packages, Wifi, video games, and constant noise everywhere you go – the creators of pop media are catering their product to their audience: lots of noise and sounds, crisp/clean tracks, and short lyrical phrasing that grabs the listeners lack of attention, even if it doesn’t make sense. Case in point, can anybody tell me what, “Mercury, Venus – uh ha!/Uranus!/Don’t you know my ass is famous?” means? Come on Lady Gaga…don’t do us like that. When these consumers are introduced to “real” music, take my upcoming solo EP for example (don’t act surprised…you knew I was gonna sneak that in there somewhere) they’re either enthralled and mesmerized by this strange, stripped-down expression of the soul, or they have no idea what it is – they only know they never want to hear it again.

However, don’t mistake this post for the typical anti-establishment message; there is a light at the end of this tunnel. For as much as the major networks and broadcasting companies are controlled by the mass popular media makers, these wonderful creations like Youtube, internet radio, independent music blogs, and podcasts are popping up everywhere and playing/promoting music that no one would ever find or hear otherwise. Because of these internet-based entities, independent artists are being discovered by dedicated fans and real music is being found now more than ever. This change has also sparked a bit of a revolution; listeners are starting to realize how much music has been getting kept from them, as a result radio is being denounced, top 40 charts criticized, and “popular music” is becoming an increasingly derogatory term as more and more people seek out and embrace artistic imperfection. This transformation is exciting to watch and to be a part of, I’m very curious to see what the music industry will look like a few years down the road.

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Ben Rector – Dance With Me Baby

I recently ran across the music of singer/songwriter Ben Rector and ever since I’ve been wondering how it took me so long to find his work. I haven’t listened to anything of his that I don’t like so it was hard to decide which track to post for you all. After deliberation, I decided to share his song Dance With Me Baby. I hope you like his work as much as I do, lyrics are posted below the video.

“Dance With Me Baby” lyrics:

And do I leave for California
When my love is here behind in Tennessee?
From the night times and the mornings
I am aching for the better part of me
I’ve a thousand miles behind me
And a thousand more that I have yet to go

Well, I kept all of your letters
Reading in between the white lines on the road
The white lines on the road

So won’t you come home and dance with me baby
Cause I’ve been traveling this road that is so dark
So won’t you come home and dance with me baby
Cause it’s been too long
It’s been too long

And I find I am divided between here and there
And you and them and me
And I know this dream that I am chasing
Can very well go and be the death of me
So darling, don’t you worry
I’ll be there before you can close your eyes
I’ll be there to kiss my baby
And dance with you until the morning light
Until the morning light

So won’t you come home and dance with me baby
Cause I’ve been traveling this road that is so dark
So won’t you come home and dance with me baby
Cause it’s been too long
It’s been too long

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