Category Archives: Music

Changing Life Focus

It’s official, I am 50 and have decided to take on my bucket list.
Late in 2015, I started to get disillusioned with what I was doing as a career.  Don’t get me wrong, I love marketing, social media, video and other work, but my true passion, music always seemed to take a back seat.

As 2015 drew to a close, I kept wondering why some made a living at music and I could not.  Then, on New Year’s Eve, I had an epiphany.  The truth of the matter was – I was blocking my own way.  In order for one to be happy and achieve all you can, one must remove the shackles of what one believes they cannot do.  So, my New Year’s Resolution became – BE a musician, first and foremost.  This was truly a scary proposal because I did not want to be a starving musician.  You can’t quit your dayjob, right?  Nothing can be further than the truth.

Now, I am not saying anyone should just up and change their life.  What I am saying is to be true to yourself.  If you are good at something, great!  That does not mean you need to do that for a living if it means sacrificing your passion.  I love marketing, I just don’t want to market everyone else’s products anymore.  I was offered business partnerships for several companies to launch or expand their product lines during the second half of 2015, all with excellent financial potential.  Something kept nagging me in the back of my brain though, causing writers block, web design block, marketing block, let’s face it, I was just blocked.  I kept thinking to myself – as soon as I do this, then I can do music again.  Well, the reality is you must put ALL your effort into your endeavors to achieve what you want.  Engaging in a new business would require at all my focus for at least a year or two, then maybe I could have some time to get back into music.   So, in about 5 years I might be gigging part time.  Establishing a band takes time also, so, really I might be gigging enough to make a few dollars part time to support my hobby by the time I am 60.  Wait – 60?

Noooo!  This all hit me hard New Years Eve.  I would most likely have to wait till I was 60 to get to my lifelong dream, and then have about 5 years doing it.  That would not do.  So, I thought about where I lived, who I could contact, what place would be best for me to make an actual living at music at my age.  The choice became so  clear once I focused on it.  Las Vegas!  I lived here from 1999 to about 2008, when the housing market crashed.  I saw more live music in that time than in my entire life before.  Casinos, bars, restaurants, clubs, parks, all have have entertainment here constantly, 7 days a week, even the streets have paid musicians and entertainers, not to mention private parties and corporate events.

I literally decided to move back on January 1, 2016.  By the end of January, I had secured a lease on a music studio.  I moved in Feburary 2 and began rehearsing by myself in my new “office”.  I ran an ad on Craigslist and wouldn’t you know it, the first bass player and drummer that came to try out fit perfectly with my musical tastes, style and vision.  Amazingly enough, once I decided to become a full time musician and put all my thoughts and effort into it, the pieces just happened to come together amazingly fast.

I am writing this just 2 weeks after my 50th birthday, my first writing since September 2015.  The band is sounding great, my writers block seems to have lifted, and I have a renewed sense of purpose.   I will get to market and do what I love, for me.

In conclusion, to anyone who reads this, do what you must, but you must do what you love.  Sure, there are risks and it is scary.  But you only live once and you don’t ever want to wake up one day and say to yourself “I wish I had tried to…?”  If you find yourself saying that now, maybe its not too late.

 

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Playing YouTube videos on Twitter

This past week I discovered YouTube videos playing on Twitter.  Big deal?  You bet.

I have not always been a tweeter, in fact, I use it more because I “have to” as opposed to “need to”.  I am in front of a computer most of the day, and Twitter really is more mobile friendly, so when I am walking in nature, the last thing I want to do is be on Social Networks.  Sure I use my phone for pictures, but that is about it.

I think that is about to change.  I am an avid video hunter.  I use YouTube mostly for music and band rehearsal.  Rediscovering songs of my youth and along the way finding other little known treasures is fun and puts variety in my shows.  I know I can put a link in my Twitter and share my videos.  I did that back in 2009, when GoodDayLA used to have the Twitter Feed on their webcast of the show.  That is still true (as of this of writing) for embedded feeds on websites.   The change is on Twitter on your desktop.  The video plays right on Twitter, just like it does on Facebook.  Now, I am thinking I missed something.  Something this huge should have had fanfare and been written about.  Heck, where is the press release from Twitter?  Nothing.  I looked before writing this so as to not be a fool.  If you know this, comment when please.  I found one article by NY Times Blog “Bits” about the MOBILE feed be able to support video, and how it was tested with an NBA game, but other than that, nothing that addresses this change which is making me look at Twitter myself.

Here is a screenshot:

Twitter Screenshot

Amazing! You cannot do it here on the blog – I took the picture straight of my Twitter feed. On the feed you can Play the video without getting redirected to YouTube. This is big. It still is a bit clunky as it opens up the individual Tweet to play the media. I would like to see that go away. This alone has prompted me to install Twitter on my phone and give it a try. I let you know what I really think as time goes by.

Chasing The Rabbithole:

Going down this Rabbithole I got sidetracked and rediscovered “The Kinks”.  While most people know “You Really Got me” and Lola” – many people do not know this band started in 1963 and went for over 30 years! Here are a few songs worth rediscovery:

Celluloid Heroes
Jukebox Music
Price of the Punks
Destroyer
Low Budget
Dead End Street
Where have all the good times gone
All Day and all night
Sunny Afternoon
Come Dancing

Enjoy!

Full Flight – Feb 22 at Le Dolce Vita Tasting Room

Le Dolce Vita Tasting Room

 

The first official gig of 2014 is booked and ready to go!  Full Flight is the name of the band.  Full Flight will often have Rebecca Allen on flute or bass.  Special guests will join from time to time.  I have “crafted” a special blend of Classic Rock, Alternative, Originals and new songs all done in a singer/songwriter type style.   Not too laid back, not too loud – just right to enjoy, talk, have fun.

Le Dolce Vita Tasting Room is one of my favorite places in Big Bear to hang out.   I usually gig there once or twice a month.  The owners, Bryan and Valerie Bianchi and some of the nicest people you will ever meet.  Le Dolce Vita Tasting Room (LDVTR for the rest of this post) is a fabulous place with a 5 star rating and 53 reviews on YELP!  Easy to find in Big Bear Village – it is right across the street from Northwoods Resort.

In addition to endless wine, Brian keeps a good stock of beer from Hanger 24 and other choice breweries.  Chocolate Porter, Summer Ale’s even a Jalapeno Cherry Bomb.

I forgot to mention SAKE!  Brian and Valerie added Sake last year and let me tell you, it changed the way I thought about this Japanese drink.   Did you know that upper end great sake is often served chilled – not hot?  Did you know that sake, like fine crated beer, is often cloudy?

No matter what, if you are in Big Bear – you must stop in, hopefully when I am playing.  You will have one of the most memorable times and you might learn something too.

Le Dolce Vita Tasting Room Facebook Page

Full Flight at Le Dolce Vita Facebook Event Page

Looking through a beer glass