Friday, January 30, 2009

Pushing the Envelope

I just received an email from a buddy of mine who owns a studio in Villa Park. He has the next two weeks available, and he's willing to book me at a super-discounted price for mixing. The only problem is that I'm not finished tracking yet. ("Tracking" is the process of recording each instrument and "composing" the parts of a song.) 

If my estimates are right, mixing should take no more than five days. And if my friend still has Monday, February 9-13th available, that means, if I want to mix with him on this, I have ten days to finish tracking everything. 

It's doable, but it will be tough. It means that I'm going full-throttle every day for the next ten. It means putting a few other things on hold. It probably means only performing one show that week. My only concern is that I confuse working efficiently with working sloppily - that I rush this process, and that I'm ultimately unhappy with the final mixes on February 14th.

Wish me luck. Here we go...

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Rise and Fall of Facebook

Take a look at this picture, then read what I have to say about it:

If you need any proof that the fall of Facebook is near, look no further than the advertisements on the right-hand side of your Facebook pages. There it is in all it's glory: the moral decay of Western civilization. Yes, fellow citizens of an other-worldly kingdom, Facebook is going the way of It is now only a matter of time... 

The only question is: what social networking site(s) will replace I believe these days are slowly coming to an end - days when people put on their superficial masks and pretend to be online friends with people whom they despise. The non-exclusive, open-arms "friends" lists are coming to an end. The successful social networking sites of the future will focus on specific interests - users will flock to websites that rally around their own interests: "Winter roller coaster riders" and "people with single-jointed baby toes". The question is: will you be creating your very own profile on ""???

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Dream of an Entrepreneur

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a type-A individual. I dream big dreams and I have an extremely hard time letting go of them. Over the last few weeks, I've had some time to think about my dreams - my goals - and to really contemplate the feasibility of living out those dreams. For those of you who haven't heard, I'll lay it out, plain and simple:

My dream is to perform, record, and write music for a living.

This is the same goal that I have had since my 18th birthday, with a few, very minor changes in it's wording.

In thinking about this singular goal, my mind eagerly makes connections with the reality in which I now live: How am I living out this dream now, how can I in the near- and long-term future, and how can I take steps now toward reaching that dream?

Well it seems now that the time is right for another, slight modification of this goal. I think that the phrase "for a living" implies that music is the only thing that I "do" to make money. I think part of the appeal of my goal has always been the prospect of working for myself, and maybe that's more of the sense of what I mean. Maybe I should drop "for a living" altogether. 

There are, of course, a million ways to earn a buck, and maybe I have what it takes to build a business or two that I can oversee, but don't run on a day-to-day level: a guitar lessons business, property rental and management, or even something more philanthropic: think a local lawn care business managed and operated as a part of a business class at the high school down the street...

So maybe my dream has gotten a little bit simpler this year:

To write, perform, and record music.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

America Longs For Change

I'm a very opinionated fellow, but I try not to get political. And trust me, I'm not getting political now... The antagonist inside has awoken, and it has asked me to ask you a simple question:

Are the events of today, Tuesday, January 20th, 2009, truly historically significant?

I propose that they are not; and that a new president will not change the world in the ways which we all long for.

Now let me explain... It's quite simple, really. Since the genesis of humanity, the world has misappropriated and misplaced its hope. Cain hoped in his own strength, mountaineer and writer John Muir hoped in the goodness of nature, and many throughout history have hoped in the goodness of humanity itself.

Today, many in America hope in Barack Obama. They hope that through his leadership, we can make a better world. And to a very small extent, I believe he can, too. But though he may initiate it, many more will have to join his ranks to see the job through.

Ultimately, our deepest longings will never be met by the work of our government. These things we hope for (peace, health, happiness, prosperity), are only echos of a deeper longing for eternal belonging. We know that something about this world just isn't right. We know that we crave something bigger than ourselves. We stuff things like poverty and equality in to the holes of our souls, hoping that by thrusting ourselves upon the cause with all our hearts we might fill the vacancy.

Some call this vacancy within our souls a "God-shaped vacuum" - a hole that can only be filled by Him. All of our longings can only be satisfied with the peace that He brings. This satisfaction, this change, this is what we long for; and it can not be satisfied by any president.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Ignorance is Not Bliss

This past weekend, I performed at a bar in Chicago that played pornographic videos on TV screens during my performance. Did I know this was going to be the case before I arrived - or even before I booked the concert? Nope. Would I have booked it or performed if I had? Nope.

I guess, judging by the title of the place, I should have known what it was all about, but I didn't catch on. The thought never even crossed my mind that places like this one even existed. Alas, the depravity of mankind! I should have known better! So, I would just like to briefly, but in no uncertain terms, apologize to all my friends who came out to the show. I guess from now on I have to ask venues beforehand "will you be playing pornos during my performance?"

So I guess the moral of this is if the bar name sounds even remotely sleazy, it just might be.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Website Woes

Okay. So maybe this isn't a common problem. And maybe this isn't even something that you, reader, can even relate to. But this is a true story about something I'm dealing with right now...

The short version is simple (which is all I will give you, unless you ask for the gruesome details):

I forgot to pay the domain name renewal fee on one of my websites, and the name got purchased by another party. This other party is now, essentially, trying to con me in to paying a very high price to buy the name back.

I know this all probably sounds very abstract; but, in a nutshell (if you're not familiar with this sort of stuff), you can buy website names just like you would buy real estate. If the demand for a certain lot is high, the seller can ask for more money. The same is true for websites. And, just like with real estate, people can (and *are*) investing in the domain business - buying domains they have no intentions of using, and selling them for more money than they paid for them.

Is it a scam? Well, maybe only because it's happening to me. I made an honest mistake in not renewing the domain name. The company that I use to renew names with is notorious for sending unmanageable quantities of emails to its users, and I just assumed that the several emails I deleted from them were just loaded with advertisements and junk I didn't need to read. Unfortunately for me, they were trying to tell me that they were putting my domain name back on the market.

Though I should have read those emails, I do have one more very good excuse: I have three credit cards on file with my domain name renewal company, it is difficult, using their website, to navigate to the "my account" credit card info section, and once there, users can't even delete old credit cards that don't work any more! Furthermore, I received a letter in the mail from the company that simply said "your domain will renew on 11/22/2008" - with no information about payment method. And finally, I have used two credit cards to pay for domains, but the company chose to use a third card - one that I haven't even used with the company since 2007! My most recently used credit card should have been used to make the purchase.

Alrighty, folks. Let's here your thoughts. Is this whole thing my fault?

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Say what you will
Say what you want
I'm not givin' up.

I am
I am lost with your love.