Something Lurks There

This started out a lot darker – but I’m not a dark goth person, so I had to work hard to make something of what started out as a gloomy fuzzed out bass line (actually quite a few parts – most of which I threw out).

Lat week I wrote a song that I also did not like at first – but a week later, and many listens, I like it now. Lets see if this weird song makes that grade.

Play the Lap Steel Like a Fretless Bass

A little imagination goes a long way

Lately I’ve learned to play several instruments in ways that are not typical. For example – the Lap Steel sounds a lot like a fretless bass, and a mandolin sounds like a piano.

Play the lap steel
Like a fretless bass
Re-inventing new sound scapes
New ideas to chase

Play the violin
Like a lap steel
Make new sounds
Make it surreal

Play the mandolin
Like a piano
Hammered Dulcimer
Perhaps an Oboe?

The Freedom of Getting Older

Youth is Wasted on the Young

When I was young I had to spend a lot of time investing in my career, then young family. I also had my own one man consulting business.

In my 20’s, when just out of college, I’d say for 10 years being cool or hip was important. That was a very silly waste of time. That meant I had no time to actually do anything personal of any long lasting value (besides work).

Now, as I am quite a bit older, my career is doing fine and I’m the expert I always strived to be. I can do things so much quicker than when I struggled in my 20’s and 30’s. Experience, and dare I say wisdom are golden in life.

But the best thing personally is that I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, my music, my art, or any aspect of my self.

This has been unbelievably freeing. I don’t finish songs. I write just enough to bring a demo tape to an imaginary band. I sometimes don’t finish art projects or writing lyrics or poems. There are so many unfinished projects that never make it to this blog – they are buried deep in my many notebooks.

My virtual world is not online. Its offline. Its in my home recording studio just a tad bigger than a dining room table. Its in my art dungeon basement. Its on my backyard saw horse work bench. Last week a big beautiful brown butterfly with white rimming its wings landed on my work bench, and it hung out with me for quite a few minutes. I said nice things to it and thanked its visit. It was truly magical, and you’ll never, ever get that from the internet.

I’m having way more fun than I did in my yoot. Chalk one up for The Old Guy.

Organized Chaos

Organized Chaos – The Sheet Music!

I’m learning that there is a fine line between noisy gibberish and Organized Chaos. I’ve been trying to extend past the “normal” 3 minute pop tune song structure or soundscape – but I tell ya – its a real challenge.

The completed piece – I’ve shown each of these before

Every now and then I seem to stumble on something that works. This tune is “OK” – but it was an eye opener – in that I can point out what worked and what doesn’t. Since each of my songs is a test, only a test, my sound experiments – like my art experiments are enjoyable more from what I learn than what the end product is.

That’s what keeps my interest.


Just for laughs, I purchased the mobile app called Stop Motion Studio – mainly because I can start experimenting with stop motion nd practice with my silly phone – before I try it “seriously”. Also – the phone is easy to try a thumbnail sketch and then when I have something that looks interesting – I can set up the serious camera and lighting gear and then spend the hours I will need to to get it right.

This song is called Schadenfreude – its not something I usually am into – but I have been enjoying the aftermath of January 6th – and I sure hope Karmaic Justice is served on an ice cold dish.

OK – I now can start thinking about stop motion and do some research – its obvious I put zero effort into this puppet guy – I just used a bunch of photos and strung them together – but it does serve a purpose – to get my mind thinking and asking “So what exactly is this Stop Motion, and what are the best starter hints and tips?”.

Basement Puppet Theatre

The Puppet Theatre ended up under the house

No music today – it’s been a huge weekend wrapping up getting my basement art studio / puppet theatre set up. Its been weeks in progress, actually, but I’ve completed the really “heavy lifting” work – like laying down subflooring and flooring, building work benches and sanding and staining the puppet theatre – which now just needs a little last paint and stain touch up here and there.

My version of the “Greek Theatre Masks” or Tragedy / Comedy masks . . .

I have my first art work that will be reviewed by the puppets – in that frame. Its the finished “Combine” that I started a few weeks ago – now committed to the 8 x 10 wooden panel.

These photos are not that great – just quick shots with my camera while I was cleaning up – I’ll do everything better justice soon. I’ve got a lot going on right now – and its all fun. I’m maybe a week away from starting to do stop motion videos of creepy puppets and scoring music to go along with the images.

Terrible photo – but it at least gives an idea

OK – I hope to be able to start filming maybe even starting next weekend. Fingers crossed . . .


I used old 8′ redwood planks to make an outside art workbench

I’ve had many work benches in my life – from electronic ham radio and maker to photographic dark rooms to art / painting, music and wood working work benches. I’ve even had virtual software work benches.

The key to all this is that I’ve lived my life making and building, not tearing down or whining. When the going gets tough, the tough starts making.

My under the house work area. “What’s he building in there?”

I wrote lyrics, but these days I’m not even into the spoken word – let alone singing. I just love trying to improve as a musician and song writer.

Thank you friend
You’ve been with me all my days
You’ll be there in the end

We’ve sailed the 7 seas
Inventing and making things
Our journey’s revealed

Life is for the making
Trying this and that
Nothing is forsaken

Life is for the making
Not just for the taking
Nothing is forsaken
No time for wasting

If The Shoe Fits

The Shoe

I wanted to try writing a song in G Minor. I’m finding that writing with the piano / keyboards is the fastest way to best understand music theory – because the keys are laid out so linearly / logically.

I’m also starting to enjoy playing piano more than any other instrument – it’s fun to add other instruments as accompaniment – like the Lap Steel, Violin and Bass that I added – after I wrote the first synth line – that plays throughout the song.

How to Catch a Prehistoric Sea Creature

A Seed Pod from one of our plants – looks almost prehistoric

No music today – just that interesting “creature”, plus a “Combine”:

Family Crest

Just a few ideas on a Sunday – I spent the day getting my art studio under the house back in order. I used to use it to build Assemblages – mostly between 2007 – 2013 or so – all of them featured here:


I guess I’m doing a modified version of that work – this time I’m constraining myself to 8 x 10 panels with the emphasis on Creepy Puppets who will review my “Combines” – which are a lot like Max Ernst and Kurt Schwitters work where they were half Assemblage and half “painting”. Robert Rauschenberg coined the phrase “Combines” – which I really like – that name seems to nail it.

How to catch a Prehistoric Sea Creature

OK – have a great week. Soon we will get the vaccine – and we can get some “normal” back in our lives. Honestly – I’ve really loved things NOT being “normal” (except that idiotic political nonsense foisted on us by whacko GOP and other nut cases).

About the only thing I have missed is weight lifting at the gym.

erste Kunst für Kabarett 391

Inaugural Art Piece for Kabarette 391

I hope to soon try my hand at stop animation – with the puppets – and then scoring music to their jittery and quirky dances. Once I get good at it – I’ve made these panels that fit into the frame at the top of the puppet theatre – and I will have the puppets rate and review the artwork.

Stay tuned!