Posted on August 6, 2021
Big fun with Lap Steel, Bass and Piano today. We’ve had the best weather this summer, but as if on cue, the smoke from the Sierra Fires are supposedly on their way here. I think last year it was just about August 10, so the timing is about right.
Posted on August 4, 2021
I’m losing weight, and its a lot of work. I decided to name this blog and song after some corny idea of a motivational speech on losing weight – or perhaps a goofy self help book that repeats the same three ideas for hundreds of pages.
Anyway, yesterday and today I had big fun with the 12 String guitar.
Posted on July 30, 2021
I tried to add a lap steel solo to yesterdays song, but the song got way too busy, so I wrote this song idea instead, starting with a sort of solo. Both are in the same key, so they do have some overlapping similarities.
One thing I’m realizing is how important arrangement and “sound sculpting” are. There are so many rock and pop songs with the same chords, but they still have a different sound or vibe.
Posted on July 26, 2021
WOW – my 7th Great Grandfather is a historic figure in England. Bishop Edward Waddington:
Sunday “grab bag” ….
My Mothers side of the family is turning out to be quite interesting. Exciting genealogy find today.
I worked on puppet theatre set design, music and genealogy. Big fun Sunday! That was after weight lifting and cycling to and from the gym and cleaning the house.
Today I had the burning urge to play the lap steel. Like the bass – where all of a sudden I had a break through and step up in my playing, all of a sudden I “get” the lap steel, and kind of understand how and where to play it. In today’s song idea, which I gave myself one hour to write – the lap steel was almost the entire song. I added a cool Solina background part – just for variety. It was another “quickie”, nut I do find that trying to “speed write” is a kind of fun game that helps improve my improvisation.
I also am very close to finishing the imaginary puppet show set of a Leica and Roleiflex cameras. These things are a lot of fun to build – and I try to use as much pure junk as possible.
Posted on July 25, 2021
Don Buchla was a pioneer electronic engineer who designed one of the most amazing synthesizers, the Buchla Easel (and others including some with Bob Moog).
He lived just over the hill from me, and I was here when he was in his heyday. He also lived in New Jersey but lived most of his life in the SF Bay Area. He started out in electronics as a Ham Radio Operator, another thing we have in common. I wish I could have met him, but in using the Arturia Collection V8 with its Buchla Easel soft synth, I get to experience the sounds this wonderful thing can make.
This song uses a very cool Buchla Easel patch and I dedicate this song to Mr. Buchla.
Posted on July 9, 2021
Today was another fun day with the lap steel. I’ve noticed that I cycle through different instruments as far as where I get my inspiration from. Like a gold mine, I follow a vein and then move onto the next instrument.
Posted on July 8, 2021
What sounds like a lead guitar is actually a lap steel – but played more like a regular guitar – and with a distortion pedal. I’ve been having “little epiphanies” lately about playing the Lap Steel NOT like country players do.
I’ll keep experimenting and trying to play the Mandolin, Violin and Lap Steel more as rock instruments than say country, bluegrass or folk instruments.
Posted on July 1, 2021
I’ve decided to change the name of this blog to match its main purpose, and be as direct as possible. I’m curious to see if it might attract more readers. Kabarett 391, with its nod to my love of all things Dada is probably too abstract and obscure.
My main goal for this blog has been to showcase my music, assemblage art and photography. I had intended on adding video of puppet’s and puppet theatre, but having them at rest and at ease amongst assemblage (miniature) pieces I build is what stuck. I love that serendipity – its answers the question, “What do puppets do in their time off?”.
I also realize that my #1 goal is to try to write a song a day. I think I average 3 a week, and that is fine by me. It means the songs would be ready to bring to band practice and see if the band wants to shape and mold into something worth putting on a record. (My 30 year old son is into vinyl so its cool that I can even use the word record).
The photo today is a 4 megapixel Leica camera they released in 2002, years before they could get into the market with their ridiculously priced cameras. It was made by Panasonic, and it still works with an adapter. The batteries are no longer in production and the three I have are dead.
Anyhow, I should have a new song later today or tomorrow. Stay tuned, and thanks for visiting.
Posted on June 30, 2021
I was the co-organizer of a climate change expedition to an Australian sub-polar island called Heard Island. Google Heard Island expedition. It took place in 2016. Very few people have stepped on that island.
I didn’t go, but it was so remote it felt like the team was headed into the deep blue abyss.
The Flying Ship
Sailing through the deep blue abyss
Keep yer eye peeled for dry land
It feels like seven seas we've spanned
The Flying Ship
Steadfast in its southeast direction
From Cape Town to Heard Island
There is no protection
The Flying Ship
The hearty crew and captain strong
The passengers bide their time
Drinking rum and singing until dawn
Eleven days to reach her shores
The penguin greeting they adored
Mawson Peak on old Big Ben
Lit by the last days rays, then descend