New Year Sunday Phlegm

So here we are, another fine mess for a brand new year…at least the recording is going well. Drum tracks absolutely over the top, killer…thank you Michael Urbano…stepping up to the mic after his performance is unbelievably daunting. It leaves me with this one, ever present, nagging thought: am I really any good at this? Are these songs I’ve managed to put together over the last year brilliant gems or just more trash, a creation of a deluded mind with an overamped imagination?  Fantasy? Illusions of grandeur or sadly, simply cheap, dime store delusions.  Just more mediocrity posing as genius or…or?

Stop.

I guess the good news is I don’t have to decide. I don’t really even have to consider any of this. If it’s shit, I suspect word will get back to me pronto. People love to rip others to shreds these days, especially anonymously…ah,  the wonders of social networking and posts with no names…posts with no names? Sounds like a song in there somewhere…The post with no name…maybe not.

If I were to have any New Year’s resolutions it would just be this one: finish the CD. It has become all consuming. And most likely I am boring even my best friends who have lived through my personal messes for years. I don’t want to update my website: http://www.rayosomusic.com, (shameless plug) until I have the new music ready. And I will need more video clips to upload, and I guess it would help if I knew how to actually maintain the damn website myself, which I don’t. Go Daddy says, “anyone can do it” , but that’s not true. So count, starting your own website as yet another personal mess I’ve stepped in. Anyone out there interested in a small side project?  Wait, I take it back…no offense fans but really, we hardly know each other…and, sad to admit this but other than the 2 real comments I’ve received on this blog, the rest are my own…how pathetic is that?

Reminded of the film Three Women.  My favorite  character is played by Shelly Duvall…Mildred “Millie” Lammoreaux, “I’m known for my chicken melts”. She keeps arranging these dinner parties and no one comes…just the kindest human being in the world and the world just dumps on her, and she never seems to notice.  She’d do anything for anyone, even Pinky, played by Sissy Spacek, and Millie stays so true to her character…obviously I’m not that character but I do wonder sometimes. Is it better to go thorough life in a dream state, seeing the good and believing that people have your best interest at heart? Or, seeing life for what it really is…the greed, self interest, the individual above all else, the bad smells, foot fungus, K Mart?

Maybe I am like Millie. I’ve been told I live in a fantasy world by many, many times over. Those closest to me have told me this all my life! Like it’s something I didn’t know. My response? I just keep writing new stuff. Playing new songs salvaged from dreams, hopes, and the day to day… I keep living the world I’ve created, on my terms. You are all invited to join me. It’s not like it’s some kind of exclusive club. My chicken melts aren’t half bad either…look, when you live your life like a high wire act sometimes your going to eat dirt. A face first, head slamming mouthful of dirt. That’s what happens. When you live life on your terms you learn to deal with the criticisms, the judgments, the petty shit that creeps into the corners and cracks of your uncertainty but what’s the alternative? Do each of us actually believe we have this menu of choices in front of us. This menu to pick and chose our life? We don’t. And if you think I’m crazy for saying this I can only refer you back to the top of this post: yes, I do live in a fantasy world.

Cliched as it may seem, what we are offered in life are opportunities not choices. Are you gagging yet? Now, we can chose to not take advantage of a certain opportunity, but we have no control over how,  what, or when that opportunity is going to strike. Some of us are just plain lucky. That opportunity lassos you just at the right time and boom! You are The Edge. Boom! you are Drake…or, Boom! you are Vanilla Ice, or Jose Padilla. It works both ways…choosing to live in a bubble, not to take chances, not to dare to dream, severely limits your opportunities.  It’s just that simple. Of course the second you move beyond someone else’s  comfort level or bubble boundary watch out. At once you will become a moving target…just like poor Millie.

Fans, I love what I do.  Some mornings I wake up and love the song I wrote the day before. I believe it’s the best thing I have ever done. I finesse it. Add a lyric or two. Rearrange this, then that, record it, rewrite it again. Change a verse, add a bridge, ditch the bridge. That part is easy. At some point you have to play the damn song to someone. Then it starts. The self doubt. Uncertainty. Then if that’s not bad enough, you manage to get a gig and play this stuff to a room full of strangers. For those of you who have never performed on a stage before let me tell you this. You can hear what people are saying in the audience. Even over that Marshall stack…we hear you! We see you when you turn your back and walk to the bar…we see the glow of your phone reflected in your uninterested face…I’m ok with you going to the bar for another cocktail…hell get me one while your at it…the point is why do it? Why expose yourself to ridicule, wreck, and ruin? I guess it’s because we really do believe the fantasy. I believe the fantasy. Why else? Stardom? Fame? You may think this when you’re in your twenties, thirties, forties…a young believer. But at some point, lets say between forty and death,  you realize you never really had a choice, did you?

So, here it is. My last lung clearing, throat searing blast to another year gone! Adios 2011. Bienvenido 2012. Here’s to everyone’s’ health, happiness,  and the opportunity to dream big. The bigger the better! You have absolutely nothing to lose. Get out there on the dance floor and just dance!

And please, be on the look out for them opportunities, they have a habit of hitting you right upside the head so pay attention.

RV

Happy New Year Everyone.

Merry Sunday Phlegm

As I continue to look for the presents under the Christmas tree on this, the 25th of December, a thought just occurred to me.

I don’t have a tree.

Santa skipped over my house this year. I should have seen it coming and it really should not come as any surprise. And it’s not that I have been particularly bad this year, I’ve pretty much been as bad as I usually am, year in, year out…but for some odd reason this year I feel left out. It is true I am against mass marketing ploys that demand I buy stuff I don’t need, and that nobody I know will need. And the very idea of people being shot at or mauled in malls across this country for things nobody would ever need, leads me to conclude I am right in my disdain in matters of conspicuous consumption and greed. But for some odd reason I still feel left out?

I was never one to want to be a part of the in crowd…really…It just so happened I was. I didn’t know it at the time, I was too busy with my own feelings of inadequacy and social failure…so there you go. And now, being overlooked at Christmas time…by…everyone, brings me back to my pimpled youth and those same feelings that I do not fit in, anywhere…can you imagine?…being shunned by Santa!

This begs the question…did I buy anything for anyone? Of course not… like I said, I don”t believe in this shit. No way am I going to subject myself to parking lot shoot outs and mass hysteria in the shoe department at my local mall.  But still…every year, something inside me insists I drop to my knees in front of a dead pine tree and look for a fabulously wrapped something with my name on it, guaranteed to be the answer to my dreams….and year after year, no tree, no presents, no hope for that special something to make the world a special place…at least for a day.

So, Sunday phlegm chest clearing moment. GET OVER IT! My father was  a jew and my mother a protestant.  All the rights of the chosen people with none of the guilt…Christmas and Chanukkah gifts! And now?…nothing but this pathetic blog  and a whine in my heart…

Let me say right now. I feel better already. I have so many things that…that…I will not, never could say, “I am grateful for”…those gratitude people really bug the shit out of me…but, I have a lot ok? There, I said it.

I have a lot.

Good friends, a leg of lamb in the oven, two dogs  I love dearly, my dear partner who I should have divorced a quarter century ago but didn’t, he really is a nice person…I’m not, but that’s another story…and this really is about stories…right?

“I’ve always been a liar, but never been a cheat, stole the time from many of ya’s but never been a thief.”

This is a music blog…just so you all know, the drum tracks are done for the CD, vocals and guitars next, then the sweetness…accordion, cello, more wicked guitar…then it will all belong to you!

luv you everyone…don’t look so hard for the answers…sometimes they are slipperier then owl shit…and you already know ’em anyhow.

Sunday Phlegm Two

Hello fans!

just crawled out of the studio after 11 hours…ok, I didn’t crawl, I leapt! In fact sleep is something I cannot even consider… true, I can’t see the keyboard and spell check can’t begin to keep up with me…but who cares. What ever was stuck in my craw has been spit out and is probably stuck to the very expensive microphone I was using today…for those of you who have spent hours recording the best songs you have every written please stop reading now.  This post isn’t for you…well it is, but you’ll get all “been there done that” on me so do us all a favor and check your FaceBook instead…

The thing about recording is that you go in with an idea of what’s going to happen and then, it doesn’t.  Everything but, will happen! I had a song. A nice song. Everyone told me, “that’s the one”…but it isn’t anymore! We added these drums…man these drums! Everything changed…”nice” was no longer an option…these drums just plowed anything that was  “nice” right  into the ground! But in a good way.  Those drums took a simple little idea of a song and turned it into Godzilla! And the drummer and everyone else kept telling me what a great song I wrote. I didn’t write shit! You see, that’s the whole beauty of the thing. No one person creates anything by themselves. Creation is a group project.  It can’t happen any other way.

So here I am, clearing my throat and lungs on my Sunday Phlegm blog telling you, my fans, that no one rows alone…or as my friend Henri was so fond of saying…”I shop alone’. Well, to you Henri. No, you don’t. I’ve spied you at at the Berkeley Bowl…and you were not alone. But we should probably talk about your choice of toilet paper. I do have some concerns….

Good night everyone… take your ideas and passions and pester the shit out of your friends and family…they really do appreciate you.

RV