Sunday Never Comes

A year now and counting…patience never being my strong suit, what little patience I do have is just ’bout running out.

I’ve been spending a lot of time with Social Media over this past year. Need I remind the world, once again, via Social Networking, that my record is coming out, some day…maybe even soon? I was so happy to read recently that David Bowie was able to keep his new recording project a secret for the last two years. Two years! Can you imagine? Secrecy coming in second only to patience when considering the social skill sets I have yet to master. In the past year and a half of my, musical comeback, I’ve had no choice but to count on the secrecy of  Twitter, Face Book, Instagram, to generate the buzz. Unlike Mr Stardust, my one and only record, a 45 single, released in 1983 only sold 2oo or so copies. And I think 90% of those records sold were warped. Pressing outsourced to the Mojave Desert I suspect. DIY – yeah, I was punk alright.

The problem with using Social Networks for me is I cannot keep my digital mouth shut. I post the most inappropriate things, respond to the posts’ of strangers as if we were best friends…I’m living in a perpetual, “oops I did it again” twilight zone.  And do it again I did, just an hour ago. Oops.

A FB friend, Mr S. F., is one of the few people whose posts are always interesting. Chock full of really cool and important science facts, incredibly obscure historical items, origins of language and everyday words we use, artwork and artists most of us might not have ever seen, or heard about, architecture…it is such a great example of how Social Media can enlighten, bring knowledge to a public starved for information instead of just infotainment…

Which brings me back to the record. Surprised? The one that all my dear, and close FB friends have heard about, endlessly, I might say relentlessly…the record that still, isn’t. Is the product the important thing, or is it the process. If it’s the process, does anyone really need to hear about it? I mean, is there a societal need to know? If it’s a product, ditto.

Art for Art’s sake, discuss.

Sunday does this to me. I don’t know why. Is Sunday the beginning of the week or the end of the week?  How many years of Sundays does it take to complete a project? A record, a painting, a song, a garden…a first date, the last date, a great novel, a good day’s work…a good night’s sleep…sometimes we get so busy looking at the word count tally at the bottom of the page we can forget why we even started the story…

It’s just my personal mess…Happy 95th Pops…and where ever you are, I hope it’s Sunday.




Sunday Crunchy Sunday

Crunch is the a sound a guitar makes.  And that’s all I have to say about that. Anymore would bring every recording engineer and guitar player out of the woodwork telling me everything I know about guitars and guitar playing is wrong. And they would be right.  And I don’t give a shit. I am happy to just be able to grab my candy apple red Tele, plug it in, and make it crunch. Or wrap my fingers around the neck of my new, old, beat up Larrivee acoustic electric with the obsolete out of production Fishman pick-up that’s barely hanging on by a thread but still produces a sound I’ve never been able to reproduce on any Taylor, Takamine, Martin or Gibbson. And having just said this I’m sure I’ll receive untold amounts of comments telling me I’m crazy, an idiot, and worse…such is the nature of the world we live in…and, I don’t give a shit.

Waking up in such a spirited and positive frame of mind is not my norm. And I truly am in a wonderful mood today…for me. A feeling of accomplishment, completion, although I’m not done with it yet…but certainly near the end of something I had no business tackling to begin with, no business plan, little money…bad knees, bad back, life crumbling around me…crumbling in a good way mind you…life’s loofah demanding I peel off a few layers of crud and illusion, a Jasco stripping of years of neglect and negativity…so, am I there yet?

“lyrical prose a waste of time, I want flesh and blood and petty crime“. Am I there yet? Ah hell no. It’s not the there I pursue.

Thinking about it, I really have no clue as to what it is I am hoping to achieve. And I don’t give a shit. I do care though, I mean, you know, about…things. Passion a constant companion, impulsive and insistent, gathering like a category 5 hurricane behind me, pushing me beyond anywhere I had ever imagined I could go…it’s just that sometimes where I land is not exactly where I had planned. Like I said, the there is not the point of the pursuit, simply a momentary reality. And now, even that is gone. Moved on…are you following?

On to that which I am not done with…if you have no idea what I am referring to you won’t find the answer in this post. You must go back a year and catch up. I am not done yet. I am not done yet. Almost done. 11 songs  and a tweaking of a final mix here, there…then on to Mastering. Once I have the Master in hand, getting CD’s copied is the easy part. Somehow, I forgot about the artwork and cover art. Didn’t forget so much as I just ignored it, til now…Call out to all you graphic artists, photographers…actually I think I have the photo part covered…just thinking about this last step…oh never mind. Momentary reality…new moment…now gone…next.

Is anyone really ever done? You could say death = done. But somehow I know better. Too many have passed that way and yet still remain. Such is the Sisyphean condition…Just when you thought you held it all in your hand, you clutch to tight and come up empty. Ah, but all is not lost…and our actions are not futile, but necessary. I am not a myth. Just trying to finish up what I started…now, 11 months and 11 days to the year…crunch on that.

Thanks for following…my release is eminent…and all is well on this Sunday…

love, RV

Long Days Journey to Sunday

I’ve been bad. Been 6 weeks since my last post. I’ve been away and you would think I would have plenty to say…but honestly, the miniature keyboard on my netbook, the snails pace of the virus laden, worm colonied internal drive and processor was just too much to deal with…I felt like Gulliver typing on a Lilliputian Underwood on frustration level reached the point to where I actually punched the poor little Toshiba…yeah, that helped. I did however manage to remember every single, minute detail of my journey in my head…yep, its right there, in my head. All of it… even the parts I’m going to make up…

No one I know is neutral in their opinion of New York City. One either loves it, or hates it. New York City embraces you, or shuns you. Myself, I cannot imagine not touching base in the City on a regular basis, in my case, a few months out of the year…most of that time in the Summer. Call me crazy, most New Yorkers flee the heat and humidity of the Summer months but not me, nothing better than melting into the East Village at sunset when the fireflies start their fancy, ass glow dance in Tompkins Square…when it’s just light enough, before the dark descends, to still catch a glimpse of the rats checking out the days discarded trash in the bins and corners of that oasis of hipster green, leftover 70’s junkies with Richard Hell T-shirts, and moms pushing babes in $1000.00 Maclaren strollers…

So…why New York?…the solitude. Where else can anonymity walk shoulder to shoulder with seven million others? Where personal space measures twenty two by twenty two inches…where you can be alone and unalone by simple speeding up or slowing down the pace of your next step…in short, its a very good fit for me.

A year or so ago I had this half baked idea…make a record and play a show in New York City. Me, solo, new music, new songs, not a HOSTAGES or Die Bossa Nova reunion tour…my old bands for those who are wondering…but new music. A crazy dream considering I hadn’t written anything new in 20 years…but then something happened that set things in motion. I had been spending Summers in NYC for the past several years and one day just started to write again. I wrote lyrics for a couple of songs.  Sat on them for a bit…but just couldn’t find the melody to go with the lyrics. Tried and tried but nothing. So I gave the lyrics to a friend, fellow song writer, musician, and said here…maybe you can use these…the next day I wrote a song with the words I had just given away, that song was called Boardwalk. Just like that…gave the words away and they came boomeranging right back at me. Then, I wrote another song, then another…

If any of you have read previous posts you know that I went back in to the studio last December to record. The CD was supposed to have been completed by now but one thing lead to another…we added this and that…and to be honest it just wasn’t done. Michael Rosen, Producer, Engineer, best friend, convinced me to not rush it, let it unfold…think about it…and in the middle of all of this I left for my annual Summer pilgrimage to New York City. I figured as long as the CD was on hold I would at least try to get a gig there…right? After a couple of open mics, waiting till 2 AM to play my one song…I had had enough of open mics…I hit up every hipster joint and dive from Manhattan to Brooklyn to Williamsburg…looking for a spot to play. The first question was do you have a CD out? Well, um…no but…my website is, or you can Google rayosomusic…or search You Tube under rayosomusic…I have some live clips up from Lennon Studios in San Francisco…oy!

Anna Karney, singer songwriter, friend of many years, saved the day. Out of no where she calls me from San Francisco and says, “I’m going to be in New York and I got this gig at some club in the Village I know nothing about.” Karney has just released her latest CD, Love and Respect, which is great by the way…now understand, this is the same Anna Karney I gave my lyrics to a year and a half ago hoping she could use them for a song! She asks me, “can you check out the club, let me know what to expect?” So I did…the place is called ZirZamin Subterranean Music Parlor, and it is a gem of a club! I fell in love with it the minute I walked down the steps and entered the place. While I was there I met the guy who books bands…got to talking and boom, he puts me on the bill for a Tuesday night! But it doesn’t end there. Turns out the guy who helps with booking the place, Jack, also played with a band called the Gun Club. Just so happens that we (HOSTAGES) played with The Gun Club at the I Beam in San Francisco in the early 80’s! Gets you to thinking huh?

Tuesday night came, played my show, small but adoring crowd…they were all my friends…but the point is I did it.  A word about ZirZamin…the owner is Paul Oveisi, used to own Momo’s in Austin…I have never felt more support from a club and staff…ever. Thank you Frank and Paul! The place is classic, good sound, small room but the vibe is 100% Greenwich Village – no bullshit – no attitude – seems everyone is there for the music…can’t wait to get back!

Now, back in San Francisco, time to get the CD done. Back in the studio this week, one or two vocal clean up tracks then we should be good to start mixing…excited to be back and working on the damn thing…been a lot of work but wouldn’t have it any other way…

Yes…back in San Fran…miss New York a bit, Summer weather hot and wet…lots of leg and exposed bodies looking like a million bucks…that wicked radiant heat screaming off the concrete and pavement, blast furnace body shots at 3AM in the Lower east Side…and heatwaves and thunderstorms, and a hundred stories just waiting to be told…

See you all next Sunday…and thanks for tuning in…

Love, Ray