Saturday, March 27, 2010

Be Honest...

Is this not the creepiest thing you've ever seen?  It's a ceramic cup, 7 inches tall, that I found at the thrift store for a dollar.  I had plans to "enhance" it in some way, like I "enhanced" the ballerina prints. 

I just don't think I can do anything to it to make it any more horrifying, though.


...I stand corrected!


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Music Project is Progressing

I've decided to produce two separate music projects, one acoustic and one electric.  Unlike Bob Dylan, I'm starting with  the electric music first.

I went through my  material and picked out 11 songs I want to try to get put down more the way I hear them in my head.  In the past, I've recorded quite a few songs with bad equipment and under circumstances that kept me from getting the sound I was after.  I hope to get a little closer, this time around.  While 11 songs may be a bit ambitious, I kinda want to give it a try.

Most of them are fairly simple in construction (3 waiting).  I'm a big believer in the rhythm-heavy school of song-writing, and most of my tunes inspire a lot more foot-tapping than humming.

This is me during the recording of some of these songs, the first time, in 1983.  I wish I still had that green Harmony Rebel.  At least I have its big brother, now, an H-72.  I love the sound of those thinline hollowbodies with the DeArmond pickups.  (Wouldn't mind having some of that hair, again, as well...)

Anyway, I'm working hard on setting this up and, and I really hope to get some other people involved who share my desire to have a little fun playing music.  I'm really hoping to get something worth listening to out of it, too.

Of course, "worth listening to" is in the ear of the beholder, I suppose.  I actually like listening to the old versions of these songs, but I think that's more of a reflection of how much fun I had with my buddies in Savannah.  (More on that, later.)


Friday, March 12, 2010

On Guitars, and the Learning Process (Plus Recording Plans)

My Gibson and the music from class...

One of the plans I laid out for this year was to take a guitar class and brush up on the correct way to play guitar.  I am largely self-taught and, as such, I have never learned some of the very basic techniques of guitar technique, and I do a lot of things "wrong".

I put "wrong" in parentheses because, if you play an instrument in a manner that you enjoy, and that other people enjoy hearing, then you are not playing "wrong".  But, if you learn the standard, or "right" way to play it might well open up more avenues for expression.  Opening up those avenues was my immediate goal in taking the class.

I just finished the 8-week class at the end of last month and, while I already knew a good deal of the technique covered at the "Guitar 2-A" class level, I also learned a number of things.   Unfortunately, one of the things I learned is that, just like in the past, I still hate going to school.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I enjoyed myself during class, each week.   And, I enjoyed learning and being challenged by new knowledge.  I just hated the physical aspect of having to show up, every week, for an hour in order to do this learning.  So, I don't think I'll be taking any more of the group classes in the near future.

What I hope to do is take some private lessons, on a monthly basis (if I can find a teacher I can afford).  I would happily pay a bit more per hour than the classes cost so that I wouldn't be wasting part of the time sitting through instruction on something I already know.  Kinda like paying more for boneless meat at the store...

Next on the agenda is to put together a song list to record.  I have quite a few songs which I've written through the years which have either never been recorded, or else have been recorded badly.  And, I want to get them put down in a listenable form, on modern media.  I'm also working on a few new songs, as well, which I think will be worthy of this project.

I may have access to a recording studio, at Metro State, through my buddy Mark.  He is an alum, and knows some of the people in the music department well enough that he hopes to be able to get us some time either for free, or for cheap.

Fingers crossed.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

More Ballerina Gruesomeness

The Zombie Ballerina was popular enough that, after the Christmas party was over, a couple of the guys I work with approached me and asked if I would consider doing something similar for them.  A little bit of money exchanged hands, and I told them I would try to find some similar pictures to "modify".

I actually found a pair of small lithographs, on eBay.  One of them was the same picture as the ZB.  The other was of another ballerina, by the same artist.  I ordered them up, and started trying to figure out what I would do with them.  I didn't want to go the Edvard Munch route and just recreate the first painting (apparently, Munch painted dozens of versions of The Scream).  So, when the two pictures arrived, I set them up on my table and just waited for some inspiration.

I came up with something, pretty quickly, for the second ballerina.  But, it took about 3 months for the other one to inspire me to something other than zombification.

For your viewing pleasure, I offer up:

That Takes Guts

Face It

Gory, gruesome and quite unecessary.

Who is the figure in the mirror?  Why are these girls engaging in self-mutilation?  Is there something horribly wrong in the conservatory?  I have answers to all of those questions, but I suspect that they are no better than what you can come up with.

Oh, well.  I hope that you enjoyed my little foray into the macabre.  You probably won't be seeing any more work in this style, from me.  It's kinda disturbing, once it's all done.