Archive for March, 2011

Here We Go

Posted in Music on March 22, 2011 by Niveous

Well. It’s been a few days since I last blogged. Where have I been? Well, other than watching some really bad tv (So, Skins ended with a faked kidnapping and people singing Tears for Fears. WTF.) and dealing with some ridiculous web problems which kept me from doing some necessary downloads, and of course being a dad and boyfriend… I have been figuring out a lot when it comes to my music. I have come up with something that I wanna run with. I feel like it’s risky because it may not be for everyone but 1) it will make me feel artistically happy and 2) I think I can pull it off. I still need help but I am feeling very intrigued. And I also got some ideas for XTRG and MSP. Those may be a little harder to pull off. Crossing the fingers.

All Wrong

Posted in Music on March 17, 2011 by Niveous

Today, I spent a good chunk of my day listening to odd things. I listened to various Screw Attack videos. Those are top 10 lists all about video games. Then I listened to some old MTV Rockumentaries (G’n’R, STP, Smashing Pumpkins) and then I listened to a little of a Hunger Games audiobook. Add in reading a Runaways graphic novel and listening to an interview with My Chemical Romance and clearly I bombarded myself with all sorts of stimuli. But here’s the thing, in the end I found myself with a new viewpoint on what I wanna be doing. How I shouldn’t be holding back the writer side of myself and instead I need to find a way to merge my storywriting and musical sides. Earlier this year, I tried to start writing a concept album and it didn’t feel right. I think I was going about things all wrong. I need to take a wildly different approach. More on this later…

Not the best day

Posted in Music on March 16, 2011 by Niveous

I took a little bit of a mental hit today. Looked at some of the ad replies and they weren’t what I was looking for. And after a long day at work, I couldn’t really muster up any energy for being creative. And I started to wonder if I should just stick to writing because it’s an activity that I can do on the train or at lunch at work and one can work on alone. But I realize that if I did that I wouldn’t feel satisfied. I have to find music’s place in my life.

The Hunt is On

Posted in Music on March 15, 2011 by Niveous

Today was a day where I took the next step in looking for bandmates. I put out a craigslist ad and so far I have gotten a few replies. Now, the big question is will anyone mesh well with me. One thing I worry about is the fact that I’m a weekday warrior. Some people go out to the bar, go out to eat, go on dates on the weekend. For me, that’s all weekday business as weekends are when I have my kids. It’s tough to find people who can deal with that. Hopefully there are two such people out there.

Meanwhile… XTRG is currently working on a new song. That’s exciting.

Playback’s a Bitch

Posted in Music on March 14, 2011 by Niveous

A few years ago, I had a website called New Zero Music. It was home to all the musical work that I had on the web. There I put out a few albums under the Niveous name. There was an album-in-a-day (AAD) called “The Scattershot”;  a compilation of songs from different years of my life called “Of Scissors and Blades”; and an album called “Organizations”. Today, I decided to give Organizations a spin. It was a tough experience. There were still some songs on there that I enjoyed but everything was so raw. The sound quality was very poor as I flanged just about everything. Despite writing good lyrics, the songs were so flawed that they were hard to listen to. I came to the realization that I haven’t put out a good Niveous body of work. Granted, production is still my nemesis so I’m not expecting perfection (won’t stop trying for it though) but I need to put out an album of my stuff that can stand well on its own. So, the checklist grows a little: new material, band, new album (looking for something cohesive, not just singles compiled),  good live set. Work continues…

Thoughts from a dive bar, part 2

Posted in Music on March 12, 2011 by Niveous

As the dreaded DST approaches and my body hungers for sleep that it will not be able to get, I think back to the other half of that dive bar conversation and how it relates to today. As Angela, Jill & I spoke, Angela began to relate a very familiar sentiment. Angela is an artist and she’s also in a relationship and happy. She now wonders where does she find the time to be happy in life and make art. When she was single and unhappy, art filled in those spaces. But now where does art lie when there’s other things. I look at a day like today. Jill went away to see her family and I wondered, should I be trying to make music now. The answer is no, I did stuff with my sons. And then there was another moment where the boys & I were in a video game store and if it wasn’t for a mix-up, I would have bought a new videogame. The whole time I was in the store looking at this game, I wondered to myself- where does art fit in, especially if I allow some free time to playing this game. I enjoy gaming. I enjoy being in love. I enjoy spending time with my kids. I enjoy making music. How do you make it all work? There has to be a way because I’ve seen it done. I know musicians in happy relationships. I know ones who game. I know ones with full time jobs. I know ones with kids. The amount of art they produce can vary. They have their dry spells and whatnot but in the end, they find ways to pull it off. Today’s post isn’t really much of a question. I’m not really pondering how someone pulls it all off. I’m just stating that there’s a way out there to be happy in life, do different things and still make art and I’m going to find that. But not tonight. F-U DST. Whose bright idea was it to kill off an hour of the day just to get some extra sunlight and screw up a whole lot of people in the process?

Thoughts from a Dive Bar, part 1

Posted in Music on March 12, 2011 by Niveous

The other night Jill (my beloved girlfriend) and I headed out to a dive bar for happy hour with her co-workers. In the midst of it all, I had a very interesting conversation with our friend Angela. There are two parts to this conversation, so I’ll cover it in two blogs. The first part is about being a frontman. Now, I’m not going to justify her claim that Phil Ansalmo of Pantera is the best frontman in heavy music,that’s just ludicrous crazy talk 😉 but it did lead to another statement from her that peaked my interest. She said that frontmen connect better with their audience when they are just singers and not holding an instrument. So, that’s got me wondering what kind of frontman I should be.

Was Angela right? When I think about some of my favorite bands like The Doors, Made Out of Babies, and AFI; they are fronted by singers with no instruments. Julie Christmas captivates the crowd; Davey Havok is incredibly dynamic (gotta love that crowd walk); and Jim Morrison is Jim Morrison. But I have other faves like Rasputina and Die So Fluid. I have seen Rasputina live about 5 times. Just because Melora Creager is behind her cello, it doesn’t make her less compelling a frontperson. Grog of Die So Fluid is someone I feel becomes cooler because she’s singing and playing the hell out of her bass.

Both sides of the argument are good, which tells me that there is no set way to be a frontman. So now, the question remains- what kind of frontman should I be. I like playing the guitar but I also know that it means splitting my focus. Again, tough call. It’s something to think about. Then again, things like having a band and the composition of the material may decide for me.