Friday, December 31, 2010

So I've trimmed the list...

I took "I Know That I Can't" off. It was always kind of on there tentatively, since it's one of my older songs and it's really not all that great. The best thing it has going for it is a little lift to a D augmented chord in the hook of the song (much like what Eddie Money did on "Baby Hold On"), and that's just not enough to get past the crap lyrics I wrote. I was in a phase of writing about guys who aren't good enough (which apparently comes and goes in my writing), and this was one of my lesser attempts at telling that guy's story.

I'm actually hoping to write a few that can replace the older ones, but since my writing has been crippled by my "creative bladder's swollen prostate" (hoping it's not cancer), it's just a trickle these days if at all.

I'm hoping to get 15 songs on the final album (up from the 13 I originally picked), and there are 17 or 18 in contention now, so here we go!

Happy New Year to all!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Album Preliminary Track List

Some demos are present on the site, but many are not. There will be sonic experimentation with some tracks - layering sound and heavy production - while others will remain fairly spare. Anything that serves the song best.


Anyway, here's the list of titles (subject to change...):
A Smile
Better Than I Used To Be
On My Birthday
Even If I Don't See You Again
I Know That I Can't
I Want You
I'll Be Fine
Jellybox (Song For You)
Miserable Bastard
My Old Man
Only Just The Start
Send Me Far Away
She's Got It All
The Path Of Eternity
To Be Free
We Really Just Don't Care
Why Didn't You Show?
Without You With Me Tonight

No gigs recently. I'm missing the band camaraderie and general silliness. And the money.

I went to an open mic night tonight and met a local singer/songwriter named Julie Nolen. She was nice. I'll be back out there soon to play some of these songs for people. Now to compile and rehearse these little song bitches so I can determine what I need to do to get them effectively recorded!

Happy New Year to all!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Announcing the very first official Musical Schizo in pre-production

Yes, folks, I have decided to shit.

Well, instead of getting off the pot (as the old saying goes)...

I am going to be recording my first album of songs. I've picked what I consider to be my 13 strongest songs to date, and I will be putting together proper recordings of all of them. Hopefully I'll be able to get a real drummer to cut the drum tracks...if not, I might pull a Jason Falkner and just record everything myself.

The album will probably have "Musical Schizo" in the title, and will feature cover art designed by me. It will include an electronic booklet (probably in PDF format) that will contain all lyrics and chords (most musicians don't do that), and credits for all who contributed to the record (of course).

My bet would be that it shifts styles some, since that's what I do, but since most of my strongest material was written on an acoustic guitar, there might be sort of a strummy Americana/roots feel to a lot of it - that might be the way it plays out for cohesiveness' sake. I want it to really "fit".

Some of the songs need some production work, structurally and lyrics-wise, before I record them, but I anticipate a finished product in the spring or early summer of 2011.

When it's done, I'll be releasing it on iTunes and Rhapsody, so you can buy it.

Unlike some people I know who have self-released stuff digitally, mine will be properly mastered and very high quality. I'm going for good songs, recorded beautifully. A little Musical Schizo ear candy, if you will.

So let's see if this goes the way of the never-seeming-to-get-off-the-ground acoustic project...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Moving the Blues, Opportunity, etc.

Saturday night I had a great time filling in on bass with Moving Blues at Rabbit's. It was just nice focusing hard on the groove and just worrying about playing bass.

Over the past couple of weeks a few friends of mine in another band previously mentioned on this blog have been asking me if I'd be interested in playing lead guitar with them with this singer-songwriter from a little north of Austin. I listened to the music, and though it's not bad at all, one thing always comes to mind when I explore making music - especially original music - with other people: What about my music? Why don't I focus on doing that instead of learning other people's music. I mean, being in an original band where you're not a songwriter is one step down from cover band. So why would I do that and not be paid for it, and not advance my own writing?

I know the answer I'm going to give them, and I do always appreciate when people are interested in playing with me at all and see some talent here. I just have to do the same thing I did when the guitar seat opened up in that band back in Jacksonville - say "no thanks" and make a commitment to my own music for once.

It's just time. Now that Casey is taking back her drum kit (after almost two years, I might add) I might do a little re-arranging of the studio to better suit my creative needs (and clean the damn thing up - it's a pig sty).

I need to start writing songs again. It's been a long time since I cranked one out.

Maybe I'll go try and do that now...peace to all!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Excited about the future...

I really feel like things are going to go pretty well with music. I've come to terms with the limited time that I have to devote to it, come to terms with the reality that Roman Holiday is evolving into something else (which is good), and am super excited about rehearsing my acoustic set. I'm going to be posting a series of videos of me sitting in my bathroom singing songs, just me and a guitar. Mostly covers, but I'll probably throw one or two of my originals in there for fun.

Inspired by the new Steven Page album, "Page One". I really didn't expect it to be as good as it is. I love it. No. I LURVE it.

Okay. Back to work. :)

Peace be the journey...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Wow...I thought I had been neglecting the blog in my LAST post...

Apparently it's too difficult for me to remember to write some thoughts here on a regular basis, so I guess a periodic summary will have to suffice.

So this past month has seen more action than earlier months. Greg quit the band. Fortunately we've got Lee to help us out with bookings. He's in if he wants to be. This lineup played a fraternity party over at UT that was a combination of nightmare and fun. Nightmare for all the surrounding stuff, fun for all the playing.

Just last weekend was one of my best weekends in a very long time, music-wise. I got to play a GUITAR gig. No singing necessary/required, just fill in, play guitar and try not to suck. I sucked a little at first, but once I calmed down, it was a blast. Truly an enjoyable experience. Made me realize I need more reliable equipment, though.

Then I got to see Muse play live at the Austin City Limits Festival. It was awesome from beginning to end. A truly transcendent experience for me.

Outside of all that happiness, more parties and frat parties on the horizon for the new Roman Holiday. Which is EXCITING. Kind of. Definitely need to get the acoustic shit or some sort of guitar gig going, though.

And even better - a dude was selling a Tascam 464 Portastudio on Craigslist for $50, and I snagged it. It's the same exact model Portastudio my brother had that I used back in the olden days when I had no life and could record stuff all the time.

I've been going through and transferring the OLD 4-track stuff to digital.

Here is a sample.

Take care and be well!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

So I've been neglecting this site for a while...

And it has a lot to do with what's going on in my musical life - just endless uncertainty.

Roman Holiday is on life support - we're trying to get some gigs and not meeting with great success. We did have a really fun "last gig" at the wedding we played on August 14th, and we committed to continuing, which is great, but so far we haven't been able to lock anything down.

I auditioned with another band that is losing their bassist - my friends in UNB (who I may or may not have mentioned before on here). The rehearsal didn't go all that well, not terrible, and it got better as we got more comfortable with one another, but it made me think about what I really want to do with music, and I respectfully pulled myself out of the running because I've come to the realization that I don't really know what the hell I want to do with music. And there was no way I was going to lead them on when they need to find someone just right for their band who would be completely focused and dedicated to it.

Now, to outline my indecision:

I've been talking about doing an acoustic show for a while, and I'm now going to start putting it together. My lovely wife enabled me to get a Digitech JamMan Stereo looper pedal, and I'm going to establish a set list, record some patterns into the looper and play around with it to see if I can get good at using it, and start finding venues where I can play. I know I'll do a fun show that people will enjoy. I'm going to have to start listening to and learning more modern pop music so that the random request off Top 40 radio can be played, but the staples of my set will be everything from the 60s to today - many great songs, many great sing-along songs. I'm even going to do the full version of "American Pie" and maybe even "Hotel California" (complete with guitar solo) and possibly "Stairway To Heaven". We shall see...but I'm excited.

Another thing that I've been wanting to do is to play original music and put together a great band for that purpose. That is very possibly coming as well. There's a great multi-instrumentalist/songwriter guy that I want to work with and I think we're going to do a sort of "Sloan" thing where we recruit other guys who write and form a sort of songwriting/performing collective where we all play each others songs. That's still up in the air, but we had a nice chat about it the other day, and I think there's a good possibility that we'll get something together and have something memorable to show for it.

I also have a potential 80s band in the works - that one will be musically very strong when it's ready, and will focus on 80s pop music with lots of delicious synthyness.

I'm excited about all this stuff - and even if only one of the things comes to fruition, it'd be good because there'd be something new.

And I hope that we're able to keep things going with's so much fun.

I'm going to start posting youtube videos soon of my goofy takes on stuff. There's one up there now from a while back.

See you around the bend!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Worst. Gig. Ever.

I never want to have an experience like Saturday night again. It's the kind of show that makes you quit performing music.

No crowd, middle of nowhere, wrong band for the venue, sequestered in the un-air-conditioned outside part of the venue where no one wanted to go because it was too fucking hot and humid, plus the owner wasn't pleased with us because of hearsay and ignorance (she didn't know that when we were sounding unrehearsed it was to make her customers who were outside with us happy by playing their requests).

Look - I know we suck sometimes. I have limits as a singer and I own them. My voice doesn't always do what I want it to do. When it's humid and moldy outside, I sometimes have no idea what my voice will do. But that's not most of the's occasionally. For the most part, we didn't suck on Saturday, and we're not a band that ignores our crowd and just does "our show". We asked them what they wanted to hear, then tried to give it to them. I even learned a song between sets just for a couple of guys in the crowd who wanted to hear it. It just happens that some ignorant assholes inside didn't like that, and didn't understand what was going on, so they verbalized their frustration with us to the management who was then looking for any moment devoid of perfection which colored their opinion of us. And the tactless way the owner approached us with her concerns is one for the ages, flying off half-cocked with basically no understanding of what was happening. Sad.

We had a small, strong group of people who loved us and stayed the whole show, even though they hung out in the inside portion most of the time. On most nights, that would have made it worth it, but Saturday was not like most nights.

We are a PLEASER band. We do whatever we can to please the people we're playing to...and it went and bit us in the ass on Saturday night.

Might be time to reconsider that and start just doing whatever WE want to do...or time to give up and move on to something else in music.

The gig is probably tied with one I played in Slaphappy (South Street) for my worst gig ever. I'm glad it took seven years for it to happen again, and I hope it's at least another seven before I have to go through a night like Saturday, if ever.

Love to all,

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Music in May for Le Schizo

So the past month has been hit-or-miss active for me, music-wise. But mostly really fun!

On May 5th the cover band (Roman Holiday) played a Cinco De Mayo show at Pappasito's and it was really good and fun. Definitely made up for how much we sucked ass last year when we played their event.

Then we didn't do much for a while, partially because I was in Jacksonville, FL, where on May 14th I played a little acoustic show with my good buddy Dennis and we reunited 3/4ths of our old cover band from there, Slaphappy (Brent joined us as well). It was weird only because I've conditioned myself to sing everything 1/2-step down, so a lot of the keys were trickier to find than usual. But overall, it was a BLAST and made me sad that we don't live closer, because we'd have a killer acoustic duo. Joy!

I came back to town to some drama, but we cleared it up and played a show at Johnny Fin's on the lake on May 22nd. It was a pretty good show - the sound on stage was great (helped by my resurrected Carvin PM15A speaker), and we played well as a result, even though my voice was all over the place due to an upper respiratory thing. The crowd was pretty typical for the venue - tepid and asking for music we don't play. One part of the show that was particularly awesome was when I got to play guitar on "Rebel Yell" and "Crazy Train" - I went completely apeshit on those two in the solos and amused myself. We got our biggest crowd reaction from that part of the show, which was weird - they were even cheering me along DURING the song. Another weird point - the song that brought people onto the dance floor was "Semi-Charmed Life" by Third Eye Blind. Seriously. Not "Super Freak", not "Brick House" or "Play That Funky Music". Fucking Semi-Charmed. Go figure.

Before that show, I was called to fill in for the missing bass player of a band at Latitude 30 on Thursday the 20th. It was an adventure learning the songs as I played them (well, only in a few cases - I knew most of the songs), and I had fun playing with the drummer. Working out some creative interplay is always sweet - and he's great because he's always listening.

I look forward to Roman Holiday's June shows and the fact that both our Marble Falls venue "The Sports Arena" and our Killeen venue "The Duckhorn Tavern" are coming back on our schedule. Now if we could only find someplace awesome in Austin where all our local friends could come see us play...

Oh, and I've decided that I am definitely going to be putting together a set/song list for my acoustic show. At least then I'll have an established repertoire that I can use when I play those shows (if I ever get around to booking them).

Peace to all!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Killeen show 4/23

Ho-ly crap.

Though we were sloppy and the crowd was mostly sort of occupied with other things, it was pretty fun.

It's kind of amazing how just a little bit of alcohol can make your fingers not work.
It's less amazing how a little more than a little bit of alcohol can make your fingers REALLY not work. Yeah, that was me last night.

My bass playing/singing-at-the-same-time skills suffered.

And yet, I played guitar and sang better than I had at any other show. Weird.

Anyway, it was a fun show, I'm not hungover, which is AWESOME (though I am tired), and I think all three of us realized how much fun we have playing together. Just endless silliness.

Thanks to Paula and the Duckhorn staff for being cool to us, our best fan for hanging out all night, and from me to the rest of the fellas - I love you gahz.

And on a completely unrelated note, I give you this, for a little Saturday listening: We Really Just Don't Care

It's one of my original songs.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Exciting news from the world of me

Okay, not really, but I did find this one amusing:

Someone on the Jacksonville Craigslist asked about Slaphappy (like "whatever happened to...") It prompted a couple of responses, both complementary, that detailed what we've been up to, and one even linked to the Roman Holiday page.

I didn't think anyone would even remember that band. Anyway...

Haven't been writing much - I did put together a few musical bits I might turn into songs at some point. Two of them I LOVE - just finding the right melody and vibe for the other parts of the song will be the key.

Things are weird in Roman Holiday land, because Greg's been busy with the other band and we haven't been busy at all. Also Ned moved to Bum Fuck Egypt (which is an actual place near Lakeway, TX, apparently). We did play a fraternity gig last weekend that was fun but sort of rough because the party was pretty dead (it was a WEIRD night...)

More to come in the ensuing weeks. Next Friday we're back in Killeen, so it should be fun. That's all for now...much love!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Inching closer to my goal...

Started spending at least a little time every night tinkering with music - either writing something new or revising something old.

I really need to just pick 15 songs that I want to record, get some proper recordings of them, and put together a digital album I can sell. Finally...

I really really badly want an electronic drum kit now. I have nowhere to put it, but I want it. I just figured I'd share.

Hopefully moving the acoustic drums that aren't mine up to Ned's place soon. I'm tired of them being here simply because I haven't really been able to enjoy having a nice drum kit around (no space, too loud for the boy (who has autism)).

Very few Roman Holiday gigs on the horizon, but the other two thirds of the band is doing a great job at exploring opportunities. I've done jack shit except come up with some ideas for new songs.

I really wish I knew of some really good cover band bars that will actually pay so we could have a more consistent schedule.

And I'm dying to play an acoustic show. In fact, I really wish I had a place to go so I could just sing through all the songs in my books. I'm going to go learn some more acoustic songs now.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I wrote a new song. The first one for 2010. Hopefully not the last one for 2010!

Anyway, here it is:
To Be Free - Stream MP3 - Get MP3 - About

I hope you enjoy it.

Self-criticism follows. Do not read if you don't want to hear me whine.

My apologies for the mix. I had to mix it late at night when everyone was asleep. Actually, the singing would have been better, too, if I really could have belted it out. Actually this is just weak, and I'm only sharing it because I'm thrilled I actually fucking wrote something!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Random thoughts. Try not to make sense of it.

So I was trolling the Craigslist ads yesterday, and I saw an ad for a riff-rock band looking for a bassist. I listened to their music, and it was okay. I didn't love it. The sound quality was pretty weak.

Then I was watching a Radiohead concert on DirecTV that they did in a studio. It reminded me why I don't like Radiohead, but sonically it was great. The bass sounds and overall textures were beautiful, even if the songs were repetitive, droning and just flat out boring.

It just made me think about how I haven't managed to do anything with MY music. No proper studio recordings, certain songs barely even have recorded demos. It got me really wanting to get something together.

Saturday night I went to a show that my friend's band was playing. They got me up to play a few songs, I met their new drummer (who is awesome, even if he didn't know all their material), and had fun.

Ned (Roman Holiday guitarist) just moved into a new place up near Lake Travis where he's going to set up a jam room with PA. I think that will be good, because we can have proper band practices in a place where we don't have to pay and we can just hang out without being annoyed by the shitty, bitchy customer service at the local rehearsal place where all the out-of-tune metal bands will be playing next door at full volume in tiny rooms.

Bought Sloan's "B Sides Win" compilation album. I don't love them as much as I once did (especially in the One Chord->Navy Blues->Between The Bridges era), but I still enjoy hearing new music from them, even if it's not new music.

Listened to Butch Walker's new record "I Liked It Better When You Had No Heart". I enjoyed it immensely. Must buy it when it comes should, too, if you like hooky rocking power pop music. Butch has gotten more into folky americana textures these days than in the past, but it's still great.

Also - tired of people who lie to themselves to maintain a fictional understanding of the past. Face the truth. Let it set you free.

That is all for now. Peace and love and good happiness stuff...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Sometimes I just feel off, musically. We played a show in Killeen last Friday and I was really just not right at times - like I was sort of learning how to do things that I already knew how to do and had done tons of times.

It doesn't exactly create self-confidence to not really know what your limbs or voice are going to do when you give them the same message you've given them hundreds of times. It was weird.

I feel better now, but I still don't get it. Maybe I'm just overly stressed and my neurons aren't firing as cleanly as before. Either way, we have a weekend off to collect our thoughts, and then we're going to be doing our first "two night stand" in as long as I can remember with this band up in Marble Falls. I'm going to figure out a way to record the show this time. I just bought an 8GB SD card for my Zoom Q3 video camera, and I'm going to figure out a way to rig it so it captures the stage and you can really see our show.

Once those videos are done, I'll edit them in Vegas and post them here. Hooray!

For now, I might just record an acoustic song and post it. Hmmm...perhaps the next post will be a link to a YouTube video. We shall see...

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Eve - 2010 musings...

Last night had a great show for the Rockdale Chamber of Commerce's New Year's Eve party. It was so much fun playing in a big hall like that. Broke my headset mic, but it happens.

Now for 2010, musically. Ten things. For this year, I plan to:
1. Start using my Zoom Q3 to record videos of me playing my songs solo and acoustic.
2. Start using the same Zoom Q3 to record videos of me playing cover songs solo and acoustic.
3. Start using the now oft-mentioned Zoom Q3 to record videos of the band so we can truly know what sucks and needs to improve in our live show.
4. Write more songs. One a month at the very least.
5. Master MIDI and using virtual instruments in ACID.
6. Start another fun project - one that exists without a profit motive that will just play whatever the fuck it wants to. It will be good because I will be in it.
7. Realize that #6 sounds egotistical, but like Dizzy Dean said, "It ain't braggin' if you can back it up."
8. Realize that even with #7 as justification, I'm not comfortable with that sort of arrogant confidence, and I will retreat from that statement and re-state my intent with the last line of #6: It won't completely suck because I'm in it.
9. I will take a more active role in getting the main band marketed effectively.
10. I will learn all the words to all the songs we play and be so good at them I won't even bring my book to shows anymore.

Happy New Year from me, your humble Musical Schizo!