sábado, 14 de octubre de 2017

What am i bringing?

I bring you myself. In my songs. With my voice.
That's it. You're gonna take it or not depending
of what appeals to your-self.
It ain't easy nowadays to keep attention
to anything: too many screens, too much
work, too much boreaucracy and laws. Everything
made to enslave you and rip a part of you. So sad.



lunes, 2 de octubre de 2017

Democracia

Cuando le preguntaban a mi abuelo a qué partido votaba
siempre decía que no votaba porque "aquí no había el
partido que él quería votar".

martes, 19 de septiembre de 2017

Jack Rose interview from 2009

Tenía pendiente leer esta larga entrevista a Jack Rose
https://arthurmag.com/2013/12/04/ah-man-a-career-spanning-conversation-with-jack-rose-by-brian-rademaekers-from-arthur-no-33/
Se hizo en 2009, meses antes de que muriese.
En ella cuenta que unos tipos le pidieron permiso para grabarle durante una actuación.
Después decidieron editar esa grabación en una pequeñísima tirada de vinilos de 78 rpm (formato casi abandonado desde los años 50-60).
Se hicieron 6 discos en total. Los grabadores-editores se quedaron 3 y le dieron a Jack Rose otros tres.
¿Bizarro? no se vayan todavía: Jack Rose puso a la venta dos de sus copias; una se vendió por 500 dólares...y la otra "solo" por 200 debido a que la había reproducido "un par de veces"...
Mi comentario: podría estar comentando sobre esta anécdota hasta mañana...

sábado, 9 de septiembre de 2017

Polishing turds


Muchas veces una canción es simplemente un truño.
Su forma básica es tan escasa, tan absurda que
aunque se le añadan arreglos, seguirá
siendo un truño. Como dicen los anglos: "polished
turd".
Esto va por cómo funcionan muchos grupos;
el componsitor lleva una idea más o menos básica.
Y el resto de músicos aportan
"sus partes" de forma inconexa, más pensando
en lo que quieren tocar ellos que en crear un todo
completo.
Son como "sastres" cosiendo telas que no combinan.
También me recuerda a la fabricación en serie.

Canciones-truño que no aportan nada y recuerdan
mal y vagamente a muchas cosas sin definirse bien.
Nacen absurdas y solo ganan en estupidez.

También es cierto que hay verdaderos artesanos de
ese arte de "juntar partes" y hacer que funcionen.
Muchos músicos de los 70 sabían hacerlo. Y muchas
veces se logra que un pequeño truño huela bien.

Pero lo suyo, lo de verdad bueno, es que la canción
en su forma mínima sea por sí sola un todo completo,
redondo en sonido y forma.

martes, 5 de septiembre de 2017

Yes Selma interview


















Today i talk with Chad Beattie, the man behind the band Yes Selma. Some tags and name dropping for you: alternative rock, intimate, some lo-fi for good measure, Sebadoh, Tom Waits, Baltimore.
Listen while you read:
https://chadbeattie.bandcamp.com/album/songs-of-happiness

Yes Selma
Cool i am free now or any time today

GuerrillaRocanrol

Great, we can begin then.Well, i have been gathering some info through your facebook profile
you said you didn't expect to have an album published a year ago
how that came up?
i mean, how the album was done?

YS
Yeah, well i've been making music for a while now but i never thought i would get signed or anything. It was just something i did in my spare time. I used to burn my music on blank cd-r's and hand design the individual covers and give them out to my friends or leave them in weird places for people to find.

GR
What do you do apart from music?

YS
like as a job?

GR
Yea or not, whatever you do

YS
Well i used to work at a record store, but that record store closed down so now i make music full time and it's great.

GR
Do you plan to go on tour as a job?

YS
Oh yeah, i would love to. I'm still in the process of getting over stage fright. Once that settles though, i would love to travel and play cities i've never been to before.
It's kinda hard for solo up and coming artists, especially for me because i'm not really established and don't have too many connections.

GR
I like to give a full idea of the musicians i talk to, so some questions might sound weird, but hey! i'm no journalist and this is the underground hahahahahah. So my next question is, how is it the scene there in Baltimore? what do you do for fun?

YS
Haha i'm glad it's underground and less formal! it takes some of the pressure off...the scene in Baltimore is great. Tons of great artists. There are lots of problems, of course, but i feel really fortunate to live here and experience all the great music i am exposed to. There's a group called high zero that puts together shows of really out-there stuff - lots experimental artists from all different parts of the world. I feel lucky to live here, like i'm part of a secret.
For fun, haha, honestly my life is pretty much just playing music, going to shows, drinking beer, and paying rent.

GR
Odd jobs?

YS
yeah odd jobs and i have a little bit saved.

GR
I'm not very fond of tagging music, but i can found a bit of Tom Waits, Richard Johnston and Cobain in your songs, do you agree?

YS
I'm not very familiar with Richard johnston but i loved Tom Waits in High school. I guess he's somewhat of an influence, maybe subconsciously because i used to listen to Swordfishtrombones all the time so it probably seeped into my brain and lingered there. I get compared to Cobain a lot and i think he's good but i'm not super into him. I think it's just because i'm not a very good singer and neither was he and i write a lot about depression and obviously he did too.
"Something in the way" is a really great song though.

GR
I bet it's more the overall feeling that straight comparison;
i don't think you sound like Nirvana or Cobain straight away
Depression is a bitch...something that can attack anyone.
When did you start to make songs?

YS
I started writing songs when i was around 15 but i stopped for a while then i started back up again when i was 19 as a way to deal with a bad break up. Haha, that's a pretty cliche reason to start writing songs but it's true. When i was younger i knew i wanted to write songs but i didn't have any material or life experience to write about but after that break up i finally found things to say.

GR
Are you a "day by day" person or a "a plan for everything" person?

YS
A little bit of both. I kind of hate making plans but also when i do make plans i make sure to be very prepared to the point where it creates a lot of anxiety. I'm trying to work on that. I'd like to be a day by day person. I feel like those people are a lot more content.

GR
Well, language put us lotta traps, it puts tags and closed definition where there is not...so anytime we talk of scalations, we are losing the essence.

YS
Yea, but we haven't come up with anything better i guess...
Yeah, that's really true. comparing your life to other's lives is really a bad way to live because you're always wanting more instead of being happy with what you have.

GR
Did you play in any band before going solo? how was it?

YS
No - i've tried to play in bands before but mostly it never works out. I'm playing a lot now with two of my friends who are in a band called Rosemary Krust and that's a lot of fun to trade ideas through sound. But otherwise i have never really connected with anyone musically before.
Most people i've played with want to kinda do the same indie rock bullshit - like kinda "chill" reverb music - uninspiring lyrics and boring overall energy.

GR
Yea, that's one of the big issues of playing with others...do you think there are "patterns" of musical styles that musicians repeat without much thinking?

YS
Yeah definitely. Like someone will listen to a band like Vampire Weekend and then think, "i can do that" and normally they do it and that's why it always sucks. Repeating ideas always sucks. We as humans should always aim for something greater than what we have now rather than repeating the past. Maybe not in every scenario, but in general.
Sorry if i'm coming off as angry. There's a lot in the world i am angry about, but for the most part i'm a pretty passive person.

GR
What's Americana music for you?

YS
Like contemporary americana music?
I'm not really sure. i've never really thought about it. There are particular artists that sound very american to me. Like Bill Callahan and Will Oldham and Silver Jews. Like by just reading their lyrics you can tell they're american.

GR
Hahahahaaha, yea i get it...what chords and tunings do you prefer?

YS
Well, my instruments are always tuned a step down. And i use a lot of minor chords. I guess that's kind of my formula for making darker music.

GR
Your hatepets?
(the subjects you love to hate and write about)

YS
Hatepets, haha. i like that...well i think my themes are probably depression, angst, stuff like that. I hate restricting myself to these ideas though because any time i create something it's a new thing. Sometimes i will write a song based on someone that i know and sometimes i will write a song about drowning in the ocean and sometimes i will write a song about nothing at all- i try not to think about it too much. i just start by playing a note and take it from there.

GR
who is your favourite folk player? (folk players like Leadbelly for instance)

YS
That's a hard question. I love Jackson C. Frank. I guess that's folk. John Fahey is good too. Mississippi John Hurt and Vashti Bunyan as well. There's a musician called Frank Hurricaine who plays folk style guitar and he's one of the best players and people that exist.

GR
Have you got any political beliefs?

YS
I think it's more of a disbelief right now. With all that's happening in Charlottesvilleand the threat of nuclear war and that idiot they put in charge. These are pretty depressing times. I hope there is light at the end of the tunnel. I really don't know.

GR
Gimme some wisdom about the Millenials if you like, i know i said no to tags, but they make great headlines...i'm weak...ok, do you feel represented by the Millenial tag? Do you feel the social and economic environment now makes it pretty hard for youngsters? (i'm a middle aged dinosaur)

YS
Haha...yeah i'm not sure. i think a lot of people my age are pretty scared and depressed and angry. i think for the most part, we want the world to be a better place and we're aware of the idea that we don't want to work a full time job only to make someone richer.
We want to live healthy, comfortable lives and we want everybody else to be able to live healthy comfortable lives.
We're afraid to face reality so we believe that we can change the system. Can we actually change it? who knows. I'm not sure if it's socially or economically harder to be a millenial than it was for people born earlier. I think everyone has troubles in some way.

GR
Talking of jobs around my area: it's waaaaayyy harder now than 10 and 20 years ago...yea, it was shitty back then, but now the employer piss on your face without even pretending other thing.

YS
Wow where do you live?

GR
southern Spain

YS
oh cool.

GR
Yeah that's the unfortunate result of capitalism.
Mine is a land of low cost tourism, we profit from mass tourism from northern Europe since they are too scared of going to countries where terrorism is active. (This interview was done before the Barcelona attack).

YS
So tourism is on the steady rise in Spain?
does that boost the economy or is it kind of a bummer?

GR
This year it's been a nightmare, there are even protests and demonstrations agaist it going on

YS
Wow i didn't know that. That's rough. Gentrification, i imagine.

GR
Well, it feeds the economy for sure. The problem is like always the bad distribution of those profits. And gentrification yea, of course, very shabby one...even surreal...i better don't begin with it...
What are you doing tomorrow? are you writing a new song, doing a new recording?

YS
Actually i just finished recording a new album so i'm kinda taking it easy for a little with the recording. I've been painting a lot so i might do that for a little. Or visit friends. Or take a walk or something. I'm not sure what i'll do.

GR
Yea, painting! i saw your paintings too...i'm not an expert, but i studied some art at college...i could say you're a Pollock fan, is it accurate?

YS
I do like Pollock. Basquiat might be my favorite. I like to paint because i know i'm not good so it's kinda nice to do something where you don't have to try to make something that's gonna sit in galleries or something. You can just paint anything you want and even if it sucks it doesn't matter because it's just about the creation process.

GR
Yea, i can back that.




















YS
Yeah, i hate art elitism. I think if you make something with feeling and you're happy with the outcome, then it's good art - even if nobody else in the world likes it.

GR
Hahhahaha...yea, markets pervert it all...Mate, it's almost 1:30 a.m. here and i've had a long day...do you think we can finish the chat tomorrow?

YS
Oh yeah absolutely. Haha it's 7:25 pm here.

GR
I'll come back, great talking!

YS
That's very true...and cool, i appreciate you taking the time to talk to me. It's a lot of fun. great talking.

(other day):

GR
-How's your guitar, is it special or custom in anyway? how did you learn to play?

YS
- I play a Fender Telecaster. It's probably the most expensive thing i own. It's not distinct in any way but i love the tone of fenders.
I use a variety of pedals too. My three go-to pedals that i use on almost all my keyboard or electric guitar sounds is the Digitech Whammy octave pedal, a Fuzz face, and the Boss dd7 delay pedal.
Though the dd7 is busted and makes all these crazy feedback high pitch screeching noises that i love. A lot of times in my songs, like in the song "Empty" off of Songs of Happiness, you can hear the dd7 fucking up and making these really crazy tonal belches.
That wasn't intentional.
I really love the process of recording because of all the mistakes that can happen. Like sometimes i have an idea of how i want a song to sound, then it'll turn out totally different from what i expected.
I used to get upset when something didn't turn out exactly how i wanted, but now i prefer it. Once you learn how to accept your mistakes and not get hung up about them, life becomes a lot easier to live. And more interesting.
- When i was probably 12 or 13 i took lessons for a couple of months. My teacher was a folk musician and he taught me the basic chords and how to finger pick. I can't read music or anything and i'm really not that great of a player but i can move the fingers of my right hand really fast. I'm more interested in style anyway.

GR
-How do you record your songs, what gear do you use?

YS
- I record my songs in my bedroom. I used to record on an eight track but i found Garageband to be much simpler and it gave me a lot more room to experiment by cutting up certain parts and pasting them in different areas and stuff like that.
So editing-wise, Garageband is a lot more beneficial to me but i still love the romance of recording on an eight track. There's something really powerful in the sound. Also i never record with direct inputs. Only microphones. I think the static and silence of the room that you record in is an instrument in itself.

GR
-Which ones are the current subjects you're writing about?

YS
- Right now i'm writing and recording a lot about death. I was getting kind of bored writing tragic love songs and also i've changed quite a bit since i put out Roadkill - my first album.

So in my next album that will probably come out in 2018, i tried to get really deep inside my psyche and understand the roots of my anxieties. A book called "Denial of death" by Ernest Becker helped me understand that all anxieties stem from this overwhelming fear of death. Like anxiety is the awareness of death. So i'm just trying to understand that concept more and build off it. There's a John Cale song. "Fear is a man's best friend." haha.
That's a pretty accurate statement.

GR
-Become a fortune teller for two minutes, tell us what are you doing in the next years.

YS
- I have no idea what i'll be doing in the years to come. I have really been more interested in expressing ideas visually. Or trying to visualize sound. I want to play more shows and maybe go on a small east coast tour. Brooklyn, Philly, Cleveland, Asheville, Atlanta. visit Some of those cities. Meet new people.
Baltimore is a lovely city, but it can wear you down. Same bars, same faces. A change of pace would be nice. We'll see. I try not to focus on the future too much. It seems once i envision something, then the idea of it becomes less exciting. I'm more fascinated by the unknown.


Hey, thanks for taking the time to talk. I really enjoyed and appreciate it. Cheers!











domingo, 3 de septiembre de 2017

Maúros










En mis años punks cuando me encontraba con algún "amante" del rock mainstream, radio-formula, heavy-julay, bossa, jazz no peligroso, pinkfloyds de la vida, rocieros y seres similares pensaba "satán no ilumines mi camino como hiciste con ellos"...ahora que escucho (y trato de tocar) cosas más "suaves" como John Fahey, Daniel Bachman o Jack Rose, me pregunto si yo también me he convertido en un "maúro" ¿Sarcasmo?

lunes, 21 de agosto de 2017

Jack Rose se fue muy pronto


















Escucha mientras lees
https://jackrose.bandcamp.com/album/kensington-blues-2

(no temas, es un fragmento traducido, sacado de este artículo: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=123861353)

"Jack Rose trabajó duro en varios trabajos mierdosos:
hostelería, tiendas de discos. Con 30 años vendió
su guitarra eléctrica para re-aprender a tocar con
acústica (llevaba 15 años sin tocar guitarra acústica).
Sabía que necesitaba centrarse para llegar a ser bueno.
Así que cuando lo despidieron,
aprovecho el tiempo libre y los cheques del desempleo
para mejorar con la guitarra.

Mejoró, claro. Y después de una década grabando para
pequeños sellos, Jack consiguió bastante seguimiento
como para dejar su trabajo "normal". Firmó contrato
con un buen sello independiente (Thrill Jockey Records)
pero dos meses antes de que se publicara su disco
"Luck in the valley", Jack moría de un ataque al
corazón.

No quería ser cocinero, no quería seguir con trabajos
mierdosos y todo apuntaba a que lo iba a conseguir.
Justo se había comprado una casa con su mujer.
Había trabajado muy duro..."

"Life's a bitch...and then you die" (Popular)
"Don't try" (epitafio de Bukowski)

Bukowski, Shakespeare, los snobs y la cultura posmoderna



















Bukowski refiriéndose a Shakespeare:
“Es ilegible y está sobrevalorado. Pero la gente no quiere escuchar esto. Uno no puede atacar templos.
Ha sido fijado a lo largo de los siglos. Uno puede decir que tal es un pésimo actor, pero no puede decir que Shakespeare es mierda. Cuando algo dura mucho tiempo, los snobs empiezan a aferrarse a él, como ventosas. Cuando los snobs sienten que algo es seguro, se aferran. Pero si les dices la verdad, se ponen salvajes. No pueden soportarlo. Es atacar su propio proceso de pensamiento. Me desagradan”.

Dió en el clavo. En el "mundillo cultural" o tienes un nombre (una marca comercial en realidad) o ni te lo plantees. No es que no puedas vivir de lo que haces (música, escribir, pintar, multimedia, etc).
Es que ni tus contactos en redes sociales (otros de tu mismo palo), te prestarán atención
Porque no eres Bukowski. Por que no eres J o Nacho Vegas. Porque no tienes una editorial que solo publica americanos white trash. Porque no eres un puto de ARCO o bailas en un musical de la Gran Vía.

Porque no. Solo merecen atención los que ya tienen un nombre. Una "percha informativa". Los "amigos". Los "válidos". Idos (sí con D) a la puta mierda ya, hombre (o, mujer, no quiero que me señalen de machista).
PD. Hasta la coronilla (versión mojigata) de ver, oir y sufrir las mismas caras. 

domingo, 20 de agosto de 2017

(mainstream) Music sucks


I'm currently learning about Bo Carter, a bluesman
who recorded and toured in the 30's. Yea, that's my "today's music".


The guy made easy very complex lines, bass and treble separated and of
course, singing on top of it.
Practice and motivation are the keys to became that good.

The professional musicians that we love, become so good
naturally because of a combination of momentum, personal inclination and
commercial success. They are "glued" to their instruments and made a living out of that.

Popular music (mainstream music) now it's a joke.
Like many other things of nowadays life,
it's more a popularity contest than real music.
Marketing, advertising and politics have ruined so many aspects of life.

I'm not being figurative: regular folks can do nothing but being
costumers and tax-payers these days. I have been crashing onto a
"glass-ceiling" my entire life...i bet you know what i'm saying.

Anyway, as Joe Strummer said: "you're nothing without people". But
indeed, what if "hell are the others" like Sartre (and others before him) said?

domingo, 30 de julio de 2017

El lío de medidas en las guitarras acústicas

Tamaños de los principales tipos de guitarras acústicas (G-denominación Gibson, M-denominación Martin). El ancho se refiere al "culo": la parte más ancha de la guitarra tras el puente. La escala se refiere a la distancia entre puente y cejilla. Los "hombros" son la parte estrecha del cuerpo donde se une con el mástil.

1-Archtop - Gibson principios siglo XX, escala de 57,8 cm.
2-Dreadnought - Martin, 39 cm ancho, 65 cm escala.
3-Jumbo/Super jumbo - G, 43.2 ancho, de 53.3 a 62.8 cm de escala.
4-Mini jumbo - G, 3 cm menos entre los hombros que la Jumbo, el culo es casi tan ancho como una Jumbo y la escala también es similar. Es un poco más estrecha (desde la tapa al fondo). Se puede decir que su tamaño está entre las Auditorium y las Jumbo. 
5-O-OO-OOO - Martin;  O-Concert: ancho de aproximadamente 34,4 cm y un largo de cerca de 48,5 cm / OO- Grand concert: ancho 36 cm, largo 53,3 cm / OOO-Auditorium: ancho de cerca de 38 cm.
6-"Parlour" - Similar o más pequeño que el tamaño O-Concert de Martin.
(información recopilada de varias fuentes de internet, puede tener errores).

martes, 18 de julio de 2017

J Moss - The Modern Folk

Listen while you read ;)
http://music.themodernfolk.net/album/american-mountain

Today a great interview with songster, diy man, american heart J Moss of The Modern Folk.
Let's go.







Ok, i have always liked your true and honest approach to music, going for the essence of it
and you are still living in Portland?
And how do you like it? is Portland dying of its own success?

Thank you, yeah, i live in Portland, in the Lents neighborhood, deep Southeast Portland if anyone knows the town!

Is the gentrification going up?

Yeah, there is a lot of gentrification, i think the government of Portland tries to handle it reasonably, but that is not easy...the city suffers from a lack of affordable housing, and certain neighborhoods lose their individuality. but i only moved here 6 years ago, so it's not a good look for me to complain to much.

Where did you move from? was music the reason?

I moved from the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where i grew up. Work (non-musical) was my reason to head west.

I am very interested in the non-musical aspects of the musicians, it's very common to have a day-job (or three) nowadays. Some musicians prefer not to discuss that.
But if you like, what do you do apart from music?

I assume i will always have a day job, i do not expect to make a living off of music, despite the fact it is my passion. My day job now involves using computers to map wetland areas from aerial photographs.


I assume it too and i know it's the case for most musicians...specially many that i personally prefer better than the "big names". And maybe it's not a bad deal either...i mean, it's obvious you put so much passion and personal stuff into your songs, so music benefits for that balance against other activities, is that way?

I am happy with the balance, i am not sure i would want to live the life of a "professional musician". I'm not sure i would want to tour all the time, and i love recording on my own with no pressure or expectations. At the same time, there is a part of me that craves recognition, i would be dishonest if i did not admit that.


Yea, it's the old "musician's contradiction" it's hard to know what moves somebody to make music. I really like that "lo-fi" aproach, although i have to admit i don't like drum machines much. What is your gear of choice?

I like to find different gear for each project, and let the gear inspire me.


Any preference for old-cheap gear?

I really prefer live drums as well, i have become a drum machine fan due to space/volume restrictions, and not having access to drums and drummers.
I like old and new gear, i don't tend to fetishize "vintage" gear, but i do love Tascam tape recorders, and tube amps tend to sound better.


I have listened to all your albums and download some of them, "American cave" and "American mountain" hooked me. I remember you wrote something that went like "i play what's americana to me"

With the albums that have "america" in the title, i was trying to express different facets of what it means to be american and make american art so.


Could you explain a little what's Americana for you? i think you hit the nail right down

To me, americana is so wide and expansive of an experience, and should be more than what is typically expressed in the musical genre called "americana"

I took it as a self-expressing statement, which i liked it, instead of trying to follow a music trend.

For instance, "american cave" was supposed to be about the "desert" experience of america...sunshine burning up a wal-mart parking lot, survivalists in a blacked-out trailer, a lonely immigrant shepherd, a meth addict dying on the street.

wow!


And expressed in versions of american music: punk, folk, rock, metal, grunge, to me this is all americana. Now, i know you are not from America, so stop me if i am giving the US too much musical credit

No, it's ok, most of the pop culture comes from the USA.
Great, have you written your other albums around other concepts?

"American Mountain" was more typically "americana", dealing with what is normally considered "folk music" from Appalachia, where i grew up.


Did you grow up in a small town?

Medium sized college town, honestly


Were you influenced by the local culture directly, or was something that showed up later in your life?

I definitely was. I grew up in a place in Virginia not too far from where the Carter Family was from, and old-time and bluegrass type folk music were huge interests for me from a young age. Some of the first songs i ever tried to play were these kind of ancient folk songs, though i might have learned them from a Bob Dylan or a Ramblin' Jack Elliot Record.

It recalls me the tittle of that John Fahey book, it was more or less: "how bluegrass music ruined my life"


I love that book! Fahey was an influence i came across more recently in my life.

Mine too, i wish i had the energy he put in playing and composing.
In this century, americana, folk, blues have had more than a revival. Not maybe in the mainstream, but definitely in the "independent" scene...




I like the underground revival that some of this music has had recently, people are putting their all into it, making it a scene, doing LPs

It's like folk was the "new punk",
what bands do you dig?

Right now, i am really into some of the people reviving Fahey's "American Primitive" and going new places with it, such as Elkhorn, Daniel Bachman, and Will Csorba. I really like the NY rock'n'roll band PC Worship. I listen to a ton of the big modern rappers, Kendrick Lamar, Vince Staples, Chance, Kanye, these guys are making great music right now. I really like the techno producer Delroy Edwards.
Another great solo guitarist is Sarah Louise, and she has a band called House and Land


I'll have to check most of the names! Excuse my ignorance, are all of them "working musicians"?

Aside from the rappers, i have written about them all on MFOA (blog about music). Yeah, i only mentioned the currently working artists i am digging right now!

Ok. It seems that is a bit easier to make a living as musician in America, nothing fancy maybe but you can be an "underdog" who tours the whole country, which is impossible here...even with the irony that Spain is a little country compared to the USA.

That's true, the size of America probably gives musicians more opportunities to make a living

Yea, but the distances and costs build up too. For what i have gathered, there are some advantages like, musicians there can book dates easier along the country in venues that fit them, is it true?


I must admit, i don't know too much about this, i don't really tour much on my own, and i am not sure how different people book them. I know some people tour constantly on a DIY basis, and i think they get by on it. I know musicians who tour all the time with label support definitely make a living. i know that's where the money comes from, not record sales!

That's it, that's the appeal of it to me. It has to do with the american business and pop culture. You can't do that here without going bankrupt.
Do you make long term plans for your career or just going day by day?

I think a surprising amount of american touring bands, especially DIY ones, might be losing money...i know when my old bands went on tour years ago, we always lost money...but we were rich in fun times, hahaha! I don't make any long term plans aside from to continue to create albums.


How do you compose your songs?

That really varies. Some i compose from a drum beat and build them up as recordings, others i compose as chords/lyrics and work on them for months before recording them. I often record a song 3-4 times. Certain songs of mine appear multiple times in my available discography. Sometimes a song is written but i do not feel i have gotten to it's heart in terms of recording.

Do you keep a set list rehearsed for performances? or change it depending on the show?

I usually have a core group of tunes that work live, and then i pick a few from that for each show, but i try to vary my live setup...sometimes i will recruit other musicians, or use a keyboard or drum machine with presets to flesh out the sound. Other times i just want to bring one guitar...so i choose songs based on that, as well

Is it hard to keep a band together?

Yeah, it is for me. I have a hard time finding people who share the same taste and vision as me for the songs i and sounds i want to create. On the other hand, i play bass in a band led by someone else, and that is a total joy, and very easy to stay interested in...so i think i just have trouble keeping a band together for MY music.

Yea, i think the same. What tunings do you use on your guitar?

I play in the DADF#AD tuning, got stuck on it several years ago after discovering Fahey and have not turned back (even though i know that's not really the Fahey tuning!)

Yea, Fahey's kind of...diabolical hahahaha.
Is it hard for you to book shows? which venues do you prefer?

I am not great at booking shows. Partly because i am not very social, and a lot of booking is just socializing. I guess i prefer a house show, i like the intimacy. I like playing in a small bar as well, i also love playing outside!

Wow! how's that? i'm not very social either and i hate to play outside hahahhahaha.
For instance, i can't go to a park with the guitar and just play, not even thinking of singing...

I guess i feel more social if i have been asked to play. then i feel as if i belong there, as if i have a reason to be there! hahaha. I like to play outside and jam with the outside noises


What are your "hatepets" for writing about?





























"hatepets"?


I mean, subjects that you come back to when writing the songs, the good ones and the bad ones, kind of obsessions

Ah, i understand. I like the theme "you'll reap what you sow", i like the idea of writing about the "dark sides" within us all, i like writing about imagined "ends of the world", i like writing about people i love, and about lost love and heartbreak...archetypical stuff!


And the last two questions are for you: one is for promotion of your new projects and the other is for anything you wanted to say but i didn't reach to

Ok, great! thank you so much for even wanting to do an interview with me in the first place! as far as promotion goes, I'd love it if your readers checked out my bandcamp page
http://themodernfolk.bandcamp.com
everythign is name-your-price, starting at $0!
I have a new album in the making, but i cannot predict the release date, unfortunately, but there is plenty available there for those who have never heard my music!
Secondly, please check out my blog www.themodernfolk.net where i write about other artists who make DIY/lofi/homemade music! I love to share the work of others, as well as my own.


Any suggestion for a better living?

Aside from that, i thought you asked great questions, and i just appreciate your time and what you do! i don't feel too qualified to make suggestions for better living, but i have found that pausing to consider what you can be grateful for can help reduce your anxiety! and, speaking of grateful, listen to The Grateful Dead...that always makes my living better!

Thanks again, this was fun!

Thank you, as you said, sharing is a big part of all this. By the way, the Bre Taylor that sings in some of your albums, does she make music too?

She is actually my wife! so far, she just sings with me, though i encourage her to do more!

She has such a great voice! 

I will definitly let Bre know you complimented her voice!

Thanks, it's been a pleasure!

The pleasure is mine! thanks again!

sábado, 1 de julio de 2017

Haz tus propios bottleneck slides



Un cortador de vidrio de ferreteria. Es un cacharrito barato y de bolsillo. Agua hirviendo y agua semi congelada.
Apoyar cuello de botella en dos superficies que formen 90 grados, de forma que gire pero no se mueva. Hacer muesca con cortador de vidrio. Tiene que ser una muesca regular, rodeando todo el cuello de la botella.
Meter alternativamente el cuello de la botella en agua caliente y fría. Dejar algunos minutos en cada. Cuando escuches un "crack" es que el cuello se ha desprendido.
Lijar la parte cortada con lija de pared, grosor medio o grueso.

sábado, 17 de junio de 2017

Es curioso (lo de Mahou)

Es curioso como datos que vienen de fuentes sin nada en común acaban complementándose:
Me gustan los sitios abandonados y su historia. Sigo un blog de pueblos abandonados. En las entradas cuentan como era la vida en ellos.
La mayoría fueron abandonados en los 60 y 70. Y todos celebraban sus fiestas populares con músicos contratados. Músicos tradicionales que trabajaban por toda la región de pueblo en pueblo. No era raro el caso de tener que posponer una celebración porque los músicos no estaban disponibles.
Lo podeis consultar repasando el siguiente blog:
http://lospueblosdeshabitados.blogspot.com.es/

La sociedad ha cambiado. Por diversos motivos ahora no se requiere tanto a los músicos. Y pienso que hay más músicos que nunca. No solo profesionales, sino muchos "hobbystas" que no tienen problema en hacer de gratis el trabajo del que dependen los profesionales. Términos que pueden definirlo: "competencia desleal", "intrusismo", "dumping laboral". Los hobbystas se defienden con argumentos circulares, personalistas y que no están relacionados con el tema. Porque se niegan a ver el problema.

Todo esto es un pequeño ejemplo de esta economía del disparate. No es muy bueno, se limita a un gremio "minoritario", pero responde a la lógica del "mercado falso" que vivimos: donde los que tienen capacidad de intervenir y poner reglas que les benefician dicen que la economía es libre, competitiva y "gana el mejor". Donde para que unos pocos ganen mucho, tienen que robárselo a muchos que apenas conservan lo necesario. El progreso para ellos es el modelo chino.

Enlazo todas estas cosas a cuenta del anuncio que Mahou ha retirado tras la polémica de músicos "cobrando" en cervezas y miles de "shares", "retwitts" y whatsapps contra la marca.
Y aún así, he visto mucha polémica en foros de músicos donde no eran capaces de ponerse de acuerdo en si era bueno o malo. Porca miseria. 


domingo, 21 de mayo de 2017

Tunings in blues

Bo Carter, Memphis, 1960




















One fucking hard thing when you play the blues is the tunings. Open ones, standards, altered, name them...I always got frustrated trying to play songs by Muddy or John Lee Hooker because i acknowledged the patterns but the only tuning i could play was the standard one. And it only works for some songs.I found months ago that i wasn't the only one when reading an interview with Danny Kroha (The Gories). He said he had the same problem until he knew of open tunings.
You have open D, open G, open E and other variations like open minors, "spanish tuning" (that refers more to the interval between notes than to a determined key). Open tunings basically works this way: tune your guitar so playing the open strings (no fingers on the fretboard), they play a chord.
And there are too the "altered ones", where only a string or two are tuning differently: drop D, drop C, drop B. They are very used in heavy metal, stoner, southern rock, etc. Because they sound "big", "fat" and even ominous!
This post isn't a thorough explanation of alternative tuning, just a reminder or "eye opener". Enjoy your blues and rock and keep it personal. Most old bluesmen didn't tune following standards, but their own taste and personal pitch. You wanna be like them? Be and express yourself!