Residency at the Banff Center

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be doing a Songwriter residency at the Banff Center for the Arts in Alberta this March. Three weeks in the Canadian Rockies writing songs – sounds like a recipe for… something! Hopefully something good 🙂

Anyway, I’m very appreciative for the opportunity and looking forward to the experience. I’ll be sure to post some pics so check back in with me here or on the social.

Write on!

On the passing of Chuck Berry

The world lost another musical icon with the passing of  Chuck Berry on March 18th, 2017. Aside from being a pioneer of the electric guitar (and the rock n roll movement in general),  he was also a cultural force to be reckoned with. In a time when the music industry was actively absorbing the sound being churned out by african-americans in small clubs and dives across the USA then repackaging it for main stream consumption, Chuck Berry was a black man who was allowed to rise the top of the music world with a flair and attitude that was seldom tolerated by conventional society up till that point.

As proof of the profundity of his effect on the modern guitar style, learning the intro riff to Johnny B Goode has basically become a right of passage for all aspiring guitar players. But on top of being a musical innovator, Berry was also a consummate professional and businessmen. His direct and often confrontational style earned him a reputation for being a hard-ass within the industry and amongst his musical compatriots (Reading Keith Richard’s assessment of Berry in his autobiography is illuminating if not somewhat biased seeming).

But it’s interesting to see that in a business where the average life expectancy seems to be 60 to 65 (often you’re lucky if you make it past 27), Berry managed to live to the ripe old age of 90! So maybe his “hard-ass” attitude is what it really takes to have a long career in a business that can best be described as cut-throat. Of course I never had to deal with him on a professional level – if I had I might feel otherwise 🙂

Here’s to Chuck Berry – guitar hero, musical innovator and consummate businessman. Job well done Chuck Berry. Now RIP!

And without further ado:

Digipedia – A Lexicon for the Digital Age

Updated Nov 2015: It seems that in this new digital reality  – where innovation outpaces conventional language and web services are fast replacing adjectives – it is necessary to have a new lexicon that gives meaning to the common experiences we share while grappling with a world run by boxes full of wires.  I googled (exempli gratia) the term Digipedia and the results seemed irrelevant to this topic matter and therefore highly borrowable, so without further ado I present:

Digipedia – A Lexicon for the Digital Age

(Authors note: This is a work in progress. Have an addition? Send ideas here)

Pornews – A new breed of internet journalism that crosses cutting edge reporting with porn based marketing tactics. A perfect example being the recent “shocking” viral news story about OSU student Kendra Southerland‘s porn video shot in the school library. While the story is clearly of the utmost importance from a moral standpoint, it becomes somewhat suspect by the unnecessary inclusion of the website upon which this viral porn movie was uploaded. Dammit Pornhub!? Why won’t you load!!!

Phantom Phone Syndrome – The act of repeatedly reaching for your phone in your pant pocket or pocketbook despite the fact that it has been broken for over a week. Kind of like trying to scratch the foot of the leg you lost in Nam but in this case you actually dropped your phone in the toilet at the local club doing god knows what. Syndrome is especially noticeable in awkward situations.

Click Happy – The phenomenon that occurs when you go to Amazon or some other online retailer with the sole purpose of purchasing a book and end up with a shopping cart full of  toilet paper, cat toys and edible Christmas decorations.

UJ – That person at a party or other social gathering that sits at the computer and plays the favourite hits from the 70s and 80s (and those  other decades) entirely off of YouTube. The task of creating clean mixes has grown increasingly difficult with the influx of “you can skip this ad in 5 seconds” commercials, begging the question: Do we need a U-Mixer to alleviate this problem!? Seasoned UJs know that this can be accomplished with multiple browser windows 😉

WwwordsThe new language rapidly developing on the internet – loosely resembling English and other established dialects, entirely devised to escape spam filters. Example from a recent email selling somthng from somwhre (can you guess what!?):

“Wonderfl Sex helperrs All cards accpted C A N A D I A NN meeds”

Beta’d Breath – The respiratory process of someone who has just made a particularly promising post to facebook or another social media service while they wait for someone to comment or at the very least “like” their post (ie. He waited with beta’d breath for a response to his latest cat shaving video)

Ccoward – Someone who indiscriminately CC’s their boss and/or other higher ups in their organization on all work related email that has the slightest hint of confrontation. Not quite as cowardly as the Bccoward but still fucking cowardly.

Cyberspaceout – A period of inactivity, frequently accompanied by a blank stare, as you fire up a browser window and then promptly forget what it was you were about to search for.

LOLAME – an appropriate way to refer to someone who writes the acronym LOL (laughing out loud) about something they just posted themselves.

Slowding – The process that occurs in between when you click on a very popular link that someone posted on “your wall” or in “your feed” and when something actually appears on your screen.

Saliwating – Similar to slowding but the content your waiting to slowd is more frequently related to a food recipe (or picture) or often porn.

Tweenge –  A momentary hollow feeling in the stomach or gut, possibly accompanied by shortness of breath, when you realize the tweet or other social media post you just “sent” may ruin your life or that of someone you don’t even know. (eg. Spike Lee’s unfortunate tweet about the Trayvon Martin case)

YouHole  – A type of bottomless internet pit that begins with you watching YouTube clips of  David Faustino’s (aka D’Lil) short lived rap career and finds you an hour and 100 clicks later watching footage of the 1992 LA riots. Any relation!? Whose to say.