Music Stuff

Okay…let’s get off the job-search for a moment.  Let’s talk music…

 

  • I finally have the physical copies of the new CD in hand.  It’s not quite ready to go though.  I do all of my packaging in-house, so I’ve got to finish that up.  Also, I’ve decided that I’ll be personally numbering and autographing the first 100 copies.  So I’ve got to sit and do that, too.  “Official” release date, as such, is Tuesday the 28th.  Look for the website to reflect that soon, too.
  • I’ve been kind of writing and re-writing a project for a couple of years called “New Year’s Eve.”  (I think I started it in 2006.)  It’s basically the story of a guy who goes through a major bad-spell, capped off by that year’s NYE Countdown, when he decides to jump out of the 12th story window of his apartment building (but he survives—spoiler alert).  The story is heavily influenced by Nick Hornby’s book “A Long Way Down” (which is my favorite of his books, narrowly edging out “High Fidelity”).  I keep drifting toward the story, then away from it.  Last year, I did a complete conceptual re-write.  This year, I think I might actually record some of the music, but keep it sparse and simple…just me.  As I said, I’ve abandoned the project a number of times, so it’s not set in stone that I’ll actually do it THIS time, either…but it wouldn’t hurt to demo a few things and see if it goes anywhere.
  • I’ve also been tentatively gathering folky songs for a project I’m calling “The Last Folk Singer” (named for a character in “US!” a novel by Chris Bachelder, mostly centered around Upton Sinclair).  It’s also been through a couple of iterations.  It also has no particular time-table attached to it.  Just kind of a banner-title and a loose theme of ideas.  Not really a concept piece…yet.  But I’m toying with something…might be good…might suck.
  • I’ve been demoing my butt off for Blue Tattoo.  We’ve already started working on three songs, which are coming along nicely.  There are about 8 or so more in the wings that I think have a realistic shot.  We’ll see.  Hopefully we’ll manage a practice tonight and hammer out some more stuff…  We’re also talking about doing a new demo that better represents where we’re going.  Probably five-songs.  Maybe more, so we have some to pick and choose from.  Personally, I’d like to just record everything and do a proper record, but I get the sense that the other guys think that’d be too much work since clubs just aren’t booking us right now.  No idea on a “when” for that.  Hopefully we’ll discuss that some tonight, as well.
  • I think I might be out of the Feldman Group.  I told Mike at the beginning of this year that I only wanted to play about twice a month.  He asked if it’d bug me if he got a second guy signed up to play any gigs I couldn’t/wouldn’t do.  I said that’d be fine, since Mike wants to work EVERY week.  Long story short, I haven’t heard from him since mid-March (and he’s had a BUNCH of gigs on the calendar since then).  Might just be a coincidence, but I get the sense he’s going with the new guy full time.  Maybe I gave him the impression that I wanted out all-together.  If I did that, it was an error…hopefully we’ll work this out on some level anyway.  Even if I’m not in his band, I’d hope we’ve known each other long enough that it won’t matter re: our friendship.
  • Didn’t I say somewhere that I was going to take a hiatus from solo-work to focus on Blue Tattoo?  Hmm…  Maybe I was lying.  Or maybe I’m just dealing with the job loss by focusing on music.  (Entirely possible!)
  • Actually, Johnny (drummer, Blue Tattoo) suggested that I just go into music full time.  I like the idea, but I don’t think it’s possible.  I do OKAY on record sales, when I put out something new…but I don’t know how to book myself frequently enough to make any real money.  I’d love it, though.  Even if I only swung like 10-grand a year doing it, that’d be awesome…get a part-time job to cover the rest…but I don’t see it happening.  I’m almost 30 (yikes) and that’s a little too late to try to make-a-go of it in the music industry.  But it’s nice that Johnny believes in me.  Good cat, that guy.

So…that’s what’s going on, musically.  Here’s hoping some of it doesn’t suck!  …and seriously, check out my new record.  It’s already on iTunes, as I’ve said repeatedly.  It’s the nicest sounding record I’ve done.  I’m pretty proud of it.  Hopefully I’ll be finding ways to get it to the ears of many people in the not too distant future.  (I think I may have an in with Lindenwood University’s radio-station…but I’ve got to feel that out a little more.)

 

So that’s it…

Top Five Dream Jobs

Okay…so as you know by now, if you’ve been reading along, I need a new job.  I have a list compiled of the top five things I think I could do and make decent money doing, drawing on my management experience, etc…but that’s boring.  Who wants to read that???  I’d much rather share THIS list…my top five DREAM jobs.  Jobs I will probably never have in reality, but that would be kind of fun.  So here we go…my top five dream jobs (not in any particular order)…

 

  1. Touring/Recording Musician. — Not asking to be The Who or the Stones…maybe just Frank Black in the post-Pixies, pre-Pixies-reunion years. Enough to get by and keep doing it, but not limitlessly rich and famous.  Maybe big in Europe/Japan/Norway.
  2. Stand-up Comic. — Again…don’t have to be Carlin or Hackett or even Leary—and screw Dane Cook, by the way. Perfectly glad to be Patton Oswalt or Mitch Hedberg (before he became an overnight legend by dying). I’d just like to get up there, say the outrageous/stupid things that get me into trouble in real life, and have people laugh.
  3. Voice-over artist. — It’d be kind of cool to be paid to go into a room and say stupid stuff, or to read travelogues. I don’t have to be the “In a world…” guy.  I’d be fine with pretty much being a guy who no one knows, but who constantly works for like PBS or someone, back in the days when people other than me still watched PBS.
  4. Entertainment journalist, circa 1969-78. — Interview bands like The Who in their heyday, hang out with Zeppelin and see what Bonzo was like in real life, get offered pot by Paul McCartney…then write about it.
  5. Barbecue Cook. — They say there’s nothing better than being paid for doing what you love, and I love cooking and eating meat. Gimmie an open flame and a dismembered part of a cow and I’m a happy man. I’d even develop my own “secret spice” that we’d roll the meat through before searing it on the grill (probably largely made up of other parts of the same cow).

So that’s what I’d be if time, history, money, opportunity, and/or health and safety laws weren’t a factor. Only one that seems kind of attainable is the last one…but whatever.

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Quotable Quotes — only one this time…but it’s a really, really good one:

  • Kris Kristofferson to Toby Keith, upon Toby (who’d just sung a song about how great it’d be to bomb America’s enemies) telling Kris not to say any “lefty sh*t” on stage: “What the f*ck did you just say to me?  Don’t turn your back to me, boy.  You ever worn your country’s uniform?  (Keith says, ‘What?’)  Don’t ‘What?’ me, boy!  You heard the question.  You just don’t like the answer.  I asked, ‘Have you ever served your country?’  The answer is, no, you have not.  Have you ever killed another man?  Huh?  Have you ever taken another man’s life and then cashed the check your country gave you for doing it?  No, you have not.  So shut the f*ck up!  You don’t know what the hell you are talking about!”  —  And that all took place backstage at Willie Nelson’s 70th birthday concert, no less.  Stuff like that is why Kris Kristofferson is on my “heroes” list—and why Toby Keith’s on the same list as Dane Cook…  🙂  (All due credit to Ethan Hawke and Rolling Stone Magazine’s April 16, 2009 issue, in which that can be found.)

My Resume

Since I need a new job, I thought it might be worth posting my resume on the olde-bloge.  (That’s olde-tyme-speak for “old blog.”)  I’ve removed all the relevant phone numbers and addresses for probably obvious reasons…but this is basically what it looks like.

 

OBJECTIVE

To secure a position with a well established organization with a stable environment that will lead to a lasting relationship in professional fields.

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EXPERIENCE

2002-2009 Saint Louis Christian College

Positions Held:
2008-2009 Interim Library Manager
2006-2008 Library Assistant
2002-2006 Student Library Worker

Summary of Tasks Performed:
Patron Assistance ○ Statistic Management and Analysis ○ Filing ○ Management of Multicultural Staff, Plus Volunteers ○ Information Literacy ○ Writing and Payment of Invoices ○ Computer Record-keeping ○ Fiscal Responsibility ○ Book Handling ○ Light Cleaning

2004-2007 Ferguson Christian Church

Job Title: Music Minister

Summary of Tasks Performed:
Organize and Lead Worship Services ○ Maintain Regular Contact with Church Members ○ Attend Meetings ○ Serve as a Member of Church Leadership Teams ○ Light Office Work

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EDUCATION

2000-2005 Saint Louis Christian College

Degree Earned: Bachelor of Science; Preaching
Cumulative Grade Point Average: 3.003
Activities: Chapel Musician ○ Yearbook Staff ○ Involvement with Various Campus Ministries

Fall 1998 Lincoln Christian College

Coursework toward Preaching Degree

Hazelwood West Junior/Senior High

Year of Graduation: 1998
Honors: National Honors Society ○ Hazelwood West VIP Squad ○ Best Orchestra Pit Member 1997
Activities: Chamber Choir ○ Music Club ○ Orchestra Pit ○ Theatre

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INTERESTS AND SPECIAL SKILLS

Regularly Performing Musician/Songwriter ○ Avid Churchgoer ○ Web-Design ○ Creative Writing ○ Type Approximately 52 WPM ○ Computer Skills in Windows Platforms, Including Most Office-Type Softwares ○ Avid Reader

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PERSONAL STATEMENT

I am a highly motivated employee, and I give my best everyday. I am a team-player; comfortable with thinking both inside and outside of the box. I have a passion for seeing tasks through to their end and serving both customers and colleagues to the best of my abilities. I believe that excellence is always within reach.

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REFERENCES

Available upon request, but not on my blog! 🙂

 

I thought about adding a couple of statements to show desperation, too…  Wildly inappropriate things, mostly…my favorite of which being, “I will put ANYTHING in my mouth for $28,000.”  But that might send the wrong impression, I’m not sure.  Thoughts on that?

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Current Watching:

  • Frasier…which apparently I love.  I’m not sure when that happened, but for the past couple of years I’ve watched a LOT of Frasier and have even been pissed off when the show isn’t on because of a “special presentation” on Lifetime or something.  (Which reminds me of a line Zach Galifianakis throws out occasionally…  “Did you see that movie on Lifetime?  The one about that woman?”)

And the Economy Claims Another Victim (Me)

I’ve already mentioned this to a few people, but the college released the official announcement today, so I’m making it official on my blog, too. In case you’re wondering, I’ve known since April 3rd, but decided to hold off telling most people until after the college announcement went out today.

 

The long and short of it is that I will not be returning to SLCC next year. As it was explained to me, the college is in a financial crunch and the decision was made that they will not be renewing my contract, in a cost-cutting measure. (It is not performance-related. In fact, as my boss was giving me the news, he spent several minutes praising my performance and offered me a letter of recommendation, which was really nice.) My last day is May 31…which is actually a Sunday, so really my last day is May 29th…my birthday. Happy birthday to me, huh?  So…yeah… It sucks.  At the same time that I completely understand why they felt they needed to do that, I’d be lying if I claimed that I’m not a little hurt by the decision…but that’s temporary and I don’t really want to dwell on it.

 

I don’t like having to leave. SLCC’s been good to me for the many years I’ve worked there. I started as a student worker (2002). I guess they thought I was valuable, because I spent a year still working for 10-12 hours a week after I graduated (2005). Then I was moved up to the Library Assistant position (2006), when the job became available. This past year, I was the Manager. I had hoped and expected to have a long career with SLCC, but I guess it’s over. In some respects though, I’ve actually had a longer career at the school than a large part of the administrative staff, many of whom have only been on for 2-3 years. I’ve seen four people sit in the same chair I had in the Library office. I’ve seen literally a dozen professors come and go. I’ve seen the President ousted, the Academic Dean dismissed, a transition team, a new President and Dean, a 10-year accreditation year (which went okay, not great), a few notable deaths, a few notable births, and a host of other things I’m forgetting. Thought I’d see more too, but I guess they just got the seven-year-itch with me or something, ha ha.

 

Fortunately, I take some great friendships with me and a lot of good memories. This isn’t a “bad” departure. It’s not like we couldn’t see eye to eye and it resulted in my termination. It’s just that they need to pinch pennies right now like just about everybody else (especially those of us who no longer have pennies coming in…ahem). …and I guess getting rid of a guy in his late 20s is better than forcing an older person into retirement, (which I’m glad they’re not doing. I’d much rather be the one to go in that scenario). I can’t really blame them with as good as they were to me over the years and as nice as my (direct) boss has been to me in the past year and especially over the past couple of weeks since giving me the news. They’re good folks at SLCC, with the best of intentions. They’re just freaked out by the economy like everyone else in America.

 

So basically…I need a new job. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m a little worried, in fact. In this economy, I don’t expect to get anything stellar (though I hope time, fate, and someone with a decent benefits package proves me wrong). If you’re of the type, please pray for my financial situation and need for a job, and similarly for SLCC’s dire financial needs as well. Also, if anyone knows of people in the St. Louis area who’re hiring, I’d appreciate a recommendation…particularly if any of you happen to have an in-line to some Library work, which is what I’m probably most qualified to do, since that’s what I’m coming out of (with managerial experience, no less!). 🙂 I’ll do just about anything, though. Just need money. I have a college degree. I have managerial experience. I’m willing to shave the beard. I’d prefer not to work with power-tools, because I’m kind of weak and chubby…but it’s negotiable and I’m willing to hit the gym if I need to.

 

So…any takers (ha ha)?

 

…or y’all could help me out by buying a crapload of my music from me off iTunes, too. That’d be great. 🙂

 

So…yeah…that’s what my next couple of months looks like. I’m already filling out applications to book and music stores. Here’s hoping it’s one of those…at least I could still be around something I love…but to be honest, I don’t expect that. I haven’t seen a lot of “Now Hiring” signs in their windows lately.

 

Thanks for any kind words or thoughts you can send my way.

 

As a side note: Posts should be coming more regularly now that I’ve been able to let that cat out of the bag.  I’ll still try to blog random, crazy crap on a near daily basis…until I get desperate and just start ranting about how this is all somehow still Bush’s fault…  🙂

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Current Listening:

  • …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead – “Century of Self” — Apparently ToD put out a new record this year.  I had no idea until I happened upon their website by accident last night.  I’m keeping my Rhapsody subscription until money’s desperately tight, so I’m listening to it there instead of buying it…maybe I’ll put it on my birthday list…  So far, second listen, I like it.  The previous two records were more immediately catchy, but this one’s got some really interesting layers that I think I’m going to grow to love.