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Here is the new video. Shot this in Northern California, by the Feather River behind my grandparents’ house, and in Hopland up in the hills.

I’ve been sorta kinda organizing my back log of tracks now that I’ve got a good chunk of my projects sorted out. It’s funny what you find just sitting there.

This is an instrumental that is kinda wandering and pretty. Cellos swirling, as they tend to do, and a kind of trance-y beat. I must have, well I’m sure of it to tell the truth, recorded live with loops.

I just felt like putting this up tonight.

It’s a fine Summer night. Is it the end of Summer? That’s what I hear. Me and Cinco are tending to the empty home while the rest of the pack is off at FYF Fest. Slowdive is playing. Hmm. I wish I was there. It was sold out.

I’ve mostly finished up on a big buffet of music I’m going to serve up in the near future. I’m happy with the work done and mostly the feeling of the songs.

Los Angeles for me: still and ever just past my fingertips somehow. It’s there, I push at it, brush it aside like curtains. But I have yet to pass through.

It’s a good city after all, and there are just so many surfaces you could attach your mirrors to here. Everyone is beautiful and larger than life, even if just in their own minds.

There aren’t country lanes, nature revery is rare, and the general balance leans one way and then the next, undecided. It’s menacing and inviting at once.

Blah blah poetic yada yada. Meaning: I’m here, making music in my dear studio with my dear cellos and my dear thoughts and I’m not on that damn stage at this damn point in this damn city.

That’s my check in.

Hope this version of this song fits with your time and place.

This song has been around with me for a long long time. I probably wrote it more than ten years ago. Unlike some songs from that era it has aged well, ie. I’m not embarrassed by it.

I don’t know how it never ended up on an album or fully produced. It’s a perfect example of a thing that works well in a room with people and flat/not quite alive on album…

I’d tell you what it’s about but doesn’t that always ruin a song? I will tell you there is a lot of church related imagery in there. Clearly growing up Catholic and an altar boy invaded my subconscious and probably will give me songs by the bucketful forever. Because? Because church is the imperfect institution, the fallible middleman? Because church is metaphor for society? Church can be metaphor for any thing in our lives be it music or art or love or nature? Because because because. Whatever it is to you.

Without further ado!

So, if you read the post I wrote pre-show that was a major spoiler as I quite clearly blew the secret that I would perform an Elliott Smith song.

And believe me I had every intention of recording the actual live performance but among all the moving parts of playing my show I forgot to press record. Alas. You had to be there.

So last night I figured I’d record the songs I played live since my camera crew (myself) blew it so bad. This way you can imagine I’m playing a huge arena… although a cozy brick walled room with loads of friends and listeners in the heart of Silver Lake was, I think, much better.

I’ll post more songs from the set in the coming little while, even trying to get them on the podcast first to give you subscribers your due priority!

Let me know what you think of the cover. It’s such a fine line with songs you love… you want to show your love, but you really don’t want to disrespect them by ruining them either.

This one is all yours now. Just an impromptu recording I decided to do as I was working on mixing for my upcoming albums.

This one is a little rare for me in that the bittersweet-ness (not new) is mixed with a little mean-ness (new!)…

Backstory? Hmmm. Well I just wrote it quickly after going through an old box of memories and realizing that some states of mind are better left behind as far as possible… It’s good to forgive and to move forward but sometimes too it’s good to expunge and exonerate yr own feelings.

Wrote this song a few days ago. Been playing cello again a lot, and wanted to create something using this arpeggiating technique across the strings (string players… what is the technical term for this? Can’t remember!)

Lyrically it carries the same theme as the rest of “The Faraway”. Journeys, changes, destinations.

Funny how I thought that the lyrics for this were just absolutely impossible. I banged my head against my lyric book for a couple days, recorded several scratch tracks of improvised lyrics and then walked away. When I came back it wasn’t garbage anymore, at least not when stitched together.

The real reason I made this was because I wanted to test out my GoPro Jaws Flex Clamp. It’s so simple, yet super brilliant for capturing live music. It worked! Now I just need to get like five more and clamp them everywhere.

A while ago I made my girlfriend Katy an album. She has a certain playlist she’s created for painting and has talked about the perfect music for that kinda thing… meditative and non-disruptive, but interesting enough maybe to be listenable over and over. So obviously I created a  polka/deep-house mashup. And that didn’t fit the bill. So I tried this.

Just a live cello performance using some looping, and a very brutish beat to pull it all along.

It’s long, and it’s a pretty good quality mp3 if you are into that sort of thing.

This is the first of three parts to that album.

When my girlfriend heard me play the early version of this she said “that’s pretty is that a Bruce Springsteen cover?”, which I took as a compliment. Nebraska is one of the most beautiful albums ever recorded. I didn’t intend to have the influence be so obvious, it wasn’t conscious, and also, if there is a sound I’d love to pay homage to it’s that one.

Canyonlands Guitar Actions

Came across this early version of “You Can Get Far” (video from the album REDWOOD SUMMER here).

And it reminded me of when I recorded it, at Canyonlands National Park, sitting up on a cliff’s edge. As you can hear not a lot is different in the studio version, just perhaps a nicer mic and the absence of the sounds of rocks scraping underneath my shifting weight. And the view I had was incredible.

Here’s an early version of a song I’m working on.

Last week, for Christmas I got both a new guitar and a ukelele. I was ecstatic. And immediately tried recording with them. It was nice, I was out in a little ‘casita’ a two room adobe house in the middle of some beautiful Northern California (where I’m from) vineyards. The inside was mostly tile so the sound in there was very bright and reverby.

This is what I’d call a ‘scratch’ version… The guitars are pretty good for now, though I might have to fix some issues. The vocals will be replaced. And I’d like to hear it with cello, which I’ll add soon, and maybe, just maybe some Nashville sounding drums. Good thing I know a drummer from Nashville I could call!

Lastly I may tweak the lyrics, especially the chorus, a little bit… I’m still trying to sort exactly what I’m trying to say there…

I suppose this is the first song of 2013 (kinda). Cheers to many more.

Thanks for listening…

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I’ve put up a new video off of REDWOOD SUMMER.

It takes a simple performance of the song You Can Get Far and layers a whole year of photos (I take a lot of photos) streaming over the top of it. It’s cool for me, I hope for you too… all the places and people flying along… I thought it fit the song well.

Enjoy!