New Year

Audio Version: FNRS – 2011-01-08

Hey friends! It’s 2012! Are you excited? For me, that’s a hard question to answer…

For the most part, I’m excited and ready to get on with my 41st year of life. However, as far as music goes, I’m still scared to death. However, I think it’s time to just do it. Now, I know I said that before in this blog (and forgive me if my issues haven’t magically left me because I’ve penned a few words on the Internet), but this time, maybe things are different.

Why? I’m not really sure. Maybe it’s just the beginning of the new year or the beginning of a new era in my life, but, whatever it is, it’s time for some music. So, I am going to work hard to have at least one new piece of music for you every week good, or bad.

So, remember, I want your honest feedback. If it sucks, say so. If it’s awesome, scream it from the top of the local skyscraper!

Okay, the real world calls. It’s time to go clean the backyard!

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Last Post of the Year

Well, this looks like it’ll be the last post of the year. I know you’re all shocked and horrified that you won’t be able to read of my adventures in the next couple of weeks, but I’m sure your Christmas season (or whatever holiday you celebrate) will tide you over until January.

Actually, there is a slight chance that I might get bored in Texas and post while I’m there. You never know.

So, you’re probably asking yourself, “so do you have any music?” Actually, yes.

It’s not much. Just my normal Sunday Responsorial Psalm Offering, but this week, I added a little more production than normal.

I discovered that GarageBand for the iPad does a great job with demos of songs. So, I decided to add a little extra to at least the chorus of the song.

Enjoy!

Forever I will Sing the Goodness of the Lord

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I’m 40!

Hey Friends,

Well, I didn’t blog last week for a good reason. I was turning 40! Yes. Nov. 5, 1971 was the day that I was brought into the world and to celebrate, we all went to Las Vegas for a week.

Thursday, I drove up a little early to meet a High School friend of mine, Brian Sailors and his lovely bride, Holly, who I hadn’t seen in many years. We ended up touring the Hoover Dam and seeing the Blue Man Group! I had seen TBMG 20 years ago (or so) in 1992 (I think) when Dallas had taken me when I was visiting him in college. Not much has changed in the show in 20 years. It was just as fun, but the whole thing was just bigger! It was really great having a chance to catch up with Brian and Holly. I had forgotten how much fun they are! Thanks Brian and Holly!

Friday night was Guys Night Out and a bunch of us (including my brother, Dallas, and my father, Don) headed out on an extended night of debauchery led by none other than Stephan Valle and Daniel Moreno. These two had been talking about this night for about a year now so expectations were high and we were not disappointed. We headed over to the Hard Rock Hotel and got the VIP treatment in Vanity, a nightclub there. I won’t go into details, but it was a LOT of fun and I had no voice when we were done.

Saturday saw the arrival of many a relative and friend for the celebration. Aunt La (a.k.a. Carolyn), Uncle Jim, Uncle Bob, Cousin Scott, Cousin Todd and his belle, Ashleigh Rance, Brother Dallas, Dad, Peg, Marcos Ross, Brian and Holly Sailors, Brendan, James and Guisselle Morrison and sons, Ryan and Josh, Cheryl and Matt Morrison, Sarah Morrison, and , of course, Therese, Devon and Jada. The party was held at Dos Caminos restaurant in the Palazzo Hotel (next to the Venetian). The food was AMAZING! (You should go there) and the cake was INCREDIBLE!

Cheryl Morrison has a friend in Eureka, NV that makes custom cakes. We sent her a photo of a guitar I like and she made a HUGE cake that looked EXACTLY like it! It tasted amazing as well and it was very reasonable! AND Cheryl and Matt brought it all the way from Eureka in the back of their Buick! THANK YOU!!

Following dinner, we all headed over the see the Beatles “Love” Cirque Du Soleil show at the Mirage! SO FUN (as I am an ardent Beatles fan), but I would have liked a little more acrobatic excitement in the show. But we all had a blast!

Sunday was spent eating and eating and Peg treated us to “The Lion King” at Mandalay Bay. The sets and stage work was SO creative! We loved it! Thanks GOGO!

The rest of the week (until we returned late Thursday evening) was spent doing as many fun things around Vegas as we could find to do for FREE (or close to it). We went to Red Rocks and toured all of the casinos to see as many of the free cheesy shows we could find. It was good family fun time.

Then, Thursday morning, I see on Facebook that my cousin and his wife had just landed in a private jet at the Vegas airport! How cool! So we tracked them down, hugged their necks, met, Tim, their apparently wealthy benefactor who had treated them to this trip, and packed our stuff and left!

On the late night drive home, we stopped to help a young kid in a limo broken down on the side of the road. Apparently, he had just purchased this limo and was heading back to L.A. to get his chauffeur’s license and start a business, but, he had failed to get gas in Las Vegas and had run out of gas. He had no idea even how to turn on the flashers in this car as he had only had the car for an hour or so. We got him 2 gallons of gas and sent him on his way. I hope he got enough gas to get him back to L.A.

Anyway, all in all, it was the best birthday EVER!! Let’s do it again next year!

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Bonus!

So, Just she I thought I was done with Music for the day, this one popped into my head while I was writing the Responsorial Psalm for the week. I like it!

In You, Lord, I Have Found My Peace

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Song for a Wedding

So this week the only real musical thing I did was to record a song I will be singing for Therese’s cousin’s wedding Thanksgiving week. Gresel and her beau, David Bigornia, have asked me to sing “Songbird” by Fleetwood Mac.

Originally, of course, they were thinking of the Glee version, but, being as old as I am, I was thinking of Fleetwood Mac. Actually, the version I ended up doing is a lot like the version Duncan Sheik did in the mid-90s.

There’s not a lot of production here. That seems to be my downfall these days. It takes SO LONG to produce a song properly (and that’s assuming I have any idea of how to produce a song “properly”). I find that I have little patience for the process of learning all of the little knobs and wheels required to make the song sound as good as I wanted to. However, I need to learn it.

I think I should dedicate 2 hours a week to sitting in this box and making the songs sound proper. I’m sure will pay off in the future somehow.

Anyway, here’s the version of the song that I sent to Gresel and David. They seem to like it. There are one or 2 pitch problems, I’ll admit, but, it ain’t bad.

Enjoy.

Songbird – Demo

Audio Version: FNRS – 2011-10-30

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Here we go…AGAIN…

So Therese tells me the other day that I have not been blogging enough. She’s right. I have been wrapped up in all kinds of other things and not focusing on music. I know that music is very important to me and so I need to spend more time doing it if I’m going to continue to say that it’s important, right?

Anyway, Therese scheduled me a short amount of time each Sunday morning to blog, so, here goes…

I’m also using DragonDictate to dictate this message instead of typing it myself. I know you probably think that that’s lazy, but it saves me a whole bunch of time. However, it also seems to make a few small errors here and there so, if you see some grammatical or textual error, blame it on Dragon Dictate :-) .

As far as music goes, I’ve been spending some time working with Reason. If you’re not familiar with that program, it’s from a company called Propellerhead and it’s amazing. It’s basically an entire suite of music creation software and has literally thousands of drums, pianos, keyboards, guitars, all kinds of instruments. And, it does pop and dance music very well. So, I’ve been thinking that, instead of doing my usual singer-songwriter guitar playing music, I’d try my hand at maybe a pop song or 2 that my girls can sing. The only problem is, I can sit down with a guitar and knock out a song in an hour, but with Reason it will take a lot longer. So, I’ll upload something soon once I’m proud of it.

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I’m BAAAAACK!

Audio Version: 2011-07-22 I’m Back

Hey friends! I know it’s been a while, and I really have no excuse. I could tell you all about all the things I’ve been doing over the last few months and all of the things that I got busy doing other than music. I could give you a long list of excuses about how I missed my appointed due date for the album, but they all just be… excuses.

So, it’s time to start anew. Since the last time we spoke, I’ve been going to a counselor. I just wanted someone else to help me figure out this problem I seem to have with actually delivering music to myself. I want a great album produced more than anything in the world, except for all the other things I want. :-)

The biggest problem I have now is that I don’t want to produce crap. And so, if I don’t produce anything, it’s still amazing.

My counselor originally set the date for my album debut for October 1, 2011, but, that wasn’t realistic given all my other responsibilities. So, I’ve set the date for March 1, 2012.

I’ve also decided that I’m not going to just sit in my studio alone and figure this out. I’ve actually signed up to audition for “the voice”; that TV show on NBC you may have seen. If you haven’t seen it, you will next season! Why? Because I am going to be on it!

So, I just wanted to give you fair warning. Your good friend Brian will soon be a rockstar!

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It’s been SOOOO LONG!

Hey friends! Yes, It has been nearly 8 months since I’ve posted. Why? Because I’ve been writing and living and forgetting (to post). Anyway, Therese reminded me a few days ago and so I thought I’d post something quick today so that all my loyal fans can stop crying themselves to sleep.

The final date of the bet (April 11, 2011) looms on the horizon. I have a project in place to complete an album of some Church music before the end of this month. So, I will post those songs as I finish them. They will be sold at my church’s soon-to-be-opened gift shop.

So, there will be more posts to come in the following days, so stay tuned!FNRS – 2011-01-10

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Starting Over

Audio Version:  FNRS – Starting Over

Well, friends.  It’s official and I’m sure that my parents nor my wife will disagree.  When it comes to certain aspects of my life, I’m lazy.  As much as I like to pretend it’s not so, I LOVE my comfort zone and I like to stay in it.  But there’s a problem…  Staying in my comfort zone has gotten me exactly the life I have now, which, I must say, ain’t so bad.  So, don’t get me wrong; i’m not complaining.

However, I am saying that If you want something different (like a new album or more success in your business) it’s imperative that you get outside of that comfort zone and experience…well… DISCOMFORT!  But I’m not a big fan of discomfort.  I like the rut that I’m in even though it’s not where my final goal lies.  I like playing with my new iPad.  I like watching documentaries.  I like listening to other people’s music.

What I’m not s BIG fan of is not writing music well.  And, so far, I haven’t written anything that I would consider GREAT!  Now, I have written some stuff that I’m proud of and, it seems, other people have been proud of me for those writings, but, I really want to find a way to enjoy the process.

I LOVE it when the process is over.  I LOVE it when I can sing the finished song and move people.  I LOVE THAT!!!  And, so far in my life, I have settled with singing songs written by others because there’s really no risk in whether people are going to like those songs.  Plus, I like those songs so, even if no one else liked them, I could be happy knowing that I sang them well and that I liked them.

But this is new territory.  Whenever I have written a song before, those songs were COMPLETE surprises to me and to my family, so, it was all gravy.  Now, however, people are expecting an album by April 18th, 2011.  And that expectation is pulling me out of my comfort zone.  I’m uncomfortable because I don’t want to disappoint you all.  I don’t want to disappoint myself.  I want you all to hear the album and have it change your life forever.  I want it to move you so much that you’ll remember for the rest of your lives where you were when you first heard my songs.  I want this album to be THAT GREAT!!  Right now, I’m not contented with giving you my best, but THE BEST!  I think that maybe I need to lower my standards a bit.

So, I realize that, as of today, it has been more than a month since this journey began and all I’ve done is talk.  Well, you won’t be hearing as much of my ramblings as before as I am newly committing myself to being a more productive writer, worker, husband, father, person as of this very minute!

I WILL be posting more music.  I WON’T be using you all as my personal Psychologists.

It’s time to get to work!

I will, however, be uploading some past samples of my work for your thoughts and comments.  I WANT you to be honest and up front with me about what you hear and feel with this music.  It’s not all Mozart, of course, but I want to know what you think.

So, welcome to the first day of the rest of my life.

Song Sample #1:  01 See the Son (Dan’s Song) Dan’s Song.  My Uncle Dan was diagnosed with Liver Cancer last year around Halloween, I think.  He emailed me to ask me to write him a song for his funeral.  I was a little intimidated by that, but this is the song that I came up with.

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The House in Maao

Audio Version: FNRS – Day 17

OMG!!! I’ve just come from one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to with some of the most beautiful and fun people I know!

My wife’s Tito Nebo owns a construction company in Bacolod and is a very wealthy man. Sure, in American dollars he wouldn’t even come close to the richest lists of Forbes, but for his community, he’s phat!!!! Anyway, he recently completed construction on a HUGE home (by ANY standard) in the hills of Maao. The home is situated on 3 acres halfway between the Canla-on volcano and the water, each about 20 miles from the property. The home, which has 8 bedrooms and 6 baths, a 30,000 gallon pool fed by a local cold spring, a gazebo perfect for the local rock band to perform and surrounded by sugar cane fields, affords the most incredible views I’ve ever seen!! It was like a scene from Jurassic Park without all those pesky dinosaurs!!

We stayed there for 2 days vacillating between eating, drinking (Pepsi, 7-up, & San Miguel beer), playing guitars and singing, swimming, riding the ATV around the sugar cane fields, and eating some more.  Tito Nebo had hired a masseuse to come out to Maao with the family and perform as many massages as possible.  So this guy performed dozens of 2 1/2 HOUR massages over the 2 days we were there sleeping only a total of 1 1/2 hours the whole time!  Shoot!  I finished MY massage at 1:30 AM and was followed by my cousin CJ who didn’t finish his massage until 4 AM!  So, when you think of vacationing in a beautiful place, this should come to mind.

But, I must say, the home and the amenities were NOTHING compared to the INCREDIBLE beauty of the place.  The scenery is STAGGERING!!  The volcano is immense and radiates an energy that is intoxicating.  You’d have to be in a coma to not feel it!  And, as if that weren’t enough, turn 180 degrees from the views of the volcano and there’s the water!  UNREAL!

The second day, my daughter, Devon, and I went out to the local waterfall with a bunch of relatives.  The falls were about 40 feet high and flowing with VERY COLD water; maybe 50 degrees fahrenheit.  It was gorgeous!!  We had to hike for about 10 minutes in flip-flops (which was quite a feat), but it was worth it!!  We only stayed for 30 minutes or so, but it was unforgettable!

So then, I thought, why don’t I have songs brimming up to the surface?  Why aren’t they just JUMPING out of me?  Do I fear this SO MUCH that I can stifle them even now?  I guess so.  Frankly, I’m just scared that nothing I could possibly write could EVER capture…  THIS!  This transcendent feeling.

I want so badly to be able to convey EXACTLY what I’m feeling.  The problem is, I MUST get over the fact that it will NEVER be perfect.  I want EVERY song to be nothing less than “Yesterday” or the “9th Symphony”.  NOTHING LESS!  How do I let go of that need for perfection?  I know I must figure that out or I will forever stem the flow.

I guess I need to be willing to experience the CRAP!  I need to allow the brown water that has been sitting in the rusty pipe of my creativity to flow out first before the purity begins to flow.

Well, I’ll apologize to you all right now that you’re going to have to be a part of experiencing the crap with me.  :)

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