Thursday, June 30, 2005


I'm getting a little burned-out. Something's got to give!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


We've got rehearsal tonight, might be the only one before Friday's show in Eustis. I've been working on the "Star-Spangled Banner", which I think would be cool to do with Bunky singing - we'll have to practice the unison parts.

Every day has been spent doing some promotion for the album, not so much at once because it's a huge job and I've got to pace myself.

Speaking of which.....

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Open For Suggestions

It's true that today, many kids don't realize that places like Disneyland and Walt Disney World are actually creations of a real man. And there are those who know who kindly Uncle Walt was, and they believe that he was a cartoonist who actually drew his creations and later turned to television and theme parks.

The truth of the matter is, Walt was an idea guy, but he called upon others to do the actual work. Nothing bad about that, as Clint Eastwood once said through clenched teeth "a man's got to know his limitations", and Walt certainly knew that he was no excellent draftsman, nor was he a carpenter or an electrician or any of those things, though he considered himself a filmmaker and actually did shoot a number of films. Walt knew his limitations and was always open to suggestions, which is why he surrounded himself with the sort of talented folk that he could delegate tasks to. His vision was solid, he knew what he wanted to achieve; but as one man, he lacked the skills to bring it all to magical life.

Within the band (and on this blog) I've made it clear that whereas I'm a songwriter and play dulcimer okay, I'm not a bassist or a trumpeteer or a drummer, nor do I have all of the necessary songwriting tools in my bag of tricks. But I do have a vision of what the Mohave sound is all about. So, keeping that vision in sight, when someone suggests something, I'm usually wide open to it; nothing's carved in stone.

This policy has recently extended to music reviewers over at - many of whom are musicians and have excellent critique for our songs. Many of them don't "get" the vision, and I acknowledge their comments without feeling the burning need to make changes to our songs. But some of them have very insightful things to say and I take them to heart.

Over the years, I've heard many comments about "Black Indian", most of them good, because you know, no-one really likes to walk up and tell someone that something they did sucked ass. But when placed in a situation where critique is welcomed, I've heard one thing from several people: the chorus hook needs to be mixed up a little bit. As it stands, this is the chorus:

trying to find my way in America (4x)

For the longest time, "Black Indian" was a difficult song for me to sing, in an odd range full of sustained notes that I wasn't really comfortable attempting. Lately, since my singing has improved (because I've been attentive to the process), I feel more confident with the tune. I agree that the chorus should be changed up a bit, instead of me singing the same thing four times. What more can I offer that hasn't been covered in this already emotional song? I'll be thinking about that over the next few days, and then I plan to implement some kind of change during next week's rehearsals. Thanks to "haystacker" for the insight!

Last rehearsal brought another song into the foreground that I hadn't thought about in ages. I was strumming a chord and Bunky and John both came in with some nice, moody touches. Randy chimed in on bass and I recognized the tune as an old number called "Arizona Twilight". Stepping to the mic, I sang this incredibly emotional song about an old friend of my mother's who was killed by a drunk driver. I think the band was of the idea that this was all being made up on the spot (Bunky gets this look on her face when I do something totally unexpected, she keeps playing, but she's looking at me like "whoa, where'd that come from?" She's so adorable!), I honestly don't recall what J.D. was doing with it because I had sunk down deep into the song for the first time in years; it all came flooding back. When we had finished (this was our first tune of the evening and by the end, I was emoting so dramatically that I became breathless), Bunky lowered her trumpet and said "what was that? did you write that?" and I told them about the tune, what inspired it and why it had suddenly popped into my head. I think we can do a lot with it and I'm looking forward to including it in our repertoire:

just a child, just a small inspired child
looking up to you, you treated momma well
mind sends pictures, big man, big smile
shiny badge and gun, with a heart

blue-red lights, a black and white
pulled up to our door, there you were
sometimes in uniform, sometimes civilian
always a light in my momma's eyes

memories of a seargent

borne away on the road
motor-home breaks down, your family waits
Arizona twilight cried upon the sight
with a flare as your candle in the night

twin beams caught you in the cross-fire
intoxicated maniac aiming for the flame
the ones that loved you dearly
stood helpless on that highway
an explosion rocked the sky, they screamed your name

memories of a seargent

my momma remembers, I do too
all we could've said are just unspoken words
the force came out to honor you
they buried you that day
it took one year to hear the news
it took one year today

memories of a seargent

I try in vain to pull the knife
and I curse the man who took your life
took your life away

I'm getting choked up just typing the words, you can imagine how intense it is when it's being performed. This is going to be a firecracker - and a song that I'll always preface by condemning drunk driving.

Friday, June 24, 2005


And after I plugged the drive back in, all was well. Sheeesh.


Last night's rehearsal was shakin', man. We alternate between running through songs that we know, to keep them tight, and working through songs new to the band, in order to bring 'em to the table. We probably have about three and a half to four hours of material under our belts, which means we can break out with the Bruce Springsteen-sized set if so inspired.

Today would be just another day of sending out press kits and MP3 files to various radio stations and magazines, but one of my external hard drives is suddenly on the fritz; the one with all of our promotional materials on board.

After cursing loudly for a minute or so, I sent some positive energy over to it and gave the unit a once-over. I'm thinking maybe it's a power cord. I'm hoping it's not the drive itself that's gone wankers on me. There are plenty of data recovery companies out there, so I'm not worried - it's the inconvenience of it all. We simply can't afford unreasonable costs at this point, but as it is a business thang - we need to get this drive up and running. And soon.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Garageband News

Two tracks from clear blue trickling have been voted "Track Of The Day" over at

"Ring-A-Ding" will be prominently featured on the main Americana page Monday, June 27th. That's crazy-good visibility on a site that gets hundreds of thousands of hits every day!

"Gold Trails Hotel" will be on the Folk main page Wednesday, June 29th. "Track Of The Day" is based upon above-average ratings from reviewers. If you haven't been to - check it out - it'd be nice to win a $250,000 recording deal, but I think we can get along fine without it. Don't let J.D. hear that.

I'm mailing out the first review copies today; a radio station in upstate New York, a couple of podcasting stations, one local website. I'm being very careful about not springing all of our ping-pong balls at once. Just a little at a time.

I'm looking forward to rehearsal this evening - the last rehearsal was, okay I'm a cheeseball, but they keep getting better and better. The step where we were at before was an excellent place to be, because it was a step above what came before it. When our stock's going up, how can I not be happy? And we just have a damn fun time too, so it's a great time to just be "us."

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Just Like Back In The Day

Back in 1994, I worked as an online content producer for the Prodigy Service, one of the "Big Three" online services at that point which also included Compuserve and, of course, America Online. MSN had still yet to debut as the "fourth network" and the web hadn't been quite commercialized yet; there was no instant messaging or chatrooms. Just a bunch of bulletin boards.

There were so many bulletin boards that, like web sites, you could easily spend all day leaping from place to place in order to write and exchange experiences with the other subscribers. Then along came a piece of software called the BB Newsreader or something like that. With one push of a button, it would go to all the boards you frequented, download the latest notes and threads, bring them back to you and you went to town replying and writing. All in one spot. You can see why it was immensely popular and the concept of it is very similar to the bits of software that you use to collect blogs and podcasts (which are basically audioblogs). As news aggregators and podcast receivers begin to receive healthy mention, it might be a good idea to examine the wave as it begins to crest over us. That's the way it is with technology. Some advances are swells and everyone sort of rises with them at the same time. Breakthroughs produce competition-style waves, with everyone fighting for space; the users fight to master the hardware and/or software while the developers fall all over themselves trying to create the most ergnonomic platform with which to surf the wave. (Why isn't there just one type of browser?)

I know. What the flip does this have to do with Nowhere, or the band, or even fiddlesticks in China?

Well, as I've been going about the promotion for clear blue trickling, it's become clear to me that the wave of the future, one that will be easily surfable by just about anybody, has to do with how we receive our media. The phone's been morphing into the t.v. which has been morphing into the home computer which has been morphing into thin air and morphing with eyeglasses, for crying out loud. We are assuming more and more control over our environment, over what we listen to and when and how. Personal systems appeal to the individual in us all, the one that is increasingly trying to get within itself. I mention all of this because we're living in a very intense time. It's a time of great stress, of re-awakening, of waking from a dream and realizing that your pants are on fire and that everything you know is wrong. In the mud but never of the mud.

People are rejecting all that's been forced upon them by corporate culture and are seeking the underground, especially through their media. And people are tired of paying good money for crap, basically. They know that there's a lot of real music out there, all they have to do is look hard enough and they'll find it, call it theirs, join the countercultural revolution. And for the moment, that revolution is the MP3.

So I'm sending them out like a nutcase, and learning a lot about the nature of the techno-forest. It's a trip, I tell you. It's a trip.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Hang On!

Friday's show at The Bamboo Room was like some sort of freaky dream. Cutting to the chase - I had intended to go up there and keep the groove rolling until a suitable point for taking a break. But when the set was over, turns out that they were only expecting us to play for two hours and we had burned along 30 minutes past that with what we thought was our first set! Without barely breaking a sweat (okay, I lie, I was soaked to the bone), we were prepared to go back up there and keep going, but management said, "you did more than you had to." Nice to hear. But we wanted to go up there and play some more!

And it was weird, like musicus interruptus, to have paced myself and saved something for later, only to find that we weren't going to be playing any more. After saying "we'll be right back", I realized that we wouldn't - and that I hadn't gotten closure. See, when we perform, I like to acknowledge the audience as part of the whole affair - we're the car, we'll carry you there, but the audience is the engine - they're what drives us to perform, it's not just about us, we could be about "us" in the rehearsal space. What really makes each show special is that we share it with a group of people. Some we know, some we've just met. In any case, I like to keep a connection going, and when we're finished playing, I thank them, thank the venue, thank anyone who needs thanking and send them on their way with well wishes and positive thoughts. But this time, not knowing we were finished, I left off with "we'll be right back", which left me feeling sort of awkward.

The band was incredible - Bunky went off like fireworks; I love it when she improvises into the stratosphere, her scat on "Ring-A-Ding" was world class, but then again - she's Bunky. Randy was a monster as usual, taking a wicked, growly solo at one point. John laid in solid support on vocals and everything else he touched. I thought J.D. did fantastic - turns out later on he tells me that he was just about to fall off his stool because we went so long. Every time I looked at him, though, he was looking fit to swim to Australia!

So, we hung out and sold several copies of clear blue trickling, signed some cool folks up for the mailing list and heard a lot of "you're not going back up? that's what we're waiting for", which is just mind-blowing to hear. I don't know how to act around that, it's so humbling - so glory to God for gifts of music!

Got to hang out with Russell, the owner, for a long while earlier in the day and it was awesome. He's such a knowledgeable, interesting, down-to-earth guy, and he LOVES some music - his love borders on the Divine there. It was just a treat to make that connection.

When you play The Bamboo Room, they put you up in a block of rooms at a cute litle apartment building across the street from the block that the club is on. Reminds me a little of the "Three's Company" complex, an "L" shape with a little courtyard filled with plants and trees, chairs and an umbrella table (and a grill that we need to use one of these days.) It's ritual now to hang out there after the show, and then meet there again and commune in the morning over coffee and pastries. The best part of our road trips, aside from getting to play this music we've created together, is the hang-time that we get to spend with our dear friends, getting to know one another, enjoying the time given to us, this break away from the machinery of That Fleeting Life. It is its own reward.

And The Reviews Are Coming In!

clear blue trickling is already making a splash on where we've got a few tracks in the ongoing contest over there. Our Garage Page shows some of the reviewing history of the band (we've been there since the site debuted six years ago), but there's never been a response like the one that "Ring-A-Ding" is getting now. It's been voted "Track Of The Day" and is currently #32 on the Americana charts. It will hold this honor on Monday, June 27th and will be displayed on the Americana main page for 24 hours. "Ring-A-Ding" also received several reviewer awards in the Americana categories of Best Male Vocals, Best Female Vocals, Best Keyboards, Best Production and Most Original for the week of June 20th! Thank you to those reviewers, for all of the positive and negative, which was actually rendered as constructive criticism.

The "Amplified Podcast" this week features "Come On With Me" during episode #6. This whole podcasting thing has really blown up, and though it's heartily predicted that the "fadness" of it all will wear off eventually, the concept or something like it will be a trend to watch. Making your own music choices based on an incredible pool of resources. I like it. I like it so much that I now have a podcast called All Florida Indies which is exactly what it sounds like. On the first show, "Ring-A-Ding" is in the middle block of songs. Nepotism rocks.

Things are getting crazy - and we're big on the marketing wagon right now trying to let the world know about clear blue trickling while making the final decisions about what duplicating service we're going to use and whether we'll have an eight-page or a six-page booklet inside. These are the tough choices.

Thursday, June 16, 2005


Took a look at Whole Wheat Radio and Green Dragon, noticing that a lot of these podcasters will not play music by RIAA artists. So, this is truly a rebellion against the majors, and the majors are gonna lose!

Welcome To The Future

Man, the internet is big.

And things sure have changed with music distribution since I started in this biz over twenty years ago. I've been popping around the web looking for places to plant mp3's from clear blue trickling and there's no shortage of them.

Traditional broadcast radio and the record industry have been threatened by new developments in technology and the tastes of listeners, but it's looking even more dire now as people switch to so-called "pay-radio" services like satellite radio or take control of their listening experiences by subscribing to podcasts or buying their songs piecemeal at the number of sites that are springing up online. For a band, this is good, yet daunting, news. The good news is, you can promote your album without ever having to leave the house. One particular site, HELLTHY Entertainment, actually serves as a sort of distribution channel for podcasters and music fans to pull from; a channel that bands can pour themselves into. Check out this page. As you can see, Mohave's been here.

We're still going to send review copies out to traditional sources, broadcast radio, paper publishing, etc. - but this whole other network is the wave of the future for music. Pretty soon, they'll be able to pipe it right into our brains......

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

It Starts

The more I hear it, the more I think it's done. I do think it's good. (Hello Crimson Fans.) And with that came some sort of huge relief that the birthing was really over.

David had a tweak that he wanted to look at, everyone's got their "well, this could probably be a little higher or a little lower" and their "we could to this forever" so they "well, it's all good, let's get on with it" and you know that the baby's sliding out towards the bright light at the end of the tunnel. Welcome to the world, now hang on for dear life, because we want everyone to hear you.

So I sent some songs out to some podcasts.

It's part of that bold new wave that's gripped us 21st century pilgrims of technology and spun us into a level of connectivity and community development that has been written about in sci-fi, but only now fully realized. Life imitating art, man.

So, I'm happy to announce that "Come On With Me", from clear blue trickling, will be featured on the "Amplified Podcast", Episode #6 which will be available for download this weekend. That's wicked cool.

Most people I know have sort of turned their backs on radio; they're into something different than what the corporate label-owned stations are pimping. Internet and Satellite - regulation free, for the moment. We want to be on every iPod, everywhere, somewhere! And with today's connectivity, people sending music through e-mails to your phone and whatnot, sheesh.

All that's left up to that point is a way to surf the channels, get around-round-round, and be visible. Therein lies the rub!

In any case, if you haven't begun to explore the world of podcasting, give it a shot this week. I think you'll like it.

Waiting for the results....

As far as I'm concerned, the first album is done.

Of course, I had to settle that last tickling conflict, so I re-tracked some of the vocals on "Positive Vibes" and put everyone's notes on the disc into play at David's. Now, with something of a relief rush, I'm absolutely 100% thrilled with clear blue trickling.

I dished out copies to everyone last night along with the newest designs for the album liners. Rehearsal was intense, the summer heat has come on with a vengeance that's more Jamaica-hot than Orlando-hot and not even the faithful air-conditioner in our practice space could take the edge off of the humidity. That and a busy workweek had us moving a little slower, but still intent on getting the most out of the time, which was spent working out parts of songs and sweating like marathon runners.

Once everyone signs off on this version of the disc, it'll be time to take the next step, which is sending the whole package, music and design, to a manufacturer of our choice. We're getting closer.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

An Extraordinary Friday

We rehearsed on Friday this week, another way of trying to make schedules meet up in our ever-increasingly crazy paths. So, knowing there was no work to get up for the next day, we laid in slow and casual, still with a head full of work to accomplish.

*sigh* I love this band.

And God bless 'em, they're all fresh and ready for the next wave, even while they all put in incredible hours throughout the framework of their lives; the container that is their lives. Work, school, home, family, somewhere in there, leisure, all bundled together with this thing that we've got, which is part work, and part school, part home and part family, most definitely part leisure and sometimes even part sex and part fantasy. All wrapped up in one big taco. That's one hell of a taco.

We're all agreeing that the CD sounds great - the two instrumental dulcimer tracks could come down in overall volume, and David's requested that I keep an ear out for track to track changes. This would mean that the next session will put the lock-down on our work and send us off into the next phase of production, which is duplication and printing. What company to go through for our CD packages? Discmakers, Discmasters, DiskFaktory, there's no shortage of resources out there. But which is the best one?
That and I've got to finish designing the inside booklet.

Anyway - rehearsal was a smash, the vocals were strong across the board, our dynamics sound and assured. We talked about our game plan for The Bamboo Room next week and what kind of crowd we might be expecting. Fortunately, as an Americana band (which basically means we're musical mutts), we can work the spectrum of styles depending on the audience, but eventually, we'll do something that's maybe outside of one's preference. There aren't many bands who can rock with the best of them, and then go and play country standards for senior citizens. I love bands like Gargamel! to death, but I'd like to see them play a home and gardens show!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Feel It

we're living in a program
final exam
hoping to be spared a God damn

it's so real, you can't believe it
that you managed to achieve it
with a game plan

I see how we want to be remembered
I see how we prepare to fly


look into these eyes, don't blink
what do you see
brave the connection
look into these eyes, don't blink
you must remember me
brave the connection
brave the resurrection

taking a picture of the essence
begins to make sense
how come we're always on the defense?

camera sees what we're denying
but no-one's buying
you've got to live it like you're dying

I see how we want to be remembered
I see how we prepare to go

Copyright © 2005 J.O.B. Entertainment Inc.
All rights reserved.

I had hoped that David would have a few hours spare today before the whole band got together and worked out what would effectively, should effectively be the final night of tweaks. In theory, we'd all get a CD from this and listen to it for the next week, to be sure that we've got what it is that we think we've got. As he said today, "we could work on this album forever", as he was finding yet another cool little thing to throw into the mix. It's been through recording clear blue trickling that I've matured as a perfomer, and that has a lot to do with the trust that I have in David Schweizer.

There were a couple of little notes that I had from the last burn, but I also wanted to re-track the vocals on "Black Indian" and "See You Next Wednesday." I'm glad that I did. Just wasn't feeling the other ones, and "Positive Vibes" is borderline, but at least it's got some style. The other two song tracks were spotty, so I basically filled in the holes, because my attempts at recording enough tracks to cover the basics, sort of ended up where it needed to be. Coooool.

And again I marvel at Randy's bass playing - he is the secret weapon, sort of like Tom Petersson with Cheap Trick. How do you think Rick Nielsen could afford to costume change, guitar switch and throw picks into the audience? Tom Petersson! Though it looks as if he's hanging back way loose, this guy, co-inventor of the instrument that he plays, 12-string bass, is back there holding down the bass and the guitar leads, he's a one-man friggin' band. So's Randy - really, the architect of Mohave. So we have, the Medicine Man, The Architect - who next?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Are We There Yet?

Everyone's had clear blue trickling for a week, soaking it up and making notes about the final adjustments. Jae and I listened to it while on vacation in Key West and while we were down there, solidified our next gig at The Bamboo Room. We love The Bamboo Room; last time we were there, they spoiled us to the point of endangering our appreciation for any other club on Earth. Yep, that good.

Upon arriving back in Orlando, I consulted with everyone and then headed back into the studio with David to massage some of the audio snippets that had been laid into the framework of the album. As we wrapped up the three-hour session, the threat of rumbling thunder began to sound outside the windows and David, burning down a mix of the latest version of our record, said "uh-oh" and urged the burn to move faster. I kept positive thoughts in my head as we watched the fuel gauge go from 40% to 48% to......I couldn't look at it anymore, the suspense was killing me and the thunder began rocking the building as nearby strikes crashed and zapped. When the on-screen indicator got to 99%, the studio power winked out and I just had to laugh.

Sometimes, you just have to.

He tried to get the PC up and running again to check if maybe the burn had indeed finished, but another nearby strike and a succeeding loss of power convinced us that maybe it was just a "sign" to go ahead and leave off for the day. I said a prayer that our data was alright. We have tentative plans to re-enter the studio with full band either tonight or tomorrow to make our final changes. Then, we will be ready to duplicate in force.

After picking Jae up from work, I headed to rehearsal, the first one in almost two weeks. Life's been poking at us all, but we were ecstatic to be together in the same room again, even though the P.A. we'd been using was nowhere to be seen. We jerry-rigged a sound system and proceeded to jam some new music including the tune that I wrote in Key West, "Pool Of Serenity."

For once, I was very happy with my voice - a lot of singing has to do with simply being comfortable, and I've become more and more so around these four people because we're all in the same boat for various reasons. Assured, and more than a little pissed at myself for allowing fear to dictate how I sing, I fearlessly ripped into songs like "April Fools", "The Irish In Me" and "Got Your Back Charlie" with a clear, focused voice presence (not in the back of the throat, but centered around my vocal cords), plenty of air support and an ability to sustain long notes that made even Bunky turn around and go "I've never heard you do that before." It was encouraging - and as John once said to me: the more confident the lead singer is, the more confident the band will be as well. Harmonies with Bunky and Randy were angelic. The mood overall was very light-hearted and there was a hilarious exchange where we all decided to try alternate endings to "April Fools" before deciding that we'd maybe rotate endings at some point in time.

This month's Connections Magazine has a press release and picture about the two albums and an ad that I designed announcing the release of clear blue trickling. The group was much impressed by the coverage, of which this is only the trickling start. The blitz is about to begin in full-force, which makes this time in life "the calm before the storm."

Thursday, June 02, 2005

When Inspiration Falls

Waiting out a bit of the wet here in Key West. It's supposed to be gray and slick on the road back to Orlando, so Jae and I are planning on a long, slow slag up the Turnpike. It's been a blissful week and continues to be. We just booked a sweet gig (details to come), and we'll be going in for the final final mix sometime next week, if schedules permit.

It's really coming down out there. A complete 180-degrees from the blue skies and light breezes of our first couple of days here. Picture postcard material. But as the nature of all things is comprised of delicate opposites that result in balance, with every still, sunny day comes a turbulent, rainy one, right?

On one of these blissfully still and sunny days, a song presented itself to me in the form of a falling piece of fruit. It must've been minutes after contemplating a mango and a swimming pool that words and melody fell into my head. So I ran and got the dulcimer from our suite and came back downstairs to work out the first little bits:

Pool of serenity
you sure look good to me
sun kisses your ripples
and I long for you

Realizing immediately that somewhere at some point, people would begin substituting "nipples" for "ripples", but sa la vie.