Friday, July 29, 2005

Back In Action

I got a call from Randy this morning, he and Ann are back from their wedding journey to Bali and he's eager to get rip-roarin' after the break. Funnily enough, Jae got a call from Les Kippel as she was about to board a plane in Baltimore, inviting Mohave to be on the Jambando line-up for August 12th at Hard Rock Live. Also on the bill would be The SEAD, The Goldminers and our dear friends in snackdaddy. We know all the bands and have jammed with them on bills before, so it should be a right friendly evening of music!

Speaking of Hard Rock Live - I'll be there tonight shooting video for Cadillac Recipe. I've been getting a lot of band shoots of late, which is fantastic, because I enjoy it much more than I enjoy making promotional commercials for themed attractions (not that it ain't fun, but my heart's more in the music, obviously.)

I demo'd a tune today called "You Can't Make Me Love You", written in 2001, I think - very jazzy, though a friend said it bordered on being like, Monkees-Jazz, which is pretty damn cool to ponder. These days, I'm writing songs simply to write songs, and where ever they may be used is where they'll go!

I recorded all of the music using the Roland Fantom, adjusted the levels and then exported it into Apple Garageband. The vocals were recorded directly into Garageband with a little bit of reverb splashed on. Let me know what you think! I'm just a songwriting fool these days. : ) But I'm looking forward to jamming again - you don't have to push any buttons to get all the right combinations and special guest stars figure into the mix.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Singing of new tunings

I added a link to Mountain Dulcimer 1-3-5, which extolls the virtues of a relatively new tuning to the instrument that allows for use of all 12 tones in the western musical scale. It doesn't allow for droning, but then, I chord mostly, so this will be interesting, open up a few more musical doors in terms of mood and whatnot.

Mailed off a couple more packages this week - feeling sort of "meh" today.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Girl From Israel and more...

I think I'm going to write a song about this girl from Israel that I was talking with today on ICQ. Her view of the United States was a fearful one, but I asked her if she was afraid of Palestinians and she said "yes", but still had a feeling that something horrible was taking place with America. She's on my contact list, perhaps we'll have a chance to talk again (and I say "perhaps" because, as Amy Steinberg said in one of her songs, "tomorrow is an assumption" - was that "Run, Don't Walk"?).

Our page on MySpace has been getting hit bunches lately. This is a cool place, it's sort of like crack for some folks.

Mohave music is also now available to podcasts via Podshow, which is a pretty nifty site that's in beta testing right now, check it out!

Jae is back from her rockstar tour of the country for the weekend - we're going to watch "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" on DVD and maybe go see the new one tomorrow. Maybe. You know, the whole "tomorrow" thing. London. Egypt. Orlando? You just. Never. Know.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Our first official review!

Big thanks to Ben Gardener over at for placing us in the listings over there as well as giving us our first official review!

When an album can take you on a journey, and make you feel like you've experienced more than you've felt, you have something worthwhile and remarkable. This is precisely what Mohave has accomplished with their newest album "Clear Blue Trickling".

How cool is that? Read more by clicking the link above.

In distantly related news, The All Florida Indies podcast was mentioned over at Insomnia Radio today and urged to join up with the Association of Music Podcasting. Thanks Jason!

It's been quite a day, I've been busier than a team mascot at a playoff game. With Randy and Ann still out of town, the rest of the band has been able to go full steam ahead with other areas of life, the real job, the house, perhaps a smidge of social life here and there. But we're all anxious to get back into the swing of things. Except, perhaps, Randy and Ann, who are kicking back on a beach somewhere in Bali!

Monday, July 18, 2005


It's been non-stop here at Dark Studios, so much to do! clear blue trickling will be available through CD Baby, which in turn will make the record available to an amazing list of digital distribution centers including Apple iTunes, Rhapsody, Napster, MSN Music, MP3tunes, AOL's MusicNet, Yahoo MusicMatch and more! We've signed up and are shipping the first CDs out to their warehouse, branded with our very own UPC bar code. Woot!

Jae set up a database for the album so we can keep track of the webzines, print magazines, podcasts, internet radio stations and newspapers that we've sent it out to. Every day, I submit a few more MP3s and get a few more addresses and package a few more press kits to go into the mail. With the final mastered copy in hand (yay!), we're set to go into the duplication phase here; we're still pricing companies and packages, making adjustments to the album artwork and so-forth.

In the meantime - wait a second, there is no meantime, it's ALL THE TIME!

More news to follow.....

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Set-up for a column

I see a column forming in this circumstance!

I noticed that J.D. had commented in his blog about Saturday night, and I posted a comment over there - but in short, without creating too much drama, I'm not terribly concerned with what people think of my performance of the song (which is why the demo sounds the way it does, I've changed much of it since then, added chorale harmonies and re-tracked the vocals) - the vibe I was getting had more to do with the fact that I had put it together without the band. It's the same kind of vibe I got when I demo'd "Sanctuary". Sort of a "well, you're a one-man band, what do you need us for?" kind of vibe (that was actually spoken in jest by our old drummer.) It's obvious to me that the band sounds a hell of a lot better than anything that I demo, for the record. Since I'm not performing with Mohave for the money (even though it's great money and getting better all the time, thanks to Jae's hard work and our show, which continues to develop and improve), I know that most of my earnings will come from work that I do for other people, video, songs, jingles, sound design, whatever. This summer I plan on putting myself through "Songwriting Boot Camp", with hopes to churn out a song a week. I'll then post the songs on and see the responses that I get. Since I've forsaken listening to most music for the past ten years, I'm getting a re-education on production techniques and what kinds of things people like.

So what was missing, more than anything on Saturday, was any feedback. I'm looking to sell "Monsters" - I'm thinking commercial, but infusing it with the sound I've been working to develop since 1984. If I had my way, Mohave would always be around making music, with our current line-up and not some studio session players. But of course, that's up to everyone else. I'll not be the one to call it quits on Mohave - but I will be continuing to write songs with intentions to sell them to other artists. Obviously, that kind of methodology doesn't fit with Mohave's spiritually upbeat and laid-back groove and maybe that's what I was sensing. In any case - if it was a big enough deal, I'd make it so. But like I said, I think there are other circumstances that should be addressed at some point.

Now, off to the post office to ship eight more press kits! To Pennsylvania, the Netherlands, Sweden, Canada and Spain!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

On Rehearsal The Other Night

I spent a good portion of yesterday working on finishing the "Monsters" demo which I had brought to our get-together on Saturday. To me, it was just another of the demos that I regularly churn out so that the band can get an idea of what I'm going for with a particular song.

When I played it though, the reaction was, to say the least, odd. On some counts anyway - but as a whole, it seemed a bit polarizing. I'm puzzled, but not too highly concerned. As I've learned with this music, you just can't make everyone happy, so focus on the ones that accept what you do!

I won't go into details, but it was a good night overall, some great jams and wonderful food, good company (some friends came over to share in the munchies and music) - the kind of days and nights that we live for. It just ended sort of abruptly and awkward after I played the demo. I suppose I'm wondering "why?"

Monday, July 11, 2005

Birth Of A Song

This time around it was more like God threw me a football. Easy pass. "Go Long." 'Twas the day after 7/7 (just another in a parade of numbers - some countries lose track of the dates, but somewhere, somebody's keeping a list) and had been promising to sit down and do some intense songwriting during the band break. Intense not only because I was going to really sit down and do it with much determination, but because there were some really intense subjects to explore this year, and though I like singing happy-tree music, I keep a balance by writing whacked-out stuff like "Monsters At The Garden Wall."

Being mindful of the self-imposed challenge of writing tunes under five minutes in length, I hearkened back to the days of slave chants when the workers would sing as they did what slaves do. Massa always thought they was just singin', workin' folk, but the slaves were actually singing in code, making plans for their escape and expressing well-disguised contempt for their white slaveowners. Many years later, as that music developed into the blues, the code-speak would continue in an era that saw prohibition, the rise in popularity of marijuana and more songs of dissatisfaction towards authority and The Man.

"Monsters" is filled with code, and as it came gushing out in colorful spurts, you have to think of someone riding one of those big-ass brahma bulls with the huge horns and the big neck flap flying back and forth, crazy eyes, crazy maux-faux on the back, and when a song idea comes swooping in from wha-fu, you have to hop on its back and ride it, or it gets away from you. That's why so many musicians go running and scrambling over themselves (and you, if you're laying in bed next to one) to jot down bits of music, hum into tape recorders, sing into their cel phones, etc. Keith Richards reportedly got the lick for "Satisfaction" in his sleep. Woke up and grabbed a guitar to lock it down for all eternity. We should all be so receptive.

So anyway - it works on a lot of different levels, and I was careful to allow that vagueness so that you paint your own picture. I guess it's rock, or it could be pop, I dunno, I'm open to suggestions, so I made a demo.

I'm a Mac user (we rock!) and there's a program called Garageband (not to be confused with that's a sound application where you can combine instrument loops with your own recorded sounds and MIDI input to create songs. Easy-to-use, comes with a lot of neat built-in effects, some of which sound even better than what I'm playing through on-stage (a Line 6 Spyder - for anyone who cares. It's a piece. Never again.)

To set a groove, I took a drum pattern and pasted it repeatedly into the timeline and then worked out the dulcimer part, found a really nice and crunchy sound. Tracked separate tracks for left and right dulcimers with a track of lead dulcimer. Put in and layered some different drum patterns to change things up a bit. I love working with loops - I don't spend a lot of time trying to program patterns (on the other hand, about a million other people have used those drums. I dunno. They sound cool. Laid in some keyboard bass and about fourteen tracks of voices, cymbals and other assorted production muckery and came up with this.

Bing Futch - Demo DuJour - 01 - Monsters At The Garden Wall (Remix).mp3 (3.5MB 3:53)

I did everything pretty much first take - the vocals were a pain in the ass, but I'm not shying away from that challenge either. But I am looking for input on the song itself, the lyrics, the melody, the mood, the hook, that sort of thing. Just c-n-s, let me know what you think.

I'm at a point where I've basically accepted the fact that not everyone's gonna like this stuff, so I should just focus on a groove and stay there. And that's what I'm doin', especially on my summer vacation, which I guess is a lot more like "workation."

Saturday, July 09, 2005


Monsters At The Garden Wall

I watch a falling star
land right where you are
at your feet

you say it's getting late
there are monsters at the
garden wall
so far to fall

you don't scare me
I'm not amused
you must surely have me confused
with someone else
someone who could be you

there's nothing in my heart
that won't survive the war
of words and colors flown
of broken records, skulls and bones

to kill me you must kill my soul
to frighten, you must have control
control is sugar in your hands
falls from the fist, falls to the ants

you don't scare me
I'm not amused
you must surely have me confused
with someone else
someone who could be you


wouldn't you tell me if you had another life?
wouldn't you kill me if I had another life?
wouldn't it thrill me then just to be alive?

music - july 8
words - july 9
copyright © 2005 J.O.B. Entertainment Inc. - All Rights Reserved.

We're officially on "summer break". As Randy and Ann ramp up to their nuptials in Bali, daily details have gotten crazier for them as they get closer to flyin' on the big bird. For that reason, we haven't rehearsed since the Fourth Of July gig, and performances count because you're always rehearsing anyway. But tonight, we're getting together to hang out, play music, record, have a little nosh, play some more. Wish each other well and give lots of great big hugs while partying like trained professionals, can you tell it's summer?

I'll post a demo of this tune soon; it's "different."

This song is dedicated to the victims of the London Bombings. May God watch over you and your families.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Recollections and News

Hoo-wah, what a busy weekend, not to mention hot. I actually think I lost about five pounds over the three days alone!

Reflecting back on our three gigs, I first think about what an amazing job Jae's done in booking these shows. (And I get to go home with her, too!) Friday's show in Eustis was an absolute delight and the highlight of the weekend for me, personally. We've performed there before, on a very cold night in February, but it was the anti-cold that day! Set up on the big stage at the end of the street, it was beautiful to walk around prior to our first set, standing on the lakeside pier, having a little coffee, watching the merchants set up their tents and fire up their grills. At one point during our first block of music, I asked the crowd to turn around and look down the street at the smoke billowing from the police department barbecues, the sunlight sparkling off the surface of the lake down a small town street filled with people, balloons, happiness - and the crowd slowly began to applaud. "We're blessed, we're blessed to have this moment," I said. We played three long sets and the final set was when the fireworks went off and I don't think I've ever had the pleasure of making music while the skies filled with such shiny brilliance. As people headed for their cars afterwards, they gathered around the stage in clusters and I played "The Star-Spangled Banner" with Randy and J.D. accompanying. If you were there, you remember - it was a beautiful moment to see all of these people, standing together in unity, raising a cheer and a shout, in celebration of freedom.

The next evening, we set up at 903 Cityside at Lake Eola, and though it didn't seem that the owners had done much in the way of promotion, the band, set up under a white canopy, still pulled in passersby, encouraging them to sit a spell under the trees. The food, which was complimentary, was excellent - especially the vegetarian falafel! It was also an honor to be playing outside in Lake Eola, which is Orlando's beautiful park center and also the site of the show we'd be playing on.......

July 4th. 95 Degrees. The madness was just beginning to bubble as we carted our gear (thankfully NOT having to bring a P.A. with us) down to the bandshell. People everywhere attempted to stay out of the direct sunlight, which was going to be no easy task for us, as the sun was dipping lower to peek right into the mouth of the bandshell. Jae and I walked around to find some grub, admiring all of the beautiful faces and energies that were collecting around the lake. Cox Communications, running the event, had all their radio stations out in the park broadcasting live; a charming hodgepodge of tastes and styles reflecting the folks who took up spots near their favorites. Frisbies flew, Tai-Bo dancers roundhoused, beer flowed, laughter rose into the air, the smells of food mingled with the scents of water, soil and the big cigar that I chomped on as we strolled. Hundreds more bodies arrived by the minute until the edges of the lake swelled with brightly colored swatches of fabric. The first band went on at 4pm, they were called The Day Band. As they wrapped up, the band pre-staged our equipment and prepared to endure the blazing direct heat. All in all - the sound was rather muffled on-stage, making it difficult to hear, so we did what we always do - we lunged into it with teeth, no matter. By the end of "Ring-A-Ding", we were already dripping with sweat. The unrelenting sun cooked one of my strings right out of tune, and I asked the band to groove a little as I retuned for "Black Indian", which led right into "The Star-Spangled Banner". Granted, the response to the latter wasn't as huge as it was in Eustis, but a lot of that had to do with the oppressive heat (people were only sitting where there was shade, frantically fanning themselves with cardboard props handed out by the Orlando Utilities Commission) and probably with a greater dose of jingoistic cynicism than could be found in the small-town American reality of Eustis. As Jae and I watched the fireworks later in the evening, it was a perfect end to a perfect weekend and we rushed home to beat traffic out of the area, flipped on the t.v. and saw Mohave pop up on Channel 6. A nice closing touch. All told, some 100,000 people were there for the festivities - and we were proud to have been a part of it.

We sold 14 CD's over the course of the weekend, and played for literally thousands of people. Through it all - this band worked damn hard, everyone toting gear, playing their hearts out, providing warmth, humor and inspiration. I always love introducing the members of the band because I want the audience to know Bunky, John, Randy and J.D. like I know them - wonderfully talented people with big hearts and eyes that can see far past the horizons of today into the dawns of tomorrow. This weekend featured our last public performances for awhile as Randy and Ann go to Bali to get married; meanwhile, the promotional push continues for "clear blue trickling". "Ring-A-Ding" is currently featured on Insomnia Radio podcast #33 and the band received a nice little write-up at (scroll down the page some):

What an interesting group of musicians. I had to include that little blurb from their MySpace site because they describe it better than I ever could.

Not normally my cup of tea, I can’t help smiling while Mohave plays on the media player. It is fitting that this Orlando band played their first show at Downtown Disney because this music is all about fairs and cotton candy and dancing.

On their MySpace site the song that grabs me is “The Miner, His Music.” Singer Bunky is so playfull, her delivery hits the ear in just the right way.

Thanks for all of the great vibes, from everyone! From those who came out to see us, to those who stayed to listen, from those who bought CDs to those who wore the beads that we tossed into the crowd, from those who have heard the music and have let us know how you feel to those who are sharing those feelings with others - THANK YOU! This is the reason that we make the music - it's a reward unto itself, and we're most happy when the audience is happy!

We're working on getting those pictures up from the weekend - have a great week and stay cool!

Monday, July 04, 2005

Busy, busy, busy

Well, I tell ya, this season has been like a fireworks display. Strong, steady, awe-inspiring, beautiful, and ending up with one huge BANG! I will come back and elaborate on the wonderful experiences we've had at the past two shows, but right now we're on our way to perform at the third and final show of the weekend and our last for at least a month. Thank you to everyone who sent e-mails this weekend, bought CD's and came up to tell us how much you enjoyed the music. That is its own reward!

Happy Independence Day!