Yelling Fire in a Crowded Room (…Or Snuffing Out the Right to Sing!)

  1. Racism in any form, against any group of people, at any time is abhorrent and       evil.
  2.  The tragic events that occurred in Charlottesville, VA last week were detestable and an unfortunate smear against the ideals of our great nation.
  3. Freedom of Speech & Expression, for better or worse, within noted civil legalities, is still a Basic Human Right…Or Is It? 

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    You & I Possess the Unique Freedom to Hate Anyone or Anything We Choose.

    For Whatever Reason.

    We Can Talk About It. We Can Write About It. We Can Sing Melodies and Set Our Hatred to Music. We Can Build Websites and Blog About It. As Long As Our Hatred does no personal bodily harm, damage to personal property or space, inflicts terror upon or violates the civil rights of the object of our hatred, we are free to hate as much as we please.

    We can draw and post despicable images of the most inhumane imaginations conceived. We can sell tickets to presentations of the most vile, disgusting fetishes and impressions. My understanding is that these representations can be on public display, as long as they appear on private property not supported by tax payer dollars (although I am not completely certain of every single detail involved).

    Conversely, You & I Also Possess the Unique Freedom to Oppose Such Displays of Hatred and Spread Love. We Can Protest, Counter-Protest, Write & Sing Our Own Songs, Blog, Post, Build and Host Our Own Sites, Draw and Sell Tickets to Our Own Shows on Our Own Private Properties and Promote Our Personal Ideologies, Perspectives, Paradigms and Religions to Our Hearts Content.

    Equally, We Can Change The Channel, Turn Off The Radio, Cancel Subscriptions, Write a Letter to the Editor, Boycott the Service, Go On Strike, Demand a Refund, Quit The Job, Change Careers and Crowdfund.  As Long As Our Love does no personal bodily harm, damage to property or space, inflict unnecessary incentive upon or violates the civil rights of the object of our proposed affection, we are free to Love as much as we desire.

    In Recent News, Spotify  and Other Tech Companies have chosen to remove “Hate Music” from their playlists in light of the Charlottesville catastrophe. While I agree, it is indeed their prerogative to take such action, my question is Why Now?

    Has Reactionary Politically Correct Group Think overtaken each one of these obese organizations simultaneously?  What was their stance on such articulation of noted Distasteful Music just two months prior to the Virginia melee? Did Google, Apple, Facebook, LinkedIn and Others Condone or Disdain the Expressions their sites hosted?

    What About the ultra celebrated, Grammy & Academy Award Winning Hip Hop Artists whose innovations created startling new ways to Rhyme the loathsome “N” Word around intriguing beats while promoting Blatant Misogyny, Violence against their Own Race & others and tremendous Dope Dealing under the glorified banner of ‘Thug-Life’?

    Does their Music Get a Pass?

    How About the Elder Statesman who raised red flags over the entire record industry by promoting the killing of police officers, (although for the last 30 years, he’s played one on TV)? I recall that those who stood to make the most money off the song chose Freedom of Speech as the tent to live in – but, where are those record companies now?

    I’m not going to pretend I don’t get it.

    As a Follower of Jesus Christ, Black Man, Husband & Father, with my own set of personal conservative convictions, standards and values, it can be very easy to climb into a box or under a label or behind a sign and start marching. But I remain cautiously curious about the boulevard we begin to travel down once we begin to point fingers toward who ought not say ‘what’, ‘when’ and ‘why’, because sooner or later, that road will lead right back to our house…

    I Would REALLY, Truly Love To Know Your Thoughts!

    I Was Listening to Ayzmuth’s “Light As A Feather” on Vinyl as I Typed & Posted.

    Visit TheEntreMusician.com to Engage, Encourage & Empower

 

 

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4 “I’s” to Clarify Distinct Vision

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EntreMusicians MUST See their Lives & Work Distinctly. A Keen Observation is Our Oxygen. In Most Cases, Looking Deeper, Further & Faster will Create Opportunities and Platforms Missed by Many of Our Contemporaries. I have often noted that having a great pair of eyes have both Closed and Opened the Right Doors. Viewing My Life & Career through these 4 “I’s” continue to propel me forward to each goal far more steadily than groping around in dimly lit circumstances on the way to the next gig…

1) Instinct

Everyone is Born with Instinct. Everyone Who Learns to Trust, Develop & Implement Instinct will Advance Multiple Times More Excellently than those who chose to disobey that Still Most Voice embedded in their spirits to guide them. Being a Man of Faith, I call this attribute, Discernment, empowering me by The Holy Spirit, who gives me wisdom to see what I would normally overlook. We talk ourselves out of favorable options constantly. You think, “I should ask So & So About…” and then immediately think, “No. She’s Way Out of My League,” or “He Wouldn’t Have Time for the Likes of Me…” when The Voice is “Like Dude! GO FOR IT!!!”

Instinct is that Drive that, once honed, sticks around and causes you to see Absolutely Everything as an Instance to Embrace or Avoid. You Learn to Say Yes & No Faster and Easier without Second & Third Guessing Yourself Every Time. Bishop T.D. Jakes has written a great book on “Instinct,” which I have yet to read, but is sitting on my bookshelf at the ready!

2) Integrity

The Foundation of All Trustworthiness & Reliability, Especially in the Music & Creative Space is founded within this “I.” Unfortunately Many, Plenty Extremely Talented Musicians Never Achieve the Height of their Potential, Due to their Lack of Integrity. When Your Word is Worthless, You Become Worthless. Your Musical Prowess (No Matter How Extraordinary) Will Never Allow You to Rise Beyond Your Character. Integrity is so Absolutely Essential to Everything theire is to Know About You and Me. Without it, Nothing Else Matters. Although I am No Robot, with my share of human flaws, I Intentionally Live Life in as a Man of Integrity and I Look For It In Others – Especially Fellow Musicians I am Hiring for a Project. Dependability Overshadows Playability by Twelve Miles.

3) Intention

Wanting to Do Anything and Actually Doing is as Far Apart as East is From West. Half of the Battle is Beginning. The Battle is Won with Intentionality, Endurance and Doing Whatever it Takes, As Long As It Takes to Complete the Mission. Regrettably, Excuses are Not Welcome in the War Rooms. Champions Train & Compete. Methods May Differ, But Unbridled Passion Brings Home the Gold. Living Life on Intention takes the EntreMusician from the Pipe Dream to the Palace Every Single Time.

4) Inspection

We’ve All Heard the Quote, “You Cannot Improve What You Do Not Measure” but few of us truly Measure Anything We Do. The Truth Is, We May Be Afraid to Look Back and Find that We Haven’t Quite Achieved What We Set Out To Accomplish, So We Just Plow Ahead,without stopping to ask ourselves “Why?” and then Looking for Solutions! Perhaps there is a Funding Issue, or You Need Assistance in a Particular Area. Utilize the “I’s” Above and Plow Ahead. Take the Necessary Steps to Evaluate Your Goals, Re-Evaluate Your ‘To-Do’ Lists and By All Means, ASK For the Help You Need. You’ll find that People Are FAr More Willing to Engage, Encourage & Empower those who can confidently Ask for what They Need while proving they possess the Instincts, Integrity and Intention to see the project to the end. Everyone of Equal Quality & Character wants to Wants to Invest in This Type of Person!

The Fifth “I”)  Influence

I Couldn’t Leave This One Out. The True Responsibility of Every EntreMusician is Not to Inspire, although that may play a role; but rather Influence.

Influence alters Perspective & Paradigms. It Shifts Destiny and Radiates in the Spirit Longer than mere Inspiration. It Should Be the Certain Goal of Every Song, CD Project, Performance and Career. You Have the Power to Change a Life. Within Your Spirit, Instrument and God Given Gift is housed the Supernatural Ability to Alter the Future Course of Humanity, for the Better & Brighter. Respect the Sacredness of Your Gift and Utilize Accordingly!

Much Love & Sympathy to the Family of Chuck Loeb 

3 Key Moves to Advance Your Life

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Incremental Growth should be the Motivation of Every EntreMusician. At the Forefront of Advancing Our Careers, Creativity, Musicianship & Art must be the Persistent Improvement of Our Lives. Continual Habits like Prayer, Mantras, Devotions and/or Meditation are Vital to Cleansing the Spiritual Self to Prepare Us for Our Day, Week or Projects, but it’s Equally Important to Remember that What We Do for Others contain holistic benefits that create remarkable synergy in our larger context.
Overtime, I Have Learned Three Principal Moves I Now Employ Daily to Advance My Life.
1) Engage.
We Live in World Where Engagement is defined as trading Brownie Recipes with a Facebook Friend from Sweden while ignoring the person sitting next to us on our Bus, Uber or other Mass Transit Commute. We Almost Never Speak to Others on Elevators, Preferring to Stare at the Floor below or Numbers above. TV Shows & Magazines we’d never view at home suddenly become more interesting than talking to the Totally Tattooed Girl in the Dentist’s Waiting Room. Unfortunately, Families the World Over Prefer their Phones to Genuine, Transparent Face Time with Each Other.
Be The One who Breaks the Mold. Create and a Entirely New Social Media. TALK To Someone. Extend Your Hand. Smile! Make Eye Contact. Seek Out Someone who doesn’t Look, Smell, Act or Think Like You! Agree to Disagree if it should come to that, but at least Try to See Life from Someone’s Else’s Perspective even if You Choose Not to Adopt It!
2) Encourage.
We All Know Someone who Needs Encouragement. An easy way to prove this is to Check & See if that Person is Breathing! If they are, Affirm Them! Give a Compliment. Notice Something About Someone and Verbally Admire that Characteristic or Trait. Go to Someone who has expressed Self Esteem Deficiencies in their Non Verbal Communication and Weigh Them Down with Confidence and Inspiration. Befriend the Friendless and Help Bear the Load of the Distressed. In Time, the Entire Organization, Situation & Atmosphere is Strong & Electric with Motivation.
To Quote the late Maya Angelou, ” People Will Forget What You Said, People will Forget what you did but People will Never Forget how You Made Them Feel.”
3) Empower.
To Equip & Commission Another is a Selfless Power that Ignites a Life & Changes Destinies. Sincerely Entrusting Another with Important, Sensitive Work Creates Character & Conviction. Empowerment is More Potent than Delegation. It’s Properly Training Someone to Fish, to Become Self Sufficient and Liberates Him/Her to Build Themselves. Empowerment is identical to Giving Your 15 Year Old Daughter the keys to the Car and Climbing into the Passenger Seat (something I’ve done three times now!) Being Nervous Without Showing it, Pressing Hard on the Imaginary Brake, while Impacting an Assertive Growth within them Transforms You Both! Empower Someone! Change a Life!
To Engage, Encourage & Empower is My Life’s Mission and Daily Intention.
It’s also the predominant goal of TheEntreMusician.com.
Come Join Us!
I was Remembering the Fabulous Music of George Howard and Revisiting His Marvelous Debut, “Asphalt Gardens” on Vinyl while posting this blog. 
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Chase Away The Proverbial “They!”

crowdThey Say: “You’ll Never Make It in this Business” 

They Say: “You Need to Go to This School and have That Degree”

They Say: “Only 2% Succeed in Your Industry, So Don’t Bother”

They Say: “You Need The Right Connections”

They Say: “You Have to Dress Like This and Play Your Trumpet Like That or Forget It!” 

They Say: “No One Is Going to Appreciate Your Style of Music!”

They Say: “You Have No Right to Take That Position”

They Say: “You Don’t Deserve to Receive Those Accolades!”

They Say: “It Will Never Work!”

They Say: “Don’t Expect Much, So You Won’t Be Disappointed!”

Yes, They Say a lot of Discouraging, Mean & Nasty Things, often without trying to be Mean, Nasty or Discouraging.

Somehow They forget that the Celebrated Icons They Themselves Honor, Revere & Adore were Told the Very Same Things, Did Not Have the Right Connections, Money, Resources or Attend an Institution of Select Pedigree.

Icons are Pioneers whom Forge their Own Identities, Sounds, Art & Creativity onto the Global Landscape without Asking Permission or Seeking Solace in the Status Quo.

These Ambassadors of Innovation Shift the Platform of Public Paradigms into New Realities of Consciousness that Shape the Future and Transcend Life As We Currently Understand It.

With Constant Obstacle, Hurdles, Detours and Encumbrances at Every Level, Vanguards Chase Away the Proverbial They as These Climb Higher Toward Their Own Thrones, Created Just for Them.

Go and Do Likewise…

I Was Listening to YellowJackets “Shades” on Vinyl while composing this post.

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The Five Foundations of EntreMusicianal Efficiency

We’ve all heard this truth before: “A Failure to Plan is a Plan for Failure.” Progressing toward Maximum Effectiveness Requires our Working Smart as We Go Hard. Proficiency on the Front End of this EntreMusicianal Journey helps Curry Focus and Divert Us from Gigs, Relationships & Situations which either Distract or Completely Derail us. Yes, It took Me a Minute, but after Bumping My Head (HARD) Multiple Times, I Created Five Foundations to Stay Grounded and Air Bound Simultaneously. 

      1) Maintain an Ultra Tight Schedule.

This is Almost Laughable for Many Artists, Musicians & Creatives who Live Our Lives on the Constant Cuff of Inspiration and Spur of the Moment Occurrences. Often these Occasions Give Birth to Our Greatest Work and Collaborations. Although We Should Never Write these Blessed Moments Off, EntreMusicians Understand that TIME is The Only Commodity We Cannot Produce nor Reproduce, So We Must Protect It. Even as we Attempt to Manage It, if we are not Extremely Careful, Time Slips Away.

My Go To Tool is Michael Hyatt’s “My Ideal Week,” which has locked me into the regiment of ‘Giving Every Day a Name‘ and Living Out the Daily Theme with all of My Being! Knowing Where I Should Be, What I Need to Be Doing, With Whom & for How Long, has Helped Me Conquer the Fear of Saying “No” and Keeping The Main Thang Just That. Keep Your Ideal Week Always Before You on Multiple Devices and Never Deviate Unless God Himself Intervenes…then You’d Better Flex!

      2) Be Your Best YOU

Artists on the Grind Neglect Themselves the Most!

We Don’t Feed Our Spirits, Get Our Proper Rest, Exercise nor Eat Healthy (albeit too much!) Scheduling Time to Do Each of the Aforementioned Necessities MUST Not Be Ignored. The Work MUST & WILL Get Done, But Never at the Expense of Ruining the Only Body We’ve Been Given!

Additionally, We Tend to Neglect those Closest To Us! Many a Spouse, Parent or Child has Suffered the Loss of Our Presence. Broken Hearts, Bitterness & the Biting Sting of Rejection may make for a Great Lyric, but Living Beneath the Weight of such consequences may Create Scars that the Most Powerful Melodies Can’t Wash Away.

Be Proactive and Invest Quality, Uninterrupted Time with Your Significants. Especially If/When Your Career Appropriates a Place where You’re able to Give Expensive Gifts, They Will Never Replace Your Being With Them. Your Guitar Will Not Take Care of You, if You should become Too Ill to Play It! Nurture Relationship, Watch Love Grow!

      3) Create a Killer Team

These Select Individuals May or May Not Be Musicians, but Their Primary Duty is to Make Sure All Business is Handled with Excellence!

My Team Comprises Creative, Legal, Accounting & Technical.

The Optimal Situation is when the Entire Team Can Meet Together Every Other Month. The Total Vision, Purpose & Plan Can Be Discussed, Fleshed Out and Consistently Processed with Everyone Knowing their Roles & Assignments.

Less than Ideal, but still potent is Scheduling One on Ones with an Individual Team Member to Move the Needle Forward. In these Sessions, Spend Concentrated Time on Each Discipline, Zeroing in On the Mechanics Necessary to Complete the Project.

In Either Approach, It’s Essential to Maintain a Grip on the Overall Vision, Brand & Message. When Every Single Team Member is Clear about the Collective Expectations, their Execution will Reflect and Propel the Entire Ensemble Forward. Everyone Wins!

      4) DELEGATE

The Best Advice I Ever Heard (Although I Forget Where) is to ‘Work ON Your Business, Not IN It.’ While making this apply across the board to ALL Creatives is Counterproductive, EntreMusicians can utilize this technique in amazing ways.

Depending on the Structure of Your Band or Act, Commission Everyone (or at least those Willing) to Take On Extra Non Musical Duties. Someone Works closely with Sound & Lighting, Someone Else on Wardrobe, Choreography or Travel Arrangements, Booking, Gear Repair, Promotion or the Myriad of Other Responsibilities involved with keeping the Group Alive & Afloat.

At the very least, hire one of the guys/gals to be the MD. And make sure the rest of the band knows that they WILL Be Paid $$ more money because of their extra commitment. Having a legit Music Director will ensure that Rehearsals DON’T Become Practice Sessions, where the guys/gals spend (waste) time Learning & Practicing the Music in front of the Rest of the Band Members who’ve already done their Homework! The MD Preps & Sends the charts, works out difficult segues, runs the rehearsals and directs the performance. This Frees YOU to Do What You Do Best…Obviously, If this IS What You Do Best, Be Honest About What You Don’t Do Best and Delegate That!

      5) Be Only Where You Need to Be, Socially  

It’s Futile to Be On Absolutely Every Social Site. Especially if Your Fan Demographic is Not. Take Inventory of Where Your True Fans Are and Live There. While Your Personal Profile Posts help Followers Know More About You, When It’s Time to Talk Serious Music, Gigs, Releases or Merch, ALWAYS Point them to Your Band Page and Website for more Appropriate Engagement. Once They Land There, Make Sure You Engage Them!

When Necessary to Exist on Multiple Sites, Utilize Services Like Hootsuite or Others which let you Post to All At Once. Although FaceBook tends to stifle the visibility of such posts, Reschedule for maximum impact to ensure your message.

These Five Foundations Have Helped Me Gain Momentum & Get More Done! My Energy Level and Creativity are at Healthy Constants and My Wife & Family Love Me and Don’t Think I’m a Jerk (well there’s that one cousin..!) Overall, it’s a Balanced, Rewarding Life and I Hope These Five Foundations Help You. I Would Love To Know If You Have a Similar or Better List that Could Help Me & Others Who Read This. Feel Free to Share!

Download My Free E-Book “50 Engaging Ways to Turn Your Fans Into Family!”

 

I was listening to Hubert Laws, Earl Klugh, Stanley Jordan and Andreas Vollenweider, All On Vinyl while Composing this Post!

The Four Hands of EntreMusicianal Networking

Mastering the Art of Consistent Networking is Foundational & Essential if we are to Succeed as EntreMusicians. Advancement eludes us when we consider ourselves islands and isolate ourselves from community. Albeit, We bear the bulk of the Responsibility for our Careers, True Achievement is Not Created in a Vacuum.

Many EntreMusicians swallow the Myth of the “Self Made Artist,” who Writes Everything, Arranges, Produces & Plays Everything, but never ascends from his/her basement studio because they’ve eschewed human social skills and ignore establishing relationships with other bands, artists and creatives.

Even Musicians who’ve been fortunate enough to secure management, booking or some significant ‘deal’ which somewhat sets them apart from their contemporaries, find they have a much rougher ride and eventually hit a wall because they have set themselves (or allowed others to place them) above or outside the Collective Visibility  of the Creative Culture. The Truth is that even at the Highest Level of Triumph, Connectivity Still Rules! So here are a Few Rules to Perfect the Practice of Networking at whatever Position You Currently Occupy.

1. Reach Out!

Take the Initiative to Find Other Artists of Like Mind/Spirit/Heart whether within your musical genre or not. Arrange a Coffee or Jam Session or Gig that’s Mutually Beneficial. Without Becoming a Pest, Be the One Calling, Texting or Messaging Periodically to Let Them Know You’re Interested in Them and What’s Happening in Their Career.

2. Give Out!

EntreMusicians are Extremely Generous. Any Valuable Information, Resources or Viable Practicality which can be freely offered, Give It! Go Out of Your Way, Be On the Look Out and Intentionally Create Opportunities to Be A Blessing to Another. Is there any Old Gear hanging around that you’ll likely never fire up again? Don’t Pawn It, Find an Up & Coming Hopeful and Give The Thing(s) Away!

3. Help Out!

Everyone Needs Help at Some Point in Time. EVERYONE! Even & Especially National Recording Artists. Find Out How You Can Assist – Yes You! Graham Cochrane, an Engineer/Producer I Follow & Highly Respect once said that every time he attends NAMM or some other Industry Function, he abstains from strolling up to higher profile Artists/Producers/DJs with Business Card & CDs in Hand, asking THEM to either Listen to His Stuff, Get Him a Deal or “Hook Him Up” in whatever way. Instead, He ASKS How HE Can HELP Them!!

Chances are They will be playing his City soon (he asks) and perhaps there may be some assistance they might need when they arrive and/or before they depart that he may be essential in accomplishing on their behalf. He Never asks for anything in return and Graham’s (and now my own) methodology is 85% More Effective that the ‘Star’ will remember His Name…There are a Million Ways to Help – Find Yours!

4. Throw Out!

Discard ALL Negative Motives, Attitudes, Thoughts, Words & Actions!* Live By The Mantra that You NEVER Compete, NEVER Compare & NEVER Criticize!**

Throw Out ALL Feelings of Envy & Pride! Concentrate on Doing Your Best Work and Find Ways to Assist Your Peers in Doing Theirs. Hold The Door Open and Help Balance The Ladder for Other, Again Expecting (And Not Asking For) Anything In Return! Overtime You Will See, by Osmosis, the Law of Sowing & Reaping bearing Fruit and Your Life & Career Blessed because You have Blessed So Many Others!

I would Love to Hear How You Utilize Networking in Your EntreMusicianal Pursuits and the Profound Results. Leave Your Comments Below.

Download My Free E-Book “50 Engaging Ways to Transform Your Fans Into Family” and Subscribe at TheEntreMusician.com for More Ways to Engage, Encourage & Empower Each Other!

 

I was listening to Spyro Gyra’s “Incognito” on Vinyl while writing this post.

* &** Quotes of Bishop David L. Thomas

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5 Ways to Command Clarity

Just this past week I was in conversation with a young songwriter who said Yes to a project before he actually understood the expectations of the organization hiring him and was now mired in backtracking renegotiations. While consulting him on how to invoke a tardy “Win-Win,” I made a few notes for myself to follow and would like to share with you.

Before doing so, however, I need to acknowledge my inconsistency with these posts and apologize for any inconveniences I may have caused you.  Over the past several months, I have had to take on Non Linear Employment to compensate for a Financial Shift in our Family. Now, by God’s Grace we are back at Ground Zero, and it is My Pleasure to Blog & Vlog regularly.

The First Challenge facing our Composer was a Failure to Know What He Was Willing to Offer. With respect to his capacity to do a great job, (he certainly has the chops), but he had no idea how to present himself as a professional who would provide A, B & C.

His second issue was that he didn’t want to say “No, Thank You!” Obviously grateful for the opportunity to have his music placed with this organization (or anywhere else for that matter) became a stronger emotion than whether or not he should look for a more appropriate advantage.

Thirdly, Once he Agreed, he simply didn’t ask The Right Questions to Gain Enough Insight Concerning their Assumptions. Compensation is Not Always the Most Important Question. There is the matter of Deadlines, Who Will Own the Composition once completed, how it will be distributed & marketed and the Exclusivity factor after the Agreement’s Term had expired. These and other questions were never addressed after he settled on “how much.”

The Fourth Challenge was that he never expressed the Necessary Requirements needed to provide the proper arrangement his client imagined they would receive. Nor did he set proper boundaries once production began, which caused them to constantly reimagine a bigger arrangement than he conceived, so the goal post kept inching away from him.

Finally and Unforgivingly, the Agreement was Never Clarified in Writing, so the many conversations about what could and might be were reduced to conjecture with less than two weeks to go on the expected completion date. And that’s when he decides to call…

To Recap, Remember these Five Rules of Clarification:

1. Know In Advance What You Are Willing to Offer

2. Know When & If You Should Say No and Stick with Your Answer!

3. Ask The Right Questions! Compensation is Not The Most Important One…

4. Know Your Requirements and Set Appropriate Limitations.

5. Always In Writing. Laymen Terms, No Small Print, But In Writing!

 

I am listening to The HeadhuntersStraight From The Gate“on Vinyl as I am posting this and have been into Pat Metheney’s stuff all month…

Use Frequent “F” Words Faithfully…

 

Today I am Incredibly Transparent with You.

I Trust You’ll Appreciate My Confessions.

Far Too Often, I become Extremely Discouraged as an EntreMusician. Especially in the Neighborhood of Lost Opportunities. If & When I Miss a Shot at an Important Gig, Submission, Audition or Project that would have either Paid Handsomely or led to an even Greater Opp, I get really bummed. Within the grueling peripherals of this past week, due to personal family woes, I’ve been ridiculously behind and absolutely unproductive – in every area! In fact, I had to rigorously talk myself out of an impulse buy of Izotope’s Music Production Bundle 2, credit card in hand, just to pacify myself (although Ozone 7 remains on My List)!

I find that If I do not get a handle on my thoughts, I can easily slide into a“Comparisonism & Lack Mentality” mode which are Detrimental to every Artist & Musician.

Exhaustive Concentration on the Equipment, Skills, Connections, Resources, Looks, ___________, ___________ I Don’t Own Quickly Deteriorates My Perspective on the Attributes I Do Possess and seriously hinders my Flow & Output.

But, When that Ugly Shadow begins to Overwhelm, I’ve Learned to Employ a Consistent Series of Well Placed “F” Words, Complete with Fiery Enunciation and Spit! This is what helped me put my credit card down…

Firstly, My Faith is Foundational.

Knowing that I am Forever Forgiven for Former & Future Failures by My God through His Son, Jesus Christ provides an Eternal Outlook and Completely Minimizes My Temporal Blunders. My Prayers, submitted to His Purpose & Plan for Me Settles My Calling and Seals My Destiny.

My Family, Beginning with My Adorable Wife of 22 Years and our Three Amazing Daughters are my Treasures in Life and Help Fasten My Focus on What Really Matters Most. Lori & I have walked Hand in Hand through Joy, Tears & Tough Terrain and grow more in love with each other and our journey with each passing hour. What Else Does a Brother Need?

I Have Absolutely Awesome Friends who although Few are Completely True. They Simultaneously Encourage & Challenge Me to Grow & Go Further than I could Imagine. Real Friends See Into You & See Through You. They are Bold Enough to Call Out the Occasional Foolishness and Call Forward the Authenticity Inside.

Finally, I’m Blessed with the Favor of Funk, for this is the Songwriter, Producer & Musician I Am!

Irregardless of the Genre! Being able to Swing “The One” either a millisecond Before or After the Top of the Measure Matters. Forging a humility to Stay in the Pocket although I’ve not honed the same severity of thrillingly Sick Tricks my counterparts have has kept me working, for which I am truly thankful – for just being able to be me!

Perhaps You Thought I was going to Litter This Post with “F” Bombs, which might release steam in a moment of crisis, but do nothing to sow gratitude into our spirits.

I Wish You Joy, Love, Peace, Harmony & Rhythms of Grace!

 

I Am Listening to Azymuth’s “Light As A Feather” On Vinyl while writing this post.

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It’s Still On You…

Sure, The Old Adage still rings true: “It’s Who You Know!”

Certainly it’s great to have an uncle who is one of three main limo drivers for the soon to be Sir Eric Clapton and/or a cousin who roadies for Chaka Khan when she’s on the West Coast or perhaps you live around the corner from Bob James, but once the Introductions draw to an end, it’s What You Know & How Well You Know It That Will Make or Break you.

Your Performance on Stage or in the Studio transcends any Professional Reference.

Your Professionalism in the most Stress Filled Situations Speak Louder than Any ‘Good Word’ Someone Puts in For You.

Your Character & Integrity Stands Taller than Your Résumé …in fact, Your Reputation Becomes Your Résumé

Your Choice to Integrate With Your Fellow Musicians and Play Your Lines Rather than the Role of the Superstar is What Gets You Called Back

Your Ability to Repeatedly “Bring It” On Demand Will Build a Far More Secure Stature Faster than Depending on Your Contact to Make a Connection.

No less than Quincy Jones quipped, “It’s Better that the Opportunity Never Come, than When It Does and You’re Not Prepared For It!”

So, It’s Cool, Go Ahead and Reach Out to Your Aunt Betty’s Friend of a Friend who golfs with Shawn Mendes, but at the End of the Day, It’s Still On You to Produce!

 

I was listening to Nathan East’s new “Reverence” on CD as I composed this Blog

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Ten Reasons Why I Think ‘They’ Killed Prince

One Year Ago Today, I was sitting on the Other Side of My Studio Office on the Other Computer listening to the Long Version of Prince’s “America” (21:46), on Vinyl, but at around 14:56 deemed it far too funky for me to continue my writing. The Groove Pulled Me Away So I Had to Pull It Off.

At 12:58 PM, from This Computer, My Eldest Daughter Called as she usually does most Thursdays, but I was on ‘a roll’ and texted if I could call her back. The Phone chirped back at 1:03 PM: “Prince is dead.” No More Writing. I Returned Her Call. We Mourned.

No, I didn’t know him personally, but since I was just 13 years old when he released “For You” and 52 now, I certainly knew all he had chosen to share. And like many, I had long considered myself the quintessential Prince fan. Yes, I did skip two days of my junior high school year to tear apart “1999” song by song. I had never heard anything like it. Thus began a six year obsessive idol worship until after “Lovesexy” was released and Holy Spirit thoroughly and completely convicted me of such nonsense. So I sold all of my CDs. By the time “Diamonds & Pearls” came out, I could still respect his genius from afar without becoming transfixed in all the hoopla.

Prince was a master musician and I felt a tremendous sense of loss. Like Most, The “How” gnawed and grated at me. I read everything I could to try to make some sense out of it. I listened to his music. I watched News Story and for the first time became modestly interested in the Illuminati Conspiracy Theories. Some Actually Made Sense. I Think The Simpsons hit it on the head, but others were like…

Then I began to see for myself the Telltale signs of Mayhem that lead me to believe that the Official Story ain’t all it was composed to be. My Mother Always Told Me that the Devil is too Proud to Hide His Work and If You Look Close Enough, You’ll See Him for Who & What He Is.

Let Me Very Clear Here to state that I Believe Prince May Have Died from the Fentanyl Overdose. But There Are Too Many Fuzzy Details that Continue to Bug Me. I am going to List Them Below without too much personal commentary. I am going to include links, especially those which point to Others Making Mad Money in the Aftermath:

1. Who in their Right Mind Would Leave Prince Alone Knowing that He Was Sick or Since He Had a Serious Drug Problem that had worried some of his Team?

2. What Do You Mean  PRINCE DID NOT HAVE A WILL?

  • The Brother was Married & Divorced Twice…
  • He Had as Many Guitars as He Had Pairs of Shoes
  • He had Multiple Managers and Booking Agents over the Years
  • He Had Sparred with Warner Brothers for More than a Decade to win back his Masters and Not One Attorney in his Army of Lawyers overseeing his millions ever said, “Dude, Why Don’t You Let Me Draw Up A Will?”

3. From the Autopsy Room to the Crematorium.

4. ‘They’ Drilled into His Vault  Within Nine (9) Days of Prince’s Death -Without a Will.  I Blogged on This Before. Maybe they were searching for one, but…

5.‘They’ Turned Paisley Park into a Museum within Six (6) Months of His Death. Without a Will.

6. Tyka. Too Many Links of Really Weird Interviews to Pick Just The Right One.      Google Her.

7. Universal Music Acquires Prince’s Entire Publishing Catalog from his ‘Estate‘   Within Seven (7) Months. Without A Will.

8. Warner Brothers Announces the Re-Release of “Purple Rain,” Others…dare I say it again, Without a Will?

9. Warners Makes Prince Music Available for Streaming. Something We All Know He Fought Against. Now You Say It…

10. Perhaps this is a long shot, but the deafening silence of his bandmates, previous and former, who may have performed and co-written some of his unreleased material. Wouldn’t YOU Say, “Excuse Me Judge, but that bridge to the chorus that I received a 15% credit on…”??

On A Brighter Note, I Am Very Happy to Hear that Prince’s Estate, whomever they may be has sued to stop the release of “Deliverance” by Ian Boxhill and there are further reports that Universal Music may try to Nullify their Publishing Deal with the Prince Estate – i.e. they won’t be making as much money as they greedily thought they would.

May Our Brother Rest Peacefully, though his Transition is Shrouded in Mystery.

Guess What I’ll be Listening to Today?