Abby Pics

Some photos to tide Abby's fans over until after the holiday.

The Departed

I wrote this song for my teenage nieces and nephews. It's a time in life when there are so many emotions and forces pulling at you from every direction. It can be great and it can be terrible, and it's usually some of both.


Psyched Out of My Mind About

Okay, I don't think it's really to that extent, but I love to use that expression (from the movie ELF). There are some bands that I've been really enjoying lately and I will list them now. I think what I like about each of them is that the music has a timeless quality to it.

1. The Gaslight Anthem - Have I already mentioned these guys? I don't think I have on this blog. A band from New Jersey who does Bruce Springstein proud, their new album The ‘59 Sound is absolutely worth a listen. Their songs seem to mostly revolve around the ups and downs of growing up. There is an engaging quality to them as they avoid cliché and over dramatization. I was lucky enough to be able to see them open for Rise Against, Thrice, and Alkaline Trio and they did not disappoint.

2. Dusty Rhodes and the River Band - I can't quite put my finger on why I like these guys so much. There is a great deal of variability in their sound as they employ what seems to be multitude of instruments and four band members rotate on lead vocal duty. If I had to explain their sound, it would be gypsy swamp rock. A band that I would definitely pay to see live, although I haven't yet had the pleasure of doing. Lots of talent + good songs = muy bueno.

Song I've been obsessed with:

Wagon Wheel (Old Crow Medicine Show or Tom Gabel of Against Me!, both versions are fantastic) I will include a live clip of Tom Gablel performing it. Apparently the chorus of the song was an unfinished Bob Dylan tune. OCMS added verses and fleshed out the song a couple of years ago, and they certainly did a bang up job. Not an easy task, finishing the song of a legend. My favorite is the guy in the audience who yells out "oh no way, no way!" when he hears Tom play the first couple chords.


A New Christmas Tradition?

I've toyed around with this idea for a while, and I think it would be a really fun thing to try. If it worked out, it could turn into a new Christmas tradition. A couple of years ago during Christmas time, my mother in law Cathy and Natalie and I spent a couple of hours playing and singing Christmas songs together. Cathy and I both had the old Reader's Digest Christmas Songbook, and we just flipped through and chose our favorites and played and sung song after song. After that night, I thought that it would be really fun to do the same thing on a slightly larger scale (with more instruments and more voices). It would be fun to have instruments such as a violin, cello, piano, guitars, bass, keyboard, percussion, harmonica, mandolin, harp (wink, nudge Christine). Anyway you get the idea.

It would be a casual get together, basically a Christmas party with a few friends where at some point we do this sing along/play along musical experiment. I envision almost all acoustic instruments so the setup would be pretty minimal. Maybe just an electric bass and keyboards plugged in. We would print copies of the music so you could just show up and play. The one requirement for attending would be that you either sing or play so that there is no audience, only performers. (We will have shakers and tambourines and possibly hand clapping/snapping for non singers/non players who want to participate).

Well, that is my crazy idea. Please leave a comment if you would be interested in participating. Let me know what instrument(s) you would play (including voice). Also, I will throw out a few dates, if possible list which date would work best. Possible dates: Friday December 5th, Sunday December 7th, Saturday December 13th. If none of these work you could certainly suggest another date, I'm just trying to get the ball rolling and see what kind of interest there would be.


Makes Me Want To Cry

For those of you who are RSL fans, the images above may be too disturbing to handle. New York came to Rio Tinto Stadium and got the counter attack goal they were looking for. Olave's mistake turned a harmless pass to the slow and lurpy John Wolnyac on the sideline into one of two New York scoring chances for the entire match. They capitalized on the chance through their other slow and lurpy player, Dave Vanden Berg. From there (30th minute) on out, New York lost all interest in attacking or even possessing the ball. As soon as they would win the ball, they would give it the old rec league "boot." They hunkered down and defended the goal box like it was Fort Knox. Somehow this anti-soccer approach ended up working for them as chance after chance for RSL came agonizingly close, but none found the back of the net. Three, count them, three shots clanked off the post. I was completely exhausted after the game, I can't imagine having played in it. It is one thing to lose to a better team who outplayed you, it is a much tougher pill to swallow when the team that ends your season plays rec ball and fakes injury after injury to waste time.

That being said, I will never forget that night. The atmosphere was unbelievable, and the pace of the game was staggering. Kreis has put together a core of players who will be perennial challengers for MLS Cup. I'm excited to see what this group can do next year.


For Now You're Gone

I wrote this song with a lot of musical inspiration from Johnny Cash and Tiger Army. When it came time to write lyrics, I struggled at first. Being a middle class Mormon kid from the suburbs, I had a hard time coming up with country lyrics. I eventually came to the conclusion that the Mormon settlers of the west had some pretty interesting experiences, and I wrote the lyrics based on the stories of the Mormon Battalion soldiers leaving their wives and children to serve a government that refused to protect their basic freedoms. (Click on the title of the post to listen to the song.)

If you are having trouble playing the song: Right click the title of the post. Select "Save As" and save the file on your computer. Then open the file with your preferred media player.



I've written and recorded some acoustic songs over the last few months, and I decided that now is the time to share them with the world. Once a week, I will post a new song until they are all gone (hopefully this will motivate me to finish the last couple.)

This first song is obviously about my baby girl. I wrote it a couple of weeks before she was born. It's pretty straightforward I think. (Click on the title of this post to listen to the song.)