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Creative Week #16: Something Fun (and timely) for Tax Day

Creative report card update: Still working on a couple of songs, including a possible update on “It’s a Wonderful Life.” All well and good. I’ve got a bunch of video from my 3/31 show that will eventually get processed; right now I’m still doing this other video project for a friend, which takes a lot of my bandwidth.

I was looking at the news online, and saw an article with the approximate title of, “What Happens if you File Your Taxes Late?” And my brain went instantly to a variant on the old “This is your brain on drugs” commercial. I found a couple of eggs in the fridge that appear to be past their “eat by” date, figured out how to do the deed without making too much of a mess, and presto – a video was born.

Here it is: https://youtu.be/rQPWBwT1qyg

I would also like to thank musician and comedian Ali Spagnola for giving me part of the idea for this video, because she’s done some similar things for other holidays. Ali, I hope to meet you someday.

I hope that Tax Day is kinder to you this year than it was to me. Cheers!

Creative Week #15: A finished product

Hiya!

So…you might remember a couple of months back when I finished the first draft of a song titled “No Place Like Far Away?” I even did the video for it while down in Key West!

Well, in the past couple of months I’ve been polishing the song. I’ve fine-tuned the lyrics, and I took the spoken part in the middle and made it line up with the groove of the song. And I think I turned out something good.

A week ago, I took the song out in front of an audience for the first time. Everyone seemed to have fun with it. Here’s the video of that performance.

I’m still working on other ideas, including at least one rewrite of something I did earlier in the year. And I’m still working on the big video project I’m doing for someone else, which is taking some of the cycles I’d normally use to split out more songs from last week’s show and from my January gig in the Keys. Eventually, I’ll have all of the good stuff out and available.

And hopefully this coming week, I’ll make time to do a live set from home. Stay tuned for more info, especially if you’re on my Facebook.

Creative Week #14: Yes, I skipped one…but…

…I’m back with the song I’ve been working on for the past couple of weeks.

Not that I want to make excuses for myself, but I *was* also rehearsing strong for this past Saturday’s house concert. Which went very well, thank you, and there will be videos to YouTube. When I get some time free from my *other* ongoing video project.

I originally got the idea for this song from a Facebook meme, along the lines of, “I meditate, I chant, I do yoga, and I still want to slap some people.” And another meme/bumper sticker provided me with the title inspiration:
“Namaste, muthafka!” Which I modified to keep the song PG. And the revised version (“Namaste MF”) scans better, especially in the reggae groove I ended up using.

Here’s the link to the YouTube video: https://youtu.be/hIIaOBJGeKk

As a first-draft song, I know it needs polishing. The verses could set up the chorus better, and could be funnier. The music is still a work in progress. But for a first draft, it’s…workable.

Meanwhile, I need to find some good times to do live ‘casts about once a week, featuring music and general Lorenfoolery. If there’s a time that works best for you, let me know. Though I think I’ll mix it up a bit, because other people have time zones and lives that don’t line up with my own.

Creative Week #12: I Finish the Song

So…last week I shared half of a song. During the week, I finished it, and I’m going to share the lyric here. Not sure it quite meets what I want as a song to keep working on, but it was important to me to finish what I started.

I also got started on a new song inspired by a couple of memes I’ve seen online, the type that go, “I meditate, I smudge, and I still want to smack some people.” I’ve got a chorus and a collection of possible lines; my goal is to finish this song for you for *next* week. The working title is “Namaste, MF!”

Meanwhile, here’s the *finished* draft lyric for “Georgia Sand, Florida Clay:”

I was somewhere on the outskirts of Atlanta

At a quiet bar, waiting for Rush Hour to clear

When the woman at my right downed a shot and then she sighed

And in the corner of her eye I could see the start of tears

 

Can I offer you a drink for your sorrows?

She said yes, and we chatted for a while

I said, “You could come escape; if you follow me tomorrow

To my place down by the beach, I bet it could make you smile”

 

CHORUS

Will you stroll on my Florida Sand

And leave your Georgia Clay

Will you come south, maybe take my hand

Even though it’s a little far away?

 

I was only halfway joking, and she chuckled in reply

And said, “You’re really very sweet, but I can’t accept

It’s not just that you’re a stranger, see, I really have to try

To mend my wounded life and make an end to my regrets

 

So I can’t stroll on your Florida Sand

And leave my Georgia Clay

I’d love to talk, maybe hold your hand

But I just can’t run away

 

I left her my number in case she ever changed her mind

Paid our tab, and I headed south again

Something about her eyes makes me think of her from time to time

Perhaps someday she’ll call, and tell me then:

 

“I’m coming to stroll on your Florida Sand

And leaving my Georgia Clay

To talk with you, and hold your hand

And we can share our days”

Creative Thing Week 11: Half a Song, and…

Yes, I’m still creating. And yes, I’m still working on some projects that will take some time before I can share a semi-finished product with you. I tried tracking my instrumental project last week, and wasn’t quite to where it’d work. But I’m closer now, thanks to more rehearsal. Hopefully this week…

I do have half or 2/3 of a new song that I’m working on. When I made my “eclipse trip” up through GA last summer, I had an idea come to me of “Florida sand and Georgia clay.” I didn’t know what to do about that then. A couple of days ago, while listening to some Jesse Rice music, I got a song idea that works with that particular contrast. I don’t quite have the whole thing yet, but I’ve got two verses and a chorus. The song will probably be verse, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, (bridge, chorus). And I may tweak the later choruses to fit the story. I think it will end up being an unrequited love song. Here’s what I’ve got:

Florida Sand, Georgia Clay

I was somewhere on the outskirts of Atlanta

A a quiet bar, waiting for rush hour to clear

When the woman at my right downed a shot, and then she sighed

And in the corner of her eye, I could see the start of tears

 

Can I offer you a drink for your sorrows?

She said yes, and we chatted for a while

I said, “you could come escape; you can follow me tomorrow

To my place by the beach, I bet it could make you smile

 

CHORUS

Will you stroll on my Florida Sand

And leave your Georgia Clay?

Will you come south and maybe take my hand

Even though it’s a little far away?

(unwritten verse 3: She politely declined and we went our separate ways)

(unwritten bridge: I wonder how her story turned out. Wonder what might have happened if she’d…)

Creative Thing Week #10 – Brainstorming a Song Idea

I don’t have a finished product this week, though I’ve been spending time brainstorming new material and listening to some different songs and instrumental tracks to help inspire me. I’m just about to where I hope I can track my first guitar instrumental with minimal mistakes, and I’m pretty much up and ready to go on the new version of Logic Pro. So maybe next week I’ll have an instrumental work in progress for you.

I’m also rehearsing some things I’ve written/composed in recent weeks, because I’ve got a gig coming up at which I want to debut them. And they shift and settle into more polished places as I do, and that’s all good.

In the meantime, at the top of the list of my brainstorming is something titled “Walking Each Other Home.” I want it to be inspirational, and maybe a love song. I don’t have enough pieces yet to know how it’ll turn out. But I can share a possible chorus, and I’ll share some of the more interesting lyric sets I’ve come up with so far. And you may see a more-finished version of this in the future.

First the proto-chorus:

Wouldn’t life be easier

If we walked each other home?

We could all get where we want to go

If we walked each other home.

 

And some lyrics:

The slamming closed of a heart’s own door

Is the saddest sound there is

 

Forever trapped in too-small armor, bonsai of the soul

 

The world is full of magic, for those with eyes to see

Like the sparkle in your gaze every time you look at me

 

Cassandra tried to anchor the news, but everyone changed the channel

 

And that’s where it all sits right now, along with some other bits that I don’t like as much. :) Hopefully a bit more brainstorming will give me something I can use.

In the meantime, thanks for listening and have an awesome week!

Loren

Week #9: More Creative Goodies

This is going to be a “prose week” for me. I’m still working on a number of different creative ideas, including ratcheting up my guitar-playing skills so that I can create instrumentals. And also re-familiarizing myself with Logic Pro, so that I can record and produce at least some of my own stuff. These are important projects for me to be working on, even if it takes me a while to turn out anything I can share with you.

I created new lyrics/prose on four out of seven days this past week, and was working on my other creative-related projects (above) on two of the other days. So I’m still spending time trying to focus on my creative self every day, though I can improve on that.

I *did* get what might turn into part of a song at some future time. I was thinking about my time in the Virgin Islands last June, remembering how polite and friendly everyone was down there. And I came up with a very rough verse and a possible chorus. At the moment, it seems to be about the entirety of the USVI, but I may narrow that down, broaden it, or do something else with it going forward. Here’s today’s very rough draft, for your enjoyment:

Looking eagerly out the window, as the plane came in to land

The runway’s gotten longer and the planes have gotten stronger

Since my first trip down with my family, when I was a very young man

Some things look familiar and others strange; there have been so many changes

 

“Good morning, good afternoon, good evening”

People will greet you every day

From the streets of Charlotte Amalie to the beach at Fredriksted

The Virgin Islands are where I want to lay my head

Creative Thing Week #8: Wonderful Life

In our last exciting episode, I described how I hadn’t managed to finish anything for last week, despite having spent some significant time up at the South Jetty in Venice, observing life and writing stuff down, among other things.

Well, this week, among other things, I’ve used a lot of that material in a new song. But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself.

One big difference this week was that I spent more time focused on working with my creative muses. I’d like to get to “daily,” but this week I only had one day on which I didn’t create at least a couple of lines of doggerel, so that’s pretty close. And yesterday I dug into the accumulated lyrics of the week, and pulled out and assembled this song. Again, it’s likely not the best thing I’ve ever written, but it’s more or less complete (the bridge is a bit sparse) and it has music. I think I had some Jim Morris running through my head while creating lyrics, because the song at this point definitely has that sort of feel to it.

You probably want to hear the song now, right? Well, here it is: https://youtu.be/_g1dNFU5TmA

In addition, I managed to spend a bit of time brainstorming with a couple of my fellow artists on Friday, in between their sets. In the process, I came up with a chorus for something they’ve both been noodling on a bit, and got some constructive feedback on an old idea I’ve been knocking around for years. It was a helpful reminder of one of the reasons why I live here now, where my fellow artists track through fairly regularly.

I’m learning some worthwhile things about my creative flow and process, doing this exercise. And I’m already eight weeks in! :)

Copyright © Loren Davidson, all rights reserved

To buy any of Loren’s music, go to iTunes and search on “Loren Davidson.”

Or buy Loren’s music on CDBaby: http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/LorenDavidson

Just want to help support me in making more music? http://www.digitaltipjar.com/lorendavidson

Loren’s Website: http://www.lorendavidson.com

Loren’s Facebook artist page: http://www.facebook.com/lorendavidsonmusic

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Creative Thing Week #7: I Fuck Up.

I got nothing.

Well, not exactly. I’ve created a bunch of lyrics, many of which are on similar themes in support of a couple of ideas I had around being by the water, dolphins, etc. Hell, I made a special trip to the beach today to try to get it together.

And it didn’t quite work. I got home; I got distracted. I did not meet my goal.

Yes, some of it is that I don’t dedicate regular time to creative work. Maybe I’ll manage to try that, and not try to pull an all-nighter on Saturday or Sunday.

My commitment is to be accountable through this journey, as I work on this stuff. Yeah, I’ve created three new songs in the last six weeks. That’s pretty awesome. But I ain’t done what I said I’d do for this week.

And I have to live with that, and figure out how to do better.

Thanks for listening.

Creative Thing #6: First Step (new song)

So Saturday morning arrived, and I was still about as idea-challenged as the guy who tried breaking a car window with his head. And I needed something by Monday.

And then I got an idea: Go through some of the song pitch requests that I get every day, find something that I can write to, and write something. So I picked a request looking for “travel songs” (because that *should* be in my wheelhouse) and listened to about five examples that had the feel they were looking for. Most of these used the same approximate groove, so that gave me a place to start. I picked up the guitar and started mucking around with chords and the groove, and trying out possible lyrics that might work for a hook.

After noodling with this for a bit, I started converging on a chorus idea, “take the first step.” I wanted to make it a love song, so I made sure there were two characters in it. And after getting a chorus, I had to make verses work.

In this case, I noticed that at least one of the examples was a contemporary folk song, with contemporary melodic phrasing. So I decided to do that in the verses, giving me contrast between verses and chorus. And then I kept beating stuff around until I had two halfway-decent verses and a passable bridge. A bit of refinement, and I have the “draft and a half” version that I recorded on Sunday afternoon before running off to play some Pokemon.

I don’t think the song is done. I’m not even sure it’s usable, and it’ll require a fair bit of work. But I’m proud of being able to create a song “to spec” in a very few hours, and I’m proud that I *finished* the blessed thing.

Give it a listen here, and let me know what you think: https://youtu.be/Y25cVGuAnQU

And if you like what I’m doing, please feel free to support me using the following links:

 

Copyright © Loren Davidson, all rights reserved

To buy any of Loren’s music, go to iTunes and search on “Loren Davidson.”

Or buy Loren’s music on CDBaby: http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/LorenDavidson

 

Just want to help support me in making more music? http://www.digitaltipjar.com/lorendavidson

 

Loren’s Website: http://www.lorendavidson.com

Loren’s Facebook artist page: http://www.facebook.com/lorendavidsonmusic

Loren’s ReverbNation artist page: http://www.reverbnation.com/lorendavidson