8/28/07

Ah, Tuesday

I have spent the past few days doing whatever I wanted to do. I saw two movies in the theater and went to the art museum. I sat outside Sweet Life bakery and read and wrote. I finished the last Harry Potter book (very important literature) and started Maugham's "The Razor's Edge", which was loaned to me by a friend who has never yet suggested a book that I didn't enjoy. I wrote lots of lyrics, some of which might actually be used.

I rode my XS 650 to Oakridge, a little mountain town east of Eugene, and had a turkey and brie sandwich at a nice little hippie cafe. I read part of a funny essay by Carol Bly about paranoids. The only bit of responsibility I imposed upon myself was to pick up a friend at the airport. Her flight was delayed twice and it made no difference to me...I had nothing else to do.

Normally, when I need do have this sort of weekend I go camping or visit a friend out of town. Granted, I hardly ever do it, but sometimes I need the time to myself. I get in ruts and routines. Often, they are self-imposed for the sake of feeling productive and staying busy. At some point I realize that I am experiencing diminishing returns and need to change things up a bit.

It wasn't all play...as I mentioned, I wrote some lyrics that I think I like. Also, I think I may have found myself in an amazing situation in regards to the record I'm trying to make. No, I haven't landed a record deal. I have, though, made a decision that makes me very happy and excited. I'll explain more as soon as it's all firmed up...sorry for the crypticism. I don't want to jinx my plans!

8/22/07

Apologies

I'd like to start this one with a couple of apologies. First, I've been referring to the band Reily as Riley. Small error (and it's partly their fault for choosing a weird spelling), but I felt a large dumb sort of feeling when I discovered my mistake. Sorry guys. For those of you who don't know, Reily is the band I recorded last week, and with whom I played a show last night in Seattle. They are great songwriters and excellent guys, and we had wonderful times together. And I've been spelling their name incorrectly.

Number two, I need to apologize to everyone, including myself, for falling off the blog wagon each of the two last weeks. I've been posting a blog every Tuesday for a while now, per the advice of my publicist friend Leona, but recently it has been like pulling my own teeth to get an entry up on schedule. I'm sorry. I was wrong. Please forgive me.

So, I'm in Seattle. It's raining and fall seems like it's just around the corner. I played a fun show last night; Reily hosted an art auction/concert to raise funds for their record and they asked me to play. It was exactly the sort of thing I love being involved in; artists of different sorts together, showing their stuff and talking about it, all doing what they can to spread the word. I met a guy who has a little studio in a remote mountain area of Japan where he makes electronic music with his wife...how cool is that? I sometimes forget how valuable and inspiring it is to just hang out with other artsy types. I often prioritize holing myself up in a studio or a basement to write or record, thinking that I need to put in the hours and stay on task; sometimes it's better to get out and mingle a bit.

Anyway, I'm sorry for my recent missteps. I'll be good, I promise.

8/17/07

In the studio, on the stage

It’s quiet around the house this morning. Nice, because I actually have a second to sit down and write something. The past week has been a flurry of activity from early morning to late night.

The Jonny Lang/ Los Lonely Boys show at the Cuthbert went well. It was great to play the tunes in front of so many people and to receive a warm response. The guys in my band were great…it was an all-around success.

All of the other days this week have been spent in the studio with the Seattle-based band Riley. At its’ heart, Riley is two songwriters, Dave and Grant, who have been writing and playing together for a few years. They made their last record in their garage and it was great…this time they decided to move to a different studio. They decided on Blackberry Hill and I was asked to help engineer and co-produce.

It’s been a lot of fun working with/for these guys. They are extremely nice dudes and are both very talented and creative. We’ve been putting in 12 or 14 hour days all week and I’m still excited to get back to it each morning. The music is excellent…we’ve been having fun getting it on tape.

I’m going to Seattle on Sunday to see friends and to play at Riley’s art auction. Then I’ll come home and work on my record for a week or so before I start working on Alexis Stevens’ project. She’s another extremely talented writer whose music I love…it’ll be great!

I’m getting tired again…oh well. I’m happy to stay busy. I’m fortunate to have the chance to do these things and I’m not about to turn them down just to get a little extra sleep.

8/9/07

Land On You

I've posted a demo version of "Land On You" on the Myspace page...feedback is welcome!

www.myspace.com/ehrenebbage

8/7/07

Full, full, full

My mouth is full, metaphorically speaking, and I hope I haven't bitten off more than I can chew.

It's the nature of this profession to have periods of little activity followed by periods of intense activity. When it rains, it pours, right? It just started raining! The next two weeks will be filled with outrageously fun musical happenings...there will be almost no time to work on the record.

I mentioned the cool show coming up next week; I get to open for Jonny Lang and Los Lonely Boys at one of Eugene's best concert venues, the Cuthbert Amphitheater. When the promoter called to offer me the spot he told me that he needed a full band. I told him that my band would be ready. Then I called some friends and asked if they wanted to join a band. Luckily, they all said yes. I have been feeling anxious about the idea of playing these tunes for an audience of thousands with a band that is less than a month old; usually it takes lots of rehearsals and shows to whip a band into shape, and we just don't have that luxury. I've chewed fingernails thinking about it. Well, we had another rehearsal last night and many of my concerns have been alleviated. These guys are great musicians (I already knew that...that's why I asked them!) but more importantly they've spent some time listening and learning the songs. The tunes are really coming together and I think we have a decent shot at sounding pretty good! It makes me happy.

A few days after this show, I'll go back to the amphitheater to play in the Floydian Slips, a Pink Floyd tribute band. This is a hugely popular local event; once a year we get together and play some classic Floyd tunes, complete with laser light show, and a few thousand people come to see it. It's extremely fun. Anyway, I still need to learn two hours of music before our rehearsal on Sunday.

On top of it all, I agreed to help record a band all next week. They're called Riley, and they're a cool Seattle band with a bit of a following. I'm excited to do this...it'll be great experience and a lot of fun...all day, every day during an already busy week.

Also, I've been working with my friends Kyle and Leona on a t-shirt design...I'm no graphic designer and I have no business being involved in this stuff, but I'm doing it anyway. The shirts should be ready by next week.

Even my blog is a little too full...I have lots more to say, including my thoughts about working at an all day hip hop show, and my ideas about scrapping this record and re-doing it with another producer. I'll write again soon.

8/2/07

JK

Hey all,

My former bandmates, Justin, Drew, and Nadir, are up to some exciting stuff and I thought I should mention it. First, it looks like they are close to finishing editing the video we shot for 'Bright and Dirty Lights'. Here's a sample they put together:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdmwcSeBOms

Also, they're going to Korea at the end of the month and touring the US as soon as they get home. Not too shabby. Keep track of their progress at:

www.myspace.com/justinkingband

Nice work, guys.