More DIY/Sara Lov

I've been all pumped up to find creative ways to get my music out to the world. There are way more opportunities than any one person can manage...all of the internet media outlets draw gazillions of viewers and it would be wonderful to work my way into their line of sight. One of the big elements that I lack is video content, so I'll be working on putting that together.

Sara Lov had a great idea; she shot a series of videos performing covers as requested by her fans. They are extremely simple, low or no budget, and by encouraging fan input she engages them and provides a reason to follow her efforts. It's such a great idea...I may need to 'borrow' it...

Here's one installment. She's accompanied by Zac Rae, who produced my record. Sara is touring like crazy this fall...go see her!


Boltron/Wage Slaves

Chris Bolton has been writing for a long time. I have known him for 17 or so years and he was writing before we ever met. I count him among a few friends whose work ethic, discipline, and drive are on a level above most others. It has been fun and inspiring to watch him develop his craft. I'll never forget the time a few years back when we found ourselves sharing a hotel room in the Philippines; each night when I left to carouse with the locals he stayed behind to write. Each (mid) morning I'd wake up to find him already awake, writing. He is on a mission.

In recent years there was a stretch when he seemed to be on the verge of bitterness and jadedness; he had become a great writer and was working like crazy to produce a solid body of work, but the world wasn't paying attention. He submitted screenplays to publishers and contests and got great feedback but never got the stamp of approval that so many of us seek from our respective industries. He had stacks of stories and screenplays and he knew that his work was good...why didn't anyone take notice?

I think that this is the point at which many artists choose to throw in the towel and become hobbyists. In Chris' case, it was the point at which he stopped waiting for the green light from an imaginary financier and started making it happen on his own.

In the past year, Chris launched an increasingly popular web-based comic, Smash, which is illustrated by his brother (and my best buddy) Kyle Bolton. They have maintained an incredible pace and have released 10 episodes since its debut one year ago.

Chris also wrote, directed and edited a fictional web-based series called 'Wage Slaves' based on the lives of the baristas at the Rose City Coffehouse. He shot the episodes over a number of weeks on a shoestring budget. Yours truly provided the soundtrack and I play the role of Rob in a few episodes. The series makes its debut today!

"Wage Slaves" Episode 1 from Chris A. Bolton on Vimeo.

On top of it all, Chris was one of sixteen selected to contribute a story to 'Portland Noir', a collection of short stories by Portland writers. It's a real book, by a real publisher! You can find it online HERE.

In the past year Chris has received more attention than ever and it has come as a result of the initiative he took to put his work out into the world. Bottom line is, nobody is going to come looking for you while you toil away in your bedroom. Find ways to make your work visible and it will get the attention it deserves and you will be happy. Just look at Chris!


Me and Eli

Fun news this week: 'Land on You' will be featured on ABC's Eli Stone on Saturday, July 11!

Licensing has become a major source of revenue and exposure for independent artists. Many of today's well-known artists' careers were launched as a result of a choice placement in a film or TV show (think Grey's Anatomy, Garden State, etc.). This is the first major placement for me...it's exciting, and hopefully there will be more to come!



Whew, what a month it has been. I’ll explain:

Months of wedding preparations came to a head and the result was as I had hoped. I married my sweetheart on June 13th. She and I left the country a few days later. We flew from Seattle and landed in Barcelona and after sleeping for several hours we ate tapas and danced all night.

The next day we caught a $16 Ryan Air flight to the Mediterranean island of Sardegna. I have never seen such clear blue water outside of a swimming pool. The island is gorgeous and somehow it has resisted turning itself into a tourist trap a la Disneyland or Club Med. There are real people who live there and couldn’t care less if your towels have been washed. I’ll spare most of the details of the trip and just highlight the highlights, in order of appearance:

1. The best croissant (locally referred to as a cornetto) I have ever had. It was in the town of Fertilia which was built by Mussolini all those years ago. I remember thinking as I ate that if the extreme right wingers are right about Obama being a fascist a la Mussolini, maybe we’ll get to eat croissants like these. Here's a view from our room.

2. Clear blue ocean water. Clear like a swimming pool.

3. Cappuccinos and macchiatos.

4. The tiny town of Bosa. They have a castle. They have parades. They have people who stand on the backs of horses galloping at full speed. They have Ichnusa.

5. Cala Gonone. Okay, this town was sort of touristy. But in a good way. On this part of the island a mountain range plunges directly into the sea. It looks like someone put the Alps in Hawaii. To get there, you must risk your life on the mountain roads that have cute guardrails and crazy drivers, but when you finally make it you are greeted by bars and cafes and gelaterias, and of course the clear blue Mediterranean.

6. Bonifacio, Corsica. We took a ferry there from Santa Teresa di Gallura. Another small town on another island. Here they speak French. The town was built on sheer white cliffs centuries ago. The buildings are built to the very edge of the cliffs and sometimes are incorporated into the rock itself. You would think that they might have built the town a few feet back from the edge for safety’s sake. We ate mussels and attempted to blend in by saying ‘bonjour’ and ‘merci’.

7. Mainland Italy. Cinque Terre. Five little towns nestled into the hills along the sea. They are connected by hiking trails and a train line. You can have dinner in one town and ride the train to another for dessert. They all have their charm, but I liked Vernazza the best.

In the mornings in Monterosso, outside a cafĂ© called ‘Laura’s’, you will find a small crowd of people sitting around waiting. Eventually an old man appears with a tray of freshly baked pastry cream-filled pastries and the crowd erupts into cheers and laughter. Everyone reaches for the tray and the cheers give way to satisfied munching sounds. Anna decided that these are the best pastries anywhere. We stumbled upon this scene on our first morning in Monterosso. On our second morning we were there waiting for the old man with everyone else.

8. Florence. Il Duomo is incredible. Pictures cannot capture the simultaneous enormity and micro-detailed nature of the building. To think that this was built so long ago and with such old technology…it is simply amazing to see in person.

9. Real gelato. Seriously, not like anything else I’ve ever had.

10. Piazzale Michelangelo at night, overlooking Florence. Bring wine.