Wake Me Up When It’s Over

After way too much “exposure” to “The Bob” as my writer friend Pat Bertram calls this current situation, I’ve decided to take a break from social media (for me, that means Twitter and LinkedIn) for the rest of the month. Or longer. Okay, then, just wake me up when it’s over – lol!

I’ll be writing, producing music, and blogging. I’ll be far happier and productive. I just can’t stand the many layers of stupidity and politics everywhere I turn.

“Miss You” by the Rolling Stones has been playing in the jukebox in my head for several days now. Maybe because I do “miss you,” meaning I miss the world doing so many interesting things, I can’t even begin to know about them all. Because it’s obvious too many are doing nothing. Hiding under their bed. Counting meaningless numbers. All to prove something I don’t need proven in order to live my best life. It’s serving somebody else. Not me.

Listening to and creating music, reading and writing stories, and visiting places – that’s what home is to me, that’s what family is to me. And I miss them all.

Or maybe this song is apropros today.

Freedom, Vinyl, and the Power of Music

So we’re moving into a new home in the middle of this “thing” and I run across my box of old vinyls from the 60s and 70s. Including the Beatles’ “Abbey Road,” which is ironic because I’ve been trying out the Abbey Road Studio plugin.

The whole vinyl thing took me down memory lane, my childhood in SoCal, summers at the beach, Disneyland, or listening to 33s in my garage with my sixth grade “boyfriend.” This made me so very happy with much emotion and longing, I had to stop working. I had to sit down and immerse myself in that era and I began to listen to the Rolling Stones – on YouTube, not vinyl. I no longer have a “record” player but I need to get one pronto.

The irony is all my vinyls are either Elvis, the Beatles, or Tom Jones – lol! No Stones in sight. Why, I don’t know because they were a favorite. Anyway, here’s the playlist I’ve been grooving to.

“Gimme Shelter” really stands out, which may seem like an odd choice, but maybe it’s because we’re been going through this whole “shelter in place” thing, which is so depressing. Not that I’m not getting out as much as I ever did. But it’s the mental prison that’s the most debilitating. I applaud the rebels. It’s time to find a way to live our lives amidst a crisis.

So, instead of staying too tuned into Twitter or LinkedIn, etc., well, it’s no wonder I’d rather reach back into the past to better times, even during a war of a different kind. At least we had our freedom. Even if it was an illusion, because, for all intents and purposes, it was real.

At least, I can touch the past in the present when I play the music. That’s freedom. And that’s the power of music.

Adding Music to Las Vegas Strip Video

Las Vegas seems to be getting busier (certainly the traffic is picking up), and there’s some conversation about opening in mid- to late-May. So maybe there are people out there working on preparations. It’s hard to say, but I certainly hope so. Let’s learn to live with this, taking precautions but taking steps toward opening up.

Anyway, I chose to upload some video I’d taken of the Las Vegas Strip before Covid-19, and I added some Screamie Birds music to it as an experiment (the music is added sporadically throughout). It was a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to making more music to video.

Shakin My Bagpipe – What’s Keeping Me Sane (#Covid19)

During this lockdown, the one that keeps me sane is music. And I can’t seem to get enough of “Shake That Bagpipe” and the SIDH album. Which is absolutely hilarious considering my history with bagpipes. We had a family joke about how everywhere I went, bagpipes would suddenly appear. Like the time I got off work after my shift ended at 11 pm (fast food restaurant) and only slept a couple of hours before I went on a fishing trip to the Oregon Coast with my family when I was 16.

So there I am sleeping in the car while the others were either fishing or watching the fishing. And wouldn’t you know it? Here came the bagpipes waking me up. Lol! That was just one of many stories about me and bagpipes.

So what changed? EDM (Electronic Dance Music) and the bagpipes paired with awesome drums! Check it out here.

My Isolation Has Been Invaded by Everybody “Self-Isolating”

In the artist world, “Isolation courts the muse.”

As a writer and music producer, isolation is my normal life and one I love. I’m in my element here.

EXCEPT now that the world is forced into isolation, the wrong kind of people are doing it. They can’t stand the isolation so now everywhere I go electronically, there they are making a BIG noise about creating more online communities, live-streams, growing by the hour! Writing groups, music groups, cruising groups, Disney groups, groups from every direction. Anything to break their isolation. My email is FILLED with these announcements. The pressure to join in is great!

NOW that churches are online only, they are also creating a large number of live-streams of sermons, masses, liturgies, readings and prayers. I love them but a little goes a long way. My email is FILLED with announcements. The pressure to join in can’t help be felt just because they exist.

Their numbers are growing on a daily basis because the world can’t do anything unless it beats a good idea to death.

And now they’ve invaded my SACRED space.

I can’t wait for the world to get back to work and going about their noisy business and leaving me to my artist life. I can’t wait to drop in at church once a week and spend my own private prayer time alone at home. Having the world in your virtual space is too much for any introvert.

Truly, I hope that more opportunities/acceptance to work remotely will grow moving forward but only for those suited for it. We need to honor who people are and how they work best. This can only benefit their employers, spyware not needed.

Deja Vu at the Blue Diamond Saloon, the Book, the Poem, the Tour, and Now the Song (#FAWM)

You may recall that I’d just finished a publicity tour for my psychological suspense novel, Deja Vu at the Blue Diamond Saloon at the end of 2019 before starting FAWM on February 1st. Well, during the tour, I’d written a poem about the book here.

So, naturally, I turned that into a song for FAWM 2020. Check it out. I hope you like it – the song, poem, the tour, and the book. 🙂

FAWM 2020 (#FAWM) Playlist

FAWM 2020, my third FAWM (February Album Writing Month), is over and I survived – lol! From various EDM subgenres to Rock to Blues to Disco, I managed to create 16 songs, including 1 collab, and a poem that was completely rewritten by the time it made it to the finals with some music.

Here’s a playlist of my 10 favorite songs for FAWM 2020.

#1 EDM Artist in Las Vegas on Reverbnation

Wow! The thing I thought would never happen happened! Screamie Birds is now the #1 EDM artist in Las Vegas on Reverbnation.

I’ve bounced around between #2 and #10, but mostly keeping steady at #2. Last week I went from #2 to #3. But now, for the first time I’m the #1 EDM artist in Las Vegas on Reverbnation. I thought it would never happen! So stoked! Time to create some music!

Book in One Hand, Transistor Radio in the Other

This is how I’ve been describing myself since I first started writing and publishing on my web site. The funny thing is, later in life I met my father and discovered this whole musical family of mine. In fact, several family members are friends with Metal Christian group Stryper and Michael’s mother told me that the first time she saw my grandfather, he had Uncle Steven in one hand, and a transistor radio in the other. Talk about coming full circle.

Anyway, I found this 50th birthday video with his parents, and I can see why they would be friends with my grandparents and family. Each discovery helps me piece together my identity and the connection I have with my musical family, taking it all in, looking for the path to my future.

Blogmas, Day 30: End-of-Year Ableton Live Progress (#blogmas)

Many of you blogging this blogmas have mentioned the books you’ve enjoyed reading over the holidays. And in the past, that might have been me, too, especially if you mean fiction. But this year I’ve been cramming learning Ableton Live, taking tutorials and reading non fiction books. Gearing up for FAWM (“February Album Writing Month”), I guess

Logic Pro X is my DAW of choice but as an EDM producer, I wanted to learn Ableton Live. It seems so suited to the music genre. But it’s been quite a struggle in some ways, in others it’s been a breeze. I think that’s because each DAW specializes in different areas. I can sit down and start creating a song right away in Logic Pro, in Ableton, it seems the simplest things are the most difficult. But when it comes to mastering more of the advanced features in music production, Ableton seems to do it much more easily.

And while I’ve been madly applying myself to music tutorials for Ableton, I stumbled upon some really cool ones for Logic Pro, too, and have learned some interesting things I’m quite excited about. What to do, what to do? Ableton Live or Logic Pro? Well, I suppose I really don’t have to choose because I imagine it’s good for a producer to know more than one DAW. The real choice is which one do I use in the moment? lol!

There are a lot of tutorials out there, but it can be challenging following along. Sometimes they use third party plug-ins that you don’t have or their techniques zip past you so fast, you can’t possibly keep up. I’ve probably tried dozens just on one site. Anyway, here’s a sample song I managed to figure out in Ableton Live (via Groove3) from programming drums and synths to mixing and adding special effects such as EQ, reverb, and automation.