My Take : Bob Crain - Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist.

THE STORY

Forsaken Veteran of the Drug Wars

Those Who "Served" and the Anthem's They Marched To

Drugs, illicit, illegal, mind and mood altering drugs like it or not have been a part of modern American and worldwide culture for decades. The Drug War maybe the longest running singular war in history. There is no front, no rear, no flanks and no sides in the Drug War it is every man for themselves. The battles were fought in homes, in the streets, in the dark back alleys, the halls of justice, country and city alike. Some had uniforms and some wore colors it was hand to mind combat where camaraderie was a casualty and treachery a weapon.

It has not been fought by conventional means and unlike any other there is no rank, no battle plan, no leadership and no winners. There is but two things that are similar to other wars the collateral damage left in its wake and the anthems it produced. It is fought by individuals against each other or against themselves none the less the causalities continue to mount.

It has employed thousands paid for mostly with heartache. It has turned children in to criminals and provided an outlaw state of mind to many a solider each with their own set of rules of engagement. The Geneva Convention does not apply in the Drug War and countless jail cells and graveyards are filled to overflowing with the victims.

The Drug Wars like other wars became the mother of invention, with each individual pro or con, armature or professional, farmer or lawyer seeking new and better means or equipment to achieve success on the battlefield.

Who knows when the first skirmishes took place but the meandering battle lines were marked out in the early nineteen-sixties. Ever moving ever changing no one knowing where or when their next battle would be fought, with whom, against what demon they would be opposed or what hymn they would march to.

One thing that has always been the banner bearer the drum and bugle core of the Drug War is the music. The Drug War has spawned innumerable songs some for, some against, and some because. Yes the fife and drum players also fought and died, their tombstones sometimes bear the names of the famous and the revered battlers and sometimes they are unmarked … tombs of the unknown, all Forsaken Veterans of the Drug Wars.

Bob Crain had no prior knowledge of which battles J. Smo had participated in and J. had no knowledge of Bob’s marches, they fought in different eras. There is one thing for sure though they are both decorated veterans of the Drug War in some way.

Bob’s chronicle picked up the War in the early Sixties and it carried through blood sweat and fears of the Seventies and in to the Eighties…when many of the early riders in the Drug War Calvary put the VW Van out to pasture and held out hoping against hope for an armistice. It had seemed like there was some structure back then, some rank and file a brotherhood if you will, but that all fell apart under the influence of hard drugs and big bucks.

The Drug War continued no end in sight J. in his War Correspondent guise advanced the reporting from the mid ‘80s. Through the “just say no” front to the crack house massacres, to glorified chemists on TV and here we stand…no end in sight.

Bob’s historical recollection though not autobiographical is clearly tainted with firsthand knowledge and battle front experience. He presents his musical narrative in the format of the day, Folk Rock. The blend of music and message which prevailed as “heads” gathered in candlelit rooms where the smell of grass and incense mixed. The sound arose from the parks, around campfires, coffee shops, the beachheads and the fields of Woodstock. Written with the processor of the time a 1973 Martin D-28, just three chords was all it would take.

J. extends the story in the genre of the millennium Hip Hop Rap but it didn’t tell the whole story and he sought historical background as a good War Correspondent does. He laid out the current details in a language that would be universally understood by the those who would take heed of this Drug War as the casualties continued to mount … including that first casualty of war Truth. Sound journalism now computer processed, a trade at which J. is a journeyman, would carry his hard hitting, straight to the face, bare naked facts report.

So now you have the whole story, five decades of the Drug War rolled in to four minutes and forty five seconds of Folk Rap Fusion … a new composition a blending of old and new … but the Drug War continues unabated, the causalities mount and the anthems continue to be sung. What brought these two veterans and their respective genres together was passion and a desire to deliver the message that the Drug War, a war of individual attrition, continues…and there is no victory in sight.

The Folk/Rap Remix ofForsaken Veteran Of The Drug Wars a compilation by J. Smo and Bob Crain was the brainchild of J. Smo who determined that my Folk recollection and his Rap production were the perfect mates to deliver the message to young and old. J. remixed, produced, recorded and mastered the finished Remix product. Released by MPC Recording Company is now available on iTunes along with the original Folk Rock version as an old school single featuring an A and a B Side … as it should be.

You can read this story and listen to the song HERE … enjoy!

Lyrics - Folk Rap version HERE          Lyrics - Original version HERE


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT I LEARNED IN VENICE - 2016

Here is the first little article or expose' about my trip to Europe. It centers around the couple of days we spent in Venice and what I learned about and from Venice, Italy. 

From the article ... "

Venice - Awesome, Mind Boggling and Enlightening … and such a small place but sometimes good things and enlightenment come in small sizes … like a little book.

I was lucky enough to spend a few days in Venice as part of my little exploration of Europe with my lovely daughter April. We had a great time saw a lot of things and the last couple of days were spent in Venice, Italy.

For someone with a building background it is just mind boggling that such massive, intricate and astounding structures could be built on basically a sandbar and still be standing a thousand years later. Everything is transported by watercraft and hand-carts … still.

Now I saw a lot of amazing old buildings all over Europe castles, churches, walls, terraces, homes, baths, train stations, farm houses, prisons, monasteries … you name it we saw it, climbed on it, went in it, took photos of it and marveled at them. My daughter got sick of me saying “there was a lot of man hours in that”, but that fact was ever present.

Venice was the most mind blowing in respect to construction and buildings and I was intrigued as to the history, the how and why of this city which erupted from the Adriatic Sea. Why the canals, the alleys, the life, the wells, the sewage and why has it not sunk from dead weight back in to the sea from which it seemed to have rose from?" ... Read the full article HERE

 

IT MUST BE A BAD CONNECTION

What passes for "commercial" music today connects with no one about nothing... great for the demographic that it is being directed at, those who have little life experience and no real substance in life to connect to. The historical connection, the circle which held the music scene together just doesn’t seem to exist any longer.  

Today is somewhat like the "Beatlemania" of the early 60's, teenage girls screaming and fainting over the Beatles ... not necessarily the music but the persona...let's face it there was not a lot of cerebral connection in I Wanna Hold Your Hand....there was a physical connotation but what was all the screaming about?

From about the mid 60's we grew up a bit, the music advanced a bit, the world was in a state of flux, and of course we didn't have anything but the music. We were also very well educated with few instant satisfaction distractions like we have today, computers, the internet, Facebook and mobile phones. The music, the musicians, the generation, the times were all connected not like today, there doesn’t seem to be any connection except to ones internet/mobile service provider.

There is no connection with the music today but with the music of old the artists and bands who wrote and played their own music which was written about what was happening to them and around them…it was believable it connected. Dylan, Young, Mitchell, Browne, the Doors, the Stones, the Moody Blues, the Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead etc etc not only connected then but in many cases it still connects with the Woodstock Generation. It also connects with the younger generations all you need to do is look at the demographic at a Dylan, Eagles, Young, Springsteen concert, young and old alike connect to the music.

With the commercial canned music being pressed out there today the connection just doesn’t exist yes they listen to it and maybe they download it but it is throwaway plastic music as soon as the next fancy bit of plastic is “dropped” the old bit of plastic is literally dropped…in the bin.

The circle which connected everything, the music, the musicians, the business, the venues and promoters and the fans is broken...will it ever be connected again? I don't know but I do know that the world was a better place when it was.

I do my best in my songwriting to keep it connected to the here and now to what is happening in the world around us. That is what Folk Rock is all about delivering a message, painting a picture, making a suggestion, leaving the listener with something to think about rather than just staring in to their mobile phones checking to make sure they are still connected … but connected to what?

 

SONGWRITING -

Songwriting is my thing, I love performing and playing music which is the basically the end result of songwriting but the creative process the act of songwriting is root of satisfaction. I have been doing it for a long time lyrically but really only in the last 10 or so years have I found myself theoretically knowledgeable and experienced enough to put original musical composition to the lyrics. 

I have written a lot of new stuff lately and will be getting out playing them in the New Year and looking forward to it.

I have recently gone back over lyrics written in the past and found some gems one of those is lyrics I wrote in 1983 in Hawaii. I have brought it up to date now 40 years down the track. It's titled REGANOMICS...it seems I wasn't fooled then and the results are I was right ... here's a DEMO for those of you who can't get to my shows.

FM RADIO -

WHEN THE MUSIC FLOWED

Below is an excerpt from the book – THE HAIGHT –ASHBURY A HISTORY by Charles Perry – Charles Perry is a long time writer and correspondent who began writing for Rolling Stone Magazine in 1968. He was a resident of the Haight – Ashbury District in San Francisco in the late ‘60s and lived to tell the tale and document the history of the District and the Times. This excerpt relates to music….and it seems in the current state of music we have come full circle, the only hope is that we continue to circle and find our way back to art, talent, and inspiration over commercialism.

March 1967

“Rock and roll was the subject of a panel discussion at Mills College. The speakers included Bill Graham, record producer Phil Spector, Jefferson Airplane founder Marty Balin, Ralph Gleason and Tom Donahue.

Despite being semi-retired after selling Autumn Records and giving up Mother’s, [refers to The Mother’s of Invention Band]  Donahue was still a major figure in the local music scene.  If they wanted his opinions, he had plenty of them. He had been rethinking radio since his days as “Big Daddy” on KYA. Why did rock radio need the pushy fast talk, the idiotic jingles, the tasteless advertisements, the limited and inflexible playlists? Why, he wondered aloud, did radio ignore songs from an album just because they hadn’t been released as 45rpm singles? The record market had changed in the last few years – people were actually buying more albums than singles – but rock stations ignored songs that weren’t available as a 45. Why wasn’t rock and roll programmed on an aesthetic, artistic basis, rather than according to a playlist?

After the panel, Gleason told Donahue about a program that had already accomplished what Donahue suggested. It wasn’t on AM radio that is why Donahue had never heard it: Larry Millar’s mid-night show was on KMPX-FM.”

The FM format of playing album cuts, sometimes entire albums, and featuring a full spectrum of the music of the times Blues, Rock, Folk, Indian, and more spread like flowing lava from Larry Millar’s KMPX-FM show. FM radio soon became the only thing to listen to amongst the music consumers, and the music just flowed and flowed.

Today we are back to the same pre FM rut, the flow has been reduced to a trickle. Commercial and major publicly funded radio stations are feeding the consumers with playlist music provided to them by the major music publishers. The consumers buy or steal those singles from the internet impressed by a hook or a jingle from the commercial factory line of music and have no concept of an artist’s body of work…it doesn’t matter they like that song because that is what they have been programmed to accept as music.

 

Songwriting - There Is No Songwriting 101

Songwriting is a different art it is writing, story-telling, poetry, even journalism, then it all gets colored up with music. Or if it is done in reverse a musical painting is done then written all over with language. You can’t paint a short story neither can you verbalize a water color.

Songwriting is unique in that way and again unique in that each artist does it in an individual manner. There is no Songwriting 101, oh there are books, articles, websites, classes, seminars, conferences and “how to” advice galore but not one of those can tell you how to write a great song, there are a few reasons for this;

There are no facts in music just opinions so one man’s great song is another woman’s eh… not so good.

No instructor can explain to you how to see inside your heart, mind, soul, intimate feelings or perceptions of the world around you.

None but another songwriter can explain the frustration of the lost chord or the missing lyric …and they can’t explain it either they can only bear witness to it.

·         There are no lessons, classes or exercises in finding inspiration.

There is of course a gap an artistic line between commercial production and art. A five gallon plastic bucket formed by a plastic extrusion machine can come in all shapes, sizes and colors but it can hardly be compared to a hand-crafted pottery bowl or a fine marble sculpture.  The same can be said in the art of songwriting commercial assembly line pop with a catchy repeated hook or your commercial country fare of beer, bars and jilted women are just “plastic buckets” produced by machines.

There are rooms full of pop catch phrase composers like so many jingle ad writers assembling pop songs while the new world of A&R is all about finding a marketable product … talent can be created in the studio. Nashville is awash with people sitting at desks writing the “next big country hit” over and over and over.

Songwriting in its true art form requires three things, some understanding of music theory, a deep grasp of the language one chooses to write in and inspiration. The first two can be learned the third must be felt.

There is an oft touted songwriting methodology called “song a day” it demands that one sit down and write a song every day. I suspect the general outcome of this is three hundred and sixty three bits of wasted time and paper and maybe one good song. It would seem that one would be better served seeking inspiration for that one good song when it comes along…and using the rest of the time in a more productive pursuit.

Ask the greatest of songwriters “how do you write a great song” and the prevailing answer will be “I don’t know”. Neil Young once said when asked “I don’t know but when you find out will you tell me”. They can tell you why, who, what, where and when but few will venture in to “how”.

I myself don’t think about it, in my younger days I attempted to strain out a song…a fruitless waste of time. As I got older the three vital components began to gel and mingle, I just left the door open and songs were delivered. I prefer not to delve in to the mystery of from where they come and just relish in the fact that they do. I am just a conduit a delivery system as it were.

Songwriting like all art is a delivery mechanism, there is no sense in delivering an empty package, it is meaningless to both the sender and the receiver. Find the inspiration, tell the story make the point, apply the appropriate color and brush strokes and deliver with care and passion.Songwriting so simple in its essence…but not so much in its practice.

APRA UPDATE -

After more than 18 months of haggling with persons at APRA, who's names and positions are really not important, I have finally received a written response to a letter I hand delivered to the CEO at the APRA Roadshow in Melbourne in OCTOBER OF 2013. The written response in the end was, well nothing to write home about, but the fact that I actually got a written response from APRA is now considered to be one of the MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF MY MUSIC CAREER.

 

RAINBOWS let's be more like them...

Rainbows are not radical they are exceptional examples of compromise and understanding, we as people should pay closer attention to them. The red cannot exist without the violet and neither of them can exist without the colors in the middle separating them they are all in it together the extremes only exist because of the middle colors … and there are more colors in the middle than at the outer edges.

Perhaps it is our current tenancy as people to radicalize our positions and opinions in every situation that causes so many of the problems we have in the world today. No one is prepared to give any credence to the colors of the rainbow noting that the red and the violet exist but recognizing that it is the orange, yellow, green, blue, and indigo which both separate and hold them together.

 

 

 

  

 Take for example the environment …

Are the “Left” and/or the “Right” (you know what I mean depending on your country just insert the appropriate party) bad for the environment? Is it because of exactly what one of their pointing fingers might indicate, no it is not really that at all. The same “problem” affects almost all of the issues that the human race faces today I have just focused on the environment because it is the most important.

So herein lies the answer to the question, the Republicans, Liberals, Conservatives, Tea Party, the Sarah Palin’s of the world who can’t see their hands in front of their faces keep jumping up and down and swearing on a stack of Holy Bibles, a portrait of Margaret Thatcher & Ronald Regan and a Texas oil well that the sky is not falling. They bring snow balls to show and tell, blame hurricanes and poverty on God and protest that the Koch Brothers are actually an environmentally friendly, money grubbing, career politician buying Corporation. They have their collective heads so far in the smog and pollution that their brains have been affected to a point that no rational thought or acceptance of any position or opinion other than theirs and those that exactly align with theirs is possible. They might as well be living on a far to the right planet somewhere … let’s call it Planet Right.

So those living on Planet Right are convinced that the “environment” is a communist plot and no choking cloud of poison gas is going to change their position.

While that is a problem it is not THE PROBLEM … the problem is modern day physics – for every stupid action there is an equally stupid reaction … and that is THE PROBLEM.

Because there is a Right Planet there is also a Left Planet (insert any extreme opposite words here you like). The full weight of stupid on Right Planet must be counter balanced by an equal weight of stupid on Left Planet.

We have become so radicalized so black and white, so if they say that it must be wrong. so anti opposite, so belligerent, so full of hate and derision, so us against them, so if you say communism we say fascist,  if we say good you say bad and if you see action we see inaction … in other words we are poles apart.

That is THE PROBLEM, everything is 180 degrees 90 degrees is an unthinkable possibility. Our pride of opinion has reduced our ability to reason so much so that truth, commonsense and understanding are foreign concepts only mentioned in philosophy books.

We can actually pay someone to or find a radical internet blogger, a lying journalist, an unethical “scientist”, a wannabe career politician of any color, a Bible thumping Christian or a pot smoking Atheist to confirm our radical positions…so it’s cool because he said so.

There is no middle ground, there is no compromise, no let’s find areas of agreement we can start from, no statesmen, no considered research, no two sides to every story and no the truth lies somewhere between right and wrong … or between the Left Planet and the Right Planet.

So while the Right Planet Tribe is claiming that the sky is not falling the Left Plant Klan is outside looking up waiting for it to hit them in the face and the result is nothing changes nothing gets done about the environment.

All the viruses destroying our fantastic planet, and us with it, continue to fester unabated … industrial pollution, deforestation, overuse of chemicals in agriculture, plastic, wars of ideology or religion, over population, urban sprawl, waterway pollution and all the rest. The corporations and people who are profiting or in fact living off of the proliferation of those viruses just carry on as if nothing is happening while Plant Left and Planet Right are busy pointing fingers at each other.

The social viruses that are destroying us from within continue to fester out of control suffering from the same polarization effect … violence in our streets, schools and homes, the rich getting rich and the poor carrying the load providing fodder for the power machines just to mention a few..

Nothing is getting done we are going the way of the dinosaurs despite the fact that we have brains and they didn’t because we are all too busy pointing the finger at the “other side”. It’s all over the “social media” and elsewhere so full of hate and “it’s someone else’ fault” WRONG … it’s your fault, its my fault it all of our's fault. We are poles apart and that is THE PROBLEM but guess what we are all in this together and if we don’t start thinking independently rather than picking one Planet or the other and following along like sheep if we don’t start finding some middle ground, like so few of us tend to do there will be no colors of the rainbow connecting the red and the violet the whole thing will collapse and you can turn it back over to the cockroaches, amoebas and plankton and start all over.

Think about it open your eyes move towards the light its those colors in the middle of the rainbow those are the colors of truth, commonsense, common decency, respect, understanding, compromise and working together for the good of the Earth and mankind. Don’t be fooled by radicalism, follow the money, don’t blindly believe or follow just because someone says so or says the opposite go outside have a look for yourself if you don’t see it falling then you probably have another day or two to do something positive …so do it!

And try this if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all keep it to yourself it won’t hurt beside actions speak louder than words anyway… be a rainbow embrace the color.

Interview with MTM

I have been very lucky to have crossed paths with the boys, Joshua and Brett, at Middle Tennessee Music (MTM). They have published a coupe of my articles, played a few of my songs and we have had numerous discussions regarding music and the music business.

They asked if they could send me some interview questions and I of course agreed. They were somewhat surprised at the detailed and in-depth answers which were returned ... now they could have just said "who does this guy think he is the Bob Dylan of interviews" but instead they said "this is one of the best interviews they have seen for years" and have elected to publish the interview in its entirety in two parts, then podcast and stream the audio of the full interview.

MTM are fervent supporters of independent music and the artists and bands who travel that road. They play, stream and promote indie music and artists and they provide researched information about the music business. They have researched, and have experienced by trial and error, the dos and the don't dos of the new world of the music business the digital platforms, the video platforms, social media, upload and submission sites and they have shared and decimated that information and research out through their website http://www.midtnmusic.com/ and podcasts. 

The full interview Parts 1 & 2 are now up on the MEDIA PAGE including the exclusive video done to accompany the video of a new song Genre Gap...check it out.

Enjoy and of course your comments are gratefully accepted here and on the MTM Website.

THE SONGWRITER SESSIONS

The Taste of Indie Collective's Songwriter Session just continue to grow and it is influencing the way music is being presented with similar "Songwriter Sessions" showing up all over Melbourne and other places ... but there is still just the one original. You can read all about it in an interview we did with the local music street rag Beat ... link on the MEDIA PAGE. 

And the hits just keep on coming last week we pulled off a world first playing Multi-Genre Indie Music with a House Band ... it was a hit, full house at the Prince everyone loved it ... it won't be long before that is being copied either.

 

39 vs 39

You will have all seen by now the Facebook Post that is going around titled The Top 39  Annoying Things That Bands Do…if you haven’t it is attached as Appendix A.

Someone had to respond...so I have compiled a list of The Top 39 Things That Venues Do That Annoy Local Bands. Now I am sure that venues will say "we never do that" and other musicians around the world will say "hey you forgot this" and "what about that there should be 50 at least". But let's leave it at 39 apiece we are all in this local live music scene together and we all need each other...so musos have a good hard look at the Venues 39 Things and venues have a look at the Muso's 39 Things...then lets all sit down together and come to a reasonable WIN WIN arrangement!

The Top 39 Things That Venues Do That Annoy Local Bands

Appendix A

 

 "global warming climate change"

 Are we being hoodwinked about this whole "global warming" "climate change" thing? Good question...there are a few things that bother a skeptic like me and in this little article I draw attention to some of those things. I will likely be labelled a "denier" by many for even suggesting that there are a few things that smell a bit fishy.

For instance...

  • After "researching" the issue for over 20 years all that we get are more stats no solutions, after all we have as a race addressed environmental issues in the past successfully.

  • These popular catch cries of "global warming" and "climate change" have become the headline but the actual things that man is doing to destroy the planet have somehow been lost in the sensational headlines and never actually mentioned.

  • Who is profiting from the "global warming / climate change" industry...or follow the money from Chapter 1 of the Skeptics Handbook.

  • Records, Surveys, Percentages, Statistics and "the sky is falling" sensationalism that surrounds the whole issue.

There is a link below to the entire article where I expand on these points and more from my Old White Guy and professed skeptic point of view but before you paint me as an out of touch denier read the first couple of paragraphs...and if you are really a concerned human and not just one who has jumped on a popular bandwagon, read the entire article then have a look around.

In this day and age one does not want to be labeled a Global Warming Denier…it is akin to being labeled a witch in Salem and elsewhere in the 1600’s …. But were there ever any real witches or were there just people who did not conform to the accepted norm of the day.

I am not a denier as such as I have been an environmentalist and ecologist since the early ‘60s long before it became popular to be such. My 6th grade teacher spent an entire year reading to us and discussing with us a book – Ecology And The Balance Of Nature – I believe was the name of it, and those premises and discussions have stuck with me ever since.

Full Article Here

APRA MEETING -

I have had somewhat of a running battle with APRA for the last year over a few issues and communication so here is a bit of an update. As a Rights Organization APRA does it's job and better than some others that I have heard about...that was never the issue. The issues were simply put that they could do so much more from the monopoly position they held in the Industry but they only seemed interested in the high profile big ticket events and artists, there was little concern for the Working Poor Muso especially here in Melbourne. Then I think the last straw was the proposal they put forward to reduce the live performance distribution rate to the little guys and give more to the big players....that sent me in to full activist mode. Anyone who knows me knows that I am like a dog with a bone when I get hold of one.

Anyway I won't hash through all the water that went under the bridge prior to a meeting that was arranged between myself as a Writer Member of APRA and Dean Ormston the Head of Member Services Group it suffices to say that there was some rough water that went under the bridge ... but the bridge is still standing.

Dean and I spent a couple hours discussing many of the issues I had raised, the solutions and ideas I put forth and APRA's relationships generally. I suppose my main point was that APRA has a fixed monopoly position in the industry and while it may not be a requirement of them to help out the Working Poor .... there is nothing that is actually stopping them from doing a bit more. Dean agreed with many of the points I was making in respect to things like a real scientific survey being done to help us better understand where we should best invest our limited promotion budgets for live gigs and the production of an APRA Standard Live Gig Worksheet. I made the point that actually APRA is acting as our "agent" in respect to original music live gigs....they collect license fees from venues that put on live original music and they distribute those license fees back to us in the form of our LPR's that is the textbook definition of an agent client relationship....Dean agreed, despite the fact that it is not really set to those words in the APRA Constitution...it is what it is. 

Dean, who has been with APRA for many years, provided some insight to some things that APRA are doing which will benefit the members and noted that the proposal that would have seen the distribution rate to the Working Poor reduced and the rate for the "Gold Class Stars" increased has been shelved....I guess I made my point on that one.

Another point that Dean and I discussed was communication and this has been an issue for many people I have spoken to APRA is just too dismissive of questions, queries, complaints, ideas, and general communication from the Writer Members yet we make up over 75% of the membership. Dean indicated that this has been an issue and discussed at the highest levels in APRA and that they need to do better. I indicated that APRA is our Rights Organization we should have open communication from people....not FAQ lists. He and I agreed that if perhaps the communication between myself and APRA had not broken down all of these things I raised could have been discussed and maybe addressed sooner and with less stress.

It was a good meeting Dean took notes and went away with some things to think about and hopefully find a way to chip away at the seemingly service and attention bias at APRA where the big boys get all the meat and us Working Poor get to lick the bowl....there is enough of that in society generally we don't need the same in OUR Rights Organization.

Dean will get back to me and I will update here hopefully something real starts to happen.

2015 - It is alive...

Well I gotta say 2014 was nothing to text home about...some good things The i Live Festival, Ashbury Medicine Show, some good gigs and lots of new friends...but there was plenty on the downside to counter that...not worth going in to as the future is NOW. I did check everything off my 2014 list except for organizing world peace, guess I'll still have to work on that. 2015 holds a lot in the crystal ball of the future but there are some things on the To Do List...

  • Get the new riders on Ashbury Medicine Show wagon lined up, rehearsed and out on the gig trail.

  • New music, I finished off a lot of songs in 2014 and even collaborated on a song with another musician for the first time...unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) it seems that for every song I finish another two pop up on the unfinished list, so still plenty of work to do. I have been lucky enough to collaborate on a second collaborative work with the new rider on the lead guitar seat in the AMS Wagon and we will be getting that one out to the folks soon.

  • Get this website working for me better which means getting my Search Engine Optimization up and continue to build that, which includes regular My Take articles, inclusions and updates. Some things done to date have helped, at least now when you Google - Bob Crain you don't get 2 pages of Hogan's Heroes reruns before you get to my site.

  • My News Years Resolution is to not comment on politics on Facebook in 2015...and I gotta say just a week or so in my resolve is being severely tested. Too much time for not enough result...but I will be making My Take comments regularly and some of those may be political...and of course there is always those socially conscious and some times political songs.

  • Gig Gig Gig as much as possible...overexposure in the local music scene is a fallacy perpetrated by those who don't want to do the hard work required to land gigs or just want them all for themselves.

  • Keep working on supporting and improving the local live original music scene and pound away at the walls that are keeping it from getting better, more rounded musically, out of Bandrooms and in to Open Bars and more attractive to the fans as we ask them to part with their hard earned entertainment dollars to come and enjoy our music.

  • Keep on keeping on!

OCT 2014

Below is the link to an article which was published on US Music Blog - MIDDLE TENNESSEE MUSIC with an excerpt from it appearing in the local Street Press titled FOLK ROCK SURVIVAL

Just a bit of history and the current standing of the genre that I am and supporting our Folk Rock Touring Troupe Gigs throughout the Australian Spring and Summer.

And yes I know I have been lazy about updating and getting some more music up in the Demo Tester but I have been busy playing, writing and battling the forces of evil in the Music Industry....I'll get some new stuff up soon!

FOLK ROCK SURVIVAL

 

JUNE 2014

Here's a new demo to test....BE HERE NOW. Sort of a lessons learned in life song... don't worry too much about things you can't do anything about...like the past or the future.

The only thing you can actually control or effect is what you are doing at any given moment. Don't let the swirling forces of the mind get the best of your concentration I guess is the point.

It has one of the best lines I think I have written ... see what you think it might be.

Added a bit of whistling at the beginning with just a light strumming in a major chord...it's a cheery song, something I am sometimes criticized for not writing enough of. I just write what the patron saint of song writing (whom ever that is) sends me I don't pick and choose or make them up, I just accept whatever is delivered.

I have been getting a lot of feedback from these demos but remember they are very rough demos so going on about the production is unnecessary. Like I said lots of feedback some good some bad but it all gets accepted and logged to be taken in to consideration.

BE HERE NOW - lyrics         BE HERE NOW - audio

DAMN NEAR THE END OF JUNE 2014

WTF...the year is nearly half over boy does time fly when you are busy...having fun or otherwise.

Ashbury Medicine Show is currently my main focus...but there are a couple of other side things going on. One is a project "something that has a definitive ending" but it is Music. I am keeping the details under wraps for now until a few more of the pieces fall in to place then is can be revealed. 

The other is the never ending battle with the powers that be in the Music Business, the continuous battle against the Music Industry Bloodsuckers, well that is an ongoing battle that has been ongoing since someone first beat on a hollow log with a rock. It seems the bloodsuckers will always find a way to suck some blood out of the creators without ever creating anything themselves but that is just the game.

The surprising one is that we as working semi-professional or full time professional musicians have to battle our own Industry Bodies that we are the actual members of to get them to put some of the money they are earning off of us back in to services which will actually help us in our endeavours. Now that should be a battle that we can win, in fact it is not even a battle we should have to fight.

Big Music has their tentacles in to the Collection Societies which are supposed to collecting royalties and distributing them our using them in our best interests but it seems to the people that have themselves entrenched in these Societies like our friends at APRA (Australian Performing Right Association) that the only people that they are actually working for is Big Music...not the damn overwhelming majority of members who are independent and have no connection with Big Music......oh well what the hell else am I doing????????????  

February  2014

A few technical glitches have prevented me from getting this up earlier but here it is installment 2 of the "demo tester" got some really good and some bad feedback on the last one but that's what its all about.

The song is called INDIAN LESSONS its sort of a question song and the question is... if we some day arrive on another planet and there are indigenous beings on that planet, will we have learned anything from our dealings and relationships with indigenous peoples here on Earth?... we'll see.

Indian Lessons - Bob Crain       Audio          Lyrics   

January 2014

Here is the first experiment with my new toy..."the demo tester".

Remember when we used to be neighbours and had neighbourhoods. People we saw ... and talked to nearly everyday? I do and here is a song I wrote about that seemingly soon to be forgotten phenomena. Comments are gratefully accepted via the contact page.

Remember the recording is just a rough demo, probably recorded on my hand held digital recorder, with just me on the guitar but you will get the gist of it. I will leave it up for 2 Weeks and see what happens.

Once We Were Neighbours -  Audio   -   Lyrics

Note...it's not misspelled that is the Australian spelling of the word.

My Take 2014 ARTICLES ARCHIVED HERE

My Take 2013 ARTICLES ARCHIVED HERE

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