Saturday, December 22, 2018

Wily Wonka isn't a Shy Guy

It's the holiday season and old memories from the past stir up for us all.
The shuffle and anxiety of life can get the better of us.
What we celebrate in any faith is faith itself.
I can't comfortably share all the goings on in my head, just that I tend to overthink things.
I get hung up on stupid shit that don't factor into the bigger picture.
In my struggle I find hope in Christ.  I was raised Christian but wasn't always open to Jesus.
Or at least I had doubts.  I still don't know, and that is why it is called faith!
Faith might be the hardest thing for anyone to completely have.
But it is noble and it can bring out the best in us.
I struggle with Seasonal Affect Disorder the shorter days and the cold take their toll on me.
I've got a new happy light that has been helping me.
I am also in my hometown, Paynesville and I am blessed with the blessed animals!
We've got cats at home and I got to pet the pet at Monica's bookstore, Ben Around Books!
It was part Doberman, I heard from Monica that Doberman's are actually very sensitive dogs.
And he remembered me!  What a hound!  I don't have animals always but when I am out to visit
friends and family I get to enjoy the company of animals.
My mother has cats and they are her other babies, My stepdad has dogs and they are his other babies!
My dad and Sally have two cats and they are their other babies.
And I may get a chance to volunteer at an animal shelter.  That would be cool as we aren't allowed any pets at my apartment.  I am also hoping for a girlfriend,
Maybe if I join a dance class or sign up for online dating I might just snag one!
For now, what can I say, I had a chance encounter at the bar.  I didn't "get lucky"
She was spoken for, but I pulled all the stops from "ballroom / square dance" I was taught in school.
Hugh, that education paid off, do they even still teach that in school?
Hope they do, it was jolly good fun!
In school I was taught computer literacy, I got below average grades as I dawdled and took too much time on individual things.  Fast forward to 2018 and I've got two websites, record and produce music on a laptop, make computer games online, and do most of my own song artwork on my music and albums.  I didn't learn to type from class, I learned from writing my own short stories.
So what works for you? Schooling or Fooling? I fool about with my interests and by God I'm 10 cents short of genius.  And what?  Am I arrogant or something?
But of course!  YES!
Sometimes we need to be arrogant, a little egotism goes a long ways!
I am happy to be on a paid SoundCloud account where I can share endless music with my loyal fans!
Look me up there, Leroy!  I go by the alias The Primal Musician on SoundCloud
But where was I?  Yes bacon.  Bacon and eggs!  I am quite the excellent, eggscelent breakfas chef,
although some would beg to differ, who?  Matt, he calls my eggs bad because he is of the opinion that I put too much herbs and spices on them and you can't taste the eggs amidst all the extra extras!
Wha?  Say Monica's friend bought my album for her teenage son who is also on the autism spectrum and enjoys electronica music!  Woah, how life is a mirror!  I had sold one or three at Options too, and one other woman of the women had an Aspergian child!  Life is a mirror!
We need seriously need to make bumper stickers!  Copyright: The Primal Musician, all rights reserved, patent pending!
I feel a pinch like Wily Wonka with all these snarky witticisms!
I am writing and recording more original music and happy for upcoming works with my friends!
I am also working with sploder.com to create more video games!
Yes, sploder, where anyone can make a video game!
Maybe not anyone, but it is a very forgiving learning curve.
I would say any kid or young adult could easily figure it out.
If your over 30 NO WAY! Haha, nah you could do it.
My age is catching up with me,
Why?
I am good with so much with computers and technology yet it confuses and frustrates me too.
Like "smart" TV's
I don't like my TV any smarter than me.
I am lucky I have a 2000's era HD television that roomie, Tyler...
Well his sister donated that TV to the cause!
Charity was kind and the kindness was taken kindly
I enjoy playing N.E.S. original 80's era Nintendo games on it!
I also enjoy playing my Nintendo Wii!
The dojo of Don is well on it's way,
It is smaller so I am trying to learn and get learnt at the organs of organization.
Organization, that's a funny word.  Who the heck decided to spell it?
I mean the Z makes sense but don't many words also use an S in place.
Donald, Donald, Donald... you are wondering
Donald, Don, Donny its all the same really
Call me anything but a dirty trick, call me anything but slander
....Wandering!
Folks, thank you, gracias, merci!
The gift of gab has taken us through to the end,
I am enjoying life, there have "been bumps in the road" not to mention "pot holes"
But I am movin' and shakin' and feelin' good
Ha! okay reigning it in...
I hope to visit mom once again in Easter, and for now I am enoying the Christmas Holidays at the Neu residence! 


Sunday, August 26, 2018

PHROSTY MUZAK Free Download

It was wicked hard limiting my album release to what can be held on a single CD!
What to keep?  What to scrap?  And then there were the songs that were soooo close but not quite done yet.  So I decided to release Phrosty Muzak a second time with some rad extra songs.  Physical copies will remain for sale for $12, but if you prefer to stream or download your music, and if you wanna hear those excellent extra tracks check this!

free download at


Saturday, August 4, 2018

Getting a CD release and What it Taught Me

Above I am pictured with my CD release, Phrosty Muzak!

Where to begin?  Where to begin indeed?  It seems so much has happened since I've last checked in with you fine fellows!  Here is today's subject.  I've just got my CD's Friday and getting them made and delivered was a breeze, right?  Wrong!  If you, as well, wish to release an album on 'good ole' CD's here is what you should know:  For starters everything has to be in the right format.  When I first started, I uploaded my songs to Oasis CD as mixed formats.  Some were 32-bit-float WAV and some polar opposite … mp3  Well here's the thing 32-bit-float is too high a resolution for CD, the proper format is 24-bit-float.  Here's the thing again, mp3 is too low a resolution.  Rookie mistakes.  I resubmitted the tracks in the proper format but there was a problem.  All my old incorrect uploads were still in there and when I tried to delete the old files I got an error message every time!  My mom logged in from NM to help me find a way to wipe the slate so I could upload them again.  Then I needed to change my track list because I had added a few new songs and nixed others.  But I couldn't re-access the cover art / track list editor on the Oasis website.  I called in and they unlocked the access again.  I couldn't understand why they couldn't just leave the access point open.  So I got everything fixed.  And finally I could breath easy, awe...  Oasis uses UPS My Choice to give customers scheduled deliveries at the most convenient time, great philosophy.  Problem- when I created the My Choice account it put a freeze on the order; I didn't know and UPS ended up holding the package for 5 days at their store and then shipping it back to New Jersey even after I had called the UPS customer support to schedule the delivery.  UPS was super automated too.  Lovely.  I called Oasis and they said they would ship it to me again free of charge.  At this point, let me just say, Oasis had great customer support.  They were very helpful and patient.  You could tell speaking with them they cared about the customer.  The process of getting my CD's made taught me a lot of problem solving and communication skills.  And I have got it, my album!  Professionally remastered!  Professionally manufactured!  And with some hot, exclusive songs!  I will likely use Oasis CD again in the future.

  




Monday, June 11, 2018

Phrosty Muzak CD release and On Vacation with Mom

I am presently on vacation in New Mexico visiting my mom and step dad.  I have been enjoying hiking and watching movies with them.  Yesterday we had dinner at mom's landlord's house, they were a charming couple. 

I am very excited!  I am going to be ordering commercial quality CD's of the music I've done over the past few years.  I'm calling the album "Phrosty Muzak"  Each track on the album will get a "touch-up" to enhance the sound.  When I get my CD's in I will be sure to rip one into my own computer to get the enhanced songs in my library!  I plan to upload these songs to my online outposts as streaming only until I get better set up for paid downloads.  I have carefully considered which songs will be on this CD and also their order as order is important to shift the listener's moods.  Styles on my CD are varied from EDM & Dubstep to Hard Rock to Rap to Folk to Classical!

Today we are having lunch with my friend Kenneth at Three River's Brewery.  Enjoying my break from adulting! 

Monday, April 16, 2018

MOXXIE SAY- "STAY CLASSY HOMIES!!!"


OK, Moxxie what would be your top 3 influences in rap & hip hop?

T-Bone, Chamillionaire, and John Reuben

T-Bone and Chamillionaire have some of the best sounding flow and most interesting wordplay of any rappers I’ve heard.  Both are tremendously underrated and kill different types of fast paced yet easy to understand flows.  T-Bone is also bilingual which is cool.

John Reuben approaches rap from a less hip hop perspective but has great messages.  KJ-52 was another one I grew up on.  To copout a bit, I also draw influence from rock fusion rap acts like the Beastie Boys and Manafest.

Where do you go for beats and how do you OWN THEM?!

The ends of the earth ha!  Most of my beats are free from  youtube or beatmakers’ direct websites.  I add  my own background effects and often move parts of the beats around.  On most tracks I play at least a little bass, keys, and/or guitar as well. 

What would you say are some of the essential "tricks of the trade"?

1.       A notebook or notes app on your phone.  You never know when inspiration will hit and it’s awful to miss out on a great concept because you don’t write it down.
2.       A USB microphone and basic recording software.  It’s extremely useful to have the power to lay down a track on the spot, record  and listen to yourself , and also get concepts down without automatically blowing lots of money on studio time.

What do you do to stand out?

I have a very distinct glam influenced image.  It is very different than how most rap artists present themselves. 

Thematically I focus on real topics , relevant issues, and  true experiences.  So many indie artists just rap about money and how awesome they think they are, it becomes tiring and white noise.

How do you really write Christian rap?

As a professing Christian I suppose all the rap I write is “Christian rap” though I don’t really compartmentalize my songs as “Christian” vs “secular” vs something else or whatever other categories people like to use.  That said I try to keep my message biblical, positive and encouraging even in angry and aggressive songs.  My goal is to glorify God and show His love to people through my music.  It is also to provoke  thought and be a channel to release emotion and creativity.

What are some lyrics in modern rap that make you scratch your head?

Pretty much everything Lil Yachty says?  There’s a lot of  modern  rap that sounds more like sounds and effects smashed  together than actual words, a lot of it’s difficult to decipher.

What are your favorite venues to perform in? And why?

I like small to midsize club/bar venues.   It is very cool to have an intimate venue where you can directly interact with  most members in the audience. I’ve never really played an arena or large festival so we may  have to revisit that one if it happens!

What do you think of the "old school" VS. "new school" rap debate?

That’s a complicated one, especially as I do not listen to a ton of new rap music so my opinion will not be the most informed.

I greatly respect the work of Tupac, DMX, NWA, and the like though I was like 2 years old or not even born during their heyday.  That era combined with the late 90s to late 2000s with Eminem, 50 Cent, Chamillionaire, Jay-Z, 116 Clique, and others certainly seems to have better lyrics and writing than what I hear in more recent years (definitely a generalization though). 

Things seem to be so obnoxiously repetitive these days and having “bars” or “lyrical rap” being a special thing instead of a given just seems strange.  There’s definitely some life though, Bizzle and NF (just discovered him this year, kinda sad) have some incredible material and I like a bunch of Yelawolf’s songs.

How did you "invent your image"?

I have always worn tie dye to symbolize equality and unity across all cultures and “colors.”  It’s a theme I like to maintain and I think it looks rad.  I like to dress in excessive and over the top fashion because I believe visual is an important part of music that is often overlooked, especially in the present. 

Image can’t take precedent over quality but if image is thrown out the window, particularly in a live setting, it can get bland.

Lastly, what can we expect to hear from you in the upcoming years?

God willing quite a lot.  I have an  ambitious triple album  concept  in the works inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy.  Albums will be called Moxxie’s Inferno, Moxxie’s Purgatorio, and Moxxie’s Paradiso.  I am also working on another rap album called Moxxiecontin which will feature some already released  singles like Struggle on 98th and Demonic Ragz.  In addition to that I have a solo (and friends) metalcore project called The Desecration of Pragmatism and still contribute to alt rock bands Psychodelix and The E-Villes.

Anything else you'd like to add, friend?
STAY CLASSY HOMIES!!!

Monday, March 5, 2018

THE ONE AND ONLY ANIMUS REX

“Animus Rex, that's an interesting name, how did you dream that up?”
When I first started recording and publishing music a couple years ago, I chose “The Soothsayers” as a project name and had all these grand notions of collaborating with other like-spirits, using the Internet as a medium to make connections that could be followed up in real life,…as a family man, and primary caregiver to four children for the previous couple decades, I really hadn’t established many revolutionary rock & roll connections, so other than taking advantage of the very liberal busking laws in my beautiful home city of Portland, OR and regularly playing my robust music as a street artist, I pinned a lot of hope on the Internet as a medium to connect with people to share music & a humanist message, about Love & Liberty,…as reality accumulated and expectations changed, I found myself standing in that holy place [the bathroom], reflecting, lamenting the human behavior I perceived, the pain I experienced, I had a sort of epiphany, my path became clearer,… the ‘words’ “Animus Rex” issued from my throat and I heard it then for the first time,…I knew who I had become as an artist in that moment, …a couple months later I googled the latin terms to find semantics, Animus = Soul, & Rex = King,…weird huh?
“What inspired you to play music and what do you most try to get across in your music?”
An overwhelming passion to create, heal, connect, & inspire is buried somewhere deep in there, but sculpting sound is a fun thing to do,…for me. And, after I was inspired to experiment with music in different kinds of spaces, I discovered, with rapt experience, that it was ‘fun’ for others too.
Early on in childhood, not many opportunities unfolded for my musical development. My grandparents’ piano ended up being off limits because my aunt insisted that I would knock the piano out of tune playing with it the way I did, and if I wanted to play the thing I should take lessons from the same old bird that she took them from, otherwise, hands off. First, nobody was offering to pay for, nor were they encouraging lessons, the rationale was a means to keep me from making ‘noise’ on the piano, and second but probably first, I would not have tolerated lessons very well, the rote repetition and silly beginner songs, …torturous,…to me. Other than singing in church, sometimes earnestly, the only other musical opportunity I remember was when my uncle gifted me a harmonica. I was about 11, sitting by myself in the backroom, off the kitchen at my grandparents house where extended family would often congregate on Saturday mornings, first time I had a harmonica in my hands, so I just started playing some tunes and experimenting, when I felt played out, I went out into the kitchen expecting that people would be as pleased as I was at the musical sounds…apparently I had been playing TAPS at some point, probably for far too long, and my grandma explained to me in a very kind and gracious way that the music I was playing upset grandpa, because it is a song played at military burials,…and it seemed to make him feel sad. I assured her I wouldn’t play that music anymore, and inside decided that my music sucked, and wouldn’t bother with it…
I experienced music whenever it was available, without any limit to genre, a classic audiophile, without the motivation to collect, so until the digital age, a limited consumption of diverse sounds. I took in whatever was on the radio, laying around on vinyl, cassette, CD, and eventually the digital explosion of sound made ‘everything’ available…
I only rarely experienced live music and when I did, it mostly sounded uninspired and/or kinda crappy. The sound quality was poor, the performance uninspired, but the social experience was always amazing and I totally understood the value of the experience from that point of view. Once in a great while, I would experience someone who had practiced a prearranged piece of music to flawless performance and while I found it rewarding in a social sense, and always appreciated the value of their obvious love of music and devoted practice, it didn’t inspire me to create music, rather to kick back and experience their love of music in action, by riding the sound waves, an audiophile,…in ‘action’ haha!
Eventually, as an adult, I had a few positive vocal experiences, which encouraged more of the same, which …along with having musicians for friends along the way… eventually provided some small degree of motivation to pick up a guitar, learn some chords and sing some of the old favorites around the campfire, …which never happened. Not long after picking up a classic guitar, I became a family man. With little ones toddling about, I found out quickly that time to practice uninterrupted wasn’t going happen, for a long time. At that point, I had a couple guitars, and figured I would get back to it when the children were older.
I didn’t get back to it, until recently, …a couple years ago. Truthfully, I would not have gotten back to it at all, relying solely on the slight motivation to sing campfire songs and learn guitar tabs, the reward didn’t seem enough to motivate me.
Like many people, I’ve been introduced to key portals of growth through self-realization as a transpersonal being. My music is ultimately about healing, self-acceptance and empowerment. It’s about Love. It’s about Liberty. It’s about me, you, …us, …which includes them. I’m ridiculously grateful to anyone that enjoys my primal sonic sculptures. Sharing the digital captures of my ephemeral primal art all started when I decided to record myself live one summer evening a couple years ago, that same evening for the first time, I put contact pickups on my classic gut string guitar, OG, and played her over a small Danelectro amp with dirty sweet effects turned up. I recorded on my old iPhone 4s, “Spread a Little Sunshine” that evening. The music was primal and completely extemp, never played by me before,…most people can feel the primal energy of that capture, and while the experience was and always is best in the moment, I could sense that the capture was worthwhile and part of a larger expansion into a mantle of being,…so I embraced it.
“How do you record and what's your typical way to develop a song?”
Typically, I’ve recorded my music with one track of live sound, with one condenser microphone, so there is no need for mixing most of my instrumental - vocal songs. However, my electronic music was composed by recording a foundational layer of sequenced beats & sounds overlaid with a free-style glass touch extemp performance on a drum pad app, then taking that track of sound and overlaying live extemp vocals. The vocal track to “Time EDM” was all primal. What you hear are the sounds manifest the very first time, extemp, no prep, no redooz, real primal vocals, raw, no effects, no plan, from the soul. Didn’t know what little ol me was gonna do till I’s doin’ it…that can be a common theme in my musical experiences, …the best ones anyway. “Star Shadow” was the same, only, I laid three vocal tracks on the free-style extemp foundation track, which was without beat sequencing completely free-style finger on glass recording, then vocals on Audacity…one, two, three,…thought I’d keep one of the vocals, felt the need to listen to them all at the same time, and instantly knew the three tracks belonged together in,…harmony, & with providence. It felt great producing those sounds,…and I’m looking forward to exploring more as time, motivation, & resources permit…very much. Looking forward to all of it, the music, the connections,…fulfillment.
“What software/gear do you use in your work?”
I’m a multi-instrumentalist & avant-garde technologist with the only restriction being what is actually available to me. I make do. No complaints. Anyone that positively experiences music from my selection of 60+ primal tracks on Soundcloud, may wonder with giddy anticipation what I might could do with the resources that are available to ‘professional’ artists. I am looking forward to exploring that potential, but first,…my gear:
A handful of acoustic guitars, an electric bass, a parlor upright piano, a couple amps, an electric guitar, electric drum kit, an ocarina, recorder, a couple single key harmonicas, Amplitube4 free, Audacity, an old macbook, some cheap USB condenser mics, drum pad app on old iPhone 4s,…bare minimum, really…
We are just gathering the proprietary gear for our Live House Party tours, which includes some high tech audio visual stuff, it’s gonna be pretty cool…
“What are 5 of your biggest influences and why do they appeal to you?”
In music,… First, I’ve always had difficulty with these kinds of questions, because I seem to appreciate all flavors…colors,…textures,…vibes, etc. Hyper-Adaptable people,…blah blah blah. Haha! Ok, I’ll pick 5… ;-)
1. Any soulful artist popularly available as a kid coming up, anyone that performed with deep emotional attachment manifested by the artistic expression.
2. Multi-instrumentalists, pick any popular one that you’d expect I would know, and they will be a big influence, they will be the most relatable to me right away,…on many levels.
3. The misfits, rebels, others, challengers of authority, champions of love & liberty,…justice.
4. Bold innovators & explorers, independent adaptable spirits, artists popular across genres and generations.
5. All masters of extemporaneous primal art, not easily explained by technicians & theorists, nor easily tabbed, notated, & reproduced by musicians.
So, if an artist fits into one of those ‘categories’, and they were popular enough, …or marketed enough, for me to experience them, then they were an influence…and if an artist fits in to all of those categories, then they were surely a big influence on me.
“There is most definitely a primal element in your style, how do you do it? What "makes it pop" for you?”
For me, primal music is an instinctual marriage between hyperbole & minimalism. Primal music is about dissonance with time, with authority, and resonance with the whole, within self. Primal music should obliterate the logical strictures restraining it while appealing to the rhythms & textures that evoke. Primal music should be, heart to hand, that’s the primal essence, really.
“You have an excellent voice! What tricks of the trade would you recommend to newbie singers?”
Well, first, thank you for the appreciation on the vocals, the vocals suffer quite a bit with my recording style and I often hope that singing from the heart makes up for it. In the future, as resources become more available for my art, I’ll start using a separate vocal mic for mixing and higher quality captures of sound.
As far as advice, I would recommend finding a tone & key where you feel naturally comfortable singing, and then sing from the heart, if you don’t feel it, don’t bother, because vocals always magnify that part of it. The voice is an intrinsically attached natural instrument like no other. I hope to master it one day.
“If you could pick one artist to bring back from the dead and rock out performing with who would that be?”
JERRY GARCIA! Obvious!!! haha!!! I really don’t know that much about Jerry’s music, I’ve heard some of it, but I was never a Deadhead or anything, some of the coolest nicest people I’ve met were dead heads though, and lots of people just loved him, and it’s my understanding that his performances were like really cool primal jams, and that’s my thing too, so we would surely have a great time. And you know, Jerry Garcia came to mind first because of the way you worded the question, but seriously there have been so many great primal musicians like Jimi Hendrix, Robert Johnson,…Prince,…It’s cool jamming with them for sure,…we are one. :-)
“What are your favorite genres of music to listen to on any given week?”
Again, I really do love ‘em all, but in practice, when I’m being a passive audiophile, which is not nearly as much since I started prolifically creating music, I mostly listen to rock & roll on the radio, sometimes classical, sometimes urban pop, or whatever KBOO serves up in the alternative format, and on the Internet I listen to music from people when I’m interested in networking, supporting, collaborating, or connecting with someone, completely without genre restrictions, and with an ear tuned to the soul.
What future projects are you most excited about? What can we expect to hear from you down the road?
With 4 albums, & 2 EPs already published on Soundcloud adding up to 60+ live primal studio performances to experience, hopefully that will give me some time to finish up the album art projects and packaging for independent publishing and digital distribution [by donation] on Bandcamp, along with some of the tracks being made available on Spotify, Pandora, & iTunes, etc. at which time we will take most of the legacy music off Soundcloud, and begin publishing Live video shows on YouTube, from my LIVE House Party Tours, which, by the way, starts up this Summer, 2018. Animus Rex will be touring the west coast doing private House Shows, there are still possibilities for booking, send inquiries to email animusrex@hoarytortoise.com
I plan to keep doing private intimate house shows using cutting edge audio and visual technology as long as the people make it possible for me to do so. Eventually I may make some rare appearance at a larger venue, but we’ll see, maybe I’ll try the college & university circuit, that’s something we might consider, looking forward to possibilities for travel and making connections with real human peoples... thanks for the questions and I hope we get to meet in the flesh sometime, share some music.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Music Tips from The Primal Musician

Music tip #1 Keep all your samples in the same folder.

Music tip #2 Learn about major, minor, pentatonic, and exotic scales. Also learn about extended chords.

Music tip #3 Use a good mic and have an understanding of how to use noise removal.

Music tip #4 Make the music YOU love and don't concern yourself too much with fame and fortune. Only a select few of musicians make it big. The rest of us have to do it for the love of the craft and sharing that craft with the world. Make the most of the internet age!

 Music tip #5 Work on your music and lyrics even if your not feeling that inspired, you might be surprised what you get out of it once you're warmed up!

 Music tip #6 Learn from the classical masters.

Music tip #7 Sketch your ideas or give them catchy names to easily recall your work.

Music tip #8 Not everything has to be perfect

Music top #9 Although smartphones and tablets can do a lot creating music with even more possibilities on the horizon, computers will always be able to do more. A good computer is a solid music investment.

Music tip #10 Collaborate with other artists. Everyone has a unique approach and a unique skill set. Working with other musicians can only sweeten the deal!