I’d like to finally show off the sexy cover art for my new album AQUARIUS. The cover was designed by my friend Zack Peterson (whose blog you should also check out here) and represents everything the album is to me — colorful, multifaceted, and cinematic. The album will have 16 songs and will be out on June 3rd, 2014.
Got a couple of bad wounds, I’m pouring in the salt. ‘Cause no man is worth anything if he can’t withstand pain, I been through Hell in a hand basket I need a scene change. This is my destiny, maybe it’s not the best for me. Strugglin’ monetarily Momma, I’m trying to ascend the peak.
I’ve been listening to Jazz more and more frequently of late. Something about the raw emotion and fluidity of it affects me differently from the rigidity of rock and pop music. Jazz changes with every performance and every intonation — and I think that that’s really how music should be: constantly changing. At any given moment you’re a different individual and performance, being a reflection of life, should illustrate that.
As well, the idea of standards as a whole has always fascinated me to a degree, but now I think I’m beginning to see the real purpose of them: to paint a broader picture of the Human Experience through shared emotional output. The way Ella sings “I Get a Kick Out of You” and the way Frank sings it are so wildly different from one another that it’s hard to believe they are in fact the same song, simply seen through two varying lenses. And I love that. I really do.
The standards and improv I’ve been submersing myself inside are really more so just a way to decompress now that the record is completely done. I’ll start releasing bits from it soon, but my problem at the moment remains a way to properly market and promote it.
If you’d like to help in any way with the release/promo for the record, message me directly and we’ll discuss it. The Dreamsope is always in need of new members.
An Open Letter Addressing My Absence and Announcing my NEW ALBUM
I put this off for an inordinate amount of time because I’ve been taking a minute to decompress: the last year has been a bit nothing but testing. The devil’s in the details, of course, but what it boils down to is that I gave up on myself entirely. I submitted to the rat race of trying to make ends meet, working a minimum wage job that treated me like nothing more than a number and drained every ounce of my energy, so I became creatively dormant. Life became a regimen to make ends meet. After hitting a particularly low point during the winter leading to an equally particular spiritual reverie, I admitted to myself that life was too short to be as miserable as I had become.
Life is not a series of shifts to make rent.
It is not a portrait painted by the dollars in your bank account.
And, more importantly, it’s not a calculated interstate circulating vehicles to their final destination; it’s a malleable trail through a wilderness that changes with each passing season.
I got my drive back, quit my job for another with more regard for its workers, began working out again to get myself in shape, and dug into making a new album — a real one this time. Different from everything I’ve ever done in the past. How so?
Each EP/mini-album I’ve released in the past has compromised artistry time and time again because of the team around me at the time and the restraints placed on me by their constant goading that “things were in motion”, that a record deal was just around the corner and to keep myself contained until then. Each piece of my catalogue has fallen short of showcasing my actual abilities as an artist. Fuck that.
I’m using this platform to officially announce my full-length debut album ‘Aquarius’. The album will feature 16 songs spanning every genre that’s molded me to create a roadmap of the last year and a half of my life. It’s a product of love and vigor from myself and my closest friends, an art house collective I’d like to introduce as The Dreamscope. Before the record comes out, I’ll be releasing one music video and playing a series of shows as the release nears. No release is set in stone yet, so I’m abstaining from putting myself under any constraints to distribute it quicker than I can finance. I will say that it is completed. The artwork is finalized. Once I figure out distribution and marketing for it, I’ll release it. Simple as that.
Disregard what currently exists as my output, this is my art. ‘Aquarius’ is what I’ve needed to say. Stay tuned.
I’m extremely, completely happy for the first time in months. Maybe even a year. Longer.
I hit a breaking point 3 nights ago after a horrible date; the date itself wasn’t all that catastrophic, but it did set in motion a train of thought that took me to a dark alley I hate going down though I frequent it often. I got close to killing myself, but I was saved by the grace of two things: Music and Linda. Somewhere in the gap between the Here and the Beyond, I felt her reach out to me and stop me. I don’t know if what happened was real or imagined, but I don’t want to know — I miss her every day and I needed to talk to her.
In the ensuing days, I’ve been happier than I remember being in ages. Something broke. Some piece of the foundation of my depression was violently demolished.
Last night my best friend and I celebrated his 19th birthday much the same way we celebrated my own: getting drunk and watching Disney movies. The addition of his new girlfriend presented itself as an obstacle at first before I found she’s honestly perfect for him. For the first time ever being in the presence of a friend and their significant other, I didn’t feel lonely. I felt at peace and pleased that he’s found someone to make him happy — and that we met in the first place.
It’s nice to be able to process emotions like a normal human once more.
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I’m coming up out of my shell, shedding my skin. I may be a little worn-down but I’m ready to dig in again.
I’ve been alone for a minute, but I feel alright right now. I’ve been out of my head But I feel alright, yeah I feel again.
I’ve also ranked the albums from my favorite to least favorite. And for the record, I’m aware that no one asked for this but I feel like I don’t give enough attention on here to what is unquestionably my favorite band.
Clocking in at 50 days, I just came out of the longest writer’s block I’ve ever had. Let me be the first to say it was the closest thing to hell I want to ever feel again. Not the block itself, of course, but the circumstances it transposed itself over.
I think what really broke it was a pair of dreams I had last night. I dreamed I was back with an ex I haven’t seen since 2012. I’m over the whole thing now, but it was during that state of unconsciousness that I realized I’ve only ever been truly in love with that one person. Or soul. Whatever. The point is that —after a long month of self-realizations and a pastiche of familial issues and monetary trouble, all overshadowed by my constant un-love of myself and all that that implies — it seemed like a big deal.
No matter how brief it was, it was the best season of my life.
The dreams were nothing profound: just us together driving around the countryside, a little older than we are now, a little more at peace with ourselves, and a little more free to be together. It’s nothing close to plausible, but it would be nice. I’m aware that I’m the only one of us that still imagines what we were, and I’m okay with that. It’s a good barometer of happiness for me.
Anyway, though I know you never think of me and I know you pretty much want to punch my face in given the opportunity, you still make me happier than I’ve ever felt otherwise.
I think that my last two relationships have failed because I’ve never really gotten over you until now. Not completely, at least. I believe that, in that last moment of dreaming as I fell asleep with you in my arms only to wake up clutching a pillow, I finally broke that wall that’s kept me from opening up to anyone since. Convenient, since I have a date on Saturday night.
I’m sorry and I love you. I really do. And I did. I know you won’t read this, but it’s something I needed to get off my chest. Anything Goes, I guess.
Alright, so, here’s the thing: this was not a great year for music. Aside from a few standouts by the likes of Daft Punk, Kacey Musgraves, Kendrick Lamar, and (don’t shoot the messenger) Macklemore, this was a very boring year of releases. That being said, let’s get on with it.
As always, these are not necessarily my favorites, but just which nominations I believe will win the award based on the trends of the voting committee. Anything with a star by it is what I personally believe SHOULD win.
RECORD OF THE YEAR Get Lucky - Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams Radioactive - Imagine Dragons Royals - Lorde Locked Out of Heaven - Bruno Mars Blurred Lines - Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams
ALBUM OF THE YEAR The Blessed Unrest - Sara Bareilles Random Access Memories - Daft Punk* Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City - Kendrick Lamar The Heist - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis* Red - Taylor Swift
SONG OF THE YEAR Just Give Me a Reason - P!nk featuring Nate Ruess* Locked Out of Heaven - Bruno Mars Roar - Katy Perry Same Love - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert*
BEST NEW ARTIST James Blake* Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Kendrick Lamar* Kacey Musgraves Ed Sheeran
BEST POP SOLO PERFORMANCE Brave - Sara Bareilles Royals - Lorde When I Was Your Man - Bruno Mars* Roar - Katy Perry Mirrors - Justin Timberlake
BEST POP DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE Get Lucky - Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams Just Give Me a Reason - P!nk featuring Nate Ruess Stay - Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko* Blurred Lines - Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams Suit & Tie - Justin Timberlake featuring Jay-Z
BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM Paradise - Lana Del Rey* Pure Heroine - Lorde Unorthodox Jukebox - Bruno Mars Blurred Lines - Robin Thicke The 20/20 Experience - Justin Timberlake* *I’d like to point out that this is the first year since I started doing these predictions that this category was actually only filled by competent pop VOCALISTS. *
BEST ROCK SONG Ain’t Messin’ Around - Gary Clark Jr. Cut Me Some Slack - Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Pat Smear, Krist Novoselic Doom & Gloom - The Rolling Stones God Is Dead? - Black Sabbath Panic Station - Muse*
BEST ROCK ALBUM 13 - Black Sabbath The Next Day - David Bowie* Mechanical Bull - Kings of Leon Celebration Day - Led Zepplin …Like Clockwork - Queens of the Stone Age Psychedelic Pill - Niel Young with Crazy Horse
BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM The Worse Things I Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You - Neko Case Trouble Will Find Me - The National* Hesitation Marks - Nine Inch Nails Lonerism - Tame Impala Modern Vampires of the City - Vampire Weekend
BEST RAP PERFORMANCE Started From the Bottom - Drake Berzerk - Eminem Tom Ford - Jay-Z Swimming Pools (Drank) - Kendrick Lamar Thrift Shop - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz
BEST RAP/SUNG COLLABORATION Power Trip - J. Cole featuring Miguel Part II (On the Run) - Jay-Z featuring Beyoncé* Holy Grail - Jay-Z featuring Justin Timberlake Now or Never - Kendrick Lamar featuring Mary J. Blige* Remember You - Wiz Khalifa featuring The Weeknd
BEST RAP SONG Fuckin’ Problems - A$AP Rocky featuring Drake, 2 Chainz, and Kendrick Lamar Holy Grail - Jay-Z featuring Justin Timberlake New Slaves - Kanye West* Started From the Bottom - Drake Thrift Shop - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz
BEST RAP ALBUM Nothing Was the Same - Drake Magna Carta Holy Grail - Jay-Z Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City - Kendrick Lamar* Yeezus - Kanye West* The Heist - Macklmeore & Ryan Lewis
BEST COUNTRY ALBUM Night Train - Jason Aldean Two Lanes of Freedom - Tim McGraw Same Trailer Different Park - Kacey Musgraves* Based on a True Story… - Blake Shelton Red - Taylor Swift
I’ve not written very frequently lately. In any medium. I feel emotionally constipated at best and drained at worst. I feel as if everything I need to express or to say gets stopped in its cerebral infancy before it reaches my lips or my hands, and that’s beginning to terrify me.
Other than that, everything is fine I suppose. I’m beginning to scrap together the mistakes I’ve made since moving to Nashville to reinvent myself. Properly this time.
I’m dead broke but I’m at least partially fulfilled, so I can’t be depressed exactly. I’ve gotten a new tattoo I’ve wanted for a year now and I adore it. I’m already planning the next 2 for this year. Hopefully by the time I’ve gotten them I’ll have worked hard enough on weight loss to show them off.
The only thing worth talking about past that is the love and respect I’m developing for my new best friend Logan. He’s great. I’m glad I finally found the type of friend I’ve been to everyone else.
That’s all there is to say at the moment. Life is moving in snapshots rather than scenes.
I’ve finally started going back to the gym after months of only half-trying. Every muscle in my body is aching and it burns to move anything — but it’s a burn I’ve missed sorely. Pun intended.
I haven’t written much at all since the beginning of the year; little snippets here and there. Ideas more than anything, but it seems my creativity is off on holiday for the moment. Typically I’d stress about this current lack of emotive drive but right now I’m content knowing it’ll return when it decides to. Better to let the Muse move you than to force Her to move, I suppose.
I’ll be 19 in eleven days, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. I’ve accomplished nothing I thought I would’ve by this age. My only real goals for the next year are to put out more music and to travel as often as I possibly can. I’d like to take a spring break road trip out to San Francisco and Monterey. I don’t have nearly enough money to do it, but I think it’s best to see the world while I’m young before I’m too old and cynical to want to see it anymore.
My best friend has been out of town for a week now and my domestic life has been really dull consequentially. That’s not of concern to anyone but me, really, just a thought. I’m ready to have someone to talk to again about the innocuous and the infinite simultaneously.
Life is moving in shots rather than scenes.
Off to a meeting, hopefully good news will be traded therein.