Tag: process

  • Candle Metaphor

    There is a metaphor about burning a candle at both ends. I like candle analogies but it isn’t the right metaphor for my problem. My issue is that I have been setting up half a dozen candles in front of a fan. As soon as I get them lit, I turn on the fan. I…

  • You Can’t Email Uncle Boozie

    Uncle Boozie is starting to come together. It won’t be long until this project is ready to go. Whenever I get to this stage of a project, I start to worry about the details. Is the episode long enough? Is it too long? Do I need to separate the Uncle Boozie content from my regularly…

  • Scattered

    It may be due to the remnants of covid playing havoc with my brain. It could be the annual post-holiday trauma. It could be run-of-the-mill procrastination. I can’t decide what to work on next. I am very scattered and unable to focus. The problem is not due to a lack of ideas. My standard procedure…

  • Studio On My Phone

    My studio setup has changed several times over the past couple of years. I’ve tried to document the specific details of these changes as they have happened. I was recently thinking about my studio iterations with a broader view. The technology changes have been astounding. About five years ago, I switched to a setup with…

  • Clothes Dryer

    I wanted to give you an update on a couple of different projects. If you have been following along, you know that I have been learning how to silkscreen. There have been many setbacks along the way but I’ve learned a lot. I got to the point where my screen was made, I had all…

  • The Void

    It can be depressing to finish a project and get stuck waiting in the void before the next project begins. To be a healthy artist, it can be beneficial to start the next job before you are done with the current job. I am working on a current project, the next project, an alternative current…

  • Telephone

    Yesterday, I wrote about my friend Jesse, whose judgment I trust completely. He helped me come to terms with the fact that my recording of “Old Photographs” isn’t as finished as I had previously assumed. I knew it wasn’t right but I didn’t know how to fix it. He asked the fundamental question, “What are…

  • Trusted Criticism

    I shared my finished master for “Old Photographs” with my friend Jesse. “I’m assuming you have some more tweaking to do?” “No, I’m burnt out. I’ve tried six different things and I don’t know what else to do. It’s as good as it’s gonna be.” “Are you sure?” “Looks like I’m going to try again.”…

  • Creative Flow

    I was really busy working on something that was not part of my regularly scheduled programming. I had agreed to make an extra thing for a friend. It was something that you put off until the last minute because it’s not part of the normal routine. However, there were deadlines involved and I couldn’t wait…

  • Kicking the Can

    If you have been keeping score at home, you know all about my Uncle Boozie project. I’ve been taking my time in an attempt to do this project right. I may have become stuck, spending too much time, tweaking the details. At this point, there is no way that I can get the first episode…

  • the Voice of Uncle Boozie

    I think that I’ve finally figured out the voice for Uncle Boozie. He’s got a particular way of saying things and it’s important to get it right. There was an actor named Pat Buttram. He was on the television show called Green Acres and multiple classic Disney movies. I think Uncle Boozie’s voice could best…

  • Long Projects

    I wanted to give you a couple of updates about my “Uncle Boozie” project. This project began as an itch in the back of my mind a long time ago. I was drinking chocolate milk with a friend at least 15 years ago and Uncle Boozie was conceived. It’s taken a very long time to…

  • The Red Eye Arrangement

    This is my favorite part of the recording process. A raw song is so ripe with potential. The barebones guitar track could become anything. I have big plans for this song that include drums, dirty guitar, mandolin, lap steel, banjo, and maybe some tuba. Check out the pure potential of this song on YouTube.

  • Popeye’s Forearms

    I hit another roadblock in the studio. I’ve been working on the same bass part for a week and a half. When I was figuring out arrangements for the song, I heard this bass part in my head. I knew how I wanted it to go. The problem occurred when I tried to play the…

  • Cheers

    I write at least one post every day and then decide what I should publish the next day. Writing is never the hard part. Occasionally, I get stuck with some grammar issues but typically I don’t worry that big about how smooth my words sound nice. Deciding what to write about is the hard part.…

  • It Didn’t Work

    I am sure this has happened to you too. I had a plan. I spent all day working on my project, according to plan. When I got to the end of the day, I realized that I had nothing to show for my time. I guess that is not entirely true. I had a long…

  • Slur

    I’m working on a new project. Uncle Boozie is a town drunk and a children’s entertainer. I know that sounds kind of weird but I love this guy. I’m having so much fun figuring out this character. Typically, when I am writing new material, I share it here first. I like giving my loyal dispatch…

  • Next versus Also

    I caught myself cheating on my current project. I was brushing my teeth and I spaced out. The next thing I know, I am daydreaming about the musicians and arrangements that would be perfect for my next project. I don’t even have all of the songs written for my current project and I am already…

  • No Proof

    I had a recording session with my friend Brandon. I needed a wicked guitar solo for one of the new songs. I had a truly epic time. We drank a lot of coffee and talked about everything. We solved all of the problems with religion, we discussed the rare bright spots in pop culture, we…

  • One Minute

    All of the experts decreed that musicians must make videos that were one minute in length if they wanted to find attention. I spent the last period of time (maybe two years) trying to figure out how to squeeze all of me into one minute bites. It dawned on me today that the kind of…

  • Keyboard

    I write 99.9% of all my Daily Dispatches on a tablet. I use a red, wireless keyboard to type my brilliance. I accidentalky placed my tablet on the table on top of the keyboard. It pressed all of the keys simultaneously and drained the battery. This provided a long, random list of letters and a…

  • Lightbulb

    In my studio, there is a wall fixture that is supposed to have three lightbulbs. Two of the lightbulbs have been out for a while. I don’t know when it happened but I’ve been down two bulbs since before Christmas. I don’t know why I didn’t change them. When I am in the studio, I…

  • Too Many Colors

    Have you ever been to a restaurant where every item on the menu looks so good that it’s impossible to choose? I’m having the same problem with some artwork. I like the sketch and the general layout for this project but I can’t decide on a background color. It’s the album cover for my song…

  • Inkpad

    I’m trying to learn something new. I like learning new things. I’m trying to learn how to turn a drawing into an editable digital image. I want to convert my iconography for “Not as Regular” into a t-shirt design. I can’t get the stick figure heads to fill in properly. This is one time when…

  • 1 project is actually 2

    I’ve been overwhelmed with ideas for potential projects. I talked about the seasonal aspect of this problem recently. I had a moment of clarity. The most important project should include my song called “Hard Man.” I have a collection of songs that I want to record that should fit together. As I was going through…

  • Too Many Irons

    I do the same thing every year. I am sure it’s a seasonal kind of thing. Winter starts to subside and I get excited about springtime. I have started working on five different creative projects. They aren’t small projects. They are great ideas but I won’t be able to do them all. Realistically, one project…

  • Try Again

    I’ve been working on recording my new song called Hard Man. I love this song. I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback and I feel like this song is important. Getting a great studio recording feels very essential. Maybe the pressure is getting to me. Everything that I have recorded is absolute crap. I spent…

  • Words vs. Music

    Are the words or music more important? I have heard or been involved with multiple debates on this subject in the past week. When I am writing, I’m a words-first kind of guy. I love words. I always thought of myself as being fully committed to team words. A song isn’t good if the words…

  • Too Many Chords

    During the last year, I have prioritized the memorization of songs. The ability to remember words has never been my strong suit. The mark of a great entertainer is the ability to pull a vast number of songs out of thin air. I’m working hard to increase my repertoire. Most folk songs are the same…

  • The Vanishing Wednesdays

    I am a creature of habit. I have a routine and I like my routine. Certain jobs get done on specific days. For example, I block out time on Tuesdays for songwriting. Wednesdays are reserved for studio time. Fridays are for scrubbing the toilet. This doesn’t mean that I won’t sit down and work on…

  • The Switch

    When I started this daily blog, I wanted to document my daily work. It was a way to hold myself accountable via a public record. It wasn’t meant to be self-promotion. I was writing about the stuff that I was making to make sure that I would continue to make stuff. I also thought it…

  • Status Update, December 2022

    I stayed up late last night brainstorming for potential future projects. I guess this is the kind of thing that happens as we approach the new year. A list of projects for the upcoming year is a cliche. There are three projects that I want to put together. One is a collection of hobo songs…

  • Know When To Fold ‘Em

    For the past year, I’ve been making a series of one-minute-long videos for social media. I’ve talked about it extensively and you don’t need to hear it all again. The important thing is that the One Minute Song series is going on hiatus. I don’t think I can articulate all of the reasons why, it…

  • Scary Songs for Christmas

    On my creative journey, it seems that I am always late. I’ve got a good batch of scary songs started right now. By the time these songs are finished, it will be Christmas. It’s too bad that “Nightmare Before Christmas” has already been made. If I promptly take these songs into the studio, they could…

  • A Quick Change of Shirt

    I recorded a batch of videos for my One Minute Cover Song series. I’m happy about this batch of fall songs. It’s good material. I like to record my short videos in batches. Setup time can be expensive. When I get everything ready, it is more efficient to record as many clips as possible at…

  • Sleep On It

    There is an app on my phone that I use to shoot all of my videos. The camera on a newer phone is really good. This app provides an additional level of control that puts a phone on par with any other professional video setup. I cleared the day to shoot a batch of one-minute…

  • The Click

    I finally got myself back into the studio. I have been itching to work on a new arrangement of an old song. The acoustic guitar is supposed to be the foundation for the recording. I know how to play guitar. I have been doing it for a long time. This part is not difficult but…

  • Ch-ch-ch-changes

    School is back in session this week and 4/5 of my family will be back into a regular routine. I should be able to find more available time or at least something resembling a consistent work schedule. It looks like we will have to be flexible and adjust some times. -My morning schedule will be…

  • I Start With A Calendar

    I have been working on a series of one-minute songs. The goal is that this video series will align with “current trends in media consumption.” You can read more about this series here and here. I think the majority of creators in my field start with an idea, make a video, and then post it.…

  • Backwards Process

    When writing a song, you can start with a melody or some words. That’s it. Those are the only two options. Most songwriters have a preference. If you are a melody person, you groove on your melody until you find some words. If you are more of a words person, you write the words and…

  • Edison

    On vacation last week, we saw a quote regarding Thomas Edison’s work habits and Mrs. Brother Jack said that he and I have similar creative output. I was honored to be compared to such a prolific idea machine. Edison intended that he and all of the inventors that worked for him would produce “a minor…

  • One Minute Videos

    Lately, I’ve been making a lot of videos that are one minute long. One-minute-long videos are the current big thing. The internet gods have decreed that our attention spans can only stay focused for a maximum of one minute. I doubt this is truly due to our attention spans but one minute is what they…

  • Video Killed the Radio Star

    Three of my five most recent dispatches have focused on video content. When I signed up to be a songwriter many years ago, I did not anticipate the need for video-making skills. The majority of what I now do involves a video component. It’s not enough to make pleasant melodies and thought-provoking lyrics. You can…

  • Vague Generalities

    I like to have a plan. My family often teased me for requiring a preconceived plan when playing imaginary games as a little kid. My friends like to point out that I have been known to schedule an evening to be spontaneous and then plan out the details. I even have a daily plan that…

  • Songwriting Season Has Ended

    I love the classic bit with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck where they argue with Elmer Fudd. “Duck season!” “Wabbit season!” “Duck season!” “Wabbit season!” I’ve been feeling the seasonal tug between songwriting season and gig season. I tend to do my creative work in batches and it often follows some yearly cycles. I wrote…

  • Ghosts – An Idea

    I had an idea for a song way back in December of 2020. It was a groove on the ukulele and a notion about ghosts. I regularly played the groove but I couldn’t get myself around to the actual writing. Playing this hook never fails to make my kids dance around the room. Off and…

  • Never Underestimate a Good Title

    If a song is worth anything, it will stick in your craw without any help or reinforcement. A good song shouldn’t need to be written down. As I am aging, I trust my memory less and less. I require some basic notes to preserve the idea. Most of my songs grow from a tiny initial…

  • I Really Had To Pee

    We had a weekend at my in-law’s big, old- fashioned house. Mrs. Brother Jack’s father turned 70. It was great to celebrate his life. He has had a tremendous impact on who I am. He doesn’t get the credit he deserves and it was nice to have a party for him. All five members of…

  • Follow the Bugs

    I am working on a rough mix of my song called Bugs. The parts were recorded almost two years ago. It didn’t fit with any other projects at the time and was relegated to the back of the queue. As I am currently between projects (completely directionless), this mix has now found its way to…

  • A Bunch of Songs

    I have written six new songs in three months. I don’t know how it compares to other songwriters but for me it is a respectable rate. I’m talking about six complete songs. This does not include the bad songs, social media snippets, and song fragments headed to the bone pile. I feel as though I…

  • Sunk Cost Fallacy

    July 19, 2021 Sunk Cost Fallacy This economic principle states that we demonstrate a greater tendency to continue something once time, money, or effort has been invested.   I wrapped up production on the new mix for Pancakes.  This is the Busted Banjo version of Pancakes.  When I conceived this arrangement of the song almost…

  • Sanctified

    Where do songs come from?