A little over six years ago, I met a sweet and lovely woman who also happened to be artistically brilliant. I quickly realized that in her I had found just about the most wonderful person I had ever met! We barely started dating and already there was a feeling about our togetherness that I could not remember having experienced before. It was lovely, it was satisfying, and I had a complete sense of peace and contentment that was new to me.
©Charr Crail, www.charrcrail.com
Last weekend I had the fortune and privilege of spending three evenings at the Sacramento Film and Music Festival at the Crest Theater in downtown Sacramento.
This was incredibly fun for me for several reasons. First of all, I love film, and I love going to film festivals. I have been to film festivals in San Francisco and Nevada City in the past, and loved the immersive experience of being saturated in watching new films for a day or two or three.
Wow, what a week! The “Snuggle Bunny” video shoots this past Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday were awesome. Between two days and two different locations we had dozens of extras show up to participate! I was completely blown away by the response, and I had a fabulous time with everyone. A huge thanks goes out to director Matt Baker of Baker Animation Online for taking on this project. I’d also like to give a special thanks to all the wonderful people who helped make this event a success. You know who you are!
Below are a few pictures from the shoots:
Matthew Baker holds up the camera as I perform “Snuggle Bunny” and our wonderful extras party along at the Tower Theater in Roseville, CA July 14, 2013. Pic taken by Charr Crail. Charr writes more about this experience at her blog.
To date, some of my best recording experiences have been collaborations. In fact, prior to recording I Love You, I helped lead two different music compilation album projects. The first was a compilation done in San Francisco with over twenty music artists from the Hotel Utah, a popular open mic and center of San Francisco’s singer-songwriter community. Continue reading
Back in 2004, I made up my mind that I was going to become a rapper. Actually, it started with the idea of doing a rap album. I had really no idea what that would entail, and was largely ignorant of rap to be honest, as well as totally ignorant of recording music and even of songwriting, which I had never done. In fact, I was largely ignorant of contemporary commercial music of most kinds, since I had spent much of the previous nine years of my life listening to and playing only classical music. Yet I was determined, and so I began. Continue reading
Last night I performed at the “Legendary Rockers Tribute” Festival in Sacramento. I have been playing with “Departure,” a Journey Tribute band, since last fall. I’ve been having a great time with these guys, and it seems every performance is a cool new experience. This event was a two day-long bonanza of Tribute bands playing back-to-back-to-back. Included were tributes to the Beatles, Pink Floyd, ZZ Top, AC/DC, Tom Petty, Journey (us), and a whole lot more. I had never been to this sort of event, and I found it interesting watching the other tribute bands. Continue reading
Tonight I played at a “Grand Opening” event for Carlton Plaza in Elk Grove, a senior living community that just opened its doors back in December. Carlton Plaza is a company I’m familiar with, because it has facilities in Sacramento and even in the Bay Area, where I used to live and do shows. Tonight there were literally HUNDREDS of people at this big celebration.
Last night my wife and I saw “Les Miserables.” Now, I am a big fan of both musicals and movies, and even of some musicals-made-into-movies (usually because I first saw the musicals in question in movie form). I am also a HUGE fan of the stage production of “Les Miserables,” including the original cast recordings of both the London and the Broadway versions. I truly would prefer to say I loved everything about the movie. But the fact is, er… I can’t say that I totally did. Here’s my comments, both the good and the bad.
I have never been one to sit still when it comes to exploring my musical tastes. As a child, the music that occupied my mind were film music, pop music, broadway music, and even video game music. That started to evolve in my early teens, when I got into MTV videos and grunge and rock bands. By the time I entered high school, I made my first dramatic shift: I became a devotee to classical music, largely inspired by the piano music of Beethoven. For about five years, I hardly listened to anything but classical. Then the lid came off of things, and in the middle of college I started listening to pop music again and returning to the music I had been into as a child. At the end of college I found myself drawn into, of all things, rap. Needless to say, my musical interests have been eclectic. Continue reading
As an artist, I have never had much luck in staying put, or boxing myself in by trying merely to imitate others. As a child, and as a young adult, I was continually inspired by music I heard. This music ranged enormously in style: from carols we sang at Christmas to blockbuster film soundtracks I heard in movies such as “Star Wars” and “Ghostbusters”; from the piano music of Beethoven and Chopin to popular music by Billy Joel; from songs I heard on the radio by Madonna and Pearl Jam to the rap music of Eminem. These creators, and many others, ignited in me new desires to learn and create, to evolve my creative expression. They helped get me started on the path of developing my own artistic abilities and following my artistic dreams. To them and to all my artistic influences I will always be grateful. Continue reading