Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dakota In Concert Take 2

Do you guys remember last month when I tried filming one of Dakotas performances and her guitar strings popped? Well, her grandma got her a fancy cherry red sunburst acoustic guitar for Christmas so she has been playing that a lot around the house quite a bit. I made a little guitar strap for her so she could carry it around easily. Shes been having some fun playing her songs. Hope you enjoy the videos.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Elisa Flynn " Songs About Birds and Ghosts"

Songs About Birds and Ghosts has been in the works for a long long time. I was very excited upon receiving it in the mail last week.
Elisa Flynn is a good friend of mine that Ive had the pleasure of recording and performing with for some time now. Elisa is one of those people who emanates music. She has been in the music scene for a very long time with many respectable projects under her belt. Her determination to make music and make an impact in this boring, saturated music scene is just simply impressive. I can honestly say that I wish I had her balls.
The album is very nicely arranged. I love the progression of the songs and the overall mood.
The songs are very much to the point and don't really dance around too much leaving you bored out of your noggin. One thing Ive always admired about Elisa is her courage to do what she wants to do and nothing else. This can clearly be heard throughout the album. Her lyrics are very dreamy and bring to mind Sylvia Plath's dark, moody compositions. Me being a guitar player, I always look forward to hearing some tasteful guitar sounds. I'm not really ever looking for extensive guitar riffs and coma inducing pedal effects. Songs About Birds and Ghosts has the right amount of "guitar shine" as I would say. Also, her chord arrangements are very down to earth and minimalistic, which really bring out her lyrics and leave your ears satisfied.
I usually hate comparisons but I think this comparison that I'm about to make is merely a reflection of what my ears find beautiful. Listening to the album I could hear that Elisa is not only influenced by those classic pop, punk rock icons that many of us adore but also more contemporary artists that have emerged recently. The spirit of Neko Case seeps through Elisa's heart and drip drops around in some of the more delicate songs on the album, while still holding true to Elisa's trademark folk/punk sound.
"Egon" and " My Mistake" are really my favorite tracks. I listen to them over and over. "Egon's" waltzy/polka/punk jangle makes me want to learn how to play the drums. I just friggin love that song. " My Mistake" has Elisa written all over it. If you don't know Elisa and want to know her this is the song to listen to. Its strong and confident just like EF.
I had the honor of recording banjo on "Big Sky", which Ive uploaded for you to hear.
This is truly a very well executed album. I am sure we will see Elisa shinning in the Big Sky very soon; she has been for a long time now, its just time we all noticed. Enjoy the tracks below.

Big Sky

My Philosophy on Donating Clothing

Every time my wife and I get into a cleaning frenzy we usually fill 2 or more bags of clothing for the needy. Not that we are not needy but there are others who could surely use what we no longer need or want.
So, we call up a church that very kindly picks up our unwanted clothing and makes sure the needy gets it. Its usually a very simple process of just calling the church and giving them your address and time of pick up. They usually have a window from 8am to 3pm to pick up your donations. The norm is to leave your clothing in bags outside your door. Very simple right? Well, not that simple.
The problem is that in Brooklyn NY people have the notion that whatever is on your door step or stoop, is up for grabs. So with that said it could really "open up a can of worms" ( I love that figure of speech ) Sometimes people will go through your donations and grab what they want and then leave a mess on your door step for you to clean up in the morning and for your neighbors to gossip about how there must have been some heated domestic dispute at your house last night. We all know the usual suspects hanging their heads out their windows, checking to see when you come in and out and how many cigarettes you smoke on your stoop or why you ride your bike everywhere.
In order to avoid such catastrophes in our lives, we have taken a step further to ensure the protection of our donations. We have made signs that we taped onto our bags. Not just any signs but signs that are made to play with the intruders self worth. Hopefully this will deter all those crazy used clothing fiends that creep about at night looking for their next victim.
Hope this works and I hope you also enjoy the video.
JD Theft Free Donation Activist BKLYN NY