About Me

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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Fireball...

So, Friday night as I was leaving work I saw the most amazing thing.  Like I usually do, when I leave work, I decide which train to take based on which street has the walk signal.  9th Avenue, I cross and head to the A train. 15th Street, I cross, then skip over to the plaza between the Apple Store and the corner Diner, cross the plaza and then stroll down the block heading for the L train entrance at 14th and 8th Avenue. 

This particular night, crossing 15th Street seemed like the logical thing to do so I headed down in that direction and, good thing I did because if I had gone any other way home I might have missed this spectacular event.  As I normally do, when walking this path, I glanced up at the sky to take in the buildings towering over the open space of the plaza, the bright billboards advertising clothes I'll never wear, and scan the whole scene, breathing in the city. 

What I saw as I looked around, though, blew my mind and actually kind of scared the shit out of me.  A bright light appeared to streak across the sky, like the most bizarre firework you've ever seen, almost greenish in color.  Only there was no report from the explosion and, after flaring up, it fizzled out as it reached the edge of the patch of sky I could see from my vantage point.  It seemed very close by due to its brightness but the lack of any sound made me think it had to be something astronomical and far off.  During the 10 seconds or so it took to cross the sky and disintegrate (whatever it was), I found myself first ducking, cringing, then looking around for its apparent source. My eyes widened in wonder at what I momentarily thought must have been an meteor skimming the atmosphere and burning up. I'd never seen anything like it but I still wasn't convinced.  I remember stupidly looking at the buildings to the west and trying to see if anyone could have shot off a firework from one of the rooftops.  I doubted that even more once I thought about it a little more. 

I walked on home and almost forgot about it but then I saw this article on Space.com.  I freaked and carried my laptop out to the living room to show Katrina (who seemed nonplussed).  The excitement of actually knowing what I had seen really was a meteor, coursed through my veins. 

So naturally, I've been trying to find more articles and videos on the internet all weekend trying to find out all I can about it.  The meteor itself, they've been saying, was probably only about 3 feet in diameter, but traveling around 10 miles per second it basically hit the atmosphere and glowed white hot for about ten seconds until it completely disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean.  This link shows the supposed trajectory. 

Shocking and alarming as it is to see, and a wonder to behold, when you know and understand fully what you are seeing, it's a pretty typical thing.  Scientists say somewhere around 100 tons of material strikes the Earth from space every day.  It just happens that this particular event occurred over one of the most populated parts of the US at a time when a lot of people were out and about.  So many times it happens over the ocean, or during daylight hours or in relatively less populated areas.  But even still, I wonder how many people in my general vicinity actually noticed it. So many of us spend a lot of our day looking down or just in our own worlds and not paying attention to our surroundings any more than it takes to walk down the street without running into other people and things. 

And that's really what's most remarkable about this event to me.  Not that it happened, because it does, and often.  But that I was able to see it happen, watch the entire event and then, in an age where everyone can go on the internet and tell about their experiences, verify what I had seen, through other people's accounts.  That's pretty cool.  It's a combination of being in the right place and the right time and actually putting myself out there. Learning about the amazing astronomical events that happen every day right under our noses (see the Transit of Venus last June), and then just generally being aware of my surroundings in a city notorious for the obnoxious amount of external stimuli that abound here, where most people choose to tune out the noise and walk with their heads down. I feel kind of lucky to witness something so beautiful that I may never see again in my life but I also feel like I was being rewarded for my proclivity to wonder.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Shows...

It's the weekend and I'm off work.  Yes, I know.  I've mentioned that.  But leaving work last night knowing that I was off for the whole weekend, I breathed this huge sigh of relief.  And knowing that I was headed out to see a show, I was able to shrug off what felt like a cold coming on and power through, running on pure adrenaline and excitement.

The show was a band called Minor Arcana, two of the members being guys that played with us in Philly.  The venue, The Acheron, was in deepest darkest East Williamsburg at a little hole called The Acheron.  The front of it was a bar and the venue was separated so Lacy and I, not knowing that the venue had a bar too, got two drinks and stood there, realizing that we couldn't bring the glasses in the venue.  While standing there finishing our drinks, I took in the scene, assuming that the loud hardcore punk rock was being pumped in from the opening band playing next door inside the venue.  So, I was expecting the same style from this band and overall the venue was seeming far more punk rock that it actually is. When we finally went in there though, I realized there wasn't even anyone playing yet and Minor Arcana was setting up.  I went and said hi to the guys (Ross, I had seen outside already) and ordered another drink. 

The band started not long after and I was blown away by their sound.  They have two guitars, a bassist, drummer, singing keyboardist and another backup vocalist who played chimes, percussion and keys.  The stage was not all that big either.  They were very prog rock with multiple time signature and tempo changes during the songs, the first one of which was an instrumental.  Or at least had a very long instrumental intro.  Ross and Tony who played with us in Philly (Tony also in NYC), are very talented musicians but the rest of the band blew me away and they were all pretty tight as well. 

Though, I was increasingly tired and didn't even think I should be out, I was eating it up listening to the sound waves pounding around in there and it baffles me to think sometimes how incredible it is, not only that beings like us evolved out of the soup over millions of years to become the kind of creatures that can make sense of the way the air moves around a room influenced by the striking and plucking of things called instruments, but that we can manipulate that plucking and striking into something so amazingly beautiful that you just stop and forget everything for a minute but what you're hearing, what you're brain is interpreting into something that to someone without the benefit of working ear drums is basically just air molecules bouncing off each other in patterns that he or she may or may not feel.   Pretty incredible. 

And I don't recall if I mentioned this or not but one of my New Year's Resolutions this year, one that I'm absolutely killing, is to go to more shows.  If I include dance, open mics and shows I've played in in that, the number is up to something like 20.  Told ya.  Killin' it.  Some of those were our own open mics where I saw some amazing musicians, some were shows I caught part of at Barbes.  I included the four shows Lacy and I have played (including today's show at National Underground and last week's showcase) and a dance festival I went to as well as a few friends' bands and last nights show in Williamsburg.  Oh and I just upped the number to 20 before I finish this blog because I forgot about a random show I happened upon at Spike Hill one night a few weeks ago.    

As for today's show at National Underground, it went fairly well and we had an okay turnout considering the snow and how short notice it was that we found out we were playing.  We will have another one at this showcase on the 27th of April as well.  I will be reminding you. :)

For now, I am at home finally just taking it easy.  Because my body is telling me that I haven't been doing enough of that lately.  And it feels good to just slow down too.  I have spent the last few months (probably more than that), thinking I'm not doing enough when in actual fact I've been doing far too much.  Haha!  I mean, I got 10 voice over gigs in as many months, two film scores back to back last year, and scored a licensing contract with a company that licenses music for film and TV.  And on top of that, I just landed not one but two freelance TV gigs on top of NY1.  I'm going to be glad I took it easy this weekend in a few weeks when I start I'm sure.  Thankfully, I have a vacation coming up in April around my birthday. 

Anyway, I should rest up some more.  More excitement ahead!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Weekends...

Not much to report tonight.  Just feel like typing.  I'm in that phase now where I'm trying to figure out how to adjust to my new work schedule.  In some regards, it's a bit like two parts "it's about time" and one part "be careful what you wish for."  Like I was mentioning, not having the quiet weekend nights at work to catch up on important stuff and still having to spend at least some of my mornings cooking meals and running errands, is making it so that I have to improvise when it comes to finding time for the freelance stuff.  Add on top of that that Lacy and I are having to find new times and places to rehearse.  So, this is going to be a bit of a challenge.  I think I've set aside at least one day of the week when I can get auditions done.  But sitting down and recording for film scoring jobs and my own music may be a little trickier.

I'm going to love having weekends off though.  I gotta say.  Already, next weekend is shaping up to be a ton of fun.  Karishma'll be in town, there's a chance I'll be at least one show, we'll be playing an open mic on Sunday night for sure, and I don't have to work through a single second of it.

And the more I think about it, while it may be that the times I have off of work are not as ideal for doing freelance work (I'll rarely be home alone when I'm off work, except on weekday mornings), I do still have the same amount of time off from work, if you do the mathematics.  24 X 7 - 40 = 128.  Yep.  


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Drom...

Just posted the last in a series of blogs on my main web page about my set up with my laptop.  Been reviewing all the research I initially did and realizing the whole time that there is still more to know about the equipment and software that I use.  I've been bending it to suit my needs but that only covers what I have imagined I can do with the software and hardware I own.  The wealth of ideas out there about what can be done is astounding.  I guess now that there's a lull after the album release parties I can start to delve into them.

Oh, the show the other night at Drom.  Incredibly fun.  We made it into town with plenty of time to make those three stops I mentioned and get to Drom minutes after 4:30pm.  Jeff, our bassist and the producer of the album, was already standing outside waiting for us.   Alec and Tony, were not far off.

When I walked in, I was blown away but what a nice venue it was.  Down a flight of stairs from street level and under a sushi bar, through the door and behind a curtain, there was the dimly lit lobby area filled with leather couches and chairs.  Beyond this seating area, the high ceilinged restaurant and bar area and the stage, raised up and in the far corner with a full lighting rig, projection screen, PA system with on stage monitors.   The sound guy was real nice and helpful and we had everything set up and miked in a matter of minutes.  We tested out the video projector as well for the video premiere and at one point he flipped a switch and a beautiful projection filled one of the brick walls beside the stage.

Afterward, we were shown the green room, accessed through the kitchen to the left of the stage, and up a flight of stairs.   The band then split up to grab dinner.  Alec, the drummer, and I hit a ramen place around the corner on 4th Street and we made it back in time to shoot the breeze at the venue.  Lacy was holed up in the green room until the show started so we were up there discussing logistics of the set and  the like and getting our drink tickets.  At some point, when discussing how to open, the idea came up to start the show with her song Dancing out of the Dark, but have the band start first and have her walk out to the song.  After that we didn't deviate from the set list too much and everything went fairly well, despite a hiccup with the video projector when we took a break to premiere the video.

It was so good to get up and play again with a full band, both in Philly and in NYC, but this night was particularly fun because it was the biggest venue I've played since playing at Pianos with Teletextile back in November of 2010.  The big turnout we had helped.  Also, having had the chance to become so familiar with the music and iron out all the instrument changes and technical aspects of playing with such a diverse array of equipment, made it all go smoothly enough that I was easier to enjoy the experience of being on stage and not be so stressed that everything is going to work.  I can only imagine it's going to get better the more we perform.

Now we are turning our thoughts toward forming a New York band and finding time and a space to rehearse regularly.  Should be fun.  And hopefully now, that I've bridged the gap between having all this equipment and software and barely knowing how to make it all function, and actually being able to play a show using it all successfully with almost no hiccups, I can start working on writing and eventually performing my own music.

Anyway, we had the whole show filmed and there should be pictures as well from it.  A few have surfaced on the web. I'll try and find them and link to them at some point.  For now.  It's back to the grind.