Monthly Archives: March 2013

Easter

I’m sure every other Christian blogger out there who is more eloquent than me has already written something or plans to write something about Easter and what it means to them or in general. I feel like I shouldn’t keep my mouth shut about it though, because it is very important. This weekend is happy and sad at the same time. The only way I can articulate it is that it’s like music that makes you happy and sad at the same time. The best example I can give is part of The Lord of the Rings Soundtrack. It’s some of the most beautiful music out there, so I thought I’d share. Just for the record, James Galway is ridiculous.

To me this music feels bitter sweet….. which was probably the effect the composer was going for. That is essentially what Easter is. People can have good, happy lives and be free from sin and enter the Kingdom of God at the cost of the life of one individual who was completely original and completely pure and who wasn’t afraid to speak out against corruption in the religious hierarchy that he was subject to in his own society. It takes guts and it takes a lot of love to do that. It also took a lot of pain and fear on his part. It’s impossible for someone like me to know exactly what that was like. All we can say is, thank you. ❀

Happy Easter everyone!

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Album Cover Part 3: Prototype

Well guys, I finally found Paint.NET. Rather, my brother found it, and of course it was right there in front of me. It runs in the family– my dad can never find the ketchup in the fridge even if it’s staring right at him.

Anyway, These are my first attempts to create my idea for the album cover. I actually did them fairly quickly, so it’s really just the basic idea. I definitely like the blue better at the moment. I’m not sure if the dark background and the white light is too much of a contrast or what, but I’ll try and figure it out when I have more time. I think it just needs another element, but I’m not sure exactly what that would be. I’m still not sure how I would do the silhouette that I mentioned in an earlier post, but maybe I don’t need it.

RMES Cover V1

RMES Cover V2

RMES Cover V3

It’s a little hard to read in the pic, but the text says “Replace My Empty Spaces.”

Comments would be great!

Thanks, guys! ❀

My Old Man

Well guys, “Replace My Empty Spaces” just became a family project! I was talking to my mom in the car a couple days ago about how the album is coming along because I’m going to need to bring in some backup for “Nostalgia.” My friend, Nate played Piano on “You Answered” for me, but now I need someone to play strings. As much as I hate spending money, whether it’s my own or my parents’, I’m going to have to hire one of the other guys from the studio.

I also mentioned that I would like to have a male harmony singer on “Nostalgia,” so my mom started going through the list of people we know. We don’t know too many singers. Nate is away at college, and Nick has a weird voice; great for choir music, not so much for Folk-Rock. Then she started going through the list of family members who would be willing to learn to sing. The only person we could think of was my dad. I’m setting him up with a few lessons with the guy who taught me.

It’s so perfect because “Nostalgia” is about growing up and feeling old. I call my dad “Old One” too his face and he’s totally cool with it. My dad and I are like two peas in a pod, as lame as that expression is. Neither of us have any intention of actually growing up. It might mean holding off on finishing the song for a little while, but It would be really cool to have my dad sing on my record.

P.S.

Apparently this is my 100th post! πŸ™‚

Somehow

Somehow I have 51 followers now. I’m still not entirely sure how that happened. I ramble about coffee, faith and music…. while drinking coffee and listening to worship music. I’m not that exciting, guys! I come to conclusions about huge issues that are probably not as well thought out as they could be, overly simplified, absurd or just straight up wrong, but for some reason y’all still seem to like what I have to say.

Well, I want to say thanks so much for reading, and I want to let y’all know that I have a plan. It has taken me forever to formulate and commit to this plan, but I have one! For the next two years while I’m working on my English degree I’m going to be writing songs, recording and working on setting up gigs for the summers. I’ll play in the Boston area and hopefully spread out to all of New England. After those two years I’m just going t0 jump in head first and go as far as it takes me (Europe, perhaps? I miss you, Frenchie!). Hopefully I’ll have enough recognition to live off of this musical insanity. If not I’ll try and get some kind of writing job that will allow me to work from anywhere. As long as I can remain mobile, I should get this to work.

At some point I’m also going to move the music-related stuff to a blog called “The Meandering Hat,” which I haven’t got started yet, but I want to still be able to use flyinguineapig for philosophy and personal stuff. So that’s the plan! I also need to see about getting signed. I’m actually not worried about that. I’ve never had a bad reception of my music. Everyone seems to like it (except for my brother, but I think it’s a prerequisite to being a younger sibling). It’s astonishing, weird and encouraging. πŸ™‚

Seriously though, I think this is the first time I’ve ever really had a plan. The future used to scare me a lot, but it doesn’t as much now that I’ve definitively decided to follow this crazy dream of mine. I know I’ve said I’ve had plans before, but that wasn’t always entirely true and they weren’t really long term, future plans. I think I was inevitably going to end up here. I couldn’t just finish the album and do nothing with it. music is what I’m best at and I want whatever I do to glorify God. This seems like a pretty awesome way to do that. Prayers are appreciated. Wish me luck, peeps!

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Album Cover Part 2: Missed The Picture

It’s gray and nasty out today. I’m not exactly sure what white nastiness is falling from the sky now, but it was raining on the highway. I saw what would have made an awesome album cover on the way to school, though. I didn’t get a pic, which I’m so mad about, but I suppose I can try and recreate it. Picture a gray sky and a hill covered in snow with nothing behind it and a few scattered trees in front. I can’t quite put my finger on why I liked it so much. As soon as my brother gets home I’m going to figure out where Paint.NET went. I’m trying to schedule another recording session for Friday. In the mean time…. FRIED CHICKEN!!!!

Album Cover Part 1

Well guys, I was going to work on some rough ideas for an album cover this morning before I got to school, but it appears that Paint.NET is missing in action. I swear, every time I try to do something with computers, something goes wrong! Literally the one time I downloaded something without brother supervision I got a virus. My brother is a computer freak. He knows where to go.

Anyway, I was going to make a few pics and post them here, but it’s looking like that’s not going to happen until either tomorrow or later this week. Mondays and Wednesdays are usually busy because of school, and today in particular is going to be a long one. I may or may not have mentioned that I got a part time job working for a prof at Boston University. I’m going to be peer mentoring some students that are taking part in a trial run of Project TEAM, which is a program I’ve been developing with the prof and a panel of four other peeps around my age. Tonight I have to go to their first intervention and meet my trainees. It should be good. πŸ™‚

I can show y’all one pic that is a possibility and for now I can describe my other ideas. My dad suggested using this picture that I made a million years ago. I would probably use white, yellow or very light blue text for the album name, “Replace My Empty Spaces” and my name. To me it seems like a little much.

LOVE!!!

Another idea I had was to do a dark, foggy background– almost black with a small light off in the distance. There would also be a silhouette of someone standing in the left hand corner. It would be meant to look peaceful, not creepy. It’s inspired by a dream I had. It might be kind of difficult to make, so I might skip the silhouette.

The trouble is that I know what I’m going for– emptiness with a sense of hope, but I feel like that’s hard to represent. I had a friend of mine work on it to see what he could come up with, but it was just too colorful, which is why I’m thinking “no” on the heart picture, even though I like it as a standalone. It’s hard because I don’t usually pay that much attention to album covers, but now that it’s about time I start thinking about my own, I don’t know what I want.

If anyone has some suggestions, that would be awesome!!! Since these music-related posts are getting so much action, I want you guys to be part of the process. πŸ™‚

I Will Play

Well, there was some interest in my last post, so I thought I’d give y’all an update. Today I spammed emails out to a few venues. I’m going to try and get the “feature” at a couple open mics. If that works out I’ll try and get my own gigs there. I know I will be playing at The Sad Cafe in Plaistow NH, but I’m waiting to hear back from them with the exact date. I also sent an email out to Cafe 939 in Boston. I’d say it’s pretty unlikely that I’ll get in there since I’ve never played a paying gig before, but I think I might have just enough experience for them to at least consider me. I’m shooting for Saturday June 8th. I also may or may not send something out to The Middle East in Cambridge. my Friend played there and I don’t recall if there was a feasible way to get a wheelchair on stage (that little detail should make gigging super fun). I’ll probably send something anyway. Life is an adventure!

I also had another excellent idea today. Once the CD is out I’m going to give 50% of sales to a charity (I have some ideas, I just haven’t picked one yet). I’m going to wait until I make my first hundred and start there. I seriously think this could go places. Prayers are appreciated. Wish me luck everybody!

The Big One

Yesterday I went to the studio and worked on my song “Nostalgia.” I talked with Ken and I told him that I’ve been thinking about having a release party at the Gulu Gulu cafe, which is a small venue in Salem that does open mics on Wednesdays.

Well, Ken told me that he knows a guy who books people in venues throughout the Boston area and said if I could promise a big enough crowd that he could get me a much bigger gig. If I get enough people I might be able to go second or third in a line up.

Within my family I could easily bring in 60 people. I could bring in a few neighbors and of course there are my friends. Before the big event I’ll probably go to a bunch of open mics and let everyone know what’s up. That might at least bring a few people. If any of you guys who read this blog are in the area I would love to have you.

I normally play solo at smaller gigs since I don’t have a ton of time to play live because of school, but for this event I’m going to try and get a band together. It will probably consist of myself on rhythm guitar and vocals, Ken on drums and my buddy Nate on either bass or lead guitar and possibly vocals. It’s looking like we’re probably going to need to find a bass player. Also, you can check out some of Nate’s originals here https://soundcloud.com/search?q=nate%20shaffer.

Unfortunately the album is only halfway done,Β  and I don’t really know when it will be finished, but I’m hoping to kick this thing into high gear and get it done ASAP. Yesterday we got a lot of work done on “Nostalgia.” Once that’s done I’ll have four songs to go, at least one of which should be a quick finish. Just thinking about this is exciting! If you guys are super interested I’llΒ  update more on the music side of life, but if not I’ll just keep writing about random shenanigans.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Prayer Request

I just found out that my friend is in the hospital because of her depression. She’s seemed fine since high school, but she dropped out of college this semester and now this comes up. If you guys wouldn’t mind, I’d really appreciate prayers for her.

I also thought I’d pass on a prayer request from a friend of my dad. She’s having surgery for brain cancer today.

Please pray for them.

Thanks,

Katie

Isns

It is my opinion that you should only have to learn about the “isms” in the world once. Social studies/history teachers should spend one year teaching students about racism, sexism, etc and call it good. I believe this because I had to read at least one book every summer and spend countless hours listening to lectures in class about American slavery. In one if my college English classes we just finished reading Frederick Douglass’s personal narrative.

My opinion and personal experience is that after the second time around people stop caring. I know that during those units I spent a lot of time thinking, “I get it. Slavery is bad. Can we move on please?” It wasn’t that I thought it was no big deal, but it seemed that the schools were trying to make us feel guilty for the fact that we were white, I am not accountable for what southern slave holders did over 100 years ago.

Feminism also drives me crazy. I understand that at one point in time women weren’t allowed to vote or work or go to school. The fact of the matter is that 60% of the students at my college are female. My dad’s entire team at the bank is made up of nearly entirely women. The problem is that feminism has gone so far that it often turns into sexism against men. So many commercials nowadays feature independent women coming to the rescue of their stupid or incapable husbands.

I understand that in many places racism and sexism are still big problems, but my belief is that instead of trying to make people feel guilty for things they were not involved in or fighting in out of date ways for put of date causes, schools, parents or whoever else should teach students about the places where slavery and oppression of women still exist and teach them about what people are currently doing to try and solve the problems.