I’m All Shook Up

 

“… A wife of one of one the Church leaders accused me of carrying the spirit of Elvis”

Well Amen to that sister!

 

No matter how much of a ‘person of the world’ we may consider ourselves to be, we all live in some kind of bubble or shelter and thus carry our ‘self-made’ ghost fears of being corrupted by those living outside of our little havens of respectability.

strider_by_detkef-d5rqb1jIt would seem to be that I am often the intruder from the dark side, venturing into the hobbit villages of ‘Churchedom’… I am perhaps like Strider... feared by the Orc’s and “Don’t let me be misunderstood’ by the folk in the shire.

On one adventure I was invited to Christchurch for a weeks training of the musicians and singers (of a local Church) who would, if all went well, accompany me in concert on the Sunday. 

Sometimes these creative workshops can be most fulfilling, especially when the ‘students’ have a mind to learn something new or a willingness take a few creative risks. This was a bit like the Curate’s egg… good in parts. The established crew were a tad set in their ways and too ‘churchy’ for my rock ‘n’ roll ears…and I spent more time with the youngins, the fresh recruits, the ‘rough around the edges’ lot and by the end of the week we were ready… to Rock the joint. Read On »

Alter-Ego is Not a Dirty Word

Iggy Pop, AKA James Newell Osterberg Jr is an American punk rock singer and actor (I loved him in Coffee and Cigarettes). Arguably one of the most important innovators of Rock ‘n’ Roll he is sometimes referred to as “the Godfather of Punk” or “the Rock Iguana”, and… has a reputation for being one of the most dynamic stage performers ‘ever’… as Dave Raven can testify in the interview below…

“…with Iggy on stage… I thought the room was going to catch on fire”

 

Read On »

I was a Teenage Ballboy

My own progression as a creative expressionist (do you like that terminology?… I just thought of it today… I might change my calling card… Chris Falson, have creative expressions, will travel… but enough of that… back to the blog)….
Teenage-ballboy
I started off as a guitar player with a secret desire to be in a band playing my own songs. From 19 years of age to about the age of 30 I worked as a touring, gigging sometime studio guitarist in Australia and over the ensuing 5 years, in part through chance, then much trial, error, blood, sweat, tears and other lifetime movie channel cliches, I added songwriting and (very nervously)… singing… to my CV. Read On »

Riot in Cell Block # 9

Our live performance in a prison caused such a ruckus that there were fears that we… and me in particular, would have to spend the night behind bars. 

Well it happened like this: We were on tour in Europe, performing mostly in bars and Churches with an upcoming concert event in a minimum security prison in the north east of Switzerland. The tour had received several good reviews and one in particular had caught the eye of the Prison Warden. And the news that we were some kind of Gospel Blues band gave this gentleman cause for alarm. Read On »

The Song is Everything

One of the benefits of working as a songwriter in LA is being able to work with musicians, engineers and producers that are highly sort after, world class  exceptional story tellers themselves. ‘The song is everything’ is oft quoted and, because the musicians and singers may have worked (the day before) with Bob Dylan, Carlene Carter, Nora Jones, Keith Richards, Elton John and their like,  the songwriting bar is set extremely high for us mere mortals.

But knowing I will be working alongside these wonderfully seasoned music creators motivates me to work just that little bit harder, to take my writing gift more seriously, to sweat over each word, phrase, chord change… avoiding cliches… and trite little happy endings. I dare not show up at the studio unless I have songs that are worthy of their time and their creativity.

However, it is the ultimate ‘two thumbs up’ when the musicians hired for the session say either verbally or by their enthusiastic performances that they like the song. It brings a sigh of relief for sure… and that sweet ‘aftertaste’ of validation… that I’m not wasting my life and maybe.. I can postpone the search for that real job for a few more weeks yet.

As a studio musician myself, I know how much harder I have to work when the song is not ‘quite complete’. A good song needs no help at all… a poorly written song… well… I’ll let David Raven tell the rest of that story.

From Here to Eternity?

One night at the What Club? in LA, a noted post punk icon (I shall honor his desire for privacy) had made it known that he would be visiting our party that night. The gentleman from London (you will never guess who he is so stop trying) was heavily into the occult, in particular white witchcraft and, most probably totally unaware that he would be attending a little ‘Church in a bar event’ in LA that evening.  Read On »

A Gig with the Hells Angels

A favorite past time of all musicians is to share war stories… and boy do we like to brag about our well earned scars. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. David Raven, a most valued friend of mine, one with whom I have traveled the world playing in clubs, churches and stadiums has a good story to tell here about performing for the Hells Angels.

The Gift of Inclusion (Part 2)

A few years ago a small tribe of us wanted to reach out to people who felt excluded (for one reason or another) by the Church… and so we created, what some people called a ‘Church in a Bar’.

After much experimenting… or trial and error, we came up with a model that suited our characters, personalities, skills, gifts, shared vision and the perceived need before us… which was to throw a party once a week (sometimes twice) and invite people to come share a meal, a bit of music, some poetry, story telling and good old fashion banter. We would provide all the food (3 course meal), wine, music and an incredible venue, a shared live-work space (decorated and loved by James Alexander Langteaux) in an industrial part of LA. This phenomenon became known as ‘The What Club?’ Read On »

Having a Blast 23

Last week we finished working on the trailer for the feature film  23 Blast, which will be in US theaters October 24th.

Brief Synopsis: When a high school football star is suddenly stricken with irreversible, total blindness, he must decide whether to live a safe, protected life or to summon the courage through playing football to step back into the world.

23 Blast is (me thinks) a very good dramedy (funny and moving), with a cast rich full of established character actors including Fred Thompson (Die Hard 2, Law and Order, The Hunt from Red October), Stephen Lang (Tombstone,  Gods and Generals, Avatar), Becky Ann Baker (Men in Black, A Simple Plan, Sex and the City) and Dylan Baker (Anchorman 2, Dr Connors in Spiderman 2,3, Happiness). Read On »

I’m Feeling Close to You Tommy Emmanuel

I was 17 the first time I heard Tommy play. Along with my friend Pineapple (my nick name was Helen back then but that’s a whole other story) I had snuck in to the Manzil Room in Kings Cross to hear this wiz kid guitarist from Parkes play with Doug Parkinson & The Southern Star Band. It was a Thursday night. I should have been home studying (though I don’t recall ever doing much of that for any subject other than music or maybe English if it involved a good book).  Read On »