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)….
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. more to see over here →
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. more to see over here →
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.
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. more to see over here →
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.
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?’ more to see over here →
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). more to see over here →
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). more to see over here →
The other day I was reading that story of the wedding feast in Cana… you know the one in which a certain Jesus was purported to have turned six large jars of water into wine… not just any of kind of wine mind you… It wasn’t Charles Shaw or Porphry Pearl. No this wine was so good that the more important guests were asking why this sumptuous wine had been kept till the end of the seven day feast… I am guessing that the more gluttonous among them had wasted their fine palate’s on the cheaper stuff provided by the groom… I have been to a few of those weddings myself.
Now while all that is of interest… or a topic of debate for some, I got to thinking ‘just how much wine are we talking about here?’
Each jar (according to the account of one of the attendees) held approximately 25 gallons of liquid. Multiply that by the six jars and we have 150 gallons.
Now, as wine is more commonly measured within the metric system… this comes to 492.104 Liters. Dividing that by 0.75 (the amount of wine in a regular bottle) we have 656 bottles… or 54.6 cases (of 12)
Imagine this. You are going to a party and you say ‘how about I bring some wine”. The hosts might anticipate a nice bottle of red or… maybe something white… but you are feeling generous and so you bring one of each.
But not Jesus, when you invite him to a party… he goes and fills the truck! And then he has all his friends carry in case after case of the ‘good stuff”.
Does it seem a bit extravagant?
I’m not sure about you, but I know who I’m inviting to the next party!