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NORTHEAST NORTHWEST – Empty Road

In the Spring of 2009, I was in my third year of living in Seattle, and had never felt more trapped. Caught in a vortex of heartache and frustration after another failed relationship, dealing with a band on the rocks, and coping with the crushing corporate monotony of my day job, I was ready to hang it all up and drive back home over the Rockies – Chicago, specifically – to live with my parents and get a fresh start. I stumbled through the summer largely alone, clumsily attempting to tie up loose ends with my remaining obligations and living like there was no tomorrow, as I knew I’d never be coming back.

It took that period of self-indulgence and confronting the three years prior head-on to bring me to the realization that moving back home wasn’t what I really wanted (I didn’t know what it was exactly, but moving back into the basement wasn’t it), and that as soon as I got back to Chicago, I’d start fantasizing about escaping again, taking the first ticket out of town and making the same mistakes all over again.

The song I wrote in this period, Empty Road, alludes to many things – wanderlust, self-loathing, nostalgia for times that have hardly even passed by – but what I mostly wanted to get across was that while escaping to the open road is an incredibly freeing, and often is a very necessary step towards finding clarity and getting closer to achieving true happiness, it’s really just that – a means to an end. For me, that end was moving somewhere new without baggage, (only three hours south to Portland, OR), eventually ditching the corporate job in pursuit of a music career, and getting a lot more sleep, but I like to think the message of the song is universal.

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SOLO BORGES

I am a solo artist that makes music to express my talent through wave sounds. The experience of being in different bands throughout my life has made this blend of attractive riffs possible. My influences are mainly from Argentinean rock bands, but it does not stop there. I blend my influences with British and American flavor to create the impeccable rock recipe. Being able to play different instruments, compose, mix, and master, gives me the ability to expose all of my talents on each track you hear. All of these different aspects make a final and tasteful rhythm that wakes your most inner audio sensors in your brain.

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Music

PATRICK DWYER – The Journey

The story behind my song “The Journey” was inspired by…well, the multitude of changes that were so rapidly taking place in such a short amount of time. I was graduating from college, most all of my friends were moving away, and on top of being stuck in the post-grad pocket of “what the hell do I do now?”, the decision was also clear that I needed to leave the beautiful town of Bozeman, Montana which I had come to know as home, and make the move to Los Angeles. That was really scary for me. In Bozeman it is easy to get really comfortable and I just wasn’t growing in the ways I wanted. I started reminiscing; thinking of great times, terrible times, times I’ve wasted. I started to reflect on everything. I would hum this tune in my head while I was scraping ice and snow off of my windshield which I have always hated doing, but part of me wondered if I’d miss it. Months went by and little by little the song wrote more and more of itself. Later, before I moved out, I sat there on the couch scanning over the house I had lived in for years with two of my closest friends and just wondered “where the heck did time go?” 

I still feel like yesterday I was that little kid wondering what I’d be, what I’d look like, where I’d go when I grew up. I’m not entirely convinced anyone ever grows out of that. Everyone has a story; everyone’s journey is different, but somehow we all seem to think that ours is the most important. It’s just always been funny to me how that works. The culmination of how I felt about everything in those moments is ultimately how this song came to be. So there on that couch, almost half asleep, I deliriously scribbled down what eventually became an entire song. Especially being very new to songwriting at that point, this song remains very special to me. For me it is a record of where I was, where I am, and I will remember to take it with me wherever I am going. I hope that anyone who hears this song feels the same way. Ultimately, everyone is a journey and that journey only ends if we allow it to. And in listening to to one of the themes of the song, I should probably take more of my own advice and not be afraid. Get out there and do stuff with your life. It really is way too short.

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Music

ALEX KERCKHOFF – Jam 65

Writing and recording my own album has always been a dream of mine, but for many years I was too scared to chase it. I was managing to make a living as a professional musician playing other people’s music but I wasn’t happy. More often than not, music was taking a backseat to image, managers would screw me out of money, and I would be surrounded by people who treated me as one more disposable guitar player. Out of fear of losing my gigs and not being able to pay rent, I was forced to put on a fake smile and take it. Through it all, however, I held onto to the hope that I would eventually be able to play my own music for a living.

One day, after another painful rehearsal, the bandleader of a group I was working with handed out strict wardrobe guidelines, detailing everything, even what brand of socks the band was allowed to wear. If we did not follow these guidelines, we would not be paid. I am all for looking good on stage, but since this band had not yet written a single song, I decided I couldn’t take it anymore and something inside me snapped. If I wanted a shot at my dream and the life I had imagined, I needed to start now and not waste any more time. I called up a producer friend of mine and the next day we began pre-production for what would become my first album, “No More Rain”. I had no idea where this project would lead me, what the album would sound like, and certainly no idea of how I was going to pay for it all. I just knew I had to start taking responsibility and control of my own future.

Jam #65” is one of the last songs I wrote and recorded, and did so to chronicle what I went through to get up the courage to make this album. Now, the “painful smile” I was wearing on so many gigs has be replaced by a real one. Thanks to the risky leap I took, I love what I do again and feel proud to have created something of my own that no one can take away from me.

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WAYLAND LYNN GRAY – Gas City Blues

Gas City is a place where it’s always just after dusk on the hottest night of the summer. Police sirens echo through the streets every hour, on the hour, but no one even notices any more. It’s little more than background noise, like lost children crying for their mothers or the sound of overworked air conditioning units, trying to spit out their final last breaths of cold air before breaking down for good. Single 60 watt bulbs glow electric on booze, pills, stripper’s lace, newspapers from months ago. Everybody plans on getting out one day, somewhere that life isn’t so damn hard, but the city only holds your dreams and hopes out in front of you, just out of reach, just like the moon.

Gas City Blues’ is about two people that almost found something like love in a place like that.