Monday, January 18, 2010

rockin' in the treetops.

for those of you who don't know me as well, you may or may not be aware of the fact that i enjoy making up stupid little songs typically narrative or first person in nature. and good news to fans of stupid little songs typically narrative or first person in nature, it would seem the typically narrative or first person in nature spark is back. whether this "good news" is actually good is of course debatable. however, it is nice for me.

when i first started playing music (on a conventional instrument) i was taking piano lessons in elementary school. i was going to play the trumpet in school band, but thankfully my mother offered the piano lessons as another option, and with liberace dreams in tow, i accepted them. now, i only kept these lessons up for so long, and today, i am admittedly no expert on the piano now, but two very valuable things came as a result. one. i can still remember several songs i learned to play including "money can't buy everything," "magic man," "money can't buy everything," and one i'm particularly fond of, "oom-pa-pa." two. to this day, most of my understanding of music today remains based in what i learned during this time. after said lessons, i tinkered around with the piano off and on, never really taking it too seriously, and talking about how much i'd love to play the drums.

key in a few years listening to weird al and whatever my brother listened to. mainly fat wreck chords and moon ska. thanks, sky. twas a good time.

then onto my high school years. desperately trying to fit in as a punker with my bleached, twisted-spike hair and cut off cargo paints my parents were kind enough to simultaneously give themselves perpetual headaches and me great happiness when they purchase me a drumset for a birthday. with saturday morning lessons, and constant noise in the house, i can honestly say that i learned to love creating music ("music" being used liberally here) and my piano lessons started showing how helpful they really were as i got more curious about other instruments as i began to actually gain some ability with a drumset. it was a long process going from trying to play the tune of the a-team theme song to actually playing drum like i was "supposed to," but it was a lot of fun. also fun was having a bassist and a guitarist ask me to be a drummer. before you ask, no. we never did anything but school talent shows. but i'm fine with that. it was a delight, even if it wasn't for the audience.

also, my later years of high school offered me the opportunity to try my throat at singing. it was... entertaining, if not a bit painful for everyone else. still, between the kindness of a good drama teacher and a remarkably patient choir director, i was able to survive and enjoy performing in musical theater, the audience was able to survive my performance, and anyone in my car was able to survive the ride home in my jeep. and by "survive the ride home in my jeep," i mean listen to me singing west side story all the way home. passengers were allowed--nay, expected--to join. it was wonderful and i to this day have a soft spot for show tunes because of these experiences and my theater friends. and i'd imagine you can sometimes hear some broadway influence in what i sing now.

as high school went on, my parents were again kind enough to humor my musical annoyances and i was able to try my hands at both guitar and bass guitar. between lessons for both from various sources and my brother's humoring me, i really grew to enjoy them. there are still a few very basic melodies i wrote on both instruments that i'll still play when i pick one of them up. it's usually a little embarrassing, but very nostalgic, so i still do it. same with a few i made up on the piano, including the sea-sick saloon number that my mother still may have nightmares about. you probably would too with the number of times i played it on the house piano.

cut to high school graduation. upon ending high school, i leave my home, guitar and drumset to go to my freshman year at byu. i buy a djembe hand drum and exist for a while doing nothing musically other than "bang on my drum all day." well, that and making amateur tracks with hammerhead rhythm station and windows sound recorder. they were good days... i really should post some of them. they're very much amateur, but entertaining just the same. and i can say that because i'm at least somewhat subjective now thanks to the fact that i put them together about six years ago.

cut from college to the mission ("the mission" being a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). lots of work and not a lot of anything else for some reason spark a lot of ideas and many lyrics were written in a two-pound tesco notebook at night when we had half an hour of free time.

then back home. for the first few months back i had the opportunity of finally finishing/polishing the songs i had started on the mish and was able to put the words to some acoustic guitar and was able to reacquaint myself with my drum set which was delightful. after that, i returned to byu, school started again, and i essentially have spent the time since then playing the same four songs over and over and over again... and wishing i had something more interesting to play.

last year for a few months i was able to play with some computer software and write some digital music which was great, but the analog half of my musical self was still unexercised and flabby with neglect.

but finally, it feels like i've the drive to actually have something more interesting to play. two big reasons i think. first, it's just been so long since i've done much of anything creative that hasn't involved a computer that my desire to finally peaked high enough and it's gotten me out of my creation slump. second, for the first time in ages i've found people to play with, which is a huge boost. this vague shape of a band is a wonderful excuse to start creating again. and funny enough, i find myself being willing to sing in the thing.

that's really what the whole post comes to. i don't consider myself a singer. to be honest, i don't really consider myself a musician. save the drums, my competence on any of the instruments i profess to play is really quite sub-par. i hesitate to consider myself any sort of artist, but if put to the rack over it, i'd consider myself a writer. if you were to take the time (as i admittedly have, and you'd rather not) to look trough my old class notebooks from high school through college you'll see notes sided by countless poems i'd written about anything from my loathing of math to royalty lamenting the need to marry outside of the family. if you look at other sources you can find pieces for the stage including monologues about self confidence and witch burning, and a one-act about story-telling elevator boys. look at even more obscure word files and you can find dozens of unfinished short stories and who knows what that i started and abandoned for whatever reason. after all of my experiences, i still find myself most comfortable with a pen and paper in a desk or performing something that was written there. or eating a grilled cheese. that's also very comfortable. anyway, i guess after ten years of pretending to be an artist, i'm ready to forget the fact that i'm not a singer and sing anyway.

and so faithful reader, you just read twelve paragraphs of lund history so you could read the that last sentence and finally realize what this post is even about. and really, that's the entire post. i think i'll put that line at the bottom in fancy text to make up for making you read all of this for one line... i'm now writing stuff and putting it to use. as in, acting like they're viable works and having people play along with me. should be fun.

goodbye. sorry for being so long-winded and unentertaining. and much thanks to my parents for being supportive in my many worthless and musical pursuits, especially when they were the same ones. goodnight all!


  1. um...rock omen?! i think that was a real turning point for ya. reference please!

  2. Thank you. I really enjoyed. Parents wait a long time to hear (or read) these words. You make us proud :)