Wednesday, October 04, 2017

early October happenings

I have a band!

Using methods beyond my own comprehension, I have assembled yet another backing band (The Antidepressants version 4.0, I think). I can now bring a full band rock show to my second album's songs. This makes me mighty happy. We played as a four piece on Black Swamp Arts Festival weekend. We did a three piece performance at a party adjacent to the Luckey Fall Festival. And this weekend, we get to do it again!

This Saturday, I'm playing at Stone's Throw (my home away from home). I will be splitting sets with the immensely talented April Freed. I go on for an acoustic set from 9:45 to 10:30. After April's second set, TheMikeDuBose and the Antidepressants bring the rock from 11:15-midnight. It will be a blast and a half, and I'd really love to see you there.

Tonight, though, I'm doing a warm-up at The Hump Day Revue, where I'll get about four or five songs on acoustic. Also, my horn player Nick Zoidberg will be joining me. I will have copies of both albums for sale, and I'd also love to see you tonight.

In the meantime, isn't this weekend's flyer very green?

Monday, August 21, 2017

my second album's release

It's been entirely too long since I released my debut album Skeleton Coast. I really wanted to get a follow-up out fairly quickly. Life, though, has a way of intervening whenever possible. There was production issues. There was a year-long detour into a cover band in an attempt to actually make money playing music (spoiler: it didn't work). There were work crises. Some times, it seemed like everything possible which could delay my work did delay my work.

No worries, though. Depression Monster is on track. Recording is done. Mixing is done. Mastering is done. Test copy has been ordered, delivered, reviewed, and approved. The final order has been shipped. Files are on Bandcamp.

It's really hard for me to get perspective on my work anyway, and when I've been working on an album this long, it's nigh impossible. Nevertheless, it sounds very, very good to my ears. I've given it to a few people I really trust, and they tell me it's as close to "official major label release" in sound as one can get. Nick Zoidberg, my compatriot, is relatively gaga over the album. All these are good signs.

There will be much more coming about the album in the next few weeks. Today's news, though, is that the scheduled Saturday album release show has been cancelled due to accidental double booking. No worries, though, as I'll now be playing at Stone's Throw (my home base) the next three months: on September 9 (Black Swamp Arts Festival weekend!), October 7, and November 11. I'll also be hitting many other area establishments, so there will be many opportunities to see me and snag a disk. Can't get to a show yet still want the physical artifact? E-mail me at themikedubose@yahoo.com and I will work something out.

If you're the kind of person who does their music digitally, the album is available for pre-order on my Bandcamp page. If you order now, you get an immediate download of the opening track "Mileage." The full album goes live this Saturday, August 26.

Big things are happening. Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

recording update

I have a hard deadline for finishing my album. There's already an album release show set for August 26, so I need to have the recording sent to the printer by the end of July. Luckily, I am on track.

I finished background vocals a week ago. Bass guitar was finished last Friday. About ten minutes ago, I completed the last guitar track...a wicked double-tracked outro solo which makes me sound like a wizard.

I'm taking another blast at the lead vocals, and then, it's just mixing and mastering. I've been tightening the arrangements as I go, so the mix should proceed in a swift fashion.

I'm getting excited. I can't wait for y'all to hear it. It's been a long time coming.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

My Onion horoscope

"There will be nothing you can do to avert the disaster of next week, although there will be plenty that a reasonably bright and competent person could do."


Thanks, guys.

occupation

Today, my child is at her summer care program (run by her school). She's on a field trip to the zoo, so I have the day to work. You think that summer for a teacher would be a time of vacation, of international travel, of lazing about, but that's not the case for me. Already, I have spent a over a week grading AP exams. I've played an area festival. And I'm close to finishing my second album.

Why do work when one doesn't have to? Well, in the case of the grading, it's that I need the money. Grad school leads to a lot of debt, and I still haven't come close to clawing my way out of it. Next year, I might even have to look into additional grading employment, as I recently found out that I'm ineligible for the government program for forgiving public servants of their student loans. Why? Because I took advantage of another government program to consolidate my loans over a decade ago. This is a blow, because getting my student loans forgiven might've helped free up enough cash to me to make some headway on my credit card debt. That ain't happening now.

I discovered my loan forgiveness ineligibility yesterday. In spite of that, however, I'm in a pretty decent mood. While the therapy and antidepressants certainly have a large role in my peaceful state of mind, they are far from the only factors. Having a great family also helps (see my previous posts about my strange child), but managed expectations also play their part...and they are largely a product of science fiction.

After dropping off my daughter, I came home, broke out the Aeropress, and put on just a little television. Last night, I found out that Hulu has the television version of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, so I watched an episode or two while drinking my coffee and plotting the day. That's when I heard this quote:

Perhaps I'm old, but the chances of finding out what really is going on are so absurdly remote the only thing to do is to say, "Hang the sense of it" and keep occupied.

This quote (along with its radio, novelization, and cinema versions) resonates with me and also explains my summer shenanigans. Why play music? Why work on an album which, in the grand scheme of things, few people will actually hear? Why in fact try to accomplish anything?

To me, this is answered in another Hitchhiker's quote (this time from the book):

there comes a point I'm afraid where you begin to suspect that the entire multidimensional infinity of the Universe is almost certainly being run by a bunch of maniacs

Will thinking about things help? Probably not. Instead, focus on what you can do. Me? I can raise my kid. I can write songs. I can keep moving.

That's enough.
Who cares? Perhaps I'm old, but the chances of finding out what really is going on are so absurdly remote the only thing to do is to say, "Hang the sense of it" and keep occupied.
Read more: http://www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk/view_episode_scripts.php?tv-show=the-hitchhikers-guide-to-the-galaxy&episode=s01e04

Friday, July 07, 2017

another exchange

Me: "I wonder what it would be like to have a normal child."

Daughter: "It would be horrible. Normal is boring. Strange is much more fun."

Ah. My child.

on my inability to fool anyone

Hi. remember me? I've been buried in the album (it has to go to the printer by the end of the month), but I have a story that must be told in spite of the damage it will do to my ego.

Me and my daughter we're driving to the grocery store when we saw a bus from her old daycare. We started to speculate on where they might be going. My kid shot down my suggestion they might be going to the pumpkin patch for jack-o'-lanterns or to the Christmas tree farm. I then suggested they might be traveling to Toledo to see a statue of me.

"I don't think so, daddy," she replied without a second of thought. "I really doubt anyone knows who you are."

Ouch. At the very least, I'm pretty sure she will not really ever let people take advantage of her.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Music news

Quick music news!

  • I play this Wednesday, 5/31 at 10pm at Stone's Throw Tavern in BG for Hump Day Revue. This will be a rawk show,
  • I play this Saturday, 6/3 at 3pm on the Old West End Festival in Toledo OH , on the Art Fair Stage. This will be a rawk show.
  • I'm at Stone's Throw Tavern in Bowling Green again on July 7, from 9 to midnight.
  • August 26th will be my album release show for TheMikeDuBose's Depression Monster! At long last!
  • Nick Zoidberg will be joining me at any number of these shows.
You can bet there will be more details forthcoming on all of these events.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

required viewing

While I might have uncertain feelings on Google as a mega-corporation and the unreal amount of influence they have over people's lives, one thing they really have working in their favor is their public applications of quirk. I particularly appreciate the special Google Doodles. Today's doodle (Wednesday, 4/26) is particularly amazing. It is a celebration of the Cassini spacecraft that, if you're anything like me, hits you directly in the "feels."

I wasn't really a space nerd growing up. In fact, in my late teens, I got the idea that all the money spent jumping into space could probably be better spent feeding or educating people. But as I grew up, I got a bit wiser. I became more aware of the space program working as a catalyst for intellectual discovery in general. I learned about any number of real-world benefits from NASA's work. Most importantly, I became aware of the sense of grandeur of the pursuit.

I can't point to a specific instance that made me fall for space. Most likely, it was the photos streaming in from the Hubble Telescope. They made space real to me in a way nothing else had. I was able to sit at my desk and see pictures of galaxies, of planets, of nebulae. Every one of them was beyond my science fiction dreams. In each image, I saw brilliance. I saw majesty. I saw wonder. And slowly, my ability to feel anything other than attraction for space started to dissolve.

It was when I became aware of the Cassini, though, and its mission to Saturn where I finally turned a corner. Saturn is close enough to be real to me in a way that distant space objects (such as The Pillars of Creation) can never be. Yet it is also is more outlandish and weird than anything I've seen in films. It has a total of sixty two discovered moons. One of those, Titan, has ethane and methane clouds and liquid hydrocarbon lakes (a Cassini discovery).  Another, Enceladus, has subsurface oceans of liquid water (also discovered by Cassini) and has volcanoes which shoot ice into space. Then there's Mimas, a moon which bears more than a passing resemblance to the Death Star.

As awesome as are the moons, the key feature of the planet--and the one that jumps out in every photo sent from Cassini--has to be the rings. They are its defining feature. They are what visually distinguish it from all other planets. They are where the distant astronauts of many science fiction narratives are sent to mine supplies. And they are what haunt me.

Today, Cassini starts a series of swoops between the planet and its rings. It will undoubtedly discover more mysteries to keep the scientists awash in new discoveries. It will take more stunning photos. Then, by the end of the year, it will crash into the planet.I will miss the sense of wonder I feel whenever it sends a new photo. I will miss the marvel of every new discovery. Most of all, though, I will be thankful to the tiny machine orbiting a distant planet. Without it, I might not have fell in love with space.

Bon voyage, Cassini.

music update

Just to prove I haven't been completely slacking in the music department, here's two bits of music news.

First, I am on the home stretch of the follow-up album. It will be called Depression Monster, and it should be out this summer. I'm hoping I can have copies for sale by the beginning of June. Stay tuned for details. In the meantime, here's an early mix of the opening song "Mileage":


Secondly, I will once again be playing at the Old West End Festival. This year, I will be at the Art Fair stage on Saturday, June 3rd at 3pm. I'm currently working on trying to assemble a full horn section for the gig. It should be fun!

I've got a few more days of grading to do, and then I'm off my day job until Fall. I will be recording, recording, recording, and then I'll be looking for gigs to support the album. I've already got album number three written, and I promise that one will go a whole lot quicker than did album number two.

Thanks for your support!