Don't explain your art

(unless your culture's falling apart)

Why not spell it out? Why waste time being ironic, circular, poetic, veiled, or hinting at the matter? The planet's on fire. I'm not getting any younger. OK, so here's another 10-pack of invisible hit tunes breaking it down for you. Lots of familiar names involved. Some disparate parts coerced together, but it works for me. And honestly, I write for myself. What's it about: 

1. The Music. A decade back I met a mixing engineer who left his country to pursue the American Dream, working in a top project studio producing absolute crap. It hit then hit me that it's really hard to lie well with a song. If you're some hustler, your game's naked on tape. 

2. Like Christian Sinclair. Any similarities to persons living or dead is entirely coincidental. Larger than life characters buying into creation myths are entertaining in their thirties. For a few years, at least. 

3. For Art. The artist as abused spouse to her creation. Based on a billion true stories. 

4. Nothing is Wasted. I live in a barrel. It's easy to catch fish in the Bronx, although I release them before eating. 

5. Into the Past. Nostalgia was considered a disease in the 19th century. I keep moving things forward or I cry too much. 

6. Made for Other Things. I'm a card-carrying member of the Late Bloomer Society. We meet in festive underwear. 

7.  Shedotoomuch. Every successful relationship finds its equilibrium. I was quite amazed at the stories I was told while working as a substance abuse counsellor in the South Bronx. 

8. Fearless. We're all Americans now. 

9. Runningintoyouwithoutstopping. I don't remember why I wrote this. Was probably in love/infatuated with someone at the time

10. Astronauts. Sometimes you feel so good you just achieve escape velocity. 

OK. "Why I Write" will be streaming on September 1st, 2021 on all major platforms. Thanks for listening. 

Bob 07/17/21

Eating Tomorrow...Out Now

                                                                                                      collage by Kevin Sampsell

collage by Kevin Sampsell

I’m trying to not feel too whorish; or desperately, pathetically middle-aged. I write daily. Stuff builds up. Like gametes. And demands release. This is my second mini-album of 2021. 

I think these songs were written around the same time as the ones that formed “Insomnia”, but perhaps technically because they seemed like full-kit rather than percussion ones, they were put aside for later. Probably before the explicit concept for Insomnia came to mind. It’s ironic because the overall vibe on these tunes is a bit mellow, but Gil felt they demanded full kit. 

And they marinated. And I cut some vocals. Kevin (drums and trombones) got a home recording situation going, and things were grooving well with Leon (keyboards) and Paulo, to the extent that the songs didn’t see to call for much else. Just Emilia (backing vocals) for a little sweetening. 

Kevin Sampsell’s a writer friend and publisher of Future Tense books, as well as being a collagist. I had the title for the songs before the image, and it, the title, and the songs all seemed to fit a certain vibe. I can be superficial that way. 

The mixing engineer is Martin Scian. He has quite an impressive resume. He starts next week (April 20-ish). I’m very excited to hear what will happen and hope to have the album streaming by my birthday on June 6th.

Second Guessing

Second Guessing- 

This can often cripple a work. The inspiration of the moment lost and now the editor’s running wild with his hammer and scissors. I moved to Salvador da Bahia around 2002 and just left the mind on record. I couldn’t change a lot of my wiring, but I felt a lot of my songwriting misconceptions drop in the ocean. I brought a set of songs back and tinkered on them for some time and released Sunga in 2016. 

And some things worked and some things didn’t. My friend Marcos Kuzka created a best-selling beach-themed surf soundtrack in “Pasti” and I thought he might be interested in remixing it. 

He heard a lot of technical shortcomings that he didn’t want to mess with. I had recently reconnected with Sean Flora, who beyond his mixing skills has a pretty good ear for harmony. 

Sean went to work on the tracks and a few back and fourths have brought Sunga back into shape in 2020. Enjoy. B

Bandcamp Link:

Even Later Music

Another short hommage

I'm hoping that this is the last of a death triology started with The Record Man. Obsessives was for my father, and this one is for my mother. I don't think I could directly address either loss as I had a spotless childhood and their unconditional love saw me through my early middle age. So staring directly at the son would leave me blind. Here are some thoughts while viewing the reflections that love has cast.

Latest Music