Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

A western mood, a cowboy song

January 9, 2011 4 comments

I saw True Grit recently, which a) I thought was incredible and b) put be in a country western mood. This has nothing to do with the movie, but it’s a western story.

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Maybe Jericho Hill looks like this.


Showdown at Jericho Hill

meet me there tonight on top of Jericho Hill

if we don’t make our stand right now i fear we never will

i got nothin’ left to say

i got blood left to spill

on Jericho Hill

we’ll release the horses, they got no part in this

we’ll clean our six guns well, tie our holsters to our hips

i’ll pull my hat brim low

you’ll shove a smoke between your lips

and then we’ll take the higher ground

plan an ambush from it

darlin’ here we go

i got one in my sights

won’t you cover me while i reload?

we might not see another sunrise

but i’m proud to stand with you if this is our last fight

if this is our last fight

now i’m winged in the left shoulder

and it hurts like bloody hell

i’ve done for half a dozen of ’em but i’m runnin’ out of shells

sheriff hollers ‘give it up young man!’

but we both know damn well that i’d take the final bullet

before he’d see me in a cell

and they got a length of rope for me

yeah they wanna see me hung

for a crime i swear to you that i never done

what’s more i think he knows his deputy’s the guilty one

they had to frame me up

so i had to cut and run

partner here we go

this is our last fight

won’t you cover me while i reload?

we might not see another sunrise

but i’m proud to stand with you if this is our last fight

if this is our last fight

they told me ‘come on outta there – hold your hands way up high!’

as you might expect, i hollered down

‘you’ll never take me back alive!’

i hauled leather, my six gun it hammered at the sky

the sheriff fell down dead

i hit him square between the eyes

darlin’ here we go

this is our last fight

won’t you cover me while i reload?

we might not see another sunrise

but i’m proud to stand with you if this is our last fight

if this is our last fight


My bandcamp website w/ lots of free music:

New Fearless Freep EP!

November 7, 2010 Leave a comment

Download it today!

Hello legions of Freep fans. It’s been a busy month here in Las Vegas. Lots going on at work and, on the home front, a move. I haven’t had much time to write. But I do have a new, 5-track EP to share. It’s called Our (pretend) Relationship and is available for both streaming and free downloading on my bandcamp website.


1) Before Fairly Begun

2) Caution Yellow

3) Dive Right In

4) Penny

5) Special

Please check it out:

Keep rockin’!


Categories: Uncategorized

A review! 3-out-5 stars for Fearless Freep

September 25, 2010 3 comments

Soundscraper says 3-out-of-5 stars. I'll take it!

My music is reviewed in this week’s Vegas Seven magazine, one of the weekly rags covering the weekend scene in the city. An acquaintance at work writes the regular music column. He’s got his own band, a self-described “post-apocalyptic doom death metal band” called Dead Neon, which I’ve seen a few times. I told him about my own DIY hobby a while ago and gave him a copy of This Island Life, which he gently made fun of. When I gave him a copy of YSYIC after a work meeting, I expected much the same result. Certainly, I didn’t expect him to like it. He emailed me about 20 minutes after I gave him the cd, said he listened to some of it on the car ride back to his office and enjoyed what he heard. He wanted to know where people could get the music online. “Why?” I wrote back, genuinely surprised. “You going to write about it?” So that was what prompted my bandcamp Website. I have been patiently waiting for this week’s edition of the magazine ever since, kind of nervous about what he would write. When he told me he put my real name (not just Fearless Freep) in the write-up, I was really nervous.  But he was kind, and it feels good to be featured. He likened my voice to Tom Petty’s (yeah!) and he described subjects of my songs as “characters pushed to desperate margins by their thwarted desires and skewed loyalties.” The guitars, he wrote, are “in your face,” which seems funny because this whole thing was recorded with a crappy single 8″ practice amplifier, not a particularly in-your-face rig. Though I think he meant the phrase more in terms of the guitars being so prominent t in the mix – not all that common in an age of synthesized radio rock. In the end, I got 3-of-5 stars on the rating system. Fair … and totally cool! I kept a few copies for posterity.

Dive In … to the past

August 28, 2010 2 comments

Fearless Freep's stand-in getting ready to take a dive.

This was one of the first songs I ever wrote, Dive Right In, circa 1998. It’s about making music without really knowing how to make music … or play guitar … or arrange a song, etc. The first time I recorded it, I didn’t realize I was swinging the beat in my head – didn’t know what swing time was, in fact. That makes programming drums and software instruments pretty hard. No wonder it never sounded right to me!

I can’t remember if I wrote this song before I started calling my music project Fearless Freep, or after. It was right around the same time. I remember thinking how the lyrics dovetailed with the name, which is an obscure reference to a bugs bunny cartoon. You know the one – Yosemite Sam drafts Bugs at gunpoint into a high-dive act when the real performer, Fearless Freep, fails to show up by curtain time. Hilarity ensures. Of course Bugs gets the upper hand. Later, when I found a band already existed called Fearless Freep, I was devastated for five minutes.

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Dive Right In

But you know I’m gonna dive right in

Cause it’s the best way that I know to begin again

C’mon – it’s easy, believe me, when you dive right in

Right in

There’s no right, and honey there’s no wrong

You can take a left, you take a right, you keep moving on

There’s no wrong turns now

There’s only lessons to learn now

When we dive right in

Right in

C’mon in now, the water’s fine

Forget your towel, you’re gonna drip dry

Sink or swim ’cause there’s no better time than now

C’mon give it a try

And dive right in

Right in

You can live your life by one little rule

You can just dip a toe, you could drown in it too

So c’mon

Do what you will now

But I’ll drink my fill now

I’m gonna dive right in

Right in

Pack my suit I’m leaving tonight

I’m off I’m gonna find out the rest of life

Maybe we’ll meet another time

But now I’m gonna find of a little peace (piece) of (my) mind

But you know I’m gonna dive



now …

OMFG! Download the new record, FREE

August 11, 2010 3 comments

Hello Freepers! I know you’re Freeping excited about the new record, You’re Still You in Camouflage.

The good news is, you don’t have to wait any longer. Go to my new bandcamp Website and download the entire thing now in the format of your choice! OMFG!!

For future reference, you can always use the FREEP MUSIC DOWNLOADS hyperlink at the right.

For you email subscribers, the website is: You’ll definitely want to bookmark it or add it to your favorites!

From the site, you can stream every song on 2009’s This Island Life and the just-released You’re Still You in Camouflage. There are several free downloads between both records. If you want whole albums, YSYIC is free – at least for right now. This Island Life can be purchased in its entirety for $8. It’s worth it, just ask my Mom!

Rock on!


A Freeway View: What is truth?

July 18, 2010 8 comments


The next record: You're still you in camouflage


Hello Freep Nation. Long time, no post. But fear not – or LESS! The new record is done except for some mixing. More info on that later.

Meantime, below is a new tune called A Freeway View. I’ve found as I’m writing more that things tend to get less autobiographical, or that the autobiographical stuff gets jumbled all up with other material. That’s the case here. I’ve added “true” and “false” statements below so you can see what I mean.

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A Freeway View

I’m pulling full-time duty for a part-time job (false)

My apartment’s a mess (true, but not too bad)

My ma’ raised a slob (not really)

I got an empty fish tank (nope)

And couple guitars, but no food (true on both counts)

And I know the remote’s around here somewhere (i know where it is)

But there’s nothing on the tube (true. tv sucks)

So I don’t effin’ care

I crank the amp (true)

Until the lady upstairs calls the super (false. she’s never complained)

Honey, can we take it slow?

Cause I’m a long, long way from home (true)

And there’s so much I don’t know (true, but i’d never admit it)

Be my family tonight

There’s some Chinese take-out at the back of the fridge (false. there’s some tuna salad and tomato that i gotta throw out though)

I got a view of the freeway and the railroad bridge (false)

If I could make her come back

Just by flicking a switch then I would (false. hehe)

I got a couple good friends, we drink a couple of pints (true. i have great friends!)

Our motto’s ‘Fake it ‘til we make it’ (false. but it’s good motto.)

That’s the secret to life

There’s no rhyme or no reason

No way to ask why

Cause it’s useless

Honey, can we take it slow?

Cause I’m a long, long way from home

And there’s so much I don’t know

Be my family tonight

We can talk in circles

We all got something to prove

We’re all terrible liars

They can see our lips move (i don’t know what any of that means. i stole the main rhyme from a paul westerberg song)

It’s a sign, we can run, but not hide

From our youth

Yeah, what do they say about pride, before the fall?

It doesn’t matter to me (not exactly up on my Bible reading)

Cause I got none at all (false)

I’m go stay out late maybe

Find me a tall brunette (nope, cause it’s a work night)

It’s a Cinderella story, sad but true

You can take it or exchange it

For an IOU

But in the end it don’t matter

Cause you never pay for what you get (just making up rhymes, here)

Honey, let’s just take it slow

Cause I’m a long, long way from home

And there’s so much I don’t know

Be my family tonight

That’s right

Be my family tonight …

Letters: Simplify, Simply, Simplify

June 21, 2010 5 comments


After a few rather complicated (for me) tunes, I decided to do one that I didn’t have to think about and didn’t require a lot of tricky math (going from full speed to 3/4 requires a bit of thinking to program drums, especially if you’re changing time signature as well).

Peace. Bring 'em home.


This song’s simple and steady from beginning to end. It’s steady, but I think it has a nice build throughout. It’s a slow burner – I always like those. I dashed the main structure and lyrics off in a few hours yesterday, and went back today for the finishing touches – drum fills, synths, etc. The solo, too – I wish it were better. If anyone out there wants to guest solo, lemme know! We’ll figure out a way to do it.

One further note, this is the second song of this most recent batch that deals with the war(s) and the hardships caused at home. I don’t want to get political here. Suffice to say, I hope the sacrifices we’re making in Iraq and Afghanistan will in the end be worth it. I have my doubts. Meantime, may everyone over there get home safe and soon.

Here is Letters:

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Small Cuts: Stacking up layers


This guy is amazing. I am not amazing, but it doesn't stop me from trying!


Man, this tune was a struggle from the get-go. Sometimes it’s the seemingly simple ones that are the hardest. That was certainly the case here.

The inspiration for this one was actually a couple of different U2 songs. I’d just watched It Might Get Loud, the guitar documentary that features Jimmy Paige, Jack White and The Edge. If you haven’t seen it already, check it out; it’s not to be missed.

I find The Edge’s guitar playing really inspiring. His playing is extremely efficient. He uses effects to great (cough) effect. Simple ideas, polished to perfection. He makes look and sound really, really easy. It isn’t.

The two U2 songs I was thinking of were So Cruel, from the Achtung Baby record, and All I Want Is You, from Rattle and Hum. Both are simple progressions, primarily built on two chords, with extremely in-depth layers and arrangements.

As a songwriter, it’s tough to hang in there for more than a few bars with only two chords – soon it starts to sound repetitive. The trick keeping it interesting is two-fold. One, your melody over the foundational chord changes has to be catchy and varied. That’s true in every tune, but it’s especially true over extremely simple changes. Second, you’ve got to dress your simple progression in some snazzy, complimentary layers. Edge makes that seem easy. If only it were so …

I have no idea how many tracks were used to record All I Want Is You. Probably a lot more 28, which is how many total tracks my song has. Not all of those tracks are on at once of course, but in some places there are as many as 15 or 16 tracks going simultaneously, include 7 or 8 guitar parts.

Keeping track of all of those tracks is a logistical challenge. It’s tough on the processor, too. The computer kept bogging down when I was trying to record the vocal (generally the last thing), which has never happened before.

Those difficulties aside, the hardest part about having that many guitars is just … well … having that many guitars. There’s a reason most bands don’t have more than two or three guitars on stage at once; things get muddy really quickly. When you start stacking stuff on a simple riff, parts that sound great on their own sound terrible together. It’s easy to get swamped in the sound, or to wander so far into the sonic landscape you’re building that you lose sight of the way out …

I nearly didn’t get out of this tune – at least not out of the finished side. I was ready to throw in the towel after spending several fruitless hours only to come back the next day and realize some of what I had was okay. Pretty good, in fact. Like any journey, once I was past the mid-point and saw the way out, it got easier.

It’s called Small Cuts. I’m happy with it, which is good considering the amount of time involved. Here it is:

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You can also watch a video of me singing an early demo of the vocal on my FB page. It’s five minutes of your life you won’t get back. : )

Small Cuts demo vid

One last word about the bridge – I really like it. I wanted it to have a spontaneous, unexpected feel. Because the rest of the song is so simple (read “predictable”), I thought it was important to break the middle up, lest a listener become complacent. In addition to changing up the chord progression rather suddenly, I did a solo which I only loosely mapped out, in terms of the notes. Then, I didn’t practice it at all. I just hit record and played. The take in the song is take number two – the fasted solo I’ve ever done. I think it sounds pretty good (keep in mind that I can’t really play guitar that well!)

Lyrics below:

Small Cuts

You’re too far gone

You gave up too many chances, to the point of fault

All that’s left is to blame – Who’s right? Who’s wrong?

We circle endlessly

We make small cuts

We find bitter pleasure in our lack of trust

But sooner or later there’s one of us

That’s gonna go too far and cut too deep

chorus: You know when you’re gone

I’ll be here holdin’ on

Through the night

At the dawn

To watch you stray

You kneel on the floor

You make the sign of the cross before going to war

But the only thing of which I’m really sure of

Is that He ain’t gonna take your side

There’ll be no surrender

No white flag to raise, just stupid pride to defend

We fill in the trenches just to dig ‘em up again

We’re running out of places to hide


I may miss you now

But I got the common sense it takes to keep my head down

Maybe climb in a foxhole deep underground

And wait ‘til the coast is clear

And I might get lost

But this time I won’t follow you girl, whatever the cost

Who was it called it over? – Yeah, you always were the boss

So go find yourself a new volunteer

(chorus x2)

The (whole) Wave

May 15, 2010 4 comments

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You can see the high-water mark.


The Wave

I got two damn cars

Both need baths

One don’t start

I like to wait until dark, drop the top down and look up at the stars

The highway wind

The highway sounds

I could keep on driving, get the hell out of town

But I know there’s no escape from this place

It’s optimistic, it’s down in flames


You know love it’s hard to say

We search the city for a complicated truth:

the water mark from the receding wave

that left the wreckage that we all sift through


The years fly by, it’s true

You climb in a cannon

You light up the fuse

And right before the big boom

We realize just how much we stand lose

The highway winds

The highway sounds

We could keep on driving, get the hell out of town

But we know it’s just another mirage

‘Cause you’re still you in camouflage



Strange memories on this nervous evening

Seems like an era since we left San Francisco

And as we watch the great wave receding

We realize history is hard to know

We realize history is hard to know …


So less than five years on

We climb up the hillside and look beyond

To see the high-water line

Where the wave rolled back and left us behind

The highway calls

The pull of the road

You could redline the needle

Set a course for home

But you know that could never go back

Just comb the desert for artifacts


The Wave

May 15, 2010 2 comments

I relied heavily on Hunter Thompson's notion of Vegas for of this song.


I know … I know …

It’s not that I haven’t been playing music, it’s just that I haven’t been writing about playing music.

But fear not, friends, fans and followers! Here is a taste of my newest song, tentatively titled The Wave.

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I got two damn cars

Both need baths

One don’t start

I like to wait until dark, drop the top down and look up at the stars

The highway winds

The highway sounds

I could keep on driving, get the hell out of town

But I know there’s no escaping this place

It’s optimistic, it’s down in flames

You know love it’s hard to say

We search the city for a complicated truth:

the water mark from the receding wave

that left the wreckage that we all sift through