Posts Tagged ‘Songwriting’

New Album, “Arrivals & Departures” scheduled to arrive on time Wednesday

Arrivals & Departures is scheduled to arrive ON TIME this Wednesday, May 23.

Hello Freep Nation!

We have some exciting news today from our World HQ in Las Vegas. Arrivals & Departures, the new Fearless Freep record, will be released online Wednesday via the bandcamp website:

The first five songs are up for live streaming already! The entire collection will be available for free download this Wednesday, May 23. Please check out. Otherwise, what in the hell did I spend all of that time for?

A&D is the first FF release since 2010’s 5-song EP, Our (pretend) Relationship. It contains 10 tracks and runs about 36 minutes.

If you follow this blog, some of the material will be familiar already. If you’ve followed Fearless Freep since the beginning, you’ll find some older songs reincarnated here in a new form; Harsh Winter and Both of Us from Dive Right (2007) get new recordings and arrangements, etc.

Other material, including both title tracks, is brand new. I am very excited to see what people think, so long as the reaction is positive, of course.

Tack listing:


Harsh Winter

Both Of Us


Departures (Sunday Morning)

Big Top Show



Enough For Me

Showdown At Jericho Hill

Thanks for reading. Now please, go listen! – FF

Both of Us

May 6, 2012 2 comments

Both of Us

well it’s blue in the bowl and it’s pink on the wrist

you take a little off the top, take everything

a two-week vacation it comes down to this

you get a waiting room, bag full of magazines

it’s pre-dawn for a car ride

we’re going to get something of your chest

but the boy down the hall got a stuffed superhero

and Smiley won’t ask, but he’ll tell you what’s best

and you’re mad

why you angry

why you angry enough for the both us now

and there’s no sense trying to worry

about something you can’t change anyhow

they wheel you although you could walk it

we’re going to count backward from ten

nine …

eight …

get up and get dressed cause you’re home again home again

and you’re mad …

and all the old women will call on the phone lines

and ask Him to make it all right

but you’re riding shotgun

anesthesia driving

and i’m in the back seat I’m seething

you know I’m mad …


August 31, 2011 2 comments

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I've been adrift out in this desert floating along until I see her distant shores.


she says she don’t need no one to come to her rescue

and that’s good cause I ain’t got no oars

I’ve been adrift out in this desert float along until

I see her distant shores

maybe I’m the one needs rescuing tonight

maybe she’ll throw me a line

it’s funny how the more I feel the less I say

the more free my heart, the more my tongue gets tied

but I hope she knows that I’m thinking of her tonight

self-park garage, a friendly hug

she takes my hand – there goes the rug

an August romance underneath florescent lights

a nice wine buzz, a rooftop bar

from up here we can so so far

and I’ve become aware that my hand is on her thigh

maybe I’m the one …

a stolen glass, a nervous kiss

the things that make relationships

the tiny gestures that no one else would understand

you build a language all your own

hand signals, mirrors, inside jokes

and over time they become a kind of shorthand

maybe I’m the one … yeah I hope you know that I’m thinking of you tonight

The Big Top Show

June 26, 2011 1 comment
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I live in the desert
east of California
it’s been about four years gone
since I jumped that circus train
and threw my lot in with these hucksters
on the Big Top show
don’t peek behind the curtain
some things are better not to know
see the Lizard Man
his face is covered with tattoos
check out the Bearded Lady – she’s a dude from Santa Cruz
the Midway Barker will seduce you
with his lies and love and luck
first he’ll pick your pocket, girl
and then he’ll pick you up
’cause we are barkers
we are cheaters
we are liars
we are thieves
we’re in the business of denial
yeah we are selling you your dreams and we are good at it
we’re better than you’ll ever know
so come on step right up here people for the Big Top show
Leon is a strongman, claims to lift 1,000 pounds
but those barbells are hollow
magnets hold them to the ground
Trixie is the madame of a tent they call ‘Delights’
you can see them lining up for her almost every Friday night
(repeat chorus)
Lady Kathryn is our psychic
she’ll tell you what you want to hear
the conjoined twins are sick today
so you’ll have to come back next year
the World’s Largest Lady
she died three weeks ago
we had a moment of silence for her
before we buried there by the road
(repeat chorus … )
Visit me on bandcamp. Get free music!


May 23, 2011 8 comments

during our conversation, she mentioned that the prime years ended at 34. i disagreed. and i sat down and wrote this.

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Sarah looks me in the eye

Asks me if we’re past our prime

Are we only marking time?

I said I didn’t think so …

Sarah orders one more drink

It’s one too many, you might think

For the middle of the week

But she says we deserve it

Sarah don’t be sad tonight

Everything will be just fine

I promise you that the best is yet to come

Sarah make a wish and throw your penny on in now

I’d give my wish to you

I hope they both come true, Sarah

We stay out ’til 1:30

She talks about her family

She asks me if mine’s as crazy

I say, ‘Hey, isn’t everyone’s?’

When we’re slowly walking back

She’s got my sweatshirt on her back

It’s getting hard now to relax

But I think that I manage it

… (repeat)

Find more music at my Website:

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.

One Cent: I don’t have any sense!

September 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Toss a penny. Make a wish.

girl i’ve counted two times now

you’ve given me the runaround

you don’t wanna put me down before you pick me up

maybe the third time’s a charm

you know i’d never twist your arm

but i swear on this here guitar that i’m not giving up

what do you think? should i heed your advice

and write you out of my life?

it’s all right …

darlin’ if the world was flat

i’d walk you to the edge and back

throw a penny down and down

to see if it would make sound

i’d watch that penny fall

one cent ain’t worth nothin’ at all

it’s never gonna make us rich

unless you make a wish on it

c’mon now, what do you say?

i won’t keep you out too late

or have i made a big mistake …

mistake in asking you?

girl i think you wanna go

yeah i just got this hunch you know

from up above, down below

so i press on through

should i heed your advice

and write you out of my life?

it’s allright …

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 …

Caution Yellow: Out of lemons, rock

August 22, 2010 2 comments

Got stood up for a date recently. It’s ok though; got a nice little rocker of a song out of it. Caution Yellow is below.

Loving my new toy.

In other news I am LOVING my new guitar interface. So much easier to play clean and monitor what I’m playing – now the only sound I hear is post-effects. Before, I was just micing a crappy practice amplifier. Lots of speaker hiss, ambient noise (the dishwasher, air conditioner, etc.), and I could always hear the raw sound sound from the speaker beneath the monitor sound in the headphones. Annoying … but no longer. Now, my only excuse for the guitar not sounding great is that I am not a great guitar player. Working on it.

This is the first song w/ the new setup: interface and Garageband 9 – got a new computer, too. I am discovering a few cool new things in the new version of Garageband. Thank you, Apple, for totally kicking ass!

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Caution Yellow

here I am again, waiting on a girl

and she’s late

Maybe she’s not coming at all

call it flaky, call it fate

but i’d really like …

like the chance …

the chance to read the tattoo that she hides

so i’ll go for broke, hell i’m broken anyway

it’s caution yellow as i accelerate through the light

driving home again

all alone again

she never showed up

any fool could see

anyone but me would give up

but i’d really like …

like the chance …

the chance to read the tattoo that she hides

so i’ll go for broke, hell i’m broken anyway

it’s caution yellow as i accelerate through the light

accelerate through the light

is it green?

is it red?

if it’s yellow, stop ahead …

here i am again waiting on some girl to show up

it don’t look like she’s coming at all

and that’s just pretty fucked up

but i’d really like …

like the chance …

the chance to read the tattoo that she hides

so i’ll go for broke

hell i’m broken anyway

it’s caution yellow as i accelerate through the light

Behind the scenes: Freep Studios Tour

August 15, 2010 1 comment

Hello Freep Nation. I thought it was high time to offer a little behind-the-scenes glimpse at Freep Studios. It will make for a short tour, but if there’s anyone out there wanting to record at home and wondering what it takes to get started with a minimal setup, this post will provide a few insights.

My Strat and my $15 yard sale practice amp - three records worth of fun!

Remember, what your about to see is legendary – some (my mom) might even say hallowed – musical ground. Fearless Freep’s last three records, Fossils, This Island Life, and You’re Still You in Camouflage, were all recorded right here. Don’t touch anything inside, but feel free to take pictures, etc. Everyone have their tickets? Okay. The guided tour will take approximately 10 minutes. Don’t forget to hit the Fearless Freep GIFT SHOP on your way out. Enjoy!

I record in the bedroom of my apartment. It’s a one-bedroom unit, so space is at a premium. Anyone wondering if a den, apartment or dorm room is too small for a minimal recording setup needn’t worry. My setup is the size of a folding card table, literally. It takes up one corner of the room.

Below is the list of items you need to record at home (or at least the list of stuff that I have):

I use a Mac & Garageband. Great for beginners!

COMPUTER: I record on a MacBook Pro using Garageband. I’m pondering an upgrade to Logic, Apple’s pro-grade software with all the bells and whistles – 40 gigs worth of guitar effects, orchestral sounds, etc., plus super cool editing ability. For now however, Garageband is extremely versatile. Especially if you’re a beginner, I’d recommend spending the extra dough on a Mac and using the out-of-box Garageband software. I just upgraded computers and so am using Garageband 9 for the first time. It’s got lots of new features since the last version (or at least the last one I was using). You can jam along with a built-in ‘band’. You can record multiple takes in a single session without stopping and starting (great for soloing). If you’re a real beginner, there are built-in lessons, too. I haven’t checked them out – probably should!

One note: if you’re shopping for a computer and you’re even halfway serious about recording music with it, spend money on memory, i.e. RAM. You want, at the very minimum, 1 gig of it. I have 2, which was all I could afford (with a Mac). Get 4 gigs if you can spring for it.  Recording in real time requires mucho processing power, particularly if you’re stacking up tracks.

AXE: My guitar is a Mexican Fender Stratocaster, roughly 12 years old. The intonation is terrible, especially on the high E. I have to take it in for servicing, but that means being without for a couple days, so I keep putting it off. I have two acoustics as well, but the Strat is my favorite to play. Don’t ask me why – I know it’s a piece of junk, but I like it. Perhaps because I don’t have another electric to compare it to.

The Blue Snowball USB. Looks funny, sounds awesome!

USB MIC: I got the Snowball USB mic two Christmases ago. It was, I can assure you, one of the BEST Christmas gifts I’ve received recently. (Thank you Mom and Dad!) These retail for about $100 and are worth every penny, especially if someone gives it to you as a gift! It’s versatile and wonderfully simple. The signal is already digital, so there’s no need to convert from an analog mic – just plug and play. No software is required. I can’t speak for all programs or platforms, but the Mac recognized it and knew what to do with it upon first plug-in.

I’ve recorded three albums on this mic – both vocals and guitar. For vocals – this is ghetto, I know – I set the Snowball on top of an unused floor lamp. The round mic fits nicely into the hollow cone atop the lamp, and it’s the perfect height. The Snowball is, I should mention, threaded for whatever I assume is the standard setup for a mic-stand fitting. I’m just cheap. Didn’t I promise a minimal setup?

To record guitar, I set the microphone in front of my amplifier and then strum away. (Or, at least, this is what I used to do. More on that later.) The Snowball comes with a small tripod stand about 6 or 8″ high – good height for a small floor amp.

AMP: If you live in an apartment like I do, you have to worry about neighbors. This is especially true if, like me, you are not particularly good. I use a single 8″ practice amp that came from a yard sale. It gets loud enough to potentially annoy the neighbors, but not loud enough to rattle their flatscreen television off from its mounts on the shared wall.

My newest toy - a direct guitar interface. (Not solely for guitar, but that's what I use it for).

INTERFACE: I just got this puppy, and so have not really used it yet beyond a few hours of messing around. I can already tell it’s going to be a huge improvement. The guitar cable plugs directly into it, and it plugs via USB into the computer, eliminating the need to mic the amplifier. That reduces a lot of buzz, and you’re not reliant on the quality of your cheap, garage sale amplifier.

With this unit, I could record guitar and vocal simultaneously – there are two inputs. I say “could” because I don’t have an analog microphone – just the Snowball. But, should I decide to invest in a high-quality mic in the future, I’ll be ready to go. In any case, the other advantage here is that the guitar is not amplified at all; your neighbors, your parents, your roommate, your wife will have nothing at all to complain about. (Well, one less thing anyway).

HEADPHONES: This is essential. Your headphones are your monitor – letting you hear what you’re playing/singing in real time as you record. Mine aren’t studio-quality headphones by any means, but they are nice, noise-cancelling phones and work very well (I don’t use the noise-cancelling feature while recording; they’re just a nice pair of headphones that I happened to own for airline travel). Don’t even try to get by with iPhone earbuds. Not worth it.

So, that’s it. Thanks for peeking into Freep Studios. Now get out, because I have to get some sleep. Wondering what I actually do with all this stuff? Visit the Fearless Freep  GIFT SHOP – there’s even some free stuff in there!

Rock on!