Sonnet the Third

Your shine compares to Perseus above
My head, and while I ponder everything
You make appear minute, I can’t but love
The small existence of my lone being.
This myriad of scattered thought’s so quick
To coarse through knots of synapse, just to leave
Me stumped once more, irrelevant as tick
Of yesterday… His games… They come to tease
My solo essence. Why do I yet cling
To anxious frailty? You, sweet sky, are still.
I fret. Among my trouble, where this peace
Abounds with patience, come alter my will.

May all that binds me tight, rope taught and strained,
Be as a harmony, be as the rain.

– B. Rider, 2014

 

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10 Things That Could Crescendo Forever

It’s the simple things that keep this life pleasant – like a musical crescendo to satisfaction. If these things were looped to crescendo forever, I’d have zero complaints.

Screen Shot 2017-09-08 at 3.58.08 PM.png1. Hearing a song I used to love and completely forgot about. Recently: “Fernando,” by ABBA. I then fell down a rabbit hole which revealed that Benny Andersson is still putting out music! If all my favorite artists could just suddenly resurrect ten years from now, I’d be okay with it. “If I had to do the same again, I would, my friend.”

2. The sound of a baseball smacking a bat. Not the other way around, and whether it’s destined to be a home run or not. Yes, there’s a degree of nostalgia, probably, but still.

3. Seeing someone walking alone randomly smile at their phone. I’ve done this while alone in public, and there’s something about that feeling of being unable to hold in that smile because I don’t want to look like a loony. Pure pleasure. I’d wish that particular smile on anybody.

4. Wildflowers across the fields of Texas when spring arrives. Likewise, the first really wintery day of the year. Just bring me some very grassy daisies and buy me a new coat, and I’ll love you forever.

5. Hearing that my friends landed a desirable gig. Even better: hearing that my favesies band from another state landed a desirable gig in my town and I finally get to see them play live. AND they’re sharing a bill with more friends of mine. To make this paragraph even longer: finding new music, stumbling across a new band, and then finding out that they’re going to be in my town later that month, is the best in the world. Totes meant to be.

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6. Getting to visit little-known vinyl/book stores. Maybe it’s the things I’ve filled my newsfeeds with… but hearing about such great, semi-invisible indie book and music stores and then finally getting to visit them in real life is the literal best.

7. Late-night showings at off-the-beaten-path movie theaters. It’s like I get the whooooole couch AND the remote to myself. Even better if I’m lucky enough to score a long-distance movie buddy and our cities are showing the same thing at the same time. Group text has never been more fun.

8. Turning a corner and being faced with something I didn’t realize I was going to get to see that day. Like stepping into a new room at a museum and being smacked in the face with a work by my favesies artist. Or, waking up in a new city and realizing that you’re literally across the street from the best music school in America. And then, being unable to move.

9. Coming home to a clean house after a trip. Even if I have to stay up late the night before a flight, cleaning my house so I can come back to a clean space is one-hundred-percent worth it.

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10. Eating dessert out of a stemmed wine glass. Here’s my life hack gift to you: Bake something that’s yummy when it’s warm (brownies, cupcakes, muffins, cookies, basically everything (realized that after I opened that parenthetical comment)). Scoop a few forkfuls of your warm yummy into a wine glass, or champagne flute, if you’re real fancy. Scoop some ice cream on top of that. If you’re so inclined, pour a little wine over your fruity yummy, or a little Scotch over your chocolate yummy. It’s basically like getting away with ALL the things… and SO yummy.

Book Titles: Introduction

Well, it’s done. Last night, my buddy, Libre, and I debuted our acoustic project that’s been in the works forrrr… probably about four or five months, now. Am I glad to say that we’ve got the first show under our belts. I’m taking the opportunity to list a few notes-to-self for your insight and for my future reference, while my fingertips are still tender, sore, tingly, and peeling.

Things I (humbly) learned while playing my first public show in almost three years:

  1. NEVER practice guitar for three hours on a show day.
  2. If a photographer is going to be present, always iron your cardigan.
  3. Make extra efforts to actually strum above the sound hole and not above the fourth-to-last fret, so your guitar doesn’t look so much bigger than you, regardless of what size guitar Ed Sheeran plays.
  4. Grant more song introduction. When there’s a story behind the story, tell the story before telling the story. This also helps to boost nervousness. Oh, wait…
  5. Break down and be unafraid of wearing semi-dark eye shadow on show days.
  6. If another band’s equipment (i.e. stands, pedals, sheet music) is in front of you, they won’t bite you if you carefully move it over.
  7. Always give a shout-out to the soundman. Should’ve learned this one a long time ago.
  8. Keep a spare Ironman mask in your gig bag to hang on the drums behind you.

Libre and I have worked together on music projects before, and writing together has always come easy to us. He’s got a musical background in, like, everything, and can come up with lyrics and melodies very quickly. Works out for me, because I’m the worst at lyrics… My strong point is writing music. Our style for this particular project thus far has turned out to be somewhat of an acoustic folk/blues/soul, with hints of r&b and hip hop to complement Libre’s other explorative interests.

Our set list:

  1. Never Rain12592697_1731659190395973_6397010092852954167_n
  2. In A Coffeeshop
  3. Waiting In Vain (Bob Marley)
  4. The Distance (Oliver James)
  5. 16 Years (The Griswolds)
  6. Drive (Incubus)

 

The idea for the band name was actually a contribution from the Nixster. She had an idea for a band that would write songs based on literary characters, themes, or ideas, and would call itself, “Book Titles”. The band name stuck, but to be honest, there hasn’t been many literary references written into the music yet. Libre and I were handed our first gig before we had much of anything written. Rin Tin Tiger, a folk rock band from San Francisco, came through town and were also supported by The Morning Drive, a band from Fresno/San Luis Obispo/San Jose/wherever else those guys come from… and Book Titles was privileged to open the show.

Much love and thanks to the very talented Arthur Robinson, for snapping these memories. Find him at http://www.robinsonsart.com/.

Next time up: Cats vs. Dogs: A Benefit for No Kill Shelters.

Now, THAT’s gonna be a doggone good show.