Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Just spent the weekend in Chicago with my friend Gary Foster. he was gracious enough to buy me a ticket to see Pierre Boulez conduct the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. We saw the Saturday program of a week long series of events celebrating Boulez's upcoming 85th birthday. Gary and I are music freaks with different central focuses, but we share a deep love for classical music. It was extraordinary to experience Boulez conducting Bartok, Stravinsky and one of his own pieces with someone who truly gets the power of music. We had a great time at the concert as well as going shopping for records, definitely one of my favorite things to do.
But back to Boulez, I was able to visualize meeting him although there was no reason to think such a thing would occur. While waiting for the curtain Gary showed me the insert in the evening's program that said Boulez would be signing cds after the concert. great! Everyone was so formal and distant as they approached Pierre one by one to get an autograph. I just knew it would be cool so when it was my turn I asked him for a picture. of course he said "sure". We even shared a little laugh as I dropped my program trying to hurry out of the next person's way. he said "you got the picture but don't forget that."

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

So back to what is my sustaining focus

Music is the sustaining force in this household. I recently had a nice session with my brother Patrick, working on some original material. Here is a short clip of him warming up to record some solos on his track 'Pat's Tune'. That's me on bass on the backing track. We're in my music room.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Thank you

I want to thank everyone that responded to my last post. That was really cool to hear from Michael, who I met in Austria while on tour last year. I'm fine today and was yesterday. I will continue to do the work that I do. If anything, I look at the communication I generated from the post as a needed tune up. People are always warning against revealing too much about yourself online and I understand. But I am going to share that I have always had difficulty getting to a point of intimacy with another human being, thus I am single and alone. The post was my way of asking for some loving attention. I seem to be good at giving it in the context of my job or as a good friend, but I am frightened (literally) of getting too close to anyone. So I am saying thanks again for those that accept me. For those that think I'm whining or being negative, it's just too bad that you don't understand. I resist the urge to be vindictive.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I am an outsider

My depression is really kicking my ass this winter, more than I've experienced in well over ten years. The shitty thing about this depression is that it isn't situational. I just have to ride it out. There are issues that feed my anger but those issues aren't going to change so I cope with them. I hope I don't end up sounding crazy but I need to get some thoughts out. Nobody reads this anyway.
One of the things that keeps me feeling like an outsider is my job. The place I work is so conservative. I worked there a long time before taking almost a year off to do music and film. Sometimes the body language of people in administration there send me the message that "you're being watched. better watch your step. don't make waves." It could just be me but I know that I am a pretty good observer of human behavior. The reason it bothers me is that I know I do good work, some would say that I am one of the secret weapons (of strength) of the agency, and yet I feel scrutinized like I'm some kind of invader. And the situation is just typical of history. Outsiders are not understood usually until they are dead and rediscovered in a new context where their actions suddenly make sense. Call me grandiose but that's how I feel. Here in Nebraska, conformity is practically demanded. Unfortunately the values that the midwest pushes on everybody exclude real sensitivity to different cultures. Let me just be blunt, the midwest is white-bread and blind to this fact. I am sent subliminal messages constantly by local media and the way I am regarded when shopping that being black is still a problem for Nebraska unless I am an athlete. It just happened to me. I was at a restaurant minding my own business when this older man stops and says "you're a ball player aren't you? You got the height for it." He had no idea how insulting his comment was. I listen every morning to the news on KFAB and am angered every day by the judgmental bigoted comments that come from their announcers. I used to call and complain. They will not take my calls anymore. What the hell is that about?!
One more issue. I am a fairly well known musician in Omaha. I've done a lot of things over the years but I notice how I can easily get gigs when I'm playing with the young white folks but doors are not open when it's just me trying to get my music heard. I don't think I am imagining these things. Bottom line is that it hurts. It hurts so bad I can't even get tears to come out. It would be so helpful if someone just said they understood what I'm saying.

Monday, January 4, 2010