Makin' stuff... Here's a new track we're working through - staying true to our name, its not PERFECT - but the idea is there. Have you ever known anyone with a simple mind? Or perhaps you yourself is suffering from a lack of brain power?? Well this song is for you! Come celebrate the beauty of life made simple in a groovy new tune recorded during rehearsal a few days ago.
I consider myself a music fan first and foremost, though I also write songs. I love rocking out to a great live band or jamming in the car - but every now and then I hear a GREAT song and my inner songwriter voice says "Dang I wish I thought of that!" Below is a list of FIVE songs that inspire me and also make me a little jelly that I hadn't written them first!
1. Everybody Wants To Rule The World - Tears For Fears. This song to me is the definition of the 80s. The synth and drum sounds are huge, great melody and meaningful lyrics. And a great measuring stick for me is: no matter how many times I've heard this song, I'm still not sick of it!
2. Don't Stop Me Now - Queen. These guys are geniuses on so many levels - Brian May is one of my favorite guitarists but also is an astrophysicist in his spare time! With this song, the music fits the message and I always come away from this song feeling pumped up. Its Queen so you'll hear fantastic vocals and musicianship and also very interesting arrangements that keep the listener on their toes!
3. Time Of The Season - The Zombies. This song has such style and tasty flavor - crazy to think the band broke up before it was even released. The song features great harmonies from the band and the signature clap + "ahh" from vocalist Colin Blunstone is one of the coolest percussion parts ever laid down.
4. She Seila - The Producers. First of all this band is tragically unknown among many music fans. This song has all the elements required for a classic; catchy musical riff, memorable melody, meaningful lyrics, and a great sound. Watch this ridiculously awesome performance from MTV's New Years Rock & Roll Ball 1982/83 - the energy, the vocals, the keyboard...are you kidding me?! How was this band not hugely famous?? And kudos to MTV for airing something so incredible at one point in their history.
5. Coconut - Harry Nilsson. This song is both brilliant and goofy at the same time. Immediately infectious and catchy, the song consists of a total of ONE chord! That's the true genius here - knowing when to say when. Most songwriters would think "Okay I have this cool song idea on the C7 chord, now where should I go from there?" Well, crazy ol' Harry Nilsson decided one chord was enough. And obviously he was right. He was a rule breaker and a tremendous smartass, and I treasure his work. Check the strange video he put out for the song:
If you ever have trouble waking up or if you're just not a morning person, there's nothing quite like a strong sativa to get you going. Me and my lady have begun starting our day around 5:30am with a few hits of some strong sativa - this morning was Durban Poison. The effects are immediate - in less than 5 minutes I am fully awake, alert and ready for the day! I then do 20 or 30 minutes of yoga, eat something healthy (when available) and begin my musical adventures. Durban Poison quiets that little voice in my head that groans about how he wants to stay in bed and doesn't feel like exercising. Before I know it, I'm in the middle of a yoga class feeling great and creating tons of positive energy for the rest of my day.
Unfortunately Durban Poison is not on most doctor's recommended prescription lists (if there is such a thing) but it SHOULD be. I flushed all my opiates down the toilet yesterday - no need for that garbage. I'm choosing health and natural medicine. I know it works better for me. Its getting me out of bed in the morning and keeping me focused on the positive. Here's my view from rehearsal:
I'm excited to share the news that The Imperfections got together yesterday and rocked our way thru a few new songs! The energy created when people get together and play a song out of thin air can be magical at times - or it could have been the Mango Tango from Greenway Medical - maybe BOTH?! Either way I had a great time rocking some new tracks and dusting off a few old ones with my good friend and great drummer Rich. We share an equal love of hard rock and power/pop - which pretty accurately describes what we sound like right now: if Billy Joel was more of a smoker than a drinker and sang in Led Zeppelin while they played Cheap Trick songs. That's where I think we're at currently. Retro rock and roll. Please consider booking us for your next cannabis-related event - we are capable of being family-friendly, just give us advance notice so we can clean up our act (and wardrobe).
Upcoming Las Vegas shows will be announced soon. Announced? Like Michael Buffer style? Honestly I'll probably just post it on here and Facebook. Until next time...
I swear the moon was HUGE when I took this picture, but it only looks like a streetlight to the lower right of the Stratosphere. Only the human eye can perceive if the moon is closer or fuller, a cell phone camera doesn't even come close (I want my money back).
However, this full moon created just enough gravitational pull to get me off my ass and get the band back together! (See setlist below) Las Vegas show dates coming soon!
The latest track to come out of le studio de casa - Good Times is a sarcastic look at life in the fast and fun lane. Is there a fast and fun lane? I think at Chuck E Cheese there is...
Please find me on Spotify and follow me - 2018 should be a busy year!
In the last few days of 2017, I'm taking a moment to look back at the awesomeness that was this year! Share in the celebration below:
* Check out a playlist of my songs on youtube and let it play ALL DAY while you clean the house. Or make a mess, your choice.
* I'm grateful for distrokid for helping me finally get a bunch of my songs distributed online and helped me start to organize my head a bit. Check em out, they're good people.
I finished a new Joe Foss track this year called "Hot Streak" - check it out on Spotify (via Twitter):
Also in 2017 I posted a 5 song Christmas EP as Barry & Gordon - A Comedy Christmas. Some of the content is questionable and even confusing, but please consider adding it to your 2018 xmas playlist alongside Bob Rivers, Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Bing Crosby on crack.
Here's to 2018 being even MORE awesomer! This coming year shall see a full album release (hand release sold separately) from Donato & His Imperfections, new tracks from Joe Foss and even a few bonus holiday cuts for next Christmas! Thank you to anyone who is still reading this for your incredible support this past year, it has been a blast in the pants and I can't wait to leave my mark on 2018 - Joe Foss style.
Peace, love and understanding,
It's interesting to me how this song started out and where it is now...in my head I wanted to write a good old-fashioned rockin' track in the style of Bob Seger or Foghat - but I am neither of those bands - and when I hear it, it kinda sounds sarcastic - so in the end I feel like a bit of a dink mocking my original inspiration, but that's okay I guess. Unlike math, in "song-making" there is no RIGHT answer. And that's really what I think I do more than "songwriting" - its song MAKING. From drums to guitars, melodies, etc... I like to make songs. I'm picturing the stereotypical "song WRITER" as an introspective breaded dude with an acoustic playing local coffee shops with clever compositions impressing the well-read folk, and I think he's smarter than me - this statement is made all the more meaningless by the fact that I am currently sporting a beard - but for the most part, I know I'm not that guy. (I'm more like the guy in the movie that says one line that they forgot to put in the credits but all the crew remembers as "that guy who was always by the food trays - yea we should probably send him a bill. Oh wait he's not in the credits?? Ah well forget it") The Deadhead OG was very relaxing and helped me channel a bit more sultry sensualness.
[SPECIAL NOTES: This song was recorded on 10/12/17 during a 12-hour session. I first laid down the guitar riff and built the verses over top. I wanted the chorus to be big and open with an ode to Seger tagline: "no one said rock and roll was easy".]
Every now and then, an idea comes to you that is so strange and so random that you HAVE to make it a reality just to hear what it would sound like - and that is the case with Barry, the sitar-playing, ferret-hating, smart aleck Sloth, and Gordon; the under-prepared but charmingly sweet baritone-voiced Hippo both singing Christmas songs. This started out as an attempt at a children's comedy Christmas album, but some of the content came out a little too adult. So now it feels more like something you could put on during the holidays to confuse your grandparents. Like The Chipmunks on ecstasy. Or Disney on Ice - but "ice" as in crystal meth. So if you're sick of the same old holiday songs, throw on 'Barry & Gordon - A Comedy Christmas' which Night Ranger Magazine says "...sounds like the Berenstain Bears...on acid." [Herpe Press (c) 2017]
You'll never guess what I'm thankful for this year! At the top of the list in recent years you would find mostly food and various other edibles - but this year I wrote a Thanksgiving song dedicated to my special lady. It's all about What She's Doin this year - whether its turning me on or turning over to get more sleep - I'm so grateful to have such a supportive and sexy best friend to motivate and inspire me 24/7. And if you feel the same way, if you have a special best friend that you can grab onto, why don't you do that right now? I'll wait...go ahead and grab em...can you pause wrestling for a sec? At just over 2 minutes - you can literally listen to my entire new song "What She's Doin" during the commercials and be back to wrestling without missing a single choke hold. So happy holidays everyone - and be sure to check back soon as I am planning some more fun releases for the Christmas season!
My lovely fiance brought home this Trainwreck from AMA a few days ago and could not wait to try writing with it! It smelled amazing - piney, fruity, one of the most fragrant Trainwrecks I've ever experienced. I took a single long dose from a Buddha vaporizer (and an Arnold Palmer for caffiene). This song came out of a single day's songwriting session this past Tuesday 9/12/17 along with 3 other tracks (with varying results). For this track I tried to work in as much scientific/chemistry lingo as possible to describe a love between two young folks. You see, the truth is - me and my lady have a good thing going - and I love it when I get the chance to express my love for her in a song. And since she brought home this wonderful Trainwreck anyway - hey its not like I need to find more excuses to write songs about her! We've had a unique chemistry ever since we were youngins fiddling with test tubes in the basement.
I'm loving this strain right now! 707 puts me in a positive, creative mood ready to attack the day. Luckily I didn't have to ATTACK anyone today - I just dove right into the recording process. I was in the mood for a bit of a mid-tempo thinker today. I love the fuzzed out bass in this track - and the call and response with the guitars throughout the track give it a fun, bouncy feel. Lyrically I wanted to communicate the idea of feeling voluntarily isolated - the person in this song doesn't want to "run with the pack" ala Bad Company in the 70s - though IF Paul Rodgers wanted to hang out, I'm sure exceptions would be made. The singer is slightly disillusioned with their life and isn't sure whether its easier to blend in with the crowd or stand up and be an individual. Now you can think about all that OR just bob your head to the beat! Check it out below:
Hola! which I believe in Spanish means, "howdy!" - or just "hello". Is there a Spanish word for "Howdy"?? Regardless, today's post comes without music, but WAS quite productive nonetheless. I cleaned up my studio and did a slight re-organization of my mixing console, adjusted for room acoustics, routed cables and wires more cleanly, etc. All of this was in preparation for my NEW STUDIO COMPUTER! I've gone from the digital stone age to now running a 64-bit Windows 10 rig with 16 GB RAM. I'm working on Pro Tools 12 - and with the help of my good friend Anthony, I will soon be learning Ableton Live. Anthony also put this beast of a computer together so a big thanks to him coming back and forth to my house over the past month or so.
I'm in STAGE ONE of acoustic treatment for this room. You'll see the foam pads placed (ALMOST!) symmetrically throughout the room - which has already improved the accuracy of the sound coming through the speakers. My next step will be to get a pair of bass traps for the 2 corners of this room - lots of sound, particularly bass, will get mushed up and muddied in those corners and F with what you THINK you're hearing. A few posters and autographed things for inspiration is always good - I don't stare at them - but I've surrounded myself with positive energy and that can't be bad. So this is my home studio setup; fairly simple, small to medium sized, and fully capable of delivering a "professional" result. Now whether I achieve that result or not is another question....
The picture below is what one might call the "live room" - but its really just in the loft area of my house. I sectioned off a portion of the room and surrounded it with Audimute blankets to deaden the sound, and then placed some curtains/sheets over the top via staple gun to make it look more nifty. I record all my drums in here with a 4 mic technique and also record any electric guitars through the guitar amp in the back right of the below pic.
This room works well for sound isolation and controls what the mics do AND DON'T pick up. The drums haven't been mic'd up or sound checked yet - that is my mission for the rest of today and through the weekend. I will post more as it happens, so DON'T MOVE - just keep refreshing this page!! HAHA
I know what you might be thinking...and no, I had never heard of a strain called 'Big Smooth' either. But my friendly budtender told me it was known to be good for "intimate times" and whenever I hear that I tend to listen up. Now what I do in my "intimate times" is for another blog, but lets just say I had some Big Smooth leftover and wanted to see how it might influence a songwriting session.
My main mission for this track was to make something upbeat and melodic but with a few odd/half-step progressions thrown in. The song is about being confident and not hesitating when you're in the moment, y'know - let yourself "Shine!"
So my conclusion is the song below. I liked the taste of Big Smooth as well - very fruity/berry and well-balanced effects for being creative. The cultivator of Big Smooth is Silver State Trading from Sparks, NV. You can find it in dispensaries all throughout Nevada.
I really enjoyed the Lemon smell and taste of this Lemon OG! If you've ever had a decent "Lemon X (anything)" strain you know what I'm talking about. This produced a very calming cerebral effect while giving me a nice body buzz...hooray for hybrids! The fine folks down at Shango really put out a high quality batch. This batch tested around 23% THC. Check it out along with their equally-excellent Super Lemon Haze (for more Lemon zest!) or their Grape Valley Kush for a high-THC indica made for ultimate relaxation (movie, video games, sleep, snacks taste better, etc) I'm getting side-tracked...
This song is a fun one - well not really "fun" lyrically, but its a fun one because it came together quickly and I love the soft to hard verse/chorus along with the tone and simplicity of the guitars. So cheer up and go down with me...
I picked up a gram of Headband from Deep Roots Harvest, who I absolutely love, from their "home base" location out in Mesquite, NV. I always thought of Headband as more of a sativa - but they had it listed as an indica so I was curious exactly how this potentially heavier strain might effect my creativity. The song that resulted was most definitely a little darker/heavier than usual. I was stuck on the phrase "Over My Dead Body" - I remember kids saying that growing up - and I wanted to write something with that as the hook/theme cuz its kinda interesting and dark and reminds me of my childhood - so I stumbled upon a C7 chord - kinda quirky, weird - and wanted to include some cool spacey vocals on top. The guitar is a beautiful Telecaster on loan from my good friend Rich and I love the clean yet overdriven sound it has. Fun track, and don't worry about the whole "dead body" thing...its a little morbid but I'm a very happy person! So don't read into it too much - just enjoy it!
FYI - I also picked up some Lemon Kush that I'm itching to crack open and I'm anxious to see what might result! Please check back next week and until then be well...
I was in the mood to write something that had a "real life" feel to it. But first had to ask myself "do I have a 'REAL LIFE' that I could draw inspiration from?" Surely I must. Shirley, I must!
So I partook in some excellent new crumble concentrate from Moxie - Gorilla Goo, which leads me to believe it is a cross between Gorilla Glue #4 and Afgoo. It really made me want to clean the house - so I did that for a few hours all the while keeping my brain open to new song ideas. About the time I got to scrubbing the toilets I started to consider the position of "I wonder if anyone really cares how well I scrub the toilets, or am I the only one who can appreciate this deep clean?" I let these thoughts continue until I came up with a song idea about being taken for granted, something we all feel at one time or another. So here is what I came up with, a track whose full title is "Don't Worry Bout Me (Taking You For Granted)" - check it out below:
Head Cheese has really become one of my favorite all time strains. This particular batch was from the fantastic growers down at Polaris. It gave me that care-free happy high that really helped me get into a creative state. I really wanted to write a happy song celebrating my girlfriend and how she's available for me at any hour of the day/night. I was also listening to a lot of Billy Joel's "An Innocent Man" album at the time - so this has an 80s throwback to the 60s sound to it...if that's possible.
The song "In The Middle Of The Night" is a high-energy celebration of love for all time - at any time! I wanted to sneak in the naughty bits so I made the title seem innocent but there's more to this tune than meets the ear. Hey why not be a boss and add it to your Spotify playlist??
Here's a fun track I wrote when I was smoking a lot of sativas. Super Silver Haze was a favorite of mine during that time. Super racy (not racist) and energetic, hence the rocking. I remember trying to write the weirdest words I could think of. I tried to paint some strange visuals to counteract the rocking guitars in the verse. One thing about a strong sativa is that it can really hit your head hard - and my brain was definitely in an altered state. My favorite lyric from this song is "10 gallon hat with room to spare, always say "Howdy" but no ones there." Check out Brand Spankin' New Tracks like 'I Never Knew You Like That' from Donato now on Spotify!
A classic southern California strain SFV OG can be a pretty intoxicating strain. It started in the head for me and then spread thru my entire body creating an intense experience that simply HAD to be documented! SFV is one where I can get lost down a mental rabbit hole for several hours...and this time was no different! Many much kudos to the fine folks down at Remedy for putting out some fantastic medicine - all their OGs have been especially tasty and have an excellent terpene profile.
I do not own a proper SLIDE to play slide guitar with, so I used a Sharpie pen (I believe it was red) and slid it haphazardly across the neck of the guitar doing my best Joe Perry impression. It turned out ok considering I didn't know what I was doing. Also listen up for the inappropriate lyrics in the verse. With the rap delivery of the verse combined with the slide guitar I think this could be a true hip-hop/country CROSSOVER HIT! Prove to all the neighborhood naysayers you really are TOO LEGIT TO QUIT and ADD THIS TRACK TO YOUR SPOTIFY PLAYLIST!