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Moving On

Journal Entry: Tue Jan 19, 2010, 8:34 PM


On Febraury 3rd, we are moving to Daytona Beach Florida.

After I get there, I will be formally devoting the majority of my creative energies to my music. There will be art throughout the year... I am working on a commission now which will likely yield several designs I won't mind posting here, and there will be the art I do for my band and music projects.

But, my days of doing commercial work are truly done. I accept now that there is no internal drive. There is no desire. There is no creative spark. The idea of tackling a blank substrate offers me no incentive.

On the other hand, as you will see if you read this entire journal, and follow the links it contains, my music thrives. I have already lined up a band I will almost certainly join once I get to Daytona Beach, called HEDSTONE. They've been together for more than a decade, and recently lost a singer to alcohol addiction. They sound really good as a group, and seem very excited at the prospect of me joining.

And if that doesn't work out, I have 4 more good bands that want to audition me.

I've invested a great deal of time and effort into getting my online bio page filled out. There are 10 sample songs there now (soon to be 16 or more) including samples from me working with two bands, and on multiple projects. There are no less than 16 videos of me performing live, including footage of me performing songs on stage that you can also hear studio versions of in the sample tracks. There is a portfolio of roughly 60 pictures, most of my band and me onstage, but also of fans, fans wearing band t-shirts, a few studio shots, and photo montages of my band; Alternate Energy. There is also extensive written info on my background, musical accomplishments, influences, equipment, connections and references, and musical goals.

To see my musician's bio page, go here:

www.bandmix.com/rob-ash/

I have also set up a youtube page for myself. To get the best presentation of the videos, follow the link below to the "PLAYLISTS" section of my page. There are two playlists there. One is of a live performance my band did on May 23rd, 2009, and the other is of a live performance we did on May 9th, 2009.

Here's the link to my youtube playlist for the May 9th show:

www.youtube.com/my_playlists?p…

The May 9th show is the better set of videos. We played from 7:30PM to 9PM. From the opening video to the last, you get to see performances in daylight, dusk and night conditions. The entire playlist takes about 25 minutes to run, and includes 5 full performances by the band. If you only have time to watch a couple, watch the last two songs from the May 9th show.:

SELF EVIDENT TRUTH and DISCORD GRAND FINALE.

We played to a crowd of about 400 people who came to party. It was an outdoor venue, beside a beautiful lake in north Texas, and it was a gorgeous night. We had the crowd locked in and totally grooving with the band. As you can see in the Grand Finale, we were into it as much as the crowd. A live rock show is the best when both the band and the audience are both totally in the moment and both having a great time.

It is noteworthy to consider that this show was the first for this band as a group. Although the players in the band had more than 100 years of playing and performing experience between them, a first performance is always a little nerve rattling. Add to that the fact that all this material was original songs, that no-one had ever heard before, and you can imagine how tight we were. We did very well on the first song, then demolished the second. In fact we screwed up so badly we almost stopped altogether in the middle of the song, which is about the worst thing you can do when you are playing live. We managed to avoid that disaster, but it was clear, even to an audience that had never heard the tunes, that we messed up pretty badly. I did not upload this recording, although I do have the MPEG. But you'll have to come visit me in Daytona Beach to see it...:-)



You can listen to me schmooze the crowd a bit and talk about the snafu with the song we screwed up on in the beginning of the footage for the song; A PERFECT WORLD. But, the screw up was also the turning point. From that point to the end of the set, we were on, and from song to song we got stronger. By the end of our show, We had them yelling for an encore, and the event manager offerred us another 30 minutes on stage. We were not completely sure we were ready to do another 30 minutes of material, so we declined, but I can tell you; that is exactly the way you want to leave the audience every time you perform... on fire and sceaming for more.

I have also taken steps over the last month or so to get about 10 really solid demo songs recorded of me singing cover tunes. I'll be doing tunes by groups from Stone Temple Pilots and Korn to Joan Jett, Nightranger, and Styx. I've also arranged to be in the recording studio for 3 days with my current band; LUCKY'S WIDOW. With luck and hard work, I'll get another 4 or 6 cover demos, and perhaps one original song recorded as well.

When it is all said and done, I'll have examples of me doing work with 4 bands, doing both cover and original material. I'll have videos and photos of me in the strudio and at live performances. Anything that anyone who might want to work with me or have me audition for their band, or that someone who might want to become a fan might appreciate seeing or hearing, will be on my pages. It's taken a year of hard work in two bands to put thi saltogether, and I'm pretty proud of how it all came together. And there is no charge or need to join anything to see it all.

Both in my art, but honestly, and likely once and for all, IN MY MUSIC... I ask you to join me and stay with me here as the coming year unfolds. I enjoy my place here in the DA community, and want to continue to participate and contribute here, but the truth is if you want to appreciate my art, and I thank everyone of you who does, and who has supported and visited my page here the last 2 and half years, then you have really have to try to appreciate my music.

That has become the deepest, most inspired, most passionate expression of my creativity.

I hope you enjoy my songs, and will stop back to my pages now and then to see what I am up to in the rehearsal room and onstage. And, if you hear something you like well enough to buy, stay in touch, As the year unfolds, many projects that I have been working on for the last year will begin to yield results that I and my band mates and musical partners intend to offer for sale online. You will be able to purchase a single song, or, in some cases, a full CD of music.

I hope that many of you will consider one of my songs good enough to add to your music player or phone, or perhaps even buy a CD. I promise to put my very best work into all of them, and to do everything I can to make it worth your while.

Here's hoping that everyone has a great year, and a great time. I hope you all have friends you love, lovers who are your best friend, pets that adore you, money to spend on yourself and the ones you love, and just enough happy, exciting times to keep you young and smiling and looking forward to tomorrow.

Peace and love,

Your friend,

Darkmir aka: Rob Ash

  • Listening to: Working on my originals on guitar
  • Reading: everything I can find by R.A. Salvatore
  • Watching: True Blood and diggin the crap out of it
  • Playing: every chance I get
  • Eating: at least once a day
  • Drinking: now and then. But only in moderation
Add a Comment:
 
:iconcatwalksymphony:
Catwalksymphony Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2010
Wishing you much luck. I just started a youtube channel, I'll go friend you there, buddy. I've been focusing all of my efforts into ASL and figuring out what I want to do with my life... and you can really tell by my lack of drawing lately.

Though I'm sure that you won't really be interested in my vlogs, since they're silent. LOL. It's all in sign language. I'll friend you anyways and will look forward to seeing and hearing more from you!

Lots of love from Louisiana!
Reply
:icondarkmir:
Darkmir Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Looking forward to the friend request, Cat. Yep, haven't seen anything new from you in ages, it seems. But, I am hardly one to cast judgements, huh?

You know, I had no idea whatsoever you had a hearing deficiency. I am glad of that. One little benefit of the internet I hadn't considered. Handicaps can become transparent, if one wishes. I have never thought of you as anything other than an artist and as the attractive young person you are.

Imagine that.
Reply
:iconcatwalksymphony:
Catwalksymphony Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2010
Teehee, you would have thought right though. I'm not deaf, I learned sign in higschool because a few of my very close friends are deaf. I'm VERY passionate about deaf culture, though... I'm thinking of becoming a certified interpreter. =P

For some reason your link isn't working for me. Want to friend me instead? youtube.com/catwalksymphony.
Reply
:iconwolfridersfla:
wolfridersfla Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2010
cool
Daytona is ok good luck!
Reply
:icondarkmir:
Darkmir Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks!:-)
Reply
:iconpixlphantasy:
PixlPhantasy Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Best of luck to you. Looking forward to hearing more :)
Reply
:icondarkmir:
Darkmir Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Me too!:-)
Reply
:iconnarkya:
Narkya Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
So you move in with your elderly family member? (I hope I remember right, I didn't check the other journal again.)
I wish you all the best!
Reply
:icondarkmir:
Darkmir Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Yes. She's very pleased and excited that we decided to take her up on her offer. I think she's been lonely, and that's hard on a very elderly person like herself.

Thanks for the well wishes. Laura and I appreciate it a great deal.
Reply
:iconnarkya:
Narkya Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
I think being lonely is hard on everybody. The only thing with being lonely while being old is, that you have more problems finding people that are actually listening and that you once had those people...
Reply
:icondarkmir:
Darkmir Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
I agree, Nark...:-)
Reply
:iconryanmaiden:
RyanMaiden Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2010
Good luck with the musical career! Going by what you've put up there, I'd totally buy one of your CDs! Once you get a CD out, could you please let us know? I'd be really keen to hear more of your stuff.
Reply
:icondarkmir:
Darkmir Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Check back on the BandMix page every month or so. I am going to record me singing about a dozen good coever tunes (everything from Joan Jett and Nightranger to Korn and Audioslave), plus I have 3 days scheduled in the studio at the end of January to record several tunes with my current band before I leave Texas. PLUS, I already have several tunes I am working on with my new band; HEDSTONE, which will be really awesome songs when we get them mixed and mastered.

So there will be a lot of new stuff on that page over the next two or three months, including new pics and maybe even a few new videos. Check back by, and don't be at all afraid to let me know if you don't really dig something. Just the same way as a professional artist would, and speaking as a musician, I place more value, in most cases, on the criticsm I get than I do on gushing praise. Gushing praise is cool, don't get wrong... but critics let me know where I can improve, and also help me to know what people want and don't want to hear.

Thanks so much for checking out my stuff, and for all the kind words.
Reply
:iconryanmaiden:
RyanMaiden Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2010
Wicked, I'll be sure to stop by that page every now and then.
Reply
:icondojang:
Dojang Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2010
dude, couldn't listen to much, dialup connection and all, but that first track sounded awesome...
Reply
:icondarkmir:
Darkmir Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks, Doj. I appreciate it a lot.
Reply
:icondojang:
Dojang Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2010
(grin) i'd be more specific than 'awesome', but i'm not really a musical guy.
Reply
:icondojang:
Dojang Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2010
wait...you're not leaving? cool. i'm a little cut about not seeing more artwork outta ya, but if it makes you happy, it can't be that bad...

as for music, sure, i'll try anything once...(wanders off to listen...)
Reply
:icondarkmir:
Darkmir Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
lol... nope, not leaving, and I'll still post in the forum when something worthwhile occurs to me. And there will be "some" art, just not as much, and art will no longer be my driving force creatively. It's been heading that way for as long as a decade now, Doj, and I think it's high time I quit being ambiguous about the whole thing, and follow my heart.

One thing life has taught me is that it almost always turns out better for you when you listen to you heart right off, and tell your neurotic, obessesively analytical subconcious to go piss up a rope.
Reply
:icondojang:
Dojang Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2010
damn straight. a man's gotta do what a man really wants to do. i'm really glad you're feeling good about this choice, it seems that there's been a lot of big ones lately.

(grin) it's interesting that you list your neurotic analytical side as being subconscious...mine always seems to be out in the open...
Reply
:iconsiteline6:
SiteLine6 Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
well good luck to you on your new endeavors in Daytona
checked out your page and the sound clips! some pretty tight stuff!
some really heavy undertones of bands like DIO, Cream, E.L.P in your
stuff here!
Reply
:icondarkmir:
Darkmir Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks Grim. And thanks for the comparisons. You place me in high company indeed.
Reply
:iconsiteline6:
SiteLine6 Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
your quite welcome
and it's warranted!
was very impressed with how tight your former band sounded!
hopeful this next endeavor will prove just as successful in that department
Reply
:icondarkmir:
Darkmir Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
That's why I say it was such a shame, Grim.

Even though I've had that very thing happen to me at least a dozen times in the 25 years I've been in bands, and you'd think I'd be used to it by now, this one really broke my heart. Everything was working for this band. We were all very talented, all completely focused on the music and on our performances, and were playing our original songs with flair and precision. Alternate Energy was the first band I was a member of since I sang for Tarot from 1983 to 1987, that I felt totally confident to go out and do a show performing just originals songs.

Not 3 weeks after those videos were shot, we were in the studio recording these songs for our first album, when all of a sudden, all hell broke loose.

And the so-called "issues" that actually culminated the band breaking up had nothing to do with the music, or with anyone in the band being just a complete asshole. Musicians are, by nature, an intrinsicly flaky bunch, the same as artists. I believe that what happened is that a couple of guys in the band let their insecurities get out of control and affect their thinking. When I look back on the whole thing now (much of this occurred via email communications on a group site where every message was seen by all members of the band at the same time), I can see where what was being said (that was causing all the friction and anger that lead to the break up) was, in actuality, mostly a matter of privately held, personal issues of the individual doing the speaking at any given stage, and based solely on their fears and suppositions, rather than on something that was actually going on with the band.

It's easy to see this looking back; but at the time, all that seemed to be happening was a series of escalating, knee-jerk reactions to one-after-another of poorly considered posts. Before anyone could step back and look at what was being said with a clear mind, the damage was already done. First our guitarist quit, then the snowball started picking up real speed. A day later I quit, and after that, you could essentially stick a fork in the band... because we were done. Several of us pulled it back together for about a month and attempted to go on, but then the one truly flaming asshole amongst us showed his run-guarded, gun swaggering, alcoholic, self-hating/others blaming nature, and after that is was fate-accompli.

We went from recording the album of our lives to no singer or lead guitarist (and no bloody recordings, either, damn it all), in about 3 days, and completely disbanded and packed out of the studio a month later.

And it isn't (nor was it ever) about the money. For me, finishing that album would have been the highlite of my musical journey up to that point in my life. My greatest accomplishment to date. And thank goodness now that I have those videos on DVD, and that they turned out as well as they did. They represent, in many cases, the only surviving record of us doing some of those tunes at our absolute best. And even in the case of there being another example of some of the songs, in most cases, the only other copy is of me singing with strep. Yep, you heard me right. Several of the recordings on my BandMix page were recorded while I had was dealing with a full blown case of strep throat.

The songs on my BandMix page named: MISCONNECTED, INDIGNITIES WE BEAR, and A PERFECT WORLD (NOT the video versions), were all recorded at a point when, just two days previous, I couldn't utter the slightest peep, and my throat felt like someone was pouring lava down my gullet.

Now that you have been informed of this little factoid, should you deign to take another listen, you might begin to fathom how utterly disgusted and abjectly disappointed I was that we never recorded these tunes at full throttle.

The result would have been, in my opinion, a collection of truly exceptional rock tunes, by any standard one might care to apply.
Reply
:iconsiteline6:
SiteLine6 Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I will go have another look,
I admit a few of the sound recordings your voice was.. Well! less then up to par,
but that explains it, Strep would do that! actually impressed you even managed as well as you did!
Many just scuttle the show, or find a back up for the time beginning.
but some of tunes had been quite good so I knew this is where your vocals could go!
I've known lots of singers in my day
and know it's a common thing for their voices to take a drive in the ash can every now and then! a
nd generally at the must inopportune times,
such as just after a marathon practice session to ready for that big gig, or recording session.
In retrospect, It's that tried old chestnut! Hindsight is second best! and we're all guilty as charged of that infraction!
I think one of the biggest problems in today's world of communication,
is it's now done a lot on this thing! The Inter-Net can be a wonderful device but it can also create a myriad of misunderstandings!
your not there in person and you miss all the body language, voice inflections, facial expressions that all combine to clue us into what that person is actually saying!
and even with all those indicator's at our disposal we can still get the meaning of what someone said wrong!
The InterNet is a hot bed for mis-commuication and may have played a large part in the development
of what transpired with your band! Couple that with the stress of maybe actually going some where with it
and you've got a moltov cocktail in a fireworks factory, and somebody just lit a match!
Well as I said! hopefully this next go around will prove more lasting, and you now have a thought to keep in mind
about communication over the net as a way of correspondence, I'd avoid that kind of thing in the future if at all possible.
And your right Creative people are inherently a bit off the wall, hence the alternative from of communication with the world around them.
Any how! chin up and all that nonsensical rubbish!
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