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DECOSTER / Blog

Listen to old and new

One thing that is fun to do is to hear older songs and juxtapose them with a new song right afterward. It's good to hear styles that one gravitates towards and find a way to put them together. If one is stuck in a particular style, maybe try moving away from it and listening to something in another language or a sound that you wouldn't encounter normally. Blake Mills, a guitarist from Malibu, California that Eric Clapton raves about, has done just that. He learned his favorite rock songs from MTV, but then moved away from the acrobatics and learned to emulate sounds of other instruments with his tone. Next step: walk the talk.

Getting Promo copies ready

I'm getting over a small cold and hoping it doesn't become bigger. Just practiced a new tune and the wife and I are putting together some promo CDs for radio stations. Went for a walk on the boardwalk at Coney Island on Sunday. The sunset was definitely posing for a portrait if anyone wanted. Swirls of clouds with dashes of Halloween orange and crazy light blue. Coney Island is featured in the background of the album cover. You'll see some examples on my page if you check it out. Even in cooler weather, you can still walk in the sun.

what's your voice?

I have to get used to blogging. I don't do it often and everyone's got stories, right? Well, I just wanted to ask, "What's your voice?" If you're on social media, you don't need to even hesitate to say what it is. However, does your voice serve the universe and if so, how? Does it serve your perspective only or can it be interfaced with those of a different perspective? Does your viewpoint help or harm? What mark do you want to leave? Does it matter in the end? I guess the mark I would like to leave is connection with the Creator. I know some of my songs may not suggest this, but I have come to the conclusion that my existence owes a great debt to the Creator and if I fall astray, I feel it in my heart. I pray that the voice you fill cyberspace with has the heart to accept and forgive neighbors for transgressions and see the good. It's hard to do, but God didn't say it would be easy. Thank you, God, for granting me permission to write this message.

Found mastering guy for "Walking in the Sun"

Rich Kulsar, the drummer who plays on "Got the Music in Me" recommended Colin Leonard to master the recording of my upcoming EP "Walking in the Sun" Colin Leonard is the CEO of Sing Mastering in Atlanta, GA. He has mastered everyone from Icona Pop to Kimba to Rick Ross to Wacka Flacka Flame. Check out his site at http://www.SINGMastering.com to find out more if you are an artist who wants the best.

Make Music New York

Last year, I had the opportunity to perform at Make Music New York on the set of Deep Intent, a band I knew. We played near the Bowery at a place called Roosevelt Park. It was beautiful. Some of the best pictures of me were taken there. It was also a beautiful day.

We will get a similar day this Friday where I get to represent the neighborhood in two places: Cortelyou Road by the library and Newkirk Plaza by the Flatbush Development Corporation offices. I go on at Cortelyou at 2 pm. At 2:45, I strike the set and rush to Cortelyou Road to do my thing. For the moment, I've planned two different sets. If you're around, stop on by and give us a listen. I may have some CDs for sale at Newkirk. My first CD "Calling All Lovers" available for a $7 donation.

walking

How does anyone keep up with the world? I can't answer that. I can say that walking keeps me energized. If I need a little focus, I go on a little walk when I have a chance. I walk around all the time anyway since I live in New York, but this is the type of walk where I don't have to go anywhere in particular. I find a place in the park where I can go or somewhere along the Hudson and I explore. I also try to walk at a fast pace to get the heart going.

I don't always know what the future holds, but a good walk helps me to embrace it.

Shopping for gear and Andy Summers

I plan to look for some killer guitar gear. I have an idea of what I want.....a compressor, a chorus, and an Ibanez tube screamer or an overdrive pedal. Possibly, a digital delay. I know....it sounds 80s. Andy Summers is a model for pedals. I want to take that sound and use it to emulate some EDM sounds and maybe some that hip-hop producers get. Sounds crazy...just bouncing some ideas around. Also, got a book on jazz from swing to be-bop. I like those sounds, too. So much to absorb, it leaves me tongue-tied.

Benefit tomorrow

I'm doing a benefit tomorrow for Maccabbes Athletic Foundation at Kings Bay Y in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY. It's an organization that sends Jewish athletes to the Maccabbe Games. This year's will take place in Detroit.

I'm performing on the same bill as The Brooklyn Beats, a local high school group. Looking forward to it. I've got Rich Kulsar on drums and Joe "The Madman" Albano on sax.

The Kings Bay Y is at 3495 Nostrand Avenue in BK off Avenue U. $10 for adults and $5 for children.

Tonight at Bait and Tackle

Having a lovely conversation with someone who loves literature. We're talking War and Peace, Tolstoy's novel about war during Napoleon's invasion of Russia.

I'm playing tonight at The Bait and Tackle in Red Hook. It reminds me of a hunting lodge with all the moose heads on the wall. My pastor loves it. I'm playing with Joe Albano, an extraordinary sax player from Boston who traverses different worlds from avant garde to pop to hip-hop painting vivid pictures with his soundscape. That's a loaded way of saying I like the guy and I'm not alone. Come check us out. It's free with, of course, a request for tips. CDs will be available of my first recording "Calling All Lovers". Come on out by the water tonight and see what the crucible of Superstorm Sandy spawned. :)

A movie I saw (A Face in the Crowd)

The movie "A Face in the Crowd" is directed by Elie Kazan. The story is about a local Arkansas drunk named Larry Rhodes (in a searing performance by Andy Griffith) who is discovered by a program director from a radio station (Patricia Neal) searching for average people on a man on the street interview show. Larry proves to be such a charismatic and hell raising favorite, that she develops a following for him. This following eventually leads to a local TV commercial in Memphis followed by a stint as a national spokesman for Vitalex, a product that promises sexual power for men. He gets a penthouse in NYC, has women all over him, and becomes too big for his britches, but he has a conflict in that he loves Patricia Neal's character (Marsha). He promises to marry her upon getting a divorce in Mexico from his estranged wife (previously unknown to Marsha), but falls for and marries a 17 year old after spotting her at an Arkansas parade.

Marsha is so hurt that she distances herself and Larry becomes completely drunk with the power of celebrity. I won't give away the story, but suffice to say that he crashes and burns as he becomes more foul and abusive.

It is amazing to me that a movie made in 1957 could have foreshadowed so much. Please see it and let me know what you think.

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