Archive for March, 2010

Education Through Imitation

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I’ve recorded a handful of cover songs by various artists. Some were my own original take on a song such as “Tomorrow Never Knows“, “Kiss The Girl” and “Boys Of Summer” and some were painstakingly faithful reproductions such as “Because“. Some people may wonder, “Why bother re-recording someone else’s song? Especially if you’re not doing anything original but just meticulously copying the original artist.” Sometimes it’s a bit of a hybrid such as “Eleanor Rigby” which faithfully reproduces all the individual parts but replaces the string quartet with all guitars instead.

My newest cover is mostly a faithful reproduction of Butch Walker’s “Ships In A Bottle” with a little bit of my own flavor in it. I think Butch is one of the best singer/songwriters making music today so why do my own version? Well for one, it’s a tribute to him. Secondly, it’s just fun. And thirdly it’s amazingly educational. Breaking down a song, finding all the little hidden parts and nuances, listening to how it’s mixed, the effects used, the equalization across the frequency spectrum, and all the million little details of a recording educates me through osmosis. I learn to be a better producer, engineer, and songwriter not to mention honing my playing and singing chops.

These songs are only available to stream at the moment because I’m still working my way through learning the legalities and such of covering other people’s music, therefore, while I have bought some limited rights to these songs, I don’t feel comfortable offering them for download, much less for sale. If you like my versions, I highly encourage you to go out and buy the original artists’ recordings of them! Thanks for listening!

A Special Request Video

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You can blame this one on Andy, one of my oldest and dearest friends.

“Falling Away With You”

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New video of me singing “Falling Away With You” by Muse

This song came on my iPod a couple of days ago and it just struck me. I had to learn it. Something about it just really resonated with me. I say again that Muse are one of the best bands making music today. In fact, ever.

“Vampires In Love”

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Performing “Vampires In Love” by The Marvelous 3

I’m finding doing these videos fun but also enlightening. It feels a bit like performing naked. Just me, a guitar and a camera. It’s very much a feeling of being “under the microscope”. It’s not like when I record and can take my time and get things just right to my satisfaction and it’s also not like performing live where there’s the energy of the crowd and the venue and lights and all that. So in general I find myself not entirely happy with what gets recorded. It’s very humbling. However, hopefully doing these videos will improve me as a musician and performer. The important thing is that I’m doing something and not sitting on my ass thinking about doing something. And I have all of you to thank. Seeing my Facebook page jump up to 200+ fans was inspiring and the feedback I get from you and knowing that there’s at least a handful of people who care enough to to watch these means a lot to me. Music is somewhat symbiotic. Of course I do it for myself, but if no one cared or wanted to listen to me, I think it would lose a lot of it’s magic. I think almost all performers do it, at least to some degree, to entertain other people.

Fan Mail!

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In honor of my latest fan, I’ve posted a new video!

Heath Performs “One More Minute”

All meant in good fun. Hopefully I’m not too much of an A-hole.

New video and pondering twit-face-space-tube-buzz

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So first off I’ve posted a new video:
Performing “If I Fell” by The Beatles.

Secondly, I find myself in a dilemma that can only come about in this age of twit-face-space-tube-buzz. I have my website here, my twitter account (which syncs with google Buzz and my Facebook status), my personal Facebook page and my Facebook music page. Each of these 4 mediums has some crossover people from the others and some people who are only on one of them. So if I post something like this on all the various sources, some people get spammed but if I only post it in one place then some people may never see it. For example, I first posted this on my Facebook Musician page which means that everyone who is a “fan” will see it. Then I twittered it. Some of the same people would see it there while some would only see it on one of those two places. My Twitter automatically updates my Google Buzz and the status on my personal Facebook page, which has a lot of the same people from my Music page and/or Twitter. Then I posted it here. Now this not will automatically be imported by Facebook.

So conceivably, some people could see this video link up to 6 times if they follow me on Twitter, Google Buzz, Facebook (where they will see my status and imported note), on my Facebook musician page and on my website (or newsfeed if that’s how you keep up with my website), while others may only see it once and would have missed it had I not posted it everywhere. Oy! At least I never bother with MySpace any more.

Well now, I guess I should use my new website

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Now that I’ve redesigned my website I guess I should once again start putting some content on it! As I’ve said earlier, Twitter has pretty much taken over what this blog used to do. Obviously, sometimes you want to say more than 140 characters but when I became an active Tweeter (and my Twitter updates automatically update my Facebook status too), my blogging pretty much went extinct. Maybe this new new shiny desin will encourage me to blog more in depth here.

2009 was probably the hardest, most tumultuous year of my entire life thus far. My marriage of 6 years dissolved after which I had another very intense relationship which also didn’t work out. I find myself now doing a lot of internal work in my ongoing lifelong quest to always become a better person. Still lots of wounds to heal and mourning to do. Lots of thinking, pondering trying to figure out the “right” way to live and relate to others, “right” of course, being completely subjective and individual. Searching for the path to my own growth and happiness. I feel very heavy, like there’s a lot of weight on my soul at the moment but I also do my best to remain positive and always keep perspective. Every night I try to let my final thought be of gratitude for all that I have and how wonderful my life is, even at the worst of times. Just like working out your body, your mind, emotional health and soul need to be worked out and strengthened too. Accepting our own flaws while working out those muscles to become stronger in the power of our minds and thoughts. I still fail, many times on a daily basis in many ways, but that’s O.K. And you have to accept that it’s O.K. Life is a journey and we are always growing and changing but the fact is, everything that’s every happened in my life, every person I’ve ever met, every experience good or bad, it’s all led to who I am today and I wouldn’t change that for anything.

Let my website readers’ voices be heard! (if there’s any left after all this time)

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The new design as you see it is a fixed size.
Advantages: the layout is exactly the same no matter what size screen or resolution you use.
Disadvantages: Is your resolution is too low you will get scroll bars (although I really don’t think anyone runs below 1024×768 these days) and if you have a really high resolution on a big screen then it will only take up the middle of your screen.

I could instead make it “floating” meaning it would fill up the entire width of your screen.
Advantages: Adjusts to fill any screen at any resolution.
Disadvantages: On larger screeens/resolutions it’s more fatiguing to read all the way from left to right and then jump back and find the beginning of the next line on the left. It can also make a weebsite look “sparse” by making everything look like it’s only a few lines long. Of course, you could always adjust your browser window to whatever size is comfy for you but I just doubt that many people do this. Maybe I’m wrong.

Issue #2: Haiku
On my old website, the Haiku were on their own separate blog. Meaning you could peruse old posts here without seeing the Haiku and they wouldn’t show up in your feed (unless you specifically subscribed to their feed) or on facebook.

Now for technical reasons, I’ve made them part of the same blog but a separate category meaning that they will show up in your news feed (if you use a newsreader such as Google Reader) and will import to Facebook.

Do any of you have a preference?

Hope you have your hard hat!

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My website (www.heathallyn.com for those of you reading this on Facebook) has just undergone a drastic transformation much like Doctor Who does from time to time. It will be “under construction” for quite some time while I fill out the pages and then try to go back and fix all the broken links that will now litter my past entries. Just a word of warning!

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BLAH!