Saturday, December 20, 2014

3 million fakes

Ah the craving for popularity! The marketing tool of showing how many people LOVE you - 3 million love me, you should too! It's ok to love my work, take comfort, millions of others do!

The obsession with social numbers is amazing, and scary. It was with amusement I read about Instagram taking care of fake accounts, and that this meant some celebrities lost not hundreds, not thousands, not hundreds of thousands, but millions of "followers"

Somebody, somewhere, knew that these were fake - perhaps not the celebrity (though perhaps), but someone in marketing somewhere, someone in promotions, must have known. Justin Bieber lost 3 and a half million. More tellingly, an online marketing specialist Wellington Campos lost 3.2 million. Uh huh, online marketing specialist.... perhaps an insight into just what they were selling?

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30548463

It just amazes me that people care that much about how many followers they have. The bottom line is of course, the bottom line - money. So I guess some things never change.

Give me 1 person who actually cares, over 3 million who don't exist, any day.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Rough n Ready

I have about 80 songs in various states of beginning or completion.

Now, for me writing always involves some arranging, I can't help it - the song has a version in my head that includes the whole feel to it, the way the guitars should sound, the bass, how acoustic and electric should work together, little notes and phrases that would be multitracked.

But what I am working on is doing that, but still treating it as writing - not as making a song ready for a CD. After all, I want to be a writer, not a performer. My hope is someone else will love a song of mine enough to go ahead and record it!

So no more agonizing over every detail. And heck, I'll sing the songs myself too. Because I need to get those songs finished, and let the world hear them, even in "advanced demo" form. Wish me luck!


Different This Time

It always appalls me that people think getting free of an abusive relationship is easy - oh, you just walk out! Actually, for hundreds of reasons, it can be very very hard indeed, and takes guts and bravery to break out of a cycle.

I dislike the scorn that people pour on others who are trapped, or who were trapped for years; I dislike the "blaming" that goes on, with they made themselves the victim. And so I wrote this song.

It should of course be sung by a woman, but in the new spirit of rough n ready as noted above, it's just me delivering it - use your imagination! At least, until someone picks up the song to do their version.

Meantime for those trapped in abusive situations - may you find the support and help you need to be freed from that situation, and yes, it is not as easy as people make out.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Does the artist ever know who they sound like?

One of the most interesting things from the various ways my music gets played online is seeing the "cross over" to what fans listen to.

I'll admit I've been surprised by the results! The people I thought it sounded like are generally not on there, which makes me wonder if the artist themselves ever really knows who they sound like.

The most consistent result across the board for all the tracks I have that get this info has been Uncle Kracker - most every song has overlap with his work!

That's a good thing, don't mistake surprise for disappointment! I like the comparison - it just wouldn't have come to my mind if someone asked that fabled question "So who does your music sound like, then?"

I've also got The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Nickelback, REO Speedwagon, and more (though not as consistently across songs as Uncle Kracker.)

I wonder if it is the music, or the vocals (provided by the excellent David Cagle)? Is it the sound, or the lyrics? Or all these things merged? The reports don't give me any clue as to that!

It's an eye opener (or should that be ear opener?) and I encourage all performers to get their listeners' opinions on just who they sound like - they may be a better judge than you!

All the best,
   Tommy

Tommy Grimes III home page

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Arranging Addict!

A current in-development song in Cubase

I just can't seem to write without arranging!

It's not enough for me to lay down the chords and sing over them, because I always have more in mind than that.

I have an impression of what the drums ought to do, what the bass should sound like, what kind of solo or instrumental there might be, for how an electric can sit on top of the acoustic, and so on.

So I find that whenever I write a song, I can't stop at just laying down the bare bones - though maybe I ought to learn to do that.

Thing is, I am a writer, not a performer, but the downside to having so much in my head for how the song should sound is that it takes time to do all that extra stuff.

That slows me down in terms of getting my songs down in a listenable form rather than just in my head. But, as a writer, I really ought to show that I have a lot of songs.

So I am thinking it's time to take a different approach, and "scribble down" the songs. After all, it's not my plan to release them, really I want someone else to take them and run with them! All I really need is something that sounds good enough to get the point of the song across, to let listening ears hear the possibilities in them!

We'll see how that goes, when I refuse to give satisfaction to the arranging part of me, or to the perfectionist part of me that wants to tweak and twiddle with the effects and settings and more - wish me luck!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Camp Copperhead was awesome!

Steve Earle closing one of the open mic sessions
It was very inspirational! Not so much about how to choose a chord to come next, but about songwriting as art, its place in history, its roots, and thoughts on useful mechanics (e.g. use computers rather than pen and paper for writing your songs.)

I think the biggest thing I took out of it was, work on your music. Take it seriously. The second and third verses (that you write) are bastards, but work on them so that they meet or exceed the bar you set in that first verse you scribbled down that came out "just so" and don't coast on that one great verse and leave the rest average.

Meantime, the "day job" sucked up time, but now wrapping up the mix for "Pedal To The Metal" and then will be bundling the songs together and getting them out as an EP on iTunes.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Travelling soon

Must...keep.... awake!

Only a few more hours before I try to go to sleep through the evening, til about midnight, so I can head out here on the way to Camp Copperhead, should be leaving here about 1am ish, to get there about 3pm ish their time tomorrow.

Stayed up late last night, but got up early this morning. Hoping that gives me enough fatigue to sleep through the evening which is normally prime awake time for me! Once I get the drive to Dallas done I'll be good as can sleep on the plane before Albany to the resort.

Poor body is confused right now though as I mess with its sleep schedule. Sorry biology, you have to take a back seat just for a day.


Friday, July 4, 2014

In The Car

I guess I have to make this part of my mixing process - going for a drive.

See, I get things sounding just so, and then a few days later I'll have to head out in the car, and I listen to the track then and... notice things I didn't while mixing. So I suppose once I think I have it, I ought to jump in the car and go out, drive around some country lanes, come back and make changes!

So yes, though I promised myself I'd be getting my playing better for the very close Camp Coppherhead, I ended up spending the day remixing "The Passing of Years".


Wasn't enough bass, harmonies had got lost in some changes, and this was all after I moved the acoustic guitars over to CLA in place of S-Gear (the electrics remain on S-Gear) and took out some noise. Also jiggled the volume of the acoustics to make them quieter under the vocals.

So not what I planned for the day, but very worthwhile - next time I "finish" a song though, I will get in the car before I go uploading it!

Sunday, June 29, 2014


With a great sale going on, seized the opportunity to snap up the Chris lord-Alge collection from Waves. Needed a new bass sound, and am also finding this perfect for acoustic guitar, and for voice too, as it comes with a wide range of modules. They promise "instant gratification" and that's useful for when I want to focus on writing and less on mixing!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Only 12 days to go before Camp Copperhead with Steve Earle! It doesn't get any more awesome.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Is this thing on?

Ok, never mind if it is on or not, let's begin with.... mando!!!

Please give a warm welcome to the latest member of the family of instruments that abide in my home! Right now she is currently making squealing, crying noises, because I can't actually play the mandolin just yet. Have always wanted to. No time like the present.

Her name is Kate. All instruments have a name - well, all stringed ones - well, except for my bass, I've never named it. I wonder if it feels left out?