Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Don't wanna yo yo

Hey hey HEY!

What's up, rockers?

Man, I haven't practiced in a long time. Sure, I teach all day, and I've been writing like crazy...But I haven't sat down lately and seriously practiced.

I picked it up again yesterday. I got the new Guitar Player and decided to take a look at the lessons. Geeze, I was so incredibly bored.

It seems to me that everyone is trying to enter a giant yo-yo competition. They razzle and they dazzle...and at the end of the day - it's tricks, and it's stupid....Or at least it comes off to me like that.

So I've been pondering and pondering about artistic validity, my mark on the musical world, and creating a unique voice.

Know what I've come up with? I'm throwing it all out the window, and just start talking with music. I'm gonna cook up some sounds that sound cool, and get my point across. If it's cliche, or passe, deal with it, invisible critics in my head!

I ain't workin' in Maggie's yo yo shop no more!

Rock on!

- Josh

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Making of an EP - 5/12 update


Cubase 5 ROCKS! And I still don't even know how to use it.

OK, here's the latest with the recording...

First off: Would you believe it, but I've got EIGHT THOUSAND plays on my myspace songs?
I'm super excited! If you wanna make my day, add the songs to your profile, and tell me that ya did.

Second off: I've got Cubase 5 installed, and am having big fun with the MIDI! I can hook up my guitar through my roland guitar synth, plug THAT into the Korg PadKontrol, and run THAT into Cubase. Man, I'm unstoppable!

Third off: The hunt for a band name continues. I've ditched an offensive one. I think I'm gonna go with Anti Poser Task Force. What do ya think? I figure I can create a small army, complete with slogans and stickers. We will rid the world of posers. Our official uniform will be pretentious turkey suits.

Fourth off: I'm very close to launching a podcast. J-Dog Radio - The Official Voice of Josh Urban. Stay tuned. Hahaha!

I am a lucky, lucky little boy, and I'm very glad to be a musician! I'm gonna try to get a new song up by next Monday, so you can start holding your breath.

Rock on!

- Josh

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Wisdom from a shirt

I was standing in line at Chipotle the other day to get a veggie burrito.......Yummm....And the workers all have shirts with sayings on 'em.

One saying just jumped out at me like "THAT'S IT!"

It said: "Good is in the details."

And indeed it is. I remember being able to play a lot of songs, but when I started getting good was when I got the details right.

Try it yourself. Get that tone, timing, and all those other details perfect.

That's where good is.

Rock on!
- Josh

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Crazy poet

There was Crazy Horse...(Which begs the question - was there ever a horse named "Crazy Man?")

There was Crazy Eddie...

Now, there's Crazy Poet.

Yes, yes, rockers, you guessed it. ME!

WOW, to borrow from the Donald Rumsfieldian school of thought, I'm learning a lot about the unknown unknowns.

Back in the easy days when I was just a guitar player, all I had to worry about was melting faces off with mind-blowing technique.

BUT - Now I'm a solo artist. I'm learning to sing. I'm writing songs. I'm learning how to record, and the gear and acoustics that go with it. (Cubase 5 is due in by the end of the week!)

The latest? Writing lyrics.

I never gave this much thought, as the entire world is inspiration. But being good at anything is a skill, and writing lyrics is no exception.

I suggest that you start right away! Look around, and see what you see. Man, I've been running into some great material for ideas. The paper is a great place to start. I saw an obituary/article about a mom who was tragically killed in an auto accident, and she was remembered like so - she giggled when she was nervous, wanted to win when she gambled, wanted to visit Jamaica, and wanted to rent her own apartment someday. Such a life, snuffed out. And all these lives walking all around, unseen.

Huh. I haven't quite gotten it into words yet, but I will - I think it might honor this lady, and make us really think.

I was scribbling lyrics when I was in line getting a burrito today. It's fun being a crazy poet! For poet I am, now in addition to guitarist, songwriter, singer, producer, engineer, and bass player.

Oh yeah - let's not forget "Crazy."

Give that lyric writing a shot!

Rock on!


Sunday, May 3, 2009

An letter from a 15 year old Josh


Whew, I'm cleaning house today. Amazing how much stuff there is to find! Going through my papers today, I happened across a paper filled with mediocre cursive writing. Upon closer examination, I saw it was my own. It was a letter, never sent, intended for the local library. Here's what it said:

Dear Sir/Madam,

As a regular visitor to your library, I have noticed that your book and audio collection seem to have a wide variation. However, your hard rock/heavy metal music selection seems severely lacking. (something, hard to read) would greatly appreciate positive actions towards a heavy metal selection! I know that I am not alone in this feeling. I ask you to consider obtaining new materials for the hard rock fans that would have missed out on the hard rock classics. Everybody should be able to hear Megadeth's (yes - that's how you spell it)) Rust in Peace or Van Halen's Atomic Punk. Thanks for your time and consideration!

Josh Urban

Wow, I was full of hot air way back then, too. BUT - I obviously hadn't discovered thesaurus.com! Query - Hard Rock.

Always an advocate, though! Stupid library - no Megadeth.

Gotta go clean!

Rock on!

- Josh

Saturday, May 2, 2009

EP update - fancy dancy drummers

Wow - Superior Drummer rocks.

So I'm sitting here, tired from yard work. I'm cleaning 'cause some relatives are coming over. "Let's fool around with the drum program." Having excessive solitude is a great thing, but it can lead to talking to yourself, singing Gene Kelly songs while picking up rocks off the lawn in the rain, etc.

I just learned something important - when writing parts, make 'em SIMPLE, and then layer 'em. I just created a razzle dazzle drum part that, if a real drummer played...I'd tell her to leave.

Simple layers make the super duper cake.

Hmmm....I'll see what I can do.

Rock on!

- Josh