Getting Ready for SXSW!!!

I know most people use their spring break to party and get crazy, but this year, I have been spending time in DFW taking advantage of the opportunity to get in as many rehearsals as possible with my band. We have a show coming up on St. Paddys Day in downtown Austin, and are trying to be as tight and entertaining as possible for the droves of people who flock to ATX during this time of the year. We have rehearsal tonight and Thursday, then we drive down on Friday to get ready for our Saturday gig. Come out and enjoy some great original music (absolutely no covers), and stop by the Heart of Texas Rockfest on the corner of 7th & Neches. Im sure it will be an awesome day!

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New Rules of the Road

Upon one of my many round trip drives between Austin and Dallas, I could no longer deny the utter stupidity that people display while in their vehicles.  I dont know how many times someone has made me the order of their passing, and then, of course, cause me to slow down once they are in front of me.  I’m sure of it; I’m on cruise control and suddenly have to break my steady pace in order to keep a reasonable following distance while moving at 70-80mph.  Why did you just HAVE to get in front of me if you wanted to go slower than I am?  Are we racing?  In all honesty, I just like to set my cruise control at a steady 5-10mph over the limit, throw on some Steely Dan, and try to make the best of my 3 hour solo journey as captain of my ship.  What’s the rush?  Once traffic bunches up down the line, you literally have only gained seconds ahead of me.  While on the subject…what’s the deal with following distance?  I have seen people following so close on the highway that I’m in shock when I find out that they aren’t being pulled by the car in front of them.  At the speeds we are going, they are gonna get killed.  People cut me off in spaces that are so close that they are missing my bumper by inches.  I partially blame NASCAR.  I do live in TX…for the moment.  I dont think it is much better anywhere else in the country, but the way people drive is the ultimate expression of selfishness and self-centeredness.  I can not understand how willing they are to risk lives in order just to go a litte bit faster, or to be in front of another driver…especially when it yields absolutely no time saving.  Having said all of that, I have decided that I reject the socially accepted rules of the road, and have adopted my own.  They make the most sense, and I propose their role as a replacement to what we have now could save lives and save time.

1.  Just because you want to go ridiculously fast and ride my tail, does not mean that I should get out of your way.

Who are you, and why should I submit to your desire to drive like a fool?  Im steady at 10mph over the limit…you wanna go any faster than that? YOU should be the one to weave through traffic.  I dont see why I gotta bounce all over the highway, just because I dont want to drive like a madman or drive 55mph in the left side trapped in a field of semi trucks.  Besides, the constant changing of lanes is the dangerous aspect of the behavior.  If you wanna drive fast and don’t mind that danger, go all the way, cowboy up, and weave all over the place while the rest of us kick back to a little Aja.  At the very basic heart of the argument is the collective contribution to the ridiculousness of someone else’s actions.  If you want to drive 20-30mph over the limit, why should we as society help you break that law?  I think we should keep you down where we are, instead of enabling the problem and getting out of your way.

2.  Following space laws need to be just as enforced and fined as speed laws.

I literally feel like I’m just trying to keep myself alive sometimes when I’m on my way home. People don’t understan that I dont tailgate by choice, and dont feel like I have to direct the speed of the drive.   When they are constantly jumping in my space, I can not maintain what is safe and have to slow down.

3.  Cruise control is mandatory, if you have it on your car.

If you are committed to a long drive, there is no reason to think you have to drive as aggressively as you do in the city.  If everyone just kicked back at a steady pace, traffic would move so fluidly, that we would ALL save more time with less accidents, and a more steady rate of motion among those on the road at that time.

Thats my rant for now.  Perhaps I’m getting old…then again…perhaps I’m just getting wiser ;)

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TMEA Conference in San Antonio

For the first time, this year, I attended the TMEA (Texas Music Educators Association) Annual Conference in San Antonio, TX.  Being only an hour away in Austin made it somewhat of an inconvenient commute, but when I arrived, I knew that it was all worth it.  The best way I could describe the venders area would be as guitar center times 1,000.  Every single instrument, whether band, classical, or digital was there, and lots of new products that I had never seen.  I imagined that it would be something like NAMM, but with a focus on EVERY single thing musical possible.  So many different string producers, horn makers, and drums.  There were software programs designed to let marching band directors plan their marching plans on basketball courts and football fields.  There were automated vehicles for handicap musicians.  It was inspiring to see so many different things that could provide so many different ideas as an educator.  I also decided to sign up for TAME (Texas Association of Mariachi Educators).  I hope to have as much information as possible ready to go when I graduate, so that I may start a program wherever I land.  There were so many clinics that I couldnt even begin to try to see them all.  I sat in on a few, and went on looking at all of the products and technology available.  I got a lot of cool ideas that Im going to take with me, and no matter where I live, Im thinking this will be an annual trip for me from now on.

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Back to work…

Now that the hustle and bustle of the holidays are over, I find myself back in Austin, TX finishing up my final semester of my masters degree. It seems like only yesterday I was compiling all of my application materials, I cant believe that it is almost over.  School work and music work seem to never be finished, but then again, if you like what you do it really isnt that big of a deal.  Along with one more semester of school, I also have a lot of exciting things going on with my music.  My band and I will be performing this Saturday, January 28 at The Bone in Deep Ellum.  If you havent had a chance to see us live, you really should come out and hear some great musicians.  Also, as the year progresses, we are setting up a lot more concert events and even have something slated for SXSW here in a couple of months.  As the details come to me, I will definitely pass them along to you.  The winter break was nice and definitely helped me recharge, but now that it is over, I cant wait to get back on top of all my personal projects.

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Live in Concert!

Just wanted to let everyone know that my next live performance has been scheduled.  It will be at the Liquid Lounge in Deep Ellum on December 16th @ 8:30pm.  The cover is $10 for those who are 21 and older, while those who are 17-21 have a $15 fee.  Come on out and enjoy some great live music, pick up a CD, and take some time to meet me and my band.  I hope to see everybody out there that didnt make the last one.

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