Happy birthday to you. Are you one of The Trews?

and so, an inebriated jesus invented the birthday celebration as we know it today. and all was well.

Break out your party whistles and fancy lingerie — today this blog-site/thing turns one year old.

Alright…so its true birthday is tomorrow, if we’re going to be precise and stuff. But I’m an impatient person. So I’m celebrating today.

In that year, I’ve gone through periods of hyperactive posting activity, and there have been months during which I’ve had very little to say. There have been more visitors and comments and views than I ever expected to get. I’ve written a whole lot of stuff that probably hasn’t interested anyone at all, because half the time I’m kind of talking to myself on the internet.

But you know what? It really does help. And it feels pretty promising that I’m still doing this after close to a hundred posts. My old website from years past never got anywhere near as much love, from me or anyone else, and after a while it just faded away.

While this started off as a lark and I didn’t expect I would be in it for the long haul, I’m not sure I would have been able to get myself back on track musically if I hadn’t started using this blog as tool to try and force myself to become motivated and productive again. Life has sent several more curveballs and shitstorms my way since the crack house hell of 2008 that derailed everything for a while, but with my current stable of construction paper prostitutes and a bacon juice brewing operation on the side, I feel confident enough to walk around with mismatched socks on Sundays.

Isn’t that what we’re all looking for when you boil it down? No? Well, I tried to level with you. I can’t help it if you don’t share my depth of feeling for Choclair chocolate bars. They never should have stopped making those things. A piece of my heart died the day production ceased.

Anyway. I’d like to take this opportunity to once again thank everyone who has read my ramblings, commented, listened to stuff, looked at stuff, and/or sent some exotic internet confetti my way over the past year. I aim to make 2009 as special as a skinny dipping excursion with a pack of silent dogs. And that’s pretty special if you ask me.

Now, here’s a blast from the past — Jamie Greer interviewed me way back in 2005 for the now-dormant (but still accessible in archived form, I think) Windsor Scene website. It just made an appearance from beyond the grave on his new blog to remind everyone how long-winded I can get when you let me off the leash. It was true then, and it’s still true now. I am Ramblesaurus Rex. Hear me ramble and roar.

Thanks to Jamie for being interested in talking to me back when not so many people were, for the kind words, for letting me ramble until my charred little heart gurgled in a way that seemed to tell me it was content, and for giving the interview new life in this brave new age of blogetry.

Reading it again after all this time got me thinking about how your attitudes and opinions can shift in the space of a few years.

I think some of my answers would be pretty different today. For one thing, I wouldn’t call Rode microphones sparkly and wondrous anymore. Not after running something like the NT1 through better mic preamps. I’m not sure I’ll be pulling out that mic again for the rest of my life. I also ended up reneging on my public promise to myself to never to write a conventionally structured verse-chorus-verse song again under penalty of death, and that fills my small intestine with sorrow. The talk of those three different albums I was working on during the last third of 2005, well…we all know where that went. It all got swallowed up by The Great Studio Revamping of 2006 and 2007. And then it was digested and redistributed by the crackheads as a loose, fragrant bowel movement.

I’m still trying to figure out what to do with all the songs and ideas I accumulated during that time, while also trying to keep track of new things. The struggle might never end. I lost a lot of time there and got pretty far behind. In some ways I’m still trying to catch up with myself.

And the thing I said about feeling “indifferent” about the local music scene could probably use a bit of context.

It was true at the time. I didn’t feel like I was a part of the scene, because I wasn’t. I was denied entry by the gatekeepers who didn’t think I was cool enough to let in. And though I had a much more active social life at the time of that interview than I do now, I didn’t feel compelled to do much digging into the music other people were making in Windsor. I guess I kind of felt like an outcast, and I’d given up on the whole networking thing. It’s nice when a few people start listening to your music for a change, but when someone you hang out with on Friday nights who’s supposed to be your friend keeps talking about all the things they’re going to do to help spread your music around, and then the phone number they give you turns out to be out of service and they don’t end up doing anything at all to help you because they’re just lips without hips, and that’s pretty much the extent of what “networking” gets you, well…it doesn’t do a whole lot to drum up much faith in people and the hot air they spew.

Since that time, different people have come into my orbit, friends have been made, music has been shared, and I can honestly say I think there’s a lot of great music being made here in Windsor, and a lot of great people making it. The breadth and diversity of talent in this city is kind of staggering, when you really think about it. Reading that interview now is a bit like reading someone else’s words, the same way listening to things I recorded in years past can be like listening to someone else’s music. I recognize that guy, and I remember him well, but I haven’t seen him in a little while. I hope he was able to grow that beard he wanted at some point.

But I stand by the rest of what I said — except for that bit about keeping “what little sanity I have”, which was kind of sarcastic/exaggerated (because, as you know, I am the sanest person you’ll ever ingest in the form of a time-release capsule). In fact, I don’t just stand by it. I lean against it seductively. Look at me lean.

Things have been pretty busy around here over the last little while. As usual, there are several things swirling around at once vying for attention, but I think I know what I need to be focusing on. My goal is to get another new album out there by the end of April. I’m not sure how realistic that is, but we’ll see how it goes.

I’ve also been picking away at something pretty ambitious in fits and starts for a while now. It’s hard to say when/if it’ll be finished and release-ready, but I’m going to try my best to get it there before the end of this year. The wait will make sense once it’s out there. Assuming it makes it out there. And bundle up, people…’cause it’s cold out there.

Finally, I decided to bite the bullet (at least for the moment) and put more than one song up on Spyspace. I think there are now eight somewhat random tracks up there, each of them drawn from a different album over the past few years, housed in a spiffy new MP3 player. I’ll probably end up mixing it up again at some point, but for now, no more works in progress. Only “officially available” stuff. It felt like I should do something a bit more conventional, even though Spyspace isn’t really my thing.

Now watch me get rid of all those songs two weeks from now and post a slew of “unreleased” tracks in their place…


  1. Congrats to Johnny West’s new CD “an absence of sway” being #15 on the CJAM charts. Now I want to know when is he going to share some of those amazing prictures of himself with his hat on and hair down! C’mon give us a peak!

  2. No one must ever see those pictures. I think the Edge from U2 would feel I was trying to ape his style, when really it’s the other way around. It was me who made the flying V guitar cool again! Me!

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