What I Have Been Up To Lately

Sorry for the lack of postings lately… I know I’m way overdue. Anyways, I thought I’d share what I’ve been up to lately, if you are interested.

I went on a vacation/pilgrimage of sorts to Montana in August of 2012 with my cousin Andrew to get out of California and clear my head a little bit. While I was there, I experienced a peace I only really get when I cut myself off from the rest of the world. It was exhilarating and I had an epiphany floating down the Yellowstone River during a fly fishing trip. It may sound obvious, but I decided to start living for myself and getting better. Not better in the physical sense, although that was a huge part of it. It was more of a desire to shape myself into the person I’ve always wanted to be. So I decided to go back to school to get my master’s degree. Right now, I’m in my second semester at SDSU where I’m going for an MA in Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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Around that time, Rob Deez and I started playing different kinds of shows around San Diego as an acoustic duo. While we were used to (and pretty good at) playing 30-45 minute sets of original music, these were marathon shows of 3-4 hours of cover songs and the occasional original every once in a while. That’s been going on for about two years now, and I have to say it is about as gratifying for me to play those shows, now that we aren’t as intimidated by the amount of time we’d be singing/playing. I wish I could give you all a link to the list of shows to where we’re playing around town, but we have yet to decide on a name for our “act”. We’ve tried “Englebert Humperdeez”, “Almost Done”, “The Three Amigos”, “DJ No DJ”, etc. For now, I think we’re just going to be “Rob and Kenny”. The best way to keep up to date with those shows is to find Rob and I on Facebook. You can also follow my good friend Joe Cardillo, who I play with doing the same kind of thing as well!

The major drawback is that we spend a lot of time playing those shows so it doesn’t really afford me the time to write original material. I definitely don’t want to give anyone the impression that I’ve given up on songwriting or playing strictly “originals” shows. In fact, it is quite the opposite. I’m using my education to further my writing abilities by stretching myself in different directions to see if anything can circle back and apply to my songwriting. It’s part of my holistic approach to music. Here’s a poem I wrote for a class about Emigrant, Montana that might give you a sense of where my lyrics are headed (or not).

Emigrant, Montana

I have lived my entire life encased by concrete.
Where fools build cold mausoleums
upon feeble promises of power
and fluorescent lights drain the souls
of paupers sitting in their chairs below.
Where we quarrel like children, clambering
for a worthless sense of victory before it’s too late.

Spend a week in Big Sky Country,
where majestic thrones sit
adorned by the mightiest of evergreens.
Golden rays warm the earth between them,
and the petals of royal purple princes
sway in the breeze at their feet.
Each day, the Earth challenges Heaven’s beauty
and loses with grace and humility.

Surrounded by mountains that sawed at the sky,
and endless green carpets speckled with tiny jewels,
I was humbled in an instant.
My old life ended in that place. So, I travelled
along a lonely road and
passed quietly into Paradise Valley.

An old wooden gate opened to let me
wade slowly into the gentle Yellowstone,
and let the river run through me.
A young trout broke the glimmering surface and
a light danced across its multi-hued skin.
Blinded for a moment, drops of
water gently washed over my eyes and
restored my sight.

Returning to the gate, I climbed a nearby buffalo jump.
As I heaved myself over the stone wall,
a sunset embraced me, lending me it’s energy
for my journey back to the world.

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Anyways, that’s the majority of it. Again, so sorry for not writing sooner and hopefully, these blogs will become more frequent (if I can spare a few minutes here or there). But until then, as always, I hope to see you soon!

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