Annette Rogers from jjaR at MSK Studios

Early in 1996 I was introduced to a Cincinnati band called “jjaR”. I met them while they were playing at a popular club called Top Cats. I was really impressed with the band and their original songs. Annette Rogers was the lead vocalist and she commanded the room with her emotional portrayal of each song. The band was intense and dynamic.

March 13th, 1996 we started recording in my home studio. They were troopers. I have a small space for recording with no isolation rooms for drums, vocals, etc. The band wanted a clean demo. They did not want a lot of processing and effects in the mix. A band after my own heart!

jjaR at MSK Studio in 1996

We did two separate sessions. The first session was mixed on March 26th, 1996. I was recording on the Alesis ADAT (Alesis Digital Audio Tape) machine for the first project. We only had 8 tracks to work with back then and no computer editing or effects. They were pros. They set up, got settled in and played their songs with obvious passion.

One of their tracks appeared in a collection of bands our local radio station WEBN (102.7FM) published on CD. They were featured on the second annual CD release. Deary Me Presents – Cincinnati Scene II included “Food Chain Of Love” on the 3rd track of the compilation CD. You can still find a copy or two on on-line.

Here are a few tunes from Project 1 for your enjoyment.

jjaR at MSK Studio – Food Chain Of Love
jjaR at MSK Studio – Super Size
jjaR at MSK Studio – Aliens
jjaR at MSK Studio – Misunderstood

Image  —  Posted: August 6, 2019 in projects
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Horizontal Fountain MSK

There is still much beauty to be captured in pictures if you can deal with the heat and ready to look in unusual places. I wanted to share some pictures from my favorite local park I took yesterday. You can get a feel of what is still out there. Admittedly, I have a LOT of untouched pictures to share, but this is about half of the pictures I took. I hope you enjoy some of them.

Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK 1
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK 2
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK 3
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK 4
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK 5
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK 6
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK 7
Can you see the ‘deer’ in the bushes?
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK 8

I spoke with a few ladies enjoying the day and one pointed out that from a distance, three separate bushes lined up to the shape of a deer. This picture is a bit too close, but you can see the outline.

Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK 9
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK 10
I like this one for some strange reason.
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK 11
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK 12
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK 13
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK 14
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK 15
Ault Park Cincinnati, Ohio MSK 16

The real Infinity Pool:

Image  —  Posted: July 31, 2019 in Photography
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MSK 1

Last weekend I dropped in on some friends playing out. With camera in hand I caught a few minutes of “What’s Left” performing live. It reminded me how glad I am that I don’t play out any more. Performing for a live audience is fun and addictive but being my own roadie was killing me quickly! I always joked that we would play anywhere for free……. we just charge to move the equipment in and out!

This was just for fun and I appreciate the guys letting me point my camera at them for a while. I like their logo in the back.

Image  —  Posted: July 30, 2019 in Cover Tune Tuesdays
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On the 30th anniversary of our performance with NRSB at Bogart’s in Cincinnati, I want to share a vintage video of that once and only performance. All original songs by members of this incredible band. I am so glad this was captured by hand-held camera out in the audience! Thanks DR.

Part I

Part II https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCv8NrHglpk&list=PL6nW06rbKPIo97mbrFsrAWed2OUaDvMkF&index=12&t=0s

We were just a bit ahead of our time.

Image  —  Posted: July 19, 2019 in Video
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Crash Landing Live at West Fest

Building upon my earlier posts of a night out with Crash Landing, I continue with the first part of the second set.

CRASH LANDING live in 2002

In future posts I will detail mixing/recording process and Live Sound Reinforcement techniques. For now, enjoy a few songs from my old cover band.

Image  —  Posted: July 16, 2019 in Cover Tune Tuesdays
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Pond at Lindner Park, Norwood OH MSK

I hope you get a laugh from my latest song, “Tired”. It definitely has a ‘senior point of view’. I thought of naming it “Retired”, but this seemed to fit better.

I posted as a poem but once I put it to music and the song arrangement came together I had to make cuts and edits. I will post the new lyrics here for convenience.

        “Tired”                     © MSK 6-9-2019

I’ve been thinking all day of when I get you home
After everyone has gone we’re finally alone
Like a good dog I’m gonn’a give you a bone.

I’ve heard his mouth running all over town
Talking shit about me and calling me a clown
I’m headed over there now to put him down.

Hold that thought
‘Til I get back
I’m feeling rather tired
And it’s time for a nap.

Think I better
Slow it down.

Rewarded or punished for decisions we make
Climbing this mountain is a piece of cake
Just another day or so beyond the lake.

Hold that thought ‘til I get back
I’m feeling rather tired
And it’s time for a nap.

Dream what you remember
Remember what you dream.
After all these years
It’s almost the same thing

I bought three books and can’t wait to start
Two of them are very close to my heart.
I’ll read them all tonight, then put more in my cart.

I’ve been thinking all day of when I get you home
After everyone has gone we’re finally alone.
Like a good dog I’m gonn’a give you a bone.

Hold that thought ‘til I get back
I’m feeling rather tired and it’s time for a nap.
Hold that thought ‘til I get back
I’m feeling rather tired and it’s time for a nap.

With lyrics in hand, I mapped it out to a drum arrangement I already had. No other instruments….. While I fit the lyrics to the drum arrangement the melody immediately fell in my lap. It is backwards for me to have a melody first. Usually I write the melody listening to the chords. This is like reverse-engineering if you know what I mean!

This was not a simple fit, so the drums also had to be edited and changed for the rhythm of guitar and vocals. The drums are not finished and need a lot of work to smooth out grooves here and there, but it is solid enough to work with for now.

I don’t practice or play for hours a day anymore. I rarely play for more than is necessary to record my demo songs. It can take me a while to play the guitar (and keyboard) parts I need for new songs. Everything is slowing down after 65!

I played a Martin acoustic/electric guitar with no overdubs or additional guitar tracks. The bass guitar is added using my MIDI keyboard and a computer plug-in sample-player for a great sound. I added some playful vocal harmonies and that was it. Arrangement done, it will take me a couple weeks to clean up the tracks and do a mix. Or maybe a bit longer than usual now that I think about it!

Image  —  Posted: July 12, 2019 in My Tunes
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My recent post was about a tree in my neighbor’s yard that has been dead for a while and a large part of it fell into my garage.

It looks worse from the inside!

Our daughter lives a few houses away. A different neighbor’s tree fell and landed on her car and took out the steps to her deck. We are lucky no one was hurt. It was a perfect time for a bad thing to happen!

She had just parked 15 minutes ago! The neighbor’s cat thought this was a great resting place.

Image  —  Posted: July 9, 2019 in family
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I live in the center of a medium sized city. I do not live on a farm or out in the wilderness. That is why it is so cool to see so much wild-life coming through our yard.

I wanted to share some pictures of our visitors over the weekend with you. This has been a great year for rabbits…. bunnies are jumpin’ all over the yard this year. I think the hawk was eating mulberries off the ground and munching on a few flying insects.

These visitors are in addition to the regulars; ground hogs, chipmunks, squirrels everywhere, raccoons, possums, owls, wood peckers and other birds.

We also get appearances from coyotes, wild turkeys, and red foxes among others. It is becoming a regular zoo!

Unfortunately, we also had another surprise visit. The building next door has a couple trees that have been dead for a long time. Piece-by-piece the rotten branches have been falling. Last Saturday we had another ‘piece’ fall. This time into our garage.

WE are still alive and did not get hurt. Fortunately, there are only 10 days or so when the Jeep is not in the garage and the tree fell on one of those days!

Image  —  Posted: July 2, 2019 in Photography
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My wife and I have a communication problem. Over the years we have managed to keep this from being a marriage problem. I am sure it would have driven other couples crazy.

I have a really bad habit of mixing pro-nouns; names, cities, sports teams. To give you an idea, I would call up my wife and say, “… pick me up at Home Depot when you are done”. She would call and say, “where are you”?

“I am waiting for you outside”, would be my reply. ……… she would then ask if I meant Home Depot or Lowe’s ……. yep. This is where I mess up all the time. I might say it with confidence, but I use the wrong proper name way too often. I am at Lowe’s.

My wife interchanges nouns. She will ask me to hand her the book. After a few seconds she gets impatient and wonders if I am listening to her. Again, but louder, she will ask me to hand her the book. I have scoured the immediate area and see no book. I will ask her if she means the glass and she will say, “that’s what I asked for”.

This does not happen all the time or we would be dead already. But it happens often.

I translate for her; she translates for me.

Image  —  Posted: June 29, 2019 in Opinions and Observations
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This is an early recording of a Cincinnati band “Chakras”. I recorded them back when I used the ADAT digital tape recorder. It does not have the ‘bling’ of modern recordings but I think you will enjoy the performance.

https://www.facebook.com/chakrasrock

Image  —  Posted: June 25, 2019 in projects
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