Miscellaneous Thoughts on a Monday Morning… 

 The Islanders have a .650 points percentage ten games into the season, which looks decent on paper – but they are not playing well. Still not convinced Lane Lambert is the right coach for this team.

Returned a week ago from a blackjack trip to the heartland during which I was backed off from three straight sessions – which I’m sure was the result of a local flyer.  So, I played poker the last couple of days, along with catching an Isles’ road game, which they won with a shutout.  Always nice to experience a win in the opponent’s barn.  Heading to the PNW Friday, where I will catch yet another Isles’ road game…

Found an interesting poker “home” game this past week… was looking for something closer to home so that I don’t have to travel as far to the local poker room to get some hours in.  It’s an interesting setup, with two full tables and professional dealers.  A bit like Molly’s game, which makes me wonder if they are somehow compensating the local authorities to keep themselves in action…

On the music side of things, the album was officially released a couple of weeks ago.  We’re apparently getting some play at college radio at various locales throughout the country (and even some spots in Canada), which I thought was pretty cool.  The reality is, in this day and age, any chance for real success will have to come from licensing revenue derived from film/tv/ad sources.  The marketing guys in London are working on that; fingers crossed… 

Preparing For Social Media.... 

The whole social media concept is very new to me - but the reality in today's age is if you want to build a career for yourself as an artist, you've got to do a lot more than just record and release songs.  Particularly if it takes four years to record an album.  (Well, hopefully that was just for the first one... lol)

Discovered a website that allows for things like the recording of splitscreen interviews; I've reached out to Matt to set aside some time where we can both chat about the recording of this record and related topics... should be a cool item for the facebook group, and make for some nice additional shorts on youtube.

The video for "Requiem" is coming out Friday; I'm hoping it comes across as a fitting tribute to 9/11s heroic first responders.  Filming the final video for the album on Sunday, for the "All Of Our Lives" ballad.  That'll be the the most introspective track of all for which we've created and released videos...

Driving through Minnesota... 

Been driving through Minnesota the past week, listening to songs on my phone and taking notes for which would be ideal for track-specific playlists from the forthcoming album.  I know playlisting isn't a new concept since spotify became a thing, but as I've never used a streaming service, it is for me.

I like the idea of generating playlists consisting almost exclusively of all the great old songs I've spent my life listening to, including some of the non-single type tracks from superstar artists of yesteryear with which listeners of today may not be familiar.  For anyone interested in tuning in, I think it will be a nice change of pace from the standard playlisting fare featuring everything modern/current.

This was a good trip, although all of the profit (and play) came within the first five days.  I spent this past Wednesday thru Friday travelling through the more remote parts of the state, where casinos ended up having $100 max bets, which makes it pointless to play there.  The report to which I subscribe incorrectly reflected the conditions in those places... so I ended up travelling several hundred miles for nothing, other than witnessing some incredibly beautiful scenery.  I will apply a shorter itinerary to future visits to the region, much like I did with Colorado.

Currently awaiting for my flight back at the brand-new Delta lounge in Gate G at MSP... very nice job, Delta.

The River Checkraise... 

 2-3 is a minefield.  With position and KhTh on a JT7K7 rainbow board, I went for what I considered a reasonable value bet of $60 into a $175 pot (particularly given his river check), and got checkraised all-in for effectively another $310 by a middle position limper.  Well, I'm not going to call that bet when he could have easily had a straight or spiked trips...  what else was he representing?   After my fold, he proceeded to table AK.

Limped with AK, and then checkraised all-in with one pair on a board replete with possible straights and boats.  Now, here's the thing... if he had some kind of read, figured my bet showed weakness and turned his pair into a bluff, then props to him (I still haven't been able to figure out how the whole "blockers" thing plays into that).  But that wasn't the case... I asked him if he thought his AK was good there, and he responded affirmatively that there's no way he could fold a hand as good as that.

Maybe I'm an idiot for ever folding two pair in a low-limit live game!

Anyway will try again this weekend before heading out next Friday for a blackjack trip to points in the north/central U.S.  Location with phenomenal games... lots of 4 deckers with good rules and deck penetration.  And so it goes...   

      

Hearing It For the First Time... 

It's come up in a few recent conversations how it's pretty much impossible to hear your own song for the first time, since by the time you've finished writing it, recorded the demo, tweaked it, and gone through the formal recording process, you've heard it hundreds of times over.  By the time it gets to a finished stage, you're almost kind of sick of hearing it.

Yesterday I came up with the chorus for a new song for the first time in awhile... I was inspired by a lyrical concept as I was heading out the door for about a twenty minute drive - and by the time I had arrived at my destination, I had the lyrics fleshed out along with a melody that I was able to sing into my phone recorder. 

Listening to it fresh today, it dawned on me that this is pretty much the only way that I can truly hear one of my own songs for the first time... when I first come up with the melody and work it out on the fly, I haven't memorized it yet.  So... when I listen to it a day or days later, it's brand new to me - and it's somewhat similar to that concept of buying an album and hearing a song for the first time.  It's the only way I can ever experience that feeling with one of my own songs.

Thankfully, this one's a keeper - and I'll look forward to it appearing as an actual release at some point over the next few years... lol.

Flying out in the morning for a west coast blackjack trip; first extended one since January... 

Shadows... 

Listening to a random playlist and a great Gordon Lightfoot song came on.  Sending Canadiana emojis to my hockey text chain... what a great talent lost... maybe not too soon, but nevertheless... RIP, Gord.

Short Turnaround... 

Travel day... Denver to SLC to SNA.  A combined 5 hours in Delta lounges makes the journey a bit easier; making my way through a commemorative issue of Rolling Stone that was dedicated to the Floyd.

 
Witnessed the Mets at Coors Field last nite; it was quite by accident I was in Colorado at the same they were scheduled to play the Rockies... it was nice to catch a game, notwithstanding the loss and the fairly steady rain that fell in the later innings.
 
Only played two sessions on this trip, but won both handily, allowing me to exceed EV for my target hours on this 4-day turnaround... booked the win and relaxed with poker the rest of the way... back in OC in a few hours!

This Post Has No Title... 

Shout out to the "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" record ;)

Waiting for a quick dinner at Hawaiian Gardens prior to starting my Friday night poker session.  Spent the last week transitioning from the Million Years release to Grey Wolf; both tracks are now out everywhere.  While Million Years was essentially a preliminary release in order to get the social media presence up and running, GW is being marketed more heavily to press/radio, and for playlisting... we'll see how that goes over the next month.

Finally got around to scheduling blackjack trips again... heading to Colorado next week for a quick 4-day turnaround, then will be hitting NorCal/Oregon, Minnesota and Iowa on a monthly basis through August.  It'll be nice getting back out there again since my last trip to the Big Easy region in January.

Vegas and Dallas currently tied going into the third period.  Wonder if there's a chance we'll get another 4OT thriller like last nite!

An Early Summer... 

Well, the Islanders failed in their bid to beat the Canes.  I guess some small consolation is that the Canes are thus far making the Devils look a lot worse in the next round than they did the Isles, so... perhaps there's still more to this aging roster than the fans have collectively given them credit for.  Will be interesting to see how ownership approaches the offseason.

Spent this Friday evening studying in the "pokerlab" as opposed to playing live in the casino.  Some great training on this site - but wow, is it involved.  Most people don't realize how complex a game poker is when played properly.  Beating blackjack with card counting is is worlds easier...  I'm going to spend a few hours tomorrow getting some work done on the computer, and then it'll be off to one of the relatively local cardrooms to apply what I've picked up tonite.

There's apparently some blog/press coverage and reviews in the works for the forthcoming "Grey Wolf" single.  Should be interesting to hear how these songs are being perceived at an arms length.... not sure I want to read everything!  lol...


  

On the Brink... 

Was looking forward to a good Islanders playoff run this spring, but that now seems a remote possibility - given that they are heading into tomorrow's game in Raleigh trailing 3-1 in the opening round.  There's a strong argument to be made that the Isles have actually been the better team at 5 on 5, and that a lack of discipline in game 4 (along will some fairly questionable officiating ) has put them in a bind they might not otherwise be in.  Just win one game in Carolina boys, and with game 6 on Long Island - you never know what can happen.

Released the video for "A Million Years" this past Friday; the standard audio release for download/streaming will be available at the end of this week.  Since this is just an introductory track for the purpose of establishing a social media profile, we're not marketing it so the same extent we'll be marketing the follow-up - but we have gotten some kind initial feedback on the track, which we greatly appreciate!  Always nice to hear ;)