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What is creation?

What does it mean to create something?

For that matter, what’s a song? What is your art? How do you know when it’s done and what makes you decide it’s good enough?

I’ve had some “technical difficulties” in the midst of creating. I realize this is a necessary evil… a part of the equation when it comes to creation. As humans we strive for fluidity, some sort of cohesiveness to our existence, but the nature of life is the complete opposite. Chaos, unrest, ever-changing and doomed to collapse.

This is the way buddhists see it, at any rate. Don’t they seem to have something figured out? Their take on this whole mess of life is that it is the nature of our reality to fall apart. The sooner we accept that, the closer we will be to Nirvana (not the band. ok maybe…eventually).

It’s thinking in circles like this that brings me a standstill. I once read that Kerouac and his gang of N’er Do Wells would talk each other in and out of this Stand Still. You start thinking of every thing as equal, fluid, transitional, ever changing and never the same, in the grand scheme of things (technically), inconsequential. Eventually, you cannot help but ask: What is the point?

Creating.

Or is it?

If a tree falls in the forest, and no one hears your damn album, was it really worth cutting it down so you could feel better about your life for 19 minutes?

more on this later.

Little known fact day 11: I keep less than 5% of what I write/create

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Did you know I have been blogging every day for over a week? Head on over to the blog section or http://www.billythekidblog.com and check out my life heh heh.

Love,

Billy the Kid

Gearing Up

Guy from Five For Fighting is recording in the studio right now. He just came out and said hi…nice guy.

I’m sitting in the backyard contemplating arrangements and lyrics for upcoming tunes. These upcoming tunes are actually old tunes that I’ve put on hold for the last year as I focused on creating and releasing my first solo album The Lost Cause. I’ll always have rock in my blood…and I’ll always have those folk-y slow songs comin’ out of me too. I like doing both things. Actually, I like doing lots of things. My mind wanders easily and the more I have on my plate the less time I have to be distracted.

Tomorrow I start finishing the new Billy and the Lost Boys album. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a long way away for even being CLOSE to done, but at least I’ll begin the last of the vocals and guitar of the first batch of tunes. Then we’ll start drums etc. for the next batch. I’m planning to spend most of my summer doing this (or at least whenever the studio is free) and I’m hoping that by the time I go back to Canada I’ll have something to consider releasing.

I also have to start working on an exclusive track for the Swim Drink Fish Music people who so kindly asked to include me in their next compilation CD (past/present contributors include Broken Social Scene, Bruce Cockburn, Gord Downie, Pete Seeger, Stars, Sarah Harmer, Great Lake Swimmers and Wintersleep).

Then it’s off to Raine’s to finish mixing the rest of the songs on his had drive from the last time I was in town. I cannot begin to express how much I am looking forward to doing something, ANYThing even closely related to music. After I got back from that tour in March I’ve barely played a single note let alone a show. Anyway…here’s to the future 🙂

It Is Highly Unlikely That Anyone Knows The Following Day 10: When I was a kid I was in Tae Kwon Do and was the only person to ever “skip” a whole belt. I went from green right to red. Did that make me any more of a superb ninja? No.

I Like…Bowling!??!

Today started out with my regular ol’ jaunt to the gym. Did I mention I’m learning how to box???

Randy was tracking all day so I sat out in the sun and felt like a degenerate for a bit before joining him in the studio. Take your Girlfriend to Work Day is FUN! Here are some shots from Behind the Scenes:




After Take Your Girlfriend to Work Day we went bowling at Jerry’s Diner with producer Phil X, his wife and their two friends.

I will not lie…it started out disastrous. The last time I had been bowling I was likely in grade school and I had no concept of how in the world to do this crazy bowling thing.

I got 6 gutter balls in a row.

But, with everyone’s support, encouragement and tips, by the next game I got 2 strikes and a couple Whatever That Thing Is Called That’s Not A Strike But It’s Still Pretty Good.

Check this little guy out…does he look like he hates his job or what!?!?


Here’s one of Randy being So Good At Bowling. Not fair!!!


Little Known Fact Day 9: Sometimes I have writer’s block for a year at a time. This is one of those years.

Topanga Days and Crazy Cactus Park

Yesterday we went to the beach, came home and got fold out chairs to sit in the sun on, had thai in our beautiful backyard and drank wine to my favorite movie (not telling…too terribly cheesy to admit to hehe)

Today Randy played Topanga Days in beautiful Topanga. Right before he went on, Blood Sweat and Tears played all their classic tunes… we watched a bit of their set from backstage then went on a bit of an adventure. It was great to see a band from so close that I remember listening to all the time in my ’65 Valiant that only had AM Radio and one mom speaker on the dash (and thus, only blasted oldies radio).


In the band was Joe Karnes who played bass on my album The Lost Cause. Joe’s such a great guy to have in a band…you can tell he really understands music and not only is he a great player but he’s a great guy too. Him and Randy make for a wicked rhythm section.



Right after they played we zipped down the mountain and made a stop in Crazy Cactus Park. Ok so that’s not what it is actually called but it should be! 🙂





**For way more pictures like this tune in to my Flickr Account at http://www.flickr.com/photos/thelostcause/**

Little Known Fact Day 8: I’m growing my hair for http://www.lockoflove.org and after having short hair for most of my life, it turns out that my hair is curly!!! I had no idea.

Papers

Well, it happened.

Today a little something arrived in my inbox that I have been hoping and praying for my whole life.

A Licensing Deal!!! 😀

I’m so excited about working with this company…they’ve placed songs in movies like Milk, An Inconvenient Truth, Boogie Nights, Underworld and shows like Californication and Dexter.

Another great something arrived today…the rough draft of my support letters to get my O-1 Visa!!!

Not to be all depress-io but for the last couple months for me have not been so awesome. I won’t lie. It’s been a lot of Not Sunshine, Not Palm Trees, and Not Randy…and I didn’t like it one bit. See, because I’m not an Amurcan (pronounce as spelled), I cannot legally reside in the Amurca (southern spin on pronouncing “American”). I cannot work, play or reside here for any extended amount of time. I love Canada and it will always be my home but I fell in love with California years ago and most importantly, my favourite person in the world lives here and I just can’t live so far from him.

So, we collect support letters and a fun time line of everything I’ve ever done that is music related (boy has that been fun) and before long, I should have my visa! The name of it is “Alien of Extraordinary Ability”. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA 😛

Daily Something Day 7: After 15 years of dying my hair, I recently discovered that I really like my natural hair color.

A Deal

The guy from Matchbox 20 is in the studio right now. Randy’s tracking drums in the room beside our bed. I can hear everything they’re talking about haha.

Last night we had a celebration dinner. It started with beet tartare (beets on a soft crumbly cashew “goat” cheese), was followed by vegan mac and cheese, vegan chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy and then vegan bananas foster. Oh and an amazing bottle of Pinot Noir. It was a celebration.

It was a celebration because yesterday I had this really awesome meeting that I’m pretty sure is going to amount to my stuff being in more T.V. shows and movies. I’m supposed to get a contract in my inbox today and then…we wait 🙂

If you’re a songwriter this kind of thing is a huge huge deal and I’ll tell you why…getting a song you wrote in a hit T.V. show is a major opportunity, especially in this silly world where labels don’t exist and no one is helping anyone anymore. I been perfectly happy with remaining independent but this sort of licensing deal truly is a dream come true, and something that I have wanted for my whole life.

Keep your eyes and ears peeled folks…you may just hear some of my songs in your fav. show one day 😉

Taken while driving to the meeting that could change my life:

Little Known Billy Fact Day 6: In grade two I read over 900 books in less than a year. I got a shirt that says “I read over 700 books” cause they had no idea what number I would be at by the time they printed the shirts. To this day I feel ripped off 😉

Hoping…

Woke up, went to gym. Ran in one spot for 40 minutes.

Came home, ate food. drove to Beverly Hills to have a meeting with a music licensing dude…here’s hoping I can get some tunes in some shows!!! 😀

Tonight: Dinner at the World’s Greatest Restaurant in the Entire Universe Madeleine Bistro (gourmet all vegan fare in Tarzana).

Signed up for that Fox Vancouver Seeds thing… ranking horribly. I suppose that’s an indication that I likely won’t win 😉

Little Known Fact About Me Day 5: I have been vegetarian for 15 years and vegan for about 13.

Swan Viper

Tonight we went to the Viper Room! I had never been so I was pretty excited 🙂

Sierra Swan is a superbly talented songstress who plays guitar, piano and has an AMAZING voice. She’s also Billy Swan’s daughter and one of Dave Stewart (The Eurythmics) backup singers (that’s how I met her).

I really liked the Viper Room! And Sierra played great.

Last night I spent way too long drinking wine in a hot tub and I don’t recommend this the night before your first day back at boxing in about a month. That’s right, I’m learning how to box. I love it!!! It’s a great rush, sooo good for you and just about the best way to stay nice and relaxed throughout your day 🙂 After boxing we did a bit of running around before a fabulous dinner with producer/writer team the Wizardz of Oz at the Cheesecake Factory.

Little Known Fact About Me Day Four: This one time, at band camp…haha just kidding. Kind of…

Did you know that I was a camp counselor for a whole 2 months one summer? I did everything from food prep, “dishing” and camp restoration to looking after a 2 year old and 6 year old (moms and kids camp) and several cabins of kids ages 7-13. It was on beautiful Gambier Island and I’ll never forget what a difference being surrounded by water for 2 months made on the ol’ psyche.

Sometimes

Sometimes, life is great.

Isn’t it? Isn’t life the most unbelievable concept?

Sometimes it seems like life is a sham. On those days it’s best to remind yourself that just when it seems like it couldn’t get any worse, it always can. And chances are, if you’re reading this from a computer (whether it’s yours or not), your life is waaaayyyy better than about 89% of the population. This statistic is fact and I did not make it up.

Lately, life is doing just fine over here. See, I’m back in California, and there’s just nothing that can bring me down when it is this terribly sunny! Please do not hate me if you are reading this from Canada. I grew up there and it will always be my home but jeeeeeezus enough with the cold already!

Here are a few pics of where I live when I am here:



Here’s the studio we live in the back of:



Today we took the Big Black Beast to Johnny Mead’s and I watched Randy track some drums for a new artist he’s producing. I really like “Take Your Girlfriend to Work Day” 🙂 I nerded out and took a ton of pictures and video. I love watching Randy play drums it’s about the best thing in the world as far as I’m concerned. I loved it before we were together and I’ll love it for the rest of my days for sure.

Little Known Fact About Me Day Three:

I completed 2 years of University at UCFV in Abbotsford, British Columbia with the intention of becoming a high school teacher and changing people’s lives on a daily basis. I stopped going because I got a job at Long and McQuade, was interning at Sudden Death Records (D.O.A.’s label) and playing tons with my political punk band The Blue Collar Bullets. There are still days when I wonder if this was the best decision 😉