End of the Year Updates and Stuff!

Wow it's been quite a while since I've posted here. I better tell you why-- explain what I've been up to that's kept me away.

In September, my partner and often-collaborator Katie and I moved from Omaha back to Grinnell, IA. We spent the fall living at the artist residency Grin City Collective. While there, I worked on Grinnell's community theater production of The Fantasticks as the lead boy, Matt, and Katie put together some videos for the retirement community St. Francis, for which I composed the music. 

We moved into town this past month and have yet to set up internet. This has led to sometimes increased productivity, and sometimes decreased productivity. So many tasks for freelance artists require the net!! We've certainly been listening to more vinyl and reading more books. 

Right before I came back to Iowa I tracked one last EP at Yorick Studio in Omaha. The 4 songs are now being mixed in Nashville by Derek Porter of Pageant. I met Derek when he and his sister Erica came through Omaha on a mini-Pageant tour. He'll also be laying down some horns and I am pretty pumped to hear it. Stay tuned for info on that release . . . 

Last month I had a crazy weekend in Omaha. With Justin Carter, I arranged and produced the debut album for Collin Smith. Collin's songs and guitar playing are both exceptional. In the span of 2 days, we tracked 7 songs and played a show at the beloved Barley St. Tavern. It was a helluva rock  n roll weekend. We wrapped overdubs just before the holidays and Justin is currently mixing that project. 

Katie and I have been playing more regularly, and already have a few shows lined up in January, including one on the 15th at State Street Bar in Grinnell. We'll continue to play around Grinnell and hope to start booking elsewhere in Iowa.

I guess that's about it! Much of the Midwest got hammered with snow the past couple days, so I'll end this post with a list of songwriting / creative activities to try while you're holed up inside.  Here's to a happy and healthy 2016! Keep supporting independent creatives, keep on lovin your neighbors!

Songwriting and other Creative Exercises
* Talking Heads and Bob Dylan both have songs about a Mr. Jones character. Write your own.
* Write a song on an instrument you don't usually play.
* Write a song based on an image. OR, draw / paint something based on a song.
* Write a campaign song for a candidate from the past, present, or future. 
* Produce a Ryan Adams song in the style of Taylor Swift. 
* Write a protest song.
* Pick three objects within reach, write about them.
* Make a poster for your ideal concert (you may be on the bill if you so choose)
* Play your instrument in an unconventional way (upside down, w/ your non-dominant hand, etc.) 
* Write a song in the voice of yourself 5, 10, or 15 years ago. Bonus if you use voice as a verse
* Write a theme song for your favorite film from 2015 (even the film already has one)
* Make up a dance move. Give it a name. 
* Make a snow sculpture. Bonus points for a snow / ice instrument.