Tag Archives: musician

Durango Herald, July 29, 2011


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Sunday, July 24, 1983 — Fastway, Saxon, and Iron Maiden

My first ‘real’ concert; went with one of my best friends… who is still one of my best friends. Twenty-eight years later, I still remember it to this day.

Photo courtesy of G.

Is it childish of me to still love Iron Maiden, some 28 years later? As Bruce Dickinson says, if that teenager is still alive in us somewhere, then we’re still alive. Do I look foolish when I get excited about this? It’s a risk I’m willing to take.

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Filed under Living a joyful life

Get out of my head

I remember reading an interview with Eddie Van Halen years ago about how, while he was sleeping, a beetle crawled into his ear. He had to have a doctor remove it, and he’d kept it in a little glass jar.

I’d always wondered how terrifying and painful that must have felt.

Now I know.

About 30 minutes ago I was out in the back yard with someone special, and we were admiring the tomatoes, jalapenos, and cucumber plants. We were standing beneath the beautiful tree that shades almost the entire back yard, and as we discussed which branches we might trim to increase available sunlight for the vegetables, I suddenly felt something drop into my right ear.

I don’t mean that it landed ON my ear. I mean that something dropped straight into my ear canal. And it was alive.

I froze.

Standing there shocked, I literally did not know what to do to make the situation better. Shake my head around? Strike the side of my own head with my hand?

Might get the –whatever it was– out of my head… but then again, might send it further into the depths of my skull. MY skull. This thing was inside my freaking skull.

Suddenly, there was a lightning bolt of pain, and I found myself screaming and slobbering. This was NOT how I’d planned to spend my Saturday morning. Clear skies, sun shining, 71 degrees… but all of that took a pale back seat to the fluttering and sudden, agonizing stabs taking place in my ear.

I ran inside, stopping only once on the steps to scream again as it fluttered and stabbed.

In the upstairs bathroom, I caught a glance of myself in the mirror–eyes wide with terror, entire body shaking from the gallon of adrenaline that had been dumped into my bloodstream… but how do I fight or run away from something inside my own skull?

Fortunately, a loved one was standing right next to me, helping me through all of this. The little green squirty-bulb tube thing (“ear irrigation bulb”) that comes with the Debrox. Find that. Yes. Okay. It’s in my hand. Flutter. Flutter. Stab. Slobber. Scream.

I got the hot water running and into a glass, then started shakily squirting water into my ear. Flutter. Stab. Flutter. Slosh.

After three or four tries, in a complete state of panic, I saw a little black ‘something’ emerge, and I yelled, “There it is! Grab it!”

My beloved swiped it out with a Q-tip.

We both looked down…. and I heard her say, with what sounded like a mixture of shock, amazement, and disgust, “Earwig!”

I’m still shaking a little, as I type this. But I’ve calmed down a bit.

After taking a somewhat shaky photo and ascertaining that it still had all of its legs, stingers, wings… whatevers… I squashed it. A lot. Angrily.

I can’t even IMAGINE what it would have been like to try to sit calmly in the waiting room of Urgent Care… a grown man sitting in a chair with a terrified expression on his face, eyes blasted wide open, occasionally smacking the side of his head and screaming out loud… I can see all the other patients sloooowly moving away from that guy on the Group “W” bench…

All I can say is ‘thank you’ to my beloved for helping me through this. And wherever you are, make sure you’ve got one of those little green squirty-bulb tube (“ear irrigation bulb”) thingies handy at all times.

Not fun for any human, I’m sure… but for those of us whose primary means of moving through the world is hearing/sound, wow. I have a new appreciation for the feeling of NOT having a little angry creature struggling inside my ear canal.

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Filed under Playing the fool

New videos for “A Place Of My Own”

Happy to report that the mastered songs are now at DiscMakers. They estimate that the final, packaged units will arrive at my doorstep by July 20, 2011. Digital downloads are available at http://www.timbirchard.bandcamp.com or at http://www.reverbnation.com/timbirchard. Physical cd’s can be ordered by e-mailing me directly: tim@timbirchard.com.

In the meantime, I’ve been creating very basic videos for each of the songs on the album. They are designed to serve more as a vehicle for the music than as a stand-alone video. I’m not a videographer. (Not yet.)

Cheryl and I are also laying tracks for a new kirtan cd that we’re recording. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirtan) We’re recording 8 original chants that we’ve written over the past three years. I’ve just finished tracking bass, and now it’s time for me to do the foundation tracks (drums, guitar, vocals) for one of the songs that I lead on. Once Cheryl is done with all of her basic tracks, then I’ll work on adding all the other parts and shaping the entire thing into something magical that we can both be proud of.

I’m so grateful to have the resources available for creating music that makes my heart sing.

Whether it’s pop rock, metal, or chanting sanskrit, I’m a musical creature. I believe we all are. Whether we have a heartbeat or not.

Wishing you a rewarding day!


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Mastering patience

Hey Friends,

This weekend was an exciting one — yesterday I received the final, mastered songs back from the studio. Scott Smith and Lacey Black did an amazing job. In fact, they sound SO good that when I got home and started listening to the first song, I started crying. Not to be melodramatic or anything, but it’s true. It just blew me out of the water.

I followed Scott and Lacey’s advice and listened to every single song with a “fine-tooth ear” to make absolutely certain that the product I send to DiscMakers is truly ready. And it’s a good thing I did… On one of the songs, I heard a little ‘click’ sound that is not supposed to be there. I went back to the original file that I’d submitted to Scott and Lacey– sure enough, there it was. I’d missed it.

So while 7 of the 8 songs are ready to be sent to DiscMakers, that one song needs some love and care. I plan to isolate the offending track, clean it up, then do a fresh mixdown. I’ll then submit the fresh file to Scott and Lacey for mastering and have them place it in the appropriate sequence location on the album. THEN it’ll be ready to send to DiscMakers.

Fact is, not so long ago I would have felt a sense of urgency and frustration about such an unexpected wrinkle. I may have even chosen to ignore it and pretend it wasn’t there (‘magical thinking’). But I know the cold reality — if I were to ignore it, every single time I listened to the final cd, I’d be listening for one thing: that ‘click’. Better to fix it now and get it right so the final product is exactly the way I want it.

Approximate time frame for mastering this final song again will hopefully be the week following the 4th of July weekend. We’ll see what Scott and Lacey’s schedules look like. In the meantime, I’ve posted the mastered songs up for free review at www.timbirchard.bandcamp.com.

Again, from the bottom of my heart, I thank every one of you who helped to make this possible!

I’ll keep you posted as things unfold.

All the best,


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Now available: A Place Of My Own merch!



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Progress update: A Place Of My Own

Hey Friends,

Just a quick update to let you know that all mixdowns have been finished. Fundraising efforts through Kickstarter.com were wildly successful. Final mixes were delivered to Scooter’s Place for mastering last week. All album art files have been uploaded to Discmakers.com.

Once the songs are mastered, a physical disc (and backup) will get shipped to Discmakers, and the final order for duplication/packaging will be placed. Then, 5-7 days later, they should arrive on my doorstep. That’s when I’ll get to start mailing them out to the generous financial backers listed above!

Again, thanks to everyone involved in making this happen!

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