Taking a night off... by Nick Arneson

I was explaining to Alex the art of listening to that little voice in your head, when you’re about to make a decision. There is a loud one, the one that tells you to kick or light or smash or drink or whatever…. I listened to that voice A LOT in my days. Loads of good times but also scars, and sketchiness. If you can nurture the quieter, but obviously right, voice that is also advising - you can then pick and choose your adventures and you don’t have to chase every flashing light. It was pretty impactful. I love talking and kids tend to absorb that pretty well. Here’s hoping I’m right!

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Fight getting young (and single announce) by Nick Arneson

You gotta fight growing up at every turn. That’s what I’ve tried to do, for my entire life. I always figured I’d abandon most of this by now, but the urges just get stronger so I go deeper into the rabbit hole… Gets exponentially easier to honor the impulses - my body seems to have adapted fairly well to the 5 hours of sleep or so. A good friend of mine Simone suggested I start a podcast - in fact had a dream that I did and was good, not a weird dream so be cool, just a dream. If you believe in those kinda weird visions then there might be something there. I think I do so there is something there. I’m not convinced anyone really wants to hear what I have to say, but I’m also not convinced that is the reason most of us do this. Considering my numbers are pretty low currently, I suppose I’m proof of that. My shits getting better though. It’s hard for you to listen to the shit I put out a year ago and then the stuff now (10/24 is my next one - video / spotify single) and tell me it’s not roughly 75% better in quality and intention. There’s no ego in saying that, I’ve put out some real garbage just to get it out. I’m impulsive, but the impulsivity is now turning into just working fast. It’s very late, and I’m going to call it. Have a nice weekend, and I hope you do something fucking sweet. Keep coming back and I’ll keep making cool shit.

Nick

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Accepting rejection by Nick Arneson

How many rejections have you taken this week? This year? They suck right? Whether it’s a subtle fuck you from the coffee lady because you only tipped 18% or a solid “you suck” from your boss because you fell asleep on your laptop (again?!). Putting your creative work into the world is basically asking for monumental rejection. Every drop is a “this could be the one” and almost without exception it isn’t quite.…

Unless you’re doing it for the right reason, and then every drop is the one. I’m not fully there, but I’ve gotten better and am getting better. I’m trying to be more present when I’m making and that helps immensely. It’s a small window each day that I’m free to express the inner, weird workings of my soul - and I have come to realize that pissing that time away thinking about some mansion on a beach in a future that only exists in my mind is not the way to go. I encourage the same for you.

The worst kind of rejection, and the kind I have yet to get over, is the apathy. The feeling that no one gives a shit. It’s lonely in the barn, and my way of interacting with people is by getting my work into their face. If they feel nothing, I’ve failed. So, there’s that. I haven’t figured out how to best this demon, other than get better and make people give a fuck. “No one cares until they do” - someone said that, not sure who. The trick after that is making them care for longer than the average pop song or news cycle. Best not to dwell on this folks, trust me.

Long story long, hang in there. I’m an emotional rollercoaster of man, and I can handle it. Surely you’re stronger than I. I bury it behind a facade of sarcasm and facial hair, but believe me - I feel everything. Every glance, tone, body language or wild energy sends me flying high or plummeting low. There is no middle ground - this is what I get being the person I am. If tomorrow I woke up flat lining in my response to people, I’d know that my creative days were over. Comes with the territory.

Longer story long - hang in there. Keep coming back and I’ll keep making cool shit. And ranting about the cool shit at length.

Love you guys. Seriously. Whoever you are. Leave a comment - I know you’re coming to these pages and reading this stuff, I can see the data. Interact with me, I will respond in kind.

Later,

Nick

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Show this Thursday, Single This Friday by Nick Arneson

Hi friends,

Playing a show on Thursday (9/26) and am releasing the music video I’ve been working on the following day (9/27). Excited to share the song and video with the world, feel they really came together nicely. Hope to see you all at the show, or in the comments section of the music video or somewhere out in the world at some point.

Nick

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Taste of why… by Nick Arneson

I don’t get asked this much but I can sense the inquiry, especially of a generation above and (strangely) some peers. Why? You are basically going from 6 am to midnight every day, why not just chill? The answer is that I don’t have a choice. The overwhelming urge is too strong. The opposite too miserable. Sitting and wishing. Regretting the wasted hours. The feeling of restless dissatisfaction (helluva song title - dibs). I HAVE TO. Just a snippet. I’m tired. See you soon. 9/26 live show.

8.31.19 by Nick Arneson

Hello friends,

Quick NAM update. I’m finished with a single, and am starting work on the corresponding video. I setup a new green screen in the Barn and got a new lighting rig - all pretty boring stuff to the non-participant but it will mean a great deal to the quality of my videos. Can really only get better, haha.

Album is coming along fantastically. I’m going forward with my plan of one single at a time, with a corresponding video. It will be worth it, trust me. As my video chops get better, which they’ve already improved dramatically (go watch one of my first youtube videos vs the latest music video, it’s night and day), I’ll be able to put out more of it. This means more free happiness for you - the viewer / listener. I’m here for you.

My pledge - if I don’t have your attention in the first 10 seconds, it’s probably not for you and that’s okay. If after 10 seconds you’re feeling something - even a slight twinge of emotion - stick around and see what else happens. This is a community (or at least it will be), and YOU are welcome here. I make music for you, and me, and everyone.

Keep coming back, I’ll keep making cool shit.

Nick

Patreon Page by Nick Arneson

HI friends,

Thanks for reading. I've set up a Patreon page. It's difficult to do, but I've done so for two reasons. First, to be connected with those who are enjoying what I create. I want to connect more often and build a sense of community around what I'm making and putting out into the world. Being an extrovert in a fairly introverted line of work, I get lonely! I love hearing that what I'm putting out into the world makes people happy or makes people dance, or helps someone through a shitty day. I write about intensely personal stuff that likely resonates with a lot of you. I want to hear about how it impacted your life, and I want to tell you why I wrote it in the first place. Mostly, I want to inspire people to stay up later than they should to chase their secret creative dreams.

Second, making all of this stuff is expensive. My overhead is high. I have a career, but the income from it generally covers off the student loans, bills and mortgage that so many of us face. There is little buffer to support my creative endeavors. However, something deep inside is telling me to keep pushing and creating - and in order to do this I need a little grease for the proverbial wheel. It's damn hard to send out this email, as it's damn hard enough for people to care when it's free. My pledge is that with support will come access that others don't have. Behind the scene Barn videos, exclusive tracks and direct conversations where you can hit me up for any sort of advice - music, life or whatever.

My ultimate dream is to build this into a self sustaining content engine. I have a vision for what it looks like and I want to build a community around the music and videos I'm putting out. I want to discover other videographers and musicians who can help me hone my creative vision and I want to support others who, like me, can't ignore the fire burning within.

Over the past couple years, I've become a fairly spiritual person. It's a strange turn of events for someone who has always been a staunch (even argumentative) atheist. I'm not about to preach or try and convert (it's not that sort of spirituality), but it's given me inspiration and drive to do what I'm supposed to do, and not what social pressure tells me to do. The more I allow myself to fall into this inspiration, the wider the flow of creative channeling I find myself privy to. It's wild, no other word for it. It's as if I'm suddenly a receiver for an unlimited amount of creative whims, and it's merely about finding the hours in the day to harness, capture and bring to life.

I want to share this with all of you because it's only possible for me to do this if my creative output touches others as it touches me (no actual touching). I want to share my process and not just the final result. I want to post writings, drawing, poems and rough songs to a small (or huge) cadre of fans and friends who are engaged. In theory, this platform (Patreon) seems a two way street.

My overarching mission and vision is to not only satiate the internal drive to follow my path, but also (and most importantly) to inspire others to do the same. I'm 40. I have 2 kids. I have a good career. By all social metrics I should be fine and content. I'm not content, never have been, and am guessing there are many others who feel the same creative impotence. Too many of my friends have hung up their guitars, or given up their creative endeavors because they are too tired or don't have time. It's tragic to me. I want to inspire others to stop ignoring these late night cravings, to give into the crazy every now and again (or 6 nights a week), and to put work out into the public space regardless of fear of rejection. It will get rejected a couple times, and people won't care... until they do.

Here's hoping that you do, because I do. It drives me with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns. Sounds dramatic, but it's real. If I stay up until 1 am on a work night and create something good, the next day on 4 hours sleep is blissful and productive. If I go to bed at 10 pm and don't create anything, I'm a cranky zombie until the next night.

Thanks for reading this, thanks for caring, and hopefully - thank you for contributing. I'm looking forward to developing this with you, as it's really not possible without your support.

Keep coming back and I'll keep making cool shit.

Nick Arneson

Training Montage - discussion by Nick Arneson

Haha, discussion. Just me talking. I’m having an incredibly good time in the Barn making Training Montage. I’m not certain if I need to put Training Montage in ““ or not. Someone tell me in the comments. Thank you mom (ahead of time).

I’ve been out in the Barn 6 nights a week, sometimes 7 but i’m trying to take a night off sometimes (it’s difficult). The pace of learning is good right now, and i’m dissecting things I normally hadn’t. Playing rhythms i wouldn’t have previously thought of. Playing guitar parts and bass lines that a year ago would have been impossible. Progress is fun as fuck. What’s your dream? What are you into? If we really have a purpose, which i’m certain we do, i hope you’ve found yours and are chasing it with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns. Or something close.

Love you all.

Nick!

Some Advice by Nick Arneson

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Some Advice

by Nick Arneson


I wanna deal

With this before you get past

The hard ways of 

Feeling, as they tend to last 


And there’s a lot of ways 

That aren’t the best 

Keep you down for days 

Highs an hour, best 


Or the kind that open doors

Not easily shut

Your sanity is yours 

Gotta go chin up 


I’ve seen too many nights 

Of unrivaled bliss

Turn to endless blight

Chasing is the abyss 


Because I laughed with her

And it was all I ever needed

Been looking everywhere 

I just hadn’t succeeded


Sometimes just headphones 

A silent break with only 

Supernatural in tones 

So dark and stormy 


Life seems so much 

Harder than it might be 

I’m not convinced of which

Side I wanna see 


Signs are loud and clear

I’m headed somewhere big

Just need to replace the fear

When I find my ministry 


Any opening line will do 

Any lick of the flames 

Take noise over never do

Can’t remember your names 


don’t do too much

But Get loose when you need

It’s handy in a pinch

When life’s too much to see


Had to throw in the towel

Never learned how to play 

Here’s hoping it won’t sour

Before you find your way 



The Stars by Nick Arneson

The stars

Not in a cheesy way

Like they changed my life

Got so stoned

Looked into space and saw God

For the first time in all her form

Not like that

The trees were just shadows

Really

Nothing more than to add mystery

Mars spitting red fire

Like she didn’t already know

The distance never feeling

More real

And the discussions that come

Never stay tied down

A realities call from

Deep down somewhere

So I linger while the

Coals are painting walls

And giving visions to anyone

Brave enough to stare

As I reflect a night like this

And all the wonder for

Which it’s to blame.

Maybe it’s all gonna be fine.

Some dreams by Nick Arneson

Sometimes if you dream

long enough

it just turns into

another walk in a park 

where some guy

just shits right in front of you

and you run away yelling


I found an anchor

in my closet and

threw it through 

a window

heard someone yell

the chain wasn’t 

connected to anything


when I was young

I yelled and spit

in one spot for an hour

so much of both

couldn’t walk or hear

so around me

I was lonely


There are times when

the time of us feels 

like the time of me

plus the time of you

but not really an oil painting

the way the movies 


I look deeper in 

than i used to and it’s fine

but when i look up

my eyes hurt with the shock

and someone is always

poking me in the ribs

and asking me why


I’m sitting here at a table

it’s a smiling kinda time

sun just set and it’s lukewarm

i’ve got books and

patience while this unfolds

because it does

unfold

Yesterday does exist by Nick Arneson

Yesterday does exist 

In the calluses on my fingers 

The complexes in my mind

The fidgets and the twitches

The love left behind


Yesterday does exist

Because now is complicated

The broken jaw still pops

My face has deep set lines

Over indulgent chops


Also exists tomorrow

These bills won’t pay themselves 

My time will surely come 

Or my time eventually comes

That feeling in my gut


Also exists tomorrow

Putting garbage on the curb

Running lifting fighting age

Nervous looking for a clue

Never knowing what to do


So here then is a fluke

Never felt the real now

Only worries and rebuke

Losing sight not knowing how


The longest day of the year

Is also the shortest night

Less time to move and cheer

Less hours to get it right


The sun stays up too long 

Confused by all the beaming 

Just need the moon to make a song 

Leave entranced and gleaming


Currently by Nick Arneson

I’m working on my new album. It’s coming along. Loads of honest material pouring out. The more I open up, the better the material is. I’m focusing on beauty, space, and movement - this album will be irresistibly dancy. You won’t be able to sit still when you listen to it. That’s my litmus test for the songs. The beat has to just get up inside you, and act almost like a dance puppet - shaking your limbs like you have no control. Title of the album is confirmed to be “Training Montage” - came to me in a vision. Can’t ignore those. They are as real as the sky. Sometimes they wake me up, sometimes they come to me when I’m walking down the street minding my own business, mostly they come to me while I’m lying in bed trying to sleep. If I make the mistake of trying to retreat too early, they come in torrents - vision after idea after vision until I’m forced out of bed. It’s actually pretty inspiring.

Keep coming back and I’ll keep making cool shit!

Love you guys.

Nick

Hero by Nick Arneson

This one will be a song soon, but it’s weird and I like it…

Hero
by Nick Arneson

Everyone assumes they’re the hero 

But I’m sorry, no, that’s me

Though the invite clearly says zero

It might be infinity 


Caved and saw the psychic last night

Went home and dreamt of wasps

Glowing vision back panel of fright

So how long can I ignore the costs 


You give me that animal feeling

You wear the night sky so well

The hippies they weren’t stealing 

They were only trying to tell

They were right all along

Guitars are boring I wanna dance

Get the move in you 

Music can show you the chance 

You know it’s true 


Arms and hands are glowing warm

I can see you in my mind 

You’ve been there through this storm

Just too hard to find 


If you’re an angel I know we’re in love 

I can sense the wonder 

Mutual from me and from above 

Maybe not a blunder 


Know what this means, there’s a reason

Always thought it hollow

Like learning a warmer season 

When February’s all I follow 


So I need to channel the lightning 

To see this one all the way through 

Looking to calm my fighting 

Focus in on the brew


Like leaves that never fell 

Or a riff that dies in your head

I just could never tell 

These limbs like molten lead


So when you see me next don’t mind the glow

I won’t ignore the pull 

Goosebumps not cold exhaustion to know 

Eyes are open, standing tall


Poetry by Nick Arneson

Fuck it, I write poetry. I’ve been writing poems since high school (I’m 40) and stashing them away - too embarrassed to admit to even myself that I was a (gasp) poet. Only by turning them into lyrics / songs have I been comfortable putting them out into the public space. But now that I’ve grown accustomed to the rush of putting my work out, it dawned on me that I have a lot of back catalog that while not appropriate for song material - works great as a standalone poem. Please note, my work tends to be dark. You likely won’t be skipping around whistling a happy tune after reading - and if you are please see someone.

Anyways, let me know what you think. My hope is that you relate, that some of the emotions and feelings that I’ve dredged up over the years will also resonate with you.

Keep coming back, I’ll keep making cool shit.

Shorty #1: Red by Nick Arneson

His red hair was getting weird, as his beard always grew in brown. His friends always accused him of dying it, but he never had. Up top was thick red hair, matted and curly, like the girl in that Disney movie, and his beard was dark brown with flecks of grey - a younger Chris Stapleton. He’d trimmed neither in 6 months, so his cave man aesthetic grew by the day. He was the type who could pull off rugged. 

Luckily he had been practicing martial arts since he was 3 and no one would make fun of his hair to his face. One large gentleman had made that mistake, and had actually reached out to touch his red curls - in a humorous attempt to impress his date. It didn’t go well and the guy ended up in traction with three broken fingers and an ego bruise that would likely never heal. Ironically, the girl ended up going home with Red.

Red was what they had always called him. He had become something of a local legend and hero. No one knew that Red secretly hated himself, as so often great men do. He had never been able to overcome his self doubt - when he looked in the mirror he saw a ridiculous image staring back at him and he couldn’t get past it. He had always taken the popular kid stance towards himself - if he doesn’t look good he can’t be worth anything. Unfortunately no one else took that stance with him, and so he was always surrounded by adoring fans - though he never came to appreciate it. He thought their silence was scorn, when really it was staggering appreciation. 

      He was from and has always lived in a small town. It wasn’t the kind of small town that you’re likely thinking of, an exurb of a metropolitan area somewhat connected to a big city with culture and vibe. This town was small and isolated - less than 2,000 people and in the middle of a wide open prairie. The interstate was the only thing that connected it to the world, and the interstate was the artery of commerce and culture that the town relied on. The internet had opened up the town a bit in the late 00’s, and strange pockets of trend had emerged in certain disparate circles around town. Kids at the park had started dying their hair blond like early Kanye, while also wearing ICP shirts and smoking large Bob Marley style spliffs. Chain wallets were paired with neon Hot Topic graphic tees, seemingly combining three decades of style faux pas into one look. Mullets had evolved to include shaved lines above the ears, and one kid had even pierced his right ear in an attempt to stay ahead. It was strange and unsettling. 

Red didn’t follow trends. He wore jeans, not tailored but appearing so. His t shirts were either white or black, and he had the kind of physique that was toned without looking intentional. When he picked something up, a woman almost always turned in his direction. 

Red didn’t want. He never had. He had always been fine just doing. He woke up and did. He found himself always in the moment - where ever he went, there he was. Nothing more or less. He was a hero in that sense, as this presence of mind also contributed to his deep level of empathy. He would pull his pickup over to the side of the road to help out any car broken down. He often gave whatever money he had to the homeless guy downtown, without a thought or care of what that money was originally intended for. 

His small home was sparse and neglected. He was seldom there, and when he was he was asleep, or playing his Rhodes electric piano that he had in his living room. He had been playing piano since he was three, and while he never performed, he was exceptional. The Rhodes had been his fathers, and Red had kept it in meticulous condition. His father had died when Red was 3, electrocuted on stage during a festival performance - a freak lighting strike had killed him and the bass player. It was a very Spinal Tap esque freak occurrence. Devastating, but cliche none the less. Red’s mother was present but afraid, and mostly spent her days hiding inside the family estate. Red’s old man had accumulated some cash over the years as a session player, and his mom lived off the royalties - though she had become a shut in and closet drunk. Wine spritzers had turned into vodka spritzers, which had turned into just vodka. She passed when he was 17, cirrhosis of the liver. 

Red worked, and he didn’t. He had always found a way to make ends meet, whether through manual labor or intellectual consultation. Lawyers came to him to help research material, and women came to him for manual labor. They would often sit on their front porch and watch him work, a sort of reverse dirt bagging that made him feel like he was giving back to the world. If it was hot, he would work shirtless, and the women would fein inattention while they drank lemonade on the porch. It was the basic intro to every adult film ever made, though it never materialized into anything worth the grotesque porn sites of the day. 

Red never came to realize his own worth, as he was killed in a freak accident during a routine day job. His handiness had been requested at a local farm, they needed some strong arms to remove some old trees to make way for a new structure. As he was looking off into space, being present but sullen, one of the trees had fallen the opposite direction as planned and had crushed him. He died immediately. Saw and felt nothing, only heard a shrill whooshing sound and suddenly he was drifting upwards and looking down. His soul slowly floated up and he saw the throngs of people crowding around his body, and felt the ripples of emotional energy spreading out from the scene. He finally realized that he was loved, and his soul lifted slowly into the ether glowing a little brighter with the knowledge that he really had made an impact. He’d been through enough lifetimes to finally know that he was done - his soul could now chill, the physical realm no longer his concern…. not that it ever really had been.

Blog update! by Nick Arneson

Hi Friends,

I’m going to start posting other forms of long form on here - short stories, poems, drawings, whatever comes to me. They’ll likely be pretty random, and often weird. It’s something I feel compelled to do.

Nick

First post in a while by Nick Arneson

I’m sorry I haven’t written in a while. I’ve been busy, both work and music and life in general. Been going through a bit of a spiritual awakening as well. Kinda weird for me. Been mostly an atheist all these years, and to suddenly believe there is something there is really fucking with me. The creative is firing on all cylinders though, I’m on the cusp of some crazy breakthrough. Start to recognize the patterns after a while. Deep, deep desire to play any kind of music. Long stretches of sitting alone in an Amsterdam hotel room singing along to your favorite songs (city not required). Voice memos piling up with riffs and parts and sometimes songs that came from know where. Must be time to start a record. Hot damn. I’ll be better about posting. Keep coming back and I’ll keep making cool shit. Love you. 

 

Nick