Rock and Roll

The Pressure of a Good Guitar Riff by Nick Arneson

Writing a good guitar riff is stressful, because to fuck up the song around it is (I’m pretty sure) a cardinal sin. It’s no joking matter. If the riff shows up first, which it often does, tread carefully. If you build a shit song around a lightning riff, you will feel bad. I’m facing this pressure right now, i have a riff that the riff gods have handed to me and i can feel the pressure to make it good. I hope I’m up to the challenge. For all off our sake.

First of three albums is out of demo mode and into final recording sessions. 5 tracks, no filler. Each as good as i can make it. Can’t wait to share. Also can’t wait to make the corresponding videos. Hot damn.

Thanks for stopping by.

Open Mics in Portland part 2 by Nick Arneson

I’ve been playing an open mic each week in PDX for the last three weeks, and am going to keep going until I run out of open mics. I’m not putting a list of which ones i’m playing, so don’t ask. It’s not about that. It’s about being able to look out into a (often empty) room and perform with all the gusto of a packed house. It’s fucking hard and it’s great for keeping it sharp. It' also really scratches the performance itch, oh it’s so fun. God damn, a good night of performing can clear away all the internal refuse.

It can be pretty fuckin entertaining as well. Tonight there were three dudes sitting in front who were so stoned they just looked at me, with blank expressions, for my allotted three songs. I played my ass off and did everything I could to get them to flinch, but they didn’t seem to have the ability any longer.

There were some drunk patrons who got pretty into it, and that’s all I need. There is definitely a tangible energy when you win someone or a crowd over. The murmur changes, the applause changes, it’s a whole new vibe. Suddenly they’re on your side, and going on the whole trip with you. It’s a sweet spot, tough to find sometimes. Can’t say I found it entirely tonight at the Triple Nickel (a wonderful establishment, thank you friends), but it was fun as hell.

Thanks for stopping by. I am working on so much new material. So. much. awesomeness. is. coming. Sit tight. Love you all.


Happy New Year Friends! by Nick Arneson

Happy New Year! 2018 was a big year, and 2019 will be bigger. For those of you unfamiliar with me and my history, 2018 was my first year as a public facing solo musician. I say public facing, because I toiled on my own for a long time before feeling it was ready. I was always a drummer in bands, and decided to abandon being in the back to put myself out front. It’s a tough decision, but I wouldn’t have it any other way and I appreciate all the support from those of you who have responded to the music in anyway. I even like the shit talkers, because it just means that you felt something.

In ‘19, I've got lots of plans. I’m going to put out 3 EP’s, back to back. They will all have different stylistic vibes (that’s all I’ll say for now). I will also release more music videos in the vain of the Ride With You. It was too much fun to not make a whole bunch more of those. I will continue on with the NAVH, though tighten it up a bit, and I will (most importantly) start playing live on a regular basis. It’s going to be a busy year of creating, performing and generally living a life full of robust creative activity. Hope you’re doing the same. There is no excuse for not doing what you love. If I can do it, with two kids and a demanding career, so can you. Get out there.

Thank you again. Feel blessed to have such a fortunate existence that i’m able to do any of this. Hope we all take a moment to recognize the luxury our lives afford us.

Happy New Years friends. Thanks for stopping by and as always - keep coming back and I’ll keep making cool shit.


Late night Thursday by Nick Arneson

It's late-ish. Random Thursday. Been practicing a lot, fingers are raw.

Blogs are weird - the concept that I'm just writing about myself in the hopes that someone will come along and say "hey this is interesting, I'm going to read about that guy"..... it's a strange idea. Bit of an ego thing, seems like. Yet here I am, posting to someone? Haha, maybe it's easier because I'm assuming no one (yet?) reads this. Build the callous in case people ever show.

Anyways, more about me. Got a new guitar pedal today, sounds like angels crying diamonds. It's beautiful. Nothing like a good guitar tone to really give you a good rehearsal. I keep coming up with these stupid fucking metaphors - "like angels crying diamond" and I almost wrote "like riding a wild unicorn into a choir of angels" - not sure where these are coming from. I'll try to stop, need to keep my readership up. I'd be happier if you just went and listened to some of my music, if we're being honest. Have you listened to any of the songs? Maybe do that, instead of read my blog. Once you listened to at least one all the way through, then you can come back and read this horse shit. 

Just kidding, you can hang for as long as you want. Bask in all of my narcissistic blog writing glory. 

I don't really have much to write about tonight obviously. Haha, keep coming back I'll keep posting stupid shit. 

Working working working by Nick Arneson

Got a few songs in the works, a potential video project and of course the Live From the Barn series that I've set up. Songs are coming along nicely, feeling so strong progression in the crafting process as well as really digging the tones I'm getting out of recording in the barn. Big wooden structures have a way of sounding fucking kick ass (technical term). 

Patience my friends, will serve all of us well. Expect some shit to start dropping (as they say) pretty soon, though might be dark for a couple while I focus on the stuff that matters most. Finishing this post with "The MUSIC!" would have been cheesy so I won't do that (def thinking it though). 

Hit me up if you ever have questions about gear, songs, whatever..... I promise I'll respond. I can nerd out about this whole music thing for hours on end. 

Keep coming back, and I'll keep posting cool shit. 

- Nick

Thoughts on Rock and Roll.... by Nick Arneson

My good friend said, "of course you have a rants page." Damn right.

Is Rock and Roll dead? Of course not. Am currently reading the Bruce Springsteen autobiography, and I encourage it to all. We're going through a weird space in rock music, but I think there is void that always being filled. I feel very passionately that fervent, musical, driven, organic music will always have a place in our culture. Trends come and go. Auto tuned EDM bass dropping dance clubbers can have their fun, and they should. No judgement. I'll take some grimy rock and roll over any day of the week. Give me something to study and watch, let me figure out what riff the guitar player is noodling, or how the drummer is playing his beat. I still get more than a little excited when I wake up and my ears are ringing and the tips of the fingers on my left hand are tingling/numb from how much I played the night before. 

Further, if we want to think of one positive to Trump being elected, it's likely that we're about to enter a new phase of incredible music - very likely in some vain of rock and roll. Happened with Reagan, happened with Bush 1 and 2. Trump is worse than all three put together. Bring it on. 

I should have made a rants page a long time ago.