Stoked to be shooting again. My brother and I made a better green screen for the barn today and we scripted out the first music video from RESTLESS. Going to shoot a new NAVH as well. Lots of new content coming your way, sit tight and all your hopes and dreams will be answered.
Got the master back tonight. What a feeling. Can’t describe it. So many hours, so many sleepless (almost) nights of tweaking (knobs, not meth) and playing and recording and neglecting sleep and smoking weed and repeating all of that. After i mixed the album and sent it to Amy Dragon over at Telegraph Mastering (shoutout), I forced myself to not listen to it for a week and a half. This, remember, is a huge feat after listening to it for hours a day for months on end. What a feeling, then, to get it back mastered (for those of you that don’t know, it’s the final step in the process - the mastering engineer basically takes it to 11. They breathe their magical mastering elixir into the songs, and take a collection of songs and turn it into an album) and listen to it in my big headphones. I cried a couple times, just gonna say it out loud. These songs mean things, they came out of some deep dark place that i don’t even really know about. So to hear them back as they were intended to be played and recorded is an extremely emotional moment.
That’s what I’m so proud about with this album. I can finally say that my recordings aren’t getting in the way of my performances. I’ve always been a better musician than producer, but that changed with this album. We’re neck and neck here folks. It’s an exciting turn of events.
I speak so blatantly about my own accomplishments, fully knowing that some will read this as boastful. It is and it isn’t, and here is my one time defense (I actually don’t give two shits if someone does think that, i’m merely announcing my character as a sort of declaration), bullet pointed out in functional and business like prose:
I worked my ass off on this piece of music. It’s artistic and poetic and is coated in layers and depth, because everything is intentional and how I wanted it. Does that mean it’s perfect? Of course not, after this week i may never listen to it again. Does that mean i’m great or that i’m the fucking greatest? Likely no, but who am i tell myself that i’m not? What kind of way to live is that? “Hey self, you’re definitely NOT the greatest, so like don’t even try.” Fuck that. I’ve got my mom and myself to tell me i’m the greatest, and she stopped doing that years ago.
Music is my life’s work. Cheesy? Sure, no not really, it’s actually profound and meaningful. We should all have ours. I play music still because i don’t want to look back when i’m 86 and say, “Fuck i wish i tried…..” Just saying, that’ll happen.
If you’re reading this, and it’s moving to you or making you feel something in any way, that makes me super fucking happy and i’m glad we connected. Can’t wait for you specifically to hear the album, because it’s pretty much like my blog with some rock and roll behind it hahahahahaha.
Love you all,
RESTLESS is the name of my next album. It’s the first of three EPs I plan on putting out this year. It’s currently being mastered and I can’t wait to share it. I pour myself fully into these things, since sending it off to master last week I’ve been going to bed early from sheer exhaustion. That all ends this week - going out into the desert with some friends to shoot a video and the release date will be announced very soon.
If you’re looking for a life altering book, get Letting Go by David R. Hawkins. “When the sources of happiness are found within, we are immune to the losses of the world.” This is just one of thousands of fantastic quotes.
New bio /
Nick Arneson is a Portland, OR based multi instrumentalist who plays a unique breed of punchy, thoughtful rock and roll. Originally a drummer in various Portland, OR indie and rock and roll bands, only in the last year has NAM started putting out his own original music. His first release, MidLifeCrisis, garnered praise from Indie sites such as IndieBandGuru, Ghetto Blaster Magazine and Pure Grain Audio for its honest and scathing commentary on getting older in a society dominated by the whims of 20 somethings. He plays and records everything himself in his music space, the Barn, in Portland.
NAM plans on putting out three consecutive EP's in 2019, starting with the driving and luscious EP "RESTLESS" coming out in Spring '19. The first of three will be a poignant statement of our current condition, through the micro lens of a sharp tongued middle aged stoner with a lot to say about everything.
NAM's philosophy is his driving force - that in order for life to have meaning, one must find their reason for being and embrace it full throttle. His music has the heart of something created with pure, unadulterated curiosity - and his hope is always that through this medium he is able to show others how life isn't as linear and stagnant as it can sometimes seem. Fire still melts ice, movement maintains inertia, and boredom will be the death of all of us. Find your lightning, grab on to it with all your strength and hold on.
Stay tuned and thanks for stopping by.
- Rick Danger
Is hard to do. I hate it.
It’s easy to get good at something when you love it because it’s so easy to throw everything you have into it. It’s so easy that you have to exercise restraint and do the other things in your life that matter. Learning is easier and absorbed further. It is constantly echoing around in your head, that thing. Hope you have yours, if you don’t fucking find it. Clock is ticking.
it’s a full moon tonight
and i’m restless and
from way back
like when you watch a car wreck
backed up for miles
what would do we do
when all is said and done
do we curl up and die
or fuck all and have some fun
don’t give us your which
i’ve always found a way to keep believin
i can’t feel anymore
tried to release it
move along and look at something else
to cry about now
that i quit the sauce
dark keeps me up
wide eyed and yelling
pulling scratching at the secrets
in fits for revelations
biblical in the noise
hammerin the nails
and building up tracks
this dishwasher is so goddamn full
there isn’t anything worse than this
just looking to lay seige
amps and strings
the hiss and steam of a party killed too soon
what would do we do
when all is said and done
do we curl up and die
or fuck all and have some fun
don’t give us your which
i’ve always found a way to keep believin
i know i’m supposed to teach you manners
but i’d rather teach you to throw a punch
world won’t give a shit
which side of the plate your fork is on
EP is finished tracking, now on to mixing. Stoked to share. Still no confirmed date but I’ll figure that out soon. As always, if you’re on my email list you get first listen. No pressure, just sayin.
I love the shit out of vocal harmonies. I could put them on every vocal line, but i don’t because i don’t want to overwhelm, you the listeners’ delicate ears. It can be too much sometimes, but mixing them really low, sometimes you can barely tell they’re even in there. I used every form of there in the previous sentence. FYI. Baller.
Either way. The first EP of the trilogy is called “RESTLESS” and it’s coming out soon. I can’t say a date for sure, because there’s no way it will work out. However, i have one vocal line left before entering into the final phase of mixing. Mixing takes me less time than the last record, however it is still a very time consuming and if we’re being honest, confusing process. I’m getting better at it, actually, and this album sounds light years beyond the last one. It’s more subtle and fast, and hits hard and there are less effects. There’s all sorts of little nuggets of awesome sprinkled throughout. It will be impossible for me to not find a band to play this at some point this year. Just a little three piece power outfit. I just need a drummer, and they are holy shit hard to find. I haven’t looked super hard, to be clear but it seems hard. Whatever.
Alright, i’m gonna wrap this one up. I still want a comment - i see you coming here and reading this. There are literally dozens of you. First comment gets a prize.
Everytime I come in from being outside I proclaim to anyone around some detail about the weather, as though it’s never happened before and I’m the first to witness. I noticed this last night, and quickly realized that I do this all the time.
My old man always does this as well, as do all dads everywhere.
At least to me. I was having a text conversation with a friend and this came up. This is my life’s work - I hope I take it a little more seriously than a standard cribbage game.
For the record I don’t really have hobbies. What’s the point. I like to dive into things, the term hobby implies a loose whimsical attitude towards some frivolous task. I don’t do any of those things or have any of that stuff ever.
Style is strong, trend is weak. Style is knowing exactly who you are and dressing to suit, trend is reading a fashion blog and dressing like some dude. I’ve been at both ends of the spectrum in the last week i think. It’s a constant struggle. Getting older is making it easier though, less urge to chase something or some way of wearing - two straps with your backpack and a jean peg or a slightly overside t shirt with some skinny black denim (guilty, but for this example).
This has nothing to do with anything, but that’s something you the reader are pretty used to at this point.
Damn - broken record here, but i’m fucking stoked to play tomorrow night. It’s been ages and I fucking love playing shows. I get nervous, which as someone told me once (I need to remember who as it’s a great quote): “the parts of life you remember are always after butterflies” or something to that effect. If you know who said this, leave a comment. Or just leave a comment. It’s weird to know so many read this but don’t interact. Must just be porn bots. That’s cool too, they need entertainment.
Alright, i’m out of useful shit to write. Hahahaha, useful. Yeah, you don’t get this time back folks, i’m sorry. If i could give you a refund i would.
Of late i’ve discovered that when i put the wrong layers together, say from a keyboard with lots of textures and noises, the sounds feel like bad colors look together. It’s bizarre and only recently am i able to articulate what i’ve been doing instinctively for the last couple years. Funny how that works. You know you’re getting better at something when you’re able to explain what it is you’re actually doing.
I think i officially have a blog, and i’m blogging right now. Previously this had just been a place for me to occasionally come shit out some words (sorry folks but i’m quite vulgar and this is my blog, so……) and go about my day. Now i’m actively thinking of things and being like “oh shit i should write that down” - of course what i mean is “i should blog about that” but i’m not ready to say that out loud yet. I have some weird things, as we all do.
I have been firing on all cylinders of late, for those of you in the creative process stream you are likely very familiar with the ebb and flow of creativity. I’m fairly lucky thus far that there has never been a “block” - i can always figure out some way to enjoy myself and come out on the other side with something that i don’t automatically hate. Though when the stream gets moving, holy shit, it’s a whole other story. I lay awake at night, and ideas are coming out of nowhere over and over. This is every night lately. It’s very hard to get a good night’s sleep. I think i’m going through a personal renaissance - my wife is experiencing a similar phenomenon in her world. I don’t bring her into this mess though, she’s a private woman.
Final thought - i can see that you are reading this (i don’t know who but i see the traffic, pretty decent actually). Let me know what you have to say in the comment section? It might shut me up, because sometimes i convince myself that i’m just talking to myself on here. Probably won’t shut me up, just warning you.
Tonight it dawned on me what a song was about, after it was finished - it was the weirdest fucking thing i’ve experienced in songwriting. Suddenly it was so obvious, and it had been pouring out of me for like three weeks. Not sure how better to articulate this one, though the more into the process of crafting a song into something the more the experience morphs into something much deeper than i expected. I’m going to stop there, because i don’t want to get all hippie sounding. That would fuck with my whole image, so i obviously need to be careful.
Songs also will suddenly bloom into existence - again sounds corny as fuck i know but there is no way to describe it better. I’ve been working on this same song (was just talking about it, try and keep up) and after getting the rhythm section just right and proper (strangely when you lay the bass guitar just a hair behind the kick drum ((just a fucking hair, like barely)) it makes the sweetest groove happen), the song took on a life of its own. I have a perfectly clear vision of what the song will become, and i just have to get there now.
I’m not as stoned as you think i am. Seriously, this is all real life. Happy Sunday night. Hope to see you at Dante’s on Friday - I’m in prime form.
I don’t really fuck around when I have a show coming up. I rehearse every day for two weeks. When I rehearse I stop and iron out rough spots until they’re not rough anymore. I do vocal exercises and play my guitar until my calluses can sand wood. Don’t like leaving anything to chance even though that’s likely all that everything is. Irony.
Part of staying humble, in my opinion, is putting yourself in situations where people express their honest opinions of your [whatever thing you’re making]. It stings - but it’s never not made me better (intentional double negative, it’s trending). You’re still all assholes, you know who you are. Haha, just kidding we’re cool.
I was proud of myself for the title. Not sure why.
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.
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.
If you find yourself in the deep throws of the evening, and that famished feeling comes over you, i’ve got you covered. I’ve just discovered the perfect combination of flavors for that discerning, yet extremely hungry late night traveler. All measurements loose to the point of being nonsensical.
1 cup Trader Joe’s Chocolate Chip Granola
1 spoon (big) almond butter
1 spoon (big) nutella or any substitute works (maybe any chocolate works, i encourage experimentation here)
(action required) stir stir stir. this is the hardest part, and some granola will get on the counter. push through. it’s worth it.
1 cup Almond Milk. this is important, i think, but don’t really know why. i had a good reason.
let sit for 2:37. this time is very important to get correct. set a timer.
put on big headphones. put a placemat down or some table cover so you don’t put a ring in the wood. we’re grown ups after all.
find your best stoner album. my experience and approach is that the more cliche stoner album or song, the better it actually is for “stonerosity”. Stairway to Heaven for example? Fucking Awesome super stoned. i bet it’s been years since you’ve thought to put on those big pair of studio monitor headphones, smoke a massive joint (or one or two hits, these days weed is crazy strong), and listen to Stairway loud as fuck. it’s a cliche of stoner rock and roll for a reason: it’s one of the best listening experiences you’re bound to witness in your time here. it’s fucking awesome.
so by now it’s been 2:37, get back to the counter and grab your bowl/spoon combo. bring it to the table, pick your stoner route (carefully please). consumer treat while listening to rock and roll before you go to bed. it’s awesome.
side note: it’s very bad for your to eat right before bed all the time, so i try and do this just on saturday evenings. everything in moderation they say, even moderation - ha try that one out? weird little circular thing that i tried to pull, but didn’t really hit. maybe next time.
let me know what you think about these treats. i just had exactly this thing and did exactly what we’ve been discussing, and i can tell you first hand it’s pretty sweet. pretty sweet indeed.
Welp see you later. keep coming back and i’ll keep making weird shit like this blog post.