Don Hosek - Music Diary

Fifteen years ago today
Tuesday, 14 December 2004
Two bits of musical activity this evening. The first was an experiment. What would happen if I got together a bunch of Kevin Gilbert fans and had us try writing together. Alas, I don’t think that we had the right group of people to make this work. I’m not sure that the drummer was that into the writing part of things and the guitarist/singer seemed to be a bit geared towards a more careful writing technique than what was called for this evening. There were a few nice snatches that came out of it, but it wasn’t quite what I envisioned. Not sure what next, if anything.

Then to a bit of a jam session where I auditioned as a guitar player (for really only the third time in my life). I still suck too much to really be taken seriously on guitar. I played some flute, though, which did go over well, especially when on the first song the microphone slowly began sinking to the floor and I stayed with the mic as it slipped.

But now it’s late and I should sleep.

NP: “I Can’t Help Myself,” Stone Soul.

Seventeen years ago today
Saturday, 14 December 2002
Picked up mail from my box on Clark Street. The second half of my columbia house order arrived: Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach - Painted From Memory; Herbie Hancock - Future Shock; Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 5 (Berliner Philharmoniker); Talking Heads - More Songs About Buildings and Food; Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention - We’re Only In It for the Money.

Got a nice mp3 from Nalleli of Thalia. I like it. I may spend some time at the keys with this one.

Eighteen years ago today
Friday, 14 December 2001
Spent some time rehearsing jazz stuff with Matt. By and large it came out quite nicely. A few pieces need transposing, but not a big deal. Hopefully I got it all on the HD so I can use that to go through the material with Paul.

Random blast from the past
Thursday, 8 June 2006
Good audition with Alexandra. I’m apparently in the band. We have a gig July 8th.

The audition was at Elevated Audio which is in an interesting space: The room is a self-store space near the orange line which means that there are no other bands in the area. The interior is probably the nicest that I’ve ever seen any rehearsal space, although we did have some nasty feedback problems with the vocal mic and acoustic guitar.

The space next door was apparently being used as a residence by a kind of homeless-looking guy.

After us was a set of auditions for a girl band. Some of the girls who showed up were dressed in outlandish costumes. Apparently the auditions are run by a woman who has made a successful business out of putting together all-girl tribute bands and booking them all over the world. It makes this a tempting proposition:

Friday, 20 September 2019.
And yet another long-delayed update. Went to a singing and playing get together that happens monthly here in Oak Park. I decided to take a bass since from the pictures on the Facebook group it looked like they had plenty of guitars and I took my double bass since I didn’t want to deal with an amp.

I was a bit rusty at first and discovered that I don’t seem to have any rosin anywhere I could find it so my bow was relatively useless, but as the evening proceeded, my playing improved. I feel like once a month is probably a good level of commitment for me to do something musical at this point in my life.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012.
A long-delayed return to music diarizing. I’m currently in Tampa for the residency of my Creative Writing MFA. I brought along my banjo and found a piano so I’ve been able to get in some practice on banjo, piano and voice while I’m here. The big things I’ve been working on have been a piano and voice arrangement of “Nuages”and working out a bit more of “I Found Jesus” which now has its melody and chords a bit more defined (It’s a I-vi-IV-V in Bb).

Sunday, 14 August 2011.
Second rehearsal of the gypsy jazz group. My endurance was a great deal better, although I was a bit behind in printing up charts. I’ll have to spend some time on this before the next rehearsal. I’m feeling pretty good about my playing, although I want to be spending more time practicing.

Monday, 8 August 2011.
A new musical project. I auditioned for and was accepted by a nascent gypsy jazz group as their bass player. My finger is a bit sore from that much pizz playing after so long away from the instrument. I also found myself fatiguing well before the audition was over with my fast walking parts hard to keep up to tempo. Fortunately, a lot of manouche bass is a somewhat less demanding root-five kind of line.

Sunday, 16 January 2011.
Got a bunch of lyrics done on “You Took My Photograph” but I’m not done. Pulling out the rhyming dictionary has helped a bit. I’m actually finding it to be more of a book to creativity than I would have guessed. I do find myself wanting to rhyme “days” with “protease.”

Saturday, 15 January 2011.
Nailed down the music for “You Took My Photograph.” I had some really nice ideas that came to me while falling asleep last night, but I lost them. I did remember some Gospel-esque chord progressions which I did manage to approximate while working on the song. There’s a nice shift between G and Bb in the tonality of the song.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011.
Nobody played their songs at this week’s songwriting class. I guess it was a case of terminal shyness. Next week, I don’t care: I’m playing my damn song. This week’s song wasn’t so good, but I have some ideas for where to go with next week’s song and I think it’s going to be pretty good, close to a keeper (especially if, as I hope, I can get some feedback on the song).

Monday, 10 January 2011.
Finished the song for tomorrow’s class. I’m not really happy with the lyrics, but the melody’s not bad (even if I couldn’t remember how the short lines of the chorus were supposed to fit in). I did do a nice thing where there’s a shift from Bb to D on the choruses. One of those great harmonic things I picked up from Gospel music.

Friday, 7 January 2011.
Ended up doing no evening practice, but I did write the first verse and chorus of my song for my songwriting class during a slow moment at work. I rather like what I’m doing with rhymes in that song, and I’ve got a clear view of where the song is going.

Thursday, 6 January 2011.
I had hoped to be able to squeeze in a bit of flute practice on Thursdays between work and my short story class at UCLA, but it appears that this is a hope in vain. I left the office at 5.30p and at 6.18 the bus hasn’t gotten past the 405. I’m not sure I’ll even be able to get dinner. I did get a bunch more song titles recorded, including digging into some of my old files for songs planned but never written for Techne and Worst Case Scenario. I need to create a file which will be my songwriting queue, perhaps in Evernote. I can also keep some notes on the songs and their potential ultimate destinations.