As a writer, Sting says you need to give him something every 8 bars, all while staying in a pretty typical song form.

And I can confirm, after 100’s of songs written, thousands of very slow hours logged @ various recording equipments/ DAWs, and A LOT of listening, all agreed.

Make life easy; start with a completely standard, run-of-the-mill song form, and go from there.

Many youthful Instagram influencers with a course or membership to sell will tell you that up-front hooks that are Tik Tok-able are the thing.

But theirs has always been the thing. Also known as intros. This is corporate America enlisting the masses to no longer sell songs but portions of songs. Nothing new to see here.

Exploiting a different part of the song or part of it instead of the whole. Again nothing new to see here. This is the way things have always been. Unleash songs out to the world at your peril. But the alternative is keeping them, which never does you too much good. Art in a vacuum is just—I’m not sure what.

These are the rules: Do your thing. Keep it interesting. Learn from the best. Be very careful who you listen too. All of everything is an influence. Stay away from garbage.


We here at AJR look to be getting close to relaunch. We take things slow, playing the (very) long game. We stand tall in polar opposition to the viral, super-temporary nature of current musical things.

We understand today’s climate. And since things are the way they are, and since we are here today, this is the world we live in.

No complaining. Just doing.

Hopefully through our re-do, the blog, and the MUSIC, we won’t moralize, ask you to respect anything, complain about the way things appear to be. Nothing like this.

We work, moving forward, and exploring new solutions to old problems (that seem new).

What’s the problem?

Some people have not heard the music. We know it’s not for everybody. No music is for everybody. But ours is for somebody. We know because we’ve found fans/ friends all over the world. We want more.

Then we can make more music. Happily it’s a never-ending cycle.


A lot of musicians are now out pushing non-music almost-services, many thru some sort of subscription. A lot more of them are making way less music. Maybe touring is the worst and like to work from home too.

YouTube and Instagram is ready-to-go with jr Svengali’s ready teach you how they got to where there are, this destination-place is never really identified or explained. I think they are mostly professional googlers.

Come on, who among us has not tried with some desperation to rationalize or legitimize time on screens?

I’ve signed up. I’ve taken classes with the masters. It all just got in the way of making music; of writing, and rewriting, and editing, and all the other horrible things I simultaneously love and hate to do.

Today I read an email from and artist who was selling future “content.” Seriously.

Join now for “content.”

Try harder!

Next he’ll be interviewing YouTubers. Let his low be a lesson. Don’t watch. Get back to creating your own content (Good grief.).

Neil Gaiman said it best when it comes to writing (sub your thing here). When it’s time to write he gives himself 2 options: write or do nothing. Like “not anything.”

So, quit shopping and make something.

And don’t be boring.


Introducing Six 5-Point Stars:

  • Conceived on an a.m. walk yesterday, the new e.p. should be about a 5-minute walk itself.
  • 6 tracks planned. The name is a play on a pretty luke-warm record rating (Hello Pitchfork.).
  • ‘Should’ because this all happening real-time. The idea is to break down time and the all impediments between [writing + arranging/ recording + mixing/ mastering] and [getting the thing released]. So I am now both starting and finishing. Hope to have a couple more songs by the long weekend’s end. 
    I hope.
  • There will be one single out on streaming (demo here), and the rest will be for sale on Bandcamp. But, the whole dang thing will be free to you dear readers of this very mailing list.
  • There will also be a $10.00 BONUS version in which purchasers will not only get the digital files, but will also get some stickers, classic rock pins, and a couple olde, classic cd’s from the back catalog.
  • Ten $20.00 farm-fresh/ hand-crafted/ organic/ trade certified cassettes will be available. Made on demand and with paint-pens and sh*t.

Thank you, and please tell your friends to sign up for the email list.

(the pictured cassette is some old thing I got at Goodwill a long time ago. Found an amazing lot of self help tapes.)

Learning the MPC has really changed the way I look at Ableton and everything else in my recording and producing workflow.

Cross trains is good work. I know this, but sometimes reminding helps.

I used this nü MPC sensibility this am when I sat dow to make my #botd (make one thing every morning–at least 5 a week.) It’s sped up my Ableton work flow, really helped with phrasing, and helped me make decisions and commit in regards to song segments.

Also, Scaler 2.5 is very helpful melodically as well as speed-wise. Having some assitance once I have the chord structure is huge. I can only imagine the workflow improvements once I build up a bit of speed; tracks in hours not days.

Is it cheating? The best answer I’ve heard besides the very accurate “no” is: ‘Who are you cheating?’

Track is below. Have a great day.