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Working for the Weekday

Most of you music lovers out there are aware that new music is released on Tuesdays. Not that I was looking to start a revolution (or actually could), but I released my last album “Here’s Something” on a Sunday. This year, I’ve picked the last day of March to release my next body of work. I’m such a procrastinator that I absolutely need a deadline or I will let things linger. So, approximately every six months, I’m going to put something out there, and it might be a full album, or might be a three-song EP, or whatever. But at least those deadlines are there to keep me going.

The working title has been “Winter Release” and I realized recently that this is a good example of a non-risque double entendre. I had in mind that I would release it at the end of winter (this year, that’s March 19th). Maybe I still will and surprise you all. But it also means, to me, “a release from winter” and that would be appropriate for this winter in Minnesota. We’re all looking for release here from what’s been a particularly-cold winter season. The good news is that it’s given me a chance to hibernate and work on some new music, which will officially come to you in about two months!

Cheers!

John

P.S. While that’s underway, “Here’s Something” is available for streaming, rocking out, and free download here: https://johnlampson.bandcamp.com

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Winter Release

Hey all!

I’ve been working on new material and have a couple of songs down for another album I’m recording. There’s no official title. I, so far, have been calling it “Winter Release” and that’s because I have a goal of releasing it by the end of winter, which, according to Wikipedia, would put my deadline at March 19th.

In the meantime, though I’ve been dormant, I am working on booking some more shows and getting out there a little more. Just because other animals are hibernating doesn’t mean I need to. Thank you all for your support and love!

John

P.S. Don’t forget to grab a copy of “Here’s Something”, my recently-released album. It’s available for free download/stream on the music page of this very web site!

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Failure

Failure is, for some people, the ultimate “F-word”. It brings about another “F-word”: fear. Fear of failure.

I was thinking about this today because there are so many people out there who are more successful than I am. It could be at a variety of things that they’re “better”. One could think about that and fear being a failure and therefore not even try. I was like that once but that’s not me anymore. I may not be the best at anything, but I’m willing to address failure by trying. I’ll sometimes still be anxious about it, sure, but I’d rather fail because I tried than fail at failing because I didn’t try at all.

On that note, I had found ways to procrastinate officially releasing something for quite some time, wanting it to be perfect. So when I finally gave myself a deadline by the end of September to release something, I had to address that fear of failure head-on. What I found out was that there’s good and bad, awesomeness and mistakes on what I released, but I needed to put something out there so that I wouldn’t just sit in limbo waiting. And I’m so glad I stopped waiting because it helped me reaffirm something I already knew: that I can only fail by not trying.

I’m pleased to present to you my new album “Here’s Something”. Go to my web site (http://jlampson.com) and look for the word “music”. Stream, download, or just stare. Please share your thoughts through whatever means you wish and I look forward to seeing you soon!

John

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Introducing Unstaboline

I hope you’re having a great summer!

I’ve been only moderately productive on my album, but I feel like the real-life experiences I’ve had since you and I last talked have more than made up for it.

I wanted to take a minute to talk to you about another musical project you may have heard me talk about, that being this really cool band called Unstaboline. In this band, I play bass and sing backup, and we’ve got a cool lineup with Heather on vocals, Peter on guitar, and Gary on drums.

We’ve been a band for a while but still haven’t established our own web site and so I’m going to direct you to  our Facebook page at http://facebook.com/unstaboline.

You’re free on August 9th, right? It’s a Friday! You know that really cool place called Lee’s Liquor Lounge in Minneapolis? We’re playing there with a couple of other cool bands! You should totally come! The music starts at about 9 and will go all night and the details are below. Cool, huh? See you there!

I’ll send out more information about my album things as it develops, but with any luck, you’ve already checked your schedule for August and have penned in a sweet, musical Friday night at Lee’s and we can talk about it (and other things) then!

John

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Friday, August 9th – 21+
Unstaboline at Lee’s Liquor Lounge
Other bands include The Key Gulls as well as Eddy Burke and The Desire Store
$5 cover
Music starts at 9pm

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Trav’lin!

 

Just a little over 24 hours after I send this, Alethea and I will be hopping onto a plane and flying first class to Cancun. Actually, only our first-class time there will be from Minneapolis to Detroit, but that’s still counts!

While there, we plan to touch pyramids and go snorkeling and enjoy some time away. Upon our return, we’ll both have jobs and family and responsibilities to manage. One of the things I’ll be pushing myself hard to do is to finish the album I’ve been rapping about so far this year, with seemingly little to show.

That changes now, though, as I’m sending you a snippet (yes, it’s tiny, but – just like that first-class flight to Detroit – it still counts!) of the second track of my upcoming album. Titled “Able to See”, it’s a song that I wrote in 2009 while walking around Lake Harriet. Check it out:

JohnLampson_AbleToSee_WebClip

Welcome back! I’ll be playing this song and many more at the rescheduled Wild Tymes show in Saint Paul on April 10th. That should give me enough time to get over any sunburn and get reacclimated to “real life”. I’ll fill you all in on the album as it develops and share my thoughts via words and audio and video and whatever else there is.

Until next time, be safe and well and spread a little of your light to the rest of your existence!

John

 

P.S. Before I forget, I’ll be hosting another radio show on KFAI on June 23rd. Friends will be joining me. As this is late-breaking new, I’m not even typing full, comprehensible sentences. I call it “pre-trip eagerness” and it’s similar to when you’ve had too much caffeine.

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Wednesday, April 10th
Wild Tymes – Saint Paul, MN
8pm

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It’s Finally Here!

“Spring is finally here!”

That’s what we’ll be saying in a couple of weeks. For now, the folks of the greater Minneapolis/Saint Paul area are getting a steady downward stream of snow. Today, scraping our windshield, shoveling our sidewalks, and trying to keep our balance are all distracting us from the upcoming Vernal Equinox.

I can’t personally help you with any of that, although I can wish you luck. What I can tell you is that I’m nearing completion with my first official full-length release, a compendium of music written prior to 2012. The album, titled Something Old, will be released online and you’ll hear about it via this newsletter, social media, my web site, et al., when it’s complete.

Full thanks will accompany the electronic media booklet but I haven’t been able to do any of this alone. Most of all, I thank you for reading this and offering support to me and other local musicians. I’m human and full of strengths and faults like anyone, and I rely daily on those around me. Thank you for additional inspiration and motivation when I need it the most.

Tonight, I’m headed to the studio for a few hours to work some more on some old material. In the upcoming weeks, I’ll be playing an opening slot at Wild Tymes. Kudos to DEMO (http://demomn.blogspot.com) for putting on these events to support various artists.

John

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Analog Happenings

It seems like forever since I sent out a newsletter. I spent a good deal of January working on the nonperforming aspects of being a musician and I’m very pleased that I did that. I’ll tell you why in a paragraph or two.

I am pleased to be taking part in an event called The Art of Romance Soireé this Friday, February 8th. The event runs from 6 to 9pm and is located in downtown Saint Paul. The event is put on by a gallery called the Artist Mercantile.

Please check out their news and events page at http://www.artistmerc.com/news.php. I will be playing throughout the event and look forward to seeing you there!

As I recently alluded to on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/johnlampsonmusic), I have been spending a lot of time in the studio. That’s because I’ve been working on a new musical release! It appears to be somewhere between an EP and an album at this point. I am going on the “record” (ha, get it?) by saying a release date has been scheduled for early next month.

As it’s not yet finalized, in the can, and whatnot, I’m going to remain somewhat vague about its contents. Suffice to say, there are songs some of you have heard alongside songs none of you (with the exception of the lovely Alethea) have heard. There are also recordings I won’t put on there and that should probably never be played for others, because no one needs to hear that Mandy Moore cover or my prog-metal stream-of-consciousness new-age poetry set to electric guitar and flute. That was sooooo 07/29/2003….

See you soon!

John

P.S. I’m working on setting up another radio show for late April. Stay tuned!

Friday, February 8th 6PM – 9PM
Art of Romance Soireé
24 West 7th Place
Saint Paul, MN

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The End of the World

As I write this, it is Thursday, December 20th. Some believe that the world will end tomorrow. Apparently, though, Sven Gronemeyer, attributed the title of “German expert” by some web site I just looked at two minutes ago, believes it’s simply the start of a new Mayan calendar.

Thanks to this German man, we’ll most likely still be here on Saturday. That’s good, because I have things to do. The buzz of the holiday season is loud all around us and is a hard thing to escape when we want to. Once that buzz is gone, I intend to start my own calendar of sorts over. These are not New Year’s resolutions as such, but goals I have for myself musically in the year 2013. There are many but a few are:

– Continue to write new songs and release a quarterly EP
– Work with other local artists to put out a sampler CD that in some way benefits the community
– Regularly upload new videos, perhaps even a monthly webcast concert.
– Host another radio show on KFAI as well as record and submit material to get played on other local radio stations
– Play more awesome shows and meet more awesome people like you!

So you see, there’s NO WAY the world can end tomorrow; I simply have too much I’m looking forward to doing.

Join me tomorrow evening to ring in the new Mayan calendar. I’ll be playing from 8 to 10 at The 3rd Floor at 579 Selby Avenue in Saint Paul. It’s on the top floor of Dr. Chocolate’s Chocolate Chateau. I’m guessing they have some chocolate there.

Whatever your plans may be for the next two weeks, I wish you all the best and, I just have to say this……see ya next year!

John

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Friday, December 21st 2012
The 3rd Floor – 579 Selby Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55102
8 – 10pm

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November Newsletter

Hello there!

November is a month where many express their thanks and I am also very grateful. I am fortunate enough to have several performance opportunities this month to share with you. I have kept myself busy with starting a few new songs (but not finishing them…yet), rehearsing for upcoming shows, and experiencing the awesomeness that is life. As you’re busy with your own awesome life, I’ll keep this short.

First, though, I want to express my own gratitude and appreciation for your willingness to read this newsletter and for the ways in which you encourage me to keep doing what I do. I love being able to make music and we should all be able to do things we love.

So, simply, thank you,

John

Thursday, November 15
6 – 8PM
Groundswell Coffee – Saint Paul

Wednesday, November 21st
8:30PM
Club Underground – Minneapolis

Sunday, November 25th
11AM
Center for Performing Arts – Minneapolis

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The Secret to Writing Great Songs

Okay, so I admit this newsletter’s subject may be a bit misleading. I don’t have a secret to writing a great song. At least, it won’t be one universal one that applies to everyone. In fact, I’m still looking for it!

I do believe that it’s such an individual thing, this “secret”, that no one thing that “works” for me would serve you in quite the same way. I’ve learned for myself many things since my last newsletter a month ago. One is to never suppress a creative idea, no matter how ridiculous it may seem. When I do finally take the time to sit still, I find I’m quite inspired by nature. Wild animals, for example, seem to just watch and observe and react, without feeling the need to apply on overly-instinctual filter on everything. I’ll admit, there are times where a little intellectualizing would probably serve them well; however, my point is that when it comes to creativity, allowing those primal instincts to come to the forefront is awesomely beneficial.

A month ago, I was fortunate enough to host a radio show on KFAI around the subject of creativity. It was incredibly fun and I found myself learning and expanding my own process during the discussion. Although the program is no longer hosted on KFAI’s web site, I’ve been able to upload the one-hour show to my Dropbox account, and here it is:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/5845656/WaveProject_2012-09-16.mp3

I am incredibly grateful to everyone involved in making the show a reality and it was a very meaninfgul experience. Until I was able to process everything discussed in that radio show, I had kind of hit a dry spell in my songwriting. This happens regularly, and I wasn’t overly concerned, but as I start to come up with new ideas I’m falling in love with music and songwriting all over again. And that, really, is my secret. I remember the passion that I originally felt for playing guitar and writing my first songs very vividly these days. I remember it best when I stop thinking and just let go.

Maybe that’s a part of it, too. Finding a place, whether it’s physical or mental (or both), that encourages you to be open to everything that you’ve experienced in your day and to channel it towards productive, creative energy. Again, if I said I knew what would work best for you in expressing yourself, I’d just be fooling you, and that’s not something I like doing. I’ll share, though, the things that drive me, and the things that work for me. For now, I’ll simply tell you about my thoughts above and that I have a show this week, on Thursday, the 18th, at Groundswell in Saint Paul, from 6 to 8.

I’ll think even more about what creatively works for me over the next couple of weeks and send that. I welcome your ideas and feedback, too! If you have anything to share, feel free to respond via e-mail, the web site, Facebook, or telepathy. That last one hasn’t worked well in the past, though, so try a different method first.

As always, thanks for listening, reading, and for your encouragement!

Much love,

John

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Thursday, October 18th
Groundswell Coffee – Saint Paul
6 – 8pm