BadTruth Season One Episode Eight

Travel Woes (Part Un)
Adam and Michael tackle the different ways in which bands travel and the life draining it causes. As always they rambled on and now this Episode is a two-fer. Enjoy!

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Brought to you by Yellow Dog Studios (deep in the heart of Wimberley, Texas), www.ToAvoidFainting.com, and Saints Analogue.

http://badtruthpodcast.libsyn.com/travel-woes-part-un

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/badtruth-podcast/id1198868722?mt=2

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Grammys, 2017

Tonight I turned from HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” to see Adele win her “Album of the Year” Grammy and the plethora of folks that were involved in making that happen packed on stage with her. I congratulate her, all of them, but more importantly, I congratulate all my friends and peers that have been nominated and won tonight. You all have earned the accolades, and I hope you win many more.

Most of my friends who are nominated and win are a part of the Grammy’s that are awarded earlier in the day. I call them the “Recording Arts and Sciences” part of the Grammys; before it was called “The Recording Academy,” the Grammy Awards were hosted by the “National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.” An organization that origins come from deciding what people in the music business should be on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a group of people representing all the major record labels in the 50’s came together to honor more recording and industry professionals. Over the years, as the event has become more televised, the elements that have built the Grammys have been pushed to “during a ceremony earlier this evening” and the “hit” Grammy Awards are the only thing on television, with performances ranging from “amazing, full-on tears” to answering 30 text messages all asking the same “for the ‘biggest night in music,’ why does it sound so terrible?” But I digress.

As the world has changed dramatically over last few months, I find myself wondering, “is this spectacle all worth it?” An awards show that doesn’t even announce most of its’ winners on its’ own show surrounded by consistent flaws in what it should be excelling at, audio. Now, one thing that I speak with pride about being a member of The Recording Academy is it’s own “Grammys in the Schools.” Music education is something I strongly believe in, and I’m so happy with what the Academy does to make sure students have what they need to learn.

Education in general seems to be up in the air right now. Our new Education Secretary is questionable at best, and one of my biggest fears is losing arts in the schools. Currently I’m seeing Oscar parties being cancelled and that money going to organizations like the ACLU, and as a member of The Recording Academy, I wonder if there’s a better use of our money. I still believe my peers should be honored, and it should be an event, but maybe we can be a little more economical in how we do this.

Maybe it’s as simple as having one big event, record and film it all, spend a week or two editing and mixing the performances, and airing it on a station like HBO. Hire the people that are winning these awards to work on their own artists’ personal performance. Get a network to air it that’s not worried about commercial air-time. Maybe calm the performances down a bit, getting back to the musicians doing what the musicians do instead of fireballs and flying. Allow the winners to make the speeches they want to make, thank the people they want to thank.

I don’t know what the answer is. I just hope a dialog will be started about it. Because honestly, I’m scared. I’m scared of what’s going to happen to the arts. But I do know that if we don’t stick-up for the musical side of education, no one else will. And if we lose music education, we will lose music as a form of expression. And trust me, at times like these, it’s the artists we look towards to empathize, because we NEED to know that we are genuinely not alone. We need anthems to rally to. We need to all be able to sing them at the top of our lungs. And together, maybe, just maybe, our voices will be heard.

And things will change.

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To Avoid Fainting Top 6 Horror Soundtracks

I added my top 6 favorite horror soundtracks to the “To Avoid Fainting” horror movie blog, check it out!!!

 

http://toavoidfainting.blogspot.com/2016/10/10-nights-of-halloween-watchlists-from.html?spref=tw

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an open letter from a songwriter

Dear ASCAP, BMI, and any other organization this may concern,

This Saturday evening, as I fired up the grill with some family members for the holiday weekend, I found myself answering questions about “this songwriting mumbo-jumbo and the Department of Justice.”  Already knowing that outside of us in the small community I love and live for called “music,” most people do not understand how the business side of this art form works, and even fewer understand the business side of songwriting.  As I started to search for the best analogies to describe what was going on, a thought struck my mind.

Who is looking out for us?

The Department of Justice has not only decided to keep with laws dated back to WWII-era America, but also adding to it restrictions that would affect the way money is handled to people that co-write songs.  Affect it in an extremely large way.  Past music.  Future music.  The songs on your phone, on your favorite tv show, in your favorite movies, playing at your favorite coffee shop, what you dance to in your favorite bar.  All of it.

ASCAP and BMI, you are the main two companies we as songwriters in America hire and use to take care of our songs.  Already you two are on top of it, trying to find a response to the Department of Justice, to find a way to not enforce these new law changes, but to also make them better.  And whole-heartedly, I, as I’m sure many other songwriters, applaud you.  Again though I must ask, who is looking out for us, right now?

This law is currently, meaning “right now,” hurting us.  And as you two fight to change things, isn’t it also your responsibility to protect us?  Isn’t this the time you need to sit down and negotiate what you are going to do to make sure everyone gets their fair and just share until the proper laws are changed?  Isn’t this the time you decide between yourselves how to make sure we are all taken care of?  If someone is attacking my family, yes I eventually want the perpetrators brought to justice, but first and foremost I want to get them out of harm’s way.

Tonight I’m cleaning up the leftovers of steaks, sausages, chicken fajitas, pork chops, and corn on the cob.  It’s my last weekend off for a while;  this time next week I’ll be in a van going across the southern part of Texas with three other guys I write songs with playing Saints Analogue rock-n-roll.  Some of us are BMI.  Some of us are ASCAP.  Some are SESAC.  We trust you have our backs, because what we’re concerned with is what we’re creating and sharing with everyone around us.

So, ASCAP and BMI, if you believe in us as songwriters, then you believe in the power of collaboration.  That’s cooperation between multiple entities for a common goal.  We do it to make the best possible songs we can.  Can’t you do it, too?

Aren’t you looking out for us?

Sincerely,

Adam J. Odor

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Open Doors

I spent most of my childhood at my grandparent’s house in eastern Pennsylvania. It was my adventure-world; my friends all lived extremely close, we had a big yard to play baseball/football/soccer in and acres upon acres of State Game Lands to explore. Our imaginations ran wild, playing GI Joe, Indiana Jones, and Star Wars, all in the same day. Their house was three stories tall with a basement; Pop built it when he returned from the Pacific and my dad and uncle grew up there like years later I would. Inside, the basement held epic Transformer v GI Joe battles, the living and dining rooms would be Construx and Lego building zones, and upstairs would be for reading and daydreaming. The third story though, that was some place different….

The attic had a door in my Grandparent’s bedroom, it was taller than any other door I had seen before and there was usually stuff in front of it. All of that to me meant: MONSTERS. There was some sort of unknown creature living up there, probably plotting an elaborate scheme to take me in my sleep, maybe roast me over a fire and eat me or maybe make me work some crazy Monster Mining Camp (I had a pretty detailed imagination). I was so scared to even walk by the door, I’d hear the creature howling on some days (especially when it was really windy outside) and it seemed like it was always 10 degrees colder standing by it. The attic and it’s demon, don’t walk, RUN past it as fast as you can.

One summer day, Pop had the worst proposition of all time: Help me grab a few things from inside the Gates of Hell (attic) and we’ll go get ice cream after. WHAT?!? WHY TOY WITH ME AND MY LOVE OF ICE CREAM THIS WAY?!? After brief hesitation, my want of chocolate and peanut butter overcame my fear of the giant door and I went up with him. And my world turned upside down.

There were paintings and clothes and books and photographs and treasure chests!!! Why had no one told me about this?!? It was brand new adventures with things from the past!! Stories I never knew, some Pop told me, some just came to me as I started playing with things. Whenever I would get bored, I now had a new place to explore! Thank you Pop, this is the gift that keeps on giving!!

Lets jump ahead 30 years. I’ve been working hard at making albums with my friends, getting to travel to places I thought I’d never see, spreading my love of music with everyone I could. It’s been the most amazing adventure I could ever imagine, but off in the corner has always been this giant door. Creepy noises come from it and I run past it any time I’m close. My own personal Large-Attic-Monster-Door.

Two months ago, out of the ashes of another musical endeavor, Dave Percefull and I came to the realization that maybe it was time to do something that was deep inside of us. Coincidently, my old roommate/singer-songwriter Phil Marshall was moving back to the area, and Dave and Phil used to play together with one of our main session drummers, Josh Center. It seemed like it was time to open up that attic door and face the monster.

Saints Analogue. That’s what I found up there. Three of my closest musical compadres and I writing and recording the songs that come to us. We wanted to make recordings that were what we could pull off live, be the band that you’re hearing on the records. We’re excited, we’re pissed off, we want to play. Two months. In two months we sat down, wrote 6 songs, recorded, mixed and mastered them, released it online (Ace), started putting vinyl together, wrote 6 more, finished recording them this past weekend, started rehearsing and booking shows, about to go into mixing and mastering of these six (Two) for a December release, starting full shows in January, and hitting the studio again in February (we’ve already started writing “Three”). We’ve got a lot to say. And we’re not doing this alone, Jon at Austin Signal is our outlet for vinyl (and cassettes), Raquel at Merch Gal designed our Spade and is doing all our merch, and Coby at 4190 Design is starting to join us in artwork.

We’ve opened that attic door. Come on inside. It’s loud in here.

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Which way from here?

Loneliness is the ally of conformity.  The fear of an empty bed is greater than the fear of an empty soul.  At some point we were taught that it is better to hold on to a hand than to a principle.  Why do we give up on our own drive across the world just to be bussed around our hometown?

I was always the nice guy.  I got along with everyone.  Early on I was mocked at school for being “over-weight-ed” and at home for being “a reader,” so becoming personable seemed to be the only way to get kids (and parents) off my back.  I was the class clown to get the right attention from my peers and the straight-a student for the faculty.  When I finally would get home, I would go straight to my room and put on headphones.  My father’s bass guitar and step-mom’s keyboard were my solace; my cassette collection was my armor.  I was safe until the next time life’s threshold had to be crossed.

7th grade was my first major crossroad.  I was asked to step out from the rest of the class and be in the Senior Musical.  Dare I be different than the rest?  Attend a new set of classes, be the Junior High kid hanging with High Schoolers?  Disregard the devil I know?  If I’m already alone in a crowd, why not be lonely doing what I love?

From U. B. Eddy to Jersey to Texas I kept that mentality.  Loneliness crept in from time to time, but I stuck with what was the only thing that made sense: creating art.  I was mocked by friends, slammed by coaches, laughed at by adults; but you can’t build a fire without kindling.  Then…..

BAM!!!  When you least expect it, you find a home.  Like-minded people.  Music College became my family.  We had different backgrounds but the same story.  Lonely over conformity.  We created, we graduated, we moved, we created.  Love and anger, pride and fear, humor out of pain, pain out of growth.  We kept finding those like-minded people and we kept burning and churning out as much as we could stay awake.

And before we knew it, creativity became commerce.

And as always, commerce became conformity.

So here we are at the crossroads once more.  Do you have the guts to feed that desire again?  It’s the Devil You Need or the Devil You Know. I would rather get lost on a back road than know every pot-hole in my hometown.

Loneliness is the ally of conformity.  Conformity is the path to lifelessness.

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Fear (period)

some mornings start with fear.  i wake anxious.  heart pounds.  out of breath.  looking around.  did i miss the alarm?  where am i today?  what am i supposed to be doing?  there’s no difficulty in finding fear.  some of our worst decisions are based on it.  the difficulty lies in finding it’s root.  where is it growing from?

i know where mine is planted.  it’s not being late or making mistakes.  it’s my fear of not living.  and no, i do not mean death. i mean taking in every moment.  leaving this place better than i found it.  learning from as many people as i can.  trying to leave a mark.

some mornings there’s a voice.  it’s reminding me of my past.  the mistakes, the bad decisions, the pain.

the pain.

the pain.

for a brief moment i’m petrified.  i have to stop and take a deep breath.  then i grab my shovel and start digging.  pull up these roots.  i dig as deep as i can.  as fast as i can.  i’m not letting these roots drag me down.  i have too many songs in my head.  too many words to be written.  too many hugs i need to give.  too many smiles i need to see.  too many meals i need to eat.  too much love inside of me.

these roots will always grow back, and they will be tougher to pull next time.  but i will not let my life be defined by my fears, rather, define me by how i handle my fears.

reflection in your waking moments should arouse desire.

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