Stuck in Lodi

Today I’m thinking it would be very nice to have a group of local artists to hang out with — preferably people with whom I have a modest amount in common. Maybe even a group of musicians. I mean, it’s great to find out what a local painter or potter or jewelry maker is up to, but it’s not quite the same thing as talking to another musician, especially one who is knowledgeable about computer music resources.

Unfortunately, I live in Livermore. This is not a good place to be an artist of any kind, but it appears that musicians are in especially short supply. Since I’m more involved in computer-based home recording than anything else, I googled “home recording music livermore” and “home recording music pleasanton.” Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. I did find one MySpace page with a couple of songs written and recorded by a guy who lives here in town. The tune I listened to was … well, let’s just say this is not an individual with whom I feel much artistic kinship.

There are a few good musicians in Livermore. Some of them are even pop musicians. My friend Jim Hurley does some nice stuff, and Tom Darter has a digital recorder set up next to his piano. (The above comments are not about Jim or Tom.) But basically, I’m stuck in Lodi here. There’s nothin’ shakin’.

What would be maybe the most fun would be to find half a dozen people who are actively composing and recording with Propellerhead Reason. Play tracks for one another, give one another encouragement and mixing tips, all that. Not that Reason is the be-all and end-all, because it isn’t, but it’s a very solid, self-contained program, which makes it easy to talk about. If two people are both using Reason, their experiences and resources will be similar, which is not guaranteed to be the case with Cubase or Logic. But I’d be rather surprised to meet anyone in Livermore who uses Reason regularly. Or has even heard of it.

We don’t have a local music store with a keyboard department. One course in electronic music is listed in the catalog of the local community college — not that I need an introductory course — but it’s not being offered in the Spring semester. It’s sad, really.

There does seem to be a local rehearsal studio for rock bands. It’s called Burnin’ Burro. Possibly an infelicitous choice for a name, as it’s bound to suggest hemorrhoidal discomfort. Even so, if I were interested in rock bands, maybe I’d be inspired to find out who’s hanging out at the Burnin’ Burro; but I’m a little old for that scene.

Ah, to have been in Paris in the ’20s!

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