i am very pleased to announce that i have begun work on my new album, “Quit Your Whining”. i will be releasing it two songs at a time until it’s finished around next june. the first two are called ‘quit my job’ and ‘it’s a lovely life’. this is the time of year for giving, and so i am giving you the downloads:
It’s a Lovely Life – http://rockyleon.bandcamp.com/track/its-a-lovely-life
Quit my Job – http://rockyleon.bandcamp.com/track/quit-my-job
it’s up to you if you wanna give something back. just click Buy Now and enter however much you like. 0 (zero) is okay too.
i also made a video for quit my job and it would be awesome if you could contribute a video clip of yourself singing the song. i’m going to make another video with a bunch of people from around the world singing it together. so please share this with your friends!
i wrote it’s a lovely life over the course of my travels around north and south america between fall 2010 and summer 2011. it’s about the importance of maintaining a balance between work and play. many people that i’ve encountered
seem to resent the idea of work more and more these days. our society and economic system are set up in a way that make financial success seem like the ultimate goal and the only reason for working, but people are beginning to recognize that material wealth does not lead to happiness. as a result they are beginning to doubt the value of work in and of itself.
when people then no longer see a good reason to work, they get bored and turn to different things to escape this boredom. in many cases excessive partying and overuse of drugs and alcohol follow, and people end up getting depressed, because they question the purpose of their lives. i believe the point of working should not be to make money that we think we need – the point of working should be to contribute something meaningful to the world that is in line with our individual talents. everyone has something unique to give to the world.
i wrote quit my job in november, 2011. i first had the idea for the song when i was in brazil in march. i was couch-surfing in rio and met a photographer named leo. we talked about doing what you love and becoming successful because your heart is in it. i was traveling around the world financing my travels by playing music on the street, leo was working a “safe” job that he hated and he really just wanted to be a professional photographer. the chorus for the song:
i’m gonna quit my job and follow my heart
i can trust in god if i go do my part
not gonna wait to live till i’m a sick old fart
i’m gonna trust in god … heheh … I’M GONNA QUIT MY JOB!
began to float around in the back of my mind, but it wasn’t till i started working again myself in august 2011, that i had the necessary inspiration to make the idea into a whole song.
leo, by the way, quit his job that summer and is now following his heart. leoneves.net
the way i see it, too many people spend too much time doing something that drains them completely, just to get paid. most people take it for granted that getting paid is the whole point of working, but i believe that human potential is MUCH greater than simply satisfying our physical needs like warmth and food. we have reached a level of technical sophistication where we could feed twice as many people than we have on earth, and still people starve, while some people don’t work at all and have more than i can even imagine. many people’s goal in life is to make a lot of money, but money doesn’t make you happy. yes we need some money to live, but it’s a lot less than we are led to believe. it all depends where your priorities are. but if being happy is a priority and your job is making you unhappy, then you either need to find something that you enjoy or continue to suffer. many people think that money buys them security, but how much security and at what cost? i’m definitely gonna die, and the way the economy looks my money could disappear too. i’d rather sacrifice some material satisfation to do what i love and contribute positive energy to the world, than gain the world for the price of my soul. furthermore, i think almost everyone who is truly successful is successful because they love what they do.
so, have a happy winter solstice, merry christmas, happy hanukkah and a happy new year doing what you love.
one year ago…
one year ago i had just begun a great big adventure. i’d gotten my bachelors degree in music production that june, but rather than trying to find a job in some studio working for other people on other people’s music i decided to go see if i could get by, making my own music, and nothing but my own music. no compromises. the fastest way to make money playing your own music is by playing on the street, especially if no one knows who you are. one year ago, not many people knew who i am. so off i went.
i left my home in austria on september 21st 2010 to go traveling from vancouver, canada down, along the west coast of north america. on monday, october 4th i left my friend derek (aka impakt who you may know from our song the last stand) on vancouver island to catch a ferry from sydney to anacortes, washington. after a few hours on the bus from victoria to sydney, i arrived at the ferry station there to find that i hadn’t read the schedule properly and had missed the only ferry that left that day. for lack of anything better to do, i walked through the lightly drizzling rain to the closest supermarket to get some traveling food: nuts, granola and apples. i sat outside the supermarket on a bench for a minute and realized that this place united two things that tend to be separate in big north american cities. 1, there was a lot of foot traffic and 2, no cars racing by, since it was a parking lot. this is the ideal habitat for a street musician. i pulled out my ukulele and played for 2 or 3 hours before getting back on the bus to derek’s where i could spend another night and try to catch the ferry again the next day. i was very happy to find that i’d made enough money to eat for a week or more.
the next day i got to the ferry on time. i dropped my stuff on a bench and wandered around the deck checking out the scenery. in the back of the boat i saw a girl who also had a big backpack and so we started talking. her name was audrey. she was from france, and she had the same plan as me which was to hitchhike from the landing station all the way down to seattle. we call this synchronicity. as we were standing on the rear deck chatting i was played the uku like i so often am while she was juggling. suddenly she remembered the digital recorder that she had recently acquired and asked whether she could record me playing a song and film it too.
so there i was, i had just left the last bit on known territory behind, and was on a boat, crossing international boarders with a nice french girl and the cloudy drizzle that i had endured in front of the supermarket the day before had given way to sun and blue skies as far as the eye could see. naturally i deciding to play ‘quit your whining’, a song i’d written that summer while riding my skateboard along the river on my way to work (playing the ukulele in the city center of salzburg, austria) about how awesome life is when you realize how awesome life is.
i had finally managed to throw myself out of the nest, jumped in the deep end with no life guard on duty, put myself completely at the mercy of the world and it felt great. and to make sure that i wasn’t gonna be the only one who got to experience this someone was there to capture it on film.
the ferry also carried people’s cars across, so we began waling around — me still playing the ukulele — asking the other passengers whether anyone had room in the car to take the 2 of us the 77 miles (123 km) down to seattle with them. to my astonishment, i was the one who succeeded at this and not the pretty girl with the french accent. we parted ways again the next day and i continued my journey.
i stayed in seattle for a week, the same amount of time as i’d spent in vancouver and in victoria. seattle was a challenging city. i’d found a host on couchsurfing.org, who had sffered to put me up for my whole stay there, but there had been some sort of miscommunication and i never got ahold of him till after i left town again. i ended up staying with a guy — who hadn’t really wanted to host at all — for a few nights before i managed to contact another host who agreed to take me in on the super short notice.
when it came time to leave seattle fate smiled at me again. the seattle metropolis boarders directly on the town of tacoma, which is then followed by olympia. i read online that it is very difficult to hitchhike within a metropolitan area and the best thing to do is to take a cheap public bus as far as you can to the outskirts and hitch from there. i took a $2 but from seattle to tacoma and then went to the bus stop where i could catch a bus to olympia. it looked like the bus wasn’t gonna be coming for another while, so i got out my marker and made a sign saying olympia. i waited for about an hour in which i received about 8 dollars in bus fair donations, but sure enough 2 dudes stopped and said hop in. just as i got in i saw that my bus had finally arrived. i wondered for a minute whether the bus might be safer, but i’m glad i decided to risk it. lord only knows how far the bus stop in olympia would have been from the closest freeway onramp, and i had a lot of stuff to carry. these guys on the other hand dropped me off in olympia right at the onramp to highway 5 heading south and i kid you not, within less then 10 minutes a little girl in a big SUV with a license plate saying 2BAD or something stopped and not only drove me all the way down to portland, but brought me along to hang out with her friends for the evening.
mid october portland quickly became too cold for me, so i decided to skip the other cities i had planned in oregon and headed straight for california. i spent a couple weeks in northern california making some great friends along the way, bought a big old dodge ram van and rolled into san francisco in early november.
i looked up an old flame there and she invited me to stay with her for as long as i liked. since san francisco is my home town i had already been planning to hang out there for about 6 to 8 weeks before continuing my journey south. i sold my big van and bought myself a smaller car, since i really didn’t need such a gas hog, when there are such awesome couch surfing hosts everywhere. in mid december my lady and i left san francisco together to go check out santa cruz together before she flew back to the east coast to visit her family over the winter holidays.
my plan to continue south from there was foiled however when the radiator in my car exploded just as we were rolling into the monterey exit. i was towed to the nearest mechanic and it turned out that not only the radiator was broken, but there was all sorts of water in the engine and the cost of fixing it would’ve been more than the car had cost. i was effectively stranded in monterey with a bunch of stuff. much more than i’d had while i was still hitchhiking. since i had no money to buy another car and didn’t really see the point in trying to hitchhike around southern california when my goal was to try to make music i decided to return to san francisco where i have some friends and i know my way around.
i was playing in the mission district, one of san francisco’s party neighborhoods one night between christmas and new years. people were dancing in the street and having a great time when a woman approached me and said i should come play at her restaurant/bar across the street some time. from then on i played there regularly for the next few months. i also played at other clubs and bars around the city, slowly making a name for myself. i continued to make most of my money playing on the street which is more lucrative, but it’s nice to be able to play indoors too.
over the course of the next few months i was astounded to see my internet presence increase rapidly. people had discovered the video of quit your whining and had obviously begun sharing it with their friends all over the world. the vibe of the video seemed to resonate with russians in particular as i began getting comments, messages and emails everyday from people requesting that i come play in russia.
in march i went to brazil to visit my father in rio for 6 weeks. i did some more couch surfing there and had some great little adventures, met some amazing people and even shot some more little videos. The Bridge
See The Sky
in may i returned to austria, where i had originally planned to enjoy the beautiful lakes over the summer. instead however i decided to comply with the many requests i’d gotten from russia to come and play for them. i’d posted on facebook that i was thinking about coming if people helped me organize some shows and give me a place to crash. sure enough, people responded and on june 7th i flew to moscow where 800 people to one show just to see me. i was in moscow for a week and then in st. petersburg for a week.
while i was in russia i was contacted by a guy from slovakia offering to help organize a little tour through his country, so after flying back to austria on june 21st i hopped in a train on the first of july and went to slovakia for a week and played 3 shows there. here’s some pictures. now the ball was really rolling, so after 2 weeks in austria i boarded a train to the czech republic where i played 3 shows in the last week of july.
now, in austria all the young men have to do either military service or civil service for 6-9 months. usually we do it right after we finish high school, but because of bureaucratic complications mine was delayed until now. on august 1st 2011 i reported for duty at the austrian red cross in salzburg and i will be driving handicapped people through town until may of 2012. while this means that my ability to play shows is slightly impaired by a 50 hour work week, i will not let this slow me down. i am young and healthy and i won’t accept excuses from myself. i will use this time in salzburg to work on a new album and a new set for next summer when i plan to tour all throughout europe in a van. i’m also planning on going to russia again, but probably not in a van. russia’s really big.
so yeah, that’s what my life has looked like since i stood on a boat singing quit your whining, one year ago, today.
i’ll be touring and traveling through eastern europe with some friends in july. i’m playing some shows in slovakia at the beginning of july (schedule) in the czech republic around the end of the month and in between i’ll probably just be hanging out with my friends playing music where ever we happen to be.
so be sure to check the schedule for details.
PS: russia was awesome!
if you live in moscow or st petersburg i have some great news!
i will be playing in moscow on june 9th at club VOZDUH and june 12th at china town cafe.
i will be playing in st. petersburg on the 18th at the club MOD.
there might be more shows coming up, so if you’re russian, check out my awesome russian fanpage on vkontakte where people will be posting the details on those, or if you happen to be in russia and don’t speak russian you can check out rockyleon.com/shows
and thanks to katya saburova for the beautiful flyers again!!!
The Short Version
Over the course of the last few years I’ve made some interesting discoveries about life. Essentially what it comes down to, is the importance of having faith; in believing that things will be good. The future is impossible to predict. There are simply too many factors converging, causing unpredictable outcomes. I don’t ‘know’ if it’ll all be good, but I know that when I feel good everything is easier, and if you ever observe a happy person and an unhappy person you will quickly notice that A more good things happen to the happy person and B that happy people will generally be happy independently of their circumstances, while unhappy people will always find something to complain about.
Everything I know about the world is determined by what I’ve experienced, how I have learned to perceive things and what things I perceive as a result. All the thoughts that I have are there because my brain is reorganizing its perceptions — or rather its interpretations of those perceptions — and drawing conclusions based on patterns that it has learned. My perception is very selective, my interpretations are entirely subjective, and when I remember things I only remember parts of what I interpreted. This means that the level of abstraction and distortion between what actually happens in the world and what I end up learning is so high, that I cannot simply trust my brain.
Language is a great example. I knew a couple that would constantly fight and make up. Almost every time the problem was misunderstanding and miscommunication. One person has learned to use words one way, but the other person has learned to understand words in a slightly different way. This is an unavoidable challenge in our complex world. The big problem is when people interpret something incorrectly and forget that they could easily be wrong because they’re unaware of some critical details. We cannot perceive everything that has brought about a situation. When we begin blindly trusting our interpretations of the world and reacting to them things get very difficult very fast.
When we interact with one another honesty is very important. But what I think is even more important is clarity. I can be as honest as I like, but what good is it if the person misunderstands what I’m saying? If I’ve made sure I know what I want to say, then I also want the other to know what it is I want to say. If I’m just thinking out loud, then I want to make sure the other person knows I’m not claiming to know. Reversely, when someone else says something I don’t like, I ask whether I understood them correctly and try to find out why they said it before I let it upset me.
I cannot simply trust my brain.
If I cannot trust my brain then I can chose to believe what makes sense to my brain, or not. If what makes sense to my brain is that bad things, which I cannot control will happen, it will make me unhappy. I just remind myself that I don’t have all the facts and go ahead and believe whatever makes me happy. There is no sense in worrying about anything. You simply do what you can. Of course this doesn’t mean you can be stupid, but if you know you can’t do anything then worrying will do nothing but drain you of the energy you need to do what you CAN do.
The Long Version
The following is some rambling about some of the things that I’ve experienced that led me to these insights. It is not edited or structured. I just wrote what came.
Have a little faith
Pull yourself together boy, it’s really not that hard to feel alright.
I wrote that line for a song a little over half a year ago when I was still in Austria. I’d like to expand on that a little. Unfortunately I never wrote my thoughts on this down last summer when I was thinking about all of this a lot.
It began gradually around the summer of 2009 when I spent a week with some friends in a VW camper van in Italy simply going where we felt, relying only on our intuition.
That coming fall I needed to do an internship for school, and while most of my classmates had begun sending out applications half a year earlier and taken several months to find something, I hadn’t even begun to look, let alone apply anywhere.
A good friend of mine was renting a cabin on an Austrian mountain for four weeks that summer and he invited a number of his friends to come up for as long as they liked. I’d finally begun sending out applications as fall was approaching quickly, so when I went up I only planned on staying for a weekend.
I came back down off the mountain on Monday to find I’d been accepted at a fancy recording studio on the San Francisco peninsula, about an hour outside of the city. On Wednesday I went back up the mountain for the remaining two weeks.
I’d often heard people speak about the importance of faith. If you trust that good things will happen, then good things will happen. Don’t worry! I was beginning to realize first hand that this phenomenon was true.
Soon fall rolled around and I flew back to the place I’d known as a child and young adolescent, but had left ten years before, when I was 15. Since then I’d gone back to visit three times for a total of less than two months. Now I was going to be there for four months straight; enough time to rediscover my home and establish a life there.
The recording studio I interned in was fairly small. The woman who ran it, specialized in very high end acoustic recording. Up until the final stage of mastering her entire studio ran analog without any computers. After having been accustomed to graphic displays and numeric values up until then, this was very foreign to me. Having no visual display as a reference point meant you were forced to learn to trust your ears. This valuable lesson parallels learning to trust your gut.
See something real
During my internship I felt I needed to see more of California than the small suburb where the studio was located. During the past decade I had experienced very little of the place I once called home. I took a week off to hitchhike down the coast to Los Angeles to see my aunt. I was able to borrow a tent, sleeping bag and pad from my uncle in San Francisco, and got a ride from a friend who lives in Santa Cruz for the first part of the way. Fortune smiled on me from the beginning, in spite of the fact that it rained, and my shoes had holes in them. I was invited to hang out until the skies cleared, and I was given a pair of brand new DC skate shoes in my favorite color, that were too small for my friend’s roommate.
My adventure began when my friend who came camping with me for a night in Big Sur, returned to San Francisco: I needed a place to pitch my tent, and I found a wonderful place up a ridge between some trees, where my bright orange tent would not be visible to the rangers. I got up at sunrise, climbed down the mountain and stood in the turnout of Jade Cove to hitch a ride. When the sun got strong, I decided not to wait any longer, put on my huge backpack to which I had strapped my sign saying SOUTH, hopped on my skateboard and started cruising down Highway One toward a shady grove further down the road. I hadn’t been riding for more than ten minutes when a car pulled over. It was a friendly, blond 23 year old dude with dreads named Randy. He told me about some of his own traveling experiences in 30 countries, and how important your attitude is when you are hitchhiking. People are more likely to stop, he said, if you smile as if you just can’t wait to brighten someone’s day. Randy brought me as far as the small town of Cambria and set me off at the last traffic light of the village. I figured it was a good spot to wait since people were forced to stop, and it was pretty obvious that everyone who passed was going a reasonable distance from here. I set my pack down in the shade and stood there for about an hour and a half, at which point I felt I’d done enough smiling. Again I put on my backpack and jumped on my skateboard. And again, before I’d ridden for ten minutes, a car stopped, and it became very clear to me, that it simply won’t do to just wait around for a free ride: If you want to go somewhere, you need to start walking (or skating, if you are that cool ) The world needs to see that you are making an effort. If you can’t walk, hold your bag. Show that you are ready to go!
All throughout my little adventure people went out of their way to help me out. It was amazing! Interestingly enough, the only person I met on this trip that might have seemed dangerous was the guy I sat next to on the Greyhound bus on the last stretch to L.A. He was on his way home from the prison he’d just been released from after having served several years for attempted murder.
I did manage to get hurt on my trip. I had been hanging out at a bar waiting for my bus back to San Francisco. I needed to get back to work and didn’t have time to hitchhike back. I’d overlooked the time and as I rushed to catch my bus I fell head first off my skateboard with my heavy backpack on. I got to the bus stop just in time, but covered in blood.
Life is short
A few weeks later it was Halloween in San Francisco and I’d been invited to a party. I took the CalTrain from my little suburb to the city where I would stay in my aunt’s guest room on the weekends.
The Sunset neighborhood where my aunt lived and the Mission district where the party was are separated by one of San Francisco’s trade mark hills. I can clearly remember riding up Clayton and being surprised to see Ashbury intersecting it. The next thing I know, it’s five AM and I’m in the emergency room. Apparently I’d ridden to the top of the hill and then shot down 17th street. At the bottom of the hill I must have overlooked the little cement blocks that are meant to guide the traffic off to the right. According to the report I’d struck them and flown 30 feet, about 10 meters, through the air and judging by my face, landed on it … without a helmet on. Miraculously the only real injury I suffered was a broken thumb.
I realized that I could have easily died, or worse, been paralyzed or suffered some other permanent damage. But while most people’s reaction to this realization would probably be to go out and buy a helmet or something lame like that, my conclusion was very much the opposite. I realized how lucky I am to have this healthy human body. (Helmets may be lame, but a cracked skull because you thought you were too cool to wear one is too. Weigh your options carefully, children!)
As a human being I have the opportunity to experience the world immeasurably more intensely than any other life form I know of. We humans are capable of suffering tremendously, and consequently, experiencing just as much joy. With our ability to remember pain comes our ability to appreciate. If you can, take a deep breath of air. Remember what it’s like to be sick? I doubt any animal can fully appreciate that as much as I can.
Furthermore, I am a young human in good health. Now, even if I remain healthy, eventually I will grow old and die. That will greatly impair my ability to have an adrenaline rush as I snowboard down a mountain, or fall into trance dancing for hours, or feel the rush of hormones when I’m with a girl. You can get high and watch TV when you’re old and sick.
The only thing that everyone in the world will eventually run out of is time. Time is the most precious thing we have, and so much of it is wasted. Recently after I’d been playing on the street all night someone stole my jar with what was probably $150 to $200. I was not upset. “It’s just money, I can always make more.” It’s not like I wasted time doing something I hate.
After my bike accident I laid in bed for a week recovering from my head trauma and then returned to work. Several weeks later met a girl and we enjoyed each other’s company for the last few weekends before I returned to Austria.
During this time I made a profound realization: “I’m cool.” To be more specific and objective, “I’m cool by my standards.” If you don’t like the word cool you can say, “My thoughts and actions make sense … to me!” This of course applies to everyone, you in particular.
I have wasted a lot of time in my life trying to act in a way I thought others wanted me to act. This, however, is completely impossible. Aside from the fact that you cannot possibly know how others really want you to act, not everyone wants the same thing from you. You’ll never make everyone happy. Furthermore, if you change your behavior so someone likes you and it actually works, then that person doesn’t actually like you at all, they like the role that you’re playing. In most cases however, people will perceive your insincerity and dislike you anyway.
When I realized that I make sense to myself, that I’m cool by my own standards I found myself in the luxurious position in which I could approach the world with a new attitude. What up until then had been “I will show you that I’m cool” became, “I know I’m cool, now you show me that you are!” As you can imagine that changed everything.
You’re Probably Wrong
So you can’t know what others want, everyone wants something else and anyway, the only thing that you can do sincerely is what makes sense to you. But most importantly there is a good reason why you think the way you think, feel the way you feel and act the way you act. It is the way that you specifically have learned to think, feel and act within society, and it’s the only way you know.
Unfortunately chances are you’ve got it all wrong. Judging by the extreme differences between the people of this world the probability is very high, that everything we perceive is grotesquely distorted, everything we think is extremely limited and one sided and everything we feel is just plain crazy.
But that is all fine. If someone comes along and tells us we’re wrong we can think about it. If there indeed are things we had previously overlooked we can make revisions to our world view. Or maybe the other person has overlooked something. We are humans, capable of reasoning. Isn’t that AWESOME?!
My secret to happiness? Don’t take yourself seriously. Remember that you are human. You’re probably wrong. Accept it. Embrace it!
Sometimes I need to remind myself as well. If you want to say something, say it! There’s a reason you wanted to say it. If you offend someone because you didn’t think it through properly first, apologize! Explain! Almost all human conflict arises out of misunderstanding. Whatever you say, be prepared to take it back. That’ll give you the freedom to say anything!
Don’t allow room for people to misinterpret your words and actions. And if you don’t understand someone else’s words or actions, ask! Don’t waste time trying to guess what other people are thinking!
DO NOT WASTE TIME TRYING TO GUESS WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE THINKING!
Everybody is crazy. Everybody is stupid. Everybody suffers. Everybody deserves to be loved.
What Makes You Happy?
If you want to do something, why don’t you do it?! Maybe there’s a life after death, maybe not. We can’t possibly know and so it does not matter. What we do know is that we are here now on this earth. Right now. Today. And you have the potential to take full advantage of that. You have the potential to be very happy. But you don’t know if you’ll be here tomorrow.
So what makes you happy?
I know a number of people who always put everyone else first. I know that making others happy is the greatest thing there is. In fact it is all I want to do with my life. But tell me this: When was the last time an unhappy person made you happy? It is not possible to make anyone else happy unless you are happy first. I think it might be necessary for doing any sort of good in the world. So if you put someone else’s happiness before your own everyone ends up suffering.
Parents, even rich parents (or especially rich parents) often work so much they have no time or energy left for their children. They say they want to provide them with what they deserve. That seems deeply offensive to me when I consider how worthless money is compared to time. Does the world need more spoiled young adults with fancy business degrees who never learned to love their family? Who never learned to be affectionate? Who were raised by the television to think they need to look like Barbie and Ken and have Things in order to be happy?
Okay, maybe that is what the world needs. What do I know? I’m just a musician from Austria where we get paid to go to university if our parents aren’t rich. What do I know about hard work and supporting a family? But answer me this: ARE YOU HAPPY? Does it make your heart sing to see a flush bank statement? How does that compare to the sight of your son catching his first ball or you daughter doing whatever girly things little girls do with their parents?
Does what you do make you happy?
Young people! Do you know what you want from life? Are you going to make babies before you find that out? Are you gonna have children before you realize that what makes you happy doesn’t leave enough time for raising them? Do you think having children will make everything okay? Are you gonna bring children into this world and burden them with expectations before they’re even born?
I wrote these thoughts down several nights ago while laying in bed in Rio de Janeiro unable to sleep due to heat. Towards the end, what had started as such a positive thing became a bit aggressive and I apologize. Sometimes however it is necessary to vent and what better place to do that then on the internet where it will be available for all eternity?
Look, I know many of you are in situations where you simply have responsibilities. That is just the way it is and running away is not an option. As important as it is to recognize the things that you can change and take the appropriate action, you also need to recognize things you cannot change and accept them; embrace them. You cannot change the weather, but you can always just go dancing in the rain.
Nothing is ever going to make you happy unless you learn to be happy. That means enjoying the little things in life. Fresh air, a comfortable chair, warm water, its all right there! Hey that rhymed! The more you focus on the nice things the more nice things will come into your life.
If your life is a race, people will try to beat you. What would they do if your life were a dance?
or just post via fb
this’ll be the last show i’m gonna play before i fly away on monday the 7th.
Show starts at 9.
$2 Beer Special
thanks to katya saburova for the beautiful flyer again!!!
it had been rainy for the last few days, so i decided to make a little video. i was getting over a cold, so we went to the beach to get some fresh sea air to clear out the sinuses, and the wind was blowing like i have never seen, so naturally i frolicked about running to and fro. i’d recorded the song a few weeks earlier on an uncharacteristically sunny day for january in san francisco.
ah, the harsh costal climate
Warm Warm Water (by Ben Keeler – benkeeler.com)
a few nights ago was “play your friend’s song – night” at the open mic at the utah, so i played the awesome song warm warm water by my buddy ben keeler who i’d seen performing it several weeks before at the same spot. i don’t know how the words go, so i just made something up like i like to do. enjoy!
the important show is feb. 19th at ti couz too. it’s gonna be legen… wait for it!
many thanks to katya saburova for the beautiful flyer, by the way.
the next order of business is that i got some requests for the chords to my songs, so i wrote them town for the songs on the album Awesome! XD. here are the direct links to that:
the last stand
my life is fun
change the weather
inside of a soul
i’ll add the chords for the youtube videos when i feel like it. if you wanna know a specific song right now, then just write me an email or something.
that’s all for now
i’ve been in san francisco now for the past 2 months. i was only planning to stay for a few weeks and then move on, which i actually did. i went down to santa cruz with the 1999 daewoo i’d bought for about $2000 which i intended to sell for the same money when i was done with it, but after 2 weeks it was totaled. first the radiator exploded and after i’d already paid $300 to fix it the mechanic told me the head gasket was blown and the engine was ruined.
so i returned north to san francisco where i have some friends and family. i took it as a sign that the universe wants me to stay here for a bit, so i’ve been playing various open mics around the city to get my name out and financing my living by playing on the street with my new little looping toy, the boss rc-20 xl and a battery powered crate taxi amplifier.
i was playing at the corner of 16th and valencia one night several weeks ago. the people were rocking out and dancing in the street when a lady approached me. she said that i sound great and that she really loves my energy. she owns the crepe restaurant ti couz across the street and she’d love it if i played in the new bar/music-venue section of the restaurant called ti couz too that was just about to open.
she told me to come to the opening on new years day for a little jam session. that was fun. a week later on thursday i was playing my own show. they liked it so much they asked me to leave my stuff set up and play again on friday.
i now have a regular show there every thursday. sweeet! at least for the rest of january. there will be no cover charge, so if you’re in san francisco i strongly suggest you come. i’ll be playing with my full looping set-up from about 9 till 12PM.
it’s pretty funny that my regular gig day is thursday here, because back in salzburg i played at the denkmal every thursday as well. it’s also funny because i manifested this gig for myself. a couple weeks earlier i’d thought ‘man, i need some café or restaurant where i can play regularly’, and then i got it while having fun playing on the street.
but that’s how the universe works isn’t it? you wish for something, and if it actually is what you want and need then you get it. recently my shoes wore out. i thought ‘man, i don’t wanna go shopping for new shoes. i hope someone just gives me some.’ a few day’s later someone gave me a pair of brand new expensive boots that didn’t fit them. then a couple days ago i was like ‘i want a kitty to squeeze’ and the next morning there was a cat pawing at the window.
- to get FREE DOWNLOADS and be notified when i release new songs or when i play near you
- this it the EP version of my upcoming album Quit Your Whining. the full version will be released soon. i promise. :D
Rocky Leon - Music Player
Looping - Video Playlist
Acoustic - Video Playlist
Busking - Video Playlist
- to get FREE DOWNLOADS and be notified when i release new songs or when i play near you
- the album 'quit your whining' is work in progress. i will release the songs as i finish them between now and may 2012.