I am a firm believer in money.

If I am not mistaken 7 billion other people agree with me. By BELIEVE I don’t mean WORSHIP. Money exists. In fact money is a fantastic idea that allows people to be universal in our currencies. In other words… Best Buy probably isn’t interested in accepting 450 fresh eggs in exchange for an Xbox One.

Now that we’re chin-deep in this system we have two options. If it is possible to offer and exchange of SERVICES or GOODS then that’ll be pretty rad. I’ve traded my time for the time of an accountant. Ended up saving me 1000s of dollars and everyone saved money. So if you want someone to do something for you it’d behoove you to sweeten the pot.
one penny Old British Penny

I have been offered the “opportunity” to perform for 3 hours in front of 100’s of
millionaires. This “would be a great chance to get some great exposure.”


The company, [redacted], had every reason
to include a live pianist in an [redacted]
for a [redacted] for the sake of sales.
If everything worked out they would have been paid well over $50,000. Now… if my professions were in [redacted] I would want to invest in having some solid presentations. Or if I were paying for elegance I would want to pay top dollar. In other words… there are some things you don’t want for free. Live Music is one of them.

On top of missing out on what realistically SHOULD have been a $2,000 gig, I had to convince the [redacted] that The Bank Of America doesn’t accept
EXPOSURE BUCKS to pay the mortgage. If they did then I’d be more than happy to perform.

If you take yourself seriously don’t expect payment until you’re confident in performing. Alternatively, don’t REFUSE ALL unpaid gigs, you should really use your best judgement.
Ask yourself a few questions first:

-What are THEY getting out of this?

-What are YOU getting out of this?

-Will you lose money by doing this?

-Can you put out a TIP jar?

-What is the attendance guarantee?

-How long do you need to play?

Basically write out a list of questions you’d ask yourself.
For the most part I decided NOT to play for [redacted] because they had EVERYTHING to gain and I was going to gain literally nothing and lose 3 hours of my time. It would have been “inappropriate” to put out a tip jar so…

-They get ambiance and increased interest for the sales.

-I’d get literally nothing except compliments. (woooo)

-Gas money would be lost. and Time.

-No Tip Jar. (it wouldn’t have been the deciding factor)

-Maybe 30 heads? I do that on my own EASY.

-3 hours (Weddings pay $2,000 for my company’s duet performances)


If I went through with this “offer” I’d end up asking myself,

“What am I doing this for again?”
Try walking into an AppleStore and offering to tell all of your friends about Apple in exchange for an iphone.



Big name and Small, local band/album reviews

Trevor Dunn Saves The Day!

High school days are generally the time some young adults
figure out exactly who THEY are; I was an idiot.
Band practice meant hanging out making noise and stopping
for a “moment” to play Wii Bowling, $124 seemed like a lot
of money and a jaywalking ticket offered the most stress
a young 17-year-old could take (it went on my driving record
but that story will come at a later post).motorcycle cop waving

One of my frustrations came immediately AFTER high school when
I apparently hadn’t invested enough thought into what
it was I was supposed to do or be. I just wanted to hang out
and make weird music. After graduation, I lost touch with
pretty much everybody, especially when I picked up a couple
of jobs. Getting a hold of friends to practice was like
pulling teeth from a rooster. In other words, it never

In my desperation, I logged onto Myspace (i know, right?)
and surfed the pages of bigger musicians I admired and
respected. Tommy Emmanuel, Andrew York, Les Claypool…
I probably spent a few hours over 30+ names wondering
if they experienced the same frustrations. Eventually I
came across Trevor Dunn the bassist from Mr. Bungle, Tomahawk,
Melvins (for the album Houdini) etc etc. Hands down his bass
work is among my favorite.

Bass Fretboard Trevor Dunn

Anyway I sent him a pretty hefty message, probably about
as long of a read as this current blog post THUS FAR. I hadn’t
reached out to any of the other names but I felt I should
send him an epistle to see if he’d help a stupid post-high

He wrote back!

Not only did he write back but he replied with a message
equally as long as my message! I didn’t even read it right
away. I mostly stared at the collection of words in disbelief.
Once I came to I composed myself properly to read the advice.
I’ll have to paraphrase because Myspace deletes old messages
if you don’t log on for a while. I should have printed it.
That is one of the big regrets of my life so far. But I’ll
do my best to recall his advice.

Essentially he told me that my problems with finding
musicians that agree with me musically is gonna take time.
Don’t stop. Don’t change. He told me that when he and Patton
started up Mr. Bungle it was because they went into it
intentionally wanting to do the opposite of what was
considered success. They just wanted to make weird music.
They just wanted to see what could be done, musically.
“Hang in there and keep making music and refining your

I read his message 30 times.

scripture bible verse

I never gave up. And, in fact, I went through a good number
of musicians to get to our current lineup.

I owe a huge amount of my musical development to Trevor Dunn.
Someday I hope I can tell him in person that he is the reason
I never quit and the fact that he took the time to write me
such a detailed message (that I could not recall to give it
the justice it deserves) taught me that he is, and I quote,
“just a person.”

He’s a person that struggles just like everyone else. Keeping that in mind through the years reminds me that literally, EVERY person I have ever
looked up to is just a person. He’s a highly skilled person that
rocks out for a living… but still.

Thank you, Trevor Dunn!

-Bronson, Guitarist/vocalist of Bes

My Tattoo Reminds Me Of Submarines

If you can remember a date, that makes it important, right?  On March 15, 1995, my dad and brother flew down to Sacramento after my dad got a call from his father.  Two days later on March 17, my mom and I went out for Chinese food and came back to a blinking red light on the answering machine.  December 31, 1999 must have been a bad day for me, because I remember shouting “BAD NEW YEAR” at my brother, to which he replied, “You RUINED my millennium!”  On October 2, 2009, I saw a now-prominent NPR host drink way too much and make an ass of himself at a karaoke bar in Seattle’s International District.

I don’t remember the day or even the month, but that doesn’t make this memory any less vivid or meaningful.  I think it was sometime around late November or early December…it was cold and wet, and I remember it being fairly dark out when it wasn’t particularly late.  Regardless, I remember almost everything around me as John’s gloved hand held the buzzing tattoo gun against the inside of my left forearm.

Since that moment, every time I hear the beginning of Yellow Submarine by The Beatles, I remember what felt like flaming knives being dragged through my skin.  It was my first tattoo, but I have been with friends as they go theirs.

“It doesn’t hurt!  It kinda tickles, actually…”

And I believed them.  Three thousand little pin-pricks every minute drew a noticeable amount of blood, yet they giggled.  I expected the same—perhaps maybe something akin to a bee sting, but not nearly as much as I felt.

“In the tooooown, where I was booooorn, lived a maaaaan, who sailed the seeeeeaaaa…”

I gritted my teeth as I watched what would eventually become the left wingtip of a dove being etched into my skin one pinprick at a time.  FLAMING KNIVES.  Of course, mind over matter—and just like I grit my teeth and sit through my weekly massage therapy appointments to help me recover from a recent car accident, I sat in that sterilized chair for an hour and twenty minutes as an absolutely gorgeous black-and-white dove with an olive branch was skillfully created on my left forearm.

The dove serves as a reminder that I have never thrown a punch in my life, and I will die a happy man if I never have to.  Whenever anyone asks if the dove has meaning, that’s what I tell them…but every time I look down at it, …

“In the tooooown, where I was booooorn…”

-Nick Kennedy