Tag Archives: julian rey saenz

Love the dang horse

Music on Mondays (8/12/19)—Love the dang horse!

Music has been a significant part of my life throughout my life.

I started piano lessons at the age of two under the tutelage of my mother who played piano and organ.

At the age of six, I started violin lessons.

At the age of ten, I started voice lessons.

For 25 years I have been married to a pianist who has bachelor and master degrees in piano performance, accompanies voice and instrument students in private practice, has served as accompanist at San Diego State University, and has been in a chamber music trio for the last decade.

In my retirement years, I listen to music for 10-18 hours a day. For the past several years, I have been creating a “Desert Island” flash drive just in case I’m ever lost lost on a desert island—think Gilligan’s Island, or even Lost In Space. Currently there are 1,053 songs on my Desert Island list, but I haven’t added any songs since May 2017 when I added Dig Down by Muse.

I guess I should modify my previous statement: “I haven’t added any songs since May 2017….” until yesterday when I added Love the Dang Horse by Band Argument. “Slides” below is their 2-song release from a couple of days ago. Love the Dang Horse is track 2. Hopscotch is not bad, either, so give both of them a listen. Hopefully, Band Argument will get credit (and royalty money!) by me embedding their music here using their embedding code.

Slides by Band Argument

Band Argument is a local San Diego group.

Sil Damone – Bass / Vox
Jake Kelsoe – MIDI / Guitar
Alex Simonian – MIDI / Guitar
Jordan Krimston – Drums / Samples

I think they were founded in late 2018. I met their drummer, Jordan Krimston, through Julian Rey Saenz, a former employee of mine in 2014 whom many readers might remember. I might also note here that Jordan is an awesome guitarist and quite a good vocalist, too. A multi-talented musician. Look out, Paul McCartney!

Jordan and Julian graduated high school together in June 2016. Julian went off to college while Jordan eschewed college to follow his music passion. I understand both going off to college and following a music passion, so I support them both. Secretly, though, and with 20/20 hindsight, I wish I could have/would have followed my music passion. Anyways….

In reading reviews of this song and Band Argument, I discovered a music genre called math rock. According to the Wikipedia entry,

math rock is a style of indie rock that emerged in the late 1980s in the United States…. Math rock is characterized by complex, atypical rhythmic structures (including irregular stopping and starting), counterpoint, odd time signatures, angular melodies, and extended, often dissonant, chords.

My only complaint about everything I have heard in the math rock genre is that it is difficult to understand the words, ergo making it difficult for a singer like me to sing along. I would love it if the mixer would put just a little more ooomph into the vocalist. They have published the lyrics, so here they are:

good morning how’s mother? do we still know each other?
the paper tears and they post a notice telling you I see clearly
sinking down through the bedding
a new world under my room
a new world inside my womb

this ink, it flurries. wash the milkshake off
friendly and free strawberries at the scene
hey boyo! operator press the green
I can’t see why you can’t read me thorough and quick
questing to be fuck naturally and sing
123 pickin out ticks suture me to that there cliff

we sink, in flurry
hope she can wake to rise in time for the dew
hey honey! operator tie my shoe
I can’t see why you can’t read me thorough and quick
questing to be fuck naturally and sing

suture me too I’ll say add some salt oh no

I’m thinking that the definition in Wikipedia of math rock needs to be updated, perhaps something like “Vocals are difficult to understand and make no sense.”

Apparently there is a large math rock culture here in San Diego. I’m rooting for Band Argument to rise to the top.

LOVE THE DANG HORSE!

Love the dang horse

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Music On Mondays (10-27-14)—Breaking yourself of singing with your eyes closed

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

I have been collecting music since I was 11. My wise old grandmother gave me a portable reel-to-reel tape recorder for my birthday. She did not like it, though, when I was up at 3:00 in the morning recording songs off the radio. Forty-eight years later and I’m still up at 3:00 in the morning listening to music….

It should be no surprise, then, that music brings back memories. In fact, I define many events in my life by what music was playing at the time.

Even some friends are remembered whenever certain songs come on. For example, my first kiss was in the living room of my wise old grandmother’s house with “Hey Jude” by The Beatles playing on the radio.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

My first live rock ‘n’ roll concert occurred in Corpus Christi, Texas, when I went to see The Byrds and Dr. John. That also happens to be the first, last, and only time that I smoked a joint. Nasty stuff…. Because of that, every time I listen to “Eight Miles High” by The Byrds, I’m transported back in time to the Coliseum in Corpus Christi.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

My first college roommate, with whom I got along disastrously and moved out after one semester, will always be remembered when “Stairway To Heaven” by Led Zeppelin is playing. He played that song endlessly, starting at 6:00 a.m. and ending at midnight. Never was I so happy as when either of us had to go to class. Such a sad time is remembered by such a great song.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

My first concert in Houston was at The Summit—Paul McCartney & Wings for their “Wings Over America” Tour. As usual with Paul McCartney—still—the concert was long and I had to get back to College Station for classes the next morning. I decided to leave during the clapping for an encore. However, the encore came as I was walking to the exit, and it was a song with which I was not familiar: “Soily.” “Soily” was the B side of the single “Maybe I’m Amazed” but I had quit collecting 45 singles by that time and did not know about the song. Here is the live version from the “Wings Over America” album:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

My last concert before graduating from Texas A&M University was Chicago and Jackson Browne. Three friends and I drove 90 miles from College Station to Houston listening to Chicago and Jackson Browne. I was unfamiliar with Jackson Browne but I liked what I was hearing. I asked who it was, and Richard Scruggs said, “Jackson Browne.” To which I responded, “Jackson who?” Richard’s still a good friend courtesy of Facebook, and whenever I listen to Jackson Browne, all I have to do is post on Facebook “Jackson who?” and Richard understands that I’m thinking of him. Here is “The Pretender,” title track from his classic 1976 album of the same name.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

While Jim and I were dating, I regularly sent him postcards and letters with snippets of songs by The Beatles. The song that most reminds me of my husband of 20½ years (our wedding anniversary is October 30!) is The Beatles’ “In My Life.”

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

For the past six months, Julian Rey Saenz worked with me at Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos. He plays the guitar and sings, although he sings with his eyes closed. He claims that he doesn’t, but I now have proof from a performance a few days ago:

Julian Rey Saenz

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

There is more where that came from, including a 6:47 video which has eyes open for only 0:13. Julian, you can do better!

I used to sing with my eyes closed, too, when I was with a Beatles cover band in College Station in the mid-1980s…. Until a Houston friend, Bill Bammel, came to one of my performances with his video camera. He pointed it out to me, and told me how to break myself: Practice singing in front of a mirror because it’s virtually impossible to be in front of a mirror with your eyes closed. Thus you’ll sing and subconsciously keep your eyes open to watch yourself. Do it enough, and it becomes a habit that carries over to performances.

Julian Rey SaenzThe whole purpose of singing with your eyes open, especially in small, intimate settings, is to make eye contact with your audience, some of whom often are sitting just feet away from you. The more eye contact you make, the better the tips, and the more performances you’ll find yourself doing because people like eye contact in those small settings.

Practice makes perfect. Yes, tips and invitations to perform increased when I started singing with my eyes open. It worked for me, and I think it can work for Julian. Nonetheless….

I’m pretty sure Julian knows the guitar chords and words to every Beatles song ever, including some of the alternate stuff that showed up on the three Anthology CDs of the late 1990s. It won’t be a Beatles song by which I remember Julian, though. Instead, it will be a song by The White Stripes, a group that Julian introduced me to. Here’s my favorite:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Someone’s missing from Photographic Art

A Piece Missing

Julian back at workSadly, Julian Rey Saenz is no longer with Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos.

I had capitalized the company as a full-time enterprise for six months, and Julian was working 20-24 hours a week.

We couldn’t get the company to grow as fast as I wanted it to, so I have taken it to a part-time enterprise, which meant that Julian’s job was eliminated.

Of course, I need to find something that will pay the bills. I don’t know what that’s going to be right now. I just know that it can’t be home inspections because my 59-year-old knees and shoulders just don’t like crawling around under houses and up in attics anymore. The money I make from home inspections is being spent on aspirin and Ibuprofen to alleviate the pain. Hmmm. Maybe I should buy stock in the pain-killer manufacturers……..

Julian Rey SaenzI have every confidence that Julian will find his next great job very quickly. In my 48-year business career with 33 companies—most of them startups—and over 1,100 people hired, I would put Julian at the very top, number one with a star.

Never did I have to explain anything to Julian more than once. He has one of the best memories I have ever witnessed, is an extraordinarily good typist, and knows his way around computers, software, and the Internet. For those few things which he did not know, he learned very quickly, and his contributions were always clear and professional.

Thank you, Julian, for all that you did, and helped me do, and for simply being the AWESOME person you are.

thank you

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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From Julian: We Have A Twitter Now, Too

I livew in my own little world

Julian Rey Saenz, Muisican and Partner of Russel Ray Photos

Hello everyone, Julian here, >>

#2 over at Russel Ray Photos.

This is my second post on Russel’s Southern California blog, and it will look very similar to my first post regarding our Russel Ray Photos Facebook page.

As a teenager and an active member in social networking, I understand the importance of the Internet and its applicableness in today’s world. For that reason, I concocted a “brand new” Twitter page for Russel Ray Photos (it’s actually been around for a few weeks now, we only recently learned how to make it “fine, fine, fine” as Russel would say).

Russel and I, as always, appreciate your continued support, and we would love you even more if you stopped by to follow us on Twitter!

Thank you!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Facebook Page: Russel Ray Photos

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Yahooooooooo! WordAds approval came through today!

Did you know?

Yahoooooooooo!

My Russel Ray Photos blog got approved for WordAds today!

A couple of weeks ago I was visiting someone’s blog and the latest blog post there was about how much money that blogger was getting from having advertisements on the blog. The money was much more than I would have thought possible. I looked into monetizing my blog since I have 5,459 followers and almost 260,000 views. Over at WordPress.com, I discovered information about, and a link to, WordAds. It’s the official advertising partner for WordPress. However, you have to apply and, if they like your blog, they will approve you. I applied a couple of weeks ago and got approved today, so that’s why you’re seeing ads on my blog today.

Any income from WordAds will go towards supporting my Photographic Art venture which means, of course, a salary for the awesome Julian. Here he is on his first day back at work after being in Texas for three weeks:

Julian back at work

I’ll keep everyone informed about what kind of income this brings in and then you can make a decision about WordAds for your own blog! Meanwhile………

Yahoooooooooo!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Need a unique gift?
Consider Photographic Art!photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

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Wish I got a three-week vacation…..

Out & About

Julian has deserted me, choosing to go visit relatives in Texas rather than stay here and work for Photographic Art. Imagine if he had gone to work for, say, Target and, after just a couple of months on the job, said, “I’m going to take a three-week vacation”………….. Good thing I’m flexible. 🙂

Since he’s gone, though, I don’t have to figure out how to keep him busy; the State of Texas is doing that for him. Thus I have finished cataloging and processing all the big tree pictures from Kings Canyon National Park and Sequoia National Park from when I went to the Spring fundraiser on May 3 for Cat House on the Kings.

Following are Photographic Art from my final batch of pictures. They won’t be available at our Fine Art America galleries until Julian gets back from Texas.

View of the valley from Generals Highway, the loop road that goes through the two national parks:

View from Generals Highway in Sequoia National Park

Part of the Giant Forest, named by John Muir after his first visit to the area:

The Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park

The only Visitor Center that we came across. Generals Highway pretty much is a DIY drive.

Visitor Center

The following picture shows three stages of life for the big trees, dying (with the green lichens on it), dead (left tree), and really dead (right tree).

Stages of Life

There were plenty of benches lining the walkways through the Giant Forest. Jim and I made use of several of them.

Not In Use

Following is the General Sherman tree, often called the largest living organism on planet Earth.

General Sherman tree in Sequoia National Park

For true tree fans like me with my degree in Forest Management from Texas A&M University, that has to be qualified. It is not the tallest, it is not the widest, and it is not the oldest. However, at 275 feet tall, a trunk diameter of 25 feet, an estimated volume of 52,513 cubic feet, and an estimated age of at least 2,300 years, it is among the tallest, widest and oldest of all trees on the planet. Here’s a picture of the base of the trunk of the General Sherman tree:

Base of the trunk of the General Sherman tree in Sequoia National Park

Following is the walkway that took us to the General Sherman tree, a walk among giants.

Walking among giants in Sequoia National Park

On the way out of Sequoia National Park, driving south, there are some spectacular views, such as the following of Deer Ridge and Moro Rock:

Deer Ridge in Sequoia National Park faa framed

Moro Rock in Sequoia National Park

Lastly, a few pictures that I thought made fine, fine, fine Photographic Art:

Been Burned
Been burned

Fissures
Fissures

It’s A Wash
It's A Wash

Down For The Count
Down For The Count

Returning From Whence It Came
Returning From Whence It Came

As the big tree forest merged with the drier forests at lower elevations, cactus started creeping into the mix, such as yuccas which were blooming. I had to do a U-turn to go back and get these three pictures:

Twin Spikes

Yuccas

Yuccas

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Need a unique gift?
Consider Photographic Art!photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

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Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer, Realtor, CDPE
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If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!

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From Julian: We Have A New Facebook Page

I livew in my own little world

Julian Rey Saenz, Muisican and Partner of Russel Ray Photos

Hello everyone, Julian here, >>

#2 over at Russel Ray Photos.

This is my very first post on Russel’s Southern California blog, and I come here with important news.

As a teenager and an active member in social networking, I understand the importance of the Internet and its applicableness in today’s world. For that reason, I concocted a “brand new” Facebook page for Russel Ray Photos (it’s actually been around since 2007, Russel just forgot to ever publish it).

Russel and I, as always, appreciate your continued support, and we would love you even more if you stopped by to like our new Facebook page!

Thank you!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift?
Consider Photographic Art!

photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Russel Ray Photos.

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

Facebook Page: Russel Ray Photos

►►►►◄◄◄◄

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer, Realtor, CDPE
CA BRE #0145857201 HomeSmartDiamondSmall copy 2

02 HomeSmartRWnameOnly2 copy

►►►►◄◄◄◄

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!

Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray