Sunrise outside of Appleton International Airport

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I think sometimes we think we have control over things. I also think sometimes all it takes is walking out of the airport at the correct time to realize that we may be wrong.

“Love, Dad”

I never did think I would ever share this song with anyone… BUT I’m putting together my songwriting portfolio to pitch to a few companies and while this song is way to personalized to ever go anywhere… it is a different writing style that I like working through sometimes, so it is probably important to include. Might as well get this one of my chest.

I wrote this a couple years ago. I think too much, often times about things that are out of my control. I was upset at the dating scene and my luck within it. I had a lot of doubt whether or not that was something I was meant to do … the family thing. I am really excited to be a dad someday and I think I’d be great at it, but for awhile there I was pretty convinced I was just meant to be the best uncle I could be.
It’s a song to my future son, just in case it never happens for me… I think I just wanted to be a dad for a bit back then when my mind was on fire.

It’s called “Love, Dad”. Don’t hate it.

Don’t Believe the Bad Guys, We Are Kind of Incredible

I’ve been lucky enough to fall into a situation recently where I have some very affordable travel options available to me. I’m hoping to take advantage of this and travel to some ‘bucket list’ locations in the coming months while doing some soul search/exploring during that time. I’ve always been one who does well on his own. I’m good at thinking, if that is a thing, and I when I find myself in a situation where I can have uninterrupted time to myself … I like to think I solve many of life’s (and my own) problems.

Why am I telling you this? Because I recently took a short trip to Niagara Falls and was excited to hopefully have some crazy epiphany overtake me as I stood in front of one of nature’s coolest accomplishments. The trip happened, the sight was seen, and while I can tell you I came home from that trip with a pretty profound epiphany, I can also tell you it had nothing to do with Niagara Falls.

First, here is a picture of said waterfall as it flowed on the 2nd day of 2016:

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Cool. Now let me throw some optimistic nonsense at you.

I flew from my hometown to Detroit, then from Detroit to Buffalo. I had a window seat while we descended into Detroit and had this quick conversation with myself while staring at the city:

Jacob: “Man, Detroit is more sprawling than I thought…”

Jacob: “Yeah, there seems to be a lot of activity (traffic moving, businesses up and running, parks open, etc).

Jacob: “Doesn’t Detroit have one of the highest crime rates in America?”

Jacob: “I’m not sure, but I think I read that somewhere.”

Jacob: “It seems to be operating just fine to me…”

Jacob: “I agree, from up here it looks like a fairly well-oiled machine…”

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I think it is human nature to expand stories from their origins. I smiled a little thinking about this exact thing in regards to our society and how it is running verses how it is perceived by many. A fairly common adage from EVERY generation is that “this country is going down the drain, this new generation is going to run us into the ground, etc…”

Do we have problems? Yep. Do we have crime? Yep. Is it potentially dangerous to act as if we do not have flaws as a society? Probably. Are we in a dire situation where hate and evil are taking us over and there is so little hope for humanity that we need to live in fear of each other and assume the worst in people? Umm, no. Not close and not ever.

 

People are inherently good. I really do believe that and as I was hovering 10,000+ feet over one of the “worst” cities in America, I couldn’t help but think that at that exact moment the INCREDIBLE MAJORITY of people below were being perfectly perfect citizens. They were waking up and going to work, caring for themselves and their neighbors, paying their taxes, etc. I also thought about the select few who woke up that morning and decided to be disruptive.

Unfortunately, most days it doesn’t seem that way. ‘Hard’ headlines get more attention than the opposite, so news outlets will write for the eyes. If ten good deeds and one bad deed are done in a day, it is likely that the ‘bad’ story will be the one that gets told. It is unfortunate and unfair to our society, in my opinion, but it is a reality.

SO WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

It means whatever you want it to mean. To me, I see a cop and I think he/she is a good person and will always go to him/her for help, regardless of the press the police force has been getting lately. I assume my donated money to a charity is going to be spent in an honest way, regardless of the same. If I’m walking down the street and see a young man walking with his hood pulled up over his head and hands stuffed in his pockets … I’m still going to smile and say hello, because he is probably just cold.

Someday could that get me into trouble because I am willing to trust so easily? Maybe. Possibly. But FOR ME PERSONALLY, I sleep really easy at night knowing that 99.9% of the world is NOT out to get me and if I can make a blanket statement … we do pretty well as a society at being awesome.

Can we improve? Yep. Should we always be double checking our progress in that endeavor? Yep. Is it ok to question and research things that confuse/concern you? Yep.

But this world is a pretty complex system and if I am allowed to throw my opinion out into the wind… I think we are doing great. We have room to be better, but that is true for everyone and everything.

Don’t believe the bad guys, we are kind of incredible.

My name is…

Hello.

If you have found this page, it is likely we already know each other and you have navigated here via one of my other social networking sites. If that is the case, the next few minutes of reading are likely to be review for you but thanks for stopping in! If you have stumbled upon this page by accident, refer back to the first word of this letter. With that said, I’d like to (re)introduce myself to you out of politeness, so any of you newcomers can decide in a cup of coffee’s amount of time whether we are going to be friends or not.

FACTS

My name is Jacob. I was born at some point in 1984 and grew up in a small town southwest of Green Bay, WI. I was raised in a family that accounted for .5% of my town’s 2,000+ population. The only two things you need to know about me as a by-product of that is that I am a very patient person and I will never know how to cook for one person.

My high school mascot was a Polar Bear which by most laws makes me cooler than you. I am right handed, I speak terrible Spanish, I cried when Faud Reveiz kicked a game winning field goal in 1993 against the Packers, I don’t believe in bad guys, and pizza is everything.

MUSIC

My siblings and I grew up around a piano. My mother has been playing piano since she was in diapers and my dad spent his late teens and early 20’s travelling the Midwest in various bands. Because genetics is a thing, my siblings and I are all able to sing on tune and we did so often growing up. Music, and singing specifically, is something that has never been a choice for me. It has always just been there and in that regard .. has always been a stress release and creative outlet for myself and many of my siblings. In my best times and in my worst times … this is my crutch.

READING

I don’t think I have an amazing vocabulary. I also don’t think I have a terrible vocabulary. This is probably due to the fact that when I was a kid I read EVERYTHING. I remember in the 1st grade, my elementary school had a year long contest where if you read a book and did a small report on it you were given a “raffle dollar” that was to be used at the end of the year in a school wide auction. Shorter books gave you one “dollar”, medium length books gave you two, longer books gave you three. I ended the year with $1,111. The next highest kid was somewhere in the $250 range. Looking back, it was kind of a jerk move because at that auction I basically bought everything and no one else got anything. If you are reading this now and didn’t get one of those prizes back in 1991, I’m sorry. There was no ill intent. The reason I bring up reading being a big part of ME is because I remember being enamoured with writing styles as a kid. I could read a book from RL Stine and the flow was nothing like a Matt Christopher book. Even as a 9 or 10 year old I remember thinking how funny it was that two people could describe the exact same thing … but I could get a completely different pictures in my head based on HOW they described it. Imagery has always been one of my favorite things. Reading as much as I did as a kid allowed for me to begin to shape phrases, began my curiosity to write.

SONGWRITING

The reason that last paragraph is important is because combining it with a musical upbringing has led me to this, the one thing in this life where I feel I can make a difference. No, that last statement isn’t a pity grab. I think I’m good at a lot of things: I’m a pretty fast runner, I grow a fantastic beard, I WILL NOT LOSE at the regular Nintendo version of Dr. Mario, etc … what I’m saying is that I think everyone is great at something and they owe it to themselves and to society to find it, pursue it, perfect it, and then offer it back to make the world better. For me, as silly as it sounds … my ‘gift’ is making phrases rhyme in a clever way. I’m not John Lennon and will never claim to be, but I think there is something there and I am confident enough in what I can do that I believe I can make a difference somehow, somewhere.

LIFE

I have released two music albums in my time. The first was an acoustic venture when I was in college. It was my first step off the ledge, for lack of a better phrase, into the music world and was my ticket into a lot of my first public performing ventures, radio spots, etc. My second album was my first fully produced album that arrived in the fall of 2012. For my purposes, it has done everything I needed it to do. It validated the work I had done for the 8 years prior in trying to figure out the music game, it played and stood its ground on local radio, etc. It was a great second step. Somewhere in between all of that I made a small move to both Nashville, TN and Los Angeles, CA to pursue the scene. I grew up fast in those experiences and got rid of a lot of ‘what ifs’ and curiosities I had about the music scene. I settled back in here at home and have slowly been devising a plan to 1) Be happy and 2) Change the world. I hope I’m on the right track to both of those things.

CURRENTLY

This website used to stand as a billboard for anything musical that I was dreaming up. I would post songs, videos, tour dates, lyrics, etc. My life for the longest time was musically driven and only musically driven. I had an expiration date though that I was unaware of and somewhere in the last few years I hit it. For the longest time I thought that playing music was the only thing I was ever going to want and, in a stretched way, it still is … however, I have matured a little throughout the years and I think I am taking a much more practical and strategic approach to it nowadays. Much more calculated, if you will. I’m hoping this site will prove to be a bigger palette for myself in terms of a creative outlet. I’ll still post songs, still post videos and still post lyrics; I need to continue writing, need to start taking more pictures, need to start having discussions. In the creative realm it is all the same family.

If you have made it this far, I appreciate you reading this. I’m a fairly simplistic human being that thinks too much and dreams too big. Hopefully you find something else on this site worth sticking around for.

Be good,

Jake