Album Review: Mixed Episode, The Secret VI


The first 30 seconds of a song are crucial for the listener, and those first 30 seconds off The Secret VI’s new EP, Mixed Episode, are rough. But once through the initial chords, The Secret VI blasts out melodic nu-metal bass lines and vocals that demand attention.

Read the full review here.

Album Review: Kala, Trevor Hall


Hall’s baritone is a perfect fit for his cool, “California” style.  While clearly inspired by reggae, Hall brings forth a smooth mix of softer rock, piano, and alternative rock chord progressions that create an image of West Coast beaches at sunset, cool breezes, and long chats by the fire with the people you love.

Read the full review here.

Album Review: True Believer, John Taglieri

John aglieri - True Believer coverart

If Jon Bon Jovi and Richard Marx had a baby, it might be named John Taglieri…

Read the full review here.

Freelancer Problems

Yeah, yeah. Every writer’s blog has a whole series devoted to this kind of stuff. We all know it. Freelancer Problems. But, a post popped on up facebook today that wouldn’t let me go. And since I’m also getting back into freelancing on a regular basis, I thought there was no better place to start than here:


Posts like this go around all the time. In fact, there’s a whole series of videos from a rock and metal producer on YouTube and he talks about the costs of producing and why you pay for what you get. But today, it stuck with me. Maybe because the guy who posted it is one of my freelance clients and I really like him. He also can’t pay me for my work.

Gotta say it – I feel nothing but sympathy for the producers getting bullshit like this sent to them. But writers are expected to accept as little as NOTHING for our work. All in the name of exposure. I love writing, I love doing it, and I will take on limited projects for free, especially while rebuilding a portfolio that used to kick ass. But writers have families to feed too, and paid work is often as little as $.01 cent a word. A 150 word article can take anywhere from 1-2 hours to write, when you put in research and editing. So, when you do the math, I’m making $1.50 an hour, if that article only takes an hour to do.

So put that in perspective:

If a writer has a full time day job to support their family, that eats up 8-10 hours of their day. Come home, get settled into the night, deal with family, etc. That leaves anywhere from 5-6 hours to write. That sounds great. But let’s say a 200 article takes 2 hours to write, including research, writing, editing, and submission. And then that writer has to wait to find out if they are going to be paid their $2.00 for that time. While waiting, they accept another “job” but this one doesn’t pay. This is a review of a TV show. Which means that it’s at least an hour to watch the show, another hour to research the history of the show, and then at least an hour to write a 500 word review and edit. All for no pay. And then, it’s bedtime. So if the writer is lucky, they’ve made $2.00 for 5 hours of work.

Yes. Writing, like art, like music, it’s all about the blood and sweat and tears that are put into projects. A novelist who is just getting started will toil and toil and toil for years, staying up late into the night while crafting those perfect 90,000 words and there is a good chance that not a cent will be paid back for that time. Just like a musician will work a dead end telemarketing job to fund an album. And an artist will sell canvasses for $25 at local coffee shops.

But the fact is, writers are expected to put up with a lot of abuse and the argument is that there is someone else in line who is willing to do it. And more and more, jobs that pay, pay based on the number of “clicks” to a website. Which means that really, the owner of the site is making the money. For the record, there are sites that pay real money and there are countless blogs and facebook pages out there dedicated to making sure that writers are aware of the markets that pay.

I don’t mean to ramble and I don’t mean to make this about money. Because writers will write. We’ll write until our fingers bleed and the carpal tunnel is so bad we can’t sleep. We’ll live on coffee and lose partners and we understand how lonely ramen tastes.

But really, my point is, I’d like to see more of these text message memes pop up about writers having to accept this kind of work. Period.

When She Speaks …

My new article about Salt Lake City’s When She Speaks open mic is up on HowlRound.Com.

When She Speaks, I Hear Her Revolution

Having just celebrated it’s five year anniversary, When She Speaks I Hear the Revolution has found a comfortable niche in Salt Lake City, Utah’s populated poetry scene—most coffee shops have some kind of open mic or slam during the week. Despite this popularity, something that resonates through many of these performance spaces is the overwhelming presence of men and the male gaze. But once a month, women gather to share their stories at Jitterbug Coffee Hop, a small coffee shop with a Betty Boop theme….

Tad Morose: It’s About Frustration


“Today my favorite song [off St. Dominius] is Where Ignorance Reigns,” says Ronny Hemlin, the lead singer of Tad Morose. “Tomorrow that might change,” he says with a bit of a chuckle.

Read the Full Interview

A Letter to those who are Opposing the Supreme Court Ruling on Marriage Equality

Dear Religious Conservatives:

I want to thank you. I see you running around, so very desperate to eliminate marriage everywhere. I see you claiming that the Supreme Court has no say in laws. I see you passing bills to lower your flags to mourn the loss of “traditional” marriage. I see you railing against progressive agendas.

See, I thank you because in showing your fear of Queer Equality, what you are doing is telling us how terrified you are for your children and grandchildren. You are terrified that they are going to grow up in a world where people will judge them, where they will be beaten, ostracized, bullied, denied housing, denied loans, denied adoption. You are terrified that their children will be taunted. You are so scared for your children that you are willing to change everything you believe in just to make sure that “traditional” world is upheld.

But, and hear me out, okay. Because I think you need to take a breath. In through the nose and out through the mouth. Count to four. Do it again. One more time. You with me? No? Okay. Once more.

We good? Okay.

So, I get it. You’re scared. You are so scared for your children and your grandchildren that you are in panic mode. Things are different and different is scary! Different is so scary! Trust me. I’m a creature of habit and just having to go to a meeting on a night when I usually don’t have one can cause meltdowns.

But, we need to talk. Because here’s the truth: it doesn’t matter how many flags you lower, it doesn’t matter how many marriages you refuse, it doesn’t matter how you rail against the Supreme Court – we are here. We’ve been here since the dawn of time and we aren’t going away.

Hey, hey. Breathe. Okay. Stay with me.

Let’s channel your fear though. Instead of lowering flags and mourning the loss of morals, instead let’s make sure that your grandkids won’t be kicked out of their house and end up homeless. Let’s make sure that schools understand safety needs and that adoptions are available for every loving parent. Let’s stand together when children are bullied. Let’s put our feet down and link our arms and stand in front of the cops who are killing trans women of color. I know you’re scared. I know you’re scared because like the Queer community, you remember the AIDS crisis. You remember people dying. You remember that for a time, to be “gay” meant to die. You remember how riots and Pride parades upset your comfortable weekends and people who were different than you were suddenly marching in the streets. I get that we live in a scary time in general – technology changes every time you blink, we’re always at war with someone, the government’s always out of money, and you could really care less about those Queers down the street because you just want to make sure your kids don’t have to move back in with you.

I get it. It’s fucking scary.

Hey, sorry. I know. Words like that. Sorry. Stay with me.

I get you want to be with your kids in whatever afterlife you believe in. I get that you were raised in a world where strict moral standards were dictated by a man in a suit (or a collar) from the pulpit and that man said that certain things were wrong and that stuff made sense at the time.

But do me a favor. Take a breath and look at your kids. Look at your grandkids. Statistically, you’ve got someone “like that” in your family. So slow it down. Put the flag back. Let them get married. Because we have real issues to tackle together. I know you don’t like seeing kids committing suicide any more than I do. I know your heart is breaking and I know you have no idea how to handle it.

So, take my hand. Let’s do this together. I know you care deeply about the people you are terrified for.

So seriously, let’s have a conversation.

All my love.

In peace with the Gods.


Album Review: Thundermother, Road Fever

Truth is, there isn’t enough solid, classic rock out there in the world, but don’t worry music lovers, Thundermother is on the case. And while perhaps the most revolutionary thing about this rock band is that it is made up of five women, this collection of work leads one to wonder why in 2015 the reality of women who rock should still feel revolutionary.

Read Full Review Here

Album Review: Tad Morose, St. Demonius

Giving us proof that the high flying metal styles of the 80’s, a la Iron Maiden and Judas Priest have not faded into nothingness, St. Demonius, the new album from Sweden’s Tad Morose, brings classic, hard hitting guitars and operatic vocals to an album that is dark from the opening chord…

Full Review Here

Raging Down Under

Nick from October Rage was awesome and gave me an interview about where his band is and where it could be going (spoiler alert: back to the US!) Check it out!


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