The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar by Roald Dahl My rating: 4 of 5 stars If you are not a Roald Dahl fan, there is something wrong with you. Sure, we have all seen the movies: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, perhaps even Witches. But have you ever read the books? Dahl expresses his…
I was trimming levels in the studio yesterday. I picked up my guitar and played this song during sound check. I decided to post it on soundcloud. Why not. The song is called Sparrow, written by Joe Henry, probably my favorite song writer.
Talking about how to handle when a large scale creative project goes cold.
From raw idea to song, finishing up the arrangement of the steampunk funk song, ACDC.
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff My rating: 4 of 5 stars In the face of so much dystopian fiction, this story goes a different direction. Yovanoff presents a gruesome world whose occupants are difficult to understand. Although this novel fits in the YA fiction category, be warned that there is some pretty severe profanity in…
The Steampunk Opera continues. Rustmonster gets a new sound tonight.
Winter Moon by Dean Koontz My rating: 3 of 5 stars Koontz delivers the goods again with yet another extremely creepy tale. This one handles the line between life and death in a heretofore unseen way. Nothing cerebral here, just a great yarn with plenty of prickles up the spine. View all my reviews
I create. I can’t help it. Am I adequately compensated for my creations? That is a good question. Like many who create, I work in 2 separate spheres. My profession demands creativity on deadlines, video production, sales copy, industrial scripts, graphics, and event production for live performances. I find this kind of creativity rewarding in a way; it pays the bills. But I have to be honest, I gain little artistic fulfillment from such endeavors. Cliché, I know. But often, truth is nothing but cliché.
The rif for a new song hits me as I wake up this morning. I rush to the studio to record it before it leaves me.
Rustmonster goes steampunk. At rehearsal, Rustmonster rehearses one of their latest songs, an overture called March of the Fools.
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson My rating: 5 of 5 stars Do not miss this book. The turn of the 19th to the 20th century sits in America’s history as an important time for business, technological advancement, and cultural progress. The…
Perhaps creativity itself also thrives in clutter. For me, whether it is writing, composing, filmmaking, or building a prop for a stage show or movie, the creative process begins with an idea. That idea grows into a mess of junk, rattling, sprawl, and chaos. Just when the whole thing is about to explode, I get to work making order of the mess. This means stacking, dusting, putting things where they belong, and polishing.
About phonetic singing and converting the sense of lyrics into words during song writing.
Starting a new song feels like a new beginning. This new song will feature a saw/theremin waltz.
Talking about finishing the score to a new Rustmonster song called Clock Man, also about progress on the custom drum set for the live performance of the upcoming album.
Regarding creative doldrums where one is tempted to hang it up and move on to a new project. Only discipline can push a creator through to the end.
Talking about composing music and capturing great ideas as they come.
Talking about building a custom found percussion instrument.
Fly on the wall view of a Rustmonster recording session from mediaRif’s Studio.
Music night with the band, Wednesday night, a tradition for over a decade.
I recently read a novel by a well-known author (who shall remain nameless), a household name. It astounded me at how many rookie mistakes this author made. It has been said that one can learn just as much by reading a bad book as a good one. So, in lieu of my terrible experience wading…
Regarding composing more steampunk music for the upcoming album.
Vittorio, The Vampire by Anne Rice My rating: 1 of 5 stars Long ago I gave up on Anne Rice. I enjoyed her work when I was a young man. But it seems I grew up. By the time I had given up on her, I had decided she wrote down to me. I found…
Thinner by Richard Bachman My rating: 3 of 5 stars Another classic by the master. King infuses Gypsies into American culture with ease. He’s incredible at colliding opposing worlds and smashing his main characters right at the point of impact. A slight warning, however: with this book, like so many others by King, it is…
Discussing the art of resisting the temptation of jumping ship on a current project for another project.
Talking about how the 3rd performance of the Zombie Rock Opera went at LTUE. More LTUE today. And getting down to arranging.
Talking about building the steampunk show from the ground up. Rustmonster hires a master welder to create the ultimate found percussion drum kit.
A glimpse into the raw composition of a steampunk song. Minus tracks and experimenting.
Talking about composing the 6th song for the upcoming steampunk Rustmonster album.
Craig discusses the new Rustmonster album, a steampunk opera, that he is working on. He also reveals the date at which Rustmonster will be debuting the entire album as a live performance.
Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King My rating: 4 of 5 stars There are several things Stephen King does extremely well. We can now add hard boiled detective fiction to the list. Mr. Mercedes follows a retired detectives investigation of a sociopathic killer. The characters, as usual, are profound and well drawn. This one is a…
The Monster Hunters by Larry Correia My rating: 5 of 5 stars Well, what can I say? After reading Monster Hunters International, I am a big Larry Correia fan. This guy writes like water. His pacing is perfect. This book starts hot and never lets up. If you like guns, teeth, blood, and plenty of…
Funk Toast was probably the most musically fulfilling groups I have ever played with. I finally finished editing a reunion performance. It has everything to do with my latest novel, Funk Toast and the Pan-Galactic Prom Show.
Responding to a question from a VLOG viewer about novel writing software, I talk about the pros and cons of writing with Scrivener.
I’m opening up my daily log as a forum. If you have any questions about writing, music, or film, feel free to friend me on facebook at facebook.com/craignybo. IM me any questions and I will address them on camera.
Revival by Stephen King My rating: 5 of 5 stars In his novel, Revival, Stephen King takes readers once again on a wonderful journey. King, always a master of voice and multi-dimensional characters, delivers the goods in Revival. This novel follows the entire life of a man, from boyhood to adult. From religion, to relationships,…
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn My rating: 4 of 5 stars Flynn understands the mind of a sociopath. Her research comes through loud and clear in her book, Gone Girl. In her book, she creates a set of compelling characters then bends her reader’s perceptions of the motivations and actions of these characters. This deeply…
The indie experimental band Fasba Fpel invited me to come play on their 32nd album. That’s right, their 32nd. So how do they do it? They record and release everything they do. They get together weekly and record a 40-minute jam session and release it to their fans. I had a blast with these guys.
The end of the year is upon us. I swear, the older I get, the more it seems like years fly by like long weekends. Time is relative and for me it strikes and is gone like lightning. With a new year, it is essential to set new goals, to write them out and put together a plan to accomplish them. I plan to do so, partially in this article. I urge you to do the same.
I was honored to have the band Fasba Fpel invite me out of the blue to come and record an album with them. This band is remarkable in one way: they record an album every week. I was featured as the bass player on their 32nd album.
Cell by Stephen King My rating: 4 of 5 stars Great book. Stephen King shows his masterful ability to create a set of believable characters and fling them straight into the fire. This book gets going on page 1 and doesn’t let up until the end. He could easily write a sequel to this book,…
Craig talks about being a “hired gun” bass player in the Kevin Forbush band and about playing with other musicians.
The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder by Charles Graeber My rating: 3 of 5 stars Being a thriller author, I am disappointed in myself for not knowing about Charles Cullen, the #1 serial killer in all of American history. As a nurse, it is estimated by some that Cullen murdered…
I am thrilled to release my new novel, Funk Toast and the Pan-Galactic Prom Show (now available in paperback, eBook, and audiobook). I took some risks as I wrote this book and Bieber’s Finger (book 1 in the duology).
I have played music now for nearly half of my life with a group of my best friends. We have performed under the monikers of many band names and faces, including: Rustmonster, Wasasquatch, Funk Toast, The Big Sky Country Boys, and New Wave Dave. We have taken to lumping all of these bands under one umbrella that we call The Gangrene Band. One night, after recording a live track for an upcoming album in the studio, we realized that we had the whole band miced, trimmed, and ready to go. We decided to record an album, all in one romp, with no thought for what we would play. I simply pushed the record button and we started jamming. 40 minutes later, we had a new record (granted it was a record I would never sell). We called it Freestyle Gargoyles. I can’t in good conscience ever sell a jam session that is so disorganized and noisy. But I don’t mind sharing it for free. So here it is, a 40-minute jam entitled Freestyle Gargoyles.
I proudly present my 3rd and 4th novels, part 1 and part 2 in the Pan-Galactic Prom Show Duology. The novels are called Bieber’s Finger and Funk Toast and the Pan-Galactic Prom Show. Click on the video below to see me formally introduce the books and read the 1st chapter (complete with background music and sound effects).
Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman My rating: 4 of 5 stars Great Child’s Tale, In The Spirit of the Icelandic Sagas When it comes to Neil Gaiman, I find myself drawn to his children’s stories more than his adult fiction. Odd and the Frost Giants doesn’t disappoint. This charming, short novel is…
Everville by Clive Barker My rating: 2 of 5 stars Everville breaks the rules but it probably shouldn’t. As a young man, I read a lot of Clive Barker. I think mainly I was drawn to him due to a 1-sentence endorsement from Stephen King, which said, “I have seen the future of horror and…
I am super excited to appear on Dungeon Crawlers Radio this coming Thursday night.
Listen in at 6pm Mountain Time. Call in and ask me anything about my 2 new books, Bieber’ s Finger and Funk Toast and the Pan-Galactic Prom Show.
As I send off the final assets of book two of my new duology, which I call the Pan-Galactic Prom Show, a feeling of loss comes over me. Writing novels is such lonely work. Each novel represents hundreds of hours of sitting by oneself with nothing but the clacking of keys and the even louder maelstrom of character voices, scenes, and action in ones head.
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