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Showing posts from 2008

Jim Carlson Reunites with Amanda Parks

Jim Carlson will join forces with Amanda Parks at Intermission on December 11, 2009 and January 15, 2009. Amanda has a great voice and song selection, stop on out!

Eight Hours is a Marathon

Performing at Granite Peak is one of my most challenging, yet rewarding gigs. The most difficult factor is time: The shows are a whopping eight hours. Most gigs run in the 3-4 hour range, thus the Peak shows are essentially two back-to-back shows...a double header of sorts. Physically, playing and singing for eight hours is exhausting. My fingers ache, my voice is usually shot. It is more of a workout than a performance!

I'm not complaining. Performing at the Peak reunites me with old friends and provides me the opportunity to perform for people from the all over the region. Performing for such a long time frame also provides time to revisit music that I have not played in a while. The best part of the gig is that the crowd comes and goes, thus there are certain songs that can be played more than once (kind of like a radio station, repeating 'favorite songs at the top of the hour'). Also, I am thankful when guests like Tyler, Rob and Sam stop by to play guest sets!

As diffic…

Time, Choice and Consequences

Being a musician presents the opportunity to meet people from many walks of life. I've chatted with millionaires, politicians, people who are penny-less, dreamers, actors, famous people, and people who are looking to escape their reality for an evening. Along the way I've met extraordinary people and extraordinarily average people, but each person has a story that intrigues me. Maybe that is why I perform to begin with: to share stories.

Many years ago, I met a girl (who's name I can not recall) who fancied herself a poet, a writer. This is not unusual, in fact, a lot of people come up to me and want me to put music to their words. (I rarely do, as my songs are a byproduct of my own existence.) I remember chatting with her briefly, and sadly, remember very little about her beyond one thing: She gave me a book.

The paperback book she gave me was called Einstein's Dreams. (Read the Wiki or buy it for as little as one cent at Amazon dot com. One cent, wow.) The book is an…


I seem to have been in flux for some time now.

In November 2006, I decided to take a break from regular performances. Although I have returned to performing, I have not even approached the volume of gigs I left behind in 2006. Best yet, I don't care. I like performing, and it is fun again. I simply don't allow my performance schedule to control my life.

July 2007, I downsized from a 2000 square foot town house to an almost 800 square foot former suite in an old hotel. I sorted through my life, and walked away from two thirds of my worldly possessions. It is amazing how much of our lives is spent collecting things that are really unessential and unimportant. It is also noteworthy that we spend a lot of time maintaining things we don't need.

July 2008, I left my job of 18 years. Think about that for a second. My generation is noted for job hopping and lack of company loyalty. 18 years is a long time in today's era. I didn't leave because I was bitter (sure, there were m…

Barr Special Typewriter

I am the proud recipient of an early desktop publishing system, the Barr Special typewriter. Manufactured in the late 20's and early 30's, this piece of history came to me courtesy of FreeCycle.

Citizen Wausau @ Chalk Festival

By Cheryl Mathis, writer..artist

Precert on the Square Wrap Up

The Wausau Symphony Band and the Precert crowd got along fine. The Band played their concert, then we played the Precert. Good times, good people, good food and pretty good music.

The Precert Crowd

Rob Piehl, Jim Carlson, Will Heisler, L Charles.

John Hocker, Will Heisler

Jim Carlson, Will Heisler

Precert on the Square

We ended last year's concert season with our very own "Noncert on the Square"... And plan to begin this year's season with our very own "Precert on the Square"...

Who: Jim Carlson & Rob Piehl with Friends or who ever shows up.
When: Wednesday, June 18th, 6:00 pm.
Where: The 400 Block Square, Downtown Wausau.

Bring your picnic baskets, your booze (if you're 21+), your blankets/lawnchairs and your friends (if you have them).

Additional Information:
This is a very informal gathering, all musicians welcome. It is a big park, we can take turns or spread out.

The Precert is an acoustic gathering, no amps.

****Late Breaking Update****
The Wausau Symphony will also be appearing at the 400 block Wednesday from 6-8. We will now play during their breaks. The way I look at it the Wausau Symphony is acoustic, and will make great guests!

Apples @ Subway

Eating healthy is easier.....yogurt and apple slices are side options @ Subway. (Apparently I've been sleeping, they've been available since February.)


BeeVee: [bee][vee]: verb. To state that you are leaving, only to stay.

I was going to leave the party, but I beeveed when I saw Molly was there.

Trapper beeveed in MASH, when he found out ulcers would not get him out of the Army

[Origin: 2008, Americanism; Credited to Brian Veenendall.]

The Breakfast of Champions

Diet Pepsi, Chef Salad with Cheeto crutons, French dressing.....Keith's breakfast...

Houses on the Move - Scott Street Wausau

Another of those situations where I was in the right place at the right time. The historic Marchetti and Nathan Houses moving past the Dudley Building [approx 1:15 am CST]:

New Jim Carlson Stuff

Hello faithful reader(s)!

Been working on two web geek things:

1. A Jim Carlson Facebook 'Band' Page. Facebook's functionality keeps getting better and better. In fact, using Facebook is much easier than MySpace, especially on posting and inviting people to my gigs. [The new page allows me to invite all my 'fans' to a gig with one click....nice.] There are also areas for fans to upload photos, videos and create discussion boards.

So, feel free to head over to the new page and 'fan' me! [Don't worry MySpacer's....I'll keep updating my MySpace Jim Carlson Music page.]

2. I've been tossing around creating a new marketing blog that deals with internet marketing, mobile marketing, social marketing and music marketing. The irony is that I learned internet marketing to promote my music, especially my "Out of Fashion" time, internet marketing became my day job. So without further ado, I present my new blog: JimCarlsonDotNet.

What yo…

The Jim Carlson Trio / Cool Hand @ Mickeys 5-22-08

Thursday, May 22nd, The Jim Carlson Trio and Cool Hand shared the stage at Mickey's Billiards.

The Jim Carlson Trio was the reunited "Out of Fashion" line up: with Roger Bardo (bass) and Sean McCue (drums).

A unique performance note: This was the first Trio show that I played completely acoustic guitars, just my 60's Strat. It was a nice change up.

As you can see from the pics, the Trio becomes Cool Hand when Rob Piehl jumps on stage. My role simply changes from 'Trio leader' to 'guitarist' as Rob leads the band.

The Jim Carlson Trio
Roger Bardo (bass), Sean McCue (drums)
Jim Carlson (voice/guitar)
Cool Hand
Rob Piehl (voice/guitar), Jim Carlson (guitar)
Roger Bardo (bass), Sean McCue (drums)

Red Eye Brewing Company

Friday night was my first opportunity to stop by Downtown Wausau's latest restaurant/brewpub, Red Eye Brewing Company.

Service was quick and friendly despite the fact that the place was packed. [The Exibitour certainly helped draw in people who were already downtown.] The beer was tasty, and the handcrafted pizza was tasty without being heavy.

Kudos to Kevin Eichelberger and his crew, check em out!

Free Albums: NIN, The Charlatans & More

By now, most of you know about the Radiohead In Rainbows free album download, which is no longer available.....

Last week Nine Inch Nails offered a free download of The Slip, following the release of some free tracks of Ghosts.

Today I was checking out Sky News and read the article: 'It's Time To Make Us Some Money' which talks about British band The Charlatans who offered up their latest album, "You Cross My Path" for free on XFM and have decided to tour to generate revenue.

All that lead me to a great blog that specializes in free, legal album (not just track) downloads: Free Albums Galore.

It is clear, well established artists can give away music and later sell it (as Radiohead, NIN and The Charlatans have done) without traditional record label support much like independent musicians have been doing for years.

A lot of the revenue these bands generate is coming from special edition packaging of their work and touring. It is a simple formula: give music away to fan…

Saltine Sally

saltine sally - [sawl-teen] [sal-ee], verb, noun.

A saltine sally is a person who is a wussy, square cracker. Damn it Mumbles, quit acting like a saltine sally!

[Origin: 2008, Americanism; Credited to singer songwriter Jim Carlson]

Positive, Positive, Negative, Frame

Today was the first day in six weeks I drove to work. It was planned. You see, the streak was beginning to wear on me. There were calls from the international press corps, reality TV offers and people in Vegas asking about parimutuel betting.

There were lots of opinions about my 'walking to work' streak:
Six weeks? I know people who walk to work everyday for years. Your streak is really no big deal.
Wow, six weeks? I have to drive 40 min every are sooo lucky to live so close to work.
Jim, that's really neat...but honestly, who cares?Jim, how long do you think you can keep this up? [Answer: Six Weeks]
As predicted, there were several factors to my decision to drive. I had an errand to run at lunch and I really didn't feel like hoofing it. Also, it was snowing out most of the day [snowing when it is nearly May is excuse enough, eh?]...

After my appointment, I received a phone call from a friend who had accidentally left his lights on. There was a dead battery, coul…

Solomon Remus Benefit - Thanks

Would like to thank the bands, fans and friends of Solomon Remus for attending his benefit/tribute concert last night: Rob Piehl (who joined me), Vinny Bex Dae, To the Ground, Solanum Plague, Corpse Show Creeps & Prey on Hope. Big kudos to Coral Lanes for hosting the event.

Also thanks to Z104, the City Pages and the Wausau Daily Herald for press coverage. For a snapshot on Solomon's life, check out his MySpace page.

Five Weeks

Week five has come and gone, and I continued my walk-to-work streak.

Friday was the first day in a while where I actually thought about driving, as it was raining. I decided to brave the rain and keep the streak alive.

Four Weeks Running, I mean Walking

Tomorrow will mark the end of the fourth week I have been walking to work - everyday.

Walking to work is nothing new for me, it only takes about seven minutes each way. I usually walk to work 2-3 days a week. There are days, of course, where it is practical to have a car [running errands, further out appointments, Wisconsin weather].

It started innocently enough. I didn't set out to see 'how long can I go with out driving'. I wasn't inspired by the size of my carbon footprint. I didn't even watch a documentary about the demise of our planet. Truth be told, I wasn't attempting to start a health kick. Gas prices? Nope, I have a very fuel efficient car and I only had to fill every 2-3 weeks anyway. I just decided on March 10th to walk to work.

When Tuesday the 11th came around, I had places to be after work, but thought, "I'll just walk back and get my car later". Day after day, I walked. I really didn't think much about it until last week wh…

It's been a while....

'It’s been a while since you’ve been around
A stranger to this town - An empty lost and found'
When Love Dies from the forthcoming Jim Carlson album Further Out

For the last four months, I've been quiet. It is not that things are not happening, I'd just rather not talk about the details (or the generalities, for that matter).

I've started several posts and writing them has been reflective and therapeutic, but I just couldn't hit the 'publish' button. Sometimes this media seems rather self indulgent.

Musically, things have been interesting. On the Saturday before Saint Patrick's Day, The Jim Carlson Trio hit the stage at Mickey's Billiards with an unconventional line up that included John Hocker on bass along with former Les Nillissen Band drummer Dave Keefe and Cool Hand front man Rob Piehl on rhythm / lead guitar. The trio was once again a four piece.

Now it is not unusual to see Rob and I on stage together, but historically I'm playing rhythm …