Nov 27, 2015

Thanksgiving Ramble

I've never cared too much for Thanksgiving, always liked Halloween better, but this year I have a lot to be thankful for. Things I know are beyond me that through whatever mysterious universal forces are at play have been given to me. Things I never thought possible. Things I can hold.

Love. Happiness. Purpose.

I've made new friends, new music, new writings. Seen life take shape in front of me. It's beautiful. 

When I started writing, I was fourteen, filled with varying levels of anger, isolation, pride, and love. That kid couldn't see far enough into the future to know what the next month was going to be like much less to be able to see this; where I am now. Where it has taken me.

Especially when things were at their worst. But a few years ago I decided to try and take my life into my own hands. To take charge of my own happiness and the fruit from that small, innocuous seed has finally started to appear. However small. However fragile. But I can see it now.

This week is the first week I've spent everyday in the studio just ripping through ideas. Finished some ideas for Red this week, working on a new Idyll Green song, and a new one for Larry.

Also started a new draft of a novel I've been working on. Something I've put away for a while because it's a little terrifying. Music I know. Music I have confidence. But novel writing is naked and new and beautiful and self-defeating and horrifying and divine. I'm very excited about it cause I have a possible lead on publishing it, if I can buckle down my editing...

So for now, I'm just gonna ride this wave for a while, wherever it takes me. Writing more of my travel story for next week.

until then

- rene

as always if you want to talk you can reach me on this blog, and @hacienda_tx on twitter. much love.

Nov 19, 2015

Red Marathon and Test

After a straight week of studio writing I'm feeling buzzed. Red Rosamond came from LA to grace our humble Saxet Sounds with her talent and we couldn't have had a better time. She fit in so well to our strangeness.

It's one of the biggest things we look for when we decide who to work with. Not only do they have to have talent, which she does her voice is so special, but they have to have the right attitude.

For exploring new ideas.

For jumping out of comfort zone at full speed.

For giving back and forth.

For trusting in the music.

The five of us cranked out 5 Funky/Soul/Spy grooves in as many days. I can't wait to share that with you guys. 

Really proud.

The three of us will be spending some time polishing those up.

Doing a test run of our new project... but more on that next week... and writing a new Idyll Green song. The story just came to me today while I was sitting on the couch listening to drum takes.

A seed of an idea but something I can work with. 

Till next week. 


p.s. like and follow me here for more news. or ask me a question on twitter @hacienda_tx

Nov 11, 2015

Hangover Lunches / 605 Miles From Home Pt 2

605 Miles From Home pt 2

We'd made it into the diner only seconds before it really began to pour. In a few minutes the rain filled the street, overwhelmed the gutter and crept over the sidewalk.

Normally I love a flash flood. Maybe because it's a very South Texas thing to go from a beautiful day to 10 minutes of intense rain. The crack of an Earth-shaking, chest pounding thunder and the way lightning spreads out wild illuminated fingers through the sky. So primordial and anciently terrifying, touching down into some instinct part of me. And then nothing. As if it never was.

That day, my stomach was having too rough time to enjoy any of it. 

A mixture of travel exhaustion and late-night drinking had me queasy. Making the storm feel unsettling instead of romantically melancholy. And looking through the menu of a New Orleans greasy spoon wasn't helping either.

I think I would have just gone somewhere else had it not been so torrential at the moment.

The place looked like some weird version of Al's Diner. Our server, paper hat, apron and all, was going down our line of bar-stools collecting drink orders on his notepad.

I was being indecisive. My eyes couldn't even find where to start. The menu was looking like a blur of black letters, red lines, and poorly lit photos of unappetizing food.

He started with the others, "What I get you man?"

He had a voice 15 dbs too loud for my head. He was energized, enthusiastic, and trying hard to be friendly. I guess to cover the fact that he was a fighter. Intimidating in size and height. Cauliflower ear. Knuckles flat as a board. Left eye brow scar. Speech slurred and spacey. He easily weighed something around, 2 and 1/2 musicians combined.



Damn that went fast. My turn.

"My man, coffee like your friends?"

"Uh... no..." I could feel my stomach knot, and the weird feeling of having to swallow when there's nothing there, "Diet Coke."
He laughed, "I gotcha. I gotcha. This guy needs me to turn down the lights!"


He yelled it, but I don't think anyone noticed. Over the pan-slapping , yelling, and sizzling of the fry cooks, conversation was light. Partly because of my state, though I wasn't the only one feeling off, and partly because I was still finding my way into the group.

Fred was looking for the best Vegetarian option that wasn't another omelet like we had only a few hours before we went to sleep, and Dave was getting menu recommendations.

I halfheartedly debated what meal was least likely to come back up between a burger and the house special (a piled on mountain of a sandwich recommended to Dave by our waiter) while my mind wandered off about this.

It'd been a while since I played with completely new people. It'd been a while since I had been thrown in to socialize with completely new people.

A new band.

How weird it is to start one.  How hard it is to find people I like, much less play with, or start a business together with. Besides musical chemistry, which is rare and difficult enough to find, you need to be able to hang with the members.

All day. Every day. For months. For years. Again and again. Without driving each other crazy. All focused. All giving more than should be asked. All willing to sacrifice again and again.

My brothers and I have been through so much I don't think you could find a tighter band. We don't always agree, and it isn't perfect or easy, but we have a way of finding a compromise. Of fighting it out and moving on.

My drink came. A lukewarm can and one of those cheap, thick plastic cups that still felt hot like it was pulled out of the dishwasher filled with crushed ice.  I like that I know the cup is freshly clean but the heat makes for a weird taste. At least I had the ice.

Two men came into the restaurant. Shoes sloshing and umbrellas dripping by the door.

"Got tired of waiting outside?" The server yelled at them, "Might as well grab a drink my man. I'll getcha."

"It just won't stop," They laughed, grabbed a bar-stool a few spaces down from us, and started on about the weather as the server did his same loud routine for the new customers.

I turned to Fred, "What you decide?"

"Omelet," he sighed.

"Goin' for two," I laughed as he shrugged. Fred tossed me a what-about-you look. "Ugh... hamburger I guess? I dunno."

I think I burned through two glasses of water and a diet coke before I even ordered.

And the rain fell harder.

And the smells of grease and meat came from the kitchen.

And the sounds of the two new customers ordering. And the server still yelling. And the cooks laughing and dropping pans.

And all my thoughts spinning.

The first show was that night. 

The real fire.

Being thrown into a new band, with its own history and methods, I was still finding my boundaries and my place. 



Late night Jazz bars and omelets. 

Hangover Lunches.

All bringing us a little closer.

But that night will make it happen or not. The music can make us. And it doesn't matter who we are or what we were. On stage we are together forced to make something happen or fail trying. 
And just like that, the rain stopped.


Nov 6, 2015


Driving home from Austin, and a killer Daytrotter session. Playing some alternate versions of 4 Idyll Green tunes.

Body Language
Nobody Else
Gentleman (Do It Right)

Just drums, an upright piano, and bass of course. Can't wait to share it with you. Had a Sam Cooke stripped down 60's pop vibe. I loved it.

Definitely a smaller arrangement than what the recorded versions are but the heart was all there.

Gotta get writing the next part of my story somewhere before the next recording session starts...

Also, our good friend Red is flying over from LA to do some writing and vibe building in our studio. Got some ideas ready for her. 

More next week...

Much Love

- rene

PS you can check out all my Daytrotter Hacienda Stuff Here.