Monday, September 29, 2008


I've been talking about this one since my job as an in-house songwriter for ISLAND FILM GROUP (and this blog) began...and finally here she is!

In Spring 2007 I was happy to receive the news that my song "Thicker Than Leather" was to be licensed for a TV show called BEYOND THE BREAK which is shown on the WB version of Nickelodon called "The N" or "Noggin". Since then I've been patiently (and not so patiently) waiting to see it's episode placement, and feel what I found true to be the bizarre experience of your song being used in the opposite context in which it was created. Not yet having aired the new season in America, this footage was uploaded to Youtube by someone having seen it in Canada.

For a song written with the intention of creating dialogue regarding what is in fact substantial living vs. empty daily a surf montage post-hormone fueled conversation it works surprisingly well...


A BIG Thanks to BEYOND THE BREAK and the folks at Brookwell/McNamara for including me in this season...Enjoy!

(Feel free to watch the whole thing, but to go right to the goods skip to the 4:40 minute mark.)

K to the S

Monday, September 22, 2008

Dorms and Wine. Issue #68

My little bro Mateo flew in from Hawaii last week to spend some days in Seattle before Mandi and I moved him up to the Western Washington University dorms. On Friday, we packed the car full of all the necessary domestic supplies that he needed from the 100,000 trips we made to Target...

I never did the going away to college thing (Community College represent!) so it was cool to see how the whole moving in process worked. It seems like the school will be a great place for him and it was interesting to see what my life would have been like if I didn't pursue music like I did by staying in Seattle. I can also see why so many of my friends refer to going away to school as one of the best periods of their life, and in some ways always trying to regain that time. It looked like he's gonna have a great 4 years, and made sure I had the obligatory big brother talk regarding guys our size not trying to keep up with the big boys in terms of drinking if only for the fact that he will die if he does. Literally, we Stevens/Galindez boys are made of baby parts; I'm not gonna lie. That is also his nickname and how he will be referred to on this blog from now on. Sorry Mateo, some things were just meant to be...

On Saturday I had the first in my series of winery shows I have booked for this fall with a road trip to Moses Lake to perform at KYRA WINES. Bruce and Kyra Baerlocher are the owners of the winery and I was honored when they asked me to play for their first wine event after moving into their new and larger facility. The drive over The Pass was really beautiful and I'm seriously looking forward to more shows in Eastern Washington for that reason as well. It was a long day after the 4 hour drive, the 3 hour performance, and the drive back but was completely worth it and I look forward to returning for their future events.

Being that it was such a long show, I referenced my "Master Song List" that I'd been compiling over the past 6-months or so that contains every song I've written over the past 4-years including songs from KS Band, COLLIDER, and a few LAYMANS TERMS songs that I still enjoy playing. Not counting the KIRBY KRACKLE material that we're working on or the few covers I play, the existing playable material reaches the count of approx. 80 songs. Damn!

I had no idea I had that much stuff, and thankfully it allowed me to put together 3 sets for the show that I've listed below for those who are interested in that sort of thing...

Set #1:

Everyone (Instrumental)
Mexican Jail
With You
The Last Time I Was Bored
I Never Missed You More Than When I Was Not Around
Memories Of Us (Rodney Crowell)
Sun Takes You Home
Getaway Car
Hey, Jealousy (Gin Blossoms)
Vouch For Me
Blue Sky Thoughts (Gigi Edgley)

Set #2

Turn Another Page (Instrumental)
Getting Better
Thicker Than Leather
Japanese Girlfriend (New Version)
Big Green Wheels
Always Remember
The Actor
Sparkle And Fall
Anna Marie (Acoustic Version)
Always Love
Holding You
Big Purple Robe
Billie Jean (Michael Jackson)

Set #3

This Is Not A Love Song
Roman Candle
Counting On You
Perfect Disaster
Backdrive (Acoustic Version)
Matches In The Walls
Tony Stark
River Valentine
Turtle Parts

Lots of songs, lots of fun, and if I keep playing sets this long the usual 45-minute show will seem like a blink of the eye me thinks.

I spoke to my new publicist the other day and there's been some really good album critic reviews for SONGS FROM THE ORANGE ROOM coming in that I hope to have posted in the next week or so!
Kyle Stevens - Songs from the Orange Room

Hope everyone is doing well these and slipping in nicely to the new season by keeping a good book close and your lovies even closer...

See you in 7!


Monday, September 15, 2008

Huff And Puff. Issue #67

I posted a bunch of new shows away from Seattle for later this Fall (see my show widget), and will be playing this Saturday at Kyra Wines in Moses Lake. The winery will be having their Fall tasting event on September 20th and tickets are $35 each for dinner and wine tasting. For more info or to reserve a place at the event by emailing

I'll be playing for 3 hours that night, which is one of the many reasons I've taken up running again. Now I know I'm a little guy, but the late 20's metabolism shift seems to spare no one, including me. When I perform solo, it's pretty chill stage energy wise but earlier in the summer at the COLLIDER shows I noticed that I was getting winded by some things that never had affected me before and was hinted the fact that I might not be in as good a cardio-shape as I have been in the past.

Too much information? Possibly, but this blog is about the good AND the ugly side of music...

Seriously though, I realized that that was NO GOOD and decided this summer to get back into some good exercise habits. I was a hardcore swimmer up until the end of High School and though I LOVE swimming, the thought of starting with running was a little more convenient. I'm not the music guy that has a pool in the backyard...yet. ;)

I've been trying really hard to consistently get up @ 6:00 AM and head out for what I tracked out to be 2.8 miles, and religiously doing some yoga DVD's that were recommended to me for about 4 days a week. My hope is that I can develop some long term habits (besides having to have the toilet paper roll face a certain way) and that it all will benefit my performing and inspire the writing with all the good chemicals flying around in there. Honestly, I'm pretty envious of fellow performing musicians that can eat like crap, drink like fish and can perform without being worse for it. Me, I'm not built like that for whatever reason and there's NO way in hell I'm letting people pay for tickets to see somebody sing half ass cause their butt needs to start running. Maybe it's just me, but that's what I expect out of performers I see at shows.



Monday, September 8, 2008

The Other Side, The RNC, and The VMA's. Issue #66

Last Sunday I stopped by the Fremont Farmers Market on a brisk morning with the family. It had been a while since I had been to "The Center Of The Universe" for a reason other than to play at one of the area's clubs, and for once it was nice to be greeted by smell of pastries and coffee instead urine and beer.

I always try to stop and look at the vendor art not only cause I like it, but because I'm sensitive to the cause since my Mom has done the same thing for years. It's a tough living; the days you make a good sale are almost as many in number as the days you sell nothing at all. Still, what I've gathered from her and from my own experience is that the connections you make with people from all over are a big part of what makes the hard times worth while. I stumbled across a woman selling "Pillow Monsters" (cute trendy couch art), and upon scoping out her tent further discovered she was was a psychic/intuitive. Now, up until this point I had never sat down for a reading in my life but not for a lack of wanting to. Most times I see readings available they're for a staggering price of $85 on average for a 1 hour session, and every time I decide it's ultimately not worth it. This time I was told the price was $15 for 15 min. and took her up on her offer. What intrigued me first about this woman was that she didn't have the "look" of what pop-culture would tell us a psychic looks like. She looked like your average REI Mom and when she described what she did there was no theater and was very matter-of-fact about the whole thing. This was what she does, what her family has always done, and how she made part of her living.

Fair enough.

She and I walked over to her table at the back of the tent, sat me down, and had me hold out my hands for my "initial" palm reading. Before we started my session the cynic in me thought I should survey my "situation". I was dressed pretty non-descript, and was confident that I wasn't giving away any "tells" that she could read off of. Hitting the timer she stared at my hands for a few seconds, looked up at me, and told me things one right after another that she couldn't have known any other way than the fact that she had a gift.

She told me that my parent's were divorced when I was little, and that a huge line between my right index finger/thumb was a "damaged line" as a result of that and subsequently having pneumonia and other illnesses very young from being an upset little guy. She told me that I had a little brown dog (no hair on me) that was one of my best friends and with whom I had a very strong connection. She told me I was a songwriter and that I had always "done that" in every one of my past lives; that when I got my first guitar at 13 I knew that was the thing for me. I found myself shocked and obviously unprepared for the experience; for someone who didn't know me at all to tell me so many things completely true about myself. Still, it wasn't creepy in the slightest. She had the aura of being completely confident with what she was telling me, and her relaxed demeanor put me at ease in my initial discomfort. For the next 13 minutes she continued to tell me some other things that I'm not going to list here, but know that it was a very inspiring and emotionally rewarding experience.

I've told a few people about it since then and what I'm met with 70% of the time is laughter and immense skepticism. That's understandable. I get it. I honestly don't even really have my final thoughts on the experience dialed in yet, but I'd by lying if I said I haven't thought about it every day, a couple times a day since then. My partial conclusion is that though true there is a world of scam artists out there, it is equally true that there is a world that we know nothing about. A very cool experience that I would recommend to anyone who has any interest at all...

On the other end of the human spectrum of coolness was last week's RNC Convention. Before you throw up, I assume if you're like me you're sick to death of the coverage, and also if you're like me there's a 1000 other bloggers who can write about it better. That said, I'll make it brief. People don't like being lied too. People are smarter than they are given credit for. People aren't scared anymore. The big win of the RNC Con? "THE DAILY SHOW" is becoming one of the new 7 WONDERS OF THE WORLD. Can you imagine being a writer for a show that never has to worry about a lack of material? I can and I dream about it everyday...

This weekend was the showing of MTV's 2008 VMA's. I, a lot my musician friends, and friends in general have given up on MTV but for some reason the VMA Awards hold a place in my heart. For a skinny kid with big rock dreams growing up before the internet age, it was the place where I would be able to sit and watch live performances/interviews with parents; where I could could show them a piece of who I was. My little sister, baby brother, and my parents would order pizza, sit down for a night of amazing live performances, and wait for the inevitable comment from my Mom, "O.K, I feel old...I don't know who half of these people are!" Eventually, that would become "ANY of these people!" I specially remember the summer ('93?) where I was heavily into two bands on the polar opposites of mainstream music, COUNTING CROWS and GREEN DAY. I listened to "August and Everything After" and "Dookie" RELIGIOUSLY and freaked out when I realized my heroes would actually be performing and my parents were going to see who they were despite my months of ineffective description. Their performances KICKED ASS as I would sit cross-legged in my Green day t-shirt with braced mouth agape in rock-god worship. I remember looking back for their approval; wondering if their minds were blown as much as mine was. I remember telling my sister to SHUT-UP during the solo lest I miss a magical moment that I would have to blame her for forever. Don't get me wrong, a large part of the awards have always been crap but the difference now is that I no longer see MY heroes at the event. These are other peoples heroes and thus is natural order of things. I'll never see R.E.M. deliver an alternate version of "Drive" again, or have the opportunity to be exposed to NEIL YOUNG via a jam with PEARL JAM on "Rocking In The Free World". This is the stuff that raised me and it's sad to know it's time has passed in the eyes of today's network programmers and show producers. I'm not ready to quote my Mom's "I feel old" declaration yet, but after watching the awards I feel the current pulling me that way. But then again there's always next year...

Before I go please notice the "Followers" link on the top right panel. This is a new feature that Blogger recently posted, and I would appreciate it if YOU would add yourself to the list. It's nice to know who's reading and let's me get a view across the other side of the fence. Thanks. :)


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Catching Up (Ketchuping). Issue #65

I'm looking out the window of THE ORANGE ROOM and I'm asking myself, "Where did Summer go?"

Was it here and no one told me or was I slipped a Ruffie with a three-month duration and everyone's got amazing story's of warm weather and vacations to share? Really weird. Fall is my favorite season but even I have to hold off on changing seasons mentally. Either way, it looks like the next couple of weeks will be "Spring-esque" in feeling so enjoy it while you can!

Though this blog is about music, it would be totally artificial to bring you constant stories of studio magic and 100% performance glory. That's not real life (no matter how much I would like it to be). Instead, for me it's all about the stuff inbetween that fuels the fire to make the successes that much more so. If this blog entry seems completely random, well then you're right. In between working simultaneously on 2 (holy crap) albums there's been a lot of stuff I haven't sat back to reflect on that I would have liked to so if this entry is a selfish one so be it; this is the stuff that matters most...

Our really good neighbor friends "The Maleks" (Joe, Tiff, and Kai) moved away to San Diego a few weeks ago and after a whirlwind moving frenzy in the last few days I realized how much I'm really going to miss them. After a first impression of thinking we had some nice Mexican neighbors (really 1/2 Japanese/Filipino), the Wifey and I quickly bonded over laughs with this really nice family and their cute as hell kid Kai. You may recognize him as the "Little Devil" from my "Sparkle And Fall" video.

Over the past year, they have really become family to us and I really cherish the connection we have. They had also let me turn 4 year-old Kai into an action figure/superhero addict and let me poke, trip, douse with water and whatever trauma I wanted to inflict on him happen without blinking. They have also been constant supporters of what I do and I've highly valued their unique perspectives during times of struggle. Truly great people and San Diego is lucky to have them...

I love weddings. It's just a good time with a lot of great vibes going around. Everyone looks nice, and it's one of the few places you can dance with your family. Did I mention I really love weddings? A few weekends ago, I went to my cousin Jayme's wedding on Camano Island for a beachfront ceremony under a beautiful August sunset. I don't really see this side of my family very much, but I like 'em more and more when I do. We took the Grandparents for what as I stated on Twitter was a "double date that found it's median somewhere roughly in the early 1970's." Think about that one...
A beautiful night!

Last week's APPLE BASEBALL 2008 video trumped the KIRBY KRACKLE performance review (subjective), but I couldn't let it go without saying a few words about it. Invited by the guys from THE COMIC STOP to perform at their summer BBQ, the goal was to debut a few of the KIRBY KRACKLE songs (about comics/geek culture) to the belly of the beast (comic/geek culture fans). Easy enough right? Hmmmm...needless to say I was a little nervous to witness the first impression as the audience for this kinda stuff will MAKE or BREAK you without a second thought. I should know...I'm one of them.
Donning my "X-Men" shirt (when in Rome) I played a 1/2 set of my solo material and then ended with three of the KK songs to a thankfully enthusiastic crowd. KK co-writer JIM DEMONAKOS and I took some constructive feedback and left with a sense of what worked and what could be improved on. Considering these are songs about subjects that people feel a life-long investment in, it's really in our best interest to get feedback like that should we inadvertently "wreck" someone's childhood with an inaccurate JUSTICE LEAGUE reference...:)

We recently finished playing host to in-laws from ARKANSAS and decided to mark their visit with a overnight trip to Victoria, B.C. It's always been a special place for me because it reminds me of High School Marching Band trips (3 years in a row), and the only time a girlfriend has ran away from me down the street yelling. That's a story for another time though...

Victoria is great because it still tries to tread the line between a full fledged tourist mecca and a attitude of, "Oh, I'm sorry I didn't know you were here." It's a place where you can still get excited about "Maple Candy", cute old ladies sweeping the sidewalk as they open for business, and drooling in front of bakery windows. Speaking of those bakeries, the day I go postal it won't be with me shooting anyone, it'll be me TEARING THOSE PLACES UP. Mmmmm...fruit tarts. If you've never been, make sure you get up there and see a little piece of the U.K. close to home. Oh, and try not to have your car battery die in the middle of the ferry line. FAIL. Butchart Gardens? WIN!

I think that brings stuff up to speed! I'll leave you with a little story that will dissolve your possible false views that plants don't have souls. This has been the summer of yardwork (wake up, it gets better...) and specifically removing a HUGE tree in the front yard. This beast has been constantly dripping sap on us, and not in the sexy way.


Some workers came out to cut it down, I subsequently learned Vietnamese in 3 days, and the world kept rotating as it should. After all the clean-up was finished and everyone had left, I walked past the HUGE pile of trimmed branches all cut into 18" sections that the workers had stacked nicely and approached the fallen tree stump.
Upon looking closer, I could count the rings to see that the tree was 49 years-old and I felt bad for it. My desire to not clean sap off of my car anymore was more important that this huge life I had just ended. I thought to myself, "Sorry, tree", and walked away. Not more than 2 seconds later...the ENTIRE FREAKING PILE of stacked branches came down as I walked past. To quote my neighbor Lita, "The Ent has fallen, and he's pissed!"