Archive for September, 2006

Vote for Nick to Win the Bix $50,000 Second Chance Contest!

Posted: Sep 22, 2006

OK, so American Idol was a bust. 9 hours waiting in line in the August heat only to be told you’re not the right demographic they’re looking for this year! But all is not lost!

The second chance contest ends Sept 30. You can help Nick fund his journey by voting for him online. It only takes 3 minutes, it’s very easy, and it doesn’t cost you a cent. (Plus, Nick will love you forever!) – This is a simple winner-take-all contest.

No Simon. No Paula. No Randy. Just the people voting at home. Or at work. Or in a coffee shop somewhere.

Here’s How to help Nick:

  • 1. Go to
  • 2. The song should start automatically. Listen to Nick sing “Chariot” (originally by Gavin DeGraw)
  • 3. Click the voting button – thumbs up!!
  • 4. You’ll be taken to a page where they’ll ask you to sign up. Enter the appropriate information and click “Sign Up.”

That’s it. Once you’re signed up, your vote gets counted. Click here for a PDF of instructions you can forward to your friends.

UPDATE (9/24/06):

My contest entry has had many fraudulent votes from an unknown source and is currently being investigated.

Please vote only once per person. Voting multiple times with the same computer using different accounts is against’s Policy and could actually get me into trouble. If anyone has voted more than once already, please let me know so that we can correct the situation and play fair for everyone. Thanks. -nd

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Nick’s Journey Episode 1 Posted!

Posted: Sep 17, 2006

Hot off the editing floor. Enjoy. -ND

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DAY 71 – band practice ain’t summer camp

Posted: Sep 15, 2006

iparty44 Been working on putting a new band together…

It’s the kind of thing you wish you could just hold auditions for and be done with it in an afternoon. But really, it’s more of an evolution than anything. As much as you’d like to, you can’t just decide who your band is because Tommy plays the drums and Mike’s got a PA system. No sir, you gotta play around with it for awhile.

So many things need to come together, and I’m a little frustrated with it all right now. I started playing with a great drummer names Tres and a Hendrix-induced guitarist named Dean, and they’re great. Really super talented. But they’ve already got a band of their own and they play in a completely different style than I do. They’re pretty much straight ahead funk, whereas I prefer to lay back a little and make my rock more soulful and bluesy.

These cats clap on 1 and 3, if you know what I mean. 🙂

So are they right for my band? I dunno. I’ll tell you in a few more rehearsals.

Man, where’s Randy Jackson when you need him?

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Michi, Manhattan Beach, CA

Posted: Sep 11, 2006

Tuesday night Michi in Manhattan Beach. Great sushi.
903 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach, CA
(310) 376-0613 :: 21+ :: No Cover; 8pm
with Tim Wingate, 8pm

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DAY 67 – i’m not superman (nor do i want to be)…

Posted: Sep 11, 2006

9.11.06 – Five years already.

On days like today, I can’t help but allow myself to be glued to CNN. I’ve seen it over and over again, but those images still haunt me.

Today they read the names of everyone who died that day, and even after all this time I still got choked up.

And now there’s all these conspiracy theories out there trying to prove 9/11 was an inside job — that it was a hoax, and a plane didn’t really hit the pentagon, yada yada yada.

To tell you the truth, I don’t know what the truth is anymore.

It doesn’t change anything for me to lose sleep over it at this point. I can’t change what happened.

So rather than get political and banter for the next 6 paragraphs, I want to give a shout out to all those men and women who fell that day. I know God will sort everything out in the end.

Having that day hard-coded in my head gave me a chance today to take a good long look at how far I’ve come in those 5 years. I finished college. I moved to L.A. I served in the military. I grew up.

And after all that I’m still chasing down a dream.

(Oh yeah, and I’m getting my home life together too. Finally realized that I’m not Superman, and I can’t do everything on my own. Especially keep the house clean. (I have some kind of aversion to it.) So I broke down and called Merry Maids, and now a clean house is on its way in four hours flat or my money back!

Ahhhh… Maybe now I can get some work done.)

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DAY 66 – scramble session with tim…

Posted: Sep 10, 2006

I’ve got a gig coming up on Tuesday. A two-hour set at Michi, an upscale sushi bar in Manhattan Beach.

Two hours means we need to work up some cover songs.

So Tim came over and we had a scramble session, frantically looking for songs we (both) knew. Here’s our cover song list thus far:

Poor Taylor (J. Johnson)
Listen to the Music (Doobie Brothers)
Smooth (Santana w/ R. Thomas)
Santaria (Sublime)
Thrill is Gone (BB King)
Grace’s Amazing Hands (D. Barnes)
I Just Called to Say I Love You (S. Wonder)
Sucker (J. Mayer)
When Doves Cry (Prince)
Sittin, Waitin, Wishin (J. Johnson)
Life by the Drop (S. R. Vaughan)

Anybody got more ideas for us?

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DAY 65 – how embarrassing…

Posted: Sep 9, 2006

I slept in a little today. OK, I slept in a lot today.

I got back from Mandi’s house just after 4am and crashed harder than I remember crashing in a while, determined to stay unconscious for a solid 8 hours. Noon rolled around, and I thanked myself for going to the effort to pull the curtains closed to block out the sunlight as long as possible.

Still groggy, I sat bleary-eyed watching college football, casually looking around at my house, slowly realizing most of it was in disarray.

Dishes in the sink. Clothes on the floor. Mail piling up. Receipts galore. Ugh, time to clean again…

…But I was saved by the phone!

“Dude, are you guys coming?” It was my soon-to-be-married friend Levis calling.

“Coming to what?” I asked.

“To our wedding shower! Everybody’s here. We sent you invitations in the mail and everything. What happened to you guys?”

Uh oh. He asked about the mail. I was busted.

“Ahhh! That was today? I, um, thought it was next month. Sorry brother. We’re on our way. Where is it again?”

How embarrassing. I’ve got too much stuff going on to keep up with it all. That or the ADD is really kickin in. I need a maid.

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DAY 64 – preproduction, take 1…

Posted: Sep 8, 2006

I love Friday commutes. Especially in rush hour. In L.A.

I sat in a parking lot called 405 for the better part of rush hour, traveling a good 2 or 3 miles in just under an hour today, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Don’t get me wrong — I love sitting in traffic as much as the next car (or the 50,000 others I hung out with this afternoon). But I wasn’t commuting home from work.

Oh no, my work was just beginning.

Had my first pre-production meeting with Mandi tonight up in Woodland Hills, CA.

No time limits. No rush. Just hanging out, having some sushi and trying to catch each others’ vibe. (Did I really just say that? I’m so L.A. now! Will Texas even recognize me anymore?)

We started with about 8 tunes, going through them meticulously at a rate of 1 per hour. Do the math. It was a long night, but totally worth it. Mandi has this uncanny ability to listen to a song once and totally dissect it into little pieces. “That bridge is too long. You didn’t play the hook enough. Don’t settle for those lyrics. You can write better ones.”

I think every single song took some punishment constructive criticism, and that’s great. I’d much rather her tell me than the fans. But I realized tonight that we’re not even close to ready to start recording yet. Nick has some homework to do.

Oh yeah, the drive back was much easier. 🙂

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DAY 58 – the coolest way to spend a birthday…

Posted: Sep 2, 2006

Keb Mo’
Elton John
Fiona Apple
Jessica Simpson
Jennifer Lopez
Ozzy Osbourne
Destiny’s Child
Kenny Loggins (…and there’s more)

Their gold and platinum albums are on the wall. I’m in the studio where they recorded. Hanging out with the engineers at Threshold Sound, listening in on their next big project, Amy Kuney.

You have to crawl before you walk. Listen before you speak. Wait on before being waited on. Spend some time paying your dues.

And these are the easiest dues I’ve ever paid.

Even if I’m not recording, just hanging out in the studio with these guys has been amazing. Mandi’s in the production booth, doing her thing. Peter’s manning the ProTools rig. Amy’s in and out of the booth, directing musicians and listening ever-so-carefully. I’m just wondering what I did to become part of the family so soon.

Welcome, 26. It’s gonna be a great year. Who cares if I’m on the slippery slope toward 30.

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