Christmas Time!

It's that time of the year where kids are off of school, adults are ready for a short break from work, and general merriment is had by all. I'm not taking much of a break though, considering I've been on a break for most of the year. I've been working on music in full swing, between trying to get some views on my stuff on soundcloud (there's a link in the top bar thing!) and actual composing, both electronically and acoustically. I haven't been making much headway on the electronic front since that's never really been my forte, but I've been writing more stuff for the guitar and for myself to sing.

It's been rather cold out as of late, which is to be expected considering it's the end of the year. I remember a couple years ago where it was warm through Christmas, and I have to say it was weird having a not-white Christmas time. The snow just seems so crucial to the gift giving process; I'm pretty sure it's about 50% snow, 50% gifts.

Anyways, happy holidays to all of you out there! I hope you have no difficulties in your holiday experiences, whether it be travel or mischievous a-wassailers!


The November Sessions

Today, I received the files I've been eagerly anticipating from my friend and peer Dan Stefanich. These files are 7 songs I recorded earlier this year, in the beginning of November. Of these songs, 6 of them are my own original works. They are now in a playlist on SoundCloud, called The November Sessions. It seemed like a nice, fitting name, even though it was just one session (let's just keep that our little secret).

After my year-long hiatus from this website I figure I may as well try to use my free time in some productive manner. I've been taking the year off of school, and while at first it seemed like a very welcome respite from the difficulties of managing school and time, now I find my days to be a bit lackluster. I've been writing like a madman, minus all the crazy stuff that they probably write about. I've been writing songs in full swing, and otherwise just been living the highlife in fabulous Sioux Falls.

That's about all for now, friends. 


Finals Week Finished

Enjoy this silly cartoon Louis C.K.

It's the end of finals week, and after the few tests and projects, I'm finally ready to have my break. In about a week and a half, I'll be in Denver spending Christmas with the family and having a good time.

Up until then, I'm hoping to get into the studio for a few recording sessions, try some of the new recording ideas I've learned throughout the semester and I'll see how that turns out. I'm planning on revisiting "finished" projects as well; I'll be tweaking them until they sound as good as I want them to, and then I shall get them posted on Soundcloud. It should be awesome, I've got a couple of songs I mixed for classes to add, a vocalist I recorded with a backing track, and then a whole reel of sound effects I need to compile and throw on there. On top of that, I need to start making more sound effects for the student game Fury Void! I also need to get started on composing a soundtrack for another student game, Forecast! And here I thought a winter break could involve a bit of relaxation time.

It will be a bit strange to work on these over the course of the break, considering that the building will not allow me to be inside 24 hours a day, but instead will be only open between 7am - 5pm -- not too strange sounding for the average man, but I find I prefer to do my work late in the evening. Hopefully I can get at least make some headway with the game project sounds; I'm working hard on that soundtrack!

Watch out for those updates! I'll have them posted each time I get one of those projects uploaded and ready to listen to.


Adam Hammer: Tattooed Folk Live

On the 6th, musician Adam Hammer visited DSU and performed an amazing set for the students and faculty. He is a very nice guy and I was glad I have had the chance to meet him. Nathan Edwards had our Live Sound Reinforcement class set up the stage for Adam's concert here in the Trojan Center Underground, and it was a fun time. A part that sticks out in my memory was when Nate and I were going to mic Hammer's beautiful tweed guitar amp; Nate had found it to be a perfect time to review my memory of miking amps, and we eventually agreed on the placement of the mic - Adam had agreed with us, even, so I felt like I knew what I was doing (a very good feeling, I add).

He is what he calls a "Tattooed Folk" artist, playing a variety of folksy americana music and "black and blues" style music; as the night went on, I realized I was certainly a much bigger fan of the latter than I would have expected. There's something about the gritty, boot stomping feeling of his black and blues that struck a chord with me, to be so punny, and it's been sticking with me. 

I bought Adam's EP, Let It Burn, because of how much I fell in love with those songs, such as The Drive and The Ballad of Lucy; I've heard plenty of singer-songwriter style music, and this was a welcome change to hear from a solo artist such as Adam. He was even kind enough to sign the CD case for me. If you're reading this, you should definitely check Adam Hammer out. His website is tattooedfolk.com and he's always looking to expand his fanbase!


An Update!

I'm aware that I have been irregularly updating this blog, and that is something that I will hopefully be changing in the coming month. I've been rather busy with school and work, and hopefully soon I'll be busy with writing some music with some good friends of mine.

Up to now, I haven't accomplished too much work, aside from my audio homework involving mixing a couple of songs, one by Tony Memmel and the other by Adam Hammer, and those seem to be going along very swimmingly. I've also recently performed at the local coffee shop here in Madison, called Mochavino. It was a good night, the crowd was bigger than I expected and even more supportive than I could have ever imagined, despite how quiet my guitar sounded for some reason unbeknownst to me. 

Soon, I believe I will be uploading a few tracks to my soundcloud, hopefully both of the mixes I'm working on as well as a few recordings of myself, both covers and maybe an original or two. Until then, if you ever want to hear any songs that I have performed and have been recorded already, feel free to go to my soundcloud page (http://www.soundcloud.com/mikerugg) or check out Paul Schipper's Youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/PaulSchipperRec) to see a few popular covers of mine, as well as many other talented musicians.


Trampled By Turtles: Live at the Orpheum

I went to a concert this evening (or I guess considering the time, technically yesterday) with one of my favorite bands headlining: Trampled by Turtles. I've always heard people talking about how bands are way better live than in recordings, or vice versa, but these guys are the definition of performers. 

They didn't talk too much between songs, but one part that stood out to me was a silly moment when the singer asked "what's all natural?" in a moment of confusion, and then thought the fiddle player's beer coozie with a strap was a bra, "I thought that was a bra, that would've been cool." They played a lot of music in the time they had, I lost track but I think it was somewhere around an hour and a half, maybe 2 hours.

The opening act, Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles, were a very interesting sounding band that I enjoyed thoroughly. It isn't every day you get to see a cello, standing bass, ukelele, and accordion in the same band! I wish they would have said more of their songs names, though, there a few songs in there I really liked but they didn't introduce them at all!


Tony Memmel Live

On Monday, I attended a concert featuring Tony Memmel, who is an amazing singer/songwriter. Earlier that day, he had come into my Audio Production III class to speak a little about the life of a touring musician and the bounds he took to make it where he is today. It was a very insightful take on the music business from the eyes of a musician and, as Tony puts it, business man. 

His concert was wonderful end of his midwest tour, with a very smooth flow and genuine short talks between each song. In one of the short segues, he talked about the Lucky Fin Project, a non-profit organization raising awareness for those with limb differences, and considering Tony has a limb difference himself, you could tell that the cause meant a lot to him; they even supported his whole midwest tour!

It was about an hour and forty minutes of awesome, followed up with me getting the opportunity to talk to Tony and his wife for a little while after the show. I purchased a couple of his albums, and due to having me wait a few extra minutes, I even got an EP for free! They're really very wonderful people and I am lucky to have gotten to speak with them as long as I did. I wish I could have gotten some pictures of the concert/with them.