Every year it seems.. Need to simplify.. Therapeutically so…

Every year it seems.. Need to simplify.. Therapeutically so…

Life Record

Every year it seems, right around this time, I find the time to revamp the website. Give it a fresh new coat of paint they say. This year is no different. Therapeutically so…

Previously, I had dreams of grandeur where I thought it may be a great idea for this site to be a platform to host some songs, share some souvenirs, a little bit of this, a little bit of that. And as it turns out, I get so overwhelmed and overloaded by the days’ events, I forget that outrageousthoughts.com was really always been a place where I should’ve written down my thoughts. So, I’ve simplified things (for now), until I can get my act together.

Anyhow, it was always meant for recording my thoughts really — and therapeutically so, I miss this and need this tremendously.

by Dec 21, 2016 No Comments
Thinking about Playing Live Again

Thinking about Playing Live Again

Life Record

The other night I found myself at open mic night. I love the term “found myself.” It sounds so unintentional, almost accidental even…

You see, I love recording music in a studio and there’s something about playing live in front of people. Playing live is like the ultimate improv without any structure, alike swinging on a trapeze without a net, feeling the rush of the wind. Yes, there is the fear of falling, of failing. Being able to express oneself in front of others in such a raw way that goes beyond the routine nine to five. It’s so so so… so human. Something about playing live is like placing yourself on a platter, handing it out, and saying, here I am — please like this for this is me. I am fully open right now.

by Feb 3, 2016 No Comments
While Julian’s Visit at Work

While Julian’s Visit at Work

Life Record

Julian visited me at work yesterday. Well, it was more like the entire family and I visited my workplace. We do that every now and then when we need to make color printouts for one of Megan’s school projects.

During our visit, I noticed Julian was busy writing in one of my notepads. Before you know, it was time to leave — and he left the notepad there on my desk, next to my computer keyboard.

As I came into the office this morning, much to my surprise — I read what he wrote. And it occurred to me — of all the times that I tell him… of all the times that I hug him and tell him… I thought he wasn’t really listening… You see, along with my all my family, he’s precious… and as busy as I get, I don’t ever want to be known as one of those types of fathers. So I tell him… I hug him, and I tell him … I tell him that I will always be there for him. He just has to believe.

Even at times when I thought he was not listening… it really did sink in.

by Feb 2, 2016 No Comments
Summer Camp, Megan, Julian, And the New Album

Summer Camp, Megan, Julian, And the New Album

Life Record

The night before the big departure — Ma, Ba, and Sis all gathered in the living room trying to calm my nerves.  The trunk was packed full laying there in the middle of the floor with my scrappily rolled sleeping bag resting atop.  I must have checked over it twenty times, just to make sure my good luck charms were all well hidden inside.  They tried encouraging me, mentioning that the camp had all sorts of fun activities like swimming, archery, and sports.

“Look at this one!”, my sister yelled out while she raised the pamphlet up high in the air.

Catching a glimpse of a picture of happy kids in t-shirts smiling — I have to admit, this did make me feel a tiny bit better,”I don’t know,” I nervously mumbled, “I.. I just don’t know.”

Being twelve years old, and a young twelve year old at that, school was over for the year, and I was getting ready to leave for summer camp.  This was difficult for me.  Being always the clingy type, hiding behind my parents in public. I’ve never been apart from my family.  Yet here I was, getting ready to depart for the entire summer.  This was just beyond any regular fears.  I was more scared than excited alike the other kids — the ones I saw in the pamphlet.

I was really too afraid to say anything that night.  But, it was already too late.  If there was any way I could hide behind a rock, I would.  If there was any way that would change my parents’ mind, I hoped for a miracle.

That miracle never happened.

And I’m glad it didn’t.  For that was the summer that I grew up from being a young twelve year old to a more adventurous outgoing twelve year old.  One with scraped knees and elbows — the kind that wielded a smile of having done something brave.  You see, that summer taught me some invaluable lessons that it was alright to reach outside my comfort zone.  Alike riding a swing, one realizes they’re able to swing their legs to ride higher, eagerly.

Today… I’m getting a bit excited about the upcoming album.

This album is a collection of songs which were heavily influenced by my roots in Classic Rock, but more importantly, by Megan and Julian. In all honesty, this album was going to be published back in 2011 (eek!), but times were busy — well, times are always busy, and I just needed to have a great goal set and a reason to push things along.

Elizabeth asked me how I would describe this album in one sentence.  I said — “He said… She said…” is a compilation of Classic Rock songs that the kids and I have interpreted together over the past few years.  The name was chosen to reflect that these are cover tunes, but I do hesitate to call them cover tunes.  Whenever I hear this term “cover tunes”, I think of a band playing top 40 hits in bars (I’m not sure exactly why).  These songs are intentionally different from the originals so maybe a better term may be “interpretations.”  Also, I wanted to include references to both Julian and Megan in the name of the album; hence the terms “He” and “She”.

For the actual meaning of publishing this album, for more than anything, I really did want Julian and Megan to make their mark while they are still in their youth.  They are both growing up so quickly, that I felt if I didn’t place this bookmark in time, well, the moment would be lost.  My intention is to bring them along in this journey of publishing an album and it would be encouraging for them to look back on this one day and feel a sense of accomplishment.

You see, I was always the timid type when growing up — so much that it probably held me back from trying different things.  My fear is that Megan and Julian may be too nervous to try new things one day too.  My hopes is that if they ever wonder whether they could accomplish something, anything, maybe for a few moments, they can look back to see what they have done already.  Any challenges they may be facing at that moment may not seem so unsurmountable.  Maybe this album, while it may just sit on their shelf one day, can act as their pamphlet — maybe they’ll catch glimpses of happy faces.  Alike learning to ride on a swing by swinging one’s legs upward, they will feel inclined to ride the swing higher, for I know they can.

I would always want them to.

Chat soon and thanks for listening.

-Peter

P.S. — I thought you may find this humorous.  I was digging around my digital archives and found the original album cover — it didn’t resemble the purpose of the album at the time, and I’m *so* glad this wasn’t used. lol!

album-cover-original-2011

by May 16, 2014 1 Comment
When I Started Playing Guitar…

When I Started Playing Guitar…

Life Record

During one of our recent music sessions, Jose asked me when and how did I start playing guitar. Within seconds, my mind raced in twenty different directions as thoughts rapidly rewound…

My first guitar was purchased for me when I was in seventh grade, in 1979, and surprisingly, I refused to touch it. Much under protest, my father asked me what musical instrument I wanted to play and I proclaimed, “drums!” Instead, I got a guitar. Needless to say, it laid on the couch for a couple of years collecting dust.

It wasn’t until about tenth grade when I discovered Classic Rock and Heavy Metal. My world changed. I found there were these musical virtuosos that ran their signals through effects like distortion and reverb and while strapping on their guitars over their shoulders, alike gods on the altar, they rose on lit stages in front of thousands of screaming fans. This was nothing short of wonderful. I discovered the fountain of popularity and fame — keep in mind this vision was utterly important at the time, growing up as a nerdy Asian kid in a predominately non-Asian community in Brooklyn, New York City.

All I had to do now was to learn how to play this darn thing.

So I did. I played religiously for hours on end every day after school and into the wee hours on the weekends. Soaking in everything like a sponge and all self-taught, mind you — My folks didn’t have the funds to purchase music lessons for me. We scraped by with what we could. I needed to be creative. I learned rock tunes by ear and by guitar tablature found in borrowed magazines. My earliest influences were Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin, Randy Rhoads from Ozzy, and Eddie Van Halen. All I did for days on end was lock myself in my room and practice, practice, and practice.

I was just so obsessed playing my guitar and mastering this art, that in a matter of two years, I found myself rehearsing in bands and jamming freely with others as the mood hit.

In my early adulthood, out of my own in the late 80s, just old enough to start working, I did something that I always wanted to do — hire a guitar teacher. He was a blues guitar teacher. Not that I was looking specifically for blues. At the time, he was the cheapest and honestly, that’s all I could afford. It was Ramen noodles for dinner for me for many nights. I still remember our first lesson, he wanted to hear how I played. Patiently, he took a seat.  I snatched up my guitar and eagerly shredded my best version of “Crazy Train” a la Randy Rhoads. Immediately afterwards, I picked up my head up and I awaited his reaction.

He sat quietly still. He thought for a few seconds looking as though to find the right words. He took a deep calm breath and spoke calmly, “Kid, you got the chops…. but I’m gonna teach you how to FEEL what you play…. and play what you FEEL.”

Taking a deep breath, he leaned over, picked up his guitar, and rested it on his lap.  Carefully, he plucked out the guitar pick that was purposedly slid between the guitar strings.  He took another deep breath. Then proceeded to play. He sped up the song at will, then slowed the tempo down. He glistened over melodies and faithfully accented specific notes as to let them know they were special. It seemed as though he was having a conversation with his song. The music suddenly came to an abrupt stop.  Pausing for a second, he stomped his feet, leaned forward and started playing again.  There was so much expression and emotion in his playing. I was just taking all this in.

“Let it breath…,” he said, “Like it needs to… Like its SUPPOSED to.” It was just so amazing how he would be able to belt out a song with so much emotion. Listening without hesitation, I got it… I finally got it.

Months later, I found myself and my blues guitar teacher driving in his rusty loud-mufflered Mustang to Stamford Connecticut. I had started to understand what he meant to phrase my playing — to converse with the music.  At this point, we had progressed to playing live shows at bars together. On this very night, we were going to play another show, but this time, on the radio. To him, it seemed like business as usual. But I was just in silent awe. I wondered to myself how many people would be tuning in. Would it be hundreds? Maybe thousands (I wish)? On the ride over there, the car was so loud, but this didn’t stop him from talking. He talked the whole way raising his voice to stay atop the noise from the rusted muffler.  Honestly, I only heard a smidgen of what he said the whole time. That was okay though. This was going to be so cool. I just wondered to myself… Maybe I was going to be a star…

Just maybe people will get to hear what I have to say…

by May 7, 2014 1 Comment
New Peter Knight Album on the Horizon

New Peter Knight Album on the Horizon

Life Record

So the thought occurred to me that I should finally get off my keister and finally publish that album.

I’m not really sure how to go about it, but honestly I thought, how difficult could it be? O.M.G. – yes, I believe that this the proper term. It would almost seem that the simple part would be to record the album, but I’ll need to break this down into its steps:

1. Write the songs
2. Record the tracks for each song
3. Edit the tracks for each song
4. Mix the tracks for each song
5. Master the album
6. Design the album art
7. Publish the album

All in all, I think the above steps are very accomplishable, and fun. And when people look back on this, steps 1 through 7 are the body of work. And this is where most albums do lay – in the iTunes graveyard, never to be seen again. I’m coming to realize there is step number 8 which is:

8. Market the album

This is where I’m somewhat lost, or totally dwarfed in knowledge. I know that marketing plays a role. The greatest album in the world, and band, would be no where – absolutely no where without marketing. There’s the concept of build it, and they will come. Sorry, I don’t believe in this utopian concept. Let’s just say that without marketing, even the Beatles would be no where. Having said this, this is where I’m dwarfed in fear and incapability.

With my fear of rejection, sales and marketing just have never been my stronghold. Oh, I need some help…

by Apr 20, 2014 1 Comment
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