Blog Archives

Time and Place for Dreaming

You can be certain that, like it or not, you will be making sizeable contributions to your employer, your bank and your government as you go, trading time, toil and income toward their pursuits.

What are you investing in yourself?

Stop and sit sometimes. Consider whose dream you’re really trading your life for.

09-21-15 - Time and place for dreaming

I Just Want to Be Inspired …

There is peace in being fully present, mindful and grateful in the moment. And there is joy and exhilaration in feeling challenged and charged to pursue something new.

The real trick is to keep a balance between the two.

So often we feel the need to change because we think we “should.” But when we feel inclined to move forward because of a deep, soul-and-spirit level inspiration, that’s as good a reason as any to spread our wings.

02-18-15 - Inspired

The More I Think I Know, the Less I Understand. Perfect.

I actually used to believe that I’d eventually get to a point where I’d have things figured and we could all live happily ever after.

Now, I chuckle at the thought.

In reality, the more I think I know, the less I understand. And so the learning goes on.

I’ve never been happier.

02-18-15 - Curiosity

 

No Schedule Man Podcast: Episode 3 – Rose Cora Perry

In this episode, I catch up with Rose Cora Perry, who took part in my “Celebrating Hope” concert in November of 2010. Through the conversation, Rose discusses the origins, highs and lows of her first two bands (Her and Anti-Hero), the disappointment that followed their conclusions and the personal development that followed. Rose also talks about how her solo acoustic CD, “Off of the Pages” came to be and the personal and professional processes that have led her to where she is now, having put together a new band and nearing release of her latest project, “Onto the Floor.”

Me and Rose circa November, 2010.

Me and Rose circa November, 2010.

This podcast is available on our YouTube channel, and it can also be accessed and downloaded on our SoundCloud page.

Fill Your Shoes. Walk Your Own Path

So many of us spend so much of our lives trying to be everything except for who we really are. It’s a well-worn path, following other people who don’t really know where they’re going and listening to people who have little of value to say.

Listen to your heart. You know what to do. You are unique and so will be the path you walk.

09-21-15 - Walk a lifetime

Kicking The Bucket List: Making My Rock and Roll Dream Real (Part 4 of 7)

This is the fourth in a series of articles. Click these links to read the previous entries:

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

Part 4 – Challenges Everywhere. And Meet the First Mate

So, if I’ve had the Mutineer name, concept, logo and songs in hand for almost a decade, why haven’t I moved forward with it before now?

Here are just some of the excuses I’ve made for myself:

– I don’t have the money
– I don’t have the time
– I don’t have the talent as a guitarist
– I don’t have the ability as a singer
– I don’t have the right gear, or know anything about what the right gear even is
– I have an electric guitar I bought for $150 at pawn shop
– I don’t have a band
– I don’t have anywhere for a band to rehearse
– I’m not in good enough shape, physically, to perform the way I want for a couple of hours
– I’m not in good enough shape, vocally, to record or perform the way I want for a couple of hours
– I don’t know how to properly record rock music, or where to do it
– I’m a single dad with a busy career whose top priority is his kids. My time with them is off-limits to much else. What sense does it make to take this on?

Plus … who would possibly care about the songs or come to see it?

Those reasons have always been enough to stop me from starting. And in fairness, I don’t think it was really time for me to move ahead until now. And yet those obstacles are very real and must be overcome if I’m going to bring this project to life.

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But here’s why I’m going to try and overcome all of that and do it anyway:

– I want it to exist
– I believe in the concept and feel it’s a worthwhile thing in which to invest some of my time and spirit
– I believe in myself to figure it out and I want to see if I can do it. I’m curious to see what happens!
– I don’t want to look back on my life one day and wish I’d had the courage to try it. I’ve got other things I want to do in my late 40’s so I may as well try this now.
– I want to know how it feels to be able to buy the Mutineer album on iTunes, and to stand on that stage and perform those songs well, even if it’s just one time
– I want my kids to see me go through process and see what kind of time and commitment it really takes

A year ago, I forced myself to take a step toward making Mutineer into something that existed more than what is just in my head. So I created a (fairly humble) website, as well as a Facebook page and a Twitter feed. My thinking was that I’d be able to invite people in on the journey and share what I already have as I go. And I’ve been amazed at how some people on Twitter have been responding to nothing but a few lines of lyrics, asking me where they can hear the songs.

My plan has been to make quick little videos of some of the guitar riffs to start giving people a feel for the songs, and to continue sharing lyric lines. I also thought I’d do some articles referencing some of the other artists that have influenced me, encouraging others to share their thoughts. In doing that, I’m hoping I’ll get turned on to some other artists I’ve not yet heard of that I might really enjoy. I figure I’ll be able to eventually start sharing demo versions of the songs online. I’ll need to get those done in order to “recruit” other people and players into the project. So I may as well share them. Either way, it’s up to me to generate content worth publishing.

As for getting the content out there, about a month ago, my oldest son, Eddie (who is 12) asked me if he could help by assisting me with the social media side of things. Eddie believes strongly in Mutineer and he wants to see it come to life (he’s the only one in the world so far who has a Mutineer T-shirt, which I made him for Christmas last year).

First Mate Eddie models the first-ever Mutineer t-shirt on Christmas Day 2014. Even I don't have a Mutineer shirt yet!

First Mate Eddie models the first-ever Mutineer t-shirt on Christmas Day 2014. Even I don’t have a Mutineer shirt yet!

 

2014-12-25 10.21.49

“Fear is firm but love is stronger.” It’s a lyric I’d like my kids to believe.

As a parent, I’d like for him to see the amount of work it takes to set a goal and then go about making a plan and then doing the work to bring it to life. I also want him to see that it’s okay to not have all the answers, or to not be the best at something. Just get started, and see where it takes you. Be flexible but keep your ultimate destination in mind. I think he’ll learn a lot. (On a sidenote, Eddie writes his own rap battles, records and edits his own videos and has a YouTube channel with over 430 subscribers. His level of skill for his age is astonishing. He inspires me just as much as the other way around. Perhaps more so.)

A couple of tough guys ...

A couple of tough guys …

Having my son involved makes it even more special. If I’m Mutineer’s Captain, Eddie is definitely the First Mate.

As for how I finally came to a point of setting the intention and making the commitment to move forward, despite all these obvious challenges, I’ll cover that in Part 5, tomorrow.

Meantime, please join Mutineer on: Facebook, Twitter or YouTube

Kicking The Bucket List: Making My Rock and Roll Dream Real (Part 3 of 7)

This is the third in a series of articles. Click these links to read the previous entries:

Part One
Part Two

Part Three: What is Mutineer?

In fact, I established a rock band name and concept almost a decade ago, and even had a logo made for it. The band/project name is “Mutineer,” a brand concept that has very little to do with sailors taking a ship away from its captain but everything to do with recognizing that this current culture of celebrity, entitlement, comparison and consumption is something that I feel needs to change. It comes out clearly in the song lyrics: that the way we are here in North America is largely not okay with me, and that the “mutiny” is about accepting yourself for who you are, being accountable to the person in the mirror and being brave enough to treat others with empathy and compassion and to not just blindly follow the herd.

Mutineer is not about pointing fingers. Mutineer is about looking in the mirror, being accountable, and being strong enough to say, “You can point fingers all you like and tell me who and what you think I’m supposed to be. But I’m not falling for it. I’m brave enough to love myself no matter what I have or don’t have, and courageous enough to wish you well, regardless of what you may think of me.”

Mutineer-black

I did not set out to write songs to fit this theme. Rather, looking back on the content and tone of the lyrics I’ve written over the last 10-to-15 years, the consistent message clearly showed itself to me.

Rather than a call to confrontation, Mutineer is a removal of resistance and rally for accountability and self-acceptance. Instead of bearing arms, a Mutineer, in this case, is simply saying to this society of celebrity worship (and consequent abandonment), instant gratification, entitlement, blame, criticism and self-judgement, “No. There’s no more of this for me. I don’t believe these lies any more. Being like someone else does not make me worthy. Being me makes me worthy. I am responsible for everything that happens to me, and I accept that, and am setting sail to a life well-lived and will take what comes and know that I can handle it.”

12-16-15 - We're still holdin' on

In a way, Mutineer is about all the things it took me 40 years to learn about myself, even though I’d written about it in my 20’s and 30’s. Rather than “taking over the ship,” we’re simply stating, “You know what? We don’t like where this one’s been going. We’re getting on a new one, and going in a different direction. Meantime … good luck to you.”

I feel I can say things as Mutineer than I wouldn’t necessarily say with my acoustic voice, as Kevin Bulmer. Here’s an example of lyrics that are, essentially, about accountability:

“Don’t drag your heels and tell me you’re runnin’
Don’t run me around and say I’m a square
Don’t serve me dirt and say it’s delicious
Just do better.”

That’s from a fun little song called “Do Better,” a Jimmy Buffett-sounding track on my “No Schedule Man” CD. It’s kind of light and breezy and a bit tongue-in-cheek. It’s meant to try and get a bit of a point across without rubbing anyone too raw.

Now, here’s a similar thought, but from the Mutineer voice, from a song called “High Road:”

“Though it’s been swell, I might as well tell you
That it’s time for me to go
I don’t want to stand here watching
While your noose runs out of rope
I wish you hadn’t tied that knot yourself
I coulda’ told you so
For what it’s worth, I’ll say a prayer for you
From up here on the high road”

That’s a little edgier, I’d say. And it feels really, really good to sing and play that song, and others like it.

Here’s another passage, from the same song:

Mutineer - Ignorance Thrives

In my opinion, if you look around at the world these days, sadly, you’ll see a lot of folks lazily “volunteering a soul into where ignorance thrives” (and you can interpret that however you wish). But it’s also true that, if you look for it, you’ll see a lot of good things happening too.

Mutineer tries to shine a light on one while celebrating the other.

But, how exactly am I going to make it happen? I’ll outline some of those challenges in Part 4 tomorrow.

Meantime, please consider joining Mutineer on:
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube

Kicking The Bucket List: Making My Rock and Roll Dream Real (Part 1 of 7)

Part 1: My Rock & Roll Dream

Have you ever daydreamed about something you wish you could do, or about a place you wish you could visit, or considered learning how to do something you’d never thought possible for you to do? Have you ever had anything in mind that you’d love to experience in your life, “if only?”

I sure have.

Once I reached age 40 (I’m now 41), I really began to think about getting to the end of my days, looking back and wondering about what kinds of things I would regret if I had not tried at some point in my life. It’s a powerful thing to ponder, and I’ve made a lot of changes in my life since I began to ask myself that question.

Curiously, I don’t seem to desire things. There are no big houses or vacation homes or fancy cars, boats or other toys in my dreams. Rather, its experience I seem to crave. There are all kinds of places I want to see and adventures I’d like to enjoy at some point. But before I stand before Stonehenge, walk the Great Wall of China or gaze upon the mighty pyramids in Egypt, there is something much closer to home I just know I will regret if I don’t at least try and do.

I do want to see this in person. Someday.

I do want to see this in person. Someday.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve dreamed of recording and performing a collection of my own rock songs. For just as long, I’ve hung up those hopes on excuses and reasons why I can’t, or shouldn’t, do it. And it’s a long list. I’ll get into it later. There’s no real logical reason for me to want to put so much time and effort into something like making a rock and roll CD and doing a “one-off” concert to release it.

But … I want to.

No matter what my life has taken me through, this keeps bubbling back up from deep inside my soul and won’t leave me alone. Somewhat like putting a baseball diamond in the middle of a cornfield, it makes little sense. I’m not suggesting I want Shoeless Joe Jackson to play bass for me, but like the “If you build it, they will come” line from the movie “Field of Dreams,” there’s this almost-constant little voice inside my spirit that keeps pushing me: “Record your rock songs.” No matter what I’m doing or where my life has taken me, despite all logic, I can’t seem to shake that voice.

So I’m going for it. I have no idea exactly how I’ll pull it off, but I’m going to try and record a collection of rock songs, and let you watch as I figure it out.

My intention is to release the project with a concert on April 29, 2017, my 43rd birthday.

Mutineer Crowd

And why should you care, or even bother to keep reading? Well, if you’ve ever considered what I mentioned at the outset – that you may have something you’ve always wanted to do or try, but keep finding ways to reason yourself away from it, perhaps you may be interested in watching what happens to me on this journey to see if I can do it or not.

I’m through with logic and excuses. I’m going to try it.

And you’re invited.

More to come in Part 2 tomorrow …

Lyric Slide: What Says Love?

Earlier in the year, I took to the notion of creating little image slides with a lyric from songs I’ve written, mostly as a means of sharing some of the work that has not yet been recorded. It’s been fun to work on them and observe how individual lines from songs can be interpreted all on their own. I’ve been posting these on my Twitter and Facebook and thought I’d start to share them here periodically. Please feel welcome to copy, paste, send or share, or comment with any feedback. Thanks!

This lyric is a powerful question from a song called “What Says Love.”

03-08-15 - If it ended tomorrow

Song Blog, Vol. 1: “Broken Breath”

Well, I’ve finally jumped into something new. I’m calling it the Song Blog. It’s all explained, below, and on the new Song Blog page, which you can find in the drop-down menu under the “Kevin’s Music” menu item. It’s all explained below.

Up first, a song called “Broken Breath.” You can hear it and read about it, below, or skip all this and jump directly to its page by clicking here.

Enjoy.

– KB

Song Blog, Vol 1: “Broken Breath”
(c) 1997 – 2015 Kevin Bulmer Enterprises
Written by Kevin Bulmer (SOCAN)

I decided to start my Song Blog with “Broken Breath” because it’s a track that has come up in a unique way and has been referenced often in recent times. It’s been performed publicly at a few different events but has never been shared other than that. And in fact, at the time of this writing, I am scheduled to perform the song tomorrow at an event in support of the Southwestern Ontario Lung Association. I wanted people to be able to have the chance to hear it.

Lyrics:

When the lights go out in our younger years
All the demons dance so free
The night can be so frightful
Leave the door open for me

In the haze, a child will seldom understand
Just as seldom will they care
They think think they cause is not important
If the consequence is there

Won’t somebody help me?
I can’t breathe
The pain that’s in my chest
Has me at it’s mercy
Please, won’t somebody make it go away?
Ain’t there nothin’ you can do?
Ain’t there nothin’ you can say?

Now suddenly you’re thinking of
Maybe sending me away
They’re gonna take me from my home
But it’ll serve me well some day

Unconvinced, you packed my suitcase
And gift box full of toys
They were only a distraction
But you didn’t have a choice

Won’t somebody help me?
I can’t breathe
The pain that’s in my chest
Has me at it’s mercy
Please, won’t somebody make it go away?
Ain’t there nothin’ you can do?
Ain’t there nothin’ you can say?

The years go by and now I sleep
For hours, unpeacefully
Awake again with broken breath
I wonder what will become of me …

Won’t somebody help me?
I can’t breathe
The pain that’s in my chest
Has me at it’s mercy
Please, won’t somebody make it go away?
Ain’t there nothin’ you can do?
Ain’t there nothin’ you can say?

About the song:

In 1997, I was heartbroken over my favourite band, Extreme, having broken apart. To that point, I’d listened mostly to their music and other bands of that time (Saigon Kick and Thunder were two other favourites of mine from that era). But as the back half of the 90’s progressed, I entered into a heavy Bruce Springsteen and Steve Earle phase. And I took great interest in their more morose, introspective material. In particular, it wasn’t the anthem-like arena party rock I liked from Springsteen. I was a “Nebraska” guy. I loved “Ghost of Tom Joad.” Those songs spooked me good. I loved them.

Naturally, I wrote some darker-sounding material at that time. I specifically remember wishing I had a song that featured a vibe similar to Springsteen’s “Shut Out the Light,” a brilliant track that tells the tell of a Vietnam veteran’s inability to re-acclimate to his life after returning home. In the chorus, he sings, “Oh Mama, mama, mama, come quick. I got the shakes and I’m gonna be sick. Put your arms around me in the cold dark night. Hey now, mama, don’t shut out the light.”

I am in no way trying to compare myself to Springsteen, of course. But “Shut Out the Light” most definitely was the original inspiration that got me writing what became “Broken Breath.”

Read more about “Broken Breath” by clicking here …

About the “Song Blog:”

Inspired by my favourite musicians, I began writing songs in the early 90’s. Since then, I’ve written hundreds of them but have only recorded, released or publicly performed a handful so far. I’ve struggled to decide what to do with the others.

I don’t write songs to try to become a hit songwriter or to impress anyone or be a “star” or anything I like that. I write them because they sometimes just seem to “show up,” almost as if they’re being channeled from somewhere else. As such, they reflect my own ideas, thoughts and opinions, and I’ve never felt that formula was one meant for any kind of mainstream consumption.

When a “channeling” happens, I just write down, hum or play what I’m feeling. Often times, that turns into a song. Other times, it won’t. It could be I get a little bit or a piece here and there, like a lyric line or a melody idea. And I’ll save those just in case, but for the most part, if a song is to become something I hold on to and treasure as a part of who I am, it usually comes to me fairly complete within 15 minutes to an hour or so, and then it’s just a matter of tinkering after that. And that tinkering sometimes goes on for years. I’ll forget about a song for a decade and then come back to it. It’s fun.

Read more about the Song Blog by clicking here …

 

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