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*NEW* Song: “Over & Over (It Doesn’t Have to Be That Way)” – Song Blog

Finally fed up with waiting for the “perfect time,” I’ve decided to jump back in and start sharing some of my book of songs as best I can. First up: “Over & Over.”

The lyrics in this song (copied below) are some of my favourites from anything I’ve ever written. They came pouring out of me, all at once, on a Sunday morning in August of 2015.


At the time, I had a lot of turmoil going on in my life, but for the first time in many years I had just returned to my family’s original hometown the day before, to take part in an annual event where I performed many of my songs. I went alone, and enjoyed the drive there and back, and the experience of the event itself. I felt completely at peace with my own company, perfectly content to meet and visit with all kinds of people – some I knew, most I didn’t – as they came along. It was one of those kinds of days that plays like a movie in your mind while it’s actually happening.

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Something clicked in me that day, as if I knew I’d finally arrived at a point where I was comfortable inside my own skin, no matter what was going on around me, I could trust myself to be true to who I really was, go my own path  make my own choices and hold on to that no matter how stiff the challenge might be. Perhaps that sounds simple and obvious, however my observations are that many (most?) people are just doing what they’re doing because they see so many else people doing the same thing. And often, what those people are doing is whining and griping about their lot in life while they do absolutely nothing constructive to change it. Victims.

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Looking back on it, I really appreciate what this song seems to be saying on my behalf. It’s probably not an accident that it reflects so much of what I believe very deeply, including a reference to Einstein’s definition of insanity: continuing to do the same thing and expecting a different result.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Song Blog, Vol 2: “Over & Over (It Doesn’t Have to Be That Way)”
(c) 2015 Kevin Bulmer Enterprises
Written by Kevin Bulmer (SOCAN)

LYRICS:

When the tide begins to turn
It’s only natural
One can resist
Or even brace against the flow

There is no favour when it comes
To meeting gravity
The push and pull, the light and dark
We need them both

Holding your ground
Defending ego, chasing average
Clench and compare
With every other tired cliché

But there remains the thread
Of heaven’s possibility
Follow the light, however faint
And it won’t fade

Over and over
We think that we’re sober
But we keep trying to kill the pain
Deflecting, expecting
The results keep infecting
Insanity’s calling again
A tragically comic refrain
It doesn’t have to be that way …

There is no easy explanation
Of the obvious
Or why the simplest things elude
In every way
Relentlessly chasing what’s sitting right in front of us
To become carbon-copy popular cult slaves

Over and over
We think that we’re sober
But we keep trying to kill the pain
Deflecting, expecting
The results keep infecting
Insanity’s calling again
A tragically comic refrain
It doesn’t have to be that way …

Out go the lights
When the truth shines too bright
So the fault is assigned out of fear
But the face on the wall
In the mirror, tells all
It’s the only consistent thing here
And it always follows everywhere …

Over and over
We think that we’re sober
But we keep trying to kill the pain
Deflecting, expecting
The results keep infecting
Insanity’s calling again …

Over and over
We think that we’re sober
But we keep trying to kill the pain
Deflecting, expecting
The results keep infecting
Insanity’s calling again
A tragically comic refrain
It doesn’t have to be that way …

 

To visit the “Song Blog” page, please click HERE.

If Only We’d Allow It

Somewhere along the way in our “development,” we seem to acquire some sort of emotional governing switch that monitors for and snatches away daydreams in order to force our feelings immediately back to some sort of “pragmatic” view. And then it’s back to following  “the script” we go, marching in line, trading time for task, trying to be just like all the others who, ironically, are liking suffering from the same thing but either don’t know it or aren’t saying so.

But what if … just what if … you stayed with those dreams just long enough to let the thought form into some sort of action step to begin making it real? And then … what if … we’d actually take that first step?

What a world we’ve created, where following dreams so often feels  unnatural. But what if … the next time the dream comes along … what if we’d allow it?

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Consider Choosing Hope

Some of us were a lot more tenacious as children. We’d dream up something that we wanted, or aspired to be, and then, largely driven by our imaginations, we’d go after it. We didn’t pay nearly as much attention to perceived initial obstacles. We just knew what we wanted and would start moving forward.

Along the way, we seem to acquire the ability of doubting ourselves even before we start. We learn to think, “this will never work because,” or “responsible people don’t do that because” or any number of excuses that paralyze us into inaction. But those are just someone else’s ideas that we’ve accepted and agreed to along the way.

What do you really want? And when you think of it, honestly, what’s the first thought that pops into your mind as to whether or not it’s possible? Is it a solution, a new path, or an obstacle and another excuse not to try?

What would the child-like version of you have done with the idea? Give it some thought, at least for a little while …

03-08-15 - Choose a hope

 

 

No Schedule Man Podcast: Episode 5 – Jay Doerr

I never expected to end up working at race track, let alone manage one.

I just wanted to be a radio announcer. And I was. Early in my radio career, I somehow got involved in hosting a radio show about auto racing. Next thing I knew, I had been hired as an announcer at one of the tracks we covered on that show, a place called Delaware Speedway. And only a few short years after that, I found myself leaving my chosen profession and role as morning show radio host at CHOK Radio in Sarnia to become the Sales & Marketing Director at the race track.

Just over three years after that, I was General Manager of the place. It was a role I never aspired to and still have mixed feelings about. But I can tell you this: our team worked our asses off during that time and did the absolute best we could. We won some, lost some and learned and experienced more within a couple years than I think I could have in a decade at any school.

Jay Doerr, my son Eddie, and me with the "Cash Car" we discuss in the podcast. This was probably 2003 or 2004.

Jay Doerr, my son Eddie, and me with the “Cash Car” we discuss in the podcast. This was probably 2003 or 2004.

Jay Doerr was just starting out his Delaware Speedway racing career right around the time I began as an announcer. As the years went on, my career progressed and so did Jay’s racing efforts. We gradually got to know each other,  just as I also became more familiar with dozens and dozens of other drivers and teams. So when I got put into the General Manager’s role, I suppose I had already formed some strong friendships with many of the race crews, and I felt a tremendous responsibility in not wanting to let them down.

I have deliberately not thought or talked much about Delaware Speedway over the last many years. But that’s starting to change, and having the chance to enjoy this discussion with Jay, a 3-time series champion and long-time top Ontario competitor, was a real treat for me. I don’t want to put words in his mouth, but I think it would be safe to say that Jay and I always have had mutual respect for each other and I think that comes across in our conversation.

I hope some of the many people I got to know in that time enjoy hearing some of these stories. I’ve no doubt there are many, many more to come.

The podcast is now available for streaming, download and subscription on iTunes, as well as on our YouTube channel or 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

No More Excuses. Go For Your Goals & Do What Matters To YOU (Video Blog)

In this video blog, Kevin talks about his rock and roll “dream” bucket list project, all the reasons why he’s told himself over the years that he couldn’t (or shouldn’t) try it, and why he’s finally decided not to listen to those voices anymore.

If you’ve ever had something on your mind that you’d like to do or have or experience but have stopped yourself from getting started, watch this video, and just maybe it will inspire you to get started, too.

No Schedule Man Podcast, Episode 2: Mike Mulligan

In this episode, I chat with Mike Mulligan, founder of Moving Forward Rehabilitation and Wellness Center in London, Ontario, Canada. Mike recalls the incident that left him a C4 quadriplegic at just 16 years of age, and the incredible journey in the time since as he strives to achieve his goal of walking by age 40.

With Mike at the first year anniversary of Moving Forward Rehabilitation and Wellness Center.

With Mike at the first year anniversary of Moving Forward Rehabilitation and Wellness Center.

This conversation is a bit of a roller coaster, as Mike takes you through the ups and downs of a harrowing accident, adjusting to a completely new way of life and challenging himself to move toward his goals despite the challenges. He also vividly describes the highs of meeting certain milestones and personal goals and offers some valuable perspective for anyone looking to make improvements with their life and to pursue their dreams.

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

Enjoy.

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

Part 7:  Testing the Law of Attraction

Having now gone to the trouble to say all this … why should you care? Maybe you don’t and never will. That’s okay with me. But if you’ve ever dreamed of doing something but kept yourself from trying because you just couldn’t figure out how to do it, keep an eye on this space and see what happens. I’ll be your guinea pig for testing the Law of Attraction and the passion of intention.

I’m not looking to just scrap together some kind of independent-sounding recording of my songs (which is kind of how I feel about some of the acoustic stuff I’ve released already). I want to do this right. When I put Mutineer on my car stereo at max volume in a couple of years, I want it to sound huge. When we do the concert, for at least one night, I intend for it to look and feel like a full-blown rock show. The band will be tight, talented and well-rehearsed. There will be lights and a video screen, and many of my friends who only know me from strumming my acoustic guitar will see this and go, “Holy cow. I had no idea he had this in him.”

I just need enough people there that night to make a party out of it. But we’ll get to that.

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In the meantime, what I’ll be sharing will be somewhat humble and basic. I’m thinking I’ll post some video of me working on the songs, maybe showcasing the main riffs or putting some demos together. Those will, indeed, look and sound homegrown, because they will be. But I’ve got to start somewhere. I’m okay with that, because I know what the end goal will be, and it’ll be something I’ll be proud to have my name on and carry with me for the rest of my days.

For now, here’s how you can help if you like:

  1. Send me some positive energy (and thanks to the many who have already done so)! If you’ve ever had a dream you weren’t sure how to achieve, root for me. I’ll go first. I’m jumping. Transfer to me some good vibes and hope I figure out how to open the chute on the way down.

    Click this image and it'll take you to the Facebook page

    Click this image and it’ll take you to the Facebook page

  1. Follow and contribute on the Mutineer Facebook page, or follow the website. Subscribe to the Mutineer YouTube channel, or join the Mutiny on Twitter. Share, comment, contribute. Do you know someone who might be interested? Let them know what’s going on here. Please. If you like what you’re seeing and hearing, say so. And if you don’t, say so! It’ll all go to increase the reach.

    Early stages on YouTube! If that's your thing, click this image to get there now, and consider subscribing. As you can see, there's lots of room for you!

    Early stages on YouTube! If that’s your thing, click this image to get there now.

  1. Keep a weather eye for the Mutineer online store. And once it’s up and running, clothe your entire family in Mutineer gear. Either that, or maybe just share the link once it’s available, or send me feedback on ideas you think might go to help the cause.

    This image will take you to the Twitter site. Different posts go on different social media platforms. Choose one and run with it!

    This image will take you to the Twitter feed.

  1. If you’re in or around London, Ontario, set aside the evening of April 29, 2017. I’m going to need some people there to make it a show. I would love to have you there to celebrate.

Finally, I just want to share this for the record: I feel scared. The practical part of my mind keeps saying that this feels very narcissistic and even unnecessary. I feel awkward. Though my gut has been driving me to this for years, I still feel apprehensive about getting started. I feel like I’m being a bother to you. It seems self-serving. I’m worried I’ll fail, or run into so many roadblocks that I’ll be frustrated and will want to give up. I don’t want it to consume me, as I have a lot of other things I want to be doing at the same time. And yet, I keep coming back to the thought: if I get to the end of my life and look back and see that I hadn’t ever tried this, I will regret it. I know I will.

And so, apprehension and all, off we go, hoping we have it figured out by April 29, 2017.

Mutineer Map

The course is charted. The destination is set.

Let’s sail up to ‘Complacency’ and cannonball its port.

Note: This is the seventh (and final) entry in a series of articles. Previous entries can been accessed quickly with these links:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

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!

 

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“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.”

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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

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