Monday, April 30, 2012

Yes ladies and gentleman, I took the wife to "The French Bulldog Bistro and Lounge" Restaurant. Yep the one my pal and buddy in life 'Lance' built and invested in for us. Had myself a *Don´ Schiff' coffee (coffee with chocolate in it). It even came in a fancy glass and straw. "James" our waiter (you will recognize him as he is 6' 6'' tall... just look up you'll see him). Flag him down and tell him you want a (ask for it by name)...
´Don Schiff" coffee drink. "He'll know what to do!"

Here's a picture of it LOL,
it looked a lot better before I drank most of it... this was my third one. I washed the drinks down with the "Spinach Lasagna". The word "Delicious" comes to mind. I highly recommend it. Wonderfully different than the usual red sauce over flat noodles. This was "Special" ladies and gentleman. Next visit I will have have the "Lamb Sandwich". It was a toss up but James said go with the Lasagna and so I did.

The place was packed, great music playing, lovely trio of acoustic guitars (I was eating... no time to play).... another time, I'll let you know.
Meanwhile go already, eat, enjoy... just a great place to eat and celebrate.

The French Bulldog Bistro and Lounge
2433 Ventura Blvd
Camarillo, CA 93010

Ask for the waiter James, Tell 'em "Don Schiff' sent ya! Not that they will care but Ya know, I like to spread my name around. Lol.



First Recording session with the new Standard Precision Bass. Excellent! It is just what they desigened it to be.. "a 5 string P bass that plays and feels like the old P bass of the 60's. Especially since I'm used to 8 strings on my NS/Stick.

Twilite Breaking Dawn tune done and handed over to the "executive' types for submissions. Checked that off my "things to accomplish' list. Trailor for new film to score came in. The Trailor will be used to make the "Film Festival" circuit to then get more funding. I heard once sometimes it takes 10 yrs to make a film, now I see why with the average low budget being 10 million. If I win the California lottery (over 500 Million) I will be able to speed that process up. I could start my own... (Films a year club).

Years ago I started raising money for a film I wanted to make. Yikes a lot a talkin' and meetings. Once I was able to partner up and say there was 10 million available to make this film, talkin' and meeting got more fun. Hysterically funny in fact with all the people I suddenly had access too. How ever, it just became a fun story for me to tell, the main head money wizard, and brother in law,God Bless his soul (a real advernturer entrepenuer) passed away. He left me with some incredible funny adventures we shared. I miss him. He reaffirmed that "If you want it, do it". Obsacales are just that, work around or over them.

All right everyone, lets have some fun today!

 Funny how small the music business is and how things come around. My example: I played on a session produced by Don Gehman. He is producing Gabe who is Tully's son and Tully is my writing partner..(winfield/schiff writting album writing team I may add with happyness). So I go to Don Gehman's website to checkout who and what he's done. There I see he produced the band "Billy Satellite", in that band was "Monty Byrom"...  Monty Byrom, later produce and hired me to play on a few Eddie Money albums. Around that time I was hired to play on an unknown to me at that time "Lance Matthew" album, Lance Matthew from that album, and I work together to this day in music and contruction... which brings us to "The French Bulldog" restaurant (2433 Ventura Blvd Camarillo, CA 93010). Which Lance built and invested in with two other partners... and indirectly me too as we had built a housing development years back in Utah, took a financial beating in and now redirected those efforts into this restaurant (and other such adventures) and as of  Now Today... Lance and I are meeting with the screenwriters of their film in producton to discuss style and genre of music for the film. Whew I'm tired just reading the lineage, Lol. The life adventure continues!!!

  This is fun news that usually some one for the show calls me about. However Felicia is filming for Eureka syfi show in Canada so I guess I'll let her know. "The Guild" is among the Nominees for the 2nd AnnualIndie Intertube Awards
For me, Catogory: Best Theme Music "Don Schiff (that's me) for "The Guild". "The Guild" is up for quite a few catogories. Have a look. I guess they'll be a big party, I'll eat, take pictures, the wife will have a blast./Don

"We're in the Restaurant Business!"

Okay, quick fun story... so my Pal Lance and I have been playing music together for YEARS. I met him on a record date for his second solo album back in "93 and I was hired to play bass. Long story short we hit it off, toured Europe together,writing and playing his music. He is also a master builder/electrician/entrepreneur. A few years ago we decide to build a housing development in Utah. Get it part way built (3 of 11 homes finished) and the economy tanks and so amidst heavy financial losses, we keep our heads and hearts for life in check. ...and reaffirm what real friendship is. Trust, love and havin' each others back. We've buried family members together, just as we celebrate life's wonderful events together..

So a month ago he says, Our construction company (Well actually his company, his finances, his building knowledge...and I just put money in too and pray a lot - (I am terrible with tools and have endless stories of just how 'bad'), Any he says, we have a construction job to build a restaurant and if we want, he could be part owner. He asks what my thoughts are.. I think about it (say some silent internal prayers),and blurt out, " feels right, do it!". And so he builds this fabulous high end French restaurant for a gourmet chef,,a mixologist and there wives. So now about a month later) we talk and he says,.... Guess what? "We're in the Restaurant business!!"

And so our new adventure begins.

We have a meeting he and I at the Restaurant the day after the premier grand opening (huge success)./ It's after hours and closed but we and the other owners are their. The gourmet chef says, "anybody hungry". So (I'm no fool, when a gourmet chef says whose hungry, hungry or not you say "MEEEE!".. This is a high end French restaurant, burgers are not on the menu however its the Restaurants day off. We are there creating names for 'signature drinks ' to feature in the menu. Actually the mixologist creates, and we sample and suggest names. I am a VERY lightweight drinker so previously having already sampled some varies feature beers and now sampling hard liquor (mind you sips only to get the idea of the taste) non the less.... I'm heavily tipsy.

So much so, instead of taking a picture of the fabulous restaurant to show you..... I take a picture of this custom burger the chef threw together. "Best tasting Burger" ever. Next to the two beers. The one on the left a Rye beer, the one on the right.... I don't remember... obviously not one I liked as much!

My family, Lances family will go there next week for a wonderful evenings full meal. We'll tell stories and LAUGH as we click glasses and once again start a 'new' adventure called "We're in the Restaurant business".

P.S. He is also building us a stage so we can go in and play when we feel like. Perks of having a restaurant. And soooo next week after an inaugural first two family's together meal, I'll tell you all about it, it's name and location so you may enjoy.

Tomorrow last playing session for the Twilight Breaking Dawn submission. I am really enjoying this project. After this session, mix/master then hike the ball over to the Movie production. I put my last few cello parts on today... Yea I didn't know I could play cello turns out I can.

Lisa LaRue Y2K project firing up another grand project. Finished compiling the tracks for that and sent them off to "next in line" to add their parts.... And now it being only 2:18am, I'll go to bed to wake up and be in the studio by 10am, 'coffee in hand".

So I have breakfast with my friend Pat, nice place good eggs, biscuits and gravy! Okay we weren't eatin' healthy just eatin' good. Afterwards we went to "The Guild" soundstage where I put together an fx pedal board for the star of "The Guild". I'll talk more about that later, my big excitement, thrill and almost brought me to tears. Pat say's, hey now that the pedal board is wired try it out with this..." And hands me a brand new 5 string Fender Precision Bass as a gift! He is 'incredible'. I'm to thrilled to talk about it much, I'll just 'savior' the moment in silence for awhile. Talk later/Don

I've been in the studios a lot lately and take the NS/Stick in as my first
choice to be introduced to the song being recorded. Most of the time it wins out
and sometimes the producers just want to hear (and SEE) a Fender or Rickenbacker
bass. Of late the Fender Precision has come back to popularity. Oddly enough the
producer thought the NS sounded most like a Fender Jazz. Interesting and my
opinion on all that (Percision, Rickenbacker) included is that I have recorded
with the NS and with an A1 class enginerr have heard my NS sound like the best
Rickenbacker (4001) I've ever heard and P-Bass as well. My point being "All the
frequencies" are in the NS/Stick instrument it is up to the engineers to dial in
the tones and frequencies to "create and mold" the sound they want.

On sessions it's not up to me what instrument I play, I'm in "Whatever you
want" mode as I am there for the producers. You steer to the direction you feel
most suits the needs, then deliver yourself through the instruments.

Now steering the conversation to my last NS video "Solo Peace 3/2012", I think
is a wonderful example of how the NS can perform as a "super bass". All the
foundation of an electric bass is there, in tone and function. Then on top of
that we add the extended solo range (but wait theres more) we add the guitar
chord strum parts and synth pad underneath. I love doing all that togther. The
sound of a tight band "All in ones hand" (just thought of that one..)

Great for creating your tunes and playing music your way. In the session
situations for others, you usually (or I ) usually don't get to play all that at
once as engineers want to totally separate parts. Bass, guitar and synth. So in
that situation I'll set the NS to mono and play bass parts then guitar-esk and

But wait! here's the deluxe tip: When I'm doing the sessions in my studio and
sending them, I become the engineer and keep my NS set to stereo. I run the bass
side mono and the top side stereo, when the bass goes up that high into the
stereo side I add a litlle (a litlle) stero chorus or flange (no reverb that is
for the mixing engineer to do). This to me gives the sound to create a wonderul
separation in 'speaking' the higher parts while maintaining its association with
the bass notes. I then send the parts separate, bass in mono and the stereo
strings in stereo -" if I know the engineers are good". If I have doubts I'll
send one stereo track (bass panned center, stereo strings L and R). My concern
is volumes, the parts speak as 'One" so proper volume matching is important or
the 'whole bass line' as a part may sound 'off' and not as strong as it was

There we go, St. Patricks day is comin' so we have "The tip 'O the day."

It's 3am and I just got this video done I wanted to make. It's a nice solo piece, Here I'll make I link. "Solo Peace 3/2012" click the link, scroll down you'll see it. You can also just listen to it at the "Singles 45's" tunes site. It's a good one. Later I'll produce it more. For now, I just wanted it to be a solo piece. I'm hearin' quite a production around it for later.

Funny story comin' up, I'll tell it later.... "I'm Tired!!" lol


It has been raining a little here in Los Angeles, I like that. A change in weather is good, just not the extreme changes I grew up in back east. Rain I feel makes us 'contemplative' and I'm good at contemplating stuff. I've been playing a lot of Fender basses this past week for sessions and so I've been 'contemplating' getting one again. The one I owned years ago was stolen when on tour. I never replaced it and it seems the Fender P basses are coming back in Vogue. Always good to have one anyway. I've got my Rickenbacker 4001, Washburn 4 string - nothing to specials just a great sounding recording bass, NS/Stickbassguitar (fabulous), Fender old classic Precision, stolen., Pedula fretless - missing in action, also stolen. So I guess it's time to 'stock' up again. Fun.

The tune we are submitting for "Twilight Dawn Breaking" (link goes to the internet movie data base) movie is a wonderfully incredible tune. Perfect for the film. We were asked to submit and I'm excited. At this point, I take pride and pleasure in that we ((*see bragging rights below of artists involved lol) wrote and recorded this tune. Next week mix and mastering, then handing the tune over to production for the film. Keep us in your good thoughts and prayers that they love it and makes a huge impression.

I've been turning down road work to stay in town, hard for me to do as it is a gig but the bigger picture of recording/writing is where my heart is at and so I move my efforts in that direction. Facts are I love music, writing it, arranging it and playing and recording it. So we'll concentrate on that.

Sunday I'll have a great brunch with Pat Duncan (wrote Mister Hollands Opus, Courage under Fire, to name two). A dear friend for a long time. It will be great to see him. We try and pick a place to eat at that has history. Charely Chaplan owned an apartment complex that has some interesting stories behind it and so it is now a restaurant. AND quite a nice one too, "Campanile" We'll go there and tell stories and catch up. I've scored several films that Pat wrote and produced. He is not only a great friend but a blast to work with.

Thats the new, time to start the day, just in time for 'noon'.

*(Tully WInfield 'my writing partner and Gold Album recipiant', Rye Randa 'producer/writer/artist, multiple films and albums...wrote and produced a lovely tune for Three Dog Night where they added a 60 piece orchestra too.... ohhh big production)


Wonderful day in the studio. I had a great record session with Don Gehman producing, He produced (John Couger, Tracy Chapaman, Bruce Hornsby, Hootie and the blowfish) to name a few.
The Drummer was Kenny Aronoff (John Mellencamp, The Smashing Pumpkins, Bob Seger, Elton John, Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, Alanis Morissette, The Rolling Stones,)

The young artist just starting out in the big time is Gabe. He is handsome, great voice and a delightfully creative guitarist and writer (19yrs. old). I'm used to a lot of "Progressive Rock" so making sense of complex rhthms is natural for me and I judge complex writing on the fact that if it sounds natrual and not complex.... "It's Good!" I don't wanna have to get my slide ruler out to figure it, I want it to sound and flow natural and it sure did. One tune in particular could be in 6/8 or 4/4 depending on how you want to look at it. The "Trick" to get the emotion out of it was to play it in four but hint at the six! The drummer made it a snap to accomplish that.

I must say this is my first experience with this producer and I was beyond impressed. He listened to the artist he was producing and at the same made decisions based on what was good for the song as a complete entity while keeping the integty of what the artist was envisioning. Not an easy task at times. His directions where easy to understand as he understood and could speak as musician (most likey because at one time he was a player) but expressed his directions in a calm and knowing guided way. He had intent and vision for what he needed. Most admirable and easy to work with.

One of my favorite moments was when I was 'way down low on the "B" string and ended my 'lick' way up high on the "G" string. He smiled and liked the part, wanting to compliment the difficulty of how it just sounded 'right' but knew the difficulty it took to make it said, "very gymnastic of you". Ya gotta love it.
Lots of creativety by all involved. I had a great day.

I ended up playing a 5 sting Fender Jazz bass for all three songs. Great tone, just what they wanted... and thats what counts. Okay , now off to my studio and tunes, "I've got a video to finish!!"


 To see yesterdays news click the 'coffee' cup.