New Record, Dragonfly - Coming Oct. 25th

Genre - Rock & Orchestral Rock 

Pre-Order Now, and use the code GiveMeGotwals for free shipping if you're picking up your CD in person - or if you want the digital download. 

This week, on the Book of Face, I announced the release of my new record, and EP "Dragonfly" on October 25th with Rewind Records. "But wait Jeremy, I thought you announced in September that you were working on Be Here Now?" Yes, that's correct, I am still working on Be Here Now, but in the mean time, I wanted to bring you a CD that could deliver a taste of what I have been working on. Dragonfly is complete with violin solos, rock guitar, cello, and the sound of full band upon cityscapes on a crisp October morning. You can run to my music, dance to my music, work to my music, and hopefully fall in love to my music.

Stay tuned for a special post about the other musicians on this CD. 

You will be able to purchase the CD along with individual tracks through my website.
Or, you can go through iTunes and other outlets. 
If you're in Indiana, the CD will be in local record stores. I will have samples on SoundCloud and youtube as well. 


Song lineup contains - 

Dragonfly - Rock 
Start Over Again - Pop-Rock
On My Way Home - Strings / Acoustic Rock
Run - Strings / Acoustic Rock
Parachute of Dreams - Strings / Acoustic Pop 

Many of you who have seen my shows have heard Parachute of Dreams and On My Way Home -- both are captured with a full band sound and beautiful strings. On My Way Home contains themes of leaving home, and finding your way back again. Parachute of Dreams is a love song the winters of being 20 - it's a dreamy tune that will hopefully whisk you away through notebooks and oceans of the sky. 

Start Over Again is a pop-punk / pop rock tune about the cycles and struggles of life. The sound is nothing profound, but the meaning comes from summer of 2011 when I had been stuck in a rut and finally found my way out. I just resurfaced the song for this album, because I have now quite literally reached the end of an era, and the beginning of a new one, in moving to Indianapolis.

Run is an easy song to listen to, and is close to the heart and core. Strings, acoustic guitar, drums, bass. It captures a time of heartbreak and feeling like things were "lost" - In those moments, when everything is falling, sometimes all you can do is run - and even if you're not running anywhere, or running from anything, you feel liberated because you're in the moment and everything you need is right here with you. 

Dragonfly came out as a rock song. Very simple song structure. Dragonfly, like Run and Start Over Again, comes from rising above a time of past-due rent, stuff being broken, and things falling down all around you. As the pieces fall... you cannot possibly count them all, or figure out what it all means. But you can rise above that, and just fly. Nothing is stopping you but yourself. 
 

At the end of the day, I hope that there's something in my music for everybody. 
This CD will give you a taste of what I've been working on.
There's much, much more, still to come. 

Finally Recording Album: Be Here Now

The time has come. I'm in the studio, now, finally, this month, before I leave Bloomington. Recording my Album - Be Here Now - at Rewind Records. 

There will be 10 or more original tracks on this album, with plenty of surprises, as few of you have heard all of this material. The past 7-10 years of my life are being put on the spot. Hard work, and dedication, unfolding. There's a giant piece of Bloomington in these songs - as well as all of my heart.

With the stellar musicians that will be accompanying me on some of these tracks, and their incredible skills and hearts, hopefully you'll hear it, and feel the same way that we do. 

Aaron Chandler - owner of Rewind Records - is partnering with me as the producer of this debut album. I want to thank the awesome team at Rewind, in advance, for taking the time to work with me on this endeavor. Chandler has a stellar team of individuals from Bloomington, and from Indiana University, who are working hard to make things happens for bands and musicians like me. 

Also a huge shout out to the musicians who have agreed to play with me on this album. Some of them have already been playing shows with me for years, and so they've seen many ups and downs, and It's really exciting to be working with them (Finally) on getting this thing done. I will announce their names in an upcoming post. 

The release date is not official, but we're looking to finish this album in September, with release this fall. Stay tuned, and thank you all for your long time support. 

 

Minecraft, Gaming, and the Art of Business Craft

My "Business Craft" design. Note: I actually use the term "business craft" at my company to denote a line of services which basically includes all of the "Visual" brand elements that a brand/business needs. Which can be seen on the Marketing page of our website at  www.Holonpublishing.com

My "Business Craft" design. Note: I actually use the term "business craft" at my company to denote a line of services which basically includes all of the "Visual" brand elements that a brand/business needs. Which can be seen on the Marketing page of our website at www.Holonpublishing.com

Mining and Getting Work 
Growing up, I channeled much of my boundless creative energy into gaming. My gaming took a hardcore turn when I was in Junior High, and finally peaked when I was a freshmen in High School. The summer after, my gaming declined and I became more enveloped in music and other avenues for my creative energy. I shunned gaming, thinking that I would never return.

Fast forward several years, when I was 20, and first working as a freelance graphic designer, I had what I'd like to call a "relapse" (one of several) back into gaming, World of Warcraft in particular. At 20, I had just left two jobs that were in hindsight really great, right before Indiana University's winter break, when I realized that I wasn't going to make rent, or be able to buy groceries, if I didn't get the ball rolling on some new work. One week, when I should have been applying for jobs, I binged on World of Warcraft, on my old character, an Undead Warrior and Miner/Blacksmith. But rather than raiding dungeons, or engaging in Player VS Player competitions, I was doing two things: mining, and selling my ores at the auction house to afford better gear. I mined and sold relentlessly. I had never understood how players had acquired so much gold in game, until then. I learned then that making money in real life isn't any different. We need to mine, and craft, and sell, and ship. Repeat. This sparked the inspiration to pursue work on my own, as an independent professional. In the same way that I propositioned my ores in "general chat" to other players for sale, so I went out and propositioned my design services.  

it was in this glorious moment that I learned not only to embrace gaming again, but realized how profoundly gaming had effected my skills as a freelance professional, and my mindset as an entrepreneur. Fast forward just a few more years, I'm running a publishing and new media company called Holon, that I founded in a coffee shop, while still playing music, and crafting time to game when I can. For the past two winters, I've embraced moderate gaming again as a form of entertainment. 

This very process of "mining" is the primary function of Minecraft, as we all know. It is also the primary function of "getting work," or getting business, especially if you're an entrepreneur. 

The Orgrimmar Auction House in World of Warcraft, which might as well be the world trade center, as each server has a kind of "Global Economy." I borrowed this photo from  RPG Tutor's "WOW Gold Guide" 

The Orgrimmar Auction House in World of Warcraft, which might as well be the world trade center, as each server has a kind of "Global Economy." I borrowed this photo from RPG Tutor's "WOW Gold Guide" 

Survival Mode - of the Fittest
So - let's talk about why Minecraft, one of the most popular games, arguably of the century so far, is a game that people who want to run, or start, or grow businesses, can and should learn from: 

It's "Survival Mode." You have a few pieces of bread, a few hearts of health, some crude tools (or no tools at all) and you're surrounded by an endless landscape filled with strange creatures, beauteous biomes of glades, deserts, mountains...and Zombie Pigmen. You have one hour before the sun sets, and have one place to go if you want to survive; down. 

So you forge some tools, you make for the hills, but just then, you realize your pick broke, and you don't have any torches. You're in the dark. You survive until dawn, but you're out of food, and you have to dig yourself, by hand, out of this hole that you've created. You make it above ground, with only a few hearts left. It's time to hunt! 

Or, farm. 
This is exactly what running a business can be like. This is exactly what starting a company was like, for me. I would be greatly skeptical if I found any good entrepreneur, who enjoyed Minecraft, that didn't agree that their experience was directly linked with their experience starting, and growing a business. 

Screenshot of the Market in Empire Legacy. Here, players rent shops to sell their goods. The markets hold hundreds of goodies and make players thousands of in-game "Denarii," the currency standard based off of ancient Rome. 

Screenshot of the Market in Empire Legacy. Here, players rent shops to sell their goods. The markets hold hundreds of goodies and make players thousands of in-game "Denarii," the currency standard based off of ancient Rome. 

I took this photo as I was demonstrating to a client how to use Instagram, and explaining how it could benefit her business. This example of "social media marketing" is kind of meta, because the photo itself is promotional. Everything about this idea came from gaming, for me. In-game screenshots would always be used as a ploy to get new clan/guild/faction members. 

I took this photo as I was demonstrating to a client how to use Instagram, and explaining how it could benefit her business. This example of "social media marketing" is kind of meta, because the photo itself is promotional. Everything about this idea came from gaming, for me. In-game screenshots would always be used as a ploy to get new clan/guild/faction members. 

Factions/Guilds and Social Media Marketing
As a prime example, I often like to explain that my skills in social media marketing, which I provide today to businesses, organizations, and authors, professionally, came directly from both my early music career, but even more so, from my early days as an online gamer. In my hardcore gamer days I was relentlessly promoting my Starcraft "Clans" or my World of Warcraft "Guilds" and getting people to join my ranks. I was constantly "selling" to other players some in-game Roleplaying plot, or some new map that I had created. It was highly effective. That was before Facebook was a thing. That was Social Media Marketing in its raw form, before "Social Media Marketing" was even a term. 

Recently, I joined an incredible server, that places a strong emphasis on Empire Building, called Empire Legacy.  This, hands down, is my kind of server. From what I understand, the founder himself, Liam aka "Exagerate" is a bit of a young entrepreneur himself, from the UK! 

This server, and its style of gameplay with the Minecraft engine, demonstrates directly the qualities that make Minecraft a brilliant learning tool for people interested in creative business of any kind, whether its selling their art, or starting the next tech big startup.

Empire Legacy features vibrant factions, like guilds, where players are working together to build their empires, and economies - and in some cases, to destroy each other's empires and compete for power and territory. But this description barely does justice to the vibrant economy that this server has created within the Minecraft Engine, and the brilliant architecturally rich cityscapes by working together as a community. 

Here's a major shipment of one of our Fantasy Novels at our office at  Holon Publishing . I can't express properly how good it feels to get a shipment of books at our office - and it feels equally great to ship those boxes out the door when it's time for them to be turned into money, for ourselves, and our authors. Now... starting selling those countless stacks of cobble! 

Here's a major shipment of one of our Fantasy Novels at our office at Holon Publishing. I can't express properly how good it feels to get a shipment of books at our office - and it feels equally great to ship those boxes out the door when it's time for them to be turned into money, for ourselves, and our authors. Now... starting selling those countless stacks of cobble! 

My Design workshop in Illustrator. When I'm designing something, I swear I'm using the same parts of my brain as when i'm problem-solving in a game. They feel virtually the same to me. Especially in Minecraft. 

My Design workshop in Illustrator. When I'm designing something, I swear I'm using the same parts of my brain as when i'm problem-solving in a game. They feel virtually the same to me. Especially in Minecraft. 

Crafting and Shipping Work 
You've mined your heart out, and it's time to create! This is the alchemy that defines the exhilarating experience of Minecraft - and also business. You just landed that contract, for however much Denarii, I mean gold, I mean cash, the client is paying you. Now it's time to work. 

This is where the "grinding" process of gaming becomes very practical in business. If you're like me, and you have no boss overseeing your schedule, then your only boss is time - and perhaps the demand of the client. In this state, you must be very careful. You must also be very diligent. You have to grind, create, and ship. Then keep shipping. It's a mental process no-different from the process of killing mobs, or mining minerals, in gaming.

In fact, I've found, that if you can train your mind to think of your grind at work, similar to your grind in-game - then you can work much more efficiently, and have a lot more fun in the process. 

Storing things in chests  and Organizing "Stuff"
This will be the last thing that I talk about in this post, as it's the thing that I'm absolutely the worst at. In the past, I've been really, really, disorganized. I've become a lot better, in running a business. I've had to become a lot better, to be able stay in business for over two years now. I've learned much better ways to organize data, organize my records and most importantly, my resources and time. What I've found: The ratio of the organization of resources to time, is tremendous, and makes a huge difference on your success in gameplay. We see this most in games like Starcraft, a land which we'll delve into later. But i recently came to the revelation of what better organizing stuff in chests did for my performance in Minecraft, and for my brain. 

Putting things, like resources, in the right places, and just the value of "Knowing" where they are, makes worlds of difference when you're always on the go. In business, this can be the difference between making cost-effective choices, and making costly choices that can put you in serious debt if not managed properly. 

Currently; I'm embracing the practice of organizing my business life in the most effective ways. Trying to figure out the same thing, in Minecraft... 

Gaming today, in general, is a beautiful channel for creative energies. It hones serious problem solving methods, team building, and tactical methods of using resources. Besides which, it's just damn fun, and you get to meet amazing people all over the world. I simply would have never learned how to start a business on my own without my experience as a gamer. 

New Website look, and new things to come.

Well, Spring is here, and while I spent most of the winter designing fresh websites for tons of awesome clients (*portfolio coming soon), I've given my own hardly any attention.

This design features some custom CSS,  as well as some of the coding tools and CSS resources provided by Squarespace,  and has been designed and crafted by your's truly with some helpful creative suggestions from my lovely girlfriend and creative collaborator, Kari. I shot the background photo at the Sample Gates on Kirkwood, in Bloomington, IN USA. While, the photos in the "Galleries" section are by various photographers. 

There's a ton that I want to share with all of you, from the new music that I'm writing, to the things that I'm designing, as well as social media tips for creative professionals and business owners, and helpful hints for people interested in exploring meditation, or... starting a business. 

Also, I've picked up writing my novels again. 
While I've been publishing a ton of awesome books by great writers at my company, Holon Publishing

That's a lot of ground to cover for one blog / one website, which means that this design probably won't stay. I'll probably change it several more times in a short period of time, before I opt to simply diverge my music website from my personal/professional website and creative blog. 

In the mean time, I hope you enjoy what I share, and find it useful in your world. 

Cheers!

Holon Publishing | We Do Things!

A quick video about what makes us special at Holon Publishing. http://www.HolonPublishing.com #TeamSmallBiz @Holonpublishing #WeDoThings

Hey gang!
So - my partner and girlfriend, Kari Hicks, and I, put together this awesome/fun little video. Mostly because we wanted to share what we do with you in a meaningful way, but also because I've entered my company - Holon Publishing - into a contest with Intuit Quickbooks - it's called "Small Business, Big Game" We've made it to round 2! And if we get your votes, we could win some awesome perks, including a commercial in the Superbowl!!! Awesome right? Please, vote for us

VOTE NOW!