BRIEF BLOG INTRO: I'm a man on a mission to convince you that music is a Super Power, and that life is worth living, no matter how many obstacles are placed in your way. And that you can accomplish great things if you just push ahead and don't let anyone tell you no.

I'm a singer/songwriter and actor from Texas who is "Living in the Bonus Round" in New York City-- having cheated death from AIDS. (In a game show, the Bonus Round is where time speeds up and the prizes are better.) Accepting my death changed me. Now, I'm consuming life as quickly and as fully as I can, while still taking time to breathe and appreciate every single day as an utter miracle.

In 2013, I turned 60 and I created a set of goals, all of which came true, including composing -- and performing in -- a Mass, recording a solo album (selling 10s of copies), headlining to a sold out house at a major night club in New York City (while getting great reviews). Now I'm out to redefine theater and cabaret. I update a few times a month these days, and I don't spam. So it's easier to keep up with me by following by Email. When this blog began, it was to track my death. I'm told it was the first AIDS blog. You can start at the gruesome beginning if you want. Or just jump in and maybe we can learn some life lessons together. Welcome to the Bonus Round. I'm Steve [SHACK-lin] and we're just getting started.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Music and Books.

People from #WDS2013 -- World Domination Summit -- asked how to get my music. And the truth is I'm a little behind.

A couple of months ago, I realized it's been at least 15 years since I recorded an album, not that anyone had been screaming for one. The only reason I was even there was because Chris Guillebeau had remembered me from 10 years ago, in Memphis. (I was in Memphis??)

So, I thought I was mostly forgotten, in terms of The Thing I Do in front of an audience -- which I will have to watch the video to even remember. People have been quoting me on that thread, and I'm thinking, "I said that?"

Also, these past few years, I've been studying rather than performing that much.

When I sang "Connected" at WDS, it was like I was hearing it for the first time. In the bonus round, time speeds up and the prizes are better. When I sang that song, I never felt exactly that way before. Something inside me had changed. Whatever recording is out there is not me, now, here today. So, I'm gonna fix that.

The one thing I miss about the old diary format (which was just too time-consuming), was that I could name "chapters" of the diary. One day, I'd wake up and think, I think this book is over. Time to start a new one.  And I'd give it a name.

That's how I feel now. That something has changed.

Bob Lefsetz says if you have something of value, just put it up and people will find it.

So, what I have is a big list of songs, only some of which are related to any other. I also don't have much money, so I'm preparing for a one-hour "living room concert" CD, mixed live to two-track, putting it all on my credit card. $125. Easy.

Then, I'll stick it up on Tunecore and make it available for both selling and streaming. And, hopefully, people will want it. (And if you're broke, just ask me and I'll send you an mp3). Meanwhile, the song "Connected" is on the Bonus Round Sessions CD, made in 1996. "When You Care" has a big choir and everything, and also, for you trivia fans, Charles Esten who is now on the TV show, "Nashville." He was the original Buddy in The Last Session.

So, the point of this album would be to capture this moment in time, with the songs I have on hand, and see what we find.

I have done two trial runs, testing my relationship with the piano, a few half-finished songs, and the studio in the person of its owner, John Kilgore. So, I confess that two hours are already charged, which raises the budget a little, so this time, it's the real one.

Stay tuned. And thank you. 
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