Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Keepin' it Fresh.

So it's been a while since I've written on here, and honestly I'm not sure who is reading this thing. But the beauty of that is that I feel like I can vent a little bit here because, while I can feel like I'm being honest and transparent with whoever might care, I can also feel OK thinking not too many people may see it. Funny enough, that's kind of what got me here. To this point.

  I've been feeling a little like I'm forcing it lately.  A little like I'm living by way of doing what I think I "should be doing" rather than taking life's temperatures and sailing where the winds take me. I've been fearful, I guess. Hey, that's not altogether a bad thing, right?  Los Angeles Alfa is the Alfa that has learned all too well what growing up can be about: being more concerned about security, finding the right mate, understanding that a retirement fund is not an old coffee container labeled ... "retirement fund" or "party money," thinking long term. I think the message has sometimes hit a little too hard, though, with everyone's timelines boasting newly-bought houses, fancy vacations, high and mighty jobs. It's in that light that my creativity suffers. See, then I'm picking up my guitar and thinking that it's gotta get me to that point B where I can start boasting the fancy bootie of my chosen career, when that's not what a guitar is supposed to do. It's just supposed to make music. That's all.

Yes, "that's all." And that's not a bad thing. Not supposed to be. When I start to dread playing music (which happens from time to time) is when the red flags should start to go up (kinda going up right now). I started doing this thing because I was 13, and angst-ridden, and had so many things to say from thoughts I'd never thought before, and I figured that if I told too many people about it they'd think I was off my rocker, so I locked myself away in my attic and sang them to myself with my voice all rusty, untrained and unsure, my fingers still learning the geography of each chord.

 It's been a crazy ride, right? I'm now in the middle of writing my first album that will be released under a record label (some people may say it has taken too long for me to get to this point. To you I give the evil glare. You try being me). And just like all the other records, I have no idea what I'm doing. Each song bears both the hopeful potential and untested vulnerability that makes this phase of record-making so oyster-like. But sometimes I find myself fighting to differentiate the songs from each other - not that they sound exactly the same - but the visceral connection I have to each one is not always as tightly-wound as songs that have come in my younger years. I've learned a lot about songwriting, and I do think I've become somewhat decent at it, but anyone knows that good songs come down to more than good technique. They're also about heart and honesty. Both things that should come naturally to me, but are sullied by questions of the career stuff: are they license-able? Will they be catchy enough? And then there's the personal stuff I wrestle with too. Am I getting too old? Am I not cool anymore? (yes, that question doesn't just apply to high school) Do I still have the energy for this?

When you're young, you can almost postpone the answers because they don't need to be there yet. When you get older, you get your strength from facing the answers-head on and saying fuck it anyway.
 So, that's what I'm doing. Fuck it anyway. Whatever it takes, I'm gonna make music, and I'm going to stop paying attention to the noise around it.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

New Song & Video from The Idle Hours: "The Road"

Hey all! I know it's been a few months, and a heckuvalot of things have happened.  I feel like I always come to you, full of promises to be better, like a bad lover...alas, I have no great excuse, except the usual busy-ness of travels and teaching.

But the good news! I have a new video to share. If you've been following my previous posts, I have a project with Nashville producer Marc Lacuesta (newly Grammy-nominated for his work with Francesca Battistelli) called The Idle Hours. We released an EP in August, which includes a very special song to us called "The Road."  Yesterday we released a video for the song!  It's been 7 months coming, but with the talents of Austin Jose and John Enriquez at Homeroom Production-Creative, we've put together a lovely children's story to underline the feel of the song.

Also, keep your ears open for the legendary BJ Cole on pedal steel guitar. BJ was kind enough to play on our song during a recent stay in Nashville and we were very lucky to have him.  Enjoy!


A story of friendship forged across the universe.  This is the Official Music Video for "The Road" by The Idle Hours. Download the song at // "The Road" is written and performed by The Idle Hours (Alfa Garcia/Marc Lacuesta), featuring B. J. Cole on pedal steel // Published by HD Music Now (Mission Viejo, CA) // Support The Idle Hours at
Concept by: Alfa Garcia, Austin Jose, John Enriquez, Rob Bieselin
Illustration: Austin Jose
Motion graphics: John Enriquez, Kevin Weyrick Knowles
Direction: Austin Jose & John Enriquez
Producer: Homeroom - Production Creative
Executive Producer: Alfa Garcia

from The Idle Hours (EP), released 26 August 2014. Recorded in Nashville, TN
Lead vocals: Marc Lacuesta
Background vocals: Alfa Garcia
Pedal steel guitar: B.J. Cole
Acoustic guitars: Alfa Garcia, Marc Lacuesta
Electric guitar: Mike Payne
Melodica, Maracas: Marc Lacuesta
Piano: Alfa Garcia
Upright bass: Vinnie Lu
Engineered and mixed by Marc Lacuesta

"The Road"
(lyrics and music by Alfa Garcia/Marc Lacuesta)

If I had another eye, I'd see the whole world
two to keep me between the lines, as the road turned
one stayed on the setting sun behind me
if I had the eyes to see.

Alone I keep a steady keel, my conscience
timing like an idle wheel across the distance
ever-wishing you were here to give me grace
to fill the empty space, singin'

Ooooh... this wandering road.

This old North Dakota blue is an ocean
deeper than the fields we knew as children
and when I'm feeling very small and overcome
our song will guide me home, singin'

Oooh... Ooooh...
this wandering road.