I'm not gonna lie. One of my worst nightmares is working at Dunkin' Donuts. Not that it's "bad" to work there, but similar to how there's people who like being a soldier, and others who would shit their pants. I would be the latter at Dunkin' Donuts.
Why am I telling you this?
When I'd be driving to a gig, and complaining about it. I'd remind myself about how fortunate I am by reading store signs and pretending to answer the phone as an employee. Hi! Thank you for calling Pup n' Taco, home of the Taco Dog. Would you like to try our churro fries? This is Goliath, how may I serve you today? And I'd have to hear things like "Hey Goliath. C'meere! I want you to man the drive thru for a while, and you gotta work a double today because Felicia's not coming in."
On my way to and from gigs I'd often stop at Dunkin' Donuts. So that's that.
- Random Fact: My real name is Goliath. Why was I named that? Well it all has to do with my Mexican grandmother who lived so far out in the middle of nowhere in Sonora, Mexico that she didn't have many books but the bible to read. Anyhow, she could make out that Goliath was strong. And a giant.
I gotta tell you. A'lotta these cyber puritans don't think I take myself serious enough. But, I think that's just them playing king of the virtue signaling mountain. Either way. I can say with confidence that I can play the guitar quite well, well enough that people have payed me to do so for twenty years. And honestly, this bio probably isn't gonna help my career any, because I live in THE SOUTH. And, in THE SOUTH people act like they're sheltered teenage girls from the 1950's bible belt, especially on social media. Oh, online? Everyone's a god damn saint (in between porn viewing sessions that is.) Nonetheless, if this town isn't ready for Big City Goliath it's not my fault. I won't capitulate. I'm from Los Angeles holmes! Where people were eating organic home birth kombucha placentas since grade school.
This is me as a kid. I think I was a pretty good kid. I did some bad things like most kids do, but certainly didn't do the worst things. I just dabbled in igniting rubbing alcohol in the bath tub, and making fake vomit with my friend Eddie, then we'd pour it on someone's porch. We also egged houses. If I ever caught kids egging my house today I'd run out in a chicken suit and chase after them. I don't know if I could be mad at them. Kids do these kinds of things, but not only these kinds of things. At this age I was already playing around with a piano and had performed an original composition at a quinceañera. I was the little Mozart'sito of my family. I liked video games and watching TV. I had two encyclopedias that my impecunious father bought me. I loved them, but I remember him nervously writing a rubber check for groceries a number of times. I must say that I truly did appreciate and use those encyclopedias. One was standard, and another about science and mechanics.
You see me playing back there all into it, and not even giving zero whether or not those two ladies are listening? Yup. The Honey Badger is my spirit animal.
Really though? What am I gonna tell you? I studied with blah blah blah at blah blah blah. Unfortunately, I must tell you about my first guitar teacher Chris McGuire. He's the founder of the Fort Worth Classical Guitar Society. I say unfortunately because when I read other musicians bios I almost don't care about what school they attended, and with whom and where they played. Also, Chris was was kind of a dick sometimes, but I can't necessarily blame him, because I know for a fact that I was super ignorant about a lot of things! So I probably said some dumb shit that pissed him off. Now, I'm the age he was when he was teaching me, and I now hear people say dumb shit erry day!
I attended the BUotU (Best University of the Universe) for music, which is throwing yourself in-front of people and playing for them after you've practiced a whole bunch.
Chris McGuire taught me some valuable lessons, sometimes they took me weeks to incorporate one into my playing, some took a year or more. I've been playing classical guitar ever since, then I expanded into Flamenco. Everybody loves Flamenco. I could make a sitcom out of it.
Before getting into Flamenco I went to school for theory & composition of music starting at North Lake College in Irving TX. I wanted to be a composer I guess. Then I realized that I was already a composer. The truth of the matter was that I was going to school because I really didn't know how to apply myself in life (that and I loved music of course). And, if I had to be part of an institution, college was going to be it. But, I was like "Hey! I got a scholarship offer to Jacksonville University." I moved to Jacksonville and didn't go to school. I got really into smoking weed and doing crack, and it all went downhill from there. Just kidding! I was twenty six/seven, I signed a one year lease for an apartment in too nice a part of town. I just couldn't see myself slaving away at requirement classes while working night jobs for four years. Let's see, twenty seven, twenty eight... thirty. I'd be thirty years old with a degree in theory & composition of music.
After two weeks of furious thinking I decided not to go. I was like "Fuck this, man! I'm gonna learn the ins and outs of composition on my own!" No U.S. Government or Biology101, I'm gonna cram this into a year, and that's what I did. About a decade later I scored the music to a feature film named California Winter.
But before that, I got a job teaching guitar after bouncing around non musical jobs. Life was bleak for a while. I had no money. No family around. The girl that I chose Jacksonville University over UNT for, we broke up. Before I got my teaching job my car broke down, and you know what they say, like 70% of American's are one transmission failure away from bankruptcy. I was one of those. I had to make a plan man! I had like one, maybe two months worth of rent saved, and I was now renting a room attached to a recording studio. I had no bed, was sleeping on the floor and I decided to practice and write like my life depended on it. Because frankly, it did! My commitment level was... if I'm awake I'm working. What was I working towards? Getting a gig playing music. If life was gonna suck, it was gonna suck while I played music for a living.
And, I've been doing that and growing ever since.
* * *
What Kind of Music I Like
I'm fond of just about all musical style. Listening wise, I'm adventurous. I've gone through seasons where I listened to folk music like Bob Dylan, pop music like Ricky Martin and Madonna. Rock music like The Cult, the early days of Snoop Dogg and the whole NWA posse. I listened to Otis Redding, and Gill Scott Heron which lead me to listen to his daughter Jill Scott. I played her album Who Is Jill Scott? for like two months, the studio production was incredible. DJ Jazzy Jeff did that. I was like "From The Fresh Prince of Bel Air Jazzy Jeff? Whuuut?".
I then got into gypsy music from Eastern Europe, Rajasthan, and Spain (Flamenco) after watching Tony Gatlif films that my bellydancer girlfriend at the time turned me on to. During that same time, I also got into Middle Eastern Music. Songs like Rachid Taha's Ya Rayah, and Abdelli's song Tharguith from his album Among Brothers really caught my attention. I learned to play the clarinet, the nay flutes, frame drums including the riq drum, the accordion, the darbuka, and the oud (What can I say? I didn't have a TV). Furthermore, I've had a lifelong fascination with Celtic and Medieval music. My musical tastes have run the gamut of styles and time periods.
Virtually every musical style has something in it for me, but my favorite songs are those that carve a new path. Songs that say something, regardless of the genre. Songs that suck you into the artists world like a good book. Songs like De Cara a La Pared by Lhasa de Sela, The whole Surfer Rosa album by The Pixies, many songs by The Smiths, and Depeche Mode, Snoop Dogg's rap style on his debut album, and Mozart's Serenade for the Winds. There's too much music to name. If we both had the time I'd gladly be here all day talking about it, but the best I could offer you is a peak at my youtube channel where you can find many songs that I find notable.
* * *
My latest adventures in music are my Mariachi band, Mariachi Primera Costa, working my chops via Flamenco and classical guitar, and Brazilian Bossa Nova and Samba. I'm also working on a few singles in styles that are unrelated to Spanish music, which I'm mostly known for as a performer.
If you'd like to know more about me please enjoy one of my podcast episodes below: