it’s (all) about time…

Time isn’t holding up, time isn’t after us…” – Talking Heads, “Once In a Lifetime”

Funny… All these years (since 1980) I thought that lyric – written by David Byrne – was “time is an asterisk“. Or, put another way: “time is an *…” where the ‘*’ was some kind of x factor or unknown variable. That was always kind of intriguing and carried a certain mystery about it. What would that phrase mean?

Maybe that time is extremely fluid and entirely personal.

The venerable Little Bear Saloon in Evergreen, Colorado… Memorial Day, 5/29/2017. I practically lived here in the 1990s, especially when I actually lived in Evergreen for a few years, then worked here in the early 2000s. My friends and I used to joke about how when we all turned 60, in the far off distant future, we’d all still be going to the Little Bear, except now it’s no joke – I am 60 and I am still going to the Bear. Life’s little self-fulfilling prophecies.
The hike up Second Creek near Berthoud Pass and the view from the Broome Hut just below timberline.

Time is an asterisk could have been a song title on the soon-to-be-released new album in a couple of weeks since so many of the songs on there deal with the subject of time. “We Are All Haunted by Something” has gone to mastering in the time since I last posted and I apologize to readers for not posting during the month of June and being away for so long. It also kind of freaks me out a little that we are now past the midway point in 2017, that we’re 9 days into July, as this seems (to me) to be the fastest-moving year I can ever remember. Maybe other people have been and are feeling this too. This year just seems very accelerated, way too much. Erin and I have been hiking most weekends, working the rest of the time. Hiking and working, but now – for the most part – I can slow down a little. Only time won’t let me.

“But I tell you now… time is an illusion
Time… is not real
Time… is an illusion
Time… is the dividing line
Between what is true and what is not true
Between what is real and what is not real
Between what is so and what is not so
But who, I said who, who stands for time?
Who stands at the threshold of time?
Who decides what is true and what is not true?
We do, you and I…” – Todd Rundgren, “I Love My Life”

From our most recent hike yesterday on an absolutely perfect summer day, up Watrous Gulch near the Continental Divide at Loveland Pass. 14er Torreys Peak (14,267 ft.) is the high mountain in the center just a few miles away.

I think what we are most haunted by – even more so than our eventual demise in the physical – is time. Our perceptions of it, through the passage of time and we speak of its ravages (on the physical form), or when we feel like there’s never enough of it or alternately when we have too much of it on our hands.

“There Is Only Now” was the first song I recorded for what would become this album. Shortly after that, Prince died on April 21st. I had no idea then that his death would have such an effect on me. It literally threw me, my thoughts, back in time to the summer of 1984 and a very intense experience which his classic album “Purple Rain” was the soundtrack for. That was completely unexpected. Much of the new album was written and recorded during the time last year when I was revisiting a lot of memories and specific events from that summer 33 years ago now (e.g., “Ghost Towns of the 1980s”).

The final set list and sequencing:

Book of Detours
There Is Only Now
Speed of Life
The Indelible Imprint of Place
Llano Estacado
In Wilderness [Is the Only Sanity in the World]
I Just Wanna Fly Off to Iceland With U
Confirm Humanity (I’m Not a Robot)
Glamour: A World Problem
Relive Tomorrow… Today!
Ghost Towns of the 1980s
Hours Turn Into Years
Unusually Vivid Experience (UVE)
New Dark Age

The trail up Chief Mountain, Continental Divide in the distance.
My Old School, Steely Dan tribute band, at the Little Bear. They’ll be there again next Saturday, 7/15. Excellent band.

14 songs, for now… 14 months of work coming to completion. There are 4 more songs which didn’t make it onto the album but may be released as a sort of epilogue and EP by the end of this year. I took my time with this album; there’s more of a looser feel to it. And it comes out on July 23 – first available on Bandcamp and free for the first week (through July 29). A few more pictures from the recent hikes…

At the summit of Chief Mountain, June, 2017.
Toward the top of Watrous Gulch… 7/8/2017
Hiking up the trail on Second Creek, 7/1/2017.
The Watrous Gulch trail, Torreys Peak in the distance… 7/8/2017.
The “Shmoopies”, Second Creek… 7/1/2017

Until next time…

"Speed of Life" single, released on 10/9/16...
“Speed of Life” single, released on 10/9/16…
Album cover for “We Are All Haunted by Something”, scheduled for release in July 23, 2017. This is the old abandoned Apache Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico – shot taken in 2009. The image of the night sky is from Justin Marsh, added with his permission.

The new album, “We Are All Haunted by Somethingis coming soon. Release date is set for July 23rd. 14 songs… including the 2-song single “Speed of Life” and “Confirm Humanity (I’m Not a Robot)”.

‘Til then, “Speed of Life“,Unearthly, Santos and all previous Nights on Venus albums are available as MP3 digital downloads on Bandcamp, CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon MP3, and the NoV Website.


Cover artwork for “Unearthly”… photo/design by CCT





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2nd album released… and the beginning of summer, 2012…

It is Memorial Day, 2012…  and here in Colorado we are enjoying a blue, cloudless day with temps in the 70’s. Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday and extended weekend and remembering and honoring those who have served and sacrificed in the name of preserving liberties and freedom.

“To All those who have served this nation, from the Revolution to present day, to those who will protect our freedoms into the future… We humbly Salute and thank you and your families.”

In 4 the Evening,” the new album, was officially released this past week on May 24th, a few days earlier than anticipated (I checked on CD Baby Thursday morning and there it was, and I was like, ‘oh, OK’), and can now be found on all the usual digital outlets. The album will also be on CD and those will be coming out in a couple of weeks.

Additional artwork for the CD: In front of Marilyn on S. Golden Rd.

Very pleased with how the new album turned out – I think it’s good, a stronger album than the first and a natural progression in the way the music is evolving. So check it out and give it a listen (and of course, buy). Many thanks to Brian Hazard at Resonance Mastering for his keen ears and eyes in the mastering process, and also to Erin for all your help and support, especially these last 3 months in ‘gettin ‘er done.’ Couldn’t have done it without you, babe! (and immediately the Styx song comes to mind… lol) 🙂

The album began in Golden last summer and, after a few hallucinatory months spent once again in the Texas heat, finished up in Golden.

Included in this week’s post is a track from the album, Piñon Incense, which is available as a free download on ReverbNation and Bandcamp.

Piñon Incense
© 2012 Excellent Sky Records / Nights on Venus Music / Craig C. Thomas. All rights reserved.
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Additional artwork for the CD: The Village Theater in Dallas with track listing

In fact, purchase the entire album on Bandcamp ($6.90 USD) and you will receive the 4-song EP as a free download – coming out Nov.-Dec., 2012… just in time for the “end of the world as we know it” or whatever other shenanigans the universe has in store for us when we hit 12/21/12 this year (actually the Mayans just ran out of room on their tablet).

With the completion and release of this album, I’m getting back to a more ‘normal’ relaxed schedule and routine which includes some much-needed ‘down time,’ i.e., a breather (which is to say I haven’t completely stopped working, even temporarily – work just now proceeds at a more leisurely pace). As I said, the last 3 months have been particularly intense with the move and all – there’s some time now to organize the studio (The ‘Mancave’) a little better as it was pretty much ‘hit the ground running’ with work on the album in progress when we moved in. And with Memorial Day, that means the official beginning of the summer season…

At Indulge Wine Bar in downtown Golden with a couple of Pinots on the patio, late afternoon (no sun!)…. Great new place in Golden – Denverites, check it out….

After spending Saturday and yesterday in the mountains, Erin and I decided to stay put today – I-70 eastbound is always a parking lot from Georgetown all the way into Denver on Memorial Day and every Sunday throughout the summer, just like the ski traffic on Sundays in the winter. In Golden, we look forward to the return of the Farmer’s Market every Saturday morning and First Friday Street Fairs downtown beginning this weekend; eventually, hiking up in the high country when the snow has melted off and it starts getting hot down here, a road trip or two… and always a few concerts at Red Rocks nearby, starting with The Shins tomorrow night… Big Head Todd & the Monsters, Bonnie Raitt, Reggae on the Rocks, etc. during the summer.

Happy listening! Until next time… when I’ll talk a little about the upcoming Transit of Venus on 6/5 and 6/6…

“In 4 the Evening,” the 2nd album…

In 4 the Evening,” the second Nights on Venus album is now available as a digital download on CDBabyiTunesAmazon.mp3eMusicBandcamp, and other fine online retailers. CDs will be available on or around June 7th.

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