Taxes, Music Videos and Albums... aka the highs and lows of music

Now that it’s everyone’s favorite time of the year, tax time, I’ve been reflecting on what I spent my money on to further my music career in 2018. 2018 was a strange year. So was 2017… But that’s another story. 2018 was the year I made not one but two MUSIC VIDEOS, which is by far my best memory of 2018. If I could make a music video for every song I write, I would. But alas, they’re also quite expensive (even with our director taking on the duties, ha!, I said “doody,” of production, casting, editing, and lighting supervisor/camera work on “Luckey.” Kevin Pietila is an amazing man) and require an immense amount of pre-production, scheduling and luck (who thought it would rain in July?). I’m not sure I’m the best actor (though, I did do a pretty good zombie, I must say…) but I know I had a blast throughout both shoots. It’s been the most fun I think I’ve had making something in years…

Albums are stressful. They’re not fun to make (at least in my experience) as they are so personal, require so much energy, thought, time (in rehearsals leading up to, actual recording time, mixing, stressing about the mixes until your ears fall off and you’ve picked apart everything only to realize you should trust your mixing engineer more since he’s good at this and I have Meniere’s Disease and don’t always hear things accurately, stressing about which songs to put on vs. leave off, stressing about the order of the tracklist, the album art, the weight of the vinyl for pressing and pretty much everything else…) and, again, money. No album has truly sounded 100% like I had hoped going in. Though I believe that to be an unachievable goal. Each one has “felt” the way I intended but nothing can ever be perfect, even when the goal is imperfection like on “In My Youth, I’m Getting Old…”

I’m doing something no musician should ever do. It’s bound to drive you insane, which has started I confess. It’s a bonafide way to make you hate yourself, question everything you do and take way too long… But, I’m writing, recording, producing, mixing and art directing my next couple albums. I want to control everything start to finish (except mastering because I’d be wasting my time and energy since Ed Brooks can make my music sound eons, I know, a measure of time, not quality, but still, eons better than I could ever even dream of) and finally make something exactly how I want to. I’ve started and stopped recording the songs three times now, each time restarting with some new songs and new sounds. I think I finally have the group of songs and the sounds where I want them and am ready to do it for a fourth and final time. It’ll be a record for those who suffer from depression, loneliness, have Asperger’s or some combination of those three. No, you don’t have to experience those things (and I hope you don’t, except Asperger’s as there are some pretty great upsides since I’m not too far out on the spectrum) to understand and love the record. There are beautiful songs, stories and soundscapes to take in as well. There are also ugly songs, stories and soundscapes to absorb. It’s the first of three self-recorded/produced/mixed albums I have planned, including a project I’ve wanted to do since I was 18, which by the demos has been described as fun-but-depressing-folk-space-pop…

Anyhow, I’m in Phoenix enjoying some time with amazing friends so why the fuck am I still blathering on??

(dictated but not read)

Music Video Notes and shit...

So, the Packers shat the bed once again. Just like last week, they had the chance to dethrone one of the best teams in the league and decided to fuck themselves over. I don't want to rant and rave about it (I've done that for at least 4 or 5 hours over the past 24 hours) but it's so goddamn frustrating to give games like this away. It's also weird that our defense is playing better than our offense, which has Aaron Fucking Rodgers. Color me confused as fuck. That's a phrase, right? Anyways, some good/music news...

Many thanks to Adobe and Teardrops (click HERE or on the image below):

And to Americana Daily (click HERE or on the image below):

For supporting the release of our newest music video for “Let’s Go Out Tonight.” Here’s a few thoughts I had about the making of the video:

“Turns out it’s not easy to make a zombie-themed music video.  From finding the right DP and makeup artist to bring our zombie rom-com to life, to finding the perfect “Thriller” looking house, the director and I digging a real grave in someone’s backyard (Oregon dirt is mostly clay with lots of rocks in it…), the 2+ hours of having alcohol-based makeup, since it was still raining in July (God bless Oregon), slathered on my face, neck and hands plus the 1+ hour of washing my skin with alcohol to get it back off, practicing “Thriller” dance moves in my apartment and injuring my hand so badly that I now have a scar for the rest of my life (long story), to all the overnight shoots, it wasn’t your typical music video.  I was buried underground for 20 minutes while we waited for the lighting, effects and weather to all play together for the perfect shot, and I loved it; which was good since that was only the first of many takes…

 

But, God bless Kevin Pietila, the director, since he had the vision and the passion to keep the cast and crew focused and performing at our best, not an easy task at 4 or 5am when everyone is starting to feel the lack of sleep and we’re trying to beat the light for one last shot. And God bless the crew, keeping the generators, lights, effects, makeup and playback going while moving everything in and out of tents due to the intermittent rain.  And the Holocene in Portland was great and patient as we shot for much longer than anticipated there.

 

And damn, did I look awesome in that “Thriller” jacket or what…”

NEW MUSIC VIDEO AND VIDEO RELEASE PARTY!!

AHHHH, REAL MONSTERS (anyone love that show as much as I do?)! Why do I say that?? You’ll find out if you check out the WORLD PREMIERE OF “LET’S GO OUT TONIGHT” THE MUSIC VIDEO AT SURVIVING THE GOLDEN AGE BY CLICKING HERE OR ON THE PICTURE:

Also, our music video release party will be held at the Lake Theater in Lake Oswego, OR Friday, November 9th. Music from Sara Morris, Brianne Kathleen and Bradley Wik will start at 8pm followed by commentary from director/writer of said videos, Kevin Pietila, before we show both “Lookin’ at Luckey” and “Let’s Go Out Tonight” on the BIG SCREEN!!! Fun is guaranteed to be had by all. Music, booze, amazing music videos, what else do you need?! Oh, a sexy host, you might say. Well, don’t you worry, Bradley will be there and may or may not take his pants off… Just sayin’…

BWC Music Premiere Video Poster.png

Umm, I got married... aka sorry that I'm not sorry about being lazy with the blog...

I apologize as I've been lazy as shit keeping up with this blog and (not) doing my YOUTUBE videos as promised but it turns out getting married and jet-setting off to Paris for a couple weeks will fuck up your schedule.  So, yes I am now officially married.  Even got the damn marriage license today which was conveniently approved on 9/11/2018 so 9/11 is now forever even more a part of my life.  For the record, we didn't get married on 9/11, that's just when the state of New York finally got around to verifying our claim of marriage.   Strange.  But, the actual wedding was my favorite ever.  Yes, I'm extremely fucking biased but there you have it.  We did it in Central Park in New York City and wore our fucking wedding clothes all day while we got pictures in the Park, the MoMA, at our dinner in Little Italy, and finally for (way too many) drinks back up around Columbus (fuck Columbus.  I'm half Native American for first time readers.  And legit half, not "my grandma was part Cherokee so I'm like 1/64th or something" Native American.) Circle.  Anyways, I'll talk more about this in future iterations.  But, immediately after that the fucking music video came out and I've been planning some things to go along with that AND the second music video, dun, dun, duun!  Oh, you didn't know there was a second music video?  Well... Fuck... Then... OK, now you do.  I guess it wasn't that dramatic except this one is even more crazy and wonderful.  I can't wait to release it to the world.  Same director as on "Lookin' at Luckey" so you know it's gonna be fucking awesome.  Kevin Pietila is a goddamn wizard with the music videos.  I wish I could hire him to make one for every song but I could definitely not afford that.  Fucking money always getting in the way...


Anyways, I'm sorry this is brief and I don't have a better update, but I assure you I will in two weeks.  Next week, I'm visiting my brother in Wisconsin so I'll have better things to do than make a video blog or put a lot of thought into writing one.  Namely, drink and watch the Packers game.  And no, don't ask me about this fucking Packers-Vikings game from last week...  Seriously, don't...  Jesus...  All I will say is that I think the "holding" aka guy is falling down and the lineman makes sure of such call against Lane Taylor on the Jimmy Graham TD is just as big a misstep as the phantom roughing the passer call on Clay Matthews III.  Either correct call would've ended the game in the Packers' favor.  Just sayin'...

Also, the past two weeks I've been repeatedly re-listening to the S-TOWN PODCAST for some reason.  I don't know why I'm obsessed with listening to it for a 6th or 7th time but that's fucking Asperger's for you; which John B definitely has.  Just sayin'...


Anyhow, if you haven't seen the video for Lookin' at Luckey yet, Jesus fuck it's awesome, so here it is:

It's here! It's finally here!! aka... "Lookin' at Luckey," the video...

As promised, here it is fuckers:

This brings back wonderful memories of:

 

- How perfectly Sonora embodied "Luckey" for those three days of shooting.  I felt as if I was back with the real "Luckey" the whole time

- Brianne and Sara shining lights past the Thunderbird while Nate rocked it up and down, over and over and over...

- Sonora sitting perfectly still, take after take, for those shots in the living room of me rocking out

- Sara hitting her (not plugged in) keyboard so hard it made her fingers hurt trying to get noise out of it

- Sharing those wonderful bottles of water-wine on the roof

- The lady in the park who repeatedly demonstrated how many times Bill Withers says "I know" in "Ain't No Sunshine"

- Those Fucking Jibs

- The wonderfully weird boat parade on the Willamette River that night

- How much Kelly's Olympian didn't give a fuck

- How smoking way too many cigarettes in a row feels

- How many times someone commented on how I look like Ryan Adams

- How I loved it every time someone commented on how I look like Ryan Adams (one of my favorite artists ever)

- Getting to sit in an actual Thunderbird and how unworthy I was

- Thinking of how many fucking talented people were in that apartment that night

 

I could never thank Kevin Pietila enough for taking my Asperger's, non-visual memories of Luckey and somehow creating this.  It is beyond my comprehension how talented he is.

 

I am so grateful to all the talented people involved:  Kevin Pietila, Sara Morris, Brianne Kathleen, Jon Fickes, Sonora Mindwerl, Nate Ernst, Colby and, of course, me (just kidding, kind of).  They say it takes a village, but we did it with less people, more hard work and more skill.  But most of all, we did it...

Fucking Finally! "Lookin' at Luckey" music video this week!!!

EDITORS NOTE:  I apologize for the false start. We ran into an issue with the promotion/premiere/timeline and the video was not released on Friday as expected.  It will, come hell or high water, be released this week as I'm exhausted and it needs to see the light of day.  Goddamn, we need some good luck on this album soon as it's been snakebitten since the beginning...  It's coming though, I assure you.  Things are looking up.  They have to.  There's no other way to go...

 

Finally, after months of teasing you fuckers, the official video for "Lookin' at Luckey" is about to be real!  I know you've been waiting for it, as have I, but it's better than you think.  For serious.  Fucking hell.  If you haven't already, subscribe to Bradley Wik's YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/bradleywik.  That's where the video will be in addition to this very website, bradleywik.com.  So many amazing people worked on this thing, it would be a shame to not watch and enjoy the fuck out of this video.  For those who still are on the fence, here's a still from the upcoming video:

Bradley and "Luckey"/Sonora

Bradley and "Luckey"/Sonora

So, again, "Lookin' at Luckey" the official music video will be out this Friday, 8/31.  Stay tuned for more updates...

Fucking music videos and being sick aka... fuck my (awesome) life...

Being sick sucks.  Like really fucking sucks.  I just might be the biggest baby when it comes to being sick.  I was sick before the music video shoot, kind of during (though adrenaline and the need to get it done are great masking agents; just like the double doses/four pills of NyQuil, a shot of bourbon and way too much coffee) and, of course, again after.  Staying up all night for two nights then waking up early (read:  six hours of sleep in three days) for the next day are not a plan for good health.  But, it is a plan for making a fun as hell music video.  The concept and script were fun as shit.  I felt bad as the director, DP (director of photography, also known as the camera operator, lighting director and eyes of the film) and second AC (second assistant camera), as well as the lighting and setup crew had to work their fucking asses off as I got to relish being an actor.

 

This video definitely allowed me to display my acting skills much more than the last one, by nature of the theme and script.  I fucking loved it.  I also happen to be really fucking awesome (read:  not bad) at it.  I am sad that we are almost done with the video (we have one more short night of shooting) but enjoyed every minute of it so far.  I wish I could tell you more but I don't want to spoil it and the surprises along the way.  Needless to say, it'll be great and you'll love it.

 

What you won't love is the Meniere's attack I had right before the filming, which went away during shooting (thank God!) and the fact that it's 8pm and I can barely keep my eyes open as the lack of sleep and illness is taking over.  Plus, somehow a wart on my face may (or may not) be getting infected as a barely visible mark is now swollen and painful...  Jesus, it's been a week.  Plus, I'm headed to Arizona to enjoy some of that 115 degree heat...  Not...  Well, I am going to Arizona, but no, I won't be enjoying the heat...

 

If I had more energy I would make one of those videos I promised on YouTube that I still haven't delivered on where I would rant about Kanye being the second most important artist of my lifetime or why I feel like all cats have autism...  Maybe next week.  This week, I'm glad I'm still alive and I'm going to go finish watching the new season of Kimmy Schmidt...  Fuck it...

 

But, here's a still of me and a beautiful girl in a car way too nice for the both of us from the (first) "Lookin' at Luckey" video which will be out in the next month (notice my doofy singing face. Singing is never graceful on stills...):

 

 

I know, that has nothing to do with the new video but you'll see this one sooner bitches...

It's fucked up to dig your own grave... aka music videos are the best

It's strange to dig your own grave.  The work that goes into making a hole big enough, especially in the shitty, clay-infested Oregon soil, sucks fucking ass.  Even with someone's help, it isn't a quick endeavor.  My biggest alibi against any murder case is the director of my latest music video, who can vouch for my inability and "inadequataquatulence" to bury people at the depth necessary to avoid detection.  Also, you realize the soft person you've become by the pain in between your thumb and pointer finger after digging a 4 and 1/2' deep hole.  We could've gone deeper, but fuck it (ha! Butt fuck it!), we were tired.  To be honest, it was kind of fun.  I miss doing manual labor and it's more fun given the reason:  a music video.  My good friend Kevin Pietila is an amazing director/writer and came up with this fucking fantastic video idea for "Let's Go Out Tonight," which I couldn't be more fucking happy about.  Kevin's script is amazing, we have people flying up from L.A. to help shoot the video and some amazing actors/dancers/choreographers to help as well.  I feel like such a Rock Star and can't wait to blow them all away with my acting...  Jesus, I'm talented but I'm so fucking glad someone wrote something so fucking badass.  I'm so blessed to know talented muthafuckers who believe in me and my music.  Life is great sometimes.  Only sometimes...  But, now is one of those times.  I'll let y'all fuckers know how it's going and how awesome I am.  Pretty fucking awesome is my guess.  Check this shit out:

 

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That's a fucking hard day's work, capped off by some Coors Banquet Beers and french fries.  After two hours of digging, that shit never tasted so sweet. Not sure why musicians like to act and actors like to play musicians but seems like we're all fucked up in the same ways, so it probably helps.  We'll find out next week...

"Lookin' at Luckey" the live-action version aka... music videos are awesome

"Lookin' at Luckey" comes alive!

 

(editors note:  this was supposed to go up Tuesday.  Not sure why it didn't.  Fucking computers and internet things...)

 

GREEN BAY PACKERS WEEKLY UPDATE:

 

Unfortunately, I was unable to watch a single second of the Packers game as I was busy doing this:

 

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"What does making funny faces in bars have to do with not watching the Packers?" you may ask.  And you'd be right, if I wasn't being filmed doing it.  Because then it's cool and it's called a music video...


THIS WEEK IN MUSIC:

 

I was shooting a music video for "Lookin' at Luckey" this past weekend which was a fucking blast.  I got to work with some amazing people including the absurdly brilliant writer/director, KEVIN PIETILA, and the beyond beautiful and wonderfully-talented lead actress, SONORA MINDWERL.  And that's not including my other ridiculously awesome friends SARA MORRISBRIANNE KATHLEEN and A VIEW OF EARTH FROM THE MOON'S VERY OWN (JUST LIKE) JON FICKES.  It was truly a blessing to have so much artistic energy in the room(s) when making this fucker.  I had such a fun time despite learning that I am not quite as brilliant an actor as I assumed I once was.  That honor goes to Sonora and Jon Fickes, who were wonderful when "action" was called.  Give me a guitar, mic and a crowd and I'm in my element.  Give me words to say and a camera in my face and... not my element so much.  Although, I used to do a fantastic Jack Black/Tenacious D-type impression given the right audience.  I passed my high school speech class with a Bob Marley song ("Redemption Song") and Jack Black inspired improvised speech/performance.  I was tasked with performing this improvised speech in front of my whole graduating class later on, which I guess means it was pretty good.  So, I have that going for me, which is nice...

 

We did a lot of amazing things during the video but perhaps my favorite was this:

 

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What a beautiful car that I am so undeserving to even sit in...  This Thunderbird was amazing.  It's lucky you can't see below the waist on these shots.  Boners upon boners...

 

Anyways, more updates for you soon... So tired... Who knew video shoots were more draining than recording sessions?