Music is a Photograph!

I’ve recently decided to expand my creative outlets to include photography (see my public album here) . Since idolizing album covers and movie posters in my childhood, I have always been mesmerized by the focus that a good promo shot brings to its subject. How an iconic portrait can make you dream of a better life or at least inspire you to hope that someday you might have the same twinkle of sureness in your eye as the person in the picture. The thing is, nobody is that awesome all the time. Not even your favorite celebrity. Not even the prettiest beings. That’s why photography and its ability to capture a moment in time is pure magic. We can hold a memory in our hands, people! We can look at history on a shelf! It’s madness!

Whether it was taken 100 years ago or today, my favorite photos make you feel like you not only know the person in the portrait, but you know them in their finest, truest, strongest form. Think of those under-the-radar friends that you know or even your partner and how you adore and admire them while other people don’t seem to see them the way that you do. Whatever you are seeing in that person, is what I want to capture in anyone I ever take a photo of. For all to see. For all time. I firmly believe that at any given moment anyone can be amazing. (I even have a song and music video about that idea.)

The concept of time and how it seems to speed up has always fascinated me: photography is my way of slowing it down with all of you with whom I share it. Just as I attempt to do with music. Madluv and I hope you like what you see in the pics.

Below is a short clip with the results of my second photoshoot. It was made easy by the charming and talented subject, singer/songwriter Julia Davies. The lens loves her as much as your ears will love her sound. Please check it out.

 

Live online show 11/2!

Hi friends!
I never get play live for the majority of you because I don’t tour enough, but tomorrow (Sunday 11/2/2014, 12:00pm PST), I’m doing my first live online show via StageIt so you can watch from anywhere in the world!

And it’s not just watching a screen because you can type requests and comments and questions during the show that I’ll be reading/answering in real time. I’m doing the show with my supremely talented friend and fellow songwriter, Dawn Mitschele , and I know you’ll love the harmonies and collaborations we do together. 

It’s all happening at https://www.stageit.com/dawn_mitschele/dawn_mitschele_lee_coulter/41040

Hope to play for you then!
Madluv,
Lee

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Click image for teaser video!

What to do when your buddy posts his modeling head shot as his profile pic

As an entertainer, at some point in your career you are supposed to take a head shot – A photo that shows your character and essence clearly so producers and audiences can get a feel for who you are without having met you. Exhibit A:

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If you’re somewhat attractive looking (this is how my wife describes me and she’s a realist) you’re supposed to get at least one shot where you exude your somewhat attractiveness. I’ve done it. Years ago. As did my good friend and frequent collaborator Stepchylde Tha Phoenix (seen above). I’m not proud of mine. However, Step posted his as his Facebook Profile pic a few days ago. This was where he went wrong. Now, he is a more than somewhat attractive guy so the ladies went to town with their comments about how “yummy” he is. But he has male friends too. And this is how we reacted….

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Let this be a lesson to all of you more than somewhat decent looking men… with great looks comes great responsibility.

“Misogyny and Other Cock Blockers”

Boss Senorita

Last Wednesday I released a video for “Boss Señorita”—a song I wrote to empower women and offer men a different approach. Two days later, a misogynist killed 6 people because women rejected him. I’ve seen much discussion about misogyny since then and I’m seeing men get very defensive. As a man, I understand why. My hope is that admitting why—to ourselves and to women—may help us create a space where women aren’t terrified of us. One can dream.

Naturally, we feel offended when we hear generalizations about our gender. We want to say, “IT’S NOT ALL MEN.” But the rage I’m hearing and reading from many of us only points out that some of the generalizations hit too close to home.

None of us are truly innocent bystanders. Not all men are violent or disrespectful, but we are more similar to the creeps and violators than we like to admit. We have the same compulsion to look at a woman walking by. We objectify regularly. We feel unwarranted jealousy when a cute girl we barely know has a crush on someone else. We feel a territorial ownership of the females in our lives. The offenders are not some alien species.

I am not suggesting that we should feel guilty for having desires, fantasies or for feeling protective. My goal is to make men aware that these natural instincts feed an unnatural cultural problem. We overlook everyday sexism because it strokes our egos, exploits our desires and skews the balance in our favor.

Much of our behavior and our media bombard women (and men) with the idea that they aren’t worth our time (or maybe anything) if they are not attractive and/or eager to pleasure us. Like the sexy fast food commercials that make our mouths water and our balls twitch. And the cheerleader kicking her legs apart every time our team scores. It’s everywhere. And it’s great, right? A system that tells women that if they desire a man’s attention they must be hot and ready—why wouldn’t we want to keep that system? For one, it’s manipulation. It is also oppression. And it is so pervasive that women police each other on our behalf. And yet it’s still not getting us what we want: to be desired.

We want women to think we are great. Our egos require women to think that we are great. Think? What, like men? System failure. Despite what we are taught, it turns out that women do think and men do have feelings. All the self-doubt that we encourage in women for our benefit instead feeds our own self-doubt. When we can’t tell if a woman thinks we are awesome or if she is simply looking for male validation, our egos cannot truly be satisfied – even if our balls are.

By the way, I despise manipulation and sexism when it comes from women too. I am just focusing on what I think is the heart of the problem. Yes, men get hurt by women. I have been hurt and rejected by women. That it is a part of life. Culture-wide objectification, dissatisfaction, and daily terror don’t have to be.

From as early as we can remember, sexism is passed onto us. We’ve all heard our fathers, grandfathers, uncles and/or favorite movie characters talking about how women are irrational or too complex to understand. We’re told “to keep a woman happy, just say sorry,” or the slightly more blatant “bitches be crazy.” This is dehumanization. From childhood. We weren’t born sexist and we don’t have to pass it on.

As I type this, my son is watching Power Rangers. One of the male characters just said to his buddy, “I saw her first!” As though she is the front seat and he just called “shotgun!” Objectification is everywhere. From childhood. (For the record, I just explained to my son that it is not up to those Power Rangers who the girl likes, and that she doesn’t have to like either of them.)

Until we, as males, change our deeply engrained expectations we will never be innocent bystanders. We start by taking responsibility for our insecurities. By how we talk about women when women aren’t around. By knowing that our worth is not measured by how much women desire us. By how we anonymously comment online. By how we raise our young boys and girls as equals: if it’s not cool for your daughter to have sex, it’s not cool for your son either. By how we listen to her with the same respect we would give our mothers, sisters, brothers, fathers, best friends and acquaintances.  Just because there is ALSO a part of you that would totally bone her silly if you could—in an alternate universe, in a vacuum, in your head, or wherever—it doesn’t mean you can disrespect her in the real world.

This isn’t to say you can’t make advances. If you want to explore real world options with her just pay attention to her words and body language. And take the hint. Who knows? Whether it’s a one-night stand or a lifetime of commitment, she may actually want what you want! However, if she doesn’t —and this is the crucial part —Let. It. Go. Even if you are the most awesome guy in the world, and spend a lifetime wooing her, you are not entitled to ANYTHING! “But I put a ring on it!” Is NOT an excuse. If you don’t like what you’re getting back in return, communicate. Use your words.  You’re a big boy. If your feelings and desires don’t matter to her, move along. She’s clearly not who you are looking for. No amount of emotional or physical manipulation can change that.

Oh and you don’t have to respect all women. You don’t have to respect all men either. If you don’t respect someone, move along. That’s equality. That’s feminism. Just because it starts with “fem” doesn’t make it pro female or anti male… it is literally “the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women EQUAL to those of men.”

If we want a leg to stand on when we claim that it’s “NOT ALL MEN” then we need to be less defensive when women stereotype us, and be more offended when men perpetuate the stereotype. Some of us may have stood up for women in obviously harmful cases, but we need to do it in the “harmless” ones too. For too long we have laughed at the sexist joke­­—whether because we thought in funny or wanted to fit in. Let’s be pioneers. Let’s be revolutionary. I can’t think of anything more manly.  Plus, chicks will totally dig it.

New song & video! “Boss Señorita”

I don’t love the word, “feminist.” I consider myself one but I feel that the word itself repels those who most need to embrace it’s meaning: “Advocating social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men.”

Changing how misogynists hear any word starting with “fem” could be more of a task than it needs to be.   So, I wrote a feminist anthem in a way any music-loving chauvinist could appreciate… a badass blues song.

I have probably stayed up multiple years worth of sleepless nights to create art that is as entertaining as it is meaningful. And never before have I felt so strongly about achieving that goal than with this new song and the video my wife and I produced for it. Please turn it up and enjoy, “Boss Senorita.”

Pics from opening for Sir Tom

 

 

 

 

 

So much fun and an incredible honor opening for Sir Tom Jones last Thursday night at House of Blues San Diego. His crowd was ready to party and generous with their cheer. Thanks to all who came to support me and you who support me by being interested in what I do. Here are some pics by Sharisse.

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Amazing video shoot for upcoming single!

This past Sunday was one of my favorite days ever. A few months ago I wrote a song called “Boss Señorita” and immediately knew that it would be the first single on my upcoming album. I also had a clear vision for the music video and we just lived it out with reigning two time US Boxing Champion, Danyelle Wolf. For 6 hours under the hot afternoon sun in Borrego Springs, CA… we got to play outlaws and get into fight scenes and generally goof off like we were kids again. My wife, Sharisse Coulter, and co-photographer/director, Jason Lee Segal both captured so much great footage that we are excited to share when we launch the single and video this month. Potentially May 21st so stay tuned!

Huge thanks to all the friends who helped out on screen, behind the camera and with our preparations. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Opening for Tom Jones @ HOB San Diego.

 

 

Check out this poster below from House of Blues San Diego. Yes, it’s true! Next Thursday I open for the legendary, Tom Jones! Very honored and excited. Hope to see you out there SD. And btw, have you heard Sir Tom’s new material with folky guitar and that big voice. It’s going to be an amazing show!
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Guitar drama with happy ending!

For seven years, I played this Taylor…
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Then I went and bought this…

Everybody said, “Oooohhhhh. Gibson.”

Taylor was jealous and needed to feel special. So…

Then I said, “Wait! I don’t actually know how to refinish guitars.”

But I kept on with it and then…

Now they sit happily together. The end.

Tour Video wrap up

I’m so pleased to have put this mini movie together not only for preserving the memory of such adventures for myself and my son but to share the journey with you! Madluv!