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MP3 A.S.K. - ROCK: Folk Rock

Quirky Folk-Pop ala Robyn Hitchcock

10 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Folk Rock, POP: Folky Pop

I am A.S.K. aka Angel S Krasnegor. Originally from California. Now can be found in Arlington, Virginia.

I was raised in a household where music was front & center of our very existence. I started on the piano first, at age 9, but found it unchallenging after awhile. Next, my parents bought me a guitar. I can''t remember what kind it was. I began to take lessons. My music teacher said my guitar should only be used as an oar for a rowboat. So I got a better one, an Ibanez acoustic.

Around that time, my dad took me to a pawn shop,and bought me a jet black, Les Paul copy that weighed about 63 pounds. The strings were raised so high off the fret board, they''d sever through my tender girlie flesh when I tried to play. But at least it looked cool.

Around the age of 12/13, I got all into the Beatles & Dylan. For years, literally, I''m not making this up, ask anyone who knew me at that time, Dylan & the Beatles were all I listened to. Total immersion.

In high school, I was a band geek, playing the clarinet & trumpet. Being in the band made my high school years tolerable.

After school, I was in a succession of lame rock bands. There was Out of the Blue....we played parties that resulted in power outages at peoples homes. We recorded a demo at a studio in Santa Ana. I sang lead vocals on one song, a cover of the Monkees "Stepping Stones." I''ll never forget how the producer said my vocals sounded like Exene Cervenka. That made me happy... Funnily, I never thought to get my own copy of that demo tape.
Whatta dork...

I enrolled in a classical guitar school, where I had private instruction in classical guitar, & took courses in ear and rhythm training. I also played in the classical guitar ensemble. I was there all of 2 years, until I realized that I really didn''t want to be playing classical guitar, with all its restrictions & discipline.

I got out of high school, & hit the road immediately, traveling with a friend by car up the west coast. Our intention, to stop & live wherever we thought cool. I wound up living in Seattle. The 1st apartment we got there was in a bad neighborhood. I didn''t realize it was bad until one night late when I heard a woman screaming in the rain. I looked out my 2nd floor window to see a lady in the mud. I ran downstairs to her. She was scouring the muddy ground yelling "my tooth! my tooth! I gots to find my tooth!" It had been knocked out of her mouth that night by her pimp. I moved out the next week.
The next apartment I had was on First Street in downtown Seattle. A really nice pad, up high on the 6th floor. I worked as an activist, canvassing door to door for Sane/Freeze.
Things went screwy after awhile, & missing home, I drove back to Huntington Beach.

I decided to pull a Woody Guthrie & take the train across America. I was 21 at the time. With my guitar, I left LA''s Union Station late one night & traveled through the lower states. I arrived in New Orleans, where I decided to kick around awhile. It was so exotic to me, with music filling the streets. Like a waking dream.

I then moved on to Athens, Georgia, where I plopped down money on a trailer home in a cow pasture & stayed a couple of months. I never had enough money to turn on the electricity or gas. I never had a phone. But I had an adventure...

Back in Huntington Beach, my next musical venture was as part of a duo. In 1993, I started performing at coffeehouses around Orange County. A lot. Home base became Jam''s Coffeehouse on Beach Blvd. Man, whatta scene. Everyone knew everyone. We were like a family. I started to publish a zine that featured Huntington''s finest poets & artists, called Burnt Toast.

One afternoon, I watched a band playing at Jams. Their songs were really catchy & fun. They announced mid-way through their set that their bass player would be leaving them, & that if anyone in the audience knew of a bass player who would be interested, to let them know. I quickly rushed the stage & said to the guys, "I''ve never played bass in my life, but I''ve been playing guitar since I was a kid....if I get my hands on a bass, can I try out?" The guys, bemused, looked at one another, shrugged & said, "yeah, all right."
So I borrowed a bass & amp from my friend Rocky & set to practicing. I auditioned 2 weeks later & got the gig. Thus began my next era as a bass player for the band Cowboy Buddha.

I still played solo gigs nearly every week. I was going to school, working, & publishing Burnt Toast all the while. But then, I saw a notice up at my school, for a study abroad program in Cambridge, England. Cambridge held a special place in my heart, for I knew it to be the home of Syd Barrett. I signed on & left. In Cambridge, I performed to audiences who actually really listened when you played. It was great. Running late to class one morning, I rounded a street corner quickly & ran smack into Professor Stephen Hawking. Nearly crashed into his chair...

A trip to Ireland excited me mid-way during my courses in Cambridge. So beautiful & lushly green, all those ruins abounding. I even performed in a pub called Morrissey''s in
some little village there. The audience was gracious as I regaled them with Dylan songs...
I resolved to return & that I did once the Study Abroad program finished. With about $65 in my pocket, I flew into Shannon Airport by myself. I found a hostel in Cork City, & fast became friends with the German girl who ran the place. We hung out, while I tried to figure out how I was going to ensconce myself permanent-like in Ireland. I pounded the pavement looking for work. But since I lacked a work visa, no one would hire me. I took to busking in the city streets. It was wintertime & about 40 degrees out. I got money mostly because people felt sorry for me. I moved to a cheaper hostel in a nicer neighborhood. I met a shy Irish girl whose name I can''t recall. She played the pennywhistle. She told me she was from a small village & lived with her family on a farm. But she told her family she wanted to try life in the big city for awhile. So together, we''d walk to the city centre, & she would set up on one corner, & I''d set up on another, & we''d busk away for an hour, then go to the pub to warm up.

I eventually gave up on life in Ireland, & made my way back to southern California. I got really into celtic music & bought a mandolin. I started to sit in on Irish jam sessions in LA. Really difficult music to play, the jigs & reels... I played the odd solo gig now & then.

Living in LA, I began to record my own music at home. I first recorded "Sleepy Monster Goals," on a 4 track Tascam. I loved it. Recording was exhilirating. Being able to have total control over the sound of my songs was bliss. I recorded another: "Grevillea Home Collection." Then another: "Steep Ramp Absolutely," a darker album coming close on the heels of my divorce & my father''s death. The next album was "Enigmatic Cover Shot," lighter & poppier, with more frivolity.

The bottom line is, I love writing songs. I love it more then any other aspect of
music. I enjoy playing my guitar, bass, mandolin, keyboards...but writing songs, then
recording them, it''s like giving birth. You watch your baby grow & take flight.
I''ll be doing this til the day I die.

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