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Hi, I'm Dan Carlson from Prior Lake, Minnesota, and I love to create my own music, in my own way and with a pessimistic attitude.

You probably clicked here out of curiosity, or just for the fun of it.  
(My humor is not right on the surface, and my music meanings aren't either.)

What am I talking about?  I think this picture of me says it all. 
I look worried,
which I am a lot, probably because I'm a pessimist at heart.  I worry about the economy, and our land, global warming of course, and the usual stuff that everyone is concerned about.  But I have a more defined worry in that I'm afraid that we humans are getting away from the basics of living a fruitful, and meaningful life.  Most everyone, including myself, is in the middle of rushing to keep up.  Faster computers, faster emailing, faster web sites, and just physically moving faster is really putting a strain on the family and our personal lives.  It feels like a freight train with no brakes.  And time is moving too fast.  We all have to do something to make ourselves stop and look at what we're doing and........maybe smell the roses more.  I know, that's an overused saying, but I think it's true, at least for myself.  Or do we want to slow down?  Maybe it makes us feel more alive to be in the middle of expansion, technology, confusion, and excitement.  As for myself, I wish I was wise enough to know how to level out and see the big picture of what's really important in this lifetime. 
If you feel the same way, then I'm singing for you. 

It looks like I'm about to get hit on the head with something. 
What is it?  A white, bright, light?  God? Or the sun that just blew up?  I need to get hit with something.....anything to wake me up.  I also may be thinking, "Why me Lord?", as I pull my hair out.  You'll know what I mean if you listen to that song.  By the way, I didn't put that bright light in the picture on purpose......go figure.

Unlock and let go
is another feeling I have about my own failures to just get out of myself, my troubles, and just quiet my mind for awhile.  That song is very peaceful to me and that is what walking a labyrinth is supposed to do for oneself.  I heard Sting, on a Sunday morning T.V. interview, talk about the labyrinth and how it moves people toward the center for inspiration and he hopes his music does too.  He inspired me to write that song, and possibly to build a labyrinth at Maureen Carlson's Center for Creative Arts.  All we have to have is time to do it. Sound familiar?

The key
is located over my heart, because I am trying not to be so caught up in my own importance that I close my heart to others.  It's really hard to do but I really believe that each of us has the key to do it.  "Unlock" and "Why me Lord" talks about the key to your heart and the fear we all have when we are vulnerable when we open it up.  But to be alive, we must do it!  Why is that so hard to do?  It's got to be fear!

The green leaves are behind me.
Why did I pick that as a background in the picture?  It's a mock orange bush that is in front of our house.  It just looked very inviting to take a picture in front of it.  But if I had to have a meaning for it, I would have to say that it gives me hope for the future, a new life every spring as it is really fragrant in the early summer.  I love that bush!  And I really have the urge, in spite of all my misgivings and negative thoughts, to give the manifestation of hope in all my songs.  Without hope, what do we have?  I know, it goes against the rules of being a pessimist, but I have an excuse.  I'm a Gemini! I'm also a realist, with a touch of fantasy thrown in.  That song was fun to sing!

Why the long beard?
That's an easy one and I've had a beard for over 30 years, with a few trims from time to time just to throw people off.  Don't try to put me in a box for your own gratification, or I will do whatever I can to confuse you.  I originally grew a beard to hide from others.  I was a very shy, inward type of person in my younger years and it was a good way to put on my mask.  If you listen to my song, you'll understand what I mean.  It protected me from the all the monsters in the world, mainly all those who judged me unfairly.  Now why am I telling you my story?  Am I not afraid of you judging me right now?  The answer to that is, of course I am, with one big difference from the feelings that I felt years ago.  And that is.....now I want to reach people more and not be afraid of putting it all out there because I have learned from many years of sitting back and analyzing people, that we are all in this together, with the same complexes that puts fear into us.   I don't think I have any feeling or fear that any of you haven't felt at one time or another.  We're all in this together, even though sometimes we think we are above all others.  Can't we all just get along? (my attempt at humor)

I look aged with all my grey hairs and wrinkles.
It's true.  I'm in my 60's now and finally realizing that I can't be afraid of death or anything else that I do.......and anything is possible, until I die, of course.  And what about after death?  My wrinkles are also showing more now.  Makes me look extinct,  no, distinctive!  I had fun writing that song too.  Truth always hurts.....or does it, really?

Do you see anything else in the picture that I haven't mentioned?


I want to invite you to talk to me about my music or how I came about to write a particular song that you like, or just a discussion of a feeling that you had while listening to one of my songs?  I'd love to hear what you have to say.  And do you have any suggestions or ideas for future songs?

Email me.

Thanks....Dan

P.S. More about me