CD Packages Arrive!


It has been a long time since I first wrote the song in May 2011, to recording the tracks in the summer, to recording the interviews in the Fall, but today Otter Athletics received four packages from Disc Makers containing a total of 1,000 CDs, all paid for through pre-orders.

Four packages from Disc Makers

Kirby Garry then started a Google+ Hangout for graphic designer Kevin Garcia and myself (I was at a conference in Denver) to open a box, randomly pull out a CD, open the case, look at the disc, and finally play it on a laptop. The test was a success, and we now move to planning a CD Release Party in the next two weeks!

First CD out of the package

Championship Banner


The official national championship banner now hangs in The Kelp Bed in the Otter Sports Center!

Busking On the Quad


In anticipation of that night's homecoming basketball games, I went out to the Main Quad of CSUMB and set up my mic and guitar amp in front of the Dining Commons in the hope of creating a flash mob to rally the students.

I played both "Birdie In Hole" and "Hotter Than An Otter," and Tawni Luczo tossed out Athletics merchandise. Although we had maybe a peak of about 15 people (including Otter mascot, Monte Rey), there was a point where they were dancing on the tables in front of the DC!

We also saw Vice President Patti Hiramoto, Director Tim Bills and Coach Greg Rhines, who's cross country team came out of the DC just in time to hear their line in "Hotter." 

Here's a clip from CSUMB Strategic Communications:

CD Release Delayed


We had originally tried to piggy-back on top of Homecoming on Friday, February 17 to have the official CD Release Party for Birdie In The Hole, but post-production has stalled the event.

The opportunity to maximize our turnout would have been because the NCAA championship banner will be hoisted during that night's women's and men's basketball games against UC San Diego.

We will eventually try to hold an event that will include creating a 30-foot putting green, to experience what Dylan had to do at the national championship. Those who pre-ordered the CD will receive VIP status and their copies of the disc, which will be on sale to the general public for the first time.

First Draft of CD Artwork


Kevin Garcia released the first draft of the CD artwork for Birdie In The Hole. We're pouring over it for corrections and fixes, but this marks how close we're getting to a CD release. Well done, Kevin!

Here's the full gallery.

cover of Birdie In The Hole

Oskar Is In Town! Record Him!!


As luck would have it, national team member and CSUMB alum Oskar Nystrom is visiting us from his home in Sweden, and we got him in the studio at CSUMB's Music & Performing Arts department for a recording of his thoughts during the tournament last May.

This is such great news, because we originally not been able to contact him and thus include him on the commemorative CD. It always seemed like a huge loss, but with this opportunity, the band is back together and we have a Track 4!

National Anthem


To help promote Birdie In The Hole, I sang the national anthem before tonight's CSUMB women's basketball game against Chico.

Direct link to video.

Ottermedia Plays Birdie and Hotter!


CSUMB Professor Steven Levinson played all CSUMB-created tunes today on the Ottermedia internet radio stream, featuring faculty, staff and students who create music.

I dropped by around noon for an in-studio interview and an exclusive spin of the latest mix of "Birdie In The Hole" as well as "Hotter Than An Otter." Here's a picture of the monitor, with Professor Levinson on the right.

the in-studio monitor at Ottermedia

Professor Levinson was particularly impressed with all the staff involved in the "Birdie" project and thinks he could turn this impromptu show into a regular feature of talented musicians on campus.

Professor Levinson is a faculty in Teledramatic Arts & Technology, First Year Seminar and Service Learning. He's the Director of Ottermedia, CSUMB's Audio/Video student network, and the Director of Acquisitions, Fort Ord Museum and Archive.

CSUMB Magazine


In the latest edition of the CSUMB Magazine, an article about the Men's Golf team and their championship appeared with a "pull quote" that featured a link to Birdie In The Hole.

screenshot of magazine article

Recording the Coach and AD


Today Otter Athletics recorded NCAA DII Coach of the Year and CSUMB Director of Golf, Jason Owen, and Athletic Director Vince Otupal for the eventual Birdie In The Hole CD. Interviewer Patrick Kelley sat down with under the production of Music & Performing Arts major Nadia Shilansky and MPA Professor Andrew "Drew" Waters. Drew and Nadia set up a studio in the lecture hall of the Music Hall, using equipment from their permanent studio, and Drew will mix and master the tracks.  

Next up will be use Google Voice to record the remaining interview with now CSUMB alum Oskar Nystrom, who is located in Sweden!

Here's photos from the recording, courtesy of the Otter Athletics Twitter feed.

Jason Owen

Jason Owen with Patrick Kelley

Vince Otupal

Vince Otupal with Patrick Kelley                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Let There Be Video!


We're trying really hard to make this commemorative audio CD an epic production that will last beyond our years in terms of enjoyment and pride, but today's news from Assistant Athletic Director Kirby Garry via Twitter to graphic designer Kevin Garcia and myself puts that over the top!

Recording The Team


Today Otter Athletics recorded four of the five national champion golfers for the eventual Birdie In The Hole CD. Interviewer Patrick Kelley sat down with DJ Milligan, Scott Yeakel, Dylan Jackson, and John Jackson, under the production of Music & Performing Arts major Nadia Shilansky and MPA Professor Andrew "Drew" Waters. Drew and Nadia set up a studio in the lecture hall of the Music Hall, using equipment from their permanent studio, and Drew will mix and master the tracks.

2011 National Champions, recording their interviews

Source: OtterAthletics on Twitter 

We'll try to record Oskar Nystrom, who is now a CSUMB alum living in Sweden, at a later date using Google Voice.

Next up will be to do the same for NCAA DII Coach of the Year and CSUMB Director of Golf, Jason Owen, and Athletic Director Vince Otupal.

President's Cup


Tonight, I was on the bill for the annual President's Cup golf tournament and fundraiser for Otter Athletics at Corral de Tierra Country Club. Also along for the experience was Steven Mann, who played keyboards and is producting "Birdie In The Hole."

I got to talk a bit about the benefit CD and then spin the latest mix for the assembled dinner audience, which included President Dianne Harrison and many of her cabinet.

Prior to the dinner, participants bought "mulligans" at $20/each to use throughout the tournament, with all the proceeds going to the benefit CD. They effectively sold over 50 pre-orders of the CD and raised over $1,000. This brings our total sales to nearly 70 pre-orders and almost $1,500, which is more than enough to pay for the packaging and duplication of the CD. Go Otters!

Source: OtterAthletics Twitter


program from the President's Cup golf tournament

Hotter Than An Otter - A Good Week!


It was an outstanding week for the benefit CD!

We had a "card" on the home page of CSUMB.EDU, featuring Kevin Garcia's graphic with Dylan Jackson's scorecard.

CSUMB home page, with Birdie In The Hole card, bottom right

We had purchases by Monterey County Weekly writer Mark Anderson and KPIG DJ Arden Eaton.

We had a blurb on page 10 on the Monterey County Weekly.

Page 10 of the Monterey County Weekly on 9/15

And the "b-side" to the song "Birdie In The Hole" got played at the Friday night volleyball game between CSUMB and Sonoma State. At 6:45 p.m. as the teams were warming up, "Hotter Than An Otter" boomed out across the court, putting smlles on a bunch of our player's and staff's faces. The opposing coach was overheard lamenting that his team didn't have a song and was told, "That's because nothing rhymes with Seawolves!"

Tweet from Assistant AD Kirby Garry re: world premier of Hotter Than An Otter

First Pre-Order!


Tonight at 7:47 p.m., Rod and Sharon Mills became the first fans to pre-order a copy of the "Birdie in the Hole" benefit CD from the Otter Athletics store at Cal State Monterey Bay. In return, we'll add them to the "Thank You" portion of the eventual CD package.

FYI: That was just 29 minutes after we experienced a 4.6 magnitude earthquake near Pinnacles. Just coincidence? Hardly. Rod and Sharon are parents to Mindy Mills, our Sports Information Director at CSUMB and member of the project team!

Inside Otter Athletics


Vince Otoupal

CSUMB Athletic Director Vince Otoupal made reference to the world premier of "Birdie in the Hole" in his weekly online newsletter, Inside Otter Athletics (August 23, 2011).

"One of the highlights of the day was when the National Champion Otter Golf Team was introduced and the DJ played Birdie In The Hole, a song written, played, and produced by CSUMB staff members, led by Greg Pool."

Launch and World Premier!


Today we officially launched the project publically!

After the Men's Golf team was lauded by President Dianne Harrison for their National Championship and Athletic Director Vince Otoupal kicked off the fundraiser, we had the DJ spin a CD of the latest mix of Birdie in the Hole from producer Steven Mann.

(l-r) Coach Jason Owen, DJ Milligan, Scott Yeakel, John Jackson, Greg Pool and Dylan Jackson at the President's BBQ (photo by Vince Otoupal).

We also handed our commemorative bookmarks designed by Kevin Garcia that included Dylan Jackson's score card on one side. It was not lost on any of us that when Dylan autographed bookmarks that he was ... signing his scorecard!

The bookmarks included the web address CSUMB.EDU/birdie that leads to a page on the Otter Athletics web site, put up by Mindy Mills with assistance from Kevin Gilmore. There people could find out about the ability to pre-order a copy of the CD and get their name on the CD package as a way to say thanks.

Also on hand was drummer Marvin Panganiban, who got to meet the team, coach and Assistant Athletic Director Kirby Garry.

Our Fourth Recording Session


Tonight we recorded the backing vocals of the lovely Christina Bailey from Honeymoon. We were in and out in about an hour and already began to mix down a basic song with all the ingredients of the song finally together in one place. 

Next up: Mix these tracks for launch of fundraiser and world premier at the President's BBQ on Sunday, August 21.

Third Recording Session


Tonight producer Steven Mann worked with Marvin Panganiban on drums to lay down an epic sound with a lazy beat and dramatic transitions.

Next up: Christina Bailey of Honeymoon on backing vocals!

Recording a birdie ... in the hole, of course


recording a puttWe want to find a way to include the sound of a golf ball dropping into the cup, so I took advantage of Steven Mann getting in a round of golf to do some field recording.

We were on the practice green of the Monterey Pines Golf Course, and spent about five minutes getting the recording of Steven dropping in some short putts.

We're calling those "stunt putts" in lieu of getting Dylan Jackson himself to step up for a field recording, because that just it makes it all the more authentic, right?

Our Second Recording Session


Tonight we gathered tracks for lap steel guitar (Charlie Wallace) and lead vocals (Greg Pool). Once that was done, we played it back and Steven Mann of Boomdaddy began to fiddle with the keyboards to the point where he laid down a couple of tracks.

Charlie brought his dobro but he was right when he said the lap steel would give it a much more dirty, messy sound.

See the Gallery for pics from that night.

Next up: Marvin Panganiban of Back Together Again on drums!

Dylan Jackson Before the Birdie in the Hole


hole in oneIn the chorus of the song "Dylan" is sophomore Dylan Jackson, who saved his team from defeat by draining that 30 foot putt and putting them back in contention for the title. On the last hole ... of the last day ... of the national championship tournament. Wow!

But he was already having a pretty good day. Prior to his magic on 18, he arrived having already drained a hole-in-one on 13!

Here's his official scorecard for the day's match with Ricardo Gouveia of Lynn University.

Our First Recording Session


Producer Steven Mann invited us over to begin capturing individual tracks for the upcoming production of "Birdie In The Hole," a benefit CD for athletic scholarships at Cal State Monterey Bay.

I came by with my vocal and rhythm guitar track already recorded, and John Klein of Microtonic Harmonic laid down his track on his upright bass.

See our Gallery for pics.

Fortunately, it was nothing like this guy from

Next up: Charlie Wallace of the Larry Hosford Band on dobro!

First Public Performance


At our regular gig in Gene's Barber Shop in Pacific Grove, I threw in "Birdie in the Hole" and got a favorable reaction.

Gene's Barber Shop in Pacific Gove

[photo: (l-f) Gordy Allen, Greg Pool, Gene Allen and Charile Wallace]

Charlie Wallace (r) and I head on over to Gene and his brother Gordy's shop for a trim and tunes every month and a half. You might recognize the two barbers as members of the "Scissors Up" trio that reviews movies for KSBW channel 8 on the segment "Movie Buzz."

Eveyone's reaction to the song, including Charlie's, was enough to make me think it was good enough to record a demo. Both barbers were aware of the Men's Golf Team's national championship, so their ears perked up when they began to recognize the lyrics.

Gene is a pedal steel guitar player and a big fan of Charlie's playing, so we treat them to a private, acoustic set of tunes before performing solo while Gene give us each a trim.

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