Sunday, June 29, 2014

Retreat (never surrender)

These chords will not yield up a song. I'll go to bed early and attack them in the morning while they're still asleep.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Musical Mother Tongue


I have no scientific basis for this; in fact books like This Is Your Brain On Music would claim it’s your adolescence, but I’ve noticed that when I’m working out songs in my head, my template seems to be the decade of my pre-adolescence (the 70’s) rather than my adolescence (80’s). In fact, I consciously avoid anything that sounds like the 80’s regardless of the fact everyone says my music reminds them of David Byrne or someone else (perhaps that’s just the sound of restless white dudes without a schooled music background. Anyways, for me the platonic ideal/default setting is mid-tempo funk with jazzy chords and horns and strings. Like everything on AM radio or Sesame Street back in the day. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Waiting

Will the mixing engineer do the work? Will the guitarist accept $300? Did you approach the right vocalist for the track? Can you afford you credit card payment this month, plus the effects boxes? Will your job leave you too exhausted to practice? Will anyone come to the show? Will someone other than your friends come to the show?

Does any of it matter?

Work in a way that doesn't leave you broke. If you're really compelled to do this, the indifference of most people shouldn't phase you. If you continue to improve yourself, be inspired by other artists, research, practice and question your practices, things should run (relatively) smoothly.

I think only the writers last, though. It's too problematic to be a drummer or a bass player, schlepping around refrigerators for gigs for too many years. The back gives out. Writers don't have a choice, or many other options. They're fucked :).

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The plastic inside of us


our insides are legos
try to snap me off
I slip into a thermos
leaving an oil spot
I love your latex fetish
it doesn’t go deep enough
mile-long reefs in oceans
compounds found in rocks
drawn to sharp designs
molded into love
plastisphere spans continents
orbiting planets as space junk
unconditional, unconventional
let’s block around the clock
bullet proof,telepathic-
the plastic inside of us

Friday, June 13, 2014

Pink Money

Pink Money


I'm an artist

You're an 

Industrialist 


We're the same!!!

You with your money

Me with my paint!!!


We make things happen

You with your factories

Me with my openings


I like the dinners 

at your house

My kids like to eat


I'll give you validation 

you could, ahem, 

maybe buy something 


I'll put you 

in my work

You could imagine you're me


I'll work hard to 

seduce you 

Even when you see through me


It's a virtual world of pain, 

loneliness, 

And poverty


You could feel it for yourself

In my painting

On the bidet in your aviary 


In a better world, 

we'd be comrades in solidarity 


In this world

We play monopoly with pink money

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Recently


So we had this argument in public 
and we know each other very well- 
we’re more like two cats playing 
than a married couple. 

And I go home angry and start writing. 
On my itunes, I mostly have ripped obscure 
indie soul singles from a friend from Chicago. 

I hear a familiar two chord strut 
that I can never seem to exhaust. 
The lyrics come out as easy as 
pulling the tape off a package:
“Let’s have a contest/holding our breaths/the winner is the loser/of what you can’t guess/lucky if you had it/free as a child/if you never get it again/you’ll surely die/race to the place/who’s more grown up?/everybody lies /when they’re adults/too proud to beg/to scream and crawl/how long can you live/without love”

And there’s been a riff floating around my head 
for the last month and I take it down 
and of course it’s only a few notes. 
I read something once that suggested that memorable riffs are usually only that much, so I didn’t second-guess myself. 

I tried some hip-hop loops from pro-tools 11, 
threw on some bass, had my friend 
Kevin play some bone and replace the loops, and bang, it seemed done.

I then sent the song to a friend for mixing, 
but was having second thoughts. It went on too long. 
Another friend thought it was too repetitious. 
My mixing friend was missing his deadlines with me as usual, so I cut a slower version, working with a Saxophone/Keyboardist. 

Much funkier. Suddenly the urgency of rushing the song out was lost. 
Why? When I reflect on it, it is because I didn’t care for the overdubs. I appreciate friends helping me out, but they’re not always gonna treat your baby like it’s theirs. The Sax guy nailed the thing, and my love for the first version faded. OK, stack that one on the fire on top of the other bodies, waiting for mixing. 
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