Archive for April, 2010

Artistic Accidents and Imperfections

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I’m fairly positive that I’ve written before about how difficult the recording studio can be versus a live stage. Playing live, you have the energy o the crowd and can get away with less than perfection without anyone really noticing. In the studio, everything is under a microscope. It’s hard to see the whole picture instead of just scrutinizing each little piece and hearing every tiny flaw, imperfection and slightly off note. Some argue that it’s these very imperfections that make music human and give it unique personality but at the same time when is a “flaw” too much to ignore? How far flat does a note have to be before you fix it? Obviously these are probably personal journeys that each artist must decide for themselves. This is where being a one man operation like me can be hard. I don’t have a producer or fellow band mates to get opinions from. Though I do listen to feedback from my friends and fellow musicians who give it, that’s a battle in itself in that you could get endless and conflicting feedback from endless sources so again, in the end it’s up to you as to what you incorporate and what you ignore.

However, sometimes there are accidents or imperfections that end up being an integral part o the character of a song, or just a cool moment. In “Tomorrow Never Knows” by The Beatles, there’s a moment just before the third verse where there is a little feedback, which is normally not a good thing but in this case, it’s now (to me) an integral moment of character in the song (which I actually replicated in my cover of it). In “Fall For Me”, there’s a moment where I can distinctly hear two notes chime above everything else, and yet when I listen to each instrument individually, these notes do not exist. Somehow, they come out of the ether as a result of all the instruments together. In “Tech Support”, Iskra hears the line “I want to fill your iPod” as “I want to feel your iPod touch”. Now I can’t decide which I like better! In “The Hunger”, there is one snare drum hit where I missed and hit the rim but instead of correcting it, I left it. It’s barely noticeable, but for some reason it appealed to me as one of those moments of human imperfection that wasn’t planned but adds a unique moment to the song.

Hell, there’s even the age old tradition of purposefully playing “behind the beat”, which adds a laid back groove that just creates a whole different, and desirable feel than being a perfect time keeper. I suppose it’s all a wonderful microcosm of life itself. Finding our own boundaries. Deciding which of our own flaws and quirks are acceptable and possibly even endearing, and which ones we need to work on, improve or eliminate.

New song, “The Hunger”

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Well I think I’m satisfied enough to finally let this new creation out into the world.

“The Hunger”

I’m always a bit torn as to how much to say about my music. Some people enjoy getting all the VH1 “Storytellers” type details, but on the other hand I love that music is so personal and I don’t necessarily want to color anyone’s personal journey by saying too much. I think there’s something to be said for just letting the music speak for itself and letting the listeners take whatever they will and have their own personal experience.

I will say this much: This song began when Lars asked me to write an original song for a short film he’s making. He played me a song he really liked the “feel” of and wanted me to write something similar. I planted that seed in my brain and then just let it grow. This is generally how my creative process works. Over the following weeks (maybe months, I’m not sure) that seed, rolls around in my brain, germinating, percolating. Ideas start forming. Lyrics begin to come. Then like a gestating child, I start feeling “labor pains”. Suddenly everything starts coming together more hurriedly and I can feel it wanting to come out. Then in frenzied flurry of creative outpouring, I do the heavy writing and recording.

In the end, I was extremely happy, pleased and satisfied with this song. It did what I needed it to do. I think it has the “feel” of the song Lars played me (no, I will not reveal what that was for a multitude of reasons), and yet grew off into it’s own original entity. It led me off in some musical directions that I might not normally have went down which is always fun. At the risk of saying too much and coloring your experience, I will add one final thing that surprised and amused me: I think it sort of ended up sounding like if U2 and Muse had a musical baby, even though neither of those bands was the original inspiration and, while I like U2, they’ve never been a major influence (I don’t even own any U2 music, actually).

Another side note:
After a brief experimental foray into making my music only streamable on the internet unless you bought the song to download, I’m going back to my roots and once again making all my music available to download for free (except my cover songs because I’m still figuring out the legalities of all that). You can still buy songs if you’re so inclined, or just make a donation to the paypal link if you want to support me, but it’s more important to me that anyone who wants to enjoy my music can do so and to have my music in as many people’s hands/mp3players as possible. Thanks for all your support over the years and I hope you enjoy my newest progeny.

Addendum:
“The Hunger” is my first ever use of a fade out, which normally I hate but which just felt creatively appropriate and needed here.

I thought this was cool and positive

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My friend Brian posted this on Facebook (and he of course got it from someone else so I don’t know where it originated) but it really warmed my insides. In a good way. Not like a feverish viral way or anything.

15 Things You Probably Never Knew or Thought About

  1. At least 5 people in this world love you so much they would die for you.
  2. At least 15 people in this world love you in some way.

  3. The only reason anyone would ever hate you is because they want to be just like you.

  4. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don’t like you.

  5. Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep.

  6. You mean the world to someone.

  7. If not for you, someone may not be living.

  8. You are special and unique.

  9. Someone that you don’t even know exists loves you.

  10. When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good comes from it.

  11. When you think the world has turned its back on you, take a look: you most likely turned your back on the world.

  12. When you think you have no chance of getting what you want, you probably won’t get it, but if you believe in yourself, probably, sooner or later, you will get it.

  13. Always remember the compliments you received. Forget about the rude remarks.

  14. Always tell someone how you feel about them; you will feel much better when they know.

  15. If you have a great friend, take the time to let them know that they are great.

A Minute:
They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them.Take the time… to live and love.

If you do so, You will certainly brighten someone’s day and might change their perspective on life, for the better.

Metamorphoses

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I used to live my life utterly and completely honestly and openly on the internet. I blogged about everything, good, bad or ugly. My life was an open book for anyone to read. I enjoy being a completely open, honest person with no boundaries and I still live extremely openly on the net but sometime last year I changed a little bit. I started keeping a lot of the darker, more painful or negative things out of public view. I’m not sure what exactly changed, I just know that I decided there were some things that I just didn’t necessarily want to spew onto the web any more.

I think there are several layers to this, one being that I really want to be a positive person, and I believe what you put out into the world is what you will get back. Maybe it’s also because, while I still talk to friends in private about anything I need to, I don’t think the world at large necessarily wants to here me whine, complain and be all emo. During this process, I’ve found that being forcefully (and sometimes slightly falsely) positive about something, actually does make me feel happier and more positive in reality. That was something good to learn!

It’s also made it harder in some ways when things have been going on. The open part of me wants to share and be honest and cry out but it just doesn’t feel right any more. That’s something to do in private with those close to me. Part of me misses the days when I would share that, but I do think I’m overall happier in my new skin.

It’s been a year of a lot of changes. I’m still dealing with a whole lot of things in life, but I always try to remember as I’m going to bed that in the grand scheme of things, my life is charmed and I’m a hell of a lucky guy. And every now and then, I get a glimpse of something that shows me that I’ve taken a step closer to being the person I want to be.

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BLAH!