Archive for April, 2009

MOST OVERUSED PHRASE OF THE NEW CENTURY (SO FAR)

“Litmus test.”

Can we F’ing lay that one to rest, please?

Mkay, thanks.

And by the way: I don’t know who reads westerns anymore, but I know that even Oprah reads Cormac McCarthy these days, so I have a feeling that I’m not completely out of date with this mention, though I know I’m late to the party: has anyone read Blood Meridian ? So far this is a pretty amazing story.  I’m not sure there’s a scarier antagonist in existence, this Judge Holden character is really something else.  My God what a gruesome book.  I’d like my wife to read some of this stuff, because even this rough prose beats holy hell out of some of the best poetry out there, but I fear that this book at least will never get a fair hearing, because it tests even my own long, looooong tolerance for gruesomeness.  Every other page, some dude’s getting his eye squashed like a grape or having his brain kicked in, sometimes both in gory sequence.  At this stage I’m still wondering, why is this author doing this to me?, but I have faith in the guy, he’s really probably the best author alive today, with the exception of Gene “My mothergrabbin’ hero” Wolfe.

On Wolfe: I found out through the Urth.net mailing list that Gene Wolfe is a conservative, a paleo to be precise.  I always knew he was a hard-liner on the 2nd amendment (& I have no problem with that, though I am not a gun person myself), but it did surprise me a bit to learn that the man who wrote The Knight Wizard duology leans right.  Well, you learn something new every day; that’s not just an empty phrase.

On Politics: Sooooooo, it’s Barry O’s 100th-day anniversary today.  Great job, Barack, if that’s your real name.  Now, if he can just find the time to get his Communist head out of his Socialist ass, I might congratulate him for not giving out the launch codes to Iran while simultaneously giving Hugo Chavez a reacharound.   Oh ho, but no. Barry, you’re no W.

(coming back from Bizarro World)

I can’t even pretend for very long that I’m not an Obama fanboy.  I mean, he may be all wrong economically (not saying he is, just saying that I’m no macro-economist), this ride could get very rough very quickly, but as of right now, I’m fairly happy that we have a extremely literate man in an office that demands thoughts before actions.  I know that some 30-35 percent of the country thinks I’m a doofus for thinking such things, and I can practically feel all the Klan rallys in the works as we speak, but to some extent at least, I no longer feel like a “stranger in a strange land.”  Well, more often than not anyway.  But there is an undercurrent of scorn in the air that I must admit is a bit disconcerting. It’s one thing when one has an argument with a friend about politics – a dear friend of mine feels somewhat ambivalent towards most of the politics that I favor: these kinds of disagreements are okay with me, even when they are harshly stated.  That sort of thing can be fun.  But, as a quick for instance, today I had an appointment to see an older Catholic lady – I know she was Catholic because of all the handmade religious icons she had arranged in neat little rows on her end tables – and naturally, being a Catholic these days means you are hard-right.     Aside: and why the hell is that, anyway?  When I grew up Catholic, it seemed like everybody was as liberal as I was, except on the issue of abortion, and that’s always been okay with me, as I don’t feel as if I have much of a say when it comes to abortion. Anyway, she was there with her little schoolmadam’s bun in her hair, listening to Laura Ingraham talk about how utterly OTHER Barack Obama is, and before I walk out the door, she says, as if it’s a universal truth and she’s just confirming it with me, “God, what did we ever do to deserve Barack Obama? I’ll be glad when he goes back to Kenya or wherever he’s from.”  My eyes got all krinkly, and I forced a smile to back it up and said “Oh, lord.” Then she says, “That man is going to wind up killing us all.”  My reply was just completely as honest as could be: “Oh man, we’re going there, are we?”  I didn’t say it under my breath, but she paid it no mind and just kept her yammering on, and I could have sworn at some point she was actually trying to hint to me that none of it mattered, since he would soon be dead (or at least impeached) anyway.  Not that she was confessing about the wheres and whens of such dark possibilities.  No, it was just a hard fact, as if her faith in America relied on it to properly exist.  Well, I must confess I would have shed no tears had old W taken a bullet train to Permanent Dreamtime, but it would have bothered me to no end that our president was killed, no matter how against him I might be, because dammit, there is no place in a sustained Democracy for violence.  None at all.  So dry those tears, little ‘publicans, I say: you’ll get your turn soon enough – although not too soon, because in case you haven’t noticed, your party is imploding and may actually end up the size of a crushed soda can before you figure it out.

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Biography lends to death a new terror.

Oscar Wilde, today.  Please note, I am not a quotation aficionado.  I know a few and I have had occasion to flaunt them, but that’s not why I post them.  I post them because 9 out of 10 times what keeps me from posting an update on this blog is the fact that I find it difficult to come up with catchy titles for my new entries.  So instead I tie it up with a pithy quote, sometimes salient, sometimes just clever on its own, and the motivation here is maybe it’ll keep me from getting too discouraged to post.  That is the notion I’ve had, anyway.

*plants tongue firmly back in cheek*

Now, what I know you’ve all been waiting for:

more red meat for all you crazy fans out there.

Please don’t think I’m putting this stuff out there because I think it is good.  Because clearly, we all know this track is TEH SUCK.  BUT, and this is a but bigger than yer mom’s,  in my opinion it’s worth posting just because I think it will be neat to sort of go through all this stuff years from now and see how these songs have evolved.  Because yeah, this track is shitty, but I love the bassoon part in it and will be keeping it to use in something or other.  Also, speed the drums up a little bit and you’ve got the makings of a good danceable r&b-type of pop song.   It may not ever end up in anything at all, but hey it was fifteen minutes of my life that I can’t get back so by Gracie I might as well be proud of it.  Anyway, the process of recording music is what scares me so I feel like it might be good to do it out in the open like this, even if no-one actually is listening. (Though if you are, I thank you for it.)  But is it just me or does this song sound a cross between video game music, chamber music from the 17th century, and some lost theme from Beverly Hills Cop?  I think some of these instruments aren’t supposed to go together like that.

Enough of that shit.  I sound like a janitor explaining why Lysol is preferable to Mr Clean.   Who gives a flying fuck? I mean, does it get the shit up off the toilets or don’t it?

Now, stay tuned kids!, and we’ll be releasing details of our new contest.  Enter to win and you JUST MIGHT get to HAVE TEA WITH JASON or something else CALMLY MEMORABLE like that.

Bye!

The Best Things Ever, pt 1

The first glass of a newly opened Sprite.

I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying that I approved of it.

The bad-ass quote above comes from Mark Twain.   Twain is pretty much the inventor of snark, and a great part of why I love his stuff so much.

Now: not a song, really, but a series of loops that I created on guitar and on MIDI.  Might make a good interlude track.  There’s a lot more material here, probably enough for a song on its own, but I got bored after awhile.  Arranging just isn’t as much fun as live recording, although I do enjoy making up beats on the sequencer.

Listen here.

This riff actually reminds me of old Yo La Tengo albums and doing the normal friday night thing in Athens, GA back in the old days.

Not much is bound to happen this week or part of next, as I’ve hauled my guitar off to the shop for pickup installation.  Welp, back to politics I guess. (Holds gun to head, thinks of shooting.)

New verse, different from the first.

So I’ve shortened the intro like I said I would, two complete verses, and a new MIDI instrument thrown in there for giggles.

If you care to hear, click here.

lyrics up to now:

a life – oh, what a life i have lived
all the finest hours
& your clean, your clean lace scarf wrapped round
and all your finest clothes got worn
but  worn down

locked her heart like a big gray ghost in a mirror
trying to find the way out
down the coast they say there’s not much snow
we’ll get there soon, & get warm
but  worn down

Getting a little farther along.

listen to it here

By George, Mike, Jove and the rest, I think I could get into this again.  Tasty fun!

lyrics:

o life!  what a life i have lived

all the finest hours

and your clean, clean lace scarf wrapped round

all your finest clothes got worn

but worn down

——

The vocals on the intro have been re-recorded (the first ones were sloppy, as I was a little tipsy at the time), and of course the verse is new.

It’s just the first verse, and all I’ve got so far.  There will not be a chorus as such, but there may be a little bridge-like structure in there somewhere in the future: I can sort of hear it already but we’ll see how it goes. I think it’s going to end up being partly about my wife and partly about being poor/whatever we consider ourselves to be at this time of our lives (and of course, partly just pure fiction – I try not to take this stuff too seriously).  The poor are not expected to speak of such things in mixed company, as we know, and we will not start muddying the fine waters of our discourse now.

But, you know: making ends meet, but maybe wanting more than that, but maybe not wanting to lose simplicity at the same time.  I work for people who have lots of money; I see how far they feel they have to bend over backwards to maintain it.  I don’t know that I want that.  I want the right to purchase the means to worry less. I feel I deserve less worrying.  I’ve been through hell, in a way, though no one can ever know it but me.  But that’s another post, and a long one.

I think I’ll end up trimming some of the intro, because it’s 2 minutes long on its own.  The words are shaping up well, and the lyrics are coming very organically too, almost driven up out of need for the next note in the song, which is how you want things like that to be.

What’s the process like?  Well, it is still not easy to get from a workable idea to even a rough-draft version on digital, as I am still so preoccupied with getting over the jitters of doing this for posterity and all the nervousness that goes along with that, but I am getting the hang of the Ableton program a little bit better now.  We have this thing in recording called “punching in”, which makes it easy to re-do stuff that sounds crappy the first time around; well, for me “punching in” still consists of “doing the whole part over again”, as I really have no idea how to make punching in work for me.

Anybody ever hear of using a foot pedal to start and end the punching in process?  *crickets*

That reminds me: I need to join some kind of newbie recording forum.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.

It’s a start.

Well, here is my first real attempt at making a song since I got this new equipment.  (You may recall, I purchased a condenser microphone, and before that, a new acoustic guitar.)

Yes, I know:  where are the all-important lyrics?  Well obviously I’m going to add some soon, as soon as I figure out how to get in that mode again.  I haven’t written something that wasn’t strictly professional in a long time (excepting the occasional blog entry, but that hardly counts: just look at my post totals!)  Also, this is really just sort of an intro, so I have along way to go before I can really call this a song. But after some frustrating false starts, I might be getting the hang of this now, and I have to say, when I’m on, it can be a lot of fun.

Anyway, on with the show.


April 2009
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Currently Reading:

Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame - Charles Bukowski

Currently Listening:

Mr. Bungle - California

Why, yes, I am cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce.

You lika de juice????