*Attempting to read media*
*Attempting to read media*
there’s a six in the basement
and a four on the roof
and two’s in the attic;
he’s looking for proof
that the five he believes in
were really the first,
as opposed to the final;
the best, not the worst
with three in a box
under strict key and lock,
and the fives, still alive?
still cajoling the flock?
the six stays beneath us,
her heart all aglow;
her love needs to Tie
to another to grow
and the eight in the pantry
is quashing the rumor
that she’s some greek goddess;
she’s just a late Bloomer.
so a Pyramid forms
from the questions they face,
Chief among them
can unity Foster in space?
and let’s cut to the chase;
Daniel’s last name was “Thrace.”
So what of the one?
Ellen’s hateful first son,
that oedipal, prodigal
he’ll be back for the sixes,
the eights and the five,
and it seems safe to say
that they won’t all survive
with the six in the basement
and the rest on the roof
in four more short hours
we’ll all know the truth
There is a debate raging on craigslist music boards across the country fueled by posts as passionate, juvenile, and troll-tastic as any XBox 360 vs. PS3 fanboy forum-war. It centers on a single question: Are DJs musicians?
It always starts when someone posts a “DJ for Hire” post in the Craigslist music section, and someone else posts a response: “Hey, this is the musician’s thread, you should post in Services. DJs are not musicians.” Defenses, retorts, and rebuttals are posted. Trolls jump in. Slurs and epithets fly. A flame war is born.
There is a similar discussion going on about the fundamental nature of Rock Band, Guitar Hero, and other interactive music games. Is there a possible artistic component to these games? Are they in any way comparable to playing an actual instrument? And, most interestingly to me, even if the answer to those first two questions is “no,” yet another question remains: Is there potential for that to change? In other words, even if they’re not there yet, can these games evolve and become modes of artistic expression?
As both a musician and an avid fan of these games, I have been thinking about this for a while. Mitch Krpata recently wrote a couple of posts over at his (excellent) gaming blog Insult Swordfighting that got me thinking about it anew. I went to write some comments on his posts and found myself writing and writing (and writing, and writing), and I quickly realized that I’d need to come back here and organize my thoughts into a series of posts.
It’s tough to get this kind of debate into an objective space, but it’s a shame to leave it to the forum flame-fighters, because it is actually a very relevant and interesting issue. As it gets easier and easier to take art out of its primary role (in this case, a completed recording) and, by manipulating it through a secondary medium (in the case of a DJ, turntables and a sampler), turn it into something else, where does the line between “listening” and “creating” get drawn?
Of course, this type of Meta-Art (and the accompanying “is it art?” debate) is nothing new. Taking someone else’s painting, re-painting it entirely beige, and breaking the frame may or may not qualify it to hang in the Postmodernism wing of SFMOMA, depending on your point of view. Whether or not art is art is decided by the intention of the artist, but let’s be honest – whether or not it is hailed as art depends pretty significantly on the beholder, as well.
After over a year of recording and rehearsing, writing and ranting, working and waiting, my first-ever solo album, “The Exited Door,” is finished and in-hand. What’s more, as of today it’s available for purchase online! In honor of that, I thought I’d devote a post to sharing links to all things Exited Doorian. If you’ve enjoyed my blog or liked reading about the album, please pick up a copy! It is an entirely self-funded project (look ma, no financial backers or label!) – I made the entire album with my hands and the scant contents of my bank account. Your support really matters and is very appreciated.
Ways to Buy the Record:
1) The best way is to order the disc online from CDBaby. I love CDBaby, and they love me – the disc is a steal at $11.95, and the physical item is the way to go, not only because it includes all the lyrics, but because it contains all of the wonderful artwork that accompanies the record.
3) Download it from DigStation. Another good way to go – I’m not sure what the deal is with the downloads at CDBaby, but I know that when you download my album from DigStation, I get 100% of the income. iTunes gives about .67 on the dollar, so that’s a huge improvement. Plus, you get a downloadable PDF of all of the album art and lyrics, so it’s really the next-best thing to buying a CD.
I had a really good time writing the blog series about the creation of the album, and have organized the posts below:
A lot of amazing musicians played on The Exited Door. Below, I’ve posted links to their various websites and projects.
Lindsay Garfield sings with the alt-folk group Or, The Whale – they are great, see them live!
Kenji Shinagawa played mandolin, and is an amazing guitarist who lives in NYC.
Scott Foster teaches with me at Urban and plays all over the Bay Area.
Alex Kelly is an amazing cellist, and has done some pretty rad things things. He plays all over the place.
Joel Behrman played trombone; he is an amazing trumpet player, as well.
Daniel Fabricant played upright bass; his group The Nice Guy Trio is really good stuff.
Khamara Pettus is a fabulous actor and performs regularly around the SF Bay Area.
Samantha Fisher did the album design and layout, and is truly amazing.
Last night I had The Wolverine Dream again.
You know the one; you start in a sort of nebulous dream-place, surrounded by nebulous dream-people, when suddenly, things start to take form, there’s an air of urgency, the people with you start to feel familiar, and then – attack! You’re under attack by unseen forces! You aren’t sure what to do, then you look down at your hands and… snikt!
It was pretty cool. The Wolverine Dream is always cool. After I woke up and established that my skeleton had not, in fact, been fused with Adamantium (I’ll spare you the details on how I determined this), I got to thinking. The students at Charles Xavier’s mansion have, as far back as I can remember, captured my heart and imagination to a degree unmatched by any other fictional characters, comic-book or otherwise. Forget the Planeteers and the Power Rangers – what is it, exactly, about the X-Men?
The teenager factor. I have no doubt that this has been written about all over the place. The most powerful and least subtle appeal of the X-Men comics lies in the comics’ far-reaching metaphor for adolescence. As these teens near adulthood, boys and girls with the mutant gene discover that their bodies are changing in strange ways that they can’t control. They’re developing frightening, uncontrollable, and often dangerous new powers. They try to hide their new-found differentness and almost always fail. Their physical appearance undergoes radical changes, often for the freakish. They become social outcasts. If any of this sounds eerily familiar to you, well, that’s not an accident. These stories resonate with us because to one degree or another, we’ve all been there ourselves.
There are no words for the hilarity to follow. NSFW, both because of the pervasive foul language and the fact that you’ll be laughing so hard it’ll distract everyone in your office.