Monday, November 30, 2009

the flipside of things

a short snippet by Brian Eno I read on - helps me to embrace the future!

The death of uncool

“There’s a whole generation of people able to access almost anything from almost anywhere, and they don’t have the same localised stylistic sense that my generation grew up with. It’s all alive, all “now,” in an ever-expanding present, be it Hildegard of Bingen or a Bollywood soundtrack. The idea that something is uncool because it’s old or foreign has left the collective consciousness.

I think this is good news. As people become increasingly comfortable with drawing their culture from a rich range of sources—cherry-picking whatever makes sense to them—it becomes more natural to do the same thing with their social, political and other cultural ideas. The sharing of art is a precursor to the sharing of other human experiences, for what is pleasurable in art becomes thinkable in life.”


This is documentation. To bring you up to speed, I lost my job October 18th. The restaurant I worked for closed its doors. It was a perfect job in many ways - organic vegan food, wonderful co-workers (almost all women), easy work schedule, paid in cash under the table. Perfect! Then it closed. I didn't want to get some bullshit job after having such a good one, so I just didn't get another job. I felt compelled to test out some theories I've had fueled by reading people like Buckminster Fuller ("Critical Path"), Joseph Campbell (several, but most significantly "Pathways to Bliss"), and Henry Miller (also several, but especially "Stand Still Like the Hummingbird" and "Tropic of Cancer"). These are all people who vehemently swear that in giving up on the standard American day job mentality, their needs were met by simply following their intuition, making themselves available, and doing what was needed from them. So fuck it. I can't swear by that shit if I'm not willing to put myself on the chopping block. So now I'm about six weeks into it. I've gotten a couple random jobs, all of which have been fun (catering, helping dj a junior high dance, and more catering), I've composed and performed, and I've even got a friend that gives me grass whenever he comes over because he thinks it helps my artistic process (sometimes yes, sometimes no). Now it's almost December and I've got rent money coming, but not at hand. I've got a couple shady business options that I'm looking at seriously, because even though it's a touch illegal, it isn't immoral. To me. I may be late, but I think I'll make rent. So far, so good. More to come. xoxo

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

analog boy trapped in a digital world

i have come face to face with a serious quandary today.

It started a few days ago when I pulled out my four track recorder to lay down some demo-type material. I had remembered a few months before recording a simple Beatles tune (blackbird) literally on a shitty tape recorder via the internal mic. Now, normally this sounds like much-less-than-ideal recording accommodations. However, when I listen back to that recording... I can't help but love it. maybe even more than any of the stuff I did on my fancy computer via fancy logic and m-audio interface... blah blah blah. And it's the same argument and reasoning you always hear people making for recording analog. But as we all know... its a highly endangered approach to recording these days, which is interesting to note, since literally everything recorded around 30 years ago and before HAD to be analog. digital just didn't exist (at least not for those purposes.)

So now I'm in this position where I am actually really excited to record music, far more than ever before. And I know this four track recorder has practically everything to do with it (I've been immensely enjoying the stuff I've been recording with it.) So obviously, I am going to follow my heart and pursue recording this way, because it simply makes sense to me. Granted, it is more time consuming, less "edit-able," and you really have to be on your shit when you push record. But aren't these last two things kind of good? shouldn't we be on our shit?....and should we really have to edit that much? granted, some genres of music are practically made for digital - any kind of heavy mixing and mash-up work would be an absolute nightmare via tape.... but when it comes to raw, "acoustic" and live recordings, it makes so much more sense for me to go analog. I've been studying as much as I can about it lately, discovering what digital sound really is (even THAT makes me cringe.) but I have still have to come to terms that our reality, as it permeates almost every level of our existence, constantly screams: go digital or go home!

but, i think the few of us who read spiralsonic would agree.... digital does feel a little dirty. a little too good to be true. scandalous even, for us to be able to have high-def, 1080 whatever, mega-pixel high resolution out the fuckin yin yang.... because, in my humble opinion... it just doesn't feel real. I honestly can sense the fact that digital is merely a sampling of a signal using 1's and 0's. i mean, what is honestly more pleasing to the senses, a black and white photograph developed in a dark room from actual film, or a snapshot from someone's iphone? abbey road versus anything today. now i'm not even talking about substance or intent or general quality of work (which is a whole other can of worms) I'm just talking about the aesthetic experience..... anyway, i could ramble about this forever, I just feel, once again, alienated. and it kinda sucks,... to feel like I'm fighting against the crash of the tide, only to eventually be left out at sea. And I honestly don't feel this way to be some sort of pretentious audiophile purist, cause fuck that shit. but at the same time, I guess those people do have a point... and they stand by their sense of quality. and I guess I don't have over 400 vinyl cause I'm some sort of collector, cause that shit bores me to tears. I really do love listening to it... and every record I bought is for that very purpose. Anyway, if you made it to the end, thanks for reading. just another rambling. I'm sure I'll come to some sense of enlightenment, or least a sense of peace, soon enough.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What the fuck?!

I went and saw a showing of "Food, Inc." last night - not because I want more information about how fucked our food system is, but because I was meeting some people there that I had to talk to about a catering gig. ANYWAY - of course, the movie highlighted how fucked the food system is (surprise!) and instead of feeling relieved at my own divergence from our popular food culture, I started feeling incredibly upset for the poor and low income communities that are adjacent to my own. Not to confuse you, I am poor. I am currently without steady employment. But what I've found is that in Chicago, a low income person like myself is eligible for $200 a month in food stamps. $200 a month! For that much, I can afford to eat exclusively organic food! This just highlights that regardless of your income level, you CAN afford to feed yourself and your family in a healthful and sustainable way. At this point, it is simply education and priorities that contribute to the recent statistic that 1 in 2 minority children born after 2000 will get diabetes. And that obesity, not just being over-weight, is hitting MOST people in our country. I don't really know what I can do, but I feel compelled to do something. Anything. Thoughts?