WWSP's Shadow of th Marigold

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Finding Stuff!

Finding stuff. You have to show up. Be alert. To your own life. If you don't do it, guess what? It won't get done. That's a revelation. Came to me late. No one gives you anything, really. You find stuff. You see it, you pick it up. Or you don't. So if you are looking for meaning or enlightenment, you have to look. You have to open your eyes. Open your hands. Open your heart. And grab it.

It's easy to miss stuff. You are walking along and all you see is old shit. Dead leaves, dead grass. Hard, cold ground. Turds. Lots of turds. But then, sometimes you find something: a hat, gloves, a twenty dollar bill, a bracelet, a ring, knick-knacks. 

Yes, so you do find stuff. You see stuff, or you don't. You pick it up or you don't. You show up or you don't. It's up to you. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Some Days, Other Days

Some days you are happy to feel well-rested and refreshed. Face the day with clear eyes, a happy heart, and a renewed spirit.

Some days you are happy to wake up. That is all. Just to be awake. That's enough.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Much Too Real!

It's getting weird. Weirder. Yes, it's getting weirder. No. That's not it. It's getting more "the opposite of weird." Like, it's getting more mundane, or "day to day," or pedestrian, or just plain real. Yes, that's it. It's not getting weirder, it's getting more and more real. It's getting much more real. More real than it's ever been. And it's disturbing and frightening. There is a gravity, a realness to the realness. Weird would be better. Or surreal. Or strange. Or odd. Or surprising. Or supernatural. But, no, instead, it is getting really, really real. Too real. Much too real!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

whitewolfsonicprincess Tee!

What can I say? Sometimes we have dreams - sometimes they are small, humble, maybe even silly, but very specific dreams. One of mine is "coming true." We just put in an order for a band t-shirt. Seems like a simple thing, but for some reason, it's sort of exciting. I mean it makes me very happy. Yes, a band t-shirt! Really! Here's a link to the band. And below is the shirt design. White on Black. Basic, 100% cotton Tee. $20. And, if I don't say so myself, very, very "Cool!"

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Trust. And Lack of Trust.

Trust. And Lack of Trust. It's hard to Trust. If you live in the world. And open your eyes. Who to trust? The Cop on the street? The Priest? The Politician? The Coach? The Televangelist? The Famous TV Comedian? Your Fellow Citizen? Your Self? You don't want to be Paranoid. But it's sometimes hard not to be Paranoid. You realize that once Trust is Broken, it's hard to reanimate it. You want to believe that you can Trust. But believing you can Trust, is not the same as Trusting.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Funny Man, Family Man, Role Model & Sexual Predator

I don't know, maybe some stories aren't worth commenting on. This Bill Cosby story, is pretty hideous. One friend just said to me, "I hate this story. It's a horrible story." Another friend said to me, "Not a subject for polite conversation."

And maybe that's part of the problem. So horrible, and unthinkable, people just looked away. And we've heard about this kind of thing before.  Still, I think this one is especially troubling. A beloved man. Lauded. Successful. Funny. Charismatic. A family man. A role model.

With a terrible, terrible secret. A secret life. A predator. Stunning. Human beings can really blow your minds. One reaches for answers. None are forthcoming.

Hubris. Fatal flaw. Shakespearean, Freudian. Nothing really can explain it. Turns out the great man is not what he appeared to be, or much more than he appeared to be, or, he was one thing, and another terribly horrifying and disturbing thing too. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

America's Great Theme!

America's Great Theme...

Sometimes I think America's Great Theme is optimism over pessimism, life over death, success over failure, progress over regression, light over dark.

Then, sometimes I think that's only the great lullaby we like to sing to ourselves...

And that really America's Great Theme is pessimism over optimism, death over life, failure over success, regression over progress, dark over light.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Problem with Gods!

First we accept the Gods. Figure they rule our world. Then, we start questioning, we start seeing inconsistencies, and outright falsehoods, so we banish them, kick them out of our lives, and then it feels very, very lonely. Then we start letting them back in, one by one. But we are leery of them, we figure they are a gallery of rogues and scalawags, and some of them are cruel, and some of them don't really give a damn, and some, well, they have their own problems to deal with. So now our world is a little less lonely, it's filled with an assortment of characters, but they are just a motley crew that doesn't really help at all. So, it's like being left on our own, and we are just as lonely as if the Gods didn't exist.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

No Center!

The Scientists tell us the Universe has no center. Mythology tells us there is the Axis Mundi. If you are a human being, you live with this great illusion that in some way you are the Center of the Universe. You aren't. But that illusion is strong, it's compelling. Sometimes it feels like everything revolves around you. And then every once in awhile, that illusion is shattered. You can put the pieces back together, you can do it time and time again. And then, finally, maybe, some event unfolds and that simple, compelling illusion is completely destroyed. And there is no putting it back together. It's an eye, and head, opening kind of moment. And then there is no going back. No center.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Empathy Loop!

Empathy. You either have it, or you don't. I mean, most of us have it, except for the ones who don't, and they are scary people. How many of us are the scary types? Who knows?

So we choose to empathize with others, or we do not. And we make choices, we draw distinctions, we decide who we will empathize with, and who we will not.

We hope our empathy for others will be reciprocated to us. It doesn't always work that way. Sometimes you are one of the ones left out of the empathy loop. And that is hard.

We are all human, we were all born, we all live and die. We grow old. We will all succeed at some things, and fail at others. We aren't perfect. We are all the same in all the essential ways. But some of us choose to see the things we share, and some don't.

We can build a society together that rewards the empathetic ones, or we can reward the narcissistic ones. We choose.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Godspeed Bono!


High risk activities. Riding a bike? You don't think of it as one of them. I ride a bike nearly everyday. As I get on it, I should probably think about falling off of it. And how far I will fall. And where I will land. And what I will break. But I don't.

When I get back from a trip, I should probably get on my hands and knees and kiss the ground and thank my lucky stars that I have arrived safely. But I don't.

If you have read Bill Flanagan's great book about U2's Zooropa tour in 1991 - "U2 at the End of the World,"  (and you should, it's really a great read) you know that Bono (Paul Hewson), is not only a very charismatic showman, an international, globe-trotting rockstar, a gifted evangelical salesman, and an accomplished Irishman full of smarts, vim, vigor and blarney, but he is also a long-time risk taker.

He's a balcony-jumper, a stage-diver, a scaffolding-climber. He likes to hang with Supermodels. He likes to hijack boats, and he will stay up for days after a stadium show (flying on the adrenaline-kick of playing r&r to hundreds of thousands of deliriously fired-up U2 fans), often prowling foreign cities like Tokyo and Sydney late into the wee hours, lurking in dark and dangerous places looking to "put my arms around the world."

I am sure Bono didn't think that riding a bike in Central Park was a high-risk activity. But, of course, it is. Seems he was involved in a terrible, horrific crash on his bike - he was trying to avoid another bike and ended up in the hospital with some very serious injuries - lots of broken bones and trauma.

When we think rock star and high-risk activities we usually think heroin, snorting drugs off the backsides of groupies, choking on vomit, (their own, or another's) etc. Riding a bike in Central Park? That is one of the coolest things you could ever do. For some reason this has really hit me. I can see myself in Bono's place. "There but for the grace of God, go I."  I love riding my bike. I love Central Park. I can see how one false move can land you in the hospital.

I am also feeling slightly guilty. Lately, I've been railing against U2's latest "spam iCloud record," but you know what? Despite that tempest in a teapot, I love U2, they are one of my all-time favorite bands, and Bono is one of the great wonders of the r&r universe.

So Godspeed Bono. Heal quickly! The world needs you!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Wild Mad Ones!

You want your airline pilot to be cautious, consistent and level-headed. Same with the guy driving your train. Or your accountant, or the guy with the authority to push the nuclear button.

But your artists, your writers, your painters, poets, song-writers, singers? You want passion. You want the mad ones. You want those folks who get carried away with an idea, can change on a dime, who lose themselves to the moment. And run off with an idea half-cocked.

Yes, you want the Wild Ones. The ones, who when you ask them: "What Are You Rebelling Against?" Reply: "What You Got?"

You want the ones who create a stir, who piss people off, who are good at "righteous indignation." You want the ones that are sensitive, super-sensitive to everything around them. They can see, and think and feel, everything.

So yes, there's a type. And there are many versions of this type: Rimbaud, Van Gogh, Jack Kerouac, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Sinead O'Connor, Oscar Wilde, Kanye West, Lou Reed, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Patti Smith, Robert Mapplethorpe, Allen Ginsberg, Yoko Ono, Miles Davis.

People with a "chip on their shoulders." They have something to say. And they believe what they say with every fiber of their being. But of course what they say and believe today, might not be exactly what they say and believe tomorrow. They are those kind of folks. 

They are mad, wild, changeable and messy, and always growing and trying new things, and making a noise, and annoying people, and moving onto the next thing.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Rage On Sinead!


I sort of lost track of Sinead O'Conner. And I don't know why. Her first two records are absolutely thrilling and amazing and beautiful. And fiery too. I still listen to them once in awhile. I also think "Am I Not Your Girl?" and "Universal Mother" are quite good. I just put her last record, "I'm Not Bossy, I'm the Boss" (I heard that it's great) on my "wish list," hope to get a copy soon.

I came across this story in Rolling Stone yesterday.  It reminded me that Sinead is not afraid to speak her mind. She wears her heart on her sleeve. She is not afraid of controversy. She seeks it out. She has a fire and feistiness that's impressive. She is a throw-back, an artist with a chip on her shoulder, sort of like John Lennon, she's the kind of artist who will rip up a picture of the Pope on national TV, and get banished. Not exactly a smart commercial move, but it was great theater. And well, that's certainly another reason I really think she's wonderful. Plus, of course, that voice.

She also is not afraid to take on other music makers. She takes a shot at her fellow Irish rockers, U2 (which makes me happy): "What they did with iTunes was a badly judged move, there was something almost terrorist about it. I'm not really a U2 fan but it wasn't all kosher invading people's lives like that. It was bad management."

She also takes on Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and Prince (and don't you just know Sinead could probably kick Prince's ass?). Rage On Sinead O'Connor - Love You!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Truly Masterful Work!

We don't go out to the movies often. We are very selective. If we go, we have high hopes of seeing something good, something that will transport us. We are not jaded movie-goers. We tend to sit close to the screen and just give it up to a tale well told.

We saw a fabulous movie yesterday, "Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Innocence)." I think it's important to always acknowledge good work, perfectly-realized. This is one of those kind of movies. It works on all levels, entertaining, enlightening, funny, surprising, deeply felt, expands your mind and your heart.

The ensemble cast is amazing, and they all have good, juicy roles and they all bring it. I kept thinking that these actors never had such good, well-rounded, and intriguing characters to play, with absolutely superb dialogue. The roll-call of actors is amazing: Michael Keaton, Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Zach Galafinakis. Wow!

I mean this is one of those movies that is so good, so surprising, so intelligent, so well-done, you can't believe how good a movie can be. It was Written, Produced and Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and it is masterful work. The trailer doesn't do it justice, but here it is anyway...

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Opposition to the Crowd!

The crowd. I have always spent my life avoiding the crowd. Think: lonely boy, lone wolf, marching to my own drum-beat. I never really have fit in. Never. Anywhere. I can remember have difficulty with others in Kindergarten. I remember getting into an argument over cardboard bricks, and being banished to my nap rug.

I have spent so much time in my own head, making my own plans, living my own little dream life. I have been most comfortable in those lonely pursuits: playing guitar in my bedroom, writing stories, poems, plays, blog posts, songs. It took a long, long time before I ever shared my stories, plays, poems, posts or songs. And the sharing is always a little awkward - Is something lost in translation? Am I really connecting? Is anyone really listening?

The loneliness hangs around me. I wear it like a coat. Put me in any social situation, and there's this bubble of solitariness that surrounds me. It's no mystery that I found meditation pretty early in my life, and that I practice it nearly every day. Sitting quietly in a corner, eyes closed, breathing, repeating a mantra, or visualizing elaborate scenes of peace and clarity.

I try my best to engage with the world, but I am coming from a very self-contained, or self-centered bubble. It's not really a choice, but a temperament, one that I have possessed for as long as I can remember. I do love to reach outside the bubble. I do love encountering others. I do love finding people - artists, singers, writers, playwrights, poets, guitar players, all those folks in the arts who also seem to be working from a very personal, solitary, self-contained place.

I do think of myself as part of that crowd, those folks who are coming from a profound loneliness. Folks who are uncomfortable in a crowd. Those who avoid crowds. Those in opposition to the crowd. So yes, alone, but armed with words and sounds, and ideas and reaching out… to see if anyone else exists out there...

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Christ of Celebrity vs. The Anti-Christ of Celebrity!

I am not qualified to evaluate Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters. Lately, they are totally ubiquitous - new record, new HBO series, Grohl is popping up everywhere you look. I haven't actually been able to make it through a complete Foo Fighters record. It's not that they are that "bad," just not that interesting. My eyes glaze over mid-record. I just find Dave and his band so generic. They are bland. They are tame. They are just so "stock." No risks, no edge. No surprises. Big chords, slamming drums, quiet verses, big rousing choruses.  Every song seems to fit a template. Well-made, workman-like music. Obviously that's what lots of people want from their rock and rollers. Who am I to dispute it?

I don't really want to knock Dave Grohl, he is a monster drummer, (see his work with Them Crooked Vultures, and of course Nirvana), and he is charismatic, he comes across as a very likable, totally personable guy. It looks like he loves being a rock and roll star.  He's rich, famous, and doing what he wants to do. And he can command an arena filled with screaming, joyously delirious fans.  I have watched some videos of their live show - and I'm always amazed how everyone seems to love the band and their songs.

I can't love or hate them.  I just yawn…

I do think it's kind of ironic that Dave has become the antithesis of his early bandmate Kurt Cobain. Kurt was sort of the "Anti-Christ of Celebrity," Dave is kind of the "Christ of Celebrity." Kurt hated being a famous person. Dave seems to excel and revel in it. Seems that Kurt kind of hated his life and his self, Dave seems love his life and his self. You would much rather be Dave Grohl than Kurt Cobain! Dave's life looks like it's a lot more fun and fulfilling, but I'd much rather listen to Kurt. Everything that tortured little dude did was interesting, compelling, sometimes thrilling. Every Nirvana record is worth spending time with. Foo Fighters? Not so much!

Friday, November 14, 2014

New Thing, Old Thing, Whatever

You want to be onto the "new" thing. But the "new" isn't really new for long. And often the new thing is really an old thing. And the new gets old really, really fast. And then well, the old thing can kind of be new. Or experienced as new. And that really old, musty book, that everyone is always banging on, tells us "there is nothing new under the sun," but somehow you know that can't be right. And maybe this whole idea of "new" and "old" is just another shadow play in which we get caught. Yes, let's be on to the new thing, even if it's old, or feels old, and well, isn't it true that we can make every moment new, just by living in it?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Joy and Sadness That Rocks!

Why I love Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips... he worked at Long John Silvers for a long time while he also played in the band. And he faced the prospect of his own death at an early (17 years old) age. The Lips have always embodied a joy of living, mixed with a profound sadness. And there's a little of that weird, anarchic hippie-ness too. And it almost always rocks...

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Missing Out!

Yes, sometimes you get that distinct feeling that you are missing something. That you are in your little world, occupied with the things you like to occupy yourself with, and there's this sneaking suspicion that rises up inside you that you are missing out. Out there things are happening: the action, the passion, the good times, the power and the glory. And there's no way to get from here to there. So you let that feeling kick around inside you. You make your stand. You breathe deeply. You let it go. Yes, for good or bad, that's all you can do.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

"All that Glitters is Not Gold." - Wm. Shakespeare


Yes, well, Robert Plant's post-Zeppelin career really is an amazing musical journey. I think he's grown to be an even more interesting, powerful and inspiring musical force. I love how he is always evolving, looking for new musical partners. He's done great work with Alison Krauss, T-Bone Burnett, Buddy Miller, Patty Griffin, and now the Sensational Space Shifters. Listen to how Plant uses his voice - he sings so softly and delicately... a lesson.

If you would have told me that I would be head over heels for Plant's later career music I would not have believed it. Some of his early Rock-God work seemed a little bit overwrought. Although, in retrospect, it's hard to find a flaw in the Zeppelin catalog.

The other remarkable thing? He's walked away from some serious cabbage. Richard Branson offered Plant/Page/Jones $800 million dollars for a 30 date Led Zeppelin Reunion Tour.  That's $300 million for Plant for 30 shows. How many people would walk away from that kind of money? Remarkable!

Instead, Plant wants to write new music, explore sounds with other collaborators, and play in small venues, and just do his own thing!  Seems the music, and the muse is more important.  But maybe not so surprising. Plant always had a Tolkien fixation... and remember: "All that is gold does not glitter."

Which was an inversion of Shakespeare's "All that glitters is not gold."

Monday, November 10, 2014

Peak or Not to Peak

When is a peak experience not a peak experience? Good question. My answer would be - when you are observing yourself in the middle of your own peak experience, you are not really "peaking."

Which is sort of frustrating. The observing is actually a distancing, and this distancing means you really aren't totally "having" it. I experienced this over the weekend. I was in the middle of a situation that had "peak" written all over it. But I was strangely disconnected from my own experience.

Having it, means really losing it to the moment. And you can't will it. It has to overtake you. If you are conscious of what's happening, or what's not happening, you have already lost your shot at peak.  So instead of a good feeling of satisfaction, you are left in an unsatisfied haze. A missed opportunity. Not peak at all.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters - Yes, Sensational!


Lately I like to use U2 as a punching bag.  It just feels right. So yes, as Greg Kot so eloquently said about their latest free, iCloud album: "This is what a dinosaur does in it's last days." I think this "dinosaur-ness" has more to do with their coziness with corporate behemoths, than their longevity.

I don't think it has anything to do with age. There are plenty of old-timers, or maybe better, LONG-Timers who are making lively, important and yes, great music in their later careers. Think Richard Thompson, Tom Waits, Lucinda Williams and... Robert Plant!

Yes, Robert Plant! What a remarkable singer and artist. He continues to amaze, continues to seek out new collaborators, continues to explore sonic territory, continues to pursue his own muse, his own dreams. He doesn't seem to be serving anyone but his own artistic bent. I think his voice has grown to be one of the finest instruments in music. Love his musical choices, his aesthetic just seems so perfect.

His latest album with the Sensational Space Shifers called "Lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar" is one of the finest records I've heard in a very long time. I was captivated from the first note. Some of the sonic influences in this stew include: celtic, middle eastern, african, bluegrass, hippie, r&r, beats, loops, with a major dollop of shimmering beauty.

And the Sensational Space Shifters are just a killer band. I mean, I love this band!  What a great ride. So inspiring! Robert Plant!

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Tweedy - The Cool Daddy!


Hey guess what? "Sukierae" from Tweedy is a total knockout record. Turns out "Dad rock,"  which has been sort of tossed around as an insult, is actually, super-cool. Jeff Tweedy and his son have made a really excellent record. It's a double-album overstuffed with subtle, layered, perfectly realized music. I recommend you actually buy a CD. Check out the cool pictures and the lyric sheet. It's a personal, family-affair record.

Jeff Tweedy sometimes sounds like John Lennon to me. Which is just the highest compliment I can imagine. He's a great singer/songwriter, and underrated guitar player. Jeff just has a way about him. He comes across to me as a very committed, working artist. No bullshit. Just the good work.

I love some of the stripped down songs. They are my favorites. There are one or two songs that sound like they could be outtakes from other Wilco records - but hell, the two bands share the lead singer, the lead songwriter, and the driving force.

Still this record, this band, this approach, it holds it's own.  Superb on all levels! Highly recommended!

Friday, November 07, 2014

Slightly Benevolent Millionaire or Billionaire vs. Slightly Malevolent Millionaire or Billionaire (or Friends of $)

We used to be ruled by Kings and Queens. We assumed those Kings and Queens were very special people with some kind of mandate from God. Then there were all the other hangers on, you know, the Ruling Class.  Then, somewhere along the way, lots of folks figured out that the Kings and Queens were really just people in fancy clothes. For the most part we've done away with that mode of governing ourselves. And the change was kind of hard and a little messy. People lost their heads and got hung from posts and stamped into the dirt by mobs. Change can be messy.

We now use the ballot box to decide who gets to tell us what to do. Since we elect them, we expect them to tell us to do what we want them to tell us to do. I always vote. I like voting. But from the beginning, I realized I was always voting for people, not Super-heros, and people are flawed, and fallible, and contradictory. And they say lots of things, and promise things, and sometimes they try to do what they say they are going to do, and some of them will actually do the opposite of what they say they want to do. The people we elect are very much just like us!

Still, you've got to watch out for the ones who say one thing and do another. And some of these folks are really, really good at making you think one thing and doing another. That's talent! So yes, voting. Sometimes it's a case of voting for the slightly incompetent person, vs. the slightly malevolent person. But hell, it is a choice!

Now, in the USA, the land of $, we have decided that $ talks, and $ walks, and people who have $ or who can raise lots of $ are the ones who should be in charge. So often we are choosing between the Slightly Benevolent Millionaire or Billionaire, (or the good friend of lots of Millionaires or Billionaires) vs. the Slightly Malevolent Millionaire or Billionaire (or the good friend of lots of Millionaires or Billionaires).

The result - we are ruled by Millionaires, Billionaires (or good friends of Millionaires and Billionaires). Now maybe we think these folks have some kind of mandate from God, but in this case that God is $.  We expect the Filthy Rich, or the friends of the Filthy Rich will be nice to us, that they will make decisions good for us. Good for the Country.  But not sure if this makes any sense at all.

I think those Millionaires and Billionaires bow down to the mighty $, and they don't really see a "country" they just see lot of $$$$'s and opportunities to make more $. And if any of those $ trickle down to the common folk, well, it's probably just "leakage."

Anyway, not sure those Millionaires and Billionaires and friends of the $ really have any special mandate from God or special knowledge about anything. As Paul Krugman points out, they may not even have any special knowledge about money and how it works. So people with money, are they really qualified to be making decisions for us?  Probably not. They are just people with $ in their bank accounts. Nothing Kingly, and not so special, and well, it's not surprising that most of the country seems so disconnected from the moneyed class of people we have given the keys to the kingdom. $ rule. And the $ only serves the $!

Thursday, November 06, 2014

E.O. Wilson's Half Earth Movement!

How to save biodiversity? E.O. Wilson has an idea. A brilliant, crazy idea. Just the ticket! Let's set aside half of the planet for wildlife! Is it doable? Hell yes, why not?! All we have to do is convince all those small minds amongst us. But you know, as they say, consciousness can be "changed" in an instant! Put me in the crazy camp! Half Earth!

Wilson recently calculated that the only way humanity could stave off a mass extinction crisis, as devastating as the one that killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, would be to set aside half the planet as permanently protected areas for the ten million other species. “Half Earth,” in other words, as I began calling it—half for us, half for them. A version of this idea has been in circulation among conservationists for some time.
“It’s been in my mind for years,” Wilson told me, “that people haven’t been thinking big enough—even conservationists. Half Earth is the goal, but it’s how we get there, and whether we can come up with a system of wild landscapes we can hang onto. I see a chain of uninterrupted corridors forming, with twists and turns, some of them opening up to become wide enough to accommodate national biodiversity parks, a new kind of park that won’t let species vanish.”

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

So Like A Human!

The latest Global Warming Report is even bleaker and more dire than in the past. Our addiction to "fossil fuels" is leading us to a very hot and uninhabitable planet. At least uninhabitable for us.

And isn't there some kind of cosmic joke there? "Fossil fuels" are an energy source (oil, gas, coal) derived from "former life." And the addictive use of these fuels, will lead us to being a "former" life form by destroying the environment that spawned us. Fossil fuels will make us fossils. We are doing our best to make our own species just extinct as the dinosaurs.

And there seems to be nothing we can do to stop ourselves. We are fossil fuel Addicts. Using to a certain oblivion. Weird. Strange. So like a human!

Monday, November 03, 2014

Really Lame!

I don't like being cynical or snarky. Kind of goes against my nature. But I just heard three interviews with fellow citizens of this grand, teetering empire who intend to vote tomorrow.

All I heard was a sort of willful stupidity, a blatant prejudice and a counter-intuitive fear. What a great cocktail for a really lame political season.

No wonder.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Waiting to be Heard

Yesterday we spent our time in a recording studio, working on a batch of new songs. One track at a time. It's called "mixing" but that really is a misnomer. More like "sound sculpting." You have the raw tracks, the sounds - guitar, drums, bass, vocals and maybe an extra instrument like an organ or a double-bass. And then you lovingly and obsessively work over each and every little detail. In our session we had three sets of sharp ears listening to every last sound. And it turns out the more you listen, the more you hear.

We are committed to our "band's sound," real instruments in real time, but how the elements fit together, what goes where, what emerges, what is emphasized, what is de-emphasized, what is left out, is all left to what feels right. What's best for the song? There are lots of "in the moment" ideas and inspirations. Quick, intuitive decisions that give the song life.

Such a cool process. So fun and engaging. It's an art form itself. Sort of like being the Director/Editor of a film. Telling a story with a handful of elements. A couple new songs emerged into the light.  Some surprises along the way.  It's was like we "discovered" a song that was laying there in it's raw undifferentiated state, waiting to be heard.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Absurdly Simple!

I'm reading a book about Albert Camus. A famous "absurdist." While reading, after all these years, I realized that "philosophy" is really just trying on a "thinking cap." It's a way to think. Such a weighty subject, and a simple method. Made me think that lots of big, seemingly complicated things are actually very simple...

Philosophy - thinking how to think.

Meditation - learning how to breathe.

Music - discovering how to listen.

Life - living.

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