Your handwriting. The way you walk. Which china pattern you choose. It's all giving you away. Everything you do shows your hand. Everything is a self-portrait. Everything is a diary.
-Chuck Pahlaniuk Diary:A Novel

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New Music Review

As a musician I figure I have something to learn from just about everything I listen to. My music intake is enormous and I really feel a need (obligation?) to process all of it. I'm going to start posting thoughts of all of the new stuff I get to give myself a new slant on that processing. So let's jump right in!

Kanye West
808's and Heartbreak
Kanye West is one of those brilliant artists who manage to bring innovation to pop music and is lauded by critics and audiences alike. I dig his stuff, I'm not a huge fan but I do have "Late Registration" and I really like it but I don't seek out everything he does. When "808's ..." was released a lot of critics wrote it off since Kanye sings for almost the entire album and runs his voice through a Vocoder (a Vocoder is an effect that makes your voice sound like its run through a synthesizer, its a very trendy sound these days). That actually intrigued me but not enough to pick up the record. Then while in Hawaii my sister's boyfriend told me he recorded it on Oahu (thus the name as 808 is Hawaii's area code) and I figured I would check it out to see if I could find any island influence. I don't hear any direct influence but I do dig it. I like when you can hear artists experimenting with stuff, it really brings you in to the creative process. He might overdue the Vocoder a bit but there is actual songwriting here and the production is pretty creative. It's moody and atmospheric at times while still dropping some serious beats.

Bon Iver
Blood Bank
And speaking of Vocoder! Bon Iver's release last year "For Emma, Forever Ago" is still in heavy rotation on my iTunes so when I heard a new EP was out I had to snatch it up. The acoustic, melancholy mood of "For Emma ..." is still there but you can tell the EP is made up of tracks that didn't quite fit the concept of the other record. Good songs though. The final track is A Capella yet run through a Vocoder which is a blatant experimental departure from anything else recorded but one I like as well.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Reason Facebook Was Created ...

... was to find photos like this.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Home Again

After eight fantastic days in Hawaii I'm finally back in my home, sweet home. The past month has been an wonderful onslaught of family; two weeks in Indy, over a week in Hawaii, and I've loved every minute of it.

Milo and I flew home by ourselves on Friday as Carrie had to come back early for work. I was really anxious about taking a five hour flight with just the two of us. Milo has plenty of travel miles under his belt but most of them came when he was younger and more docile. These days he is a roaring toddler on his way to the 'terrible two's' and while the past couple of flights we took with him have been decent, they also were a bit contentious. Luckily we had an empty seat next two us and a really nice man in the window seat so we made it through those five hours intact. He didn't sleep a wink and had a diaper blowout peeing all over his pants and shirt, luckily I had a backup onesie packed.

(At this point I'd like to interject how terrible United is for flying with a family. They don't allow pre-boarding for small children so you have to wait and wait in the aisle. I was in the final boarding group so there was no overhead space next time my seat, my bag was rows away making negotiating the bag and the baby really tough. Also, the bathrooms had no changing tables! I had to change him on top of the toilet seat. It was rough. So stay away from United if you have small kids.)

I was so anxious for the flight I didn't really get sad about leaving Kona until we were up in there looking at the gorgeous island. I miss it already. Paradise indeed.

So I'm back to the grind rustling up work, practicing, and rehearsing. The next few weeks are pretty busy with Mistah Tyrell and I have some other projects I'm looking forward to.

And how about Obama?! Those thinking he would change nothing must be surprised by his direct overturning of several Executive Orders from the Bush administration. I'm glad Gitmo is closing, the latest is tougher EPA guidelines for emission rules here in California and elsewhere. Finally headed in the right direction!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"Hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord."

Cynics and skeptics your numbers are dwindling. The time of hope and virtue has arrived.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


We are headed to sunny skies and warm beaches.

Don't freeze!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Well the new season of American Idol debuted tonight. I'd like to say my wife forced me to watch it this evening but that would be a lie. She in fact was at her monthly book club meeting and I was alone on the couch watching (but I did wait until after the Lakers game lest you think me totally void of machismo!).

I'm pretty sure I've brought this up in the past but why in the world is it that folks who are totally terrible at singing think they are good singers? It baffles me. After much thinking on the subject I've realized that I am asking the wrong question. The real question is "why won't anyone tell their loved ones they are bad singers?" If it were a guitar competition would it be different? Is it easier to tell a loved one they are a poor guitarist than a poor singer? I wonder. The human voice is such an intimate and powerful instrument that people are willing to embarrass themselves rather than admitting they stink. That probably sounds arrogant coming from a musician but I just calls em' like I sees em'.

You know what is similar? Poker. A few years ago when poker was the hottest thing around everybody you met who knew a flush from a straight would tell you how great of a poker player they were. But with poker it makes sense why nobody would tell you if you were any good or not, doesn't it? ...

Things have been pretty quiet around here. I've been spending a lot of time with Milo just chilling out, watching sports, and gearing up for our Hawaii trip. Spoke to Dad tonight, we are all really excited for the visit.

Speaking of nobody realizing how bad they are at something, George Dubya Bush will be out of the White House in eight days! Oh, happy day! To celebrate (kind of ...) please check out this list of 128 Failures of the Bush Administration. There are some real doozies in there. Have fun! It will all be over soon!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I haven't been blogging much

because I haven't been doing much.

Leaving for Hawaii Thursday!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Booty

There is a great re-cap of our Christmas visit on the baby blog so no need for me to go in to it again. But I did get some great presents this year that I'm super excited about:

Zoom H-2 Handy Recorder: This is a mobile studio the size of an iPod with a built-in mic that will be perfect for recording rehearsals, practices, small gigs, etc. I can't wait to try it out.

Blender: I'm in to smoothies these days, ours was getting old.

Turntable with USB Out: My mom got this for me, how clever is she? Its a turntable that comes with a USB and software that allows you to rip vinyl directly in to iTunes. Perfect!

Mad Men Season 1: I'm hooked. I'll have to amend my Best of TV list.

Eugene Mirman The Absurd Nightclub Comedy of Eugene Mirman: Comedy CD from one of the "Comedians of Comedy" crew.

Pacers and Dodgers Windbreakers and various Colts trinkets: One can never have enough sports gear.

Retro Music T-Shirts: Already in heavy rotation.

Thank you to everyone, I got some really thoughtful gifts this year and I sho' do appreciate it.

What kind of Christmas Booty did you get?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Holiday Hiatus

I thought I'd get around to posting something while away in Indy but that didn't happen. We all had a great time visiting family and friends. Unfortunately for the second year in a row an awful stomach bug attacked Carrie and I and nearly thwarted our New Year's plans but luckily we battled through (even though I still don't feel 100%). I'm glad to be back home! Only a week and a half before we leave for Hawaii.

More posts on Christmas and New Year's soon.