Tuesday, May 08, 2018

While texting.

We need driverless cars because no one is driving currently

Monday, May 07, 2018

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Live like everyone did 25 years ago.

I think of my cell phone as existing for my convenience, not everyone else’s convenience. Kevin Rose takes that idea to the next level with do not disturb. 


Friday, May 04, 2018

Creating songs like a carpenter.

I was having an email conversation with my friend Joe about how I am approaching some of my current recordings. As I fell asleep a few hours later, the ideas I was trying to express came into a sharper focus and an analogy presented itself.

I've always had a very good work ethic when someone is paying me to do a job but less so when it's the thing I do for love, like music. I have done plenty of work for the bands I've played in but when it comes to working in the studio, the part I find the most rewarding, I've always struggled to reach a finish line on time or at all.

I think I have found a strange solution that mainly involves looking at art from a different kind of perspective.

When I've worked on music in the past the amount of options available have caused some level of decision paralysis and eventually decision fatigue will happen even if you make forward progress. This is because I haven't had a clear idea of what my goal (outcome) is when making a song alone. (Having musical partners can help, but sometimes it can also increase the problems.)

The solution I've hit on is to limit my tools, limit my time and limit the order in which I can do things.

If I was building a table out of wood I would need to use the materials that are currently in the shop. If I had a band saw but no circular saw that would change how I would design the table. If I only have two stains to pick from the choice is a simple one. If I had no lathe I couldn't make rounded legs so they would stay square. If the table was meant to fold into the wall of a small dinning room I would have to think small vs one designed for a family of eight in a large dinning room.

Now imagine I built dozens of tables at the same time.  I'd want to reuse my design and have some form of mass production. I might only have two weeks to finish the next run before taking a vacation. What decisions could I make at the beginning that make shave hours off by the end? How many employees do I need to get the work done? How many specialists will be needed and how can I help them do their jobs best? Where can I save time and where can't I? How will I deliver the finished product to my buyers and do I need to spend time advertising or going to trade shows? Are my tools in good working order? What is the order that things need to happen in?

When I apply that thinking to working on music alone here is where I landed:

  • I should write and record music like I was different members of the band in a sequence that will make sense in a studio that I would be paying to be at. (Maybe at a friends and family price to allow me to spend extra time when needed.)
  • These different members have certain equipment and motivations and I should keep that as consistent between songs as I can. (Bass player owns two basses but heavily favors one and has a few FX pedals.) 
  • While I won't pretend I only have a fixed number of tracks I will treat adding more guitars as if I did. (The guitar player would have to fight to get a second track for an entire song because it means no piano overdub for the keyboard player or renting a second tape machine!)
  • By grouping tasks I can use playing one instrument a lot as a form of compressed/enforced practice on that instrument. (Which will hopefully lead to better performances.)
  • Try to play the parts a few more times even if I feel like I’ve already got “the good take”. (Again, more practice time.)
More on this later maybe. 

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Change your Twitter password.

And if you reuse passwords everywhere else you use it. Here’s why.

And consider using something like 1Password to create unique passwords.

Piles of piles.

A year ago piles of blank sheets of paper on a desk seemed like a clear sign that America had elected a con artist. I am amazed that this reality show hasn’t been canceled yet.

Music for Airports

 One of the albums I frequently return to. When Beats1 was about to go online they played it as the waiting music followed by Skepta as the first song at the real launch time.

Music for Airports in iTunes

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Pretty easy to make cottage fries

 When I find cool recipes I like to share them.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Superman vs Batman should've been several different really good movies.

DC just took a bunch of comics, put them in a blender, and called it a story.

Many scenes work well for comic fan service if taken out of the context of this movie. I will watch the extended cut to see if they really took out important story elements that the theatrical cut is missing.

If the entire movie took place in the dream?/flashforward? of Batman in the destroyed city and a dark Superman I would've been truly impressed. I mean it, that could've been one scene in a movie of amazing scenes, but instead it should've been on the cutting room floor because it served no purpose.

The movie has some fundamental story problems that would have been solvable if someone just gave a damn. This movie is told as a series of; this happens then this happens then this happens. At no point is it; this happens and therefor this happens which causes this to happen. No cause and effect at all.

One example is the title fight between Batman and Superman. The stated reason for the fight is Lex holding a hostage. Does Lex, one of the most brilliant villains in comics, bother to verify that they actually fight? No he doesn't. If Lex had cameras watching the fight it would've explained why Superman fights instead of flying around like he does at lots of other times. But how could Lex have cameras at some random location you might ask? He has a bunch of kryptonian drones from the first film at his command doesn't he? Wouldn't that have been a cool visual? And that would have allowed Batman, The World's Greatest Detective, to figure out that Superman didn't want to win this fight and at the last moment, when Superman was resigned to dying at his hands, ask Bruce to "please save his mom." No need for "Martha" or the millionth shooting of Batman's parents or tomb visits. Both actors could've really delivered on their acting abilities instead of causing my girlfriend to laugh (again) at an important moment. Think about the look of resigned defeat on Henry's face as Ben get's to unleash his award winning acting chops showing realization and sudden conviction that Superman is just like him, and even more that Bruce Wayne needs to become a mentor to young Clark Kent. The veteran of twenty years fighting evil could help the new guy overcome his horrible missteps that have lead to him being hated and feared! Like Elliot, he could help protect and save his new alien friend.

So much of this could've been fixed with the cutting of entire scenes and a few reshoots. I want to talk about what I liked but can't because this movie had Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman and wasted all of them. All three actors did well. Batfleck had some truly amazing moments. The script and the 30 minute CGI climax wasted all their hard work.

Sorry for the sloppiness of this, I just had to get some of this out.

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