the tao of jaklumen

the path of the sage must become the path of the hero


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Spin this one up for me, DJ Matticus: The Depths of Funk

Loosely based on the Trifecta Challenge and The words wouldn’t come. at the Matticus Kingdom.  All definitions at Merriam-Webster.com

English: A multi-volume Latin dictionary (Egid...

FUNK LEVEL 1

(noun) a strong offensive smell

Code of Conduct: Don’t be a pinhead. RadCon recommends that everyone follow the 3-2-1 rule. Everyday, aim to get three hours of sleep, 2 solid meals and 1 shower.

See also How the Journal Jar REALLY celebrated V-Day

FUNK LEVEL 2

(intransitive verb) to become frightened and shrink back
(transitive verb)
  1.  to be afraid of :  dread
  2.  to shrink from undertaking or facing

I don’t think I can express to you all how personal this is, how… I can’t. I don’t seem to be able to express how much this is moving me without seeing who is ready and willing to dig down in a much more esoteric way. (The Hero With A Thousand Faces)

FUNK LEVEL 3

(noun)

  1.   a :  a state of paralyzing fear b : a depressed state of mind
  2.   one that funks :  COWARD
  3.   SLUMP <an economic funk>  <the team went into a funk>

The words wouldn’t come.  They felt forced.  They felt false. (The Matticus Kingdom, The words wouldn’t come.)

RadCon was nice, but often after a convention… comes con crud.  (jak’s homemade chicken noodle soup)

Ugh, I’m sorry you’re sick. I hate being sick. I would be the character in a zombie apocalypse movie that survives all of the slashing and biting and then dies of indigestion. (Aussa Lorens, Cross Examination: HOOKER, in comments section)

FUNK LEVEL 4

(noun)

  1. music that combines elements of rhythm and blues and soul music and that is characterized by a percussive vocal style, static harmonies, and a strong bass line with heavy downbeats
  2. the quality or state of being funky <jeans … have lost much of their funkTom Wolfe> (which references back to Funk Level 1)

Can you dig it?  MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

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Goodbye, WHM?

I am having to let more things go… and this is really hard.

I know that some of you know that those independent music labels are appreciative of any sort of exposure they can get. But I feel that I have been dragging them along a little bit.

I have a perfectionist streak and that’s probably why I don’t get articles done faster. I did get into a niche where I wrote mostly on instrumental music, but… I think that from a marketing standpoint, it would have been better if I had finished press sooner.

I continue to struggle with health issues and now I have a child with special needs. Those of you reading already have an idea. I want to say that I am being more fair to them, but really, of course, I am letting go of pressure on myself.

I partly hung on and was duplicating articles because I wanted to keep Ex-Voxers remembering that We Heart Music started out on VOX. But I suspect that many just chose to forget; although Vu was considering WordPress (and he discussed it with me so I do know where he is coming from), he went with TypePad. Kinda disappointing because oh YES, it really is easier with native audio support… and really, articles got a lot easier to do there. I don’t think Vu knocks himself out half so much or maybe some of you remember how much VOX had to be tweaked with HTML code or Javascript commands.

Ergh… I am going to write the e-mail now. Best not to put it off.


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So behind on the music blogging

In addition to more submissions from Hibernate Records in the UK, I’ve been quietly getting requests from Psychonavigation Records, which… I’m not sure where they are from. The e-mails are coming from a Keith Downey who is reportedly based out of Dublin, as in Ireland. (Works for me, I’ve got a 1st cousin once removed who has a studio in Dublin– maybe you’ve heard of him? Don Bluth, the animator.)

So I sent out e-mail replies, saying I’ve been a little bogged down with health issues and putting the kids back to school, but that I’d do what I could.

I want to be polite. Really, I do. But I do have to admit that because they are struggling independent labels and pretty much say upfront that they are happy for any exposure at all, well, I don’t think they can be too upset with me.


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Loop 2.4.3: American Dreamland


Tour Dates

04/24/12 CSUSB “Music Tuesdays” – San Bernardino, CA
04/25/12 Music at Noon Concert Series – Santa Clara, CA
04/25/12 Saratoga Retirement Community – Saratoga, CA
04/26/12 Saratoga Library – Saratoga, CA 95070
04/26/12 CNMAT – Berkeley, CA

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Loop 2.4.3

These have been my thoughts reflecting on Zodiac Dust, an album by Loop 2.4.3, set to be released June 16th on the Music Starts From Silence label. I would be content to simply write, “I cannot say much more; hear for yourself;”

I will repeat what I said when I reviewed Loop 2.4.3’s last album, Zodiac Dust, three years ago:

There is artistic work that is not so much simply seen, heard, felt, smelled, or tasted, as much as experienced.  Hence it is something you must take in for yourself, and a critical review simply falls short.

 Their newest album, American Dreamland, was released today, and with that album, that sentiment I had is even truer than ever.  I would say more so, actually, because I met Thomas Kozumplik and Lorne Watson, who comprise Loop 2.4.3, in person this time.  I went to a percussion clinic and recital they held last Friday (April 20) at my old university, Central Washington University, in Ellensburg, WA.  I got to know them a little bit.  I saw the instruments up close and personal, like the eLog and the Rose Echo.  I heard them perform music from Zodiac Dust and American Dreamland.  Along with the percussion students from the university, I got better explanations of the instruments, the music, and the musicians.

Listening to a studio-produced album is one thing.  Experiencing a live performance and getting to know the musicians and their music is quite another.

I mentioned in the Zodiac Dust review that Music Starts From Silence (their publisher) had started offering written manuscripts of music by Loop 2.4.3.  What I failed to mention is something I had learned from signing up for the group’s newsletter, and that this was part of education outreach to the schools.  Being a classically schooled musician myself, I got very excited.  This does not happen very often, that recording and touring musicians come back to the schools, teach about what they do, and offer their music for students to perform themselves.  I suppose this is not so unusual back East, but for those of us out West, it’s huge.  After the clinic, I remember Thomas talking about their appearance the day before in La Grande, Oregon.  He remembered that the students there were very receptive and appreciative, and I said that was true of many of us who were much more isolated and not surrounded by metropolitan cities.

I could write and expound more on the press releases I received to describe their music, especially that of American Dreamland, but it’s much easier for me to say that Thomas and Lorne are just hard working musicians that will take any idea they can to cultivate creative work.  Lorne was quite articulate on this point, explaining to the students and I that they worked with a beat/slam poet, and classical dancers, and adjusted their performances accordingly.  The diversity of instruments you play is helpful, he said, especially for freelance gigs.  That made sense when Thomas said he’d used the steel drum to play with chamber music ensembles (viola, bassoon, etc.).  It fit somehow, he said, by using a lighter touch when playing.

I should point out that Loop 2.4.3 is not only working with university students, but with grade school students as well.  I asked Lorne about the Native American flute he was playing (which is featured in American Dreamland), especially as he said earlier that he considered them easier to play than the recorders that are featured quite extensively in many elementary schools.  He recommended Stellar Flutes, and in particular their flute kits, which can be carved by students to their liking.  (I found the link when I got home and showed it to my 9-year old daughter, who was quite enthusiastic.)

Perhaps a video would be more illustrative of what this clinic and recital was like:

 It really was something truly special.  Hanging out, talking shop, and generally schmoozing afterwards at a hot wings restaurant was a nice way to end the day.

American Dreamland is available on CD, 12” (180 gram) vinyl, and digital download from Music Starts From Silence, CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon, and more.  

Thomas Kozumplik and Lorne Watson, dba Music Starts From Silence, are sponsored artists by NYC’s Tax Exempt Foundation, THE FIELD.  All donations are tax-deductible and help to support Loop 2.4.3’s touring and outreach activities.  See loop243.com/get-involved for details.


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My life according to Depeche Mode

How to play if you want to play, too:

Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Pass it on to people, including me. You can't use the band I used. Try not to repeat a song title. It's a lot harder than you think! Repost it as "My Life According to (BAND NAME)

1.Are you a male or female?
Boys Say Go!

2. Describe yourself:
Strangelove

3. How do you feel:
a. Shake The Disease

b. Painkiller

4. Describe where you currently live:
My Secret Garden

5. If you could go anywhere, where would you go:
World In My Eyes

6. Your favorite form of transportation:
Behind The Wheel

7. Your best friend is:
Happiest Girl

8.Your favorite color is:
Blue Dress

9. What's the weather like:
It's No Good

10. Favorite time of day:
Question of Time

11. If your life was a TV show, what would it be called:
It's Called A Heart

12. What is life to you:
Work Hard

13. Your current relationship:
The Sweetest Perfection

14. Looking for:
The Policy of Truth

15. Wouldn’t mind:
One Caress

16. Your fear:
Blasphemous Rumours

17. What is the best advice you have to give:
Shouldn't Have Done That

18. If you could change your name, you would change it to:
Khalid

19. Thought for the Day:
Flexible

20. How I would like to die:

New Life

21. My motto:
Get The Balance Right!

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David Byrne writes for WIRED this month

for emily sears and anyone else interested:

David Byrne's Survival Strategies for Emerging Artists — and Megastars (article is also available in print)

I'm not really that big a fan of David Byrne's music, but reading this article, there was no question in my mind that this man speaks articulately, eloquently, and of course, from experience.  I'm very impressed.  Here's a short quote from the beginning of the article, where he is explaining why music is an experience:

We'll always want to use music as part of our social fabric: to congregate at concerts and in bars, even if the sound sucks; to pass music from hand to hand (or via the Internet) as a form of social currency; to build temples where only "our kind of people" can hear music (opera houses and symphony halls); to want to know more about our favorite bards — their love lives, their clothes, their political beliefs. This betrays an eternal urge to have a larger context beyond a piece of plastic. One might say this urge is part of our genetic makeup.

Very worth the read, and there's an article where he interviews Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke on the band's decision to allow the public to name their price for their latest album, and general reflections on music recordings today:  David Byrne and Thom Yorke on the Real Value of Music

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QotD: On Genres

Do you tend to like music in particular genres, or are your tastes all over the place?  What are your most and least favorite musical genres?

This is one of the oddest questions I've ever come across, actually.  I'm assuming the author is meaning to ask, "Are your tastes in music eclectic, or are there just a few types of sound you enjoying listening to?"

One of the most annoying assertions I've heard from people is "I like all music."  That is the most ludicrous thing I've ever heard, because I know *everyone* has preferences of some sort, and cannot be so absolutely indiscriminate as such a statement would suggest.  People actually argue over what is music and what is not, and so such neutrality is very unlikely.  Even the statement "I may not know much about art, but I know what I like" is more honest.

I digress.  I have a difficult time listing my preferences by genre, especially as such terms tend to be heavily influenced by marketing.  Music changes a great deal, too, so sometimes familiar names aren't terribly specific.  It's generally easier to describe my tastes by instrumentation, or a broad category with specifics.  So… this is about as good as I can do:

– Most anything electronica, from Walter/Wendy Carlos and programming music to synthpop, trance, techno, technobass, and technopop.  I would include some New Wave in that, although New Wave is a punk derivative and not specifically an electronica sound.

– guitar – acoustic, flamenco, classical, electric bass

– Western- the old cowboy ballads.  a little bit of country, i.e. the old Appalachian sound, bluegrass and the like, in small amounts.  Generally not too fond of the merging of country and western that most people call country today.  Honkytonk I especially cannot stand.

– Afrocentric – jazz (specifically Dixieland, bebop, cool, fusion, and smooth – no, I'm not a purist), blues, soul, funk, rap with heavy funk influences (some of which is termed "old school")

– Hispanic – salsa (see Afrocentric- salsa covers a broad range of smaller genres coming from a mix of Carribean and Hispanic sounds)… on a good day, I will listen to cumbia, norteño, and other campesino (essentially, Mexican country) but I'm not that wild about it

What about rock?  "Rock 'n roll" is such a catchall these days that I have to be *much* more specific than that.  The old rhythm and blues sound is nice, as is (I'd say) the Texas swing sound that drifted in early.  I'll listen to some amounts of acid rock, folk rock, and early metal that tends to get lumped under the designation "classic rock".  Not otherwise a big metal fan, though– so grindcore, speed, etc. will tend to be out.

Not really big on the garage sound, either, so that will dump some punk, a lot of the old grunge/Tacoma, WA sound, and other bands that sound like they really need to go back to that dive of a bar they were playing in.

That about covers it, although I'll give most anything a five second listen.  Some stuff isn't supposed to be terribly aesthetically pleasing– "suck music" is the funniest thing I've heard in a very, very long time.  (Will have to post about it later if vu is interested.)

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It’s October, and you know what that means…

Referenced at We♥Music under Rockwell – Somebody's Watching Me.

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Mommy Song (when Mommy goes away, it’s Daddy’s time to play)

A friend in Boise linked me to this about a week ago, and it's just too cute not to share.

Pretty slick.  Hooray for creative and artistic Dads!

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