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Why I hate Jazz May 1, 2007

Posted by whatacharacter in humor, music.
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Hate is a strong word, and I really don’t mean it that way.

I love all music, it’s just that Jazz has an uncomfortableness to it. It’s too much like life. Too many ups and downs and speed changes. Jazz is messy and complicated … like life.

Rock, blues, R&B, and pop command a steady familiarity we can enjoy and be comfortable with. It’s nice to catch on to a catchy melody, or a good beat you can dance to. And really, what’s more steady and comfortable than that old boot, Country/Western – a massively popular style? Okay, maybe that’s too simple even for me … but that’s not to deny the power of it’s basic, comfortable beat.

Some jazz can blend into a nice groove, but it demands too much sophistication and confidence with life for me to like it much right now. To get into jazz, one needs some rarified air to breathe, and zeal to exude. It requires training to quickly get into attack positions, and rip into something. But the air is getting sucked out of life now, and everything is making me uncomfortable, and so, jazz is more than I can handle at the moment.

Not to say I don’t admire jazz. It’s real – and abstract at the same time. The players who play it are the best. They have style, fire, and can deal with the uncomfortable complexities of their music. They seem to handle life like a stone groove, man. They’re copacetic.

Not grumpy old me today. I think I’ll go listen to some Conway Twitty.

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Flurry of Activity Preceding the Summer Days May 25, 2006

Posted by whatacharacter in Art, humor, just my blogs, life, music, useful.
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I suppose my absence from the great web-logged ocean for a month doesn’t amount to much, but it’s given me the time to extend my battlelines, open a second front, and plot my summer invasion of Russia. No worries, I’ll be out by winter …

Actually I *will invade the east* soon and take my family for the first time in 6 yrs to my “ancestral compound” on Cape Cod. My heart leaps to return to the land of the Pilgrim’s pride, where seekers of religious persecution freedom were wont to go … I’ll seek some refuge in the sand dunes, amid the preparations for the summer renters.

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I’ve been blessed again with a healthy rental return, which should cover the annual upkeep of the tiny cottage my parents built, and our “vacation.” The settlement from the utility company for the downed (rotten) pole and resulting disconnection of all winter power, was a huge Ibuprophen for a giant headache, plus utilities now get to run underground.

School is over in a week. I’ve been working hard getting final 3D projects wrapped up.

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night time warehouse (shot from animation)

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attack of the killer pharoh mummy! (sketch from storyboard)

Work is a sweet p/t deal. Tomorrow I’ll put in my first 8 hr day and take advantage of the International District’s fine lunch cuisine with the group.
Hoping for Bento and sushi!
dragon3.jpg if the dragons don’t eat me ….

Despite all the wakky dealings lately … like Black Bears getting tazed in Seattle … I’ve kept the mood up listening to Matisyahu, My Morning Jacket,and Ladytron. ladytron.jpgInternational date line? Let’s end it here!

Yoiks away!

I’m weak, what can I say? April 8, 2006

Posted by whatacharacter in Art, humor, just my blogs, life, mind, music.
4 comments

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Okay I promised myself I would cool things off here so I can get some major LIFE/ART work done … but I can’t help it. Magic, Music, Time, Internet, Comics … it’s heading somewhere!

Heard a song “Steady, as she goes” coming back from yet another friend’s 40th birthday – a sober reminder there’s no time to mess around, especially with the Mayan Calender is ending in just 2012.

So …had to check out The Raconteurs website – which everyone into cool websites, must see! It’s the coolist. A Jack White project … and he’s certifiable genius.

Then I surf over to Key 23 and this article. Talk about Big Picture thinking! Reviewing the book “The Singularity Is Near” by Ray Kurzweil, the writer links modern psychology, nano-science, spiritual transcendence, and comic’s potent use of sub-symbology, in maybe the bestus Magnus Opus manifestus on the future I’ve ever seen!

Hopefully once my grey matter wades through it more, I’ll still think so! What do you think, anyone?

Comics help get in where pure symbols can’t go. Sub-symbolic sets are communicated through the non-textual clues. Comics are high-speed seepage from the collective cultural construct to the staging area for the subconscious ….

Comics transcend written text. The sketch of Wonder Woman, or Batman, or whatever underwear pervert you choose, thier existence is obvious even if you don’t have the capacity to understand the english in the text balloons. They are showed in situations identifiable based on visual elements as much as by the accompanying text. They exist as entities of information, with a medium complex enough to generate an environment where they can change and grow.

… but read the whole article. It could be valuable! It sounds a lot like TM, but could it help change the world as we know it????

R.I.P. Layne and Kurt April 5, 2006

Posted by whatacharacter in life, music, useful.
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April 5th – I hope today’s sad anniversary is a better day, wherever you are. Also to Jeremy, Justin, Jason, Suzanne, Melissa, and Christopher, even Kyle – our most recent tragic Seattle victims.

A nice timely article on late musicians Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley was posted a few days ago here at monstersandcritics.com:

My response is posted below:

“Great article, but I’m surprised you didn’t wait until tomorrow to post it. Still, the timely focus on two of Seattle’s ‘recent’ tragic losses – and we have our share- is always good to bring to mind. Kurt and Layne’s demise urges more questions than answers … but if it helps anyone escape the hell of addiction or rail against the robbery of human potential, then that is a better legacy to leave. That and some great music.

To anyone who feels caught in the same trap that Layne and Kurt experienced, remember that, tho’ you may not be famous, your loss will surely crush someone beneath unspeakable grief. There is hope. And great music to enjoy in life. Remember that.”

Now hopefully I’ll also “rest in peace,” meaning move forward in life with a stronger resolve, laying aside my shock and dismay – which I hope are better termed qualifications for ‘morbid fascination’ – in the light of recent events. I can’t help but be sensitive to such situations which rob us of human potential. I promise to keep my outrage just smoldering.
Future blogs I trust will be more light-hearted.

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U2! You too? It’s my fault, sorry! April 3, 2006

Posted by whatacharacter in life, music.
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I’ve never figured out their name, and after hearing U2’s ‘Boy’ for the first time in 1982, I realized this band was nothing if not different. In those days Rock was Punk, Metal, and New Wave, but U2 defied all catagories. ‘Irish’ was about all you could say, but that really had no point of reference, except for poetic heart.

I didn’t know what they looked like, but they sounded great & had weird names like Bono Vox, and The Edge, so me and my buddy (with the ‘Boy’ album) *had* to go see them. It was the WAR tour, before Joshua Tree made them big, and all the Zoo TV hype and hoopla, and when “New Years Day” was their only hit. Once we got to the entrance, my friend realized he had lost his ticket. Mark Arm from “Mudhoney” was scalping tickets, but it wasn’t necessary. Heading back to the car to look, we find the ticket 3 blocks away, in the middle of the street, being trod over by hundreds heading to the venue. It was meant to be. It was the best concert I’ve ever seen. Ever, ever …

Once “Out of Control” blasted the beginning, everyone was on their feet. The Edges’ enigmatic guitar sound was perfect, and he’s still the master technician. Bono had everyone in his palm … this was before anyone knew who he was … he was passed around on his back by the crowd with no fear. He lent his huge white flag to us and we passed it across to where ever he pointed, & it never fell. He danced with a beautiful audience girl, and even pulled up someone to play drums. And he sang like nobody’s business. Never had I experienced such a vibe at a concert before. It was so fresh and so different.

This experience led me to actually pray. After the show we headed out, and I paused and asked God to make these guys the biggest band in the world. He just had to! My joke to myself is, if I ever meet them, I can tell them to blame it all on me. *winky grin*

Even though my affection for their music has waned and waxed (mostly) over the years, I was reminded renting “U2 Go Home” of their final 2001 show in Dublin, of the visceral power and passion they still bring to the stage. Though their style changes, the soul and love of what they do is still the same. I am also so pleased that someone like Bono is still a Rock & Roll voice with a social conscience, bringing recognition to big picture issues and having a positive affect. Who else does what he does?

I can’t believe they’re still together after over 25 years, or that this very different band ever made it so big in this world. It’s a miracle! I guess there’s hope for all of us … and a little praying doesn’t seem to hurt.

The next Lemmy Riffmeister? February 1, 2006

Posted by whatacharacter in just my blogs, music.
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I realize my public image may have been affected by yesterday’s post on endearing LWFCs. Lest I seem to have gotten soft I must unleash the beast of my Metalhead badass self, and offer evidence that I really chew on steel chains and shit lightning bolts … well that was years ago … actually I eat granola and it’s more like thunder now.

Here for the first time (in 20 yrs) are Armageddon (or was it only one ‘d’? – from an obscure music db link) in 2 FREE downloadable mp3s!!

http://www.hobbitdance.com/hellawaits.mp3

http://www.hobbitdance.com/choose_the_sword.mp3

I just found a hissy old tape from a practice session, and digitized ’em. It’s funny to hear me hammering on my ol’ custom Fender Stratocaster, with legendary vocalist David Ezekiel (where is he now?) in a very unique and misunderstood genre. Complete with great roaring feedback endings, and classic metal intros: one a gentle moody guitar, another a messed up double bass drum.

DUDE! MeTaL totally RuLeZ!!

dont mess with me when I’m posing… okay now with a final nod to my youthful bid for guitargod status, I think I can move ahead. 😀
Moving along … my production is ramping up into high gear with the redesign of my website, learning 3D Studio Max, and trying to do lots of concept drawings and mindless sketches when I get the chance, or while listening to the Ramones.
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I’d better get busy.

Feel Good, inc. January 23, 2006

Posted by whatacharacter in music.
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My heart is beating happier now that I finally used my christmas gift cards and purchased Gorillaz: Demon DaysGorillaz

I could listen to “Dare” repeatedly as I am prone to going off on musical jags, listening to a recording over and over until I achieve a zen-like state of oneness with the music. Infamous houseboy Shaun Ryder’s guest vocals is a great counterpoint. I may be back in love with Brit music. Yeh, I really wanted to be a musician once … hmmm, love of music, talent in art …

What gets me about Gorillaz is their unique status as a virtual band which has incredible possibilities! They “performed live” in 3D at the Euromtv awards! There’s just enough quirkiness to make their decidedly post-modern nocturnal flavor pallatable to me.
The musician behind it all, Blur’s Damon Albarn, and artist Jaime Hewlett discuss what makes Gorillaz more “real” than a lot of the media gimics that act like actual humans!

Class this week will begin in earnest some real 3D animation! Very excited!

Soon I hope to display some of the latest work I’ve been doing in 3D, but until the new website gets finished, there is the old one with the old work: http://home.earthlink.net/~gadzookys/

oh, I also got Nicklecreek’s latest (NOT nickleBACK), and a DVD of Neil Young’s Rust Never Sleeps! eewDoggie!