On The Way Here

I accidentally typed “wordress.com” or something and got half caught in a free prize/survey scam. Brendan I remember this blog. It was a good blog. Hope all is well. A real life update soon.

I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE FUN OF JOSE FOR WRITING A ‘I SHOULD POST MORE’ POST CUZ THIS ISN’T XANGA

SRY I STILL OWE YOU $12 BUT I PROMISE THAT ONE DAY YOU WILL GET IT AND YOU WILL SMILE. WISH I KNEW WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN YOUR LIFE IN GREATER DETAIL. ONE DAY WE’LL BE ON GCHAT THE SAME TIME AND THEN WE WILL TALK ABOUT LIFE/GOALS.

Think it’s lol that this blog has died/Post return thoughts

I remember when this blog was alive and thriving, felt like Jose and I had a serious ‘we no longer live in the city but we’re really good blog friends’ vibe.
I guess that now I’m back in the United States and fitting in to the culture that surrounds me that I no longer feel the awkward backlash of being an outsider. As a result I think I’ve become less productive.
I guess that means the solution is to go somewhere where I don’t feel at ease again.

I think if I will move somewhere in the near future for an extended period of time it will be to Georgia (country).

while abroad I read a book by John Steinbeck called ‘Russian Journal’. I found two things particularly striking about it:
I. That Russians really haven’t changed since the 50s (not really a bad thing)
II. That Georgia sounded really awesome

The culture seemed super rich and inviting. I liked the idea of being able to visit ancient cities, sitting on stones that were still standing and over 1000 years old. That sort of thing is the type of thing I think is cool.

They also have a really bizarre looking language that looks foreign and new and beautiful and amazing. I haven’t really listened to it yet. This is what it looks like:

i love how it is so round.

 

I need to start posting more.

Hi all. I need to start posting more. Here is a list of this that I have done:

Played music; toured with a band.

Played my last show with a different band.

Recorded live basics and overdubs with that band.

Said goodbye to an inspired artist.

Did some mixing.

Left a corporate coffee job for a job in childcare.

Received a health care id days after my official resignation.

Fought to suppress urge to vomit, stuck in traffic to new job while listening to news on the BP disaster in the Gulf.

This is too bad considering how incredible the new job is.

Requested a transfer.

Helped screen t-shirts.

Almost quit smoking.

Split two pairs of expensive pants.

Bought more records.

Sent a guitar to repair only to find that the amp’s reverb no longer works.

Started drinking iced coffee.

Shortly wore earplugs to rehearsal.

Met and interacted with many incredible and fascinating people.

Deepened relationships with incredible and fascinating people that I already had met.

At some point came to accept the rain and even worse, Seattle as home.

Rub Paw Press, in hindsight, may have been a more of a thing to do while I didn’t have a job or any kind of musical life in the city.

I still feel like this is a good idea, and I’m happy that Keith is still contributing more or less on the regular.

I hear Keith is back from Tomsk.

I miss and love Philadelphia but at the same time understand that I cannot go back, not now.

Cleaned my room.

Allowed the cleanliness of my room to degrade to its current state.

Renewed my registration for Rub Paw Press.

I PLAYED A CONCERT IN TOMSK (Google Translate Experiment)

I played a concert in Tomsk. People came. I made some money. Some girl interviewed me after. I was really happy that I successfully was interviewed in Russian. Then she wrote this article (excerpt)

За год в России он научился хорошо говорить по-русски, и перед каждой композицией на концерте озвучивает небольшие комментарии к ней. Большинство сыгранных в тот вечер вещей написаны в Сибири – на одну вдохновил страшный мороз, другая возникла из сострадания к бездомным собакам, поводом к третьей стал закрытый для иностранцев город Северск. Но главное – Брендан не просто сочинил здесь новые композиции, а нашел принципиально новое для себя звучание. На мандолине он играет совершенно не классически – вместо спокойной, плавной мелодии создает жесткий «барабанный» ритм. Манера петь у него тоже своеобразная: хрипловатый голос, монотонные интонации…Пожалуй, психоделизм фрик-фолка достигается благодаря пению.

Then I google translated it for friends. It looked like this:

Last year in Russia, he learned to speak in Russian, and before each song at a concert voiced little comments to her. Most games played in the evening things were written in Siberia – one inspired by a terrible cold, and the other came out of compassion for stray dogs, the reason the third was closed to foreigners the city of Seversk. But the main thing – Brendan is not just composed new songs here, but found a completely new sound for themselves. On the mandolin, he plays a totally classic – instead of a calm, smooth melodies creates a hard “drum” rhythm. The manner of singing he also has a kind: a hoarse voice, monotonous intonation … Perhaps psihodelizm freak-folk is achieved through singing.

Then I translated it back. It looked like this:

В прошлом году в России, он научился говорить на русском языке, и перед каждой песни на концерте, выразили мало комментарии к ней. Большинство игр в вечер вещи были написаны в Сибири – один вдохновлен страшный холод, и другие пришли из сострадания к бродячих собак, причина, по которой третий был закрыт для иностранцев в городе Северске. Но главное – Брендан это не только новые песни состоит здесь, но нашли совершенно новый звук для себя. На мандолине, он играет совершенно классический – вместо спокойной, плавных мелодий создает жесткие “барабан” ритм. Манерой пения он также имеет вид: хриплый голос, однообразной интонацией … Может быть, psihodelizm фрик-народных достигается за счет пения.

Even if you don’t speak Russian, you can see the significant difference. Then I did it one more time:

In the past year in Russia, he learned to speak in Russian, and before each song at a concert, have expressed little comment to her. Most games in the evening, things were written in Siberia – one inspired by a terrible cold, and others came out of compassion for stray dogs, the reason why the third was closed to foreigners in the city of Seversk. But the main thing – Brendan is not only new song is here, but found a completely new sound for themselves. On the mandolin, he plays an absolutely classic – instead of a calm, smooth melodies creates a rigid “drum” rhythm. Manner of singing, he also has the form: a hoarse voice, monotonous tone of … Maybe, psihodelizm freak-folk is achieved through singing.

LOVE LOVE LOVE LOLOLOLOLOL.

Actually, I’m pretty surprised how good it is.

Full article in Russian here

I Haven’t Been Posting Cuz I’m Traveling Around Russia Playing Music/Teaching

It’s a pretty lame excuse and all, but at some point I sorta forgot this blog existed.

And then I remembered but I was busy and I didn’t post anything.

And then I had a good idea and started writing a post but then I had to leave on this current month long trip I’m taking through Russia with some other Americans. We have a banjo, a guitar, a mandolin, and a celtic harp. We are taking trains and buses for long distances in order to visit children and teach them about American folk music. So far it’s been super fun. It’s also nice to see more of Russia besides Moscow/St. Petersburg/various Siberian cities. This picture is of a time when we were standing outside the train at a stop but it looked more like a field and there were some cows there. I chose this picture because I think it represents Russian men really we re: clothes/squatting/trains. The train was very hot inside and I sweated there for 50 hours. That is why many men aren’t wearing shirts. Russian men also don’t wear deodorant. Imagine the smell.

It is paid for by the State Dept so thank you for paying your taxes and allowing us to to do this.

Of course we have a blog about it and that can be found here.

Ages Of Musical Success Achievement As Compiled By A 23 Year Old Musician

I was talking with my bud S. Funkee in the building which houses the practice space where I practice. We could hear other bands playing loudly. He said something like, “that’s the sound of a building full of people trying to make it”. We hadn’t made it yet, so he made a list of people who made it and their ages. We are 23. I added a few entries.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

brian eno:
here come the warm jets @ 26

another green world @ 27

john lennon:
please please me @ 23 (wtf fml)

revolver @ 26


the white album @ 28

george harrison:
“something” @ 26

julian casablancas:
is this it @ 23 (fml wtf)

And also this:

arthur russell:
“is it all over my face” & “go bang” @ 29/30
calling out of context material @ 34 (approx.)

Moby:
Play @ 34

mick jagger:
the rolling stones UK (#1 in the UK) @ 21 (FML)
“satisfaction” @ 22 (fml)

“she’s a rainbow” @ 24

exile on main street @ 29

“beast of burden” @ 35

hajime tachibana:
bambi @ 40 (approx.)

robert smith:
“friday i’m in love” @ 33

A better video with embedding disabled.
charles mingus:
“goodbye pork pie hat” @ 37

r. kelly:
“real talk” @ 40

david byrne:
speaking in tongues @ 31

david bowie:
hunky dory @ 24

young americans @ 28

michael jackson:
“wanna be startin’ something” @ 24 (?!)

giorgio moroder:
“push it to the limit” @ 43

iggy pop:
the idiot @ 30

beck:
odelay @ 26

midnite vultures @ 29

publicly acknowledged as a scientologist @ 35
dieter moebius (of cluster):
zuckerzeit @ 30

damo suzuki (of can):
future days @ 23 (fml)…but:

michael karoli (of can) & holger czukay (of can) & irmin schmidt (of can) & jaki liebzeit:
future days @ 26 / 36 / 37 / 35 —- (Considerably Less FML)
graham massey (of 808 state):
90 @ 29

prince:
“raspberry beret” @ 27

bob dylan:
the times they are a-changin’ @ 23 (WTF)


blonde on blonde @ 25 (fml)


ariel pink:
the doldrums @ 21 (wtf)

bob marley:
“waiting in vain” @ 32

lenny kravitz:
“it ain’t over til it’s over” @ 27

Alex Chilton:
“The Letter” (w/ The Box Tops) @ 16 (WTF)

PICTURE AS PROOF

RUSSIA
TURNED ON ITS SIDE
LOOKS LIKE A PHILLY PHANATIC
CLUB-FOOTED
IF THAT’S WHAT A CLUBFOOT LOOKS LIKE

THIS IS HOW I FEEL HERE
OR AT LEAST
THE BEST I COULD COMMUNICATE
BUT AFTERWARDS
I MAY
FEEL
DIFFERENTLY

I Am The Judge Of A Poetry Contest

picture by Keith Birthday

I’m going to take this poem and I’m going to turn it into something else
probably something like a rock
or maybe an airplane
I’m going to take this rock or airplane
or poem
and turn it into a forest

I think that you’ll be impressed if I take this poem and turn it into something else
cause, if you see this poem not as a poem,
but as a rock
or an airplane
It’ll be better than a poem
cause I did something to it that made it something else

See, the actual idea is not to write a poem
and make you think of a rock or an airplane or a forest
It’s to tell you that it is
Why should you need to think that it’s anything else
than what I tell you?

This poem is not about a rock an airplane
a forest
It is those things
cause I told you
Who needs a poem when you already know what it is?

[I wrote this after I judged a poetry contest at a local university. I kept arguing with the other judges who kept giving points based on ‘presentation’ meaning things like costumes and acting and guitars and powerpoint presentations. The focus was removed from the poetry entirely and merely became a showcase of lower-than-average other talents of these Russian students. I was furious]