Friday, August 20, 2010

The Narrator IV

The Narrator is convinced s/he can have a normal life. However this is impossible. Yet The Narrator still hopes.

Often this life is very uneventful and reminiscent of 1950s sitcoms. The Narrator lives in a suburban house with a white picket fence. There is a dog in the yard. When The Narrator walks in, hat in hand and calls, "Honey. I'm home!" The Narrator's loving partner, pets and maybe even adopted children greet The Narrator at the door. The Narrator is not sure what happens next. Possibly a problem which can be resolved in 30 minutes or less. Maybe the cat flunked algebra. Maybe dinner.

Of course, deep down The Narrator knows this will never happen. The Narrator is just too strange for an ordinary life. Normal people avoid The Narrator, regular jobs let The Narrator go with good references and severance pay and ordinary houses are whisked away from the narrator in family politics. Whatever steps The Narrator has taken to secure this imaginary future s/he seeks to possess dematerialize whenever s/he gets close.

The Narrator is probably the only person who has actually failed at having a regular life by "Just being one's own self."

You see, The Narrator has started the story over many, many times. So many times there almost is no story at all. Or maybe there are many stories, all in opposition. Everything is becoming a dream to The Narrator. Everything from answering emails to eating a ham sandwich. The Narrator tells no one this because no normal person has had so many false starts.

The Narrator exists in other people's dreams as well. However, The Narrator is always someone else to The Dreamers. Sometimes an actual person, sometimes just a hope of what The Dreamers would like The Narrator to be. The Narrator almost always knows the truth behind The Dreamers' reality. Even if The Narrator doesn't want to believe it. Sometimes The Narrator gets a glimpse of who The Dreamers would rather The Narrator to be. The scariest part is when it is a real person. Some one who exists in another place and time for The Dreamers. The Narrator pushes this thought aside as if it never happened. It is much safer to be an amorphous concept holding no shape, form or precedent.

The Narrator always knows why The Dreamers do what they do. Even if The Dreamers can't see it themselves. I suppose The Narrator would be heartbroken over the misconceptions The Dreamers hold-- if the The Narrator wasn't used to it by now. Unlike The Dreamers, The Narrator can always see the end of the story. The Narrator is telling it, after all. Both The Dreamers and The Narrator know how the story begins. It is the pages in between that just need to be filled.

The Narrator genuinely likes The Dreamers which is why s/he doesn't mind knowing the whole story. However, The Narrator is never sure why The Dreamers stick around. Do they like the attention? Does The Narrator offer the Disney version of a bohemian vacation package-- guided tours of the weird and wonderful underworld? (Unlike The Dreamers, for The Narrator, it is not a freak show. It is The Narrator's real life.) Do The Dreamers not know how the story ends? This surprises The Narrator because many of The Dreamers are fairly astute. Or maybe it is because every single one of The Dreamers can call The Narrator when they need anything from emotional support to a drug connection.

What The Dreamers don't know is that The Narrator always intended to fade rapidly to "casual acquaintance" once The Dreamers' respective stories ended. It is what they get for dreaming The Narrator into something s/he'd never be. But The [Forgotten] Dreamers can still text The Narrator for emotional support, drug hook-ups, or whatever they may need. The Narrator would rather not be bothered unless The [Forgotten] Dreamers have a reason though. The Narrator doesn't chit-chat with ghosts.

The Narrator "is perfect, but . . ." and the "but" is always that The Narrator is just too weird. Or too different. There remains an intangible issue with The Narrator that s/he cannot seem to fix. The Narrator has heard people (The Dreamers, mainly) try to describe The Narrator's problems. S/he is understanding and tolerant of their gibberish. Almost to a fault. Perhaps it is because sometimes The Narrator does not always fit into The Narrator's dreams either.

The real problem is no one knows exactly *what* the problem is with The Narrator. Or maybe they do and it is unspeakable. Maybe it is like the name of God and when it is spoken, something devastating happens. Maybe The Dreamers wake up. The Dreamers vehemently deny it is The Narrator's weirdness, lest they appear shallow or superficial to The Narrator. At any rate, the problem probably is that The Narrator is unapologetic about who s/he is and there is nothing that can be done to change it.

The picture above is one of Brian Andreas' "Story People" drawings. This print hangs on my office wall


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Road blocks

I'm stuck. You would think having the first four of JT's drum tracks would help me move forward, but for some reason I cannot. The problem is I have been going over it in my head, how to record the follow drum parts-- and how to pitch the plan to the other perspective drummers (the latter is generally pretty easy.)

It is a problem with timing. Rather, a fear things won't synch right. I need some way to calculate when the second recorded drummer starts and ends so when I layer the samples they line up as they were intended to be played. I want my recording to be as close as to what the player intended.

I could bring a timer and write down start/end/durations. I just don't know. I think I need to talk with someone who also records face-to-face.

I am probably making a bigger deal out of this than it really is. Probably for some other psychological reason I don't quite grasp yet. I ask myself "What is the worst that can happen?" If the recording or my note-taking system fails, I ask the second drummer to record the parts over. No big deal. Then why am I letting this hold me back?

I just hate being unprepared.

I am stuck in other ways, also. I am trying to rebuild the music rig after a giant system crash. I have the new hard drive, all I have to do is install it. I look at my old, sad system with great duress. I am worried that 10 years of samples may be gone forever. It's daunting and I don't want to start the salvage process out of fear for what I've lost. But I know I have to do it. I keep trying to convince myself "It's a brand new start blah, blah, blah. . .I can start over fresh . . .etc." but that's cold comfort.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Invasive question time.

Ask us anything

Granted, we may not answer if it is too personal.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Narrator: III.

Despite being highly disillusioned, The Narrator is out to save the world with the power of truth and beauty; but so often it is corrupted.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Malik and I have a different approach to music. Although a musician, he is very much from a business perspective. First and foremost, he would like is ventures to be profitable. By now you must know me. Although it would be nice to make a living from music, I don't like to make compromises. Not to be all cliche "I'll die for my art . . .blah, blah, blah" but in actuality it is very close to the truth. It is a part of me. Indivisible from me. It is me. I cannot be dishonest. There is just no room for insincerity when the narrator has a story.

I'll do all I can to market what I do as I do it, I have no interest in cashing in on fads. I believe if you believe in your product with your everything, others will believe in it too. In fact, that is how I've convinced every creative collaborator on any project up to this point, including Malik. No one knows what they are getting into when I have an idea. Sometimes I don't exactly know either.

Sometimes it surprises me because I think I ask for a lot from my co-conspirators. Complete trust and a healthy dose of blind faith. But no one has said "no" yet. And I would never lead anyone astray.

Whenever something happens in pop culture or the world at large I often wonder what Bill Hicks or Howard Zinn would say (the latter more for current events.) As for music, it can be one of two things-- completely sincere or completely insincere and manufactured. There really is no in between. You can't cash in on a craze and honestly say you are giving it your heart. Your intentions wouldn't be sincere.

I think Malik and I will be a good partnership. He'll remind me that I need to find some way to survive by what I do and I'll remind him that he is not just a business man. Before we sat down yesterday and had a talk, he was really focused on creating a phenomenon based on what was already popular. Likewise, I was floating with minimal direction besides a loose "marketing" plan based on documenting EVERYTHING. I convinced him that being true to your soul can be profitable and he convinced me that we don't have the time or assets to create art that doesn't at least pay for itself. Basically, we balance each other out.

His deadline to get his project up and running is May. My goal is to have all the pieces for my project recorded by the time I turn 28 (8/15.) Although I do not put a lot of stock in astrology, my Saturn return has started. By 30 I would like my life to change for the better artistically.

Before this, I was terrible slump musically. It probably lasted for about three years. I had no focus or direction. I wrote poetry/pros(e), circuit bent toys and performed harsh noise shows; but that was about all I did. Then about February or March I figured out what I needed to do. And it has been clear ever since. What it comes down to is trust. Primarily trusting others-- and trusting myself to do what is best for every one.

I leave you with this:

Play with your fucking heart, indeed.

(Little did I realize at the early 2am-ish I posted this Bill Hicks video--amongst others--on Malik's facebook, it was Hicks' birthday. He would have been 48.)


Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Narrator: II.

The Narrator says, "I am telling my story, but it is yours as well."

The Narrator studies culture as if it were a Rubik's Cube. The impossible problem no one can solve. S/he looks for answers to the cultural code in pop radio and 4/4 time. S/he finds them in the stories of first and second generations of American born immigrants. S/he says, "The answers are programmed into your helix and curves. Deoxyribonucleic acid. A message from your ancestors in a language of chemicals."

The Narrator is stuck and can't leave. More accurately, The Narrator refuses to leave. It is the same song, played in infinitum. S/he says, "I wrote this message to you, but it was written for me from the very beginning. I just didn't know at the time. . ."

The Narrator is secretly and hopelessly wistful, although the common observer would never know.