Saturday, October 27, 2007


I feel kind of like a dick for not teaching myself guitar early.

Today I started practicing some chords and basic chord progressions (Cmaj, Dmin, Gmaj, Cmaj) and of course it's a bit hard at first, but I feel like I am learning it faster than I thought. I've had a guitar since 2001 and granted it wasn't the best guitar, but it was sufficient to learn on.

I got it because at the time all my best friends were in bands and doing cool guitar solos in my face. And in retrospect, it brings me back to a point I realized a few months ago when I decided to make music my "thing." While great art will always be great art, it's only as good as long as you're looking at it. Of course great art can inspire and move people but, it's not as, I guess you can say, engrossing as music is. No one thinks of the gallery they saw last week while doing dishes. No one makes love staring at the Sistine Chapel on their ceiling. No one exercises to this week's comic books. And by no means am I down playing art. It's still very important to me but the point I want to make is, that I've come to realize I want something more interactive. Something more involving and something can permeate into every aspect of life.

The reason I thought guitar playing was so cool was because it was an audio and visual representation of skill. Not only that, it was a outlet for style and personality. How you played, what you look like when you played and what you played said so much about the guitarist. At one point or another, we dream about become rockstars but we never really break down why it's such an attractive dream. Great guitar playing is not just a measure of skill. It's an indication of personality.

I've never really thought about the guitar for the last 6 years because I never really thought of who I want to be. I don't want to be the next great guitar player. I don't want to be voted the coolest looking guitar player. I just want to say "I play guitar." The statement alone says a lot. It's not an easy instrument and in itself there's so many styles to play. Any one style can say volumes about you. But like a simple statement, visual art itself is taken at face value (in some way). You see someone's art and that says so much about them. It doesn't reveal the whole story about the person. There's no liner notes to it. You can't see how it was made or what it really says.

But watching someone play guitar... THAT'S the whole story.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

[photos] Pics from Hiro Ballroom (+Cool Kids!) 9.13.07



[credit cards] TRUUUUUUE STOOOORY!

Shout Out Out Out Out - Forever Indebted

You know they got me,
More than I got out
And every month I think I've finally hit the bottom
But they keep growing
And fucking growing
And every month I get in deeper
With my knowing.
Well, God damn!
How did this happen?
It's not like I spend all my time spending, spending.
Well, God damn!
If I could get out,
Somehow I know I'd just go right back in.

All my friends
They're in the same boat
They just can't get out
But they keep working every day as if there's hope
And that's it
That's how we're living
And to boot, we're still made to feel guilty
Well, God damn!
How did this happen?
It's not like we spend all our time spending, spending.
Well, God damn!
If we could get out,
Somehow I know we'd just go right back in.

They say we have to learn to compromise
Stay inside our means and we'll all be fine but
We're surrounded by their credit lines
And their payment plans with interest piled up high and
Why do you think they fucking advertise?
It's cause we'll make them rich
While they ruin our lives and
Like Jaycie Jayce in a conga line
I'm in an awkward place and I'm out of time.
And they only say you have to compromise
Once in you're in too deep
And they own your life and
It's no wonder that we're all stressed out
When paying bills is always on our mind and
They say we have to learn to compromise
Stay inside our means and we'll all be fine but
We're surrounded by their credit lines
And their payment plans with interest piled up high and
Why do you think they fucking advertise?
It's cause we'll make them rich
While they ruin our lives and
Like Jaycie Jayce in a conga line
I'm in an awkward place and I'm out of time.


I thought I'd never be the guy in debt. NEVER. Never liked credit cards and now I am a victim to my own urges to charge. The sad thing is, my mom detailed how much I have as my own pocket money and gas and it's ALMOST $1k a month. Just for me. And I still manage to somehow over spend. And I have no clue how it always happens. Actually, before my vacation, I was fine. Then I went a little charge happy for the past 3 months. I usually had a few hundred saved up a month and I would blow it all once I get my monthly bonus.

In a way, it's like the kettle calling the pot black (is that the right expression?) My mother used to be the queen of overspending but now she's finally learned her own ways. I've only been making some real money for about a year and I guess in a way, tapping into my hereditary spending habits is not a good sign. But, I know she's giving me the hour long lectures about saving because she doesn't want me to be like her when I grow up. But like the song states, you just can't help and you can't get out.

So, one of two things need to happen: I either need to stop spending (which, after I get my hard drive for my laptop and maybe a guitar/camera for my b-day next month, that's about it) or make even MORE money so I can still be reckless and retarded. But, I tell you what, I am going to try and do both! More money, less spending!

Let's go!

(Oh, asides from the debt we are paying off, I am actually even with paying everything off. So provided I just spend money like a normal person, I will be fine well before the year is over and that god forsaken American Express card will have a big fat zero for a balance!)

[photos] MisShapes 07/27/07 Leigh Lazark's B-Day!

A lot of oddballs there that night or maybe we just got there late. Enjoy all the ridiculous people.

New DJ set from Daft Punk for Louis Vuitton?

Guy-Manuel, Pharrell, Thomas

click here and view woman's Spring-Summer 2008 to see the ugly new line from Vuitton but more importantly to hear a new set from Daft Punk!
Here is the MP3 if anyone wants it. Oh... and is that RATATAT in there? :)

This post is for those of us still alive

I am going to say that as short as it was, Portal may have been one of the best games I've ever played.
If you've never heard of it or barely care about video games, at least look at the game's trailer and just see how genius this game is.

The real reason this game is such a gem is how it decides to portray it's narrative. And, for those of us who have beat the game, can we all agree that on a somewhat serious tone, the end song was so beautiful? For those of you who want to relive the ending again, here is the MP3.

I absolutely love the path some games are taking lately. Games like this play out like very impressive short films. There are so many small details in this game that are littered all over. If you go out of your way to search for them, you can see just how endearing this short game is. The sort of effort put into it's presentation was great. The game almost played out like a Twilight Zone episode with a touch of Pixar sweetness near the end.

Because of technology, games can really fulfill the designers' dreams of creating very unique and lasting experiences for gamers. I think Portal stands as a good example of how a little stroke of (borrowed) genius and some well thought out story mechanics can really present a truly remarkable experience for anyone. Not just hard core gamers.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

DJing feels euphoric!


So, I finally got a mixer (a Behringer DJX700) and since one of my turntables needs to have it's tonearm checked and re-wired, I am spinning on one turntable and playing MP3s through my first channel via my laptop. And since I don't have Serato, I have a few Ed Banger records and a bunch of these electronic records (Adam Freeland and other assorted shit like Republica's "Ready To Go") so I've been mixing electronic music for the past hour.

And even though it's far from my favorite genre, lord almighty it feels AWESOME to mix live. Even better that I am spinning things on a record I never heard (3 LP version of Adam Freeland's "Tectonics") and mixing it with mp3s out of my iTunes library on the fly. Beat matching is not THAT hard. Although getting an mp3 to try and play in time with a record is kind of tough since there's a small bit of latency when you unpause. (Matching a record to an mp3 playing is a lot easier than I imagined.)

Cueing records isn't so hard too and it's fun bobbing around and trying to make beats match. I am doing things in phasing. Like when I decided to learn scratching. I'd learn one technique and use only that throughout a few songs. Then the next day, learn a new one and mix them up. I am doing that with mixing too. I am simply just trying to fade songs together and do simple beat matching in my head. Nothing fancy. It's going to be a lot harder to try and find tracks to beat match with on the fly, but the more I read up on DJing and the more I experiment, I know I'll get it going.

But for now, I FEEL SO AWESOME.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Mo' Money Mo' Money Mo' Money: Automotive Edition!

Alas, the Fjord Centaur has seen it's last ride. To it's credit, it was last seen delivering me to my brand new (used!) pair of Technics 1200s! Dear Centaur, you have served me well, believe that! As my first car, I loved you so. For a year straight, I got into one minor fender bender, one parking ticket and no speeding tickets. You'll be missed!

In your place, shall be a Dodge Intrepid. Known as a car that actually has serviced as police vehicle in some states, I can say, I am not only kicking ass on the road, I am kicking ass like a crime fighter. As corny as this may sound, the fact that this car is so fast, has such great acceleration and drives so smooth, everything else feels so much smoother and faster. I know, it sounds corny, but after driving a car that made driving from 0 to 30 feel like I was wasting a 1/4 of a tank of gas to a car that can do it like it automatically rolls down its windows, it feels great.

Taking this car of course means spending more money that I don't have, but, I feel a lot better on the roads. I feel like I am driving something that is not pushing itself on the highway driving 80mph and switching lanes. Granted I rarely drive like a speeding asshole on the road, I just hope that driving a vehicle better suiting for such actions will not lead me to do so. The most dangerous/stupid thing I do when I drive is speed on straight aways but ONLY if other people are. I am never the fastest person on the road. I've driven an entire year not getting a speeding ticket and I'd like to keep it that way forever.

But this new car comes with new things: 1) New 90 day workout and health challenge with my brother with the conclusion the day after my 23rd birthday. 2) New full on hobby and hopeful side job: DJing. After a few more purchases, I'll have all I'll ever need to DJ anywhere, any time with an infinite library to choose from. Of course, that also means being broke until that all happens. That also means working over time on other things. Sacrifices for future glory really. 3) There's other things on the horizon too: at least three different music projects, a full art book done with fellow artists and friends and hopefully some clothing / accessory design further down the road.

At this point, I really have the rest of 2007 planned out. It's just time to get the nose to the grindstone and take over the future. For now, I need to sleeeep.

My Beautiful and Random Life: LAUGH and PEACE! Edition

While I did anticipate my weekend leading into the beginning of this week being something no short of "the beginning of something new and exciting," it was anything but. More on that in the future.

I do want to touch on something great: The Internet. Because of it, I've managed to touch base with some interesting people. From rappers that worked with Jay-Z and m-flo to journalists who have hung out with some of the coolest people in the video game industry. But recently, I've actually been talking to the creative mind/s behind Laugh And Peace.

Some of you may know them from their work on Vib Ribbon, an obscure title which was one of the few notable titles, among Parappa the Rapper to usher in the now popular "rhythm game" genre. Asides from the games innovative gameplay which centered entirely around the music, the game featured a very quirky Japanese pop soundtrack, of course provided by Laugh and Peace.

Back in 2005 I made a small music project named HYPERCOLOR, named after the early 90s color changing t-shirts of the same name. It was just random electronic music I made for school. Earlier in 2007, I wanted to change the name for a future Japanese pop inspired music project. For that, I changed all my influences on the page to reflect my favorite Japanese musicians. One of them being Laugh and Peace.

A few weeks ago, they sent me a message to ask if they can send a friend request and to thank me for being inspired by them. I immediately accepted and since then we've been talking about equipment, remixes, my future turntable purchases, Masaya Matsuura's old band PSY-S and other awesome topics. Earlier today I was shown this video:

Rei Harakami - Nijizou (Rainbow Elephant)

The guy (I am not sure which one of the two I am speaking to) said they were influenced by this guy and to really take note of him because he does all his music with a very old keyboard from 1994. He wanted to make a point to me that the equipment so much doesn't matter. It's the idea and creativity of the artist that is really worth note.

The video is something I really appreciate as far as whatever Japanese media I tend to enjoy. The simple and quirky visuals, the tie in between music and images and the way the music is composed. He really hit the mark and I am excited to see more from Rei Harakami.

For what it's worth, I seem to make amazing connections with people without trying. I mean, is it pure coincidence that a year before I decided I want to vacation in Japan next year, I not only am seriously (and I mean seriously!) starting up in music and I all of a sudden get to talk to one of my major influences? My life has always been surprisingly random and more so surprisingly... well, surprising! I am definitely going to try and see how this is going to fit in my life. I believe in fate, luck and karma more than any other force in the universe so I feel as though I am meant to make the best of this and see where it goes. As of late, things have been going less than perfect, but, I always find a way to turn things around with the most amazing luck and timing.

As far as I see it, things can only get better!