Here's Your Goddamn Context

First of all, this isn’t a “Kiss and Tell.” It’s some context. Some context is all that is available because when I’m working on the record, mostly its simply ideas that are executed. Mid-sleep ideas. Ideas from train rides. Ideas that don’t make sense but are worth a try. Little man in a top hat telling you what to do.

Artistic planning is quite minimal for me. Bigger themes are present, but mostly it’s work-work-work until I’m dead tired of the project. Then done. The “big themes” that are utilized here came from BDW and Ritchie-Scratchy: Battle of good vs. evil and passing the baton, respectively.

Mostly though, I like sounds. I like juxtaposition. And, mostly, I have this desire to make shit (as some have noticed). I couldn’t make a poppy song to save my hide. But, periodically, I have to unload the sounds and ideas in my head and it becomes a record (gotta reduce your backlog sometimes). This one is called Free Milk Seminar. Why is it called Free Milk Seminar? Because, sometime ten years ago I said that phrase on a tape as what could be a good album name. And, I was right.

Bored yet?

Anyway, some context. This is a good exercise (mostly to demonstrate that this gibberish is powerfully meaningful or without meaning in entirety – that still remains a secret). But, it helps the post-record depression nonetheless.

.01 - So, Free Milk opens with a track called “Butterflies.”

Is it obvious what this is about? Maybe. ‘Butterflies’ refers to both the fluttering synthesizer sound(s) that I present and to the Bren -- a butterfly fully emerging from a cocoon.

The sample layers are: two (three?) synthesizer tracks, a recording of Bren in her class among her peers, Bren and I playing drums (or dropping stuff and humming into a snare drum), and assorted other snippets, recordings, and sounds (backlog that fits and some deliberate insidery stuff).

It’s the set-up track. I’ve always favored the set-up track to an album, often I bookend an album with these contextual statements. Setting up the tone, space, and notions have been the way I’ve provided context. If the listener couldn’t get through the set-up, then the albums probably not for them. I guess I’ve been arrogant.

.02 - “Three Wise Men” is based purely on the demented ramblings of these three black interpreters of the bible. I was clicking around the TeeVee one night and through the beauty of public access TeeVee, I found these guys. They were satisfyingly riffing on the messages in the bible. Dressed in some sort of hocus-pocus bible meets medieval faire. Mostly they riff on how the bible foretells of Jesus coming back as a “big, giant, black man!” Just on and on without mercy. I loved it. I taped it. I knew that I had to build a record around them. Without these guys, this album would have never begun when it did.

Classic dialog, man. I started there and built everything else around the sermon. Including the noodling (hnad fishing) and such. So, after hours of fiddling and recasting, this so-called song emerged. G-Love loop, DPEP loop, more TeeVee madness, Hillary Clinton, and more. Then one day, I got out the guitar out and played along a few times. And, I happened to be recording (hurray for me). If I do say so, it’s interesting. Oh and the prog synths @ 4:30 came to me in the middle of the night. I've always wanted to do the Gary Numan prog synth thing. I almost forgot about adding ‘em. It’s buried, but one can just make ‘em out.

“Three Wise Men” was originally going to be the entire album. About 20-25 minutes of this shit. But, even I couldn’t take that.

.03 - “Mexican Jelly” (no meaning of title except I thought of the words "Mexican" and "Jelly" around the same time). Simply a presentation vehicle for a found archive recording from a tKoL rehearsal session; looped and recast. What’s best is most artists would never use such a track given that it is mostly ambient noise. I EQ’d it to make it work this well, but it’s not easy to the ears at all.

I love that groove and the tempo changes though. It’s one of those times where Rich and I were very locked and just jammed easily. Most cuts are fairly clean. The guitar work is splendid. The drumming smooth. Simple as that.

Obviously, we recorded so many hours of our rehearsals for a reason: future gifting. This could have never been heard again.

.04 - Same thing with “Judge Stolen.” Old (short-lived) Judge Brennan re-mixes. Simply, recast with a 2007 spin. Remixes of sounds, shapes, and snippets. I did add several layers and feelings, in particular, the guitar bridge. Yes, “Satan is our enemy.” Good vs. evil. Second track with religious subtext. Remember, everything happens for a reason…they say. Dylan Kennett (makes an appearance), Velvet Lounge improv show returns.

These two recasts deliberately follow “Three Wise Men” because the new blends with the old to complete my recollection. Some of these sounds are so precious to me; I just don’t want them lost.

Brennan, fart jokes, sex sounds. Societal commentary. Farce and not. That's how you round out a track: fart jokes and sex sounds.

.05 - “Homer Jones.” Several things: Snippet (short loop) of song form Brennan’s kid album (like 8 seconds worth), add drum loop, add other instruments, add Joe fucking “Hit Man” Biden interview. Kids awwwing, etc. Funny, little, hooky track. Add some some old poetry from airport observation (return of “I can see through knots.”
“Here lies Homer Jones; he likes xylophones.”

.06 - “Stupid Corporate Bullshit.” So, when you’re bored in your office job and you’re on a conference call with participants 1,000 miles away what do you do? You realize it’s such bullshit that you record it because nobody would ever believe the Dilbert-esque bullshit that people try to pass off as not only serious, but fucking important. Like genius and important.

Add some lonesome guitar fiddling(s) and it becomes a juxtaposition between what we HAVE to do and what we WANT to do. The mind numbing vs. the mind-expanding. Only one can win. “Cost savings” by the way are what cost me my stupid corporate bullshit job. But, my mind is free.

This shit gets no more than three minutes. Asinine.

.07 - “Mister Weems” has already been classified an “instant classic.” Bren’s breakout song. The audio is from a video Bren and I made based on a story by Mark Reed. I’ll edit and post the video someday soon (in fact, I could make a career editing Bren/Ty video). “Let it Rain” was the phrase we popularized (screamed at the TeeVee) from t2007 he Super Bowl (tm). That phrase was shouted throughout the first half and during Prince’s amazing halftime show.

But, in this video we were really hammin’ it up – shamelessly. Thus, Bren’s breakout.

Why the Who “Eyesight to the Blind”? Shit. That’s the most obvious answer on the record. I pitched it back because Daltry’s vocals are so whiney. We’ve got soul in the kingdom. She brings eyesight to the blind. Duh! Her daddy gave her magic.

Just added some ornamentation to the track and was done.

Oh, and I got this this morning:

Finally someone is bringing the plight of Mr. Weems and his trip "down town" to people's attention:

On Saturday, March 17, 2007 at 1:22 am, TFC Koch stopped a green Ford Probe for an equipment violation on Rt. 246 in Lexington Park. TFC Koch observed the driver, Clarnzett P. Weems, 25, of Lusby, throw something out the passenger window. During the course of the traffic stop, a check of Mr. Weems' driver's license revealed his driving privileges are suspended in Maryland. Mr. Weems was arrested for possession of a CDS smoking device and driving on a suspended license. He was transported to the St. Mary's County
Detention Center pending a bond review."


See. It all makes sense.

.08 - “Freak Helly Smellish Zone” or whatever it’s called is very much a classic tKoL rehearsal tape. Priceless banter, stupidity, insider stories, and good playing. “We don’t use chords…. We use hieroglyphs.” I mean, what the fuck? That all just shat out of our asses while tape rolled. Plus, there’s some beautiful performance interactions and recognition. It’s a swell improv session.

Then I played wah-wah guitar along. I hope this didn’t ruin it. But, I was trying to express my gratitude (evil) of the great recording (good). “This is how we got to this part!” Genius.

I don’t know where the 9:36 rock-out shit came from. But, I’ve always been a closet rock hag.

.09 - “Rain’s Blues” is just an expansion of a rainy day poem set to guitar and thunder. Couldn’t stand my vocals so I distorted it. I do like the second guitar sound and execution though. Mostly one-hit/one-take shit. "I wonder if I can make a blues song?"

Drain all the water
Get your self a fire extinguisher
Call the paramedics
‘Cuz I need my stomach pumped

Running down under the ground
Where it’s still last season
Consumed by filthy-filth consumption

Yes, I do see the elephants in the clouds
It’s a necessary part of doing business

Hilarity, hilarity
Hilarity on impact
Thank you voodoo Jesus

We have the power to veto our urges
And then veto our vetoes

From pasty shins
Bruise leftovers
Plunging necklines
Goose bumps

It’s still winter…in the shade
It’s winter in the shade

“I got it”

So, there you have it. I’m glad to be able to make this make sense to you.



So, historically I've never cared to share any context to an art project. Photo, design, music...it didn't matter. Why? Art diva. That's why. If you couldn't understand the hidden, true, or philosophical meanings, then that's not my fault.

Well, that's immature thinking. And after some backing and forting with DaveWave, I've decided to give something a try. I'm going to try to provide a contextual sketch to Free Milk Seminar. I do not know if it will be complete (enough) or even make more sense than the album, but I can at least try to provide a sense as to purpose and to what I hear.

Stay tuned. I'll start later today.

Oh, and don't count on this exercise to move backwards through history. It's not like I'm going to try to unlock the secrets of One Fine Ride. No way.


Finishing the Record

So, this is how you know your album's done: you're already over it. Tired of it and anything else is a negative return on your investment.

Is it perfect? Nope. Nothing ever is (at least at this budget). It is what it is.

But, what Free Milk Seminar is is the last installment of the Maryland Trilogy (the Old Line State Trilogy). What this means is the paradigm shifts again. These three served dual purposes (accomplished) and is now behind us all. Thanks for hanging in there, all, through TTBOTT and through The M.O.D. too.

There are some solid hints about the shift in paradigm contained within Free Milk. One big one is: guitar. I really enjoyed playing the guitar on this one and hope that I can use that as the basis for future projects. So, whatever. I'm probably done for the year.

Enjoy and let me know if it makes any sense to you.

Mixed for headphones and whatnot.

I Heart Dennis

Oh, and you all ask "why" with regard to my supporting Dennis Kucinich.

Clinton? O'Baughma? Richardson [<-- he's the fat one]? Nope!

Two reasons for Dennis:

  1. Filed impeachment papers on Cheney.
  2. [click to the E]

Suckers, All of you! Presidential for certain.

Free Milk Seminar



Avast Ye Matey

So, the Rolling Stone 40th anniversary issue just came out. I just got it because, yep, I get Rolling Stone (some "free" subscription because of some interwebs thing).

This is part one of three or four anniversary issues, I believe.

Two things:

1) There are 20 feature interviews in this issue. Interviews with the most significant people from the music, film, and political worlds. Everyone from Jimmy Carter to Paul McCartney; Patti Smith to Tom Wolfe. Ringo Starr's in it (he was a The Beatles remember?).

What's striking about the 20, given how popular entertainment has shaped up since 1967, all 20 are white. Striking! No black people. Sure, James Brown and Jimi Hendrix are dead. Nobody likes Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton. But, gee, Chuck D or Sly Stone were, what, busy? Michael Jordan? What about Cornell West? Brock O'Baughma? Oprah? Muhammad Ali? It's Rolling Stone for heaven sake, how about Michael Jackson? WTF? The Minister Louis Farrakhan. Somebody. Halle Berry for christ sake.

Maybe the next issue will be the famous blacks (second class again). Followed by the most famous pets or some shit.

2) Speaking of the interviews. I was reading the Keith Richards interview and the kid looks over my shoulder and says, "That man is smoking! Is he a pirate?"

Yes, actually. Keith Richards is a pirate. What else could I say?


Let's Play A Game!

Hey kids, let's play: Who's a Liar?

OK, who's a liar? Off the top of my head:

Dicky Cheney
Alberto Gonzalez
Donny Rumsfeld
Condi Rice
Pauly Wolfowitz
Karl MC Rove
George, HW, Laura, Barbara, Neil, and all the rest of the Bush Clan
(Jenna and Barbara too)
Davy Addington
Andy Card
Harry Meiers
John Yoo
Irv Libby (convicted)
Monica Goodling
Walnuts McCain
Karen Hughes
Tony Snow (pants on fire)
Scott McClennan
Ari Fleischer
Hammer DeLay
Colin Powell
Karl Christian Rove
Karl Rove


Every now and then I confidently say, "trust me."

That's what my brain whispered today. It happened while I was testing web code for FMS.

It happened like this: Oh shit!

Yes, that's correct: Oh shit! I can do this. I can do...that. Oh shit!

The CREATIVE PROCESS isn't something you wrestle like snakes or alligators. You'll lose every time. The CREATIVE PROCESS is something you feed fine gourmet foods. It's something you bribe. It's something you love while it beats your ass for absolutely no reason at all (must have been something you did though).

The CREATIVE PROCESS is something you sit back and watch like a movie. You're a spectator; a gofer at best. At worst, it's bitch. Feed it. Nurture it. Respect it. Fear it. Get it a Pepsi.

Gypsies, we are. Gypsies grifting along the turnpikes of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Gotta go.


Track Four

Track # 4, The Shepherd (2:00), just got fired and sent home.

Playlist Today

01 Butterflies 3:33
02 Three Wise Men 8:00
03 Mexican Jelly 3:52
04 Judge Stolen 5:08
05 Homer Jones 1:15
06 Mister Weems 4:01
07 Corporation 3:00
09 Rain's Blues 3:23

~ 42:22

Continued Sympathy

"The car stereo is a harsh critic. Consider your audience. If God wanted me to listen to your music in the car he'd invent a helmet that was part headphone and then line the roads with fluffy pillows and cupcake stands."

A Sympathetic Story

"There was a guy at my last job, basically just out of college. He gave me a video he made to watch that he made for a class. I watched it once, wasn't very good (I mean, was very bad), couldn't really hear most of the poorly recorded dialog. I talked to him about it, he explained it a little, and I watched the entire painful 90 minutes again, with headphones, to see what I missed. Still horrible. But I gave it the best chance I could.

Then I give him the MTNOT CD, thinking maybe he'd appreciate it. I ask, "Do you have some good headphones at home?" "Oh, sure!" he says. Then I remind him again when I give it to him "make sure to use headphones - half of the stuff is too subtle to hear otherwise, and the thing with the tones is just noise without them." He assures me he'll use headphones. Then a few days later he's talking about it and says "I think I know what you were trying to do, but I don't think it quite worked." I said, "What did you think about the Blue Velvet track?" (knowing that is one of his favorite movies). He says, "Which one was that?" I say "Did you use headphones?" He says, "No, I listened in the car on the way home from work.

The car. please."



The Car?

Maybe that's the problem. The car. Yes. I have a kickin' (stock) system in the old Plymouth Reliant. Yes, it's quiet enough. But, it's the car.

Tripgrass was never meant for the car.

Guh! What's my problem?

I listened to some of the tracks that so disgusted me in the car on proper headphones and all is fine (still I killed most of the EQ and will start over), but famously, "headphones are good a thing.'

Guh! What's my problem?

I offer no guarantees for listening satisfaction outside of a proper headphone environment. "Proper" meaning, those shitty iPod "buds" do not come close in any way to a decent listening environment. If your 'phones cost less than a Benji, they probably suck. Maybe I'll have people document that they have good headphones prior to giving them the record. After all, the nuances are in there for a reason.

Damn It All

So, we've all been there. The mix. The EQ.

Just when you think you have it going well, you burn off a copy of your album-in-progress and play it straight through, say, in the car. And it sucks! Terrible. Of course part of the "sucks" and "terrible" is just getting sick of the project (which means it's almost done).

I've been mixing a long time, but this was some rookie-ass atrocious shit (maybe a bit harsh, but I wasn't pleased).

Re-mixing starts tomorrow. Now, it's just a never ending venture.

Like I said, we've all been there. And, thank goodness for sequential back-ups.

Oh Ray....


Stevie Wonder
Al Green


Retro Test Drive

I didn't know the kids were still doing this. I knew it came back in NY last year, but it's still around? I remember this look from the early 80s.


Chapter Break

[Sync here]



So, I'm listening to Kevin Federline's "Crazy" and damn if it's not the best track ever.

That's the kind of day I'm having.

A good day.







I want Yau-Man to adopt me.

Or, I want to adopt Yau-Man.

I Looked Into His Heart....

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALBERTO R. GONZALES: I'm here today to do my part to ensure that all facts about this matter are brought to light. These are not the actions of someone with something to hide.


GONZALES: No, sir, I don't remember where that conversation took place.

GONZALES: Senator, I have no recollection of knowing when that occurred.

GONZALES: Senator, let me get back with you with the most accurate information.

GONZALES: Senator, I've already said that I misspoke. It was my mistake.

GONZALES: Senator, I didn't say that I was always prepared. I said I prepared for every hearing.

GONZALES: Senator, I've already conceded that I misspoke at that press conference. There was nothing intentional.

GONZALES: Senator, we do take time to try to prepare for the press conference.

GONZALES: Senator, I don't want to quarrel with you.

GONZALES: Senator, I have no recollection about that, but I presume that that is true.

GONZALES: Senator, of course, I was involved in trying to understand...

GONZALES: Senator, I don't recall sending a follow-up, quite frankly.

GONZALES: Senator, I have to be -- I have to know in my heart that I can continue to be effective as the leader of this department.

GONZALES: Senator, I don't recall whether or not I made the decision that day.

GONZALES: Senator, can I see what you're reading from?

GONZALES: Senator, I don't know that.

GONZALES: Senator, it's hard for me to answer the first question.

GONZALES: Senator, I have searched my memory. I have no recollection of the meeting.

GONZALES: Senator, I can only testify as to what I recall. Believe me, I've searched my mind about this meeting

GONZALES: Senator, I don't think -- I don't know that a decision was made at that meeting.

GONZALES: Sir, I don't recall when the decision was made.

GONZALES: Senator, I recall sitting in a meeting.

GONZALES: Can I see his transcript?

GONZALES: I would like to see it.

GONZALES: Senator, I wasn't aware of this e-mail.

GONZALES: Sir, I don't recall the exact time frame.

GONZALES: Sir, I don't know if I would call it a plan.

GONZALES: Senator, it's difficult for me to reconcile the conversation.

GONZALES: Which idea, sir?

GONZALES: I do not recall. I thought your -- I'm sorry, I thought your question whether you recall the conversation -- I don't recall the conversation. I don't recall whether or not I was present. I suspect I probably was, but I don't recall.

GONZALES: OK. I'm aware now of what you're referring to.

GONZALES: Senator, I don't recall ever seeing these evaluations.

GONZALES: You should attack me.

GONZALES: I should have been more precise in my statements.

GONZALES: Senator, I don't recall specifically that statement.

GONZALES: Senator, not to my knowledge.

GONZALES: Sir, I'd have no way of knowing.

GONZALES: Senator, I don't recall whether he called or if there was a visit. It may have been a call.


At least he cleared up all the loose ends on this matter; ensured that all facts were brought to light. Some light was shed.

Power Through Georgetown: FMS

First complete round of FMS mix-outs are COMPLETE. That's right, amigos. COMPLETE.

In case you didn't figure this out; this is a major step. I now have ten mixed-out files. That leaves only three steps (aside from damn artwork) from done: Last touches; trimming, final mix-outs.

Sometimes you just have to power through Georgetown.

See? COMPLETE (and I'm not quite sick of it yet).

Gonzalez Day

This should be interesting....


Swing Voter

Oh yeah, 5-4 decision. Sammy Alito is the new Sandra Day.

Today's Big News

Golly, Ralph Nader was right! There's nothing to fear with regard to our Supreme Court. Remember, Albert Gore and George W. Bush are the exactly the same.

Ah, Ralphie.... Thanks!

Let's see: Today. Supreme Court - for the first time ever - upholds a ban on a specific type of abortion procedure, the so-called, ahem, partial-birth abortion. "Partial birth" being the brilliant frame-phrase devised to illicit specific visceral responses. You can visualize it, a screaming baby is partially delivered and the liberal physicians kill it (smothers it with a copy of the Constitution that was torn from the brave hands of David Addington, or something).

So, let's get started: What is the so-call partial birth procedure anyhow?
Partial-birth abortion (PBA) is a non-medical term used to refer to some late-term abortion procedures including intact dilation and extraction. IDX or Intact D&X is a surgical abortion wherein an intact fetus is removed from the womb via the cervix. The procedure may also be used to remove a deceased fetus (due to a miscarriage) that is developed enough to require dilation of the cervix for its extraction.

[read for yourself at Wiki]
Eewww, yucky, right? Well, yes. So was my appendectomy. But, I was allowed to have it. It was legal for the surgeons to cut me open and remove my appendix. I chose and waived liability to have that surgery. The IDX is generally used when necessary and generally to SAVE THE LIFE OF THE PREGNANT WOMAN. It's not a gee-dunno-if-I-want-a-baby kind of procedure. The choice here is typically to save a life. The procedure has a low rate of usage, representing 0.17% of all abortions. But, it has developed into the current focal point of the abortion debate (current until today, that is).

Well, here's the problem I have:
The "pro-life" advocates love IDX because they believe the procedure most clearly illustrates their contention that abortion is immoral. Critics consider the (IDX) procedure tantamount to infanticide, or murder, a position which many in the pro-life lobby extend to cover all abortions. [These are the same kooks that generally support the death penalty, paradoxically. Thou shall not kill...sometimes. Oh, and boob jobs and liposuction are perfectly fine.]

Many advocates, both for and against abortion rights, see the IDX issue as a central battleground in the wider abortion debate, representing an attempt to set a legal precedent so as to gradually erode access to all abortion methods.
OK, here's the slippery slope that bothers some overly thoughtful people at 3:00 a.m. The abortion precedent(s) sets into motion a legal and philosophical shortcuts toward picking apart what remains of our civil and Constitutional rights (the David Addington reference again).

If we outlaw a woman's choice over the types of life-saving procedures she can elect to purchase, for instance, when do we prohibit black men from owning firearms? When do we outlaw Asians from driving? When do we, let's see.... When do we prohibit welfare recipients form opening bank accounts? When do we make Christianity the official (and mandatory) religion of the USofA? Why not send the blacks back to Africa and the Jews to Israel? When does my phone dial directly through NSA's switchboard? When does a traffic stop become a cavity search? Why the hell am I taking my shoes off at the airport? I could go on.

I just wanted to thank old Ralph Nader for pointing out in 2000 that he was the best candidate to stem the permanent rule of the GOP. You know, since Gore was the same as Bush; since the Supreme Court was unimportant; and, since abortion was safe. These were his notions then.

Why is it that most of the anti-abortion bumper stickers I see are on the shabby vehicles of men? White men? And, I'm not going to defend my position other than to say that sometimes the abortion of a fetus is a necessary procedure that can save the life of the mother.

Don't like abortion? Don't have one. Don't outlaw appendectomies either.

Get me a mirror, I think I see a Libertarian.


My Boys - Mikey K. Update

So, I have my boys, right? Like we do. And, they're all over the world now, but my boys are always my boys. Forever and all that. Homies. You get it, right?

Here's a partial (and all are either geniuses or artists or both):
  • Rich (CA)
  • Dafe (FL)
  • Mac (CA)
  • Creed (CA)
  • Tim (Japan)
  • Mike (VA)
  • Saty (MD)
  • 'Varo (MD)
  • Edfu (MA)
OK. So Mike's (Kwiatkowski) been taking some pictures. Sorry, photographs, he's a photographer. Ain't nobody seen one in six years (I know I haven't seen shit). I assume they're great because I know Mike. He doesn't mess around (you should see his house) - ever! He's no chump love sucker.

So finally. FINALLY after years of prodding he throws up a site. Boom!

Duh! Take a look: [clicky, suckas!] All Mike; all perfect.

And, keep in mind four very important things:

  1. He develops and prints his own stuff. All film, people.
  2. Everything here looks 1000 times better in person.
  3. You may not be able to afford it.
  4. And, unlike me (who'll take a photo of anything), Mike's serious.
  5. Bonus: that image over there on the right? --> It's copyright Mike Kwiatkowski '07. No schnebbling!

Unemployment Diary - Chaperone

...more field trips.

dpep Note

uh, as usual, headphones are good a thing.

like, duh!

New Release Tuesday: dpep

"dpep" or "dp"-"ep."

[clicky, tricky]


Last Milk For A While

What's now locked:

Free Milk Seminar

A) The Upside 22:33
01 Butterflies 3:33
02 Three Wise Men 8:00
03 Mexican Jelly 3:52
04 The Shepherd 2:00
05 Judge Stolen 5:08
B) The Downside 21:49
06 Homer Jones 1:15
07 Mister Weems 4:01
08 Corporation 3:00
09 Freak Zone 10:00
10 Rain's Blues 3:23
The Total 44:22


Free Milk Seminar

I think I'm going to lock in Free Milk Seminar as this album's official title. The title is self-evident within the convoluted context of this particular set of recordings.

The Maryland Trilogy

The deal here is three albums, three "records" (literal records of time and place) of my post Tripgrass time in the mid-Atlantic. The Maryland Trilogy is a compilation of the Kingdom of Leisure experience (rehearsal recordings, live recordings, etc.), the short Judge Brennan period, and new attempts at sound exploration.

There have been complaints of "republicans on my albums," but it's a reflection of the time. I try to represent personal headspace in time and place.

The Bren becomes more of a presence, obviously.

And, I begin to reach out to new instruments and technologies.

I've set the first two tracks (in terms of time and the majority of mixing):

  1. Butterflies 3:33
  2. Three Wise Men 8:00
Next week, I'll finish trimming and time-setting, as above. Then it's the rest of the world of post.


Dave Wave Revision

R-Dub "On the Road" - April 13, 2007

What's fucked up about Central New York

"I lived in Central New York from 1990-94.

Every radio station, every store, and every restaurant I went into [this week] was
playing music from 1990-94. It got to the point of being ridiculous.
Another song from the early 90s would come on and I'd just be like No
Fucking Way.

In the past two days I have heard:
  • Gin Blossoms
  • Toad the Wet Sprocket
  • Dave Matthews Band
  • Spin Doctors
  • Counting Crows
  • Blues Traveler
  • C+C Music Factory
  • Marky Mark and the Fresh Bunch (or whatever)
  • Black Crows
Like I said, it was fucking ridiculous and bizarre."


[clicky, Rickey]

Musings on an Album - Trilogies

So what's the deal with the album?

Since Tuesday, I haven't really fiddled too much. Gotta let it breathe, you know. But, there is a deal.
The Record's Last LP Album (nonsensical draft title already replaced by nonsensical real title) is indeed the third and final movement of a particular trilogy:
take the branches off the trees
The Modicum of Decorum
Free Milk Seminar [in progress]*
* See Sounds for reference tracks

Trilogies... It's just a thing that I do. Others do it too. It's a matter of fitting all the loose ends and assorted pieces into space that makes sense rather than producing retardedly long records. In fact, I'm struggling to trim at least seven minutes off the current. Minutes! Seven! I guess all the loose ends and assorted pieces aren't fitting.

As far as this trilogy is concerned, this is the logical end piece. [see clicky]. Transition time. May or may not be last solo project. There is, however, the final album from the
tKoL Tripgrass Trilogy to complete. But, no hurry there. The tKoL Tripgrass Trilogy is comprised of, to date:
This is the New America
One Fine Ride
[to be released]**
** See Sounds for reference tracks

Rich may finish his
California Trilogy after the special project under construction at current (a humble cross-continent collaboration). The California Trilogy is comprised, to date, of:
cosa angeles
the floods of lexington pacheco
[to be released]***
*** See Otterfarm for reference tracks

So, yeah, post-production (or "post" in the biz ("biz" is lingo for "the business")) on the new album. Ah, post-production...sounds like it's almost done, right? Not close. Post can often take as much or more effort than principal recording. Oh, and art....

But, I have time. I mean Axl Rose's Chinese Democracy has taken forever. So, whatever.


Ask Ty...April 12

Q: So? Don Imus. What's your take?

- Alvaro, Dan & Saty

Ty: Good question and an even better observation.

Three things:

  1. We've (collectively) given Mr. Imus way too much power by making such a huge thing out this. Sure, and of course, what he said was...well, it was rude. It was silly and it was dumb. He should be made a bit uncomfortable about it, but by making it a proverbial "federal case" you give him and his words way too much significance.
  2. The backlash over this will immense. It is more of a first amendment power grab that is directly in line with our high authoritarianism times. Think about it for a minute - and, again, I do not apologize or condone what he said, but remember he was being paid huge big bucks for being a jerk and for flirting with verbal discomfort (I do this and you do it too) - where do we draw the line on who says what? It was stupid. It was ugly. It was rude. Was it hate? Nope. Was it racism? I think he's said far worse. Was it misogyny? No more than what's presented on much of talk radio, right? Or, on the TeeVee.
  3. And, here's our problem: more moral policing. If I have to see or hear Revs. Al or Jesse play this tired old card again, I don't know if I can stand it. Punishment enough would have been for the women's team and Mr. Imus to meet and for Mr. Imus to apologize and for him to purchase and attend Rutgers home games. Humanize the whole thing, not politicize it. Punishment enough would be for us to express a collective "so what?"
Likewise Mr. Imus' repeated and ever desperate apologies bum me out. I would have had much more respect if he had stuck with "it was a joke" rather than sell himself short with such weak and insincere apologies. Begging to keep your job is not an apology. If it was a joke, let it stand as a joke. What he did was rude and offensive. We should have thick enough skin to be able to withstand name calling (sticks and stones, right?). Again, too much power to idiocy is being ceded in this instance.

People. Let's not give up on logic. Let's not give up on what some people think is funny. And, given that, I will continue to be rude, dumb, stupid, and at time insensitive. I promise to poke fun at race, religion, country of origin, body type, hair, language, sex, gender, level of competence, and anything else I can think of. And, that's just looking at me. Just wait until I get around to harshing on you!

He behaved like an asshole. Big whoop. Let's not rewrite the constitution over it.

Just a guess.

- Ty

If I Could Write...

...I would similarly describe my existence:

"Baseball was something different to me now, just like fishing and summer music festivals. As with those other sterling examples of boredom and agony, beer had drawn everything into focus."

Unemployment Diary - And the Horse that Bucked Ya'

So, it's talking to recruiters and placement services day. Résumé editing and such. Funny, people who are always shopping for jobs or switching jobs probably have the best dang résumés, right? Us stable, time tested folk are horribly out of practice. I typed mine with carbon paper.

Action words. Unique qualifications. Ability to assess the scenario from 30,000 feet. Bleah! How 'bout, if you have interesting work for me - and let me do it - my services will be well worth the money spent. A bargain.

Most important: Ween "Live at Stubbs," Guns N' Roses "Use Your Illusion II," RHCP "One Hot Minute" (truly underrated brilliance, maybe their best album), and D'Angelo "Voodoo" helped me through the day. Big blessed ups.

Time for another call.

On Blogging



Gavin is Usually Right...

...and he nails this one.

[clicky, hickey]

Add: the sorry phrase, "no worries."

Remember though, all are fine if you are between 9 and 11 years old.


So Much For the Short Album

So, I spent most of today refining the album (that I'm working on).

I even cut out two whole tracks and cut one track by half.

Still. Still! I'm clocking in at 45:35. More to cut. Less is more.

I mean, who has that sort of attention span? I don't and I'm making the damn thing.

Here's a preliminary title and track listing:

The Record's Last LP Album
tKoL 2007
  1. Butterflies
  2. Three Wise Men
  3. Mexican Jelly
  4. The Shepherd
  5. Freak Smelly Hellish Zone
  6. Homer Jones
  7. Judge Stolen
  8. Corporation
  9. Mr. Weems Broke the Drums
  10. Rain's Blues
So, where are we? End of principle recording. Now, post-production, mix, master, etc.

Hey, we're in post! Milestone.


The kid turns five today.

I remember five. Far within most people's window of active memory. Let's see, swinging. Jungle gyms. Walking on milk crates. Singing songs about America. Making stuff. Kind of an art-at-all-times existence. Kimba the White Lion, The Three Stooges, and Speed Racer. Vietnam. I remember all that. We lived on Hoover near 68th.

The kid turns five today.

So, she'll remember this period. End of preschool. Beginning of kindergarten. Nationals baseball. Snow in April. Backyardigans. Iraq. Bush Jr. Kentlands.

Her party is on Saturday, but we had some gifts out this morning to surprise her; a Razor (tm) scooter and a Spongebob Squarepants (tm) Legos (tm) set. Yawn. "I might open them up after Zoom (tm)." So, now it starts. She's her own person at five, huh?

Good for her. Superman (tm) party? Sure. Invite the whole class? Sure. At My Gym (tm)? Sure. I remember four friends in the park and I was ass-happy about it too.

Let's see, when I turned five, my dad was 30. I'm eleven years older than that at 41. When my dad was 41, I was 16. When the kid is 16, I'll be 53. Imagine that.

I was five in 1970. Sixteen in, what, '81. That's funny. See, chapter outline for period reference. The kid will be 16 in 2018 (and I'll be 53).

I'm not trying to make any sense here, just putting stuff into context. Remember, in 1981, when I was all grow'd up, it was a different time. Reagan, The Police, the De Lorean, "prince" Charles and that goofy hick, Diana, got married, and Jerry Brown was the governor of California.

Roll it back to 1970 and the Concorde made its first flight. Four kids were shot by the National Guard at Kent State, the USA invaded Cambodia (sound familiar?), and Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium opened. Nixon. Yikes!

The kid turns five today.

Imagine that.


The Sweetness

1. Grindhouse: Yep. The absolute shit. The best concept piece in film that I believe I've ever seen. It totally works. Three hours and eleven minutes in the zone.

But, note that when you go to the opening matinée in the suburbs, it's just going to be you and four other guys (and by "guys" i mean "men") in the entire theater. Nobody's sitting close to anyone else either. But, these are the nerds (including yourself) who hoot, holler, clap, and pump fists at all the right moments. Quentin would be proud of himself (although I have no doubts he has little trouble with that).

"...a grand collage of drooling zombies, bounteous breasts, spurting blood and careering cars, a rambunctious and unapologetically disreputable entertainment as well as a comprehensive catalog of B-movie references. It's also recklessly joyous and deeply affectionate, a celebration not just of an all-but-lost approach to moviemaking but of the nearly lost experience of communal moviegoing."

- Salon
Best. Movie. Ever.

2. Apple Cares: So, I had a software problem. I was working on a track for Dickie Powell and noticed a glitch in one of my applications. This application worked as expected on one machine (G4 Powerbook) and worked unexpectedly on another (MacBook Black). Same version of the app, same directory paths, same indexing, etc. Different machines. I looked for solutions and attempted to remedy the problem myself for an hour before I decided to call AppleCare.

Yeah, extended warranties. I'm totally against, right? Sucker move, right? Usually, but, I got AppleCare on my new MacBook because when I break it, it's worth the $300 to have them remedy that situation. I guess. So I called and talked to a pleasant and enthusiastic young woman. Apparently, I had a "stumper." We worked the problem for nearly an hour and thought we had it remedied. We even hung up deciding we had it solved (when it's actually not solved - I'll call back sometime, but I have workarounds).

Nice kids, patient, caring, funny, friendly. Noted I knew my Macintosh and treated me accordingly. Worth every penny. Perhaps.

3. Coffee: This is a good cup of coffee.

4. Snow: Snow on the ground this morning. Yawn.

5. Banjo: Everybody wants a healthy watershed.



I broke my house.


Van Halen, Diver Down
Van Halen, Fair Warning
Slint, Spiderland
Aerosmith, Live Bootleg
Rolling Stones, Sticky Fingers
Arcade Fire, Neon Bible

These are the albums I listened to yesterday.

Grind the MFin' House

"At some point during the brainstorming/beer-bonging process by which Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino developed their multimillion-dollar ersatz-exploitation double feature, the boys finished off the super nachos, sparked up a spliff, and said "Dude, let's just motherfucking bring it."
- Nathan Lee, Village Voice

Grindhouse. Opens tomorrow.

And, get this, I'm going! Opening day! Friday! At Noon! Suckers! I might even go down to the Uptown giant-ass screen Theater in D.C.

And, the best part is I'm not inviting any of yous. I don't even want to hear about how you "have to work." You don't have to work. You want to work. Just like I want to go to see Tarantino and Rodriguez's Grindhouse.

Ha! Clicky!

Unemployment Diary - The Housekeeper

So, will this be awkward?

When the cleaning woman comes, where do I go? Do I just pretend they're not here and keep pecking away at the keyboard? Do I take a walk and go get some coffee? Do I hang out on the sofa in my boxers and watch Tyra? Do I make 'em coffee? Do I Help?

I have to hang out near the door so that when she comes in I don't scare the crap out of her by being down in my studio wearing headphones and dancing about.

Oh, I see they just arrived and went over to my neighbor's house. Next door. That's good. So, maybe when they come here I can go over there and just hang out in her house. I wonder if they have cable? I've never watched TeeVee over ther except for about five minutes of football (this in six years).

Ty: "Hi."
Rossy: "Hello, Mr. Ty."
Ty: "Uh...."
Rossy: "Yes?"
Ty: "I'm, uh, gonna go next door"
Maybe I'll clean before she comes - well, this is kind of funny since I just did some spot cleaning of the studio carpet (no, not bongwater, smartasses) and by the way spot cleaning is like trimming a mustache...hard to know where to stop. Mental note, by the way, studio (The Otis) should be a sans shoes environment.

Anyway, I think I'm going to take a walk when the cleaning people come.

Being unemployed is hard ass work.


Ask Ty...April 4

Q: Hey, Ty. Aren't you pissed? Aren't you bitter? Aren't you sad? Aren't you all Kuber-Ross and shit? I mean, you were dissed; tossed out like an old pizza box without regard for what becomes of you. Cast aside in the name of corporate profit and stockholder greed, what is your reaction?

- The guys down at the loading dock

Ty: Good question and an even better observation. And, much props to the Kübler-Ross reference. Big ups, yo!

My reaction? Relief. Reinvigoration. Peace. Awakening. Excitement. Those are my five stages.

Just a guess. - Ty

Unemployment Diary - Field Trip

A) So, I'm at a point where my kid's the oldest in the class. What that means is the moms of the new/young kids are either excited to go or feel obligated to go on field trips.

Me, I just have plenty of time.

So, today they had a field trip. School bus, downtown, with a class from another school, etc. A great trip. You could cut the excitement with a Wiffle ball bat.

But, I had to answer this question just one too many times: "So, what do you do?" Ah, DC... Where "What do you do" is as common a phrase as "bless you" is after a sneeze in Vatican City. What do I do? What don't I do?

"Nothing." I like to say "nothing" and see where the conversation goes. Could go philosophical, "...in the scheme of things, we individually do nothing; it's our collective efforts that count." Could go jokey, ""...and I'm not breathing either; told you I did nothing."

Then after a pause, the recast (because I must not have heard correctly or am retarded), "Where do you work?" "Nowhere." The kid pipes in on cue, "you work from home in your office with your computers and your cameras and your guitars and your pictures."

[Thanks, babe. Here's a fiver, go make yourself nutty on the candy. Pick a college, any college, and I'll pay for it. Her timing is excellent.]

"So, are you an ARTIST?!" College women and young moms must just LOVE the artists, especially in this god forsaken town. Lawyer? Yawn. Lobbyist? ZZZZZ? Work on "the hill?" Next.

"Artist?! I guess you could say that. But, here, I'm a dad."

B) I think I'm done with all the household stuff that I was going to do to keep busy for the summer. That took, what, two days? Maybe I can be that guy with "the garden." You know, the kook (like that wouldn't work). Yeah, gardening. Think more Zen than wildflower. OK, into the garden...

C) Did I mention I cleaned my guitar yesterday? My Mexicano Fendero with the Danitized pick-ups? New strings, shiny quick body. I'm Keith Fucking Richards now. Speaking of Keith Fucking Richards, I just read this yesterday: clicky, chaps! Gotta just love on the Keith Fucking Richards (in fact, listening to outro of "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" on Sticky Fingers right now - oh, just into "You Gotta Move). That guitar sound pretty good and plays like a big dog too.

D) Oh, holy shit, almost forgot. No coffee today. Last cup was yesterday morning. I've embarked on a 'quick-wean' (trademark of the middlespace corporation) of all unnecessary junk from the old temple. Plus, lots of liquids, balance of vitamins, low caloric intake, and simple mind/body exercises and I got your 41.5 years right here! No. I'm not in a cult nor am I going hungry. Yes, I will drink coffee again and alcohol too. It's just a spring clean for the May queen. Sleep, too, is brilliant.

E) Teas, my friends, is the path to the kingdom. And, the arts are the key to the castle.


Unemployment Diary - Paint

Today was:

Bribe garbage crew to take 20 bags of spring cleaning refuse (previous post references this blitz cleaning of yesterday).

Help garbage crew with bags ($250 for hauling crew to take stuff away, $5 to assist garbage crew).

Child to school.

Drop off dry cleaning and shirts at laundry.

Pick up paint, sanding block, brush, high quality paint and AAA batteries for the child's LeapPad (tm).

Sand, steel wool, brush, paint newly rebuilt back railing.

Set up appointment for iron/fence specialists to come and give estimate for front railing (to Kentlands specifications, of course).

Install batteries in said LeapPad (tm).

Do load of laundry.


Pump The Roots "Prenology" discover left speaker blown (15+ year old Boston Acoustics). Dammit! But, it sounds pretty good with the thumpin' bass.

Oh, hello, guitar! Hello camera. Hello creativity.

Note Found in Inbox 2

"Once the kingdom of leisure and hospitality jobs, the
Orlando area's economy has become far more diversified
and high-paying over the last five years, new figures
on job growth show."

[sound of barfing in mouth]

Note Found in Inbox

"Ty would find many peers of his relaxed mindset in
Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, which is dubbed
the “kingdom of leisure.” When you fly into that city,
as a joke goes, you can hear the clink of mahjong
tiles over the aircraft cabin’s sound system. Many
locals have long been addicted to that traditional
Chinese game of leisure. When a foreign visitor throws
himself into the daily life of this inland city, he
may feel the heavy presence of the tea culture."


Unemployment Diary - People

So, today I did some very hard work. Let's just sum it up in two words: A) Basement,
B) Attic. Bonus word: "C" is for complete (for all you other homeowner chumps).

Now my studio space is in good shape again and I can make music and do photography in those spare moments that I'm not actively searching for gainful employment. Hold on, I just laughed so hard I'm having a snot issue. Where was I, oh yeah, gainful employment (reaches for tissue again).

Anyway, gave me time to think today. People are funny. Responses to my quick departure were met in one of five ways (I've categorized them for you):

  1. Thank God: "God's will." The God people are convinced that everything happens according to some divine plan and surprises are never surprises because God never improvises on His script. Can I have a copy of said "script?" I may have some notes for ya, old pal. Some minor edits. The God squad pray for you. And, they ask/make you pray with them. Usually, I immediately break into "tongues."
  2. The Optimists. "You'll land on your feet," "Think of this as an 'opportunity'," and "It was probably for the best." For the best? Shit, money's for the best. I don't need optimism, I need money. Optimism doesn't pay my mortgage. Optimists email you their "contacts" (at the elevator repair company and the shoe shine cart, thanks guys).
  3. Aren't You Forgetting Someone? These people hate to see you go because their lives will now suck at work. The gossiping, the mischief, the inside joking. Now, they need new playmates (who won't rat 'em out to HR, that is). Their initial pre-thought reaction goes like, "What am I going to do now?" Er, now you're going to send your children to college, moneybags. My friends here buy lunch.
  4. Shocked Into Silence: These kind dears stop by the office, take one step in and freeze. Tears often well, but there isn't a word they can say. Just stare too long and too earnest into your eyes. Mostly they fear if it could happen to you, it surely could happen to them. The SIS team are dear, sweet, and scared for their lives. SIS-ers leave greeting cards.
  5. High-Fucking-Five: No work, no schedules, no bathing. The HFFs know that your life is suddenly free and happy. No more teachers, no more books.... HFF-ers come by and laugh, hug, dance and high five you because they were just hoping it could be them. To them, you somehow lucked out by getting laid-off. HFFs buy drinks.

Actually, everyone was quite sweet. People can be viciously nice when they need to be. I love 'em all and miss 'em all already. Send money (seriously, I'm broke! I spent my last few bucks on a new 9600 baud modem).

Unemployment Diary - 8:17


Wake up. Traffic and weather on the eights.

Feed and entertain child (Zoom on PBS). Yogurt and "soft bagel" today. Juice.

Supervise dressing of child. Good work, sweetie.

Coffee. Shower. Dress self.

Grab all child-related equipment for Monday morning load-in at school.

Drive to school. Listen to Backyardigans while the child watches Backyardigans on iPod.

Drop off child. Load cubby. Goofy good-byes to the class.

Head to door.

8:17 a.m. Monday, April 2, 2007

Normally, I'd walk to work. You know that thing we all complain is so stupid but without it we'd have one less (huge) pillar of self-esteem to rely upon. You know, work, that thing that we do that they give you money for. Money you use to pay bills, pay for shelter, food, and clothing. Money. Damn, my car uses premium at $300/gallon. Money. The kid's birthday is in 8 days. Oh, everything.

It was 8:17 and I had only a shell of a plan. But, it didn't include seeing the people I relied upon for daily hijinx, entertainment, and fulfillment (intellectual and emotional).

Fuck it. Gotta rock.


April Fools - Suckers!

Happy April Fools Day to all you gullible rubes who bought the "I Got Laid-Off" routine. I appreciate your sweet notes and concerned calls.

Sorry, but alls I can say is: gotcha suckers!

Oh, wait. Joke's on me...better get to sleep.

Anyway, "The Unemployment Diary" begins on Monday, right here on Middlespace Live.

[this message brought to by Google TiSP (beta) - free in-home broadband service - I swear by it]

Cusp of Chapter Seven

Here's my life, so far:

Seeing Through Whirlpools of Knots

Chapter 1: 1965-1980
Urban-Suburban: Lost Angles

Chapter 2: 1980-1987
So! The Point One Ye

Chapter 3: 1987-1992
Ivory Tower Soap Box High Horse

Chapter 4: 1992-1996
Eastward Ho

Chapter 5: 1996-2000
Thy Kingdom Come

Chapter 6: 2000-2007
Stockpiling Weapons of Future Gifting (WFGs)

Chapter 7: 2007-
Like I Said
Will text-fill as we move forward.