Humans are task oriented people. I mentioned this to Chase the other day, but a lot of the time I say things without feeling the full gravity of someone else’s words. I read this in a book called Performance Success about truly, well… performing at one’s best. Most of the problems we have with doing anything, and this is also in the book Making Things Happen, is that we’re not necessarily focused enough to do certain things or we don’t have enough direction.
THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE FOR ME.
I may say something once in a while that sounds pretty beefy, like you could chew on it for a week, but when it comes down to it, I’m like a mullet. Yes, I’m about 10% business and 90% enjoying the idea of a mullet.
So there’s this Thomas Edison quote that Chase showed me in Making Things Happen:
"Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration."
I’ve never heard truer words. For bass players, this is the gosh-darn truth. Nay, for MUSICIANS AND ALL ARTISTS, this is our problem.
We may think our creative process entitles us (and I’m attempting to summarize some of the points from the first few pages from Making Things Happen) to that mindset of “I make things erratically, therefore I plan and work erratically.”
Yes, you can do this, but you still have to make these plans. Routines may kill us in theory as thinking adolescents. The truth is, routines may save our passions from becoming dreams from becoming other dimensions of reality.
For us to “submit” ourselves to a normal lifestyle, especially in an American culture where anybody can really do anything (I mean, look at Kristen Stewart… she can’t act and she’s an actress) it is the loss of drive that’ll put us at a desk permanently. The mental me must overcome the ego me. I guess in Eastern philosophy this is the soul taking charge of the mind.
Our ego will drive us into the ground indefinitely until we defy it. It’s like a child who we try to give everything to until this same child realizes as it gets older that it’s actually being spoiled, so it should listen more rather than complain.
So here’s my list for today’s practice. Hopefully it’ll inspire you to maybe make a list yourself for whatever you’re working on. Once you get to check it off… by golly, it’s like having sex with ideas:
Work on “Dexterity” by Charlie Parker for the audition. Write out a bassline and transcribe part of one. Work on melody on upright and electric bass.
Work on wedding tunes. Begin by listening and checking for any discrepancies in the Real Books.
Practice “Song To John” by Stanley Clarke.
Practice scales and all that jazz. Pick 2 keys and play major, minor, harmonic and melodic minors as well as relative minors.
Enjoy it! You could be working all day. God forbid.
You’re lying a field somewhere. There are lilies in a pond next to this field, but the grass is so tall that you have no awareness of this fact beyond the smell of water. It has been ten days since you’ve had sufficient water in your body, but you’re making due with the situation at hand. Feeling comes into your legs…
So we’re at another roadblock in life. You’re not between a rock and hard place anymore, but you’re seeing yourself in the mirror for the first time. This image is haunting because you don’t know who this person is. The self-image you once obtained is completely eschewed. You begin to see the world as a tarnished version of this as well, reality begins to seem unreal.
I think this is true for both accounts. Who I am and what I see are trashed versions of their actual forms, the metaphysical reality has yet to be obtained. Nature becomes less and less natural and the body I see myself in looks to be a prison. In Western thinking, this is correct and I must correct myself.
In Eastern thinking, this is wrong. Your body is simply a medium. Your reality is simply a method for communicating.
With that in mind, why would I spend so much time relishing in the fact that things are not going “my way” or that the world is not living up to “my standards?”
In all reality, it is. My standards have been set. Even if the world is at a low end of the spectrum of my standards or extremely high in some regards, it still fits the bill as existing as it does.
I cannot change reality significantly enough to change my shape, so I must manage with what I have and begin to create a reality. This is something that absolutely has to happen.
Inceptionis a wonderful film for the gorgeous palate of thoughts it arouses. Think for a second about how we create our world view:
Through one part creation and another part perception.
On a daily basis, we perceive, perhaps, millions upon billions of times more than we create. In my thought, giving something an object a name creates a meaning. It gives the object a human-like quality.
As Artists, whatever we do, we create something from something that exists. We mold reality to our liking.
In some Eastern thoughts, this is wrong thinking.
Reality is molding itself to our liking. We simply are under the delusion that we are the Creator. The process of creation-perception bends backwards. We are now creating a perception and thereby perceiving a creation, an endless loop. I am thinking this why we are drawn to art. No matter whether we hate the art or love it, the art is still part of our worldview.
And it may change worldviews or damage them or do nothing to them.
Maybe I am a bastard for seeing the art of action, one’s method for going about their casual business, as sometimes rather humorous. Especially in a traffic scenario, I see people pushing the world around them away, rather than diving into it. Or maybe this is backwards thinking. It’s not my actions, but it is someone else.
And maybe I perceive the world as the dark part of me that does not function well. And maybe that’s the problem. So maybe the big spiritual jump I’m trying to make is actually an incredibly small step towards perceiving the world differently.
Thanks for joining me here today in the world of Brandon Miller’s outlook on the current Music situation. I’m very optimistic about things and I think things are going to be coming around to boom very quickly, but it’s time to point out some of the realities (whether good or bad) about Music, the music Industry, and Musicians.
Lyrics plague (and I do mean “plague”) the popular Music scene right now, whether it be an Indie group or a large act to the likes of Lady Gaga, Sara Bareillis, or Jack Johnson (as much as I love the latter two of the three).
Horoscopes, to make the comparison clear in a minute, are intentionally vague. One such horoscope might read:
"Power struggles are never fun, but you need to make sure that you’re fully engaged today. It may be a good time for you to enlist the aid of someone who was formerly a bitter enemy — or frenemy."
Obviously, they are giving 10% here. They give you an idea, something simple (like INCEPTION) and let you run the rest of the 90%.
Say, for me today since I am a Leo, that this horoscope is true. Power struggles are never fun. I just had a talk with my girlfriend about how I want to change the way Music education works in this country and how it generally fails to actually educate. Obviously, in order to do that I would need help from someone who knows what that is like… a Music Educator.
Now take this from a completely objective perspective. That horoscope is complete bullshit. There were no specifics as to why I was going to experience this. The same goes with seances and the like.
"Someone here has a relation with the month of August… maybe a birthday… maybe someone else’s birthday…"
Let’s apply this same type of formula to three songs, one from Lady Gaga, one from Sara Bareillis, and one from Katy Perry.
Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance”:
Oh, caught in a bad romance Oh, caught in a bad romance
Rah, rah, ah, ah, ah Roma, roma, ma Gaga, ooh, la, la Want your bad romance
Rah, rah, ah, ah, ah Roma, roma, ma Gaga, ooh la la Want your bad romance
I want your ugly, I want your disease I want your everything as long as it’s free I want your love
Love, love, love, I want your love…
So, I want someone to point out the concretes here. Imagery. Things I can touch and feel and know.
Wait a second… we’re missing that.
Okay, how about places, events?
Sara Bareillis’s “Love Song”:
Head under water And they tell me to breathe easy for a while The breathing gets harder, even I know that Made room for me but it’s too soon to see If I’m happy in your hands
I’m unusually hard to hold on to Blank stares at blank pages No easy way to say this You mean well, but you make this hard on me I’m not gonna write you a love song ‘cause you asked for it ‘cause you need one, you see
I’m not gonna write you a love song ‘cause you tell me it’s Make or break in this If you’re on your way I’m not gonna write you to stay If all you have is leaving I’m gonna need a better Reason to write you a love song today
I learned the hard way That they all say things you want to hear And my heavy heart sinks deep down under you and Your twisted words, Your help just hurts You are not what I thought you were Hello to high and dry Convinced me to please you Made me think that I need this too I’m trying to let you hear me as I am
Okay, granted, I’m a little happier with this one. We’ve got some visuals, some ideas, some places… but wait a cotton-picking minute here:
NOTHING IS CONCRETE.
I mean, I understand the use of a song, to bring people together, to be used as a method for compatibility… but these lyrics don’t really tell many anything. They are, in fact, unusually vague.
I guess you could say it’s blank stares at blank pages because she basically wrote a song about nothing. I literally have no idea what this song is about, besides someone not writing a love song for another person. And “head under water?” IS THE MOB INVOVLED?
Alright, I’ll quit acting stupid, but so should the rest of the world. The story here is leading to an actual story, but never gets there. I should feel something happening, but I don’t.
Finally, we’ve got to have something from Katy Perry’s “Waking up in Las Vegas”:
You gotta help me out It’s all a blur last night We need a taxi ‘cause you’re hung-over and I’m broke I lost my fake ID but you lost the motel key Spare me your freakin’ dirty looks Now don’t blame me You want to cash out and get the hell out of town
[Chorus:] Don’t be a baby Remember what you told me Shut up and put your money where your mouth is That’s what you get for waking up in Vegas Get up and shake the glitter off your clothes now That’s what you get for waking up in Vegas
Why are these lights so bright? Oh, did we get hitched last night dressed up like Elvis? Why am I wearing your class ring? Don’t call your mother ‘cause now we’re partners in crime
You got me into this Information overload, situation lost control Send out an S.O.S. And get some cash out We’re gonna tear up the town
This song has got it all, visuals, concretes, locations, people, objects… but wait a gosh-darned second… am I dreaming, or is this a scheme of some sort?
"Don’t call your mother ‘cause now we’re partners in crime."
Wait, crime? When the fuck did this happen? Where? I just got a whole lot of information about hangovers, glitter (sex?), underage everything… and now I’m left confused for trying to… look into it?
So here’s my alternative:
It doesn’t need to be SUPER CONCRETE. Just not intelligence offending.
I don’t need a horoscope if you’d like to tell me a situation going on with you and yours. Please, be honest and real with it. Metaphors go a long way and were only used in maybe one of these three songs. Poetry is where these forms of songwriting originated… and now the music industry has the world by the balls.
“God isn’t interested in watching you enact some crackpot notion you have about how a spiritual person looks or behaves. We all seem to get this idea that, in order to be sacred, we have to make some massive, dramatic change of character, that we have to renounce our individuality. This is a classic example of what they call in the East “wrong thinking”.”—
The reason tumblr has been down is because over this past year tumblr has had a massive addition of new users, and quite frankly a lot of us ( those of us who were around when tumblarity was ) don't appreciate it.
I think a lot of us can agree on if you do not credit your posts/ get your posts from weheart it/ only reblog and text post, you should consider leaving tumblr, or changing your tumblr to something more suiting.
I know this sounds ridiculous but I honestly think ( as i’ve said before ) if you want to join you should have to take some sort of test ( sure, call it a hipster test. ) and tumblr should have to scale through your music library/last.fm to see if you’re able to join. As self absorbed as that sounds, I know a lot of you agree that a whole fleet of myspace trash has flooded in, not only because of jessi slaughter, because Tumblr in general has had increased media attention over the past year. Tumblr is not facebook nor is it Myspace. It’s unfair for the users of Tumblr who treat it respectfully to have to deal with this out and out bullshit.
This is not a matter of taking blogging too seriously, this is a matter of bringing back what Tumblr originally was.
That is the biggest load of pretentious bullshit I have ever read on this website.
I started laughing and then realized this idiot was serious. A HIPSTER TEST? Oh, god dammit, I guess I have to delete my blog because I’m not a pretentious asshole and I actually BLOG as opposed to just posting pictures of random skinny girls and porn.
Guys and babes, lets be serious for a second.
This is the internet. This isn’t real life. Nothing anyone says here really matters and nobody really gives a damn about anybody else.
This is America people! What happened to total world domination?! Invading other countries for no real reason and justifying without consent?
WHAT HAPPENED TO ELECTIONS WHERE THE CANDIDATE IS ELECTED TO TELEVISION AIR TIME AND SKIN COLOR/GENDER IDENTITY AND MAKING UNHEALTHY PROMISES THAT NO SINGLE HUMAN BEING CAN KEEP?
WHAT HAPPENED TO KNOWING THAT EVERYTHING YOU READ IS AN ADVERTISEMENT AND SOMEWHERE IN HERE YOU BEGAN THINKING ABOUT VIAGRA?
WHAT HAPPENED TO MYSPACE?
WHY THE FUCK ARE THEY MAKING A MOVIE ABOUT FACEBOOK?!
Work today was shitty as fuck. Got shoved out of the way by my boss while making a pita. Man, I’m high class, making goddamned pitas.
Then, Gig today was swell. Drummer could have used some work, but the sax player (a great friend of mine) and the pianist (good friend of mine) were incredible. Need to practice more to play with these guys more regularly. Music is my true love because it loves me enough to let me play it.
Let’s be reasonable. I am an asshole. This is not because I am a guy, but because I’ve chosen to be one.
That being said, it’s like making the statement, “I’m a liar.” It’s a paradox.
My ex-girlfriend could not be patient enough this evening to wait or to contact me in a way other than facebook chat, which inevitably drover her down the road of un-adding me on said facebook.
Now, since I’m from the year 1990, born and raised since then (I don’t care how this statement reads), I’m not too offended by this. But what does offend me is the element of possession inherent in the discussion.
This leads to the idea of love. I’ve had many a post about this topic. Today’s AmeriChristian society is driven by ultimatums rather than by hard work or ideas. You have to do A to get B. Etc. Ad Nauseum.
You see, love is an ultimatum in American culture in the sense of possession. When we love someone, not love them, hate them, etc., we’re saying “I (blank) you/them/us/this/everything.” In a relationship sense, this is highly destructive because it is misunderstood as a thing of passion when it is not.
Think of it this way: “I love so-and-so for who they are.”
Now, while this is a perfectly content statement, perhaps harmless, it can be loaded. For saying someone is a certain way, one potentially puts a lot of labels on someone they “love.” In my perfect world, we’d love people for what they are, are not, and can be.
And maybe I’m preaching to the choir here. But think about how many times we’ve heard these ideas of “waiting for the one.” “I’m not going to find my love.” “I can’t have another like you.” “We should be together forever.”
Those last two statements hold an obvious connection: PO-SSESS-ION.
Think about it. “Have.” “…should be together…” Even suggestions are potential aggressors. If one doesn’t have their way, what are the consequences? Depression and the like.
So I say we start instilling the idea of real “love.” Love isn’t simple. It’s made to be that way, simple. It makes love a kind of stupid concept. If you’re really in love, you know. If you’re not really in love, you don’t. That isn’t necessarily true.
We can love someone we barely know or someone we’ve known all of our lives.
But I think we need to relinquish this idea, or fear, of possessive love. I don’t need so-and-so. I trust so-and-so enough to love them. Because love is inherently a selfish thing, a thing of the self. I love you. I love you.
Think about it. The self is our real place, but we’re denied this on a regular basis. Yeah, maybe we’re all the same, but what about us is the same? We don’t really even know. And I think discovering that may make us love ourselves a little more and make us less dependent on a “true love” and more fond of a “trusting love.” One that lasts because both parties are equal.
Think about that too. Saying “I’m trying to find my true love” is a possessive statement. What about this love? Does this love want the same things?
Sirens are shrieking birds coming from the hats of cop cars whizzing by the standers of by. This vehicle is all but giving out under the snow-blind haze of wisps and clouds falling from above. I’m not here. I am here.
The car sandwiches against a wall with a short thud that pricks the ears like a razor going close by. I miss the tunnel by a split second flick of the wrist. My head is buried in the pillow of the steering wheel, exploding as would be reasonable. These dangling arms are praising the hood of the car through what was a windshield at some point. Blood weeps from these nostrils onto my khakis. Ape-like legs fall at rest, bent into shape below the body resting atop the seat, cushioned by a white and red balloon, impregnated by collision reaction.
My mind starts to wander. How did I get here? Why were these cops behind me? What is so important about that tunnel I missed?
And I answer these questions when the sirens stop. But this comes later.
I move one of my arms to the door to find it is already ajar. It hangs like an old tree limb, rotten and forlorn. I fall out of the car before I realize I can’t feel much. My body is numb from the Novocaine cocktail caused by adrenaline.
The ground is warm, though covered with snow. This is because the blood from my nose has blanketed it. I see my hands are red.