Category Archives: Random

Being in the right place at the right time

It seems like you can capture a person’s heart and soul by being in the right place at the right time. There is certain art where I not only remember when I experienced it for the first time, but also the whole context around how it specifically spoke directly to me.

There are little vines of memory that replay in my mind. A song that my mom would sing to me when I was 4.  The Nutcracker, while watching the Christmas Tree miraculously grew on stage. That scene in Raggedy Anne and Raggedy Andy when they came to life. A painting of the barn in my backyard, and the barn collapsed days later. A Reading Rainbow episode with the little sign language interpreter bubble in the lower right of the screen. Watching 2001: A Space Odyssey when I was 9 and being exposed to a film ending that made absolutely no sense to me and being mystified and changed by that. The impressionist oil paintings in my grandparents guest room, depicting cobblestone streets in the rain; people running for shelter and the light reflecting off the stones. Various low budget or poorly written shows, film, and music that I grew up on and will never leave behind. Depictions of the Santa Ynez Valley by Eyvind Earle, a trip through which I would make with my family almost every year. Tron, and later the TV series Automan that introduced a yearning optimism about the future. Dune, directed by David Lynch, which played on HBO on repeat for what seemed like an entire summer, when I was just old enough to grasp the plot by the end of the season, and by which I learned important truths about life. Reading the Chocolate War and I Am the Cheese by Robert Cormier, which reassured me that the cruel nature of human beings can be overcome and that everyone feels lonely sometimes. Reading Enders Game by Orson Scott Card, which taught me in a strange roundabout way the importance of truly being understood by another and of truly understanding someone else on a deep level. The book Cosmos (I didn’t see the series until much later), which inspired a love of cosmology, astronomy, and science in general. John Zorn’s Naked City, which introduced a completely new concept of music and art, opening my mind to a new dimension in creativity. An unrecorded song, sung at a memorial service and indelibly stamped on my brain. All of this just a random brain dump of what comes to mind this evening as I write this. Likely many others experienced these things, but the timing was wrong and they just scoffed. I don’t relate, but some people feel like Insane Clown Posse speaks to them. To each their own.

If you’re in the right place at the right time, you become part of someone’s identity for life. When were you in the right place at the right time?

Kocani

Tonight, I went to see Kocani. They quieted down, so we bought another ticket. And then we decided to buy one more. Because they are that good. One of the amazing traditions that is surprisingly missing from American rock music, is to keep tipping the musicians so that they’ll stay and keep rocking!! What a concept. And I was so happy to do it, because Kocani is one of the best brass bands in the world.

And tomorrow, I go to Vancouver to see them again, and again! Am I living in a simulation? I feel like I’m about to flip this game.

p.s. sorry for my site being down over the past few days. I freaked out, thinking I had been hacked, but turns out it was a false alarm. At any rate, things seem to be back to normal now… mostly…

Why you should play the drums

Eleven reasons why you should not play the drums

1. You will not make any money.

Musicians don’t make much money. The vast majority of us supplement our income with a day job. Plus, programmed drums can be cheaper. If you’re lucky, you can be a poor professional who competes with drummers who care more about music than you. The richest drummer is Ringo Starr, who a lot of people seem to mock as if he sucks. Even the richest drummer has a curse.

2. You have to haul stuff.

You spend more time hauling than performing. You must own a car, unless you live in New York. Don’t expect others to haul your stuff–that’s why they are playing another instrument.  You spend 2 hours/day just setting up and breaking down your equipment. You are the only person in the band with a car. Or worse, you don’t have a car, and you’re constantly being kicked out of the band because you’re such a mooch becuase you’re so poor buying equipment.

3. Equipment is expensive.

Drumsticks, Cymbals, Heads. They constantly break, and must be replaced or you can’t play. No, you’re not getting a sponsorship remotely soon. Only superhumans get sponsorships. You need a cymbal bag to store your cymbals, or they will break more quickly. You need a stick bag. You need a freaking car.

4. Playing is hot and sweaty.

You can’t play anywhere without having to change your clothes every time, or else you smell bad.

5. You aren’t the center of attention.

The singer should get all the attention, for a great reason. Everyone likes to sing. People rarely get a drumbeat stuck in their head. They never see you anyway, because there’s always a person or a cymbal in front of you in every direction.

6. You’re loud and annoy people.

Pike Place Market bans percussion for this reason. And you seriously have to go out of your way to play quietly. People would rather just hear a singer/songwriter.

7. It takes a long time to learn, and it’s repetitive.

Stop playing drum fills all over the place because you’re bored. The musicians mostly want someone to lay down a beat. Beat It, by Michael Jackson, is a massively successful song with the simplest possible rock beat for 5 minutes straight. That is what they want.

8. Most people don’t want to hear a drum soloist. If they do, it’s in context of a song.

See rules 5, 6, and 7 for more info. You’re not going to be a solo artist. Everyone hates that person on the street who plays drums on buckets.

9. You probably don’t have a sense of rhythm.

If you don’t constantly tap on things and annoy your parents, then it’s too late. You must practice to a metronome all the time.

10. You take up a lot of space, and usually play in a corner.

You’re trapped behind your drums, while everyone else gets to move around and interact with the audience. If you have to go to the restroom, you need to physically move your hi hat to get out. Or you’re pushed at the back of the stage, and may fall off on your back.

11. You have a bad attitude.

The previous ten rules bum you out, and you complain all the time. No one wants to play with you anyway.

The only reason you should play the drums

Because you know inside your soul, this is what you are meant to do.