been crazy busy in the last month or so, going back on forth on life plans.
almost applied to JET program but i figured LA is the spot to be as far as music is concerned and i'd rather stay in LA and just visit japan.
thus i want to go to japan in august and try to book a tour in cities where i know i can stay for free at my friends' houses.
sounds crazy but i think it can happen.
graduating college is one of the weirdest things. i feel like i've been here forever, haven't really been much of a college student, but i tried to make the most of it and now it's time to be a working individual and not be held back by papers (one of which i'm supposed to be writing right now) and assignments and other stuff that's good to learn but that I don't feel the need/ desire to learn.
three things I will be focusing on studying once i'm done with UCLAness:
#1. japanese- i need to improve my skills drastically if i want to go back and not make a complete fool of myself
#2. recording: took an awesome recording class but was too busy to read my textbook and the legit handouts that my professors wrote.
#3. yusef lateef's repository of scales and melodic patterns- ridiculous source of musical goodness that i haven't even scratched the surface of.
i also just want to work on all-around musicianship and really learn to play keyboards and guitar (the things everyone else can play amazingly well but i can't really play to save my life).
being done with school means spending time studying the things that are directly beneficial to what i'm doing (though i value the things i've learned here). i plan to get a decent day job with health benefits and then just push my music as much as possible (my project DOBREGA as well as a new project entitled A Heart Adopted, plus perhaps a noise band if i can find a sousaphone) and try to get in and collaborate with like-minded musicians here in LA and work as a bassist. as open ended as the future is, it's awesome. i've spent too much time freaking out about this upcoming period of my life but i'm pretty stoked on it. there's so much headroom. it's the same with japan. i get really bummed sometimes on how dark and hopeless of a place japan seems to be at times but that just means it has so much potential for awesomeness.
all goes to say, thanks to everyone who has supported me in my various endeavors. pray for me to trust God fully with my future so that it will be awesomeness.
i mean really, i don't know why it never occurs to me that "hey i could be sleeping more if i went to bed earlier." clearly, when you have a set time that you need to get up to get stuff done on a particular day- let's say this monday, where i have work at 8 am (instead of what was 7 am before- thanks michelle) - there's only one variable in the equation to "how much sleep can i get." that variable= the time you go to bed. cause i've tried pushing the "time you wake up variable" before (please note that the times i was late for work, this was an involuntarily bodily function not my willful intent) and it pretty much screws up your life. so, here's to sleeping before midnight... in the near future.
i think it was my beloved friend sarah (who's now in benin!) who taught me this awesome hi-5 + pound combination handshake ( i guess you're not really shaking hands but hey, "handshake" is an umbrella name for the group of greeting/ congratulatory forms of hand contact?) where one person's hand is a rocket launching up to infinity and the other is the exhaust of the rocket ship blasting all over the place.
this piece of equipment makes the same thing happen in your computer.
i'm really aching to do live shows right now. been working hard on making a lot of music- spending hours and hours coming up with new material and reworking my old stuff. a lot of my older music i don't really connect with- it was good but never really ME. so, i'm changing up things to sound the way i want it to sound. anyways, i have enough material to put together a lengthy live set so hopefully with some construction this weekend (on my riggidy rig!) and some bouncing/ organizing of media files i should be fully operational (death star style) real soon!
"For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery."
Why be a slave when you can be free?
Jesus I've wasted so much of my life already trying to do things my own way, trying to fulfill my own selfish desires but all of it has amounted to nothing. Your LOVE Oh God far surpasses. Thank you for being worthy, for being more than worthy of my life.
I live in freedom because of you.
Thank you for freeing me.
You are too good to me Jesus.
I love you. I am so grateful for your love- the truest.
YOU INSPIRE ME. YOU GIVE ME LIFE. YOU GIVE ME FREEDOM TO LIVE.
i don't deserve this but you freely offer it nonetheless. this overturns the logic of man.
yo yo yo. check out 410 bc. my new favorite clothing company, combining sweatshop free clothes with original designs by cool artists. i'm all about rad designs combined with sound and ethical business practice. keep it up 410 bc. i'm gonna get this rad tee asap!
use method of choice, but definitely check em out.
i'd been waiting some time to catch cornelius. unfortunately his set at the mayan on the 14th (well his whole mexico/ california tour) is canceled due to the swine flu situation going on in these parts. one more year of waiting. see you in 2010 cornelius. stay rockin and thanks for the inspiration.
i'm taking an advanced jazz composition course right now taught by the amazing Prof James Newton (http://www.jamesnewtonmusic.com) and he advised us to follow a certain visual artist throughout the course of the class. I chose Jamel Shabazz, an awesome photographer. I ran across his book Back In The Days whilst hanging out with some friends at "vintage" (overpriced) clothing stores in Venice about a year ago. We were at this shop called Animal House and after checking out all their rad skateboards (original crazy designs from the 50's with built-in brakes! it would be so helpful to have skateboard brakes nowadays!) i sat in the back and found Back In The Days. I really wanted to buy it but having spent my money on a tight Yamaha PortaKeys keyboard at the UCLA Thrift Store earlier that day, I decided to hold out until a later day. That day turned out to be last Wednesday (BOOOM!) and on Friday Back In The Days and its follow-up A Time Before Crack arrived at my apartment! really stoked to see how Shabazz's work influences my compositions. The one thing I see right off the bat is that Shabazz strives to focus on bringing out the beauty that lies in everyday life- life's substance and realness. I want to strive for that in my music. Here's to Jamel!
i was looking through a mix cd by peanut butter wolf and found a track by funkadelic i'd never heard before, entitled no head no backstage pass. i hoped it didn't mean what i thought it did, so i looked it up and sure enough, the lyrics stated the obvious. disgusted and disappointed, i didn't want to believe it to be true. why is there so much corruption in this scene? so much exploitation? so many figures whose musical accomplishments seem to excuse them for their acts of evil?
i look at some of my musical heroes. say for example miles, jaco and mingus. all amazing musicians- revolutionary ideas in the areas of facility on their instruments, in creating new musical idioms, composing pieces that broke stylistic boundaries. but in their personal lives they were real jerks- at times very despicable people. i feel like i'm at such a crux all the time. i'm stuck in this mash where i have to constantly separate art from the artist- praising the artist for his art but having to feel remorse for the pain and discomfort they projected onto others in their personal lives. miles was known for beating the women he dated. mingus punched jimmy knepper in the face and messed up his ability to play the trombone for the rest of his life. jaco's cockiness ended up killing him when he belligerently refused to leave a bar and got beat to death. in all, their selfishness, feeling entitled serve their wants over the rights of others, saddens/ frustrates me and i find it so difficult to understand how i can praise them so many times for their musical contributions and overlook all the injustice they acted out in their everyday lives.
it's about time musicians humble themselves and use the talent they've been blessed with to bless others. honor the respect that people have for your work and respect them in turn. seems like common sense but yet how often do we see this played out?
jake and alex mike really wanted p diddy to be there
last saturday, me and some buddies waited in line for 10 hrs to get a one minute audition- a shot to be a part of p diddy's band on the upcoming show Making His Band. my audition went well- vibed well with the judges and had a fun time grooving on my bass. didn't get a call back but that was cool - didn't really want to be exploited on national tv, although playing in p diddy's band could have been pretty tight.
but yeah, 10 hrs man. so long. ended up being a pretty interesting 10 hrs in line, from the moment jake, alex, mike and i lined up at 6:30 am. everything from crazy goth rockers to the twins ryan and bryan in matching outfits right down to rhinestone bedazzled timberlands, to the tv crew, to the hilarious police officer, to mike's faces and alex's blublockers. it was awesome. the heat was unbearable, that dood kept on playing djembe crazy loud, girls getting in fights about whether brandy or keyshia cole could sing/ perform was the best. out of the 700+ people in line, about 500 of them were trying to audition to be backup singers and were singing at the top of their lungs in line. it was all-around a great time.
really diggin squarepusher and bonobo right now. both are amazing bass players, composer/producers, and just awesome musicians in general. the music they make is phenomenal. i'd love to have either of these dood's job. here's a sick squarepusher video, the track Planet Gear, and bonobo's track Days to Come. enjoy.