Archive for April, 2008
I didn’t know whether to be systematic or random all over the map in posting about this stuff. Today I guess I decided on systematic. This one, Kennedy’s Groove, is also from the first Third Option album, Frosted Mini Wheats, which, I’ll say again, isn’t for sale, because of the way the industry works. Years ago I actually sent the material off to the plant to print 1000 copies of this thing, and they wouldn’t print it because it had samples - not samples of music, but samples of lines from stuff. The funny thing is, a year before that, I pressed 1000 of Artistic Apocalypse, my second “hip-hop” (I use the term loosely) album, and it had movie samples all over it too. At that time, you could do that, and all you had to do was give credit on the liner notes, and no one could stop you. But in that year or two, everything changed drastically, and suddenly you couldn’t do that. You had to clear any sample, and probably pay for it, and fill out a lot of release forms, and sampling became such a hassle that now I avoid it like the plague.
It was even to the point where I was giving a song from a later Third Option album to a licensing firm, and they went back and forth with me for AGES, not allowing the song into the library even though they liked it, because they heard what they THOUGHT were samples, and I kept telling them, “NO YOU MORONS, that is ORIGINAL POETRY PERFORMED AND RECORDED BY US!!” But I had made Tamara sound like a newscaster and they just did not get it. So the whole sample freak out even effects original art, making you think twice about being creative with your vocal performance. Ultimately it’s really stupid, and I think based in an incredible idiotic fear. People running around so afraid of not having the rent and money for their diapers and boats and large house that they MUST claim some sort of ownership and get money every time something they did is heard, touched or breathed on. Another point of view might say that it’s not costing you money or time for that recording to be used.
I’m not sure which side I fall on, really, because I know that I’d rather all that stuff out there that I’ve done would bring me some income. Residual income is really something I would love. So I dunno *shrug*
Oh, here’s the song that those (out of business now) licensing dudes couldn’t get had no samples:
By the way, Kennedy’s Groove is called that simply because the sample that leads into it is Bobby Kennedy. I ripped the sample from a Michael Jackson CD (History II) where they sampled all kinds of stuff like that. I think maybe that old political speech stuff is in the public domain. Not sure. Michael Jackson probably owns tthe rights to it if it’s not.
I called this one Applemania because it has just an incredible amount of Beatles samples that I took off a vinyl record. Then there’s some samples from this vinyl record of whale song that I got from a national geographic magazine. It was all floppy. Because vinyl records could be all floppy.
I’m not even sure this is really any good, this tune. It always seemed a little boring to me. But sometimes I like it. The first rap verse is weird - it’s actually supposed to be the theme song to a movie that I had in my head. I would do that. I would think of a possible movie, and then record a theme song about it as if the movie was actually being made. It’s just so weird. Then I threw in a rap verse from an old song that never really made the cut or got finished. So basically I was lazy.
The thing that makes me want to post it, though, is that this “song” can’t really ever be released becaues of the samples. So it’s just this glaring example of the extreme limitation on what you can really hear, because of how the industry works.
I kept thinking about this song this weekend:
It’s from the first Third Option album, Frosted Mini Wheats. I thought of doing that album, and thus created that act, when I had been beatboxing for an hour straight on the drive home from hockey practice when I was playing for UNM. I noticed the beatbox tunes would change slowly over time. I thought I’d invented something and I told my buddy Dustin how I was gonna make an album where each song just morphed into the next, and he said “oh you mean a trance record?” Dammit. I had invented nothing!
But this Halloween In Denver song, it’s funny that such a marginal thing that I never really shared with anyone is the one that’s called Halloween In Denver. That title is a reference to me being diagnosed with CF when I was 8. It was at a hospital in Denver and it was Halloween. They gave me one of those plastic jack-o-lantern buckets and I was going from room to room getting little Snickers from people with it. That stupid night and that stupid diagnosis has defined my life ever since, really a lot more than any “disease” or “condition”. But I didn’t write a slam poem that I did in front of thousands of people, or even a rap song or anything. It’s just this short tune jammed in the middle of 60 minutes of album, and what’s more it’s not a highly charged big epic thing either, it’s just a pretty melody that I like. But what makes me think about it sometimes is that that melody doesn’t seem like me to me. It seems like something that comes from outside of me, or maybe it comes from my essence, whereas a lot of stuff comes from the ego and personality that I built on top of that essence, shrouding the essence. Ironically, I probably built a lot of that up in response to the diagnosis, so there’s this irony around having a song that comes from the essence, who’s title refers to the diagnosis.
It’s like a subtle, sleek victory. Poision in the night that the enemy general never even notices, let alone resists.
I don’t want to call this an experiment ’cause that jacks with my sense of it being worthwhile. This is a new blog, where I’m gonna talk about my music, and I might talk about other music or even art. I’m just gonna talk about it, from a conceptual or emotional level. I’m probably going to post a lot of mp3s to download because ultimately I want more people to listen to and enjoy the stuff. I might talk about other people’s stuff, and I might refrain from getting into whether stuff is good, bad, etc. Let’s be clear, though, I’m not a reviewer, I’m not a press person, I’m not even really a label exec (even though I own my label). I’m just an artist and most of the bullshit around it has gotten so old.
So now there’s a couple of us, me and Iguanamind/Larry and monkeyking/Troy specifically, who’ve been developing this new way of thinking about art and music, and originally it had a lot of “let’s make a revolution” in it, but over the years, I think we’ve all come to this need for relief. We’re not fucking politicians, we’re musicians. All we ever wanted to do was just make the stuff. For me, it’s still not about just making it, but sharing it, and that’s where things go awry, because then it gets to be about promotion, and popularity, and competition, and man, this stuff, the message that I’m receiving in the melodies, the one that’s straight from God or the Universe or whatever, has nothing to do with all that.
So first I started changing my NQuit site to just be about presenting the content, and then Larry convinced me yesterday that creating this blog which is not about promotion, not even about technical stuff, just a thing to basically express, and let whoever will appreciate it come, would be a healthy thing.
I don’t know if I’ve said anything clear there. It doesn’t matter. I’m gonna put a link now to a really really old track, but I don’t care, because I really just want to put as much content up as possible, so fuck it, I’ll start with stuff that’s 13 years old! It’s my old stage name, and I think it’s dorky so I dropped it, but here’s a track: