How TV Melted My Brain

While recording my album, my favorite pastime was watching Adult Swim.  I love Japanese Anime and whoever programs for that network has a sick sense of humor very similar to my own.  The line up repeats itself so I had it on as background noise until 4am most mornings.

When the album was completed I somehow found my way down the slippery slopes of loathsome reality television.  I had the guilty pleasure of Flavor of Love a while back, but then recovered only to find out that I had a relapse and was watching everything from cooking reality shows, bad girls in a house, real world, just about anything……..   Why the fascination with watching others live life?  I may offend a few people, but I don’t really watch sports.  I prefer to be a participant as opposed to a spectator.  I also think the statistics people keep in their heads would take up valuable room I could save for songs and I don’t know…. memories:)?  Sooooooo with the same rationale, shouldn’t I go out and find love instead of waiting to see if Ray J. finds his?

I know why I did it though…..   Sometimes it’s nice to get that mental anesthetic — something to get the hamster in your head to jump off the wheel, or at least slow his roll.  — But you know what?  Let him run, he’s gonna need to be in shape for the journey ahead.

It’s a new day… I took the cable box out of my room.   This year I am gonna listen to more music, reluctantly do more social media business, and write more songs.  If you see me and want to discuss the Jersey Shore, I am sorry to say I won’t be able to contribute.

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What’s the opposite of romance?

I wanted to call this blog « How to remain a hopeless romantic in a ________ world, » …….  so I searched all over to find a word that was the polar opposite of romantic, and couldn’t find one.  But with some research I found something interesting disturbing.

Romantic (noun) – someone who romanticizes, treats as idealized, a soulful or amorous idealist (one definition even said LIAR!)

Realist (noun) – a person who who accepts things as they are, accurate representation, not in an idealized or romantic style

Hmmmm… and what is an Ideal? –  a conception of something in its absolute perfection, an ultimate object of endeavor; a goal.

Ok vocabulary lesson behind us  —  I will admit to being a hopeless hopeful romantic.  I want that love you see in the movies (but then again, I also want those superpowers you see in movies……… )  So am I just a dreamer?   I mean, am I just as likely to shoot lasers from my eyes as I am to get the HEA (Happily Ever After)?

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My existence is based on romance.  It’s kinda crazy, b/c I am a very logical person, but statistically speaking, my career choice isn’t very realistic. To be an artist in our society is an alternative lifestyle.  I romanticize my world.  In my mind, I can touch people and leave a mark to fulfill my purpose.  Lofty goals to be certain, but isn’t some of the greatest art someone’s vision and ideals manifest?  Actually, not settling for reality is what brings forth innovation.  Wouldn’t a realist say, « You can’t walk on the moon, »  « You can’t transmit pictures and speech through the air, » etc…?

We are born romantic.  If you ask a child what they want to be when they grow up they say things like  « A Fireman, A Superhero, The President »  and then…… certain « realities » set in and lower their expectations.   That child saw potential in his/her future – they had ideals.  So after some disappointments we lower our expectations — even in love.  How often have you heard someone talk about their « must have » list, only to settle for  « would be nice » and very often, « better than being alone. »  All the while the bar is constantly lowered – to the point we can practically walk over it.

Check out this amazing scene from the movie « 500 Days of Summer » where they show a split screen of the main characters Expectations VS. Reality.  I think it illustrates it best.

http://vimeo.com/7580722

So to my original question – « How to remain a hopeless romantic in a realistic world? » – I say never settle – color outside of the lines if you are so inclined.  It can make for interesting art and life.

« Without romance I’m out of a job« Darien

I Prefer Sade to Soda

When I was younger I didn’t listen to much Sade.  I always felt her music would put me into too somber a mood………  OK I am being nice – I was a dancer and anything below a certain bpm got no burn from me.  Of course I had a tune or 2 of hers on my « slow jam » mix tapes 😉 , but to just casually listen …… not so much.  I also didn’t like cranberry juice – too bitter.  I much preferred the sweet, carbonated, non-nutritional-value-having taste of soda.   We grow up and our tastes change. I don’t drink soda anymore, and I can’t wait for this Sade album.

This video inspired me for so many reasons

1. In a world where teenagers are bringing home best album at the grammy’s – here we have a room full of grown ups making great music.  Not old music – just GREAT MUSIC.

2. In the days of people bragging about going into the studio and knocking out an album in a week, and every MC claiming that they don’t write anything down…..  these veterans are talking about how you can’t put a deadline on creation, and how they struggle to get it done.

I think sometimes people like to act like – don’t attempt this at home genius at work, when it is often just hard work at work, with a little bit of genius thrown in (and a team of people that get no credit).  As for deadlines, there are different schools of thought.  On my album « If These Walls Could Talk, » while writing the title track, I got stuck on the last verse for months.   That may seem a bit extreme, but my logic is,  « If this song is a hit,  do I want to have to repeat a verse that I wasn’t fully satisfied with for the rest of my life? »  Even if it’s not a hit – every word has purpose to me.

3. In one scene, Sade holds up a stack of papers that will eventually become a song.  I wasn’t sure if this process was unique to myself   —  I will write pages and pages when inspired, and then have to whittle it down to it’s final form.  That cutting room floor is where a lot of the magic happens.  How do you condense a subject of depth into 3 mins, and not lose the point? I imagine the entire marble slab used in the creation of Michelangelo’s « David » was the same consistency, but it was only the marble that was left after the process that created his final masterpiece.

I am really looking forward to this album and I appreciate this window into her process.  Very inspiring.