Monthly Archives: August 2013

Today’s Pop Music – Sonnet

There’s nothing wrong with rock n roll

That raucous music, always on the edge

It runs so deep within my soul

But pop music today has me standing on the ledge

 

The safe & savory is now so out of control

Suddenly old hard rocking dudes

Are looking like the bastions of ethics & moral self-control

We’ve never seen a rock show so explicitly lewd

 

Pop music to me has gone too far

When Hannah Montana appears possessed

What desperate straits to remain a star

Just wait for the book when her secrets are confessed

 

Maybe I don’t understand, don’t belong in this fold

Or perhaps, I’m simply starting to get old

 

When I read this blog the other day, It got me thinking about trying to write a structured poem, try to fit into some rules instead of just a word explosion which is my usual style. I didn’t watch the VMAs or whatever it was last weekend, but it was all over the news enough for me to be thinking along the lins of the above. Hopefully I got close to my first real sonnet.

 

 

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Something of worth

A prompt, a theme, a focus

Something other than what goes on

Or has gone on, inside this recovering mind

There is power in bringing light to the darkness

There is power in healing the wounds

 

Yet there is more to life

So surely there can be more to this too

If the beauty of art is real

Then surely this can be more than simply

A self centered look at a past buried and gone

 

 

I shall celebrate the future

I shall celebrate creation

No more word vomits, I shall choose to take the time

The time to craft something new

Something of worth

Song: Everything – reworked

 

This took longer than intended (as usual) but I finally have the reworked version of the song My Everything ready. I came up with this alternative version when I was getting ready to record the original. I’ve become quite a fan of the tv show Live at Dary’s House over the last year & I thought, what would they do with this song. If you’re not familiar with the show, it is Daryl Hall (of Hall & Oates fame) & his band & they have famous artists come over to his beautiful house in upstate New York to play each others songs. I’ve never really been a Hall & Oates fan, although I’ve become familiar & fond of their work through the show.  The show is great tv for me, the musicianship & just seeing people have a good time with their music is very enjoyable to me. Thursday nights on Palladia if you’re interested.

keys

So trying to make it a little more upbeat I reworked the chord progression & harmony. I added some keyboard parts, not my forte as you can see, but I wanted to add that depth to give it a little more of that Philly soul sound than guitars alone could allow. There could be more done with the arrangement but my limited experience in full compositions came to the fore. This has taken about 2 months to get to this point, unfortunately that included prolonged periods of down time, not touching the project, various reasons for that but I’m not going into that today.

Everything Remix Tracking

There were more technical challenges with this recording than with anything previous. I pushed the limits of my system pretty hard. I had the mix upto 28 tracks, causing latency issues, jittering & digital distortion problems. It was workable though doing some track freezing (bouncing) & effect bypasses.

Everything Remix Mixer

(I finally figured out how to get the ezdrummer channels on separate tracks – happy days)

It might not sound professional, but some of the things I’ve learnt over the last couple of months helped a lot with polishing this & getting a much better defined mix. I enjoyed the process of reworking my own song, I have to be honest though, I still prefer the original. I actually have a better mix for that now than the one I initially put out, I’d swap it out in Soundcloud but you have to pay for that feature & I’m not that bothered, it sounds better, but not that much 🙂

 

This is the original, more country version

Thanks for reading & even more so for listening.

 

 

To PS4 or not to PS4?

On the surface of it this is a ridiculously simple question. I still enjoy video games, I still enjoy playing online with my friends, I’ve always loved what the next generation of each Playstation has brought to my entertainment life. So given that the new PS4 will be released in November, and for the specs, the price is remarkably reasonable, you’d expect me to be one of the masses on the pre-order list.

Why then am I so reluctant to move onto the next gen of gaming? Well, there are several things. One is that other than the social aspect of gaming with friends, or the default, it’s just what I do, I’m not sure why it is that I currently game. Sure it is fun to dominate the PS3 on FIFA, it would be fun online if the connections were more stable & if people couldn’t quit so easily. Other than that, I’ve not been enjoying games recently. It seems like a real slog to get through single player games these days. I recently finished Uncharted 3, the first 2 games in that series were incredible games, 3 though while being technically impressing just seemed so generic. They took a game that is supposed to feel like an Indiana Jones adventure & changed it into Rambo.

The thing I’ve most enjoyed about the PS3 has been online gaming. It has brought a wonderful social aspect to what used to be a solo hobby, other than drunken gatherings at friends houses. The clan I have been a part of for the last 5 years has done a wonderful job of filling an empty social void created when I left my homeland. Unfortunately that clan has been on life support for the best part of the last year. There is the hope that the PS4 will revitalize it, I truly hope it does. I have my doubts though, I don’t know about the rest of the folks but I know that at least for myself, I don’t at this moment have the heart or commitment to try & make what was once great, great again. That’s not saying anything about anyone in the clan, more just a reflection of the state of me right now. More than anything else it is the social aspect that would drive me towards getting a PS4. Much more so than the hope of profit being achieved through quality over quantity, but hey..

Maybe the next generation of games will have some fresh ideas, better co-op, more original themes that involve more than just killing wave after wave of bud guys. Don’t get me wrong, there is enough little boy in me to still enjoy playing war, but it just seems like there should be more to a game than that, especially with the technology available. Maybe the next gen of games will have online modes where the technical flaws in the game don’t make my lack of ability even more frustrating than it already is. Maybe what I see on my screen will match what I see on the replay. Maybe they will offer the ability to improve with practice rather than just struggling with fighting the connection or BS hit detection. Maybe online lobbies will be civilized places & talking to your friends will be possible in all games, not just a few. Maybe my expectations of games are too high for a $60 product?!

There is also the whole, hey we have a new PS4 so you have to buy it thing, the video game industry is obviously all about profit, but it seems that with the success of the Playstation & Xbox etc, it has become solely about profit. Unfinished products are rushed out with the intention of trying to fix the bugs later, new and inventive ideas are shelved in favor of more generic themes in order to sell the most units. I’m going to need to see more than some pretty video clips before I am convinced they can combine the notion of profitability & actually good games in the same package.

My final & probably biggest concern for the PS4, is not so much about the PS4 itself. Sure I could come up with the money to get one, I could come up with the money to buy some games, I could even come up with an hour or so a day to play them (most days). The question is not could I, but do I really want to? Do I want to commit another 10 years of my life to this form of digital entertainment? Time that could be spent reading, writing, making music or generally becoming a better person.  As my daughter grows & starts to go to bed later, there will be less time to play too (I don’t play while she is awake, other than the occasional fifa match).

Of course, it is hard to say if I would read or write etc with that time. More realistically I’d just watch mindless tv, because at 9pm I don’t really want to exercise my creative brain too much, I’m usually tired & want to switch off, which gaming does remarkably well for me.

We will see, I love to game, I’m just not sure I want to continue to game at this point in life (maybe I need a break from something I love to see if I like it anymore). I guess I have at least 4 months to decide, or be sold on the notion that the PS4 will be a good use of my increasingly infrequent recreation and relaxation time.

Who pressed fast forward on life?

Tiredness creeps through

Drips down

Like the leaky faucet that will just never stop

Infiltrating every cell, every atom

 

Gravity feels doubled today

The effort required to move

Extenuated by missing desire

Yet somehow, someway

What is required is accomplished

 

The dark corner was never crawled into

Groans were not transformed into screams,

And yet; cool mountain air

How I long to breathe you

 

Slow conversation on a slow lazy day

How I’d like to meet you

Who pressed fast forward on life?

Why is there never enough time

To slow down and take your time?

The Deceptive Path

There are times in life, that are full of confusion

When it appears that storms clouds linger above

In the distance, appears to be a green and pleasant land

The path over there appears idyllic

It appears to be the thing that dreams are made of

 

However, be careful

That path, is a deceptive path

If you get closer the green fields, are all weeds

The path is rocky & lined with snakes

What appears to be idyllic, is death

 

That path, is not your path

That path, is the path of the divorcee

The alcoholic, workaholic, broken man

The one who is empty

Who has no love

 

The path you are on might not match your fantasies

But it is your path, it has always been, your path

Those storm clouds are bringing the rains you need to grow

Your path might not match your fantasies

Yet you excel at what you do, you are loved and you are blessed

 

The real key, is not getting so wrapped up

In finding out where the path leads

That you forget to enjoy the journey

To take in the scenery

And remember, that this is my path