Monday, May 14, 2007

"Mind & Spirit" -> Post Cards From Cambodia

Been listening a lot to Bruce's album before his latest one.

Over and over again.

The Album is called "You've Never Seen Everything," and it is characteristically Bruce.

Dark and foreboding. A sense of sweet hurt rings throughout it's pulse.

I listen to his words, and I feel slightly removed as he weaves stories of different lands and injustice down to our fellow human beings.

I catch a little more out of his songs each time. Not all of it is good, but some of it is brilliant.

I very much like the beginning of Post Cards From Cambodia:

Abe Lincoln once turned to somebody and said:
Do you ever find yourself talking with the dead?

There are three tiny deaths heads carved out of mammoth tusk
on the ledge in my bathroom.
They grin at me in the morning when Im taking a leak,
but they say very little.

Outside Phnom Penh theres a tower, glass-pannelled,
maybe ten meters high,
filled with skulls from the killing fields.
Most of them lack the lower jaw
so they dont exactly grin,
but they whisper, as if from a great distance,
of pain, and of pain left far behind

Eighteen thousand empty eyeholes peering out at the four directions

Here is a picture of some of these 18,000 thousand skulls.

All breathing and living at one time.

And each one of them that had the physical life scraped out of them.

It makes our small pains inconsequential. Our minor issues, no issues at all. For we have it easy.

Each one of them taken from this earth.

The sadness will ring out.

The skulls will cry out.

And justice, one day, must be done.

Monday, May 07, 2007

"Mind and Spirit" -> New Song Update

Summer Breeze.

The above is a link to my songs on unsigned.

Now, I've submitted a song or two to "Garage Band" to get them reviewed and ranked anonymously. In many ways this is a really good way of getting feedback on the songs. On one of my songs, which I rather like, I got a lousy 2.2 stars.

Now, the interesting part is "why" do certain people like a song and others don't. Frankly, it seems that at least part of it has to do with luck and perception.

Recently, Duncan Watts, a sociologist at Columbia University, set up the MusicLab experiment. You can go there and try it yourself. The experiment features pretty much more of the pop-punk or emo type of music, so it definitely appeals more to the younger angst ridden teenage.

In Music Lab, while there was a consistent nod to the better songs, there was no way to determine if you had a hit on your hands. Hits came because people thought it was a hit.

For at least half of the people, the researchers gave a little indicator of how often the song was downloaded. Obviously, if the song was downloaded a lot, it must be popular. Once people started downloading a song, it gained momentum, and would become a hit. However, the "hit status" was driven by the download status not just the music.

This was termed "Cumulative Advantage." Once you started to get an advantage, you kept an advantage. Once people thought you were popular, you would stay popular.

At the bottom line, if people thought the song was popular, then the song was deemed popular. If the song was not seen as popular, then the song was not popular.

I don't think that I will ever get a "Cumulative Advantage," but at least my songs are mine.

While I need to rework some of the lyrics (I'm not all that happy with the last verse), here is the current standard of my song.

Summer Breeze

Winter left its mark as it cut me to the bone
Spring cleaning kept me up to hours yet unknown
But when it gets hotter, then I'm left here on my own
The work gets all slower and the chores get all postponed

Summer breezes call my name
Resting inertial frame
Won't you try and do the same?

Lying in my hammock with my glass by my side,
Restful thoughts of nice just cannot pushed aside
When I do nothing, then nothing is implied.
I tell you that leisure just cannot be denied

Summer breezes call my name
Resting inertial frame
Won't you try and do the same?

Why is their hate in our world that we all share,
When their goodness in the smell of the air,
Brother hates brother cause they are so unaware,
We all have enough so let us not with us compare

Summer breezes call your name
Resting inertial frame
Won't we try and do the same?

I've tried a bit of scat and jazz vocals on this. Believe me, I don't have enough time to work on this much, so you get to hear what I can do off the top of my head, but it was enjoyable none-the-less.