See The Boss Pedal, Be The Boss Pedal: An Argument For Digital Effects In Normal Conversation

As a clear sign that I have been driven mad, I have permanently effected the affects of this particular medulla oblogata with my recording within Dante’s digital pit, I have come to the realization that digital effects are not just for music.

Furthermore, I need to make a miracle machine (which is tricky as the dog ate my engineering degree) that puts digital effects where they belong: conversations. This may require we all walk around with permanent earphones on to get the effect (big and fat), but what are words worth? They are worthless unless you can EQ them to a listenable form and then blast them through BIG reverbs.

Effects will be the new punctuation. They will say. When I create the machine. I will be hailed as yet another distraction (like iphones and Instagram and insulin) that is keeping us from becoming the species we should be, in our most perfect and docile form.

Dull. Dullllllll. Im So Bored with your plain, simply heard speeches. Do me a favor…ask me that in Flanger. Phase me, baby.

Consider how it can really emphasize the conversations you are already having?

Don’t you feel cheated when you are angry and yell at someone and it simply dissipates? Try that with a big hall reverb. Now THATS angry and impossible to ignore.

What about ordinary dull conversations with people in the grocery line? Slip in some Digital Delay…and slowly build it, so your words leave your mouth and are suddenly bouncing, bouncing everywhere, every direction, every corner and crevice of the subconcious till theres no option for anyone but to turn away and look at the Star or People Magazine.

Late night and early morning? Need to talk to people but your too wasted to form words? Compression. Everything you say will have more impact, even if that statement is ‘I’m sorry I dropped the ball on the Perkins account.’. Your manager can only admire your honesty, forthrightness and deep sonorous tones. And this is how you get a promotion.

Tryin to explain away a prior bad act? Speak clearly through a Heavy Metal distortion. Raise the gain. Speak slowly and stare directly into their eyes and watch as they get confused, a little sad and go away.

Need a lil pickup in the bedroom? Ladies love a good Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, brother. Get all Issac Hayes and shit and lay it down.

My point being that we short change ourselves in terms of appropriate dramatics. Sometimes it takes a bit o’ science.

The REAL point being this record is killing me.

(dictated but not read in Vibrato)


The Fifth Horseman: Playlists

What is an album?

For the sake of clarity, Ill put a definition on it: approximately 45 minutes of a single artist or group of artists (or ‘band’ as the kids call them today)whose intent is to capture your attention, imagination and share some personal POV’s….or big comic book epic’s about Norse Mythology, whatever.

The expectation was that if you can create a ‘single’, a pop length taste with hooks and ‘legs’ (thats Hollywood talk I’m just misappropriating) then that would serve as bait for you to buy a Long Player. And take a trip inside the mind of the artist.

There’s a certain level of bait and switch in 85% of these releases. We have all bought a record based on a single and came away disappointed. I don’t believe there’s any guile attached to this. It’s only natural to lead with your strongest move, and if you could dance to it, all’s the better.

It’s craft. It’s musicians giving you what you want….but adding in their own acts of personal exploration and musework. And all it costs is 45 minutes of your time. A worthy investment…if the album doesn’t suck.

What is a playlist?

A playlist is a bait buffet. All killer, no filler. No single artist, songs based on moods or holidays or just for kicks. Some playlists capture a time they were created and always bring you to that point. The songs act as photographs reminding you that you of forlorn summer or that you once loved Terrence Trent Darby.

In a sense, you become the artist. You create the moods, call the causes and use your own sense of what works using others work. You mix era’s and genre’s, speeds and volumes based on whatever you feel like. Why make ‘Blood On The Tracks’ when you can create ‘Divorce Playlist Volume 1′?

When we discuss whats destroying the Music Business, let’s call it for what it is: Freedom. The freedom of the listener to cull through the history or recorded music and pick the particular tastes they savor. It is creation. It’s imaginary radio where you are the DJ, the sponsor and audience.

As a recording artist, it is a frustration. As someone angling for that 45 minutes of your time, it’s another obstacle. Another distraction in an increasingly distractable world.

What happened is music making moved beyond the music makers and became the trade of anyone inclined. This is progress. This is new.

And the one thing Playlists offer is discovery. You can find sounds you never heard before but love as much as your ole’ Ian Hunter records. Carefully cultivated and collected in a thematic list.

Spotify is not the problem. Nor Apple Music. YouTube. It’s freedom of choice that buggers us. So we must stop freedom of choice at all costs. Individuals deciding for themselves has made this world sick and shallow.

Do I believe that? Sometimes, yes. Is it true? Yup. The war between being a fan and an artist too is harrrrrd.

As for me….well, I write singles.


African Money

She swirled her wine in the glass, watched it spin.  When she could divine a direction in the rich burgundy, she drifted that way… this time, to the living room.  She did this most days, a random order game; a play at being involved, interested … it was what she did to pass the hours.

She flowed though the quiet house, raised her hands above her head, spun like a gypsy and laughed, a splash of wine kissed her cheek, all languorous movement, all slow motion beauty, staggered steps.  She wore the wine like a mink stole wrapped around her thoughts;  she recognized that thinking too much these days was a sure path to reasoning, and reasoning meant recognizing what her thoughts told her.  She couldn’t have that.

She made her own music as she stepped lively; there was no music in this place, nothing to dance to … she had alien radio stations that ran in her head; they kept the music pumping 24/7.

She slipped in the hall, her wine kissing the edge of the glass.  That made her nervous. There could be no evidence of what she did with her days.  There could be no wine stain, no red on the expensive foyer carpet; those were the rules.  She made the rules. She was the only player.

Using the wall for support, she focused on the couch and on the glass in her hand.  She walked like she was in a silent movie, exaggerated moves to convey that she was being careful, very careful.  She felt like Lucy, almost heard the live studio audience titter and erupt.  She laughed again, and almost stumbled.  That made her laugh too.

She placed the glass on the expensive High boy, off of the coaster, but still on the glass. ’That’s gonna leave a ring’ she said out loud … and the sound of her own voice startled her.  It was the first sound she heard in hours.  And collapsed on the couch, one foot dangled above the floor, swinging lazily.  She looked at the clock on the fireplace … Christ, hours left to go.

This was the calm.  He was the storm.  When he came home, it wouldn’t be her throwing herself in his arms.  No more of the heat, as it was, the period where clothes were just distraction, locations a matter of taste.  It wasn’t that now.  It was cold…and never so cold as it was come summer.  He kept the AC on, even on the mildest days. He didn’t like to see a tan on her ivory skin; she stayed inside.

She let her eyes walk around the room, at the historical furniture, that state-of- the-art entertainment center, the beautiful period touches.  It was a beautiful house.  It was something to be proud of.  It felt like an albatross to her now, it weighed heavy on her.  It was her abuser.  It stood in judgment of her.  The house witnessed how he broke her down, and had no sympathies.

She was drunk enough to consider it, but not drunk enough to actually burn it down.

Hours to go.  Then the Storm.  Then more hours.  She looked at the bowl on her coffee table, and the glass beads it contained, perfectly arranged.  It used to be an ashtray, back when they smoked, back when they did anything together.

She remembered her history.  Slave beads.  That’s what they looked like: tiny, pretty, used to attract people moved by tiny pretty things.  Completely worthless in a world real economy.

That seemed significant … she took a deeper swallow of wine and stopped that errant thought cold.

She wasn’t Cinderella. Cinderella was at least family.