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neurological dryer lint

dirty deeds... and the dunderchief


fed up with the common cold

did you know that when igor stravinsky first played his classic "the rites of spring" for an audience in russia in 1913, he started a riot? from the writer's almanac:

It had its opening night in 1913 in Paris. The audience sat quietly through the first several minutes of the piece, but when the music suddenly turned harsh and dissonant, people in the audience began to shout at the stage. Fights broke out between the audience members. People who were enjoying the music attacked those who were booing. People spat in each other's faces. Men exchanged cards in order to fight duels the next day. The police were called. Stravinsky was so upset by the response that he left his seat in disgust. But the performance kept on, despite the disturbance. The composition lasted only thirty-three minutes, but it made Stravinsky was one of the most famous composers in the world.
fights broke out in the audience, strangers punching one another in the face. and it wasn't because the music was bad - it was so radically different, so challenging, wild, compared to anything anyone had ever heard before that it inspired that reaction in the listeners.

ever since i picked up the guitar i've been trying to write songs. rhythmically i think i can put together music for a set of lyrics pretty easily... the challenging part for me has been writing words. i have plenty of things to write about, but the stuff i put on paper sounds no different from so much of the contrived, redundant garbage out there. it's all the same, adding another indistinguishable echo to the noise.

i'm sure if i recorded some of the stuff i've written and played it for some people they'd give me reassuring words and thoughtful nods but i have yet to be satisfied by any of it. the words are down there, buried in my skull, and sometimes i feel like there are so many layers of fakeness, of total bull$#@* surrounding it that i'd have to break my head open to access them. is that why all of the music and art that has ever really affected me has been the result of the artist consuming vast quantities of mind-altering substances? i guess i've always hoped that by blogging i could sift my consciousness like flour and filter out all the pretentious junk that clogs it. three years later i can see how things have changed in what i write, but the songs still aren't there.


for this post

Blogger Davie Says:

you should at least be happy that you've found the motivation to try. every half-assed effort i've made at teaching myself to play my guitar has met with annoyance and frustration.

Blogger Justin Hall Says:

guitar hero will teach you! :)

Blogger B-Call Says:

just what this world needed. another hippie with a guitar.

Blogger ryanham Says:

yes, 5 buttons are a great simulation to actually playing a guitar.

It also does a great job of teaching the circle of fifths.

Blogger Justin Hall Says:

one two three four FIIIIF

GH teaches rhythm and basic movement, and for a gamer who is interested in learning, it's probably a better place to start than the actual guitar, IMHO.

Blogger Austin Says:

I would probably start lighting little kids on fire and punching people in the face if I heard your songs.

Thats a compliment in case you were wondering.

Blogger Bragg Says:

Leaves of Grass wasn't written in one afternoon my friend. But then I keep forgetting, Why did they make erasers?

Sorry, just the teacher coming out...please don't hurt me too much

Anonymous Artie Says:

JW, maybe your blog writing has 'improved' because you're sharing it and getting feedback. Why not do the same with lyrics? I'm sure there's some anonymous forum out there that folks post things to.

Blogger ryanham Says:

Yeah, Leaves of Grass was written in at least two days.

One thing I learned from my creative poetry writing class in College was that you should write a poem, read it to yourself, then revise it many many times. Songs (at least to me) are essentially sung poems (history buffs may argue the reverse is true, since much of what we consider "medieval poetry" was actually sung when presented...bards eh?), so the same can and often does remain true. Read it like a poem after you've written the lyrics to the music and you'll probably find that you're able to convey the emotion/meaning/whatnot in a more eloquent manner with each revision. I would say though, stop at 5. You don't want to over-revise :)

Blogger ryanham Says:

um..5 == 15.


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