Wednesday, December 31, 2008

ye ol' year end music list

My Favorite Records of 2008
(In no particular order)

The Hold Steady – Stay Positive
Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
Beck – Modern Guilt
B.B. King – One Kind Favor
Sigur Rós - Meo suo Ì eyrum vio spilum endalaust
Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
Ra Ra Riot – The Rhumb Line
The Punch Brothers – Punch
Frightened Rabbit – The Midnight Organ Fight
Derek Webb & Sandra McCracken – Ampersand EP
Damien Jurado – Caught In the Tree
Radiohead - In Rainbows

When i compiled this list, i had to cut out a few that apparently we're from 2007 or earlier and I had just gotten hip to, so let me know what i missed!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


so you know the little strips of soft bristles that line edge of escalators? i'm never sure weather to be thrilled or completely disgusted when my flip flop clad feet brush up against them coming out of the subway. part of me wants to be tickled all the way up. the other parts wants to jerk my foot away and dry heave. but then, our subway system is remarkably clean...

Friday, December 12, 2008

more like Hollyweird (3)

This dude clearly speaks for himself, or rather, his jacket does. He's the doll house dude. He rides a scooter around wearing a helmet with a doll house attached to it with all kinds of crap spilling out the windows. You can see the doll house more clearly from the front, which i hope i can capture some day. But he just came out of nowhere and rolled right up to me and asked, "Does God ever go to the bathroom." I was stunned, kind of like my fellow student there with the red lanyard around his neck. The first time i saw doll house dude he was wearing all kinds of bright colors and some tights i think. I was still new to Hollyweird at that point and in my shock couldn't pull out my phone quickly enough. baby steps. maybe next time i'll get the whole get-up. I would also like to note that he wears that jacket around when he doesn't have the doll house on too. I just put all that together.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sometimes heartbreak is fun

Thursday evening i went to the Watkin's Family Hour in the little room at Largo, with the company of long time friend Melissa Schenk. The show involves Sean and Sara Watkins from Nickle Creek and various guests. The heartbreak came when i discovered that Sara Wakins is now married. sigh...Still, it was the most fun i've had in a long time. You get the idea that if they weren't playing out that they'd be doing this in their living room. There's no set list, they take all sorts of requests, and in the middle of one song, two dudes with guitars (who i think were Dave Rawlings and Jon Brion) bum rushed the stage and joined right in. Between songs the tuning and discussion about what to play next would go on a little too long, but when the music started the musicianship was superb, whether or not the rest of the band even knew the song they were starting. the highlight of the evening was a duet between Sara and Benmont Tench, Tom Petty's keyboardist. It was Benmont's tune, and i couldn't find a copy of it or lyrics anywhere, but the piano and vocal parts were delivered with such a delicate longing of love gone wrong, i think everyone in the room was choked up. as soon as i get a job and have some cash flow again, i'm making the Watkin's Family Hour a regular stop.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


does anyone else catch yourself humming along to whatever your listening to at the coffee shop and wonder how loud you were actually humming (without headphones on) and if everyone else around you is pissed? wooops.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Ode to Schrode

I have a music theory professor named Carl Schroder. he's a crazy genius, and i've been thinking for weeks that i need to share some of his brilliance with you. He's an entertainer and usually slips into some rather crude analogies and such, but today was a rather mild day so I figured I'd put up a few quotes. think a Brooklyn accent.

"Well, strap me to a hog and slather me with bear grease! It's a passing diminished chord!"

Student: Hey Schroder, you there's supposed to be a major third on that one.
Schroder: "What?! What else did i miss? You guys gotta help me out here. I mean, I wake up in the morning and read the obituaries, and If i'm not in there I get up and have a cup of coffee, ya know? Never thought i'd have so much fun goin' down."

"Stackin up the 3rds like bails of marijuana!...medical marijuana of course."

"I think ear training is the most important thing we do here. Cuz if you can hear it, you can use it, just like a big-ass word."

Other times Schroder drops in these great philosophical quotes like

"Freedom is the acceptance of contraint." or "One man's music is another man's chaos."

You really never know what you're gonna get. I wish I video. It's impossible to get the full effect without seeing him bouncing around the class, dancing, mumbling to himself, talking in the third person, ripping on students, etc. I don't think there's been a class session yet, where he hasn't had us all rolling.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008


today I am thankful for family. and heritage. and the faith i see in the wrinkles around eyes that have seen much by the light of our Savior. for a grandmother whose smile and laugh are youthful as ever, though her mind has not been so sharp lately, and a grandfather whose patience and steadfastness are a model nearing the perfection that could have only been produced by counting trials as joys. for an uncle whom i'd had not seen in far too long and whom with i can finally share the joys of music since our Lord has freed him from schizophrenia! for a mom and dad whose endless prayers and support uplift me daily even though their son thinks he's gonna be a rock star. for the hands and arms and hearts that form a misshapen and rather homely circle as we bow to thank our Provider for the meal before us

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Today in reading class I performed Mozart's Eine Kleine Nacthmusik as part of a guitar quartet. Later today in the Hard Rock Live Playing Workshop I performed One Armed Scissor by At the Drive-In. I love rock'n'roll school.  You can enjoy either of these wonderful tunes below.

Happy turkey!...and potatoes, and green been casserole, and gravy (oh gravy), and candied yams, and ham maybe too, and definitely stuffing, and oh yeah, enjoy the music.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

what i've been spinnin' (or perhaps more accurately clickin'?)

i'm probably overdue for a 'song of the season' post, but there hasn't been just one particular song for bit. so here's what's on my itunes recently played. not much new. just good.

Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Nick Drake - Pink Moon
Bruce Springsteen - Devils & Dust
Ryan Adams and the Cardinals - Cold Roses
Cat Stevens - Teaser and the Firecat
Queen - Greatest Hits
The Clash - London Calling
Brand New - The Devil and God are Raging inside of Me
Iron & Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days
Radiohead - Amnesiac
Rober Plant Alison Krauss - Raising Sand
Led Zeppelin - I
Guster - Keep It Together
the National Lights - The Dead Will Walk
Radiohead - Ok Computer
Andrew M and the Coalition of Willing - All's Well that Ends
Patty Griffin - 10,000 Kisses
Fleet Foxes - Ragged Wood

Monday, November 10, 2008

In a disguise?

On saturday my roommate and I went out to people watch during the protest to the passing of proposition 8.  When things had settled down we went over to the donut shop. We were standing outside the shop eating when a few more people passed us. One guy said, "what's up?" so i gave him the nod and said, "hey."  they walked on a few paces before he came back hesitantly and said to me, "I thought you were a celebrity. I had to look a little closer.  You're beard didn't match your hair, so I had to make sure it wasn't fake."  Apparently i look so ridiculous on  a daily basis that no one would actually mean to look like me.  It must be disguise.  I can't decide if that is a complement or not.

Friday, November 7, 2008

it's friday night and i'm totally awesome, right? so i'm at this killer party and there are girls everywhere, no. I'm sitting outside my coffee shop internetting.

when my roommate and I arrived, there were two men two tables over. one was older maybe 65, the other mmm, late 30 early 40s. i took from their conversation and his accent that he hadn't been in the states very long. the younger of the two was bring this man up to speed on how to think now that he's in america. I didn't hear much what the older man said because he's from another country and wasn't talking so loudly that everyone around him could hear, like we american's do, but younger, louder fella it seemed like the older gentleman was pretty traditional in thought. loud talker kept saying, "your mind is just stuck in Bulgaria, but you're in america now." i heard talk of how marriage doesn't mean anything anymore and other selfish, hopeless banter.
"c'mon, you guys should be out partying," the 40 year old told us in passing, bring back a fresh cup of coffee. after basically begging the him to go to his apartment and get a game (something like backgammon, i think, but i don't remember the name) so that the younger guy would have something to do tonight, the older guy declined and took off for the night. i listened for a while as our 40-year-old loud talker dialed some unsuspecting friend (with his hands free headset) and proceeded to give him a lecture on the economics of the coffee shop business, chain smoking the whole time. then i put on my headphones and put on Led Zeppelin I (which i'm really into right now, by the way). when he was out of people to call he left for a bit to grab another pack of cigarettes.
now, all the while i was sitting hear jamming to zep reading blogs, doing internet banking and the like. while i was reading one particular blog (the 'David Dark, the Kingdom, and Hospitality' post) i started thinking about how this guy 10 feet from me was probably really lonely and could use some hope-filled conversation. and i in all my hopefilledness was just sitting here pretending to block everyone out cuz i had things to do and was annoyed by his loud talking. i got convicted, and i was trying to think of a way to break into conversation with him he left. a few minutes later a pair of dudes about my age sat down and found a bottle in a paper sack that the other fella had apparently picked up when he went for cigarettes. he started making fun of the fact that someone had been drinking outside of the coffee shop, and I immediately chimed in with, "yeah, i think he smoked a pack and a half while he was here. ha ha, he seemed kinda lonely."

all that to say, do better than me. look up from your magazine, computer screen, or book. take out your headphones and talk to the person next to you whom you have just judged and whose probably hurting, and could use a little hope and a smile. and i'll try to do better next time.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


this is  Pink's. it's a hotdog stand that has been on this corner since 1939! you can get just about whatever you can think of on your hotdog. I went for fairly normal  Bacon Chili Cheese Dog, but the Mulholland Dr. dog looked very enticing. Check out the full menu here.

Here's another shot of the line. It doesn't really do it justice.  There is always a line that goes around the building and down the ally. Always. And when you get to the front it snakes you around like disneyland! For a brief moment I thought about making this a Hollyweird post, but I think we safely say this fits in the category of Hollyawesome.

Monday, October 27, 2008

more like Hollyweird (2)

I had hoped for a better angle but mr. red shirt messed it all up. this is an In-and-out burger, and we're fairly certain that she's wearing a wedding dress.

beach in October?

Yep. on friday it was about 85 or 90 in Hollywood so my roommate and I went to the beach. it was wonderful. I just wanted to make those you of jealous who have actually be able to experience fall, cuz i am jealous of you.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

fall and furniture

This is my roommate Brandon. After a long day of searching through IKEA for the very cheapest tables and chairs, and putting together said tables and chairs, we walked over to our friendly neighborhood Ralph's and picked up (as Jeff would say) the all-American meal break in our new table. We enjoyed our pizza on paper towels, as we do not yet have plates, and with the dawn of fall (two days ago it was still 95 degrees here) we a little Octoberfest. Really we were just excited to not sit on the floor.

Monday, October 6, 2008


more like awesome work! 

I had my first day of classes today and school is going to be a blast. For homework i've been touching up on pattern 2 and 4, in the CAGED system, of the blues scale and learning some rhythm figures/chord changes for tomorrow's Rhythm Section workshop. Here's what a general week of Rock'n'Roll school will look like:

12pm  - Reading II (my lowest point in placement tests...gonna take a little work)
1pm - Single String Improvisation II  (not sure why it's called single string)
2pm Rhythm Guitar II
5pm Slide guitar

12pm - Harmony and Theory III
1pm - Ear Training III
2-4pm - Rhythm Section Workshop (taking what we did in SSI and Rhythm Guitar yesterday and putting it together with a bass player and drummer)
4pm - Private lesson

just like monday expect my elective will be Jimi Hendrix Rhythm guitar

like tuesday, but without the RSW and plus Rock Lead Guitar

There is another class called Live Playing Workshop where you sign up for a time slot playing a style of your choosing (Modern Rock, Blues, Fusion, Jazz, Country, Metal, etc) with a band made up of other students from the bass, keys, percussion, vocal programs and get critiqued by professors. Your supposed to do about 1 a week.

So there is no more of the dreaded homework...just awesome work. And starting class at noon is so rock'n'roll.

And...Praise the Lord!...i finally have an apartment.  The building looks pretty sketchy (just like i like it), but the place itself is pretty nice (small, but nice), and i'm sharing it with this guy named Brandon whom i barely know, but he went to the Comtemporary Music Center too, so we're basically family. It's right on Hollywood Blvd about 2 miles from school. We finish moving in tomorrow. Now about that job...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

more good news

doughnut shops and 7elevens are in abundance in CA. To help me combat traffic this afternoon, I had a huge-ass mable bar and slurpee for a  well rounded 4 o'clock lunch (don't worry i ran 3 miles this morning...maybe i should have run 4) along with a little wilco (I also can't get enough of Sky Blue Sky right now). Everything was fine and dandy until the sugar wore off and the swass set in...but then I still had Nels Cline's guitaring blowing my mind.  Soon i'll have a place in Hollywood (pray for that, if you have a second) and I won't have the long drives back to the burbs where the McAlpines are being my wonderful hosts. i love family, or friend's family, or yeah family, or the body of Christ. yeah. 

some good news

For some reason I couldn't get the lyrics to copy in here right, but here for your enjoyment is a song by the band Frightened Rabbit called The Modern Leper. I can't get enough right now.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

boo to the 5

So really the 24 Days of Awesome turned out to be more like the 22 Days of Awesome and 2 long-ass days of driving that were only partly awesome. what gives?  right around 2200 miles total from Spokane to LA (in a rather round-a-bout sort of fasion) and all kinds of good people along the way.
Today i landed in Placentia, CA at Andy's (his name is not a funny color because he never blogs anymore....guilt.) folk's house. I'm so grateful that they agreed to take me in while I register at school and find a place of my own.
I logged 525 miles today. I added a few miles so that I could pay  dollars to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge. I glad I did because then I crossed over to I5 and had the, straightest most uneventful drive of my life. The first few vineyards and orchards were pretty. then all I saw for 400 miles were vineyards, orchards, and dead grass. Luckily, i was prepared. Today's music selections included:

  • this dope-ass mix that Katie made me for the drive
  • Jeremy Enigk "World Waits"
  • Frightened Rabbit "The Midnight Organ Fight"
  • Damien Jurado "Caught In the Trees"
  • Bruce Springsteen "Darkness on the Edge of Town"
  • Wilco "Sky Blue Sky"
  • Patty Griffin "1000 Kisses"
  • Margot and the Nuclear So and So's "The Dust of Retreat"
  • Sarah Masen "The Dreamlife of Angels"
  • Bob Dylan "Blood on the Tracks"
  • Ben Lundquist "Afterthoughts"
maybe today was awesome afterall...minus the swass.

Hustler's grab your guns...

...your shadow weighs a ton
driving down the 101

I added 423 miles yesterday all on the 101, but i started out the morning hittin' the surf with my bro. it was a gorgeous morning at the south jetty and the good Lord did grant us each our one good ride (which for me means I paddled into the biggest wave of the day, stayed on my belly for a bit cuz I was nervous, and then stood up for like 3 seconds). But you combine a little wave fighting, a little wave riding, and 9 hours of driving you get one tired Marc, so here's yesterday's post.

a few points of interest on the 101 run:
  • the nicest rest stop ever is just north of Brookings, OR. It's nicely landscaped with a huge park and some trials, outdoor picnic area shielded from the wind, and clean (not new, but clean) bathrooms . there is a manned guest info station with free maps, and get this! wifi? what? at a rest stop? yes. God bless Oregon.
  • somehow Dairy Queen has managed to put a restaurant in every Oregon coast town
  • there is another interesting chain in some of those towns- the Wacky Tobacconist, which i thought said the Wacky Baconist when i saw it in the first town. I mean, how great would that be! A whole store for Bacon!
  • driving for a few hours and then seeing a sign that says 373 miles to San Francisco is pretty discouraging 

Monday, September 22, 2008

This is how I roll

Right around 1300 miles logged so far...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

hippie soap

the 24 days of awesome are going splendidly. I spent the last few days at the family lake cabin with my folks, my brother and his boys, and few friends who dropped in. Now, when you're at the cabin, bathing is definitely not required (which is not really different than normal for me, just a little more acceptable). After a few days there, and a particularly sweaty session of helping Dad with the roof, i found myself in need of a bath. Luckily we had some of this!
The 18-in-1 Hemp Peppermint Pure-Castile Soap from Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps (aka the hippie soap) 18-in-1! Are you kidding me?! No, i'm not. I love this stuff. And there's another use they didn't think of- wakeboard binding lubricant. that's how we got started on this stuff. my wonderful sister-in-law was concerned about the dish soap we were using to get our feet into the boots. I'm sure glad she was! the uses i took advantage of this fine day were: shampoo, face wash, body wash, and mouth wash.

the process:
  • dive into lake
  • shampoo, scrub, etc. being careful to srub everywhere that needs it with a swimsuit on and without be too conspicuous, as there are probably neighbors watching
  • dive into lake
  • climb swim ladder feeling tingly and refreshed
  • squirt a little more hippie soap in mouth along with a swig of water and swish
  • go about day feeling awesome that you just bathed in a lake with hippie soap, knowing that there are still somewhere around 15 other ways you can use said hippie soap. awesome.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Sometimes the Boss sings my life

There's a man on the corner singin' my life
And he's playing guitar with a rusty old knife
Each song that he sings rhymes with the true
And reminds us of something beyond the Blues

-Peter Case "Beyond the Blues"

On a rattlesnake speedway in the Utah desert
I pick up my money and head back into town
Driving cross the Waynesboro county line
I got the radio on and I'm just killing time
Working all day in my daddy's garage
Driving all night chasing some mirage
Pretty soon little girl I'm gonna take charge

The dogs on Main Street howl
`cause they understand
If I could take one moment into my hands
Mister I ain't a boy, no I'm a man
And I believe in a promised land

I've done my best to live the right way
I get up every morning and go to work each day
But your eyes go blind and your blood runs cold
Sometimes I feel so weak I just want to explode
Explode and tear this whole town apart
Take a knife and cut this pain from my heart
Find somebody itching for something to start


There's a dark cloud rising from the desert floor
I packed my bags and I'm heading straight into the storm
Gonna be a twister to blow everything down
That ain't got the faith to stand its ground
Blow away the dreams that tear you apart
Blow away the dreams that break your heart
Blow away the lies that leave you nothing but lost and brokenhearted

I believe in a promised land...

-Bruce Springsteen "The Promise Land"

This is my life right now. I pray I'll have the faith to stand my ground.
Who Sings your life?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

a mustache brotherhood 2

I hadn't intended for this originally, but it turns out the mustache brotherhood might me a series! I love mustaches. and brotherhoods.

Yesterday I started what I'm calling the 24 days of awesome. Awesome because i'm done worrying about getting out of my house, i don't have a job, my folks have a lake cabin, there are friends in Spokane that I rarely get to hang with but now I do, I like road trips, there are friends in other towns that I'll get to visit. Anyway, back to the mustaches...Sarah and Jo talked me into staying for one more day and the 24 days of awesome started with Goldy's!..correction: it started with me waiting at Goldy's for and hour before either of them got there. I saw a brother. I realized it was the guy from the record exchange with the really grandiose mustache, the kind that you wax up the ends of. wow. so much bolder than I.

me: "hey was that your mustache that got called out at the Wilco show?"
Guy from the record exchange with the gradiose mustach: "I don't know. Maybe it was yours."
me: "i told my friends [at the show], it could only be the guy from the record exchange."
GFTREWTRGM: "It was nice to be recognized by Mr. Tweedy."
me: "no doubt. no doubt." [laughter]
GFTREWTRGM: "what's you name?"
me: "Marc." [a shake]
GFTREWTRGM: "i'm Bryan" (i assume the 'y' in Bryan. not really sure why.)

We talked on about music and other shows we'd seen at the winery. By the end of our wait, Bryan's lady friend asked me to join their table, but i told them i had friends coming. Inside, I passed them on the way to the restroom. He called me by name and we joked a bit.
instant brothers.

Monday, September 1, 2008

i love my neighbors

as I was cleaning up and moving out this week, I found a few things I no longer needed, but thought someone could probably use them. I had a garage sale last week that took care of a lot of it, but i just kept finding stuff I didn't need. this is how we do it in the land of the hippies:
Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 2:17 PM

Sat, Aug 30, 2008 at 9:31 AM

Someone even hung up the jeans for me to advertise! A few hours later all of this was gone and I put out a fresh batch. This was a relatively small batch compared to the rest of the days. My neighbors are great. When John, who I had only had a few short conversations with, was taking some tupperware off my hands a few days later he wandered up to my door and asked me where I was moving to. He used to live in LA and immediately started calling his friends over there to see if anyone needed a roommate. Hyde Park people, thank you for showing me how to be a good neighbor. I will miss you.

very clean and web 2.0

I experienced a little anxiety this week for the first time in...well i can't even remember how long. I'm generally a pretty easy going fella and don't often let stress get to me. This week however, I spent moving out and doing a big final cleaning of my house, the last of four roommates. Many thanks to Sarah and JoJo for all their help. So why the anxiety you ask? Well because at for my team at the church our direction on just about every project has been, "very clean and web 2.0" and this is what my house looked like...

Ken, your OCDness has infected me. I seriously couldn't function after a few days of this. I found some sanity by clearing a little spot on my rug, lighting some candles so that I could only see the clean spot around me, and playing a hymn or two on my guitar.

Speaking of anxiety, it was one of the many things my pastor preach on this week. He says we need to combat with humility...interesting...and true. I need to listen the sermon again. He brought the word hard, as usual. What a badass! Eat the Word. Gonna miss you church.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

WIL COme together

Preface: I think i'm cool. Now, this is not true, but none-the-less i continue to think it's true.

I went to see WILCO and the Fleet Foxes a couple nights ago. The Fleet Foxes were money. I think these 5 dudes grew up in the foot hills of the Appalachians with only one guitar. Because they only had one guitar they all learned to sing really, really well and make sweet, sweet harmonies. Somehow they found a Rhodes and a mandolin along side of the road and turned up the reverb way too much. I love it.
Wilco was magical. I haven't been the biggest Wilco fan, despite Andy and Nard's best efforts, but recently have been getting into them more and more. Alt/Country/Noise/Funk/Folk/Rock = awesome. But That's just the music. I think there was something a whole lot bigger going on... These dudes are not cool. They're all middle aged or older, they don't dress cool, they were kinda funny, but like nerdy funny. I thought, maybe the drummer was cool, but then I realized his drum set was made of clear plastic- clearly uncool.
Between acts, i was chatting with Tricia who is quite a people watcher. We were noticing how many different styles of people were there, in addition to the fact that we never thought there'd be that many people in Boise who would come out to a Wilco concert. This group was so diverse. There was the guy wearing a sarong with a flower behind his ear, there was the bro (aka- short spikey hair and abercrombie t-shirt), there was the guy from the Record Exchange with the grandiose mustache, and a drove of normalish, unoriginal, rather uncool looking people of all ages, literally 5 to 75. I said to Tricia, "Well, I guess the lesson tonight is- Wilco brings people together." I said this kind of jokingly, but as the night went I realized how true it was.
After the sun went down in our beautiful (aka- dusty) southern Idaho sky and things cooled off a bit, the band got into it a little more and so did the crowd. The back lights on stage were overthrowing enough to put light on the faces around me. Every head was bobbing and most singing along. Those that weren't singing were smiling wide. Somehow 5 uncool dudes armed with instruments and songs brought together a most unlikely and uncool group of people. There might have been someone there that was cool, but no one knew it. If no one recognizes that you're cool, are you? All cool powers were lost that night because people weren't surrounded by others like them that thought they were cool. Everyone was uncool together....Which i think, then, makes everyone cool. All I know is I was pumped that the guy next to me, who was bobbing his head so hard that his whole body was shaking, was having a great time.
Bravo Wilco! I think redemption is afoot here. I probably need to do a little more investigation in Wilco's tunes. Maybe in 15 years i'll be uncool enough to have a really cool band.

Sorry this is so long. I leave you with this:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

listen. to music.

So most of my roommates moved out. Kyle still remains, but who knows when he'll be gone again off to wild fire fighting...Anyway, last night I had the house all to myself. After watching a little TV while eating leftovers, I turned it off. [sigh] that's nice. I think the TV has been on for a great majority of the in-house waking hours (some sleeping too) in the last year of my life. With a quick little patch job, I plugged my computer into the surround sound system that Vinnie left us and just listened to music. The lamps seemed a little too bright so I grabbed some candles that Jeff left us and just got to listen. So often we play music in the background, a soundtrack to our lives while we drive, work, play, talk, cruise the internet. That's great. I've got some playing right now. Life would be a little dull without it. But it's nice once in a while to bring music to the front of our perception and enjoy it like we'd enjoy an art show or a movie. I think one of music's jobs is to bring justice (more on this later. I'm still trying to wrap my head around this idea) to our souls. It can help make things right. So let it. Do it. Listen. to music.

I want to try out a little something new here too. We'll call it 'song of the season,' because i'm not sure i would keep up 'song of the day' or even 'song of the week' (and because of the nice alliteration!) This one is "Blue Rondo a la Turk" from the 1959 Dave Brubeck Quartet album Time Out. check out how these brilliant geniuses mess with time and make you like it. Just when you think you've had enough of trying to figure out what meter they're in they bust into this smooth swing, Paul Desmond's sweet tone just soothing away all those thought of, "oh, i could never make music this good."

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Monday, August 11, 2008

oh. wow. John. that was big.

is anyone else getting really annoyed by the negative, nasally gymnastics announcer. He never gives any technical clue to what he's talking about. He just says, "oh. that was a mistake," or, "oh. wow. oh. my," with huge pauses in between and never tells us anymore. My favorites today were, "Gi. Gantic. Number," and "Gymnastics 101. Grab the bar." ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! SHUT UP NASAL MAN! Could somebody please fire this guy? I love watching gymnastics (along with many other events) in these, The Games of the XXIXth Olympiad of the Modern Era, but seriously, I'd have a lot more fun if NBC would fire this guy...

Friday, August 8, 2008

a mustache brotherhood

I have a mustache. it's just a subtle one, nicely trimmed, with a soul patch, you know, to get that artsy flavor.

Last week during a routine lunch stop at the Great Harvest Bread Co. something that i'm sure has existed since the beginning of time (or maybe since the sixth day of creation) became known to me. I was standing in line waiting to order a sandwich and there was a guy slicing off bread samples for those waiting in line. I heard him saying, "Sir, can a slice you a piece of (fill in the bread of the day)?." But when he got to me it was, "What can I get you Bro? I called you bro becuase I noticed your mustache and [pointing at his upper lip] i'm trying to get one of those going too. Is it that simple?

Mustache [pointing at me] ?
Mustache [pointing at you]?

Then today...
When i went to send off my scholarship application today (which was way too expensive, cuz I waited till the last minute) something fantastic happened! As I was leaving the parking lot another guy with a mustache was entering. We both had our windows down. We smiled. We nodded. We knew. Brothers.

Ok, I know, I haven't posted in over a week. Don't worry, I've been both verbally and blogally abused. Part of the reason was I was working on a scholarship application (if you didn't know i'm going to Musicians Institute in LA in the fall). It's a performance scholarship and it required video of me in a few different contexts, one being a solo number. I haven't done that since I dusted off the old jazz chops and here's what you get. Time was limited at the shoot and I needed to mail it off today, so there are some flubs...but hopefully Marcus made me look cool enough that they'll forget that I messed up...

Stela By Starlight from Marcus Hackler on Vimeo.
Many thanks to Marcus for filming this and putting togther the DVD for me!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

mere mortals?

I was reading the other day at my favorite coffee shop (the shop with the biggest pastries!...and some pretty good coffee) and was just smacked upside the face with this passage from C.S. Lewis. As odd as it my be this is my first Lewis, so...sorry if i'm just way behind. Something my pastor said tonight reminded me of this. It comes from the last page of the first chapter of The Weight of Glory:

"There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations- these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit- immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean we are perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously- no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner - no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to you senses."

And a few quotes from Pastor Krist:

"Love is inconvenient."

"What would happen if the Church started doing something creative with the Golden Rule?"

I used to be better at this neighbor loving stuff. And by neighbor i mean the people around me at any given point. When i was a kid i loved people. In elementary school i used to talk to everyone, "be nice" to everyone. What happened? Well somewhere along the line I started caring what was cool, what I looked like, what other people looked like, what other people could get me...and I lost some of that innocence. I want it back! I want to see people as glorious, precious creations. Lord, help me.

Monday, July 21, 2008

oooh wow, eh, and bleh (this is the throw up sound)

I went to see Andrew Bird and Josh Ritter tonight...

Oh wow! - I've been into Andrew Bird for a quite a while, and I enjoy him immensely, but it's been a while since I've listened to his I knew he was great on the violin (i'm pretty sure it's violin, not fiddle. His lines lean more classical than they do blue grass), and his singing is fantastic, or perhaps, croontastic...But what i'd forgotten about was his whistling!...maybe the sexiest whistle i've ever heard. Whisting, hand claps, violin, all through a loop pedal and then piped through a spinning double gramaphon - amazing...not to mention his great band.

eh - I'd heard Josh Ritter's name around quite a bit, and someone recommended his album "The Animal Years" to me, to I checked it out. It's great, cool neo folk vibe to back some stand-up lyrics. He's got a new one out called "The Historical Conquest of Josh Ritter," which I hadn't heard any of until tonight....I wasn't impressed. He came out with this big goofy grin on his face, all nervous because he's playing his home state. Ok, it was kinda cute...for 2 songs maybe...but he was just giddy and cheesin' all night... The hip textures from the Animal Years turned into some cheesey, straight country and the lyrics? - a little cheese sauce on the side. Occasionally he played one of the older tunes, which kept me around, but really the only thing he had going for him was this kick-ass bass player. He was dressed all classy with matching slacks and vest. To add to his class points he sported some dark horn-rimmed specticals and a big, fat, handlebar mustache, you know, the kind that culrs up on the end....oh yeah and he was a great musician as well.

Bleh (this is the throw up sound)- When I got home i made myslef a little plate of Nachos ( i know, it's late but I didn't have a chance to eat dinner) and sat down to watch some Conan. It was a re-run with an uninteresting guest, so I flipped over the the Craig Fergison show to check it out. Ooo, just in time for the musical namer? well, i'll give 'em a whirl. NO NO! what is this?
This is what he sang (well something like this, cuz it's late and I was trying to block it out):

Things are gonna get better
Things are gonna get better
This is true
Things are gonna get better
Things are gonna get better
For me and you

Are you serious? This is when I threw up. Really? If that's what it takes to sell records, I think I could write like 4 a year that would sell and still have to make some real music....

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Inagural Post

Well, I finally caved. Peer pressure is forever (check me out! I'm totally linking already!) as my friend David Dark's blog is entitled. So, without further ado, here is my blog post.

I couldn't figure out what kind of blog I should have....I'm not funny enough to have a funny blog, not smart enough to have a blow your mind with my insight kind of blog, not a good enough engineer/producer/guitarist/songwriter to have one of those kind off blogs either. So what you're gonna get is probably a mess of all that: talk of guitar tone, my latest recording venture, my faith journey, the book i'm reading (or that I've read one chapter in and won't read again for another month), the balancing act of life, and what I experienced on my last hand modeling job, probably in this sort of random, tangent filled manor. It's called Marc's Hands (at least for now) because well, I still think it's funny to make jokes about how I've done some hand modeling (which is actually true, not that I got paid for it, but still...) and because, on the real, most of the stuff i'll be bloging about will be the work of my hands (kinda cheesy? yes). If you find anything good here, it's probably something that somebody else already said better.

So after that brilliant introduction you're probably thinking, "wow. really? this guy thinks people are going to read this?" Yep. That's what i'm thiking too...