Sunday, May 30, 2010

"Colonial"...

...is the title of the new Moutheater record.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Less Is More

The concept of "less is more" is something that brings a great deal of comfort to my life. For me I need to strip things down as much as I can to create and often even just to live. It's how my mind functions. My guitar rig is as minimal as I can get it, my noise rig is as stripped down as possible, I'm constantly thinking of ways to weed out "filler" from my music collection, etc. I want the things in my life to be only the few essential ones, I want the tools I use in my creative processes to be only the few essential ones, etc.

I think my real need for this sort of aesthetic in my life stems from my overall hatred of the general watering down and over-saturation of everything that means anything (something I touched on two entries ago). I don't need a bunch of extra baggage watering down the things that are important to me. I don't need 500 effects units (or any effects units at all when it comes to Moutheater) watering down my ideas and what I want to express on a record or during a performance, for example. There are those rare gem-like artists out there that can somehow create masterful work with a billion different options and tools at their fingertips but in my mind those are few and far between. For the most part you end up with some over-saturated, over-worked, contrived piece of garbage by some asshole who didn't have any real thoughts in the first place.

For me, it's much more interesting to see what someone can create with almost nothing. I think that's what separates the real artists from the fakes, the men from the boys if you will. I wanna see how your fucking mind works, inside and out. Are you a true creative mind or are you hiding behind a bunch of shit that in the grand scheme of what creativity should mean, is totally obsolete.

When you strip away all of the meaningless non-essentials, the posers quickly fall to the side of the road.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Conversations/Ranting

So I write a lot of my thoughts about underground culture on here and in my notebooks and I'm always trying to consolidate and compile small essay type pieces for my own sanity and just to try and keep my ideas/ideals focused. What you're about to read are two public conversations that I had with friends on the ole' interweb. The reason that I'm posting them is because they contain a lot of thoughts of mine that I've been trying desperately to consolidate into one piece. Every time I try and create that one piece though, I don't feel like I get the point across as well as I did when I was in the heat of the moment during these two conversations. Both of these have been chopped down a little bit so as to weed out un-needed information and personal stuff.

The first conversation started as the result of someone posting a link to a preview of a movie called "To Have And To Hold" which is a documentary about vinyl culture:

Me: Gonna check this out when it hits Netflix/The Naro. My only real problem with movies and books like this is that they tend to get presented in a way (as this appears to) that feeds into this culture of people that don't really have any real interest in preservation or underground music culture. They just buy records because a movie made it look "cool".

Friend: I agree with that mentality except- isn't that better for music overall? (When it's facing death) Maybe those posers will learn in time to become real contributors.

Me: I definitely see the side of it where maybe if 1,000 people get into it because of a movie or something then maybe 4 or 5 of them will actually stick with it. But I also have a "glass half empty" sort of outlook on this. False culture (or whatever) just sort of feeds more of the same. For instance, saying that this current "hipster" movement thing that's going on is good for underground music because it's better than nothing and/or maybe a few of them will get a clue doesn't really appeal to me because overall it's bad for underground music culture. Sure a few kids might end up getting it "right" but there's gonna be a lot more that don't. All of the idiots running around crucifying independent culture and all of it's ideals so that they can have a fun Saturday night (as innocent as that might seem to some) are really dragging it through the mud right now and over-saturating it with bullshit.

Friend: I pretty much agree. Although I'm generally more 'half full' and don't subscribe to the 'exclusivity' mentality, watered down opinions on stuff people halfway care about doesn't really do anything for anyone.

Me: I literally talk about this stuff with Ryan and a few others for hours on end haha. I feel like "exclusivity" (or any variety of other words) is what keeps independent culture potent. I feel like a large portion of punk is really watered down right now and truthfully it's because a "hey everyone, come on in" attitude has allowed a lot of people that don't really have their heads in the game and are sort of half assing everything to trample all over it and take whatever tidbits they're comfortable with. They just want an easy "cool" factor without all of the hard work. And really, with this sort of culture you're either in or you're out. Weekend warrior status=might as well not be involved at all, in my book. I'm a grouchy bastard though.

Friend: That's one thing that I actually totally agree with, when it comes to punk and hardcore. The hardcore tourism blows.

Me: Well and that's why a lot of people half jokingly say that the internet is ruining underground culture. It's made every detail of information available to everyone to manipulate however they see fit and it's also created this culture of people that don't do anything but somehow feel that they have something valid to contribute because they're on a messageboard. People no longer feel like they have to go to shows, books shows, play in bands, put records out, etc to be an active member of the underground. They can just hop on the internet.

The second conversation started as the result of a friend posting a link to a blog entry he had written about why punk and hardcore seem so watered down right now:

Me: Underground culture has become too open and allowed too many people that don't have their heads in the game (so to speak) in. In my opinion, this sort of thing waters the culture down as a whole. Underground culture isn't meant to be a casual interest in my opinion and that's how a lot people are treating it. "One foot out of the tub."="Why are you even involved?" as far as I'm concerned. If you wanna do this then great but make it your life, not a hobby for when the game isn't on. Exclusivity (from the mainstream in particular) is what keeps underground culture potent and meaningful.

The internet is also a huge factor in the laziness of current underground culture. It's bred this entire sect of people that no longer feel like they have to put records out, play in bands, go to shows, book shows, or be involved in any tangible way to feel that they're a part. They can just download a few records, read Wikipedia, and post about it on a messageboard.

Friend: Nice. I'm glad you chimed in on this. I think I understand your point but I want to make sure. Could you be a little more specific with the "make it your life" part? For example...do you mean that they need to play in bands and try and make it their job? Or do you mean they need to invest in it and care about it as more than a trite hobby? Or do you mean something completely different?

Me: I mean you need to invest in it and make it a huge part of your life. There are a lot of people that want the "coolness" of underground culture without all of the hard work. I don't think it's ok to come in and just take the little tidbits that you're comfortable with. It's all or nothing, you're either in or you're out. There's no inbetween. All of the weekend warriors are slowly watering down and destroying all of the hard work that so many have put into this over the years. It'll be left meaningless just like the mainstream if this is allowed to continue without anyone calling "bullshit".

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A quote about my set from one of last night's show attendees:

"All that dude did was make a bunch of noise and yell. What a pretentious, self-indulgent asshole."

Saturday, May 1, 2010