1. be nice. 2. be nice…

1. have seen a few “I hate lists” posts now floating around. Am concerned this will be the new Charming Hit Meme.
2. As we all know, this will affect me not at all, as I will continue doing precisely what I always do. However, it may affect your feelings about me if you are a person who is affected by what the Internet tells you is cool.
3. In that vein, I hope dislike buttons and -1s don’t appear and become the new Taco.
4. We should quit hating things. Its tacky. See what I did there? I left out that apostrophe. Yes. I did that on porpoise. It’s a learning experience. It’s so we can all grow. Let’s move on. Let it sit there. Or if the urge becomes too great, go back through everything you’ve written in the past year and look for your own little bobbles. Then we can revisit the topic of criticizing one another! 🙂
6. At Hall and Oates last night, they played the Making My Dreams Come True song for the 1st Encore (yes my titles are fronk). That’s my favorite one. I could tell they would have liked to play new material. Both of them have current stuff that should be seen. I’ll probably write about that soon.
7. Last night I had a dream and Miss Gradenko was playing in the background of it. So I’m gonna be slurking around the house going “no-body but us in here……”
8. Someone … occasionally sometimes … is wrong on the Internet. Or they will disagree with you.
9. Deal.
10. Have a lovely day, filled with tiny hedgehogs and cupcakes and Frolic, or doom and napalm and swear words. It’s totally your decision.

The Long Awaited…Jim of Seattle

I’d like to talk to you today about a friend of mine whose CD I’m just getting to know. I spacebooked and tweeted about it about a week ago (or more), and I shall probably mention it again (for sure). In addition to this, my pal Tom Giarrosso passed it along on HIS spacebook so that’s a good example of how passing the love along is meant to work. Let that be a lesson to us all, gremlins.

Now … This particular project is the first, brand new release from a musician I know from Song Fight! called Jim of Seattle. You should go look into this, because Jim is an exceptional musician who has created an amazing piece of Art. He is not the only “Jim” in Seattle, but as far as I am concerned after just an inital perusal of this material so I could get started enough to write a bit to you so you could go quickly and get this recording – he might as well be!

Jim is not new to the music industry, as you will no doubt figure out. This is the caliber of work I’d like to feel under my wings when I make a release and finally say “BOOM! Look at this! I have made sticky sound that will last for generations!” So not only is this thing just plain charming and important – Jim is a musician’s musician.

For Jim this has been a real journey. You’ll grok that if you read the interview between Jim of Seattle and Green Monkey Records President Tom Dyer (you can also see a fun photo there of Jim with a bike and a pigeon, and other nifty photos of Jim doing cool stuff. I rather enjoyed these because I like seeing pictures of people that I know from the internet even though I know they do not look like their avatars! Also if you read my blog you know that I am creepy and will fully and curiously photo stalk to see who I’m talking to :)).

Anyway, yes, there’s a special kind of energy hearing a recording from someone who has taken the time to reveal their vision to the world with such deliberate intent after a lifelong trip through many other musical avenues. So this recording IS pretty intense. And it HAS been a long time coming.

You can preview the recording at CD Baby (linked up there too, by that iTunes link); and there is a small sample of it on the Green Monkey Records website where you can hear three tracks in entirety –

{EDIT/1-19-2012: You can hear more than THREE tracks, actually. I went back and checked after my original posting of this blog and saw it! On the player there is a small dragbar to the far right of those first three tracks (like one on a browser). Scroll down with it. Voila! There are several more songs and you can actually hear them all!} –

-one of which is the track that is also featured in the video ‘Laboratory Rat.’

The video is creepy and slightly horrifying (in a compelling and thought-provoking fashion), but … it’s … CUTE …somehow… Because there are drawings of all these “oooOOOOOooo” things (he made the video with Bill Lieren). Icky scary creepy CUTE drawings. And that’s all I’m going to say. No more spoilers. 🙂

From what I can tell in initial passes through Jim’s work – there’s a presence of intriguing juxtapositions. Little sonic ironies and pointed statements amidst moments of endearing delight. Really, I would say the listener is very musically well taken care of – Jim does know how to make you a spectator in a performance space. He has the background for this. But you have to hear it for yourself to really FEEL the Whole Thing, because he is just not Like anyone else, even if they are skilled at arranging pop songs into lush arrangements. He is different because HE is different. This doesn’t sound like orchestral showboating, this sounds like a lot of FUN.

I think this is why I like Jim, and why I was so pleased to encounter him at Song Fight in the first place and so happy every time he showed approval of anything I did in MY work. It’s because I GET that feeling of having a broad range of styles and of having just a LOT to say. Really, this should be appealing to most people as creators OR listeners or both … because at your CD collections they are just that – collections. Why would there not be a range of style and feel within one artist? The best sound-stories have an Album’s Entirety in mind, even if they are conceptual and able to be interpreted by the listener. I still feel I need more time alone with this recording from start to uninterrupted finish (mainly because I still do need to finish and hear All of The Bits). But I bet it stacks up through both skimming and deeper sonic inquiry.

Hearing developing cohesive complexity in someone’s work like this gives me hope that perhaps a thing like this is an accomplish-able goal! It’s exciting. It makes me realize that I can grow A Representative sound myself, over time, even if it is Range-y. There need to be more recordings like this, and I think this every time I hear something Quirky and Fun, and Beautiful.

On a personal note, there’s some titles here that I am happy to have heard before while participating in the Song Fight! contest – and I am inspired to see them more fully developed. This makes me want to hear more realized recordings of SF titles from others. But this recording is pretty special and I’ve been waiting for it 🙂

DEFINITELY check this out for yourself. Also, the first 100 copies will be signed. Order now! 🙂

********************

(this is a first in a series of Promontion-ary “Reviews-that-are-Gushy.” most of them horribly late. i am fortunate to have a few Talented Friends whose work I have really enjoyed, so it has been a time of Great Creativity.)

update-y mcFreak post.

1. I have been selected to participotato in a not really all that secret Thing. It’s like a compilation album. I am sure that my friend Brigitte London, a musician of the Outlaw Country persuasion, selected me because of my cleverness and ninja abilities, and not because of my glittering resume (even though I’m kinda-shiny-sometimes-aly). Nonetheless, I will endeavor to send them a somewhat bitchin’ track (this will be easy because I have been in song contests and especially songfighting – and My New Peers have been growling and insulting my work on a weekly basis so I am not worried about crumbling under professional scrutiny). It has just been a matter of which track. I have asked a few people, not too many, and have narrowed it down and (most likely) chosen one.
2. I am a little worried about my bio, although I sent it to my bud Jules and she said I look fine and gave me helpful hints. I will probably not tell dirty jokes in the bio, for example or mention @suspiciousden’s Dailybooth … so Jules is a good person to ask about these things because she knows how to bottle the creepy factor when need be (I’m sure she is enjoying this blog) … As far as where on earth these extremely well organized and professional people are going to be able to find me on the interwebs, since I am all over it like a bad rash, I may whine a little more:
3. Go to http://www.denisehudson.com. Go ahead. There’s nothing there, is there? Well, that’s pretty sad, isn’t it. This is because I have the internet aptitude of a three year old. This is why you are currently reading this poorly designed wordpress content here and not in a zippier, sexy location of my choosing – with mood lighting and incense and dancing boys and chocolate and internet squirrels bringing you virtual Courvoisier.

my website will be this smooth and fly. like Griffpig. The World’s Coolest Sunglasses.

But I am going to attempt to rectify this situation like RIGHT NOW since I own the place, meaning my name. I refused to Sell to Worthier Denise-s, no indeed – not at Any Price. But sadly, I know NADA-NADA-Enchalaladada about such things.
4. But I can do it because I have many, many brain cells. Together they make AN ENTIRE BRAIN. So guess what goblins… I’m going to USE that brain to MAKE WEB HISTORY. And just LOOK OUT!!! Blogathon is NEXT MONTH! You know it!
5. However, I will probably be whining a LOT because we are also MOVING houses during this time when I suddenly have to make it seem like I have been an active member of the music community and not like I have just been sitting on my tuckus producing content.
6. Yes, I know I can use a Psychotics track for this compilation. Duh…..I should have gone as a Psychotic for Nur Ein, and for Halloween. We all know this. Flarg. This is HIGH on my list of consideration, seeing as this is my most Awesomeist of material and will Blend Best. Stay Tuna-ed.

I can’t even think anymore and there is pizza to be had. I will probably make an exciting google plus list later, and stalk the rest of the Honeys maniacally across the internet, becoming ever more intimidated with each passing click. I know that this is not The Point of camaraderie and fellowship and internet collaboration and that living in a tiny cave practicing my scales should come to an end. This will be good for me. I am an Upwardly Mobile Producer of Content and Country Musicians everywhere want me to go to their Barn Dances even though I came from the planet of Xondor. Yee-haw, y’all.

wuss threshold

1. I practiced a lot today.
2. I’m going to eat tacos.
3. I still have not finished my work, to everlasting chagrin.
4. This shall prolly be another fake list which starts off under list pretense and ends on long number…
:5!. I’m developing a small case of Freakiness. I’m erasing blogs again. I’m pretty sure this is because things suck. That’s the only way I know how to say it. This is the part where I get to smoke a cigarette and drink coffee from my smurf mug and not talk about it. I always feel guilty typing that, but when you are squishy under your microscope slide, obscuring it with a little bit of “FWOOSH” seems reasonable when you’ve proven you can go either way. And I have. Gone that way. It is my destiny #capeovereyes #bwahahahaha

6. HAH!!! You just think I’m SOOOOOOOOOOOO predictable don’t you?!?!?!

YOU DON’T KNOW ME!!!!!

#defiance #buffalostance

7. I keep missing a golden window of oppurtunity to get my gift of music done but I am just so in need of practice time and thinking and processing. I have had overload. I am in one of those times in life where…… hmmm. Do I have a dramatic metaphor for this???

it’s like having a medical procedure. Or going to a high school dance after a breakup. Or not being prepared for a math test. Or being in a fight.
You are scared, and it’s low grade at first. Not terror, because I’ve never feared for life for a mounting period of time so I don’t know. Like I haven’t been in a war, or anything. But this is a stomach feeling. You’re alive and you are afraid of what is going to happen next because it is going to SUCK and you are going to hurt like hell. These are the times when people wish they were dead because everyone has a wuss threshhold.

I’ve almost died before, or thought it was the case and feared my death. That actually upps your wuss threshold. But mine is not high enough for the dread not to get tripped when I KNOW that serious physical or emotional pain is coming my way. I hate to throw up, and I hate to cry and I hate to hurt. So I make myself forget things so that I can get through and pretend stuff’s not happening to me. I imagine a worst case scenario. Invariably I am usually presented with something I didn’t plan for. It’s the one part of the Algebra chapter I forgot to read, it’s the kick to my weak side. My exboyfriend walks into the dance and the girl looks like a teacup piglet or a ribboned box of chocolate chip cookies make by a squad of adorable upper woodwind players in happy-face aprons singing Sweet Christmas carols. And they are singing to orphansMy orphans….with ACCENTS !!!!!! My red stilettos are not in fashion and everyone is in sundresses and precious espadrilles. My hair is neon.

31 Flavors of T A C K Y !!!!!

…huh?

Oh! Yeah! I’m awake!!! Totally! Yeah! I’m SO awake!

Dude! I fell asleep in my own blog over thinking it. This is why I’m not getting things done. I feel kind of sick all the time and I don’t have leftover energy because I’m using the last tiny bits to erase blindingly unkind assaults to my identity that of course actually never happened because of course nobody would ever do that !!!!! ack.

By the way, make a note. For later. This is how it looks when you shoot estrogen into it.

Ten years ago I said I would have a shining moment with someone who made me sit in the shower shaking and crying with the Shakira Mascara of Alanis Level Sorrow because I poured my whole career into him and earlier had had given him a non refundable scented sachet of permanent residual love to keep even if something went horribly wrong because THAT, my froglings, is Desssssssstiny…..
…and this was the last ditch effort.
Last week, my moment came where it flipped around and it all returned to me. I thought I would blog the hell out of that moment.

Someone at the time told me if I was really over the moment I wouldn’t care – I’d be obsessed with something else.

Correcto.

I don’t have time for back story. I am Having a Crisis, y’all.
I would almost prefer you NOT read my blogs of years past though. Because in them you will see how little I have changed in some ways. There is, indeed, nothing new u der the sun, and we are doomed to repeat the same patterns over and over again. Every day of our lives. So the best I can do is to slow down and just quit REACTING. because that’s what keeps fueling the sugarRushy behavior.

And I know how these things flow. It’s called karma. And she does come around to the Keepers of it. In Eerie, Messy fashion.

And she is, indeed, a bitch. But not to worry, So are Clotho, Atropos, and Lachesis. It’s not really nice to call women that, I hear. But I don’t really react to that either, sadly. Because sadly, sadly, sadly, sadly, sadly…I’ve heard worse. 😦

8. To wrap, I’ve been trying to get a things a little more under control. I’ve got lots of tagging to do. When I realized this blog had a MUCH smaller audience than I thought and that my stats were karked I worked really hard to start making things better because only you can make things change and whining doesnt help a situation or inspire anybody to respect you or your work.

I’ve been working hard musically too. I think I’ve come a really long way. My band Billy and the Psychotics has won two Song Fights now and I don’t talk about it much because things are going really nicely and its when I DONT hem and haw about something that… well… Honestly …

No. I don’t wanna jinx it. Not this time 🙂
Some of Billy and the Psychotics at the Song Fight! Jukebox (with other Psychotic locations)
Here are the fights we won…
1. In Time of Crisis
{note: this is a little racy!!}
(I wanted to put the cool songfight player in here, but wordpress is being deflicted!!!)
2. A Conversation
(Song Fight!)

In closing, I’ve been listening to the Dixie Chicks again. And I kinda like it.

“…crazy with the cheeze whiz”

1. I keep typing things and erasing them. On MANY social platforms. This is only mildly worrying.
2. I’m starting to withdraw, but I’m not really depressed. I’m just kind of sardonically..over the Whole Thing.
3. I realize I sound like I have an attitude problem. It’s true. I have an attitude problem. It’s been developing for quite some time.
4. Here, let me distract you from my Attitude Problem with something Neat I got to be a part of. It’s a song for Cast-Aid which is a group of a lot of nifty people who have podzy-webcast thingies, some of whom are in my side-linky thing there. I did this cover-number before I got REALLY down (which I had done with the LAST of my energy) and that was fun and cheered me up when I heard the finished product. Plus it’s worthwhile.
5. We could talk about my attitude problem. By the time we get to my third exchange though, I’m sure I will be sullen, mutter-y, and passive-aggressive. By the time we are at the end, you will have won and I will be in complete Compliance and Agreement with you.
6. There’s really no need for the discomfort of talking through it now, see? Don’t you feel a lot better? 🙂
7. Go to Song Fight! and listen to the latest Billy and the Psychotics track. We finished it last minute, on Christmas Eve-eve this time. It was the only other thing I chose to do that I didn’t feel like doing because I did not feel like doing anything. I’ve been thinking a lot about The Muffs ‘Sad Tomorrow.’ Just as a concept. It’s a song about FEELING a certain way, but it’s really…kind of…joyful feeling. It’s got a *hopeful-ness* around it! this makes me think of what I am kind of trying to accomplish with this collaboration, maybe. I think, sometimes, that I alienate people. No jokes about Xondor, maybe, and it not being my fault.
5. Something is telling me to erase this post….I’m thinking of doing it. Sometimes I feel I talk too much. I’ve finally started that diary I’ve been talking about. Nobody needs to hear all the things that I have to say. I think I am one of those people who is just TOO…..
[DISCLAIMER: I am not talking about anything specific.]

PS. The cafe I am at is playing music that rocks. I know it is stuff that is “aimed at my demographic” and I am being Hit Song-ed at, but I’m just letting it go. Vest Wearing Hipsters are running the world now, and when THAT goes out of style, I’ll go down to the thrift stores and CLEAN UP on abandoned styles and Hall and Oates CDs.
Den for the Win! 🙂

I am mildly reminded of ‘Interview with the Vampire’ where hot Antonio Banderas as Armand is telling Brad Pitt’s Louis that he is the “very spirit of the age.” I sort of feel that perhaps my disillusionment is rather “retro” and that I really could sashay my sullen ass into an old navy commercial right now if I cheered up two notches and maybe went Two Alanis albums AFTER jagged little pill when she realized that bugging them in the middle of dinner was NOT going to F#$*%&G fly anymore, sweetie…

By which I mean just compliant enough, but still edgy. Ack.

But I don’t want to be the spirit of an age. I want to be an individual. I don’t want my need to be myself to be over-analyzed like this human need to be a person has been over-analyzed for generations and centuries. Humans want to be given space, and they want to be loved while they are doing it. We want small bubbles of personal space which gently nudge one another. Every so often we like to slide against some people. Sometimes, we do not agree. Sometimes, the edges are sharp. Usually, there is blood, and rarely – there are apologies for this. So often, too much space is taken up so there will NEVER be blood no not EVER again.

This is probably counter productive.

Kids get hurt and kids get scraped and kids get betrayed every day. That’s just normal playground living. Kids are sweet and honest, but they are also community forming little savages in their honesty. But it’s adults that teach them how to hate in the fashion of the world. It’d be interesting to see if Animal Farm would REALLY happen. Would kids turn into Adults By themselves? [EDITLATER: I think I actually meant ‘Lord of the Flies.’ I always mix them up when I’m skunksy!]

Adults. They hate each other and they steal from each other and they stop loving each other and they do it with gracelessness and ugliness and shamefulness and…well, hatred. This is why I am thankful, and have always been, for my parents.

My parents shared us every Christmas.

They were divorced. So we have had two Christmases every year. In the morning, we were Mom’s. In the evening, we were Dad’s. All through the years, as the changes came, this was done. I realize that this situation was idyllic. But this is how things were, and I was taught. On Christmas, when things are as they should be, I see my brothers, who are my touchstones. I see my other family, who are my pillars. I am with my husband, who I picked to be a rock for me, when all other anchors have let the chains of themselves rot off the boat that is me and float away.

Family stays. And family is chosen. And this is probably universally true.

This Christmas was happy. And this Christmas was sad. You gain some, you lose some. But always, you keep some. And you keep some forever.

My mother taught me that I should always leave doors open and act my best, but that I should never be miserable and unhappy.

In closing, this is a random picture snapped by my 5-year-old nephew. If I mounted all the photos he took this weekend, they would totally clean up at a cafe. He’s also legitimate, and they are not accidents. He walked around with my iPad, carefully. Lining up shots, making decisions. He was deliberate, and focused, and determined to get perfect shots. He wanted the colors to be a certain way. I don’t know what was REALLY going on in his mind, but the observations he was making were amazing.

This isn’t even one of the best. I’m sending the really crazy ones that made us all freak out to his mother, who was an art major. She’ll know what to do about this so that it doesn’t get freaky and ruined.
I just said “stay on the carpeted areas and don’t drop it” and let him be. He did as he was told and made art.

This is just me meandering, by the way. I’m in a really good mood listening to this New Wave and Bad Rap. Some of this stuff is like Old Cheese. I think I have some of these ‘Orchestra Hits’ on synthesizer vsts lying around. Or on actual synthesizers like my Ensoniq SQ2 that I am giving to Christian if he comes to get it so that I can learn to make The Guitar Noise on his Vetta.

Oh, man. They’re playing “I’m a loser, baby….so…”

HERE! Another blog RIGHT AWAY from the likes of ME! You are terribly excited. You have been waiting with shark-bait-breath. Yep. The excitement is SWELLING in you NOW!!!! BWAHAHAHAHAHA.

1. so. it continues to be a good weekend. i’m actually getting a lot of planning done. hard head work.
2. The Killers is a good band, actually, I think.
3. I am starting to get into music again. I have been listening to *my* music, and it is rejuvenating me. Lots.
4. The cylon and I will soon reach an understanding and come to a resting point in negotiations. Many files will be put in a hard drive, and that hard drive will be put off to the side.
5. I am SO excited because I’m going to leap up onto another plateau. I know that sounds really weird, because usually it’s a steady climb up a slope of a ladder. For me it is a series of plateaus. And when I get to the end of one of them I have grown really really tired of it.
6. This plateau has lasted about six or so more months than it should have, but I really need to forgive myself for this. When you don’t have all the information you need – plus you are sick – you have to cut yourself a little slack.
7. When I “level up,” to use a phrase that you kids have been teaching me 😉 … I think this time I am going to have to learn to play more. Not take things so seriously. Not have things so set in stone. Not have rules that hold so hard and fast. To be a little more flexible. To be a little more fearless. To *own* my risks a lot more so that when they totally backfire I can say “ha-ha” and not boo-hoo. Because before I protected myself from all risk. And now it is tempting to say “see, this is why I did that! I TOLD you so! All Cretans ARE liars!” 🙂
8. I make a lot of Grand Proclamations about what I am going to do, and then I end up eating a lot of Blueberry Waffles and procrastinating about my plans.

Well, tough tilapia, people! I am a creative soul who is easily bored. I will probably continue to play football at the hyperbowl – angry as all get out when the other team wins and takes the shiny pretty trophy away from me. Because it seems that I can never really WIN *Anything!*

9. Oh dear sweet Raddicchio. They’re playing ‘Patience’ by GNR on the loudspeaker at the hotel bar. I think I’d probably die if I had to perform the whistle-part to that in public. I’d never make it through. I can tell you that the rest of the clientele where we are probably do not feel all that turned on by my Axl Rose impersonation. Even though I think it is TERRIBLY thrilling. And Spot On. I am SOOOO serious about that. I have it DOWN.
10. Today, if you are reading this and you liked it, you should tell your 3 closest friends about it. They are currently TOTALLY being deprived of Me. 🙂
(yeah, I’m a nut. But if you were here I’d give you a hug. Or do my Axl-impersonation for you. Hey… where are you going? Would you like a jaunty business card??????? HEY!!!)

“Must be Nice” or … ‘First World Problems’

I went out on a sudden and unexpected date with my husband because we needed to talk. Upon my return, I started thinking of Valentine’s Day, and remembered a post half written. I finished it and dolled it up tonight. It was a promise to a friend.

I have a lot of those I need to come through on in the next couple months.

*******

It’s a common thing you hear from bitter folks who either don’t want to spend money on Feb 13th, overworked waitspersons getting lousy tips because of the high incidence of restaurant drama, or other single people who look at you as if you are the one who instigated their last eight breakups with your fourth finger poison ring.

“Valentines Day is a day made up by a greeting card company to sell schmoopy stuff to the lovelorn” … or whatever. “The Hallmark Greeting Card company made it up …”

Stuff like that.

My husband and I don’t celebrate it. We had one picnic, one time, packed a little hamper and a bottle of Verve Clicquot and cheeses and stuff you’d get when you were in Napa when you go to that little grocer with the Rabbit on the sign before you drive out. We were very Upper Middle Class Countryside. We looked like we were doing a holiday the RIGHT way. I had done the correct prep as a wife; like something out of Real Simple magazine. I ROCKED. I was Beyond Reproach. Be very jealous, the string quartet reminded everyone.

Back in the real world, I had done what is known as “marrying well.” I married for love, but he liked computers (and me). The WHOLE WORLD likes computers though, and people who know stuff about computers get paid. Meanwhile, in Austin, you can’t throw a rock without hitting a songwriter, and even though I have heaps of theoretically marketable skills – I market myself about like this:

“hey, see this booger? it’s gonna play a show tonight. it doesn’t really feel like singing, but you’d be real surprised at the work it’s done lately. plus.. it’s a singing BOOGER. That’s got to count for something, right? I mean.. no one wants to LOOK at a booger… ” {trails off apologetically}

So it’s a good thing that I have a husband (you know, for the Marketable Skills – plus, his accent, although dwindling, amuses me), but other musicians in Austin are not so lucky and must do things like sling coffee, or secretarial skills, or their boobs, or computer skills (sling ’em if you’ve got em!) around.

I used to sling cigars, but that got to be complex for many reasons. Also husband enjoys cigars and having his wife sell them to him in his place of leisure is sorta lame. It rocked though. As much as jobs that aren’t me writing or playing music do and can.

Because the people were interesting, and I have no interest in staying at home, waiting for the next Hallmark Holliday to roll around so I can get my kiss from K.

Anyway, back to hallmark.

My marriage is good, and fun, and has lots of Perks that are not just about being able to not toss and turn wondering where the next two squares of ramen are coming from. But there are things that are not so much fun. We have to deal with:
1. I get sick a lot
2. being very private people and the joys and sometimes scrutinies this brings/has brought to our relationships
3. the inequity of having a marriage where one person feels completely and totally financially superfluous- because it’s true
4. hearing THAT PHRASE

“ooooooo … must be nice…”

The phrase “must be nice” could actually be collectively applied to everyone who lives here – from shore to shore. Actually, I’m not even really sure if that’s true. If you are currently reading this and you have a knife at your throat and are being raped… first of all, what the hell? Why are you reading my blog at a time like this? I never knew I had such a dedicated reader! I REALLY DO need to stop all this bitching! Is there anything I can do to help YOU!?

So it’s all relative, really, to the people in the other countries I forgot to mention because I was distracted by my hypothetical almost-maybe-rape-victim-reader who I don’t know how to help because I am too busy complaining about my problems. (that was horrible. but you get my point here… apologies for my bluntness.
I’m having First World Problems.)

Now. Comparing.

We have a RIGHT to complain about our problems. I’m sorry, but we do. Anytime we feel bad or scared or cold or depressed – I’m sorry folks, but that’s real.

We used to attend a church and we went and did some missonary work. For three months our lives became completely simplified (so we thought, that is another story). We had only what we carried with us in backpacks. We started to leave STUFF behind and give things away. There was very little bathing and eating dwindled down to a thing you did to get energy. Good yummy tastes were really poignant. A blessing.

This was before 9/11, so no one was looking at Americans with open hostility. I felt, loved. Cherished. My sister-in-law and a close guy friend of mine went to Egypt while my husband and another guy went to Jordan and while we were there in a weird part of town .. I felt something. I felt this curiosity. From one person.


I did not discuss this with anyone. There was a language barrier. But I felt as though there was this KNOWING that our lives were very complicated. That we had a bunch of CRAP to sort through. That where life was simpler, life could be lived more simply. And I don’t know much, but I know that things are CERTAINLY not that way in America.

I am not going to go into that thing where I start in on us and get on my soapbox about our pills and our therapists. I think every society should have access to medical care and doctors and professionals.

WARNING: This is rated PG-13 to R for language, but is a FANTASTIC video… and has a GREAT message.

Back to the concept though. Of these “First World Problems”

No. Life is not always nice. My week has not been fine. My LIFE has not been fine. It’s been circumstantially blessed though. And this I know. I have lost quite a bit in the last year or two, and a whole lot in the last four years – but many people go through these hits, it’s part of life. Humans the world over grieve. My cousin works in the medical field and she was talking about some of the devastating things that she sees. Yes. This did inspire me to be better.

But dying women think of chocolate and coffee. And dying men talk about loves lost and found. And all you can do is connect with people and be on the same side.

A good friend of mine that I respect and for all practical purposes, it’s look like I’ve blown him off for other things – wrote a song. He’s written several amazing songs. But this is one of my top two favorites. It’s actually CALLED ‘First World Problems.’

I owe him a Watermelon Video. I haven’t forgotten. That’s not a first world problem, but it’s a first world solution.

That, and some lists, and a better attitude and a good honest assessment of my real human problems – with some time to grieve them as I do my work and shy from wallowing; is a start.

Thanks Travis.

“don’t mean to sound ungrateful
Everyone will need to forgive me
But do we ever stop merely surviving
And actually start living…

Start living.”

-from ‘First World Problems’ Governing Dynamics

(the cartoon is from Gary Larsen’s ‘Far Side’ comic series; and was copied from a blog. It is most likely NOT in the public domain, so I encourage you to go to your bookstore or amazon or someplace like that and buy as many books by this artist as you possibly can because he is a genius.)

My Very First Songfight Reviews

I am DJ Ranger Den, and I went and posted songfight reviews. If you vote – vote for all the ones you like.

I have to wait to vote, because someone already did from my house!

Anyway here’s my reviews!

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DISCLAIMER:
I am a goober that should not be writing reviews. I’m not saying anything bad about myself, this is just simple Fact. I feel wracked with guilt and I hate to criticize. I enjoy listening to all the songs and I feel like you are all my people. Even though I am quiet and don’t really “know” anyone. I lurk all the time (a lot of times not signing in!)… and I usually write lyrics and sometimes songs and don’t get them in on time (for most every fight). Since I feel like I’m not really giving back – here goes nothing. I hope that these aren’t too horrid because this community has been just really great! 🙂

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*The Chadderandom Abyss
There’s an aspect of this that reminds me of Primus. I think if things had been balanced perfectly in a spatial way, your strange decisions would have come across and made your point more successfully. Your uses of pause and silence could come across better with a step up the production ladder. I of course am all too familiar with increasing effectiveness of your message with better production, so what can I say. I lost your point a bit, but did not dislike, as I enjoy the experimental. 🙂

*Johnny Cashpoint
I was drawn in immediately. I wanted your backup vocals to be softer. Your lyrics were catchy and your steel drums were fun. The synthy-horn thing poked out a little bit in the middle, but when the solo comes in it’s happy yay time. It was a little distorty for me at the end. I like anyone who is successful with drums – as I can’t seem to get my #$^ together on that front.

*Darkroom
Neato rap thing! Well produced with all the right robotty noises and synthy things. For some reason it didn’t melt my butter. It was uber catchy though. With really nifty effects. I’m gonna listen to it some more. I probably wanted some handclaps near the end because I am a dork who is completely inappropriate, and should not be writing these reviews.

*The Panna Cotta Army
Awesometoast! Your snare sounds amazing and this is hooky as hell. Your chord progression is awesome. The layering and vocal effects and turnarounds are all great and this is highly coverable. I don’t really have anything bad to say, although I would have had that synth poke out at a slightly lower level at the end. That’s just a matter of personal taste though and didn’t detract in any way.

*Fitzroy
oh my! lyrics… cute, buteek, eek! this is tight and I really like the way the drums sound! Ended abruptly. I really like your vocal. Like a LOT. I would say that you have a sexy voice but that’s horribly forward of me. This is the kind of “punkesque” vocal I dig on though (I SO should not write reviews……)
Very garage-y (durrr), but sounds a lot better than any of my garage-y recordings ever ever did!

*James Owens
The instrumental felt too distorty to me. I can’t decide how I feel about your vocal.. I spent a lot of time wondering what effect I would put on it. I really enjoyed your bridge. Especially the stops and rhythm changes. Oh, and I’m one of those people that thinks a flute in a song is WIN. This was interesting and creative with nice lyrics. It kinda went on.. (wow, I’m a little hypocritical here…) The organ-out at the end was worth the wait thru.

*lalabrookie
your vocal – mmmmmmm…. I wanted another instrument in the mix though. It’s probably because your voice sounds very sophisticated to me and there is just a simple guitar in a drone pattern (which fits the song, and subject; as does the percussion). Maybe a violin or woodwind instrument, even a sample of some kind? Harmonies were nice. I liked the picking and the tone of the guitar. Pleasant surprise when the high vox came in, but it didn’t fulfill my need for more instrumentation. I’d love to arrange this and throw a cello or viola in there. It’s groovy (i sound pretentious).

*Cabbage Stare
(I am predisposed to like your song because you have the most bitchin’ band name. I have not pressed play).
I did turn it down because I thought you were trying to kill me. Funnily enough, as soon as the vocal came in, all my alarms for ‘April Fools Day’ came right on at the stroke of midnight. Your song perhaps came across as more effective than it should, because of this? I don’t know. But you have a voice perfect for this type of mind-%&*$#%… and I can’t talk because of this one instrumental I alienated everyone with in a contest once. Gerbil-paw of approval. I will listen again though, probably in the dark through monitors with a lava lamp. Well played, Cabbage, well played.

*Schlimminy Cricket
this sounds like it should be at the end of a movie. or an episode of weeds. lyrics wow. chord progression great. development is great with the bell-like percussion stuff. Very professional. Way into this. It would be good for closing credit stuff because it goes on a tad too long (again, I’m a hypocrite; or need to go to bed.). Something else could have been thrown in and the song wouldn’t have suffered. Or maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about, and it is just fine as is.

**DJ Ranger Den, who is me
(disclaimer, because I know about this song… I know why I did things).
1. the typing is a bit alienating, and I’m surprising you didn’t get cracked for this more than just by Travis. You’ll have to blog.
2. Stop being lazy. If you’re going to record vocals in the closet, put a mic in the closet. You live in a damn recording studio!
3. It needs another instrument. Like a cello or something. Because it gets boring. The gong work gets arbitrary and smashy near the end. It’s got potential but you’ll have to recut the vocal (shame, it’s a good performance – see if you can pull it off again!) and develop it more.
GOOD song though, can you do it a couple more times in a row around here?
4. Bridge? WTH? No one can understand that! You’ll have to use a different effect or recut the rhythm on that vocal.
(thank you for indulging this self-criticism. {ninja bow})

*Die Toten Schlagohosen
this rules. it makes me want to dance. this is a robot song of high caliber and I’m going to be singing that little phrase tomorrow. The bass is devastating. this is the cutest thing ever. A tad simplistic perhaps, maybe it’s the theme song for the hell which santa’s elves go to if they don’t do Toys well enough. That’s what I’m going with. Normally, I’d roll my eyes at anything smacking of panflute (which is Satan’s ukelele).. but this is brilliantly applied, inspiring even.

*Paco del Stinko
this is the one where I REALLY heard the lyrics the most. Where I felt the subject.
“you don’t get the sleeves, but you do get the rest…”
best line of the whole contest. The guitar arpeggio was a bit high for me, The guitar solo, was a bit ROCK for me though… The bridge was really cool and then got WEIRD, but you held on, man. Last chord progression was tasty like jalepeño. urn!

Fun-tastic round.
I did it.
Ack.
Denise who is,
DJ Ranger Den

ps. I’m posting this before I chicken out, and go back and write only compliments.
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BloggytypeListday

Twelvish songs Which Hit me over the Head Lately (reasons goodbadhappysadworky)

1. Love Bomb – N.E.R.D.
2. Mr. Deadend – Spencer Sokol
3. You’ve Got A Friend – Carole King
4. Fish Paste – Die Antwoord
5. To The End of the World – Duality
6. Gallery Piece – Of Montreal
7. Why Can’t It Wait ‘Til Morning – cover version – Joe’n’Den (pre duality)
8. Independence Day – Ani DiFranco
9. Liberty – Wish You Were Here (Spain thru Drunk Dial rebuttal) me and Dr.Lindyke (Leigh and Hoover)
10. Clockwork Man – Caleb Hines

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Updates

1. Duality is subbing for Lyrical Venus at the end of the month, so I’m really excited about that
More updates to come, but we’ve got Zarni, Heather, Beka, a woman we found called Dorothy, Sara, and we’ll drop a track in I guess. I’ll post links in too and maybe write something up 🙂
2. I’ve got a lot going on holidaywise, and personally. It’s going to be important to remain calm.
3. I just got my hair dyed a fun color, but my person said it had been falling out. She said it was medicine and stress.
4. I really want to get my NaNoWriMo compiled, and finished, or at least up to 50,000 This is going to require a major push.
5. I find myself more and more uncomfortable criticizing people lately and that’s why I don’t do song reviews. And that’s okay.
6. I think I might be cured of the contest thing. I dunno though. That may be a case of famous last words. Maybe it’s just a thing with me. We’ll see…
7. I hope that it’s a really nice day today.
8. I’m really excited about everything I’ve got planned with myself and my talented new friends 🙂
9. Trying to finish some new songs…
10. The gig went nicely. Public ain’t so bad. Like riding a bike. And I was a good biker 🙂

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone