Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Wednesday Morning Post

Friends, I come to you at a time when I am quite ill to present to you the Wednesday Morning Post, a summary of what has happened to me this week. That's dedication.

First I must bring you some somewhat sad news. The script, while it was going well, will not be finished today. I still have 34 pages left to do and no desire to write any of them so I have decided to leave the script with a more open ended deadline. It will be finished someday but not today.

And now on to better things. This will be the last Wednesday morning post that I write you from this home where I have lived for the last 18 years and 8 months. As of May the 3rd I will now reside at the wonderful residence of 49 York Street with rival Monday Morning Post writer Jason Woudsma, Brendan Lorrimer, Todd and Chelsea Stelmach, Ian Whalen, and Chris Napier. It's going to be kind of ridiculous but really awesome at the same time.

I used to play a lot of videogames but not as much anymore. I sort of stopped making money and then was unable to purchase new games so....I just didn't play them anymore. However this week was different. This week my parents computer was magically upgraded, thus making it capable of playing the game "Bioshock" which I have been itching to play for a while now since reading reviews of it and such. Let me tell you, this game is all about the story. That's not to say that the gameplay isn't fun but the gameplay is pretty average and the game wouldn't be very good were it not for the absolutely awesome story and world that surrounds the game. It's also got a nice plot twist that's sure to leave your heart pounding late on a tuesday night. I think I'm getting near to the end of it and so I probably should be finished it soon.

I've recently taken an intrest in trying to play jazz music again. It's one of those things that comes and goes in my mind because I get doing other things (drunmming, playing bioshock, etc.) and then I lose interest in working on it again. I'm hoping that this time it'll actually stick since I'm applying a lot of the stuff that I've only been taught about before. We'll see how long it lasts though.

My body is telling me to go do something else instead of sitting on the floor writing about this crazy business so until next time friends.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

CHALLENGE #1: Write a Song in the Style of.....

Welcome to #1 in a series of self imposed challenges. These challenges will involve me writing and recording a song in two weeks with my computer microphone so it will have crappy sound quality but you will be able to hear the basics. These challenges will take different forms. They can either be to write a song in a specific style, or to write a song about a specific subject. This next two week's challenge is....

Challenge #1: Write a song in the style of Tokyo Police Club!

What does this mean exactly?
1) The song cannot be more than 3 minutes long but must be at least 1:30 long.
2) It must include 1 old school keyboard, 1 drumset, 1 bass, 1 reverbed guitar, 1 sore-throated vocalist, and should include gang vocals and hand claps.
3) The lyrics must be somewhat ambiguous but may have sci-fi undertones or may be vaguely about youth. In general they should sound like someone's messed up dreams though.
4) Most of the song will involve a "two chord assault" which is a riff on Keyboard that bounces back and forth between two chords creating an instantly catch song. Then the second part of the song will be slightly more complex but will be short lived.

Starting now I have 2 weeks to write, and record this song so as of 9 PM on Saturday May 10th it will be uploaded here for your listening pleasure. In the meantime enjoy this seizure enducing video from Tokyo Police Club.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Wednesday Morning Post

Hello friends, here we are on another fine Wednesday morning. I must make a confession before I launch into this post. I almost forgot today was Wednesday. The days of the week are all garbled in my head at the moment. "Was yesterday Monday, Is today thursday, what month is it?". These are the questions I struggle with at the moment.

So what is new you say. Well first off I have read the first ever review on Pitchfork Media that I've actually agreed with. See I purchased the debut LP from Tokyo Police Club and expected to be blown away by it but instead I was confronted by averageness and a loss of the shinyness of early TPC stuff. And so today I read the review of said album and found that they were saying the same things. How fortunate that Pitchfork would not be victim to hype and would instead identify this album's averageness.

Scripting continues with fellow monday morning post writer Jason Woudsma (he didn't even really say anything in his last post. I think he's trying to be hip). We're writing together a lot over the course of this week and are making headway into how we want things to progress. I have the rest of the story mapped out in my brain and Jason continues to charge forward in his. I think we will both finish but it will be difficult.

My time at home is rapidly coming to a close. We are exactly 8 days from my move in day at 49 york Street and my brain is having difficulty believing that I am in fact vacating the room where I have lived my entire life. I think my head might explode upon move outing.

I have begun part time work at Camp Iawah in their kitchen which is excellent. This past weekend I made lasagna and Sandwiches for 70 people with instruction from Rose and Jim Lane. It was pretty much awesome. I stirred meat for a really really long time.

I'm not working this weekend though due to the fact that I'm headed to Ottawa on Friday to see my friend Liz Nolan's photography exhibition and to hang out with my other friend meaghan Madge. It ought to be an excellent time of excellentness.

Well....I'm going to go hop in the tub now, hope you all have an excellent week.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Wednesday Morning Post

Ladies and Gentlepeople, as of the writing of this post, a rivalry has begun. A rivalry between "The Monday Morning Post" written by my friend Jason Woudsma (which you can read hereand this here, "The Wednesday Morning Post". Words and insults will be slung and this rivalry likely won't end until one of us kills the other in their sleep.

But we will not speak of death for now. Instead we will talk to scriptwriting, songwriting, 43 things, and concerts.

First up is Scriptwriting. Now you might be asking "Ben, since when do you write scripts?" but may I remind you that 3 months ago I had never written a song in my life and now I have a CD. When you take on a challenge to do something in one month you tend to discover skills you didn't know you had. This month I am working on a challenge known only as "Script Frenzy" and it is going splendidly. I am 40 pages in (so technically I'm 13 pages behind but that's ok) and am getting to some good stuff. The story's a bit stalled right now because I just finished writing a big emotional character development scene but I'm going to try and introduce a new conflict today and hopefully get the ball rolling again. All this to say that I will finish this script and someday you may get to read it.

Songwriting. I periodically write about songwriting because it's such a sporadic thing but yeah..that is also going better than I thought. I have 3 demo tracks on my computer right now that just need a little more thought put into them and their arrangements and they could easily rank among some of my favorite self-produced work. Perhaps I will consider posting one of them some time in the future.

43 things is a website which I have recently rediscovered after reading somebody's blog post about lists of stuff they want to do. 43 things is basically a system of organizing the things you want to do into a list and then sharing it with other people, cheering other people, and updating people on how you're doing on those goals. It's a really cool website and I reccomend you check it out at http://www.43things.com

And finally concerts. I have a pile of concert tickets sitting next to me. It all makes for a crazy weekend of concert madness. First up there's Death Cab for Cutie with "The Stars" on Toronto Island on June 7th. I'm going with my sister Joanna for a fun filled day of Joy in the sun on the grass. Then the very next day I'm headed to a crazy triple bill featuring R.E.M., Modest Mouse, and The National with Jason Woudsma at the Molson Amphitheatre before we all head home. It's going to be an epic weekend.

And that's all for today....until next week.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Live from the Restroom

"Ben....what are you doing?"
"I'm blogging"
"....."
"Yeah, it's a good thing you're not a real person self-interviewing alter ego because otherwise this would just be awkward."
"I have some news for you Ben."
"Yes?"
"This is awkward."
"Ok well.....you'll live. You're just a figment of my imagination anyways."
"I'm just going to pretend you didn't just negate my existence and start asking the questions"
"Ok"
"So what's this screenplay business all about?"
"Well there's this thing called "Script Frenzy" that's run by the same people who run "Nanowrimo" which I've written about before. And so in this script frenzy business people are challenged to write a 100 page script in the 30 day month of April. It can be for anything that requires a script (movie, play, TV show, etc.) and it can be about anything but it must be a script and it must total 100 pages. So I'm currently 27 pages into my 100 page script."
"Care to give us a glimpse into what you're writing about?"
"Well it's a character Drama about a very bitter guy who has a serious superiority complex and how he comes to soften up and learns to enjoy life."
"sounds interesting"
"Well...we'll see how it turns out. Right now I feel like I'm just speed writing to keep up with the deadline because I'm about...9 pages behind where I should be so I'm sketch writing right now. The brunt of the story is there but not all of the dialogue is as polished as I'd like. It's ok though because I'm not having any difficulty following the story."
"Well that's interesting. So are you doing anything special when you're writing this script?"
"Why yes. My friend Jason Woudsma and I are both participating in Script Frenzy together and we've started a tradition of going to Starbuck's once a week and writing while we're there simply because it keeps us both motivated enough to puch through and get stuff written. It's nice."
"Nice. Anything else you'd like to add before we close up this interview on a toilet?"
"Yeah, watch for the Wednesday evening post (rival post to the Monday Morning Post posted at http://smoothecity.blogspot.com/ ) on wednesday evening."