Friday, June 20, 2008

Thoughts About Endings and Beginnings

In 3 hours I will be finished High School forever....for real this time, and I must say, it's about time. This year has been so drawn out and frustrating at times that I'm super glad that in about 3 hours I won't have to go back and deal with those people in that building ever again. A word to the wise, don't ever go back for a victory lap in a new school if you're switching from Grade 11 to Grade 12 courses halfway through the semester. You will have no friends.

At the same time though I'm glad I did it. I feel like this year I made some pretty big leaps towards changing the kind of person I am and I think that next year will be better because of it. So here's to endings and new beginnings.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Single Greatest Creative Unit Ever Invented (or, The Band for short)

Songwriting is a tricky business. You first have to deal with the playing of an instrument, and then you have to deal with chords, verses, choruses, all the forms of the current song form. Then once you've got your music written, you've got to put some lyrics in there, and then you've got to deal with all the other parts of the song, the arrangement, the instrumentation, it's an exhausting business, especially when you're trying to do it all by yourself.

I've been pondering all of these things this weekend as I attended 2 nutter days of concerts featuring Stars, Death Cab for Cutie, The National, Modest Mouse, and R.E.M. "How can I write songs that connect with people like this? How can I create something like this that I'm proud of? How am I supposed to live up to people as talented as this". I wasn't really sure how to answer these questions before this weekend but it kind of hit me, sometime between when the National finished their set and when Michael Stipe said "I sweated today and as a Georgian I F***ing loved it". The reason that all of these bands I was watching had all of these songwriting skills and sounded cohesive and every part was great was because they collaborated on their music. There were singers who wrote the lyrics and the melody, there were guitarists who wrote guitar parts, there were horn players who wrote horn parts that filled things in quite nicely, there were bass players who had created basslines that brought things together, and there were drummers who created beats that complemented what everyone else was doing very well.

Each one of these individual members of the band each had something to bring to each song, be it a riff or a beat or a line, and while individually they may have been able to create some good music, together they added up to create something amazing. In the case of The National it was belting out a huge sense of passion, for Modest Mouse it was getting people dancing, and for R.E.M. it was getting people to scream over a mandolin.

So as I come away from this I have decided that I must find a band in order to be happy with the music I'm making. Because I am not as gifted a lyricist or singer as some other people, and I am quite good at making beats. So here's to starting a new band.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A Wednesday Evening Post

I really hope you guys aren't to bummed about the irregularity of my posts now. It's just that I'm not always super motivated to blog in the morning. Sometimes I really just want to lay around and do nothing, or sleep, or think about writing poetry.

Speaking of poetry I was thinking about writing some today but then I didn't. I don't know why I didn't because I totally had a sweet really romantic poem idea but obviously my inner artist was too busy loafing around and drinking beers to get off his proverbial butt and write something useful down. In my defence, I took a bath instead. Ok, so taking a bath is not a valid excuse for not writing something creative down but I like to think that it is......let's move on.

School is nearly done and I am struck by my logic about my choice of university program. My lowest 3 4U marks in High School are science courses and yet I'm in a science program (and quite a tough one from what I've been told). This just confuses me. Why didn't I take math (91, 95) or English (86) or History (85) or even Geography (84). But instead I took science (80, 78, 80). This now makes me wonder why I'm even doing it in the first place.

I've been playing a lot of Jazz music as of late. I've been playing with a lot of jazz chords on guitar and then I've been playing along with "In a Mellow Tone" because it's the only jazz song I have right now that I can figure out how to improvise over the chord progression (And now I've lost 3/4 of you....).

On a final note, though I don't listen to them very often, I love playing Barenaked Ladies songs on guitar....they're just so well written. It's wonderful. And now I will go.