Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Album updates and the crock pot

I've resigned myself to blog. It's not a light decision, as I don't really care for the word 'blog'. I'd be totally into it if it were called dazzlepantsing or scrappleranting. Or writing.

So as to make these blog posts more interesting than the flashdance Burberry-Coach quiz above (do I care which Paris will choose?), I'll make a concerted effort to document the currents of my mind with all the promotion and record salesmanship you'd expect from a proud Frozen Food Section rep.

In the spirit of both, The Frozen Food Section has albums coming out by both my brother Jon and I this month. Jon's will feature the amazing underground hip-hop king MF DOOM. It'll be a 12" vinyl platter with instrumentals, acapellas and remix, plus a b-side with Serengeti and Hi-Fidel. Should be amazing. We're hoping it'll be the FFS's first big seller, even though all of our artists are amazing.

My album is the sum total of about four years of writing and two years of buying a worthy home studio on credit (via my job at Apple), teaching myself ProTools well enough to produce an album, and actually recording it. A few samples are here on MySpace, as well as more on the FFS site. Hope you dig them all. When it's finally time to play and promote the album, I'll have probably spent about 15 grand on credit to get it done.

I anticipate the day that this is my job.

On the cerebral front, I recently heard an NPR broadcast about how the 1893 Parliament of World Religions influenced American artists by exposing them to eastern culture. I was struck by the fact that such a conference, held in Chicago, could have a widespread influence upon a greater body of artists. Why? Because such a conference held today would likely have little or no influence upon a city, much less a nation, beyond an uptrend in retail sales.

The global village is so tightly bound together that serious movements are reduced to passing fads. I attribute this to the fact that there isn't enough isolation to percolate genuine change. We can browse foreign cultures casually in a way that doesn't strike us deep like the Parliament of World Religions did the heartland. In that day, the visitation of eastern influence and religion was a source of wonder and impression, whereas today, we see the world through a web browser pretty regularly. And what's worse, that's Internet Explorer for many.

Certainly, this exposure can result in sincere inspiration to a creative soul. But in terms of a widespread influence, there is such opportunity for selective exposure, the concept of a movement (i.e., impressionism, cubism, postmodernism) is kind of scattered. Unless you can truck a crate of cultural creatives to China or Thailand or wherever, there'll be no movement, because everybody's into their own thing.

I'm not preaching cultural doomsday or global homogeny, but it's kind of nice when a phenomenon can have a lasting effect in the eyes and ears of a greater audience. Not for the sake of consensus, but a communal consideration of something big. I imagine we'll see one sometime soon, whether or not the world has shrunk with the passage of the Telecommunications Bill. (Wow, that was 9 years ago.) I guess 9/11 was the closest we've had in years, and that has resonated more in politics and war than artists creating beautiful things. Lots of bitching and bad liberal slogans, but not a lot of beautiful things.

Maybe I'm wrong about the beautiful things.

I was going to tie this all into a metaphor of the crock pot, giving the flava (yeah, I'm taking it hip-hop!!) the time it needs to percolate. But I'm spent. To close, the redeeming line from Woody Allen's Melinda and Melinda, : "Melinda had a reputation of being postmodern in bed."

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