RexRed's A2K Blog

Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2012 04:08 pm
There are a lot of new things I plan to discuss and I don't really know where to put them. Often with social and personal issues, friends would like me to be informed, they are unsure where to post these matters so I will see them. I think people are timid around me. A lot more would be accomplished if they spoke their minds to me directly.

So if you have something to say, you can say it here.

I would also like to use this tread to reveal a bit more about myself. Who I am, what I aspire to be. Not that I am also not interested in others and their lives but just so people know where I am coming from and don't assume otherwise.

I have my own reasons for why I have been the way I have... Very few of those reasons have I ever spoken about. The reality of my life is a curiosity to most.

As my life goes on, more of the same further cements the initial conclusions that I drew many years ago. Perhaps there are spirits of the past that live through us today and are at work willing us toward their goals. It sure seems that way.

As for my political views... These early life experiences where I was exposed to trauma stayed with me. This taught me certain immutable truths, where all else would have to be built from the ashes of this truth. This was coupled with an unrelenting world of powerful symbols, secrets and ideas that lulls one into a sleep.

I am still waking up though certain of one thing... Art and sacrifice is the key to understanding. There will be more on this later.

I would mostly like to center this blog and discussion around arts, artists, technology and musicians.

Though artists can often be political and the music business is proliferated with an unscrupulous bunch of corporate cronies and lawyers all set to canard the media... How many voices of reason have never hit the prime time to be replaced with reruns of some decadent useless reality show? There is a fine line between social manipulation, truth and outright lunacy.

Perhaps it takes all three of these traits to eventually arrive at the crux of these highly complicated matters, yet subtle tilted perceptions breed divisions.

What do we tell the next generation? Do we give them hope or say their dreams are futile and pointless so they might as well go back to sleep...

What about uniqueness and individuals that require a different path in order to fulfill their purpose? Will reading all the books of propaganda in the world quench this desire to write one's own book of dreams? Shall all be followers to some wicked endgame? Is most of life an illusion and that we are too sedated to realize it? Will we ever be free?

This is where getting to the basic pillars of humanity seems to be the only real way through this darkness. What is absolutely true? What is most vital to life? Do we build error upon error and what is the litmus test that reveals if our truth is actually truth and not part of the grand illusion?

What truth will bring the the greatest universal gain to all people? Out of darkness truth shines to all who listen for its voice and character of tone. We all come from the same relative place, yet we depend upon one another for the whole process to play out and for the ultimate purpose of meaning and harmony to be fulfilled.

I believe the greatest pillar of life is the universality of all people and their commonality and likeness to one another. Though, within the circle there is great diversity, the central pillar is still the unity of all humanity.

If this rule is broken, no successive rule can be built reliably on top.

Ideologies of the mind do not negate the innate universality of all humanity.

I will be focusing much of my new a2k writing to this blog for now.
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Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2012 05:33 pm
Art is a form of rebellion... It takes leaving behind a possible life in order to create art, for why bother to create anything if one can simply not create art.

As the new testament records... If Jesus has not sacrificed himself and instead just got married and raised kids, his projected form would never have been painted so many times hanging on a cross. In that story's case, the possible life was sacrificed for the life of art.

What makes one become an artist? In a society where you can choose what you want to be, what circumstances lend themselves for a young person to suddenly dedicate their entire life to art?

When most of their school friends are unsure of what they want to be or have ideas of being something that they will never pursue, what is the catalyst for these differences in people? Artists are certainly swimming against the tide.

A guitar player must be thankful that not all people play guitar proficiently or no one would marvel at their talent. Most go to the venues to follow a band and some only go to the venues to be followed.

In being followed you give up a certain part of yourself. You become this rebel that is a "desperado". One who stayed home and played their guitar rather than joined in all of the social trappings of youth. This is the first notable sacrifice. A withdrawal from what the artist may consider useless or not leading to the progression of art.

This becomes a life long pattern. While you watch life whirl around you in a tempest of carelessness you still remained focused upon your art. Making something new. Your boyfriend dumps you, you write new songs. This is how you deal with all dilemmas. There must be something creatively to show for everything and anything. There is so much beauty only openly seen by the eyes of those who seek to share it.

Thus the art must then fulfill a purpose. It must say something complex that cannot be simply spoken. Words are not only statements of facts but often they are rich and full of structures. Words become the smiting tool of most artists very early on in life. These sentence structures become the very portals where eventually this art will appear.

People may not generally think of songwriters as masters of language but if you have ever tried to write a song you might know the difficulty and aggressive energy required to, "finish it".

Since songs lyrics are limited by so many rules, the end product becomes highly refined.

Like the song "Stairway to Heaven" which words might one change?

"To be a rock and not the roll?"

I would dare not even touch that line. Song lyrics are magical and often uniquely amiable to the person who penned them and the powers that be. Forces of nature would not dare change a single word in that song.

Think about some songs that you know and consider if you would change a word or line in the song... In most cases you would say no. This is the power of songwriters. Most of what they write will remain forever in stone.

Even songs that sound like gibberish and nonsensical seem to still have their place in the grand scheme of things. All because most songwriters adhere to the same general strict form and rules for songwriting. You may not see this on the surface and think most pop songs are accidentally and clumsily obtained. Yet this is not the case, they were all incubated over a period of time in people's minds and formed using strict musical techniques for writing. Perhaps these musical techniques are how certain human brains work or it is learned, that is debatable.

Like method acting a song writer must imagine themselves living a certain scenario in order to write the song in its various perspectives and sound credible. They may actually live that scenario or they may be simply imagining. They boil down and the solution reveals a solid particulate matter.

I will give you one rule for song writing and you can mull this over...

Never use two many or unnecessary words in a song. When you write a song line. You don't say, for instance, something like, "You are the very essence of my undying and gracious love..." You simplify it down to, "The essence is you..."

Songwriters know how to take out the extra words and lay bare the simplicity of truth. This is what songwriters do.

Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2012 05:57 pm
I guess I see this as like any other thread, while I understand wanting to have a blog.

Do you mean us to not answer you? Or are you writing your thoughts? Consider the threads we have on Original writing, and creative writing categories.
Reply Sat 7 Jan, 2012 06:51 pm
ossobuco wrote:

I guess I see this as like any other thread, while I understand wanting to have a blog.

Do you mean us to not answer you? Or are you writing your thoughts? Consider the threads we have on Original writing, and creative writing categories.

Whatever I post here, I would like it if people respond to it in a way they feel is appropriate.

I will be posting things here of various interest and and welcome comments by people. I will be revealing more about my life, work and views on art and the internet. Opposing views can be expressed here also.

A "blog" is a page that is updated regularly and usually allows for comments. Though the latest comments are at the end of the thread and not at the top. I think people have that figured out.

As I have said most of the stuff on this page will be art and tech related...

What do you think of google+ and facebook?
Mac or PC?
What guitar strings do you buy?
What constitutes good recording studio?
How do you perceive live audiences?
How do you market music?
How is video editing made easy?
Where do you get tech advice?

There are people who certainly know more about things than I do but I also see vast areas for improvement.

Social networks, some some are simply terrible and some are sort of great. They all need huge improvements. Something that unifies all of them into one single format. Unfortunately the current format is in every case severely lacking its other half, but that is for them to figure out...

They only know how to manage social networks they don't know what it is like being on the other side looking in having dealt with many social networks for many years. On this alone I could write an entire book. They are not doing anything right. I could pick holes in these sites with a pea shooter. (I say that in a constructive way)

This thread is open for anyone to post anything. I will be treating it as such and I hope that others will do so. Pour your heart out and let us know what you are thinking.
Reply Sun 8 Jan, 2012 02:34 am
If you are considering a career in the music business, don't. But I won't say that (haha)... That does not mean that the music business is not difficult to near impossible break into. That does mean that you will probably be a failure, but you will be a failure on your own terms not somebody else's.

Most often it is just the world that refuses to recognize your greatness. All in good time and just think, you can still be a singing sensation in your nineties.

There is a difference between indie musicians and your generic pop stars. Once the contracts run out pop stars are rarely ever heard of again but indie musicians never stop making music. They compose and make music into their grave. It is rarely the money or fame but the love of making art that drives the indie artist. It was not the record contract that gave birth to the indie artist's music but pure love and dedication to the art. Likewise the record company has no real hand in the indie artist's choice to stop making music.

An indie artist has to work hundreds of times harder for often millions of times less.

Indie artists are also the record company's greatest fear. While the record companies prop up their cousins and the children of famous people to carry on the torch it is the indie artist that nurtures talent, dedication and a lifelong career devoid of most privilege.

The indie artists have to do everything themselves.

They have to buy the first guitar, pay for their own lessons and when it comes to college, that is out, because the indie artist has sacrificed the big corporation job for playing on sidewalks for spare change... One might think that had they done the office job they would not have had to do street gigs. This is not how it works, in the music business, you blink and your career is over.

If you are not proficient on several instruments by age twelve and have a slew of songs written by age seventeen, your chances of making it have become so slim that you might as well believe in winning the lottery. It takes ten fully dedicated years to become a music master.

Yes there are old people who have made it famous, but you will find they were playing guitar at age twelve and writing songs by seventeen too, or it is a complete fluke.

If you need to learn music forget about college and putting yourselves in debt. Though some college is beneficial. You can read the same college text books in the public libraries and if your heart is set for music you will learn and comprehend without all the loans, but you have to study and always work very hard...

You have to organize and sometime be the whole band, own the PA, sew the bands backdrop by hand if necessary. Have the recording studio and how does one afford this. Again, sacrifice, start by never buying a lottery ticket. And everything you get goes into the dream. Your music always comes first and NEVER pawn your guitar or instruments!

College is to teach a person how to study and learn on their own. The purpose of any good college should be to make itself obsolete. To teach people the regiment and discipline of constant and continued self learning.

Also the private sector is usually one step ahead of the colleges. While students are studying to enter the private sector, students who have already graduated are now employed and working hands on with the latest hardware and software. So you find one of these people knock their door down and say, please be my friend. The next thing you know you will be high atop a skyscraper helping your new found buddies to install groundbreaking tech as a tag along apprentice.

Because you are serious about learning and you will work for free if only just to know your trade like the pros do.

So you learn to play the guitar, you sing for years as a child in isolation to develop vocal musculature and verbal calisthenic skill, you write the lyrics, compose the songs, you learn computers, MIDI, and nearly every kind of software. You make the album art yourself which means you need to be a proficient graphic artist. You record yourself which means you have to be both sound engineer and performer. You make your own videos which mean you have to be both camera person and subject. Don't even depend on anyone to drive you out to the video shoot because they will suddenly be busy that day...

If you plan to succeed you can not leave any part up to someone else that may fail you in the end.

You learn mixers, compressors, equalizers, effects, sequencing, tone generation, wiring, soldering, programming, all while in the back of your mind you are trying to keep focused on the actual beauty of the art.

One also wonders if it is possible to do it ALL yourself. The sophistication of, say, one Hollywood movie requires many thousands of people and many millions of dollar s to create. As much as you want to do it all yourself some things take real money and the cooperation with teams of people working toward a common piece of art. But then it is not longer really indi anymore.

You publish your own music, you promote your own music and each and every fan you acquire you do it personally. One by one till you have reached and touched many thousands. Then they begin to make what is called a "big noise" in the industry.

This is usually when the record companies will swoop in and take an indie artist and offer them 10% of their possible earnings.

This is also what is called selling your soul... One might wonder where was the record company when you were sweating tears making this music?

When for years you were driving till three AM in the morning to get home from a performance and no band members to keep you awake. When you were carrying huge PA's systems up flights of stairs alone just to do your gigs and rarely being paid enough to make it worthwhile.

But it is worthwhile... It takes only one unscripted compliment from a fan or to briefly look into someone's eyes when you begin go to sing and see them cry. Then you hear the strange melodies that have echoed in your dreams all your life and are part of everything that you are. To go home exhausted after a performance and know you sung your heart out. They wanted you to scream all night with just the right distortion, finesse and intensity for them and you did. When they go to bed that night they will hear your voice in their head and they will love you and talk about you to their family and friends like you are a legend.

You will look back and see the blur of performances and know you showed everyone a good time. To leave behind a tradition of art with determination against many obstacles. To be admired by other artists...

In the beginning there is just you and your guitar. You both make friends and it is a friendship like no other. You carry that guitar with you and it melds into your body like an appendage. You play it with agility and toss it over your shoulder and wherever your road leads you can usually always survive on a dime.

Just like the first gig you played way out at that old farm house when you snuck out of the house at twelve years old and stayed out all night worrying your mother to death... The hippie people having a good time and listening to you play Neil Young, Cat Stevens and The Doors, while many more nights like this still await.

Your guitar will always be there by your side, strumming like thunder and bellowing out electrons that pulse thought the air in frequencies. Like sunshine touching the inner ear, vibrating the tiny bones to produce a full spectrum of sound that provides the listener with a window into your very own soul.
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Reply Sun 8 Jan, 2012 03:03 pm
Off to a show tonight at the VFW. I will be playing some originals with a friend. Should be a fun night. Smile
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Reply Mon 9 Jan, 2012 08:48 pm
Had a great time at the VFW (Veterans Of Foreign Wars) hanging out with and performing for the Vets. What a great group of people they are indeed. Warm, friendly and hospitable, a good time had by all! Please support your local veteran's clubs. I can't wait to go back and entertain there again. Smile
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Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 08:12 pm
Today I thought I might write about social networks as they relate to indie musicians.

Social networks are another hurdle for artists and represent a very complex part of an artist's life.

I once had a college professor tell me in their own words that "the last part of a musician's career is the audience."

You spend perhaps years perfecting your skill and eventually your music reaches out to large amounts of people at one time. Artists usually join music out of a pure love for it. It comforts them and speaks to a part of them that hears through the silence and noise. Once an artist has become prolific they begin to feel the sensation like there is more than just loving music and they start sharing their art. Not all artists feel the need to perform live, some just like the solitary gift of music.

How to reach people becomes a learning curve. One way is locally and the other way is through digital and analogue media and broadcast.

An artist can meet as many people as they like but being able to convey to them a full spectrum of their own musical experience is another task.

Thus devices like the CD player, mp3 player and stereo systems are designed and made available on a mass scale. File or song sharing had changed the landscape of reaching people with music much easier. Yet the complexity of music has exponentially been simplified, the residual is still a great feat to accomplish.

So assuming you have made a great song. You have composed the song and written the lyrics, played and recorded the instruments, sung and mixed all of the song elements equalized and mastered it. This alone takes an enormous amount of work and attention to detail.

For instance, consider what type of device the person (or machine) on the other end will use to listen to your song and that your song will be subjected to so many different types of acoustical environments. Each place where your song will be sent will have its own set of required variables. Some websites want songs in .mp3 format with 320kbps, some websites want the songs in .wav format at 44khz 16bit and so on.

Concerning the music mix, how will the mix sound on a mono amplifier with speakers? How will the mix sound in stereo? How will the mix sound in surround sound? How will it sound on small speakers and how will it sound on very large speakers? How will it sound when the speakers are placed in different areas of a room?

So let's say you have this song in the formats you need and all of the mixing and mastering requirements have been met. Even if these requirements have not been met you still have the song in the various formats and ready to send out to the world...

So you upload your song to many places and overnight, nothing happens. This this can be terribly disappointing when you realize that just making the music and putting it out there does not amalgamate to any success at all. So, what to do...

There are quite a few venues... None of them directly insure success. Thus again, you have to do them all. This may not appear evident at first and you may gravitate to certain ones only. This is a highly illusive business where noting is usually placed right where you can just, stumble upon it.

So you have to search very hard to map out your possibilities. Learning to search is an entire discipline in itself. Smart search key words and searches that filter out results so you can hone in on the information you need to further your goals.

Here is an example, say you win a song contest on a certain website... Your name is in lights! YAY! But, the website only has the producers of a big company and a few indie musicians who frequent it. So your winning this was like a tree falling in the forest with no one around. You can spend months preparing for this contest all so it can pass by without even a sound. Then you ask yourself what is wrong? Your song won! But no one heard it. So we trudge on. This is when you realize you have to invent yourself, or perhaps reinvent, or maybe more precisely, just bring out the inner essence of yourself, come alive and shine.

You speculate on how to make friends so there will be more than a hand-full of people who you can share this little bit of success with the next time it happens. Remember music itself is about waves and momentum.

This is a music "business", the owner of a restaurant does not want some freelance "home cook" selling hot dogs in their restaurant parking-lot. They want control of every music buyer. They group people who buy music into an elite list that is privy only to them and guarded as their greatest corporate secret.

So it seems at this point useless, 99% of the artists just cave in and pay the tech corporations to allow them into this privy club of music buyers.

So they sell their music to walmart, amazon, itunes, imusiciandigital, etc... and these businesses get a cut of your profits. If there was a good way to avoid this perhaps you could apply the same algorithm to solve the energy crisis.

So these stores like to take anywhere from 5 to 15% of your profit.

Everyone has their hand in the pie. Not that 15% is a lot when one thinks about selling a million songs at a dollar each. Owing only 15% of a song to another company is perhaps the greatest of scenarios where most artist's only receive 10% or even end up in debt after the record companies have finished with them. Often their music sits on a shelf and is never heard from again.

In light of that... What can one do? Well, the only way forward is with poverty... Yes, if you seek no monetary gain you can use that as pry into the market. THAT MEANS GIVE ALL OF YOUR ART AWAY FOR FREE! The worse case would be to pay people to listen... You suddenly realize, fame is better than fortune.

Paying people to be your fans is definitely a low point in your career but whatever it takes to get your music out there you will consider... You believe in your art.

Many artists have done worse things to facilitate a career in the business. You have to draw the line somewhere. Preserve your body and soul for the long run for it may be a hard road.

By inventing yourself you open a door to becoming likable. It is not all about guitars and a strict code of disciplined art but sometime it is loosening up and going out and having a good time with people and letting them be close to that "loner who sacrificed so much".

This is where writing (blogs) and social networks come in.

I will preface that with, be prepared for some BIG failures in the social network areas before you start to make some actual ground. Be ready to lose friends that may even take you years to make. HOW? Because the social networks own the portals to these people. We certainly learn a lot about ourselves and what kind of person we are in the midst of failure. Each hard-knock makes you stronger and more determined. If you lose the network you lose your friends. What I means by friends are, "over a thousand friends" and years of work in gathering them and correspondence trails.

And what would you do with over a thousand friends? Well, play them a song maybe? That is provided that the social networks will allow you to do this with your friends. So with each and every social network (and there are many of them) there is a completely different set of rules on logistics and technological barriers to overcome.

Some of them see your desire to play your songs to your friends as a form of "spam"... I personally find this insulting. I say, let my friends decide if I am spamming them or not but don't just classify all indie artists as spammers. But not all social networks are like this but many are. I don't blame them for guarding the people on their networks and providing them with some safety. But this safety policy also blocks the real and direct love between an artist, their art and their fans. On the other hand they will let corporations spam you to death with ads. Some even put their ads on your own song before they let your friends hear your song or watch your video. I guess walking up to total stranger and asking them to be your friend is spam but, IT IS THE ONLY ROUTE YOU HAVE.

Other than going on a talk-show and plugging your social network address. This can get you millions of fans... But there is a catch 22... Who wants to interview a nobody on a talk-show? So you have to gradually push your way in. You do this by making friends with everyone! Even if they do not make friends with you. You have to trust that you are a good soul and your capacity to love is endless. Even when it becomes hard you have to endure or your friends will turn on you. They will put up with only so much self righteous indignation and then drop you from their list. Thus you need to be more than the hermit that shut the doors as a child and learned the art of angels but you then have to go out into the world and become a cult personality, break out of your shell and learn to fly...

I will write more on this soon. Smile
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Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 08:35 pm
What do you think of google+ and facebook?

I had to delete my facebook account because whores followed me here because of google Cool
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 08:40 pm
jcboy wrote:

What do you think of google+ and facebook?

I had to delete my facebook account because whores followed me here because of google Cool

How did your Google+ and Facebook friends find you on A2K?
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 08:41 pm
From some thread I started about a DUI in my city, I never thought they would find it here but sure enough the bitches did. Cool
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 08:47 pm
jcboy wrote:

From some thread I started about a DUI in my city, I never thought they would find it here but sure enough the bitches did. Cool

Well luckily my social network friends tip-toe around me for some strange reason. We have mutual respect I guess. I just hope none of my older posts when I was maturing as a blogger/thinker don't offend some of them (when my political standings were all over the map). I am only human and far from faultless.

Your A2K stuff will go out on Google search I think only if someone tags it. I wonder what keyword they found you under? Smile
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 08:55 pm
Must have been from his name. I just googled it and now its on the second page on gogle, it was on the first for two weeks. I was quite shocked and got a few nasty messages on here and facebook Cool

Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 09:06 pm
jcboy wrote:

Must have been from his name. I just googled it and now its on the second page on gogle, it was on the first for two weeks. I was quite shocked and got a few nasty messages on here and facebook Cool


Ouch! We have all been bitten by the A2K hamster. Smile
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