Sunday, August 11, 2013

On Saturday, August 10, I had the privilege of photographing the baptism of young Lucas Badeendran. Here is a slide show of the photos I took for the event.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Selected news clippings (my writings from college)

So, this past week, I have been working to put together a portfolio of my work. I wanted to come up with a way of presenting them that highlights honestly presents work I have produced in the last two years, while also being easily transportable and accessible.

Although it feels a bit cheesy, I went with a slideshow format. I am tossing around the idea of making it an audio slideshow, but then again that could turn out to be annoying/unnecessary.

One feature I added in after showing this to a couple of friends was the provision of links to full-sized images of the articles in the slideshow.

Hopefully, it will help me land a job!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

In the garden, Roberta's Tiki Disco (Cinco de Mayo edition, 2013).

I wanted to share this gorgeous, lit-by-a-fire pit flower. It popped out at me the other night while catching up with old friends between battles with the smoke monster.

Hope you are all well, and that the flower speaks to you with a familiar voice.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

It's saturday night :)

Last night, I spent the evening working as a private event photographer for a great dude named Greg, who also introduced me to Manuella Yushuvayeva, a 16-year-old who is studying photography. The two of us got some great shots of the kids and their parents enjoying the day together.

As a result, I had a reason to debut a new feature that will be appearing more and more frequently on my blog: The photo slide show. Since I take a lot of photographs of a lot of interesting things, I want to be able to load a ton of photos to share with you guys. I think this new SoundSlides platform will work to keep the upload time to a minimum and the ease of navigation to a maximum.

This slideshow is quite lengthy due to the nature of the assignment, but in the future, I will release photos in short bursts. I will also be back-blogging in the near future using this feature so I can post my photos from other recent adventures.

If you are interested in a copy of any photographs, or if you would like me to take some photos for you, please feel free to reach out to me and I will be in touch.

Monday, April 29, 2013

time for change

it's done. over. and the timing couldn't be any better because, frankly, i'm over it

it's been great, don't get me wrong. being the voice of a student population, so to speak. and though i hate to admit it, i wasn't shit when i started compared to where i am at now, even though i thought i was. not like i'm really all that far along anyways. but that's kinda necessary. isn't it? fake it til you make it, right?

well that's what i have been doing for a long time now. starting to feel like i am going to be in fake it mode for the foreseeable future. not like it stops me. from doing it. loving it. living it. all day erryday.

really though, it's time to stop the fake out. time to bring it in. get serious. put all that living to work for me and make it pay. so i am gonna start something fresh here, like i halfheartedly began to do last fall, before i let the effort fall with the leaves and hibernate. 

had to go fallow.

but i'm back. talking. writing. thinking for myself. thinking from my own perspective, unclouded by the responsibilities that go along with having to think for other people on a day-in-day-out, week-after-week basis. 

i'm not sure how this is going to go. or what i will be writing. but i am going to be out there, in the real world, living, seeing things worth seeing that you might miss. and i'm going to talk about them. how they make me feel. what they make me think. and maybe more importantly, what they say about real life from my point of view.

well, i don't want to ramble too much. so instead of doing that, i will stop now, leaving you with a poem i wrote on the train yesterday while coming home from a pleasantly short day on campus.

it's called, "the nothing"

it doesnt even matter if people
hear you here
talking to yourself
cursing the wind
howling into the nothing
because no one listens

a casual glance
inquisitively wrinkled forehead
self-righteous smirk
is all you will garner

from a crowd of selves
sifting stoically
through the rubble
and ash
and steam
of each their own
great and horrible
chaotic nothings.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

radio silence

i've gotten so used to it already. this steady, non-stop flow of information. it's like a drug you don't need coming through on steady drip until you become dependent on it.

then it just stops.

weeks of explaining upside-down pyramids and information flow charts, of setting up and preparing writers for interviews, of reviewing the pieces that are brought before me and giving honest, no-holds-barred assessments of what i'm seeing.

hours of working on a simple write up of an event with a writer because it's his or her first time. they want to really do well on their piece and i want them to not only learn how to do well on the one that's in front of them, but every one that ever comes across their desk in the future.

moments of weakness, when i think to myself that i'm not qualified for this, and that i don't know enough about the context of the situations i'm investigating, and that there's too much going on to ever capture it all with any sense of assurance that justice was done to every bit of information being presented.

mere seconds between being the one who got the story first and the one who did the follow-up piece.

these are the ways i've been learning to divide my time lately. and even considering the crazed and cutthroat nature of this business, i find the routine of it comforting.

when you're single in this city and aren't of the kind that locks yourself into a click, there's no one really checking up on you to make sure you're still around or that you haven't gotten yourself into something you can't get out of. the constant contact with a team of writers and editors that comes with being the news editor is the closest thing i really have to a safety net these days.

so when i find myself on a quiet weekend, with only a trickle of texting and emailing going on, only a 30 minute phone call here and a single planned check in tomorrow...when i'm sitting in the relative silence of 3 a.m. bushwick on the first day of leaves me anxious and itching for a spark, like an army at defcon five in the middle of a thousand year peace. all revved up with nothing to do, nowhere to go, and no money to waste.

it's really quiet out there tonight. too quiet to sleep.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

fucking freshmen

alright. so it's been a long ass time since i spoke to you.

did you forget about me?



because I want to start fresh here. with a new little thing to say. i'm getting into a swing of things, and it hasn't knocked me off my rhythm yet. just slowed the pace a little. maybe taught me that fast and loud isn't the only thing that's important.

it ain't got a thing if it ain't got that sing. swing. everybody start to swing. lah-dee-dahhh. so on.

i'm doing new things now in a new place called new york.

i'm pretty sure last time we talked i was in seattle. then again. maybe not. i've lived through a bunch of shitty shit since then, and that's the way it is. sorry if i don't remember our last conversation.

it's just that, well, i'm pretty selfish right now. and self-centered. and self-interested. i don't feel like i have much choice in the matter, though. because really, i let myself be interested in the good of another and other anothers for so long, and right when everything was going right again, i lost it all because i believed in another and that other was something other than what i had always seen it as.

these things happen, they tell me.

but their advice is so vague i don't bother listening. i sense no revelation in their speeches. rhetoric, rhetoric, rhetoric.

that's the soft version of where i've been and why it took me so long to get back to here. this page. on a new set of keys that plays nicely but sometimes misses a beat or two leaving one wondering what that missing letter might've been intended to be.

yes, that last sentence could've been worded much clearer than it was. i write what i want here. you don't tell me what.


anyways, i'm back and i'll be posting new music and ramblings as i see fit. i'm just glad all these new freshmen came in because wouldn't you know it, these young fuckers inspired me to get off all sides of my ass and work on everything all at once again the way i do when i'm happy.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

need guitar, will perform sexual favors

Man. Even though I feel pretty damn good about the way "success anxiety" turned out with nothing but the use of my netbook, I really wish I had an acoustic/electric guitar to mess around with on that track. Granted, if I had a guitar at my disposal when I recorded that song, I don't know that the rest of it would've turned out so good. I'm actually pretty impatient with recording because I feel this crazy urge to finish the project to the point that it sometimes puts me in a position where I will keep an average take rather than spending a few more days getting the perfect take.

But seriously, I can't wait til my damn financial aid comes through so I can get myself a bangin' axe to flail on. About once a week I go to the local music store and mess around on their guitars, but they're overpriced, so I won't be buying one from them. If anybody in New York wants to donate a great guitar to a lost cause, hit me up.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Look, instruments!

For a long time I have been convinced that the only way I can get my job done right is if I can make it happen acoustically without all the bells and whistles.  Purely analog.  So a couple of years ago, I made an album that I called "recycled tapes" as a statement that it doesn't  take a hundred-thousand dollar studio to make music.  I used a Tascam Portastudio and a Shure SM-58 microphone along with my trusty 1955 Harmony Acoustic guitar and my Johnson Acoustic/Electric Bass to make that one happen, and it was good for what it was.  I sometimes go back and listen through that album and am surprised by how much I like what I'm hearing, but then on a second listen I start to get critical of it and begin to hate it so I put it away for a few months.

Cut to about a year later, I was putting together a demo album so that some friends and I would have something to get gigs with, and I branched out to using an Alesis drum machine setup, my Dean Electric Bass, an electric guitar of unknown origins, my Harmony, and my Fender mini-amp.  That four song demo did end up getting us a couple shows, and it has it's moments.  It was definitely a step up from "recycled tapes" in that it was recorded straight to computer and with a condenser microphone, so that overall production value was better.  It still sounded pretty cheesy, though.

A couple months ago, then, I made an album of cover songs with my friend Otis, under the moniker "Stilted Wenis and the Crooked Tooth" and other than that ridiculousness of the drum machine sounds on a couple of the songs, it turned out pretty good.  Sure, there are some things that we could've taken the time on vocally to perfect if we had that time, but we kind of had to throw it together at the last minute, and even so, I am pretty happy with what came out of it.  It was a major step in the right direction.

So now, here I am in Brooklyn, and I had to sell the only guitar I took with me (my Epiphone Acoustic) just to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads (a minor sacrifice compared to some that M made to keep things going)), and I still have the burning desire to keep this music boat sailing.  Luckily, a mutual friend of Otis and I, OB, had recorded a song on acoustic guitar that I was able to record some vocals over to keep me going, but once that was done I needed more.

I decided at this point to change my philosophy.  Why  should everything have to be recorded manually in order for it to be real? It's 2011, after all.  With the capabilities that we have at our disposal, it doesn't make sense to reject them wholesale without giving them a try.  So after years of avoiding it, here I am typing this with my instrument.  My Acer netbook has become my orchestra, and with it I command a limitless potential arsenal of musical delight.

It's been years, eleven, to be precise, since I used a computer to create an entire song, with no acoustic instrumentation.  So I took a couple hours and put together a little trancey thing, but instead of just plugging bars into a piano roll, I decided to actually "play" them in.  Using my computer keyboard and a drum loop, I was able to create a song.  That's when it hit me.

The thing I've always hated about producing songs electronically is that there isn't any humanity in it.  Of course the sounds are all there, but there is no imperfection to tie it all together.  Isn't the breaking point of a perfect voice that makes you gasp?  Isn't it the moment when the angels fall that evokes the strongest emotions in you?  Of course it is.  We need that glimpse of humanity in our art in order to identify with it, otherwise it's just colors and sounds without substance.

So it's with that in mind that I have decided to move forward in a new direction musically, and I will now begin to put forth musical arrangements and such in an entirely new manner.  Of course, when I do get my instruments back, I will be using them, but not exactly in the same way.  What's the point?

I can use them in a way that's even better.  And I can't wait to show you what I mean...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New York City?

Hey, it's been a while.  Yeah I know, who the fuck am I and where the hell have I been.  Well, that's a long story and I don't care to tell it all right here.  Suffice it to say that I have left Seattle and am living in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY.  I'm now going to school on Long Island at Nassau Community College (more to follow on both those points) and I have no instruments at my disposal at this time.  Without the ability to play music, I have resorted to other means of creativity, such as poetry.  I thought it would be nice to post some of that here, as I think it kind of sums up the details of where I am right now.

I stand before you today...

soaked to the bone in Pagan blood
marinated in the juices of the goat god -
musky like the dew of a thousand mornings
locked in an unplugged freezer
and buried in a swamp
by the tobacco stained hands
of a gypsy.

Relishing every detail:

  • the salty tinge of the ocean air
  • the thwap-thwapping of water
     against the sides of the boat
  • the adolescent whine of an
     underpowered outboard motor
  • the nervous sweat of a victim
     who is a virgin to pain

got a dollar eighty in my pocket for coffee
two bananas on top of the fridge
we'll be alright for breakfast
but that doesn't say much about the afternoon
should pro'lly start thinkin' bout the afternoon
i'm out of ideas, how bout you?

we're runnin' outta dollars
runnin' outta dollars
selling everything we own
but we still have desires
still have desires
even if we're broken and
waitin' around for government money
that is long overdue

i ain't here lookin' for handouts
i only want what's mine
so come on with it and
give me my fuckin' money

...i didn't mean to curse just then
it's just that I've been waiting
around for so long
that i've lost track of time
my hair grows longer
my time grows shorter
but i still don't have a plan
the skin of my teeth is
getting thinner
cavities are setting in

i ain't lookin' for handouts
i only want what's mine
so come on with it then
and give me mine

ran outta money
we ran outta money
sold everything we own
still have each other
but we still have each other
baby baby i'm so cold
maybe we oughtta head south for the winter
and wait it out with the crows

i ain't askin' for handouts
i only want what's mine
so come on with it
and give me mine.

-catch up with you soon.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

underneath my skin

after posting and listening to comfortable skin for a few days i've got a few thoughts. first off, i've obviously waited way too long to post a new blog with a song on it because it seems that my small following has wandered off to other realms. i hope to rope one or two of you back in soon because i am prepping for a whole new round of recording as i drift into fall quarter.

 about the song though...i've been getting a lot of advice that leads me to believe that i should probably stop screaming so much in my music. what can i say? i get into it once i get going. there's this well of emotion inside of me that only gets tapped when i'm in the zone, and once it's open it turns into a geyser. it's a snakeskin firehose and sometimes i lose control of its aim. but as i become more experienced and more aware of my output, i am becoming more apt at seeing the bigger picture and less prone to losing myself in the music.

it's kind of funny but i've never really considered the fact that i may be going astray by losing myself in the music when the whole point of creating art and music is to find oneself. and that's specifically what the theme of 'comfortable skin' is. self awareness and self respect. when ever i write a song i think of it as a sort of parable, though with 'skin' i've definitely taken a turn away from the esoteric tendencies that i lean towards in most of my tunes to date.

part of the wonder of this recording for me personally is that i didn't find it necessary to use any effects on the vocals that i recorded. other than a slight envelope filter applied to two or three specific words that i blew too hard on, what you hear is exactly what i recorded while standing in the corner of my bedroom where the acoustics of the room weren't too boomy or too tinny either. i'm proud to say that i truly am content with the quality of this recording even though i still know that i have room to improve.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Comfortable Skin

Hey hey hey,

So the good news is I have finally finished recording the vocals for Comfortable Skin, a song that I finished the instrumental tracks for at least two months ago.  I've moved my studio into our bedroom here, and after a computer crash I'm lucky to have backed up the instrumental tracks on my phone.  I think that losing my hard drive made me realize that I need to push through to the end and get my music out there sooner rather than later, though it's been hard to decide the mood of my vox on this song.  I've been going through a lot of changes in life and in my views on what is important as a man and a musician, and it's probably better that I waited to record this until now, but the lesson remains the same.  Carpe Diem.