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Remember Proficiency

This is the entirety of Joni Mitchell’s live show when she toured with Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius, Michael Brecker, three phenomenally proficient musicians. (for a killer funky tune check out around 15:20).

Joni Mitchell’s talent is one any turd on the street could appreciate. Silky, smooth, gentle, lithe voice. Flitting, dodging and weaving lyrics driving some insightful point home. (21:20 for some examples).

Add to that Metheny’s guitar (there’s a killer solo around 3:50… a few of those quicky lines are so tasty it hurts) and Jaco’s bass (solo at 25:25 and amazing high-waisted headband grimaces throughout).

This is a stage so g’damn full of talent.

It’s easy to get people to know your name. It’s hard to be proficient.

Maybe what I mean more is: in a world of pageviews and post schedules and retweets where you’re literally rewarded for setting the bar as low as possible and speaking at the lowest common denominator to the widest possible audience, remember this stage, set your standard one notch higher, settle one bit deeper into the learner’s posture and the long term view and the awareness of true craft earnestly honed.

Or, as Wale puts it:

So fuck fame, fuck money
Fuck everything anyone can take from me
It ain’t hard to make money
We young n*ggas, we just tryna be legendary”

A favorite shot from Jeremy Massersmith’s Tatooine.

An christmas songs for to harken by!

I’ve done some research and, according to my calculations, it appears christmas is upon us. Shit, get the napkins out!

Now, can I be candid for a second? Christmas used to mean a lot of things to my wife and I. We used to play on Jesus’ team full-time. Nowadays we mostly just root for him, so Christmas means things different than the things it used to mean.

Christmas is about the cold in my lungs, scraping light ice off the windshield, excuses to visit Mellisa’s family in the frozen north, 18 of us rolled into a comfy mobile home in the quiet snow of rural northern BC, my mom’s toffee (and my wife’s alterations of it), a knit sweater and strong cocktails with friends, trying to make a good hot apple cider and giving up, opting instead for another vodka… (more…)

The Batman Blues™

Uncle Zach directs this art-house music video for the latest track from supergroup Shirts vs. Skins. Andy on the drums, Aiden on the cute/cape, me on guitar.

The Only Music I’m Listening To

I have been listening to one playlist non stop for the past 2 months. It’s not a big playlist, there’s only 4 albums in there. But the mood of this music is completely addictive.

Did you see Drive yet? I enjoyed the crap out of that movie. This music makes me feel a little like I’m in that movie.

Drive Soundtrack

Drive soundtrackFirst off is the drive soundtrack. Here’s the thing you need to know about this: there’s a bunch of weird ambient tracks and 5 actual “songs” in this album. Doesn’t matter – you’ll be putting the playlist on shuffle, and the ambient stuff actually builds the experience a little. (more…)

So many Christophers, so many Crosses. The wind is right. I’m a believer. Stay sweet Lance Bass.

My Friends' Upcoming Albums

If they don’t make these albums I’mma be so pissed.

Update: My Album

My friend Andy (you should totally check out his new album, Snugglin) made an album cover for me. Legend.

A site full of music we’ve created

Chase & Mellisa Music Greatest Hits

I recently found a shit ton of music my wife and I wrote and recorded. I had forgotten about most of it. I’d like you to hear some of it.

Some of it’s from high school, where I had a band and we played in the quad, just a mess of black dickies, Mesa/Boogie half stacks and a whole lot of Braid on the mind.

Some of it’s from a couple years ago when I was trying to write and record a song everyday.

Some of it’s total shit.

Most of the tracks happened randomly and now hang out in the world like some bad tattoo I don’t regret all that much.

Just about every track has something I’m somewhat proud of… some lyric, off-time bit, recording trick, etc.

So, do me a favor and listen to the best tracks from the group: Chase & Mellisa Music Greatest Hits

You Should Know: Thomas Dybdahl

Thomas Dybdahl is a singer-songer from Norway. I really dig this guy. He’s the singer of The National Bank as well, which I’ve written about before. I wrote a little about Dybdahl there as well.

Why do I like this guy? Here’s a few reasons:

  • Songwriting: lyrics are thoughtful and human.
  • Orchestration: really great at putting instruments together.
  • Production: Science is one of the best sounding albums I’ve ever heard. Before I heard this guy, this was always the sound I was going for. (more…)

Jaga Jazzist do the work

So great… Most of this was written by the dude in the banana shirt. The trumpet solo is truly wonderful.