What is the Matrix

I was on Xanga in the late 90s. Then started a music blog in 2001. In recent years most writing I’ve done has been in the orbit of online marketing, social media, and such.

There was a time before all that when making music was most important. Playing the bass, dabbling with creating more music on the computer, I even put some music on Bandcamp at one point.

Where did I lose that? It’s not just that I know how the sausage is made, both from the editorial side of things, and also the label and publicist angle. For whatever reason, I see the doom and gloom of it. My naive zest from the 90s gone. Not in the sense that I thought I was going to “make it,” but just that child-like joy in “just” making something to make it.

Creating for the sake of creating, and not for some external validation, press, or east coast tour. My mind keeps taking me there, as if without those goals what’s the point. I don’t know how to pluck that from my thoughts.

Lately I’ve been forcing myself to open up Abelton Live and create something each day. Not to write full songs, and think of an album, or plan who will produce my EP – very far from it. I just want to rediscover that creative habit again, and honor the muse again.

Seoul Wave

This is breathtaking. Viewing at full screen I feel like I’m flying in and out of multiple lives, stories, chapters of a time.

I spent a month in Seoul and saw a city racing to the future. Here’s the film I made with the help of the great people I met along the way.

Absolutely stunning work. To think this sort of video would not be possible a decade ago without our drones, and cheap(er) cameras. (Vimeo)

Wallpapers from my Favorite Todo App

I’ve been using Todoist for quite awhile now. After you complete your tasks for the day, you’ll see great artwork designed by Margarida Mouta. Now you can add these adorable images as your phone background – check out ‘New Todoist Zero Wallpapers,’ via Greg Morris.

It’s not the biggest feature, or a flashy animation, but it works. At the end of the long day, sometimes all you need is a small little touch like that.

Step Back to Move Forward

An album is linear, and a movie, and the calendar year. It’s planned out, mapped out, and can’t deviate. Song one comes before track two, the dramatic motorcycle chase follows the fight scene, May comes after April. That’s the way it goes.

Life, however, moves. Ups and downs, peaks and valleys, sure.

One of my best career moves was ditching a sure thing (full-time AV tech a NYC university) for something totally uncertain (a three month contract at AOL). Leaving a high paying job for a lower paying one, which led to the right conversations which set me on the path I’m on today (which is still working in music in 2018).

Nothing in permanent, change is always coming, so buckle up and do what you can.

All in With Daily Burn

Well, I gave Aaptiv a shot, but it just wasn’t for me. I need visuals and I need people.

So it’s back to Daily Burn.

I’ve flirted with the service about a year ago, but balked at the price (it starts around $12/mo) on top of a $20/mo gym membership. But since I only really use the gym for the treadmill and rowing machine, well I cancelled the gym and all in with Daily Burn.

Every weekday morning at 9am Daily Burn has a LIVE streaming workout. Real people, all different abilities, and the trainers are absolute characters. Sure, the whole WORKOUT thing can be cheesy for folks like me, right? I’m a metal head computer nerd, right? Who are these people with bubbly personalities and corny jokes?

Well, it turns out they’re pretty great, and much more encouraging compared to canned audio saying, “you’re doing awesome!” So they can keep up with their bubbly selves, because they keep me going.

The 30 minute workouts leave me worn out, sweaty, occasionally cursing, and ready to die, so I feel like we’re off to a good start. It’s weird to pretty much feel like I’m not in shape doing these workouts when just a few weeks ago I completed a half-marathon, but, I know by doing these workouts, and movements, and cardio, and push ups (oh my god) that I’ll be a faster, stronger runner, and that’s what I want to gain from all this.

Jocelyn Aucoin Makes Good Words

I met Jocelyn Aucoin years ago when running my first music blog (Buzzgrinder), and she was co-running Lujo Records. We lost touch as our paths drifted, but we started talking again in the past year and it’s been fantastic.

There is just something to this internet thing, when you meet other creative folk from far away places, and you don’t talk for years but you pick up right where you left off. Like magic.

That’s what Jocelyn creates, magic. With words. It takes engineers and programmers and designers to make all the amazing apps and services and brands we see everyday, but it still takes words to create magic.

It takes words to make compelling slides for presentations. It takes words to write all those amazing videos we see everyday. It takes words to make people feel something, fall for something, buy something.

If you need words for something you’re working on – paragraphs, articles, planning – you should speak with Jocelyn Aucoin at Jawbone Creative.

Getting Lost Along the Way

This from ‘Quitting Instagram: She’s one of the millions disillusioned with social media. But she also helped create it‘ at The Washington Post:

“There was so much pressure to do things that ‘scaled,’ to use the Silicon Valley buzzword,” said Josh Riedel, the third (Instagram) employee after Systrom and Krieger. “But when you have over a billion users, something gets lost along the way.”

My first job was at a tiny grocery store in a busy vacation town. Everyone knew one another. Lots of hand written notes in the employee areas. The express check out aisle was built out of wood.

Then we moved to a bigger store. Suddenly there were people we didn’t know. The charm and grit of those small aisles was replaced by a vastness of overhead lights and neon signs.

Now years later that quaint express lane has been replaced by self-checkout lines.

Lots got lost from that progress, from the growth, from the expansion. I mean, easy to just think nostalgia, right? But same goes for this website stuff.

You’re not “succesful” unless you have a ja-gillion users, or followers, or listeners. The allure of “big enough” is rarely praised.