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  • #91

    A bunch of California folks who'd been clinging to insurance by the skin of their teeth, and so hooked up with Blue Cross/Blue Shield (now Anthem Blue Cross) just got big insurance premium hikes up to 39%. I had insurance through them, paying enough in to buy a little house -- and never once got up to the co-pay threshold. Which was $4000 when I parted ways with them. (In fact, the tear point for me was when my insurance -- which I payed out of pocket -- jumped about 75% over the course of a year and a half.)


    The school district that I work for and our teacher's union are at an impasse, and Blue Shield is largely at the heart of the matter. As Sacramento has run the economy and the state of education into the ground and our district has no money and medical costs are rising (seemingly logarithmically), all of us teachers are going to face furlough days and cuts in our benefits...or to put it another way, thousands of dollars shaved off our salary per year.
    Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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    • #92
      Thanks for the LA fashion offer, but I'm an East Coast 'O.G' peppered with some Brit-Rock flair.


      How about the beers then?

      You know about this thread........the OP should at least be thanked for starting a thread that became somewhat enjoyable to read.

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      • #94
        How about the beers then?

        You know about this thread........the OP should at least be thanked for starting a thread that became somewhat enjoyable to read.


        Beer is a good thing.. It's really food right?

        About thanking the OP...I might of done that yesterday in a convoluted type of way...

        'Whooda' thought that a 'SpamBoy' could have been the catalysis
        all this member interaction?

        Check your PM's,...Yeah, I'm talking to you....Pierre Cardin
        In the Kingdom of the Blind, the One-eyed Man is King.

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        • #95
          How about the beers then?

          You know about this thread........the OP should at least be thanked for starting a thread that became somewhat enjoyable to read.


          You can thank me by buying my song

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          • #96
            You can thank me by buying my song


            .

            music and social links | recent listening

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            • #97
              You can thank me by buying my song


              Jeezuz... you are on your fellow members of SSS like a cheap suit from 'Men's Wearhouse'...you are NOW a member... Right?....
              None of this "I'll call you in the morning" **************** Right?

              Ok, let me flip a coin....



              Nah, still can't buy your song,
              In the Kingdom of the Blind, the One-eyed Man is King.

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              • #98
                I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that while all criticisms are valid, you guys are pretty much stuck in groupthink and are afraid to have an original thought.


                Wrong. I definitely admire your staying in this thread because, as pointed out earlier, most true spammers post their link and never come back. So, over time, you're shown that you actually are willing to get involved and that's a big plus.

                So, I listened to your music hoping that it would be really cool and I could add a little momentum in your direction. But, I also have an obligation to be honest. I've been involved with records that have sold hundreds of thousands of copies, as a player, producer, or engineer (it varied for different projects). I also know quite a few A&R people, and know what they listen for and how they (in general) think. The comments I made were made from a standpoint of WANTING to like the music, but in the end, I thought it would be better to give constructive criticism as presumably, that's why you're here.

                For example, the "up until 2:50" comment - would have loved to hear a lead line over that, something like a lyrical wind part. There's an old saying about "there's nothing I can hum" and while that's a limiting, narrow view of music - I certainly couldn't hum anything by Stockhausen, but that doesn't invalidate what he did - the point is that for a lot of successful music, there's something that can stick in your head, whether it's the opening four notes of Beethoven's Fifth, the melody line of Inchworm, or the infectious pop hooks of the Beatles ("She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah"). Now, obviously you're not going for pop music, but if you think about it even a lot of modern jazz returned to some kind of melodic line that served to identify the music.

                As I mentioned, I thought the guitar starting at 2:50 was quite cool, it had a David Gilmour vibe that DID have some real feeling to it. I would advise dialing into that vibe and exploring it more rather than getting into the "flashy lots of notes" thing that so many guitar players fall into. Those fast runs should be the punctuation in a solo that takes it to another level, not the sole focus. If you listen to someone like Coltrane, he could play very melodically and then just when you think he couldn't take it any further, release a torrent of notes - tension and release, with the torrent being the tension, thus setting things up for a more melodic release. Bach did the same thing...all the great composers knew when to hit the accelerator, and when to hit the brakes.

                It's hilarious for people to keep claiming that there is no emotion in this song. When I was at berklee this summer, I performed this song live with a backing track for a guitar showcase I got a standing ovation from judges Mark White (ala Joe Pass fame) and Joe Stump (shred-aholic). I was literally almost in tears at the end because I had invested so much emotionally.


                That's all well and good, but live performance and recording are such different media. In fact, if I had to define what makes for a successful recording to my ears, it's the ability to translate the emotion of a live performance into a static medium. Just because you're capable of playing with emotion doesn't mean it translated into the cut you presented. Besides, I didn't say there's no emotion in the song; I said it had no emotional impact on me. Playing and listening are both subjective experiences. For example, a lot of people feel that Kenny G's playing is deeply emotional. I don't, but that doesn't mean I can't understand that other people do. Conversely, there's a lot of music that affects me emotionally that when I play it for other people, falls flat. So what? To each his own.

                Remember that there has never been more music from which people can choose. As one A&R guy said, "You're not competing with the other guys in your city. You're competing with Prince, Springsteen, Alicia Keys, Norah Jones, the Killers, and the back catalog from the Police, the Clash, and the Beatles. If you can't compete on that level, I'm not interested." Do you honestly, really, truly believe that your music can compete with the very best that's out there? If you do, fine, and I'm glad you have that level of self-confidence. But not everyone will hold your music up to the best the world has to offer, and hear parity.

                I've mastered about 40 different songs in the last couple months. All of them have been good, competent, well-played music. Of those 40, I'd say one had the potential to be a country-rock classic that could sell in the millions. Three more had the potential to be Disney-type girl-pop that could do extremely well - maybe not a classic, but great disposable pop for a car radio in the summer. One band wasn't pariticularly original, but had fantastic chops and I bet they are absolutely killer live - the music had a really live, infectious feel. I've played their music multiple just because it has such a great feel. The rest were good enough for the artist to get local gigs and maybe even support themselves, but they'll never "make it" without taking what they do much further. I'd put what I heard from you in the latter category. Not trying to be mean here, just honest. I do know what I'm talking about, and have developed artists.

                I'm not saying this is where you'll always be. If you grow, if you listen to what others say, and if you keep probing your own music and being more critical about it than any critic, then you have a shot. I've heard demos that had potential - some people worked hard and realized that potential, while it became apparent that others couldn't take it any further.

                In any event, keep up with the brutal honesty if you feel the need, although I'm inclined to think that most of this is a product of the beehive effect and that your opinion of me is overshadowed by my brash young ways and attitude.


                Well, at least in my case, that's certainly not true. My opinion of you is based on comparing your music to what else is out there and I don't really care what others think because I'm not them, I'm me, and I have my own opinions. I would be thrilled if I could say "Wow, this is the best music I've ever heard, here's some $$, please send me more!!" Nothing would please me more than to add some great music to my collection. But for now, I put you in the "has potential" category. That alone is a compliment, I assure you. Most of the music I hear falls into the "Don't give up your day job" category.
                Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                • #99
                  I think of the music I did at age 21 -- the same age of our new pal, Pat Dimitry, aka Siva -- and there are a lot of similar aspects. Big focus on complexity and proving my musicianship abilities, and so on. It took me a long time to allow the song to conquer my need to show off my instrumental capabilities, and that bug still hits me to this day from time to time.

                  But like I told Pat, it's at least nice to hear some potential there. Like a lot of Berklee Kidz, he can obviously play. That's encouraging.
                  Music, thoughts, stuff, and... I guess that's all

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                  • Well Jeff, now that you're 22, I can definitely hear more maturity in your work
                    Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                    Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                    • Whoo hooo!

                      Actually, I don't think I'd trade the experiences I've gained since then in exchange for the youthful advantages. I like being who I am now.
                      Music, thoughts, stuff, and... I guess that's all

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                      • no banana? you must be snobs or sumthing
                        band status - "its complicated"

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                        • I have to add one more thing. Criticism can be the best possible thing on the planet to help your career. Early on I was cutting a song with a producer and she loved the music and lyrics, but thought the actual vocal performance didn't convey the emotion implicit in the words.

                          She wrote out the lyrics, and underlined words that needed to be emphasized, and double-underlined the words that could serve as the "lyrical hook." Just having someone review my lyrics and parse them into important/really important and tell me which parts to emphasize made a HUGE difference in my approach to the song. It introduced the "tension and release" element to the words themselves.

                          Ever since then, I've always reviewed my lyrics and done the underline/double-underline thing. It was probably the best advice I ever received in terms of changing how I do music, and producing really tangible positive results. That one exercise done in the middle of a session stayed with me all these years.

                          BTW as way of background...the reason why I know how producers and A&R people think comes from doing a ton of session work at CBS back in the day. Having to come up with parts that were totally subservient to the artist taught me a huge amount about playing economically and maximizing emotional impact. Watching the kind of advice artists received during the course of the sessions definitely shaped how I look at music (and I think for the better). It's also less bruising to the ego to learn from the mistakes other people make
                          Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                          Subscribe, like, and share the links!

                          Comment



                          • She wrote out the lyrics, and underlined words that needed to be emphasized, and double-underlined the words that could serve as the "lyrical hook." Just having someone review my lyrics and parse them into important/really important and tell me which parts to emphasize made a HUGE difference in my approach to the song. It introduced the "tension and release" element to the words themselves.

                            Ever since then, I've always reviewed my lyrics and done the underline/double-underline thing. It was probably the best advice I ever received in terms of changing how I do music, and producing really tangible positive results. That one exercise done in the middle of a session stayed with me all these years.


                            That's a really great piece of advice right there. We were doing something similar with bolding the words and making them larger to indicate the amount of emphasis, sometimes if necessary doing this for the syllables if we wanted something highlighted. BTW, we also do this for The Tibet Connection radio show, even though it's not singing, just to make things easier. Anything that can facilitate importance, meaning, emphasis, pronunciation, emotion, etc. is a beautiful, practical thing.
                            Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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