Here you go...
» Effect of the Artist on the Culture (and Vice Versa)
Anyway .. that is all I am going to say on the subject right now. Because I now find myself pondering [ i see the shift i must follow ] the role that is played by the artist in helping to define the culture (.. and vice versa).
But surely you can see how this might run parallel with ..
Before leaving this subject however, let me just add that my intuition here ..
This is not the right way to say it, but you will catch my drift » the only limitation I have encountered with the gift is » the size of your balls.
Or maybe they did, and he turned them down.
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••• today's entry continues here below •••
» A Spike Lee Joint
Spike's the man. That's as good as it gets. Cinematic arts .. is » what he does.
He will do a righteous job. I would feel very honored to have Spike working on anything I did.
But especially Headlights.
Very cool. Good for you. You are in good hands, my friend. But this you already know.
Spike Fucking Lee. Wow. You must be so stoked.
And then, of course, you will owe him .. so that, when he releases his next feature, you will be obligated to throw-down a track for him.
When I saw that photo of you with Spike, and I noticed how how your eyes looked like you hadnt slept in a while ..
.. I thought of what Dylan said in the most remarkable quote on artistic creativity I have ever heard .. when he said (something like) » "I had come to a place, creatively, where I didnt want to go to sleep .. because I was afraid I might miss something."
I feel that the reason you have become the voice-of-your-generation .. or, at least a major factor in that development (unfortunately) ..
.. is because of the dysfunction of the preceding generation. Your parent's generation. Dysfunctional values .. that engender dysfunctional parenting.
I find it » telling. Very telling .. that your voice resonates so well .. with the youth of today's generation.
No, I am no sociologist, but I *do* live in a society. So I find your fame telling .. in a societal way. And not very flatteringly, either.
It's a telling thing (sociologically speaking) that your lyrics resonate so well and so widely.
Say hi to Spike for me. Spike brings the keys to the city.
Where in NYC can you not go? .. with Spike at your side.
You are going to have your own Spike Lee Joint [ .. stamped with a stencil containing a limited amount of rare ink ]. What could possibly be cooler?
I feel that .. Spike being from (representing) NYC is a key facet of his doing Headlights ..
Here is a thought-experiment for you (ala Einstein) » what you you get when you cross Dylan (born '41) with Lennon (born '40, died at age 40)?
(No pressure, dawg.)
» The Results of My Comparison
This looks like a good place to throw down the results of my comparison. I know it is cheating to go straight to the conclusion .. and not explain how I got there. And yes, maybe I'll go back later and flesh it out for you.
But [ drum roll, pls ] the essense of the difference that I see ..
.. is that » Dylan made up a tale-of-woe ..
.. when he got to NYC (.. about his life growing up back home).
But you don't have to. Think about it.
(You can read the bio yourself.
The author » Daniel Mark Epstein .. he is a bad dude in his own right.
He is out beyond me on certain things. Certain cool things.
I think he is out beyond Dylan on certain things. Another topic entirely. But he is an honest-to-God poet.
He takes you to Dylan, yes, but he takes you on a magic carpet. See .. I kinda can't stop already. But I will. I learned shit from him. Beyond Dylan.)
» Careful Not to Read More Into Things Than is There
But what does that mean? I try not to read stuff into things .. as best I'm able ..
And miss the stuff that is really there .. thus limiting ourselves.
And this is how I interpret the essence of the difference (.. something that probably means nothing to anybody but me) » you are every bit of the real deal that Dylan is .. and then maybe some.
Technology has propelled the music industry far, far, far. So it is understandably difficult to compare lyricist to lyricist. Across three decades.
But the songwriters themselves are still flesh-n-blood. I may return to flesh out this part as insights come. Similarities vs differences. Compare-n-contrast.
Sure, there are people who help you. People with skills and talents, obviously. But with their help, what can there be, artistically speaking, that you (guys) cannot do? (As a team.) Creatively and artistically.
How absurd such a thing would have sounded to artistic ears not so very long ago.
So it comes with a responsibility. Let us then push back the artistic limits of yesterday and take this digital starship into the future.
And boldly go where none have gone before.
On the subject of creativity, which we are dancing with here, perhaps the most remarkable story I ever heard ..
See t=2:00 and especially t=3:15 in this video segment.
Which shows how he made a miniature wax figure of the desired results, which he submerged in a basin of water.
Every day he let out a little water and chipped away with hammer and chisel what he did not see in the wax figure.
Sounds simple enough in concept, sure. But actually pulling off such a feat strikes me as » most inspiring.
» James Joyce Sets the Bar High
Regarding my comments on Joyce posted up above ..
.. dont you feel like you have set the bar high for those who will come after you?
I am no crafter of song lyrics, but that bar looks pretty high to me. Impossibly high .. just like the one that Joyce set.
And, to be honest, I only see you raising it higher every year .. as you continue to develop and hone your craft.
What about visiting colleges and universities .. to discuss your creative process? Sorta like the way Druckenmiller does .. to focus a spotlight on the way the youth of our nation are getting screwed.
I bet Spike could get you into NYU with a phone call or two.
I bet you would pack auditoriums from the Northeast to the Southwest. If I were running a university somewhere, I would try to get you to come talk to my students.
Not to mention the internet and servers serving all this shit 24x7. Always open. Always growing. Continuously developing. Morphing. Thanks to very smart, creative people. Many of them.
Smart people can see the potential of the power. To communicate ideas. The truth.
No wonder Tolstoy feels jealous.
<end Spike Headlights update>
» The Thunder Cometh
Update 2-22 » Oh, I see you have made plans to bring the thunder.
That was quick. Date of today's entry » 1-11. Thunder announced » 2-22.
(Dont think my intuition wasnt primed to look for 3-33. Sigh of relief.)
It is the hint of untamed nastiness in her voice that gives it its distinctive flavor .. that makes it resonate with so many.
Dont you find it interesting? .. that the thing that makes » red red and » blue blue .. is » its resonance frequency (of the light emitted).
Just like the way one voice differs from another. This sorta plays off my yin-yang deal-o. Vibing. On a level beyond (mere) acoustics .. what your ears can humanly hear. Or what your eyes can humanly see.
» Different Colors are Simply Different Frequencies of Electro-Magnetic Radiation (Light)
Speaking of which .. have you noticed how we humans can see only a tiny sliver of the light in the electro-magnetic spectrum? See here:
This tells me there is lots of shit going on that the human eye simply can't see. There is much more going on than the little sliver we can see.
That *does* look like lots of fun. No wonder it is Sold Out already. And such big venues, too. (My ego would be out-of-control. Or "off-scale," as we say in the nuclear world .. where everything is measured with a gage.)
Speaking of peeps .. I like the way you used the sample from your audience in Survival. "Do you hear my peeps back there? Good."
But it is powerful shit .. when you have a large number of peeps behind you.
There is a quote from some of Lennon's documentaries where Nixon is quoted as saying (something like) ..
» "That fucker could sway an election. We need his British ass out of the country .. sooner the better."
Does that quote resonate in any way? Good thing you arent British, eh?
I don't think today's artist needs to be very creative when it comes to things political or social. Merely shining a spotlight on the obvious truth is more than effective. They hang their asses out so often and so blatantly that it is hard to miss.
Was it your idea to include the sample from your audience? As an artistic element in the song? Or do you have audio engineers assembling this stuff?
That was very clever .. whoever put that in like that.
My experience with things creative has been .. that you have to TRY IT. Cuz sometimes it works and sometimes it doesnt. And trying is labor-intensive.
Pushing » Out Beyond the Comfort Zone
I also find the creative process similar to maximizing physical fitness ..
.. in that we must periodically push ourselves beyond our comfort zones. In order to take things to the next level.
Say hi for me. Then pull two apples out of your pocket and say, "How do you like *them* apples, Ben?"
What about including (a version of) » Get Up / Stand Up in your tour? Cuz I hear lots of thunder in that song.
I heard that the Bad Girl is a Bob Marley fan. I am sure that Ziggy and Stephen and Damian & company would all say, "Cool."
You are from 8-Mile and he is from Nine-Mile. You're practically neighbors.
If I were a gambling man, I would be willing to wager that you are already hearing the voices. (Did you hear that thing that Thievery-Rob did for the Legendary remix?)
Speaking of voices .. I bet that a LOT of people would be honored .. to come make a guest appearance for/with you. Very honored, indeed.
.. by coming to visit something intimate in Hoboken or at the Jersey shore (this summer).
The Dog says he was at a New Years party one year with Southside at a small, intimate place, where "The Boss" dropped in unannounced. You could tell from the way he told the story that is was very cool. They rocked the house. All night long.
And maybe even Madonna .. if she is free. Duet with Ri-ri. Jersey girl. She will love it. You must admit that the names Madonna and Rihanna do sound good together. Very evocative. Or maybe even a 3-way with you-know-who.
And Jay-Z? Brooklyn. Even U2 .. if they happen to be in town. They are Irish boys. Who grew up in Ireland. They will appreciate that we have recognized and paid tribute to James Joyce .. one of their own. No doubt an inspiration to them. I am sure they will be feeling the vibe.
And some young people too .. tho I do not know who that would be. But you do. You are nicely positioned between old and new .. to make connections. It's all about connections. And inspiration. And talent. (The cultivation thereof.)
For old times sake. The magazine would be into that. How could they not?
Bill it as a way for the artists to express their appreciation for the magazine.
How many more good years do those guys have left? I mean, Keith Richards can only get his blood changed so many more times .. ya know?
You should EXPLORE something with Dylan .. some creative venture. See where it leads. Let the creativity take you there.
Maybe something will happen .. maybe it wont. But you should at least see if there is anything there. You know how to do that shit.
Or maybe Dylan in Los Angeles. Tho he is most associated with New York. So I am not sure how to play that. He would know what works best for him.
To be honest, I am most interested in a dialogue between you two that addresses your c.r.e.a.t.i.v.e p.r.o.c.e.s.s.e.s ..
.. how they might be similar. How they differ. That kind of shit fascinates me. (I can't help it.)
It will be a challenge to put such abstract things into revealing language.
In physics, it takes MORE ENERGY to put things together (fusion) .. but the end result is » MUCH MORE POWER. The sun uses fusion. And it will cook your ass from 93-million miles away.
While we are fusing shit here .. get that Aerosmith guy to come and sing for the moment with you. You know how to roll like that.
Dido & Elton with Stan? Am I getting too piggy-wiggy?
You definitely gotta have Kid Rock come sing with you in Detroit. And Snoop. And Dre. The gang. Light that bitch up .. so they can see the sparks from coast to coast. Twenty-first century sparks. From sea to shining sea.
Get those radioactive guys, too. You know. Nuclear-grade entertainment.
"The Monster Tour" .. it *does* have a nice ring, I must say.
Call up these people and say, "We have a Monster tour scheduled for the summer. You guys are monsters and we would like you to be involved. So keep you calendars free."
Here's how I see it happening » you are on stage in the middle of your show. You just finished one song. During the pause before the next, your cell phone rings.
You pull it out of your pocket and ask the audience to excuse you for a moment.
You answer by saying (something like) » "Haile, I told you not to call me while I'm in concert."
Over the speakers we hear, "Em, it's me, Snoop [ or whoever ]. Hailie gave me your number. I just want to let you know that I just arrived here in [ name of city ] and that I'm available if you need any help with the show."
A few secs into the call, we see a video image of caller appear on the giant screen(s), with cell phone to their ear.
You say » "I dunno. I *do* have to take a shit. Maybe you could stop by while I go take a crap. Let me ask the people. Y'all want Snoop to stop by?"
This would increase the sense of audience participation.
Snoop says, "Okay, tell the band to strike up [ name of song ] and I'll be there shortly." A few seconds later, Snoop Dog walks out on stage doing what he does best.
Maybe even a live video shot of you sitting on the throne .. where you see the closed circuit red 'live' light come on and say, "Hey, turn that shit off!"
Later, your cell phone rings again. Who is it gonna be this time? The sense of anticipation builds each time. People walk away from the show saying » "That was the best concert I've ever been to."
I was only there one time. Right about the time of the movie. Christmas time. To meet her folks.
It was freezing. (Literally.) So I wore a hat. As we stepped off the plane, she says, "If you leave that hat on, my mother will give you all her money." =)
So I took off the hat and froze. I remember thinking of you as we drove under the big '8-Mile" sign that night. I could hear the song playing in my head. I could feel the beat.
I actually got along surprisingly well with mom. When they came out to Laguna to visit, I spent the day with her and took her to the beach at 10th Street. A special place for me. All two hundred-plus steps.
We had the place to ourselves. Very easy to hang with. Surprisingly easy. I grabbed hold of her hand -- like I was her boyfriend -- as we crossed Pacific Coast Hwy ..
.. to make sure she didnt get her ass run over. At super-low tide you can even walk to the adjacent coves, which we did.
Speaking of tough Detroit girls .. I saw an interview with your wife once. She said (something like) » "He thinks he's hot shit cuz everybody kisses his ass everywhere he goes. I just need somebody to take out the trash. Feel me, girlfriend?"
And I think my son is close to the same age as your girls. (Remind me to introduce you to Norman. He has a daughter that age.)
Oh, maybe not. I must have saw an old video. Homecoming queen. I bet. And Summa-dumma Ultima. Not just another pretty face. My congrats.
I know somebody (intimately) who went to MSU. Good basketball team. (Tho not as good as Uconn.)
» Hard to Turn that (Dysfunctional) Shit Around
If I were you, I would totally take her to see the Jersey Boys (Clint Eastwood film) based on the long-running play.
This looks like the perfect time, no? Big-screen theater, popcorn .. the whole works. That would be very cool.
It would draw, I feel, a sharp contrast with the juxtaposition of daughters .. and acknowledge how hard it can be, sometimes, to hold these miracles together (.. given the risks involved).
When you conceptualize the turn-around that I am trying to convey here .. and you contrast your daughter with that of the one in the film ..
.. uh, does not the image that comes to mind look something like a yin-yang symbol?
Sorts like if you dip your finger into one color of paint and then stick your finger in the center of the other color and give it a little turn .. and then do the same with the other.
In other words » celebrate the victories.
Speaking of things satisfying ..
.. I read somewhere that a girl (Bebe) was recording the hook for that song (Monster) somewhere in Long Island ..
.. with a person who goes by the name of 'Frequency' ..
.. and Jon (the guy with the tattoos. You reckon he might be feeling the music?) ..
.. and that she stopped singing in the middle of the song and said, "This in an Eminem song."
[ Oh look. There's the appointed time. A quote, no less. From the past. Interesting. ]
Is that right? Or has it already become legend? .. which goes something like ..
Then you record it and it goes straight to #1 (blammo!) .. after, of course, you call the Bad Girl and say » "Come on over and bring your singing voice. You gotta see this shit. You'll never believe what happened. There I was, minding my own business .. when we got this call..." ..
And the Beatles (.. which includes John Lennon. To whom Headlights pays homage. Makes me think of what Hemingway said about the best training for a writer. Which makes me think of Joyce .. maybe the best writer of the entire century.).
Does shit like that not blow your mind? Like she knew it was for you. [ What told her this was an Eminem song? How did she know? ] How do you deal with stuff like that? Or do you just get used to it?
To me, it speaks of the respect they have for you. Well, it speaks of more than that .. which I won't get into. But, do you ever feel like this shit is bigger than you?
I dont think I could ever get used to stuff like that. Seems so surreal. At least, from here. From this perspective.
Speaking of perspectives .. doesnt it seem like the sharp-dressed man walked up to Bebe and she said » "Give it to Em!" ??
I should probably tell you my Monster story .. before I exit out of this little side-excursion. And take you back to the main road .. to get to where we are going. (It's gonna be good, yes.)
I was in a Jack-in-the-Box on Christmas eve day. To grab a burger for a late lunch.
I wasnt even that hungry, but the walls were starting to close in.
I had walked there from the hotel I was staying at a few blocks away. The walk felt good. It was almost hot that day. Certainly summery.
And the Monster came on .. less than a minute after I stepped inside. The speakers at this burger joint were so bad that you could hardly hear your parts at all. But Rihanna's voice sounded good .. even on those shitty Jack-in-the-Box speakers.
You know you have something when even your haters pay respect to your talent, no?
But yes, it does help to know that other people resonate at a similar frequency. Cuz sometimes it feels like that's all you have left.
Oh, I just saw this at the ACL site. Very cool. Total Slaughter. =)
[ Have you read Slaughterhouse-Five? (Pub 1969.) I have not. But everybody says it is a book that I would like .. probably because of the black comedy that I appreciate. Gallows humor. It's probably the #1 book recommend by people who know me. "I bet you would like..." ]
Skill with words is usually a function of age. Because it takes many years to have enough experiences where you learn enough shit in order to craft intriguing stories.
Particularly where the novelist is concerned. A young person with a gift for words is a rarity. But maybe this pertains more to the novelist than to the lyricist.
Speaking of lyrics .. there is much to admire. But I am especially fond of the part where you NOT ONLY tell the competition to » trade their mics in for for tool-box-es ..
Dude .. where do you get that shit? Who writes lyrics like that?
You should craft a concert scenario where you get your audience to sing those parts for you ..
.. tool-box-es and screw-dri-vers. I bet they will enjoy that.
When I saw you standing out in the middle of a grassy field in that video Love-the-Way-You-Lie that you did with Rihanna ..
.. I thought of this verse by Isaiah.
What shot construction. Very nice.
My advice » save your lyrics scratch sheets.
On a number of levels.
Your verse with pliers and screw-dri-vers reminds me of » that scene from Pulp Fiction.
Speaking of lyrics, I used to enjoy watching Russell Simmon's Def Poetry. But we don't get HBO any more.
<end update 2-22 Monster Tour>
The end. ■
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Joseph Frank » the Wordsmith'ing Literary Artisan
.. I purchased a copy of Joseph Frank's single-volume condensation (2009) of his 5-volume 'monumental' version (1976-2002) .. about the nineteenth-century Russian writer » Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881).
And what he does with words .. is so cool .. that it made me think of Marshall .. and what HE does with words.
I can see that this is why I am attracted to Marshall's art .. for what he does with words.
I do not think that most people appreciate the complexity and nuance involved in what he does.
But that sounds snobby. And I am not in the mood to be snobby.
And Marshall does stuff with words different from what I do. But I find myself appreciating it nonetheless.
It's really something to behold. His art. I can only imagine what his c.r.e.a.t.i.v.e p.r.o.c.e.s.s is like.
.. in concert, of course, with its the always-on-24x7, speak-your-mind standard features.
What I mean by adapting my style to take better advantage of the hyperlink is that .. all of my entries are snapshots of a particular time, or place, or event.
By referring to such a time or place or event .. and then providing a LINK that will take your reader there (.. to that time or that place or that event) ..
.. as close as possible to the actual time or place or event .. because THAT is when you wrote it.
Experimental, sure. But you cant be avant garde (bleeding edge) without experimenting.
Notice, in particular,
And if I were to continue this line of reflection .. I would next talk about words .. and what they are and what they do and how they work and where they come from ..
.. and so on. It's a never-ending cave of exploration .. so we wont go down there. At least, not right now.
Tho .. if I were to set my toe inside this cave for just a moment .. I might note that words (language) is what sets us apart (us humans, us home sapiens, us thinking folk) from the rest of the animal kingdom.
So we are talking about no insignificant thing.
The fact that Joseph Frank shed light on why I appreciate Marshall's art .. yes, that surprised me .. which is why I am here now .. updating this entry.
Once I have the introductory background documented .. it is easier to return and share insights as they come.
Tho Joseph Frank is obviously someone who appreciates the finest in world-class literature .. so maybe I shouldnt be so surprised.
<end march 26, 2015 update>
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