These Are the Thoughts I am Thinking about Music

Running out of titles. Or maybe cleverness. Probably a good thing when someone who thinks they’re clever starts to run out of what they perceive to be clever. Pretty clever, huh? Hmm. The word has last all meaning. From saying it too much, not from my inherent application of my own delusions of it attached to everything I do. Wow. Why do I even bother with intros?
  • When instruments were first invented to play melodies on, do you think all the singers called it cheating?
  • On Saturday nights, I leave my guitar rig overnight at my church, as we have both Saturday night and Sunday morning services. And on Saturday nights, as I’m sitting at my computer, I take my usual habitual glances of longing over at my rig. Except that it’s just an empty space in the room. Throw in some strings, and it’s like a scene from Legends of the Fall (or a really good commercial, at least). Is that sad? Or just very, very awesome?
  • Where would the world be without rock ‘n roll? And I’m a lot serious.
  • Indie bands: your music was cool in 2004 because it was subversive to the predominant musical styles. At what now seems like 19,635 bands calling themselves indie, you need to have a melody. The hobbit half-beards, vests, slippers, and xylophones can only take you so far. And by ‘so far’, I probably mean signed, famous, and in Michael Cera’s latest Juno rehash. So, carry on.
  • Green sounds better. Prove me wrong.
  • Is there seriously a silver Klon on ebay with bids at $600? haha What a sucker. Everyone knows only the golden horsey guy ones have the magic fairy dust.
  • Poor singers. We jack the chords (haha…wow, there’s a phrase you haven’t heard since 1997…for some reason, all I think of when I see that year is Con Air…hehe…Nicolas Cage…he’s not…how do you say it…good) and they have to take the fall.
  • I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I just got back from reading multiple threads on ‘worship’ over at Gear Page. Good times for all. Just don’t post in them! Very frightening.
  • On that note, I have an uncharacteristically quiet thought: does it seem to anyone else that Christians are mean?
  • Drive with your windows down, and crank whatever it is you’re listening to.
  • I don’t normally do this, but I ran across this post by one of the bassists I play with, and thought it was absolutely fantastic: Minimalism. (Ya, ya, of course I’d think that’s fantastic, I know.)
  • Try as I might, I cannot come up with one single thing that everyone agrees on. Just in life. And yet we do try really hard to find that one thing, don’t we. Especially on internet message boards.
  • I heard a song today, by which band I absolutely refuse to say but probably just said by absolutely refusing to say it, and I felt as if it were wrapping me up in a soft, warm, and almost questioningly masculine hug through the speakers.
  • For those of you wondering, ‘questioningly masculine’ means ‘Masculine…with some questions.’ Think…every worship leader you’ve ever known.
  • I like show tunes. I’m sorry.
  • That POG is cool, but think of all the other pedals it’s taking up the space of! I wonder if I can re-house it…make it smaller. I’ll call it, the POG2! Wait…
  • That last one was so dumb that I’m almost ashamed. Almost…
  • Never underestimate the sonic power of a shaker.
  • People are funny.
  • It’s not cool to like Fleet Foxes anymore, is it.
  • All music is at its core is essentially delay. Nope. Just accept it and move on.
  • And lastly, courtesy of Mr. Dickens, ‘The broader a man’s statements, the narrower his mind.’ Just think about that one for a second… And of course, I don’t fall into that category. ;)

Splendid.
Karl.

43 thoughts on “These Are the Thoughts I am Thinking about Music

  1. On that note, I have an uncharacteristically quiet thought: does it seem to anyone else that Christians are mean?

    everyday.

    on another note, I’m looking for a new band name. we’re a 3 piece playing originals. the latest one I came up with is hawkmoon, but I think that too easily gives away influences. suggestions?

    • how about “3 Wolf Moon” or “Wolfpack” which was taken from the idea “1 Man Wolf Pack” ….

      LOL… sorry, I couldn’t resist! The “Hawkmoon” is what did it!

  2. TGP worship posts are funny/sad. Internetz is serious business and people want to have the last word. It’s too bad that ridiculous ‘Gear of Megachurch Players’ thread is gone now. I liked the disclaimer that said, only post in this thread if you play in a megachurch, I’m only interested in the gear used by that level of player! uh dude, there is a fine line between ‘professional guitar player’ and church staff. :)

  3. Kenrick–too easily gives away influences? I don’t think so. Although, I do feel strangely compelled to advise you to tack ’269′ after ‘Hawkmoon.’ ;) hehe If I can come up with any suggestions, I’ll let you know.

    And it’s unfortunate about most of us Christians, isn’t it. Nice to know other people notice as well.

    Dan–haha Yes! Makes me happy to know I’m not the only one who takes pleasure in just reading them spiral out of control! hehe And I remember that thread. It’s gone now?

  4. there is an $800 (CDN) Klon on craigslist … i like what he wrote: “These are extremely hard to come by and I’m selling it to pay down debts” … and yes to Green!!!

  5. Rhoy–haha I love the ‘extremely hard to come by.’ I can’t remember the last time there were no Klon’s on ebay. And green just sounds better, huh! :)

    Craig–really! Cool, I might have to send an email over. Thanks, bro!

  6. “Christians are mean….” Sigh***

    We actually are doing a series at church on how the outside world perceives Christians. We started with how Christians perceive other Christians…. how sometimes we hid in the guise of “spiritual correction” and end up being more judgmental and spiritually proud- like we have to compare spiritual walks and see who is better?

    I won’t get on a soapbox, but if we say church people are sometimes the “hardest” people, how does the world see them? (and I LIKE to go to church!!)

    and to get away from that soapbox….

    Am I the only one who just doesn’t care about playing a Klon? At this point, I think its just a status symbol as enough new pedals etc.. have been out that provide equal “TONE FOR DAYS.”
    yup.

  7. Larry–great point. I totally hear ya. I know in my own life, when I fall into that category, it’s usually because I’m feeling insecure around a bunch of people who don’t have the same beliefs as I do. So, my defense mechanism is to go overboard and put on a pretense of confidence in my faith, which usually translates into an egotistical and practical meanness to those around me. I think the bottom line is that as Christians, we’re thinking of ourselves way too much. So…I think we’re perceived as mean, because most of the time…we really are. hehe And I’m hoping that as a whole, we can change that. :) I know I need to change.

    As for the Klon, I’m in total agreement with you. However, that just fuels my fire more to do a demo of it so I can prove to myself and the world (or the 10 people who read this blog, hehe), that it really is nothing special. ;)

    Jacob–wow. In two sentences, you just wrecked my whole point. Well done, my friend! That was awesome.

    However, I will say, that there are certain Green Day songs with some decent and catchy melodies. Is that unpopular to say here? hehe

    Seth J–lol Not unless U2 did a version I’m unaware of. haha Jitterbug is a killer song, though! :D

  8. Anonymous–really? Ah, bummer! Was it someone from your church, or was the church broken into? I actually lock up the church every Saturday night, so it’s a little easier for me. I’m the last one there Saturday night, and the first one there Sunday morning…so I know no one from within the church can steal it. And then I suppose if the church gets broken into, then it’s my fault for forgetting to lock a door or something! haha

    Joel–lol I’m not sure how to answer this……are you baiting me, or are you serious? Because if you’re serious, then I love Owl City! And if you’re baiting me…good form. haha :)

  9. “On that note, I have an uncharacteristically quiet thought: does it seem to anyone else that Christians are mean?”

    Anyone convinced and satisfied about their own rightness is mean. For the sake of minimalism (look, I can use your favorite words! :P), I’ll leave it at that.

    • After talking to you, let me specify that I didn’t mean for that to be directed at you. :) I’m just saying that people’s off-putting attitude often stems from their absolute conviction that they are right. While this problem occurs with all sorts of ideas/belief systems, it’s common to Christianity due to its (rightful) claims of exclusivity. Claims that, by the way, do not excuse un-loving attitudes.
      :) :) :) <– extra smileys, just to be sure. :P

  10. why would i bait you? Who else can give you a “questioningly masculine hug” with their music? heck, that previous sentence even sounds like an Adam Young lyric! Owl City is the only possibility in my opinion!

  11. Karl, totally agree with you on the Christian thing. I am actually doing a project for my church right now; a series of interviews with some of the gay guys I know. I am basically taking down their stories, and getting their thoughts on Christians. Not Christianity, but basically a review of those that claim it. I think that when you really think about it, we have something in common with them; we are both hated for who we are.

    Oh, and I think that we might all agree that air is nice to breathe… Just a thought…

  12. Rhoy–would that be the Strymon? :D

    Rapha–I totally agree, and very well-put. lol Thanks for the smilies! Post of the day, bro. hehe

    Joel–sorry bro, I totally misread your comment. I’m an idiot. hehe No, it wasn’t Owl City. I’m…dare I say…not too huge a fan of his. Should I duck behind something to avoid thrown objects from people? hehe

    Mark Holstein–whoa. That’s a really thought-provoking phrase. Thanks, brother! And sorry to not return your texts…I always seem to get them when I’m driving, and then I forget. haha But thanks for the kind words on the song!

    Rapha–hear hear. :)

    Other Joel–great comment. And that must be a really interesting study! I’d love to hear some of the responses.

  13. Down with Owl City! The only ‘owl’ references I am comfortable with involve either the album cover for ‘Fly by Night’ or Harry Potter. =)

  14. Hey Karl, you might have posted a thread on this somewhere, but there are like a million posts here and I’m feeling lazy today. I want two delay pedals for my board – a good analog delay (to be on almost all the time of course) and then a tap delay with more options to improve upon said analog – any suggestions on affordable delay pedals?

    I know this is your favorite pedal to talk about, so I expect a page or two complete with shootouts, product reviews and demos… (haha just kidding)

  15. dear karl,

    no i will not throw things at you . . .Owl City is not for everyone. I have come to begrudgingly accept this commonality. Oh well . . .now perhaps I will go assauge my depression with a new pedal or two . . . or three.

  16. I’ve also heard, through a guy who went to school with him, that the Owl City guy is kind of a jerk.

    Props to their touring drummer, who came back to his HS to spend some time with the drumline.

    But, the whining does get annoying.

  17. I probably ought to clarify my statement “Christians form their firing lines in circles.”

    That statment is absolute. And that is false. Not all Christians are like this. As a Christian, I just have seen so many believers shoot the wounded. I have even done it myself. But always remember…this is hardly consistent with the teachings of Christ. I think Saint Augustine said it best “Never judge a philosophy by its abuse.” Christ’ example is the ultimate expression of love and grace. That is the grace that has saved me. That is the grace that I am just beginning to understand…

  18. Karl–I can just imagine you sitting in your room on Saturday night longing for your guitar rig, weeping uncontrollably, probably watching Beaches, Fried Green Tomatoes, City of Angels or something of the like. You kill me…

  19. Rhoy–great review of it! Sounds great!

    Craig–hehe ;)

    Nick–haha Is the band name actually a Harry Potter reference? hehe That’d be awesome!

    Joseph–no worries! For an affordable digital delay, I’d go with the Boss DD20. I know that’s a boring option, but this is one of the most underrated pedals out, in my humble opinion. Great sounds, lots of options, and well-built. For an analog one that’s always on and is affordable, I’d wait until the EH Memory Boy with tap tempo comes out. I used to have an untimed analog delay always on, and even at a really low mix setting, it seemed that myself and the band would sometimes automatically sync to its tempo. So, I found that being able to tap the tempo of your always on delay was important for me.

    Hope that helps, bro! :)

    Andrew–lol Come on, now. Don’t hold back. Tell us how you really feel. ;) But in all seriousness, I gotta do some kind of Klon shootout to know, once and for all! :)

    Joel–no worries. I apologize for misreading your first post. Judging from the loops and stuff, the Owl City guy is probably a better musician than I’ll ever be. For me personally though, it kind of sounds like the Death Cab for Cutie singer, but with not as good of a backing band. And the lyrics seem like they were formulaically weighed to figure out what would make the highest number of indie girls swoon. Although, I must admit, some might argue that that last part is where his genius lies. ;) Either way though, you’re obviously secure enough to like him, no matter what the rest of us think, and I applaud you for that. Maybe I’ll come around someday. :)

    Craig–ah, that’s a bummer. But hey, you know someone who knows someone famous! You’re famous! At least that’s what I like to think. hehe :)

    Mark Holstein–great comment. And thanks for qualifying your earlier statement, although I knew you didn’t mean it to be absolute. But it is, unfortunately, true a good portion of the time. That Saint Augustine quote was great!

    And yes…it is tough to be without my rig! haha

    Rapha & Mark Holstein–lol I remember the absolute statement game. Used to drive me crazy trying to talk with a professor about this! hehe

  20. I am afraid your overarching comment on “Indie” is pretty off base. it seems that the only “indie” you have been exposed to has been what mass media proclaims as “Indie” when in fact you are pigeon holing all of Independent rock music into a category that it seems in your definition is just the latest Shins single. Also your apparent love of Owl City is seemingly ridiculous if you are attacking bands such as the Postal Service which Owl City has come close to admitting they egregiously ripped off due to the fact that Postal Service was a one album band.

    But in terms of guitar tone “Indie” rock has been pioneering new sounds for decades players like J. Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth. Even more obscure bands such as Oneida http://www.vimeo.com/1606226, Explosions in the Sky http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0o8JCxjjpM Kaki King http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69qNYYhUom0&feature=related,

  21. Dude! The Shins were on Garden State! The most indie-est indie movie ever! How dare you lump them into the ‘mass media indie machine’ category! ;)

    hehe I apologize for coming across as condemning the entire style of ‘indie music.’ Sometimes I’m not the best writer, and obviously this is one of those times. So let me clarify a bit. I was actually promulgating a view much like the one you just put forth. Except that my definition of ‘indie’ is very different. When I say, ‘indie’, I am referring to the ‘mass produced indie’, not the truly ‘independent’ bands or lifestyles. Independent music and culture, as you pointed out quite well, has been going on for centuries. And because it is subversive or ‘one-off’ to the culture in nature, it is constantly changing faces as the culture changes; because eventually, the culture figures out that there is a market for the independent stuff, and begins to manufacture it. And then it becomes mass produced, and when you’re spending lots of time and money and care about how you look all in an effort to appear like you didn’t spend any time and money and don’t care how you look, it gets a tad false feeling. That’s how rock ‘n roll changed to rock, metal to glam, punk to pop-punk, and folk to country. And then another subversion comes out as an offshoot to the now mass-produced version of the previous independent.

    The issue with indie though, is that this time, the subversive offshoot actually called themselves what they were: ‘independent’, or ‘indie.’ So now, it’s hard to tell if you’re talking about mass produced or true indie. So, for reasons of keeping things straight in my own mind, I use ‘indie’ to refer to that mass-produced, overused, and done to death fake music and lifestyle that the markets are gobbling up the money from, and ‘independent’ to mean just that: those who are still independent. Even if they are big, such as like you mentioned, Postal Service or Death Cab, who actually waited to get signed for something like 7 years because they wouldn’t give up the clause in their contract naming their guitarist as the sole producer. That’s pretty rockin’ independent right there! :)

    So, I’ve got nothing against the original independent bands and folks. It’s the ones jumping on the bandwagon and pretending to be subversive, when really it’s just to fit in. Nothing wrong with fitting in, but there’s just something gross about pretending, in my humble opinion. Which is I think more of the mindset you were getting at with your comment; and I totally agree, I just probably expressed myself poorly to begin with. And sorry to give such a long diatribe here. hehe I was actually hoping this conversation would come up from my ‘indie’ comments, but it’s taken a while…so I’ve got all these pent up thoughts for the subject. My apologies. :)

    Oh, and lastly…did I accidentally mention an Owl City lyric in my original post or something? haha To put it mildly, I am not a huge fan, and didn’t intentionally say anything about them in my post. But everyone is drawing this conclusion! lol The song I mentioned that ‘hugged’ me, was far from Owl City. In fact, well…actually it was a much more mainstream and much less ‘indie’ song and band…… Anyway, cheers bro!

  22. I think that all that matters whether indie or not, is that an individual finds music that moves them. It does not matter what other people think about your music (and that goes for you bands and singer/songwriter types out there too) if you like it and it moves you a certain way that’s all that matters. And far be it for me or anyone else to look down on you or speak condescendingly about music which has played a huge part in your life. No one has that authority (unless God doesnt like the music you listen to, which is another can of worms for another fishin’ trip), and it is just wrong to try to do that.

  23. Well put, Joel. And the nice thing is that no one can take that enjoyment away from us. I mean, hey…I still dig Vanessa Carlton. haha I get flak for it, but her music reaches me, and that’s all that matters. You dig Owl City, I dig U2. No worries. :)

    I do think though, that there are a lot of bands, indie or not, that could be absolutely incredible if they wrote from the heart, rather than from trying to write whatever is the current style. And it’s just a little more noticeable with the whole ‘indie’ or ‘independent’ thing, because the whole point of that music began as being subversive to the culture. So now that it is the culture (kinda…we still got rap ;) ), some of the unoriginality from certain parts of that genre are more visible. And just personally, I think that more of that music would reach me, were it not seemingly just processed out of the new ‘indie machine.’ :)

    And this has nothing to do with Owl City…I might be crazy, but I consider their (or his) music a little more mainstream, than independent. Am I totally wrong in that?

    Cheers, brother!

  24. Not at all Karl!!! Owl City is def. mainstream. Oh, and I love U2 also, but you are definitely more of a fan than I am!!! None shall argue that point!

  25. Karl

    Yes, I do know someone who went to HS with the Owl City Guy in Owatona. I can’t say enough good about the drummer though. I think that him coming back to hang with the drumline at his HS shows a lot of class (my 17 year old that it was especially cool). I agree that OC seems pretty mainstream and kind of bland for my tastes, but my teenagers love them, and they’ve sold more records than I ever will so you gotta give them props for that.

    Did you ever get with JHS pedals abour recasing your POG?

  26. Joel–haha Alright bro, you’re candor and obvious confidence in liking of Owl City has impressed me enough to go give them another listen. This is a big step for me… ;)

    Craig–awesome, brother. Nice to see a realistic view on this stuff. Yep, there’s bands I don’t dig, and bands that I can’t understand why other people dig. But if their music is reaching people, we gotta tip our caps.

    And I’ve yet to contact JHS. Life is crazy. But I’m going to! :)

  27. sounds good Karl! I want a full review by monday. . .jk. I hope you can enjoy some of it.

    maybe take a look at some of his live videos?

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