Friday, February 27, 2009

Art

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I'm an engineer by profession. My brain has always had a difficult time using its right side. In fact, that's the main reason why I dropped out of architecture school; I couldn't figure out my professors. I thought they were all quacks. In my old age, although I'm still applying logic to art, I'm starting to understand art better; I think.

I was listening to This Week in Photography again, and Fred is interviewing one of the most popular photographers on flickr, Rebekka. She made a comment that struck me. Basically she was saying it doesn't matter how the image is created. It only matters how you feel when you look at it. (I'm paraphrasing). Generally I find that I'm in the camp of "you must get the image correct out of the camera" rather, "only a little post-processing should be required." But I realize now that it really doesn't matter. How do you feel when you look at that image?

Logically, this also applies to music. Who cares if it was written by a team of writers, and the singer is only so-so, but looks good? How do you feel when you listen to it? I still have a lot more respect for vocalists & bands that can write their own material. Similarly, I have a lot of respect for those that can do it all in the camera. I figure this is because I have some idea of how hard it is to get it right, right out of the camera.

Art is cool.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

15 Albums

Below are the 15 albums that have made a significant impact on my life (in no particular order):

  1. Master of Puppets - Metallica. This was my first introduction to speed metal at the age of 12ish. I was complaining to a friend at summer camp that my ZZ Top wasn't cutting it anymore. He had this and a Megadeth album. The Megadeth album made a bit nervous due to the name of the band. So I chose Metallica. I was quite surprised at its genious.
  2. (black) - Metallica. Even though I was an avid Metallica fan, I didn't buy this album until a year after it was released. I saw them in concert (for this tour) twice, and was awestruck at their musical-ness (don't judge me for my lack of vocabulary). The contrast between this and their previous albums was significant. They were able to produce music that the masses could take in...
  3. Thriller - Michael Jackson. I used to lie on my livingroom floor, staring at the album sleeve whilst listening to the awesomeness that is Thriller. (First real intro to pop)
  4. Automatic for the People - REM. For most this was just another good REM album. For me it was the foot in the door of all things REM and more. I had avoided REM for many years, as I didn't want to be a part of "that" crowd. I liked my hair metal.
  5. IV - Led Zeppelin. I don't think I really need to say anything about this. If you don't know this album, shame on you.
  6. (?) - Colgate 13 from Colgate University circa 1991. This album was entirely accapella. 13 guys singing an assortment of rearranged songs, all in perfect pitch. This, I thought, was talent.
  7. Siamese Dream - Smashing Pumpkins. I bought this CD on a whim, and was pleasantly surprised. Every song contrasts the other; melodic sweetness.
  8. Villains - Verve Pipe. One of those "college CDs" that I have fond memories about. This one in particular reminds me of Laura & I when we lived together at CMU.
  9. With Teeth - Nine Inch Nails. Now, you may have expected me to say Pretty Hate Machine, or Downward Spiral, but no. Although Laura owns both of those, With Teeth was really the album that showed me how cool NIN is now (then). From there I watched Beside You in Time and was blown away. I then went back to Downward Spiral and listened as if I had never heard it before (at least the non-radio tracks). I now call myself a NIN fan, and am still pissed I've never seen them in concert.
  10. In Search of Sunrise 3 - DJ Tiesto. This album really opened the doors of Trance to me. From here I went on to explore Armin van Burren, Above & Beyond (my current favorite), Paul van Dyk, etc. You can't help but dance when listening to this album.
  11. Static & Silence - The Sundays. I listened to this album walking back & forth to class everyday back in '98. Since Laura had already graduated and was living back at home, the georgous voice of Harriet Wheeler reminded me of Laura. (Awwww...) I think this is The Sudays' best album, although many think differently.
  12. (himself) - Eddie Murphy. Back in 7th grade my buddy & I would wait until his parents went to sleep, and would listen to this album with the volume as quiet as we could stand it, shoving our faces in pillows to lessen our hysterical lafter. It's not music, but it opened up my world to comedy in the audio form.
  13. Glo - Delerious?. This was the first Christian CD that that I found cool i.e., the first time I learned Christian music could be cool.
  14. Can You Hear Us? - David Crowder Band. The most identifiable lyrics evar!
  15. Morning View - Incubus. Even though this is not my favorite Incubus album, nor is it the first I've owned, it's the album that I was listening to heavily when I proclaimed my first favorite artist/band: Incubus. This is quite significant because, until that time I had never had a favorite. In fact it's still difficult to determine a favorite even today.

This list was surprisingly more difficult to generate than I thought. I've listened to so many different styles of music, let alone artists, that have had some sort of impact. In fact, music alone has an emotional impact. That's why humans identify with it so much. This is one gift that God has granted us that I appreciate above many others. It's easy for me to be move to tears by tonality alone.

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Really!?!