For the last couple years (actually, since the beginning of this), I've compartmentalized my music projects and my film work into separate spaces. And, I'll continue doing that, but with some important changes.

For one, MIRS is turning into as much a visual project as music, but with music as its fundamental core. The last record we did, CANYON, was a visual album and the imagery was co-tangent with the music. It played as a dual narrative.

In fact, I have been trying that since I started MIRS, with the debut release, SPIN CYCLE. But, I came short of the resources required to pull that off. That was essentially a visual album (before that became a mainstream thing), without it ever becoming a visual album, strictly because I couldn't pull it off (resource wise). Truth is, an idea is just an idea, and they are a dime a dozen.

Every time I start writing music, I preface it as a final act. The last record was supposed to be the final songs I write, and then, this last single, MOONLIGHTING MISSION MAN became the last piece of commercial music I write. Eventually, there will be a last, but I think I'm do for at least one more effort, as a new concept came my way, and I want to attempt bringing it to life. This feeling might change, but, my mouth doesn't want to shut yet.

Though, this one has larger ambitions, which means, I will be up against bigger barriers.

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The Amateurs vs learning about Picasso

"In my opinion, though, it's more important that someone learn to make music, draw, photograph, write, or create in any form, regardless of the quality, than it is for them to understand and appreciate Picasso, Warhol, or Bill Shakespeare..." 

David Byrne writes the above quote in the fantastic thought piece, HOW MUSIC WORKS. Here, he talks about the need of amateurs to keep the arts vibrant, and more importantly, to bond a self healing glue for societies, with an emphasis on the disadvantaged.

At a certain point in the American industrialized education system, we abandoned the active creative arts, for art history.

The powers that be thought it more wise (and certainly less expensive) to teach an understanding of mostly Western Classical Art, than to let children create. Funding for arts programs plummeted all through the country in the last decade. 

But the creative act itself is the most vital. Art history and criticism is more the perpetuation of an elitist system created to worship monuments, over intuition.

Now, don't get me wrong, I've worshipped some of those masters works myself, but I would advocate for less worship, and more encouragement to the youth, who are seeking ways to figure out problems.

One of the best vehicles human beings "created" for problem solving, is art. And the evidence is clear that problem solving skills is an extremely desirable trait in industry now. So, if you want to give a gift to a child and an advantage, a nice pat on the back and a Beat Machine can go a long way.


the rewards of music....

The learning of a musical instrument is a great metaphor to our shifting world. An instrument by its nature is difficult. You learn it through discipline, one small step after another, till one day, many years later, you feel comfortable holding it and skilled at playing; it but still, the nagging feeling that you know absolutely nothing about it persists.  A guitar, piano, the trumpet, the tabla, they're infinite in regards to mastery.

Now, as we shift from an analog world to a digital one in all aspects of life, we also change the relationships of process with regards to analog tools. Our traditional instruments are analog. Our most recent instruments however are software (and in fact, they don't have to represent an analog doppelgänger), and as is the nature of digital tools, constantly changing and updating. Although the base of said software might remain the same through the course of its development, it is in continual iterations. Software instrumentation is also non-linear, automated, capable of interacting with many inputs and outputs and sometimes capable of creating its own musicality with just a set of parameters without even being "played" (a theremin on binary steroids). Our analog instruments do not work in this capacity, for the most part.  

The other key difference is that often, the actual recording software (DAW) is the instrument. This mixes both the instrument(s), and the recording, in one space. This obvious insight might not seem important, but think it through. When I first picked up a guitar, I had no idea that one day I might learn how to record music. But, kids with an iphone or ipad start recording immediately. The instrument is just one piece of the recording puzzle. And we are now handed the recording capability first (without even asking for it in many cases), then the instrument.  This is a complete flip of process. This gives precedent to the making of music, as opposed to the playing of music. 

So, the process is different. Software is by it's nature, much easier to understand, and the brevity of it's learning curve makes proficiency come at a much swifter rate. People do not spend a decade learning a piece of software and then suddenly coming to an "aw haw", a moment of absolute clarity that happens periodically to players of analog instruments.  Mostly because software gives a much swifter response to hardship. With software, you are ready to go after browsing a manual, checking some tutorials, and chugging a huge cup of coffee blended. Of course it helps to have a musical background, but its not a necessity to get started. Sure it gets more difficult when you expand your range and tools, but, it wants you to learn it fast. Your muscle memory is never tested. 

This is a non-judgmental observation.  This is the reality. If you are a teenager thinking about music, a small investment (or, ripping) will get you started, almost immediately. In fact, an intro software is probably included on your phone or computer already for free.  In roughly two years, with some tenacity, talent and luck, you might have uploaded a song on Youtube or Soundcloud and have thousands of people hear it.  In the old world, two years on a guitar might not even be enough time to get you in front of 10 people at your local open mic'd coffee shop. Just look at the ultra youngster electronic producers who are making hit songs, all by themselves and in record time.  

Just like everything else in this new world; we are glued to our screens and creating everything inside a little box with a backlight.

sipping on that bullshit budweiser.

A scary thought has been buzzing through the brain of late.  I contemplate the poor condition of pop music.  Much too often.  Then, i try to forget the thought.  I rationalize this as older man talk.  That type of shit OLD people did when they talked about The Stones, or Chuck Berry, or Zeppelin, or The Clash.  Actually, did they talk about The Clash that way?  Fine, the Pistols, or Public Enemy.  Whatever.  Enter any rugged new style that scared the fucking cardigan wearing wiseman out his granny panties.

So, let’s traverse to modern day.  We are certainly in the post-post music era.  A little bit of this, a little bit of Dylan, mixed with what Prince did in 84, and a touch of that band nobody has heard of, and a dropping of The Cure.  Yeah, that's what's up.  Repeat with looks, repeat with style.  

But Pop is a little different.  It's always been.  We always whine about it.  At this point however, mainstream is ALL STREAM ALL THE TIME for most people.  From the Rhianna to the Chris Brown shit, to Lady Gaga doing the next level impersonation of Madonna, to Justin T, the easy to digest negative 10 MJ (whom I find totally harmless and interesting at least).  To the most asinine lyric writers on earth, and the multitude of studio tricks and disingenuous manufacturing of controversy to push a BRAND.

And, of course the semblance of what was once termed HIP HOP.  The form that is finally falling of the mainstream mountain that it's held for the last decade.  I don't even want to discuss the state of that form.  It's beyond repair for the most part, which is great.  From the ashes comes the voice.  Hopefully, some of these nimrods come to understand that rich Italian designers find it hilarious that some hood brother’s ultimate desire is to be buried in one of his stores.  I mean, what reach, what determination.  

Kool G Rap talked about being a gangsta.  So does Rick the character plagiarizer Ross.  But, so did NWA.  And, that had the same effect as punk rock.  It was a reaction.  Rick Ross is not a reaction towards anything.  Who is he rebelling against?  What is his skill?  Ghostface on the other hand, is a natural storyteller.  He is skilled at something.  He is a character of his creation.

But, coming back to my point.  Am I the grumpy old man whining about the horrid state of mainstream music?  Do i not get it?  Maybe, but to my defense, first, I'm not that old.  Second, mainstream pop is horrendous.  However, at the other end of the musical spectrum, people are releasing amazing music constantly.  The niche’s are being taken care of.  So, how does this happen?

The world has entered the REALITY TV REALITY, without even batting an eyelash.  It’s cool though, SHINE BRIGHT LIKE A DIAMOND ya’ll!

MIRS "Spin Cycle" now name your price

With the success of the .99 cent'er two weeks ago, a step further.  Go grab a copy of "Spin Cycle" for the low introductory price of "name your own" price.  Nothing is too low, nothing is too high.

For this occasion, we present a "what could have been".  This album cover is proof of a "what could have been".