music

Mirs - Summer God Complex (Official Visualization 2014)

Here is the visual representation for the MIRS track SUMMER GOD COMPLEX. This video is a digital deconstruction of footage that originated from an infamous, lonely and appalling source.

That source was also the lead-in into the writing process, although it was just a jumping point, a kernel of story that evolved into something else.

The deconstruction of the source footage also plays into an internal, corrupt mind grasping at order, and at times seeing beauty in it's own destruction. The process involved the breaking down of codecs.

The new record - Meat on Your Lonely Bonez

The new record is out.  Please go over to the itunes store, or bandcamp to pick up a copy.  Playing them in order is preferable.  

Track List:

1.  Dtla
2. Liza
3. Dayz
4. Americaz

Credit:

released 04 February 2014
Produced by Amir Motlagh
Instrumentation, Programing, Vocals & Lyrics by Amir Motlagh
Samples: Love & Fashion - Paper City
Art & Max Sessions at The Matrix
Mix: Amir Motlagh
Mastering: Hans DeKline (Sound Bites Dog)
Art Direction: Amir Motlagh, Ali Sabet
Illustration: Ali Sabet
Publishing & Copyrights 2014 Amir Motlagh / ANIMALS / MIRS

New #MIRS single on Jan 7th, 2014

The second single from the upcoming Mirs, MEAT ON YOUR LONELY BONEZ ep, will be available 
on Jan 7th, 2014.  

Since this is a concept EP, I struggled with the idea of letting them go as singles, but, whatever brah.

Come back in a week and pick it up at your favorite digital store.  The whole EP will be available late Jan or early Feb.  However, i might release another single from it, which will spread the whole item out.  Yes, it is made to play in order, but, I am just one man, in a world full of men.  And women are a whole lot better then men B.

Here is the cover art, done in collaboration with my man man, Ali Sabet.  Check out the rest of his world here.

liza_mirs1400.jpg

 

wass hap-en-in

Friends, hello.  I have not been writing up on this web device on the regular.  Maybe it's a lack of discipline, desire, or time.  It can possible be all of the above.

Irregardless, we have been quietly working on new things.  Many new things to be exact.  I recently directed some web sketches (people get angry if I call them skits) that were handed to me by one of my talented group of writing partners.  They are of the comic variety, something which I am not completely familiar with; but it was a blast, and I got to work with some talented, fun actors.  I'm not naming the project, since it works best without context for now.  

Also, I finished recordings for the new Mirs EP, MEAT ON YOUR LONELY BONEZ.  We haven't set a release date, but, it should be available in the next month or so.  THe second single (LIZA) should be available early Jan.

Lastly, I've been steadily shooting a long length film/media/whatever project since late Oct.  I want to wrap all principal photography by early March.  That's all I'll say about that. 

Now, there are other projects in varies stages of development, but these are the most tangible items.  I hope you guys tune in.

Best,
am

Summer of 08 - a throwback to a simpler mindframe

Adding to the universal catalogue of #tbt for the first time, I thought it a great opportunity to join in and contribute to the grand fall of civilization. 

Sometime in 2007 was my first time forming a band with more than one person in it.  And in the summer of '08, it was the first time I wrote songs with lyrics and the first time I tried to produce an album on my own.  My bandmate Art came aboard as well to try his hands behind the instruments as well.  And this was all first times for me because music is not my first endeavor.

I had co-produced my first instrumental Shanks and the Dreamers album (A DAY LATE; INSTRUMENTALS FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS) a year before, but this was different.  This one had vocals, this one had songs.

It was a crazy time, and a crazy pursuit, since I didn't know much about the recording and post process (A DAY LATE was mostly recorded live with one takes).  I was also in grad school, doing film/video projects and maintaining a job that I might discuss at a later date. But, I went in and got down with recording anyways.  And I'll admit it, the overall mix is not very good.  But, that's with that hindsight knowledge.  That’s that aftermath bullshit.  

When we wrapped the mix, my bandmate Art traveled to NY to Masterdisk to get it mastered since my schedule wouldn't allow me.  And at the legendary Masterdisk no less, home of some of the best mastering engineers in the world.  I can only imagine their auditory horror at this lo-fi, hodgepodge, too often mono mixed, crazy bedroom album.  But, shit, they took the money.  And, it ended up sounding mostly better. And, I still love some tracks on that record.  

If I had waited to learn everything, I would never attempt to take it on with reckless abandon.  Once you think you've learned enough, the world starts to simultaneously slow down and speed up in the most inopportune ways.  You become overly cautious.  Don't do that to yourself.  Just get in, and do it.  Regret it later.  Learn from it.  And, take that leap again.  You'll never learn enough.  That's the idea, the beauty of creative pursuits.  

Once you become a PRO, you're an industry.  You appease the mass because you expect that paycheck, but you're no longer relevant in the absolute sense.  You're the status quo.  In the hip hop metaphor, you’re basically rhyming about mad money in every verse because that’s your only reference point.  The industry.  So, have fun in your obscurity.  It's the greatest time you have to take on the world. 

This was the video for HUSH from the SHANKS AND THE DREAMERS album MY DARLING DIA.  This was one of the better produced tracks.  Well, at least the stereo image is fuller.  It features my good friend Stephanie Lambert, was produced by myself and Art Toussi, and I shot it mostly in my bathroom.

If your still interested, these are some of my favorite tracks from that album; EXTRAORDINARY MACHINES, HUSH, CAMEL CRUSADER, 777, CHARLIE GET A JOB, WHITEHOUSE ( trivia, the instrumental for Whitehouse was used in Rick Curnutt's fantastic film, Free Lunch).

Relevancy When Clocks Go Wild

The question of relevancy is always an important one when the arts, cinema or any cultural element is discussed, thought about, and perused towards some end.

We can always put our heads down and slog through the terrain, to do what we love without ever needing to be self aware of our place, or our goals, both collectively and individually.  But, that's a simple pursuit.  Valid as any, but, shallow in scope. 

Instead, and often, we think deep and long about our place in the world.  And, as the world changes in rapid succession, in a culture that Alan Moore deemed "The Culture of Steam", when discussing the immediate future, certain trends emerge.  And to clarify, I believe Moore was discussing the ungraspable future culture, as predetermined by technology and its interplay with our old world evolution.

This is the time of the instant update.  And, you can look no further than the emerging talent of today to really understand what this means.  In music, the perpetual mixtape was the start, but the further you push that along, the more you get to the current state.  Just like instagram, music has also morphed into the weekly song/video style most prominent in hip hop.  I like to use hip-hop as the example, because it's elements are very immediate.  It's production, usually fast, and wordplay doesn't necessarily need to be written.   

Acts like Lil B and Riff Raff elude to a changing landscape where they are always on the cycle of relevance, because, they mimic the culture of the internet itself.  They are both shrewd, entertaining and showman promoters.  They are a new species of music artist.  Self aware, skilled, entrepreneurial, shameless and momentum oriented.  And regardless of what you think of them, they continue turning critics into fans, by sheer willingness to be out there, to take the brunt of "haters".  

In an alternative way, if Riff Raff put out a few videos, and waited for something to happen, nothing ever would.  This is a critical difference between the old and the new.  The closest example in the film world would be someone like Joe Swanberg.  But perhaps, there are countless other "video" artist who are better examples whom I just don't know.  Tim and Eric immediately came to mind as the television version, but the metaphor is not as clear.  Adult Swim nurtures these changes, and was willing to take those risks years ago.  In the world of books/blogging, look no further then Seth Godin.

In a disposable age, perfectionism isn’t valued because we just don’t have time for it.  By the time it’s perfect, the world moved 10 steps ahead.  I know, your ol school idealism doesn’t want to deal with it.  Whatever. 

The question is, in this new landscape, what if you turned it off.  What if your video didn't come out on that Wednesday, or that you stopped your twitter'ing and vine'ing and facebook.  What if you get sick?  What if you don’t make three films a year?  And what if, you weren’t birthed into a career before this all happened?  You know, in the old timey days (pre 2005) when things work different? 

The constant hustle and digital sharecropping reminds me of Jaron Lanier's critique of the internet and the middle class.  You can hustle on that street corner all you want, but, when you get sick, well, you're fucked.  But, at least you’re relevant.   :) (smiley face)

pop + trash + culture + memories.

Low culture, sometimes deemed "trash culture" is where we are.  Escapism, transfusion plus fetishizing  is the state. Pop lives in this space mostly, but, it's always had the ability to move between cultural hierarchies.  At present, it loves trash, the audience devours it, and the appetite grows because priorities have changed. 

But, can we truly call anything pop anymore?  Exceptions exist, but when history is perpetually the present, it's difficult to have a true pop culture.  Pop relies on memories.  It happens, and it was that thing, but then it goes away.  It was silly, and we loved the novelty of it.    

However,  thing's don't really go away anymore, they get continued, rebooted, or dressed in a new shiny shell.  And we don't have the options to forget.  We only have options to filter.  And boy oh boy, that net is polluted.  

the book versus the other plastics.

The book is old analog.  It's technology is without a doubt, one of the most important items in the human catalog.  

Books are the enablers.  The perfect informational passing device.

Almost always a perfect gift.

Books are not CD's.  Books are not DVD's.  Although, people love to include them in there analogies of the death of physical media.  

However, those forms were never necessary to the origins of their own particular media. Cinema needs other devices for transmission.  Music the same.  These forms always change. In many ways, and even with hard earned consumer consistency, they are not standalone.  How many music delivery systems have come and gone?  

The physicality of a book includes all of it.  The written word was always meant to be passed along, in it's final form.  it duplication is always scaleable.  Not from the beginning of course, but still, it could have been duplicated somehow, with errors, money and hard work.

And even though, the scalability of music and cinema can lend itself to other product forms, they will never be perfect.  Because its delivery origins are not seamless.  Music has always been a live format.  Cinema, was birthed in exhibition.  One ticket, one play.  No pause, reverse, repeat.

The book, in it's final physicality is the delivery.  It's a perfect system.  Yes, it can have an uglier digital counterpart, but it's essence is it's form.  And, only for environmental reasons would it ever go away.  

But, that CD you're holding, or that Criterion DVD you just bought, or that new XBOX game you stole, well, that's not going to be around.  So, build your collections now you geeks and nerds.  Show them off to your kids, who will marvel at that lo-fucking fidelity that you and I loved so much.

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!

curiosity.

What drives us forward?  In our younger development, we were propelled towards things in large part, because of a little thing called curiosity.  The shapes, the sounds, the textures, the possibilities of the world elicited a feeling of amazement, and a need to find out.  It was a world of endless wonder.  Limitless in scope and full of options.  A simple turn of the head informed of new opportunities.  

Then we grew up.  John Cassavetes has an interesting quote about MAN when he turns of age, and in his time, it was around 23.  I can't recall it of the top of my head, and instead of accuracy, I will paraphrase for affect instead.  Basically, he says that people lose interest in discovery around their early twenties.  All that music that got you moving, or art, or literature, or movies that challenged you, or where worthy of further investigation, all gone.  You grew up.  You put on your 3 piece, and got on with life.  The pattern, set in stone.

But what happened to life?  Curiosity was exchanged for order.  It was sold to dogma.  In our time, this process happens a little later.  Maybe in your late twenties, but possibly into you're early thirties.  We give up our search, usually by blaming the lack of time.  

Now, of course priorities change.  You have a baby, we get married, we have a multitude of responsibilities.  Shit, you have to provide for yourself.  Something that our 16 year old, first world self’s usually didn’t bother with, nor fathom its complexity.  But, what happened to the search for wonder, amazement?  Where does it go?

Do we just crawl to our evolutionary predisposition?  Does biology dictate that curiosity is not of value anymore.  “I AM WHAT I AM”, we love to say, as if, cemented from the beginning of time.

Isn't that a counterintuitive remnant of our past human life?  And here, I inject blatant commercialism that might resinate, since millions of dollars where spent to get you to buy something, by first associating two very different things.  "Stay thirsty my friends."

a light glistens.

a light glistens.

The Rick Rubin Experiment

I visited one of Rick Rubin's original LA home studio's recently.  Full of ancient technology, beautiful rugs and a thickly, creeping atmosphere of legend-itis.

Amid the analog gear, there exists a tiny digital corner, consisting of a Power Mac, a small sequencer, midi keys, a couple pre-amps and a compressor.  About 1/20th the size of the analogue space.  

I don't know if Mr. Rubin still uses the place, but I do know someone else who does.  And he wouldn't have a clue how to fire up the old 1000+ button board.  Must have been manufactured in the UK, I'm guessing.  Neve?  Probably.  

No,  he doesn't touch the practically priceless gear.  Doesn't need to get "that sound" that people used to talk about all day.  But he does get to work.  Granted, he is sitting in an inspired place, but, he gets to work.  And with the tools that he's familiar with, to produce results quickly, so that it can feed the loop.  

What's my point?  

KAYLA, the new MIRS single + video.

For a limited time, you can grab the new MIRS single Kayla for free at Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and some other places before Itunes, Amazon, Spotify and torrents take over.

Also, a video comes along.  You can watch the unicolor, hifi video at Youtube, Dailymotion, or Vimeo.

Track Credits:

released 19 June 2012 
Produced by Amir Motlagh + Art Toussi 
Instrumentation, Vocals & Lyrics by Amir Motlagh 
Bass Guitar: Art Toussi 
Mix: Amir Motlagh 
Mastering: Hans DeKline (Sound Bites Dog) 
Album Art: Amir Motlagh 
Publishing & Copyrights 2012 Amir Motlagh / ANIMALS