A lot of people talk about the features of the iPhone with the orgasmic hyperbole of a Star Wars fanboy. Some it is justified: Apple made software virtually tangible, and that’s probably the greatest technological revolution we’ll all likely witness in this lifetime (on par with seeing the Internet’s exponential impact on the world for the last 15 years). It’s also deceptively simple. And it’s pretty. And, frankly, it gets the job done.
But I’m not here to write about that, nor amateurishly start sentences with conjunctions.
I want to write about how the iPhone saved my relationship.
I got an iPhone as a treat to myself in February of 2011.
A day later, I followed up on the hype of friends telling me that I had to get into the podcast game, more notably by listening to Marc Maron’s WTF podcast. It was overdue, but before getting the iPhone, listening to podcasts required a computer, the very device I wanted to avoid when I got home from an entire day of working on one. Now I had the chance to listen.
So I did, and my mind was thoroughly blown as disturbingly honest monologues and even more disturbingly candid interviews with my favorite entertainers were pouring into my brain, like endless gallons of wisdom. Each episode was guaranteed catharsis.
Then I dabbled with other podcasts, like improv-based podcast “Comedy Bang Bang” (formerly Comedy Death Ray), trivia talk show “Doug Loves Movies,” and the intellectual super-niche clusterfuck “Walking the Room,” along with numerous other ones based on stand-up comedy.
It was refreshing to see independent artists create their own mediums, making its collective audience dialogue inspire them to create more content. I started to question the power structure of show business. Then I became empowered by this and built a revenue-based business plan for my band because of it. (Oh yeah, I have a band, http://www.wartimerecitals.com)
My iPhone became my podcast gadget, that happens to make and receive telephone calls. I wish this didn’t sound like an exaggeration.
Then I realized, “Holy shit. I am in love with this medium. This medium speaks to me. This medium makes me want to participate more in the world. Oh, and I love stand-up comedy. Like … a lot.”
I told The Girlfriend about this “podcast thing” and she hopped on the bandwagon since I could not stop talking about them. She knew it was important to me, and knew it was more than “just some phase.” She became hooked, too.
So then The Girflriend (@sidzorz) and I started going out more, but instead of our usual marathon of live music, we started to be frequent attendees at The Comedy Store (thanks to free tickets via Twitter contests, which were won via the iPhone) and the UCB Theatre. Meanwhile, we started attending live podcast tapings on weeknights quite frequently. The Girlfriend was even featured on an episode of “Doug Loves Movies.”
Then The Girlfriend and I started to have very personal feelings towards comics, to the point where we’d go to a comic’s pilot taping or opening set, just in support of them having served us laughs (often for free, via podcasts). Comedy continues to be a very, very big and important part of our relationship.
It also brought a new conversation to our daily talks. Instead of just discussing our day-to-day bullshit and general music topics, we now consult each other on which episodes of which podcasts we had to listen to. We mock each other for missing out on key episodes. “YOU DIDN’T LISTEN TO THE ADAM SCOTT EPISODE YET?! EAT SHIT JK I LOVE YOU.”
This has been going on for over a year.
Then, the most amazing thing happened. It might be the most amazing thing that has ever happened in our relationship.
The Girlfriend, who is as shy as a tea leaf and fragile to public speaking as Helen Keller (BAD WRITING; HOWEVER I WILL NOT EDIT), said a series of words I never thought I’d hear anyone, let alone her, say:
"I’m going to do 5 minutes at an open-mic."
Not only did she come to this beautiful moment with confidence, but she said it with THE GODDAMN BRICKWALL BACKDROP/SLEAZEBAG COMIC VERNACULAR! She may as well have said, “I’m going to test my five at the ‘Factory. Peace.” OBVIOUSLY, I FUCKED HER BRAINS OUT THAT NIGHT.
Okay, so maybe I was lying about “how the iPhone saved my relationship,” but how we used the device really added more to our already-healthy relationship (there was nothing to save; sorry, guys). Additionally, comedy made The Girlfriend and I realize that there’s more to our future than what we assume is the capacity of all the things we share together. And lastly, it made us show one another that we’re capable of changing and learning new things about ourselves in the process.
I look forward to The Girlfriend’s five minutes. I hope that she feels like her idol, Paula Poundstone*, for a brief moment in her life.
*Not lying: She is super into Paula Poundstone.
I almost spit out my drink when I laughed at this.
"WHY ARE YOU… JUST… GOD…" -What my mind is thinking when this happens
(Source: fyeahmusicmajorostrich, via pleasantlydissonant)
Today marks the end of a nearly 2-year journey, and the debut of a musical project I started called Wartime Recitals. Our first 2-song EP is available for free at www.wartimerecitals.com.
There isn’t enough time or real estate to talk about how insane of a project this was, or how much it changed my life in the past two years. Everything from writing it, rewriting it, recording, to re-recording it, to hiring players, to firing players, to the countless hours deliberating sounds most people won’t even notice, made this the hardest creative thing I’ve ever been a part of or likely will ever be a part of.
More people than I expected were involved, from the core six members, to the string and brass players, to the engineers involved. I can’t express how grateful I am that people actually spent time to do this. It truly blows my mind. I never took their time for granted.
I always wanted to make a “BIG” song(s), and I finally did it. It was something I’d wanted to create on this scale since I got into Jellyfish, Brian Wilson, and most importantly, Ben Folds (Five), in high school.
As important as scale was in the creation of these songs was the use of the piano. I cringe every time I hear the piano abused as an instrument only reserved for more tender parts in pop music. I wanted to highlight the piano in an offensive form, where harmonic conventions were thrown away, and where people noticed the piano as a weapon and vehicle as opposed to an accessory.
I hope you like it, and I apologize if I’ve totally violated your other social media feeds where you’re likely following me. Thanks! -Hugo
The Marshall Amp Mini Beer Fridge
AHHHH HOLY FUCK I WANT THIS
One out of 10 Wall Street employees is a clinical psychopath, compared with one out of 100 people in the general population. -
HAHAHA this I ABSOLUTELY believe.
Brokers are of the strangest types of people I know. They make comics and musicians seem somewhat stable.
My first piano teacher from 20 years ago is in the hospital. After years of teaching me he became part of our family. In the last 15 years he’s suffered multiple visits to the hospital, countless surgeries, and has been diagnosed with several diseases and illnesses.
I haven’t seen him since I picked up some sheet music from his school about two years ago. He looked frail but functional at the time.
Things took a turn for the worst in recent months. Upon visiting him tonight he looked at his worst. More diseases, more risk, more surgery. More sad than all is his disappointment of not playing piano. He can’t. One of his fingers may need to be amputated.
Yet he has plans for the future. He wants to “get over” this episode so he can go back to teaching. He also wants to learn another Beethoven sonata and a Bach piece. He would like to perform it for a public.
I always wanted to have a recital of my students dedicated to him in his presence. I owe everything musical to him. We hanged out tonight and talked about Genesis and other cool bands. I can’t wait to show him my band’s release. I hope I can live my teaching dream of having a co-recital with his students and mine. I want him to get better so much because he wants to get back on the piano. No one who loves music as much as he does deserves a life without their instrument.
Bruce Springsteen On The Meaning Of Music -
Bruce Springsteen offered much to take away from his keynote address at Austin’s annual South by Southwest music festival. He advised young musicians to believe in their own greatness — and to admit it when they suck. (Springsteen used that word frequently during his apparently wholly self-penned speech.) Chronicling his own artistic development, he talked about how doo-wop taught him about sex, country music helped him understand despair and Woody Guthrie revealed the political roots of the fatalism he’d heard in Hank Williams — then he made the crowd feel Guthrie’s complicated passion in their own throats by leading a singalong of “This Land Is Your Land.”
What does music mean to you?
It means everything to me.
zorascreation: Douche fuck
I bet she has a LOT of friends
(Source: littlered78, via stuckinmyskull)