big picture thinking

I fancy myself as one of those guys who can see the big picture, the end game, the whole enchilada.

Some call me crazy, or half-baked, but I’m usually more right than naught.

Anyways, I’ve found a killer artist/musician that I just can’t seem to get enough of; Wax Tailor

Wax Tailor is the alias of French trip hop/hip hop producer, Jean-Christophe Le Saoût[1] (born 19 July 1975 in Vernon, Eure). He started in 2004 with two EP‘s (Lost The Way and Que Sera / Where My Heart’s At). The first album Tales of the Forgotten Melodies he released in March 2005, mixing hip-hopdowntempotrip-hop with samples extracted from movies. This album became one of the best selling electronic releases of the year[citation needed]. The second album Hope & Sorrowreleased in April 2007. It was nominated for the French “Victoires de la Musique” and US Indie music award.

I think hip-hop is an understatement. Sure, his music has hip-hop elements, but listen to his songs, and imagine what goes into it. He samples quite a bit of audio from old movies and songs and adds many different audio tracks over the samplings.  That’s a real artist. He can take the various elements, put them together, and create something beautiful.

What strikes me about his music is that I think it is really complex. He’s not tossing random samples into a bucket, hoping they come out sounding good. I am pretty sure he has a seed or a kernel for each song he starts off with, and has some sort of vision to carry it through.

Check out this song. Listen and pay attention to the many levels you might hear.

I don’t know if he had a hand in making the video, but I think it is pretty good. What strikes me is that the samples he’s using, isn’t something he is creating, but something he took from other sources. In my opinion, (in trying to read other people’s code), that is exponentiationly harder than creating your own content.

Continue reading

my favorite music videos

I’ve been wanting to do this for a while. Since there is Youtube and Google Video, it’s easy to find your favorite music videos. Granted, the quality isn’t always perfect, but I rarely watch videos on MTV or the other music video channels. So, that’s where I get my fix. There are several videos that I would consider to be my favorites and some that I would say were very influential in my life. I should also clarify that while these are songs I really really like, this list is about my favorite music videos. Without futher ado, here’s my list of Top Videos…

Once in a Lifetime by Talking Heads.
I saw this video one night when I was spending the night at my Grandma’s house. My grandma would let me stay up late and I remember sleeping on a cot in the living room and it was a Friday night. SCTV was on, and this video was featured on the show.

Around this time, I bought my first LP… it was Devo, New Traditionalists. What, you want to know what my first cassette was? Sure, it was the self titled album by The Clash.

Rubber Biscuit by The Blues Brothers.
Okay, so this video isn’t that great, but I got lots of questions about “What’s with your tag line?” Well, I got it from this song.

You got to understand that I lived in Chicago when the first Blues Brother movie was made. As goofy as this song is, it will always hold a special place in my heart.

Everything is Everything by Lauryn Hill.
Damn, she’s got a voice. My wife was really into her and when I saw this video, I was floored.

I like the song and I like the who turntable motif. It’s a great video and song.

The Talking Heads – Road To Nowhere

I love this video.  I remember when True Stories came out.  It was a classic in my opinion and this video I thought really showed off some of the creative genius they had.

Great visuals.

They Wiseguys – Start the Commotion

I haven’t been able to find a lot of info on the Wiseguys, (apparently, there is German band with the same name and they overshadow these Wiseguys).  But I love this video with the loops (both audio and video).  It’s one of those songs that just sticks with you.  I sure wish I could find a better version.

Johnny Cash – Hurt

I don’t care who you are and what you’re made of.  If this doesn’t tug at the ol’ heart strings, then you are probably a cold bastard.  The first time I saw this video, I had a household of contractors, (we had just moved into our new house).  Everything came to a stand still and when the video was over, we were all teary eyed… “Uh, I musta got sumthin’ in my eye…”

I hope I go out like Johnny Cash.

Smog (Bill Callahan) – Rock Bottom Riser
I’m a recent new listener to Smog. I love it, or I should say him What I like about this video is the calligraphy-like draws that illustrate the song. I’ve always wondered how they did things, and I think this video is amazing. Much in the same way I’ve always enjoyed the opening to the old Pink Panther movies.

Cornershop – Brimful of Asha
I don’t remember where I saw this first, but I loved it the first time I saw it. In the same vein as “How’d they do that…” this video is cool. The song is good, too. I picked up the CD somewhere and there are a lot of good songs on it. Besides, Tjinder is a cool name, right?

Adidas – Hello Tomorrow
This really isn’t a music video, but rather a commercial. When I first saw this, I was about to watch the Simpsons with my son and after it was over, we just looked at each other with out jaws hanging open. We must have watched it 20 times on the TiVo. This video is so interesting, it got all sorts of press in the Ad journals:

And that girl singing is Karen O from the “Yeah-Yeah-Yeah’s”.

Einstürzende Neubauten – Stella Maris
Sure, I like the song, but this video is beautifully shot and composed. The subtitles also lend to the overall experience and tell a engaging story.

I would also like a hat like that.


I’ll be the first to admit that I am not up all the music videos these days.  But much of the music that is churned and pushed out is just crap.  The videos I’ve posted here are significant to me in that they were either the first time I was exposed to the music or I was a little kid and they made a profound impact on me.

There is a house built out of stone
Wooden floors, walls and window sills
Tables and chairs worn by all of the dust
This is a place where I don’t feel alone
This is a place where i feel at home

And I built a home
For you
For me

Until it disappeared
From me
From you
And now, it’s time to leave and turn to dust


Out in the garden where we planted the seeds
There is a tree as old as me
Branches were sewn by the color of green
Ground had arose and passed it’s knees

By the cracks of the skin I climbed to the top
I climbed the tree to see the world
When the gusts came around to blow me down
I held on as tightly as you held onto me
I held on as tightly as you held onto me

And I built a home
For you
For me

Until it disappeared
From me
From you

And now, it’s time to leave and turn to dust

– The Cinematic Orchestra – To Build a Home

wii controller and Mac Book

First, let me apologize for not coming up with a more catchy title for this post. I’ve been overwhelmed by the information I’ve found over this weekend.  That’s no exaggeration.  Furthermore, this is all new to me so I am not up on the digitial music vernacular so it’s like learning a new language.

First, if you saw my Tweets, you would have seen how excited I was that caught wind that the Wii controllers have Bluetooth in them.  I honestly had no idea.  Additionally, there’s been a ton of super smart, talented people out there writing crazy apps (for Win, Linux, and Mac) to do all sorts of crazy things.

How this started was that I got some great comments from Andy on Bob on my Theremin post a couple of days ago.  Somehow, I got down the rabbit hole looking for ways to make a Theremin-sort-of-thing on my Mac using the Wii controllers.

I found a great amount of great resources and I got pretty darn close.  But I had to learn how to use GarageBand, play around with the Mac MIDI drivers, and put them all together and make ’em play nice.  If I understood all the terminology, this would be easier, I think.

I was playing “drums” and guitar with my Wii controller, Nunchuck, and Garageband.  That was pretty cool, I must say.  I read about WiiJ’s and other looping sort of things.  I was so excited that I jumped head first into it, trying to get it all to work.  And that’s my problem.  I got to the point where it just wasn’t making sense any more, (seriously, I’ve felt like this trying to learn a new language).

The good news, I think I got all the pieces I need and I learned a ton about the potential for the Wii remote and digital music making, not just a Theremin.   I need to digest it and put together in a way that makes sense.  This is some pretty slick stuff.

Oh, did I mention that a lot of this isn’t just for the Mac?

Definitely more to come!

Wii Loop Machine Demo from The Amazing Rolo on Vimeo.

it’s all crab grass and clover

Lucky you, two posts in a day.

Tonight, I took a trip down my memory lane.  I used to be really into a band called Bongwater.  I don’t remember how I first heard of them but I do remember the first time I heard their CD.

Bongwater is made up of Kramer and Anne Magnuson.  Yes, that’s right.  Anne Magnuson… that’s what I said.  You’re probably wondering why that sounds familiar.  She’s an actress that was in many movies in the 90’s including “Making Mr. Right.”  I never saw it, but knew she was in it.

With the invention of the iPod and owning a decent set of earphones, I hear things in my music that I maybe hadn’t heard before; more background sounds, someone talking, a riff, etc.  So listening tonight to Bongwater was a real treat.

I don’t think I can do it justice to describe it.  Kramer is a genius and Anne sounds really good.  The songs are complex as they are clever and it’s unlike anything else I’ve got.  Sure, there are similarities but the music stands out supreme.

I used to listen to Bongwater when I was in art school working on my BFA in graphic design.  This was in the early 90’s.  Typically I’d be up almost 24 hours and this would be a perfect thing to listen too in that state of mind.  So listening tonight I am reminded of the creativity behind this music.   It is really creative and produced with such regard, it’s very impressive.  I can only suggest you check it out in Pandora.

I had seen B.A.L.L in the 80’s in Atlanta at the Metroplex.  Kramer was the drummer.  At one point in the show, he simply got up and left.  I think he went to get something to drink and the band played on realizing he was gone I think one song later.  I felt it was like an honor to have seen him.  At that point in time, I thought of him as one of the most prolific and creative people I had every heard about.

I had also seen King Missile here in Atlanta at the Masquerade.   At that point in my life, I had worked at a record shop and the girl who was our label rep at the time was going to have John S. Hall crash on her couch. I was invited to go but was with my little sister and felt like it would have been irresponsible to take her.   John S. Hall and Kramer did a spoken word album called “Real Men.”  Great stuff.

Kramer had a record label called “Shimmy Disk.”  I went on a bend to buy anything I could find on Shimmy Disk.  I got a pretty impressive collection and have all the Bongwater CD’s.  Since I worked in the record shop, I was able to order anything I couldn’t find locally and get my employee discount.

Kramer’s Wikipedia page is a really good read.  I remember when he dropped out of sight.  I always wondered what happened to him.  As I read the page tonight, I was really happy to see that he is still around and successful. I’m sorry that he had some hard times but in the pictures on his site, he looks really happy and I am genuinely happy for him.

I was really interested to see what other bands Kramer was involved with.  They are all bands I really like.   To quote wikipedia:

Mark Kramer, known professionally as Kramer, is a musician, composer, performer, record producer and founder of the NY record label Shimmy-Disc. He was a member of such diverse musical entities as Butthole Surfers, Shockabilly, B.A.L.L., Bongwater, Ween, Half Japanese, The Fugs (1984 reunion tour), and Dogbowl & Kramer, and he also performed regularly with John Zorn and other improvising musicians of New York City’s so-called “downtown scene” of the 1980s. His most notable work as a producer has been with bands such as Galaxie 500 (whose entire oeuvre he produced), Low (whom he discovered and produced), Half Japanese, GWAR, King Missile, The Tinklers, Alice Donut, Danielson Famile, Will Oldham’s Palace Songs, Daniel Johnston, and the hit single for Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, Urge Overkill’s “Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon”.

I was also very surprised to see what else he had been up to.   It was interesting to see his involvement in the whole “Slowcore” movement.  I have always liked Low and have seen Ween (before they had  drums, keyboard or bass), numerous times so it was cool that this is all interconnected.

One of my most prized possessions is  a CD someone gave me.  It’s called “Smack My Crack” and is a various artists compilation.  There is a Butthole Surfers song on there that is not anywhere else, (best of my knowledge), and I remember reading somewhere that Kramer was in the band when their song was recorded for the album.  I can see it.  The song is great.


As I read these Wikipedia pages, my jaw drops as I see how much Kramer has touched or influenced over the years.  I also find it slightly eriee that 80% of the music I really like has some connection to Kramer.

Kramer, I love you, man! sniff sniff


I think I got this work out with a WP plugin called easytube. I hope this works…
If you are a reader of my blog, you’ll see that every once in a while I’ll post some music related stuff. Truth is, I love music… but not the top 40 crap or the pop music. I cut my teeth on college radio when we moved here from Chicago in 1984. My first record/LP I bought was Devo, New Traditionalists. I’ve always enjoyed music that wasn’t part of the mainstream. Don’t get me wrong, there is good popular music, but I just hate the souless crap that is pumped out nowaday. This is something I can speak with some authority on. During my college years I worked at record stores for a good… hmmm, let me see… 1988 until 1995. I was part of the LP to CD conversion and even then I remember when CD’s were sold in the “longbox” before they went to the jewel case only product that you see today. I remember when I laughed outloud when some kid asked me, “What is an LP?”

Even today, I prefer college radio to mainstream radio. However, I have found myself appreciating some fo the classics. I’ve always like the Who, but lately I have begun to appreciate Led Zepplin.

Okay, I have distracted myself from my main point. You should see this video. It’s great. If you don’t get it, then maybe you should tune into some spoon-fed pablum for the masses:

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to bring you down. It’s just a beautiful video that’s done really well. So, dear reader, in order to balance things out… I submit this nugget that I believe is completely underrated, even despised among the true fans. Check it out:

This video is significant for many reasons. I might need to start a separate post about it. Neil Young is one of those guys that is a creative genius. Whether you like or hate the “Shocking Pinks” era, you have to appreciate the effort that Neil put out. Anyways, I’m getting tired but thought I’d leave you with this Cornershop video. I love this song… and whole album is really good, too.

the unattended garden

After a most excellent weekend, my thoughts are heady and deep. Yeah, I did have a great weekend, thanks for asking. Today, on the wind down, I was listening to Ian Brown and Massive Attack. They both sound so good on my new receiver. The guy across the street let me borrow the Ian Brown CD and I was telling him how good Massive Attack was and that he should check out the “Lemon Song” by Led Zeppelin. I used to forward people websites as a way to introduce people to new things. But I backed off of that since many of my reference websites have been left to wither, or as Nick Cave refers to in “Bring it on” an unattended garden.

My case in point. Check out the once awesome and mighty Massive Attack website:

When I first saw this site, I was awestruck. It was one of the more advanced and ellaborate flash sites I had seen. Now, you can’t help but be distracted by the xanax and Viagra spam. Now a days, it isn’t rocket science to block this pharmaceutical spam, but obviously no one in charge of the site gives a rats ass or even is aware of the current state.

So this brings me to my next point. For the last year, I have been cultivating an online presence. As I mentioned before, this was a conscious shift in my thinking. Up until this year, I tried to remain more or less anonymous on the Internet. Then I decided to change things around when I decided to look for a new job.

Some of the fuel for tonights post came from the latest issue of Details Magazine, (no, I would never subscribe to this myself buy my wife got me a free subscription). There was an article about networking in it. The article didn’t have anything new to me or any secret knowledge, but it was a reminder how much networking is an important activity for anyone in the job market and arguably any professional.

What does this mean? Well, if you go through the effort to have an online presence and have it mean anything, you got to care and feed and water it. Now a days, that can be a small chore. Personally, I’m on the following sites to make me look like I actually know something:

All of these are important components of what makes my online presence. Yeah, I know potential employers might be looking at this so, so I try to keep it somewhat clean, but I want to make sure it is an accurate representation of who I am. I can do that without being smarmy and cursing without due cause.

I am surprised to find out that I really enjoy this aspect of the Internet. I guess it really is like taking care of a garden and making sure it grows. You got to make an effort to keep all of it up to date. Actually, it’s not that bad if you enjoy doing it… and i do.

Keep the weeds out and make sure your online presences it lookin’ good. I’ve been at the same company for 12 years so I consider myself to be a n00b when it comes to networking, but I am getting more and more clearer on how it is all supposed to work. I love talking to people so this is a great extension on who I am. Part of it is a little about me growing out to be more of an extrovert, or at least a little outgoing.

View Jeffrey Pabian's profile on LinkedIn

mother, did it need to be so high?

Today was one of those surreal days where it takes some time to sink in. This week has been and is going to be busy since all of our children have last days of school and end of year parties. As it is, I’ve volunteered at my son’s luau on Thursday. I don’t know what to expect but I love working with children so I am looking forward to it.

The surreal stuff, is sort of hard to explain. I rear-ended a Hispanic lady in the morning after she slammed on her brakes for a lame brained reason, (no real damage it was a love tap), I got some good feedback from someone I look up to, I heard good things about myself from another person, I had to leave work early since my wife was really sick, I talked for about two hours with a Polish neighbor and walked away with some Polish cookies and showed him my framed picture of Papiez Jan Paweł II, and then I spent a fair amount of time working on my blog.

Just before this writing session, VH1 was showing “Pink Floyd, The Wall.” I had seen this almost 30 times when I was younger and Midnight Movies were the cool thing to do. Sometimes, I feel like Bob Geldof in the movie. If you’ve seen this movie, you can relate to what I am saying.

I have been busy. I have finished my Real Estate Post license class the other night and am merely waiting to take my final exam. I also got a lot of work done on my blog over the last two days since I finished my online class.I’m pretty wiped out, so I am going to go eat some Melba toast and go to bed.

what to write, tonight

I never thought I would enjoy keeping up a blog like this. When I first started, it was pretty hard to write. I didn’t even do a good job writing once a week and I think I was pretty much a curmudgeon when I did write. But, now I like it and I am surprised at how often I think about things to write about. I’ve gotten over the fact that most people won’t or don’t care what I have to say and a big step for me was to come out from behind my curtain of anomiminity on the Internet. I’ll be honest, a blog is a useful tool today when it comes to job hunting or self promotion. Things may come out in a blog that just won’t been seen in an interview. It gives your readers a little glimpse in just who you are and what you are about. I like it and the feedback I’ve gotten from people has been very encouraging. I get a lot of hits on my Trixbox and Mio posts, so that’s pretty cool.

I haven’t gotten over the fear of posting about my family or sharing pictures of my family. Having my personality out there is one thing, but my family is another. There are a lot of creeps out there, as you may know and the thought about giving them any fodder is disturbing enough as it is. Maybe over time it is something I’ll get over… or smarter about. Time will tell.

I was thinking about Kraftwerk today as I walked out to lunch. As I mentioned in the past, I wept as I read the wikipedia article about them. I was able to get one of their CD’s that was a reissue of a 1974 concert. Holy smokes, it was good. It totally blew me away. Dig this from Amazon: essential recording
Kraftwerk built upon the international success of Autobahn by expanding their conceptual conceits to an album-length exploration of radio waves (and the band’s other favorite wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum). Musically, the album represents a quantum leap of pop sensibility; though still distinctly a “prog” soundscape, its brilliant melodic hooks (best represented by the title track and “Airwaves”) are organized in more traditional–read shorter–form. In tracks such as the minimalist audio-verite “News,” Kraftwerk pay homage to another of their musical influences, the great modern composer/theorist Karlheinz Stockhausen. “Antenna” foreshadows the techno-gods they became, with its electronic washes and clever less-is-too-much lyrics, which read, in total: “I’m the antenna catching vibrations; you’re the transmitter, give information!” Radio-Activity is an underrated masterpiece waiting to be rediscovered. —Jerry McCulley

It is good stuff. The problem is, this isn’t something someone might just pick up on a whim. It’s kind of out there and I think if you had the chance to listen to it somewhere, you might like it.

So, this might be a nice opportunity to show a video that you might enjoy.

The album I have has this song in German. I like it better than the way it sounds when they sing in English. This is a great song to chill out with headphones on.Finally, if you liked some of the above website, I’ll suggest a few more.

Man, the bass is making my table shake. Awesome.

the music all around us

As I mentioned before, I usually listen to my iPod while I put our son to sleep. Tonight, we have guests in from out of town so my son is sleeping with us in our bed. I had my iPod and he wanted to hear what I was listening to. He is six and in his kindergarten class, they were playing Bob Marley and he liked it a lot. We listened to a R.L. Burnside song, then a Midnight Oil song came on. He didn’t like it at first then he said he liked it a lot. Later, as I was skipping songs I thought he might not like, we hit another Midnight Oil song and he wanted to hear it. I told him the band was from Australia and it was a far away place. I also told him I saw them in concert once. That got me thinking about all the concerts I had gone to.

Laugh as you might, the first concert I had ever been to was Frankie Goes to Hollywood. I think I was in 8th grade or something. I had their LP and the concert was great. I remember I really enjoyed it. So, here’s a little list of concerts I had gone to. I might make this a little more prominent in the future. This is just a running list, so don’t expect to be in order.

  • Frankie Goes to Hollywood
  • 7 Seconds
  • Dag Nasty
  • Circle Jerks
  • Butthole Surfers
    • Multiple times
  • The Tombstones
  • Drivin’ & Crying
  • B.A.L.L.
  • Das Damen
  • Morrissey
  • 10,000 Maniacs
  • Dead Can Dance
  • Midnight Oil
  • Skinny Puppy
    • Backstage and met the band
  • Front 242
    • Backstage and met the band
  • The Fall
  • Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
  • The First and best Lollapalooza
    • Rollins Band
      • Saw them before
    • Nine Inch Nails
      • When they were still small
    • Butthole Surfers
      • Saw them before
    • Ice-T
      • somewhat entertaining
    • Living Color
      • I fell asleep after many beers
    • Siouxsie & the Banshees
      • The tour was good to her
    • Jane’s Addiction
      • OMFG!
  • Kiss
  • The Cult
  • Iggy Pop
  • My Life with the Thrill Kill Cult
    • Before they sold out
  • Depeche Mode
    • in 2006
  • The Rolling Stones
  • The Who
  • The Cure
  • Ween
    • Several times
  • The Pixies
  • Stereolab
  • The Wedding Present
    • Several Times
  • Robyn Hitchcock
  • The Cramps
    • Maybe three times
  • The Fleshtones
  • Stray Cats
  • Brian Setzer Orchestra
  • Flat Duo Jets
  • Gwar
  • Goober and Peas
  • Lime Spiders
  • Mojo Nixon
    • atleast twice
  • Southern Culture on the Skids
    • Countless times
  • Neil Young
  • Crowded House
    • Private Album release party with three open bars! Man oh man!
  • Madonna
    • A gift for my wife, but I had a great time, too!
  • Ministry

People I had a chance to see, but didn’t for some lame reason, and now regret it:

  • Lou Reed
  • The Pogues
    • yes, of course with Shane!
  • Sisters Of Mercy
  • The Smiths

People who I would have beaten up if I saw them back then:

  • Rick Astley

I am sure I’ll think of more as time goes on. And there were a slew of little bands in the various bars and clubs in Atlanta.

i’m coming home, baby.

That last post about the Cisco 7960 wore me out. I needed a couple of days away from the blog. Whew!

Tonight as I was putting our son to bed, I was listening on to some music on my iPod. I’ve made some pretty extensive use of the Smartplaylists and have a list that rotates out 50 songs at a time of five stars. Lately, I’ve been enjoying the music I’ve been hearing, but it wasn’t grabbing me by my throat. But tonight, I was hearing some songs I hadn’t heard in a long time and it was good.

The first time I had ever heard of Mel Tormé was on Night Court. Harry Anderson had a thing for ol’ Mel and I remember that Mel had a few cameos on the show. I liked Harry Anderson and therefore I might like Mel Tormé. Or so the saying goes…

Mel Tormé

I heard a song Mel did at some point. It was unbelievable how good this song was. The title was “Coming Home, Baby” and was recorded in 1962. This was a great song and the complexity of it is amazing. Mel singing the narrative and the backup singers singing the second voice… hoo boy, it’s hot. I think I got this song on one of those “Cocktail Lounge” Cd’s. I love it. The song is basically Mel saying that he’ll be home soon, and the backup singers saying they/she want him home as soon as possible, but then Mel says that he’ll be home later than he planned. I had heard this song on a Herbie Mann record, (yes, record, I have have the vinyl LP), and I liked the song a lot when I first heard it, but as you may know… Herbie Mann plays the flute, so there is no vocals. When I first heard Mel’s version, I thought that this was one of the best songs I had ever heard. It is really quite good and I highly recommend it.

Next, a familiar artist came up, Nick Cave. When I was in college, one of my first jobs was in a record shop. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds was the first CD promo I got to take home. No one else knew who he was and since then I was hooked, (I think that must have been 1990). His songs have moved away from the dark and scary to the place where he’s speaking from the heart. The song was “What can I give you.” It is a very moving song and I think of my wife every time I hear it.

After that, I heard “The Wanderer” by Johnny Cash and U2. A great song. I’ve always like Johnny Cash and I think the Rick Rubin stuff in Johnny’s later years is outstanding. If memory serves me correctly, I think this song was in the Wim Wenders film, Far Away, So Close which was the sequel to Wings of Desire. Wings of Desire was a movie I saw a very long time ago when I was in college. I still love that movie and get irritable whenever anyone compares it to “City of Angels.”

Man, I’ve had Firefox crash twice while I was posting this, (granted, I was doing quite a bit of other stuff on my PC), so I think I might follow up to this post tomorrow. Good night!