Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ultra Extra Umph Humpday Umpdatacular

I have been taking it easy on the blog for a couple days...HAVE YOU NOTICED? Well boys and girls, children of all ages, I'm back with a vengeance. I have been storing up some things that I have been really wanting to radiate your way. The Ultra Extra Umph Humpday Umptacular is about to begin.

First. Music has been a huge part of my life lately. Here is a quick suggestion check list of the artists that have been been on constant rotation (thanks to the iTunes gift card from mom for easter.) Also, does anyone ever check these artist suggestions out? I always wonder if people read the music I talk about and never check it out. If you do end up looking up one of these guys let me know down the road what you think!

Xavier Rudd "White Moth"
This artist I learned to love while in Australia, a one man band, playing slide guitar, drums, didgeridoo, harmonica, hand drums and various other instruments simultaneously, while singing about civil rights, land use, respect for mother nature, good energy, trees, his momma, the ocean and aboriginis. I can only aspire to one day have song content as good as his, what a powerful message. Not only that he likes to rock out to, nothing like a "Yirra Kurl" or "Chant" song to drop that house on fire beat. He is slightly influenced by Paul Simon but has his own international style. This latest album is less tribal then past ones but still incredible.
THE CURE: "The Cure's Greatest Hits"
So I didn't know much about this band, but because they are headlining Saquatch this year I just had to figure them out so that I could really enjoy the set when I get back (5 weeks+!) So I bought the greatest hits like a total poser and I will say I have been rocking out to them for two days now. I love their simple formula of acoustic, electric, synthesizer and bass (tossing some fun variables like trumpets and xylophones from time to time). The songs do seem similar upon first listen but after a few trips around the album they start to take on identities of their own. The other exciting thing is that I knew many of the songs but didn't know it was them. "Boys Don't Cry" "In Between Days" "Close To Me" "Just Like Heaven" and "Friday I'm in Love" are all amazing songs you've heard before or will feel like you have. I oddly had visions of cool morning cruises to the Ocean with my friend Randall to go skimboarding. Any Cure fans out there that can explain what that know about them?

Paul Simon "Rhythm of the Saints"
I grew up with Simon and Garfunkle in the car and around town but I never really got into Paul Simons solo stuff. And I knew a couple of songs like "Graceland" "Me and Julio" but this album is really something special in the way that it really paved the way for white dudes to go into places like Africa and Australian Aboriginal culture and learn and incorporate their musi c and rhythm patterns into their own evolving style. This album is gently steeped in a heavy dose of African drumming and melodies. And I Love it. Check out "Can't Run But" or "Born at the Right Time"

In other news I've been listening to a lot of Podcasts lately. What is a podcast, I'm not really sure, I just know they're free, and they rule. I listen to mainly three right now. I'm sure you can get them if you're not on iTunes from the net, google it.

FreeThought Radio
is "A weekly show, broadcast live from Madison, Wisconsin, on 92.1 FM, Saturdays 11 a.m. to 12 noon. Ho sted by Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-presidents of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Slightly irreverent views, news, music and interviews." This has been a really cool nationally broadcast station for me to find because it helps me to realize there is a whole nation of people who are out there afraid to come out of the closet of "alternative spiritual beliefs" or even "lack of spiritual beliefs" Thats right, like the homosexual movement started "coming out of the closet" so are many atheist, agnostic and non christian business owners, politicians, teachers, and regular people. It made me realize that its ok to not be "religious." Religion does not equal "good person." If you are interested in listening to some very calm, rational, logical talk about the state of free thought and the non religious movement taking place in America this station could really be an eye opening experience for you.

This American Life
is "Of ficial free, weekly podcast of the award-winning radio show "This American Life." First-person st ories and short fiction pieces that are touching, funny, and surprising. Hosted by Ira Glass, from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio." The topics on this show are kind of irrelevant because it could be about elephant herpes or bumper boats and still be very enthralling and addicting. I am a very late arriver to this awesome show and just wanted to pass it on to the small percent of people that don't know about it already. I used to catch it as a meter reader in Washington occasionally. Now I'm obsessed with it. Check out episode #351-Returning to Childhood, its really funny.

Umphrey's McGee Podcast
This podcast picks and chooses two 70+ minute selection sets of cleanly recorded Live Umphrey's show songs a month!. They usually have a cool theme, explain them well, and always really kick major ass. I mean I can't believe its free, its like getting a 50 amazing albums for free. Each one has 10 to 15 minute versions of all their popular songs as well as incredible cameo's by artist from other bands that come on stage UM. If you like UM you just got to check this podcast out.

Ok that being said, another music related thing is happening. Basically, I'm taking it to the next step with my music. I've started (and paid for...don't worry its cheap) a web site service with the Independent Airtist Company (IAC). Basically I will be able to post all my best work there, get feedback, have it shared with other artists on their radio stations and have it reviewed by record companies for a small price and they will distribute it digitally to anyone who is interested (including you!) for cheaper than the $8.95 it costs me in packaging and postage to burn them and send them out myself. I am putting together an album called "Radiate Warmth" about my first year in Alaska and it will feature all my best lyrical song works (may be a double disc). I tried to make the songs free but they have a base line cost of $0.25 per song, so that means when its all ready the whole thing might cost like $4 bucks. Trust me please, its not about the money (I will send you a check paying you back thats only $0.41), but I want to get as much music out as possible and sending them out one by one has been tedious, slow and ineffective. If I could make it free I would. Also, I can have all the songs digitally remastered and professionally cleaned up for $15 bucks a song, so when I get it all situated the way I want it I'll let you know, I should have a completed, as professional as possible at this time from an island in the bering sea, year in the making, best of my work album ready for people to have, it comes with lyrics, song descriptions, stories, pictures, and background information and credits (this is what is taking so much time).

The best part is that I have a personal music page that you can visit for free when ever you want and comment on. It comes with a Radiate Warmth streaming radio player that you can just press play and it will loop all the songs on my station. I have only got 4 songs on so far and I really want it to be close to completion when I unveil the address to you. But if you're really interested in watching it grow and evolve you can email me/skype me and I'll send you the address. I'm just really proud of all the work I've done this year and I want it to be presented in completion and totality ok?

Thats the big news, not so big really, just that I'm finally making a real (as real as its gonna get) album, and I did it myself. I am just trying to find new ways to spread the love.

I'm gonna run to open adult gym and get my arse kicked at basketball by a bunch of Eskimo ballers, maybe I'll post more tonight!

Thanks to KMC and REESE for Participating in the Poetry Writing Exercise, how cool!


Alaskan Teacher Mentor Pat said...

So, Kale, you did it! I know you were contemplating on Monday and I can say I was there at the beginning. Music is such an extention of you- I'm delighted you are sharing it. I'll be following your progress!


Anonymous said...

I truly believe that in one way or another, music might be your true calling. This is a great step for you and I am so proud of you for putting yourself out there like this. I can't wait for that first interview when the media ask me "So, what was Kale like growing up?" I need to start thinking about my answer now. Love, Mom

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