May 26th2015 : On and Off
This started with some fireworks at midnight and ends with me watching Veep and writing this. Could the day be any more American!?! Yes it can.
It was my dad's 75th birthday!! A monumental day!! And he's in NY with my mom, so we've been going to tons of museums and saw Mad Max. The perfect balance of chill and thrill. Also worth mentioning, he's born and raised in Lima, Peru.
From it all, comes a some renewed focus on artists and art. If it remains, it'll provide context to the future humans. And we owe it to them to leave them as many artifacts as possible.
Lady Liberty has an amazing story of France and USA. Egypt art is amazing, is still here, and made 3000 years ago. Europeans... it never ends.
So as far as leaving behind artifacts...
I released my EP in July 2014.
After a while, I thought, no more of that, I'm taking it down.
The cover could be better. It was the word "Suksexful" with some gray and white graphic behind it. But look at it >> It's so pale and boring. I'm not really a qualified graphic designer, but I know I can bring some personality to an image of me.
Also, somehow I submitted a low res file so it just looked blurry as a thumbnail on players. So, a blurry, boring image.
In addition, I was making progress on my new song "What Makes a Pretty Girl Tick?" and wanted to include it with the album, along more from Treblemaker who remixed So Down. He does the soundtrack music to the short film for AEIOU and it's truly incredible.
So one of the new tracks is the credit music to AEIOU, called Almond Milk.
The title was in reference to the last line in the film about going to the store to get almond milk. The track reference to make that piece was Soul Town by The Motherhood. A really great track that I found out about through the Ocean's 13 soundtrack. A real cool groovy movie ending track with so much style and sure from the 1970's. So Treblemaker took this and kicked out something that was great for 2012 and the film was released in January 2013. A month later, So Down was shot, and then released in August 12, 2014. We're coming up on a year anniversary! I digress.
And then the whole score is going to be included, including the dialogue track. So F words in all! F words are Fundamental.
Anyway, the EP is not up like before and I had some different ideas for the cover. I thought I should be on it, unlike the EP version. Though I didn't think it was a must before, I realized there's a lot of other artists that go by Dax. So it would help clear up who is who if I had my image on it.
I had this image, but I took it in 2010, so it felt 4 years old. Even though some of the music was being made then, it just felt dated. Now, I feel distant enough from 2014 to find it too work. But I didn't feel it was definitive enough.
So I went hella definitive.
I had some interests in doing a dead auto erotic asphyxiation scene with the victim in a hotel room. On Jan 2015, I took some photos in Toronto based on this concept.
This new LP, though without "What Makes a Pretty Girl Tick?", was released for 1 day and then gone. It's ghost exists as an image in search. And what an amazing image it is! I'm glad it exists as a remnant but it's not the true album cover. I think the concept is funny but realize the shock factor is too distracting. I think if it was more obviously comedic, it would be more clear of the tone, but I feel like the tone is great. Maybe it's too subtle of comedy because the tragic is too strong.
Clothing wise, I where a double string teardrop thong and my censored member is held in my right hand. The censor is made up of the logo Suksexful written in pop pink letters over the yellow background, creating a silly Starburst package effect. My shirt and jeans are slinged off, and a Bloomberg Business Week magazine with Taylor Swift's image sits on my leg. The cover says, "Taylor Swift IS the music industry." The back cover showcases a shiny expensive watch.
The Doofus. The Pervert. The ambitious artist. Shame on his soul.
What's more shameful? Our primitive and kinky sexual needs or a desperate pursuit of success within capitalistic culture. This is how descriptions read at museums next to work of arts to help explain them.. Though not all have them. To those you just kinda wince and go, "I should have got the headset."
Anyway, this scene, I still really like and though I wish I was in more shape in it, I realize it's good how it is. I wish I ate 23 more donuts that week. But I need more time to develop that image. And I promise I will. More shameful examples of capitalism and primitivity can be brought to life and create some fun photos.
But as it was too shocking and sexual, Newswire wouldn't run the press release so without any other press, I figured I might as well take it down to give it even more thought. I'm glad I did. I used a moment from So Down, the video, of my girl and I. I had to get the Red raw file (the format of digital video it was shot on) and then I had to download and figure out Redcine to open the video from the drive and get the image high res enough to make the album cover. You'd think you could just an image from the video playing in high res, but I don't think you can. Maybe because it's 1920 by 1080. And really, you need 1600 by 1600 pixel image with a 300 dpi. So I had to get the archived Red Raw image. I don't do this ever.
I'm glad I did. I found a high res image from the So Down footage to be the cover. It's definitive, it's me, it's her, it really happened, we're in love, and it feels like sort of the culmination of that album. Also, some of my good friends are the image, too, working to create the fantasy, which adds to the doofus quality but also the idea success through the wonderful relationships we make in life. And truly, What Makes a Pretty Girl Tick? was worked here and there, before and after So Down, so it's part now on included in album. Though I didn't produce it as much as AEIOU and So Down, and I had wanted to, I thought it was good enough for where I got it with my under worked music producer side. It's there, I just don't work enough these days. Though now I think I will more. But it takes a lot of time.
And I think it gets across doofuses in love, which is at the heart of the album. And truly, there's more tracks that should be included, like French Gibberish and another few, but it will get it when I get it. Until then, "Suksexful is as it is, and there's always more to come." It's an updating album.
So as far as leaving behind artifacts... Updating artifacts. "Sir, we found updating artifacts, that are up to date now, but are 2,349 years old." That's a fun film premise. Super technical.
But I'm glad this artifact is finally going up again. I'm going to make more than the normal amount of fanfare that I do when I share my music > >
Though I've already shared the single, this new packaging, arranging, and visual is a nice vision I'm proud I defined as I peered into this strata of story. Being an immature punk in NY in my early 20's is reflected well with Suksexful. In the end, I landed a super babe. I found my dream girl. And she becomes the prize to this tale.
And now she sleeps on the couch while I've played Veep 3 times in a row :) :) :)
I wonder how much of it is now in her dreams. Or mine to come.
- Dax, May 26th, 2015
May 27th : The Lean Start Up
I finished this book today. It has lots of great concepts to help someone or a team on their journey to success. One of the main things it's against is waste. The waste of human resources working on the wrong things. The question isn't "Can we make this?" but "Should we make this?" Is this what the consumer wants? Is this going to improve the world? So on and so on.
And though the focus is more on product and technological developments, the principles can obviously be applied to art. But why let consumer's feedback worm it's way into art? Isn't art supposed to be a vision that is 100% the way the artist intended it to be and the public just has to deal with it? Traditionally, yeah. But what if that artist puts 11 years into a work and then finds out it doesn't move anyone and everyone ignores the art? Is it possible the art created is the art people didn't need or want? Perhaps the art was irrelevant.
Wouldn't it be great to find that out on week 2 of the project? That's where the Lean Start Up comes in. It pushes teams and managers to close the feedback loop. Here back from people sooner. And with a lot of the art I have made, whether it be film or music, I do try to gauge how people feel about the concept prior to going for it 100%. But I've never approached it through the lens of the Lean Startup. And I think once it can be figured out how it applies to an artistic project and how it can be utilized, the milestones can be more rewarding than working on piece of art in solitude. As awesome as solitude is, I prefer the collaborative approach when possible. Art can get a bit boring without the fun of friends involves.
Take for instance the story of Lady Liberty. The Statue of Liberty. This thing has the story of a Lean Startup and it's one of the most awesome pieces of art that still exists today. The team, France and USA, were intent on making this thing, but had to do the equivalent of Kickstarters and traction testing to find out if this piece of art would be viable and what the market wanted. They made terra cotta statues of Lady Liberty and put her image on bread packages or alcohol bottles to get America and France behind this concept. And btw, it was copper, so it was kind of gold colored. Over time, it became green.
Point is, through a lean start up type model, the statue of liberty was created. And I'm glad it did. And everyone should learn of this story. And my hands are tired.
Dax, May 27th, 2015
The new album comes out June 6th, 2015!!! D-Day!
The new album comes out June 6th, 2015!!! D-Day!
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