John Cage Wannabe.

We sat J.Atlas down at the piano to see if he was a child prodigy.

He’s not.

Instead to our dismay we learned, through his improvised single note performance, he seems to have a penchant for experimental/avant-garde styles.


I pray that I am mistaken and his demonstration is instead a misunderstood statement of irony.

Musical Metal

Sander generously gifted us a mix-CD for our future child’s birth. It is a caring collection of his favorite tunes entitled “Baby’s First Metal”

I’ve never really listened to Metal. Nor do I entirely understand its roots or its breadth. In the music that Sander provided there were a few obvious trends:

  1. A incredible focus on percussion, most notably the bass pedal
  2. Paired Guitar riffs on thirds (oddly common)
  3. Growling of varying severity
  4. A surplus of Umlauts

There are a bunch of fairly comprehensive graphical metal trees that show different types of Metal and how they are all related (like this one from My favorite of the bands on Sander’s disc is Mastodon which seems to be classified as simply “heavy metal.” Not to be confused with Thrash, Glam, Industrial, or Nu Metal. Curiously, that graphic linked to above hints that even Jimi Hendrix and Cream were inspiration for future metal heads. As for the origin of the growling? I don’t know. I’m sure it evolved from increasingly throaty singing… but without hearing each stage of the progression it’s hard to imagine.

Thanks to Sander for a great gift!

Kurt is learning the Banjo


There are two instruments that more people need to learn how to play:

1) The Accordion
2) The Banjo

I’ve only known one accordionist, and outside of Dad D’s occasional twinging, I have never known a Banjoist. UNTIL NOW.


Here’s the thing: Learning an instrument is depressing. I’ve been playing guitar for 16 years. I literally practice an hour a day. AND I AM NOT THAT GOOD.

Just when I start to think I’m decent I watch a YouTube video of a fourteen year old kid who has figured out how to simultaneously finger-tap Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring with his left hand and the Mario Theme with his right hand. YouTube is the anti-muse. It sucks the motivation from you. But you know what 14 year old kids can’t do? They can’t buy alcohol. So, Kurt? Go grab a cold one, struggle through Dueling banjos, and enjoy every minute of it.


Good luck Kurt.