Michaelwclark.com

Just my stuff


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Warning… Hot Coffee!

strange blur – taken moments after the scorcher… by mistake… (usually my best are by mistake!)

Last night I was out in the countryside and pulled into one of my fav. donut shops to grab a coffee. The young lady was sweet and polite but, little did I know, handed me a scorcher of a cup of coffee. So off I went into the car, into the night, on to my next destination. Driving very slowly through an empty parking lot I figured it was a good time to take a sip.

Yeouch. It was hot. But I thought I could handle it. So I kept on sipping. Next, I’m sipping over a speed bump… one of those small but really nasty speed bumps that force you to slow right down.

That did it. I scorched the back of my throat and can still feel it somewhat today. After getting home last night I read all about scorched vocal chords, because I’m taking it upon myself to improve my singing voice.

All I can do is hope it gets better. I considered suing but read a few articles on the web. All scorching at donut hole suits have been dismissed. And I’m not really the suing type, anyhow.

But a word of advice to any speakers or singers out there, wannabe or pro. After reading up on it, I realized that the vocal chords are very sensitive instruments. Take care of them. Be smart. I know I will from now on.

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hymn for the earth

Here’s a little jingle i wrote years ago in india… originally for guitar. i’ve tried different versions over the years. this one is influenced a bit by david bowie.. specifically, i was thinking of bowie while doing the little drummer boy rat-a-tat snare on my midi keyboard.

i forgot to humanize the kick drum, so it’s all the same velocity and “quantized” timing on the grid. but the rest is pretty loose, so i think it’s okay… haven’t been motivated yet to fix the kick..


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App Attack!

Fevertech cosmos

Fevertech cosmos (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was walking down the street yesterday. A beautiful summer day. Bilious clouds and sun. More like August than July.

The teens by the local school were all staring into their smartphones. Me, I’d just spent a half hour sitting on the grass behind the library, marveling at nature’s wildflowers and berries. So the kids, with noses buried in their screens, seemed to be missing something.

Suddenly I got a funny idea for a hip hop/rap tune.

The lyrics, melody and arrangement started coming fast. But I can’t remember exactly. Here’s what I can remember, with some reconstruction. Will start working on the tune when the spirit moves me.

APP ATTACK!

She walks into the store,

“Can you help me, man?

I’d like one of these

I’d like it in a can.”

He says, “Sure thing,

coming right up.”

But then all ‘a sudden,

He turns kinda green,

Just another symptom

if you know what I mean…

It’s an

APP ATTACK..!

funky instrumental

A grimace and a groan

He falls to the floor

making sure his phone

doesn’t smash the door…

Scanning all his mail

He tweaks his tweeps

Stands up and smiles,

“Can I help you please?”

She’d just had enough

and faintly smiled,

“I think I’ll take my biz

to that other guy.”

He looked kinda sad, says,

“Oh no please.

My manager’ll kill me.

My car’s on a lease.”

She stands there thinking,

“Should I give another chance?”

When all of a sudden,

he goes sorta pale

face twistin’ inward,

kinda like a snail.

She knew what was happnin

and headed for the door.

And sure ’nuff behind her,

He falls to the floor.

It’s an

APP ATTACK..!

funky instrumental

“Just a minute please,

this’ll only take sec

I really can’t afford it

I can’t fall into debt.”

But she was done

Yeah, she’d seen the sign,

She couldn’t stick around

on her time.

It’s an

APP ATTACK..!

funky instrumental

 


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Midnight Oil – Don’t Wanna Be The One

Somehow this tune eluded me. I was 19 in 1981, and I always look back on that year as a turning point. I remember the music industry was in a bit of a spin. Supertramp did some lackluster album around that time. A once great group had pretty much lost its spark. Crosby, Stills and Nash did something too. But it was just a pale shadow of their former glory. Yes, the 70s were over. And we had to admit it and move on. New Wave (I think Midnight Oil sort of belongs in that category) was a welcome relief to the old 70s prog rock bands that had lost it by the 80s.

New Wave actually began in the late 70s. But who’s counting?

Anyhow… just heard this for the first time. And it reminds me of the early Police, B-52s, Talking Heads and a whole bunch of others who really helped to shape the music and keep it moving forward.

Nice flashback!


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I dream of wires

“I dream of wires…” scene by my bed as I’m working on a new music project. The computer gets slow because the file size and complexity of the project really tax it to its limits. So when I’m waiting for things to load – or crash – I play with the iPad… like taking this photo! (via Tumblr)


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It’s been a while…

inuit sunglasses

inuit sunglasses by earthpages via Flickr

Sigh. I’ve been unusually busy over the past few days so haven’t updated here. But I haven’t been totally off the web. Nope. Along with some earthpages updates I did a volunteer question at allexperts.com, a really interesting one. But unfortunately the questioner wanted it to be private. And I have to respect that.

I’ve also been tweaking my songlists at songza. So far they haven’t really caught on but I think that’s only a matter of time. Because they’re great! (If I do say so myself). Songza is like the poor man’s chance to be a DJ. So now when I hear a song on the car radio that I haven’t added, I make a mental note: “Under the Boardwalk Under the Boardwalk Under the Boardwalk”…

It’s crazy, I know, but I love it. I’ve actually added quite a few new songs to most of my songlists. So do check them out!

http://songza.com/user/11594994/  (click the FAVORITES button to get my playlists).

As for my photography, it seems that I get the highest number of “likes” when I post my original pics. Well, now that it’s warming up I should be getting out more with the camera. But my private life is making it pretty hard to get out of the city these days. So they’ll mostly be urban shots. For a while, anyhow. In the meantime, here’s a pair of Inuit sunglasses that my parents used to own. I took this photo (above right) a few summers ago. Cool huh?

Well, that’s about it. Just wanted y’all to know that I haven’t dropped off the face of the Earth. Not yet! 😉


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Life is MORE than a highway…

Just discovered this video. The driver seems to be coming into the city from the country, but for me it really captures hitting the highway, headed for the country away from the city. Once I get past the heavy traffic and can relax a bit, it’s time to crank up the Ibiza and open the moonroof–in winter I can still pull back the solid hatch so the light shines through!

Sorry Tom Cochrane. Life might be a highway for you. But for me, it’s so much more!