Now that the cat is out of the bag regarding Make It, I have been pretty busy doing some promotion.
Promotion sounds big and important on paper, but it really just involves being on the internet a lot and making phone calls.
This week when I was searching for something entirely unrelated to help push the new book, I found two recordings from grad school that I was asked to play on. They couldn't be more different, but they're real gems.
The first is from my buddy Sean Rubin's band, Ladyhips. I was coming out of an ear training class with a truly brilliant and also kind of kooky Hungarian man at The Hartt School (there's an excellent Twitter dedicated to him: @ShiitGaborSays). Sean stopped me in the stairs and asked if I wanted to help sing gang vocals on a track. Right now.
An easy yes. That gave the world this delicious, catchy, plain old fun track:
Later on that year, I was asked to play on this piece by Meredith Gilna:
There's no tonality, no tune, and no backbeat, so most people are going to write it off quickly because they don't instantly like it upfront. Some will experience visceral discomfort and militantly declare the latter recording as "not music".
I never understood why people behave like that. It's just sounds that aren't so familiar. Give it a chance, bro.
I call it this Mac & Cheese mindset. Getting a little kid to eat anything other than the stereotypical comfort foods like chicken nuggets or mac and cheese takes a little work. They usually need to try things a few times to really decide if it's their thing or not, which they are completely capable of doing.
Yet full grown adults will listen to music once, spit it out, and decide they dislike an entire category of it. People like this are awkward to be around. Every time I encounter one, I have trouble believing they exist to an extent. You don't like a single vegetable? Really? Do you eat mayonnaise out of the jar? How do you sustain yourself? You don't like a single piece of classical music? Music has to be in 4/4, have a clear melody, and none of your food can touch or you throw a tantrum? You have no right to complain about there not being any good, new music when you wall yourself off from most of it.
Maybe it just comes down to people being afraid to step outside what is comfortable for a little while.
If you are reading this and disagree, I challenge you to try to understand the appeal of Meredith's piece. Several well rounded, educated, successful humans worked very hard to shape that into something.
Give it some time. Maybe check out some other music in the same neighborhood. Try anything by Iannis Xenakis for a start.