Sunday, December 4, 2005


So, life pretty much sucks these days, but at least Journey has released an incredible new album, the first one that convinces me that Steve Perry is no longer necessary to their organization. It really is that good. Also, the Minibosses have finally released their studio LP, so it's a great time for music.

Considering a move to Houston for a variety of reasons, but uncertain at this point. By the time I manage to update again in January, I should know more.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

on the same note...

It is really appalling that just because Densmore has chosen to not cash in his integrity to go from RICH to RICHER, he is made to feel like a fool by everyone around him. Performing with the surviving members is one thing... as sad and pathetic these retread acts can be, there is still something to be said for this music to live again through the fingers of the original members, rather than the myriad cover bands who ply their trade every night, taking gigs from those who actually contribute something to the art. That might be a little harsh, but the fact remains that the whole "music as a commodity" idea is destroying good music. Even the best new bands are barely one step removed from their influences, because the unfamiliar bothers people. Yes, it is nice to have lots and lots of people come see you perform, and maybe the idea that everyone should write their own material is a ridiculous assertion left over from the Beatles-era bands, but damn it, isn't it better to build an audience that appreciates what you do and really finds meaning in your music, than to have to do bullshit irony and please a crowd of drunks who could give a shit who you are as long as you play something they've heard before?

I can understand his hesitance to stand onstage with a singer who is not Jim Morrison, the man who defined the Doors, whether the other members agree or not. It is so much more difficult to move forward than it is to rest on past successes... I have no love for what the boomer generation has done for this country, and what their nostalgic dollars have done to musicians, but I have respect for someone who can turn down cash just because he doesn't need anymore, and because of a promise he made to a friend almost 40 years ago.

Someone sent the dumptruck full of money back... and he's the crazy one?,1,7561929.story?coll=la-headlines-california
Ex-Door Lighting Their Ire
Drummer John Densmore refuses to let the group's songs be used in TV ads, much to the chagrin of his former bandmates.
By Geoff Boucher
Times Staff Writer

October 5, 2005

Bob Dylan is singing "The Times They Are A-Changin' " in a television ad for healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente these days, and who could argue? With Led Zeppelin pitching Cadillacs, the Rolling Stones strutting in an Ameriquest Mortgage ad and Paul McCartney warbling for Fidelity Investments, it's clear that the old counterculture heroes of classic rock are now firmly entrenched as the house band of corporate America.

That only makes the case of John Densmore all the more intriguing.

Once, back when rock 'n' roll still seemed dangerous, Densmore was the drummer for the Doors, the band with dark hits such as "Light My Fire" and "People Are Strange." That band more or less went into the grave with lead singer Jim Morrison in 1971, but, like all top classic-rock franchises, it now has the chance to exploit a lucrative afterlife in television commercials. Offers keep coming in, such as the $15 million dangled by Cadillac last year to lease the song "Break On Through (to the Other Side)" to hawk its luxury SUVs.

To the surprise of the corporation and the chagrin of his former bandmates, Densmore vetoed the idea. He said he did the same when Apple Computer called with a $4-million offer, and every time "some deodorant company wants to use 'Light My Fire.' "

The reason? Prepare to get a lump in your throat — or to roll your eyes.

"People lost their virginity to this music, got high for the first time to this music," Densmore said. "I've had people say kids died in Vietnam listening to this music, other people say they know someone who didn't commit suicide because of this music…. On stage, when we played these songs, they felt mysterious and magic. That's not for rent."

That not only sets the Doors apart from the long, long list of classic rock acts that have had their songs licensed for major U.S. commercial campaigns, it also has added considerably to Densmore's estrangement from former bandmates Ray Manzarek and Robbie Krieger, a trio that last set eyes on one another in the Los Angeles County Superior Courthouse last year.

"Everyone wanted him to do it," said John Branca, an attorney who worked on the Cadillac proposal. "I told him that, really, people don't frown on this anymore. It's considered a branding exercise for the music. He told me he just couldn't sell a song to a company that was polluting the world.

"I shook my head," Branca said, "but, hey, you have to respect that. How many of your principles would you reconsider when people start talking millions of dollars?"

Densmore relented once. Back in the 1970s, he agreed to let "Riders on the Storm" be used to sell Pirelli Tires in a TV spot in England. When he saw it he was sick. "I gave every cent to charity. Jim's ghost was in my ear, and I felt terrible. If I needed proof that it was the wrong thing to do, I got it."

Since then, the animus between the drummer and Manzarek and Krieger has intensified, including a bitter dispute over naming rights.

In August, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Gregory W. Alarcon ruled that Manzarek and Krieger could no longer tour together as the "Doors of the 21st Century." The pair, with former Cult singer Ian Astbury handling Morrison's vocal duties, were in Canada at the time and grudgingly switched their marquee to the acronym "D21C."

Densmore had filed the suit in 2003 to block the neo-Doors from using any permutation of the old band's name. In this battle, he was joined by the Morrison estate, which is the late singer's parents and the parents of his late girlfriend, Pamela Courson.

An audit is underway to determine how much money Krieger and Manzarek must turn over from their two years of touring with their old band name. The touring grossed $8 million, court documents show.

Manzarek said the view that Densmore was selflessly protecting the Doors legacy was laughable.

"John is going to get about a million dollars for doing nothing," Manzarek said. "He gets an equal share as us, and we were out there working. A free million bucks. That's a gig I'd like."

Manzarek, whose keyboards strongly contribute to the singular sound of the Doors, said his old friend should join the neo-Doors. "He should come and play drums with us," Manzarek said, "not fight us at every turn."

Even if Densmore is loath to tour and disdainful of Astbury playing the late Morrison ("Nobody can fill those leather pants"), Manzarek said his old mate should allow Doors hits to be used in tasteful commercials that could add flicker to the band's pop-culture memory. He pointed out that Zeppelin and U2 recently relented in their long holdouts against ad licensing and that there was hardly a stigma these days to the practice.

"We're all getting older," said Manzarek, the band's eldest member, now 66. "We should, the three of us, be playing these songs because, hey, the end is always near. Morrison was a poet, and above all, a poet wants his words heard."

Perhaps more years of life would have changed his view, but in 1969 it was quite clear that the poet of the Doors did not want to be a pitchman.

The Doors had formed in 1965. As the decade was ending, they were hailed in some quarters as the "Rolling Stones of America." An advertising firm came to the band with an offer: $50,000 to allow their biggest hit, "Light My Fire," to be used in a commercial for the Buick Opel.

Morrison was in Europe and his bandmates voted in his absence; Densmore, Krieger and Manzarek agreed to the deal. Morrison returned and was furious, vowing to sledgehammer a Buick on stage at every concert if the commercial went forward. It did not.

In November 1970, the lesson learned from the Buick fiasco was put in writing. The Doors members agreed that any licensing agreement would require a unanimous vote. Even before that, the band had agreed that the members would share equally in all music publishing rights, an arrangement that set them apart from most bands.

Those agreements also set the stage for Densmore to be a human handbrake that again and again stops the Doors profit machine from speeding down new avenues.

"There's a lot of pressure, from everyone," Densmore said recently with a weary sigh. "Pressure from the guys, the manager, the [Morrison] estate."

He was sitting in the back-house office of his Santa Monica home. The walls are covered with photos and newspaper clippings, among them a framed Morrison poem about the vantage point of man beyond the grave. Among the lines:

No more money

no more fancy dress

This other kingdom seems by far the best….

Morrison is dead but hardly forgotten. Just the opposite, his popularity has surged in the years since his heart gave out.

There was the one-two punch of the 1979 release of the film "Apocalypse Now," with its signature moments using the band's music, and the 1980 publication of the band tell-all book "No One Here Gets Out Alive" by Jerry Hopkins and Danny Sugarman. In 1991, another revival was stirred by Oliver Stone's movie "The Doors." Since that film's release, 14 million Doors albums have been sold in the United States alone.

Those album sales combine with the money generated by radio airplay, merchandising and the other royalty streams to put steady deposits into the bank accounts of the surviving members and the Morrison estate.

Densmore said that the money coming in should relieve pressure on the band to drift into areas that would trample the legacy. "When Ray calls, I always ask him, 'What is it you want to buy?' "

Still, there are no bigger paydays these days available for classic-rock outfits than the low-sweat licensing deals for television commercials and the warm embrace of the concert road tour. That was underscored last year when Manzarek and Krieger alleged that Densmore had committed a "breach of fiduciary duty" to the Doors partnership. Basically, the argument was that the money now was so good that Densmore couldn't reasonably say no.

When Cadillac offered $15 million last year, the money made Densmore dizzy ("More money than any of us have made on anything we've ever done," he said), but he was resolute. "Robbie was on the fence; Ray wanted to do it," Densmore said. "All of it made me think about this book I want to write. It's about greed."

Manzarek, on the other hand, describes the car commercial in tie-dyed hues. "Cadillac said we could all fly out to Detroit and give input as they start putting together their hybrid models and the way they would be presented to the public…. Artists and corporations working together, that's the 21st century. That's the true Age of Aquarius. But John's ego wouldn't let him see it was a good thing to do."

In the end, Cadillac held on to the motto "Break Through" but used a different dark anthem — the commercial, now in heavy rotation, features Zeppelin's frenetic 1972 single "Rock and Roll." Cadillac's eight-figure offer was enough to coax the band to plunge into the advertising profit stream.

When Nike used the Beatles' recording of "Revolution" for a sneaker ad two decades ago, there was widespread criticism. The hubbub quieted when the commercial was retired after one year. Nowadays, the debate is largely muted. The new take? Holding out is bad for music.

"Using your music in the modern landscape is not selling out; if it's done right, it's giving it new life," said Amy Kavanaugh, an executive vice president at Edelman, the Los Angeles public relations and marketing firm that has worked with Starbucks on the coffee merchant's extensive branding efforts with music.

Even among the classic-rock purist audience, there is a shift in expectation. Pete Howard, editor in chief of Ice magazine, a music publication tailored to audiophiles and intense rock music collectors, not only thinks that the Doors should take money for the songs of the past, he believes that they are risking their future if they don't.

"They get a gold star for integrity, but they are missing a train that is leaving the station," Howard said. "Advertising is no longer a dirty word to the Woodstock generation, and in fact, in this landscape, the band will find that if it relies on people who hear the music in films, on radio in prerecorded formats, that with each decade their niche among music fans will narrow. It's advertising — with its broad audience and ubiquity — that gets new ears."

If Densmore is a dinosaur, he is not the last surviving one. Bruce Springsteen and the Eagles continue to say no to commercials. So do Neil Young and Carlos Santana. But all of them still pull in concert revenues that make that choice far easier. Densmore himself points out that if he were poor he might make a different choice.

But his stance against commercialization has won a chorus of support from the true believers of rock. In the Nation, Tom Waits wrote a letter in praise of Densmore: Corporations "suck the life and meaning from the songs and impregnate them with promises of a better life with their product. Eventually, artists will be going onstage like race-car drivers covered in hundreds of logos."

Waits has since learned that holding out isn't necessarily effective: He is suing General Motors for using what he describes as a Waits sound-alike in its European car commercials. Which make and model is involved? The Buick Opel, the same car that led Morrison to slam shut the band's corporate flirtations.

"Is it that they just didn't learn or they just don't care? I don't know," Densmore said, shaking his head. "Maybe I'm the one who is just out of touch with the times."

Now he waits to see if his old bandmates will appeal the court decision banning the use of the Doors name for their concert tours. For the time being, Manzarek has said that the band will continue on with the name Riders on the Storm. Densmore said he would not dispute them on that. Manzarek said the fans and reviews have been great, and Astbury has the same "dark, shamanistic, powerful, Celtic-Christian, mystical" vibe as his old friend Morrison. Manzarek said the group will soon record a new studio album.

"It doesn't matter what we call it, it's still Robbie and I together playing 'Light My Fire' and 'Love Me Two Times.' John should come and play and let us celebrate and keep this music alive," Manzarek said. "Look, what do I say to the cynics? I would like to play with Jim Morrison again. But you know what? I can't call him. I'm sorry. He's dead. He's busy. He's in eternity."

Densmore said he tires of the fighting.

So what about that invitation from Manzarek?

"I would love to play with the Doors and play those songs again. I would. And I will play again as the Doors. Just as soon as Jim shows up."

Saturday, October 1, 2005

money pits and the like

I finally bought some microphones, so for instrument recording I am pretty well set, at least for the level I am at, which means it is time to write some songs at last. Which means I will more than likely have to learn to play guitar (again) and bring my chord repertoire up from two to at least three.

I am adding drum tracks to some English band's demo over the next week or so, which probably sounds cooler than it actually is, and I must now concentrate on taming the errant acoustics of my studio, so that my recordings sound like they weren't done in a trashcan. Such is life.

I went for convenience over ultimate quality with my condenser mics. They are battery powered, so I don't have to worry about a phantom power supply, and they were half the price of the ones I really wanted that would have required such a thing. They sound good enough, which is all I need for now.

My dynamic mics, though, are time-proven workhorses: The Shure SM57 on the snare and the Shure Beta 52A on the bass drum. These things should last forever.

I have been listening to online samples of other home recorders, and none of them sound like the results I get. Everyone seems to be going for that tight, classic rock, dead drum sound, whereas mine are lively as hell. I will keep experimenting because I want things a little bit tighter, but I also want everything to sound like drums... if I wanted samples, I'd have gone that route.

IF I buy off-the-shelf acoustic treatment for my little space, I am looking at around $500, bringing my total equipment investment in this thing to around $1600 or so. Originally, a grand was my cap, and I have just barely gone over that at $1100. The treatment would be nice, but it's not essential at this point, and it's something I can probably do on the cheap anyway. I hope so. Even so, a fully-equipped home studio for under $2000... unbelieveable, and impossible even 10 years ago. Not too shabby.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Posting of the dead

Can't let a month slip away without an update of some sort. Since my last post we have been through two hurricanes down here, one to the east and one to the west, and the population of BR has effectively doubled as it absorbs evacuees. Even my tiny suburb has been inundated with people, and every square inch of living and office space in the area is rented or bought. Strange how your life can change overnight, even when you are, as far as house and family, lucky enough to be unaffected by the events in question... But on to other, more selfish topics...

I have been experimenting with the crappy mics I own (total investment for all three = $64) and have come to the conclusion that I should probably spend some money on new stuff. Unfortunately, I have done that so often in the last few years that I can't do it at the moment or until well after the holidays, and so I feel the studio is at a standstill. I did piece together a ten minute EP of stuff and sent it to a few friends, mainly to clear the slate of the last few years of noodling and begin writing new stuff in earnest. I am almost 31 years old, and have played less music this year than in probably the last eight. It's strange, and I don't like it, and so, rather than formulate a plan or something, I am just going to bite the weenee and play more. If only I could find a dirty little jazz combo that was willing to adopt an errant rock drummer with more ambition than talent...

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Powerbook bliss

Why did I wait so long to get a laptop again? My internet went out tonight, but it turns out it is isolated to one room in my home. It took this to force me to utilise my wireless connection with the lappie.

So, thanks to my leather recliner, I may never use my desktop again.

[watching - Full Metal Alchemist]

Sunday, July 24, 2005

As it happens...

Posting here is fast becoming a monthly event. I suppose that's OK, since all of about three people read it. Better to have something to write about than free associate daily, I suppose.

I had a hell of a score on ebay this month. Picked up a G3 Powerbook and a Simmons SDS-9 module, but the main event was an old Pearl Drum-X kit circa 1985. Basically a rip off of the original Simmons SDS-V (the granddaddy of electronic drums), this thing sounds incredible. One-dimensional, yes, but I love that sound. I ended up with a complete kit, with hardware, module, and even a fantastic amplifier for only a few hundred dollars. I am amazed by this deal. This is pro-level stuff, and still works perfectly after twenty years. Needless to say, my edrum needs are more than met, and equipment-wise, my studio is about 90% there.

Started my new job this month also. I have left computer support behind and am back in the library field once more. Two weeks in, it feels really good. Not much else to say about it yet, though my commute can barely be called that anymore, which is a nice bonus.

My wireless setup at home is giving me some trouble lately, but that's mainly due to a non-Airport Mac setup. Checking my email from my outlying studio works pretty well, and is a nice geeky thrill. No, it doesn't take much.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


DVDs bought in the last two days:

King Crimson - Eyes Wide Open
King Crimson - Neal and Jack and Me
Billy Cobham - The Glass Menagerie
Queen - On Fire at the Bowl
The Cardigans - Live in London
Sting - Bring on the Night
Marvin Gaye - Live in Montreux 1980

Also nabbed a mint VHS of

Men at Work - Live in San Francisco... or Was It Berkeley?

So, yes, I am buying concerts like there is no tomorrow, and of course, two that I really want are out of print, and very popular on the ebay. Strangely enough, they both feature Bill Bruford. Speaking of which, the Crimson DVDs are incredible... though Billy only features in one of them. The other Billy listed above, Cobham, is a fantastic drummer. But that disc blows, because it is a prime example of toothless fusion shit from the late 70s - early 80s. How did so many great players get caught up in that stuff? How could they listen back and say "damn, that is some kind of good"? Anyway...

The Crim discs are two concerts each, NJM from the '82-'84 period, and EWO from '00-'04. The set on the earlier shows was much stronger, but both are very instructive.

Haven't had a chance to watch the others yet, though I saw the Sting video way back when it first arrived. It was $8, so not too bad of a deal. I have high hopes for the others. More reviews as I knock them down.

I also picked up the Thing, which is one I've wanted for a while. If anyone cares, the great quest to watch the 100 greatest movies has long since been abandoned, because I would rather play guitar. I'm just not that into movies these days, though I did manage to catch Land of the Dead. Sadly, it wasn't really good or bad, just kind of blah. I like Romero's movies because they are usually very unsettling in some way, but this one just sat there. 90 minutes is pretty short to do anything other than hit the plot points, and that's more or less all it did. Disappointing.

[Listening to: Wound - Smashing Pumpkins - Machina/ The Machines of God]

Monday, May 30, 2005

A bad time to quit the gym...

It would appear that I'm the one who needs to start watching my weight now... bastard!

[Listening to: Blue For You - Men At Work - Live in San Francisco - Or Was It Berkeley?]

Tuesday, May 3, 2005


Ah, 27... Enjoy it, mon frere.

Monday, May 2, 2005

overheard on campus...

"Dude, the Bible's full of great shit!"

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

it's you that's driving me mad

After three months of driving everyone around me crazy, I finally made a decision on how to outfit the studio and purchased a cassette four track recorder. This may be the last one they make geared to someone who is serious about this stuff, which is disheartening, as digital remains a bit too expensive in my opinion. To go digital I would have to buy a PC to run my VST synths, a firewire interface or a stand alone digital recorder, and then software and mics. With the tape, I can just buy the mics and get a low end computer to run my VST stuff. No matter how I figured it, I come out about $500 ahead with tape. Cassettes are getting expensive, but they are reasonable enough, and I've enjoyed the immediacy of hitting a button to record rather than mousing here and there. The other side of it is, my life pretty much revolves around computers, and it will be nice to not rely on one for at least one thing I enjoy.

[Listening to: I Would Find You - Journey - Next]

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Analog Kid

I have decided to base my studio around a cassette multitrack, instead of the usual PC nonsense. More in a bit...

[Listening to: Tom Sawyer - Rush - Moving Pictures]

Friday, April 1, 2005

studio update

It's really coming together now. My lovely wife provided me with the requisite minifridge yesterday, and the guitars are hanging in a most decorative fashion. Common sense returned, and the Beast is no more, having been shrunk back down to five pieces. My portable kit goes back into storage until needed, and the room has opened up nicely. Now, If I could only decide on the recording equipment...

[Listening to: Love Is Real - Jimmy Chamberlin Complex - Life Begins Again]

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Picked up the acoustic for the first time in months last night and went through about half of one of my method books. My fingers haven't forgotten what they learned this time last year, so it looks like I can pick up where I left off and maybe even learn to really play the damn thing this year. Ended the "lesson" with twenty minutes or so of noise on the electric. I lost an hour and fifteen minutes in the blink of an eye. Bliss.

The Jstation sounded especially muddy last night, though, which furthers my thought that maybe I should buy an actual amp. Amps, unfortunately, take up space, which is at a premium in the studio at the moment. The beast has reached a point of stasis, but I know she will continue to grow once I decide which drum rack will best support the myriad of additions I am planning. It is only a matter of time...

[Listening to: I Would Find You - Journey - Next]

Thursday, March 24, 2005

I should be off work today...

There are days when I really enjoy what I do for a living, and then there are plenty of others when I wish I had followed the other path: music. The lifestyle is what scared me off. I seldom drink and don't smoke, so playing in bars is really a chore for me, and I always hated it. I would haul ass as soon as the set was over, and imagine that I will again if I start playing out once more. This causes problems in a band and out of one, because hanging out after the show is what musicians do... I suppose I'm one of the few who would play for free just so I wouldn't have to play anything I don't want to play. More to the point, I have not been in a band for seven years, mainly for that reason. Lately, I have started playing again, with a little more open approach to material I might not choose if it were up to me. The main problem with playing the stuff is that I feel like I am wasting time on bullshit, when I could be working on my own stuff or someone else's original material. Outside of my marriage, the happiest I have ever been is when I am involved in the creation of something new. Not everyone can write songs like Lennon, but the fun, and the payoff, is in the attempt. Damn it.

[Listening to: Boom Ba Ya Ya - Abraxas Pool - Abraxas Pool]

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Happy birthday, Johnny!

My nephew is seven today, which means that he'll be a surly teenager in only 6 more years. In the meantime, he's a hell of a kid, and has already forgotten more about cars than I'll ever know.

As it happens, the studio is finished, and I am two months into the new band. No name or bassist yet, but things are progressing at a clip. We definitely need a singer, though. Currently we have a couple of originals in process, and are playing some Floyd, Santana, etc. I'm trying to push these guys into more interesting territory, as they seem to be most comfortable at mid-tempo blues. We'll see how it goes.

In the month since I updated, my grandfather has made it through his chemo and is slowly improving. My mamaw's operation was an apparent success, but her recovery is giving her no little discomfort. I need to call both of them.

Friday, February 25, 2005

It was beautiful, ethereal and over much too soon...

Saturday, February 5, 2005

Soon all will be well...

Construction is in progress on my studio as we speak. This is the obligatory before picture...

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Inspiration and events...

After two years, I am finally having my studio built. It could not have come at a better time. I have started playing with some guys, so apparently I'm in a band again, and my biggest influence, Jimmy Chamberlin, just released his first solo album. And it is great! Just when I need the kick in the ass, there he is again, just like Mellon Collie ten years ago...

Taxes are done already, so I'm ahead on that one at least. Not enough time in the day lately, but I suppose that's a good thing? I'm not sure at this point. Rather than ramble, I guess I'll stop there.

[Listening to: Loki Cat - Jimmy Chamberlin Complex - Life Begins Again]

Friday, January 21, 2005

abbreviated history

My friends and I used to drive to downtown Jonesboro on the weekends and make the loop, as I'm sure those of you from a small town understand. Basically, you drive in long circles all night long and pretend you aren't pathetic. Once, we made our way there on a cloudy night and found that, though it was raining, people were still hanging out. We laughed uproariously and vowed never to be those losers. A year or two went by, and it came to pass that we were standing around on Main Street, and the heavens opened. Not a downpour exactly, but rain nonetheless, and we all just looked at each other. And we stayed. On my way home that night I determined never to repeat that mistake. My friend Rod lived at the end of Main as fate would have it, and the next weekend I made a right instead of a left and drove to see him. This was 1992 or so. Soon after we formulated a plan to make an adventure game...

I bring this up not only to celebrate how chance has played a part in our enduring friendship, but to point out to both of us that thirteen years have gone by and we still don't have that damn game made. This will be the year. Oh, yes. This is it.

[Listening to: One of Our Submarines - Thomas Dolby - Forty]

Thursday, January 13, 2005

What a great idea!

My friend Rod has decided to view the First 100 of the Top 250 Rated Films at IMDB as of 1/12/05. He has already seen 39 of them, so he just might make it. Looking over the list, I had already seen 54 of them, which made me curious about the remaining 150. A check of the list tells me that I have seen at least 114 of the 250, so I think I will attempt the remainder this year. The only one that I am not remotely interested in is Before Sunset, so it shall be last. Blech. I have been looking for a reason to sign up for Netflix, so thanks, Rod, for giving me a fun one.

The list:

The Godfather (1972)

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

The Shawshank Redemption (1994) SEEN

The Godfather: Part II (1974)

Shichinin no samurai (1954) SEEN

Schindler's List (1993) SEEN

Casablanca (1942) SEEN

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) SEEN

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

Star Wars (1977) SEEN

Citizen Kane (1941)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) SEEN

Pulp Fiction (1994) SEEN

Rear Window (1954) SEEN

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) SEEN

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) SEEN

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) SEEN

The Usual Suspects (1995) SEEN

Buono, il brutto, il cattivo, Il (1966) SEEN

Memento (2000) SEEN

12 Angry Men (1957) SEEN

Cidade de Deus (2002)

North by Northwest (1959)

Psycho (1960) SEEN

It's a Wonderful Life (1946) SEEN

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain, Le (2001) SEEN

The Silence of the Lambs (1991) SEEN

Goodfellas (1990)

C'era una volta il West (1968)

Sunset Blvd. (1950) SEEN

American Beauty (1999) SEEN

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) SEEN

Vertigo (1958)

The Matrix (1999) SEEN

Apocalypse Now (1979)

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Paths of Glory (1957)

Fight Club (1999) SEEN

The Third Man (1949)

The Pianist (2002)

Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (2001) SEEN

Taxi Driver (1976) SEEN

Singin' in the Rain (1952)

Double Indemnity (1944) SEEN

Boot, Das (1981)

Some Like It Hot (1959)

Chinatown (1974)

M (1931)(SEEN)

Rashômon (1950) SEEN

L.A. Confidential (1997) SEEN

Se7en (1995) SEEN

All About Eve (1950) SEEN

The Maltese Falcon (1941)

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

Requiem for a Dream (2000) SEEN

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) SEEN

Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) SEEN

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Raging Bull (1980)

Alien (1979) SEEN

Léon (1994)

American History X (1998)

Modern Times (1936)

The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

The Wizard of Oz (1939) SEEN

The Sting (1973)

A Clockwork Orange (1971) SEEN

Ran (1985) SEEN

On the Waterfront (1954)

Vita è bella, La (1997)

Touch of Evil (1958) SEEN

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) SEEN

Amadeus (1984) SEEN

The Great Escape (1963)

The Apartment (1960)

Finding Nemo (2003) SEEN

City Lights (1931)

Metropolis (1927) SEEN

Annie Hall (1977) SEEN

Jaws (1975)

High Noon (1952)

Aliens (1986) SEEN

The Shining (1980) SEEN(

Sjunde inseglet, Det (1957)

Braveheart (1995) SEEN

Strangers on a Train (1951)

Fargo (1996) SEEN

The General (1927)

Wo hu cang long (2000) SEEN

The Great Dictator (1940)

Donnie Darko (2001) SEEN

Nuovo cinema Paradiso (1989)

Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)

Blade Runner (1982) SEEN

Mononoke-hime (1997) SEEN

The Sixth Sense (1999) SEEN

Ladri di biciclette (1948)

The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Yojimbo (1961) SEEN

Duck Soup (1933)

Rebecca (1940)

Full Metal Jacket (1987) SEEN

Oldboy (2003)

The Princess Bride (1987) SEEN

The Big Sleep (1946)

Forrest Gump (1994) SEEN

Notorious (1946)

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) SEEN

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

The Incredibles (2004) SEEN

It Happened One Night (1934)

Patton (1970) SEEN

The Graduate (1967) SEEN

Lola rennt (1998) SEEN

Toy Story 2 (1999) SEEN

Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

The Deer Hunter (1978)

Cool Hand Luke (1967) SEEN

Unforgiven (1992) SEEN

Ying xiong (2002)

The Elephant Man (1980)

Manhattan (1979)

Glory (1989)

The Philadelphia Story (1940)

Before Sunset (2004)

Ben-Hur (1959)

The African Queen (1951)

The Searchers (1956)

The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

The Green Mile (1999)

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) SEEN

Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Amores perros (2000)

Mystic River (2003)

Smultronstället (1957)

Stalag 17 (1953)

Big Fish (2003) SEEN

Back to the Future (1985) SEEN

Hable con ella (2002)

Platoon (1986) SEEN

Gone with the Wind (1939) SEEN

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

A Christmas Story (1983) SEEN

The Night of the Hunter (1955)

The Hustler (1961) SEEN

The Wild Bunch (1969)

The Gold Rush (1925)

Shrek (2001) SEEN

Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) SEEN

The Straight Story (1999)

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) SEEN

Quatre cents coups, Les (1959)

Bronenosets Potyomkin (1925)

Dogville (2003)

Life of Brian (1979) SEEN

Young Frankenstein (1974) SEEN

Die Hard (1988) SEEN

Grande illusion, La (1937)

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

His Girl Friday (1940) SEEN

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

Lost in Translation (2003) SEEN

Garden State (2004) SEEN

Witness for the Prosecution (1957)

Spartacus (1960)

Ikiru (1952)

Hotaru no haka (1988) SEEN

Roman Holiday (1953)

Gladiator (2000)

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

Festen (1998)

Charade (1963)

The Conversation (1974)

Trois couleurs: Rouge (1994)

Sling Blade (1996)

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

Magnolia (1999) SEEN

Monsters, Inc. (2001) SEEN

The Killing (1956)

All the President's Men (1976) SEEN

Toy Story (1995) SEEN

Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (1922) SEEN

To Be or Not to Be (1942)

Gandhi (1982)

The Insider (1999) SEEN

Almost Famous (2000) SEEN

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)

Brazil (1985) SEEN

Ed Wood (1994) SEEN

A Night at the Opera (1935)

Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

Passion de Jeanne d'Arc, La (1928)

Trainspotting (1996) SEEN

Groundhog Day (1993) SEEN

Harvey (1950)

Twelve Monkeys (1995) SEEN

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)

In America (2002) SEEN

21 Grams (2003)

Stand by Me (1986) SEEN

The Terminator (1984) SEEN

The Exorcist (1973) SEEN

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) SEEN

Finding Neverland (2004)

Strada, La (1954)

Mulholland Dr. (2001) SEEN

Being John Malkovich (1999) SEEN

Miller's Crossing (1990)


The Lion in Winter (1968) SEEN

This Is Spinal Tap (1984) SEEN

Network (1976)

Rain Man (1988) SEEN

The Station Agent (2003) SEEN

The Big Lebowski (1998)

Laura (1944)

Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

Midnight Cowboy (1969) SEEN

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)

The Right Stuff (1983)

King Kong (1933)

Snatch. (2000)

The 39 Steps (1935)

Persona (1966)

Stagecoach (1939)

Whale Rider (2002) SEEN

Rio Bravo (1959)

Fanny och Alexander (1982)

The Thin Man (1934)

The Untouchables (1987) SEEN

Bride of Frankenstein (1935) SEEN

In the Heat of the Night (1967)

Sullivan's Travels (1941)

Being There (1979)

Planet of the Apes (1968) SEEN

Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

The Last Samurai (2003)

Sideways (2004) SEEN

Adaptation. (2002) SEEN

Heat (1995)

Die xue shuang xiong (1989)

Barry Lyndon (1975)

Fa yeung nin wa (2000)

Diarios de motocicleta (2004)

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

New Year

Well, I'm going to adapt a rule that Robert X. Cringely uses for his yearly predictions for my resolutions this year: I will revisit this record in a year's time, and see what percentage I accomplished. This will be the first time I have actually kept more than mental record of this stuff, so it should be interesting.

1. Complete an adventure game with Rod.

We have begun, in earnest this time, the project we first talked about at least 12 years ago. We have our game engine picked out, and we have our deadlines established. This has to be the year.

2. Complete and record at least five songs.

Last year, this began as "join a band," but in August morphed into "write and record ten songs before the end of the year." Considering I play only drums well, this was ridiculous to say the least, but I have two strong pieces that I really like, and am getting better at expressing my ideas on keyboard and guitar. Thank God for Acid Music, which lets me take the tiny snippets of my ideas and sculpt them into songs. Lyrics remain the hard part, which leads me to number 3.

3. Write.

This page is the first example of my writing I have steadily worked on in over a decade, and it is only a journal. I want to complete at least one short story that pleases me in 2005. It may not sound like much, but it would be an enormous personal achievement.

4. Draw.

In particular, ANIMATE. Where's that quote... *checks Chuck Amuck, the autobiography of Chuck Jones* Ah, yes. According to his first art instructor, we all have " hundred thousand bad drawings in you. The sooner you get rid of them, the better it will be for everyone." Upon hearing that, he notes that he was on his third hundred thousand. I am probably a quarter or so into my first, but every drawing brings me closer to being GOOD. Animation, aside from being an honest love, is a great way to bring that number up by leaps and bounds, since every second of a project involves so DAMN MANY.

Well, those are the biggies. It is pretty much the same list I always have, and none of those will increase my ability to support my family in the least. But these remain the things I am motivated to accomplish. Maybe this time I will.