Noteworthy 9.10.19

Happy Week Folks!

I had this all typed up on Saturday and forgot to hit PUBLISH. That’s never happened before. Tends to happen when life gets in the way. Loads of noteworthy content came to mind these couple of weeks, thanks to my YouTube wanderings and escapist mind frame.

  1. Working on highlights and other content for the Oyster Ridge Music Festival, so I went to one of my favorite live performance videos from the last few years: This documentary about the Largo venue in Los Angeles. To do produce a work like this, specifically for live performance arts in this segmented form, is one of my dreams. Maybe something like this is possible in Casper? We shall see! But for the time being, it serves up a fresh batch of inspiration for me to work on the videos soon to premiere online! Stay tuned…
  2. Did I mention I came to terms with my affinity for notebooks this week? I feel an eagerness to start writing when it feels immediate, rekindling my love of notebooks is to fire up that old obsession with filling a page. So much so that this week, I finally started working on a song I’ve had in mind for over three years! I have a backlog of music that need lyrics, including a collaboration with my pal Dust Jones– So I’ll need all the momentum I can get! I stumbled upon this article outlining the various types of journaling. It’s given me some ideas this week on how to start using my notebooks for something other than creative writing. I also found this one, which just gave me more notebooks to purchase. I have a problem now.
  3. Re: Working on my songs in the near future, I’ve been looking out for solid free resources to produce beats DIY style. Reddit and this guy were super helpful!
  4. And lastly, I’d like to share a track that has been the soundtrack of my daydreams and scribblings: Michael Kiwanuka’s Cold Little Heart. This song absolutely destroys and gets me to that place just beyond the horizon where I can see my characters clearly…

Enjoy and have a great week, friends.

j

Noteworthy 8.25.19

Hello Void!

Hope the weekend is treating you well. We’ve gone and had a good time so that means less time in the household to write up a new batch of noteworthy links. But better late than never!

Ben Folds was a staple of my college playlists. Some songs of his still take me to that special time. He recently came out with a new book and he’s started to share some of his songwriting wisdom. Here’s a little segment from earlier this week on morning television.

I’m considering taking some of my blog posts every now and then and turning them into something tangible, like a little zine. I would do this often as a kid, but the practice fell out of favor in my mind over recording like a madman. I’m thinking it would be good for me to step away from the computer more often and use my hands to create something. I long for the organic and tactile more than ever. In my research, I found this great issue in the great Reddit community of zines, by u/thecorndogbaron, entitled: Cookies as an Allegory for the Loneliness of a Human Heart.

Need a pickmeup to get the week started? Check out this old clip of Buddy Rich dueling Animal on Sesame Street. Hard to keep a smile off your face!

I leave you with one of my favorite songs growing up. Included in the superb Mission Impossible cash grab “Inspired by the Motion Picture Soundtrack,” Powderfinger came into my life at an impressionable time and their track guided years of uncertainty as I began my teenage years. It rings with so much melancholy for me it’s insane, but it’s a hell of a song nonetheless.

Be well and make art, friends. Have a great week,

j

Stone Hearted (from Prompt 19)

The feeling was scratched

on our weakened bark

Drip drop of a hell I never wanted to be a part of.

Yes, it came back to us this night. Of all nights.

The night of fog and clearing roads

Losing my favorite pebble

thrown around when it felt at times

jagged, sometimes,

or when it stole the warmth from my hands

and now the wet leaves

blue on my shoulders

ecstatic at my refusal to stay

constant as I challenge my direction

and the timpani between my eyes

and the heartbeat of the sluggish

curled up in your heart

where they have festered

all this time in your stead.

My skin imitates the moss in your head

where they last saw you

calm, still, in the forest

I almost relived your path

The crunching leaves

The limbs hopped

The hope limber still

Until the path spit us out

into thicket

Hard brush and rain ever constant

But I ran into the dark

heavied by the water

guessing for lights unseen

looking for paths unmarked

but in your stead

I found the precipice

j

Mote and Light (from Prompt 16)

A void of sun, floating in this shineless cavern

holding on to the grip as I held to the notion you would return

to find me

to relieve and relive

the cool spring of our friendship

upon which we lifted

and hovered weightless

at one point in time, ascending

upward and nearing an illumination

that felt like you

and I cherished that hope as a yard void of insects

A continued affliction

that makes your smaller

to mean less

and meaningless

until the limbs

over-extended and distant

from the teasing invitation

so close to memory and artery

now fancies itself artillery

threatening the mote

thinning

weightless

suspended


Poetry and whatever else comes to mind based on my #icprompts on Instagram!

j

Noteworthy 8.2.19

Hi there! Here’s a few awesome links to wind down this hectic week:

  1. I caught this one long ago when I was in one of my editing late nights, so I thought I would share this now. This is a lovely conversation between George Saunders and Jeff Tweedy that inspires like no other. It made me want to pick up a pen and start unraveling story. Great wisdom from two masters.
  2. The Working Songwriter is a podcast from musician Joe Pug. I had the great pleasure of seeing him live at the Oyster Ridge Music Festival and he just blew me away. His craft and presence as he delivered such beautiful songs left a good dent in my heart. A truly memorable time was had! I’ll be checking the backlog of his podcast episodes, in which he interviews fellow songwriters and discuss the craft of songwriting.
  3. Regarding the Steppenwolf revival of True West, the most influential play of my playwriting life. I would have killed to see this play in the flesh on that Chicago stage in 1982.
  4. This year, working on getting my poetry back on track has been a priority. Starting with the basics as I get to know how I can work in the medium and what I can do to get better, and more resilient. Here’s a little recap I found of Pablo Neruda I liked.

And I leave you with a great tune that hit VH1 when I was growing up, obsessed with music videos. Also, a 90s RDJ starring in a peculiar, one shot video. Have a great weekend, friends.

j

Noteworthy Links

This song has been stuck in my head all week. Welcome to Throwback Country.

Hope America’s birthday weekend is going well for you all! Just wanted to share a few links I found illuminating and/or interesting. Also, having them here will be useful to check out later. Thanks for stopping by!

1. The Daily is becoming my go to podcast for current events and general discontent. This episode of the detention center in Clint, TX about made my blood boil. Not the best way to start the week, but no way to avoid it anymore. No matter the circumstance, we are talking about children: Toddlers, babies, young lives forever broken for the sake of politics.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/01/podcasts/the-daily/migrant-children-border-detention-clint-texas.html

2. This one just makes me so thrilled to be working on a brand new, poetry-based iteration of my Creative Drive podcast. Oh how much fun would it be!

https://www.npr.org/2019/06/29/737073800/podcasts-are-providing-a-new-way-into-poetry

3. And this New Yorker article just turns me into a pendulum of love and hate for Instagram. I’m conflicted and I’m afraid I don’t know if IG is doing poetry good or if it even matters. Social media makes me fairly existential, if you haven’t noticed…

https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/yrsa-daley-ward-breaks-out-of-the-instapoetry-pack-with-her-memoir-the-terrible

4. Late into Wednesday night, I had the 90s classic “Barely Breathing” on repeat and still going strong. I wondered what had been of Duncan Sheik outside of Spring Awakening. He always struck me as an incredible talent, but on a whim, I went down the youtube rabbit hole and found this performance, which really highlights his work as a songwriter of the highest caliber. Hope you enjoy as much as I did.

5. Lastly, I found this story illuminating on what’s happening to our neighbors in Gillette. About six hundred employees went in to work Monday morning and were sent home. I’ve been pondering this the entire week and I hope we can come together as a state-wide community and help any way we can. 

https://www.wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/meltdown-started-coal-bankruptcy-dramatically-unfolds?fbclid=IwAR2hF_srkH3_Ab13EQoQurJknnTAaaJNe2XX7KRfdjCqUprh5LGbe1XrySQ#stream/0

Hope to stay up and work on something. I’ll keep you posted!

j

My short podcast reaching its final form!

Hello Creatives,

My schedule is still busy but I’m starting to find my groove. I started recording this version of my short podcast a few weeks ago but I figured it’s time I get it on the blog! It’s taken some time to find what works, but this will be a great experiment to pursue. the ingredients were there: My desire to document and share my creative mistakes, the travails of a working class person, the time management or lack-there-of, the search for creative discipline. It sounds awesome but it’s not quite there yet. I am incredibly hopeful I can continue to learn and grow thanks to this creative exercise.

The show is CREATIVE DRIVE, a short pod recorded in my car during my commute to and from work. It’s brief, lo-fi, and an honest commentary about how to stay creatively fulfilled. We working class creatives find time, no matter what. So here we go!

Make art, make haste.

-Jaime Alejandro

Listen to Creative Drive on Anchor!

creativedrivetrack (2)
Temporary artwork until I can polish the perfect design!

No outline today. Progress!

There’s been very little activity this week, but what I did put together is documented on the ramblings at Addendum.

I’m trying to be less precious about every little recording I make. Every word I write. It’s less of a problem for me when I’m writing, but the process of recording audio is so dear to me that it’s been super difficult to me to get on the Anchor app every few days and just ramble. Ever since I started the Addendum recordings, my defense mechanism has been outlines and notes. It’s like my inner monologue is reminding me that if I am going to document my every little thought like an idiot, at least be organized about it. Today I made my first recordings without an outline. Progress!

Addendum is starting to feel as laid back as I originally intended it to be. So that’s pretty neat. If you wanna hear the ramblings of a creative with a dayjob, or you need a prompt about a wedding ring, check it out!

Make Art. Make haste!

-Jaime Alejandro

Inspiration from Elliott.

Been thinking a lot about Elliott Smith lately, how he has been a tremendous influence on my writings and how he has been the soundtrack to most of my teenage and adult life.  I’m working up some notes for the next Addendum segment, and found this video link. I find it so beneficial to see what the creators from other mediums are doing and how they arrange their ideas into a cohesive expression. No matter how he did it, Elliott was an incredible talent that we lost much too soon.

This performance is a great example of just how insane his playing was. Yes, he was a phenomenal songwriter, but his guitar playing was just as good. Tomorrow Tomorrow, the first track was super influential when I was writing some movies in college.

These tracks always filled me with profound sadness, and by the time the song ends, I am left with awe. This is the gold standard for me. Thank you Elliott.

Make art. Make haste.

-Jaime Alejandro