music is life, music is breath, music is us


Derek Kortepeter-“Flooded Dream”

My electronic music, like every other genre I write in, is intended to be different. I like to think that, in spite of all my influences, there is my voice somewhere in these works. A different voice. A voice that not everyone is going to like (this part I have discovered to be very true HAHA). Sometimes I get really lucky when I write music that everything just comes together. In the case of this song, things slowly but surely came together as night turned into morning. In any case, here it is.

New punk song: Derek Kortepeter “For the Fall”

This is a pop-punk song where I sing lead vox, play all guitar parts, and also play the drum parts (i.e. I do everything). Pop-punk is how I’m categorizing it as it is closer to a lighter, melodic sound of that genre over hardcore punk. The lyrics, however, are far from pop. I imagined humanity as on the brink of dystopia and ruin. In a way we are. We always are. The lyrics are a call to back away from the edge and fix the mess we’ve made.

Bright lights burning
City is turning
All I can see
Is what this is now
The faces are cracked
The jokes have run thin
Broken glass and wasted gin
There’s the blood inside us
All around us
Drowning our
Lies and fears out
Nothing could, Prepare us
For the fall
All the talk has become
Cheap, The weapons are
Free, the hope is gone
Where do we run?
So hold on
It’s going down
There’s the blood inside us
All around us
Drowning our
Lies and fears out
Nothing could, Prepare us
For the fall
Don’t hold on
Hold on
Hold on
To what we’ve become
Don’t hold on
Hold on
Hold on
To what we’ve become

RIP Throb

The rock world has lost one of its pioneers. Let the notes carry your soul Robert Young, indeed your light shines on.

The Day That Time Froze

As an American, no day stands out in my mind quite like today. The memories and footage seem to set themselves on an infinite loop.

The explosions.

The billows of smoke, fire, and ash.

The slowly weakening cries for help.

Today in 2001 the very fires of hell came to earth on what seemed to everyone like a normal day. September 11th was a day that people went to work, went to the park, played music in the street, and ultimately lived life as normal.

What soon came was the furthest from normal.

We can never wash our minds of that day, nor should we ever. The loss of life, innocent and beautiful life, was something that should have never occurred. What further compounded the tragedy was how that day became a tool for seemingly everyone’s agenda.



Conspiracy theorists.


Somewhere along the way the very people who spent their final moments deciding if they should try to escape or just wait for the end became forgotten. I saw my close childhood friends and their families (of Arab descent) get continuously treated like dirt (via strangers blaming them for an act that was not theirs). I saw people become paranoid about things that did not warrant concern. I saw the world, from governments to regular citizens, change for the worse. There was a sense of oneness for a millisecond, but that oneness was replaced by hate and rage…ignorance and brainwashing…propaganda and violations of basic human rights.

Ultimately, the significance of the lives lost became lost.

I do this every anniversary of 9/11 so that the memory of those who perished may always live on. They met their end in the most violent of ways, how we could forget is truly baffling. I wrote this song for choir and orchestra on the tenth anniversary of 9/11 to comfort the mourning, to give light to the dark, and to honor the sacred lives taken from us that day. It may not bring the child their parent back, the lover their beloved back, the sibling their brother or sister back…but it at the very least is my offering in honor of them. The pain does not heal, the tears do not dry, but hopefully it honors those who left, and those who yearn for them. If my song does anything I hope that it speaks a humble prayer filled with love for all affected by this day.

“I let the melody shine, let it cleanse my mind, I feel free now”


Album Review: U2’s “Songs of Innocence”

1410294408000-U2 Songs Of Innocence

Anyone who knows me knows that U2 has had a massive impact on my life. I wouldn’t be the man I am today without their music, their ethos, and their persona. Like my mom who introduced me to the band, I know that they have an ability to write the songs of a life. My life’s soundtrack can be filled with U2 songs, from the anguished and lost soul crying out in Achtung Baby and Pop to the dystopian fantasies of Zooropa and the soaring heights of The Unforgettable Fire.

U2 has had many incarnations, each with their distinctive musical traits. I personally have always been partial to the experimental side of U2 found in their 90’s era albums like Achtung Baby and Zooropa, but I truly love it all.

Songs of Innocence took multiple (enjoyable) listens to digest how I viewed it in the scope of U2’s sonic contributions. Even more so the liner notes unlocked the deep emotions that went into the album. This is the most overtly personal I have ever seen the band. Their lives have always been intertwined with their music, but in Songs of Innocence the band’s lives ARE the songs. Bono himself said this of the album:

“We wanted to make a very personal album. Let’s try to figure out why we wanted to be in a band, the relationships around the band, our friendships, our lovers, our family. The whole album is first journeys — first journeys geographically, spiritually, sexually. And that’s hard. But we went there.”


Whereas the other albums have multiple topics (social, personal, political etc.), the personal journey of a life well-lived is the point of Songs of Innocence. From the first time U2 heard the Ramones to Bono watching his mother die as a young boy to the band’s pilgrimage to Los Angeles (my ever so beautiful hometown)… Songs of Innocence is a moving, uplifting, jamming, bleeding, broken, and spiritual collection of songs that take you inside the head of the band.

The feel of the album, from instrumentation to overall song structure, makes Songs of Innocence seem like it is one part the direction of All That You Can’t Leave Behind, one part the direction of How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb and the rest is a new area. Gone is the massive amount of multi-faceted musical experimentation (which admittedly I dearly love). In its place is a raw, stripped-down album that makes you realize why the album took so long to make (a paradoxical statement I know…but allow me to explain).

The openness of Songs of Innocence is hard to achieve. There are no frills; it is just 4 guys in a room making music. The album does not feel heavily processed, but really like an exploration into what the guys sought out to make when they first started. While I was expecting a push further in the direction of No Line on the Horizon, this pure storytelling, anthemic rock album proves that Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr. do not need numerous layers of instruments and electronic sound samples to create art.


Will Songs of Innocence go down as groundbreaking? I doubt it. The thing is, however, this album is not intended to be a magnum opus. The folk approach of telling a story is really what Songs of Innocence is all about. This album is a reflection on life, the band’s life. It is a window into their collective minds, and as a life-long fan it is a raw honesty I can truly appreciate. This is a U2 that is saying “come into our hearts, whether or not you understand what you hear, we are going to say exactly what we want to.”

Guys, welcome back.

U2 releases new album “Songs of Innocence”



Well, didn’t expect that one. All iTunes users (including me) were surprised to find that U2’s newest album “Songs of Innocence” was released for free as a part of today’s Apple event. I usually only review up-and-coming artists here as opposed to bands I love that are well-established.

I’m making an exception here.

I just downloaded the LP and will review it here as soon as I can. In the meantime, freaking get the album!!!.

Thievery Corporation-“Treasures”

Nobody matches TC’s style and vision in the downtempo music genre. In my opinion anyway.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 826 other followers