music is life, music is breath, music is us

Archive for July, 2014

Joseph Brown’s Jazz Videoverse

I was recently contacted by a guy named Joseph Brown from Encore Music Lessons who identified himself as a person passionate for music education. His particular area of focus relates to jazz and he showed me a cool resource he published on various components to jazz. The resource (called the “Videoverse”) is in essence a video compendium of performances, interviews, and other videos (as well as written analyses) pertaining to numerous performers and influencers of jazz. As a lover of jazz (as both musician and academic), I found the Videoverse to be highly thorough and well-organized. The large (and I mean LARGE) amount of videos will keep you busy for a while, but I think anyone who loves jazz or might be looking to understand the genius of jazz masters better will be encouraged by what they find. It is clear that Joseph put a great deal of effort into making this catalogue of jazz masters and it shows.

The link for the main page is:

Notable entries for the Videoverse include:

I hope you enjoy perusing the vast amount of resources available in this compendium. I think you will benefit from it.

100th Anniversary: World War 1

Today marks the 100th anniversary of WWI. My maternal great-grandfathers both fought in the trenches of this horrific war. I honor them with this.


The world is a powder keg at the moment. I’m feeling it greatly because I have friends in areas such as Palestine that are being affected by all the shit going on. Humankind’s undoing will be its own. This song is the only thing that makes sense right now. The only thing.

Catherine Wheel-“Sparks Are Gonna Fly”

If you think this song sucks, for the love of god, please get your head examined.

Derek Kortepeter-“Waves”

Available as a bonus track on my EP this remains one of my best songs. My composition of the backing instruments really are a song on their own. Add my wave-like guitar tones and you get something really special.

On the unknown, the satisfied and dissatisfied, and the truth of the artist


So…I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. I did, after all, recently close the chapter on my academic training at UCLA (which in all respects was a major milestone). I think a lot now, probably more than ever, about the trajectory I want my life to go in. I have for many years seen my dreams develop and evolve, something that I doubt will cease anytime soon.

The funny thing is, in many ways, what I desire I already do.

And yet I don’t.

(Let me explain).

What I want to do with my life is what I am already doing now: making music, writing about music, interviewing bands and the like. The problem is, I am never satisfied. I always want my art to expand, my writing to reach greater heights, and much more. I take pride in what I have done, revisit it often, but then think of what I can do to better such creations and accomplishments.

I am not complaining here, it is simply that I am restless. I am seeking a higher artistic purpose/vision/inspiration (at least that is what I keep telling myself). I’d be lying if I said I didn’t also want success as well. I have selfish interests that I think will validate me as a human being (trust me; any artist that says they don’t have this is lying to you).


But what is success measured by? Wealth? Fame? Awards? What I seek is, inevitably, unknown. I know people that are totally content in their lives, but I am not one of those people. In this time after college in which I am truly seeking my destiny, I find a lot of roadblocks. Pursuing what you love is painful, but life is indeed made up of a great deal of pain…is it not? Any worthy pursuit is filled with treacherous battles that test your will to survive, and indeed I know that while I have faced my fair share of obstacles, many more await me.

I used to be an individual that believed he could control circumstances with various actions. It was only with my acceptance that the future is totally uncertain that I was, to a degree, set free from my own hang-ups about life (there are plenty more to be found however). What I have to understand as I continue to plunge into the rest of my life is that I will always be in a state of artistic satisfaction and dissatisfaction. My life is my art, my music, my writing and there is nothing that can change that. But whether I wake up one day nominated for a GRAMMY or wake up 10 years from now in the same place that I started…I will never stop trying to create. That, my friends, is what makes me an artist.


So I look with great apprehension to my future, but nevertheless continue to strive for only the very best from myself. I will crash and burn more times than I will succeed, but that is alright with me. I know who I am, and yet I am still discovering more.

Thanks for reading this, come along for my voyage and let us see where I land. Cheers.


“One recognizes one’s course by discovering the paths that stray from it.”-Albert Camus


RIP Tommy Ramone

Punk has lost a great one. See ya on the other side Tommy.