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Archive for November, 2014

Songs from the Derek Kortepeter “Stochastic” LP: “Veritas/Burning Embers”

These are the two opening tracks on my debut LP “Stochastic.” The tone for the record is set with the sounds heard here, a flurry of the ethereal and the majestic. If you like what you hear, support the album by buying it here or on iTunes!

Happy Punksgiving

“Hey Listen, take a look around and tell me
What’s your story? What’s your problem?
in your head tangled inside are distorted images
images telling you what it should be instead of what is

Think about all that you have
Not about what you can’t get
Think about all that you have
Not about what you can’t get

Quick question: Don’t you realize how worse off you could be living?
or not living at all
you’re lucky and you should see how many good things come your way
if you don’t you won’t make life a fun and pleasant stay

Think about all that you have
Not about what you can’t get
Think about all that you have
Not about what you can’t get

If you don’t feel good enough about life you should be shot
I’ve got better things to do than worry about what is not
I’ve got so many things to do yeah places to go yeah people to meet
I got so many things to see yeah places to go and things to be
I’ve got so many things to see yeah places to go yeah people to meet
I got so many things to see yeah places to go and things to be

Think about all that you have
Not about what you can’t get
Think about all that you have
Not about what you can’t get”

Mike Brown

You will not be forgotten Mike, even though justice forgot you. I am not surprised at this verdict, yet I still am infuriated. My rage is meaningless without action though. Let your soul rest dear boy, this isn’t over. We have learned nothing in this country. Nothing. This WILL change.

“And I settled it, it was close as one inch and I saw everything,
all men is good and all men is evil, hope to forget the chime,
I laid back for generous efforts,
good will and bold evil to lurch back in time,
then can reality settle it all forever now,
I saw the rebellion challenge it,
it was something wrong and then I marched towards the authority
and I say it never exists in here,
is there anyone listening to this beautiful tragedy,
is there anyone watching this wonderful nightmare,
is there anyone listening to this beautiful tragedy,
is there anyone watching this wonderful nightmare,
don’t care much, you’d rather kill”

Saying goodbye: A review of Pink Floyd’s “The Endless River”


Pink Floyd. What more do you really need to say other than that? This is the band that re-invented the way that we view music as an artform and a statement of the imagination. Pink Floyd challenged musicians to say more than they already were and audiences to open their hearts and minds to something totally beyond words. You can talk on and on about the landmark albums, the band infighting (i.e. the battle between David Gilmour and Roger Waters), the brilliance, and the tragedy…

But this would only scratch the surface.

So here we are…the final album. The Endless River is not what people expected to hear I think, at least based on the reviews. Consider the following:

“After listening on Spotify, I wanted my time, if not the pennies destined for the band’s coffers, back.”-The Los Angeles Times

“It would take a Barrett-load of drugs to make this sound remotely interesting, though I wouldn’t advise that.”-The Telegraph

“Too often “familiar” curdles into “lazy.”-Pitchfork Media

Ouch, I mean, OUCH. I wonder what album these reviewers were listening to that caused them to come up with such harsh words? The reality is The Endless River is an echo of the past, an introspective look into the musical world Pink Floyd created. It is entirely instrumental with the exception of some spoken word and choral effects, as well as the last track “Louder than Words” which hearkens back very much to the sounds and vocals we so dearly loved on Dark Side of the Moon. People expecting anthems like “Time,” “Shine on You Crazy Diamond,” or “Brain Damage/Eclipse” should erase their pre-conceptions. This is an exploration, not an album made for top 20 hits on the Billboard charts. Simply put, this record is intended as a goodbye, in many ways as well as a dedication to late keyboardist Richard Wright.

thDavid Gilmour himself explained that The Endless River was a “swan song” for Wright, which should explain to the confused listener expecting anthems why none exist here. This record is not FOR us, it is for the band. They are saying goodbye to their bandmate, are closing the book on an astonishing career, and allowing us a glimpse inside. The songs are bits and pieces collected from the various epochs (especially the 1993 and 1994 Division Bell sessions), and twist and turn to the cries of Gilmour’s guitar (easily some of his most expressive playing), the echoes of Wright’s keys (from recordings made before his death), the ambient tones of a plethora of classical, electronic, and jazz instruments and so much more.

This record takes you on a journey that allows your spirit to soar, weep, dream, believe, and think. David Gilmour himself stated that “Unapologetically, this is for the generation that wants to put its headphones on, lie in a beanbag, or whatever, and get off on a piece of music for an extended period of time. You could say it’s not for the iTunes, downloading-individual-tracks generation.” You are brought to so many different levels of emotion and thought; you just have to embrace it.


It is perhaps easier for me to embrace this record for what it is as I create ambient/experimental instrumental music that features all sorts of sounds (often with my guitar wailing in the background). This is in many ways the album that I, as a guitarist and composer so heavily influenced by Pink Floyd and David Gilmour, always wanted from this band. The record feels like the epilogue of an epic novel, and in many ways that is what it is. There is nothing left to be said, Pink Floyd has changed and created music in such a way that it will ripple through the fabric of time long after we all leave this earth. I don’t always have a spiritual feeling with music, but sometimes music can grab my soul and envelop it in something mysterious. The Endless River does this for me.

You don’t have to agree with me, but just give this album a chance if you have not already. The record is truly an exploration into what we perceive an album to be, and fittingly closes the end of the story. Pink Floyd can now, after all the love and tears, say goodbye. I will conclude this review with the lyrics from “Louder than Words,” because as it ends The Endless River, it just makes sense to do the same with my thoughts on the record. The message in these words is very much what this record stands for symbolically:

It’s louder than words
This thing that we do
Louder than words
The way it unfurls
It’s louder than words
The sum of our parts
The beat of our hearts
Is louder than words
Louder than words

Louder than words
This thing they call soul
Is there with a pulse
Louder than words
Louder than words

Goodbye friends, goodbye indeed.



The Bouncing Souls – “Lean On Sheena”

One of the best songs these guys ever did. Of course, everything these punk legends do is amazing.

I Don’t Want a Masterpiece


I have been delving into my debut album Stochastic quite a bit lately. Additionally, the reviews for my album have been (honestly to my surprise since I am way out of the mainstream) extremely positive. I feel great about the success I’m having with this, but it has me thinking, what if somewhere down the line I create an album that is declared my “defining” work? You know the kind of work that everybody says is the “pinnacle” of an artist’s portfolio/discography etc.?

This happens all the time, and has happened to many artists (in numerous mediums) that I love. Pink Floyd has Dark Side of the Moon, Miles Davis has Kind of Blue, Steve Vai has Passion and Warfare and so on. I don’t think people realize that by anointing works as a “magnum opus” or a “true masterpiece” that they are indirectly putting the artist into a panic. The artists I mentioned previously went on to create earth-shattering works after the works mentioned (Pink Floyd created Wish You Were Here, Miles Davis did Bitches Brew and On the Corner, and Steve Vai has Fire Garden and Real Illusions: Reflections). In spite of these facts, no matter what the artist does that is new or fresh, their work will always be compared against the past. One of my favorite authors, the late David Foster Wallace, always struggled to create a book that would live up to the high expectations that critical praise of Infinite Jest created.

I’m not saying critics shouldn’t give positive reviews (well…unless it is Iggy Azalea or f*ck knows who else is destroying music), but maybe there should be some sort of delineation of calling something a “masterpiece.” You can just put an “a” in front of the word “masterpiece,” and it will show that the artist can still have the door wide open for their creative pursuits. I do not want to ever create my defining work. I don’t want a masterpiece. I simply want to write music that makes sense for the situation, for my creative sensibilities or whatever is necessary. I always want the ability to push my boundaries, regress to my previous efforts, or whatever I need to do to create the music I want to create. I do not want to peak in my career, although if I ever do have monetary success I suppose this will be inevitable.

I don’t want to sound like a pretentious twat with this post, I just simply want to point out that, as an artist, I need this creative thing to be forever (or…as long as my natural life allows). I think all creative people feel the same. We want works that we are proud of, but don’t want to be restricted to the comparisons that others set for us. I suppose that, in the end, it is all mental and depends on you taking the words of people in stride.

Really in the end, as an artist, your opinion is the most valuable one.

Derek Kortepeter – Stochastic

Another amazing review of my LP, this time by Aaron at Keeps Me Alive! Thanks bud!


The Preamble:

Every once in a while, we like to request submissions of original music to the KMA. If you’ve made a track, an album, whatever, send it to us and we’ll review it! It works out well for all of us – we get to hear new music, and you get your music heard, and a page link you can send to your friends and use for promotion! Win win win!

The other day, I learned that Mike’s friend Derek has made an album. Did I wanna hear it? Absolutely YES! It arrived here in the KMA offices and I was ready to give ‘er!

There’s a web page that explains the thinking behind the record. I did not read any of it BEFORE playing the album – I wanted a pure listening experience. But I did go and read the whole thing AFTER hearing the record! And it…

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