Friday, July 14, 2017

Where i belong

Since we're being honest, I'll just say it like it is: I'm a family man who took 35 years to get around to marriage, 38 years to get around to having a kid, and that's my world now. I'm confident in the fact that this is what my life is now, and that my duties are clear. Therefore when I see people talking about "what dating is like nowadays" or "who might you be matched to" or anything, I can just ignore it because it doesn't apply. I wasn't any good at dating when I could, and I'm frankly glad to be done with it. So something like this is a funny story to add to my collection, but that's all. It doesn't make me uncomfortable because I know, and am, exactly where I belong.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Music 104B Final Project

David Coutant
12 October 2016
The Echo (Los Angeles)
Poster Children / State to State / Batwings Catwings

Instrumentation used: two guitars, bass, drums (supplemented with drum machine) and vocals.
The first band, Batwings Catwings played simple 4/4 and 6/8 rhythms with a lot of barre chords and power. The guitars both played lead, sometimes taking turns doing solos, sometimes playing dual leads a la the Allman Brothers Band. Guitarists Ray Santillan III and Jeffrey Byron play Rickenbacker and Fender guitars with a distorted rock sound. Bassist Cindy Sukrattanawong played a Precision Bass, and she had a solid, clean sound. Drummer Clay Johnson, who formed the band in 2009, plays a standard acoustic kit of probably 7 pieces. The music was high-energy and precise. The vocals of lead singer Dana Poblete were less precise, but she sounded good for the music.
The second band of the night was local group State to State. They opened with a swirly, ambient sound that became the song Sad Robot. Singer Shea Stratton has an intensity that reminds me of Chris Reed of Red Lorry Yellow Lorry and a vocal tone that sometimes channels a Thom Yorke falsetto, other times a Bono wail, and a Rufus Wainwright vibrato and candor. Andrew Orvis’s guitar weaves a web of texture on the drive of Stratton’s rhythms. Patrick Morgan holds it down on the bass. Drummer Feudor Lokshin synchs to a drum machine, giving the music a solid beat. The band’s sound ranges from ambient and smooth to heavy and complex. Other titles included “My Little Phony” and “Pins and Needles” from their Motives EP, as well as the peppy “Jackrabbit” that was “about tripping on acid,” Stratton announced. The 6/8-time “Let Go” (also from the Motives EP) uses the line, “Buy the ticket, take the ride,” recalling Hunter Thompson’s famed Vegas adventure.
Poster Children are an indie, DIY, progressive punk group out of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois (whose 12 Inch Records label released Hum’s first album). Formed in 1987 by Rick Valentin of Penguin Dust, the band consists of Rick (guitar and lead vocals), Rose Marshack (bass guitar and backing vocals), Rick’s brother Jim Valentin (guitar) and Matt Friscia (drums).
The band is on their “25 or 6 Year Tour” (reminiscent of Chicago’s “25 or 6 to 4”) celebrating 25 years since the release of their second album, Daisychain Reaction, which was recorded in 1990 (with producer/”engineer” Steve Albini) but not released until the following year (on the Frank Sinatra-founded Reprise label), thus the ambiguity in the anniversary.
The group played nearly 20 songs from their catalog, with a lot of favorites from Daisychain Reaction (1991), including “Love,” with its repeated ascending major scale and “B-section” coda, “Space Gun,” which is a contrasting verse-chorus with a calm 15-measure verse with a half-time beat (with snare on the 2) and heavy, loud 11-measure chorus, and “Want It,” with its melody that follows the octave note progression being played by the guitars, and the chorus which begins with a breakdown to just drums and muffled guitar behind the vocal. “Where We Live” begins with clean guitar strumming a folky rhythm in 4/4, and drums playing on tom toms, with Rick’s low-energy voice in the lower octave droning the verse. The chorus picks up to loud guitars and backbeat, while the vocal retains its low drone. Other songs from Daisychain Reaction were “If You See Kay” and “Water.” They played “Sick Of It All” from the Just Like You EP (1994), with its clean, harmonizing guitar intro that builds to a break which gives way to a complex distorted guitar riff of 14-beat measures. They treated us to favorites from Tool of the Man (1993) and Junior Citizen (1995), such as “Clock Street,” “New Boyfriend,” and "He's My Star," a ballad about David Hasselhoff. “Revolution Year Zero” (also from Junior Citizen) is a great one to get the crowd going. “Let’s get lost in the city tonight, drop everything & go for a ride.”
Rick and Jim often use a “wall of guitar” sound along the lines of Chevelle (but without the drop-tune to C#), distorted and strummed with full force. Rick plays a Telecaster Deluxe through a Hi-Watt 4/12 half-stack, and Jim plays a lefty Strat through Orange amplification.
Rose, a practitioner of the Brazilian martial art of Capoeira Angola, is very active on stage. She played a Travis Bean bass with an Ampeg rig with an 8/10 cabinet. When she’s not contributing the marvelous harmonies such as on “He’s My Star” or “Drug I Need” she’s twisting and jumping in an acrobatic display, engaging all areas of the stage.
The other half of the rhythm section, Matt Friscia, who has been in the band for 10 years, is the 7th drummer the band has had in 8 albums. Matt tried to join the band after Howie Kantoff (#6), about 15 years ago, but he was still in high school and the band didn’t want to derail his studies.
The energy was incredible, the crowd was excited but subdued, and the band sounded flawless. It was my third time seeing the group and I would definitely go out and see them again.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Dairy Pure

I was driving to my guitar lesson on Thursday. At one point I found myself behind an SUV-type vehicle and I noticed that the license plate frame said "Alta Dena" on the top. Now, I don't know where your local milk comes from, but we see a lot from the Alta Dena Dairy, and the way it was written on this license plate frame looked like it does on the milk carton. I started to ask myself, "who would have a milk license plate frame on their car? I mean, usually you see a dealer frame, or something custom/personalized. Who would put a custom milk frame on their plate?" It didn't look cheap, either. It was a nice, shiny chrome-looking thing. I got as close as I could to read what it said at the bottom of the frame. Sure enough, it said "Dairy Pure," confirming my suspicion that it was indeed related to the Alta Dena Dairy. So my question was renewed; "who would go out and get a milk license plate frame and replace whatever they had with this one? Who is that into milk?" Then I realized, it's probably someone with an interest in the company. Maybe a stockholder, maybe a family member or someone who stood to inherit the company at some point. Then I said to myself, "come to think of it, this guy does seem like a dairy heir."

Friday, November 18, 2016

Music and Video Links

Open Mics 
Responsibility, Sound at Eddie's Attic (Atlanta)
Not 4 Me at Eddie's Attic
Beans, Signal at Eddie's Attic
Minor Hero at Fenix 54 (Whittier)
Fairy Tale (1/2) at Fenix 54

Bridge Over Troubled Water cover
Hallelujah cover sample harmonies
God Is With Us by Delilah Coutant

Corduroy Lifejacket (2012)
Munro - Guitar/Voc1, Ivan X - Bass/Voc2, Jeromy Furguiele - Drums
I Imagine So
Is It My Body cover
Karma Police cover
Papaya (I'll Thank You)
See? Kay Won!
Full show

Orange Cones (2008-2011)
Munro - Guitar/Voc1, Jaysson Black - Bass/Voc2, David Martinez - Drums
Girl Singer live
Allen H rehearsal
Not 4 Me rehearsal
Superfluous 4
Girl Singer
Papaya (I'll Thank You)
I Can't Take You
cK1 2008 rehearsal
I'll Come Running
It Comes and Goes
Hardcore Thumb rehearsal
Not 4 Me rehearsal
Stab Me rehearsal

O. Cones Live @ Therapak (2008)
Allen H
Raise Those Daisies
I Imagine So

O. Cones Masterpieces of Entertainment (2008)
Allen H
I Imagine So
Hardcore Thumb
Wanna Be
Big Me cover
Superfluous alternate take

Chocolate Zulu (2003-2005)
Munro - Guitar/Voc1, Jaysson Black - Bass, David Rubenhold - Drum/Voc2
Get On Without
Bring More
Furry Vaughan
Miles of Regis
Luckiest Man Alive
Garden in my Mind
Ticket Man


Spent Shells (2016)
Munro - Guitar/Voc1, Evad Fromme - Bass/Voc2, Jeromy Furguiele - Drums
King of the Road
Mamas / Cowboys
Rhinestone Cowboy
The Gambler

Famous Blue Raincoat chipmunk version

David and David - Parking Lot (2010)

Code Blue cover (2004?)

Lunchtime Jam (2010)

"The Garage" Podcast 9/12/2011 
Allen H
Freaky Blue

Rancho Santa Gertrudes 
Battle of the Books 2014
3 Laws
Battle of the Books 2013
Battle of the Books 2012

Life Like Orange Cones (2001)
Late Monday full demo

How-To Videos 
Just a Habit
Stolen Dance
Wait Wait Wait

Random Covers 
All rights reserved by their respective owners
Quicksand (guitar - "live" key)
Quicksand (ukulele)
Quicksand (piano)
The Cave
Sunshine of My Life
Tired of Being Alone
Lady Midnight
Wait Wait Wait
Shadow of the Day
She's Leaving Home
I'll Follow You Into the Dark
Ho Hey
Little Talks
It's Time
Too Close
Little Black Submarines
In My Life

13 Knots (2012)
Is It My Body? cover
Promotional video

Random Demos 
Stab Me video
Good Idea
Cecilia Helena Payne
Up From Here Pt1
Up From Here Pt2
Fairy Tale
When You Call
Untitled instrumental original - a series of adjectives
Kind of Song
Never Good Enough
Cut a Hole
Random Song
Sea Life Los Angeles
Hey You
Shaving Razor
Stab Me
Minor Hero
The Presidents Song

Car Songs 
Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)
Here Comes Santa Claus
Blue Christmas
Cecilia Helena Payne
Easy Valley 2011

Irreplaceable Specimen 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

I guess I'll just eat ants

I remember as a child having a particularly pathetic moment when I was feeling really down on myself. I felt like nobody cared. I ate ants. I don't remember why but I was feeling miserable and I felt that somehow eating ants was what I deserved, and that if I deserved better than that then someone would stop me. I think I was alone, so nobody would have seen. But that, just being left alone so much, made me feel neglected.
I don't know what was happening or who would have been around who might have been responsible for me. I don't remember why I was eating anything. I just remember this really pathetic feeling. Feeling sorry for myself. The bitter taste of the ants. Then I felt sorry for the ants.
I don't ever want my daughter to feel that way. It makes me really sad thinking that she ever might. I know I wasn't terribly mistreated and abused. My childhood - my life - was never that bad. But still, the way I felt, I hate to think I could allow my cherished and beloved child to ever feel that way. I know that sometimes we have to hit bottom to know where it is, and to realize how far above it we usually are. But I hope she doesn't feel so worthless and unwanted as I felt in that moment while she's still a child. I hope she can make it another 5 years before she experiences the utter misery that is being a teenage girl. I don't know how old I was when I ate ants, but I wouldn't have been more than 10. Anyway, something to focus on, to try to make sure she doesn't have an experience like this.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Corporate Stooge.

I'm not cut out for this lifestyle of meetings and corporate obedience. I'm starting to feel that my days are numbered. I'd better line up something good to take on the burden of paying the bills. Even if I try, I don't know how much longer I'll last in this business of streamlined marketing and structured everything, with a total lack of independent style.
I keep being requested to attend these meetings and I keep missing them. I'm not used to having the expectation put on me to be somewhere at a specific minute for a non-specific amount of time to listen to people say, "Do you think...?" "Yes, I think..." "And what about...?" "That's a good question, we'll get Bob on the next call."
Let's say the meeting is at 1. I'll be aware of it at 11:30, then I'll go to lunch, then I get back at 1:40 to realize that I completely spaced it. Even if I only have 5 minutes to wait, I'll get distracted by whatever I'm filling my time with, and I'll realize 15 minutes later that I'm 10 minutes late for the call. I don't like it! I don't know what I want instead, but this doesn't feel like it.
Today the conference call is at 7:30 am. Now, I don't get into the office until about 9, but the meeting hosts are on the east coast, so the meeting is ridiculously early for us westerners. So I have to call in from home, in my robe, with my first cup of coffee. I'm taking notes on a sheet of printer paper with a golf pencil. I've got 3 or 4 minutes to go, and I'm sure I'll lose track of time and be late. I've been thinking for the past 14 years that "this corporate thing isn't so bad. It's not like in the movies and whatnot." Well that's because we weren't a typical corporation, as portrayed in the movies and whatnot. But now it's getting that way. I'm starting to feel really stifled, unappreciated and out of place.
Well, I have to dial in now.
Okay, well that's over. 20 minutes later and I was able to tell them, "yes, I'm a graphic designer. Yes, I know how to stretch one end of a vector shape without distorting the curves at the other end." Funny how much doubt some people have that other people understand anything. It's okay, better safe than sorry.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

In Death - The game you're not supposed to think of

Have you ever heard of this guy moot? I hadn't. And already I've lost the game. There, did it again.

I've always thought (and endlessly written and blogged about it) that my writing style sucks. I don't like the level from within myself that I write. Much too deep. I feel like I don't know enough about what the rest of the world thinks about to connect with them on a shared level; my stuff always comes from deep within my psyche, so much so that I'm afraid people won't relate.

I'll tell you this, though, and it's from way deep: I've addressed previously how I am glad fame never found me. On the other hand, I've lived much of my life with the intent that someday people will care what I did. For this I'm counting on death to help me out. I have definitely noticed that death makes a person more interesting to the remaining living. I'm hoping that, when I'm dead, all the things I've written, played, recorded or performed will become interesting. And there's so much. I just hope somebody knows where to find it. I don't think my wife will care to make everything I've done public, but I hope somebody will care to. She'd be the one to talk to. She's got my old cassettes, videos, passwords to my sites, etc. Tell her I asked you to come get it. I'll get some papers drawn up.

I realize that none of my stuff is quite good enough to make it on its own, but I'm counting on the interest level of my daughter's fans and the morbid fascination people have with the dead to boost the interest factor. Then there's the sheer volume of stuff. I think there's something at least noteworthy if not admirable about someone who loved his art so much that he kept at it in spite of the lack of outside interest/recognition.

I can understand that some of my friends might feel slighted by my implication that I don't have any fans. Please don't take it like that. I don't think of you as fans BECAUSE I think of you as friends. You can be both, and I guess I discount you as a fan because of my own insecurities. I appreciate your support. I guess I don't know what makes a fan. I guess I feel like my friends support me because they're my friends, not because my shit is any good. Also, I don't know what having to come to terms with the fact that people like me because of my talent as a writer and/or performer would do to my personality. I'm really afraid that I would become an asshole. Having a bunch of fans would almost force me to accept that, at least in some ways, I AM better than you/others, and I'm not excited about getting to that place.

In closing (maybe? Stream-of-consciousness going on here) understand that what I really want in death is for anyone who liked anything I did to take it and use it. Cover it, adapt it, whatever, give me posthumous credit and give the royalties to my family.