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An Artist’s Purpose

30 August 2014 in [blog]

A proposition, for discussion and reflection:

An artist’s purpose is to create the things only they can create.

On one hand, it’s absurd to propose a normative purpose for art.  Art is many things to many people, to the point that it’s very hard to define what is and isn’t art.  (Perhaps the question “What is art?” is a mysterious question, to be dissolved into questions like “Who made this”, “What were they trying to say,” “How to audiences tend to perceive this,” and so on.)  On the other, perhaps the proposition is a way to make more concrete the nebulous idea of originality in art.

Originality is always a matter of degree; something that was literally entirely original, making no connection or reference to anything in our experience, would be incomprehensible.  Art always mixes originality – something unique which could only have been created by the specific, individual artist who made it – and tradition.

Artists chase originality, but “be original” or “do something new” are such abstract maxims that they are impossible to follow.  ”Be original” makes me think of standing in front of my amplifier, dumbfounded, trying to play a note that no one has played before.  I’d be standing there a long time, without writing any songs.

“Say something only you can say,” though, seems to give me some direction.  It spurs me to look around for something in the world or in others that only I’ve noticed, or that I have a perspective on that’s never been offered before.  It pushes me to not only express my emotions but think about them, searching for what makes them mine and not anyone else’s.  Raw feelings are universal, but the conditions that provoke them and the choices we make as a result of them are specific to each of us.

Looking for inspiration?  What chords would only you think to put together?  What fresh metaphor blew through your thoughts in the shower yesterday?  What unusual spices do you want to try in a classic dish?  What underlying colors do you see in the world that others miss?  What story are you in a unique position to tell?

It’s all been done before… until you give us your take on it.  Forget convention for a minute; why not make something only you would think to make?

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Mars Lights at Czar Bar, KC, Thursday August 28

21 August 2014 in News

UPDATED: The show has been moved to the Riot Room

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2014 August 28, Thursday – Kansas City, MO – Mars Lights at The Riot Room w/ Vehicles and  Dolls on Fire.  $5 advance, $7 day of show, 8:30 PM.

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Will You Sing For MFR’s Tenth Anniversary?

21 August 2014 in News

Links updated 21 August, originally published 3 August

On September 19th, in celebration of our 10th anniversary, we will release MR|Ten; a compilation of Mr. Furious Records artists and friends covering MFR songs.  Do you want in?

At Rob‘s (Arturo Got The Shaft, Adventure Capitalists) suggestion the final track will be a new recording of h&s’ “After the Countdown” featuring the biggest, most inter-continental punk rock choir we can muster.  Here’s where you come in; a rough mix of the track is below.  Download it, record whatever you like as an overdub – backing vocals, instruments (Rob called bass, though), synths – and send your track back to me to be incorporated into the final mix.

Email me or comment here for tech support.  This only needs to be as hardcore as you want; you could do it with an iPhone and the free GarageBand app!  Or a desktop/laptop and Audacity!  Please – If you want to be a part of this, get in touch and I will do everything I can to make it happen for you.

Rough mix (24-bit, 48 kHz .WAV file, 98 BPM except the weird break at “Listen for the countdown”) via WeTransfer: After the Countdown

MP3 for reference: 

If you want to sing, this song has a call-and-response vocal.  I’d love to have a ton of people tackle both the call (“Howie”) and response (“Scott”) sides of the ending (blue background, below).  In addition if folks want to take the “Scott” side of the first verse and choruses (gray background), that would be great, too.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention until now that I hard-panned the “Howie” vocal hard left and the “Scott” vocal hard right to help separate them for you.  You could do things like isolate one or the other using one ear of a pair of headphones to learn or sing your part, or split them into mono tracks in your DAW and mute one side.

Howie Scott
Got yourself into this
Remember there’s plenty to do
.
.
Standing up, finish one
The doorframe paints pictures of you
.
.
But after the countdown
.
A new one begins
A new one begins
.
After the countdown
.
A new one begins
A new one begins
.
And with what light we have
We’ll bring along our friends
And when the clock is over
We’ll get up and start again
I’ve never walked in darkness
.
Home, home on the range is far
Too far for driving tonight
But songs come through, snow and all
So much the better
And with what light we have
A message sent out to the end
That when our clock is over
We’ll get up and start again
I’ve never walked in silence
Listen for the countdown
Any second
Now
.
.
If I could only remember
I got myself into this
.
.
Followed a hand into your room
I had an important question
.
What should I do now?
.
.
What should I do?
.
What should I do now?
After the countdown (8x) After the countdown (7x)
After…
After the countdown
.
A new one begins
A new one begins
.
After the countdown
.
A new one begins
.
A new world begins
.
What should I do now?
.
.
What should I do?
.
What should I do now?

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