Solo Cory Show Tomorrow, Cory's Special Music News

Hey Nerds! It’s been a while since I’ve played solo, and I’m going to break the seal this Wednesday, July 30th at Box Awesome. It’ll be a fun time, for sure. I mean it! There will be new songs, instead of the same old BS you usually hear from me. So, new BS I guess.

If you have any questions, or are nervous about purchasing alcohol, please contact me. I hope to see you there!

Cory Kibler

Because of my well-received and critically-acclaimed graduation and subsequent job search, my music projects have been on the back burner. Ideally, I would have loved to release another full-length solo record in the first half of 2008, but… I didn’t. Not that people are gathering and clamoring in front of my house, but it’s good to be productive. And the process of making a “solo” record is fun. But rest assured I’m going to get right on it once I get a job secured, and I’ll even be recording it myself! REALLY!

However, this Wednesday, July 30th at Box Awesome, I’m playing a solo show with SKIRT from Minneapolis and a Lincoln band called Harmonic Dissidents. I haven’t played a solo show in a while, so I’m excited; I’ll be able to present at least 2 or 3 new songs, possibly 4. I would love to have half a set of brand new songs. It is the late show, so, 9 or 9:30.

The Sleepover; we lost our drummer Brock in a warehouse explosion*, so for the past few months, we’ve been trying to scare up a new drummer. We did have Howie fill in for us in Omaha at The Slowdown which was gobs of fun, and we had the pleasure of playing with The Botticellis and Before The Toast And Tea. But since then, it’s been fairly quiet. We haven’t played any other shows, but we have practiced a few times with one dude who seems to catch on very quickly. He’s also a nice dude, and has an air-conditioned basement. We think it’ll probably work out with him, but we’ll know for sure after the next couple of practices. It’s been kind of cruddy because we can’t really implement any new songs right now, because we’ve got to teach all of the current songs to the new drummer. But that’s no one’s fault, of course. And with any luck, we’ll start recording relatively soon, maybe with Howie on drums and/or recording?

Speaking of the Botticellis, here’s what I’ve been listening to:

The Botticellis, “Old Home Movies”. A shiny, dreamy, 60’s surf-pop record with gorgeous melodies. If you like pretty songs, you should listen to this record.

The Hold Steady, “Stay Positive”. I expected to absolutely love this record right away, so when I didn’t absolutely love it right away, I was a little bit bummed. BUT THEN, the same thing happened as when I bought “Boys and Girls in America”. I just instinctively wanted to keep listening to it because it was a fun record. AND THEN, I loved it. And I love it. Howie and I talked about how Nada Surf records are like this as well. You buy the record and upon first listen, you think, “Man, this is just your typical Nada Surf.” And then after a few more listens, you realize that it’s awesome. “Stay Positive” is awesome. “GET HAMMERED!” YEAH! GET HAMMERED! And I mean that sincerely. “Double whiskey, Coke (no ice)!”

Vampire Weekend, “Vampire Weekend”. I’ve been in love with this record for months now, so I’ll keep it short; nothing completely groundbreaking, but this is a refreshing, perfect pop record. If you like great, concise pop records with absolutely no filler, get this record. DO IT.

Darth Crabs per Cookies, “Narrow Stairs”. I bought this record and liked it all right on the first couple of listens, and now I like it way more. Not as good as “Plans,” I don’t think, but I am going to keep listening before I make any rash judgment calls.

No Age, “Weirdo Rippers”. Man, if there’s a record that was hard for me to get into, it’s this one. It’s VERY lo-fi and raw, noisy, and the songs have weird structures. Not a pop record, really. It has pop elements, but if you played this record for your family at Thanksgiving, they might become confused/annoyed/upset/angry/insecure. It’s a strange, strange record. I’ve heard that their newer record, “Nouns,” is more accessible.

I WANT to buy The Cool Kids’ “Bake Sale EP,” but I can’t find it anywhere.

Quick Summer Reading List: “The Great Gatsby,” Fitzgerald; “A Confederacy of Dunces,” Toole; “The Hobbit,” Tolkien; “The Subterraneans,” Kerouac. Google them!

Love, Cory Alan


Why Would You Lie About Anything At All?

The other day Cory and I had an email discussion about Vampire Weekend, and one friend’s (KM) criticism of the band. Cory insisted that I buy the record a few weeks ago, promising to reimburse me if I didn’t end up liking it. He wins.

From: Howie@supernerdy.informationsuperhighway/AOL
Subject: Why would you lie about anything at all?

I’m internalizing Vampire Weekend, and liking it. I love that they start changing it up after the first four tunes; I like tracks 5-9 way better! “M79,” “Bryn,” and “I Stand Corrected” are my favs. -h

To: Howie@supernerdy.informationsuperhighway/AOL
Subject: RE: Why would you lie about anything at all?


I just think that every single song on “Vampire Weekend” is just so solid of a pop song. My initial favorites were the first 4 or 5 songs on the CD, because that’s what I’d hear first when I listened to it… “Mansard Roof” and “Oxford Comma” are SUCH GOOD ways to start off a record. “A-Punk” and “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” just continue the pop-assault. But then I started loving the sweet baby bejesus out of “I Stand Corrected” and “M79.” Every song is different enough to make the record varied and interesting, but similar enough to make it a cohesive, complete thought of a record.

(Side note: I hung out with my friend KM recently, and she said she hated the record, and she had two reasons for hating it. I think her reasons are bad reasons, but I didn’t tell her so. I’m not going to get into that discussion unless you want me to, but I’d love to hear what you think.)


From: Howie@supernerdy.informationsuperhighway/AOL
Subject: Why would you lie about anything at all?

My feelings on Vampire Weekend are pretty solid, so I think I can discuss KM’s criticisms without it ruining the record for me! :-)

To: Howie@supernerdy.informationsuperhighway/AOL
Subject: RE: Why would you lie about anything at all?

Okay: KM had two criticisms. The first was that Vampire Weekend is completely ripping off Paul Simon. The second is that they are a bunch of privileged trust-fund kids from Brooklyn who are presumptuously appropriating African pop-music for their own purpose, and bastardizing it in the process. I think these criticisms actually help negate each other, but anyway, here’s what I think:

Having heard “Graceland” as well as other Paul Simon stuff, I don’t think VW sound enough like Simon to call “BS.” I can see some similarities, but not enough to take any issue whatsoever. But, let’s say that one thought that VW was ripping off Simon. My response is: who cares? They’re clearly not taking chord progressions/lyrical ideas from him, so it’s not outright plagiarism. And, if you want to hate on every band that sounds really similar to another band, well, you’ll have to hate on every single band in the world (except for maybe Buckethead or someone). Every band I’ve been in or liked or seen live or whatever has sounded similar to some other band that came before it. That’s just how music works.

As for the second criticism about them being white kids from Brooklyn who’ve appropriated Afro-pop: well, it’d be one thing if they were mocking it, or trying to pass their music off as *authentic” Afro-pop. But I don’t think they are, and I think it would be just about impossible to prove that they were. Also, Paul Simon is a white kid from Brooklyn; what made it okay for HIM to do it? The fact that he did it first? I don’t think so. If VW is guilty of it, so is Simon. So I don’t think you’re allowed to call out VW on it without calling out Simon on the same thing. But as it stands, I don’t think it’s an issue that they’re influenced by Afro-pop. If it is an issue, there are some cruddy consequences: if one did think it was uncool for one culture to appropriate and interpret another culture’s music, you and I aren’t morally allowed to play rock/blues music any more, and KM’s not allowed to play tuba for a hip-hop group.

Thoughts? -Cory

From: Howie@supernerdy.informationsuperhighway/AOL
Subject: Why would you lie about anything at all?

I agree with your arguments. Specifically,

1) Ripping someone off is not *in itself* a reason to discredit an aesthetic work. As you point out, if it were, all art ever would be discredited (reduction to absurdity). There may be a legitimate criticism of a work as *merely* derivative, but I agree that Vampire Weekend avoids this.

2) KM’s criticism here is actually a special case of #1; a ripping-off with colonialist undertones. In general, the same counter-argument applies. Specifically to the colonialism, I think the burden of proof is on her to show that Vampire Weekend has actually done concrete harm to the African musicians/music they’re ripping off, and I doubt she’ll be able to make a convincing case. For example if Vampire Weekend’s success totally destroyed sales of West African music, or if they plagarized stuff, or sampled indigenous music without giving credit/royalties. I don’t think they’ve done any of those things.

No harm, no foul. -h

MR|link and Project Update

See the new MR|link in the left sidebar; it’s a rolling series of the good stuff I find around the web, powered by  I expect to add links several times per week.  I seeded it with a few things, so check that noise out.
While you’re at it, have you tried sharing MFR posts with your friends via ShareThis?  At the bottom of every post, click the ShareThis button for a wide variety of social bookmarking and emailing possibilities.  Yeahhhhhhhhhhh; share us!

I’ve also started work on re-introducing site registration, so that users like YOU can log in and post to MFR.  That’s in the right bar.  Be on the lookout.


“There is Something and not nothing” – Matt and I are listening to a new disc that includes six of his actual drum tracks, and they sound pretty great.  Lots of tweaking to do, but still, it’s fun to hear the songs so close to completion – several of them have graduated to the “mixing” stage.  We’re trying to find a time for him to come over and record the remaining four songs.

Fifty Bears in a Fight – Tim is coming down from Lincoln for three days of practice next weekend.  We hope the outcome is that we’ll feel confident playing an eight-song set, and can start scheduling SHOWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111111111111111
Five Star Crush – A practice session geared toward new songs is scheduled for Monday night.  We have three shows coming up in July/August.

“Ventura” – I didn’t tell you guys, but several weeks ago I wrote the last song to the long-anticipated (by me, at least) Sally Ride “Ventura” album, called “Green Christine.”  It was pretty weird to write the last song to a record two years after the other nine, but there you have it.  It has a pseudo-Latin vibe, and tells the story of a crazy date I had in high school.

Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche gave me an idea to re-vamp my drum set using an upright floor tom as a kick drum (with a reversed kick pedal), which I’m excited about using for “Ventura.”  I fully expect to start recording the album…  after “not nothing,” “You Have To Wear The Boots,” and anything Cory comes up with ;-) between now and then.

Ramblerambleramble…  I know, less talk, more new music.  OK, you convinced me; I’m headed upstairs to work on “not nothing” mixes.  LOVE! -h

Sacks on Music

Hat tip to Mom for sending me this short article. My comments below.

TUNES IN OUR HEAD: Oliver Sacks on the power of music to heal us and transform our lives (From AARP Magazine Jan-Feb, 2008)

“I’d always suspected we were a musical species,” says Oliver Sacks, 74, the famed neurologist and author of Awakenings, explaining how he decided to delve deeply into understanding the role of music in the brain. But his research turned up more than he’d anticipated. “I’m actually amazed at how much of the brain is recruited for musical experience,” he says. The ability to appreciate music, he believes, is a defining quality of our humanity. In his new book, Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain (Knopf), he shares his discoveries. He talked to us about music’s astounding potential.

*Music as medicine– “In music therapy for Parkinson’s disease, where my interest got kindled, the rhythm of the music is crucially important. People with Parkinson’s misjudge time grossly and have difficulty coordinating speech with their movements, so they tend to stutter or stumble, or just come to a stop. While the music lasts, it gives them precisely what they lack, which tempo and rhythm and organized time. The music doesn’t have to be familiar or particularly emotionally evocative for them. For people with alzheimer’s, it’s a different story. For these patients, the evocativeness of music is primary-the music has to recall emotions and scenes and memories they seem to have lost. Even for those with advanced Alzheimer’s who have lost language, music can grab them and calm or stimulate them. It’s enormously powerful.”

*Compensating– “Blindness seems to enhance many people’s appreciation of music. And many deaf people are able to analyze very complex experiences in the peripheral visual field, which sighted people can’t do. I think whatever sense one loses, there’s a sort of compensation. You can see in scans how, when one part of the brain isn’t getting its normal input, it won’t be wasted. It will be pressed to another use.”

*Musical hallucinations– “Imagining music can activate parts of the brain almost as vividly as listening to music. But our enormous sensitivity to music also has certain dangers, including those catchy tunes that infuriatingly repeat in our heads. These musical hallucinations evaporate eventually, but probably the best relief is listening to other music.”

*Music haters– “An emotional response to music is very strong and almost universal, yet there are a few baffling exceptions. Sigmund Freud, for example, lacked appreciation for music altogether. I actually think something was missing in Freud’s life, and perhaps his analytical communications would have been richer with music. But he’s a puzzle because, at least from the few things he says, one wonders if in fact he was suppressing an emotional response because it mystified or angered him.

*Beatlemania?– “I didn’t respond to the Beatles, probably because I was 30 when they appeared. But I think if I’d been 15, it would have been very different. It’s such a passionate and impressionable time in life. And I don’t think it’s just music. It’s the poetry, the landscapes, the paintings. I can recall novels I read at 15 or 20 in boring detail. But I don’t remember what I read at 60 nearly as well.”

*Transcendence– “I surround myself with music-Chopin, Bach-and it takes me places I can’t take myself. The last concert I went to, I watched the most amazing conductor, David Randall, who is in his 90s but as agile and energetic as someone in his 20s. He leapt up onto the podium and conducted a wonderful Mendelssohn’s Walpurgisnacht. I see a lot of sad, sick, aging people, but I also see people like Randall. He gave an amazing impromptu talk. Resilient, witty. There was just no age there.”

I’ve always remembered my high school band director Mr. Palensky wistfully reminding us that playing music requires us to use 90% of our brain, compared with about 10% for most other activities.

Sacks’ research with Parkinson’s patients is especially interesting; it points toward the idea that humans have a deep inner pulse, a beat that helps us organize time, and that Parkinson’s involves the loss of that pulse but it can be externalized and regained through music.  I like that the pulse seems to be something innate within us; we don’t have to learn it, it is already there, we just discover what’s inside.

Musical hallucinations – This reminds me of something kind of weird I’ve been experiencing lately.  When I’m listening to “…not nothing” in the car, I can often feel my throat moving.   I’m subconsciously subvocalizing to my own music!  It can be uncomfortable, especially for the parts where I sing loud, because my throat really tightens up as if I were belting out a pure tone.  (Bad technique, I’m sure…)

The Beatlemania thing seems to have less to do with music than with memory, though they’re related (as the Alzheimer’s research shows).

Transcendence.  Yes.  Ego-less-ness.  Magic.  These are The Reason I make music. -h

Ultimate Smoothies

  • 2 bananas. (They can be pretty ripe!)
  • A pour of milk. I eyeball it; 1 cups or so? Probably.
  • A squeeze of honey. 2 T. About.
  • A shot of vanilla! 1 T. Or thereabouts.
  • 1/2 lb. frozen fruit (such as mixed berries, strawberries or mango)
  • A little cinnamon, ginger, or pumpkin pie spice can add a twist

Put everything  in a blender, and blend on “pulse.”  Perfect.

I have this Ultimate Smoothie recipe as a meal, or it could be a cool snack for two people.

It took me a while to get the texture right, but with practice they’re stellar every time and you don’t even need to measure!