Random Stuff for Random Days

I’ve got a list of things not worth writing about…so you know what that means.  It’s RANDOM TIME, DAWG!!!

Sorry…I haven’t been sleeping well.

Anyway…let’s go…

  1. This first thing actually IS worth writing about.  My friend/coworker Larry is pretty sick.  He’s going to be off work for some time, and it’s kind of a bummer.  I don’t know if he’d want the full details spelled out on the Internet (even though it’s nothing too serious or embarrassing or whatever)…so I’ll leave it alone…  But anyway…get well soon, Larry.  But stay away from me until you are.
  2. Been working on the “Two Hangmen” EP.  I worked pretty hard on drum tracks this weekend, but I’m not really happy with them.  I don’t play drums too often, so it’s taking me some time to figure out what I want.  I have kind of arrived at the right IDEAS for each song, but my execution isn’t quite right.  I’m planning on doing re-takes this week, possibly into weekend.  I might just be overly critical of my own performance because I know my drumming isn’t as strong as my guitar playing, though.
  3. I found this picture online that I thought was kind of interesting.  Apparently these are the models for the “American Gothic” painting standing next to the piece.  I’ve never seen this before and thought those of you who also haven’t might find it interesting.  Sorry if you’ve seen it a dozen times already.  (As a side note…did you know that the woman is supposed to be the farmer’s spinster DAUGHTER, not his wife?  Found that out this week, myself.)

    I saw it first at http://9gag.com/gag/69178/, though I'm sure that wasn't the original source since that's not really what that blog is all about.
  4. Long time readers of the blog know that I’m often critical of Rush Limbaugh, to the point of being downright mean about it.  I feel justified in that most of the time.  However, I’m a fair man and I’ve got to say that with his recent post about Obama’s “Applause” “controversy,” Limbaugh did the right thing.  (It’s “Story #5” on this page.)  He pointed out that the (mainly online) Conservatives accusing Obama of using “Applause” signs during his speech in Arizona last week were wrong, and that the word popping up on the screen was just part of the closed captioning for the hard of hearing.  I don’t like Limbaugh, and I think he and his ilk are a MAJOR part of the problem with American politics today…but I’m man enough to say that showed class on his part.  Here’s hoping (though doubting) that he builds on that.
  5. I may miss buying new comic books on Wednesday…  A client is taking us to dinner at a REALLY nice place that night.  It’s at 7:00.  I get off work at 5:00, and usually make it home around 6:00.  I’m not sure that allows time to get to the comic store before dinner—and even if it does, the restaurant is kind of on my way home.  So I’m conflicted.  Especially because “Scarlet” #4 comes out this week…and I love that series…
  6. I’ve got a rehearsal with the Feldman Group on Thursday.  Should be fun, but I’ll probably be exhausted by then.  Big week!  🙂
  7. I’m reading Nick Hornby’s “About A Boy.”  I’d thought I’d already read it, but I couldn’t remember where the story goes after the two stories merge into one another, so I guess I didn’t finish it.  I’m about half way through, and I certainly don’t remember any of this stuff.  Not sure how that happened.  But anyway, I’m enjoying it.  It’s nice to spend time in the 90s again.
  8. I think I need a haircut.  My hair’s been weird lately.  It’s longer than it’s been in a while, and it either looks totally cool or totally horrible…so I’m thinking I’m going to cut it soon to a length where it just looks either “fine” or looks like I’m wearing a hat.  I’m tired of thinking about it.  But then again, I’m also going to have trouble scheduling the appointment, since the place I go closes so freaking early…
  9. Stuff I’ll buy soon:
    1. “Horns” by Joe Hill — It was on my Christmas List, but no one got it for me.  It’s probably not quite in paperback yet, so no one could find it.  But I’ve GOT to read this thing!
    2. Cake’s new album.  — I really like the single.  The record’s been out for about a week or so, and I just haven’t been to Best Buy.  Maybe I’ll order online from Barnes & Noble or Amazon and get the Hill book at the same time.
    3. Banjo – I’m doing a decent job of saving.  Hopefully soon!
  10. Golden Globes Wrap Up…  I don’t have a lot to say, but here are the talking points I care about.
    1. I’m not too positive on Ricky Gervais these days…  He did okay, I guess.  Seemed like he was used sparingly, and even though people have been making a big deal of some of the things he said, I don’t think he was any more edgy than anything they say on SNL every week.  In fact, I got the impression he was reigning it in.
    2. Jim Parsons’ win was pretty cool.  I liked how Kaley Cuoco freaked out when he won.  You could tell she’d been thinking, “There’s no way they’re going to have me announce a win for someone who’s on the same show as me…”  Then they did.  It was kind of a sweet moment, and I thought his speech was good.  Wryly funny, but also sincere.
    3. DeNiro’s reception of the Cecil B Demille Award was odd.  Matt Damon’s intro seemed to fall flat, with the joke of him doing impressions of the wrong characters being stale after the first one.  (And I LIKE Matt Damon…)  Then DeNiro’s speech seemed self-congratulatory and also filled with jokes that didn’t work.  It just seemed like both guys were trying to be funnier than they’re able to be.  BUT, I am glad to see DeNiro get that kind of recognition, because I think he deserves it, even though he gets typecast a lot.
    4. It was nice of all those private-school/tutor educated producers of “Glee” to thank public-school educators.

And that should do it.  If my blogging slows down a little later in the week, it’s just because I’m exhausted.

And THAT’S why the world is how it is…

I was in a Facebook discussion about Martin Scorsese movies last night.  I consented that his movies are very long and slowly paced.  But I still maintained that I liked them and they frequently have turns you don’t see coming, etc, etc…

I do genuinely like Scorsese…  I mean, the back of his baseball card is pretty impressive.  Goodfellas, Gangs of New York, Taxi Driver, Cape Fear, The Departed, Casino, Raging Bull, Shutter Island, Last Temptation of Christ…etc…  But yeah, he does seem to have graduated from Drag-Ass University sometimes.

Still…  I think I won the argument when the following comment was made in response, with absolutely no irony intended:

If I have to THINK too much, how is that ENTERTAINING?

Victory for me.  Loss for theatre, the arts, and soccer moms everywhere.

Hey ho.

The Times, They are A-Changing, Batman.

I’m watching an old episode of the “Batman” TV series.  Some of the dialogue just doesn’t hold up very well in the world in which we all now, unfortunately, live.

The Joker is featured in this episode—so it’s a good one.  In his capering, he purchased an old magazine/printing company from which to run the semi-legitimate face of his criminal operation.  The name of the publishing company he bought?  “Penthouse Publishing.”

Ouch.

To make matters worse…  Bruce Wayne visits the Joker’s office as part of an elaborate ruse to trip up the nefarious trickster.  When he arrives, the Joker tells his henchmen (who in this particular case, happen to be robots) that they are to be on “Amber Alert.”

That’s…that’s a shame.

Oh well…at least it’s more relevant than the “Batman Incorporated” storyline that’s going on in the comic books today.

It’s up to you to decide which of the indecisions you believe in this post…



Okay…so I’ve been telling people, and I even put on the blog, that I have no plans to release a solo record this year.  It’s an expensive prospect as an individual for various reasons—especially the way I do it, keeping so much in-house, under my own labor.  I just released “Out from the Light” in 2009, and I did “New Year’s Eve” in 2010 (although in fairness, the latter was about a 5 year labor of love).  It’s time for a break from that.

2011 seems like a good year to take some time to develop the Two Hangmen project and put out something under that name.  (And even though there’s really only one other person involved, even splitting it at a level that he would pay a share toward physical products and I would still maintain my “in-house” mentality would be a massive relief to me, while being a minimal expense to Dave.)  Especially with Blue Tattoo crapping out in 2010, I am very VERY motivated to release a project with my brother.  And 2011 is a good time to do that, so I’ve been looking forward to a year where I’d release a project that isn’t just about ME.

However…  (There’s ALWAYS a “however.”)

I was cataloging some demos and lyrics this week and I started a folder on my laptop for stuff that I *might* want to visit later and that *might* turn into a record.  I have about 10-15 songs in that folder.  Oops.  That’s a record.

On the plus side, I have not started recording yet.  On the minus side, I do have an album title in mind, and I have a rough composite of a front cover for it.  So maybe there’ll be some work done this year after all…BUT, I still say that you shouldn’t expect a solo Derek Brink CD in 2011.  It’ll be 2012 at the earliest, I’m sure.

But if…and let me underline, italicize, and bold that in all caps…IF I get excited about it and move more quickly than expected to bring about a 2011 release, it will begin as an Internet ONLY release through iTunes, Rhapsody, and Napster, with physical products offered only upon request.  And it’ll be more rock/pop based than the last two were.  (More like the “Things I Meant to Say” record, but less maudlin and a little more aggressive.)  And IF it happens, I’ll let you know here first.  🙂

But it’s not likely.  It’ll be in 2012.  I promise.  I think.

Seriously.  I plan on working on Two Hangmen first and foremost.  I HAD planned on focusing entirely on Blue Tattoo before that fell apart, so I’m just transferring that to Two Hangmen.  And I swear, I won’t be doing a solo record this year.

Probably.

But IF I do, do you want to know the title?  You’ll hate it…but this is it.

“Pop Art Manifesto.”

See?  It sucks.  But I like it.  So IF I want to suck, it’s my choice.

…but I probably won’t suck this year.

Really.

…?

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And for the record re: my last post…I’m not actually in love with Larry.  🙂  He’s a friend of mine and that was at a Halloween party this year.  For some reason he started downing a whole bag of Skittles in one gulp and I was watching and laughing and someone took an awkward-looking picture.  Made me laugh, so I shared…and yes, Larry’s aware that I posted that, and yes he thought it was funny too.  I’m only writing this because it seems to have even confused my BROTHER…so I thought clarification might be good for those of you who might’ve similarly misread the lack of words involved.  So there.

People I Didn’t Know Were Gay

As you may have already guessed, I’ve been a little low on ideas of what to write about on the blog.  So, with no further ado, here is a brief list of celebrities I only recently found out are/were gay, for some reason.  (And I’d like to point out that this is written with absolutely no judgement…just stating that I didn’t know…not that I particularly CARE.)

  1. Anderson Cooper – This is what started the research for this post.  I had absolutely no idea until I heard someone else mention it in passing, then I looked it up, and apparently he’s VERY open about it.
  2. Derek Jacobi – Took me by surprise.  I’m familiar with him based on his appearances in “I, Claudius,” “Dead Again,” “Doctor Who,” and so on…including a very memorable appearance as a washed up sci-fi actor on “Frasier.”  I’d consider myself a pretty big fan of Derek Jacobi’s (he even spells Derek the RIGHT way!)…but somehow I didn’t even have an inkling that he *might* be gay…much less that he’s “Civilly Unioned” to someone.
  3. Chuck Pahlaniuk – The guy that wrote “Fight Club,” “Invisible Monsters,” “Choke,” “Haunted,” etc, etc…  Novels that are more or less considered “books for guys.”  Apparently he also LIKES guys.  Guess that just goes to show you…not every stereotype exists for a reason.
  4. Alan Cumming – I had no clue!  (To be fair, it sounds more like he’s bisexual to me, although he has also been “Civilly Unioned” to his partner.)
  5. Jodie Foster – Though it does seem to be largely unconfirmed, most people seem to assume it’s true.  In which case, I’d just like to say, “Take THAT, John Hinckley!”
  6. Chely Wright – Which makes her the first openly gay woman in mainstream country music.
  7. Jennifer Knapp – She’s known as a Christian recording artist, who was probably most successful in the late 90s.  People were apparently pretty shocked when she came out.  It’s always amazing to watch the “Christians” react to someone’s personal life.
  8. Elton John – Kidding. I knew that one.
  9. Greta Garbo – Rumored, and can’t be confirmed since she and pretty much everyone who could realistically confirm it are dead…but that would explain why she wanted to spend so much time “alone.”
  10. Rip Torn – And no…you’re thinking of Rip Taylor.  Rip Torn being gay is much more surprising.
  11. Some claim that Alec Guinness was at least bisexual, but I doubt it since this only came out AFTER his death, and previous to that, I’d always heard he was something of a womanizer—which also might not be true, for that matter.
  12. Sara Gilbert – Darlene from “Roseanne.”  I had no idea.  Probably took the pressure off of kissing Johnny Galecki, though.

And that’s it.  Those are all the people who I didn’t know were gay.  I mean sure, Rob Halford was a surprise in the 90s, and David Hyde Pierce was mildly surprising in the early part of this century…and somehow, I didn’t see Nathan Lane coming, either…but the above, I only found out about recently.

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In other news: Jim Beam’s Red Stag (Bourbon infused with Black Cherry) is delicious.  Especially over ice.

Update – Two Hangmen, etc…

Wow.  Almost a week.  Longest I’ve gone without blogging in a long time.  Sorry about that.

The past week’s been weird.  Work is slightly confusing without Christine in the office—not BAD, but weird.  I think we’re all still adjusting and somehow it’s making the days a little bit exhausting—but again, not necessarily BAD.  And my rhythm for the evenings has seemed WAY off, too.  But that may be because I’ve been mixing some music and performing some more or less “sonic experiments.”  That basically means I’m sitting around saying, “What if I put all the drums in the left channel and then everything else in the right, and that’s how I leave it?  Will anyone notice?”

Answer: “Probably not.”

All that is basically being considered “preparation work” for the upcoming Two Hangmen EP.  I started doing some “scratch tracks” for the project last week.  And I thought I’d do a little bit more “serious” recording immediately thereafter…but I’ve taken a small step back to work on some ideas I have for working with the “smaller” sound we’re going to have on this project.  It’s important.  Don’t excuse it as laziness.  It’s VERY important that I go into it knowing what I want to do with it—even if it changes in the process.

Good news is, I think I’ve got a few things figured out.  Bad news is, that means I’m about a week behind where I want to be on things with the project.  Not too big a deal, all things considered.  Hoping to regain some ground tomorrow night before rehearsal, in fact.  (But no promises.)

I know this all sounds a bit stupid, what with “sonic experiments” and “preparation work” and “scratch tracks” and “smaller sounds.”  But mostly, this was just an “exercise” in my New Year’s resolution to use more unnecessary “quotation marks” and “air quotes.”

So suck on that.

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Current Listening:

  • A bunch of Aimee Mann.  Mostly “The Forgotten Arm” and “Fucking Smilers!” in particular.