Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Inspiration: Synecdoche, New York

I've tried writing and re-writing my thoughts on Charlie Kaufman's new film, Synecdoche, New York, and I'm failing miserably. It's probably because it is not possible to make linear sense out of something that is beyond linear sense. It's a beautiful film, exploring the deepest questions of the nature of being an artist, and further and what it means to be human. A synecdoche, as described by Wikipedia, is a term denoting a part of something is used to refer to the whole thing. A simple example would be referring to your car as your "wheels."

In Synecdoche, New York, director Caden Cotard creates a synecdoche of his entire life as a theatre piece, trying to relate life by being scrupulously honest in re-telling it onstage. In this excellent interview, Kaufman relates that film or a work of art itself is in fact a synecdoche. We are trying to relate the macro through the relating of the micro.

This deep search into understanding one's purpose and ability to connect and love hit me at a very deep level, and this was one of those rare and precious film-going experiences where I was so moved that I feel it altered my perception of life on a fundamental level. Those rare moments where you are pulled out of mundanity and see life from a higher, more objective perspective. It is inevitable that we must die, and the living of this life is what is so important, and I am reminded again of how precious and perfect every moment is.

I am so grateful to any work of art that forces that kind of deep introspection. I hope Kaufman continues to direct his own work and bring us these amazing, strange stories. I'll be watching.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sweet Information!

We had the pleasure of seeing the wonderful and hilarious John Hodgman perform with Jonathan Coulton last night at the Echoplex. If you don't know Hodgman's work as an author, seek out his books immediately! He is incredibly intelligent, and amazingly funny. To me, he is a modern day Mark Twain. He was there to promote his new book, More Information Than You Require, and it picks up where The Areas Of My Expertise leaves off. If you like smart people making smart references to completely made up facts, these books are for you. I've decided it's my goal in life to get John Hodgman and Paul F. Tompkins in a room together just to watch them blab about dandyism or snuff boxes or crow migration habits or whatever it is such men as these might discuss. Somebody make this happen for me!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

THANK THE MAKER

After a week and a half of mind-breaking combing through files to figure out why the new, as yet unrevealed web store broke all of a sudden, the problem is finally, thank HEAVENS, fixed. David actually threw himself on the ground and wept.

...yeah, we've been a little stressed. But now, JOY! And back to our regularly scheduled preparations for launch.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Stupid Breaky Things

We were very close to being very close to presenting the music store to you all, but last week had a breakdown that is from what we can tell not our fault but on the server side and is causing all kinds of havoc. The rest of the site is finally coming together, however, and you can now have a look around the new digs and tell us what you think. The music store problem is being tackled by David, who is extremely smart and patient, but it would try anyone's sanity, how much he's had to wrestle with this thing.

We've been making a concerted effort lately to get to theatre as much as possible. There are a lot of opportunities to do so in Los Angeles for very low prices, which is one great advantage of living here. We got to see Spring Awakening at the Ahmanson, The School Of Night at the newly refurbished Mark Taper Forum, and a screening of the 1925 Phantom of the Opera at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on Halloween. It was our first time at the WDCH and it was fantastic to hear that organ playing with such force and precision in that space. The sound really is incomparable and I really look forward to hearing a full symphony there.

We're getting ready to order our t-shirts through a company called LifeWork. We picked them because of their green practices. From their site:
Today, we run an entirely green operation using only eco-friendly stuff. Our tee's are fair trade certified organic cotton, printed with water-based or certified phthalate-free plastisol (try saying that quickly) inks, biodegradable cleaners, etcetera.
Sounds good to us. We want to be able to bring you a product we all can know was made in a manner friendly to the environment and in keeping with fair labor practices, and these people have got the goods. Not to mention the fact that the shirts we chose are EXTREMELY COOL and good-looking and not your typical boring shirt. I think you will like them a lot.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Just Joy

There are no good words for what happened yesterday. We still feel speechless. This was the dream of so many and it will reverberate around the world. I wish my mom could have lived to see this day. She would have been beyond proud. He's got an unbelievably difficult path ahead of him, but for the first time in my life I can look at my country and feel a sense of hope. January can't come fast enough.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Somniloquy - Release Date at Last and Pre-Sale Info

Friends, our CDs have finally arrived! Somniloquy is finally with us. We have finally worked out a release date and a (hopeful) date for our pre-sale to begin. So, with no further ado, Somniloquy will be released on:

JANUARY 13th, 2009

Can't wait that long? Join us for our pre-sale starting DECEMBER 2nd. We will have a special Somniloquy pre-order pack available that will include:
  • Immediate download of the album, and in the mail on January 13th:
  • A signed hard copy of the CD
  • An Endless Somniloquy poster
  • A beautiful t-shirt (men's or women's sizes)
The reason it will take a little while to release the album is we are working hard on creating an amazing self-determined pricing download store for you and it is really requiring a lot of time on the back end. BUT if you pre-order with us, you will get the album as a download immediately, so you won't have to wait.

We'll show you the store and how to order the pre-order pack in a week or so.

In the meantime, here's a sneak picture of the album:
In other news, our song Lee Miller is featured in two great podcasts this week. The first is Story Circle Network, which is dedicated to women and writing. The second is the great show Electrical Language hosted by Gabor Kovacs who gives a great discussion and introduction to the life of Lee Miller. Please give them a listen and enjoy the shows!
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