Make the Wild Rumpus Stop!

Warning: Spoilers (Although the movie pretty much spoils the books good name)

“I’m glad I didn’t pay money to see this.” – My Mother

This week, my mom and I decided to watch “Where the Wild Things Are.” Based on one of my favorite books from when I was a child.

At first we were going to see how it matched up with the book. After spending hours reading the 30 page picture book, we started to watch the movie. The first two scenes of the book were reenacted, but from there on, it gets pretty crazy.

Taking Maurice Sendak’s classic tale of a boy who escapes timeout to a land of his own creativity where he is the wildest of the wild, Spike Jonze turns it into a tale of a boy dealing with his anger towards his mother by becoming the king of a band of monsters in his fantasy. What was originally a rumpus with wild monsters is twisted into a sad coming of age piece with oversized teddy bears that need group therapy.

Sadness emanates from the movie. In the beginning, Max’s igloo is crushed by his older sister’s boy toy. Of course, mom isn’t around because she is a single mother who has to juggle work, family, and dating. An extra school scene is added where the teacher talks about the sun dying, but not before all of mankind is wiped out for any number of reasons. “Let the Wild Rumpus Start!” (Sendak, 22)

It only gets more abysmal when he makes it to “where the wild things are” (Sendak, 15). He arrives crashing onto the coast (without a sweet looking sea monster from the book, I might add) amidst the main monster, Carol, destroying people’s houses because his girlfriend  walked out on him. All of other monsters turn out to have problems as well. The goat one has issues with being the smallest in the pack, there is another couple that has quarrels as well. And the buffalo, nobody wants anything to do with him.

Max then decides to become a con artist. He tells them that he can solve all their problems if they make him king. Of course, they buy into it and they have a very short lived, semi-wild rumpus. After bickering over building the fort they were supposed to all live in harmony within, they decide to take out some of their aggression with a mud ball fight. This, of course, leaves everyone bruised and angrier at each other. Two owls deliver the saddest excuse for a knock knock joke before the wild things realize that they have been dooped.

Max is on the lam, and hides out in the stomach (WTF?!) of a monster who wasn’t around when he was exposed. Learning what his mother went through trying to make him happy, he decides to sail back to the real world. When he returns home after running away, his mother punishes him how any mother would punish a child who runs away. With cake.

This children’s movie had it all. It made me cry (see whole paragraph of sad), it made me sick (hid in a monster’s stomach), it made me smile (I was glad it was over), and most importantly it made me wonder why (would Spike Jonze do that to my childhood?)

Think of the children, do not watch this movie!

Top 10 Reasons

A lot of people out there like to hate on Cleveland for whatever reason, but I think its definitely underrated (especially for being rated the worst). One of the many things I believe in is that Cleveland is a great place, otherwise I wouldn’t let people out in Oregon call me Cleveland, and I wouldn’t be hosting the Cleveland Show on KWVA. Earlier this summer, the Plain Dealer did an article about 100 things they love about Cleveland, and then had to follow it up with a hundred more due to people complaining about great stuff that didn’t make their list. I figured I would share my favorite things about Cleveland and maybe hope to spread the word of Cleveland’s hidden gemness.

  1. Food. Although I’m not a mustard fan, and I rarely have Pierogis, I still am always excited to go out to eat when I get back to Cleveland. The Lizard has great wings, burgers, and a beer list big enough to have a different beer every time you come for a solid three years. But you don’t need that wide selection when the Great Lakes Brewing Company is brewing great stuff right down the street. The main thing that I get when I’m back here are really great burgers and wings. Beardens and Brown Bag deliver amazing burgers, and BW3 and Quaker Steak are always a good choice for wings. Not to mention the best BBQ place owned by a former brown, Bubba Q’s
  2. Classical Music. Between the Cleveland Orchestra, Blossom, CIM, and the Oberlin Conservatory, there is no shortage of talent and great concerts coming through Cleveland. In fact, I am going to go see Yo Yo Ma tomorrow night at Blossom.
  3. Sarcasm- With all the shit that Clevelanders put up with, they need to develop a special form of humor.
  4. Art Museum- Its free and contains an oversized tube of toothpaste.
  5. Movies- Between the drive through, the refurbished Capitol Theatre, the Cinematheque, and even movies at playhouse square, you can get the most amazing movie experiences. Just ask my friends about 2Everyting is 2Terrible 2: Tokyo Drift.
  6. All Four Seasons.
  7. Marc’s
  8. Sports- Even if they don’t win much, its still great to go out and watch slider do inappropriate things to people, or experience the Dawg Pound first hand, or marvel over how people are so bad at math that they need a differential on the score board to figure out how far behind we are. Not to mention the great Avon Crushers, and the total dedication to high school football that people have.
  9. The Towpath/Metroparks- The valley that provides fun all year long, from bike rides, to skiing.
  10. Friends- Most importantly, there are some great people around here that I enjoy spending time with when I’m in town.

If I haven’t convinced you about Cleveland, here are some tourism videos to help you understand:

Clodewerks FTW!

I found this in my routine Facebook stalkings:

The One, The Only

First, I would like to say that I feel honored to make it onto this person’s highly selective music section. But this achievement was not a solo act, as many people were there supporting me along the way. First, I would like to thank God, because through him all things are possible. I want to thank my parents for being there for me and/or giving me the gift of life. I would also like to thank Mark Zuckerberg for inventing Facebook and putting it on the interwebs so that I could achieve this honor. More specifically, my Facebook friend who gave me this high honor. I want to thank Tia, for being awesome. I want to thank the faculty at the SOM at the UO for teaching me to be awesome. Big shout out to KWVA for giving me my first real chance at mass media, and their hiring me on for production. Ante Up Audio for letting me hang out and absorb information for the price of getting their cigarettes.  All my trumpet teachers along the way, mainly Amanda, Sarah, and Brian. Also, Jeffry Stolet for teaching me the dark arts of electronic music wizardry. The great people of the DSB and Patriots band for letting me play along this Summer. Big up to Tupac and Biggie, R.I.P. Brad Pitt for being totally hawt. Most importantly, I want to thank all you out there who are supporting Clodewerks. You are all the wind beneath my… well the wind that makes the pipe organ rock the house. Hopefully with your support, Clodewerks will be seeing more of these distinguished awards!

*Side note: I realize I am a little late, but there is a perfectly good explanation. In my brief leave of absence, I accomplished two life goals. The first was surviving atomic wings. The second was drinking Baileys out of a shoe. I also had a wonderful gig with the DSB. Anyways, my bad, and next week will be on time 😉

The Lost Art

Once upon a time…

There was no TV. If you wanted to experience media, you would have to go out on the town to a theatre and hope to see something epic. You would have to leave your couch, drive a car downtown, pay for tickets (and drinks), possibly climb some stairs, and sit on folding chair for an hour.

To avoid the pains of uncomfortable chairs, paying admission, and possibly encountering a flight or two of stairs, they invented the talking picture box. One of great features of TV was the variety show. It provided the public with a little taste of everything from comedy, to dancing, to (most importantly) music. These shows would showcase true talent on a regular basis and entertained the masses.

But this golden age of television was short lived as the variety show died out at the onset of the eighties. Music moved to music television, and then music television got rid of the music. Talent shows have recently become popular, but they don’t showcase the talent as much as critique and commercialize it.

What has happened? Is the fall of the variety show a result of the fragmentation of media, especially now with the internet? Or is it society changing from a modernist taste for “high art” to postmodernist questioning and critiquing of the artists? Or is it just that people really don’t love the Muppet Show as much as I do, and don’t care that its gone?

I’m thinking the latter.

Regardless, I want to hear what you think. Why are variety shows a lost art? What defines the art of the variety show? What would you do if you were on a variety show? Finally, if the Muppets did a version of Pulp Fiction, who would play who? I’m thinking Fozzie for playing Butch.

I think it would be cool if I could do some sort of variety show on KWVA, maybe even a tribute to the Muppets. If you have any good variety show acts, let me know!

In the meantime, I’m gonna go watch old episodes of the Muppets.
Stay Classy, like a variety show.

Studies in Highway Traffic….

One of the things that I like about the summer is how I am reunited with my car, and therefore able to drive around… However, people who don’t drive intelligently annoy me. This is some educational material to share to those annoying drivers out there…

Highway Etiquette 101

Today’s lecture is on why there are three lanes in a three lane highway and the proper way to use them.

As the automobile began to gain popularity through the early half of the twentieth century, so did the need for bigger, and better roads on which to drive them. This was the birth of the paved roads. After World War II, the movement of the population out to the suburbs lead to the development of longer roads, and Highways. As rush hour traffic grew, so did the need for more lanes, hence the three lane highway.

The three lane highway was designed with a specific strategy, as is described by the graphic below:

Ideal Three Lane Highway

The green blobs represent speed. Note that the speed of the cars on the right is less than those than the middle, and that the middle is less than the far left.

In this setup, the traffic flows well because the slower cars can easily be passed. The passing car goes back to the right when there is no traffic as the only car on the road is the slowest. The third lane is for when a slow car is passing a slower car, or there is oncoming traffic.

Although this is the ideal, most places do not follow this strategy. We will now explore two other systems of highway traffic on three lane highways.

One example is Ohio:

Ohio's Three Lane Highway

In Ohio, the slowest lane is in the middle, followed by the right lane and the fastest being the left lane. Following the “stay to the right” strategy common of the ideal system, a fast driver must change two lanes to pass slower vehicles as the right two lanes are both slow. This is a very frustrating process, especially during rush hour.

An even more ineffective system is in Oregon:

Oregno's Three Lane Highway

In Oregon, all of the traffic is slower, especially in the left lane. This effectively makes the road a two lane, as the left lane has some of the slowest traffic, which eliminates passing in that lane.

Following the etiquette of the road is an important part of not pissing people off. Just remember the golden rule:

  • Stay to the right, unless passing

Thanks,

Kyle

Classes in Review

I thought I would take some time to reflect on the quality of my education at the University of Oregon.

Here’s a breakdown:

For the whole year:

  • Jazz Lab III- I learned that I need to practice over the summer to do well in auditions (a mistake I will not repeat).  I also learned that most people become jazz masters in highschool whereas mine was only in existence some of the years I was there.
  • Trumpet Studio- I learned that having a goal and mindlessly working towards it is more productive than having a goal and rethinking every aspect of it everyday. I also learned how many weeks I can rehearse the Carnival of Venice before losing my mind ( eight).
  • Digital Audio Workstation- I learned about how cool Logic was and about the differences between DAWs. I also gained a lot of knowledge about mixing. I also worked on mixing some pretty crazy songs, especially the one about a rocket 😉

Fall Term:

  • Finale- Other than how to operate Finale, I learned about how everyone like Sibelius better. I also learned how to do Sprechstimme, because that is crucial. I am totally prepped for engraving music from the Second Viennese School and mass marketing it for a huge profit. Everybody loves tone rows!
  • Physics of Sound and Music- I learned a lot about how music and sound works through a series of amazing demos. I also learned that other people are not very good at math. The class ended up having a 30% curve, after I got an A, epic.
  • Digital Audio and Sound Design- This was basically the creative applications of the physics class, I learned Reaktor, which I won’t probably use ever again. I also learned that people are very anti experimental music, and my engraving idea probably won’t fly after all.

Winter:

  • Eastern European Ensemble- I learned that I need to get better with my fingers on the trumpet. I also learned that traditional balkan music is pretty amazing.
  • Interactive Media Performance- Learned Max/MSP excellence. Most importantly, I learned that Bang means do it.
  • Intro to International Relations- I learned that online classes are a lot less stress and that I have to care a lot less when I don’t have to physically go to class.

Spring:

  • Advanced Business Systems- I learned how to copy code from the professor. It gave me some sort of overview of how AJAX, PHP, and MYSQL work. Hooray CIT minor!
  • Media and Society- I learned that I successfully filled a gen. ed. requirement. That is all.
  • Electronic Composition- I learned Kyma, methods for granular synthesis, and swarming. I also made some cool sounds and a poem about fish.

Overall, I enjoyed the year a lot. I’ve improved a lot in the music tech area, from synthesis to the final mix down. The two gen eds I took were pretty boring, but at least they are out of the way. I got pretty much all A’s (except for one of my gen. eds. mostly because I stopped caring and learned to love the bomb.), so I feel like my year was  an overall success. I am looking forward to getting everything wrapped up and learning more crazy stuff next year.

I had to…

Sometimes life hands you lemons. In my case, life sets me up for the lamest joke there is.

I was going to post this to failbooking or the like, but Its not cool to post your own. On a blog, however, it is more than acceptable to showcase your work.

Cleveland Show- Summer Jam

Here’s What I Played:

Pregame:

  • Meco- Star Wars
  • Lady Gaga- Alejandro
  • Portishead- It Could Be Sweet
  • Dabrye- Machines, Pt. I
  • Blockhead- Pity Party
  • Mr. Scruff- Midnight Feast
  • DJ Cener- Tout Passe (Featuring Samia Farah)
  • Hexstatic- Telemetron
  • Blockhead- It’s Raning Clouds
  • Flying Lotus- Mmmhmm Ft. Thundercat

The First Hour,  Jelly of Jams:

  • Beta Collide- Thats a Traum!
  • Mr. Flash- Eagle Eyez
  • Cornershop- Candy Man
  • Bonobo & Andreya Triana- The Keeper
  • Dabrye- Piano
  • Justin Timberlake- Summer Love/Set the Mood Prelude
  • Raymond Scott- Twilight In Turkey
  • Justin Bieber and MSTRKRFT- Heartbreaker Baby (CJ Milli Mix)
  • Cosmic Gate- Fire Wire

Still first hour, not as Jimmer Jammy:

  • Mr. Flash- Disco Dynamite
  • LCD Soundsystem- Pow Pow
  • Sash!- Encore Une Fois
  • Boys Noize- Jeffer
  • Deadmau5- This is Also the Hook
  • Cut Copy- Going Nowhere (Sebastian Remix)

Hour Three:

  • Vicarious Bliss- Limousine (Dub Version)
  • Mr. Oizo- Minuteman’s Pulse
  • Boris Dlugosch- Bangkok
  • MSTRKRFT- Work On YOu
  • Paul Johnson- Get Get Down
  • Deadmau5- Orca
  • Chemical Brothers- H.I.A.
  • Basement Jaxx- Bingo Bango
  • Fatboy Slim- Give the Po’ Man a Break
  • LCD Soundsystem- Daft Punk Is Playing At My House
  • Ween- Friends
  • Vengaboys- We Like to Party

*Bold indicates jam of the week, or in this case the jam of the summer.

This episode was the last before the summer, so I thought I’d do a recap as well as some summer jamness. I also got called to do an extra hour, so I did a more grooved out/funky pregame mix.

The pregame was a little mix of whatever. My parents came to visit, so I put on the Star Wars funk while I showed them around. I had to share the new Gaga vid everyone is talking about as well. The rest was a mix of more hip hop oriented stuff.

The first hour was the Jam of Jams of the week, all of which are pretty epic. From there on out, it was straight ahead dance party. I kicked it old school with some Vengaboys, which may very well be the Jam of any summer in existence.

Thank you all for a great first year of DJing! Over the summer I will be rehearsing with my mixer and newly purchased korg pad kontroller, so look forward to some MPC- Style madness in the fall!

Stay Classy,

Clode