The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #281: 2020 Reflections / Future Goals + “Many Miles” Vocals

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #281: 2020 Reflections / Future Goals + “Many Miles” Vocals

This week, I reflect on the year and look back on the goals I had for 2020 back in episodes 230 and 231

Despite all the zaniness of the past year, it’s been a good year creatively.  Besides the things discussed on the show, I also started a Thirteenth Hour Arts Facebook group as well as a Patreon, so many thanks for all your support!

Lastly, I’ve decided to wrap up by trying to finally finish a song that I’ve tried to work and rework many, many times, the aptly named “Many Miles,” a song I wrote for the next Thirteenth Hour book and last worked on in episodes 190-199).  I’m working on the vocals today. 

If you still have a cassette player, take advantage of the following deal and be transported to another world!  SALE!  While supplies last, grab Long Ago Not So Far Away on cassette!  Just $1/tape!
https://ko-fi.com/s/5579db9b27

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #280: 80s Christmas Songs and Reworking “Many Miles” for the Zillionth Time

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #280: 80s Christmas Songs and Reworking “Many Miles” for the Zillionth Time

https://archive.org/download/podcast-280/Podcast%20280.mp3

This week, just before Christmas drops, I thought it’d be fun to talk a bit about 3 songs from the 80s that aren’t traditional Christmas songs but are, in many ways, still holiday songs. 
 
The holidays often serve as a time to reflect on the year and think about what you’d like to see happen in the future – a time of hope, good cheer, and family.  Of course, it’s not that way for a lot of people.  And that contrast is why I picked these three songs:
 
1.) The Waitress  (1981) – “Christmas Wrapping”
 
I didn’t know who did this song about a woman who’s a bit over the hype of holidays season until recently but always thought it had a great hook. There is also an almost 30 second funky instrumental break in the middle that I think would actually be a good breakbeat.
 
 
2.) The Pogues (1988) – “Fairy Tale of New York”
 
I love the piano intro, the penny whistle, and bantering / squabbling couple duet-ting in this song of hopes, dreams, and disappointment.
 
3.) Band Aid (1984) – “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”
 
There are things to like about this song – e.g. the melody, the chord progressions, the collaboration, the underlying good intentions (raising awareness of famine in Ethiopia and raising funds for assistance) – but … the lyrics are horrendous!  They reinforce the stereotype that Africa is a place of “dread and fear / Where the only water flowing / Is the bitter sting of tears” and “nothing ever grows / No rain nor rivers flow.”  Ok, folks,  I get you were writing about famine, but the entire continent?  The best gift “they’ll get this year is life”?  Holy self righteous Jesus, Batman.  But, if you put images of colonialism and missionaries doing God’s work aside and ignore 95% of the lyrics, you get a song that essentially about remembering to be grateful for what you have and that there is a “world outside your window.”  
 
 
I’ll do a deeper dive on Instagram this week!
 
These songs were something I was mentally thinking of for a Christmas song episode with show guests Joe Esch and Adam Crohn (last on the shows when we discussed 80s foods and The Lost Boys – 272 and 273).  We had tossed around a bunch of ideas for nontraditional Xmas movie ideas (like Gremlins and Die Hard) and then the song one, but never quite got around to recording.  As you may know, Adam has been tied up with more urgent things than recording podcasts these past few weeks as his dog, Mooge, just had surgery for lung cancer and will need extended treatment in the near future.  Of course, nothing in life is ever simple.  You can read more about their challenging journey on the GoFundMe by clicking on Mooge’s picture below.  But the upshot of all this and the connection to the above is that I’ll be looking at some ways to continue to raise funds into 2021 to help Adam and Mooge and will post more over the coming weeks.

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So in lieu of retro Xmas movie podcasts this year, please go check out Shawn and Colin over at I Used to Like This One for several weeks of Christmas movies.  They’ve put together a much better lineup than I ever could.  So far, they have episodes on Home Alone, Lethal Weapon, and A Christmas Story

Lastly, I’ve decided to wrap up by trying to finally finish a song that I’ve tried to work and rework many, many times, the aptly named “Many Miles,” a song I wrote for the next Thirteenth Hour book and last worked on in episodes 190-199).  I reworked the intro, created a new opening riff, added a short chorus section, and cut out a few redundant verses.  So – essentially starting almost from scratch and reworking it from the ground up.  I have a backing track done so far and will be figuring the vocals next.  So far, I think it will work!  I was practicing while holding my son earlier today, and we were singing along with the new repeating riff (and it sounded okay!). 

If you still have a cassette player, take advantage of the following deal and be transported to another world!  SALE!  While supplies last, grab Long Ago Not So Far Away on cassette!  Just $1/tape!
https://ko-fi.com/s/5579db9b27

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

 

9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #255: Welcome Bboy / MC / Professor Raphael Xavier!

Episode #255: Welcome Bboy / MC / Professor Raphael Xavier!

https://archive.org/download/podcast-255/Podcast%20255.mp3

On this week’s show, I’m pleased to welcome Raphael Xavier, a breakdancer and emcee who got his start in 1983 and has been around to see these aspects of hip hop come, go, return, and evolve over the past 30+ years.

RaphaelXavier

He is also a professor at Princeton University, where he teaches a history of hip hop class as well as one that provides an introduction to breaking.  My co-host today is not only my friend but former roommate, training partner, and fellow breaker / Princeton alum, Justin Liang (last on the show on episodes 47 and 48).  We were both blown away that not only is hip hop being taught at our former alma mater, there are actual classes on how to break.  ABSOLUTELY MIND BLOWING.

XaviereBreakdancingClass_0031-people-page

We covered so many topics in this conversation, including a lot of things that, while not part of dance, are important life skills to keep in mind for creative people – transforming pain into insight and then power, not giving up, having a direction in life as well as daily practice, how the creative process changes over time and with age, the past and future of the dance, and – for all the high school and college graduates who didn’t get a keynote speaker at a formal ceremony speech this spring – there’s even one in this interview for you.

Check out the following links for info:

-Agency Website: https://www.pentacle.org/blog/artist/raphael-xavier/

-Benefit Performance (1/30/20, about 33 min into the clip): https://vimeo.com/388609182

-Ignite Philly talk on breaking: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRbibaOxAW4

-A Conversation with Urban Artistry (5/30/20 – thanks to my friend, breaking professor, and bboy Taylor Lomba) for posting this clip): https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=541382093407459&id=493753445299&_rdr
-Find Raph on IG and Facebook
-By the way, the clip we were discussing at ~2:05:00 you can watch below on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BN3GwSZgNg7/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
Thanks, Raph, for joining Justin and me for this interview!

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9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #102: Con’t Conversation with Author, Artist, Musician, and Filmmaker Jeff Finley Part 2/2

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #102: Con’t Conversation with Author, Musician, and Filmmaker Jeff Finley Part 2/2

https://archive.org/download/Podcast102_201707/Podcast%20102.mp3

Jeff Finley is back this week to pick up where we left off.  If you happened to miss last week’s show, find episode 101 here.

Today, we talk about a lot of fun things – e.g. travelling in a new country and discovering not only new cultures, foods, and languages but aspects of yourself that come from putting yourself outside your comfort zone.  Travel naturally does this, as we’ve talked about before, fine tuning your senses and kicking you out of whatever routine day-to-day stuff you have going on.  There definitely comes a point when that gets to be too much of a good thing (as Jeff discusses here and on his blog), but like a spice, sprinkled here and there, it can do wonders for keeping things interesting in your life.

We also get to learn more about Jeff’s long career as a music producer (see below) as well as how he got into bboying.  It’s so rare that I find someone with as many diverse interests that it was such a pleasure to discuss these aspects of creative life with Jeff.

Check out Jeff’s portfolio here.   If you’d like one of this patches for your own, check out his etsy site.

Click on the covers of Jeff’s below to find a copy of your own.

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Social Media Links:

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Just for podcast listeners!  Get early access to a new upcoming EP, called Between Two Worlds, the sequel to Long Ago Not So Far Away.  Go here to download the album:

http://bit.ly/2txyAaM

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

The album will be available for one month (until 8/10/17).  The access code is on episode 100 at ~31:30.

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #47: Guest Conversation with Justin Part 1

Episode #47: My Friend Justin Joins the Show Part 1 – Gymnastics, Breakdancing, Martial Arts, Learning New Skills, and Not Giving Up

https://archive.org/download/13thHrEps16On/Podcast%2047%20Justin%201.mp3

Get ready for a massive interview spaced out over the next two weeks!  One of my best friends from college joins me for a walk down memory lane as we reminiscence about the years we spent training in gymnastics, breakdancing, and martial arts.  If you have any interest in those topics, you’ll likely find something of interest in this week’s episode.  Some of the topics covered:

-Trying to learn breakdancing by watching old, grainy VHS tapes of pioneer bboys like Crumbs, Ivan, and Storm

-There was only one or two digital video clips we had access to in the beginning (no Youtube).  We watched this unnamed guy doing windmills in his garage countless times and must have dissected it hundreds more – whoever you are, late 90s windmill guy, we are grateful.
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-The bboy crew Justin and started with two other college friends, Sherwood and Tim, Sympoh, is still around and continues to amaze us.

-The freeform aspect of hip-hop/beaking vs. the emphasis on doing things a certain set way in gymnastics and many martial arts

-How doing gymnastics is involved in learning your limits and conquering fear, applicable to other aspects of life (i.e. “there are no dumb gymnasts” per my high school coach)

-How to reconcile the “stay tight in the air” philosophy of gymnastics with the “relax in the air” philosophy of martial arts (we don’t actually resolve this, but it’s an interesting contrast)

-If you were two college kids who wanted to be ninjas, what do you do?

-How we found ninjitsu training

-You can still buy this grappling hook online (though you may not want to)

SZCO Supplies Grappling Hook with Cord

This series of explanatory ninjitsu books by Stephen K. Hayes were the ones I recall most vividly from childhood 

-Unlike in our childhoods, you can now easily find ninjitsu books by Stephen K. Hayes and his teacher, Dr. Masaaki Hatsumu, on Amazon.  The man who taught Justin and I years ago, Jack Hoban, now has training videos, referenced here.

-We spend a fair amount of time touching on the process of learning new skills, e.g.:

-What’s the Dunning Kruger effect?

-What’s the Feldenkrais method?  And how can slow, deliberate movements done with good form in optimal conditions counterintuitively help learn new skills faster?

-We debate whether innovation can/should be taught from the get go or should fundamentals be stressed first

-The beginner’s journey – even as a “master,” hopefully you are still continuing to learn (symbolized by the journey from white belt to black back to white again as the outer coloring of the belt gets frayed with time).

-The importance of not giving up too early – fitting given the meaning of the characters for ninja (忍者 – “one who endures” in Chinese)

-We discuss how martial arts and these other skills have shaped us as people.

There was a natural breaking point here, so I’ve split the interview into two parts for ease of listening.  Justin will return next week with more discussion on fitness and healthy eating.  In the meantime, check out his blog at

 https://dietisa4letterwordblog.wordpress.com/

In other news, since Instagram changed the amount of video they will allow to 60 seconds, I’ve been trying to distill songs that influenced the soundtrack and writing of The Thirteenth Hour down to 1 min in synthesized form.  There are also a few snippets from the soundtrack itself there – all at the Instagram account of @the13thhr.ost.

-E.g.: The Thirteenth Hour Theme, heard in the intro and outro of these podcasts

As always, thanks for listening

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