Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Western Conference Predictions

Yep, bored again at work.

Here's how I think the West will shake out.

1. Los Angeles Lakers
I hate the Lakers. Hate em. Unfortunately, they are not only the team to beat this year, but next year as well. And quite possibly the year after that. No, it's not because of Kobe. Or team chemistry. It's about Andrew Bynum. Look at the Lakers' record last year - with Bynum in the lineup this was a +.500 team. When he got injured the team was merely .500 (as they were the previous year). When Gasol arrived they were +.500 again. Now Bynum is back, and that makes the Lakers a +65-win team. Brutal.

2. New Orleans Hornets
With the best player in the game (Chris Paul), the most underrated big man (Tyson Chandler), and new addition James Posey, who has proven to be a productive bench player, the Hornets should have no problem finishing in second again.

3. Utah Jazz
The Jazz were fourth last year and are returning pretty much the same team. This is an easy pick, and I'm putting them third not because of any improvement, but rather because the Spurs have fallen out of the top tier.

4. Dallas Mavericks
I fully expect Dirk Nowitski to bounce back from a bad shooting year. That alone will net the Mavs several more victories.

5. Houston Rockets
The Rockets drafted very well, picking up a monster rebounder in Joey Dorsey. They also swiped the extremely productive Brent Barry from the interstate rival Spurs. The Rockets have productive players galore, just no truly dominant ones. But those players go a long way since there's no dead weight.

6. San Antonio Spurs
This is still a great team, they're just really going to miss the big minutes Brent Barry used to deliver. Now they're going to look to the mediocre Michael Finley to replace that production - hilarity will ensue. (Also it looks like Manu Ginobli is out for the first 15-20 games. That's going to hurt them in the final standings for sure.)

7. Pheonix Suns
Poor Pheonix. I was really rooting for them to win a championship... they were unsuccessful a few years running and then ditched Shawn Marion. Shaq is, well, Old Shaq, but he played pretty well with the Suns last year, just not up to Marion's level. And Nash is one year older. As Dave Berri said, these Suns are setting...

8. Portland Trailblazers
Picking the last playoff team in the West is really, really tough. I'm going with Portland by default - they were only 10 games out last year and are adding Greg Oden. Problem is he'll probably replace last year's leading rebounder Joel Pryzbilla. There's a lot of other things that can go wrong with this team, too. I just don't trust them. But I trust the next few teams less.

9. Golden State Warriors
Another tough call here. After losing Baron Davis the Warriors picked up Corey Maggette and Ronny Turiaf, then lost last year's most improved player (although he didn't win the award) Monta Ellis for three months to a dubious injury. Hmm. The new signings are strong, but it seems all too likely that Turiaf will come off the bench behind the overrated Al Harrington (although you never know with Don Nelson). Bottom line - if Ellis comes back healthy the Warriors should finish just out of the playoffs. Again.

10. Denver Nuggets
Good God, this team gave away their best player and got nothing in return. Ok, let me rephrase that - they gave away their most productive player. Marcus Camby is a rebounding and shot-blocking God. Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson are both vastly overrated (although they've played much better in recent seasons, particularly this last one). Still, you can't lose your best player and expect to get better. Sure, Nene's back, but I see this team finishing out of the playoffs.

11. Los Angeles Clippers
A few of the teams at the bottom of the West have gotten stronger, but still suck. They just suck less. This is true of the Clippers, who probably had the strangest offseason of any team. First, they signed Baron Davis. Huge. Then, they somehow lost Elton Brand. Hugely disappointing. Then they lost Corey Maggette. Not good. Then they were gifted Marcus Camby. Huge. The net effect is this - the Clippers have one of the best trios in the entire NBA (Davis, Camby and my man Chris Kaman). Problem is, they have almost no productive players after this. There's no doubt the Clippers will be better than last year, but that just isn't saying much.

12. Sacramento Kings
I don't really know what to say about this team. They're not very good. Kevin Martin is spectacular, but they paid a ton of money for Mikki Moore, who pretty much blows. They claim to have a lot of young 'talent', but in reality they just have a lot of young players.

13. Minnesota Timberwolves
Kevin McHale should not have a job. Still, it seems like he got an offseason right for the second time in his career (the first being when he drafted Kevin Garnett). Trading OJ Mayo for Kevin Love on draft night will go down as the steal of the draft. Love projects to be a dominant post player, while Mayo looks more like the consummate inefficient 'scorer' who does little else (aside from committing a lot of turnovers). McHale somehow managed to grab Mike Miller in the draft as well, but then went and traded newly-drafted Mario Chalmers to the Heat for no good reason. He would have helped this team a lot. Like the Clippers, this will be a better team than last year, but it doesn't mean much.

14. Oklahoma City Thunder
Weird writing that name. Let's face it - this team sucks. The only thing to hope for is a drastic improvement in Kevin Durant's game, but not so drastic that they lose out on draft position. Their recent draft picks are unlikely to do anything this year.

15. Memphis Grizzlies
Last year Memphis traded away Pau Gasol, a proven productive player, for lottery tickets. Then the offseason saw them trade a sure thing in Kevin Love, as well as their other proven productive player in Mike Miller, to Minnesota for Disaster Transport (Cleveland joke) rookie OJ Mayo. I hope you enjoy watching Mayo score 20+ points a game, Memphis, cause that's all he'll do, and his point average will probably surpass his team's season win total.

Monday, September 22, 2008


This is a bit premature, but I'm bored at work right now. Here are my predictions for the 08/09 NBA regular season:

Eastern Conference:

1. Boston Celtics
I fully expect Boston to repeat as the best team in the East. Their only significant loss (James Posey) has since been mitigated by the addition of Darius Miles. Miles has been fairly productive in the past as a role player. Basically the less shots he takes, the better.

2. Detroit Pistons
The Pistons are also returning pretty much the same team. The biggest potential difference is the question mark at PF - I hear there is an open competition between incumbent starter Antonio McDyess, Jason Maxiell and Amir Johnson. Johnson has posted stellar numbers in limited minutes, so if he gets significant playing time the Piston's fortunes could see an improvement over last year (possibly overtaking Boston if Miles plays poorly).

3. Cleveland Cavaliers
Come on baby! With the confirmed re-signing of Delonte West I fully expect this to be the best Cavs team of the LeBron era, provided that Mike Brown makes intelligent playing time decisions (a big 'if'). If West, new addition Mo Williams and Wally split guard minutes, and Z, Varejao and Wallace split forward/C minutes, this team should be a lock for 50 wins and the third spot in the East. Should.

4. Orlando Magic
This isn't much of a stretch as the Magic were third last year. As long as Monster Man-Child Dwight Howard remains healthy they should have no problem staying on top of the Southeast Division.

5. Philadelphia
This pick probably won't surprise anyone, as the addition of a hopefully healthy Elton Brand should enhance an already .500 team. In the East that's pretty much all you need to snag the 5th playoff spot. If they can somehow finagle a real shooting guard this team will easily finish second to Boston in the Atlantic.

6. Miami
That's right, last year's worst team in the league is going to see a dramatic turn of fortune courtesy of a stellar draft. Michael Beasley will almost certainly go down as the best player of the 2008 draft, while Mario Chalmers will prove that he should have been a lottery pick (just take a look at his consistently strong numbers all three years of college). Add them to a starting five that includes the severely underrated Shawn Marion, an expectedly healthy Dwayne Wade and the solid Udonis Haslem (maybe, I guess the center position is in question) and you have a team that will surprise most pundits.

7. Indiana
This may be a stretch, but Indiana did have one of the best off seasons of any team in the league. First of all, they shipped off the way overrated Jermaine O'Neal and received a productive TJ Ford in return. Just replacing O'Neal with solid draftee Roy Hibbert should provide a significant boost, but I suspect this may be mitigated somewhat by the play of Mike Dunleavy, who had his (by far) best season as a pro last year. If he can maintain that level of productivity I fully expect Indiana to make the playoffs, if not, they just might finish 9th.

8. Toronto
This is a tough one. A lot rests on Jermaine O'Neal - will he play better on a new team? Or will he be expected to score (at his usual poor FG%)? One benefit of the trade is that it puts the drastically underrated Jose Calderon in line to receive massive minutes, but will that be enough to offset O'Neal's production (or lack thereof)? Overall I see this team dropping a bit.

9. Washington
Another tough one, especially since they finished 5th last season. Basically I'm betting that Antonio Daniels +1 year of age will not be able to hold up as well as he has in the past. I'm also betting that Caron Butler will not be able to match his career-best numbers from last year. Losing Gilbert Arenas for a month doesn't really factor in to my analysis, but his play upon his return sure does. He'll get his minutes back, but will he be his old self? Keep in mind - while Arenas is a very good player, he is nowhere near the level of his superstar status production-wise.

10. Chicago
It's pretty much a crapshoot down here in the bottom half. The Bulls are a strange one - no team deviated from expectations more than them last year. They should have competed for the top spot in the Central Division; instead they couldn't keep their head above .500, leading to some drastic deals (including the fantastic - for me - deal with the Cavs). Now they've gone and drafted an overrated PG who will, at the very best, go through some growing pains in his first NBA season. They got rid of their best post player in Ben Wallace, but did draft the solid Joaquin Noah last year (who should see significant minutes this year). I also expect Luol Deng to rebound from a disappointing and injury-plagued season (enough so that I'm going to roll the dice with him on my fantasy team again this year).

11. New York
No, this will not be D'Antoni's doing. A healthy Quentin Richardson and the addition of the underrated (how many times have I used that word?) Chris Duhon should be enough to give the Knicks a few more wins as well as the coveted 11th spot in the East. Congratulations.

12. Atlanta
You know, I really think Atlanta won't be this bad... but the loss of Josh Childress is just crushing. He got 30+ minutes per game off the bench, and now his stellar production is just plain gone. I do expect the Should-Have-Been-Rookie of the Year Al Horford to join the '2nd-Tier Elite' group of big men this year, so that increase in production will help. But the loss of Childress is just terrible, because who are they going to give those minutes to? Acie Law? Flip Murray? Ouch and ouch.

13. Charlotte
Sean May should be back, but so will Adam Morrison. Net effect = frown face.

14. New Jersey
This team could actually go anywhere. They drafted pretty well, but will Chris Douglas-Roberts actually get minutes as a rookie? Will the newly-added Jianlian Yi improve upon his lackluster rookie campaign? Will the replacement for Richard Jefferson actually play better than him (he was terrible last year)? If all these answers are 'yes' then I will almost certainly be wrong. But if they're all 'no' I might have nailed it.

15. Milwaukee
This team is just bad. Their 'star' can only score (Michael Redd), their big man is just a shade better than mediocre (Andrew Bogut), and their big addition (Richard Jefferson) has been injury-plagued recently and has given no indication that he will ever be his old productive self again. Keep in mind, if Jefferson can return to form this team will not be the worst in the East. I wouldn't bet on it though.

I'll do a Western Conference preview tomorrow, or some other day.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I'm Back

Yes, it was great. No, I don't know where to even begin. 10 cities in 20 days. Met some great people, drank some great beer, what else can you ask for?

Seriously thinking about doing an EP with a song for each city/country (like a much more modest version of Sufjan Stevens' 50 States album series). Of course, I have another EP to get out the door first. Just a few songs away...

Monday, September 8, 2008


That's where I am right now. About to head to Sarajevo. Very beautiful countryside, very bombed out and bullet riddled buildings.

Cheap beer too.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Yep, I meant 48 hours in the last post. It's down to 9 hours at the moment, although I'll spend most of tomorrow in the Cincinnati airport.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Back to Europe

I'm heading out in less than 48 minutes. On the docket - Prague, Krakow, Vienna, Split, Korcula, Dubrovnik, Sarajevo, Belgrade and Budapest. This is all subject to change depending on various factors.

Hopefully the train tracks don't get washed away in front of my eyes like last time.

If you're in any of these locations, or anywhere in Eastern Europe, and want to meet up and show me around and drink some beers, shoot me an email @ lostonpurpose (at) gmail (dot) com.

Full report after I get back on the 15th. I'll try to post updates from the road if possible.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I Blame the Olympics...

...which are awesome by the way.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Earth-quaking Review

I surfed a building today when the ground decided to shimmy and shake to the sweet tunes of a 5.4 quake. It was kind of fun up here on the 12th floor.

As surprising as that was, I was more surprised to learn about a new review of not if but when that just came out. I sort of don't remember sending a CD out to this site, but now I'm not surprised I did cause the review is (in my opinion) spot on in both credit and criticism. It's about as fair and balanced as Fox News (hardy har har).

No, it's a really well-written and intelligent review.

The Superstarcastic Review

Monday, July 28, 2008

Tombs Distorted

What?! Another new demo?! No. This is not new; I think I first posted it months ago. But I've been on such a kick recently that I went back, completely remixed it, and totally screwed with the canned drum sounds. I think this is a much more badass version.

Plus I think I really, truly, finally 'get' compression. I've always understood its general nature but now I'm starting to close it down big time. Much excitement ensues.

I'm thinking there needs to be a new EP in the near future...

tombs distorted demo

By the way, if you've been enjoying these demos (or any LOP albums) please become a 'fan' on Facebook - I'll probably use that like a mailing list to send out the rare update (like when the EP comes out).

Friday, July 25, 2008


Blah blah another song blah blah blah.

This is not even a demo really, it's just a single live take.

It will be featured on the upcoming "Lost on Purpose: Live from the Parthenon" CD, due out in 2015.

australia (demo)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Outside LA

Another new demo. And yes, I'm finally getting some use out of my violin. I still suck at it though, never enough time to practice.

I kinda like how this one turned out.

outside la (demo)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

No More


I got off work early and had some time to work on the demo. The version below is now the final demo version.

Here is another demo.

I really didn't think I was going to post this, because even for a demo it's way too rough. It needs some work.

Then I said, "screw it".

I recorded this yesterday in about 20 minutes. The middle eight is stupid cause I keep repeating the same line, then the ending has nothing, just guitar. That will all be fixed.

But I won't have time to do anything new until late next week at the earliest.

So deal with it.

no more

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Movies and Music

I never, ever, ever watch movies, but I just watched 5 in three days. That's more than I've seen in the past year. All were pretty good:

Glengarry GlenRoss
Roger Dodger
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood
Two-Lane Blacktop

Glengarry GlenRoss is just plain solid. It's a classic for good reason.

Roger Dodger is surprisingly dark considering the subject matter. At first I was opposed to the cinematography, but it grows on you as the story progresses.

I had somewhat low expectations for No Country, as my filmmaking buddies all thought it was 3/4 of an incredible movie. I thought it exceeded my expectations.

The same filmmaking buddies think There Will Be Blood is nearly perfect, so I had super high expectations for it, which it just about met. Frankly, I can't think of anything the movie did wrong, but I wouldn't say it resonated with me as much as I had hoped.

I've also been listening to tons of new music (for me at least):

Coldplay - Viva la Vida
Weezer - Red Album
Sigur Ros - whatever the new album is called
Explosions in the Sky - Those Who Know the Truth Shall Die... (not new)
Fleet Foxes - Sun Giant
Tokyo Police Club - Elephant Shell

I haven't listened to all of them enough to proscribe judgment. I will say that I've had the Explosions record for a long time, and I listened to it a bunch at first, then forgot about it for a couple years. Now I am waaaaay into it - it's unbelievable. Yasmin the Light is a perfect song. Just Perfect.

Working on some new demos, but heading out of town this weekend. Plus I'm sick, making vocals dicey.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

How to Close

That's right people, this new demo is called How to Close.

ABC - Always Be Closing

If you're listening on headphones you're going to miss the killer low end... I got a little crazy with a floor tom.

How to Close

Monday, June 23, 2008

It's been really hot

Seriously, it's been hot as hell. My bedroom is like a furnace, making any recording activities a recipe for disaster. Luckily some wind has blown the heat away today, and I have some new songs I want to demo.

Friday, June 13, 2008


As promised, here's a new demo. If only I had more free time...

love is not enough (demo)

Man this site needs to be updated. It's looking very 2004...

If you go to the LOP facebook site you should now be able to stream about half the new album. I might put the rest up in a couple weeks.

(image from Rick Steves' website)

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I actually need to spend some time at home if I'm going to get any recording done. I have been busy every single night since I wrote the last post.

Tonight is my first free night. Should have something tomorrow.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Should be posting a new demo this weekend.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I meant And I Love Her, the Beatles song. That's what the solo sounds like.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

you will overcome

Here is one of the promised new songs... just a demo though. With a very pretentious name.

This is actually going to be a song in the new live set I'm working on... the exact details of which are currently secret. Let's just say it's not your standard singer/songwriter arrangement...

you will overcome demo

What does that guitar solo sound like? Is it the guitar solo from Norwegian Wood? Whatever it is it cracks me up - I had to change up the arrangement and add that solo for this version of the song. Hilarious.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Expect some new songs

I'll be posting them here over the next few weeks. Probably demos. Check back.

Maybe some videos too.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Caffeine Coder, Facebook issues

There's a nice little mention of LOP on a cool coding-related blog called The Caffeine Coder. Visit it here; it's the May 9th post. Many thanks to Shaun, who found out about me via Audiosurf. He also has some killer photography at a different page here.

I am retarded when it comes to facebook. Apparently my personal page and the Lost on Purpose page are different... I didn't really want a personal page at all. Seems you can't 'friend' a band, you can only become a 'fan' of one. Page is here.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Audiosurf 2

Today LOP is supposed to be featured on Audiosurf Radio. Pretty excited about that. If you've got a spare $10 bill lying around you should pick up the game, it's great. I know, I've played a LOT of video games in my day...

Of course, I'm a moron, because in my last post I made it sound like you couldn't play the LOP tracks in the game until today. The beauty of the game is that you can play any song at any time - you just need the mp3 or wav or whatever. Today is just the day that LOP will go up on the Radio station (which you see when you launch the game).

Just get the game. Much fun will ensue.

**Update** Click HERE to read the blurb that appears in-game.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Super cool news - Lost on Purpose is going to be featured in the video game Audiosurf. It's a big seller on Steam (Valve's digital distribution framework... Valve is the maker of Half-Life... if you don't know what Half-Life is then you're clearly not a video game fan). Anyhow, this is really cool, the game analyzes songs and procedurally generates each level based on the music's dynamics.

You can check out the homepage here. The game is only $10.

Here is a video of the game being played to Blur's Song 2. On Friday you'll be able to play Ohio 2.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Now on Itunes

I get emails from people now and then who ask why they can't get my music on Itunes. Now they can.

I haven't checked it out myself but the new album should be available for purchase. Here is a direct link (again, I haven't verified it yet because I don't have itunes set up on this computer).

Lost on Purpose on Itunes.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

...and now I have the flu...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Still reeling from a trip to Vegas...

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Monty Hall Problem

This is unbelievable. It is the most counter-intuitive thing ever (well, aside from curved space-time). It's the Monty Hall game, where you are given three doors to choose from. Behind one door is a car, behind the other two are goats. You choose a door, but before it is opened you are shown a goat behind one of the other doors. You are then given an opportunity to stay with your guess or switch your choice to the other door.

It doesn't seem like it would matter - now that there are two doors left you have a 50/50 chance of getting the car, right? Nope. You are vastly more likely to win if you switch your choice.

I could explain why, but it's better to check it our yourself. You can play the game here: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/08/science/08monty.html

I played it 200 times (yes, busy day at work). 100 times I stayed with the original door (I won 31% of the time). 100 times I switched doors (I won 63%). The site has an explanation of how it works.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Here's a new demo I put together the other night.


Yesterday I started working on a potential live set. Old songs, new songs, blah blah blah, it's going to take a while. But I think it's going to be really good.

Check it out - The Quest, the short film I just finished the score for. It's playing at the Palm Beach film festival on April 12. So... if you live near Palm Beach, please go see the film.

Monday, March 31, 2008



Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A New Era

This is going to be a great post.

First of all, the above picture is the newest member of Lost on Purpose... and I think I can die now. I wanted to play the drums long before I ever thought of playing guitar, and thanks to my Rock Band skills I decided I was finally ready to take the plunge, thus fulfilling a lifelong goal. I played for four straight hours on Sunday. These things are bad ass.

Also of note, Euradionantes (a radio station in Nantes) has added three LOP tracks to their playlist: a pencil without lead, return and the 70s. Perhaps this will precede a Fall European tour? I think I could get away with that.

Will post when the songs start getting played. It's a good station though, so I recommend checking it out immediately.

Lastly, I've pretty much finished that soundtrack I keep mentioning. Now you can check out my Reason skills:

The Quest

There's a gap in the middle where it kind of dies down, so feel free to fast forward through that.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Appropriately blurry

Wow, I wish I had some French speaking friends because there's another review up that I don't understand. This one is at the wonderful site Octopus: le journal en ligne des musiques libres et inventives.

Nearly finished with the soundtrack. I should have it posted early next week. 8 minutes of bliss (really it should be called 'how I learned to use Reason').

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Almost there

Nearly finished with the score for my friends' film. That, and a few visits from friends and family, has been taking up all my free time recently.

For whatever reason I've become obsessed with a few songs. It started two months ago with "I Stand Corrected" and "Wolcott" by Vampire Weekend, then transitioned (big time) to one of my favorite songs of all time, "Let Down" by Radiohead. Then I listened to "Med Blodnasir" by Sigur Ros in my car ad nauseum, and today on the way to work it was "Tired of Sex" by Weezer three times in a row... and it's going to be three more times on the way back home. What the hell is wrong with me?

Also, I've become a gardening fiend once again, although I'm avoiding the pitfalls that I stumbled over last year. And I bought an olive tree online for $38. Seriously, what am I doing?

Friday, March 14, 2008

# of times I have listened to "Let Down" by Radiohead this past week?


Favorite Radiohead song, hands down.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

AOL 2.0

Ok, my facebook account is now 'verified' and you can listen to songs there... actually only song at the moment, and you can listen to it on this website as well.

I am ignorant to the whole facebook thing but I assume you can use this link and become my 'friend' somehow.


Monday, March 3, 2008

Son of a

For crying out loud I went and joined Facebook. I was really, really hoping to avoid the 'new AOL' for all time but they just added band page capabilities. So I felt sort of obligated.

My account isn't 'verfied' yet, whatever that means, so I can't post music or videos. So I won't link to it until I can do that.

Should I make my first two albums available for 'free' (the Radiohead model)?

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Not much news lately because I've been busy working on the soundtrack to a short film. I will post it once it's finished.

The video for 'the 70s' has crossed the 100 views mark... this is not such a great deal, considering I am in a different video that has over 1,000,000 views, but I didn't think it would get that far this soon.

Whilst on youtube I happened to notice another video by a fellow LA musician called The One AM Radio. I think I've found my new favorite band. Check out these two videos:

A Brittle Filament


Thursday, February 21, 2008

New LOP Video

Yes, big news here. The boys at Folly Films just finished putting together a new video for 'the 70s', featuring me sitting at my desk at my day job for 8 hours. It's a time lapse video. Check it out:


Honestly it turned out as well as I had hoped. You can't ask for much more than that.

Also, the Cavs ended the Larry Era. Tonight I shall partake in much merriment.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


No joke - the past three days I've done nothing but listen to I Stand Corrected and Wolcott by Vampire Weekend over and over and over and over. Unequivocally the best album I've heard in over a year, with three utterly tremendous songs (the two I mentioned plus Mansard Roof.

I posted I Stand Corrected a few days ago. Here is Wolcott.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Real-Time Video Edition

There is a video camera pointing at my face right this instant. Some filmmaker friends of mine (see the Folly Films link to the left) are doing a video for the song 'the 70s'. It may very well be the most boring music video of all time. Details to come later.

I am finding it easier to just post links on this blog - at least that way I update it more often. Here are some good ones.

First, and somewhat ironically, 'the 70s' has been posted on Sensory Overload as one of the top 5 songs of the week. There's no review or anything, just a quick mention of how I sound like Elliott Smith (yes, I've heard that before).

Second, there is a great, great article on Gamasutra about how the ongoing 'are videogames art?' debate is pointless. I couldn't agree more. The gist of the article is that anything, literally, can be considered art depending on how it is presented culturally. So, put a painting in a museum and - presto - people think it is art. Stick the same painting on the wall of a diner and it no longer has the same relevance. So the point is that the game industry should simply focus on 'framing' videogames in a more culturally significant fashion - like how in recent years symphonies have occasionally played the themes from prominent videogames. Just read the article, it's pretty great.

Last, this site wonders what Valentine's Day cards would be like if they were completely honest. It's hard to mess that one up.

Monday, February 11, 2008

El Paso Hot Button

This guy is an inspiration. I've struggled with finding competent bandmates the entire time I've lived in LA - that's why LOP is still a solo project. But this guy decided to be a total rocking bad ass all on his own, and has been doing it for like 5 years or so. Too cool.

(Question: how is the snare drum set up? Is it attached to the bass drum

I just did a random search and came across this guy playing Pachabel's canon (all 7 parts) solo via a looping pedal. There's all kinds of musicians that use these pedals to create full orchestrations.

Perhaps a synthesis of the two is in order...

PS: Whoa, this is CRAZY.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Two Songs

Relatively recently I've heard two new songs that are just killing me. They're incredible, and both share a minimalist aesthetic and textbook restraint. I am very jealous of these songs.

They are 'Burning' by The Whitest Boy Alive and 'I Stand Corrected' by super-trendy Vampire Weekend. I think they're the two best songs I've heard in like the past 6 months.



Thursday, February 7, 2008

Breakfast of Champions

I visited some interesting websites today. Two in particular stood out:

This one is great
. It's called 'A Lazy Layman's Guide to Quantum Physics". Every now and then I read a book about quantum physics or look up information in the intraweb and then promptly forget it, so each time I always have to start over. This site should save me at least a little bit of time in the future.

This one
can only be described as genius. Not pure genius per se, but its simplicity and effectiveness is killer. It's a flash game.

The boys at Folly Films (link is to the left) are also geniuses, and last night they came up with the perfect idea for a LOP music video. Details to come when I feel like it.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Boutros Boutros Ghali

For some reason it is very, very easy for me to write posts for my new sports-related blog, but very hard to think of anything to write for this site. I guess since there is no pressing LOP news I'd rather not write a post about something random, like what I ate for lunch. That would not be very entertaining (particularly not today).

Well, Bioshock is easily one of the best games I've ever played. It's way up there. So is Rock Band.

In fact, when I first bought my Xbox 360 I half-jokingly thought to myself, 'there goes my free time for working on music'. But in learning to play the drums in Rock Band - in making the new neural connections, in cranking the gears in my mind - the opposite has come true. I've been writing and recording more than ever. In fact, I'm thinking about shopping around a new EP to some netlabels soon. No joke.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

New blog, new song

I took the plunge and started another blog for all my Cleveland Cavs and general sports-related posts. This is back to being a music-only blog. Well, music and whatever the hell else I want to write about.

The new blog is linked to the left, or it's here.

And now for a new demo. I recorded this over the past couple days. It clearly needs some work, but oh well.


Monday, January 28, 2008

LOP in the wild blue yonder: France edition (plus Vlad McManwich)

Just discovered that 'not if but when' is the album du jour (in the most literal sense possible) at French podcast site Pod En Stock. For some reason it's nice to see a photo of the album being held for the world to see by some decidedly international hands.

Frankly, I'm obligated to mention that the runner ups for the du jour title included Elliott Smith, Cat Power, Pinback and Les Savy Fav (whose Francophilic namesake was apparently not philic enough to usurp yours truly). Better luck next time guys.


Also, a week or so ago I received one the most hilarious emails in quite some time from a kindred Winnipeg spirit:

I just wanted to say I really respect the hell out of independent musicians, and therefore respect the hell out of you. It's people like you, and the sounds that you make, that inspire me to keep writing, playing and recording music in a jerry-rigged basement studio as opposed to learning some actual discernable life skill and contributing to society. So...I think I'm grateful for that? When I'm 40 and people don't respect me because I still live with my parents I'll probably feel differently, but that's like 20 years away. So thanks."

That killed me. A few days later the writer of the email posted some rather excellent songs here on purevolume. The name of his project is Vlad McManwich. Clearly a genius in the making.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


There is a new review of not if but when up on www.hanx.net. Here are my favorite excerpts:

"Kabeltruiliedjes met kol."

"Denken zoals denken ooit bedoeld was."

"zonder wonder zal dat niet gaan. Werken voor de kost, Will Holland."

I have no idea what these mean.

Also, for the first time ever, someone visited this website from Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia. What the hell?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Larry Hughes, Pt. 1

I've been going to this site for quite some time now but damnit, it's gotten hilarious. It's called Hey Larry Hughes, Please Stop Taking So Many Bad Shots. Seriously, the web address is http://heylarryhughespleasestoptakingsomanybadshots.com/.

Larry Hughes, for those of you who don't know, is the 'starting point guard' (quotations definitely necessary) for the Cleveland Cavs basketball team. If you are a fan of the Cavs (sorry), or a basketball fan in general, you will get a kick out of the site.

My favorite part? Probably the haiku:

Brick brick brick brick brick
Brick brick, brick brick, brick brick brick
Pay him $12 million

Also pure genius is the author's response to a commenter who praised the fact that Larry procured two steals in a win vs the San Antonio Spurs:

Bill // Jan 18, 2008 at 10:16 am

Boy, that was a nice victory! Why didn't you say anything about him being in there in clutch time. What about that nice steal he had on parker?

clefan // Jan 18, 2008 at 10:31 am

Bill, that WAS a nice victory! I couldn't agree more. But you should know by now, this site focuses on Larry Hughes taking bad shots. If you are looking for a site that goes in-depth on Larry's crunch time play or his defensive steals, I recommend these sites:




Cleveland fans, try to stop laughing now. Or maybe crying.

PS - I've posted about Larry many, many times before, but since I just enabled Titling in my blog I named this one 'Pt. 1'

Monday, January 14, 2008

Two quick things:

First, as promised, here is a demo of a new song. I've been working on a ton of new stuff, so there will be more demos shortly.


Second, this is just a fantastic article. A year ago I started writing a little essay that is very similar to this article's subject matter, but frankly the writing blows mine out of the water. Just read it.

Friday, January 11, 2008

It took over two hours, but I finally got my Rock Band drum set to play real drums via Reason on my PC. I had to visit a bunch of different web sites and tried out at least six different programs to get it to work, so here are the instructions - all in one place - if you're looking to do the same thing.

Step 1: Plug in the drum set to your computer via USB if you have the Xbox 360 version like me. Windows might automatically recognize it, or you might have to let Windows search for the proper driver (by following the prompts that appear after you plug it in). It took a few minutes but it finally worked.

1A (optional): Go to Control Panel/Game Controllers (Control Panel/Printers and Other Hardware/Game Controllers in XP) and click on Properties. There you can try hitting the drum pads and see if they register in the calibration program (I will have pictures of everything up soon).

2: Download and install Bome's Mouse Keyboard. This is a virtual Midi controller which will allow you to control Reason via your keyboard. Their website is great, and a lot of what I'm going to post next comes directly from there or from links on their site.

3. Download and unzip JoyToKey. This program will allow you to set specific keyboard keys to your game controller (ie the Rock Band Drums). So you will eventually set the kick pedal on the drums to the 'Z' key on the keyboard using this program (and the 'Z', in turn, will be set to control something in Reason via Bome's Mouse Keyboard).

4. Download and install Maple Virtual Midi Cable. This is simply a virtual Midi Input/Output driver that you will need to 'connect' Bome's Mouse Keyboard to Reason. You will need to restart your computer after installing this.

This next section is taken - almost verbatim - from here. You'll want to follow along on that page for now since it has helpful pictures.

5. After the restart, launch Bome's Mouse Keyboard. Go to File-Import-Knob Presets. It will open a folder where you will select the Presets folder, and then select the 'Reason3_Knobs.ini' preset (they've already created one specifically for Reason. Pretty damn cool). Select 'Add to Existing Knob Presets'. You should get a notice saying the knob loaded successfully.

5A. Go to Knobs-Presets and select the Reason preset you just loaded. Now you should see 10 knobs in the upper right corner of Bome's Mouse Keyboard.

5B. Go to Midi Out and select the first Maple MIDI item you see. This is the virtual Midi cable you installed earlier.

6. Launch Reason. Go to Edit-Preferences. Select the Audio page. Make sure 'Play in Background' is selected.

6A. Switch to the 'Control Surfaces and Keyboards' page within Preferences. You should be able to select 'Bome' as a manufacturer, and then 'Mouse Keyboard V2' as a model. Finally - very important - select the same Maple MIDI item as the 'MIDI Input' as you selected for the 'MIDI Output' in Bome's Mouse Keyboard.

Then click OK.

6B. You should have the option to Make Master Keyboard (if it isn't already). Click that button to make Bome your Master Keyboard for Reason.

6C. Now set up a ReDrum box in Reason, select a drum patch, and then make sure Bome's Mouse Keyboard is active (that means click on it). Hit the 'Z' button on the keyboard - you should see one of the little keys on the Mouse Keyboard depress, but there probably won't be any sound - I had to set the Mouse Keyboard to play an octave lower (I think it was in Options, but I will double check this). After setting it an octave lower, press the 'Z' key again - a different key on the Mouse Keyboard will depress (the very first key on the left) and you should hear a drum!

7. Now launch JoyToKey. Also bring up the Game Controllers-Preferences screen (from step 1A). Determine which button each drum pad controls, for instance, I think the kick pedal is Button 6. So double click on Button 6 in JoyToKey, which will open up another window, and then hit 'Z' to set the kick pedal to the 'Z' button on your keyboard ('Z' always controls the kick drum in Reason's ReDrum kits). Then set the red drum to the 'S' key if you're right-handed (the snare drum). The other three drum pads are up to you, since different Reason drum kits have different sounds set to different places. You can play around with your keyboard first - try all the keys from 'Z' to 'B' and 'S' to 'G' to see what does what, and then set your drum pads to the desired keys via JoyToKey.

8. Latency. It only took me a little over an hour to get to this point, but I had a big latency issue, where I would strike the drum and a split second later the drum sound occurred. It was very close, but once I started trying to play a beat that slight difference made playing impossible.

It took forever, but I finally figured out how to fix it. Just go to Edit-Preferences in Reason and go to the Audio page. Try to select the specific ASIO driver for your soundcard in 'Audio Card Driver' (if it has one). I then tried playing with the 'Latency Compensation', but this didn't really do anything. I finally had success by clicking the 'Control Panel' button (still on the Audio page) and selecting a very low latency there.

I guess other people have had success by altering the latency or the buffer size directly in their soundcard's software.

And that's it. When I finally got it working I seriously felt like it was the greatest accomplishment of my life. It's the coolest thing ever. Hope this helped, and again - I will post pictures soon to help illustrate the instructions.

A few notes:

The bass drum pedal is odd, because the 'button' is pressed fairly early when you push down on the pedal. So the sound doesn't occur when your foot fully depresses the pedal and hits the floor (like on a real drum), it happens a little early, like it's reverse-latency. This kind of sucks, and I can't think of a fix unless someone were to write some code to give only that button some latency (I think Harmonix must have compensated for this within Rock Band, because it feels just fine in-game).

There are other programs you can use for the virtual MIDI driver, the keyboard MIDI controller or the Joystick-to-keyboard program, but I tried a few of each and the ones I mentioned worked best for me.

I'm using a brand-new soundcard (E-MU 0404), and after getting the drums working I went in to do some recording in ProTools and suddenly I can't record ANYTHING. It was working before I set up the drums, so I must have screwed something up in the process, only I can't figure it out at all. Sound is getting to my computer, I can see that via my soundcard software, but ProTools is not recognizing it at all. It plays back audio fine, but nothing coming in is registering. It's maddening and I can't figure it out. If anyone has any ideas please let me know. The drums are nice touch, but I need to be able to record.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Got the soundcard and drivers installed yesterday, but not all of the kinks are worked out between it and the mixer I'm using. I now have to route things differently and it's a little tricky. But I think it works well enough for now, the sound quality is fantastic and I can now use my more powerful computer for recording. I was using the casio to test out the soundcard and the brief little multitrack test I ran ended up being something I think I can use in the future. The first session with the new setup is tonight, so I am planning on posting the fruits of my labors here soon (presuming it is in a finished-enough state - I'm still battling a cold and may not be able to sing well enough).

So it's now a race to get the last two puzzle pieces in place - a midi controller to use with Reason, and a new, 'real' mixer (I'm currently using a ghetto 'Eurorack' mixer intended for DJs).

I was bidding on a midi controller just this morning on ebay. It was cheap, and apparently brand-new in the box. Some other asshole was bidding against me in the closing seconds, and he ended up nabbing it at - literally - the last moment, for a nice price. I should have made my final maximum bid like $5 higher. He got that thing for a steal.

There are more auctions on the horizon, but not at such a low price for such quality. Damn it.

Monday, January 7, 2008

I am pleased to announce the arrival of my new E-MU 0404 Digital Audio System sound card. It will allow me to start recording in blissful 24-bit sound and comes with a slew of software titles, most of which I will never even bother installing.

With this new toy (and the Casio, and the violin, and Reason) I am going to start recording some demos of songs I've been working on in the past few months and I'll post them here. I think I'm going to start doing this regularly. Really, with the internet, I'm not really seeing the point of releasing albums anymore. There are no distribution costs whatsoever, so let's lower the barrier between artist and consumer.

I am patiently awaiting the arrival of a new soundcard today. I bought an external hard drive the other day, I bought another ebow a week ago (after my first one inexplicably got fried about a year ago) and I'm looking for a midi controller for my newly-acquired Reason program (ridiculously cool). Also, I don't think I ever mentioned that I got an old 1984 Casio keyboard a month or so ago. The thing is awesome.

Once the soundcard is installed I'm going to proclaim the beginning of Lost on Purpose 2.0. I will be well on my way to actually having a respectable recording rig. I can't believe what I've managed to do with the junk I have, really.

I wonder if there's a way to sync the electronic drum set from Rock Band with a PC and use it to control Reason...

Speaking of which, I'm on a Rock Band hiatus since yesterday morning I couldn't stop seeing the note charts in my head every time I closed my eyes. Too much Rock Band.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Well that was quite an extended absence. I'm back in LA after a three-week tour of the midwest and I'm working hard at putting together a new recording rig. Actually I'm just adding a few pieces to my existing one, the centerpiece of which is a new sound card, which 'should' allow me to start recording on my good computer (I tried this when I first got the computer but the on-board sound card has an incurable lag). I know this is interesting to everyone, but it's important, damn it.

So I now own Rock Band, otherwise known as the greatest game in the history of the world. You may not have heard of it, but it's similar to Guitar Hero, only 15 times better (and if you don't know what Guitar Hero is then you might as well stop reading). This is why Rock Band is genius - it has drums. Like, real electronic drums.

Long before I ever starting playing guitar I wanted to be a drummer. This was like age 12, but my parents wouldn't let me play unless I learned how to read music first. I was ok with this, but they never got around to getting me lessons or anything. A few years later, when I wanted to play guitar, the music-reading stipulation did not come into play for some reason.

In all the bands I've been in I've always taken every possible opportunity to jump behind the drum kit. And over the years I've gotten pretty good. Not 'good' good, but good enough that I jumped behind the kit on Rock Band and could nail every song on Medium with no problem. I've only had the game for a few days and I've made the move to Hard for most of the songs - it's just incredible. It's exactly like playing real drums. Medium dumbs it down a bit, but is still a blast, but Hard, for the most part, has the correct bass drums patterns and everything. You really have to gain independence in your limbs to play this game, and going through the solo mode has an incredibly even learning curve. Best game ever, hands down.

Also, if you habla espanol there's a new review up at a Spanish site here.