Communication, baby

Its funny.

You major in a degree called communication, but in reality, you know nothing.

You take intercultural communication, mass communication, communication theory…

It all seemed pretty silly at the time. One professor talking about “saving face” and another about peeling the layers of someone’s onion.

Most people major in communication because they couldn’t think of anything better.

Not me.

I was one of the few lucky ones who actually knew what they were doing in college almost right off the bat. (After I figured out I actually wanted to go to college, anyway.)

That was journalism.

That magical one word: journalism.

The art and science of writing, reporting and communicating all the crap that happens in the world so other people can learn about the day’s or moment’s events and join the global conversation.

But I don’t need a degree to tell me I don’t know jack when I hit the real world.

All one needs is a romantic relationship; a significant other; a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife.

So much of a relationship relies on keeping the conversation going. Just like a reporter converses with a reader through his/her words, a boyfriend must communicate to his girlfriend with a different set of words — the spoken kind.

Well, more often anyway.

I can write more eloquently than I can talk.

Putting my fingers on the keyboard gets my brain churning in a way that allows me to gather my thoughts and get them “on paper” in a comprehensible way.

But the spoken dialogue can be the biggest challenge.

“That’s not what I meant!”

“I didn’t say that!”

“You take that back!”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

Its a never-ending series of statements that reflect two people trying to communicate to each other. To say something that the other understands, to phrase something lightly or delicately, bluntly or plainly. The real trick is to say what you mean without getting under the other’s skin.

I’ve learned more about communication in the past three years with my girlfriend than I could in any classroom.

Same could be said for everything — most true trades are learned outside the classroom. But as someone who studies language and follows all the newfangled ways we humans communicate, I’m always surprised by how much I learn.

Always trying to meet in the middle, find a place where two people can agree is a truly challenging thing.

Especially when the conversation between a serious twentysomething couple spirals into the taboo: marriage, kids, moving in together, etc.

How do two people from totally different backgrounds with similar values but opposite timelines maintain?

Through one way and one way only: communication.

Say what you mean and mean what you say. Apologize when you’re wrong or when you said something mean. Stand up for what you believe in, but always be willing to compromise. Because, without that, there’s nothing.

A real update? Something to say, music to spare

So my biggest problem with blogging is that I don’t take enough time to actually do it!

Right now, my schedule is pretty intense — Monday Wednesday Fridays @ Current TV in Hollywood (more on my experiences with LA public transportation to come). The other four days of the week are at The Apple Store in Brea. The rest of my time consists of sleeping, eating (yet another topic of discussion to come), drinking girlfriend, email, etc.

Though I do spend a lot of time on computers, I tend to be doing other things. Like devouring news, interning, and selling them.

Computers aside, let’s get to last week’s shows (I know, sooo outdated. so sorry. my post times should improve with the upcoming purchase of a long-awaited iphone (more on that later, again)…

The experimental indie group started a dance party at the Troubadour Sept. 27.

The experimental indie group started a dance party at the Troubadour Sept. 27.

!!! (pronounced, sometimes written chk chk chk) rocked the house at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, one of my all-time favorite venues. Small club with two bars, and a very up close and personal stage.

Played a lot of good ones from “Myth Takes” and an older one called “Intensify” that was awesome.

An all-out dance funk party. The crowd was into it; touching, fondling and grooving to the somewhat homoerotic dance moves and hip thrusts from frontman Nic Offer.

And there was an awesome old-school cool black lady singing gospel-punk style backup, dancing and clapping when she didn’t have a part.

The eight piece Brooklyn ensemble definitely kicked ass, and the crowd interaction with Offer was great. He even went up to the green room at one point mid-set, not coming back to the stage until a few minutes into a new song.

Most impressive though? The Troubadour fans actually screamed and clapped loud enough, for a good long 1 or 2 minutes (gasp!) before the band returned. Which in writing doesn’t seem all that cool, but if you’ve been to as many rock shows as I have where the audience hammers out a clap for under 30 seconds before a group comes back, that’s just lame. If you’re gonna put on an encore, make sure it’s really worth it! I can’t remember what songs were played for the encore because it’s been too long, so we’ll move on.

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Rewind one night and I’m at the Glasshouse in Pomona. I love this locati0n. Mostly because I can catch great bands really close to home. I live a good mile away from downtown Pomona and have been taking the Metrolink from there to get to Hollywood lately. The train station is actually quite nice. A transit center for buses too. But I also love the Glasshouse because there’s now an amazing bar next door called Acerogami. Nothing on tap disappoints me greatly; but Perry Tollet, the owner of the Glasshouse, Acerogami, and part-owner of the Pomona Fox and Goldenvoice, apparently has a thing for Souther American beers…so besides the basic low quality bottles of domesticated Coors and Miller stuff, ask for the unique ones.

Getting to the point here, I went with my buddy Art to see Portugal. The Man. This is a band I will not stop talking about. You can watch or listen to a live performance in the KCRW studios here from a few weeks ago to see what I mean. The band’s live show has evolved greatly from simply performing excellent quirky indie numbers to turning the set into a full-on jam experimental jam session with a few pop morsels from their latest, The Satanic Satanist, to round things out.

Words can’t describe, so go here for yourself. I’ve still got a tune called “The Sun” sitting in my box widget over on the right hand side that you can download, free of charge. I’m sure the Alaskans by way of Portland (from Alaska, residing in Portland) wouldn’t mind. Share the love right

ptm

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TO finish this age-old update, I also caught Wallpaper (I know, crazy fuckin week) on Tuesday @ Cinespace. An entertaining performance for sure. Amazing? Naw, but we had fun. Wallpaper, I recently discovered, is a hilarious side project of Eric Frederic. Who is he? He is someone I’ve been following for years, fronting Locale A.M. and more recently Facing New York. FNY is incredible — an audio triceratops as Matt Embree of RX Bandits once referred to them as in conversation.

Wallpaper is more of an autotune R&B white rapper kinda thing that is ridiculous in far too many ways to explain. The dude’s wearing white jeans, a 70s style shirt, a gold chain, shades and a hat, singing about “going big on the weekend” in my personal favorite: T-Rex. See for yourself…thanks to my friend Claire for introducing me, not knowing who was behind the creation, and to my friend Grant who probably thinks its awesome:

Keeping it Current

one of current tv's hollywood buildings

one of current tv's hollywood buildings

Started my first week interning at Current TV, with the Vanguard journalism dept.

A radical group of people for sure…I hope to get in the know.

As expected, a laid-back, hip, young office vibe. But they’re true to their work and are on top of their game.

And on day 2, I got to watch porn….while eating donuts! The thanks goes to Christof, the Current correspondent working on a documentary on the porn industry for the new season of Vanguard, starting Oct. 22.

[Emmy-nominated investigative documentary series, it seems is what we call Vanguard]

I watched — well, fast forwarded through the explicit scenes and slowed down for the dialogue — “Space Nuts” and “Curse Eternal,” two “big” budget pornographic flicks. I say “big” because I’m not sure the size of the budgets nor the comparison to Hollywood films….I didn’t realize there was really a story here until today. Makes sense though – the “real” acting and art that goes into porno DVDs is being undercut by Internet profiteers in the porn biz and gonzo porn stuff.

Sex aside, being behind the scenes a very interesting company that puts out really excellent documentaries and media for the 18-34 demographic should prove quite awesome and hopefully fruitful.

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IN MUSIC THIS WEEK: Because I can’t blog enough about all the artists I want to, you need to check out the latest from Mute Math, Muse, Imogen Heap and Bat For Lashes.

I heard “Backfire” from Mute Math @ The Press in Claremont tonight, which was surprising but awesome. Saw these guys open for Mae freshman year of college at The Glasshouse in Pomona. Only caught the end of their set, but I was immediately impressed: weird noises, a proggy Radiohead feel, melodic verses, fast-paced beats, catchy keyboard and guitar riffs, with a soothing Coldplay-esque voice that can lull you to sleep and get you dancing all at the same time.

>>download the title track, “Armistice,” from the widget on the right! Listen more on LaLa or Myspace

Imogen Heap and Bat For Lashes are my latest lady obsessions, both creating definitively unique sounds through synthesizer manipulation contrasting organic instrumentation like ethnic drums and chimes. I highly, highly recommend. Especially if you’re looking for something. They’re eye-openers. Also caught BfL @ Outside Lands San Francisco a few weeks ago. Couldn’t tell if the girl was hot or not! Girlfriend and I couldn’t quite figure her out. See for yourself below:

batforlashes