Next week I am playing with a great group called The Mommyheads. They’re my new favorite band.
The Mommyheads remind me of the band I always wanted. It’s almost like a Chris Merritt or Paperface, but better produced. Great songs, unique sound, rhythmic artistry, fun with arrangements, .
Make SURE to stream their new record for free. It’s right here at Magnet
Working on a new album and stuff. Make sure to check out Tit Talks if you haven’t already! Jake Thro will be my guest on the next….Tit Talks!
Employment and standards of living in America have been dropping for years and continue to drop. People are upset. I am also upset.
There are bigger problems headed our way (where “our” refers to the human race). There is only one way out, as I see it; for people to question all authority, which includes, most importantly, their own bias. Don’t squeeze ideas out of your head that are uncomfortable. And remember, problems are inevitable, and problems are soluble. Think rationally.
Recently I’ve heard from some people who have angrily dismissed my music because of my “views”. In my life, I’ve received plenty of heat from my closest friends and family, and fans too, for my “outspoken” political and religious ideas. However, my understanding and opinion on almost every subject changes drastically with new evidence and learning. I don’t claim to have the answers. I just claim that there are answers (which is scarily a very unpopular way to look at the world recently). Plenty of people have rejected my music on the learning of my “views”, as if the music is somehow poisoned. Anyway, they’re upset, and they feel the need to tell me about it.
Why should extreme reactions be frequent? Because political and religious views become a personal and social movement, a core ethos, a tattoo on the brain. People can’t reject them without feeling rejected themselves. But why should this ever be the case? Sculpting views on the nature of reality (which are what religion and politics should amount to) only involves reasoning and logic. It involves debating and learning with the sole purpose of finding the best possible solutions. It involves creativity and finding new solutions. It’s unemotional and often very subtle.
My only consistent ideal is bias-questioning and using science to get to objective reality. This means I have rejected my childhood faith in organized religion and eventually any notion of spirituality or god. I have rejected socially unjust politics, which includes any policy that affects lifestyle choice or only affects a certain “group” of humans. I have rejected the notion that government is an effective means to affect positive change. I reject the “Spaceship Earth” hypothesis and most environmentalism. I accept the probability of the multiverse theory.
But mostly, I think our existence on this planet is one of the most tragic, beautiful, special things in the observed universe. I think the human race has the most special superpower – the power of explanation. This is the power of creative thought and understanding that grows with time. Use your superpower, reject your bias.
Here’s a new thing! I’ll be doing a show featuring clips of new and old Chris Merritt tunes! I’ll also be chewing the fat with my friends. This week, I have musical expert and longtime friend Wes Mantooth on the program.
Check out the first and last song on the show – the secret preview of a new group I’m starting – Future Caveman!
The entity will be called Chris Merritt And The Dirty Girls, which also works as a metaphor for the whole project. I want to use different musicians and producers/engineers on tracks, even if some people are heavily involved throughout the project. In the world of music creation, this is often referred to as The Slut Method. (It isn’t, really. Did you believe me?)
It might seem contrary to said slut ethos, but I want this to be the most cohesive of my records. Perhaps the threads running through the album won’t be things like “this snare drum was recorded in the same room” but instead, consistency in the quality and artistry of production (to surpass Pixie) and songwriting (to surpass anything I’ve done), as well as things like melodic cleverness, a new awareness of the “sound”, and lyrical and thematic unity (even storytelling) calling for a new enlightenment of the human race.
I plan on recording around 30 songs, none of them half-assed, all of them built as potential album candidates. After mixing, I’m going to whittle those down to TEN songs. I’ll release the others in some kind of bonus package. Most are new songs, but some are demos that I’ve always wanted to record properly. All of them will be changed significantly though. For example, On My Own will definitely be attempted, but I’m keeping the tempo and vibe but upping the stakes, re-doing all the lyrics, and meshing it with a completely new chorus.
Here are some of the album potentials: Amelia, Poor Places, Newborn Child, People On The Street, Come On Daisy, Sucker Punch, On My Own, Coney Island, Pretty Bitch, Worth It, The Beautiful Ms. Parker And I, Jitterbug, Tiny Bird, Anthem For Evolution, Spider, Do You Love Me?, Bi-Polar, Sherlock Holmes, Mally,……
…..and most exciting to me, a re-imagining of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, my favorite piece of music of all time. All four movements will be different and complete songs, arranged for a piano-rock beat-down. I’ve been working for months rearranging sections and turning Rimsky-Korsakov’s masterpiece into an epic, condensed opus, complete with lyrics. The original tale of the Arabian Nights will be set in the future and involve the rise of artificial intelligence, and people’s struggle to find explanations for our incredible multiverse.
Brett came up with the name and it’s our favorite. I know there will be haters, but that’s partially why we picked it. We’re kind of punk rock, dude. But we decided on the one that makes US laugh.
There were lots of great suggestions for band names. Many clever ones! Thanks so much for your kick-ass ideas! It was almost impossible to choose.
So here’s my thinking. I’m coming from the perspective of new people finding out about this music. Lots of exciting things are happening behind the scenes, and I’m about to make my opus. My masterpiece. There will be lots of new people who will be turned on to The Merrittcle for the first time.
Here’s how I find out about bands. A friend with something resembling musical taste says, “DUDE. Have you heard of Glowing Pee Puddle?” Or whatever. And I say “No…wait maybe. I don’t know or care.” And they say “listen to this.” And I’m like, “Wow, this is super duper.” And then a few hours later, I forgot their name, and I have the same conversation ten times and actually LISTEN to Glowing Pee Puddle a couple YEARS later. (That’s the time scale. It’s bizarre. We live in a phase where the only music presented to us publicly is basically fart noises, Read More …
HEY check out what I did! I organized the music page and now you can listen to all the Chris Merritt albums with ease!
Also, now there’s a place to point people to when you want to show ‘em some Chris Merritt tunes. There’s a “best of” that Brett Ripley put together called Get Evolved (he did the artwork too) that showcases all the “pop” hits. Then there’s a weird Read More …
Do randomness and ambiguity destroy culture? With no middle man, art becomes democratic. That sounds good, but not for the artist who requires multiple listens to be understood. As opposed to, you know, a quirky video that hits on half a viewing.
The world is shifting quickly under intellectuals’ and artists’ feet. People quickly make the point that it’s “easier to reach an audience” in our new digital age, but I think even this is misinformed. If you studied your whole life to get a job at a certain advertising firm, and suddenly, as you arrived for your interview, the firm had severely lowered it’s standards for hiring and was hiring ten times as many people for a tenth the pay, the less qualified would get in easier. But that only makes it harder for you to get in, and to get paid for your expertise. The insidious part, however, is that most people, aside from experts in the field of advertising, wouldn’t be able to tell you apart from your new semi-qualified co-workers. In fact, the average dudes may even be smoother talking and less obtuse and appear more wise to the layman.
OK, so the metaphor breaks down a little there. Advertising is about what works. It’s accompanied by numbers that prove or disprove someone’s qualifications.
But what about great, ahead-of-their-generation authors? Composers? Science philosophers? Physicists? Society doesn’t know what’s interesting or worth money and resources as a whole. Society’s collective mind is much like the primitive instinct-driven mind of the Homosapien individual. Lazy, and looking for it’s basic needs to be met, as well as cheap, narcissistic thrills. Our current technology is like one big enabler. The path we’re on is one that leads to all of us working for a giant collective, and in our time off, plugging in to virtual porn to a soundtrack of techno.
It’s getting worse, I’m sorry to say. There must be a solution. I’ve talked about the death of the music industry, for example, for five years now. Where people used to vehemently disagree with me, they now agree. The promising digital future for artists on the web has amounted to begging for money on Kickstarter.
Those who know me know I’m more obsessed with science, art, music, and life than anyone. I love it. I also love technology. I’m the last person on earth who thinks technology is somehow evil or “wrong” in some superstitious sense. But what about ethical sense? And again, not the “ethics” of Christianity that purport ghostly good and evil, but the true meaning of ethical. Is it good for us, humans, in the long haul? Do we want a vapid, cheap, personalized culture, or would we rather have a movement? We could push our artistic and intellectual faculties to the limit on a public scale. It could be cool to be smart, instead of a social taboo. We could be a passionate, living, breathing society that probes the depths of reality.
So where would we start?
801-6-TEXT-CM Send in your questions via text message!
HAILEY!!!! HAILEY!!!!! HAAAAAAIIIIIILLLEYYYY!!!! Sorry, Hailey isn’t here right now, can I take a message?
Hey Chris! I first want to say that you are just about everything I love in a musician. Keep up the good work. As for my question: What is it that prompts you to make songs in these wacky time signatures? The only reason I’ve seen anyone anything other than 4/4 for any reason is if it’s an adventure song, in which case they tend to use 6/8, or a song that has the soul purpose of teaching the young musicians to play those other time signatures. – Derek Awesomesauce
First of all, congratulations on sending that enormous message via text message. I would have given up half way through. Man, you know, I LOVE odd times, but not in the “prog” way you’re mentioning. I don’t think there are many artists doing it. Popular music, and even ‘indie’ music has hit this brick wall of innovation….odd time signatures are so fun, and so emotional, and such an open canvas that hasn’t been touched. I loved guys like Frank Black always….he’s the only one I know really that uses odd times consistently to serve the melody. Why restrain yourself to 4/4? I just don’t get it. My only rule is it has to sound natural, or at the worst, unnatural to serve the mood of the song. Like, I never say, I’m going to do this in 7/8….it just feels good. Ballads in 7/8 and 5/8 are my new jam. Pulse, This Is Your Brain On Carl Sagan, Poor Places….can’t wait to record them properly. I have this new one in 11/8 too.
What time is the show today?
10 PM tonight!!! Check out the TOUR page!!!
Your fans ever get on your nerves? Ever tire of being called genius? Would you think it weird to accept a monetary advace from a total stranger ?
Well! Soon my hat won’t fit! HAHAHAHA!!!! My hat!!!! Get it?? Won’t be big enough to fit on my head, because you are making my head so big!!!!! HAHA!!!!
Oh. Questions. Do my fans get on my nerves? No way. My mom only calls me like once a week, so it’s fine. BAHAHAHA! Ever tire of being called a genius? No. In fact, I get tired whenever someone ISN’T calling me a genius. I literally just fall asleep wherever I am. I usually get in 22, 23 hours of sleep per day. And as for the last question, I’m not sure if you are saying “monetary advice” or a “monetary advance”. Either way, I don’t know what impression you have of me, but I’m loaded with cash, so nothing is needed, thank you very much. What threw you off? My hundreds of songs about being broke? HA! That was just a dirty lie to maintain struggling artist credibility! BWA HAHA!!!!
Ok, I’ve got to go now. I’ve got to see if I can wrangle $2.50 in change from the couch to get on the subway.