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On ideas

A Mass of Nothing

If you do not know about The Sarcastic Dharma Society (aka Mat Vuksinich) I highly recommend that you check him out. As mentioned a while back, there is nothing I appreciate more than a great voice and Vuksinich’s is incredible. There is something so mature, yet unfocused, about it that just grabs my attention.

I was introduced to his voice when a friend sent me a collection of cover songs that Vuksinich had completed with some Portland based musicians. He titled the project Other Peoples Songs and I was floored as to how he managed to generate new life in the collection that he had chosen to cover.

Being quite familiar with most of the songs made me that much more aware of the talent that Vuksinich has. In fact, I think that was part of what intrigued me most about The Sarcastic Dharma Society. The songs that were chosen to cover were songs that I had grown up with; they were songs that I had purchased and had listened to countless times. They were songs that I loved and he was pulling off the seemingly impossible by making them sound original and distinctive. He wrote a great letter about the project and I have included it here:

“… from september 29th to october 7th, via the use of many unemployed hours, and the combination of an unclaimed magnus chord organ and an unclaimed bedroom, both in the house whose couch i sleep upon, i recorded a new cover song every day. they are here presented in chronological order to represent those 9 ridiculous days. the idea was to record one a day for thirty days, but on the 10th day, drained of all creativity, imagination, and interesting ideas, i drank a bottle of wine whilst stumbling through an uninspired rendition of At Night’s “Catch The Moon” in the bathroom and realized the recording was a mess, and an obvious indication that i could no longer force myself into such prolific production. well, i could, but it would stop being good.

so i took a break, focused on writing, played a few shows, and a couple months later started working on “don’t let me down”. that one took me a lot more than a day–i couldn’t figure out how the 5/4 part in the bridge came in/went out for weeks. i was making it a lot more complicated than it had to be, but it took the musical competency of my dad to help me see that. seriously, the guy’s a pro.

i think it was (is) a good project, and i’ve learned a lot. it is beneficial to force yourself to work even when you’re not feeling “inspired”, but only to a point. when you pass that point, you make crap. also: i work well in one day increments.i’m going to continue to do covers, and have already started working on volume two, but i also need to record/finish writing the next record of original sarcastic dharma society stuff, and i want to do some recording/production for some other people, and i want to get a live band together, so we’ll see about all that. much love, -mat”

The Sarcastic Dharma Society – First Day of My Life (Bright Eyes Cover)
Bright Eyes – First Day of My Life


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