Sheer Covers Bob Dylan – Tangled Up In Blue

November 22nd, 2022

I have mixed feelings about this but I don’t think it’s going to get any better absent significant work that I don’t currently have time to put into it.

At the moment most of my studio time is being spent either working on Bruce’s album or songwriting for the followup album to BIS – but I do from time to time track a cover just to keep my recording skills fresh. This is the latest. This is definitely in my “Jam band” style.

http://sheer.us/stuff/2022/SheerCoversBobDylan-TangledUpInBlue.mp3

Another reason to be pro-abortion in case of rape

November 11th, 2022

So, we’d all like to pretend that humans have perfect free will and are always making conscious decisions about everything they do. Among other things it makes us feel better when we punish them for being bad. However, statistically speaking, a taste for rape *should* be baked into our genome as it is a evolutionary successful strategy. Most of us learn to overcome such things just as a puppy learns bite inhibition *however* if you want to have more rape (and incest!) in the future, one good way to make sure of it is to force mothers to bear the children that are the fruit of rape – some of those fathers may have never been exposed to the necessary socialization to learn bite inhibition, but others will be, for various hormonal or neural network shaped reasons, immune to it. See, that’s how evolution works. Aborting fetusi that are the results of rape and incest is lowering the odds that in the future those things will occur, because even though we like to pretend that we are entirely creatures of free will, in fact our decision making is colored a lot by the chemical soup wandering around in our blood. We’re loose confederations of subnets.

Just one more reason to be pro-choice, if anyone needed any. Also one more reason to not let the people who put religious beliefs in front of clearly observable science run the place. They will build a nightmare dystopia that even *they* don’t like – because evidence-based decision making really is the way to go.

Conflicting Interests

October 20th, 2022

So, I just learned that one of my best friends from high school has cancer – hopefully is beating it, but has been paralyzed. The awkward bit here is that she’s from the era before I pretty much eschewed all religion and is very religious. I’m already on record as saying from my point of view cancer is proof that we’re not the product of intelligent design as a intelligent designer would freeze mutations with something like a CRC-32 after the initial mitosis of the egg.

And, we haven’t talked in like ten years, so odds are she isn’t going to call me out of the blue. If she did, though, I would likely not mention that theory because the last thing I would want to do is take any energy away from her healing.

I hate that I’ve gotten old enough that friends are dying, getting cancer, etc. I know it’s a normal part of life – that indeed I myself will be dying in 30 or so years. After which persumably I’ll know the answer to whether there’s life after death – or I won’t. 😉

I wish there was something I could do for this particular one – I’ve sent messages of support to her and her partner (who is also a lifetime friend), but since I’m 3000 miles away it’s not like I can pop in to do baby-sitting for them. I guess if they need money I can send some of that. I hate the powerlessness as well.

There is the part of me that worries – and I think this underlines to what extent religion is a mental illness in me – that if I *had* believed this wouldn’t be happening.. possibly that I’m seeing a custom mix where my friend dies while she’s seeing a custom mix where everything is fine to punish me for not believing the right things. But on the other paw I also think that idea is absurd and not in any way compatible with anything other than evil being in charge of the universe.

Anyway, so, apparently if you’re fighting cancer, you get a pass on believing absurd things. I wish I could stop worrying about the situation.

Additional thought – I would ask the CEPT team at alt.callahans to do a CEPT, but the last time I did, the guy died. In addition, scientific research suggests remote prayer does nothing at all if the person doesn’t know, and makes things *worse* if they do. And, I don’t really believe in remote prayer doing anything useful anyway, other than making the person doing the praying feel better. (But then, see above bit about mental illness, I wonder, if I believed different things, would the results be different?)

Most Recent Road Trip

October 10th, 2022

Map showing stops in MN, IN, KY, MD, and return to Seattle

Entropy and human systems

September 28th, 2022

So, I’ve been doing some more thinking (partially because of reading Einstien’s Fridge, which I’d recommend as a great read) about entropy and human systems. Specifically human systems tend to get progressively more corrupt as they age and/or grow larger until eventually they collapse and new systems are created out of their ashes. This is also true of individual human bodies.. our bodies run well for 30 years or so and then various forms of aging start to win – a form of corruption, if you will. And then, obviously, we die. Again with the reset.

Life in general seems like, while it’s not violating the laws of thermodynamics, it’s doing something funny on the stage of ordering information. Of course great writers and musicians and actors and whatnot are all ordering information in their own uniquely recognizable ways, and therefore resisting the tendency of the universe to slowly remove all ordered all information and move towards a totally random – and energy-equal – state.

It does make me wonder if it would be possible to create a religion that would do the *opposite* of growing steadily more corrupt, and what would have to be written into it to make it do that?

Interesting thought to mull over.

The challenges of ego in tracking

September 11th, 2022

So, I’m in the studio this weekend tracking parts for a friend’s concept album – except I’m actually not. What I’m actually doing is providing scratch tracks to allow him to get the timing right, over which we will track better parts later. Which is fine with me. I was running into a weird ego thing where the AE is keeping my parts faded way down – which makes perfect sense, after all mistakes in them don’t even matter – but there was part of me that kept trying to convince me it was because of how much my vocals suck, which may also be a true criticism but I’m pretty sure is not why he’s doing it.

I think I’m on record before as saying that to be a really great musician you have to be able to not let your ego get in the way of the music. THis is definitely one of those moments – I mean, it’s a honor to be considered as a session musician and this is where I want to go and it has been a lot of fun. I’ll go back and track “real” parts with the guitars – for the drums and vocals we’re tracking at Orbit Audio because they have better mics and a better sounding room than I even want to try to have, then for all the line-in type stuff we’re tracking at Sheer Sound (my basement setup, which is still more advanced than most high end studios were in the 90s)

Anyway, I really hope we can get this album shipped without the band falling apart or the originator losing interest. It’s very prog rock and a nice change from my ordinary fare.

what-sea-shoulda-been.org

September 6th, 2022

Someone really needs to create a religion to be what Scientology *should* have been.

The assholes over at sea.org are well aware that we now have things like FMRIs but their idea of a major advance is to make their skin conductivity tester (e-meter) *digital*. Yah, that’s going to help a whole bunch. Seriously, can we get a religion that is

1) Based on only observable or derivable truths
2) Not written by old men wandering in the desert thousands of years ago
3) Designed to be positive to the lives and experiences of it’s users and everyone they come in contact with
4) Carefully designed so that it *never* ‘freezes’ like the bible has (i.e. gets modified in such a way as to become unmodifiable)
5) Is not inherently internally contradictory
6) Bonus points for being based on science
7) *Major* bonus points for accepting that some things are unknowable instead of pretending to know them because it was written by a bunch of lying old men who craved power
8) I’d like it if it promoted hedonism and encouraged solidarity and helping each other
9) I’d also like it a lot if it did not claim to be the one true way
10) Anti-war would be a big plus, especially if it laid out what war costs us, both in the sense of the destroyed resources and in the sense of the generational trauma that has to be healed
11) Bonus points if it smashes the patriarchy and builds a system of equality in its place
12) Bonus points if it smashes the idea children are property
13) Bonus points if it promotes the development of tasty synthetic meat and a transition to synthetic meat
14) It’d be nice if it promoted living within the means of the ecosystem we’re in, either by developing technologies that permit us to grow food more efficiently or by promoting a smaller population than we currently have
15) Would be *great* if it could include a long term search for a understanding of how to construct neurological software – how to literally edit the structure of our mind to do what we want it to do
16) Would also be awesome if it could include long term searches for cures to every known disease for every form of life that can be considered sentient

I’ll stop there for now. But Scientology.. you could have been so great, and you so aren’t. I mean, people have been writing religions for a loooong time. Clearly the bible is made up, clearly the book of mormon is made up, humans are storytellers. Can we get a better one, with baked into it perpetual improvement until it is freeing and empowering and encouraging of love and life?

(The list of things I find *not* freeing and empowering about Christianity, for example, is quite long)

Another step on the way to being a professional musician

September 6th, 2022

So, I’ve unlocked another important achievement on the way to being a professional musician – I’ve got my first rejection letter!

This is important – we all know that Pink Floyd, the Beatles, and the Who all received rejection letters, just to name a few of my musical heros. Therefore clearly if I’m getting rejection letters I’m doing something right. (I’m only being somewhat facetious here – immediate acceptance would mean that my music is the same as the current stuff on the radio which I do not think would be very much of a success for where I want to go and what I want to do)

So, I still have to keep working on finding my audience. But.. another step along the way is done.

The folly of Alex Jones, Tucker Carlson, and similar lying liars

August 5th, 2022

So, I can’t think of one on the left off the top of my head, but I’m absolutely sure that there are. Anyway, you’ve all seen these fake news sites that deliberately spew lies – they’re very popular on Fox, for example – in order to try and delude people into voting for specific agendas.

The problem with this type of well poisoning is we live in a democratic republic. People are making decisions based on the information they learn and hear. If they learn information that isn’t true – they will make the wrong decisions. Probably the best demonstration of this is the events of Jan 6, in which a group of deluded and misled individuals tried to overthrow a fair and free election – but also Tucker Carlson attempting to lie about the Jan 6 committee results in order to keep the Big Lie going is another example of this rather egregious well poisoning.

Let me make this clear. The ship of state is steered by the people. By lying to the people, you are causing them to believe things that aren’t true. A large number of them are apparently gullible enough to believe you when you insist there’s no iceberg. They *will* run the ship into it, and *you*, Alex Jones/Tucker Carlson/Other similar entities, *will* be on the ship when it sinks and you will drown with the rest of us. So, tempting as it is to become a billionare by lying repeatedly to the people, a better choice, in terms of having a good life and the rest of us having a good life too, is to *not do that*.

It’s stupid and shortsighted behavior. *among other things*, you have no proof about what happens after death, and given that the gravity well of earth is such that all your mass, energy, and information are likely to remain right here, reincarnation is the most likely hypothesis which means it is entirely possible to be stuck with the bad decisions you made for longer than a human lifespan.

Side note, I think Alex Jones nicely demonstrates how the Bible got written. Someone very much like Alex Jones wanted to control folks and so, like Alex Jones lied a lot and claimed to know the mind of God.

Sheer Covers VNV Nation – Kingdom

July 21st, 2022

What with one thing and another I haven’t gotten any recording that wasn’t either my album or someone else’s done this year – until now. Here is me covering VNV Nation’s “Kingdom” – another song done especially for Chris Mish 😉 But I hope you’ll all enjoy it anyway.

Sheer Covers VNV Nation-Kingdom

This is a cover, so presumably the original is copyright VNV Nation. Here’s the lyrics (and chord chart) anyway:

Verse 1:
========
G#m
Our domain, this kingdom come,
now godless lands whose ways are lost
Without the strength to carry on.
All values lost, all virtue none.

Part II:
========
G#m D#m
Did you think that you’d be saved
C#
by burning flags to cleanse yourselves of shame?
G#m C# D#m
Or are you afraid, as you stare back at your face?
G#m F# C# D#m
Or are you ashamed, are you afraid, by destroying what the gods once gave?

G# F# E C#

G#m
————- Do you think that you’ll be saved?

B F#
And I believe that we’ll conceive
C#m G#m
to make in hell for us a heaven.
B F#
A brave new world, a promised land.
C#m G#m
A fortitude of hearts and minds.
E B
Until I see this kingdom’s mine
F# C#m
I’ll turn the darkness into light.
E B
I’ll guide the blind. My will be done
F# C#m G#m
until the day I say our kingdom has been won.
G#m
No more the servants of the weak
devoid of thought or light to seek.
I’ll leave no walls, no stone unturned.
Every tower must be razed …

Part III:
========
D#m
… to the dust from which it came.
C#
None will be spared, no remnant saved.
G#m F# C# D#min
And are you ashamed, are you afraid of the gods and idols that you have made?
G#m F# C# D#min
Do you think you’ll be saved by the gods and idols that you have made?

G#m F#m E C#
———————- None will be saved.
G#m
None will be saved.

(Chorus)
(Solo)
(Chorus)