On Pound-Foolish Creativity


Brandon Isleib

Brandon has written a baseball book, has playtested a video game for a living, has written a law that gives specific powers to himself, and is proficient at making his bio sound more impressive than it is. He is @restlessmosaic on Twitter for non-baseball content and @baseballspotlit for baseball content.

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8 Responses

  1. Avatar DensityDuck

    “becoming good at playing with creative tools versus actually creating.”

    the definition of prog rock!Report

    • Avatar Brandon Isleib in reply to DensityDuck

      Ha! I do love me some prog rock, but I draw a similar conceptual line to yours on who actually wrote songs (Genesis) versus an arbitrarily strung together series of impressive jams (Yes).Report

  2. Avatar Philip H

    microtonal math rock

    Wow. So that’s a thing? Man, I had a wide discography until I waded into this post . . . .Report

    • Avatar Brandon Isleib in reply to Philip H

      20 years ago, when I first encountered the main guy in that band, he was most influenced by They Might Be Giants (down to the accordion playing) and XTC. I learned years later that I’m the one who got him into asymmetrical time signatures and that he made a particular song in 5/4 to try to impress me. He, in turn, is the reason I’ve recorded anything at all, and of course now I can’t keep up with him in pure esoterica.

      But yeah, from my small glimpse into this, there’s a whole community who folks who’ve found 12 notes way too limiting and seemingly wouldn’t go back to it if you paid them.Report

  3. Avatar Pinky

    Every musician – every hobbyist – can get lost in product recommendations and window-shopping. It’s always been a potential time-suck, and that was before Youtube. But there’s something to be said for monkeying around and seeing what happens, especially in a creative field. I remember an interview with Pete Townshend where he talked about experimenting with tuning, and had his mind blown by some incredible notes he discovered. He then figured out it was a D major chord. If it can make you look at D major like a revelation, then it’s worthwhile.Report

  4. Avatar Jaybird

    The main thing that this post made me think about was My Bloody Valentine’s “Loveless”.

    I am absolutely certain that the author of the post has heard that album multiple times but if the reader of this comment hasn’t heard it, please know that I first listened to it in the 90’s when I was within living memory of having a car stereo system that would, occasionally, eat tapes.

    When I first put the CD into my car, I immediately ejected it.

    Here, now that you have background, listen to the opening song on the CD (you only have to listen to the opening 4 or 5 seconds):

    See? I thought that there was an error somewhere. One that might have involved harm happening to either my CD or my car stereo.

    Nope… that’s what they wanted it to sound like.

    He wanted me to hear a song like the music that he heard in his head.

    This remains one of my favorite albums. I’m pretty much unable to get other people to listen to it, though. Everyone who might be inclined to listen to it already knows about it (and has known about it for years) and everybody else says something like “that’s just noise”.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Isleib in reply to Jaybird

      I’ve owned Loveless since about 2013. 🙂 “To Here Knows When” is the key track for me. BT, one of my single biggest musical heroes, also likes that song, but he”s of a better age to have absorbed it originally.

      If you like “To Here Knows When,” “Gyre” off my Soundcloud page (linked in the article) might appeal to you. LYRE has a sample pack that I used to make the first 30 seconds of it; for the chords in the center of the mix, I took a few detuning chords and put them together, creating that wobbly MBV sense if not the gauze to go with it.Report

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