Wednesday, May 11, 2016

"The Case Of Sydney Barringer" ("I've Been Thinking..." THOUGHT PROCESS Series 9/12)

“I've Been Thinking...” behind the songs “THOUGHT PROCESS SERIES”
My latest full length album, “I've Been Thinking...” released on the Savannah based label Dope Sandwich Records and Tapes May 3rd is a collection of concepts and narratives that I've written over the last few years featuring instrumental contributions from coast to coast and outside of the country as well. Looking over the collection I'd opine that it is some of my finest work to date (one would hope). What have you been thinking? Over 12 days I'll be releasing a behind-the-music sort of blurb for each track! If there are any questions or comments regarding the songs please submit them and I'll do my best to answer and fulfill them! I hope this series is of interest and that the music does something for you!


  The 9th track of the album, and one I had released an earlier mix of as a random single in December of 2014. I wasn't sure initially about putting this song on the album, but once I saw that there would be plenty of narratives feel on the record, plus the instrumental feels a bit like a Tony Mahoney instrumental to me so stylistically it would fit in plenty smooth.  The concentrated and precise narrative style depicted and utilized on this song is sort of one step in getting everyone ready/transitioned for what is to come when my mega project Rapologues arrives, and no one is as impatiently eager as I am, believe me! 
   "The Case Of Sydney Barringer" is a tragic, puzzling narrative inspired by and adapted from a vignette in the astounding Paul Thomas Anderson film "Magnolia".  P.T. Anderson borrowed and elaborated upon the fictional story of Ronald Opus, created and originally told by Don Harper Mills, then president of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, in a speech at a banquet in 1987.   

     When I first saw this segment in Magnolia, my immediate thought was "this is a brilliant narrative that I would try to write, and wish I did." So, as with "Pagliacci (A Most Memorable Case)" which this song predates, I borrowed it for my purposes and elaborated on the story.  However, unlike "Pagliacci...", I had little interest in using the tale to convey any particular message, I really loved the grim and devastatingly real conflict in the story contrasted with the absurd and shocking circumstances, and felt that, if I could manage to convey both of those things, or at least one well, it would make for a compelling yarn.
    I'm a huge fan of The Twilight Zone, and Rod Serling's writing and classic narrative style and voice.  I tried channeling that in my vocal delivery in this song and in the bluntness of some of the writing  (especially the beginning segment of lyrics).  The instrumental was produced by a rapper and producer friend "No One"!  I recommend you check out his music, he is a talented guy!

   By some celestial coincidence, my new roommate at the time, Paul Fakatselis went to school for audio engineering and is very talented in this field as well as generous with his time so he recorded and mixed this song for me (as well as Roamer and Seize In Caesium for this project and Dystopiates for Kill The Inventors' project Symptoms)!
   Here's a live performance of this song of  DJ BMO and I at RIPE ART GALLERY in Huntington, hosted, filmed and edited by the incredibly talented and generous folks over at NICE GARAGE!




I hope that you all enjoy the song, maudlin as it may be!
CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE PLUNGE AND LISTEN TO "THE CASE OF SYDNEY BARRINGER"
Remember to always be loving to one another...if not because it is right, then because it is safer, you never know who is a loaded gun!
-Bruce "AllOne" Pandolfo
Stick around tomorrow for the skeptic's perspective song "Unbelievable"!


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

"Rush Hour '98" ("I've Been Thinking..." THOUGHT PROCESS Series 8/12)

“I've Been Thinking...” behind the songs “THOUGHT PROCESS SERIES”
My latest full length album, “I've Been Thinking...” released on the Savannah based label Dope Sandwich Records and Tapes May 3rd is a collection of concepts and narratives that I've written over the last few years featuring instrumental contributions from coast to coast and outside of the country as well. Looking over the collection I'd opine that it is some of my finest work to date (one would hope). What have you been thinking? Over 12 days I'll be releasing a behind-the-music sort of blurb for each track! If there are any questions or comments regarding the songs please submit them and I'll do my best to answer and fulfill them! I hope this series is of interest and that the music does something for you!


  "Rush Hour '98" is the shortest song and the only reflectively, entirely truthful narrative on the album.  The instrumental was crafted by Oxnard, CA producer Wise1.  Wise 1 and I have collaborated on two other songs, one unreleased narrative, and another for Wise 1's project which I put out as a limited edition release for my 27th birthday.  I liked that Wise 1's instrumental made for a small vignette, a simple backdrop with, what feels to me like a bit of a traditional hip hop and maybe nostalgic feel.

    As I mentioned in the "Zoned Out "write-up of this series a couple of days ago, working outdoors with my hands over the years has often provided me with a lot of time to think and has helped me to work out a lot of ideas.  One one such laborious outdoor day in autumn of 2013, while I was evicting vines from bushes of an estate on the Nissequogue River and my mind was "wool gathering" I had a distinct memory from elementary school, when I went with my friends and cousins in theaters to see the Chris Tucker//Jackie Chan classic, we went back to school and throughout the day, and at recess everyone would hangout on this big soccer field and so we hung out and to impress our friends we repeated all these funny moments and lines we remembered to make people laugh.  The key/wrong scene that got repeated was THIS POOL HALL SCENE and replicating the use of "the N word" no real understanding of why at the time.  The whole memory was very vivid and played out new in my mind.  I was entirely lost in the thoughts and feeling guilty and thinking about how impacting this experience could have been (must have been) for that young kid.   It brought up a lot of ideas, the "loss of innocence", the power of subtle things,  the power of words and being careful how to wield them or knowing that they surely are something of true weight.  How small moments can turn dark and influence and possibly haunt people/inform their decisions and interactions later in life.
     I ran over to my car and got my notebook out and the words to the song came very fast to me, so I moved to my phone to catch up, and I jumped back and forth between the two and I finished the piece that day.  Then I reached out to Wise1 after hearing some of his work on the internet.  I sat with the song for a while as I worked on other projects as I'd initially saved it for the non-fiction concept project "You Can't Make This Stuff Up" that I brought up in the "Roamer" write up yesterday.  I started performing it around at shows and so this is probably the song with the most performance mileage on  it as far as the album goes.
    You may wonder why I chose to change the project and release this song now?  The quicker answer was that I was antsy and it and felt bad that Wise1 contributed an instrumental to a song that seemed to immediately get vaulted.   The other part of the story is that when my friend and Dope Sandwich figurehead, Dope KNife came around on tour to Long Island with Miggs and D.o.drent October 2015, I had already been invited to work on an album (which clearly became "I've Been Thinking...") for the label.  I performed "Rush Hour '98" at a few of the shows while they were here, and the guys really seemed to like it and commented as much several times.  Their flattering sentiments and the poignancy of the song's racially minded message given the horrendous influx of everything the internet has been showing us (that has most horrifically and assuredly happening all along but the cameras and the social media spread this information more surely) with the heightened murderous danger and racism among cops and just the social climate of prejudice of all sorts in general even outside of the black community and issues of race, issues of gender inequality and the baffling abundance of intolerance of the LGBT community.
    As for tracking the song, I didn't want to do any overdubbed vocal layers, any in-studio punches or fancy approaches or mixes.  The song is just one unaltered take, you'll even hear my voice breaking a little bit from being scratchy from shows and other takes that weekend.  I wanted this particular song to be straight and vulnerable and "casual" or to feel exactly as real as it is, just a man reminiscing and telling an important story.

Be careful what you say, you never know what it might mean to those listening.  Hope I've said something of meaning to those of you who continue to listen.  Love one another. That is all there is. We are all one after all hm?!
With love,
-Bruce "AllOne" Pandolfo
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO "RUSH HOUR '98" or stream it on the embedded player below:





PLEASE ALSO ENJOY THIS LIVE PERFORMANCE OF "Rush Hour '98" FEATURING Megan "MC BEATS///The Beatbox Queen" Costa and my new performer in crime DJ BMO

Monday, May 9, 2016

"Roamer" ("I've Been Thinking..." THOUGHT PROCESS Series 7/12)

“I've Been Thinking...” behind the songs “THOUGHT PROCESS SERIES”
My latest full length album, “I'veBeen Thinking...” released on the Savannah based label DopeSandwich Records and Tapes May 3rd is a collection of concepts and narratives that I've written over the last few years featuring instrumental contributions from coast to coast and outside of the country as well. Looking over the collection I'd opine that it is some of my finest work to date (one would hope). What have you been thinking? Over 12 days I'll be releasing a behind-the-music sort of blurb for each track! If there are any questions or comments regarding the songs please submit them and I'll do my best to answer and fulfill them! I hope this series is of interest and that the music does something for you!

     The 7th track of the album (coincidentally one of my favorite numbers) is a sort of biography/character sketch (no pun intended) and also quite obviously an anthem for graffiti as an art form and its purveyors in general.  This is also the final Tony Mahoney instrumental on the record as well!  Roamer is one of the people in my life whom I can point to as an entirely sincere personality as well as an enigma and one of the finest examples of art saving a person from the dark depths of themselves and the dangerous choices they might be prone to making to escape that, namely addiction.

Roamer is one of a handful of songs that it took me a few years to write.  I gathered fragments of it while I had it weighing heavily on the back-burner of my mind and the guilt of my conscious.  It's said that you can't rush art, and as impatient and excited as I often am, I try my best to abide by that for the sake of the work.       For both my affinity for graffiti and this person I felt the desire to write this song.  It was initially going to be on a non-fiction narrative project I've been amassing songs for called "You Can't Make This Stuff Up" but I finished this song rather abruptly one day and decided that it belonged on this project.  I remember wanting to address this type of person (solitary, depressed, artistic, actively passionate about just their skill set and nothing else) as well as the impact such an isolating both meditative and get gritty and raw, adrenaline rush of an art form graffiti can be.  Many of the lyrics were compiled of lines/verses I had texted this person and collected, then one day I asked Roamer (with no knowledge of there being a song in the works) which of a few instrumentals he liked best or felt best represented a trip out at night, and he chose this beat, the Tony Mahoney instrumental "Sandpaper" and we mutually decided this would be the perfect mood, which set me into arranging the lyrics and finishing writing the song.  Taking the acronym approach in the chorus was one I was iffy about and then wasn't sure about how to execute and decided to go mostly an alliterative route.  More than usual, the challenge to write this song well was to balance the personal depiction with making the description and sentiments an apt tribute/representation of the art form.
     I bought my self a refurbished Zoom H2n from Sweetwater (highly recommended piece of equipment and gear site) for Christmas a year or so ago and have been doing a lot more field recording.  Aside from being a fun hobby, it adds a lot of genuine atmosphere and setting to songs and poetry, especially as I'm on the cusp of releasing a lot of new narrative material.  The spray cans, the night sounds, the train that you hear throughout the song were all captured on night strolls with the aforementioned recorder.  Due to the personal significance of this song and how it took so long to come to fruition, at times never expecting it would come out, the various experiments in new rhythm patterns and the apt feeling of what I was going for, this remains one of my favorite songs I've ever done.

I hope you all find, as I have and so many others something creative or artful or really just anything cathartic at all that takes you out of your discomfort zone and is remedying to you.  Pagliacci's tale reminds us that the keys are within us, and perhaps our bodies are the mid-wife-oracle to the muses, and the fulfillment of creating the pieces that are within us will help to quell our inner tempestuousness. 
Stay tuned for tomorrow's account of the song "Rush Hour '98" 

Bonus Blurb:  "Between The Lines" (Links to the references)
I often weave  many references to books I read, people I've learned about or films I've watched into my lyrics.  In addition to this showing the influences of mine and being a fun way to cleverly carve new meanings into the titles and authors and performers whose work I've enjoyed, it is mostly an attempt to expose those who listen to my music to media that I've been inspired by in hopes that you may pursue them and will get something out the art that I've taken in. Here are links to a few people/things I reference in this song.  Enjoy!!






Sunday, May 8, 2016

"Therapy Sessions" ("I've Been Thinking..." THOUGHT PROCESS series 6/12)

“I've Been Thinking...” behind the songs “THOUGHT PROCESS SERIES”
My latest full length album, “I've Been Thinking...” released on the Savannah based label DopeSandwich Records and Tapes May 3rd is a collection of concepts and narratives that I've written over the last few years featuring instrumental contributions from coast to coast and outside of the country as well. Looking over the collection I'd opine that it is some of my finest work to date (one would hope). What have you been thinking? Over 12 days I'll be releasing a behind-the-music sort of blurb for each track! If there are any questions or comments regarding the songs please submit them and I'll do my best to answer and fulfill them! I hope this series is of interest and that the music does something for you!



     Here we are halfway through the album already, which brings us to the most intense song of the album, and certainly breaking new grounds for me, as "Therapy Sessions" is very nearly erotica and is the first song that I publicly address sex.  It's also the first song I've released in which I play two different characters in one song, the first verse from the perspective of the male character and the second to the female character.  The song is the second on the record that you hear which is produced by Tony Mahoney, who again lends himself to being perfectly moody and emotive while also offering an effectively simple consistent canvas for my lyrics to "solo" over.  The initial origins of this song were entirely random.  I was driving to perform at a show in Nassau county on a cold rainy night about two years ago (a weather state that always has me thinking of Jazz and storytelling, more significantly ever since I saw the excellent film "Glengarry Glen Ross").    I was freestyling and came up with the initial set of lines in the onset of the first verse of the song and had to pull over to finish that first set of thoughts and send it out to a friend (Roamer, coincidentally) out of the excitement of the spontaneity of the muses.  Over the next few weeks I finished the first verse/poem and then set it down, unsure of what to do with it, figuring maybe it would become a one-off piece later on.  I drew from personal experience and stories from friends of mine as well, I remember thinking that I wanted to capture the vulnerability of a female character and also how the passionate and romantic act of intimacy can sometimes be very dark too and disconnected too.  I was curious/interested about trying to present the ambiguous feelings produced with a one-night stand or "friends with benefits" interaction, and how they function mutually as these little sessions of release and therapy, but can be paradoxically puzzling and worrisome on another token as well.  
"You rap like a girl"
     On a series of songs you haven't heard yet from my work-in-progress,  Rapologues, I do perspectives of multiple characters to tell stories.  A few of those had been written at the time, and I wanted to explore that more.  About a year or so later I found myself wanting to hear from the girl in that situation, feeling like the piece was unfinished without what could be her perspective or experience.  I realized that even in the tender/conscious realm of indie rap, with iconic influential (to me at least) groups/writers like Eyedea and Abilities, Atmosphere, Brother Ali  (the list goes on), we get the opportunity to sympathize with female characters and hear their plight and how they may be wounded and taken advantage of, and sometimes are uplifted. (Eyedea/ Oliver Hart's - "Bottle Dreams", Atmosphere's "Lyndale Avenue User's Manual", "Dreamer", Brother Ali's "You Say (Puppy Love") and so on).  Surely there are plenty of songs where we see women angrily portrayed woefully and vindictively (My own verses in "Will She Ever Change?" and my hyperbolic metaphor piece "Termagant" from D.o.drent's "Walking Nightmare" from our project "Creative Differences (A Split)" ) after break ups.  I wanted that verse to depict a woman that was may be damaged (just as she reveals the male surely is, because anyone who has gone through life without being wounded is lying to themselves or never really lived) but knows what she wants, is powerful, self assured and not nearly as needy as the other character would believe.  Also, I wanted her to be sexually charged without being deemed as manipulative or "slutty", since the former is something we have trouble accepting about women without imagining the ladder is a side effect, which I always find is hypocritical and ironic in a world that so often seeks to sexual females in the media to advertising ends but then shames them if they carry themselves confidently or conduct themselves salaciously.  What was important to me to communicate overall through both verses being associated with one another was that, especially in these emotionally complex stimulation, everyone thinks they not only know what they want and are in control of themselves and have a leg-up over the other person (no pun intended), but that they also are privy to the seemingly "obvious" fact of what the other person's needs and wants are.  We as animals are convoluted bundles of hormones and emotions, impulses and triggers are very rarely as consciously in control or disciplines as we think, and our feelings fluctuate constantly especially when intimacy is battered around the way that it is.  While both characters sense a tenderness for the other in a way, and a seeming condescending pity and false sense of superiority and stability and detachment, assuring themselves that they use "love" as a confessional tool to maintain what they have, they are surely both curious about what goes on in the others head once they are alone and left to the tumultuous pensive solitude of their own thoughts.  Maybe the cologne and the perfume aren't the only things lingering in the cool night's air.  I think of this as sort of the opposite side of the circumstantial, though slightly similar idea as the fourth song on the record "Zoned Out"
     I had a hard time deciding how I would present the two different personalities...  Would I have a female rap the verse I wrote?  Would I have a lady come and sing backup vocals or do something to represent that there was a gender change? In the end I decided to just let the lyricism and the storytelling do the work and trust my listeners/trust my readers to understand everything.  I wrote the chorus to be thematically exceptionally playful and convoluted (I'm always fascinated by making what I call a sort of sentence-anagrams, where the same sentence's words are used but are rearranged or contorted slightly to present different meanings as opposed to a true anagram.).  I decided I still needed someone to represent the female voice, someone who could perform the chorus with me.  I was hoping on my extremely talented poet friend Chatham Grey, because she has a great voice and also because much of her poetry centers around erotica in one way or another, and it could be uncomfortable for many people to be associated with a song of this lascivious nature.  I put out a post about it on facebook and serendipitous or fortuitously enough, Chatham messaged me within minutes!  I got her in the studio and she was a natural and we had a really fun time recording and hanging out a bit.
I hope that this song gets you thinking about things.  For my final two cents on the subject, I've come to feel that any sort of interaction between two people isn't wrong, as long as it is mutually agreed upon and everyone is honest with each other.  In this way, nobody gets hurt and everyone's feelings and expectations are understood, as opposed to the ever-flawed game of actions dictated by presumption.
Be good to one another, get sexy would ya?
-Bruce "AllOne" Pandolfo

Stay tuned tomorrow for the artist/graffiti writer and loner's anthem/character sketch "Roamer"!


Saturday, May 7, 2016

"Pagliacci (A Most Memorable Case)" ("I've Been Thinking..." THOUGHT PROCESS SERIES 5/12)

“I've Been Thinking...” behind the songs “THOUGHT PROCESS SERIES”
My latest full length album, “I've Been Thinking...” released on the Savannah based label DopeSandwich Records and Tapes May 3rd is a collection of concepts and narratives that I've written over the last few years featuring instrumental contributions from coast to coast and outside of the country as well. Looking over the collection I'd opine that it is some of my finest work to date (one would hope). What have you been thinking? Over 12 days I'll be releasing a behind-the-music sort of blurb for each track! If there are any questions or comments regarding the songs please submit them and I'll do my best to answer and fulfill them! I hope this series is of interest and that the music does something for you!

     "Pagliacci (A Most Memorable Case)" is one of the first songs I recorded for this record, it is masterfully produced of many interwoven chopped and screwed jazz samples by UK rapper/producer Sik Sense and it is the first true/direct narratives on the album. (Although sort of think of "Zoom In (There's Life Here)" as a narrative study on a setting).  The song is an adaptation of a "joke" told by the character of Rorschach in the genius British writer, Alan Moore's iconic graphic novel "Watchmen".  There is an included sample of Rorschach telling the "joke" from Zach Snyder's excellent film adaptation of the same name that closes out the song.  When I first saw the film, and later read the book, I was struck by this small moment and loved its brilliance and its message.  I wished that I wrote it.  At that point, I had already written my adaptation of the Sydney Barringer vignette from the Paul Thomas Anderson film "Magnolia" and enjoyed that challenge and experience and was excited about the prospect of doing so again. (LISTEN TO THE CASE OF SYDNEY BARRINGER HERE)

WHY THIS STORY AND APPROACH?

For me, telling the story wasn't exactly enough, I wanted to draw a bit of a moral from it, or understand the meaning for sharing the tale.  The tale spoke to me as the sort of irony that it's hard to see where you're at when you're in the midst of it. Also, if a clown (someone who revokes or distracts from everyone's sadness) doesn't have a way to remedy their own sadness, it reminded me of the issue of it being easier to give advice than take it.  Pagliacci's ironic tale seemed the apt vessel to communicate the idea that we often search for the key to our happiness, not realizing it is up to us to manufacture it for ourselves all along.  I really liked the challenge of drawing a lot of detail and content out of such a brief but of intense swatch of inspiration.  Deciding to tell it in first person perspective was the first choice, it felt more interesting and emotive that way.   Also, the origin material told it from 3rd person so I liked that switch as well for my own stamp on it. It also felt good for some reason to have the In most narratives I tend to think of the chorus as an afterthought, but I definitely wanted the structure to have the verses be almost "in the narrative" and then to revert to an external perspective in the chorus feeling like the thesis of the song (which I often feel is the purpose of the chorus in a song anyway).  I also wanted a sort of "crooner" feel in the chorus, which I sort of put my own degree of influence and interpretation on it.


     How appropriate is it also that a British producer did the beat for a song inspired by a piece adopted by a British writer?  When Sik Sense sent me this instrumental, the cool jazzy vibe of it that was also very driving, felt so right to me and I worked with him to manipulate the structure to have this other transition perspective (The "oh I'm violating a confidence, GOD FORGIVE THE ERROR OF MY WAYS! Can I justify it as there might be a necessary lesson to be taken?"). Pulled from the final lines of the first verse.  These lines bring up a sub-theme of the song.  While the conundrum of Pagliacci, the character is one theme, a secondary theme of this song is the therapist's moral quandary that is similar to the famous "TROLLEY PROBLEM." with his issue of "Do I break professional confidence of one patient to potentially help many?  He has trouble with this throughout the song, as well as guilt of having assumed he knew a person's solution, when in fact he was at a loss all along.  I like the idea that him using his past folly as a redeeming example in the future, but this strategy being of dubious nature dude to his breach of confidence.
   While in the studio, I ended up deciding upon a typical barroom heckler who would nudge people and just obnoxiously belligerently ask questions, so I popped gum in my mouth and recorded my own little movie sample style clip for the onset of the song.   In January I got together with my talented videographer friend Jonathon Greco and DJ BMO to film a live performance of this song for NPR's Tiny Desk Concert Series.  You can view that above!  Stay tuned tomorrow for a breakdown on Therapy Sessions.
Sincerely,
-Bruce "AllOne" Pandolfo



Friday, May 6, 2016

"Zoned Out" ("I've Been Thinking..." THOUGHT PROCESS Series 4/12)

“I've Been Thinking...” behind the songs “THOUGHT PROCESS SERIES”
My latest full length album, “I've Been Thinking...” released on the Savannah based label DopeSandwich Records and Tapes May 3rd is a collection of concepts and narratives that I've written over the last few years featuring instrumental contributions from coast to coast and outside of the country as well. Looking over the collection I'd opine that it is some of my finest work to date (one would hope). What have you been thinking? Over 12 days I'll be releasing a behind-the-music sort of blurb for each track! If there are any questions or comments regarding the songs please submit them and I'll do my best to answer and fulfill them! I hope this series is of interest and that the music does something for you!

Track 4: “Zoned Out”
Following again a loose thesis transition from the “I love you truly folks” line comes this next track.
Some out-of-lyric thoughts on the topic:
     Rather obviously, the “friend boat” or “friend zone” conversation and conundrum is the theme for this song and I think it's a compelling issue that members both genders and all combinations of attractions and orientations probably unfortunately deal with. In a world where everyone wants to feel loved, it can be easily to overshoot or misinterpret the strength and intention of friends in platonic relationships. It can be confusing and exciting to feel like you've met someone who aligns seemingly perfectly with your ambitions, ideals and personality traits and to also have many positive feelings reciprocated and then feel overwhelmed like you found a fated treasure or a “soul mate” and just want to express this excitement and affection. Being self-aware enough to know you may be stumbling into this folly may present a meta-cognitive problem where you feel for the first time with your friend that you can't be honest for fear of it “making things weird”. Then again, what if they're just waiting for you to speak first and you find out years later to your horror that you both shared the same feeling but were waiting on one another to express it! The end game is in fact avoiding this mentality altogether by addressing another aspect of it all which is...why all the desire to “lock down” and lock up a person as “yours” just because you share a beautiful connection? Can't love exist successfully and feel fulfilling without having your desire “validated” by the restraint of an overprotective label?!
Behind The Music:

     Initially this was to be a solely personal confessional sort of song but as usual I found myself opening the thoughts up to a more public/universal set of lessons and concerns for myself and others. This was the last song that I recorded for the album, it initially came together as a series of sporadic lines and tirades of emotion over a few random writing sessions. I came across this beat on youtube and messaged UK producer,   Tony Mahoney immediately (who entirely produced my 2014 split EP with D.o.drent “CreativeDifferences (A Split)” ). I've said time and again and will continue to say that, since discovering his instrumentals online and through my friend 24/7's album “Room Full Of Empty Bottles” he has been one of my favorite producers.
     This song's structure started out as one long open poetic verse with a repeated refrain at the conclusion, (which is what naturally happened when I recorded an early demo of all the lyrics and found myself repeating a more primitive version of the chorus as you hear it now.) While in the studio I opted to record the vocals with a little more improvisational approach as far as the arrangement of the lyrics and not going in with a solid rehearsed plan beforehand. While in the studio I wrote out an drastically improved chorus that I loved and sang it in a few layers. It took two sessions to finish this song up. While working outdoors in between the two recording sessions and just thinking about the song and topic, I freestyled a large part of the whole final set of lyrics in the third verse with the caged animal analog/metaphor to the end, and I stopped working and scribbled it all down and added it into the song in the second session. With the writing and delivery of the final lines of this song, I was reminded of the direct approach that I took at the close of "Quality Vs. Quarantine" (from the aforementioned “Creative Differences (A Split)”).Whether or not it is because it is the newest song, I don't know, but this is one of my favorite songs/pieces of writing on the album at the time of typing this blog.

Be good to one another, with no expectations!
Thank you for all of the love!
-Bruce "AllOne" Pandolfo

Bonus Blurb:  "Between The Lines" (Links to the references)
I often weave  many references to books I read, people I've learned about or films I've watched into my lyrics.  In addition to this showing the influences of mine and being a fun way to cleverly carve new meanings into the titles and authors and performers whose work I've enjoyed, it is mostly an attempt to expose those who listen to my music to media that I've been inspired by in hopes that you may pursue them and will get something out the art that I've taken in. Here are links to a few people/things I reference in this song.  Enjoy!!
Rocky
Yann Martel's  Life Of Pi
W.W. Jacobs' "The Monkey's Paw"
Ivan Pavlov 
Down Periscope





Thursday, May 5, 2016

"Travel Baggage (Carry On)" ("I've Been Thinking..." THOUGHT PROCESS SERIES 3/12)

“I've Been Thinking...” behind the songs “THOUGHT PROCESS SERIES”
My latest full length album, “I've Been Thinking...” released on the Savannah based label DopeSandwich Records and Tapes May 3rd is a collection of concepts and narratives that I've written over the last few years featuring instrumental contributions from coast to coast and outside of the country as well. Looking over the collection I'd opine that it is some of my finest work to date (one would hope). What have you been thinking? Over 12 days I'll be releasing a behind-the-music sort of blurb for each track! If there are any questions or comments regarding the songs please submit them and I'll do my best to answer and fulfill them! I hope this series is of interest and that the music does something for you!


     Leading loosely thematically outward from our melancholy claustrophobic painting in “Zoom In (There's Life Here)” we embark on a quest in the third song “Travel Baggage (Carry On)”. I began to write parts of this song while I was on my first long tour with Alexa Dexa in 2013 (The “little piano, BIG MOUTH tour”). I distinctly remember coming up with much of what would become the first verse while waiting on a line to get into the famous venue Bluebird Cafe in Nashville (READ MY ACCOUNT OF THIS VISIT HERE) to perform at an open mic. I wanted to make a song that represented both my experiences as an artist and not along with my love of traveling. I think for many people, there is a magnetic pull to be active and to see the world and its people. For those who don't feel that, they probably haven't taken the plunge yet. I also wanted this song to express the mission and reason to journey as an artist. It's not a "give and take" relationship between the artist and the listener/watcher/supporter, its a "give and give."  Much of my 2012 record “The Inevitable Effort” centers around the paradoxical necessity of isolating oneself to making a project that you will eventually use to connect with the world in a figurative way. The step beyond that after the album's release is connecting with the world in a literal physical way when you travel,on a tour, the listeners that make up the crowds propel the performer to meet even more people on a fiscal and emotional support level. In this way, they are sharing their love of the artist with people they've never even met, by allowing them to go to the next place and meet new people and spread their message further.

     When I came home from tour and subsequently embarked on several other trips.  I also dealt with some interpersonal tempestuousness with significant others or potential significant others having issues with my desire to be away from home so often (or even being home but performing and rehearsing so frequently). Between this and seeing many other musicians and performers who travel FAR more than I do deal with those difficulties, I was compelled to write what became the second verse. Although I speak from my own situations and motives/feelings in this song, I am really also attempting an anthem or thesis statement/argument for all artists to speak with either society or their lovers who have presented them with unfair ultimatums.
As for the chorus, I also experimented on this song also with have a very “complex” chorus, with an odd pattern with many inner rhymes and feeling like it had twists and turns. I later ended up adding the parts that I sing the play on words “carry on” as a more “accessible chorus” but also to echo that incessant lure of the sirens of travel that we have that tells us to move forward and onward and outward into the world! The final chorus/bridge was one of the last things I'd written. I wanted to drive the point home, both as a thank you to the listeners, to everyone who allows me any of the opportunities to do what I do, to satisfy my artistic and wanderlusting urges by supporting and expressing love for what I do. I was definitely channeling a concluding feel of continuation from “This Is For” during writing this segment of the song. p.s. The opening sample is the most vulgar that this whole album gets and is from one of my favorite films “Good Will Hunting”. The song was produced by UK producer/rapper “Sik Sense” of the international collaborative rapper/producer duo Dyslexia and Sik Sense who I've collaborated with before. He was really generous and helpful with his time in crafting this beat and this is one of mine and DJ BMO 's favorite songs to perform!

Go travel immediately, for perspective, for the illuminating beauty and strangeness of mobile solitude as well as the opportunity to meet new people and take in new sites and learn of lifestyles unlike your own.  Live your life unapologetic for who you are and what you want.  If people in your life complain about your absence, it is a compliment.  I don't know that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but I know that travel makes the heart grow larger, it is certainly a good indication that they miss you, remind them that it is a validating and good feature, that proximity and quantity of closeness doesn't define the quality or legitimacy of a friendship or relationship/companionship.  Traveling certainly improves your relationship with yourself, and in the similar vain to the mentality of  "love yourself to love others", having more awareness of self and fulfilling the soul's desires are paramount to a healthy and sincere/optimal union between yourself and others.

Thank you for reading and listening,
I love you truly folks,
-Bruce "AllOne" Pandolfo



Bonus Blurb:  "Between The Lines" (Links to the references)
I often weave  many references to books I read, people I've learned about or films I've watched into my lyrics.  In addition to this showing the influences of mine and being a fun way to cleverly carve new meanings into the titles and authors and performers whose work I've enjoyed, it is mostly an attempt to expose those who listen to my music to media that I've been inspired by in hopes that you may pursue them and will get something out the art that I've taken in. Here are links to a few people/things I reference in this song.  Enjoy!!

J.R.R. Tolkien's -  The Hobbit
Mosquito Coast
Jack Kerouac - On The Road
Jon Krakauer - Into The Wild
Harry Houdini
Benny Hill
The Doors // Jim Morrison
Cormac McCarthy - The Road
Laurel and Hardy
Spaulding Gray




Wednesday, May 4, 2016

"Zoom In (There's Life Here)" ("I've Been Thinking..." THOUGHT PROCESS SERIES 2/12)

“I've Been Thinking...” behind the songs “THOUGHT PROCESS SERIES”
My latest full length album, “I've Been Thinking...” released on the Savannah based label DopeSandwich Records and Tapes May 3rd is a collection of concepts and narratives that I've written over the last few years featuring instrumental contributions from coast to coast and outside of the country as well. Looking over the collection I'd opine that it is some of my finest work to date (one would hope). What have you been thinking? Over 12 days I'll be releasing a behind-the-music sort of blurb for each track! If there are any questions or comments regarding the songs please submit them and I'll do my best to answer and fulfill them! I hope this series is of interest and that the music does something for you!


Track 2: “Zoom In (There's Life Here)”
     Welcome back to the "Thought Process Series", the breakdown of “I've Been Thinking...”, the second song on the album (which became the first single when the album was announced on my birthday on March 26th) ! “Zoom In (There's Life Here)” is produced by the Dope Sandwich label forefather/ rapper/producer mastermind, Savannah's own Dope Knife. Most of the reason this album was prompted to life or at least given a sense of urgency was due to Knife's invitation to me to be involved with the new direction Dope Sandwich was taking which was that of an eclectic label/collective. I told him that I had an album idea kicking around that was asking for an excuse to come out while I worked on my other project Rapologues and that I could likely record it in the interim of working on that other LP, so he encouraged me to get to work! Knife sent me a package of beats and this one stood out to me as a great canvas for a song I had written about upstate towns and when I worked the lyrics over the instrumental, the vibe just really fit to me, the simplicity of it gave way for me to experiment with different deliveries that were more expressive and it felt the perfect amount of emotive/maudlin.


Why Upstate NY?
8 months after resigning from my
student status at SUNY OSWEGO
I was asked to be part of the "Living Writers Series"
which was a Fall-only course that studied
the work of currently active professionals
and then had them come in and perform and lecture.
So within a year of dropping out of school to
pursue performing, that very same school
not only paid me to return to talk about
my endeavors, but also taught my lyrics in a
college course!  Surreal!!
     My Mom is a SUNY Oswego alumni and for 27 years ever since I was 6 months old, at least every memorial day we would drive 5+ hours from Long Island to the more rural and at times oddly industrial Upstate NY to meet her college friends and go camping. Due to this I have a huge affinity for long drives, open spaces, barns and massive amounts of acreage and have an odd nostalgia found in small towns and diners.  When it came time in fall of 2010 to for me to get my Bachelors, I too ended up at Oswego and only stayed there for a year due to my lack of passion for the way things were run (or tried to run me, as dramatic as that seems) and my all-consuming passion to make and share poetry and art.  While I had a lot of fun there with friends (Check out my obscene and ridiculous college web series "The Bruce and Kenny Show" ) I also had a really difficult time assimilating to the academia and schedule which was adverse to my mode of being, the bitter cold environment being on Lake Ontario and subjected to “the lake effect”. There were a lot of stark images and experiences there in that environment, the depressing socioeconomic and barometric state of affairs contrasted with the charm of the small businesses, the slower and simpler lifestyle, the pictureseque “world's second best sunset” over the lake (though I always questioned how you could really establish that, it was undeniably the most astonishing sunset I had ever seen.) 
Performing in 2011 at the Library cafe
open mic on campus, one of the best
things and communal experiences
about my time as a campus resident!
      I've long had the idea to write a song about these negative and positive experiences and incorporate the clusters of lyrics and images as I toured around and went camping and to school. The song actually took a couple of years to come together between picking it up and contributing lines, images and ideas to the representation over  to it. I remember making a significant contribution to the lyrics in my favorite cafe, “The Coffee Connection” in Oswego while on tour March 2014 and then finally finishing the song one morning when I was couch surfing at a friend Danielle's house in Albany, NY for my first time while on tour in June 2014 (Read Day One and Day 2 of my Albany trip here). I wanted the song to be a snapshot of a setting that described specific experiences as well as represented similar small towns and their issues, reflecting my personal feelings but also larger issues. While much of this song has sort of a negative tone, I hope the third verse and sort of bridge/fourth verse clarify a bit of the wider range of my deep feelings for these types of places!



The Music Video
Zoom In was one of the earlier songs I had tracked for the project.  My cinematographer friend whom I met during my residence in Oswego, Tyler Edic (who still lives in Oswego) was enthusiastic and generous enough to offer to work with me on a video when I sent him on of the early mixes of the songs.  You can head to his page to read his account BY CLICKING HERE.  He and I conferred over a few weeks and I told him I essentially wanted the video to be a sort of character sketch/documentary of the area, so based on our notes and the lyrics in the song he came up with a shot list and over the course of a few runs, he got all his shot and edited them with both imaginative kaleidoscopic effects and gritty and raw presentation! I got chills the first time I watched the video because of how well it lines up with the lyrics and the imagery presented, which is a compliment to the both of us, I suppose!

Here's the video on the Dope Sandwich Youtube Page...Enjoy/like/subscribe and share please!


Thank you for reading, I hope you draw inspiration from all of your journeys and the folks you meet there! If you can't adapt to a place, at least admire it or analyze the experience in some way!
Speaking of travel....come back tomorrow for the 3rd track on the album "Travel Baggage (Carry On)"
Since early, yours,
-Bruce "AllOne" Pandolfo

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

"Cardiac Compass (Path to Preservation)" ("I've Been Thinking..." Thought Process Series 1/12)

"THOUGHT PROCESS" series (behind the tracks of "I've Been Thinking...")

Hey AllOne Family!!
INSANELY  EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE:  My latest full length album, “I've Been Thinking...” released on the Savannah based label DopeSandwich Records and Tapes May 3rd is a collection of concepts and narratives that I've written over the last few years featuring instrumental contributions from coast to coast and outside of the country as well (From Alexa Dexa, Tommy Beets, Tony Mahoney, Sik Sense, Drip 'N' Drive, Wise 1, NoOne Music, Hi-Q of  Kill The Inventors (remember our collaboration "Dystopiates"?), . Looking over the collection I'd opine that it is some of my finest work to date (one would hope). What have you been thinking? Over 12 days I'll be releasing a behind-the-music sort of blurb for each track I'm calling the "Thought Process Series"! If there are any questions or comments regarding the songs please submit them and I'll do my best to answer and fulfill them! I hope this series is of interest and that the music does something for you!



     Onto the track opener!  This song has a rather interesting past. The lyrics came from the cutting room floor of a collaboration with my friends Dyslexia and Sik Sense for a song called “Preservation of Man”. (Here's a song that DID make it to the public ear... click here to listen to “Warm Love”). 
     The lyrics began to formulate as I was walking on a cool weekend night through the sidewalks littered with belligerent crowds of partying people on the town of Patchogue on the south shore of Long Island. I began freestyling in my solitary wanderings (as I often do). That turned into me walking with my nose in a notepad and scribbling down the lyrics that eventually grew into this song. When I came up with the concept of doing this record, I knew that I wanted to revitalize these lyrics somehow because I was proud of them and felt they represented a lot of both universal macro issues/observations and personal micro concerns of mine. My talented multi-instrumentalist/producer friend Austin Sandick aka Drip N Drive had worked with me on another unreleased song and while he was in town he asked if I wanted to work on a song with him, as he was eager to get some vocals on production he had been working on. Austin showed me some loops he was working on and obviously this was one that drew me, one he called "Life Aquatic".  I rifled through my lyrics and decided these were fitting for the vibe. I decidedly “book-ended” this long verse with the chorus//refrain and we composed and recorded it in his room over the course of two sessions.   He added the little guitar solo at the end at some point to break things up, and Frank Bones mastered the track. As for a fun fact, I recorded the opening vocals on my Iphone through a small coffee pot for an analog lo-fi effect! 
Why the first track?
Discovering the right track-order for this album was unprecedentedly difficult, but I knew from the get-go that this song would most likely be the opening track. For me, this song represents a lot of the themes on the album and being it's wordplay heavy/ literary reference laden approach, I felt it also served as sort of a blood-relative transition from my last full length LP 2012's, “The Inevitable Effort” (I even make a reference to my mentality being influenced by a few darker authors that I referenced a lot on that album/during that time).  This song also introduces a lot of topics that come up across the album so I thought it was an appropriate lead-in.
What are you talking about?!
 Some of those aforementioned topics include: my concern with the brevity of time, my dedication to my craft, my ever-present insistent mantra of reminding everyone that they are to fulfill their own personal legend (as the wonderful author, Paulo Coehllo calls it in his must-read book, “The Alchemist”) as well as admitting my struggle with cynicism as I age and vowing to do my best to steer my mentality and that of those I encounter into a more positive space because, if anything I know I/we need that, whether desperately hoping or doubting. Knowing that we have so little time should be a spur to get us focused on doing what we love and affecting others productively with it. 
     Thank you for reading and listening. You'll never live this specific present day again... I'm grateful you took some of this precious, fleeting day to read this and listen to my song! 


Return tomorrow for a run down of the second track "Zoom In (There's Life Here)"!!
All'ways yours,
-Bruce "AllOne" Pandolfo

Bonus Blurb:  "Between The Lines" (Links to the references)
I often weave  many references to books I read, people I've learned about or films I've watched into my lyrics.  In addition to this showing the influences of mine and being a fun way to cleverly carve new meanings into the titles and authors and performers whose work I've enjoyed, it is mostly an attempt to expose those who listen to my music to media that I've been inspired by in hopes that you may pursue them and will get something out the art that I've taken in. Here are links to a few people/things I reference in this song.  Enjoy!!

J.D. Salinger - "Catcher In The Rye"
Stephen King (aka Richard Bachman)
H.P. Lovecraft's "Herbert West: Reanimator"
Paul Coehllo - The Alchemist
Richard Bach - Jonathon Livingston Seagull
Hermann Hesse - Siddhartha
Isaac Asimov - Fantastic Voyage
Jules Verne - 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea
Kurt Vonnegut