Monthly Archive for April, 2008

Niagara Falls

This week it was kind of fun to do all my shows at noon, and then have the afternoons free. I went to Niagara Falls one day. You can smell the increased humidity from the spray for blocks before you even get in sight of the falls. Strangely, everyone I talked to was kind of down on the town, saying it was all commercial and wanted to be Vegas. I don’t know much about the town itself, but come on – look at the huge waterfall! Huge waterfalls are awesome.

Shouting In Plaid

At my shows this week I met lovely people eating lovely lunches in Johnstown, Canandaigua, and Rochester. In Wise, Virginia, I played at outside at a cookout and got a little charred myself, despite wearing sunscreen. In auld Edinboro, Pennsylvania, I was given a tie in the school’s official tartan. For this show, we went wholly acoustic, since the amplified sound apparently was disturbing a meeting taking place nearby. “That’s ok,” I said, “I like shouting in plaid.”

Spring Iditarod

Quick thanks to the Raleigh coffeehouse patio crowd on Friday night. It was the first warm evening in awhile and it was really nice to play outside and have friends to play for. Who clapped! I’m packing madly now to get on the road before noon because it’s a long drive up to upstate New York from the Carolinas. This is a week-long tour, and I’ll try and take some pictures and post you some stories as we go. It will be an epic journey and a test of the limits of human endurance. Mush on, sled dogs!

April 2

If there’s any confusion about the previous post, look at the date on this one, and subtract 1. Thanks to Wikipedia for the excerpts from their Star Wars theme discussion, and to Steven Snedeker for his awesome Lightsaber Hedgepig image. I received one email from someone who appeared to take my new direction seriously, and I appreciate the concern. Never fear, I do plan to continue using my Jedi powers to make music.

Less Rock, More Chewbac’

I’ve been thinking about it a long time, and I think from now on, I’m going to focus less on my music, and more on the Star Wars film series.

I’d like to begin with a discussion of the underlying themes found in Star Wars. In Episode IV Obi-wan first explains the dichotomy of good and evil encompassed in the Force. He tells Luke that “For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic.” Then moments later he contrasts the jedi with the actions of Darth Vader: “He betrayed and murdered your father. Now the Jedi are all but extinct. Vader was seduced by the dark side of the Force.” Little other doctrine is expounded on in Episode IV, nevertheless, the violent nature of Darth Vader is viewed in contrast with the mostly passive behavior of Obi-wan Kenobi.

Star Wars stresses the self-destructive nature of fear, anger, hate, selfishness, and lust for power. In Episode I, Yoda summarizes stating, “Fear is the path to the dark side: fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” Patience, discipline, humility, monasticism, respect for one’s elders, peace with one’s self, trust in things spiritual over things physical, and self-sacrifice are extolled as virtues. However, a stoic position of setting aside personal feelings for others in order to bring about a greater good is also emphasized. For example, Luke Skywalker is told to remain on Dagobah to complete his training rather than rescue his friends from Cloud City, because doing so will “destroy all for which they have fought and suffered.”