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Dylan said that as an artist if you realize “you are in a constant state of changing, you’ll be alright.” To commit to one musical style would be a disservice and would frankly be a complete lie. Far too many emotions pass through us every day, and to commit to one musical style would be to commit to one emotional plane. There is a place for all of it. If it’s the soothing burn in your soul only eased by a blitzkrieg of whiskey shots, there is no option but to question God, rest with the devil, and ignore the chuckle of death as Lightnin Hopkins howls out of your radio like the distant freight racing through midnight, heightening your anxiety as the peak draws closer and closer, and your only prayer is to catch the train going anywhere; nowhere; to tomorrow. But when tomorrow is darker, and the company of death and the devil have left you to complete solitude, you must crucify silence with a song to God forcing your soul to rage like a whirlpool until you are lifted by the solidity of a Gospel tune. As you come back down, and your soul settles into a steady tide, the reminiscent stories of yester-emotion must be allowed to dance out of your pours and onto the strings of an old guitar, resulting in the lesson learned through a folk song. The Jackal is forever my favorite. The Jackal dances into your mind, body, and soul on the crest of a Halloween esque glow. His songs alter; from folk to funk, pop to punk, blues to jazz….his signature is a wincing eye and crooked smile of which you can not decipher whether the intent is good or evil. His songs are originals and often times can create completely new musical genres. He is responsible for the happy tune with a tragic message. A Yin-Yang musical minstrel always howling to the moon…yet smiling.
The same complaint may rest in every song…a loss of love, a questioning of life, a desperation of sorts, But so much more lies in the way that it churns inside of you. We all stand on new mountain tops each day, and see a new and different sunset! sometimes it’s a storm cloud but it’s always changing and so as artists, and works of art ourselves we too must change with the ever changing world we dance in!
Make them glow, whatever, whoever, wherever they are. You will feel your soul bouncing around inside of you, trying it’s hardest to yearn for it’s counter parts in heaven, and you will then glow. So paint, write, play, sing, scream, fight, fuck, drink, hurt, love, and burn…as long as you’re dancing.
Dead poets sing louder than the trumpet that is pulled through Lady Day’s breasts, as she awaits one of two fates: Her arrest or her death. Living poets are a lie; a poor joke in a shit black comedy. Life is too “_____” to ever be able to put it into words, music, or images. That is why death is so poetic. Like art, we don’t even know if death is real, or if it even makes sense. So fuck me, and stop wasting your time; then, when i die, enjoy this poet’s song, and tell your friends how you made “_____” of it.
I am color right now.
I am ink.
I am a sequence of notes, passing through you and getting stuck in your head, so much so that you hate it.
I know this to be true, for you are stuck in mine.
Fucking Looney Tunes!
Not a Poet!
Not a Singer!
Not an Artist!
Not a Person of Significance! (debatable by you of course).
Just Looney Tunes.
Catchy, somber Looney Tunes.
That is both what I make, and what the collective “we”, of whom I refer to as “I” are.
We (I) are (am),
Is the song written first? or does the event to inspire it happen first?
They take turns.
Often times a song (mostly the good ones) just happen. The strangest is a sad song at the end of a beautiful day. The words, along with a somber melody don’t match the glow that cloaked your afternoon. It’s life’s form of foreshadowing the dark corner ahead.
The greatest is the happy song to help you forget the somber day.
There are times however, where life happens first. This happened just the other night. Life brings you a picturesque scene typically saved for silver screens, and like the score to a movie she comes drifting in; and drifting in rhythm, with the high’s and lows blending into words. The night ends. A city that was screaming and on fire only hours before, now eases to a hum. She is gone now. The moon looks down on you, and the whisper of passing cars tells you that a comedown is eminent. One final task.
Do your best to record that moment, put it into a song.
The contrast of live performance verse the record can often times be small, or even non existent…how fucking dismal! A record is a work of art when done right. It can be like an architectural work, assembled by a team working off of an original blue print. It can be like a painting, consisting of carefully calculated strokes that together make a beautiful image up for several interpretations. Point being, a record will sound the same every time you play it, but if you look and listen carefully, you’ll find something new each time. It was thought out and intended to sound the way it does and should be taken as such. Now a live show, this is a happening. A live show is like an act of violence, or love making. It is riddled with the unexpected, and should be different every time. A vessel is made by the artist’s songs, but this vessel is to be launched through the soul of the room. When an audiences eyes lock on the performer, and their mouths shut, they have given themselves to the performer. A good performer does not take this gift for granted. They bring you into the vessel and soon the entire room is lifted. It can feel like a riot, where everything is on fire and the beauty of the chaos can cause you to become so flooded with emotion that you turn and kiss the one you love as the world burns around you. Diamond Carter shows will be different every time. Some will be an intimate acoustic serenade, where you can hear the honest sound of the song’s core. The acoustic ones are like being brought into the room where I first wrote the song, and hearing the soundtrack to a very nostalgic point in my life. Others will be full band. These will change as well. The beauty of full band is that the entire sound is dependent on the relations of the band members that day. On days where we can no longer stand being around each other, a viciousness will bleed into the music. Each howling guitar bend will reverberate off the gut punching kick while bass pulsates vein to vein and the singing sounds more like an angry curse! On days where we are truly a family, the overwhelming happiness will create a dancing soul that lifts the room into a cosmic summer, where we just start laughing mid song because it is so satisfying to know that one can be so blessed to have that feeling. These are just a couple examples, but remember that this is “soul” music; meaning that it is all based off true and honest feeling, that is susceptible to change. So please, apreciate recordings as a fine work of art, and dig into them finding every single meaning you can. Then, come to a show and throw your own soul’s vibe at the stage with challenges to continuously take you further into the room’s aura so that you can free fall into the unpredictable sonic riot; Experience a year’s worth of seasons in an hour set. Love and don’t be afraid to let this music take you somewhere, for I write not with mal intent, but with the intent of putting sound to a piece of you that is buried and often hidden, so that you can relieve that burden unto me, “take a load off annie”, and let me carry that weight. Always with love,
Truth makes a good song. Sometimes it’s difficult to explain what it is that makes an old blues singer sound so much more convincing and powerful over only 3 chords on an out of tune guitar, over an extremely well produced pop act. Each has their place in the constant flowing sea of musical progression, but sometimes innovation leads us away from the organic soul that must bleed from a song to truly allow our indulgence into such work. A good song is best sung by the person whom lived it. When you hear guys like Lightnin’ Hopkins command you to “bring me my shotgun” with a a voice harshened by relentless Gin Binges, you honestly fear for what he is going to do. Hip hop is such a wonderful genre but with all the pressure for mainstream artists to cover the same exact concept, you begin to find that most of it is just for show. The goal of Diamond Carter will be to always stay true to things that I know. When spending time crafting a song, the entire point is to somehow communicate a feeling that has no words; and somehow through the combination of melody, syntax, and piercing accusations behind a veil of both self loathing and sarcastic narcissism, a song suddenly has the power to pull the emotions from somewhere so deep inside that you did not even know you had. Every Genre has players completely capable of such a thing; from guys like Townes Van Zandt, Robert Johnson, A.A. Bondy, Elliott Smith, to bands like Brian Jonestown Massacre, Two Gallants, Neva Dinova and several more. Hip Hop artists such as Deltron, Tupac, Mac Dre, Andre Nickatina, and Theophilus London do a similar trick by escorting you through soundscapes and worlds so unfamiliar to most, yet through their delivery they assure that you will never want to leave. All Genres have these artists and I apologize for the millions of artists I have left out, but the most important thing is that you truly indulge yourself into the music. Shut off the world around you and go to the painting an artist is allowing you to momentarily live in. That is the love that exists. And don’t be afraid of the pain that these songs can deliver, all of these emotions are detrimental to allowing us all to connect, and that is the beauty of music. So never shun a sound that you feel inside of you, no matter how deep that feeling is. In this age of neutrality and an endless effort to dull the senses in fear that you may show a tear or lash out in anger, I feel art is now more than ever the single most important tool to assure that our lives will forever be on fire; an eternal flame that no amount of physical opposition could stop, because when a song takes over, you are not physical anymore, your soul is allowed to flow in rhythm for just a few minutes. Never stop loving, never stop hurting, and never let your inner flame dull.