Saturday, November 14, 2015

Song #5: The Emperor's Dream

The title track from the XONE album: The Emperor's Dream, refers to the period of time when a Dictator is left with only his own thoughts, and the reality that follows is undeniable to his own mind. For instance, North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un is told daily by his throngs of yes men and sycophants, that he is the the most perfect specimen of Korean manhood. He probably believes it, especially while they are professing as much to him all day long, every day, but at some point, when he is all alone, he has actually seen himself naked in a full length mirror, and he knows he's really a fat, ugly piece of $#!T!. This creates a reality check known as The Emperor's Dream!!

Every tyrant who has ever lived, has had The Emperor's Dream. It comes with the territory of being a despot, and a despot's need for control. From Egypt's Ramses II, Rome's Caligula, Spain's Franco, to Russia's Vladimir Putin, despots have instilled within their subjects an idol worship that is tightly controlled. The people are forced to revere their leader as a deity. The modern dictator utilizes modern media to prop up their idolatry, similarly to Ramses II and his hieroglyphics. Images of the leader are plastered everywhere out in public, and usually with a portrait in every home. It's an illusion that the dictator knows is false, but promulgates his power and installs fear into every citizen.

The image of a Dictator is very carefully crafted by state controlled media. Only certain images are allowed to be seen. Images are deliberate and planned for propaganda effect. The images will make the despot look strong, fatherly, and more than anything, legitimate. Vladimir Putin makes very good use of his state controlled propaganda machine. He makes sure that pictures depicting him shirtless, carrying a hunting rifle in the wilds, playing ice hockey, or competing at Judo, cementing his image as a strong, virile leader of the nation in the minds of Russians who are spoon fed these images every day. It's hard for the Russian people to believe this crafted legend isn't true, when it's all they are told.

But the Dictator knows that it is all a lie.
He knows that his Judo opponents are are "willing opponents", ready to be thrown.
He knows that for the other legitimate athletes: playing hockey with Putin, is akin to playing soccer with Pablo Escobar, or wrestling with John DuPont. (you let the boss win, known as "sand-bagging")
What's important is that the boss comes out looking good, for propaganda purposes.

In keeping with the carefully crafted images of despots, one thing that you rarely see, is a picture of a dictator sleeping. The exception to the rule is Hitler. The depiction of Hitler sleeping tugged a particular volk heart-string, and appealed to the German people, "proving" his hard work for the greater German Reich. It was part of a completely crafted image.

But look for a picture of Stalin, or Putin, or Assad, or, Peron, or Amin, or whichever Dictator you choose, and you will not find a picture of them sleeping or being vulnerable. In fact, it's only when they are forced to be in public that you can catch a vulnerable moment, such as Putin at the UN, or Saddam Being captured by US troops in Iraq in Dec 2003

Conversely, if you look at the leaders of Democratic nations such as USA, Britain, you will find pictures of them being very human and vulnerable, such as Presidents asleep on Air Force One, struggling with the hard decision, recovering after surgery, etc...things that you never see Dictators doing.

No, the only time that you'll ever see a dictator laying down or being vulnerable, is when they fall victim to the only thing that they cannot control in their world, and that is the passage of time. And time comes for all tyrants eventually.

Or when the People took matters into their own hands

Dictators like, Ceausescu, Mussolini, Gaddafi, Stalin, and Saddam, et al, have to work very hard to keep up the illusion of their perfection. For instance, Kim Jong Un has promoted to North Koreans the disinformation that he does not urinate or defecate. He is "perfect", so he doesn't do those things. It's totally preposterous, especially since we know that a fat glutton like Kim Jong Un has huge bowel movements that clog the imperial toilet regularly. As well, Kim Jong Un is depicted in the North Korean state run media, as being the most handsome man in North Korea. Sorry, but that's a fatty double-chin he's got there, and he looks like a wrecking ball stepping onto this submarine.

And when a dictator like Kim Jong Un lays down at night and he's alone with his own deepest thoughts,
he knows that he's not perfect, or handsome, or sexy, or anything remotely like that. He knows he's a fat, fatty-pants, who only has a hot wife (and mistresses) because he's a ruthless dictator, who stomps out all opposition with brutal finality. And he knows this is true, deep inside, and he can avoid that reality when the throngs of crowds are chanting his name, or clapping about his latest missile launch. But when he lays down at night and is waiting for sleep to take him over, he has the same thoughts that every despot who came before him had. That is The Emperor's Dream.

"This is what Kim Jong Un dreams at night,
This is what Comrade Putin dreams at night,
This is what Saddam used to dream at night,
Joseph Stalin used to cry himself to sleep at night..."

Get The Emperor's Dream at Itunes, Amazon MP3, or Google Play

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Friday, July 17, 2015

Song #4 Revolution and Song #10 Revolution (Acoustic)

Songs #4 "Revolution" & #10 "Revolution (Acoustic)" from XONE - The Emperor's Dream are the same song in two variations. Song #3 is a fast modern sound, while Song #10 is a slow acoustic ballad.I was inspired to write this song, by the young people who filled Tahrir Square in Cairo Egypt in 2011, and toppled a brutal regime with their sheer will. I was blown away not just by their victory, but how they transcended the influences of the Muslim Brotherhood, and other extremists. These young, educated, free-thinking men and women of Egypt are an awesome group of people, and these songs are for them!

Westerners tend to see so many examples of arabs or muslims in this world doing terrible and ignorant things in the name of their religion or cause, that many get to the point where you lose all faith in people of the middle east. That's a big reason why I was so impressed when the Arab Spring erupted on January 25th, 2011. I watched as young Egyptians began to save their own world and try to make it a better one.

It all began with a You Tube video by a 26 year old Egyptian woman named Asmaa Mahfouz. She called out for all those who would join her to meet at Tahrir Square to protest for the end of the brutral dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. Miss Mahfouz especially challenged the "toughness" of Egyptian men, and asked them to stand with their women to end the brutality. Egyptians answered her call in HUGE numbers. They soon filled Tahrir Square and would not be moved, despite some brutal treatment by police.

It wasn't an Islamic Revolution though. It was actually a call for democracy by and entire generation of intelligent, educated, free-thinking young people who called for all of the people to stand up and rally to the cause of Egypt! And it worked! They forced Mubarak to give up power.

I am truly inspired by these young Egyptians. People like Ahmed Hassan and Khalid Abdallah, who I witnessed in the 2013 documentary The Square. These two young men are dedicated to a free Egypt, where free thinking is available to every citizen. They reminded us that they are the descendents of the people of the Pharoahs, and that they are capable of great things. They can transcend the pressure of ideology, and rise to that greatness again.

I believe in you, Egypt!

Welcome to the Revolution!

Get Revolution and Revolution (Acoustic) on XONE's latest album: The Emperor's Dream
Available at Itunes, Amazon MP3, and Google Play

UPDATE: The youth of Egypt continue to struggle against the new regime installed by Egyptian ex-General Sissi, who won a "fair election", and is now "President" of Egypt. The people are not free. They are still repressed by a military government.

Egypt needs a government for the people, and by the people,
free from interference from the military or religious idealists.

The smart and open-minded youth of Egypt will rise...

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Song #2: Wrestling For President: Arnold & Jessie in the White House!!!

Wrestling For President is a comedy song about our love of celebrities and how it could lead to certain actors being elected President and Vice-President. We've seen an actor elected President before: Ronald Reagan. So I wondered what would it be like if we elected two former Governors as President/Vice-President: Arnold Schwarzenegger, with running mate Jesse Ventura!

Wrestling For President starts out like a normal song, but 1/3 of the way through, we get to hear the acceptance speeches of Arnold and Jesse following a theoretical win.

Here's bit of the transcript of their speech:

Arnold: "When I first came to this country I never dreamed that the American people would change the Constitution to allow a foreign born Action Movie Superstar like myself to become the President of the most powerful Nation in the world with the entire U.S. Armed Forces, with The Army, The Navy, Marines, The Airforce, Coast Guard, and things of this nature..."

Jesse: "That's what's great about America, Arnold. America loves a HERO. We proved that first in Minnestota, where I got elected merely by the extremely unique masculine tone of my voice."

Hear the rest of the track "Wrestling For President" on the album XONE - The Emperor's Dream available

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Friday, March 6, 2015

Song #1: Techno Viking!

The Techno Viking was a man who came to fame in a 2007 viral video that swept across the internet. The video, shot in 2000 at a Techno Parade in Berlin, Germany, shows a chilvalrous, blond, muscular man who comes to the defense of a girl who gets mauled by a drunken parade walker. The Chivalrous young man, dubbed the Techno Viking, then proceeds to dance to the pumping music of the parade.

The amateur video went viral in 2007,
and by 2013 had over 16 million views.
All attempts to find the Techno Viking led to nowhere.

Finally the Techno Viking resurfaced in 2013.
But instead of embracing the worldwide love for his honorable nature,
he shunned his Meme, and filed suit against the artist/cameraman who shot it.
And the Techno Viking won his case to the tune of $10,000 in damages!

Techno Viking, you are being foolish.
The world honestly loved you for who you are,
and you shunned that love. Why?

I think it was a huge mistake,
You are missing the point.
The point is that the world loved you for that video,
so Techno Viking: "IT IS TIME TO EMBRACE YOUR MEME!!!!!!"

The world loves when you point to that guy to sit down,
and the world wishes it could dance as awesome as you do!!
You gotta love it, Baby!!
Look at how many people across the world did their own versions!

Hear Techno Viking on:

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Friday, February 20, 2015

XONE - The Emperor's Dream - Album Release!!!!

XONE - The Emperor's Dream is finally here!!!! This album took one and a half years to make from beginning to end. Get the album now at Itunes, Amazon MP3, and Google Play!

This album took one and a half years to produce, and it was a lot fun to make. Most of the material was written and recorded between 2013-2014 at my studio in San Pedro, except for Disintegration and The Mastermind which were written and produced in 2008. I played/arranged everything myself, except for female backing vocals by Allison and Sarah Austin, and the lead violin on Disintegration by Shawna Kuhns. On The Mastermind, the Bass was played by Ted Heming, and the Drums by Gino DiLeva

I'll be posting more about the new Album in the coming weeks,
but for now,
Back Cover:

Copyright 2015 - THRAEXX Studios

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Saturday, July 5, 2014


Understanding EQ and how to adjust it properly is a very important skill to have if you are recording your own music. Adjusting EQ is how you get instruments and vocals to sit together perfectly in a mix. By applying separate EQ to the tracks you want to affect, you can get everyone to sit perfectly together sonically. This is the next chapter of the EQ XONE.

 The best way to save RAM in your DAW, and yet, get your tracks EQ-ed as needed, is to assign your tracks to different busses (ie: Guitar, Vocals, Bass, Drums, etc...). Then apply the actual EQ VST to the buses, and adjust each bus EQ for their particular area of tone. Some tracks, like the Kick Drum and Snare, just require their own EQ, and you'll have to put the VST on the actual track. For instance, the Kick gets a slight boost at 50hz.

Back to Bus EQ. You will need a good Multi-Band, Parametric EQ. This will allow you to affect finite bands of EQ in order to bring out the tones you want to enhance on each bus. Obviously, what frequencies you choose will be decided by your ears. But be careful, it is very easy to make everything sound bad too. So do some research, and let your ears to be the judge. Here is a great EQ chart to give some definitions to the different bands of EQ.

Stay Tuned for Part 3

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