Tuesday, November 27, 2007
By Robert S. DeRopp
Seek, above all, for a game worth playing. Such is the advice of the oracle to modern man. Having found a game, play it with intensity – play as if your life and sanity depended on it. (They do depend on it.) Follow the example of the French existentialists and flourish a banner bearing the word, ‘engagement.’ Though nothing means anything and all roads are marked ‘no exit,’ yet move as if your movements had some purpose. If life does not seem to offer a game worth playing, then invent one. For it must be clear, even to the most clouded intelligence, that any game is better than no game.
But although it is sage to play the Master Game, this has not served to make it popular. It still remains the most demanding and difficult of games and in our society, there are few who play. Contemporary man, hypnotized by the glitter of his own gadgets, has little contact with his inner world, concerns himself with outer, not inner, space. But the Master Game is played entirely in the inner world, a vast and complex territory about which men know very little. The aim of the game is true awakening, full development of the powers latent in man. The game can be played only by people whose observations of themselves and others have led them to a certain conclusion, namely, that man’s ordinary state of consciousness of which he is capable. In fact, this state is so far from real awakening that it could appropriately be called a form of somnambulism, a condition of ‘waking sleep.’
Once a person has reached this conclusion, he is no longer able to sleep comfortably. A new appetite develops within him, the hunger for real awakening, for full consciousness. He realizes that he sees, hears, and knows only a tiny fraction of what he could see, hear and know, that he lives in the poorest, shabbiest of the rooms in his inner dwelling, and that he could enter other rooms, beautiful and filled with treasures, the windows of which look out on eternity and infinity.
The solitary player lives today in a culture that is more or less totally opposed to the aims he has set himself, that does not recognize the existence of the Master Game, and regards players of the game as queer or slightly mad. The player thus confronts great opposition from the culture in which he lives and must strive with forces which tend to bring his game to a halt before it has even started. Only by finding a teacher and becoming part of the group of pupils that the teacher has collected about him can the player find encouragement and support. Otherwise, he simply forgets his aim, or wanders off down some side road and loses himself.
Here it is sufficient to say that the Master Game can NEVER be made easy to play. It demands all that a man has, all his feeling, all his thought, his entire resources, physical and spiritual. If he tries to play it in a halfhearted way or tries to get results by unlawful mean, he runs the risk of destroying his own potential. For this reason, it is better not to embark on the game at all than to play it halfheartedly.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Saturday was a scorpio bday celebration and mine as well ;) The MF's and I played a lovely set and met a bunch of fantastic brooklynites. Was a killer party - thanks bruno, dennis, katy and everyone who hosted and came out.
Here are a few pix: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tetheredtothemoon/sets/72157603113638014/
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
"There is a thinking stuff from which all things are made, and which, in its original state, permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the universe.
A thought in this substance produces the thing that is imaged by the thought.
A person can form things in his thought, and by impressing his thought upon formless substance, can cause the thing he thinks about to be created."
-from The Science of Getting Rich
Monday, July 16, 2007
"During her sold out show last night at Mo Pitkins, singer songwriter Tiffany Randol introduced a packed audience to songs from her upcoming album, Sammasati. The spunky redhead took the stage of the lower east side lounge at 9 pm, and opened with her powerful piano-based tune, “Kiss Me, Kiss Me.”
Randol bounced around from a grand piano, an acoustic guitar, a decade-old synthesizer and a pair of spoons (which were generously lent to her by a waitress) as she passionately performed her diverse, upbeat set. Her unique blend of sweet and soulful vocals was clearly displayed as she gently flowed through her ten songs. Randol got the crowd involved during her chipper ho-down tune, “One 4 Me,” when she asked them to drum along to the beat by banging beer bottles together - - luckily, there was plenty of beer flowing throughout the night. Her final song, “Half a Second,” overflowed with powerful soul and rhythm melodies that filled the room with tickling goosebumps.
To hear some tracks off Sammasati, check out Tiffany’s myspace page. She will be performing at Mo Pitkins again on August 7th.
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
MO PITKINS (34 Ave A. NYC)
July 10, 9pm
(also Aug 7, 9pm)
fyi: This is not a "record release" party - thought the record is complete, its not "officially" out and about (though we may have a few copies available at the show).
PS. THE SPACE is very much under way, even though I have not sent an email lately. We are organizing an event launch for August and will be updating you soon. I am looking for a business partner and for additional team members who have the passion and commitment to local songwriters to work with on moving the project forward. Please email me if you've got it.
"An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one." -Charles Horton Cooley
Saturday, June 9, 2007
Aside from that truly exciting piece of news - the rest of my week was amazing. Songwriters Hall of Fame had an event on Tuesday where they acknowledged a bunch of up and coming writers, including myself, Matt Kanelos, Jodi Shaw, Benji from Marwood, Wendy Starland, The Dramas, and a bunch of other writers. Jimmy Webb taught a master class at the event and we all got to ask him questions, so I asked if i could come up and play a song. teehee. i figured - you only get one chance to play a song for Jimmy Webb. Plus he said something along the lines of "nowadays no one writes songs with lots of chords" - so I played "Kiss me Kiss me" - which btw is up on myspace now - check it out.
Thursday was the SHOF Annual awards ceremony. Dolly Parton, Jackson browne, Little Anthony, Mark Cohn, John Legend - all these incredible artists performed on one stage in honor of some of my favorite songwriters of all time - Bobby Weinstein, Michael Masser, Dolly, Don Kirshner and Irving Burgie (who was so unbelievably adorable... he got the entire audience singing Day-O in this campfire like version of it... it was amazing) Seeing Dolly perform was one of the highlights of my life - she's so damn lovable.
Afterwards people were milling around and I got to meet just about everyone except Dolly. The after party was a little tricky to get into, but Mr. Tony Orlando snuck me in! lol. He is seriously the shit... One of the highlights of the night for me was hanging out with Bobby Weinstein, Tony O and Toni Wine and hearing them talk about songs that they had written over the years. These are songs that inspired me to be a songwriter - these are people who changed my life and truly played a part in creating who I am today.. It was incredible to be in the presence of so many inspired individuals... I am so grateful and fortunate to have had that opportunity. Love you all...
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
I have really begun to understand who I am and what I am committed to in life. As I've begun to commit to guidelines for my life, I've begun detaching from the things in my life that don't fit under that umbrella. It's been scary because the familiar has taken a backseat. Relationships are shifting from a place of attachment to a new realm based on my commitments. It is unchartered, scary and beautiful...
Life is a declaration and a way of being and I am grateful to know that it is possible to recreate myself and my life anytime I choose. Today, who I am is the possibility of FREEDOM, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, EMPOWERMENT and ACCEPTANCE.
Much Love - Deliriously Tired,
Thursday, March 15, 2007
i've been in an interesting space. finished my solo record and waiting to mix it. we're writing and arranging for the next Valeze record - yes, a full album ;) i'm writing like crazy and working with as many people as possible. i'm also doing the SELP course at Landmark which is pretty amazing. Im creating a community project and starting to surprise myself b/c i'm actually learning to be organized - its shocking really ;)
one of the things that i wanted to do was to transform a huge apartment complex in NYC into solar power. i think it could be such a cool domino effect - everything in NY is such a fad...maybe someone will steal my idea b/c i went with something else that hits a lot closer to home for me.
im creating a space for a group of about 25 artists to collaborate together in. i am surrounded by some of the most talented people in the world, who inspire me to no end... And I see them constantly getting stopped from following their visions b/c of money or whatever.
In NY the story goes something like this: brilliant artists with no money trying to make a buck to pay their rent so they can live in NY and play music with other brilliant musicians who are just trying to make a buck to pay their rent. space is expensive and the only free place to hang out are bars/venues and well, its a cycle called: a lot of talk and no action. Its a waste of energy and raw talent to see inspiration get tossed aside for "some day". There is no some day - You are either doing it or you're not.
So I got to thinking how amazing it would be if there was an actual space for us to hang and make music together in - like The Factory or something.. so that's what i'm up to. A lot of great people are starting to get involved and help make it happen. we're building an incredible team. pretty wild shit.
If anyone has ideas or wants to help - let me know!
ps. i finally watched The Secret yesterday. they did it real well... very powerful shit.
Sunday, February 4, 2007
“Life is too short to be little” - Disraeli.
"Often we allow ourselves to be upset by small things we should despise and forget. We lose many irreplaceable hours brooding over grievances that, in a year’s time, will be forgotten by us and by everybody. No, let us devote our life to worthwhile actions and feelings, to great thoughts, real affections and enduring undertakings."
Thursday, February 1, 2007
getting ready for the show tonight - doing vocal warmups and all that good stuff. very excited to play HIRO Ballroom - we're playing with Free Blood (!!!'s new side project), Sugar Report and DJs Ruff Kids and Alex English. Should be a fun night.
its been such an amazing couple of weeks. i wrote this song a couple of weeks ago and produced it in a couple of days in my home studio. never intended to have another song on my record, but its goin on ;) i love it... its incredibly silly. i got my yamaha pss 270 fixed and it has the most amazingly shitty sounds. to die for...
anywayz - the interview i did with Mens Fitness Mag went up yesterday:
and i found these photos from the jello wrestling gig we played in Dec. hilarious..
Stage Dive into the pit went something like this:
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Btw, last friday Formika's bday party was amazing. Incredible performances and I was absolutely blissful at getting to meet Debbie Harry. She is so incredible ;) sigh
Friday, January 19, 2007
Got pulled over for uturn without lights and i had a suspended license in NY from a ticket i got in high school, which i didn't even know about it... They could have easily told me to pay the old ticket the next day, but instead decided to cuff me and throw me in jail...
If you want to know what its like in a NY Jail cell - rent a video or read about it... really... i've always wondered what jail was like - well, there is nothing exciting about it. They stick you in a big cell with as many other people as they're holding. I guess I got lucky b/c there were only 7 people in my cell at a time. Apparently before i got there the cell was packed with people sleeping on the floor wall to wall. The room was freezing and the metal bench cold and hard. You would assume that you would be seen quicker or put in a less hostile situation if you were a first time offender or in for something stupid like i was... but it doesn't matter why you're there, they don't care.
Basically the way it works: it doesn't matter what you are in for: license or murder. If you jump a subway turnstyle, you could be locked in a cell for up to 72 hours with a murderer and there is NOTHING anyone can do to help you out. You don't get seen by the court until your paperwork is processed which generally takes 18-24 hours. and they love to take their time. (sarcasm): Fortunately for repeat offenders, anyone with a previous record is in the system already - so they get out quicker. I wasn't in the system so it took way longer to get me out b/c they had to find information on me. makes sense no?
I got in there after breakfast was served - cornflakes and warm milk - which had been ravaged and scattered all over the room... Meals are served three times a day. breakfast at 430am. lunch at 10ish: stale bread with mayo and either a slice of velveeta cheese or the nastiest peanut butter you've ever seen. and warm milk. dinner at 6: same cheese/pb deal and of course, warm milk.
The bathroom was in the holding cell, so you literally had to use it with an audience. Not to mention there were roaches in the toilet... Luckily this holding cell had a phone in it so i could call my family and any other numbers i had memorized. if i wouldn't have had any numbers memorized i would have been screwed.
My cellmates: There was one other girl in there with me who was in for the same as me, a chinese massage parlor girl, a couple crack dealers, heroin and meth addicts. One woman was going through withdrawal pretty heavily. i felt so awful for her... She was in so much pain - she just layed there moaning and crying for xanax or anything to make the pain stop... They eventually gave her a xanax, which quieted her down for a short time.
my head was splitting and i was exhausted - add on top of that cell doors slamming, people yelling and this woman coming down for hours and hours. The first twelve hours i was so upset, exhausted and sick, so i pretty much kept to myself - attempted to sleep on the bench, tried to stay warm. My mind had plenty of time to go crazy...
Then something interesting happened: i got to this point where i realized, it was what it was... there was nothing I could do. i had no control and there was nothing anyone could do to get me out. for those of you that know anything about me: you know i am a control freak through and through. to not be in control is something that scares me more than anything. well... i had 20 hours to sit with the fact that I HAD NO CONTROL. those were my circumstances and those people in the room with me were all i had... So I started talking to them and a funny thing happened - it started feeling like a hellish, yet humorous slumber party. everybody was telling their life stories. how they got to where they got. they all had families that they loved. most of them had children. one woman had a four year old son - she got on a meth program to get off heroin, but now is hooked on meth. She desperately wanted to get off... We talked about this program (ACI i think?) where you can actually detox and take opiate blockers (which keeps you from getting high: check out the book "BUZZED" for more info - an amazing book i just finished) she seemed so hopeful when we mentioned this program... she talked about her dreams of getting clean so she could work and take care of her son.
another woman, 45, had been on heroin since she was 18, had 5 kids and lives in a shelter with her husband. what a sweet woman - so kind and caring to everyone in the room - she called herself the "cell mom". ;) her life story was fascinating... i asked her if she was at all curious about what it might be like to be clean after a lifetime of addiction and she said: yes and no.. she loves the way heroin makes her feel blissful and peaceful, but doesn't like the side effects of being unproductive, non-sexual, unhealthy and the hardest thing is that when she's high, she doesn't care about anyone or anything else. She said to me "I sometimes have this feeling that the dope is keeping me almost alienated from the people I love". It broke my heart. She was such a sweet woman.
The stories went on and on. We talked for hours and later that evening after "dinner", they brought in two male inmates to clean the cell. It was the strangest thing! We all became completely silent and watched as one of them swept the cell clean. I started laughing and everyone joined in - it was like this man swept out all of our fears for a moment. We all joked with him about how he had made our day and none of us wanted to let him leave - we were desperate for entertainment. So we kept finding new spots to sweep for him ;) lol. eventually he got shoo'd out and the guy with the mop came in. When they finished, we all took a deep breath and talked about how clean we all felt. At the moment, it was almost as good as taking a shower - brilliant. One of those moments of clarity that I'll never forget.
It was one of the saddest days of my life. To sit like that, face my fear of losing control, and to watch that madness reflected in the lives of these people. It didn't matter what we were there for, what our stories were, what our addictions were - we were all the same: trying to escape from ourselves. With none of life's usual distractions and lots of time to kill, I was definitely forced to sit with myself and my fears and it was interesting and not an easy thing to do.
I'm still working through my feelings with all of this. I don't know where I am at the moment. Still dealing with it. I'm so angry at the concept of the NY "JUSTICE" Department. It seems like our city is run by power hungry fools who care about nothing but numbers. The system is a SCAM - a fraud. It has nothing to do with justice and everything to do with money. They pick these "criminals" up off the streets, put them in a cell, fine them, take their money, and put them back out on the street so that they can do the same thing all over again the next day. There is no integrity in this system... This poor woman on Meth: they put her in jail, let her go through a painful withdrawal, fined her and then put her right back out. How does this help her!?!? They don't care. She's just another unfortunate, sick person that they use and take advantage of to make money for the city. Whatever that is, it not "Just".
After having this experience, it changed my perspective in many ways... As much as I don't wish the experience on anyone, I do think that it is the responsibility of our politicians and "representatives" to know what it is they are standing for. A day in NYC's "tombs" will give anyone a real taste of what the city is about from the ground up.
The way I see it - if you choose to stand for something, represent something - you better damn well have lived or experienced what you are representing, otherwise you are simply inauthentic, a fraud. People don't trust politicians b/c they rarely get their hands dirty (in public anyway;). A politicians job is to represent their city/state/country - to represent their People! So they should know what they represent by their own experience, not bullshit handshakes and evaluation charts.
They should know what it feels like to sit on a cold metal bench with murders and crack dealers for 24 hours - to have nothing but warm milk and indigestion sandwiches - to take a piss in a cockroach infested toilet with an audience of criminals. and most important, what it feels like to have no control: to just have to sit and wait it out for a full 24 hours. Again, I am not saying this because I wish them ill - only to be aware of the ground they stand on. It is their duty to know how ALL people are being treated. Politicians think they are aware because they have poked their heads into a jail cell, seen what it looks like. Wake up! Being a spectator never won any game. They only way to know where we stand is to experience the ground we stand on.