Got The Morgan DVD? Free Shipping Today!

Morgan-Cyber-Monday

Have you seen Morgan Ågren’s Conundrum: A Percussive Misadventure on DVD yet? Over at my store, I’ve created a discount code to get FREE SHIPPING to ANYWHERE.

Here’s the secret code: morgan

Buy it now at MutantMall.com!

About the movie:

Frank Zappa. Devin Townsend. Fredrik Thordendal of Meshuggah. What do these men who re-invented rock music have in common? They all selected Morgan as their drummer. Yet his “intentionally broken” and complex drumming makes most musicians plug their ears, go home and practice, or just quit. Praised only by the enlightened few, this 45-year-old husband and humble father remains unknown to popular music listeners. But why? Watch this 2-hour documentary as Morgan visits L.A. in search of an answer to his continuing conundrum: ”The Music or The Money?”

With Special Guests: Mats Oberg, Devin Townsend, Marco Minnemann, Mike Keneally, Dweezil Zappa, Tosin Abasi, Thomas Lang, Danny Carey, Brendon Small, Dave Elitch, Simon Phillips, Joe Travers, Raanen Bozzio, Daedelus, and others!

You can also watch it instantly with Vimeo-On-Demand.

Morgan Agren’s Conundrum (A Percussive Misadventure) – OFFICIAL TRAILER from Carl King on Vimeo.

Enjoy!

-Carl.

Bookmark and Share
New eBook: Beyond Guitar (In Only 15 Minutes)

I decided to write this little eBook during my 2011 Holiday Vacation. It was a “fun” little project that took me a few days to get together, send around to my friends, get their input.

As of right now, it’s only available on Amazon Kindle Publisher Select for only 99 Cents. It’s 2500 words long. It only takes 15 minutes to read.

Description:

Guitarists of all levels: this eBook is not for your fingers. It is for your mind.

It contains simple, yet counter-intuitive musical concepts that many professional guitarists fail to understand after playing for 15 years. But you can discover them here in only 15 minutes.

I offer you no sweep-picking exercises. No scales, no chords, and no “tricks.” I am leaving out all of the specific data and techniques that you would typically practice and commit to memory while taking guitar lessons. But I promise you that the most creative and accomplished guitarists in the world have mastered these high-level principles of musicianship.

At the time of writing this eBook, I have (intentionally or otherwise) studied the guitar as a tool of artistic expression for 24 years. My experience as an eccentric musician called Sir Millard Mulch took me as far as an invite-only audition with Steve Vai. But I never trained to be a musical soldier in someone else’s army, so I continued to make my own albums with guest musicians such as Virgil Donati, Marco Minnemann, Devin Townsend, and many other unique creative geniuses.

I have personally directed approximately 3,000 guitar instructional videos for GuitarTricks.com—regularly working with some of the most talented graduates and private instructors from Musicians Institute and Berklee College of Music.

However, if you’re like me—ready to break free of the limitations of a traditional guitar education—this short guide is for you. And to my knowledge, you cannot find this information compiled anywhere else.

I challenge you to question all of these ideas, and apply them to your guitar-playing at your own risk. Each idea will be accompanied by a musical example, which I encourage you to seek out and listen to (and I mean really listen to) on your own.

Buy It Now: http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Guitar-Only-Minutes-ebook/dp/B006RB2BY4

Bookmark and Share
Music About Music: A Bad Idea

“Music about music” is a bad idea.

It reduces music to a zombie, kept alive by math.

This is what happens when musicians get so caught up in their techniques and and tools and music theory that they forget music is a symbolic art form. Music should mean something.

The counter-argument is, “Music is subjective and it can mean whatever you want it to mean.” A popular cop-out for musicians who haven’t learned how to create conceptually.

Here are some meanings that music can convey: Anger, beauty, confusion, disaster, power, humor, suspense, fear, adventure, pride, defeat, pain, loneliness, love.

Much more interesting than “five” or “fast.”

And harder to do!

Bookmark and Share
R.I.P. Dr. Zoltan – Article by Mike Epstein

From A Prog Blog:

I take a pretty sarcastic tone when discussing progressive rock, but I don’t want that to confuse anyone from that fact that I love the genre more than any other style of music available to my ears. My outlook comes from the fact that I’ve been surrounded for many years by people who consider my musical tastes a source of great comedy. They let me know this any time I bring progressive rock up in conversation, and while this never keeps me from enjoying my music, it has allowed me to keep a fairly healthy perspective on the genre. For instance, writing a song in 5/4 creates a different sense of feel and flow that catches the listeners ear and really makes them listen to what is going on in a phrase. Writing a song in 17/8 is basically a way for you to wave your giant progressive dick in the air and tell the audience ‘look how fucking skilled I am, suck it peasants!’ Of course I still enjoy the song in 17/8, but I’m fully aware of the artist’s intentions when he/she writes the song. No one’s brain is so mutated that they feel like they can best express themselves using phrases 17 beats long.

To wave my own giant progressive dick in the air, I have to say I feel pretty unique in this outlook. Progressive rock nerds don’t take it too kindly when you try to poke fun at their music, most likely because they’ve been poked fun at for their entire lives for various non-musical reasons. So while metal fans can thoroughly enjoy shows like Metalocalypse that thrust every single metal stereotype in their face and show them how stupid being a metal fan can be, even suggesting to a progressive rock fan that Neal Peart’s hat is kind of funny looking will result in massive nerd-rage.

As it turns out, I’m not as unique in my love/hate relationship with progressive rock as I thought. At least, I think I’m not. It’s kind of hard to tell. To be perfectly honest, it’s nearly impossible to wrap my head around the music and personas of one Dr. Zoltan Øbelisk/Sir Millard Mulch/Carl King (no, I don’t know why he needs two fake names to release music under, maybe there was a buy-one-get-one-free sale). Regardless, I think I may get what he and his music are all about. Or maybe I’m so far off that he’ll track me down and kill me for spreading lies about him and his music. Whatever, here’s what I do I know for certain:

-I can barely handle his music, and that’s part of the reason I love it. Melodies and phrases fly by so quickly that it’s worthless for your brain to try to grab a hold of anything and interpret what it just heard because it’s under a constant bombardment. You just have to experience what you heard and move on, otherwise you’re going to be buried under and avalanche of x-tuplets. To be stupidly pretentious (and I want to stress the ’stupid’ part of this), there’s something very Zen about the whole experience of listening to his music and being totally unable to become attached to what is passing through your ears, to only be able to listen and have that one immediate reaction.

-He’s absolutely amazing at programming his music. Yes, he programs a very significant portion of his music, and considering the deep attachment most progressive rock fans and artists have to authenticity, I’m kind of surprised by total acceptance of this practice. To be perfectly honest it bothered me for all of 10 seconds for the sole reason that he is talented at what he does. Regardless, the music is complex to the point where it almost HAS to be programmed, because having people play his stuff live would probably cause the Higgs Boson to appear (look it up).

-All of his music free. All of it. You just sign up for his mailing list you can download everything. I don’t know, maybe he robs banks (it’s not like his music career has made him universally recognizable and thus unable to hide in public), or maybe he has some sweet black mail gig going.

So all of that being said, what does his music sound like and why do I feel like I have another sarcastic kindred spirit in prog appreciation? Well to answer the first question, think of him as a cross between Frank Zappa and Weird Al Yanchovic, only with less polka. There’s a huge throbbing vein of comedy in his music, and it’s always popping up in different ways. Maybe he’s lamenting the common criticisms toward the music industry as it exists today, with its lack of artist talent or originality, but suddenly you’ll be thrust into an incomprehensible instrumental track that changes meter totally illogically. Then before you know it you’re back listening to something with verses and a chorus again, lamenting the good Doctor’s experience working as a sales rep. The humor in his music is obvious at some points and at other times you find yourself wondering “Ok…that passage was ridiculous…it wasn’t even the slightest bit musical…and I loved it…did he just play a joke on me for liking that kind of shit or is he just as fucked up as I am?” But then before you can even think about answering the question you just asked yourself, you’re smashed in the face with something new.

The music is extremely also drum heavy, to the point where Keith Moon would probably tell Øbelisk to chill out a little bit. Another reason I have this music crush is that when he’s not programming drums, Øbelisk recruits the most beastly drummers available for his albums. It honestly seems like he opened up an issue of Modern Drummer and just started circling names, telling himself “Ok, I want him and him and him and him and him.” And yet at the same time I get the impression it’s almost another joke, being able to say that you had Virgil Donati, Nick D’Virgilio, Marco Minnemann, and Morgen Argen, amongst other prog heavyweights like Devin Townsend, all perform on your albums. It’s kind of like rounding up Robert Plant, Roger Daltrey, Brian Wilson, and Freddy Mercury and having them sing the most bad ass version of “Good Vibrations” ever recorded, but then having them sing “Happy Birthday” during the harmonica solo, because why the fuck not.

All of this results in a final that product that is clearly progressive rock, but what is even more clear is the love/hate relationship Dr. Zoltan has with the genre. He knows his music sounds complex for the sake of being complex, and he lets you know that he knows that his music sounds that way, so in the end we all have a good laugh and then go back to enjoying a piece of music that changes key and time signature ever single measure. I personally think that’s a healthy way of looking at the genre, and it’s extremely rare that someone can look at their own music in such a way.

I titled this entree ‘RIP Dr. Zoltan….” not because the artist has passed away, but because his most recent album, “Why Am I So Wise? Why Am I So Clever? And Why Do I Write Such Good Songs?” may in fact be his last, according to his news letter anyway. I’m depressed that this may be his last amazing effort, but at the same time I think my brain is happy to throw in the towel, like a drug addict’s brain must enjoy the concept of never having to deal with another acid trip. So thank you, Dr. Zoltan Øbelisk/Sir Millard Mulch/whatever name you decide to assume next, for sharing a joke with me. I think.

Bookmark and Share
Only 50 Copies This Time.

Do you smell 1.2 mm thick, almost-pure polycarbonate plastic? Get them in the totally malfunctioning MutantMall Shop.

Bookmark and Share
Why Bands Are Invisible: Report vs. Rapport

If you are a musician, comedian, actor, or have some other type of creative career, you are probably guilty of the following:

Dark Dragon VOTE FOR OUR NEW SINGLE NEW EP COMING SOON T-SHIRTS ARE NOW IN OUR STORE $10 PAYPAL would like to be your friend!

Or perhaps the history of your Twitter account looks like this:

• Dark Dragon LIVE TONITE @ BEAR CLAW, 523 HAIGHT STRT, SANTA MONICA $4 COVER, 9PM
• Dark Dragon Watch our new BEHIND THE SCENES music video on YOUTUBE! http://tinyurl/q8b5q0
• Dark Dragon check out NEW mp3 MIXES on our MYSPACE http://myspace.com/darkdragonbandrockslamusic
• Dark Dragon LIVE TONIGHT @ OPEN MIKE — WEAR OUR SHIRT AND GET $2 OFF $10 COVER OR $1 OFF BEER IF YOU BUY THREE OR MORE. http://tinyurl/v87btek
• Dark Dragon ADD OUR OTHER TWITTER feed for SIDE PROJECTS and special offers and WIN A FREE CD http://www.twitter.com/darkdragonlarocksbandmusicsideprojects

But for some reason, other than your friends, no one responds or shows up. You have probably noticed this phenomenon and attempted to counteract it. Your band figured, “Not enough people are reading our data, so we have to make it more visible. We must not be posting it in enough places.” So you posted it in more places. You signed up for a couple of extra Facebook accounts, some Livejournals, 2-3 Flickr accounts, and a YouTube. Copy and paste, copy and paste. You went on Myspace and posted it all over everyone’s Comments along with a very large, obnoxious flyer. You made a YouTube video begging people to come to your show. You made Bulletins, Tweets, Blog Entries, Status Updates, and even thought about going to Kinkos and printing up old-fashioned paper flyers, then taking a picture of your flyer and putting it on Flickr. But still, no one notices you.

The problem with this is that unless you already have loyal followers, no one is going to care or read this useless data. This is the problem with “Report Communication.”

Report Communication is a communication style based on broadcasting information without regard for who wants to hear it. Most commercials on radio and TV are Report Marketing. Seth Godin also calls this “Interruption Marketing.” You’re watching your favorite TV show, and all of the sudden, you are interrupted. As a result, you tune it all out. Often changing the channel or lowering the volume. It’s nothing but obnoxious noise.

Do you really want your band to be lumped together in all of that cultural static?

Of course not. So that’s why you need to do more Rapport Communication.

Rapport Communication is all about building a relationship with your listener, whether it be one person sitting at the dinner table with you or a live audience. It is about treating them as humans, rather than consumers who exist only to make you rich and famous. Do not dominate the conversation, interrupting them to constantly say, “BUY A SHIRT.” You would not do that in a regular conversation with someone.

Artistic types claim to hate the business side and want to just focus on being creative. So why is it that 99% of the artists on the internet spend their time spamming everyone with meta-data? It is a waste of time.

Here is what you need to do:

1.) Stop.

2.) Learn how to tell a unique, personal story with your art. Focus on doing something interesting and unusual — something with a different perspective. Something creative that permeates every aspect of what you do, whether it be video, audio, or text. Make your art the center of your message. When you Tweet, upload a photo, write a blog, make it stand on its own as a creative work — not just as a cheap ad for your next show. Build a mythology and community around your ideas. Connect them all together. Document them. Give people something to explore.

If your ideas are powerful enough, you will attract followers. But first, you need to focus your energy on developing and deploying your strongest ideas — ideas worth sharing. Seduce people into your world. Be open and inviting, and keep the conversation going in both directions. In other words: build Rapport.

If you do not, your communication will be as effective as a homeless person on a street corner. The louder you scream, the more you are ignored.

Originally posted on http://www.drzoltan.com.

Bookmark and Share
How I Started, By Andrew W.K.

From http://www.awkarchive.com/text.php?id=14

I have a room that I rent in Florida. I was a real serious kid, real intense, and there were a lot of things that I was doing by myself I took seriously, like organizing little pieces of paper, cutting out things from magazines, and filing them away. I’d set up these huge spread-out projects on my floor. I’d cut out those ads in comic books for, like, a million different T-shirts. I’d cut out each one of those designs and line them up. Stuff like that. Really intense, very serious, lots of drawing and planning things and working on things and looking forward to things. I lived in my own world, all the while taking piano lessons.

Dr. Zoltan loves Logical Fallacies. Visit http://www.drzoltan.com/blog to learn a few every week.

Bookmark and Share
Derek Sivers: How To Avoid Creative Career Paralysis

Are you suffering from Creative Career Paralyisis? Are you afraid to make creative decisions because they might DESTROY you? Take this advice from Derek Sivers, the founder of CDBaby. Dr. Zoltan’s Summary: rather than viewing a creative career as a strict strategy or calculated business, view it as a fantastic experiment in living an unusual life. As Derek Sivers says, “This is only a test!”

Dr. Zoltan is now obsessed with Logical Fallacies. Visit http://www.drzoltan.com/blog to find out more.

Bookmark and Share
How To Sell… Review In Spanish: "I Warned You."

Translated from the site, La Famosaland: Rock Download — translated from Spanish:

Paul K. Mavanu, known as Sir Millard Mulch or as Dr. Zoltan Obelisk, depending on the occasion and your mood, is a completely unknown musician who has published several albums that went completely undetected, but from day to day came with it under his arm, a triple album which together cover a little More than four hours of music. Not only that, the most impressive is the amount and variety of musicians accompanying Mulch on their adventure. So we have holdings of Virgil Donati (Planet X, Vai), Devin Towns (Strappin Young Lad), Nick D’Virgilio (Tears For Fears, Spock’s Beard), Trey Spruance (Mr. Bungle), Nils Frykdahl (Sleepytime Gorilla Museum), Chris Parsons (Estradasphere), Mark Critchley (Itch), Lale Larson (Electrocution 250), Dave Meros (Spock’s Beard), Paul Mazurkiewicz (Cannibal Corpse), Morgan Ågren (Frank Zappa, Zappa’s Universe, Fredrick Thordental), Larry Boothroyd (Victims Family ), Among others. 

The music, as it is a progressive rock with a great sense of humor with punk, metal, avant-garde and a series of intermediates that give us the feeling of listening to an Infomercial. Zappa definitely comes to mind when listening to this record. Anyway, a great work that is not taken very seriously herself. It is down to his approach. I warned you.

Download the five-hour album in its entirety for FREE

Dr. Zoltan spent a lot of time on this Human Interface Device, and you should, too! Visit http://www.drzoltan.com/blog to find out how.

Bookmark and Share
Dr. Zoltan & Will Maier Release Song About 9/11

What better way to celebrate seven years of confusion than with a campfire sing-a-long? Dr. Zoltan & Will have released a song called Freefall (Catchy Folk Tune To Celebrate The End of the Republic). You can download the song for FREE if you fill out this contact form: http://www.drzoltan.com/contact.php

CREDITS
Will Maier - Vocals
Dr. Zoltan - Acoustic & Electric Guitar, Keyboard, Bass, Drumkit From Hell

Cover art by CarlKingCreative

DR. ZOLTAN’S THOUGHTS ON 9/11
Dr. Zoltan’s take on this is very simple. He is not a conspiracy theorist, he just does not believe the official story of what happened on 9/11. He does not know what sort of dark force is responsible for making the buildings fall down, but here are his thoughts on some peripheral (yet central) issues.

The White House and CNN gave oversimplified explanations for the disaster and used them to justify an endless war. The American public cynically disregards their own powers of research and observation, handing over too much power and responsibility to their government and the media. There are many unanswered questions about 9/11 and the official stories are as confusing as the nutty ideas put forth by paranoid amateur filmmakers. More time and energy is spent on horrible tabloid stories like Anna Nicole Smith and Britney Spears than investigating a real crime. 

Instead of helping us make sense of it all, corporations and the government are feeding the stupidity of the masses, perpetuating consumerism and instilling a deep fear of objectivity. Team-oriented politics and conformist cult branding, fueled by religious dogma, racism, and fear, are substituted for the importance of… IDEAS. 

The War On Terror is a press release right out of George Orwell’s 1984. Terrorism is asymmetrical by nature. It cannot be fought with a “War.” Its sole purpose is to cause a government to implode on itself by bloating its military and restricting the freedoms of its citizens — warrant-less tapping of communications, detaining of random suspects, expanded executive powers, et cetera. Through this, a handful of chaotic individuals can cripple a country of hundreds of millions. In a police state everything grinds to a halt in the name of protecting the homeland from the boogeyman. Benjamin Franklin said it best: “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

The truth is that “fun” products like cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, and junk / fast food kill more humans than terrorist attacks ever could. But in a world of billions of crazy humans with their hands on deadly technology, occasionally bad things will happen — on purpose. REALLY bad things. Humans can do their best to stop these things, but what they need is the strength and freedom to sustain damage and go on living. 

LYRICS
You’re better off hiding with some weapons in a hole
When a corporate fascist state has taken control
But instead you’re dancing, drinking, and you’re having lots of fun
While the end of the United States has already begun

Chorus
Brother, Look no further, there’s no other proof you need
Buildings can’t collapse at freefall speed

You can expect to see another pseudo-terrorist attack
When the best you’ve got are posing fakes like Tom and Zach
Hiding from the truth behind their blurry poetry
While the crime scene is buried at the bottom of the sea

It’s gonna come to civil war sooner or later
Protesting won’t stop an evil dictator
Don’t try to vote him out, there’s nothing you can say
The tyrant that’s in office isn’t going away

Bookmark and Share