Is This Chord Ugly Enough For You?

“Shine” by “Final Placement” (Original Video) from F.P. Shine on Vimeo.

Every composition needs dissonance.

For ears that crave more adventure, tritones stopped doing their job a hundred years ago.

I-V-I is only one traditional form to express tension and resolution. Frank Zappa said, “You can’t always write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say, so sometimes you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream.”

The above video is proof of this concept. Your mind goes from consonant to dissonant repeatedly, trying to decide if it’s a joke. (Unfortunately, they updated the song recently, making it more obviously bad, kinda ruining the fun. If you want to watch an expert, Andrew WK is my favorite in that genre of entertainment.)

Just like music, our lives need conflict. Maybe weekdays are the tension, weekends are the resolution. Is that OK? Up to you to decide. If 5 out of 7 meals I ordered were splashed with vomit, I’d try a new restaurant.

I say keep a healthy relationship with conflict. If you try to remove all conflict from your psyche, you’ll be like one of those Actors at a cattle call.

My working definition of an Actor: an person who acts like they’re not conflicted.

Ask those posers in Los Angeles how they’re doing, and the answer is always: “AMAZING! Life is easy, the pilot just got picked up, the record is coming out soon, I just had an incredible salad, none of my brilliant friends is struggling with anything!”

Tell the truth, and those people will call you Negative.

That’s because they’re not the storytellers. They’re just puppets, marketing their genetic superiority. They hide the scratches and dents, fart rainbows, and it pretty much guarantees they will be mid-level tools for the rest of their lives.

The real artists, at the top of the pyramid, are the ones who thrive on conflict. They live under a creative rain cloud of problems, obstacles, disasters. It’s welcome inspiration. Food for creative people.

90% of any good movie is beating up the hero. The greater the struggle, the greater the victory. That’s the ironic arc we pay to watch.

Being boring doesn’t work in show business, and it doesn’t work in real life.


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3 Responses to “Is This Chord Ugly Enough For You?”

  1. Frish went to the beach and complained:

    Fart Rainbows! Ha HaHA! that was a good one. I hope I’m not boring. I try to stay true to the game.

  2. Christopher Butler went to the beach and complained:

    I’ve always though that the idiots of the world were the ones with no tolerance for cognitive dissonance. So they choose an easy answer quick and reject all information that may conflict with their answer.

    Why is so much of the world like this? Why are so many people absolute cognitive pussies?

    True courage is not suppressing your cowardice. Own up to it, examine it from every angle, meditate on it and then you will understand it. Understanding a problem is just another way of saying solving said problem. Be ruthlessly honest.

    I dig this blog entry.

  3. Carl King went to the beach and complained:

    Great point about Cognitive Dissonance, Mr. Butler. I agree with you.

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