1. Creativity Induced Depression

    It’s currently 5:05 PM on Monday September 1st. I have just wrapped up, what I thought would be a productive afternoon recording.

    See, I had the great idea to attempt a cover of Lincoln Brewster’s song Sinking Ships. I have been grooving the the song since Oxygen was released two weeks ago.

    I recently purchased an Akai MPK Mini MK2, that I wanted to try out. It seemed like it would be a great afternoon. I had mapped out my plan of attack for producing the cover, learned the chords and the lyrics.

    I started by tapping in the drum pattern and then laid down the main chords to go behind the song.

    Time was flying as I worked to add in some extra elements to thicken the sound. I have to say, I was really digging the sound of the track. What I had invisioned in my head was begining to take shape in the Logic Pro X window I had open.

    I was happy and excited with what I had created and was loving my new MIDI controller.

    It’s been a year since I’ve recorded any new music, despite adding to my recording equipment collection. The reason for that is I have been experiencing a creative drought.

    The reason that I haven’t released any new music has nothing to do with a lack of songwritting or recording work being done. I have started several projects only to be halted in my tracks at the vocal stage of recording.

    This is what has been happening to me for the last year:
    I spend a large amount of time, building a great track, however when it’s time to record vocals, the whole song falls apart. Generally, it’s because I lack the vocal power or range to actually pull off the song I’ve written or chosen to cover.

    It’s frustrating. I have this great music that I’m excited about and pumped about, but shortly after starting vocals I lack the motivation to continue the song.

    All that joy and excitement is gone. Replaced only by depression and a lack of desire to even try.

     Why do I even attempt to record songs if I know I can’t sing them? Why even try? It’s just going to end up in the folder of abandoned songs like all the rest.

    This is something I’ve dealt with since I started recording, I get wrapped up in something that I think is going to be great, but I can never execute my vision. Because of that lack of execution I put it down and die a little inside everytime.

    The struggle is having something to express and that I need to get out, and not having the tools to adequately express what I am feeling in that moment. It’s devestating. The reason that this hits me so hard is because I rarely have something to express.

    Songwriting is very hard for me. I can work and arrange music easily, that part comes naturally to me. However lyrics and melodies are the hardest part. It is a rare day when I have enough words for a second verse of a song. The most common pattern I fall into are a chorus and verse and no idea where else to take the song.

    It feels like there is something wrong with my brain when I get stuck. I feel that as a creative person I should be able to finish the song. I’ve heard advice given on how to become a better song writter is to no matter what, finish the song.

    Generally that advice is great if you know where the song is going and where is should go next, then yes finish the song, even if it’s horrible.

    What if it’s not possible? What if that wall that hits me every time I feel like I have something to express can’t be overcome? Why does my mind go as blank as the blank pieces of paper I often have in front of me?

    Is the problem that I’m having directly related to how I think about songwriting? Am I too left brained in my thinking? Too analytical?

    Is it even possible for me to be a songwriter? Am I just unable to access that part of myself? Or is it even there?

    Sorry it got so heavy there, I just had to express something in a way that I have the tools, since I can’t use the medium that I want, I have to use the medium I can.

    Creativity Induced Depression was originally published on Hey Myke

     

  2. Here’s Some Unboxing Videos

    Hey!

    It’s been a little bit since my last post. The reason is that for the last week, I’ve been serving Jury duty. I promise there is a super long, super interesting story about that coming soon!

    So the long and short of it is…

    I’m Back!

    With some videos.

    Birchbox Manbox Unboxing

    So we signed my wife up with a service called Birchbox about a year ago. What it is is a monthly subscription where they send you a box of 5-7 beauty product samples. Well, they also have a man version of it. And this month we signed up for it and did a super sweet unboxing video for it.

    KABLAM!

    Akai MPK MINI MKII Unboxing

    Also for my birthday, using a gift card and some money from a freelance client I was able to pick up a sweet new MIDI controller from Akai. So here’s an unboxing video for it.

    BAM!

     

    Here’s Some Unboxing Videos was originally published on Hey Myke

     

  3. A Review of Guardians of the Galaxy

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    Ok! So if you read my post last friday about Guardians of the Galaxy, you’re probably wondering what I thought?

    Well, let me give you the TLDR (To Long Didn’t Read) summary of my feelings.
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    I am so satisfied. That Sci-Fi Adventure shaped hole in my hear is now filled with the awesomeness that is Guardians of the Galaxy.
    From the awesome 80’s references and soundtrack, to the stunning visuals. Guardians of the Galaxy was an adventure filled trek through the unique Marvel Universe.
    When I wrote my last post I listed things that I wanted,
    • Aliens
    • Neon Green Laser Blasts
    • Space Ships
    • Witty Banter
    • Lightsaber Fights
    Here’s what I got:
    • Aliens
    • Neon Green Laser Blasts
    • Space Ships
    • Witty Banter
    • AND YES THERE WAS EVEN A LIGHTSABER FIGHT!
    The viewing experience for me was atypical. See, normally when I’m pumped about a movie, I sit on the edge of my seat leaning forward loving it. Did I do that for Guardians of the Galaxy?
    No.
    The reason? I had been so starved for this type of movie, that I couldn’t move because my soul was content. Somewhere in the first 15 minutes, I leaned over to my wife Allison and whispered “This is everything I wanted it to be.”
    I cannot recommend this movie hard enough. You will laugh, you will feel sorrow, and you will be dazzled by the stunning visuals.
    I. AM. PUMPED.!!!

    A Review of Guardians of the Galaxy was originally published on Hey Myke

     

  4. I Am So Excited for Guardians of the Galaxy

    I’m seeing Guardians of the Galaxy today. I’m excited, heres why!

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    Those that know me, also know that I am a huge fan of Science Fiction. Ever since I first saw Star Wars all those years ago I have loved this genre, be it books, comics, television, or movies, I will devour it. Be warned, this is going to be long, but hopefully good!

    Part 1 – A Long Time Ago, On a VCR Not as Far Away

    Star Wars? Thats not Guardians of the Galaxy!

    I promise it will make sense, just hang with me.

    I don’t actually remember the first time I watched the Star Wars Trilogy. It’s not because I don’t have a massive connection to the series, it’s because I watched it so many times when I was young that all the viewings just blend together.

    See, we used to live in Sacramento, and my grandparents live in Ripon California, which is only an hour away. We would visit them all the time, and one of the things we did often, was go to the local video store and rent movies.

    I’m not sure if thats where I first watched Star Wars, but it is where I remember watching it a lot. The reason is that there wasn’t a Blockbuster, or Hollywood video in that town (you remember those right?). And the little video store had a limited selection, but, they had The Trilogy on VHS. So, most of the time my little brother Taylor and I would just rent that if there wasn’t anything else interesting.

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    We would watch through The Trilogy as many times as possible before we went home. This was where I fell in love with Star Wars and was the beginning of my love for Science Fiction.

    I loved the space battles, and sometimes we would fast forward to the assault on the death star in A New Hope, or the epic lightsaber battle in The Empire Strikes Back and yes, I love the speeder scene in Return. Watching Star Wars was a wonder filled experience.

    Part 2 – Books, Books and more Books.

    Guardians of the Galaxy time?

    Not yet, stick with me!

    Lets fast forward a little bit, I’m 9 years old. My bed time is 8pm, and my mother, is attempting to instill in me the love of reading that she has. I have been devouring books at school and as a little reward I was allowed to stay up until 8:30!

    If I was reading. So I began my lifelong habit of reading before bed. I started out with a lot of Frank Peretti novels. Specifically, “The Oath” and “This Present Darkness.” I loved the monster fantasy of those books.

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    I would be so caught up in the adventure that even after my dad had come and prayed for me and put me to bed, I would wait until he left, then turn on a little light I had in my room and read until my eyes became heavy. If I read a portion of the page and didn’t know what I had just read, then it was time to go to bed.

    I still do this today, and if I don’t read before bed, it have a hard time falling asleep.

    Part 3 – I Reject Your Required Reading and Insert My Own

    Hey myke? You gonna talk about Guardians of the Galaxy yet?

    mmmmm…Not yet.

    Ok time for another time jump to High School! So as you know, most of the required reading in schools is rather dull, for some reason some of the great Science Fiction is absent from most english programs, at least it was from mine.

    Most of you that know me, know that I am fairly gifted, I am an auditory learner and I learn quickly and have a high recall. This made school very easy for me, I could get B’s with little to no effort, so I didn’t try, much to the chagrin of my mother.

    One of the biggest challenges for me is that I hate the repetition in school, generally, I understand the concept the first time it is presented and I don’t need the information constantly repeated. Once I picked up a concept, if we were still stuck on it and not moving forward, I would get bored.

    When I get bored, especially in class, I get into trouble.

    So I had to find things to keep my attention that wouldn’t disturb the class, or get me in trouble with the teacher.

    Some teachers, like Mrs. Waymire, one of the history teachers were content to let me make massive chains out of Starburst wrappers, as long as I was engaged in the discussions. This made Mrs. Waymire one of my favorite teachers, even though she was one of the more strict faculty.

    In my junior and senior bible classes, I would take sharpies and create multi colored checkerboards by filling in the squares on a piece of graph paper.

    In my senior English class, I read. Not the required reading, but novels. In class, while the teacher was teaching.

    I also used my entire study hall everyday to read.

    What did I read? Well in my sophomore year I discovered the science fiction section of our schools library.

    If watching Star Wars at my grandparents house planted the seed of Nerddom in me, this was when I sprouted.

    See, I had no idea that there was an expanded universe of Star Wars novels. Our library had about five of a series that takes place almost immediately after Return of the Jedi. The series was X-Wing: Rogue Squadron. It followed the adventures of Luke Skywalker’s friend Wedge Antilles as he revived the Rogue Squadron of X-Wing pilots and tried to make them more of a strike force, recruiting pilots with additional skills.

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    I devoured the series. Unfortunately, that was all the library had regarding Star Wars. I was hooked on Science Fiction and wanted more, so with some trepidation I picked up Foundation by Isaac Asimov, then I went back and finished the entire series, devouring book after book.

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    I moved on to Arthur C. Clarke, and read the two books they had in the library, The City and the Stars and Deep Range both wildly different from each other, and both incredibly scientifically based.

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    This would be where my fascination was tempered and matured. See what Asimov and Clarke had in common is that they didn’t just write Fiction, they also had published works in the world of physics and their deep understanding of the universe and how the world works was infused into their fiction. I loved that. I love when science meets fantasy and you can peel back the cover of a story and see how the engine works.

    It’s why I loved the show Fringe.

    Part 4 – I AM NERD and NERD IS ME

    Guardians of the Galaxy time?

    Not yet! but it’s coming in Part 5, I promise!

    Warp speed a few years to the summer between my freshman and sophomore year of college. At some point before the end of the year, I received a free download of one of the newest Star Wars novels. Star Wars: Legacy of the Force, Betrayal. Which took place like 40 years after Return of the Jedi.

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    I started reading it. I loved it, and the next book had just come out so I headed to my local library and checked it out. Then I started checking out more from the expanded universe.

    I got into the habit of going to the library usually two times a week, checking out three or four books and reading through them in a week.

    At the time, I had lost connection with most of my High School friends and was working full time. I didn’t have much else to do, so I read.

    I think I might have read at least fifty or sixty books that summer, granted some of them were audio books that I listened to on my way to work.

    This period of my life is where I flowered into a full on Nerd.

    Part 5 – Guardians of the Galaxy is Star Wars

    Finally!

    Thanks for sticking with me this far!

    Why am I so stoked about Guardians of the Galaxy? Well, it’s because, from what I can see, it’s a movie that is in a Sci-Fi sub -genre that the world has been lacking lately.

    Recently, we’ve had some awesome Sci-Fi movies, like Looper and Snowpiercer (I just watched it, so good! Get it on iTunes immediately!).

    These great movies have definitely helped sate my appetite for Science Fiction, however they are part of a trend to take some of the adventure out of Sci-Fi. For the most part, these are dark, thoughtful movies, that while science based, take themselves seriously.

    We have lots of this type of Science Fiction, but you know what we don’t have? There hasn’t been a “new” Empire, or Return in years.

    My favorite Sci-Fi sub-genre are adventure movies, I want aliens, starship, laser blasts, witty dialogue, awesome heroes doing awesome things. I want more Assaults on the Death Star, more AT-AT/Snowspeeder battles. I want neon green laser blasts and Ion cannons.

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    I wan’t more movies like Star Wars.

    When I scroll through the Science Fiction section of Netflix, that’s what I’m looking for, sadly I have a hard time finding that. So I usually end up watching a cooking show with my wife.

    When I first saw the trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy, I began to get excited, this looks like it’s Marvel’s version of a Star Wars movie.

    I want it to be good so bad. Like SO SO Bad.

    Please nail it Marvel.

    I’m going tonight. I’ll let you know what I think afterwards.

    I Am So Excited for Guardians of the Galaxy was originally published on Hey Myke

     

  5. I made a thing. Happy Thursday.

    I made a thing. Happy Thursday. was originally published on Hey Myke

     

  6. heavyfilthybass:

    mykeclements:

    Listen/purchase: Cut me Mick by Myke And A Mic

    Freaking goooooooooood mykeclements!

    Featured link:
    Cidinho e Doca - Eu só quero ser feliz (Electrosaga remix)

    Thanks!

     

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  8. An Adventure to the California Science Center & Shuttle Endeavour

    Continuing our fun Memorial Day, Allison and I went to visit the California Science Center to see the Space Shuttle Endeavour. We arrived about three hours before our appointment for the Shuttle, so we decided to explore the rest of the museum

    The Museum

    Since we were super early we killed some time in the museum itself.

    California Science Center
    California Science Center
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    Ecosystems

    First on our list was the Ecosystems exhibit, we saw a ton of cool fish and reptiles that were on display.

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    Then we went outside to see the touch tank and touched some super slimey slugs and some spiky starfish.

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    These are actual shark eggs. In the video at the top you can actually see them move inside their little eggs.

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    The World of Life

    After Ecosystems we went to the World of Life exhibit. We saw video of an actual lung replacement. Allison was a little grossed out but I found it fascinating.

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    I tried my hand at the Drunk Driving simulator, and it was super hard. Needless to say, I failed and crashed the virtual car.
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    The Shuttle Endeavour

    Here are the tickets for the exhibit.
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    I had to get out the fisheye lens to get the entire shuttle into one picture, but I did.

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    We had a great time on Memorial Day. If you would like to visit the California Science Center and see the Shuttle for free, CLICK HERE

    An Adventure to the California Science Center & Shuttle Endeavour was originally published on Hey Myke

     

  9. Driving in Los Angeles

    I love driving, and I love driving with my wife. One of our favorite things is to just go for a drive and see places we’ve never visited before.

    Driving in Los Angeles was originally published on Hey Myke

     

  10. An Adventure to Griffith Park

    Happy friday!

    We were looking for a fun activity to take up our Memorial Day. I also wanted to go somewhere and take some cool photos. We decided on Griffith Park because I had seen this post about the old Los Angeles Zoo. We got up at the crack of dawn (6:30), got some Starbucks and attempted to find the trail. Following the directions we managed to make our way most of the way up the mountain, but the trail became super hard and an almost vertical climb. So we decided to head back down to check out the ruins of the old zoo.

    We got in some great exercise and had a blast doing it.

    Here are some pictures from the trip:

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    An Adventure to Griffith Park was originally published on Hey Myke

     

  11. Getting Grub at the Granada Hills Grubfest

    Hello friends, Allison and I went to the Granada Hills Grubfest this last friday, come on the adventure with us.

    Granada Hills Grubfest Short

    The Grubfest happens every wednesday and friday from 5:30-10:00pm on Chatsworth Ave, from Zelzah to White Oak. We arrived super early and scoped out the area.

    Granada Hills Grubfest
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    Cousins Maine Lobster

    We started our dining experience with a lobster roll from Cousins Maine Lobster. Allison and I are avid watchers of the television show Shark Tank and we saw this particular truck on the show. We just had to try the rolls. THEY WERE AMAZING! However they were essentially two bites, needless to say we were still hungry!

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    Tornado Potato

    After chowing down on the two bite roll, we ventured across the street and acquired a Tornado Potato. It’s essentially a giant twirly potato chip.
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    Be Waffle

    For dessert Allison and I had spied a Belgian Waffle truck. Mine was covered with Belgian Chocolate, Bananas, and Whipped Cream. The Waffle was perfect. The outside of the waffle was nice and crunchy while the interior was soft and warm.
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    We had an awesome time at the Granada Hills Grubfest and we definitely plan on attending again. With Friends.

    Getting Grub at the Granada Hills Grubfest was originally published on Hey Myke

     

  12. Photo Sesh With the Wife

    The Weirdest part of Allison’s and I’s relationship is that we don’t have that many pictures of us together. We have pictures of her, and pictures of me, but there aren’t many of us together. Well the benefit of Taylor having a Fiancé who likes taking pictures is that we can finally rectify that. While we were in florida we did a little photo Sesh with awesome photography by Niana Marie. Enjoy.

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    Photo Sesh With the Wife was originally published on Hey Myke

     

  13. The Ben Affleck Batman Suit - With Color

    So as most of you are aware, Zack Synder released a photo of the Ben Affleck Batman Suit on twitter. It has been meted and people have added some color to it. I decided to try my hand at coloring the photo as well.

    The Ben Affleck Batman Suit – Original

    Ben Affleck Batman Suit Original

    Here are my two variations.

    Blue Batfleck

    Ben Affleck Batman Suit Blue

    Brown Leathery Batfleck

    Ben Affleck Batman Suit Brown

    I really think Ben Affleck will do a great Job as batman. I mean, the stuff where he’s in the suit, anyone can do. The key to playing Batman in a movie is the Bruce Wayne aspect, which I think Mr. Affleck will nail.

    The Ben Affleck Batman Suit – With Color was originally published on Hey Myke

     

  14. It Finally Happened, My Little Brother Got Engaged to Be Married

    Hell must be freezing over somewhere. Why? Because my little brother avoided getting bored with a girl long enough to want to marry her. She is an awesome addition to our family and I am happy to welcome her to the Clements Clan. Even though Taylor doesn’t like to have his picture taken they make a very photogenic couple.

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    It Finally Happened, My Little Brother Got Engaged to Be Married was originally published on Hey Myke

     

  15. I Finally Got to Actually See the School Taylor Graduated From

    So the whole purpose of this trip was to go and see my little brother Taylor walk across the stage and get his degree. The graduation was at a large church off campus so we didn’t actually get to see his school until sunday. It was awesome walking around the campus that Taylor spent so much of the last four years at. The buildings all feel new and pristine. I was getting a little jealous, but then I remembered he went to school in Florida, so that green monster was put back in it’s cage.

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    I Finally Got to Actually See the School Taylor Graduated From was originally published on Hey Myke