Personal Canon: “How Crayons Are Made”
On Episode 8 of the 11th season of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Mister Rogers showed us a film that has always stuck with me—and which has stuck with many of you, too—about how crayons are made. Mister Rogers’ show was always so calm and informative and direct that it pulled you right into it, and that power has not lessened decades later. This segment has, for whatever reason, fascinated many of us ever since we first saw it. I have never been in a conversation about Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood where this segment didn’t get brought up in the first five minutes.
You can watch the six minute segment here on PBS.com.
I absolutely remember watching this when it aired… It’s stuck with me ever since, too…
New record this Summer… Not a Born and Raised “plus”… A new group of songs to bring the whole thing up to date with Summer 2013. I have that hunger that always precedes something meaningful. See you all soon. And thanks for the warm welcome back to the stage. Getting back on it a little at a time.
“Nathan For You” is the funniest show on television.
How long does it usually take to write one song, say, 'Stop This Train' or 'Walt Grace's Submarine Test?'
Every song is different. ‘Stop This Train’ was about a week of writing verses, and ‘Submarine Test’ happened in three obsessive days with a white board in front of the mic. What you hear was each line as I wrote it. ‘Belief’ and ‘Assassin’ both took years, literally. ‘Gravity’ was done in two days. ‘Queen of California’ was a fight for the third verse for weeks with my iPhone note pad. Oh, and in ‘Edge of Desire’ “steady my breathing/silently screaming/”I have to have you now” held the song up for weeks. Songwriting is like math homework, mostly.
The new Hendrix album is really great. It’s mixed to sound TOUGH, it’s in your face, there’s no crazy stereo effects… It sounds like a Black Keys album. There have been dozens of posthumous Hendrix releases, most of them reshuffling the same catalog of unpolished jams, but this is an important document. The way I see it, the records that spell out the Hendrix legacy are “Are You Experienced”, “Axis: Bold as Love”, “Electric Ladyland”, “Cry of Love” (or whatever re-release contains those tunes), “Band of Gypsys” and now, “People, Hell and Angels.” This is one of the best sounding albums I’ve heard in a long time, and it’s the most blistering Hendrix sound recording to date.
I would love to hear the three studio releases with this treatment… check out Axis: Bold as Love vinyl LP in MONO if you want to hear Hendrix in a similar fashion…
I’ve been to the voice specialist four times since seeing I was healed, each time telling myself that if all was clear, I’d share my excitement. I’m following through on the deal I made with myself before taking another look yesterday (healed, just need to accept it.) This is getting VERY exciting.
What is a good quality in your opinion that a good songwriter or any songwriter for that matter should have?
Musically, I think understanding intervals is extremely important. Do, re, mi… being able to visualize and understand notes as you choose them. Lyrically, the more clichés you know, the more you can avoid. Have an active imagination and be brave.