Saturday, August 30, 2008

I love this.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I just turned 29!
Yikes :)


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I just wanted to let you know that I have started a new (and crazy) blog regarding my thoughts and inspirations for Singularity. I hope it will become a forum for some really fun and interesting discussion. Check it out at:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Speaking of creative mash ups and international fan community... check out this video that was put together by a fan in the Philippines. This is the future I want to help build :)

I got a great email today from my friend Chris who is studying the music industry at university and is about to head to England to further his education. We met for an informal interview before our show at Croc Rock in PA and talked at great length about the myriad of issues facing musicians and artists. Far from discouraging, this seems to be a cultural revolution that is changing the entire landscape of our modern culture faster than any tanks or bullets. This was the link he sent me and his email is below. Let me know what you think!

Hey Jacob,

I took a look at Leftsez's most recent posting, which
included a link to this presentation an anthropology
professor from Kansas State University made:

I don't know if you got a chance to check it out, but I think it's pretty amazing. Especially for someone like you who likes to study the layers in meaning - or even how meaning is transposed. It's odd, I feel like I've been on this Internet ride the whole time, and recognized the potential to some extent, but not like what Mike Wesch talked about.
I don't think I can condense everything I felt in the presentation, but I do think it's important that you watch it. In our interview, we talked about understanding the environment an artist enters. To know the pitfalls. Well, YouTube is an entirely different animal, in a social and personal level. The way he explains it, I really want to start doing vlogs! That idea of personal discovery and reflection while talking to this piece of plastic - I believe it.
In watching this, and realizing the potential of Web 2.0, I couldn't help but relate it back to my study on the music industry. You know, the way he shapes up Web 2.0 with user-generated mediums (user-generated filters, user-generated commentary, user-generated organization and user-generated distribution) it seems like a great corollary to what music business model pioneers could ever want in a bottom up model. If I need to repeat what Leftsez says - the fans own the band. Still, with caution, the assimilation of a fanbase supporting musicians is different from a YouTube community. I feel like, only with YouTube, can the fan triumph the product it likes so much. No need to feel threatened.
One of my favorite quotes: "You can't kill the instinct that technology produces, we can only criminalize it. We can't stop our kids from using it, we can only drive it underground. We can't make our kids passive again, we can only make them 'pirates.' Is that good?" - Larry Lessig
This only reinforces the idea that whether you put a set price tag on your music or not - people will get it for free. On the other hand, by giving people the impression that they're stealing music - does that only help to expand the idea of music? I took Wesch's logic and extended it. He says that individualism also breeds a longing for community. Well, isn't the act of pirating music a way of isolating ones self from purchasing music? At one time, that was non-conformity. Suddenly, you're more individualistic than your poors. You're making your own record collection, comparmentalizing single songs instead of albums, discovering - all leading to a desire for (probably niche) community. I don't think I've recognized to this detail how the Internet changed the record industry. So, maybe removing the exclusive *free* but *stolen* feeling from compiling music hurts the exclusive but communal aspect - but lucky Mae - they still have a way to! make things exclusive. Plus, I feel like there's something wrong with my logic that you have to almost feel like a renegade to want to be a part of a community. That can't be right. If it was right, and musicians cared more about community than money, they'd still sell their music in stores and make no money! The whole time up until this e-mail, I've supported the idea to make your music as free/accessible as possible, and that's a good thing. Feel free to point out where I went wrong (probably in association). [Editing note: I revoke this stupid theory later.]
OK, to finish this up - I strongly suggest Mae makes like NIN and put creative commons ( on your upcoming work. I think this could only further the way Mae is exposed and interacts with communities. I mean, maybe it means nothing, and it won't change anything for you, and you might lose some rights(?), but if Trent Reznor's doing it...why is he doing it? He's not an idiot, and I need to look into that. But people could probably take your music for projects if they wanted to, and you probably wouldn't know - but with CC, you embrace it, and it's legal (if that counts for anything in ubiquitous information). People can use your music on YouTube, if they're so inspired, and maybe they'll make something beautiful. So, basically, screw everything I said about being a pirate is the only way, and lets just stick with that "make your best work as accessible as possible," idea. For now. :)
Thanks for reading. As I started to watch that video and made connections, I felt like I had to write something about it.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Well, last night was pretty incredible. I wish you could all understand how small our neighborhood is haha! To have this caliber of an event in this tiny community was monumental. Zach, Josh, Hae-jin and I all arrived about three hours early and a healthy line had already formed. The weather was beautiful but warm and we passed the time in line with good conversation. They finally opened the doors and began to let us in.
Once we were inside, we rushed up to the front and got the best seats we could. We ended up about seven rows back!
The wait was long but worth it. Several speakers and local delegates spoke briefly about the things you would expect them to. The crowd was unusually supportive though and the energy in the room was very positive.
Finally the moment came and the place went absolutely crazy! Barack was quick to settle the crowd and get down to business. He was great mix of humor and substance. He called a guy out who was sitting on the front row chatting on a cell phone. What a bone head! It made for a great moment though.
The talk it self didn't really yield any new information but the questions afterward allowed for him to expand on some of the specifics of his goals. He did a good job of taking personal questions and giving answers that showed his plans.
Afterward Zach got to give his reaction on our local news channel :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I woke up this morning at 6 AM. "Why" you ask? Well, last night, Benji sent me an email with an intriguing piece of information. Apparently, tomorrow Mr. Obama will be conducting a town hall meeting and speaking at the high school at the end of my street.
Tickets are free and available to the public but I had to wake up at 6 to go wait in line at the local Obama office to get them. Tickets were available at 9AM and there was already a healthy line of 30 or so by 6:45. I pulled out my new Wired magazine and my cup of Kona coffee and started to kill time. As the morning wore on, people continued to meander up to the line and by 9 it was wrapped all around the perimeter of the parking lot. I am glad I got there early! I could never forgive myself if I had missed the chance to see this man for myself - at the end of my street.
I finally got to the desk shortly after 9 and picked up the two tickets I was alloted. I was hoping for three so I could get one for Zach as well but they were very strict about their two per person policy.
I got home and informed Zach. He went straight there but they were already out of tickets.
Fortunately there were a small handful of tickets left at another location several miles away and Zach was able to make it there in time to collect two of them. Tomorrow we will walk to a town hall meeting and hear Mr. Obama tell his story. I am excited to hear what he has to say with my own ears and hopefully ask a question if time permits.
If you had one question for Barack Obama or John McCain what would you ask?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Thank you! We just wanted to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who took the time to cast a vote for us. You all continue to inspire us and expand the boundaries of what we deem possible. There is no limit to what we can accomplish together when we combine our imagination and our focused action. You took us into the top 3 of over 3000 bands in this contest and we are so grateful for the honor you have bestowed upon us. Congratulations to the band Otep who claimed final victory and who also worked very hard to raise voter education and participation. That was the primary reason we did this. We are all working toward that same end. There is a chance we may still be in Colorado on the 25th because the Governor's office has asked us to perform at Red Rocks to help continue to raise voter turnout and participation. We have to work out the details but we will keep you posted as this unfolds. As always, we love you and thank you for this amazing show of support.

Well, as we sit on pins and needles waiting to hear who won this Rock the Vote contest, I thought I would show one of the more interesting responses we received in our inbox. I am also showing you the response that I sent back. I have removed Josh's myspace information because it is not important. What IS important is the fact that thinking like this is actually very rampant. It can only be challenged with love. Enjoy...

----------------- Original Message -----------------
Date: Aug 17, 2008 2:35 PM

I am really disappointed to hear about this Mae. You used to be my favorite band, as well as self-proclaimed Christians, but playing for the Democrat National Convention is a complete sellout to all Christian morals. I will never think of you guys in the same way.

My reply:

Hi Josh, I just wanted to say that I am sorry we disappointed you. I would just like to clarify a couple of things that might have contributed to you arriving at an incorrect conclusion about the whole situation.
First and foremost, this Rock the Vote event is a non-partisan function. Its goal is to raise voter participation in our generation. We have never encouraged fans to vote a certain direction because we feel that is not our role. We are trying to encourage our fans to participate in the voting process and to educate themselves on the important issues facing our country and the world today. I doubt that you would be against that agenda!
Second, we don't endorse a political party as a band because we don't all agree 100% on all of the issues. That is normal between friends, family members, business associates, and even bands. What we do agree on however, is healthy discourse and active discussion to perpetuate a greater understanding of all aspects of these issues. How can you know what you believe is correct unless it stands up to challenges? And don't you want your arguments to be perpetuating Truth and not just some wrong interpretation of truth? In other words, why would God challenge us to not place our light under a basket and then expect us to live in a Republican compound obscured from the influence of evil Democrats? Are they not people too? And even if you disagree with them profoundly, how do you expect them to change their mind/hearts about something when you never take the time to understand where they are coming from and communicate with them as a friend? Now don't get me wrong, I am not advocating watering down what you believe, on the contrary, if what you believe is the truth then you should not be worried about shining your light into the darkness.
The sad reality is that so many people in the Christian community have taken their time to write letters like this (full of arm chair judgement without really understanding the underlying facts) that the world doesn't really trust our message of unconditional love. Here is a perfect example. You had a wonderful chance to inquire about why we were playing an event that might seem to contradict your understanding of our mission as a band. Instead, you accuse and threaten us casting loads of condemnation and guilt. Fortunately, I understand what my mission is in this case and I am not threatened. But it does make me sad. It makes me sad because loving people and being free to discuss things with them openly and truthfully has created an amazing sense of camaraderie with people who I might have never known as a friend. If you approach people like they are enemies, they will never disappoint you. But if you approach people with the love of God then you just might be amazed by how your life can change the world.
I hope you have a great day Josh and I truly thank you for taking the time to write us and let us know how you felt.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Virgin Records sues Jared Leto's band for $30M

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hardcore fans of 30 Seconds to Mars aren't the only ones who want more of the band's music. Virgin Records has sued the group for $30 million, saying it has failed to deliver.

Virgin Records sued the band and front man Jared Leto in Los Angeles on Friday, claiming they refused to deliver three albums as required by its contract.

The band's last album, "A Beautiful Lie," was released in 2005.

A publicist for Leto, an actor who starred in the film "Requiem for a Dream" and the TV show "My So-Called Life," did not return a message Friday.

According to the lawsuit, the band "repudiated" a 1999 contract in July.

Despite the absence of a new album, the band's hit "From Yesterday" was deemed one of 2007's Top 10 "Hot Modern Rock Songs" by Billboard magazine.

Click here for the original link:

It is a hard time in the music biz these days. Its hard to believe that this was our label a few months ago.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Happy birthday Singularity! What a self fulfilling prophecy... This time last year we were in Time Square celebrating the release of our first (and only) major label record. As all things converged into a single black hole, and EMI was bought up by Terra Firma, we were smashed against a large brick wall and we broke. We lost two long time members. We parted ways with our manager. Ultimately, we parted ways with Capitol. As we rubbed our eyes and looked around, we decided that there was still enough life inside to give this another shot. We picked up the pieces and slowly inched forward.
Now, after the last few months of planing and gearing up for a new season, I am proud to say that we will be making our most meaningful statement yet. We are over half way through with a new batch of songs that are the most musical yet. We have split our time between Drexel University working with amazing student engineers and are returning home to Earthsound with Mark Padgett to finish some tracking and mixing. For those hoping for a return to the sonic pallet of Destination:Beautiful... you will have it. We have come full circle. We have come home. We are as independent as we were when we started. We have six years of experience behind us and a blank canvas laid out before us. We have more ambition than ever before and I am excited to share the ride with you.
We are your band.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I am officially obsessed with iTunes U. I discovered it a short while ago but have only recently begun to discover its true potential. If you haven't heard about it yet, here is the basic breakdown. Several universities around the country have begun to video podcast their more popular courses and lectures and have made them available as free downloads through the iTunes store.
So, being that I travel from time to time... :) and I kind of like to learn about stuff, this has become my digital new best friend. We had a lot of time in the airports and airplanes the last two days and I was never once board.
Let me recommend a couple to start with, if you are so inclined. First, when you open the iTunes store window, you will find the link to iTunes U on the upper left hand corner just above iPod Games and just below iTunes Latino. Click on the link and follow over to the right side of the page where there is a window titled "top downloads." Click on the arrow just to the right of it and download the following:
1. "The World is Flat." by Thomas L. Friedman.
2. "Quarks and Creation." by John Polkinghorne

These are the two I was most inspired by and I would love to hear your thoughts about both presentations.

I stopped by the cool arty video store on the way home and picked up a documentary on Kafka(, a documentary on Tchiakavsky (, and a random film called "Future by Design."

If any of these strike your fancy to discuss, please post in the replies and lets talk. Peace.

It was a wonderful night. Mark played very well and the crowd gave us great energy. Thank you Texas. We are about to sleep for 2 hours and run to the next plane ;)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

For the record, getting up at 3:30 A.M. to get on a plane to go play a show never gets easier... But my love for playing is somehow getting stronger and stronger.
bear t.ia mart.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

The single greatest show I have ever seen and will possibly ever see. Who all saw the opening ceremonies last night? What did you think?

Friday, August 08, 2008

A few weeks ago I was introduced to a visual artist named Yanusz Gilewicz. I had a conversation about the ideas behind multisensory aesthetic experience and I was told about Yanusz and his work with something called VTS. Well, I did some research and found this blog article that he had posted. There are some very interesting thoughts in here and I would love to know what you think! Let me know in the replies.


Eyes of Soul - artist statment

Art is a human domain which leads one to self-knowledge. Just as true humor is laughter at onself, true humanity is knowledge of oneself.
Since early childhood I was interested in unknown territories of the human psyche. In the mid-1980's, I migrated to the U.S. where I continued my pursuit of the "unknown". In the 1990's, I spent 2 years in the east. My interest expanded to eastern thought -- Mahayana Buddism, Vedanta, Taoism, Zen. Discovering that there never was, is or will be any experience other than present experience totally changed my attitude towards my life, my paintings, my reality.
Now "my way" to paint is to enter a process without preconceived ideas. A lot of directions come from the
painting itself -- that is, if I fail to strangle them with my ego. The art of painting to me is an art of seeing. On the level of sensitive "tuning into the present moment", the visual journey begins. I developed a method which allows me to alter my regular state of consciousness. This method combines meditation with the painting process, and it is possible via music or sound. I listen to particular types of music (experimental, nature-like sounds (such as water, the sound of crickets, etc.), organic, quiet and hypnotizing sounds in general. This type of music effectively helps me to leave behind my wandering mind and open hidden channels of my inner self, as well as removing me from events in my immediate reality. The closest to me is the music of Alio Die which resonates within me at very high frequencies. It triggers to enhance my visual perception to the point that it
becomes an effortless creative process. The painting is then virtually "painted by itself". Alio's music strongly relates to feelings, and the essence of art is to feel. So I put the music on (usually looping it), and I start listening. During that process, my eye and hand "tune" into the sound. I do not focus on creating a well rendered composition, I just stay in
the present sound of the moment and follow the sound with my intuition. I respond to the sound as it happens, and I do not interpret it. I call this process VTS -- Visual Transmission of Sound. This allows me to empty myself from my mind's content. I begin to merge with the sound, and time seems to disappear. Sometimes my VTS session lasts up to 12 straight hours. During this time period, I experience myself being in different spaces -- ones that are not familiar to me but which seem to appear like micro or
macrocosmic patterns, coupled with a profound feeling
of a mutual interconnectedness of all things and events in the universe.
The way in which one perceives the universe is always reflected in one's art or creation. Art is the form of the ultimate inquiry into truth and self knowledge.
I am constantly aware that there is much unknown territory which I have not yet explored. I become totally absorbed, patient and receptive to the most subtle energies coming through my body, and I rely on the power of intuitive insight. I use my body as a flute between a higher energy and the medium. In this state, I am able to lose myself into the present moment. The famous ballet dancer Nuriejev physically transformed himself from dancer to the dance -- there was no separation between dancer, music and the dance: dance and dancer became one. And so the Painter and the Painting become one.

I feel deep gratitude to all those artists, scientists, thinkers and poets in my life who continuously inspire and enlighten me with their pursuit in the search for the unknown and expansion of human imagination and consciousness.

Yanusz Gilewicz

Thursday, August 07, 2008

8:08:25 P.M.

World Wide Moment. I didn't really know what to expect from this experience but I was blown away. Zach, Hae-jin and I spent the afternoon at the dock in our neighborhood waiting for the moment. Toward the end of the countdown we all called our family and friends around the country to remind them to participate. The thought of so many people around the world engaged in that same thought process was very unique and mystical in the most tangible sense. To think that this all sparked from an idea in Benji's mind and became a reality to people all around the planet is a testimony to the power of imagination in our technological age. It represents a unique potential in the human story. We can be united in a celebration of appreciation and show the world our perspective on a single moment. In these frozen pixels dwell the potential for revolution. From this perspective will emerge a greater understanding of the human condition and the things that draw us together. It will remind us that we are all connected. We celebrate life, love, beauty, mystery and connection today. Happy World Wide Moment to everyone.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

World Wide Moment tomorrow!

Where will you be for your photo?

Also, to those coming to see us play in Texas on Sunday, you are in for a treat... Our good friend Josiah is train hopping his way around the country for the month of August and Mark Padgett will be playing the bass with us Sunday evening. Rehearsals have been going great and its like he never put the bass down. Good times :)