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Reflections


Lately I’ve been suffering from adverse reaction to the “music industry” from which I don’t believe that I’ve been able to fully recover. I can still remember where I was and when it happened; my aversion to the industry began last summer. I was invited to a festival and just feeling burnt out. There I was talking to the guys in The Devil Wears Prada and As I Lay Dying and feeling like they were impostors This wasn’t entirely their fault. Press tents have a way of stealing the spontaneity from a conversation. How can it not? Half the time the music from other bands, that have already taken the stage at festivals, is already pulsating from the outdoor stages and creates this white noise from hell.


I was a child of glam metal.  Yeah, I know what you’re thinking.  There was something very weird about being into music made by guys who wore more makeup than their girlfriends.  Yes, glam was a little gay – even back in the 80s when it was “okay” for a dude to wear eyeliner and

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We all, from time to time, have strange things happen to us that just go beyond our sense of logic and creep into the Twilight Zone.  It’s just a fact of life that not everything is going to go your way.  That, however, does not mean that when life doesn’t go your way that you

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The command “Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother,” appears in the Bible, in that structure, a total of ten times. The number seven, as most church-going and Bible-reading individuals know, is a significant number in the Bible. It occurs 287 times in the Bible. Another significant number, however, is ten. It signifies the perfection of

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My father’s name was Billy Ray; he was as Southern as his name suggests. His dad, Marvin Otto, was a tent revivalist preacher in the 1930s and 40s, but also a coal miner. My dad was a giant of a man, a Vietnam veteran with the 101st airborne, with arms thick as tree trunks that

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It’s difficult growing up in a multicultural home.  It isn’t difficult for the reasons that one would assume either.  For instance, having a Korean mother didn’t mean that culture clashes would happen with other members of the family just because there were language barriers or because there would be different tastes in food.  Believe it

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Someone once said that we are all heroes in our own story. If this is true then we are all on an epic journey in which we are sure to find adversaries.  This is a natural part of life and it’s only surprising when our biggest adversaries turn out to be those that should be

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I always have this strange thought whenever I pass the abandoned Tower Records building driving around town – I wonder if another music store will take its place. I know it’s a strange thought especially given today’s economic and social climate, but as I recently revisited one of my favorite guilty film pleasures, “Empire Records,” I did it with a sense of melancholy. There is a large part of me that knows that the music stores are going (or have gone) the way of the dinosaur.


It’s film festival season. If you’re an independent filmmaker, you’re either creating content for the specific purpose of screening at a festival or you’re seriously considering it. A few weeks ago, I submitted a short to Sundance. I consider it a part of the futile ritual of throwing my money into a big black hole in hopes that the hole leads to Wonderland. I suppose I should just consider it my annual donation to the Robert Redford Endowment to a Better Life Fund. But that is the ritual that we as independent filmmakers go through. So, a couple of weeks ago, I submitted a web series to the Anaheim International Film Festival. I never expected to get in.


Have you ever watched a movie that made such an impression on you that you couldn’t help but ponder the essential beauty of it for days? It doesn’t happen very often, so when it does you kind of feel your heart racing and your mind churning in a million directions all at once. That’s kind of what happened to me as I was watching this feature film called, “It Might Get Loud”…