Friday, October 24

Need Advice?

I've started reading two new advice writers over at the 435 Loop. Gary Greebles and Greta DerWinklestein!

Both run exceptional advice columns out of their regional papers. Gary specializes in down-homey wisdom, and if you need help in the love department (or are a celebrity) Greta is your gal!

Now, typically, we don't allow non-KC writers to participate in the loop, but when we read what Greta and Gary have to offer, we just couldn't resist! So from time to time, they'll be publishing the letters they receive, and their responses, here on the loop.

Both Gary and Greta are there to help. If you have an issue, don't be shy!

- Jesse Kates / the Sexy Accident > listen on iTunes

Monday, October 13

200th post! - Pedal porn

For the gear nerds out there, here's my current pedal board.

I have left behind the multi-amp setup from the Kinda Like Fireworks era (with Chad in the band it's just not necessary) and I'm back to using my Dr. Z RxES exclusively.

The signal chain is as follows:

Fulltone Octafuzz
Budda Wah
Barber Launchpad (used as a line buffer)
Ross Flanger (modified for true bypass w/LED indicator)
ElectroHarmonix POG

The Barber also splits out to the Peterson Strobostomp. This allows me to kick the Barber on and off for silent tuning and keeps the Peterson out of my signal path.

It's a more minimal setup than it seems. The "Sexy" pedal in the center is the Overdose control for the RxES. The board itself is a PedalTrain II.

- Jesse Kates / the Sexy Accident > listen on iTunes

Thursday, October 9

Ambition = dysfunction?


Armchair psychology suggests that people who want to be famous didn't receive enough attention as kids and are trying to prove something to the world that can't be proven.

Fair enough. There's certainly a germ of truth to that, for me.

I don't really care about being famous, but I do care about making great music and playing it, and I'd love to get to the point where I could draw 50 people to a venue anywhere from here to timbuktu. Or at least in Chicago, LA, NY, etc. I mean, that'd be fun, right?

But at what point is this ambition dysfunctional? And are my ambitions really any different than the quest for fame, or do I just have lower expectations? In other words, am I motivated by needs that cannot ever be filled? Is there a right and a wrong reason to make art?

I have no idea. But I have believed for some time the notion that as an artist, you have two choices:

1. Don't make art and be miserable
2. Make art and be miserable, but less miserable than you would be if you weren't making art.

It certainly seems to be true for me. My drive to make my music bigger/better, etc. never ends. It doesn't matter what I do. There's always a next step.

So when is it healthy, and when is it unhealthy, doing this stuff? Is it just a question of degree? I mean, I'm hardly a deadbeat dad. I'm the breadwinner, and I spend a lot of good time with my son. So certainly by that measure, all is more or less well. It's not like anything's obviously suffering, other than my own sense of contentment. And maybe my non-musical career. :)

Still, though. I sometimes wish I could just be satisfied. I have no idea how to do that!

- Jesse Kates / the Sexy Accident > listen on iTunes

Monday, October 6

wiser words were never spoken

Red scissors,
Blue stamps,
The way you look at me gives me cramps,
Eye cramps,
Leg cramps,
Heart cramps.
Fuck you.
- Laurie

Read more of Laurie's amazing [bad] poetry at 435 Loop!

- Jesse Kates / the Sexy Accident > listen on iTunes