Da7e Gonzales is a blogger, writer, pop culture nut, lo-fi music hobbyist, producer, columnist, narcissistic, shut in, quad-Post-Modern Hipster (PoPoPo-Po-Mo).
He currently works at MTV's 16 & Pregnant, Teens Mom 1, 2 and 3, writes at LatinoReview.com, podcasts weekly at OpKino.com, produces at Legend Of Korra Podcast at RepublicCityDispatch.com and produces independent film projects when he can.
Sigh. I don’t know why I keep doing this. (This being making albums, not writing “sigh,” although I guess I also have no idea why I do that).
RASTERize V3.0 is the newest 3dBiPolarBear(.com) album. 3D BiPolar Bear is my third…third?…Let’s go with third…third version of my music making persona.
When I was young and a freshman in high school I played bass in VOID, then the end of high school was making tons of joke rock with SERIOUS BOB, then I put out 10 albums chronicling my life from the beginning of college to the beginning of the 2008 recession as CITIZEN NOWHERE and now I’ve moved on to electronic pop as 3D BIPOLAR BEAR (meanwhile making stupid comedy rap as HOB).
All this really does is cost a lot of time and money that I never get back and give my mother something to listen to, as she’s by far my biggest fan. So as it sucks me dry, I’ve given up all hope of monetizing it and thrown basically all my audio up at LISTENORDONT.COM
It will be up there until I decide it’s not worth paying to have it up there. WHICH WILL BE SOON - YOU ARE SUCKING ME DRY! : )
Now it’s 2012 and 3D BiPolar Bear has been ballooning outwards as I get better at making mobile music (on NanoStudio for my iPhone 4 and Garageband for my iPad 2, plus some various attachments, plugins and what have you so I don’t have to go through a computer at all to record bass, guitar or vocals) and I’ve gotten better at digitally replicating a band.
Which is what RASTERize is. Title wise, those of you who have done any sort of design work will probably get it. If you make a Vector Graphic that can be scaled to any size, the opposite is a raster graphic, where everything has already been broken down to a set number of pixels. When you’re working with Raster Graphics, it’s more like painting in the sense that you’re dealing 1:1 with what pixels are going to be what and how big the image is going to be. It allows you for better photo-realistic details, but locks you into a size and form for a final piece. It’s essentially deciding that your image is going to be more difficult to alter, and that’s where 3D BiPolar Bear is right now and my solo MIDI/Electronic/Acoustic Guitar/Electric Bass/Weird Harmony effort seems to be ending up.
So. Let’s take a quick look at RASTERize V3.0 then I’ll shut up about it until the iTunes version debuts (V3.3, I’m thinking).
Nate gave me some guitar I could loop, I listened to a lot of Sleigh Bells, Seeker came up. There’s another version of it called “The Seeker Slide” which has no vocals, but slide guitar. It’s cool.
2. 1 Oz Glass This is a long pickup line as a song. It was written by Ty Hart, but with no vocals. The guitar is the most real thing on this track. It sounds like I’m super real, but I’m basically tweaked two degrees below being a robot. Ty’s drum work here, though, from a programming stand-point, is great.
3. Stillness is the Mood
This is me performing a vocal sample. So I go - “OOOOOH!” as a perfect C into a microphone, then I get to play it like a keyboard. I think this is a track you should get dressed to before going out to take a lot of drugs and get drunk. If I did that anymore.
4. No Ending
I took some poetry from Java, sung it to myself in my head, recorded it into my iPad, then found a melody for it. I like syncopated kick drum. Can you tell?
5. Make Believe (Album)
So the “Album” version doesn’t have lyrics from Nirvana’s “Nevermind” like the single version does, but that doesn’t make this song any less fun. This is 100% phone programming, so what you think is chopped-up guitar in the chorus is me going: “Doooo!” into my phone headset, then distorting it. Neat? I just like that this is bouncy. And if you have a good subwoofer, it feels like this is burrowing into your bones.
6. My Lungs Breathe Fire
You know what sounds better distorted than a guitar? An Organ. The badass distortion here is a distorted organ. The other melody line always reminded me of a Sega Genesis soundtrack, which I actually re-used for a track on the other album I’m working on. Anyway. I like this song a lot, even if it’s lyrically repetitive. A lot of songs that ended up on RASTERize are either wordy rants or mantra-like repetition of the central idea. “Dying just by living, some nicotine should help this thing along”
I don’t do cocaine anymore, but this is what I remember it being like. Oddly anti-climactic.
8. 4 AM Sucks
I might not be all coked up, but I think it was “How I Met Your Mother” that said “Nothing Good Happens After 2AM” I don’t 100% agree, but being awake by yourself at 4AM sucks universally. You’re tired and you want to be in bed but for whatever reason you have to power through, hoping to hit sunrise.
9. Please Pick Me Up
I love this coming right after 4AM Sucks. My last album was called “Friends” because it was about having sex with your friends. RASTERize is more about finding actual friends, be it the girl that’s wrong for you (1 Oz Glass), asking for help (Please Pick Me Up), the girl that’s right for you (Keep On) or realizing it doesn’t matter, because other people both affect and are affected by you (The Only Thing I Face Alone). Anyway, there are multiple versions of this song, but none of them were musically interesting, so I wrote lyrics to go in the instrumental holes and stripped it down to just Jess and I singing to each other.
10. The Only Thing I Face Alone
Once again, Ty Hart does some amazing drum programming that doesn’t sound digital at all and some great guitar and songwriting work. All I do is go into my bathroom and record some 8 vocal tracks to go over it. This is mostly Ty, but it’s one of my favorite songs I’m part of - Also, I got “acrimonious” into a song. So win for me.
11. Envy Alice
This was the last song written that made it on RASTERize, and honestly it’s an earworm I gave myself. I have no idea if the song is good or not (I suspect not), but it gets stuck in my head like nothing else on this album. Once again, maybe it’s a repetitive chorus working for me. “So bored I’m borealis” GOD DAMN, I can’t believe I left that in.
12. Controlled Collapse
This is the most Citizen Nowhere of 3D BiPolar tracks. For those of you that didn’t listen to any of that, it basically starts with me as a freshman in college being like: “The world is great!” then I go through college and I go slowly introverted and insane, then the world goes to Recession poop. So the theme of controlling your destruction so you can build from nothing (because it’s easier than making new habits day by day), is a theme I “sing” about a lot.
13. Lazy and Looped
Anyone who plays around with Apple Loops will recognize everything here EXCEPT the piano, which I programmed. But hence the title. It’s a nice boogie, but it’s a boogie anyone could have made.
This is another song that had been sitting around for awhile. You can kind of tell how 3D BiPolar Bear progresses and I start trusting my vocals a bit more. This was obviously (well, it’s obvious to me) written for “Friends” because THAT was the album where I blew out all the bass and distorted my vocals. But: “Native to slaughter on the trail of tears, we put him on the $20 and Sam Adams on beers, that’s RED” is too good a line for me to keep it locked up any longer. Fuck you, Andrew Jackson.
15. It’s Always Something (Album)
This probably isn’t as good as it’s country-themed one-off counterpart (CLICK HERE), but it’s more in the style of the album, where it’s random tests of sounds piled on top of each other than Rasterized into a new version that sounds like a remix.
16. Keep On
I think this song is 4 years old. My vocals are certainly about that old. So I jumped in and remixed them and made some pitch-correction-corrections. Then I recorded one new vocal part that no one will notice is new. Once again, what you think is guitar here is distorted organ, but when it comes in for the bridge, it’s awesome enough that who cares?
Ok, so that’s RASTERize. It’s probably been kicking around my hard drives for about a year. I’m going to wrap this up in the next month, throw a version on iTunes, then get to the next album, which I’m calling “PANDA” right now.