Geoff Geis

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Creative Commons = Many Turds

Typically, when I release instrumental music on the Internet, I do it with a Creative Commons license. Anyone can use the music I post for any reason, so long as they credit me.

This can yield interesting results.

I especially like this one, “Lily’s Musical Instrument Homework,” from October of last year. In this video, a small child adds a beat to one of my jams (“Chords I Like,” which you can check out here). Okay, let’s be honest — I’m kind of sure that Lily’s dad helped her put this together. Whatever. It’s awesome:

I have to say, though, that for every gem there are multiple turds.

This video makes no sense to me. Thanks for using my music… but why does this exist?

That song is apparently very popular amongst those who make pointless videos.

Look! Here’s another! This guy bought a new camera. Check it out world! A new camera.

My favorite, though, is when my music is used to soundtrack people playing video games.

I’m kidding; actually that’s my least favorite because I think that the vast majority of video games are a waste of time* and posting/watching video game accomplishments on Youtube is baffling.

Yet apparently this is a thing.

People not only post their video game accomplishments to Youtube (with musical accompaniment by the likes of me), but other people actually watch them. This video has almost 20,000 views, which is completely fucking stupid:

Here’s another one of those. My opinion of humanity is enhanced by the fact that this doesn’t have anywhere near as many views as the last one:

* I’ll clarify here, that I know that games are getting richer and more narrative and that there are people designing more-creative and less-violent games these days. I’m not referring to those games.

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3 Responses

  1. Jesse Sanchez says:

    I think it’s cool people use your music. I don’t quite get the criticism of gamers though.

    I’m not a gamer myself and I can appreciate how it may seem baffling to post videos of game play if you’re not into it. Moonit and I had an English teacher in high school who hated music. Didn’t listen to anything. No genre appealed to him. I imagine he’d find your interest in posting instrumentals just as much a waste of your time as you do the gamers.

    I guess what I’m getting at is ‘different strokes for different folks’ and that games bring lots of people together in new ways that can be just as meaningful as anything else in a meaningless existence.

    I am a little surprised though. I didn’t expect the ‘get off my lawn’ attitude from you so soon.

    • Geoff Geis says:

      That’s chill – people are fine to find what I do either worthless or worthwhile depending on their taste and to express themselves in the same manner as I have. I’m not trying to pose a “get off my lawn” attitude; I have more of a “damn, look at that crazy thing!” attitude. And isn’t it a fair trade? They get a free soundtrack and I get to gawk?

      Yes, different strokes for different folks… there are a lot of things that I don’t get that are perfectly valid ways to spend your time. And whether or not an activity gets my seal of approval is clearly not a criterion when it comes to what people at large assign value to! But watching other people play video games on Youtube does not get my seal of approval.

      What are the important differences, in my mind, between posting instrumentals to the Internet and watching other people play video games on Youtube?

      a.) Making and posting instrumentals is a creative process. Your English teacher hated music — but I bet he liked writing. And as an English teacher, he did more than just read. He wrote and taught others to write…

      Playing video games is different, don’t you think? As a writer or a musician, you create as you go. As a gamer, you just play.

      While I appreciate that there is a time for sitting back and watching others’ creative processes (listening to music or watching a film, for example), sitting back and watching other people engage in non-creative work seems like a bit of a crazy past time. I know you’re also a fan of “Idiocracy.” When I saw those videos, I immediately thought, “I bet there will be a channel like this on TV in the inevitable Idiocracy future we’re headed towards.”

      That’s why I’m into music and arts and stuff and not sports. And yeah, I’ll play sports and even the occasional video game — but getting invested in just watching other people follow a course? That doesn’t really appeal to me. I also don’t watch “Ninja Warrior.”

      b.) A lot of video games, including the ones here, romanticize brutal violence, which I think is gross and irresponsible. It’s the same reason why I barely go to movies.

      Okay, so calling them “fucking idiots” is mean and surely extreme. But it’s my blog, and it’s meant to be an expression of my personality, and well… that’s me!

      And I did qualify my statement by saying that “most” video games are a waste of time — I know that there are people designing new types of games that are less violent and more creative, and I intentionally qualified my statement so I could mention them in a rebuttal if necessary.

      • Geoff Geis says:

        For the sake of comity I’ve added an asterisk line about “other types of video games” and changed my wording from “idiotic” to “baffling,” which I took from you.

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Music

This is Soft Sailors! We're a new band from Los Angeles. We don't have any upcoming shows scheduled, but you can hear us online:

Also, here are some solo songs I've uploaded recently to Soundcloud. I'm playing solo July 19th at the Pickle Factory at 647 Lamar Street in Los Angeles and September 1st at Los Globos in LA for a KCHUNG benefit.

In 2011, I released my first solo album, Princess. You can listen to it and download it on Bandcamp:

From 2005 until 2011, I was in the band Pizza! This is our album We Come From the Swamp:

From 2008-2010, I was in the band Big Whup. Here's one of our songs that I sang, called "Cover My Eyes:"

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