Five years later…

Hi. This is Brian. So…the Technology and the Arts podcast ended close to five years ago. At the time, John LeMasney and I were in the middle of a season in which we were taking viewers/listeners behind the scenes as we tried to collaborate on writing a song together remotely.

We started by sharing some ideas we had worked on independently. My contribution was the simple chorus below and a potential title, “Lay It On The Line.” The lyrics reflected how I felt, as a privileged white male, in the wake of Ferguson and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. I wanted to express the importance of not being silent about racial injustice and to be vocal in support of BLM.

bktandem · TechArts – LayItOnTheLine 10-29-2015

John shared some guitar riffs and I soon realized the one at the start of this clip might work as a verse with my chorus.

John William LeMasney · First Draft

Shortly before the podcast came to an end in December 2015, I used a piece of John’s guitar riff in this rough demo to see if the two pieces could work together.

bktandem · FirstDraft LIOTL_mockup

This “draft” version of the song was to be a framework for us to construct a final version. Obviously, it still needed a bridge section, which is why it ends abruptly after the second chorus. Even after the podcast ended, I wanted to complete the song, but a bridge remained elusive and I moved on.

Fast forward five years to 2020 and police brutality and injustices against Black people continue. Black Lives Matter protests flood the nation’s streets again, and it brought me back to “Lay It On The Line.”

Instead of working from the original “framework” GarageBand file, I decided to rebuild the song from scratch, which resulted in a bit of a key change and some rearranging. I didn’t use John’s guitar riff this time, but it still heavily influenced the verse sections.

In my head, I always thought the bridge would just be a simple breakdown into a solo section before one last chorus. But I could never get it to sound right. Then, I thought about Todd Rundgren’s “Just One Victory” and the “Hold that line, baby, hold that line…” backing vocals, and hit upon a new idea for the elusive bridge.

I decided to incorporate similar melodic backing vocals into the bridge, introducing a key change and some new chords in the process. Suddenly, the simple breakdown section I had envisioned became a bit more complex. But with the bridge complete, I was now able to complete the framework of the song. It’s still really a demo, but the song John and I started writing together nearly five years ago is finally finished, structurally.

bktandem · Lay It On The Line (2020 Demo)

And then, because I wanted to give a nod to that original stripped-down draft recording of the chorus, I also created a “quiet mix” version.

bktandem · Lay It On The Line (Quiet Mix Demo)

LAY IT ON THE LINE

Music by Brian Kelley & John LeMasney
Lyrics by Brian Kelley
Arranged by Brian Kelley

Look all around you
And see what’s at stake
A movement is coming
Which side will you take
Battle injustice
Or stay on the side
Will you stand up and fight
Or will you just run and hide?

Take a look at yourself
Are you doing anything that can help
Take a look in your heart
It’s time that you start doing your part

Life’s not worth living
If you don’t take a stand
And champion the causes
Of your fellow ‘man
Your apathy’s weakness
Your silence a joke
How can you sit there
When the system is broke
Time to wake up your mind
And lay it on the line
Gotta lay it on the line

How can you keep saying
That nothing is wrong
When what’s come to light
Has been like this all along
The shield has been broken
The trust is betrayed
Lives have been stolen
By the system we made

Take a look at yourself
Are you doing anything that can help
Take a look in your heart
It’s time that you start doing your part

Life’s not worth living
If you don’t take a stand
And champion the causes
Of your fellow ‘man
Your apathy’s weakness
Your silence a joke
How can you sit there
When the system is broke
Time to wake up your mind
And lay it on the line
Gotta lay it on the line

Bridge
It’s time to wake up and understand. It’s time to support your fellow ‘man
(Now is the time)
It’s time to step up and do what’s right. It’s time to get up and join the fight.
(For us to understand)
It’s time to wake up and understand. It’s time to support your fellow ‘man
(We must unite)
It’s time to step up and do what’s right. It’s time to get up and join the fight.
(as one common ‘man)

Take a stand

(Instrumental-solo)

Take a look at yourself
Are you doing anything that can help
Take a look in your heart
It’s time that you start doing your part

Life’s not worth living
If you don’t take a stand
And champion the causes
Of your fellow ‘man
Your apathy’s weakness
Your silence a joke
How can you sit there
When the system is broke
Time to wake up your mind
And lay it on the line
Gotta lay it on the line

© 2020 Brian J. Kelley/John W. LeMasney

A return is imminent

Technology and the ArtsHi there. Just a quick note to say that John LeMasney and I have discussed bringing Technology and the Arts back with an entirely new format. This time, we’re going to give viewers/listeners an inside look at the creative process (well, at least ours) and invite them to follow along in a series of videos/podcasts as we discuss, plan and execute the creation of an artistic project. I’m pretty sure we’re going to start off by collaborating on the creation of a song. We’re looking to get started with this new series the week of September 14, 2015.

Stay tuned,
Brian Kelley

Special webcast Monday, March 10, at 10 p.m. ET

Hello again…it’s been awhile, but John LeMasney and Brian Kelley will be returning with a special webcast Monday, March 10, 2014, at 10 p.m. ET. Tune into this web site or our YouTube channel to watch.

In addition to talking about the latest topics dealing with technology and art, John and Brian will be focusing on the 39th edition of the Trenton Computer Festival (TCF) taking place Saturday, March 15, at The College of New Jersey in Ewing, N.J. John will be speaking at the festival, presenting a talk on how technology can help you develop your personal brand.

Within 48 hours of the webcast, an edited version will be repurposed into a standard, audio-only podcast that will include an excerpt of an interview Brian recently conducted with TCF co-founder and chair, Dr. Allen Katz, for his Tandem With The Random podcast.

Show Notes for Technology and the Arts – Episode 69

Technology and the Arts – Episode 69 (10.18.2013) features lightly edited audio from a live Google+ Hangout On Air conducted October 14, 2013. This installment of the podcast features discussion of The Oatmeal’s “Columbus Day” comic, Hypothes.is and its plan to bring open annotation to the web, New York Comic-Con’s hijacking of attendees’ social media feeds, the discovery of nine long-lost episodes of Doctor Who…and more! File size: 6.5 MB. Time: 26 min., 30 sec. Hosts: Brian Kelley and John LeMasney.

Here’s a rundown of what we discussed:

Thank you for watching this season of Technology and the Arts…Brian and John will be back in spring 2014.

Show Notes for Technology and the Arts – Episode 68

Technology and the Arts – Episode 68 (10.11.2013) features lightly edited audio from a live Google+ Hangout On Air conducted October 7, 2013. This installment of the podcast features discussion of the giant tablets being used on the new Fox News set, the fallout from a questionable tweet by Joyce Evans of Philadelphia’s Fox 29 News, Nielsen’s plan to measure Twitter traffic for TV shows, Rhode Island School of Design’s STEM to STEAM initiative to include Art and Design in the traditional STEM curriculum…and more! File size: 10.0 MB. Time: 40 min., 42 sec. Hosts: Brian Kelley and John LeMasney.

Here’s a rundown of what we discussed:

Show Notes for Technology and the Arts – Episode 67

Technology and the Arts – Episode 67 (10.04.2013) features lightly edited audio from a live Google+ Hangout On Air conducted September 30, 2013. This installment of the podcast features discussion of Robert Scoble’s “Age of Context,” the virtues of Google+ Hangouts compared to Adobe Connect and GoTo Meeting, the new Seaboard keyboard instrument from Roli, and the potential medical uses for Google Glass…and more! Plus, we talk with singer-songwriter Christian Beach, who performed one of his new songs for us. File size: 19.5 MB. Time: 1 hr., 19 min., 25 sec. Hosts: Brian Kelley and John LeMasney.

Here is a rundown of what we discussed on this episode…

Show Notes for Technology and the Arts – Episode 66

Technology and the Arts – Episode 66 (09.27.2013) features lightly edited audio from a live Google+ Hangout On Air conducted September 23, 2013. This installment of the podcast features discussion on technologies libraries need to be aware of and using in today’s world, the praise heaped upon Netflix by Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan following the show’s Emmy win for best drama, and the value of Internet radio stations focusing on local music…and more! File size: 15.3 MB. Time: 1 hr., 02 min., 09 sec. Hosts: Brian Kelley and John LeMasney.

John talked about:

Brian talked about:

Together, they discussed:

  • Top technologies libraries should know and use
  • “Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan’s post-Emmy praise for Netflix
  • The perils of relying on any one online mapping or GPS app.
  • New Jersey Internet radio:
    • Altrok – keeping alive the legacy of the long-gone WHTG 106.3 FM, Modern Rock at the Jersey Shore
    • BlowUp Radio – an online radio station that hosts, Banding Together, an annual “webathon” featuring local music artists designed to combat spondylitis.
    • The Penguin Rocks

Here is the webcast version of the episode:
Technology and the Arts 2.0: Series 2, Ep. 7 – 09.23.2013

Show Notes for Technology and the Arts – Episode 65

Technology and the Arts – Episode 65 (09.20.2013) features lightly edited audio from a live Google+ Hangout On Air conducted September 16, 2013. This installment of the podcast features discussion of Chromebook, PGP (Pretty Good Privacy), the great new album Warm Blanket from indie musician Dent May, the Oxymoron (hot ice cream) Maker made exclusively for Spain’s Rocambolesc ice cream shop, and the fantastic 99% Invisible podcast about design of all forms…and more! File size: 13.5 MB. Time: 55 min., 00 sec. Hosts: Brian Kelley and John LeMasney.

John talked about:

Brian talked about:

  • “Warm Blanket,” the new CD from one of Brian’s favorite indie artists, Dent May…check out his Soundcloud page

Together, they discussed:

  • PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) – in this day and age of NSA spying on you, PGP will at least make them work a bit to get to your data
  • More on the beauty and simplicity of Chromebook
  • Andreu Carulla’s “Oxymoron Maker II,” a hot ice cream maker produced exclusively for Rocambolesc, the ice cream store offshoot of Spain’s famed El Celler de Can Roca restaurant
  • The 99% Invisible podcast — hosted by Roman Mars, this entertaining and informative podcast looks at all forms of design…graphic design, architecture, networks and systems and format structures
  • And more…

Here is the webcast version of the episode:
Technology and the Arts 2.0: Series 2, Ep. 6 – 09.16.2013

Show Notes for Technology and the Arts – Episode 64

Technology and the Arts – Episode 64 (09.13.2013) features lightly edited audio from a live Google+ Hangout On Air conducted September 10, 2013. This installment of the podcast features discussion of Paul McCartney’s new album and legacy, the recent NASA moon mission launched from the Virginia coast, Evernote, Google’s removal of the video response feature on YouTube, the mostly underwhelming announcement of the iPhone 5c and 5s, new technology and its potential impact on classic works of art, setting up a staging/development site with WordPress…and more! File size: 18.5 MB. Time: 1 hr., 15 min., 25 sec. Hosts: Brian Kelley and John LeMasney.

John talks about:

Brian talks about:

Together, John and Brian discussed:

Here is the webcast version of the episode:
Technology and the Arts 2.0: Series 2, Ep. 5 – 09.10.2013

Show Notes for Technology and the Arts – Episode 63

Technology and the Arts – Episode 63 (08.30.2013) features lightly edited audio from a live Google+ Hangout On Air conducted August 27, 2013. This installment of the podcast features a discussion on the NSA’s PRISM spying program, Kevin Spacey’s impassioned defense of the Netflix business model, Facebook’s just-announced shared photo albums, the Iowa City Library Local Music Project…and more. File size: 22.5 MB. Time: 1 hr., 31 min., 30 sec. Hosts: Brian Kelley and John LeMasney.

John talks about:

Brian talks about:

  • An update on his friend, singer-songwriter Christian Beach‘s cover of Yoko Ono’s “Silver Horse”—on which Brian played accordion—that will be appearing on an Main Man Records tribute album due this fall
  • A planned “arts hub” featuring lofts, studios, classroom space, business and training areas, and retail space in an abandoned mill from the 1890s at the Hamilton/Trenton border in Mercer County, NJ

Together, John and Brian discussed:

Here is the webcast version of the episode:
Technology and the Arts 2.0: Series 2, Ep. 4 – 08.27.2013