holding teachers accountable is senseless

holding teachers accountable for their students’ test scores makes as much sense as holding me a music teacher accountable for

1. if any of my students have a not-very-good sense of time (teaching that is sometimes impossible, depending.)
2. if they decided not to practice what I tell them to each and every single lesson for years on end.
3. similar to 1, but their talent as well.

you can’t come to me, or to any teacher, and expect them to work magic.

you have to do the work and do a great deal of it for a long time.

aren’t going to?


so if my life WASN’T about coping with feeling unhappy

so if my life WASN’T about coping with feeling unhappy, because I WASN’T unhappy…

would I do something different?

wonder what…



I got ideas, yo

wanting to appease/be like by/approved of

wanting to appease/be like by/approved of

normal people…
the same ones that rejected me for being different…

is a subject of strong emotions for me.
I have long long had a rebellious “fuck you” attitude toward it/them.

and possibly also a sense of rejection and sadness, as if my family kicked me out when I was a baby, for being me (they didn’t.)

screw ’em.
there might be more to say, later, perhaps.

my bio, new

be professional, be professional, blah blah blah

Mike Robbins is a Percussionist and all-around Musical Weirdo residing in Los Angeles, who spends his time playing and teaching African Music, rather crazed and rhythmically Complex yet Groovy Percussive Music, and has a very-likely-unhealthy obsession with the music of Steve Reich, which he also Conducts and Plays on occasion.  He also teaches a little Music Theory of the Harmonically-Colourful Variety, and plays a little Harmonium to accompany North Indian Music.  He also arranged some Marching Band and Drumline music, and composes his own stimulating musics as well.

sometimes I compare myself to others

sometimes someone else does something, I compare myself unfavorably to them, and, typically have felt incredible guilt and shame (moving past that now.)

I still have thoughts though such as
“wow, I must be not a very ambitious person, then.”

or why else would I have

1. not done what they did (I didn’t want it?)
2. not done something comparably that I DO want…

though I HAVE, done things I want… they just….

never lay well with conventional notions of success or professionalism, (other people’s often seem to, other people except for my coolest craziest friends.)

the things I have done…
I wouldn’t call them successful or professional (many would argue that they are)
I guess I WOULD call them

special, unruly, unique, something most other people would NEVER do the way “I” went about them, things no one else WOULD ever do, and maybe genius, who knows.

but definitely not conventionally successful or professional.

what do you think friends,

you think I’m ever successful, professional?

this has been a presentation of the new and improved but still a ways to go

“less self-critical and less guilty and less shameful me” in response to other people I know doing things that seem real professional and successful, while I feel like I am sitting around having fun, getting older.

p.s. perhaps “fun” is all I really ever cared about.
as long as I can support myself as well, (not necessarily via the same “fun” things,)
might not be a bad thing in any sense.

it might even be the most important, more important than success or professionalism.

p.p.s you know, I have long despised the term professionalism, as if people who “are” it are fake and are stiffs? ok, enough, what do you think?

me or others,

so, a little discussion of what I call
The Zeitgeist Question, which refers, to me, to the notion of am I doing something with myself in mind, or others…

did I miss the day in school where-
where they taught you that when you work for people, yoi ddo what they ask, and not what you want?
or is that not true…
I mean, I have drumset students, kids.
they don’t know what they want or how to get it.
one of them is capable of butchering his way through a song, but if he ever wants to execute it WELL, in tempo, etc, he’s NOT gonna do what HE wants and just play play play, regardless of HOW to play well, so of course, he then needs to do what I say, the way I say it, (bearing in mind which approach I propose works best for him of course, blah blah.)

or am I just incredibly selfish, and never want to work for others, because what they want isn’t interesting to ME?

and why am I different than people who “do it anyway.”

perhaps I am just a selfish twit, only child after all, am I.
perhaps I’m impatient.
perhaps I have things I like.
perhaps a lot of average things just don’t “do it” for me.
perhaps I’m Super impatient.

or perHAPS-

you instead of me are TOO patient,
perhaps you DON’T have things you like, feel strongly about, love, can’t wait for.
perhaps a lot of average things DO “do it” for you.
perhaps you are super patient.

not that I have many “ideas for businesses”, but all the ones I do are usually not about every day things that happen to every day people, things that theoretically would be widespread, but


highly specific things that are interesting to me, not every day things, but highly specific ones relating to me and my weird experience. things that aren’t widespread.

oh WHAT is the matter with me…
or what is the matter with everyone else.
why are we different at all.
and why must I suffer, on the lonely end of the stick so.
awesome as it is, here.

where do others GET the patience to provide a service which they have no interest in? (naturally, if they are poor, or are forced to because of capitalism, yeah that  would make sense… but plenty of people I know are NOT like that, and STILL do things that I find muy boring.)

… seems always like things would be (seems…) so much easier if I just conformed, hid my feelings, bit the bullet and just conformed.  but no.

it wouldn’t be easier, and I must struggle on, as the real me.

a private space

my favorite places always seem to be big big open ones, with nooks and crannies where you can be alone, but there is always something going on somewhere nearish by, so that there is something big and fun involving people, to do, but that it will go on with or without me, and that I can get away from it easy if I want, and not be surrounded by “just anybody” like in most public places.
very few places/spaces seem to qualify as this.
CalArts itself seems to be number one, of these.
it’s also nice, when said space is like, available always, open at 3am if desired.
also nice if it’s full of artsy weirdos who never judge, who, like you, are at any time super engrossed in some super-interesting stuff, to them, i.e, in their own little world.
I surely am an introvert in this manner yes.
a couple, one, maybe two, coffeehouses capture like 20 percent of this, most don’t at all.
really could use some more of such spaces.
you too?
I’ve had the idea of “building” one, renting parts of it out for cheap, somehow, like a hotel, but cheaper, and “not” making people rent it for a whole day if they only want it for 2 hours.
I just don’t feel “safe” around most people or in most places. not physically unsafe, no no, emotionally, in the introvert sense, or maybe the cat one.

Castlevania III Dracula Stage in 11/8 and 11/16

in response to a youtube thread about this song, I just posted all this:

it could be notated in 11/8 instead of 11/4, and I personally, based on the “drum” part hear it as two bars of 11/16 (per each bar of 11/8 (or 11/4, meaning the drum part would be two bars of 11/8) I personally hear even that as 6/16 then 5/16 alternating, and I feel the 6/16s as 3/8. like one(and)two(andTHREE(and)onetwothreeFOURfive capitalizing the snare hits. someone said they have seen the score and it says 6+6/8 (meaning two bars of 6/8 combined together, I presume.) that is probably a simplified version because someone thought a tune in 11 would be too hard for most people who would want to play it. I have often seen popular music charts from musicals or rock songs, that are “simplified” in various ways. but yeah. TOTALLY in 11, totally. real phat. it’s actually fascinating, cause, thinking of it as 3/8 + 5/16 + 3/8 + 5/16, per every ONE bar of 11/8, the bass is playing steady 8th notes, (11 of them of course) the bass part and the drum part are totally syncopated from each other, and there’s not saying which one is “right”, that’s the beauty of it, they both are. and thirdly, the melody contained numerous dotten 8th notes (three 16ths long of course), so it too is syncopated. three different patterns, all adding up to 11 in the end though, all superimposed. this kinda stuff is super super cool. like a melodic version of this percussive music (which is in 15/16 + 12/16 + 15/16 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOvM0layYP4&list=PLA3RtmQ1UVHXTH-61LVM8ecmItFuxn9Jm&index=3

CBTL Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, like old times

Like Old Times, perhaps, I am at a coffeebeat and tealeaf in hollywood. I first came to such a place 15 years ago, fall of 2000.
funny story.

1. I went to JAVA JOE’S (later JAVA’s) in ROchester NY, next to the Eastman School, every night for maybe a year prior to coming to California (and before that maybe too.)
I heard The Big Payback by James Brown there one day, and resolved to find out what song it was… oh yeah.
I first heard Dots and Loops by Stereolab in there too.
when I was being advised in kindness by eastman prof BRAD LUBMAN, that “CAlArts sounds like the place for you”, it was AT Java’s, and while it was happening, total coincidence, ECM 115, MUSIC FOR EIGHTEEN MUSICIANS by REICH was PLAYING randomly on their music system.
I went there with a nice girl once.
later I met another “nice girl” there. oh yeah.


in California, I discover that the Valencia starbucks (this is no longer the case) closed at like 9pm, and as a night owl, fuck THAT!

so, I drove down down down one night, to “The Coffeehouse” (a real place, on sunset.) 24 hour place. wrote music there.

but FIRST…
I sauntered back and forth for 2 hours on sunset blvd, UNABLE to park (apparently unaware that parking on a side street was even an option,)

and at one point, maybe the second or third trip down, went to a CBTL, on sunset, and was indeed uncomfy with the vibe. but whatever.

and now, here, I’m at one, 15 years later, in hollywood, like old times.

You’re Still You/Be Here Now, yes

… seems easy to become envious, jealous, to see others and think “gee if only “I” had what THEY have… THENNNNN my life would be ok, THEN I could feel good.”

but surely, this MUST be an illusion, and far from the truth, right?

because I know, no matter what others do, no matter how well they treat you, nor how rich you are….

at the end of the day….
in the words of Tyler Durden, though in a different context.
“you’re still YOU.”

YOU with your insecurities and fear and anger, and all the other stuff, better things than negative emotions, I would hope, yes I have them too.”

so it can’t be about
being famous, being rich, or winning a grammy, or being loved by any specific people.
nor anything in the minds of others, and dare I say, nor of any god either.

others don’t have to live with you.
god doesn’t have to live with you either. (that is true whether he exists or not.)

but YOU DO have to live with you.

and there is no escape into being perfect, things being easy if “so and so” were different instead of what is.

it must be the here and now, it must by our knowledge, our experience, our feelings.

that must be it.

breath into it.

this is the universe, it would seem.