WWSP's Shadow of th Marigold

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Tao...

"Do something beautiful in the form that suits you best according to your own temperament." - Guy de Maupassant

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Healer, Heal Thyself

We are awash in drugs. Legal and illegal. I do think that Big Pharma is a blight on the human population. Timothy Leary preached the power of psychedelics to liberate humanity, but of course there was a downside to turning on and tuning out.

I don't think Timothy envisioned the complete pharmaceuticalization of our brain-scapes. I'm pretty sure the Corporatization of drugs has helped addle our brains, and has accelerated the "pop goes the weasel" devolution of our Pop Consciousness.

Big Pharma keeps churning out new snake oil. Purported to cure all ills, real or imagined. But at the same time The Placebo Effect is getting stronger!

Taking a harmless sugar pill can cure you! If you think you are healing yourself, you are healing yourself. Freaky cool. Do you know how many dollars we could all be saving!? Bring on the Placebos!

Healer, Heal Thyself!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Don't be Denied

One of my favorite lines from Neil Young...

I mean, I guess it's my motto...

"Don't be denied."

Friday, August 28, 2009

Reason?! I Don't Think So!

Listening to the radio this morning, someone said...

"Reason will win out."

Hmmm. Nice thought.

That's not exactly how it looks to me.

For reference please see last 10,000 years of human history!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Musical Influences...

I don't know why I was thinking of this yesterday...

I inherited the Beatles, the Stones, the Who, and Bob Dylan.

But I discovered The Ramones, The New York Dolls, Television, Talking Heads and Patti Smith. The New York contingent.

Plus throw in Elvis Costello too.

They were/are totally mine.

Patti Smith...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Still thinking about "Inglourious Basterds."

I'm now thinking Q. Tarantino intentionally or not is telling us that Pop Culture trumps all.

Pop Culture kicks all ass.

History does not matter: Pop Culture will re-write the story.

Ideology does not matter: Pop Culture explodes all ideas.

Nazis? They are just Pop Culture Stooges.

Pop Culture eats everything. And regurgitates it in technicolor.

The most important thing: Is it hip? Is it cool? Is there a great soundtrack? Does it make us feel good?

Pop Culture is kind of like a really devoted dog. It gives us unconditional love.

It's love with an expiration date. The individual dogs come and go, but "dogginess" lives forever.

Pop is immortal. It's the only thing left to us.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

To that Special Lying, Cheating, Little Weasel!

A special shout-out:

Once a lying, cheating, Little Weasel...

Always a lying, cheating, Little Weasel...

I do not envy your sleep patterns...

Who will call you out next?

The Truth will out.

And it burns!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Steal Your Shit.

You are cruising along, enjoying the scenery, and out of the blue, you are reminded...

The bastards want to steal your shit!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

White Space

Gonna paint walls today. Really looking forward to it. Something cool about white paint in an empty room. The absence of image. The absence of things. Just a white wall, an enveloping blankness. Sort of hopeful.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Not Freaking Nazis?!

Kim Morgan interviews Quentin Tarantino.

He's one of the few directors that compel me to buy an opening night ticket. His latest is "Inglourious Basterds."

I don't want to knock it. It's well-made, well-acted. Brad Pitt doesn't channel Clark Cable, he channels George Clooney channeling Clark Gable.

It's a movie about movies. WW II movies. Tarantino re-writes history. Makes it more satisfying, I suppose. But the Nazi thing has totally been driven into the freaking ground. Talk about a well-travelled road.

I had high expectations. Tarantino has to live up to his own back catalog: Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill Vol. 1&2, and Death Proof. He has set a high standard. He has created his own genre with some of his innovations.

Maybe it will sit better the second time around. It didn't totally knock me out. I wanted to be knocked out!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Stand and Fight

Sometimes you have to stand and fight. This from someone who leans towards pacifism: "someone opposed to violence as a means of settling disputes."

If you always pick fights, you are an asshole.

If you always pick fights that you know you will win, you are a bully.

If you always pick fights that you know you will lose, you are a masochist.

If you try to avoid, evade, defuse, deflect, escape, deflate in the face of a fight, but find yourself in one anyway, well, then what?

If you stand down, are you a weasel? A coward?

Sometimes you can't back down. You just can't. Reasonable, or not. This from someone who has been pounded into the ground a few times.

Sometimes you have to stand and fight. You have to stand and fight.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Of the Body, Of the Spirit

I believe we are more than our bodies. It's not just a thought, it is my experience. I don't think I'm the only one. Of course, it's the standard dichotomy, body and spirit. Then again, some wise folk tell us body and spirit are one. So it might be that tricky math where one + one = one. Or something like that.

And that one is either one or none, or all of the above.

We see our bodies, and they show us the record of our days. Not just our days, but also the days and ways of our ancestors. We wear the years we walk the planet, and we wear the years of all those people who came before us. Our genes are the map and their markers are built into our flesh and blood.

Then there's this essence that seems to ride, or reside in the flesh. Sometimes it seems to be in the heart or head of us, sometimes it seems to hover above or around us. We think it floats away when the flesh and blood cease to work.

Our bodies are destined to become broken radios. No transmitting, no receiving. But our essence, the life force, the radio programming, the radio waves, they are still out there, floating in the ether. Or wherever.

It's a strange life. Of the body, of the spirit.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Take on Music in Bars

Playing music in bars is an interesting thing too. You're competing with drug energy, primarily alcohol. If you stay sober, you can see it, feel it, it's sort of like an electric haze that smears over the room.

It's not exactly as fulfilling as performing in a theater setting, but it has it's own special kick. I actually like playing in a room of totally drunk people, it's kind of like riding this strange, electric wave.

There's a sort of buzz, a danger, and you're basically fighting for attention. Not the best place for sensitive singer-songwriter stuff. Perfect for a more garage rock sonic assault.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Take on Theater

In the old days the Church told us that the Theater was a profane place. Filled with Hustlers and Whores.

Today, the Theater is a sacred place. The Church? Kind of profane place itself.

The Theater is now one of the Houses of the Holy. Filled with Hustlers and Whores.

They are my kind of people. Doing the Holy Work.

Monday, August 17, 2009

This Moment, This Place, Now

Abbie Fest Day Three...

We had a Sunday afternoon performance slot. The second performance of "The Drugs." It's a very odd, sort of abstract piece, featuring music and ecstatic poetry. We were totally in the moment and it all went off without a hitch. Very happy. Lots of strangers came up after the show to tell how much they liked it. Very surprised it was so well received.

Then we sat back and watched. And as always the Fest comes up with some incredible theatrical surprises.

Loved the Bald Soprano's verison of Eugene Ionesco's "Jack, Or the Submission." Soundtrack provided by the two heads - Radio and Portis. For some reason Ionesco is the perfect playwright for this time, this place. His works translate very well to our silly and tragic pop cultural melange. The Bald Soprano's do great work bringing this long gone playwright into the present moment. Ionesco absolutely sings!

And then Gary Bairos did his superb, beautiful, devastating, totally inspiring monologue, "Jimmy Gamble." What to say? One man on stage, brings a world alive. The world of a Chicago hustler. And it is just breath-takingly great. Can't say enough about it. This is what theater is all about. A human being telling a story. And everything in the world is in the telling. Riveting.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Circus Acts Performing for Circus Acts

Day two of the Abbie Fest. Lots of theater, most of it very funny. We debuted a new piece to a packed house. It seemed to fly. At the fest it seems you primarily are doing circus acts for other circus acts. Maybe the best audience you can expect.

It's good to know that there are other theater crazies out there. Some folks there last night have seen many, many Black Forest shows. Sometimes it amazes me they know us and remember us. It's a very small circle, still it is a circle.

We do it again today. Looking forward to other surprises too. The fest is one of my favorite things to do. It's one of those things that even as you are enjoying it, you marvel at how it's all slipping away too.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Marvel at the Splendor

Hey this is cool. Terry Flamm over at Broken Hearted Toy gave "This Car Available" from WhiteWolfSonicPrincess a little write-up. Plus he explains how the band evolved out of our Black Forest Theater work.

I like this: "They drift through 13 indie rock songs like a couple of hipsters."

And this: "Even when you weren’t sure what was going on in a Black Forest production, Carla and Jimmy’s engaging stage presence and clever dialogue pulled you in."

We were audience members for night one of the 21st Abbie Fest last night. Richard Cotovsky was in fine form as Abbie and he kicked it all off with his great, inspiring Abbie rant.

Plus there was some great laughs from the Plagarists and Red Ink Theater two very impressive Chicago theater companies. The Plagiarists feature some stunningly good writing, always wildly inventive.

Tonight we do our piece called "The Drugs," which is loosely inspired by David Bowie and "Low." It has never seen the light of day, it will be the first time out in the world. Plus there's lots of other interesting stuff to see. We'll spend lots of time in a little black box theater this hot summer day!

The good life.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Doing the Thing is the Thing

Some one told the Lovely Carla and I yesterday that, "You are the kind of artists who just do the work."

That is so true. And doing the work is the thing.

I've come to believe it's the whole thing. The end result is sort of anti-climatic. It's the process of doing the thing that's the thing. That's been the working method. And the method, the doing the work, transforms us.

Today the Abbie Hoffman Died for Your Sins Fest kicks off and runs throughout the weekend. We are doing it again. A new piece, strange and experimental, which is perfect for the fest. We perform Saturday and Sunday.

I love doing the fest. I love the madness of it all. I love the process and the work. That's more than enough. It's everything.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ye Gods, "It's the Revenge of the Death Panels!?"

The Amazing Right Wing Constant Fear Machine is an awe inspiring thing to witness. They wind the thing up and unleash it on the unsuspecting Potato Eaters.

And the Potato Eaters flee and cower and wring their hands. Works every time.

Now it's Death Panels! Coming Soon to a Rec Room in your neighborhood.

Once the trembling ceases, one hopes the Potato Eaters will realize it's all so Freaking Hilarious! Once that Fear Bug turns out to be sawdust there will be another coming down the pike.

The Fear Machine just keeps on chugging!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ages of Man

Worrying doesn't make a lot of sense.

So yes, it does seem like everyone is getting crazier. Maybe its the extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere?

It used to be that the clinical crazy people were the crazy ones. Now it seems the crazies dominate all walks of life.

And the original crazy ones don't seem so crazy anymore. Or maybe the really crazy ones are so freaking crazy they are harmless.

It's all those other crazies, those with the levers of power in their hands, who can really fuck things up.

There was the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, etc. Maybe this is just the Crazy Fucked Up Age!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Deaf, Dumb and Blind Watchmaker

Of course, time may be an illusion. Or our perception of it may be skewed. And we don't get to control the time.

It ticks away whether we want it to or not. And we each have our own personal clock with it's own tempo and expiration date. Our clock ticks it's last and the game is called.

We can appeal to the Blind Watchmaker for an extension or reprieve, but of course, he (or she, or it) is deaf too.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Work the Clock

Sometimes it's important to just keep the game going. Stretch the time. Work the clock.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

The Black Magus and His Danelectro

How about a little Jimmy Page playing his Danelectro guitar at the Royal Albert Hall in 1970? Okay!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Quest Harder

I used to be on the quest for answers. And the answers I got were pretty unsatisfying.

This compelled me to quest harder. And the answers got even more unsatisfying. In fact they just led me to more questions.

Which didn't add up to a hill of beans.

So now I quest with no purpose. I just quest. And answers and questions don't seem very important to me.

They are just little pebbles on the road. I rearrange the pebbles just for fun.

Friday, August 07, 2009

There are Seven Circles of Hell, One of them is in Orlando!

One of my favorite bloggers is gonna give us a journal of hell. Looking forward to it.

Although, I must admit I know all about it. If you want to see it for yourself, just book a trip to Orlando, Florida! Fuck Mickey!

Dantesque!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Cooked!

"I like to watch." - Chauncey Gardiner

I don't know how they measure such a thing, but supposedly Americans now spend more time watching other people cook on TV cooking shows, than they do cooking their own stinking meals.

And that says something. Doesn't it?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Royal Scam

I forgot about that record. I think it's one of Steely Dan's finest. Haven't heard it in a long, long time.

I think it's probably prophetic. Our economy has been built on the Royal Scam. And we've all been implicated in the scam in one way or another. We kind of grow cynical about it all, knowing that everyone is basically scamming everyone else. And that's how you actually accumulate stuff.

So since we're all in on the scam, we actually develop a sort of admiration for those who are good at scamming others. "Look how they swindle the rubes." Except we are the rubes. And they write books about the Royal Scammers, and give them awards, and put them on TV shows. All our pillars of society (really pillars of salt) are built on the scam: real estate, finance, insurance, health care, government, entertainment, etc...

Pick your poison.

"See the glory of the Royal Scam." - Becker & Fagan

Monday, August 03, 2009

Bean-Eaters Unite!

So what's it like living in a Plutocracy?

A very few live high on the hog. They write the rules. They call the tunes.

Most live on beans. They get shuffled around. They stand in lines.

Looking forward to the dawning of the bean-eaters!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

We Can Steal Time...

We played the Open Mic in our hood last night. We did two covers. We collaborated with an extraordinary singer who lives down the block named John. We were well-rehearsed and we totally rocked the audience. We basked in the rousing applause.

First we did Soul Kitchen sort of in the Patti Smith tempo...



And then we closed with David Bowie's Heroes. Someone told me we made it sound like a Gospel Classic (three voices, an acoustic guitar and a tambourine). During the call and response, when our three voices found flight, I felt a tingle shoot up my spine - ecstasy! What an absolutely great freaking song...

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Buzz in the Hood

We've been rehearsing in our new space. Making music and theater in the midst of saw dust and rusty nails, and all the clutter of a space not yet ready for prime time.

We opened the doors to keep the air flowing. It's a storefront in a busy part of town, so all kinds of folks walk by and poke their heads in while we are working. This is kind of a new phenomenon for us.

There's a buzz in the hood about this new thing happening.

We are working on a strange performance piece based on my reading "Bowie in Berlin." The Lovely Carla added an ecstatic, fever-dream monologue about a white stallion. I am creating an ambient music score to back her up.

So I had a delay pedal and a drumstick, and I was hammering the strings, and coaxing some odd sounds out of my beat up old Telecaster. The passers by seemed both attracted and perplexed.

Pure pleasure...

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