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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bottle the Sound

We finally got everyone in a room together yesterday for a full band rehearsal. It was very intense. Guitar, bass, drums, violin, voices.

It was totally exhilarating.

Everyone in the room could feel something special happening. Some of the players are old pros, so it's kind of amazing how "blown away" they were by the sound we were creating.

The vibrations of the sound actually knocked the paintings on the walls off-kilter. Folks on the street were pausing before the door of our space to listen.

One guest of our rehearsal told me he was on the verge of tears from listening to our "beautiful" songs. I was totally wasted and drained at the end of the session.

I wonder if we can bottle this sound? Capture the butterfly? Keep the band together? There is something going on here. So exciting.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Zen Thing

And then the Zen thing might be to just let it all come down.

With your eyes closed.

In that case, down and up are kind of a relative state.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Know Nothings

Nobody knows.

Nobody knows nothing.

A double-negative.

Does that mean

Somebody knows something?


Nobody knows nothing.

And there's absolute joy in that fact.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A New Egg

I voted for Obama. I like Obama. I want Obama to succeed.

I'm beginning to think he is trying to put together a Humpty Dumpty that is still slowly exploding into a million tiny pieces.

Maybe his job is to pretend the exploding isn't happening. Maybe all those wealthy people in the Halls of Congress can pretend too.

Maybe there is no putting Humpty Dumpty back together again. Maybe we need a new egg. Or we need to make an omelette or a souffle out of the wreckage of the old egg.

Something is missing in our national conversation. And the silence of the missing is deafening.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Lot of Ears

We have a band called WhiteWolfSonicPrincess. It's one of those names that sort of rolls off the tongue, but doesn't easily stick in people's heads.

We often have to repeat it slowly, over and over to someone new to the band. Sometimes we shorten it to WWSP. There's always some head-scratching over that too.

I came up with the name on a whim. Sometimes you are stuck with your whims.

Anyway, we have breached the over 10,000 plays mark over at MySpace. It sort of seems like an accomplishment, although it's really just a virtual accomplishment or maybe it's just a "psuedo-event," kind of like a virtual mirage.

Admittedly, some of those plays were just the Lovely Carla and I listening to our own music, which is kind of a self-reverential kind of thing to do, but hell, if you can't indulge your own whims, who can?

So yes, over 10,000 plays of our songs. A lot of free listening. Won't buy a cup of coffee. Still it's kind of cool to think that some of our songs have found life out in the virtual environment.

BTW - if you get a chance go over to the site and check out "Shadow Boxing." It's a rough rehearsal version of a new song featuring our new violin player and our new bassist. It's a little raw, but a new sound is emerging. Very exciting.

WWSP lives!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tiger in Sex Rehab!

Finding humor in other people's misery is not a very enlightened past-time. On the other hand, sometimes you just have to laugh.

I found this story about Tiger Woods going into Sex Rehab pretty funny. Pretty lame too.

I mean, my god, please help this poor man! He's been having way too much sex with way too many dazzlingly beautiful women for his own good.

I sure hope he kicks such a nasty debilitating habit. Maybe we should pray for Tiger?!?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Hell Hound on My Trail

It's true there are dogs from hell. Hell Hounds. I know you're probably thinking Cujo - a black mastiff, flaming red eyes - a figment of Stephen King's fevered brain.

I'm here to tell you that the true Hell Hound is a brown-eyed, fluffy white Labra-Doddle named Happy. He' got me on the run. He haunts my dreams. He wears on me, weighs on me. He is pulling me down into the pit of despair.

I'm doing all I can to get this beast behind me. He is a marvel of pure appetite.

His fur clings to anyone who touches him. His fur is toxic. I'm choking on his fur. I have become his best friend, his only connection to life.

I need to get away from this creature. And fast. I'm sure there is a circle of hell known as "Happy's Circle."

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Ghost of Lombardi

The Ghost of Vince Lombardi made a visit. He kicked my ass. He was smoking a ciggy and had a glass of bourbon in his hand. I almost got lost staring at the little gap in his toothy smile.

The Ghost of Vince Lombardi was in a good mood. Adversity always just gives the old Ghost a kick in the drawers.

He tells me, he's been watching us. Figures Old Glory is looking pretty tattered. Riddled with parasites who are sucking the life out of our blessed country. The Ghost of Vince Lombardi knows that the country was founded on blood. It's been blessed by blood.

It's a country that's always been drowning in the blood of the poor and down-trodden. Ask Sitting Bull about that one. And of course the Power Brokers and the Filthy Rich have us all by the short and curlies.

So the Ghost of Vince Lombardi told me he was going to make a visit to that big old white mansion in Washington. He was going to visit Barack Obama, kind of swoop in while he is sleeping, and whisper in his very large and expectant ear, whisper the only message worth conveying at the moment...

"When the going gets tough, the tough get going."

Friday, January 22, 2010

Stuck on the Cross of Contradiction

I found this quote reading about Bono. Yes, that Bono...

"Right in the middle of a contradiction, that's the place to be." - Sam Shepard

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Ghost of RFK

I guess I'm still looking for that smart, ruthless, "tough as nails" liberal willing to fight for social and economic justice on every front.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Relentlessness of the Wheel

The wheel, as John Fogarty once said, "keeps on turning." The wheel is bigger than you. It never stops.

Once you get on it, there's no getting off. If you get off, you will be crushed. It will roll right over you.

So you find you are on it, and you ride it for all you're worth. Which in the world of the wheel is not much.

You can't decide how fast the wheel will turn, you can't decide where the wheel will roll. You can only hang on. Or not.

So you hang on. And marvel at the infinite relentlessness of the wheel.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Free to Build Our Own

"I wish we could talk over the many prisons of life - prisons of stone, prisons of passion, prisons of intellect, prisons of morality and the rest - all limitations, external or internal, all prisons really. All life is a limitation." - Oscar Wilde

Monday, January 18, 2010

Another Stray

Played music again yesterday. Working on a new song. Auditioned a second vocalist. We are totally immersed in our band. Definitely a "flow activity" where you lose yourself in the zone.

Time is sort of suspended. Everything else just falls away.

I do think we live for those moments.

A young girl sang songs with us. She was so alive and enthusiastic. She "just wants to sing." She seemed so young, almost "other-worldly." Another stray. Definitely fits our vibe.

She came from a long way away just to audition. Took two trains. She wasn't wearing a coat. It was sunny but cold. We were worried about her as she went out back into the world to make the long trip home.

Hope she makes it. I think we're gonna ask her to join the band.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Rolling Thunder Revue Redux?

I have this vision for our WhiteWolfSonicPrincess band...

Sort of like Rolling Thunder Revue Part II, or is it Rolling Thunder Revue Part Deux, or Rolling Thunder Revue Redux?

Or maybe it's not Rolling Thunder at all. But we kind of blew up our early version of the band and well, we've kind of opened the door to a much larger sound.

We hope to debut the new sound in early February. Right now, we've been spending a lot of time in rehearsal with our new drummer, our new bass player and our new violinist. It's just been so great to mix all these elements into a new brew. Our neighbor overhead us playing and she immediately thought what I was thinking "Rolling Thunder!"

It is so cool, and all consuming. Casting a new musical spell. We've created this special, secret space. It's where creativity lives. Everything else falls away. This is it.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Music For Sale!

CD BABY is a really cool place to find and purchase music. Finally our disc - White Wolf Sonic Princess "This Car Available" is available on CD BABY!

We re-sequenced it. Deleted a couple tracks, added a track and re-mastered the whole thing. Very pleased with the final result. I think you should buy one. Really!

WhiteWolfSonicPrincess: This Car Available - Reloaded/Remastered

Friday, January 15, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Rubes, Swindled and Marks

If Obama has any sense (and I'm confident he has plenty) this idea of taxing the Financial Titans is essential. Somehow he's gonna have to muscle Congress to belly up to the bar for something other than their own pin-headed greed.

As Jon Stewart remarked, "The only people who have recovered from the meltdown are those who caused it."

And that just ain't right. This has all played out as a totally rigged game, and most of "the people" of this fine Republic are the rubes, the swindled, the marks.

Some kind of reckoning is in order. Pronto!

BTW, I think sometimes " Our problems are so large and grave, and our solutions are so weak and lame."

Wonder how that turns out?!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Gilliam's Imaginarium

We went to see Terry Gilliam's new flick. It's pretty good. Wild. Flawed. I think all Gilliam's films are flawed, which might actually make them great.

The real life story: young actor slipping away in the middle of the shoot, kind of overshadows the film.

Or maybe not overshadows, but actually affirms what the film is all about. The human imagination, the compulsion to tell stories is eternal, or at least as eternal as the human being, which may not be so eternal at all.

I mean, as long as there are people there will be stories. The human imagination sort of transcends time. Even as people come and go. No person is essential. Or again, there's a weird paradox. Each person is unique and beautiful in their own way, never to be duplicated. But at the same time, each person can in a sense be replaced.

So we see Heath Ledger so vital, so alive, so good. And then about two thirds into the film he disappears and then Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell take his place. It works. But even as it works, a deep sense of loss hangs over the whole thing.

By the way, Tom Waits plays the Devil. What a perfect role, perfect performance. It's worth seeing the movie just for Mr. Waits! Tom Waits for no man!

Another one of Gilliam's dreams. Which is also kind of a nightmare. And Pythonesque too.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Universe - DIY

Yes, it's the DIY Universe...

You have all the tools at your fingertips. Do you need your Universe to have "meaning?" Well then, add a healthy (as little or as much as you want) portion of meaning- it's up to you.

Same with "purpose," and "justice" and any other of those wacky ideas you have your heart set on.

Do you need a "GOD" for your universe? Well there are many to choose from. Some are old and scary, some are kind and giving, some are really diffuse and abstract. Still they are all "hand me downs."

Watch out for other DIY'ers wanting to impose their Universes on you. Unless of course you want to share. Share or not. It's your choice!

Your Universe can have it's very own God. Or your Universe can be Godless. If you need a God, why settle for someone else's? Go on, construct your own. And bow down to it as needed!

It's really all up to you. It's the DIY Universe. It's as full or as empty as you want it to be. You get out of it what you put into it.

What? You say you can't believe in a Universe you create yourself? Get out of here! Of course you can. Yes you can. Just do it! And believe it. Or not. It's yours!

You say: "Nothing matters!" Or "Everything is Holy!" It's all up to you! You make the rules (or not) and you can to follow them or not.

You want more love and art? Bring it baby! It's simple and easy to do. Come on join the movement! Just say "DIY."

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Kid is In!

As one of our friends in Famous in the Future recently put it: 2010 Totally Zen!

The new year means new blood. We're expanding our band piece by piece. We've been doing the WhiteWolfSonicPrincess project for a while now. The Lovely Carla and I are intent on a larger sound.

So we added a new drummer (he's superb), and we recently auditioned a young violinist named Michael. He's young, so young, young enough to be our love child.

He is a gifted musician. So serious and quiet. We were a little worried that maybe he wouldn't fit in with our creative vibe. But the sound was right. Oh so right.

Well, at yesterday's rehearsal, when Michael unveiled his electric violin there were two tell-tale stickers on his violin case. Kind of answered any lingering doubts.

One was an Obama '08 sticker and the other was a Jimi Hendrix sticker. No doubt, the kid is in!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

FDR Beyond the Grave...

I grew up in a household where FDR was a saint. A hero of the working man. He lived a long time ago...

FDR Speaks: "We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob."

Friday, January 08, 2010

Oscar Wilde - Pop Star

I'm currently reading a biography of Oscar Wilde...

So Oscar Wilde toured the U.S. in 1870's dressed up like a strutting peacock - knee breeches, silk stockings, funny hats, frilly shirts. He gave lectures on "beauty." He caused quite a stir in the press and the public.

I just recently finished Stanley Booth's "The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones," one of the great rock & roll books. Dare I say "rock literature" of a high order.

Mick Jagger toured the U.S. in the early 1970's (okay 1969) dressed up like a strutting peacock - knee breeches, silk stockings, funny hats, frilly shirts. He sang "Sympathy for the Devil," and "Stray Cat Blues." He caused quite a stir in the press and the public.

It dawns on me that if Oscar Wilde had been born in our era, he almost assuredly would have been a Pop star. Think Bowie, or Morrissey, or Brian Jones. Although, who knows if he could have carried a tune. Still it hasn't stopped anyone else.

In his time Oscar was celebrated and crucified. Probably would have been the same in this time. Maybe for different reasons, but what I like about Wilde, he was not shy about challenging the powers that be. Although this time around Oscar probably would have made a shit-load more money.

Thursday, January 07, 2010


Just like a spider

Hanging by a thread is okay.

As long as you hang

With style.

You must always hang with style.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Stuck in the Middle with Oscar

Very cold.

And a big winter storm coming.

I'm counting on Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde to entertain me.

So far he is doing a wonderful job.

What an amazing, improbable life.

I'm halfway through the Ellmann biography.

It is very inspiring, funny, eye-opening.

I realize I love a dead guy.

"The secret of life is ART!"

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Can't Beat the Table of Meat

Saturday the Lovely Carla and I played the open mic at our favorite coffeehouse, and well, I think it's safe to say we "tore the house down." One of our best shows. Two songs with our new drummer. The audience just absolutely loved it.

Then Sunday it was off to the Mutiny with the Telepaths. Final Bear game of the season. The Mutiny is one of those classic Chicago bars, a great place to see a football game. A place where football matters. Good thing the Bears won.

Then it was the Telepaths - stripped - just me on guitar, the Professor on bass and "The Ego Maniac" on vocals. This photo (dark and fuzzy - just like us) kind of captures the whole scene in one snap. Something sort of ridiculous and sublime simultaneously.

We were competing with the famed "Table of Meat" - ribs, chicken, brats. We gave it our best. But in the final analysis - the Table of Meat just can't be beat...

Still as they say, a good time was had by all!

Monday, January 04, 2010

A Cartoon Existence

Some days you are Wily Coyote.

Making plans, making contraptions, scheming - so hungry, on the chase.

Some days you are Road Runner.

Beeping. Flying. Leaving all comers in the dust.

Coyote days usually go wrong. Anvils on the head. Tumbling off cliffs.

Road Runner days are all about smiling. Speeding down the road. One step ahead of death.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Ashes of American Flags

One advantage of being left out of the grab-bag on Xmas eve was that I got to buy a grab-bag gift for myself. It was all so self-reverential and hermetic of me.

So I got exactly what I wanted.

And what I got was an exquisitely well-made DVD of Wilco called "Ashes of American Flags." It's a film by Brendan Canty and Christopher Green. Really nice work.

It captures a band at their best. Filmed so beautifully. The sound is superb and if you like Wilco, like I like Wilco, well it's just such a great document of a hard-working band playing some really cool rooms around the country - Tipitina's in New Orleans, Ryman Auditorium in Nashvile, Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa.

You realize it's a good thing these guys aren't so big that they play stadiums. Good for them and the audience. You spend a little time on the road with them too, in their big tour bus.

They come across as really professional, committed musicians. Artists. So inspiring. Plus of course, they rock. Highly recommended.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Black Forest Space - A really cool living room

It's 2010 so it's time to unveil our new Black Forest Space.

As someone said, "it's like a really cool living room."

It's a little storefront space.

A dream space. Where anything can happen.

If you want to know what happens inside, you have to open the door.

Friday, January 01, 2010

"I ain't gonna be your dog." - Howling Wolf

We had a little New Year's Eve get together at the Black Forest Space last night. It was a great way to kiss one year goodbye and welcome another.

The space looked great, we spruced it up and added some soft lighting - blues and greens. One of our friends said it was like "a really cool living room."

We had videos playing on a white screen - Buster Keaton, Nosferatu and the incomparable Matthew Barney. I think Mr. Barney was the hit of the evening - dressed in a kilt with a bloody rag in his mouth, surrounded by beautiful, almost naked women, scaling the inside of the Guggenheim and discovering strange and wonderous things at each level. One of those unique Matthew Barney experiences that can't be summed up or put in a box. Sublime.

We played music - people brought their iPods and we plugged them into the sound system and we had all kinds of dance music going. My favorite stuff actually came from my own collection - Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, the Kinks and Howling Wolf.

Howling Wolf set the tone for me. Outside a big full moon was raging. It was incredibly cold. Inside Howling Wolf proclaimed "I ain't gonna be your dog." Those old Chess cuts were like from another world - but so appropriate to our precarious circumstances.

As the Lovely Carla put it: "We're out front, free-falling" into a new year, a new decade. We feel we are ahead of the curve. Maybe this is the year everything falls apart. And everything gets re-made. We're ready.

As one of my dear friends put it: "Drive fast. Take chances." Sounds like a plan!

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