WWSP's Shadow of th Marigold

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It Just Is...

Yesterday the sun was shining. The grass was growing. The flowers budding. The birdies singing.

Spring in the midwest. Got me thinking...

Life in it's multiplicity of forms needs no justification. It just is...

The flip-side of that coin: death needs no justification either. It just is...

And that's the lay of the land.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Plus Bonus Tidbit: "Some things are better in Pants!" - MPS

Wisdom via MPS channeled through the Lovely Carla...

"Treat the mean ones like they are the lowest of the low. Treat the weak ones like they are the highest of the high."

Monday, March 29, 2010

Soul Session

Our band WhiteWolfSonicPrincess will be playing two sets of music at the Elbo Room's Upstairs Lounge this coming Good Friday.

Roll away the stone!

Yesterday was our last full band rehearsal for the show. It was really intense. Two full sets, almost 90 mins. of music!

I don't know if it's bad form to rave about your own band, but the session (which we recorded) was mind-blowingly good.

Our bass, drums, violin and acoustic guitar combo is just getting better and better. The Lovely Carla is singing with beauty and authority.

It's just so exciting to find a group of talented people all dedicated to something so delicate, so ephemeral.

As Blake once put it: "Energy is Eternal Delight!" Ain't it the truth?!?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

MXR Carbon Copy: Recommended!

I've been playing guitar pretty intensely the last few years. With two bands. I have a basic setup. Acoustic guitar, electric guitar, a little tube amp and a couple of effects pedals.

The effects pedals I use are an Ibanez Tube Screamer and an MXR Carbon Copy analog delay pedal. It's a nice combination that gives some color to the sound. Adds a little overdrive, sustain and shimmer.

Awhile back the MXR Carbon Copy went bad. The switch got stuck. The pedal was always on. Could not switch it off. I e-mailed their support group and surprisingly they told me they'd send me a new switch for free. I guess it was still under warranty.

They sent me a new switch, which I installed myself. Big mistake. Once I got done with the install the pedal was totally DOA. So I got back in touch with their support team and they told me to send it in.

Well, they put a new PC board in the thing and sent it back to me. It works perfectly - better than ever! They did a nice job. It's good to see a company standing behind their product.

Thanks Jim Dunlop!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Pigeon Game

People are still torturing pigeons.

So which are you?

The helpless tied up pigeon?

Or the pissed off hungry pigeon?

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Home of the Beast: 666 St. Peter's Square

** I don't know what was up with Blogger today. Every time I tried to post the little rant below, something would go wrong. I began to think that someone or something didn't want me to post it. This got me thinking about the Bavarian Illuminati, Knights Templar, the Masons, Tom Hanks, Dan Brown and those dudes flying around on those little go-karts decked out with rugs... oh yeah those freaky Shriners!

Even if you had a supremely diabolical imagination, you still probably wouldn't come up with this hideously twisted story about a Priest abusing 200 deaf boys. I mean it almost sounds like a set up for a really sick and twisted joke.

And worse than that mind-numbing horror, you then learn that the Catholic Church hierarchy's "highest priority was protecting the church from scandal."

This is truly evil! The Pope and everyone in that freaking decision loop should be defrocked or worse!

How about Hornswaggled!?!?

For some reason, I think about Sinead O'connor and her zany protest on Saturday Night Live those many years ago. I don't know the specifics of her beef with the Church, it may have seriously hurt her career. She broke the rules of showbiz. Do not say something real during our entertainment.

I'm thinking all those people who gave her shit for expressing herself, should get on their knees and beg forgiveness.

Ripping up a picture of the Pope. Oh how quaint! I mean, you don't want to paint with a broad brush but it's clear the Catholic Church is a supremely dysfunctional organization, no scratch that, a criminal enterprise that should be taken apart brick by freaking brick!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Interesting Guy

I lived it, then I wrote the song...

"Packed up my confidence. Went to the conference. Went up the escalator, could of been an elevator.

Walked in the front door, didn't want to be there no more. I carried a paper, had my permanent record, threw it on the table, she picked it up directly.

She looked in my eye, through my disguise, looked in my eye, said I'm an interesting guy.

I thought lady, you don't know the half of it.
I thought lady, you don't know the half of it.
I thought lady, you don't know the half of it.
I thought lady, you don't know the half of it.

The half of it.
The half of it.
The half of it.
The half of it.

Walked out the door, I was feeling sore, thought I'd never come back no more, no more.

I got myself a coffee, actually it was given to me, I drank it down, it was free.
A random act of kindness, makes you feel like a highness, isn't it crazy how it can be?

Still I can recall, like it was great fall, down at the mall.

Well she looked in my eye, through my disguise, said I'm an interesting guy, looked in my eye, through my disguise, said I'm an interesting guy, interesting guy.

I thought lady, you don't know the half of it.
I thought lady, you don't know the half of it.
I thought lady, you don't know the half of it.
I thought lady, you don't know the half of it.

The half of it.
The half of it.
The half of it.
The half of it."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Product Spotlight - Seymour Duncan

Yes, I sold some gear on Ebay to get a Woody XL and I must say, I love it.

An easy install. No modifications to your acoustic guitar necessary. You just pop it in and you're ready to go.

I turned up loud and the thing is dead quiet. And the tone is deep and resonant.

Seymour Duncan is the real deal. I also modded my Mexican made Telecaster Thinline with two Hot Rails and it's now a humbucking monster.

Totally changed the tone of the thing. Which I like.

Good stuff!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Dark Cloud Folks

And then of course you come across the folks who see a dark cloud in every silver lining!

No news is good news.

Even good news.

Oh well...

Monday, March 22, 2010

He is the Man!

After a lot of hot air, fear-mongering, and mindless sound and fury, Congress finally bellied-up and did the right thing.


No matter what, even if the bill is kind of a mash-up of half-baked ideas, it's a great step forward. Proves that social liberalism can carry the day.

The bill isn't the greatest thing ever passed, but I think it will be a first step towards a more rational and inclusive healthcare system.

Of course, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. But sometimes we need the good intentions to win against the greedy fear-mongering bastards. The GOP has proven to be a collection of craven shit-meisters.

Obama is too gracious to gloat. I'll do it for him! Nice going Big Guy!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Brief Flash of Light

Our little storefront space was packed last night. 25 human beings meant a full house - surprise, surprise! It's a very intimate space. Nothing fancy. A nice clean room. A little color, fabric, lights, and music. Our little cathedral.

We did our little skit "The Wig."

Someone commented that it was "Ike and Tina Turner meets Beckett." That's perfect.

Our method is our madness. A few people really tune into our wavelength, which always amazes me. I mean, on the other hand, I'm surprised that our stuff is considered strange, disconnected, and obtuse. What makes complete sense to me, or what I will tolerate in my own head as completely sensible, sometimes seems to totally baffle some folks.

It's something I've come to expect. And I guess I wouldn't have it any other way. So yes, the show went well, no major glitches. We didn't get to magic, but we did a good job. We did the piece justice.

It was an opening and closing night for this piece. A brief flash of light, and then it's gone. One shot. No re-do. That is kind of how it goes.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Best Drug Ever Invented!

We're doing a little performance piece ( a skit!) tonight at our little storefront space. We spent hours yesterday drilling lines, going through the motions.

There's a trick, still learning it - you learn a piece so thoroughly it's like second nature, and then you do it in the moment and it's like you've never done it before.

This moment. Nothing else exists.

Sometimes you pull it off and sometimes not. Plus there's always the potential of blowing it - jumping lines, missed cues, the dreaded technical glitches.

It gives it all a sharp edge. The potential of disaster - embarrassment, humiliation, failure.

That's why it's worth doing. Because you are flirting with disaster, and then, maybe, if everything breaks your way, you pull it off.

At least that's the idea. And sometimes it's all so thrilling and rewarding just to stare down the threat of failure, and dance away on a cloud.

It's like finding the best drug ever invented.

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Well-Tempered Life!

You would think tuning your guitar would be a simple thing. I mean, I've been tuning guitars for a long time. In fact, I used to have job where I tuned guitars all day long.

You'd think there'd be one way to tune a guitar. You'd be wrong. I mean, there are schools of thought and no consensus about tuning. There are "tempered" tuning systems - some people swear by them, some people swear at them.

There are tuners and tuning forks and all kinds of recommendations about how to "correctly" tune an instrument.

This is one of those topics that just seems to get more complicated and less settled the more you study it. Another one of those deep mysteries. So you can tune a guitar in the standard way, and some chords will sound great, and some chords will sound not so great.

You have to take into account that particular instrument, that particular player, that particular day. Whose finger is actually fingering whose fret-board? I've found that the more I pay attention to tuning, the harder it seems to get my guitar tuned.

I used to rely on a tuner with little lights and needles thinking it was all so scientific. And maybe it is, but not really the end of the story. I've followed some threads on the topic and ultimately you are left with lots of different opinions and theories, Pythagoras is invoked, Buzz Feinten is bandied about.

I've got two standard guitars and one Buzz Feiten tempered one. I discovered that I'd been tuning the "Buzzed" guitar correctly to my tuner but it just didn't sound right to my ear. Now I basically rely on my ear. It takes longer, I kind of go into an obsessive loop. I think I've found the sweet spot, but it takes work to get there, and finally it's really only my own ear that guides me.

I do think Buzz is onto something. My "buzzed" guitar does sound more in tune than the others in more places on the fret-board. But I find I really have to work and listen. My ear seems to be getting more sensitive. The more I listen the more I hear.

This is another one of those Holy Grail adventures. And maybe this isn't just a past-time, it's the whole thing. I mean the universe is a vibration too. And it's all about finding the right frequency and riding that vibe to enlightenment.

And all that obsessive tweaking of the tuning peg? That's just the essential work.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Gimmee Back My Wig!

We ran lines last night. Over and over and over. We have a show on Saturday. We will be doing a whacked-out little performance piece I wrote awhile back called "The Wig."

It was inspired by a comment Ike Turner once made while watching his ex-wife Tina on TV.

"I put that wig on her bald head!"

Which had reminded me of a song Hound Dog Taylor used to do called, "Gimmee Back My Wig."

That's all it took to send me off the cliff. Now we must live with my little creation. So we ran through the lines - strange, disconnected lines - over and over.

It's a process that is sort of like a brain cleanser, or maybe like water-boarding. Painful and mind-numbing.

But then again, we have a goal: MAGIC. We'll see what happens Saturday.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Watch Your Back!

St. Patrick's Day. I do have a place in my heart for this day. There's something in the blood, the genetic entity.

It's now basically an excuse for everyone, Irish or not, to get smashed - totally inebriated beyond recognition.

I've opted out of that ritual for many years now. I realized it's sort of like driving nails into your forehead to see what happens.

Not very enlightening.

So according to legend, St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland. I suppose those wriggly little bastards all swam over to the shores of this Capitalistic Cesspool.

Their spawn now inhabit most of the centers of power in the land - Wall Street, Washington, Corporate offices in every freaking nook and cranny in this toasted land.

All I got to say - "Watch your back, brothers and sisters!"

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lost Hour

A couple of days ago we went to daylight savings time here in the heartland. Which means we lost an hour. Talk about the flexibility of the space time continuum.

Now, there is an upside. Daylight later into the evening. But what about that missing hour? I'm really missing it.

My body, my brain can't be fooled. So I'm running after the day.

And I'm an hour behind. And it seems there was something important in that missing hour that I'm missing. And now it's gone.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Nope

Bi-partisanship...

I don't think so.

And I say, good riddance!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Breathe!

It's all about the breathing. Everything else sort of flows from that. And the more I do it, the more I think that that's all I really know. Breathe!

And meet the universe half-way. What happens then is anyone's guess. I am more and more certain, that there are less and less certainties.

You might think this might be disheartening. You would be wrong. The uncertainty of things is sort of reassuring. There's chance, randomness, weirdness in-built into our life experience.

And things sort of evolve or devolve from there.

And just left with breathe.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

It's My Life, Baby!

Ever since I can remember, which means, what, since the beginning of the world, I've found myself pulling for the underdog, rooting for the up and comer, betting on the long-shot.

I collect lost causes and desperate cases like a mangy dog collects fleas.

There was a bald-headed, curly bearded dude way back when who was the patron Saint of lost causes and desperate cases. How did they come up with that one?

Anyway, I often put on my spurs and hitch up my pants and grab a lance and venture into the fog of war. I realize that it's my life, baby, I'm a long-shot, an underdog, an up and comer. Always.

And sometimes a dog does have it's day. Sometimes that sure thing turns out not to be a sure thing. And sometimes the long-shot walks away with the spoils. That's my hope, my religion, my job, my life.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Pass It!

Hey another reason to pass that damn healthcare bill:

The FAT BASTARD promises to schlep his suppurating carcass to Costa Rica for treatments.

Sweet!

UPDATE: After this post I discovered that Matt Taibbi also has some interesting things to say about that racist "intellectually lazy piece of shit."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Then What?

So what if you dropped THE FEAR? And what if you dropped THE HOPE?

And what if you lived in the MOMENT?

I mean, you'd end up with lots more space in that FREAKING HEAD of yours.

Then what?

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Extreme Self-Editing

"He shot himself in the heart in an alley outside a friend's home." That's how Mark Linkous of "Sparklehorse" chose to go.

I didn't know the man, except from his work. And really I own only one disc:


I wrote about it here, back in 2007. It still seems like a certain kind of masterpiece.

Murder is a crime - self murder? At 47 years old? What is that? Extreme Self-Editing. Sad and baffling.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Refuse the Lightening

We're working on a new performance piece. Or it's kind of an old piece that I revamped, revised. We've been working lines. It's kind of strange, kind of funny (at least to me).

Last night, while we were reading the script a lightening bolt hit me square in the forehead. Puppets?!?

Puppets? Really, I hate Puppets! Still, can I really refuse the bolt of lightening?!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

God

"God is a concept, by which we measure our pain." - John Lennon



Saturday, March 06, 2010

A Magical State

And then you throw logic out the window.

And then it's magic to which you give yourself.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Story of the Road

Being a man in this world is a lonely road. A lonely road populated with billions of people. It's a long meandering road dotted with billions of needing, wanting, grasping pilgrims.

Which might seem sort of ridiculous.

That's part of the kick of the journey. It's a feature. Slogging down that lonely road - feeling foolish.

You are an asymmetrical being in a totally symmetrical world. You are all sharp edges and twisted angles and you're always bumping into things.

That's your life dude. And the cuts, the lumps, the bruises, the scars? Those are badges and medals and little markers reminding you of the story of the Road.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

IN PRAISE OF LOOTING...OR..."You must be honest, to live outside the law." - Dylan

Let's say there was a major catastrophe in your homeland. Maybe a hurricane, or an earthquake, or a horde of little green men blasts a hole in the artificial fabric of your reality.

Let's say there's no electricity. No food. No water. All the basics of survival are up for grabs.

Now you and I we figure we have to make it. No matter what.

So we go to the Supermarcado in our neighborhood, and we commandeer a couple of stray shopping carts and we start grabbing stuff like drunks at a strip club. We fill our shopping carts with all kinds of stuff and then we blow out of there. We head to our dark, blasted hovels and feast on our goods.

And some one back in their safe European home says "Why that's "LOOTING?!? Where is the military? Where be the cops?"

LOOTING?! Really? And you value property over people? Really?

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Pastor Waits

Listening to the radio this morning. Folks are lamenting their losses in the stock market. Trillions of dollars evaporated in the Big Financial Cesspool.

I think Tom Waits summed up the financial thing in a song he recorded in the late Seventies:

The Large Print Giveth, and the Small Print Taketh Away!

Monday, March 01, 2010

Wake Up Dead Man!

It turns out our good friend Keralee is a Yogi. She teaches Yoga. I've never Yoga-ed until now. Since we opened our Black Forest Space we've been looking for things to do when we're not rehearsing or doing a show, and Sunday mornings are now all about Yoga.

A few neighborhood folks are into it. I decided to jump in the Yoga pool myself. So, I brought over a rug, (I haven't worked up to an official Yoga mat yet!), and gave it a go.

Some in the class (the Lovely Carla for instance) are Yoga pros. Still, I've decided no Yoga Envy for me. I'm just happy to get through the session in one piece.

I set up in the back row, so no one can really watch me stumble through the poses. I did my best not to hurt myself. I must say, Keralee really put us through the paces. I worked up a healthy sweat.

You must leach the poison out!

So I found some new muscles I never knew I had. Turns out all that running has made my legs tighter than the bark on a tree (or is that tighter than a bark on a rapid dog?). My favorite part was at the end - Corpse Pose. Alive and playing dead on my rug. Just like kindergarten!

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