Vote Blue 2020

Vote Blue 2020

Friday, August 31, 2012

Steven's Jazzmaster!

Back to the Flaming Lips for a second...  I was so enamored with Steven Drodz' Fender Jazzmaster guitar.  You realize Steven has his pick of just about any guitar you can imagine.  But he is dedicated to the Jazzmaster.  It's a beat old instrument.  And it sounds so great in his hands.  There's something about picking a guitar and sticking with it... it defines a sound.  And that kind of commitment and love is just so admirable.  Plus it's freaking cool!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Party of Liars!

I try hard to see both sides... I try my best to understand where the "other guy" is coming from... I sometimes like to argue as the "Devil's Advocate" to examine a position... or mind-set...

But today's GOP just pisses me off... really, it's the privileged, whiny, white guy (and gal) party. And they have no intellectual ammo... really they want to maintain their privileged existence, hoard their cash, keep the masses behind the gates of their rolling estates.

And they spout lies: lies, damned lies... nothing but bright, shiny lies, not even very creative or interesting lies...  It really grates on one; sort of like fingernails on a chalkboard.  I do not think they will win this coming election.  I do think Obama will be re-elected.  Maybe it will be close, and for sure the country will stay divided, and yes, Obama will have a difficult 2nd term too.

It's not a happy time in the old USA... we are off the road... and god knows where the hell we are headed.  I do think the American people tend to like to be lied to, but this year's GOP just can't keep their lies straight... no clear narrative or thru line to their lying tale... the lies don't sit light or pretty this time around...

Phonies.  It's a phony party. Which usually isn't a political sin.  But maybe this time around even the liars don't actually believe the lies either... and maybe that's why their words are actually painful to hear?  Maybe?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"Wouldn't it be cool if..."

I finally saw and heard the video of The Flaming Lips doing a concert of Pink Floyd's complete "Dark Side of the Moon."  It's the kind of idea you think someone probably hatched in a kitchen at a party where lots of inspiring substances were consumed... and one super-inspired freak intones, "Wouldn't it be cool if..."

And Wayne Coyne and company are just the enterprising freaks to take it on. What a great idea, what a perfect match.  You realize that "Dark Side" is a tightly constructed masterpiece, but The Lips provide a nice funkiness and zaniness (confetti, balloons, space-man get-ups) to the proceedings that is/was well beyond the stoic, post-Barret nature of Pink Floyd.

Wayne Coyne is one of the all-time most charismatic front men ever to  be conceived.  And the Lips are tight and loose, and funky and experimental and cathartic all in one fell swoop.  And Steven Drodz is an amazing musician. He alternates between keyboards and guitar.  I love his old Fender Jazzmaster guitar, it looks like it's been through a war, burned, banged up, dragged through the streets of Mogadishu...

Anyway, breath-taking, thrilling... the closest rock and roll comes to a religious ceremony.  "Dark Side of the Moon" stands and The Flaming Lips make it swing, sway, and elevate!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The End of the Road

Some of my best ideas come from "mis-heard" lines of dialogue...  last night I thought I heard, but pretty sure I mis-heard...

"The end of the road has come and gone."

That sounds about right.  For us, as a culture, maybe as a species.  We are past the end of the road.  We still think we are on a road, but we are not.  We are beyond roads.  Maybe have been for awhile.

Now this isn't just a tale of woe and doom.  There is hope and promise beyond the end of the road.  But the rules of the road no longer apply.  If there are rules, and there might be, they will need to be discovered.  So throw out the old rule book.  And maybe look at the ground you are treading, because it's not the old road you used to tread.

Could be open field, a crooked trail with a steep, killer drop off.  Tread lightly, and be prepared to alter course in a flash, and figure everything you used to know is pretty useless now. And don't worry a whole lot about tomorrow.  You have today, or you have right now, and there are no guarantees once you get beyond the end of the road...

Monday, August 27, 2012

Comic Book Ghetto Hat!

Photographic evidence that whitewolfsonicprincess played the Elbo Room in Chicago over the weekend. I am obscured by a pretty ridiculous hat, think Comic Book Ghetto. A r&r diary entry is to be found here...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

R&R Assessment

We did the rock show, and then afterward we did the rock show assessment.  It's all part of the process of doing the rock and roll thing.

How was the overall sound? Excellent. The sound guy was "sober" and did a fabulous job. 

Was the acoustic guitar warm, bold and resonant? Yes, surprisingly it was... seems Jammer has finally solved the acoustic guitar issue-thing. His setup: condenser mic inside guitar, out-board pre-amp for volume and EQ, a feedback buster in the sound hole, a small p.a. speaker output, sound guy mics the p.a. speaker - last night this all worked to perfection. 

What about the vocals? The Lovely Carla was superb, alive and engaged, her voice was beautiful, entrancing.  Jammer was a little ragged and tentative. What's up Jammer?

What about the band? Tight, powerful.  Everyone listened, no false starts or endings.  We have really developed a nice on-stage synergy.  And our bass/drums combo is one of the best in the business.  Are we in the business?

What about the set? It was short and tight 40 minute set.  A mix of originals and covers.  After show assessment: maybe too many covers.  Next time work in more of our originals. 

Overall Grade? Let's give it a solid B... can always, always improve...

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Story of a Cheater!

Don't know what the true story is, but let's say you are a world-famous cyclist, and you are a cancer survivor, and an inspiration to people all over the planet.  And you made lots of money, and earned lots of trophies, and inked multi-million dollar endorsement deals and basically reveled in a long reign of being the best of your sport.

And you are personable, and determined and even cool. And lots of people wear these little yellow bracelets in solidarity with your incredible determination and excellence in being the best you can be.

And at the same time, you are a cheater.  You doped.  You enlisted a whole bunch of folks to help you do it.  And there was a concerted effort to hide your cheating.  There was a tight-knit code of silence. But cheat you did. So although, you did win all those races, and you did collect the trophies and cash and did revel in the adoration of the masses, you didn't actually play by the rules.  So in that way, you nullified everything you achieved.  You lived with a pretty big lie for a long, long time.

You wonder what kind of psychic price you pay?  And even though the story is sort of murky and inconclusive... it may be that your whole career, the whole inspirational story is just an elaborate fraud.  It's almost like you nullified your own existence...

Strange.  And it really is the Great New American template.  Cheat! And collect valuable prizes!  And deny, deny, deny.  Never admit guilt! Dammit!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Light (and Dark too)!

"It's all about the light... and how much light and dark you have in your life... and you are lucky if you can see the light in even the darkest circumstances... it might be an illusion, or a trick of the mind, but it's a useful illusion, a useful trick... and no matter, whether you see it or not, experience it or not, it is there, or will be there... there is an endless dance of dark and light... our lives pass through this dance, we are the side-show to the flickerings... if we only see one or the other, only dark, only light, we are just being short-sighted... and we miss the intricateness of existence... 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Half A Chance

"Yes, she is a sad, pathetic, cripple. And you should feel sorry for her... but she is a vicious, sad, pathetic cripple and she will rip your face off if she gets half a chance..."

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Roses and Candy!

This "jack of all trades" existence can be overwhelming.  And exhausting.  And when I hit the emotional nadir, I sometimes wonder if I will bounce, and rise again.

Turns out I'm pretty easy.  Don't need no Angel coming to tell me it's gonna be all right, don't need no bolt of lightening, no burning bushes, or god-like voice to egg me on.

A good night's sleep, a freshly-brewed pot of coffee, good music on the box (this morning it's Big Star), and everything is coming up roses and candy!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Joni Mitchell Was Right...

More from my friend Mr. Mo... 

Where we came from... what's in us... who we are... makes you wonder...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Above a Liquor Store, Center of the World

We totally immersed ourselves in the fountain of creativity that is the Abbie Hoffman Died for Your Sins Fest.  If you commit enough time to the weekend fest, you will find yourself glued to a theater seat at 4:00 a.m. riding a buzz of madness and cool...

Lots of little moments of wonder.  Lots of laughter.  Some tears too.  It's all just so human.  The individual efforts are swallowed up into the larger frame of one show, after another show, after another show. At some point the concepts of "good" and "bad" don't even matter any more.

It's all just part of an amazing spectacle... you want to experience it all... and you do... it's inspiring and numbing too... and there is nothing like it...

Even little miracles happen.  An improvised, on the spot, cold reading blows you away on a Sunday afternoon.  One young actor reading from a script in an in the moment, Irish brogue.  And it hits on all levels and renews your faith in the whole creative endeavor... and the tears well up too...

Nothing like it anywhere else in the world... a little black box theater up above a liquor store, the center of the world...

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Garden Of Your Mind From that Genial, Sweatered Surrealist

Some times you get the right information at the right time.  After a long night of theater, Mr. Rodgers puts it all in perspective...

This came courtesy of my great friend Mr. Mo... Yes you can grow anything in the garden of your mind!


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Hang it On a Hanger...

"We keep our expectations low and we work our asses off around here... cause when Ego comes in, they just hang it on a hanger." - Rich Cotovsky

Yeah we are in the middle of this thing... it's kind of like a life... you have feelings, thoughts, desires, and plans... and they are really, really important to you, and you spend your energy, your full sentient being envisioning and actualizing them...

And then somewhere along the line, if you can see and hear and take it in, you realize there's this bigger thing you are part of, it's much bigger than you, it's really so big, and so contradictory, and all-encompassing, and you are such a tiny part, and although, what you do is important to you, it's not all that important to the bigger thing.  

I mean, you have your part to play, and you do it to your maximum potential, but, hell this thing is not about you. And that's OK.  No, that's good.  And if you can just let go, let yourself enter the stream without fear, or doubt, or ego, you can flow, you can fly, you can experience and dream, like a motherfucker...

Friday, August 17, 2012


We came home late last night, after a really good rehearsal to find a bat flying around our dining room. So freaky.  Never saw a bat close-up like that before; basically a mouse with wings.  Man could that little sucker fly.  He was swooping and diving around, probably madly searching for a way out.

We have no clue how he got in our apartment.  It was so surreal.  As I watched that little guy, I kept saying, "how did a fucking bat get in our apartment?!" There are no clear answers to that one.

Anyway, we opened the back door and kind of herded him out.  It took him awhile, and lots of swooping and circling, to find the exit, but finally, he swooped out, and then was gone.

Afterwards, we were kind of doubtful the whole thing really happened. Was there really a bat flying around our dining room and kitchen?  Seems sort of unbelievable. The Lovely Carla consulted the literature.  Seems there is conflicting info.  It's either a really good omen (that's what I'm going with), or a really bad omen (Carla is going with that).
Only the shadow knows...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Laws Are Made to Be Broken

Laws of Life:  Everything counts, especially the things that don't count.  Everything is important, especially the unimportant things...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Conceptual Thing...

So if the thing you're working on is "conceptual" - "of, relating to, or consisting of concepts," the thing you are working on is pretty open-ended.  And you can stuff all kind of things into the thing. There are things that go together, and things that don't go together, and well that's ok, you can put just about anything into the thing.

And those jarring transitions, those odd silences, and dead-ends; well they work just fine in your conceptual thing.  Part of the beauty of this grand conceptualizing is that everything works, even the things that "don't" work.

So: happy, sad, funny, befuddling, clunky, weird, hectoring, poetic, pointless, crude; all is fine for the conceptual thing.  And your concept of this conceptual thing is all-encompassing, it's "air-tight" and really there are "no mistakes," or yes, well, there are mistakes and wrong turns, misguided flights, but they fit perfectly in this conceptual thing.

And your concept is that all this adds up to a higher truth... a truth that underlies the whole grand edifice.  But it's all so ephemeral, the grand edifice only exists in your head, and it can evaporate in an instant, like when it's over, and the lights go up.  And it does evaporate.  That's part of the conceptual thing too...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It's Only Theater & R&R!

So yes, one weekend it's rock and roll theater, and then the next weekend it's just rock and roll... that's how we like it!

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Black Forest State of Mind

We do this Black Forest thing... which is really just a state of mind... it's about creation, and ideas, and some kind of expression... it's a figment of our imaginations... it's also sometimes a theater thing...

Sometimes we've had a space, which makes it all a little more tangible, and sometimes we have not had a space, which makes it all seem more intangible.  

Right now, we are without a space, except for the space within our heads... so we feel a little more Gypsy-like, kind of like when we started out doing "theater in a bag" events, where we would write up a little piece, and then perform it in the middle of an art gallery or a coffee-house.

But space or no space, it's kind of the same drill.  Write a piece, then try to embody it, and then present it to the world (in this case, "the world" can be a very small demographic!).  Our new piece is similar to some of our old pieces, a mixture of monologues, scenes, poetry, rants, and music...  

We think our waring-blender type approach is a great reflection of the madness and mayhem of our world... and there are some others who might agree.  Plus there's lots of folks who scratch their heads and wonder...

And well, that's kind of the thing...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Black Forest @ Abbie Fest!

Yes, the 24th Abbie Hoffman Died for Your Sins Fest is just around the corner!  Our little fringy theater group, Black Forest will be performing on Saturday, August 18...

I wrote a r&r diary entry over @ the whitewolfsonicprincess website about our upcoming appearance: check it out!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Charles Pierce is Really, Really Dope!

If you do anything religiously,and I recommend you do, it should be to read Charles Pierce's blog on Politics in Esquire.  Some of the best writing on the political scene I've come across since that crazed Southerner writing about  Fear and Loathing and Richard Nixon way back when.

Romney just picked Paul Ryan for his VP pick... here's Pierce's description of the man:  "the zombie-eyed granny-starver from Wisconsin."  Great writer, funny too.  And he has his hand on the pulse of our political zeitgeist...  essential! 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Give Free Money to the People!

Yes, this has always seemed to be the best, most practical way to help us out of our "financial crisis."  Give free money to the people!

It's makes moral sense.  It makes economic sense.  The people are tapped out.  The economy is sluggish because most of the people are just scraping by... so the most direct way to get the economy moving again would be to give everyone a big wad of cash.

The only thing preventing the authorities from doing it is ideology.  The powers that be tell us that giving money to Fat Cat Bankers is just good monetary policy, but giving money to the people, well, that smacks of socialism or something...

I call bullshit on that rationale... give free money to the people!  Yes, that's the ticket!

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Subtle Differences...

The smoke clears.  Still standing. Contemplating the subtle differences between a "smart-ass," a "smart-aleck," and an "asshole."

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Soul Work/Life Work

If you are swimming in the creative realm, there is nothing better than being in the middle of doing the work.  It's a time of total immersion, a time where anything is possible.  It's also a time of bumping your ass on the ground.  It's a time of clunky-ness, and wonder.  

If you have the right collaborators, and if you believe in the work you are doing, there is an over-all engagement that embraces you on all levels - mind, body, spirit, soul.  If all the elements are there, you are doing soul work...

And there's no better, or more important way to be spending your time...

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Momentarily Water-less!

I finally got around to listening the "Roger Water-less" Pink Floyd record "Momentary Lapse of Reason."  I like it a lot.  It certainly misses the fire and rage of Mr. Waters, (although it's trying to channel the spirit), but it's got the sound and flavor of Mr. Waters all over it.  Plus you get David Gilmour's voice and guitar, one of the seventh wonders of the world... it sounds rich, lush and cool.  Very Pink Floyd.

And I just absolutely love, love, love the cover... the great Storm Thorgensen...  real beach, real beds, no digital trickery... it shows...

Monday, August 06, 2012

Rehearsing the Essential

If you are in a band, or in a theater company, you do lots of rehearsing.  In fact, it's your primary thing. And it helps if you love to do it.  I happen to love to rehearse; even when it's hard, or intense, or all-consuming.  In fact, it's the all-consuming-ness that's a real kick.

I love to immerse myself in the work.  You lose yourself, and I guess in a way you find yourself too.  It helps if you love the work too.  That way you can enter into a rehearsal with no qualms.  Now sometimes this is an act of faith, even if you wrote the song, or the monologue or scene.  

Everyone has doubts, all your favorite artists at one time or another have had doubts in the work they are doing.  Read any biography about a musician or actor, writer and you will find that doubt is part of their psychic make-up.  At least if they are honest with themselves.

That's the key.  To fully commit, to steam-roller any doubts, no matter what.  To act as if, the work is essential.  And by that leap of faith, you make the work essential to yourself, and hopefully to others too.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Doing It!

We are back in "theater mode" at the moment.  The next few weeks we are preparing for our show at the Abbie Hoffman Died for Your Sins Fest.  We are working on a piece called "The Dogstar Raves On."  Someone pointed out to me that the Dogstar, Sirius, is ascendant, at this time, and I guess that is, or is not, just a coincidence.  My existence is bounded by coincidence.

Which in another realm isn't coincidence at all...

Anyway, the last three pieces we've done at the fest are all very much alike in form.  Short scenes, cryptic monologues, music and movement.  And for us "theater mode" means: boombox, pignose amp, fender guitar, jangly noisemakers, and lots of huffing and puffing from the performers.  This year we have will some help: a dancer, a bass player, a drummer, all helping us to try to clarify and mystify.  

The process of creating these pieces is always slow, organic and clunky.  And we have to do it all in a compressed time-frame.  It's a little scary and overwhelming.  But we trust the process, and trust ourselves to be able to pull it off.  That's the experience of doing it.  

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Did I?

The heat is getting to me.  Wake up... sweating.  Drink coffee... sweating... sit in a chair... sweating... although they say if you stop sweating, then you should start worrying... or maybe by then it's too late to worry...

And sitting here sweating, did I just hear this line? "MY BRAIN IS TURNING TO SAND..."  Did I?

Friday, August 03, 2012

I Feel Love

I'm reading a book on Brian Eno (actually re-reading it, yes, I can get obsessive) and I was reminded that the Giorgio Morodor helmed, Donna Summers song "I Feel Love" was a huge eye-opener for Mr. Eno.  Seems that opening synthesizer bit was a happy accident.  

Today the track doesn't really sound "disco" to me, (I was so anti-disco then, and not at all now) it's sort of techno-cool and abstract, a little bit of art-pop.  Plus Summer's voice is just gorgeous.

And you can hear how the track influenced Eno, Bowie and Talking Heads.  It was a song and a sound that inspired some of their best and edgiest work...

UPDATE: For more Brian Eno, check out my r&r diary entry here.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Corporate Money, Television Hucksters and Suckers!

I like reading Charles Pierce.  He's a funny, insightful writer, and he's a political obsessive.  Here he is writing about the Texas Senate Primary.  You might think it would be snooze-inducing stuff. But it's not...

Seems Texas is getting right-winger, and crazier... and all round more wing-nuttier, certainly more Texas.

And here's Pierce on the Tea Party: "The Tea Party now has morphed into a movement made up solely of three elements: corporate money, television hucksters, and suckers."

Well-done Mr. Pierce!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Do-Nothing Animals Unite!

Wow.  Those wealthy 1% really are a jolly, admirable crew.  Seems this is how they think about the rest of us, when they think about us...

"Obama wants to take my money and give it to do-nothing animals."

They are talking about us.  I think it's time for all us "do-nothing animals" to get our act together!  We are not men, we are Devo!

Blog Archive