wwsp albums on bandcamp!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Kanye West Kool-Aid!

I'm not a Kanye West expert. I don't own any of this albums, but I'm thinking of getting his latest. It just sounds sort of fascinating...

Kanye does seem like a social media train-wreck. His relationship with that other famous train-wreck is just so train-wrecky, silly and pointless.

But he does seem sincere when it comes to his work, his music... I find this to be riveting! I think of this kind of music as "the Id unbound!" It's Kanye telling us all about Kanye. Maybe I'm just drinking the Pop Culture Kool-Aid... but I think this is really good...

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Limbo Kind of Morning

It's kind of a "limbo" morning. Not Heaven or Hell. And you have to bend backwards to pass the bar. And the bar gets lower and lower...  and you were baptized, but you might as well be unbaptized... and if you were gonna use a synonym I suppose "oblivion" would work... but really it's a sweet, undifferentiated oblivion... 


lim·bo  

/ˈlimbō/
Noun
  1. (in some Christian beliefs) The abode of the souls of unbaptized infants, and of the just who died before Christ's coming.
  2. A West Indian dance in which the dancer bends backward to pass under a horizontal bar that is progressively lowered to a position just...
Verb
Dance in such a way.
Synonyms
oblivion

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Ballad of John & Yoko

Yoko Ono wrote about her last days with John Lennon and the "Double Fantasy" sessions in 2010. I just read the post yesterday.  You forget how hated Ono and John Lennon really were. They were humiliated, ridiculed, hated.

People blamed Yoko for "breaking up the Beatles" and they were pissed that Lennon didn't want anything to do with a Beatles reunion, and that he had decided to spend his time, and make music with, Yoko Ono instead.

It was a real love story between two extraordinary artists, but much of the Pop world didn't like it.  They acted as if John Lennon was their beloved mop-top and hanging out with an avant-garde, Fluxus conceptual artist was just not cool.

But of course, it was cool. One of the coolest collaborations you can imagine. Still it was difficult for Ono and Lennon, here's Yoko about that time: "The situation was hell. It was getting dangerous for me. For John, it was affecting the sales of his albums. That meant a big dent in his career. I felt guilty. But John was gung-ho about us being together. So we went back to sit in hell and enjoy it. Hell! What’s hell?"

Of course, once Lennon was gunned down he was "sainted" and Yoko was sort of "redeemed." But really the Ballad of John and Yoko was always, always an amazing story of two talented and committed artists who met and fell in love and who inspired each other to do amazing work.

Listen to "Double Fantasy" today and you realize it's a masterpiece - you get two powerful visions/voices on one record. And Yoko contiunes to make great music to this day...

Extraordinary!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Levels to Life

Yes, it certainly "feels" like there are levels to our lives.  We live on the surface. We live in the day to day. There are all the things of the day: the mundane, the typical, the daily things that we do.

But there is a subterranean level too. That's where there are all these raging feelings, the ocean of emotions that kind of churns around inside of us.

And then there is this "higher plain" where our thoughts, our visions, and our dreams reside. We tap into that level when we daydream or meditate, or when we just let our minds wander a bit.

So that's three levels right there. And then you think, there might be more levels too.  Sometimes you get a glimpse or premonition or an intuition about realms beyond the body, beyond the human, that we sometimes connect to. 

And we can't be sure if these realms are really out there or not, it's hard to see outside ourselves, and hard to document the things we can't document, but then you get that feeling that... of course.

I mean, of course. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Process of Weeding Out!

And what of the "intentional asshole?" Do you forgive him? Do you ignore him? Shun him? Laugh at him? Walk away?  Or do you call him out? Challenge him?

Time is short. No time for assholes. So I guess you walk away, and close the circle.  One less person to care for, one less person to spend time with... 

And they say what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. That sounds good.  So you are little stronger, and a little lonelier too, but the less time spent with assholes is probably a good thing.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Basic Survival Tool #1: Laughter!

I love this internet comedy series from Jerry Seinfeld.  Coffee, Cars and Comedy - a great combo.  This is better than therapy!  A friend and I have been sharing our favorites with each other.  Laughter really is the best medicine. And one of our most important survival tools.

I've seen the episodes with Ricky Gervais, David Letterman, Sarah Silverman and Larry David. Highly, highly recommended! The best of the best!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

That's What We Get!

A bad patch. People falling away left and right. The famous, and the not so famous. Happens every day, but for some reason it seems more frequent, closer to home.

The existential crisis pops up in the viewfinder. Again. Happens almost daily. An old friend, a bad penny, that just shows up. Demands attention.

Talked a friend down. Or maybe talked to a friend who was down, tried to talk him up. Yes. Life. Yes. Death. Yes.

He said: "I'm getting tired of the drama." A chilling sentiment. Understandable. But we get the drama. Every day. That's what we get. It's all we get. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Love The Audacity of Low!


I love this story. I love that it is a story too. I love Low, the band. I think their latest record "Invisible Way" is superb. One of my favorites this year for sure.

So they played an outdoor festival, and I suppose if I would have been in the audience I would have been looking forward to hearing them plays songs off their latest record. Didn't happen. Instead, they played one song. The whole set. A long, droning, feedback kind of song.  Of course, it's beautiful, and wonderful and inspiring. 

But I guess it pissed off some fans. They wanted to hear what they wanted to hear. But Low decided to do something a little different and play what they wanted to play. I love it. Isn't that what we expect from our finest artists? 

Did I say it? I love Low!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Lucky To Be In It!

A famous actor dies of a massive heart attack at age 51. You hear the news. You can see the man in your mind's eye. You can see him as alive as you or me.

There was a time when 51 seemed old. Not anymore. It seems young. Way too young. You know people that age, and you can't imagine them falling down dead.

That's not how it's supposed to happen. Right?!

James Gandolfini: "It is a dark, dark world... I still think I'm lucky to be in it."

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Surf The Pop!

Pop Culture is not a meritocracy.  And it's not just in music (see previous post) that popular is popular because it's popular.  Look also at fashion, movies, TV, Internet.

Why are things popular? It's not because they are "good." I don't think that good or bad really figures in the equation.

Chuck Klosterman once declared that "pop culture is never wrong." And in one way he's absolutely correct - if it's pop, it's pop.  But you can swim in all the forms of human degradation, humiliation, silliness, stupidity, when you surf the pop.

What's "good and bad" within that gooey stew is up to the eye and ear of the beholder. Pop will overwhelm you, it will destroy you, and render you a blithering idiot.  And then, later when you look back, you will remember fondly how silly you were listening to what you listened to, wearing what you wore, watching what you watched, thinking what you thought... etc.

Popular!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

If it's Popular it Must be Good = Popular Dreck Rules the Charts!

This is interesting. About the music industry and how popularity breeds popularity.  It's another one of those circular conundrums that explains a lot... maybe people don't really trust themselves to know what is good or bad, maybe people figure if something is popular it must be "good." That same fatal logic leads to all that popular dreck in pop culture! Revenge of the Lemmings!


"It turns out that just the appearance that something was popular drove more people to download the song. Rather than a pure meritocracy where the best songs rise to the top, music seems to have strange effects in which popularity breeds greater popularity."

Of course, some of us take the alternative view: if it's popular, it must be "bad." But then there are a few amazing exceptions like The Beatles! Popular and "good." But maybe they are just the most famous exception that proves the rule?

And is it all a matter of good luck and good fortune? Maybe!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Sad-Eyed Prophet Reprise

Yesterday I loaded up another whitewolfsonicprincess track to SoundCloud. It's the "plus one" track from our CD 10+1. When we were in the recording studio, we referred to this track as the "trance track," something about the groove, it features the band, plus some other-worldly guitar work from Victor Sanders and some really cool organ from Bob Long.  Co-Producer, and recording Guru Victor Sanders gave this one wings.  Still sounds really fresh and alive to these ears!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

To the Wonder - Filled with Beauty & Grace!


Yesterday we had no obligations. So it was all about enjoyment, partaking of satisfying food and drink, and submerging in a movie experience. A movie unlike most movies you will see, Terrence Malick's "To the Wonder." Beautiful. Ravishing. Every scene. I didn't go head over heels for it, and I wonder why, but I think it's a striking, beautiful vision.

Turns out it is also the last film Roger Ebert reviewed before he died. He tells us "To the Wonder" is almost a "silent film," with the actors used almost as models. Here is Roger on the film:

"Well," I asked myself, "why not?" Why must a film explain everything? Why must every motivation be spelled out? Aren't many films fundamentally the same film, with only the specifics changed? Aren't many of them telling the same story? Seeking perfection, we see what our dreams and hopes might look like. We realize they come as a gift through no power of our own, and if we lose them, isn't that almost worse than never having had them in the first place?

There will be many who find "To the Wonder" elusive and too effervescent. They'll be dissatisfied by a film that would rather evoke than supply. I understand that, and I think Terrence Malick does, too. But here he has attempted to reach more deeply than that: to reach beneath the surface, and find the soul in need."

Javier Bardem is amazing as a priest wrestling with his faith, and Olga Kurylenko is just so beautiful and graceful. Takes your breath away.  I do think it's hard to convey wonder and transcendence and the struggle to hold onto grace and beauty, but this film gets close...

Saturday, June 15, 2013

I Hate Nostalgia!

I always say I "hate nostalgia." I don't long for the past. Sometimes I find myself re-experiencing or remembering the past. And as you grow older, the past gets bigger and bigger. More of your life is behind you. So I guess it's inevitable that the past looms over us.

But we can't live there. Even though we did live there. And we can't live in the future either, although, I do think we need to try our best to be optimistic about the future. Even if it looks strange and scary. And we can't live in the future either, although we hope we might and we hope it will be better, or at least not horrible.

We really only do have now.  Right now. We are not captive to the past or hostage to the future. Really. We're not. We are here now. But we're not alone. We have the past and the future as companions. But they have to take a back seat. We are in the driver seat right now.

I think I hate nostalgia, because I fear that I will be overcome by it, that I will somehow long for a past that didn't actually really exist... and shit, who wants to live there?

Friday, June 14, 2013

All You Get!

Sometimes it's just "work to eat," and "eat to work." That's all you get. And you just get to keep the game going.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Tell Me A Secret!

Why the secrecy? If we live in a real Democracy? Shouldn't our government be open about what it is doing in our name, and be up for view by those who participate in this Democracy? And if said government is spying on it's own citizens, shouldn't we know about it?

I do think our Democracy should be "transparent." Very little of this secret, classified material needs to be classified or secret. Secrecy is power, and that power can easily be abused. It's been proven, over and over, over over again.

So Edward Snowden walks away from a cushy, well-paid gig and exposes what he thinks is an anti-democratic program. He does it because he thinks he's doing a good thing. Traitor or Hero? Probably neither. I see a guy who is following his conscience and exposing wrong-doing.

I applaud him, and worry about what will happen to him. We live in a vast Surveillance State. We have willingly participated in this 24/7 surveillance. So you want to be private? From your lips to someone else's ear. Everything else is up for grabs!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What Animates Us!

Yes, no doubt there's "psychic energy."  Energy of the soul or the mind. Our days, our lives are a shadow-play of these energies. And everything we hold in the mind, or body; every thought, every emotion, every desire, contains, generates and transmits this energy.

Anything we focus on takes energy.  The positive, the negative.  And it's happening all the time, every moment.  The shadow-play is just as consuming and "real" as anything else.  Sometimes we forget. But this energy of the mind, of the soul, is what animates us.

And the seeds of the positive energy is contained in the negative, and the seeds of the negative energy is contained in the positive. They live and interact together, as one. We carry both, and navigate through the stream of life with these polarities raging away inside us! Deal!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Thin Reed

"You are making the world a better place with every song you sing." - MDB (See previous post).

You do wish it would be that simple, or that magical. That you could make the world a better place, just by being creative - singing a song, writing a song, writing a play, performing in an art piece.


Or maybe just by being a positive person. You know, that "power of positive thinking" thing? What if by being a positive force, in your own life, and in the lives of those around you, you could be a force for change, for the good?


Not a super-hero. Just a "good" person. Kind. Considerate. Humble. With a smile on your face and a song in your heart.

You'd never be able to prove or document your positive influence. It's not a "scientific" thing that can be modeled or verified. So you just act "as if" it were true. You act as if your actions, your words, have some deeper meaning and power.


That's a thin reed. But you hold it. In your hand, in your mind.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Post-Show Glow/Post-Show Funk!

We had a very successful night of music at our Stones show Saturday. So Sunday we were in the post-show glow, and the post-show funk. You always get both. You are up and flying high because the show went well, full-house, good times, band in fine form etc. And you are in the low-down funk because, well, it's all over. The energy has been expended. The smoke has cleared, and it's another day, and there's a sort of void that hangs around you like a black cloud. That's just the way it goes.

And then early evening my good friend MDB leaves a message on voicemail: "You are making the world a better place with every song you sing." And you know he said it with a smile, maybe even a smirk, okay, maybe not a smirk, a smile, and maybe he meant it, and even if he didn't totally mean it, even if there was little irony in the comment, that's okay... just the most perfect little message anyone could leave for you.

And the low-down funk vanished in a blink. And the glow just glowed a little brighter! 

Sunday, June 09, 2013

That's No Way to Run a Universe!

I walked into the middle of a serious conversation on the big picture. At my local coffee shop. The owner was in a heated discussion with one of his pretty baristas. The owner was the pessimist, the barista was the optimist, but she felt like she had the losing hand.

So she turned to me and asked: "Do you think we are doomed? The universe? Human beings?"

I laughed. This is a topic near and dear to my heart. I mean, this little debate is an on-going conversation in my head, almost every day. So I ordered up my coffee drink and gave my opinion.

"No, we are not doomed. That's no way to run a universe. We are fine. We will be fine! It will all work out. All is good!"

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Celebrity!

"Celebrity." Supposedly the first use of the term was in the 14th century. People who are celebrated. People who live a life of celebration. People who celebrate, and are celebrated for celebrating!

Friday, June 07, 2013

We Live and Wonder

Maybe that's the real mystery. The mystery we struggle with our whole lives. One that never really gets resolved. How does the world work? What's up with the universe? What exactly is our place in this grand adventure? What's the point?

We can make our guesses, and live our lives, but we don't really, really know. We can act as if we do, but still, we are never really sure, we live, and go through the scenes of our lives, and deal with what we have to deal with, but it's never really "revealed" to us, whether we are "doing life" correctly.  Are we doing it right? Or missing the point completely? And is looking for a point, pointless?

We live and wonder...

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Close Calls - Close or Not?

Close call. (See previous post).  Is that really how it works? Is it just a matter of chance? Of odds? Of probabilities? If you re-ran the scene, would I always just evade calamity? If you changed one variable, would I have been crushed?

One step deeper into the street, the angle of the turning vehicle a little less sharp, do I end up a mangled mess?  I guess, if you had a computer model, you could work it out. Do I escape unscathed 9 times out of 10? Or do I get flattened 9 times out of 10?

Was it a sure thing that I didn't get hit, or was it an unlikely stroke of luck? You can't really re-run the universe, right? So was the thing that happened, the only thing that could have happened? Is that how it works? Is this just an example of Actualism? The only thing that happens is what actually happens?

I don't know.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

How Many Close Calls Do You Get?

How many "close calls" do you get? I can think of about 5 or 6 for me in my lifetime so far. Yesterday had another one. I was in the street, just crossing the street, and a young, attractive woman in an SUV-type vehicle made a bold turn, she floored it to cut across on-coming traffic. She didn't see me. I was in mid-stride, in the middle of the street, just ambling across the street. 

Luckily, she cut it sharp, really sharp, and whizzed right past me, just a step away from calamity. She did look over and out the passenger-side window, she finally saw me as she hurtled past me. There was a look of surprise on her face, an "oh my god," kind of look.

I barely had time to react, in fact I didn't react, it all happened so fast, I was at the mercy of the moment. It was only afterwards, when she was gone, that I was left to replay just what had transpired. I could imagine myself being flattened by the big, shiny, hulking vehicle. I do know that if that turn was slightly less sharp, I would have been splattered on the pavement. No doubt.

I imagined broken bones, blood on the road. Crushed road-kill. It didn't happen that way. But very, very close. A very close call. 

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Addiction - A Quest To Be Filled Up!

Addiction. Yes, I do think we are addicts of one thing or another. All of us. It's actually related to our need for meaning in our lives. We want to be filled up. With something. Anything. Some of us choose drugs, or food, or wacky ideas, religion, spirituality, or shopping, or pop culture, or any freaking cheap thrill you can name.

Some of us are addicted to motion. To activity. Anything that can fill us up. We are afraid of being hollow. Empty. Bored. And that hollowness, that emptiness, that boring nature is voracious. Always needs to be filled, always needs distraction, always needs filling.

Addiction - yes, a search for meaning. Even, and especially in meaningless things. And some of our choices just feed the lack and increase the need. The addiction increases need for addiction. 

Monday, June 03, 2013

Close Encounter of a Stones Kind!


This is just the strangest coincidence. We were rehearsing Rolling Stones songs with our band on Saturday. Unbeknownst to us, Daryl Jones (the current Stones bassist) was in the room next to us, and overheard our singing and playing. The Stones are in Chicago for a series of shows, and Daryl was visiting some friends up in our neighborhood.

Just so happens, I had also just put up a poster for our upcoming Stones tribute show in the window of our rehearsal space. So Daryl heard us singing and playing, saw our poster, and supposedly got a big kick out of it. Unfortunately, he didn't pop his head in the door to say "Hi." If he would have, I think I might have keeled over.

We are hoping this is just a good omen for our show. I hear that the Stones shows are going well too!

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Nature of the Beast

"Yes, it is funny. You can have an amazing realization, have some kind of life-changing epiphany or revelation. You can experience it, have it flood your being, and it can change everything; the way you see the world, the way you see your self, the way you experience all things.

But then, in the light of day, after this powerful, momentous experience, when you try to explain it, or write it down, or tell someone else about it... it just sort of peters out, falls apart, becomes some trite little shabby thing.

You are left with uninteresting cliches... sort of bland, mundane. It's almost impossible to convey the quality and profoundness of your experience. I think it's important to remember that this uncommunicative quality doesn't diminish the initial insight, maybe it's just the nature of the beast.

The best most important things that come to us, cannot really be passed on. They must be experienced, taken in, and maybe they can only be communicated to others by example. A quiet, graceful, example.

Maybe..."

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Give Up that Believing Thing!

"Yes, I guess what I'm saying is that you have a lot of energy wrapped up in believing, wrapped up in the power of believing. You have bought that line about how you must be clear and focused, united in mind, body, spirit. But what if you just dropped all that believing energy? What if you just let it all go?

I mean, you don't have to not believe, but what if you just surrendered and gave the believing function up?  Your beliefs are sort like your feelings. Really, who gives a damn what you believe? Who gives a damn what you feel?

What do you do? Really, what do you do in the world? That is the important thing. What you do. And what you do isn't contingent or dependent on what you believe. Think about it! You can practice YOGA, but you don't have to believe in it. You can have SEX, but you don't have to believe in it.

It's the same with everything else we do. Maybe you have a little too much invested in this believing thing. Stop. Give it up. Let it go. See what happens!"

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