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Election 2020
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Friday, December 31, 2010

Where We Live

You never get to the future. It's always out there just out of grasp. It used to be the future was 2000, or 2010. Living in the 70's or 80's or 90's, 2000 seemed like some kind of marker. And in a way it was, but it wasn't really the future, just another year.

If you're an optimist the future will be better. If you're a pessimist the future will be worse.

But really we just never get there. There's some kind of process. The process of experience.
It's never definitive, always incomplete. That's where we live...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Live with Soul!

Soul. Live with more soul. That's a resolution. We live in a world of material. And the material just seems to multiply and fill up our world. It gets so you think the only thing that exists is material.

And we think we are material too. And maybe we are, but that's not all we are. And not the most important part either. It's soul. That's the important part. You can't see it, can't put your finger on it. And lots of people will tell you it's a chimera, a ghost, a mirage, an illusion and it doesn't exist.

They lie. Live with Soul. More Soul!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


The Cold is a killer bitch. The Heat is a killer bitch too. And even a on Mild Day with no extremes in the forecast, you can find yourself on a slab in a morgue somewhere.

It seems Death isn't choosy about the weather.

The weather is just one of those hazards of a life. The elements conspire against you. Sometimes they caress you too. Either way, they are not really your friends. They are just the elements you must deal with sucker! So deal.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Personal Resurrection

A good sleep is almost like a resurrection.

Maybe not quite as dramatic as rising from the dead, rolling the rock away, and ascending; still there's something about hitting the pillow feeling hollow, burned out, and beat; and waking up sunny, filled up, and refreshed. A personal resurrection promising a new day.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Live with Spirit!

I do think Religion tends to give Spirit a bad name. My kind of Spirit really has nothing to do with organized Religion. My kind of spirit life is full of questions and wonder. With very few certainties.

I think it's best to choose to live with Spirit. And I do think it's a choice. The jury is out. And really there are no certainties.

Still, for me, it's not really a question of belief, but one of experience.

There are those moments of light, of transcendence, of enlightenment, of oneness with the universe, and one can try to explain them, or explain them away. But still you are finally left with the experience.

One can choose to embrace those experiences or to discard them. I choose the embrace.

One can say it's all explained by neurons, and brain chemistry and DNA, or alternatively, one can talk of higher powers and angels and demons, and well both sides of that coin are just telling you a story, which you can choose to embrace or not.

Again for me, it's not so much the story I bank on, but the experience of my life. I have lived with spirit and it has carried me. Whether that's an illusionary experience or not, I guess I can't really decide. And finally it matters little. In some sense it's all illusionary.

Some illusions work better than others. Give me the Spiritual nature of life! Give me the amazing creativity of nature. I put my "faith" there. I think it beats the alternative. And ultimately that's more than enough!

Saturday, December 25, 2010


We weren't stoned or inebriated or foggy-headed in any way. We were both clear-eyed, clear-headed. We were talking. We both like to talk. We are loud and we like to hear our own voices booming away in a room. We are brothers.

We are alike in many ways. We are different in many ways. We are probably alike in ways we don't even know. We are probably different in ways we don't know either. We share DNA. We share lots of experiences. We know and grew up with lots of the same people.

We see things from very different perspectives. I have a few years on my younger brother. Which when we were young meant a lot. Which now seems to mean a lot less. My little brother is now bigger than me. He could probably hold me down and make me eat dirt. But we don't do that kind of thing any more.

We were alone together. Which doesn't happen often. So we talked. Probably did more talking than we have for a long, long time. And then we played music, me on guitar, my brother on harmonica. We played loud. We filled the room up with our sound. We sound good together. The acoustic guitar, the harmonica and our voices rang out into the room and it was good. Brothers.

Friday, December 24, 2010

One Step Closer...

I love this song. I know for some folks U2 is old news, but I think they are the real deal. They certainly know how to put on a big time rock & roll show.

I was once walking on the lakefront, a cold windy day, a dog on a leash, looking out at the frozen lake, and this song was playing on my iPod. It's hard to describe the feeling that came over me.

There was a shaft of light breaking across the horizon. My heart rose, my head spinning, the tears welling up. One of those amazing transcendental moments that are completely impossible to communicate.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Giving Season

So I guess it's the giving season...

Some days it's all smiles and words of endearment. And compliments. And people coming out of the woodwork to throw money at you.

And people who tell you how special you are, and how glad they are to know you. And all you can do is say, "Thanks." But inside what you are saying is: "Really?!?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dead Man's Boots

I walked through more mush than Nanook of the North yesterday. I can say that with confidence, because that Dude is long gone. I wore these heavy old boots, I call them the Dead Man's Boots, because I think (it's a hunch) their previous owner is no longer with the living. And when I put those boots on I swear something of the Dead Man is transmitted to me.

I bought the boots years ago for a theatrical production. They change the way I walk, they give me more gravity, the weigh on me, they make me feel like I'm carrying more than just my own thoughts, fears and dreams. I have a heavier foot with those boots. But they make me more sure-footed, they grip in the ice and the snow. They support my ankles and keep my feet warm even in sub-zero conditions.

One of my neighborhood friends tells me I have a distinctive walk, he calls it the "darkness on the edge of town walk." I haven't told him it's the Dead Man's Walk, not mine...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


On the one hand, we have this amazing ability to create. And on the other hand, we have this uncanny ability to destroy. Aye there's the rub...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Everything in it...

Yeah, well, I can go with the Animist idea, that everything (plants, rocks, animals) in the universe is alive and infused with spirit. And that the universe and everything in it is sacred, or as Blake would have it "holy."

And yes, well the plants and the trees can live without us, but we can't live without them. And maybe we should find some humility in that reality? We think of ourselves at the top of a long chain of being, but what if we are just another link in the chain?

And every link is important and has a job or a reason to exist. Even if we don't know the reason. And we should be living a little lighter on this little crust of earth. Humbleness, and thankfulness, and joy...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Joy and Anarchy

I get these cryptic messages when I'm sleeping.

Not sure if they are words of wisdom from a higher power, or just random static chatter from my zapping/napping neurons.

Anyway last night it was: "More Joy and Anarchy!"

Friday, December 17, 2010

We Deserve the Truth!

If you build secret prisons and house people there, if you order people to torture other people, or you order people to fight an unjust war, (a war of choice where many men, women and children die needlessly), if you lie to people and pretend you are promoting "freedom" and "democracy," when if fact you are imposing the Iron Fist, if you make up evidence of "weapons of mass destruction," (when in fact they do not exist), if you unleash lots of fear and pain and destruction on people all over the globe to burnish your own ego and petty concerns, if you deploy diplomats and ambassadors in every nook and cranny of the world who lie and pretend -- well, if you are that person or persons, you get to walk around free and easy, they give you medals, and name airports after you, and give you big book deals, and quote you in the newspapers, and let you go on tv to act like a big deal.

On the other hand, if you expose the lies, if you reveal the truth about the war, if you shed light on the darkness around the globe, if you reveal the lies of the politicians and the diplomats and ambassadors, if you show the world that the narrative the Powers that Be are pitching, is a load of shite, well now that person or persons are considered a threat, an enemy that must be tried and put in prison.

Something is very, very wrong!

P.S. A simpler formulation: if you commit crimes against humanity, they applaud you and call you King! If you tell the world that crimes have been committed in their name, they condemn you and call you Enemy!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


The cards keep coming. The Dealer is a monster. He keeps shuffling that deck, blistering fast. And he shoots those cards over to you quicker than a blink of the eye.

You get these cards and try to put them in some kind of order. You want to tell yourself a story with these cards. And sometimes the story is pretty neat and simple, and sometimes the story is fractured and convoluted.

And sometimes you just want to lay those cards down and push away from the table and take a long nap. But it's not that kind of game. This game you have to sit there and play. Round after round. Sometimes it's boring as hell, and sometimes it's just the most fun you've ever had with clothes on.

And you can never tell what's coming next, even when you can, if you know what I mean...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Perverse Pleasure

Yesterday was cold. So cold. Hell, it's Chicago in December. Cold. It's no surprise. Still the absolute reality of the coldness was kind of overwhelming.

Two pairs of socks, three sweaters, a pair of long johns, big old boots, massive gloves, a bulky overcoat, a silly hat. Lots of hot beverages.

There is a perverse pleasure in somehow enduring it all: the ice, the snow, the bitter cold, the stark chillness, the arctic air. Is it a punishment, a challenge, a test?

Or just the weather? Yes, the weather in the Midwest. Made it. Oh yeah, it's cold today too.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Past and Present Lives

I start wondering how it is that all roads lead to this moment. Why am I here? And what the hell am I doing? Is it destiny? Was I born, did I go through all those years of tumult, just to arrive at this day, this moment?

I read this post from Kris Cahill, my great meditation teacher, about past lives and I wonder about where I've been and where the hell I'm going.

I have been baptized with dog's blood. I have been cut and scarred. I have grown hair and cut it too. I sing my songs. I put my boots on. I take them off. I inhabit this body like it's a foreign territory.

I think about string theory, and aliens and the big bang, and how many angels can balance on the head of a pin. I think of all the crazy shit of this world and I think my head is getting larger. Will it get large enough to encompass the universe? What kind of headaches can I expect?

My ears and nose are getting larger too. I pray for proportionality.

I remember and forget my dreams, I remember and forget the books I've read, the movies I've seen. I remember and forget myself. And I think there are important things that I've misplaced, that I've forgotten. That I don't even know about.

And I wonder if I've really done this in other lives in the past. And will I do it in other lives later. And I wonder why? What a funky, baffling existence. And I laugh too.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Kitchen Session

It all went sub-zero yesterday. We decided to play music in the kitchen. We set up our little p.a. with microphones, and our bass player came over and we ran through songs together. It was all so nice and cozy and warm.

It was an intimate session. A bass, an acoustic guitar, and three voices snaking around each other. Sounded pretty good. It was basically just for us. And that was enough.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"Honey, Gimmee the Covers!"

Working on a poster for a show we're gonna do in late January. I think we're gonna call the show "Honey, Gimmee the Covers!"

I had an idea for a photo for the poster. So we set up a tripod and put the camera on, and gave it a go. Snapped a ton of pictures. The idea in my head and what we actually came up with kind of diverged, but...

Here is my favorite one...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

An Outlier...

Krugman, again:

"If you ask how it’s possible that a handful of bad actors can get their way so often, the answer has to be, wasn’t it ever thus? What we call civilization has usually been a form of kleptocracy, varying mainly in its efficiency (the Romans were no nicer than the barbarians, just more orderly). Yes, we’ve had a few generations of government somewhat of, by, for the people in some places — but that’s an outlier in the broader sweep of things. So never mind the hive-minds; good old greed still rules."

Friday, December 10, 2010

Mud Wrestling

Politics really is like mud wrestling...

And Obama is this amazing, graceful boxer, he could be the Champion of the World, but instead of entering a boxing ring where he can dazzle us with his uppercut, and his fancy footwork, and his champion smile, and his superior strategy, he has to enter the mud wrestling pit.

And his opponent is a freaking pig. Muddy. Wallowing in mud. Oinking, smirking, burping and farting and daring anyone to take them on. And the pig is fat and sassy and supremely greedy. It only cares about it's own freaking piggishness. Shameless.

And our poor champion has to take on the pig. That's his job I guess. And well, he gets muddy. Really, really muddy. And he starts looking less graceful and less dazzling. Or maybe he's still graceful and dazzling, it's hard to tell, there's way too much mud!

And it all gets a little hairy and the mud is flying, and everyone gets dirty. And the mud is relentless. We are all drowning in the mud.

Thursday, December 09, 2010


There are wars of attrition.

Wars of commission.

Wars of omission.

And then there are those Eureka moments! And the war is over...

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Recording Session #3

It was back to the recording studio yesterday. We are the middle of tracking a bunch of songs. We trekked across the city, a caravan of two, the Lovely Carla and I, lugging 3 guitars, a little tube amp, and some percussion stuff on the train.

It was bone-chilling cold. We looked like a couple of arctic, nomadic, gypsies heading off to a sub-zero hootenanny. It was all quite mad. We are searching for "the sound," that we hear in our heads, trying to get it all down in little recorded tracks.

It was just me, in a little padded room, with my guitars. The Madness of Jimmy Jammer. I blasted through the tracks, adding guitar flourishes and embellishments. Plus I did one long ripping solo, a blast of total, in the moment passion.

Afterwards I was totally drained. We're getting closer, still lots of work to do.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The Dick-head Party

So when the Republicans, the Dick-head party, are in the majority they have everything their way.

And when the Republicans, the Dick-head party, are in the minority they have everything their way.

That's politics the American Dick-head Way!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Living Proof

Sprawled out on the couch, I listened to Son Volt's first record yesterday afternoon. It's a little classic, that I listened to often when it first came out. It was buried in a stack of cds. I put it on and it didn't disappoint.

"We're living proof that nothing lasts."

Son Volt is probably one of the great lost bands. Couldn't keep the original line-up together. Didn't sell enough records or find their audience. Still really good stuff.

Anyway, since I was feeling like a candle that someone had blown out, I thought: "Sometimes we have a body, sometimes we are a body, sometimes we feel like less than our bodies and sometimes we feel like more than our bodies."

Later I reviewed some pictures from our Saturday show. I definitely like the ones with the softer light. I'm just not a big fan of "the flash." Too bright. Too much detail. Too unforgiving. There's a harshness to all the edges. Give me soft edges. Give me a little blur. Give me a little distance.

Those hard edges seem to get harder and a little edgier as time goes by...

Sunday, December 05, 2010


Yes, we did a show last night with a couple of other bands. People donated toys for kids. Lots of good vibes all around.

I do love playing music, and hanging with other musicians. I love talking about gear and tone and checking out other guitars and amps.

I love when things go well, and the sound is good, and the audience really gets into it. During our set I looked out and people were dancing and smiling and toasting each other. It was all quite gratifying.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

A Good Time!

I'm not that big on tradition or nostalgia. But sometimes I do fall into line. Tonight we have an event which we've hosted for a number of years, at least 3 or 4. It all starts to get hazy for me.

"What did I have for dinner yesterday?"

It's Toys for Tots. We throw a party, get a bunch of bands to play at a little bar, invite people to bring toys for needy kids. The Marines, yes, The Marines come and collect the toys and deliver them.

So tonight we have four bands: The Alltunators, WhiteWolfSonicPrincess, The Telepaths and Daddy Burger Swag doing their thing. It snowed last night so it's gonna be real Christmasy. Nice toasty neighborhood bar. Lots of alcohol. Perfect setting for a good time or some unfortunate mayhem.

I'm betting: good time!

Friday, December 03, 2010

The Last Liberal

The Last Man Standing. No not Obama (he may have been the Liberal's Hero, he is clearly not a liberal - maybe "pragmatic?" But in the face of the Republican Idiocies he seems gullible). Starting to wonder about him. I mean Paul Krugman. I often read his columns and his blog: The Conscience of a Liberal.

He seems to me to be the one man saying everything that needs to be said. Not sure if anyone besides me is listening. He was right about the folly and horror of the Iraq war. And he was right about our financial collapse and ridiculous bailout of the financial sector.

So yes, he got a Nobel Prize for Economics. But even other economists seem to do their best to ignore this guy. I guess for some, the guy who is always right and always wants to tell you about it, is kind of annoying.

He's right about our war against the poor. Despicable. And now he's wondering if we've finally seen what stuff Obama is made of.

"Whatever is going on inside the White House, from the outside it looks like moral collapse — a complete failure of purpose and loss of direction."

I hope he's wrong. But Krugman's track record has been extraordinary. Clairvoyant!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

War of those with much, against those with much less.

The Banksters and Wall Street Kleptocrats continue their relentless crime spree. Now it's the people of Ireland who have to dig deep in their pockets to pay for the sins of the Financial Class.

And the Political class just nods and does their bidding. Accomplices to the crime.

And they call it "austerity." The wealthy commit the crimes, everyone else pays the price. It is a full-scale CLASS WAR. But if you point it out you are denounced as a "socialist." No one bothers to invoke Karl Marx anymore.

So when the wealthy wreak war on the poor and middle classes it's called "necessary financial measures." When the poor and middle classes squeak and march they are treated like spoiled children who just don't understand.

It's war by other means. War of those with much against those with much less.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

We Smoked!

Well we followed what was pretty much a disaster show with a raucous and righteous show last night. A wintry Tuesday night in the Big City. The Telepaths played between an acoustic opener and a young kid band that filled the house and rocked the place.

The Telepaths were in fine form for this show. I had extra strings and an extra guitar just in case I broke something. Our drummer was hitting so hard he broke a stick, it went flying - shrapnel!

So we were on the big-time stage of the Elbo Room in Chicago. They got the monitors, the lights, a kick-ass back line; a vintage drum kit, vintage bass cabinets, great sound person. Even a fricking smoke machine.

And we smoked. We did. We did our Telepathic "psychedelic garage" thing and it flew!

*NOTE: Our friend Erika took this picture of the Telepaths at the Elbo Room on her iPhone!

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