Goin' to the Opera!

That's right, the tickets came in the mail yesterday.

I've been listening to a lot of opera lately and decided it was about time that I experienced one live. Tulsa has an opera company and they are performing Donizetti's "L’Elisir d’Amore" on Saturday the 25th of next month. That was close enough to my birthday to get the green light from the wife. She is not exactly a fan of the style, but I'm certain she will enjoy it. There's a big difference in listening to it on a recording or watching a television production and actually being there. I have a hard time making it through an entire recorded opera myself, but I don't think I will have any trouble with the real deal.

Right hand still bothering me or I would write more...


Link to "Opus 3 (Rough Draft)"

Haven't been able to do much here because my right hand is in serious pain. I don't know what it is, only suspect that it has a lot to do with how often I have to press the Backspace key.

I will, however, make the effort to offer a link to a rough draft of the new Bambo Syndicate composition. It's what I call "a soundscape with brief musical interruptions". It doesn't share a lot in common with the last couple of tracks I've produced, except for one thing: it is a lengthy piece of "music". 23 minutes. It seems that lately I enjoy doing the long-form pieces. I don't know when that will let up, but I simply don't find writing shorter works to be as satisfying.

So, whatever. Here's the link. Use your headphones and remember that this is not the definitive version, only a rough draft.

And finally, here's a Mr. Magoo cartoon for you.


Music Video of the Week: Pere Ubu

Pere Ubu

One of my absolute favorite performances from the "Urgh! A Music War" movie.
I look into the abyss. Slow down the spiral, stare deep into darkness that shines, envelopes, embraces, caresses. I'm searching for a story. Hoping I'll see a ghost. Wanting to follow the seldom trod path that would take me to imagination. I want to see movement, progression, something I can remember. Something I can sing about, something I can write down, something that makes sense.

I'm tired. I'm so tired of trying to twist and fold the moment. I'm sick of being so goddamned impressed. So sure that I could do no more, that there could be no more to do.

I thought myself a sage. I convinced myself that I was a poet. Yet my deepest fear was that someone would understand my poetry.

Still, even now the snow whirls a static blizzard 'neath the glass. What I wouldn't give to infuse form and color, solidity, to mold the void into living dream.

Sigur Ros: “við spilum endalaust”

Sigur Ros - Við spilum endalaust - A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.


Nothing seems to be working out for me today. The camcorder fucks up as I'm trying to transfer the stuff on it to DVD. I accidentally downloaded the same file twice, which wouldn't be too much trouble except that it was hosted by RapidShare, and that means wait, wait, wait.

The first thing I saw when I looked out the window this morning was one of our trashcans knocked over and much of it's contents spilled on the ground. This happened last week so I'd put a really heavy slab of mortar on top to keep the critters from doing it again. Now I'm not so sure it was critters. It would have to be an awfully big one to tip it over again.

Then, just now, I thought I was adjusting the treble on my stereo in the office. But it was the balance knob instead. You have to understand that it is a LOT of trouble setting the stereo spacial seperation to the exact point where I'm satisfied with it. This meant that I would have to go over the entire process again. I am not in the mood for it.

What can I say...the last few days have been rough. I am concerned that I may be heading for another manic episode. Not like the last ones, not really. I feel my mind boggled by reality, though I'm sure that makes no sense. It's kind of like a "why are we here" question. That, along with "WHAT are we, really?" Maybe I'm just overwhelmed by my inability to answer these, and other unanswerable questions. I know they are beyond the grasp of the human mind. "Only God knows", I understand this. If I knew the answers I would be God. It's is impossible for there to be two Gods. I really should just shove all this God stuff into a seldom visited corner of my psyche. It does nothing but get me in trouble. Trouble meaning psychotic episodes. And all these questions can only be directed to and answered by God, so I'd say they qualify for the "ignore them or face the consequences" category.

I don't even know if I believe in "God" in that sense...in the Judeo Christian sense. In face, I know I don't. I think it's more like the Buddhist (or is it Hindu?) concept that "God" is in all of us, playing hide and seek with himself for the purpose of experiencing his own creation. We are all vessels of this experiencing. Some have come to realize this. Others have not and one day will. Others will never know. I know it, to the extent that I am able to know it. Obviously it's a matter of faith. But for me, at least, the understanding comes from a place within me that has been untainted by anyone's attempts to "convert" me. It is the fruit of an epiphany, to be sure, but one that only explained something I long suspected was the case all my life.

And so here I am. Yeah, I can find peace in the Moment. If I could keep myself there I would be fine. But, for whatever reason, I can't. I think it may be because of my mental condition. It pulls me backwards and forwards until the moment seems far away and I start to ask WHY?????? Like I'm waiting for an answer that I know will never come, not in this lifetime. It's all I can during these times to find something to distract me. I can't explain the terror that grips me when I realize that I'm losing touch. Or the fear of winding up in the same situation I've been in many times, or maybe even worse.

I've got a med clinic day after tomorrow and I'm thinking I'll ask the doctor to refer me to a good head shrinker. I should have found one a few months ago. I know I'll be pretty particular about the kind of person I'll accept counseling from (I trust no one). That's the main reason I haven't made the attempt. But it's to the point now where I feel it's necessary. So Wednesday it is, and I hope Dr. Richards can turn me on to someone decent.

Not that I feel like that right now. I don't. Other than just the excessive "pissed-off" nature that's been prevelant with all the shit that's gone wrong this morning. I haven't felt really bad in a couple of days, but I think it's going to happen again so I want to "nip it in the bud."

I don't know why I publish these thoughts here, where anyone can read them. I probably shouldn't. But what the hell. There's a reason for everything.


"Know Fear"

I got yer polled herefords
And I got a Brahmin bull
Sheep are ripe for shearin'
Buckets full o' wool
Wolf's head on the gate post
You'd best just stay away
Your money don't mean nothin'
Cuz only Jesus saves

You may say I'm crazy
You may think I'm weird
But you ain't fooling no one
When you say you know no fear
Tonight you will know fear

Axes sharp as razors
Chickens in the barn
But they don't need to worry
I don't mean them harm
Gonna get my mojo
Matches and some gas
Nightcrawlers and rattlesnakes
Curled up in the grass

You may say I'm crazy
You might think I'm weird
But you ain't fooling no one
When you say you know no fear
Tonight you will know fear

Skeletons in yer closet
I know them all by name
Said it was your secret
But I told her just the same
So maybe you should lay low
Spend some time out on the lam
Said I ruined you life?
I don't give a damn

You might say I'm crazy
You might think I'm weird
But you ain't fooling no one
When you say you know no fear
Tonight you will know fear
September 1982 found me writing a music column at the Jr. College I was attending. It was a short lived venture but quite fun nonetheless. I submit, for your amusement, the very first of these informative and entertaining pieces. Note: it may be apparent to many of you that the information contained in this column was inaccurate. But hey, it's not as if I was privy to inside information...hell, it all came from rock music magazines, so don't blame me.

And here is the first and only "letter to the editor" that was ever recieved concerning my column. And remember, this is from 1982:

Click on images to enlarge.

Rock House photos

Scanning and posting photos to a family history blog and I came across these ancient pics from 1983. They are of one of the first rock bands I ever participated in...Rock House.

Have a laugh.


Music Video of the Week: Millie Jackson

"Phuck You Symphony"

Millie Jackson

I don't have too many "followers" of this blog...in fact, until now there's only been one (love ya, D). But that's all changed as I welcomes ALTCERF to the slowly growing circle. Sorry I don't have the "followers" widget on the sidebar so everyone can see, but I refuse to convert to the "new blogger" layout. It's not as if I can do so very much with the classic HTML, but a lot more than with the new template.

At any rate, it's good to have you here, ALTCERF. From the list of other blogs you follow I have found what looks to be some excellent sites that I have already bookmarked.


"Mamlet"...a work in progress


He wanted to conquer nations, to be remembered as a king, a grand figure in the history of Western Civilization. Lofty goal but he honestly believed he could pull it off. He had been surrounded by genius all of his life, it was only a matter of time before his superior nature emerged.

But for now he was busy trying to find his way home through a demented jungle of Edgar Allen Poe’s complete works. It was a chamber of many doors, behind each one a different path he could choose. But his decision would change the course of history. Every choice, any choice would be of his choosing. It didn’t make things any easier.

He eventually chose to fall with the house of Usher, that grand and noble house. It’s comings, goings, legends and mythology, it’s denizens and the account of their lives so vividly conjured through the pen of Poe. Yet he remembers none of it. Nada. It had just been too many years since he had last scanned it. He couldn’t remember a goddamn thing.

As his memory was being refreshed, locked between the pages of a nice green volume of literature on my bookshelf, he had a glorious thought. “What”, thought he, “would it be like to wake up one day and find ourselves in the world and the artistic vision of that gifted Frenchman Salvador Dali?” As he pondered this question he looked to his left and noticed that the clock on the wall was melting.

“How very odd,” thought he once again. “What strange creatures stalk the land and fill the sky with their black crow darkness swirling ‘round.”

It would appear that he crawled out of Usher’s timeless confines to slither into Dali-wood. As to his motives for doing so, the author cannot reveal, even if he were to know them. Which I’m not saying he does. But if anyone did it would obviously be me, right? And I just don’t know. That’s my bottom line.

So. The “real” world coagulated like blood and vinegar in a Mason jar. Nothing was where it should have been. It boggled the mind. It begged description. Faces like jelly. One of those things. With putrid carcasses and elephant heads tethered to the earth by hemp rope, strong and tight, harnessing it’s helium from it’s urge to flight. The situation is under control. That was the message they should have been sending. But they had seen it, too, and they felt pity for the man with the grasshopper fastened to his neck Who is eating who, you want to know? The answer, my friends, will elude the human race for eons to come.

It must have been 30-40 hours after Henry Mamlet passed out in Dali-wood. He’d entered the state of Nirvana. It was with fierce force of will that he tore himself away from it to spend another few weeks on this greedy planet. All the messed up clocks, all the drug references. The brilliance from a mind that must have been constantly possessed of such bizarre thoughts as to make the towne foole seem a saint. “Goodbye, strange abode. So long, dream-like landscapes that twist my senses. Your surreal atmosphere will be missed as will be the days when LSD was legal.


“Hey, babe! I’m Creamy Slut Pie! Thanks for calling the Creamy Pie erotic phone sex service, where it’s been our pleasure to please you for the last 20 years. I’m assuming that you got our phone number from the back of a wrinkled and torn copy of Hustler magazine. If so, it would stand to reason that you are old enough to be engaging in this sort of lascivious, desperate telephone conversation. Am I correct in my observation?”

“You are correct. I am old enough to utilize your valuable service, though many would say that I’m too old to do these things. Think me a loser, if you must, as long as you give me what I paid for, it that understood?”

“Easy, soldier. No need for you to bust a gasket. You’re gonna need all your gaskets soon enough. Pick your battles, Gomer Pyle. I get that you’re old enough. I never doubted it for even a moment. We have to say that stuff, you know, the lawyers tryin’ to cover their basses, see?”

“Ok, I’m alright. I may have over-reacted. I’m sorry if I did, but you need to understand something about me. When I was a small child I used to swing dead cats in the air, then let ’em go to see how far they would fly in their rigor mortis hardened conditions. We’d find planks of two-by-four lumber and beat the lifeless body with them. I only did it because I was scared. Scared to death. Scared of death. This feline, whose heart had stopped beating at some point in the last seven days, left behind a body that provided a great deal of boyhood pleasure to someone you never even knew. A legacy. A token shell left behind, as if the cat-heaven bound kitty had sacrificed it for some cause only known by Cats.”

“Well, okay, Mr….” she said as if inquiring, lost for a name she’d just heard not two minutes ago.

“Mamlet, ma’a,/ Henry Mamlet.”

“Now that’s one hell of a name you got there, Hank.”

“Don’t call me Hank,” he sinisterly intoned.

“Well, why-ever-not? Hank’s as good as anything else. And it’s one less syllable. Rolls of the tongue a little easier. Makes you sound tougher than you really are. Has that “good old boy” tang to it. You have no idea how far you can go on that schtick. Hank,” she said,” now there’s a name for a REAL MAN. I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t want to be referred to with such a regal nickname as…oh, my, how I love to say it…Hank! Hank! Hank! Hank!”

“I told you not to call me Hank. I wasn’t shitting you. I don’t give two shits and a holler for your invaluable opinion about what constitutes the realness of a man. What a worn out old bed rag you must be, laughing behind my back and telling the other prostitutes that I’m not the breed they want to tangle with. Just don’t call me Hank. I’ll thank you if you don’t refer to me as Hank for the entire duration of our relationship, be it confined to the upcoming phone sex session or, by some twitch of fate find ourselves exploring the nether regions of forever together.”

“Sounds interesting, Hank. Now what can I do for you? Have you ever called us before?”

“No, this is actually not the first time. I wanted to call a few times. Even dialed the number and heard the phone pick up. But I never had the guts to stay on the line. I felt I would make a fool of myself.”

“You ARE a pussy, Mamlet,” said Creamy Slut Pie, representing the infamous Creamy Pie phone sex emporium. “So why did you stick around this time? Why didn’t you wimp out then, you weak scum.”

“I just don’t care anymore. Tell the whole world that I’m a lonely creep so desperate for companionship that I’ve found the logical end with a telephone receiver stuck to my ear and a greasy Hustler in my left hand. Tell ’em I don’t even masturbate while they try so hard to arouse me. As they pretend they’ve been waiting on my call for the last week. Their heavy breathing and well choreographed grunts of lust have absolutely no effect on me whatsoever. I may kill myself next week, so I didn’t want to die without having phone sex at least once in their lives.


In an attempt to promote this work of fiction I have decided that it might be good idea to launch a campaign on behalf of the phone sex union to start a trend in which the following phrase is to be capitalized on:


…and maybe print of some tee-shirts, spread the gospel, what do you say? “Phone sex: I’ve made peace with my Maker” or even “Phone Sex: Reach out and touch someone, for once in your life” or “I’ll die a happy man! How ‘bout you?”…unlimited, people I am not lying.

Exploit this fashionable new trend I am starting. Spread the word. One time in a lifetime, whether it be filled with wealth and prosperity or burdened by poorness, disease, and haste, doing the one thing we’ve always known we’ve wanted to do: make a call to Creamy Pie’s. Do do it, damnit! Creamy Slut Pie was not shitting when she insinuated earlier that all men who are afraid to use their services without hesitation are pussies.

Which doesn’t really make a damn one way or the other as far as this is concerned. Because all I want you to do is start a trend. I want you to author a new fad. I want you to get out there and hustle like the John Paul George and Ringo. I want the fruits of your labor to benefit my own financial gains. It won’t be hard. Just say to your co-worker or fellow church goer, “Yo, Granny. You had yo phone sex yet? Better hit it up, baby, cause it don’t look like your liable to have much time left.

Start that trend, I re-iterate. Lets make this pithy tale fly on it’s psychedelic ride to mass recognition and acknowledgment of the author’s genius.

Remember…Phone sex. I wanna do it just one time before I die.




Finally, a well thought-out "Snow White 8 Ball" review

...and not just because the guy likes it, either. This is the kind of critique that I appreciate.

Cool Sound FX
I dig the spacey feral opening. It blooms into an Indo-eastern feel and beat then progresses beyond that. The unique style and theme are hard to describe; tribal Sci-Fi comes to mind.

Although very chaotic, ever changing, the song maintains a warm cohesiveness throughout, delving into some pretty neat Bela Lugosi drop ins and other David Lynch-esque sounds and mood builders.

Less a song than an auditory sonic experience the actual musicianship, mix and arrangement are all very good. The bass and drums lead the way with a deep and solid steady rythym. The guitar part is way in the back providing an ethereal quality in duet with the spooky vocal parts.

I had a good time listening to this, but I couldn't tell you why. Very hypnotic and unique.

Try it for yourself:
"Snow White 8 Ball"


"Snow White 8 Ball" review

Will I EVER get a review longer than 25 words??? Don't know about this guy. White Zombie? The drums aren't loud enough? Sounds bogus to me.

Cool feel
Reminds me of White Zombie stuff man. I wish those drums were up a little louder. I also wish it had more guitar riffs going during the quiet parts.

Music Video of the Week: Kutiman


I posted about this guy a couple of days ago and I thought it would be good to feature one of his videos. All of them are fascinating and don't forget to check out the original sources.


"Snow White 8 Ball" review

The "Snow White 8 Ball" reviews are still coming in at a steady pace, which is good. Unfortunately none of them has offered up much detailed criticism. I should be happy that the majority have been fairly positive. I like the new one:

strange soundscape, but good!
i like it, its weeeeeiiird but in a very good way. certainly doesnt sound like all the other regurgitated crap on here!

On a related note, I have another song entered in my own name. It's something I wrote about 20 years ago and recorded around the same time. "Isolated" has always been a favorite of my friends. I hope it does well at garageband, too, but I'm afraid the "acoustic" category has such a huge number of entries that it may well be a long time before the reviews begin to roll in. Without looking I think I only have two so far. One of the critics thought it had some very good lyrics but was annoyed by the "crackling" in the recording (which couldn't be helped as the file was dubbed from an old cassette tape). The other reviewer was not so impressed. He thought the song was depressing. Sure it is. Is there a law against that?

***note: I just looked at the song profile for "Isolated" and there are actually 4 reviews. 3 are favorable and then there's the one that gets points docked for being depressing (the guy says "I want to rip my ears off now and look at pictures of happy bunnies."...okay...)


"Snow White 8 Ball" review

I'm not real sure of how garageband's review system works, but I would think that if a song gets several reviews it must be getting voted as the better of the two review pairs. That would be nice, were it the case. For I have received quite a few for "Snow White 8 Ball".

I got one a couple of days ago that wasn't exactly positive, but for some reason it doesn't show up in the songs review list. The gist was that there was very little "musical" value to the piece. Obviously written by an old schooler. He definitely had no business reviewing in the "experimental rock" genre.

Then there's the one I just got. The reviewer liked the song for the most part, but I think she has embedded coded meanings into her assessment:

I think you should extend that intro, it could've sounded really unique. This sounds too weird as it is. I like the beat but there's an odd sound you have looped that doesn't fit the song. This goes away for about a minutes and then comes back at 4:20...

"Comes back at 4:20"? 420? Perhaps I am reading too much into it, but I would bet that this gal is saying that the song sounds much better under the influence of marijuana.

And so he would be right.


I was beginning to get a little bored with all the Stumbling I was doing. Same old crap. Same stupid, unfunny jokes. Same old same old and it seemed like I might have seen the last truly original concept on the Internet a long time ago...you know, it's like that page that says "You have reached the end of the Internet".

But this morning I happened upon a YouTube video from a producer who goes by the name of Kutiman. At first I was unimpressed. It just seemed like a lot of different musicians playing the same song with some visual cut effects thrown in. Big deal, I'm thinking. But after reading the positive comments on the page I had to investigate a little further.

What I found was some of the most innovative, original audio/visual production I have ever seen. Just the concept alone is intriguing. But the Kutiman pulls it off is simply amazing.

So, here's that concept, and it seems simple enough: a video mash-up. If you don't know, a mash-up is a piece of music that is composed almost entirely of other artist's songs, layered over and woven together, combined in such a manner that the result is an entirely unique track.

What Kutiman has done is similar to that, only he works with video as well as sound. Here's collects videos from YouTube...instructional clips, musicians practicing or showing off, that kind of thing...and he throws them all together, mixes them into an actual song, a NEW song (as opposed to whatever it is that the "participants" may be playing).

And here's the REALLY cool part. If you're watching them on Kutiman's THRU YOU website you can access all of the original videos and see/hear what they sounded like before he got ahold of them Just click on the "Credits" button, scroll down to the instrument played and you'll see the YouTube username next to it. Click on that and you'll find yourself at their page, watching their video.

Check this out. I guarantee you WILL be impressed.


"This I Notice"

Well there you are again.
Same place I left you.
Why do I catch your eye every single time
I catch you in the corner of mine?
Little things I notice
The things that atrophy 'neath the dull hand of time
They're mine and they're yours
We do well to ignore
But you can't
Every time you come back around
I find my gaze like clockwork dropping
To sights not seen by the common man
Outside this sphere
Drifting away from the center where I stand
I stand in a place where there are no directions
Where the mighty wind of the Spirit
Blows not but congeals into fire
Content, I float



Fetal I lie in the electric light
Curled and breathing heavy
I lost track of time
Listen, said I
And the sounds I picked from the air
Chose the ones to my liking
Let the rest float over my head
Who was I to say?
What made me think I could do this?
Dangerous ground I tread on now
My consciousness poured through every pore in my body
Lost all track
Of time or trouble or what it means to be cogent
Just let it wash over
Let it cleanse
Let it purify and massacre thought
Let it guide me into paths of possibility
But not those foggy streets
I know what's happening
I've been here before
It terrifies me, I know they're floating over me
They make their plans to comfort me
To be of some assistance
Ease my swollen eyleds down
Locked now forever or for a couple of hours
Whichever comes first
Who can I tell?
How can I tell it?
Will they understand?
I have no words, none to be found right for the job
If this is a vision of the seventh heaven
I don't want to go there
I don't want to come back


Bambo Syndicate on Acid Planet

Bambo stuff on Acid Planet now. Nothing that you can't find at garageband, though. Eventually when I get everything uploaded there that I want I will use it as the main Bambo forum. That way people can rate the songs and the song stats will tell me how many folks have listened to a particular song. You've gotta pay garageband for that last feature and even the rating system there is confined to the reviews you get. So I'm going to have to convert all my Bambo mp3s and wavs to wma format. As I get that done I will be uploading the material I want to be there ("O Jimmy Boy" WON'T be there, for instance).

The long songs are already there, so won't you please check them out and give me some feedback?


"Snow White 8 Ball" review

Can't complain about this one:

This reminds me of Cornershop or Plastyc Buddha. This is trancy but it doesn't have enough variety to be that experimental. I could bounce to this at the club.


Music Video of the Week: New Fast Automatic Daffodils

New Fast Automatic Daffodils

I'm going to post the Music Video of the Week a couple of days early. No particular reason other than I am on a serious New FADs kick right now. If memory serves it took me a little while to cotton to this video when it was in heavy rotation of MTV's 120 Minutes back in the mid Eighties. A little too much of the Happy Mondays sound that I wasn't fond of back then. But I couldn't help but notice that they bore a resemblance, vocally if nothing else, to Joy Division. As such I was required to listen more closely. They're albums have been out of print for some time but I was lucky enough to find them on an mp3 music sharing blog. They've been in repeat mode ever since, replacing, for the time being, the Renaldo & the Loaf discs I retrieved several days ago.

This is the only video of "Stockholm" I could find on YouTube, and I'm afraid it's been chopped off at the end. But you get the idea.