Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Do You See Things Other People Don't See

Twisting out of vile darkness to the point where you're flying through space shooting sparks out of your feet seems like it must be some huge philosophical exercise but I don't really see why it should be.  After a brief moment of review, the mind is usually capable of deciding quickly between vile darkness and shooting sparks out of your feet.  Telling a story of the vile darkness may be good for short interest but legs like Romeo and Juliet it don't got.

Much better to wave your hand and leave a trail of stars that glow and join a galaxy of stars that already orbits as you slowly spin within it.  Having god-like powers is a very cool part of LSD.  Those who remember may get a little wistful at the thought.  Those who remember very well are now waving their hands around and creating stars.

It's real at the time and happens even though there is a part of you that tells you it is not.  After a while you stop listening to the part telling you it is not real as you can see that doesn't mean anything anyway.  The stars are right in front of you and you fly among them.

Then the stars start collapsing, coalescing into forms and becoming recognizable structures and Billy cries out, man, all the stars are just like molecules in a much larger Universe, man.   That is so heavy that ... man, that is so heavy.  Billy is what we call flipping out.  In a moment we will tell him, yeah, let's go see what it looks like.  Then Billy will spend the rest of the night watching water drip out of a faucet.  LSD can be strange like that.

It's like I look into the water, I can see Time, man.  I can see the Time as it flies back in ribbons and they turn into colors and, man, it is so beautiful.

Enjoy the ride, Billy.

Sometimes it gets strange like that.

But people look at ribbons all over the place.  The threads of logic that deduce to the behavior that is manifested here or there or by the Norwegian fisherman who notices fewer sardines this year.  There are ribbons in everything and they really do wind all over the place like that.  But those aren't any more real than the ones Billy is seeing.  Every historian likes different ribbons.

Sure, I see a lot of things other people probably don't see.  It's been quite a ride.  Watch out for the sparks from my feet.

Still Thinking About Black as Pitch Poems

There's the ultra-dark with a poem of the guy who is dying and then has the thought he has to see some woman before he goes, that he can't let this go unfinished.  He finds her, puts a bullet in her, and dies.  So Chekhov.

Nothing much comes of doing that except scaring the hell out of Bibi which isn't brave and isn't particularly interesting.  What is interesting to me is the thought itself as, sure, the thought has come to me that, damn, I would love to put a bullet right between that sorry bitch's eyes.  How's your Facebook now, muddafugga.  Yeah, so that's some dark shit.

So what do you do with that.  Further, what does anyone else do with that.  Enter Paris Obscur and he can tell you that no-one is unique to this darkness.  Everyone is just as much of an animal as I and thoughts of revenge will come.  We are all fully capable of envisioning hideous darkness but only a few choose to act on it.  Now that is the interesting part and I believe is worthy of exploration.  Cat and I sometimes talk of serial killers and for the same reason; just what the hell wire got crossed-up in that mutant.

There are several good reasons not to do it.  The most obvious is I am not Paris Obscur nor would I even aspire to be.  He has a unique art and only a fool would tread upon it.  The second is that I don't particularly want to sing anyway.  Sometimes it's cool for whatever is necessary but I have no burning need to hear my voice and it would surprise me if anyone else does.

While singing of the darkness is a very personal specialty of Paris Obscur, horror can still be approached by others so long as it is not derivative of what Paris is doing already.  My own take on horror is that understatement is vastly more terrifying than any other approach.  For example, think of Hannibal Lektor when he says to Jodie Foster from his cell, "Bring me something wet."

Right away, wet?  What wet?  What did he mean by that?  What did he fucking mean by wet???

For me, that's some very very scary stuff.  What supremely evil stuff is in that maniac's head.  As you think of it, you imagine things that it might be and then you realize you are capable of the same evil.  Now you're into the really, really scary stuff.

There is a fundamental difference between this and what Paris is doing as Hannibal isn't going to bring you out of this darkness into something romantic, he is going to eat you.

Translating the above into plain English:  it would be much better if I screwed around with some chords on the keys to make something horrifying rather than typing as this doesn't make music at all.

Spayday is Done - Glory Be, Glory Be

There are two cats who are now minus their lady bits and this is good news as there were in imminent danger of becoming deceased cats at the hands of any or all of the residents in the Texas Rockhouse.  The only thing I can imagine more annoying than a cat in-heat would be a mosquito bite on a testicle.

Most of my time is spent in silence and I like (meow) that very much as I can (meow) mowing the grass is something that (meow) so in the main half of the space station (meow) and these kinds of natural medicines (meow) Steve Buscemi is so damn funny and (meow) Kill that Fucking Cat!!!!

My shoe-tossing skills improved enormously.  Before you call the Animal Cops, the object is to miss the cat, not to hit it.  That's the precision part.  The trouble is that after a while they figure it out and the shoe just won't chase them away anymore.  So then you move up to water.  Cats really love water ... somewhere else.

I would go on a Cat Safari as now I'm pissed.  I've abandoned whatever I'm doing because there's no chance of working on it so now I'm wasting time and I'm steamed.  Cat, I will find you and you will be taking a bath on the run, sweet girl.  Yevette would be laughing at my Cat Safari but she would caution don't get that water on the floor.  Of course, minutes later there would be water on the floor; Yevette would be angry with me; I would be angry with the cat; the terrorist cat would remain bone dry (meow).

These cats are such damn terrorists too.  All the doors have to stay closed, not to protect from terrorists outside but to stop the terrorists inside from getting out.  That means the house goes up to two hundred degrees Centigrade and there's nothing anyone can do about it ... except Kill those Fucking Cats!!!

Sometimes I would come back to the keyboard and find it prompting, press OK to erase all memory, set the keyboard afire and dial 911 to tell them there are werewolves climbing through the windows.  Fucking terrorist cats.  They walk on the keyboard.

They also think they can play a synthesizer keyboard by jumping up on it.  Note to owners:  they can't.

They pull the guitar picks out of the rubber holders on the mike stand.  This entertains a cat for some reason.  Coincidentally, this is why it entertains people to drown cats.

I was extremely vigilant as a cat did previously break a guitar and you know how destructive the little bastards can be.  All the while the owners are going, well, gee, aren't they cute.  But, Shirley Temple, let's lose the dimples, they're not cute.  They are vicious, psychopathic killers and they break stuff.  It was war.  Me and the Cat.  One of us is going down and it ain't going to be me, Psychopath.  Let's do it.

But now it's all over.  The cats are very quiet but are doing fine.  The procedures cost quite a bit more than anticipated and Yevette was short twenty bucks so there wasn't enough for any pain meds for the next days.  The vet's girl said the cats would tolerate it well and be ok but obviously they would do better with the meds.  I had twenty for something else so I told her to get the stuff but don't think this means I like the little fuckers.  This is was for the cause of the socialism!  Ha!

Note to Owners:  please neuter your city critters.  The better care you take of yer own, the fewer the SPCA / RSPCA has to put to sleep.

Set 'em Up Again, Sam - Let's Shoot Some More

In Egypt, we have a celebration of the mercy of Islam in the sentencing of over six hundred people to death at once.  Muslims may talk of many things but, as the inventors of sharia law, mercy would be a surprising topic, definitely not in the context of one of the most beastly inventions in history and that does include the Ebola virus and Communist purges.  (AP:  Egypt sentences 683 to death in another mass trial)

Now what twists this situation out of all possible recognition is that Egypt is, nominally, a secular state and the ones being mass-murdered in this example are members of the Muslim Brotherhood, an outfit so cleverly backed previously by the U.S. in that travesty of an Arab Spring.  No, I didn't flip as regulars may recall I said it was a travesty at the time.


Not to be outdone

Oklahoma gives us the most hideous botching of an execution ever.  Ohio did this some months ago when it took an inordinate (i.e. well over twenty minutes) to execute someone.  In Oklahoma, it took over forty minutes and the prisoner finally died not from the drugs but from a heart attack.  During that time he was seen writhing and in the middle of it he sat up to say something is wrong.   (USA Today: Okla. killer dies after botched execution)

This execution was such a disgrace that it was closed off to witnesses about ten minutes after it started.  The only positive thing to that is it shows there is at least a tiny wisp of shame left in the people who do this awful thing.

Please spare me any discussion of what a filthy excuse for a human this fellow was.  We know this already.  Most of the people who come up for execution (minus the four percent acknowledged to be innocent) are vile animals who only take the shape of humans.  Nevertheless, don't even waste my time telling me it's God's justice to behave just the same as they in taking them out of the world.  It is wrong when Muslims do it and it's wrong when Christians do it.

I'm also not interested in abortion in this context.  That matter can be reviewed as appropriate but mixing it into a discussion of something else is not a tactic I will entertain.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Trial by Jury

When you ask someone why you love America, you'll often get a blank look and then maybe a response like 'America is free, man.  That is why.'  It's an unusual thing as many do profess the love but without any particular reason; they have never seen anywhere else; they just love America.

There are many things that suck and I'm not shy about reviewing them but one that's been intriguing me is the jury trial.  I was talking about it with Cat and trying to get some idea of differences in procedure between here and Germany.  I can cheerfully report I finally stumped her on something and that's a win as it doesn't happen very often.  I'm sure you can appreciate the passion of young love going off to research juries in an international context but we're wild that way.  Call us crazy if you like.

Without doing any intensive research, America employs a jury process far more than anywhere else.  The concept of a jury goes back to the times of the Magna Carta but the practice today has split quite a bit along national boundaries even though all clearly appreciate the value of a jury.  For example, in Russia a juried trial will hand out an acquittal 15% to 20% of the time whereas a trial by judge alone will typically end in acquittal only 1% of the time.  Juried trials are fairly common but only for criminal cases as opposed to civil cases.  Most countries are steadily reducing the number of types of crimes that will go to a jury.

To delight and horror in America, juried trials have become extremely common and where this parts from the rest of the world is in the civil trials that go to a jury.  As we've seen, these become tabloid spectaculars over and over whereas there is little to none of this type of thing elsewhere.  Whether you regard juried civil trials as a delight or a horror is a judgment reserved for Americans as this isn't played much anywhere else.  It is however one of the most profound defenses against the state and the corporate world and it is nearly unique.

In my estimation the juried civil trial is one of the finest things about America.  The jury concept itself isn't radical as it traces back to Greece, if you like, for just about everyone.  The application is the radical aspect and some may scream in horror at a huge settlement over some injury from a faulty product but there typically is no other protection and it doesn't exist much or at all anywhere else.

Sometimes there is mention of 'tort reform' and that's to put some controls on the levels of payouts in civil cases.  Perhaps that's warranted but it seems like Monty Python legislation to prescribe a million dollars for a dead body unless it's a young dead body and then add half a mill.  A hundred grand for any appendage other than the writing arm which gets another fifty percent.  That sort of thing is rubbish.  It's all very well to talk of tort reform but how one would implement it would give legislators something to argue for the next century or so.  The key aspect to it is there is little to no call to do away with the juried process for civil trials.

What started this thinking was that I was called up for jury duty one time and I was asked one question:  do you support capital punishment.  I replied that I did not and that was it.  You're out.  That was about thirty years ago and I was never called back up again although I've always had a driver's license, always been registered to vote, etc.

My thinking is that the way juries are selected is a flaw to the process as the courts have made such an immense deal out of selecting impartial juries that there are now consulting specialists for hire who can advise on the best way to select prejudicial juries.  This may not be such a terrible thing as both teams (i.e. defense and prosecution) get to interrogate the potential jurors but it still smells fishy to me.

Despite the flaws, the court system may well be the best in the world.

Leadership and Sarah Palin's Boobs - Updated on Ukraine Nazis

In the current context of news, no-one will read it unless Sarah Palin's boobs are in it.  She's sagging, her jowls flap like a boxer, and she sounds like a moron on PCP but she's got some boobs.  There they are.  Look at them and enjoy.  Now you're a trucker.  Have a nice day.

When anyone talks of leadership and Sarah Palin is included, it only says the entire pack is worthless.  Today RT News said 'Obama and Kerry fail to show leadership abilities needed to resolve Ukraine crisis.'  Here's a tip on that, comrade:  Obama and Kerry have failed to solve practically every crisis.  America hasn't had a real President since FDR but that's not such a huge shame as no-one else in the world had anyone competent either.  Putin has been pretty sharp and he plays much better poker than the White House but any kid who knows Texas Hold 'Em could do that too.

This view of things doesn't make me a Republican as I have a little problem with drone bombing civilians.  I have even more of a problem with doing it without discretion, regard or consideration for any vestige of human morality.  Republicans came up with this cowardly crap and, what do you know, Obama turned into the best drone man since the buzz bomb.  Therefore, I conclude I am the only remaining Democrat and all the others turned into Republicans.

Yevette said it's not surprising that Republicans get angry in comments over what I write but, in fact, it is surprising as discussion elsewhere is rational when the question is the same.  Therefore the motivation for the anger is something else.  There's only one person who can anger me and that's not even a real anger as I'll just get a little annoyed once in a while.  If you don't get annoyed with what yer woman is saying sometimes, you probably aren't listening to her.  However, we can talk about such things without ripping off body parts or bringing up the cold, cold Winter of 1978.  Amazingly enough, this technique works with anyone.

So, fuck Clinton.  He was a big part of NATO expansion and it's all part of the same ludicrous Cold War crap.  Contain the Evil Empire, they cried.  If you watch the expansion of NATO in the last fifty years, ask again who has the expanding empire.  There was a specific deal between Reagan and Gorbachev when the Berlin Wall came down that NATO 'would not expand one inch to the East.'  Well, yeah.  Fooled again, huh, Gorby.

There's only one thing I want to see.  There are Nazis acting openly in Lvov, etc in western Ukraine.  I want to see Kerry, that ridiculously sorry excuse for a diplomat, saying, "Hey, there. Vladimir.  We've got some stinkbugs going Seig Heil again and we really need to clean that shit up.  Are you with me, bro.  Let's go teach them some manners."

It won't happen as that doesn't sell newspapers and no-one reads them anymore anyway.  So, how do you like my tits?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Shine on Raincoat Jesus

Every time I look at Raincoat Jesus it makes me laugh.  Jesus looks so bummed as in thinking, "This is England.  Did you not consider there might be a rainout for this and it might not be such a good idea.  So let me remind you now, this was a dumb ass idea."


So, who has brown hair and a beard?

You there, Sedgwick.  Yes, you, Sedgwick.  You're Jesus.  Get a raincoat.

Hey man, why do I have to be Jesus.  He wasn't a white guy.

Bullshit.  Jesus was a white guy.

There were no white guys, just, well, people.

Yes, white people.  White Jesus.  Get it?

Maybe up in Norway eating sardines but not in Jerusalem, my (cough) esteemed colleague.

OK, so Jesus got a tan.  You get a coat.

Yah, right.  Club Med Jesus now.  Do you want a three-day week-end special next time?

I sympathize with Raincoat Jesus.  This guy is some actor who thinks he will be portraying Jesus' suffering so they make Golgotha on some manicured lawn in England and they put him out there in the rain.  Maybe they would have a fox hunt after the performance.  Unknown.  This is some seriously advanced strange.

When Jesus Wears a Raincoat

There are stories told of Jesus
about how he doesn't need a boat
but, when it's a-rainin' and a-pourin',
he still needs to find a coat.

It's a bitch with a sodden loincloth,
what kind of Crucifixion sloshes.
So when it starts to rainin',
get Jesus a coat and his galoshes.

(Poetry is my life.  I cain't hep myself.)

Apparently it's not fake.   Metro UK: ‘Jesus’ forced to wear anorak over loin cloth as the heavens open on outdoor Easter play

Sunday, April 27, 2014

When Shit Gets Real

This is the Internet so shit hardly ever gets real.  Whatever is said is probably bullshit so attack it, slash it, and beat it into the ground.  OK, that may be fun if you're playing GI Joe with Tonka trucks but it's actually possible to talk about things without gutting each other.

Facebook, surprisingly enough, has been uncharacteristically responsive lately to questions that directly challenge various positions but do it in a non-combative way.  That invites discussion from both poles and those have been interesting.  Sometimes there is no possibility of agreement but it's more remarkable that there is more agreement than may otherwise be apparent.

The article on where Democrats stand was an attempt to do that same thing.  The objective was to state clearly what those principles have been as Republicans, as opposed to Teapugs, know their own principles and will not budge from them.  Teapugs don't often know the principles or the history but actual Republicans typically are more literate and know both.  That's where discussion can get interesting.

A recent question was a sci-fi idea of what if it were the Lennon situation and there were no churches, no religion, etc.  There is no resentment because they never existed at all.  So.  What happens when there is an event such as the loss of a child.  These are good people; their grief is enormous and real; their loss can never be replaced.  What do you tell them.

The responses were interesting and I'm not going to repeat them but it would probably be better to skip straight to the punchline before anyone jumps out of a chair, all wild-eyed and ready to burn this house down because of church-destroying Democrats.

The conclusion wasn't particularly surprising to me and it was that there really isn't much one can offer that would be any better than what happens right now.  There are lots of things people see religion doing wrong but that was something people agreed it does right.  Moreover, there wasn't any thought that anything else would do it better.

Of course God has a sense of humor.  Who do you think invented laughter.

About that Black as Pitch Poem

A poem has been on my mind but the story is so dark that I've been reluctant to write it.  Keeping the basis for the darkness a secret is stupid as that's just doing it like a mystery novel.  Once you learn who killed the Duchess, the mystery is not interesting anymore.

The intro is a maundering old guy in very ill health, likely terminal, and we'll get all sympathetic for him as he faces the inevitable in his staunch and steadfast way.  It looks very likely that he will kill himself rather than drawing out a melodramatic finale.  So sad.

Then a thought of her comes to him and he realizes there is unfinished business in his life.  He has known this but has ignored it.  He thinks of what he should have done years ago and sets forth to address that.  There was something he meant to give her and he means to do it now.

When he finds her, he reaches to his pocket to give her the gift and, you have probably predicted this, he shoots her.


When he finds her, she shoots him.  He falls but his hand is in his pocket.  What's in the pocket:  a gun.


Either of the above and we know all along that his plan is to cap the bitch so the purpose of the story is to tell the twisted stuff in the mind of a killer.  Screw teasing with the idea he will offer that engagement ring from long ago.  He's going to find her and he's going to fuckin' kill her.

This is not menu-driven poem writing.  It's just a schematic while I decide whether I want to write it out.  That part isn't hard but the overall thought has to be clear or nothing comes.

Democrats - What Few Remaining

Democrats believe in the following principles of American government:

- A strong Federal government with minimal concern about state's rights

The principle is based on an ideal of efficiency of process and thus reduction of bureaucratic overhead, equal treatment for all regardless of location in the country, etc.

The problem with a strong Fed is exactly what we see now in which cops have become the military arm of the Right wing.  They have helicopters, armored vehicles, machine guns, every damn thing they need for a full-scale war.

The problem with state's rights is also what we see right now with capricious enforcement of the death penalty, drug laws, medical care, etc, etc.  Rather than turning into a balance against the power of the Fed, it has created a desert storm of tumbleweed legislation that has no particular pattern and no particular direction.

- Rejection of any corporate oligarchy

The rights of the worker override the rights of the corporation.  If a corporation cannot take adequate care of its employees then it has no right to continue as a corporation.

- Taxation

The state will collect taxes based on the ability to pay rather on an illusion of fairness that comes from flat rate plans, etc.  There is no taxation of corporations as any corporate tax is immediately passed to consumers of the product and thus may unfairly tax specific segments of the population.

- Personal freedom insofar as the government has no right to intrude on anything in your life without specific court order

Abortion, recreational drug use, prostitution, etc all become personal choices rather than the imposed morality of the state.  No state that ever existed had morality.  That logic is fundamentally flawed.

- Military is required for the defense of the country but nothing more

America's agenda of regime change has caused far more problems than it has solved and has thus created its own need for an enormous military buildup.  Eliminate the regime change agenda and use the military for its primary purpose, defense of the country.

- Social programs and the welfare of the American people are paramount

It is a disgrace when one child goes hungry or one child goes sick just because they did not have the money for these things.  People claim there are higher priorities but this is unacceptable.  Priorities can be discussed after those kids have food in their bellies.

- Strong enforcement of the separation of church and state

Restore the original Pledge of Allegiance, remove any incantations from the money, and stop pretending there is religion in politics.  This also means the state will never tax the church and may never tax the church as that violates the separation.  Lots of leftists lust after taxing the church but this cannot happen as anything the state can tax it can tax out of existence.  It is not the purpose of this position to harm the church but neither will it be constrained by the church.

- Strong support of education

The current student loan debt in the US is something of the order of 1.2 trillion dollars.  The government should have been covering this all along instead of turning into a gigantic loan shark that cripples kids before they even get into the game.  Why do kids feel hopeless.  Well, you tell me, Dagwood.

They teach sex education in schools and that apparently consists largely of how it works.  There isn't much evidence of what it means and there also seem to be little toward socialization.

I believe in all of the above.  I do not believe in Democrats who don't.  I think I may be the only one left in the Democratic Party as all the others turned into Republicans but didn't change shirts.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Surprises on Friday Night at Cat's Art MusikCircus

At first, the surprises were not specifically too good.  Early in the day it was necessary for Voodoo to cancel ... and later in the day Phoenix J had to cancel as well.  There is no criticism of anyone as stuff happens ... and it did ... twice in the same day.  Have no worries as everyone is ok but it wasn't looking so good for the show as Joaquin would have to carry it by himself.

Joaquin Gustav carried the show just fine.

For about seven years Joaquin has enjoyed a reputation for giving a show that will be romantic and loving and he has delivered that consistently the entire time.  He plays an awful lot of shows and I don't think that's so good for him but he goes into every one bringing love to everyone who is there.  I know from various things I can't tell you that it is no pose, Joaquin really does have that much love in his heart.

The show is different from most in the circus as much of it is intended to bring you up on edge but Joaquin's intention is to soften that edge with Healing Friday and some very soft tunes.  They're soft but he delivers them with his own style as his play is very fast and the amazement to me is that it can be so fast and still be so delicate.

Healing Friday really did work as things got mixed-up a bit due to the schedule changes but his music really works.  Joaquin had a good vibe going and people kept arriving as the show went along.  That's when Cat can relax and think, yep, it's working and people are diggin' it.  Then she can give more focus to the music and everything is very good.

Things wound down gently at the end of the show and both of us were tired and ready to close things.


That's when Paris Obscur asked if he might sing ... and this is what happened.

Paris Obscur has a very powerful repertoire and I do believe he could take it to any stage he likes, SL or RL.  Here he took it to the sawdust in Cat's Art MusikCircus as he didn't need a stage.  He likes to be close to people for whom he is singing and often asks people to come closer to the stage.  This night he did it the other way around as he loves to perform.  He said it straight up last night that he needs it and the way people kept coming for his show made it very clear that a lot of people need him to do it.

The only intention to start was to sing a few tunes as kind of a Friday hello from someone who loves you.  But Paris is in France and sometimes saying I love you takes longer than that so he popped open a beer and set to play for a while.  I think he ended up doing a full set but I don't really know as the clock doesn't even matter while this is happening.  I do know that it was a great set of songs and he was picking them as he went along as he didn't want to be using any plan.  The result was the finest kind of Paris when he's feeling tight with people around him and knows from that the best flow to bring.

There are other ways to save I love you and here's one:

You will know when you're dancing with the right monkey.

Another Excellent Reason Never to Go Golfing, Particularly in Australia

This will not turn into animal video day but some stuff is so strange that it deserves some kind of recognition.  Maybe you like golf but lightning is clear proof that God hates golfers and he thinks it's really funny when golfers run under trees because that's where he can fry them the easiest.  (That's true, li'l cherubs.  If you're outside with no cover in a lightning storm, don't get under a tree, get flat on the ground.  Yes, you will get wet.  No, you will not get 10,000 volts.)

Thanks to Cat for finding this one.  How did the world get along without YouTube, huh?

Cat Torture with Lasers (video)

When one is in possession of a camera and some lasers, there is only one thing missing:  a cat.  This is a video what happens when the cat is found:

The cat was NOT injured in any way.  You can see at the end when the lasers go away that she wants them back.  She was dying for another chance to kill that red dot.  Maybe it's interesting to you that there is one other cat here and she doesn't care beans about the lasers, it's only the crazy one that goes for it.  As you will see, she really goes for it.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sonya Has Big News at Cat's Art MusikCircus

Due to other commitments of a highly-boring nature, I got back late for the show.  Normally Cat and I are there an hour ahead of show to ensure all is ready so I was an hour and half late before I even could sit in the chair.

As soon as the audio came up, I heard "Big Girls."

(Left to right:  Medora Chevalier poppin' that gum, Riana Magic, Sonya Jevette)

Sonya Jevette has been making music for quite some time and she plays everywhere she can, virtual, real, wherever she has to go to make her music happen.  And she works.  She writes song after song in a challenge to herself.  Maybe you think what's the sense to kill yourself for a gig in SL but that's looking at it the wrong way 'round.  Sonya has been paying her dues and she has paid them hard.

If you haven't been to one of Sonya's shows then I hope you have heard or will soon hear her sing.  She has a brilliant insight into exactly how much vibrato she needs and that's a very delicate thing.  Too much then it sounds like a cheap device, too little then why bother.  Sonya knows exactly the balance she needs and her singing is gorgeous.  You know it's her as soon as she starts singing as it's so cool that she doesn't try to be someone else.  Say my name, say my name ... SONYA!

After all her work, Sonya's dues have now come to a new level as Sonya announced tonight that her music will soon be on Pandora and there will be a Sonya Jevette channel.  With any luck at all, this will bring her original music to a whole new audience and possibly build the audiences to whom she plays.

People often ask how to make a living with music but there's still only one way:  bust your ass.  Sonya has been doing that for a long time and now the sun shines.  I couldn't be more proud and happy for her and, from Cat and I, may this bring wonderful new opportunities to your life.  You deserve them all.

Something I ate earlier didn't like electric music too much so it decided to vacate in a glorious tidal wave of disgustingness, oh, fifteen minutes before my set.  Of course I had to go back for a second round but I was still thinking absolutely do not cancel.  There are no bones sticking through your flesh.  You have no good reason to cancel.  My only hope was that I wouldn't puke again during the set and also that I wouldn't reveal it!  (I didn't say anything to Cat before the show as that's just what she needs to enjoy the show.  Oh boy, I wonder if he will keel over before the set ends!)

It was wobbly going and that's fine as Sonya's "Big Girls" song tells all about wobbly, wobbly.  It's not quite the same wobbly, wobbly but that's alright.  I don't know how much people realize the commitment that exists to 'the show must go on' and it's just as important in SL as for an RL stage.  If you make a deal to play then you play, mister.

Jolly Leborski was there and she runs a large venue in SL so it's cool to see her coming around to see what Cat has happening.  I apologize that I'm not particularly engaging in chat during the show as my screen is tiny (15") and is difficult to see while I play.  Cat and I talked after the show about what can be done to mitigate this.  I tried something once before and it helped but didn't really finish the problem.  I have an idea for how to improve things a great deal and that will happen this week-end.  (There's no need for detail, it's just more complex than it seems.)

Chip Takacs was there also and I played with him once before over at Pranksters.  We weren't doing the same set but there's a scene over there where you play a few tunes, take a few swigs off the bottle, and then pass it all to the next jammer, especially the bottle.  He's got cool stuff happening and it was great to see him at the show tonight.

At one point the guitar speed was coming too fast.  I was thinking that you seriously need to slow this down as this is sounding like shredder stuff.  Playing fast just for the sake of fast is always fun but I'm very mixed on whatever musical value it may have.  What I find is the most sensitive is taking it down to 80 bpm and playing it slow.  But what's the most exciting is kicking it up to 150 bpm.  It's always a balance.

There is some mechanical news as the problem with back tracks is solved so I went with a couple of those.  I doubt I will make any more back tracks as recording track by track, instrument by instrument, etc is such a flaming drag and, to me, is as non-musical as bouncing a basketball.  I'm getting more and more fixed on live or nothing.  Live albums are always what I have loved the most so why record something I may not have even pursued in previous times.  I'm not planning on a CD but if I do put one together then it will be a collection of tunes recorded at the Circus.

Yep, I'll cop a plea on this show as if you get off pace then it's like trying to climb a glacier while the ice melts.  I need to take the hour before the set and ideally longer than that to get as tight as I can with the Necromancer place but that was altogether borked.  When you know you're in trouble, it's everything to stay cool as you never ever let them see you sweat.  This is why they pay the big bucks, man (laughs).

The show did go ok as I told Cat after what had happened and she said she couldn't tell.  The show wasn't dialed to where I want to upload anything to the podcast but we'll see what comes next week.

(I don't have some horrible disease.  My stomach didn't like what was in it and decided to, erm, expel it.  I have to marvel at the timing!)

Onur the Turk Takes Cat's Art MusikCircus

It's been seven years and I've never heard a Turkish musician in Second Life.  In my whole life, I may never have heard a Turkish musician ... until last night at Cat's Art MusikCircus when Onur came to play.

Onur doesn't speak much English but that isn't something to stop Cat as the Euro approach is to kind of dicker with someone to find some way to communicate.  The American approach is to walk away when someone says no habla but Euros see it as a challenge to find a way.  No common Turkish, ok, let's try some French, some German, and so it goes.  Rather than keeping people apart, I find it challenges people to come together and I love it.  This is one of the wonderful things about Cat's Circus as maybe one night most people are speaking German, on another Italian ...


Onur comes to play ... and all of his girlfriends and there were many of them, all of whom were speaking Turkish.  Cat, Riana Magic, and I are the almost-every-time regulars and none of us have any idea of Turkey except that it's close to Greece ... and they make cool music.  Run away?   Noooo.  It's fascinating!

Onur's music has a distinctly Middle Eastern / Oriental style and his singing shows nothing of Western influence, which I mention because it makes his performance even more interesting.  It's not that he's some kind of musical anachronism but rather his performance is something new to appreciate.  I couldn't really even say if it was good or bad as I know he performed well, it sounded cool, and the crowd was diggin' it.  If anything else is required, I'm not aware of it.

There were some technical troubles and there some others to resolve.  Don't let that stop you from hiring him but be advised that it takes a measure of skill if you're going to play multi-language in SL. He's getting a bit of clipping and that's normally a simple thing to fix when everything is in one language but it's not so simple when there isn't a common language ... except Google Translate.  (I'm not being facetious as it has been an incredibly useful tool)

(Ed:  this is just more bullshit eclecticism from a New Age that's riddled with posturing crap.)

In fact, that isn't what happens.  This is simple curiosity and Cat has LOTS of that.  I go along as she's very good at it and sometimes I don't even like what she finds.  When I first heard Paris Obscur I didn't like it as his music is an extreme taste and I just listened to a brief selection.  That wasn't enough to discover what he really does which I now see is incredible.

I also remind the Editor of when we bought records just because they had twisted covers and we would think, well, I wonder what maniacal stuff is on this.  People talk about diversity all the time but it's usually middle-management white guys who don't believe a word of it.  Don't talk about diversity, BE diverse.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Cat Symphony No. 3

Cat and I were talking and I gave her a quick update on what I've been doing musically over the weekend.  She asked if I could hear it so I started an audio stream and went into SL.  You don't need SL for this as there are multiple programs for tuning into Internet radio stations.  iTunes can do it and I believe WinJams can do it.  I know there are others but, beyond SL or iTunes, I have no need of them.  My understanding is that WinJams is the easiest to use on the Microsoft side.  It's also free.

"Cat Symphony No. 3" is another non-symphony but I want more than grooves.  I love getting a groove going but I also want something that at least approaches the complexity or structure I can get into something if I'm recording tracks in the old way.  It's a simple thing as there are two bits with one part for CDE and the other for AFG.  There's another CDA bit I may use, unknown.  Right now it's a long loop but it's borderline too repetitious for me and breaking it into multiple phrases can give good things.

So Cat liked it.  I like it that she doesn't generically gush about things I do as that means when she does say something it was worth her time to say it.  I may not like all of it as she hates the drum machine (laughs).

Maybe what I'll do is make some drum songs which aren't using Kellogg's Corn Flakes beats.  The only trouble with that is I hate making drum songs.  Apart from that, no problem.  I intend to do it anyway but all the time I'm doing it really I'm wanting to be playing something else so this takes a bit of discipline.  We shall see.

One thing that won't happen is bagging the drum machine altogether.  Although there are some substantial design problems, it is still a powerful machine and it will get more attention.  Whenever I've been advised to back off or lighten up musically, it has every single time been a mistake so it's crucial to keep pushing this out to wherever it goes.

Another way to 'enhance' the drum machine is to add more drum fill via drum kits on the synth to get all those sexy little off-beat hits in there.  This is getting into serious technocrappery, tho.  That's like when you use half a dozen synthesizers and a sixteen-port MIDI controller to drive "Achey Breaky Heart."

The big difference between this one and anything else is extensive use of an arpeggiator.  This is a software / hardware technique which defines a series of notes to be played.  That series will be played starting on any key by using that note as the root for the arpeggiation.  That probably makes no sense to you at all and likely the best way to get it is to hear the tune.

Arpeggiation is another trick but it's way more than just turning on a fuzz box.  It can be used artfully ... or not.  As with echo, it can get very messy very quickly so think fast there, Mozart.

I listened to the recording after and did not extract anything.  This is extreme experimental which means classified FCEO (For Cat's Ears Only).  I'll do it again on Thursday for sure.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Vicious Porpoise Killers (band)

I'm thinking Vicious Porpoise Killers for a band name and I'm liking this one even better than my previous favorite, Polar Vortex and the Fukashima Meltdowns.

What says modern life more than some ultra-civilized, inscrutable Japanese guy stabbing the living hell out of a porpoise. Oi, oi, round-eyes, it take five thousand year learn this. Fuck off.

Yah, the Vicious Porpoise Killers. This sings to me!

I've been seeing that bay in which they had killed so many porpoises that the water was blazing blood red.  They say we must do this as it is tradition.

Pro tip:  it's a fucking lousy tradition for the porpoises.

In reviewing, we see porpoises are mammals so they probably don't taste substantially different from cows.  The Japanese could always eat humans instead as we are easy to catch also but we are too fatty for a sensitive diet like that of Japan.  That might offend the palate, after all.

(Ed:  so why don't they eat cows?)

I don't recall an IQ test on the application to become a porpoise fisherman / slaughterer.

Yah, Vicious Porpoise Killers.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

"Walking With the Angels" - Tarja Turunen and Doro Pesch (video)

Today has been one of bad-ass females in rock.  Doro Pesch is the Metal Queen of Germany and Tarja Turünen previously sang with Nightwish and she is no doubt the Metal Queen of Finland.  The songs she made with Nightwish rock to the walls.

Doro Pesch singing "White Wedding" during a time when covering a song meant earning it.

Happy 420 Day - Herewith, "The Indian Nipple Song" (video)

Our straight brethren may have some difficulty with this one, particularly with certain lyrics such as 'oh shit, I'm a butter head.'

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Voodoo's Song Evolves at Cat's Art MusikCircus

"Where's the Plane" is a song by Voodoo Shilton that I first heard two weeks ago when he debuted it. What first struck me was the anguish in Voodoo's voice as his singing style is usually gentle and melodic yet this came as an explosion of feeling.  His first cry of Where's the Plane was shocking as in wow, I have never heard such emotion in this way from Voodoo before.  He almost screamed the words and this was a great surprise as Voodoo is not given to over-stated displays of emotion.

Voodoo performed the song again on Friday.  He had been out due to previous commitments the week before so this was the first chance to hear it again.  I had mentioned to Cat earlier in the day that I wonder if Voodoo will bring it back and what he may do with it this time.  Sure enough, Voodoo did not disappoint.

While the intensity of the initial cry was reduced, the aura around the song is very much present.  The vocal is dramatic and accompanying is music that is deliberately disturbing.  It's a complex thing to play music that's deliberately 'bad' as one's first intention musically is usually to smooth things, find peace, and find the light ... all that hippie stuff.  Making music go in the other direction is a quite an exercise of will as not only must you develop the music but also fight the desire to 'fix' it.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the song is that Voodoo calls on The Necromancer for the words he needs to say.  It's very much a song of crying out in the darkness as it's not one for formal lyrics and he looks for inspiration while he plays.  It may even be an audience-participation thing as Voodoo called out, Where's the Plane, Silas.  I wasn't sure if it was rhetorical and didn't say anything as where the hell is this plane.  Maybe the question is supposed to hang in space.

Subjective interpretations come strongly with this song as it makes me wonder about a great many things we are not told, why we are not told them, who came up with the order that we should not be told, etc, etc.  Mysteries come for which there are no satisfactory answers.  A huge aircraft disappears with no apparent trace for no apparent reason.  It's flown for hours before it finally crashes so it makes no sense a terrorist did it or something would have happened much sooner.  Where is this plane and how can this possibly happen.  We ask that about a great many things:  how can this possibly happen.

This venture into darkness is a different approach by Voodoo but there's all kinds of voodoo in the darkness so there's no telling what may come.

Voodoo and I talked a bit after his set and some information you may find interesting is, in part, not surprising as he has been learning the finger picking style for twenty-six years.  He must have started young as he's still a young man now.  Something that did surprise me is that he has only been using a flat picking style (i.e. using a guitar pick instead of fingers) for about two years.  He feels much more comfortable picking with his fingers than with a pick.  It's interesting to me as it's the reverse of how I play, finger picking is mystifying but flat picking makes sense.

We talked a bit of changes he may make to his set but it's best to leave that to him as that's more personal than really needs to be spouted here.  Something else you may find trivial but is interesting to me is that we were talking about the best pick to use.  I was saying I like a thin pick and Voodoo was saying, oh, no no no, you need a heavy pick for the best control.  And I was saying, oh, no no no, with a thin pick you can bend it to get precisely the level of attack sound you want from a string.

There is huge superstition in this.  With me, it can't just be a thin pick, it must specifically be a Fender thin pick as this has the exact number of atoms a thin pick needs to be.  Your fingers are incredibly sensitive to this kind of stuff and they can tell.  It surprised me that Voodoo uses a heavy pick as he plays electric with great nuance.  I had thought heavy picks were for the Megadeth bands that play really, really loud and also eat raw bats but that's not it at all.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Feel the Love - Spider Edition

After making love, I look into your eyes or at least most of them and see a reflection of the spirit of ...

Baby, you are eating my leg.  Why are you eating my leg?

Hey, Baby.  No, don't eat my arm and ...

(Ed:  it would have been better to have learned a little more about spider courtship.)

How so?

(Ed:  the husband gets eaten.)

All Around the World at Cat's Art MusikCircus

There was a schedule mix-up last night and details on that aren't at all sexy so I'll jump forward to Dew Wopat who had been hanging out and we talked a little.  When Cat arrived it turned out he had played for her some while before.  When it became clear there was a problem, Dew said he would like to play.  Cat had been called away again so it was time for an Executive Decision (I mean a real one that actually does something rather than the Washington kind).

Dew Wopat was highly brave in taking the stage as he wasn't planning anything more than coming to a show to kick back and listen to some music.  Next thing he knows, the starting gun goes off and he's at the microphone.  It was a little bit of a bump to get started but he was sounding comfortable after just a few songs.

The set features acoustic pop covers and it's a pleasant vibe of gentle songs.  You'd know I'm lying if I say covers are my favorite but still they make a good vibe.  As he was talking I was telling Cat that I could swear I was hearing some Australian in his accent and maybe I did but right now he plays from the UK.

Hat tip to Dew for taking on the show as a cold start is a rough way to do it.  Great job!

So this Silas Scarborough guy comes up after that and I'm playing from Texas but I don't really have a hat.

It's been a very big deal with me lately regarding doing a single set in a week.  For various reasons I'm not willing to reveal, it's better this way and, in fact, it's much better as my focus is extremely intent on that show.  The highest focus is on the song I'll do to open as I don't save the newest for last.  I specifically want to come out strong and the rest of the show will live or die on that but I don't believe it really serves much to tease with it.  As I've watched in doing this, the number of people goes up as I play so now rock and roll superstition comes into it:  don't change something that works.

I was very surprised by how many people came and I have no idea how many there were as I don't look at it harder than 'a few people' or 'a lot of people.'  Last night there were a lot and there were quite a few names I didn't know plus others who surprised me as in, oh, so that's who you are!  (Long story on that)

The opener was "Symphony for Cat No. 2" and it's not even close to a symphony but it's pushing the RC-50 looper out more into what the thing can really do with multiple phrases (i.e. different musical bits I can select as I like as I play).  It runs about fifteen minutes and this week I didn't do any post-processing.  There is EQ in the mixer and I have dropped bass plus pushed highs somewhat.  You may need to do the same for playback.  What I discovered from last week is that processing after the show can very well make the recording worse unless I use studio monitors for the mix down.  That ain't happening so better to send through as it went down.  All of my online audio is on Ride the Dragon podcast for free.

Echo is used sparingly and and going into it my intention is not to use echo at all.  The clarity that comes is working well ... but I will still bring echo back into it perhaps with a long bounce as I've enjoyed that quite a bit at times.  We shall see what comes for next week.

The show was over, right?

Onur spoke a language I didn't understand but he wanted to play and Cat wanted him to play ... but no-one knew his language ... until it became clear he is in Turkey.  Google Translate is my old friend now so, ok, let's speak some Turkish.  It was surprisingly helpful and Cat was trying it too as she was spitting out Turkish as well and I know she doesn't speak that one.  None of this was planned as he just said he wanted to play at the Circus and you might be surprised how many do.  It's a tips-only venue which many performers avoid but it's also a Circus Magic venue and performers who know it love it.  This isn't a blinded-by-love kind of thing as everyone who plays there feels it, that's why we do it.  There were some places with very Special Magic where I've been sometimes, Tennessee and the Cherokee, Stonehenge and the Druids, Greece and everyone who has ever lived there, and Cat's Art MusikCircus.  It's not a trivial thing for me to focus my set there and that's a big part of the reason for doing it.

So we went to Turkey and there's a Persian style that a musicologist could identify by scales, specific chord patterns, etc but, for me, it's cool that it's Persian and there are similarities to Greek which I also love.  Unfortunately, it was tough to get a good reading of his play due to some audio difficulties.  I didn't get onto it with Google Translate in time to suggest tuning levels in his mix so I'll do it here and hopefully that will get back to him.

  • Audio level on vocal was good and I heard no distortion.  Vocal could come up a little.
  • Guitar level was up a little too high and was clipping but not terribly.
  • There were a few unusual dropouts that might have been stream problems.

I'm not sure when Onur will play again and it will be most interesting to get a better reading of his set.  What I did get was a cool Persian vibe that makes me curious to hear more and we will see how things go with scheduling. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Paris Obscur Darkens Cat's Art MusikCircus

For many, making songs for thirteen-year-old girls is the best 'musical business model' as they buy tons of CDs and they can make you a star, boy.  Some of the best things about Paris Obscur are that he doesn't sing to pander to children and he never ever talks about business models.  This is not a show to which Mother will take her daughter as Mother will want Paris all for herself.

There is great darkness in what Paris describes in his songs.  In one of them he gets into the mind of a rapist and that's a hideous thing but it also highlights the hope as knowing such horrors exist gives all the more reason to embrace the hope and strive for it.  The music is dark but not at all gratuitously depressing.  Paris' purpose is to enlighten you, not send you home in tears.

You can find a great deal more about Paris on the Paris Obscur Web site and what follows is a picture parade:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Many Faces of Reis Alter at Cat's Art MusikCircus

Many times when I write about Reis and Aldo I will focus quite a bit on Aldo's compositions and they're extraordinary but Reis is the 'face of the band' as she is up front singing.  Her voice is often described as angelic and it's true as she will fly so high with it that you're weaving through clouds while Aldo changes the color of the world with his music below you.

But don't you worry about an hour with Shirley Temple as Reis can go from angelic to sensual and compelling as quickly as going from one song to the next.  I don't know how much Reis is involved in the composition but you can learn more about Aldo Brizzi's collaborations with a great many musicians on the Aldo Brizzi Web site.

Here we will focus on Reis Alter as she sings at Cat's Art MusikCircus.  She also brings a spectacular stage show and here is a series of pictures:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

eCigarette Gadget of the Second Part Arriving Soon

The second eCigarette will arrive in a few days and that will provide sufficient fortification for a major assault on cigarette smoking.  The health benefits are not as high as hyped but the savings are enormous due to massive taxation on cigarettes but relatively little on the bug juice you use in a vape.

Yevette is thinking about getting into this and, for twenty-eight bucks, it's sure worth a shot.

There is some concern about propylene glycol in the solution for the bug juice.  I don't have any particular concern as it really doesn't make any difference but she is highly-focused on products injurious to the body.  The stuff is used in a billion different things but it was also used as antifreeze in Spitfire motors in WWII.  It's a remarkable molecule but there's little or no evidence it causes any injury to humans.

The first eCigarette is idle at the moment.  It worked very well but then turned nasty and harsh after weeks of use.  There is something in that needs to be cleaned but I also need one of the little bits that comes with the package.  The cats found the last ones and who knows what they did with them.  The new arrival should get the first one working again and then there will be two vapes in action.

For extreme twistedness, you can get unusual flavors.  You could order apple-flavored bug juice and it will taste like apples but kick from the nicotine.  So, sure have to try some of that and will report on that.  My interest is in finding something Yevette will consider satisfactory so why not experiment with different flavors when you can try a few for a buck and half each.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Do You Hear Sounds Other People Don't Hear

They ask some lock you up questions on each visit to the VA:

  • Do you have feelings of worthlessness.
  • Do you feel hopeless for extended periods.
  • etc

Of course I feel worthless.  I went all over the world and the only place to get any serious medical care was at a VA hospital.  Of course I feel hopeless.  The situation is hopeless and can't possibly get any better ... BUT ... if you give a yes to anything, you're heading for the lock-up so the shrinks can make sure you won't jump.  The nurse will warn you, tho.  It's not some trick.

Reality becomes the measure of staying out of the nutbox.  They will feed you and give you a place to stay but the drugs suck and you probably have to watch TV and be sociable (i.e. nightmare).

I've done them all:  Prozac, Wellbutrin, Paxil, Zoloft, etc, etc.  These were all under prescription and none of them work.  Reefer works.

The danger of sobriety, apart from the suicide risk, is that the perception of reality is heavily-skewed toward a slanted objectivity.  This computer I can touch and feel so it must be real ... unless some mysterious thing in it breaks and it becomes worthless.  Then it's not a computer anymore, it's a useless POS.  The walls around can fall down or be taken away.  And the corporation is entirely vapor.  You've seen stock market crashes.  A corporation can disappear in a day.  The objective reality to which everyone clings so tightly is not at all as concrete as it seems.

Lights are real.  The LEDs on the music devices are on at all times as I am alive so long as they are.  Cat and I orbit like binary stars.  Music comes out of this complex of light like it never did for me before.  Some of you all fly around like planets or moons.  Music also comes in as it never has before so the three things I'm sure are real are light, music, and love.  Beyond that there isn't much that's real or needs to be.

Discerning what should be agreed realities even though one or more knows they are not is difficult but necessary to get along with my fellow meat puppets.  I have some trouble with this part.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Therapeutic Effects of Marijuana Are Real

There has been an experiment at the Rockhouse with a witchy lotion made by Yevette that has a marijuana extract in it.  My shoulder has been smashed, chopped, and spindled since '91 and chronic pain is a problem.  The experiment was to try this witchy lotion to see if it was beneficial and, in fact, it was.  The experiment was repeated on another individual who also said it worked.

So then I wonder if this is my mind being fooled into believing and thus was shutting off the pain or is the effect a true clinical value of the drug.  There was more thinking on that today as I tried the witchy lotion again and it worked again.

This video features testimony entirely from real doctors quoting results from real research studies (as opposed to contriving studies to prove a point as often happens in the University of Midwest Dimwits).

The actual clinical value of reefer is much higher than I had realized and I've used it all my life.  These doctors go through the therapeutic value for some major illnesses such as multiple sclerosis and the results are extraordinary.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Ride the Dragon Podcast (free)

The Ride the Dragon podcast contains recordings mostly of my live sets but it has also carried the dubious comedy of Reverend Silas T Sasquatch and what may also be comedy in some of my poetic readings.  It's all free and has been for years.  The Donate button on the sidebar is the tip jar and hopefully anyone liking the tunes will throw some jingle this way.

The purpose of this blurb isn't so much to plug it ... but why not ... the object is to tell you about subscribing to it.  There's no way I can know if anyone subscribes to it so I give it very little thought. The mechanism was established and people could choose it as they wish.  Beyond that, I know as much as you about who uses it.

Yevette mentioned her subscription a little while ago and that got me thinking of mentioning it to you.  To use it you need iTunes but it will also work with any competent newsreader / RSS reader (e.g. NetNewsWire).  Either way it's a simple thing if I upload more than one song as iTunes or your reader will fetch them for you and no action from you is required.

Subscribing to the podcast is via the iTunes or RSS icons on the Ride the Dragon podcast page.

The mix down quality of the songs will never be studio level as the speakers I use to monitor are not 'flat' in that they may exaggerate bass tones or whatever.  There can't be any 'color' added by the speakers as that won't happen in the same way on someone else's speakers so the mix will be flawed.  I have another pair of headphones it may be possible to use and they have greater accuracy (i.e. flatness) and I will try to get those into service.

Note:  the same flaw exists when I review the recording of a show.  It won't really sound as it sounded to you as it is being 're-colored' by going back out through the speakers again.  To hear the objective sound of something is quite a difficult (i.e. expensive) thing.  It should be possible to get a decent compromise with the other headphones so we shall see.

Silas Scarborough - Recorded Thursday Night at the Circus (audio)

The object is to bring you one of my shows but edited down to remove fluff between songs.  Five of the songs have now been uploaded and they go from the set opener to the closer so that will do it.  All are available for free on the Ride the Dragon podcast.

"Wandering in the Forest"

This was the opener and it's all guitar using the looper on the GT100 to keep percussion out of it.

"Stepping Up the Tempo"

This is hardly a rave tune but the tempo comes up some and the synth gets into it.

"Symphony for Cat"

Once it was "Cool Enough for Cat" but it changes in form and names as it goes along.  This one has more bits than what I usually do.  Maybe it's twisted, maybe it's cool, hopefully it's both.  The biggest deal with this one was to turn off the echo and it's heresy but I like what happened from that.

"Bombs Away"

It's fast and it's fun to play.  I have no idea what it has to do with bombs but it seemed like a good name at the time.

"Ice Cream Blues"

This was for Sister Julie and usually I do it with a clean guitar tone but this time it was calling for a screaming blues voice.  And so closed the set.

Bo and Lefty Boogaloo at Cat's Art MusikCircus

It didn't occur to me until after the shows on Thursday that everything in them had been original.  This wasn't at all the first time, tho, as the last time that happened was, well, Tuesday and the time before that was on Monday when Untolerable Bohemian and lefty Unplugged played.

Untolerable Bohemian has been moving very strongly into making his grooves and there is great tripfulness in them as his play is very thoughtful and I frequently get hints of Hendrix in the way he does it.  This is not to say he plays like Hendrix as he does much better and instead thinks like him.  The biggest change this week was that he is bringing his singing into his groove-making and it's a good idea as he has a good voice, he just doesn't want to do the same old stuff with it.

The mushrooms come from Bo's tip jar and that happens every time someone donates some Lindens. Bo said he doesn't tangle with such things anymore but I'm guessing they were in the game at some point.  What I notice is that these mushrooms are Amanita muscaria otherwise known as Alice in Wonderland.  (Alice is for experts.  Don't screw with it.  Get it wrong and you die.)

Now Bo did do a bit of a sample of his version of "Sunny" but, for me, it doesn't blow the idea that the whole show was original as his cover is so many light years from the original that it doesn't even matter anymore.  So Bo keeps making his groove and people continue to be diggin' it.

lefty Unplugged just doesn't do covers that much.  I think he did one in the last month but it was a long time before that for the next one.  He did more at one time but he has shifted his set to his original work and it's exceptional.

"Love Gone Runnin' On Home" is lefty's latest creation and it pleased him as it had been in August that he completed his last one.  Maybe you think that's long but lefty crafts his songs, he doesn't just pop out three chords and call it blues.  The dynamic of a song rises and falls, the chord patterns go through changes as it progresses, and the result is a song that evolves while you listen.  His newest song is a bit looser than that and it's cool to hear as the risk in a high level of crafting is the song can become rigid.  That's why "Stairway to Heaven," "Dust in the Wind," etc are so hated in music stores; they're the same every damn time.

There is no threat of rigidity in lefty's songs as he has the knack of others in the Circus for making his songs always sound like he just wrote them.  Something I'm missing is that sometimes lefty would go off on improvised musical tales and it was clearly something he was inventing as he was going along.  It's a personal preference for that kind of performance but lefty is very good at it and is masterful at using a looper to do it.  I would never suggest abandoning his songs to go all improv but a touch of it once in a while is quite nice.  Those explorations were highly delicious.

In hearing lefty over the microphone, he sounds so laid-back and he is but he performs from a studio that's very high-tech with lots of gadgets and he has stringent standards for audio quality.  You may hear clipping due to an over-driven signal from others but you will hardly ever hear clipping from lefty.  In part the cleanliness comes from accumulating exotic gear over a period of years but accumulating it is all very well, knowing how to really use it is the thing and lefty knows exactly what he's doing, albeit with a tea disaster every so often to show the equipment who is boss.

So there you have Monday.  It was the first day of the week and the whole evening was original.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Recordings from Last Night's Show Pending - Updated

There are five tunes that have survived the flogging so far.  The object is to upload as much of the show as I could ever stand hearing again.  I won't advertise Cat's audio stream URL as that would undermine the SL shows so the next best option is to upload the bits from it.  Doing it this way also gives better audio quality than the stream.

Likely I will decide on whether the last ones go online later this evening and then upload them after that.  Something will get uploaded and maybe all five.  We'll see after one last review, most likely a couple of hours.

Update:  I was using the main speakers to check out the tunes but this is a fail because there's an EQ in it.  If you're playing with the sound then there can't be anything else playing with it or what you hear is 'false.'  It's not a problem except I need to do it again.

Romance 101: How Did He Do It (pics) - Updated

There is no beach in Fort Worth.  There are no shells in Fort Worth.  So ...

No, this was not Photoshopped nor did I shoot it in Greece.

And a response from Eva Moon

Notice the absence of feets.  Zero footprints.  Soooo ... how did she do it?

And Ron offers another message in the sand:

It's a bit blurred and it reads Help Silas find his car.  While it's true that I did discover one night that I had parked in a tidal area and the water was up to the door panels, the car did not actually float out to sea.  It was only through the intervention of several tow trucks that it did not float out to sea.  My car did not float away ... not that time.

Was ist Ungewöhnlich in Cat's Art MusikCircus (English mit einige Deutsch)

Meine neueste Wort is ungewöhnlich.  Einzigartig is gut aber einzigartig und ungewöhnlich sind sehr gut.  Und so ist es in Cat's Art MusikCircus.

(My newest word is unusual.  Unique is good but unique and unusual are very good.  And so it is at Cat's Art MusikCircus)

Tonight was Siggi's debut in SL and this is a time of much rejoicing as the debut is a very special time.  No-one ever forgets the first show they played in Second Life and now Siggi has that one behind him.  On Cat's behalf, I'm ever so proud to say it was at the MusikCircus.

Siggi makes his music with a computer as this is another way of looping.  You can build songs out of anything you like ... and Siggi certainly does.  His music has a big beat on the bottom and some kind of industrial vibe floating over the top.  (I have no idea and don't care what 'industrial' means in the context of rock genres, I just know what machines sound like.)

One of his songs was "Don't Touch My Pot" so I guess if you go to visit Siggi then don't be cheap, bring some of your own.  Pot smokers are like wine tasters except, well, we don't spit it back out again because it's a much better buzz.  Hey, bro, try some of this stuff I brought.  Oh, yah, yah, it's got great ambience and super tripfulness.  But, wait, man.  Try some of this one as it's got great body glow and sometimes spectral agents from other dimensions.

(Ed:  get on with it)


So that's a big smile when somebody cuts loose for the first time and Siggi especially as he's a very good guy.  Er spricht Deutsch und einige Englisch and conversation switches back and forth from English zum Deutsch.  Diese ist sehr interessant and it gives me a good boost to keep learning.

I can tell you about whether Siggi's show was good but this will tell you better.  He had a request to play at another venue before his set was finished.  Yep, that will tell you.  Experimental is a limited taste in Second Life but it is definitely real.

Left to right:  Silas Scarborough, Cat Boucher, Sonya Jevette, Riana Magic

Sonya Jevette is special when she covers something by Adele but I don't miss Adele at all when Sonya sings her originals.  I believe it's inevitable that more passion and nuance will come to singing an original song even if you don't try to put it there.  With a cover song you feel the words to some extent but you didn't live those words.  Maybe you lived something similar but that's not the same.  For Sonya's originals, she has lived those words and you can feel every bit of that.

Something I noticed was a change to the tone of Sonya's guitar (Gibson ES-335 blues guitar) and I thought it was very good, very well-matched to what she was singing.  It makes me so sure she could benefit from a looper.  She said they're too complicated and some of them are but others have one button; kick it once to start recording and click it again to playback and loop.  Sonya loves to play lead so I figure a looper would turn her into a total riff monster.  I love what she does already, I just think she would have fun with one.

There are sets when you perform and there are sets when you are 'on' and Sonya was definitely 'on' last night.

Silas Scarborough was dressed in regal finery with a sweeping blue thing with silver-looking things and black pants, also with silver-looking things, and, well, biker boots and cheap sunglasses.  Fashion, as ever, is life.

Trying to be clever would be tiresome (for you) as something I have learned as I have crashed through this life is that more and more people are more clever than I.  Therefore, to the gist.  Yes, the gist, we must have the gist.

Cat said this was a big one for me and she isn't gushy like that so hearing this from her means a lot to me.  I've split out seven songs from the show but it's late and I'll work with them in the morning as I intend to upload all or most of them.  There were a couple more but I figured I would be damned to eternal hellfire if I ever bring them into the same world as a Tennessee bullfrog.

(Ed:  Tennessee bullfrogs are pretty cool.)

Right you are and a Tennessee bullfrog symphony in the summer evening is one rare pleasure.  That's a time for a sky full of stars, squeaking rocking chairs, not much need to say anything, and bullfrogs singing their bullfrog love to the heavens ... and female bullfrogs.  Laugh if you like but someday I hope you will hear for yourself.

I will do a low-level mastering of the tunes as that's when you get the audio levels in each one compatible with the others so the volume doesn't leap all over the place in playback.  After that I'm thinking it would be good to upload them to the Ride the Dragon podcast.

The main thing musically is that echo needs a much better reason for me than it has for many years.  I'm using it much less and, hopefully, you can hear something better than it was.  I want clarity and precision but there are still too many damn spurious string hits.  I'll hear that stuff and cringe, thinking, would it be too much to ask if just one time you could hit the string you wanted rather than all the ones you didn't.

Cat Boucher brings you three hours of continuous live music and every bit of it was original ... but ... this was not the first time.  I'll have another article on that later as that goes too far beyond this one.  Keep in mind that for the MusikCircus, every night is different but Cat works very hard to keep things musically-consistent within any night as the flow from one set to the next is important to her.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

World Keeps Turnin'

It's the Zen of it that permits the thinking that the music sounded good a few minutes ago but what does it sound like now.  Zen is why many musicians are insane.

That was my initial premise and discussion ensued:

Patricia Savenije Forget about the chords. They're only patterns in the memory of our muscles.That's why we put our fingertips on the right spots without thinking. It's all about the groove. And the groove is as Zen as it gets in this incarnation.

Alan Stewart Fraser Right you are. Absolutely. The groove is the life right now.

Alan Stewart Fraser Because it's a groove bombing people?? I don't guess I'm quite following this one.

Patricia Savenije It's not us musicians who are insane. It's the other way around.

Alan Stewart Fraser I'm sure they're insane but there's a good chance I'm crazy too! (laughs)

Alan Stewart Fraser The Zen of music is one of the things that is most delicious to me as the moment you stop it doesn't mean a thing anymore; that groove is gone. Then sit around and pretend to be the Groovemaster in-between but that ain't real as anyone can hear there is not a groove happening while you sit on your dead butt. Only one way to make it happen.

Patricia Savenije To me, the thing is, da groove is already there. It's just me not picking up on it all the time. Working on that, though. You know how it goes.

Alan Stewart Fraser The Necromancer is on it all the time. It's me that craps out and sits down.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Flowers for Algernon ... But Not Yet

In December, based on an X-ray and an MRI, doctors told me there was a high probability of cancer from two significant nodes in my lungs.  I mention this because some of you had some awareness of the situation.  There has been a steady stream of testing since then to try to find out what is wrong and there was an intensive situation yesterday with the result that the doctor said after consultation with senior doctors that, well, we don't know what is happening.  This is not terribly bad news as it means the probability of cancer has dropped.

This was a short to medium term death threat which now seems to have abated, at least to some extent.  If you're wondering why things got weird, that's why.  Weirdness will continue.  Nothing else regarding the matter will go online and this mention is only because of what I wrote up top that some of you knew of it already and it would suck to leave it hanging.

Algernon was a rat.

While spending most of the day inside a hospital would, from most viewpoints, be considered a full day, of course this one wasn't complete.  There was very little fuel in the car and Yevette had five dollars but I didn't have anything and fuel gauge doesn't work.  We knew we could make it to the hospital but knew we couldn't get back.  We did look for a gas station.  We did not find one in time.

Running out of fuel on an Interstate highway is one of life's rare thrills, particularly when it's not possible to get the car fully out of the way because of the wreckage of a tire from a big rig truck whose driver was also was not having the best of luck.  Thus far I only know one friend who got whacked when his car broke down on an Interstate and I have little interest in becoming the second one.  We couldn't use her phone as we were miles from anywhere.

Sometimes you need an angel to come flying in from somewhere.

Enter Joaquin.  He left Mexico nineteen years ago but hasn't been back except for the funeral of his mother.  He has probably been hassled in his life more than once about being a 'wetback' but get how he does.

Joaquin had to change the tire on the truck plus fix the way the back of the truck had been bent up and mangled by the wreckage of the tire when it exploded.  He did all that in about thirty minutes.  Then he drove my friend to get some fuel.  All's good now, right.

Wrong.  Joaquin said to my friend that he wanted to put some air into a rear tire because it was almost flat.  Then he looked at the others and said they're so dry-rotted that all of them are done.  He couldn't do anything about the tires but he did get air in them and that would finish it, right.

Wrong.  The Dallas / Fort Worth area has the most confusing and ridiculous highway system of anywhere and it will be an eternal tribute to the King of Concrete, Governor Rick Perry, who has wangled more highway contracts than an L.A. slush master.  We don't need no stinking mass transit system, not in the State of Texas.

My friend didn't know how to get back even though we could see the road we needed.  There was no clear way to get back to it.  Joaquin said that's no problem, follow me.  He led us back to I-20 and, glory be, free at last.

Wherever you are, Joaquin, we send the deepest thanks from both of us.

(Ed:  What did he charge?)


So, that was the story for the day and the only things missing were a cop chase and fuckin' helicopters.