Saturday, May 31, 2014

Jeffrey Lipsky, Artist

Passion is what defines what happens at Cat's Art MusikCircus more than any other single drive.  Passion is what drives Cat to spend seven years of her life bringing the music to you and passion is what drives the performers to play it.

Passion is exactly what I see in Jeffrey Lipsky's art.  His abstracts are usually highly dramatic and aggressive and his power is clear from the first work you see.  I met him first as Filthy Flumo years ago in Second Life.  Later on I met him at a show in Providence, RI, in which he was presenting his art and Cylindrian Rutabaga / Grace Buford was performing on-stage.

But I didn't really get enough of a grip on Jeffrey's work until, get this, I saw it on Facebook.

The reason I mention Jeffrey is because I just wrote about Voodoo Shilton's new song in "Voodoo Has No Name at Cat's Art MusikCircus" as we have the privilege of watching him develop it.  There has been that same privilege recently with Jeffrey as he has been working up this piece.  (I don't think it has a title)

(30" x 30" - Sold - Sorry about slapping the text for 'Jeffrey Lipsky' over the center of it but we can't have anyone nicking it.)

Just as with Voodoo talking about a song he is developing, Jeffrey put a preliminary study for the painting online some time back and asked for thoughts.  A number of people, me among them, wrote back that I see this or I see that.  Jeffrey wasn't asking what to paint but rather what do you see as the interpretive reality we bring to things can vary tremendously.  Ask cops about an eyewitness.  They're usually unreliable in court.

Every so often, Jeffrey would upload the latest 'draft' of the painting and never was he soliciting advice on what to do, it's important to emphasize that.  This isn't a community or a collective painting or some such.  Just as with Voodoo, Jeffrey would listen to what people had to say and then he would go off to think about things.  Sometime later another 'draft' would come and then again the question what do you see.  That may sound repetitive but actually it was evolutionary and it's a privilege to be a part of it.

For my own judgment, I think the painting is magnificent and it shows me the musician scratching and clawing while all the time playing, playing to get downtown in the distance.  Jeffrey has a deep love of music and it's a frequent theme in his work.  There are multiple layers to peel but that's what I see up-front.  It's a beautiful job and, yes, it is sold.  However there may be digital prints available.  Contact Jeffrey Lipsky on Facebook to learn more.

(There is neither payment nor consideration for what I write.  If I don't like it, I ain't writin' it.)

Friday, May 30, 2014

Voodoo has No Name at Cat's Art MusikCircus

Voodoo Shilton is a fantastic musician and I've written about him multiple times.  For me the most intriguing thing is whatever he has done most recently.  For his newest tonight, he said he didn't have a name for it but let's give it a go.  Before starting he mentioned briefly 'a battle in the morning' but he didn't elaborate.

Right away, the song gives a feeling of foreboding, something bad is going to happen.  He opens it on bass and the changes are deep dark.  He keeps this as his foundation and grows the song.  I was feeling the guitar could have been the warriors saying, man, I really don't want to do this and they chatter as the darkness around them builds.  Then he brought some cello to it and the bow elongates the notes greatly so this felt like the troops were aligning and getting ready.  After that he went to wind it down and then over.

We don't know if they will fight.  We know they didn't just now.  I talked with Voodoo after the show about it and he told me why he was playing anything with a dark vibe to it.  There's no crisis in his life but he had his reasons for some darkness.  Many times things are not so direct as you play something and it may lead itself like a Ouija board and you'll discover something that sounds cool, even if it's dark.  You can hear what it sounds like to you but, in large part, you're thinking, hmm, this sounds pretty cool.  But you don't know what that will elicit in anyone else.  You can paint the thing but you really don't know what anyone will see in it.

So we talked about it some as to what he may do.  I wasn't saying anything toward I think it should do this or do that as it's not my place to suggest things like that.  What I can do is tell what I heard and felt so he knows what it creates and this will lead him to wherever he decides to take it.  He knows very well that someone else may hear something altogether different but it's a starting point as he thinks over with himself how it will evolve.

Here's a picture of some Voodoo darkness on one of the wildest stages Cat has ever made.

Darkness was one part of a much wider performance and people came from everywhere for it.  There were some people from Turkey as Onur is a Turkish guitarist and he has played previously at the MusikCircus.  Voodoo really marvels at how people come from around the world and the MusikCircus is an extraordinary example of it as hearing three and four languages at the same time is not uncommon.  It sounds like that would be cacophony but actually it's charming.  It's all part of the magic.

Cat and I are in the middle at the front.  I believe that's Medora on the left but I couldn't even hope to name all the other people.

Lara Sweetens Cat's Art MusikCircus

The first impression anyone will get from Laralette Lane's performance at Cat's Art MusikCircus is of her sweetness.  You can hear her laughing between songs and sometimes talking to her cats so it is very sweet to hear.

Lara sings in a pretty voice and she's doing covers but she's bringing them some sugar from Holland and this is what gives her show the Lara-ness.  But maybe Lara doesn't want to be sweet all the time.  Maybe she thinks, "Don't call me cute.  I'm a woman, mister."

We don't want to talk so much about Lara sounding sweet that she feels she has to be sweet all the time.  Maybe she wants to show us angry Lara sometime.  I don't know if she would do this or if she even wants to do it but the MusikCircus is definitely the place for trying it.

I don't mean to presume to say Lara should try this or that as I have no idea what she should try or if she even needs new things.  Lara's set is already very sweet and pretty so why should she change anything about what she does.

Phoenix J Originalizes Cat's Art MusikCircus

The thing that strikes me most about Phoenix J's performance at Cat's Art MusikCircus is the difference between her original songs and her covers.  She likes to do her jazzy-style version of cover songs but I think it's the entertainer in her that tells her to bring these to you.  That isn't a criticism as she knows her job and she has been doing it for quite some time.

At one time, Phoenix J was putting together a girl band called JUNKK and she is a smart lady so I imagine she knows this is American slang for one's, erm, gentleman's area.  The play on that fact by a girl band could be most amusing as part of the comedy would be seeing people who think the girls don't get it.

Phoenix knows a lot about entertaining as she was also touring with a band called Greenhouse and I believe they were playing around Europe.  I'm not familiar with the band but I'm sure they were better-known in England.

Entertaining is one thing but originals are in a different world and you can tell it very much with the depth of Phoenix J's original songs.  You know at every moment in the song that it comes from her heart, the story comes from her life, and this is a real thing.  Covers can be pretty, fun, entertaining, all kinds of nice things but they can't be that and Phoenix does it beautifully.

To my taste, Phoenix would have to do no covers ever as her originals are excellent.  She takes more chances, uses more elaborate chords and changes, and does all the things that shows the engagement of her soul in what it becomes.  If you ever have to find the real Phoenix, ask her to sing a cover song and then ask her to sing one of her originals.  You'll know.

Silas Digresses at Cat's Art MusikCircus

Reviewing my own shows is not hard as all I need is a machete for slashing myself.  However, chopping myself up will not bring smiles and Spring flowers to Cat ... so, on to the show.

The "Death March Digression" progressed out into the light at Cat's Art MusikCircus and I have replayed it.  What I heard was a booming bass, piano bass notes that could be overpowering, and, at twenty-five minutes, a tune that went way too long.  So that will do for the slashing part.

The song goes more directly to anything I want to do musically than anything ever has.  Cat said the show sounded beautiful and we've covered before that she isn't one to be gushy plus I would not like it if she were.  I have not talked with her about it yet but my epiphany yesterday in making the song is that it should not have a smashing crescendo in the end but rather in the middle when all those guns start shooting each other.  Angel voices come at the end when they're all dead.  I really don't know how well this worked and I have listened to the recording but objectivity gets wobbly with that part so I'll leave that for now.  My purpose in mentioning is to state my intention.

There is some very fast guitar playing when the guitar is cranked up hard and the object was not to grandstand but rather to show all these guns shooting at each other.  It doesn't bother me telling you what I was trying to paint as that doesn't try to tell you what to feel.  That part is on you.

Cat heard it last night and Yevette has a copy of it now.  She hasn't heard it as she was away because some guy said he had some unicorn goats he wanted to sell.  He said they could fly so it sounded pretty cool.  I haven't talked to her about it but I haven't seen any goats so I guess she didn't buy one.  It's not my purpose to tease you with it as I have no intention of uploading it anywhere and this is all a part of some twisted music Zen for me in which I really don't want to record anything.

There's a fairly long line of people hating me right now for my positions on things and this leaves me with two choices.  I can take the Prozac and come on over to the barbecue or I can do what I do.  I will continue doing what I do.  I prefer people do not hate me but I will not compromise what I say.  My opposition to personal weaponry is steadfast and will not change.  I've had death threats over my opposition to war so apparently those who don't like me don't understand irony very well.

The compositional potential in a looper is severely-limited in some ways but is extraordinary in others.  Composing things in GarageBand or any other multi-track editor is all very predictable as in record a track and, do de do, record another one, do de do ... and so on.  With a looper it all happens in real-time thus giving something similar to the 'stream of consciousness' some poets try to achieve.  The "Death March Digression" goes about twenty-four bars and this is an eternity in looping but it still has more liveness than back tracks can ever have.  (I've done loads and loads of back tracks and I rarely use any of them.)

The 'stream of consciousness' approach to it was strong last night as that comes from 'just play something.'  The looper on the GT100 doesn't connect to drums so, yes, good.  I can't use keys that way but, ok, that's good.  OK, play something.  Make it work.  Pianists or at least good ones will often do this and they will ask the audience for some chords.  Give me some chords, any chords.  They will make up a song from them.  It's a trick but it's a very good one.  The thinking is similar as in go with whatever flows into your head.

Part of music is making yourself receptive and one of life's most delicious mysteries is trying to find that which we make ourselves receptive but I know we do it or at least I know I do.  When I feel that connection, there is more purity to the notes and people have tried for centuries to describe how, why or whatever so I won't presume to be able to describe it now.  There are some parts from last night in which I don't know what I played.  For some this is chaos but for me it is the closest I can get to musical impressionism.

But closing it was still "Ich Liebe Ratten" because, well, I have no idea why.  It's just a hoot to do it.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

"The Death March Digression" (poem)

Two hundred million guns
They have no arms
no legs
no brains
They march with a force
no-one understands
to a place no-one knows.
Flags wave along the way
but it doesn't matter which ones
The marchers won't be back.
They will shoot and kill each other
until only one gun is left
and then it will kill itself.
Then they would say
there is peace
but there would be no-one
to say it.

To Play or to Write

Astute observers will have noticed the decision has already been made as this appears to be written but whether this situation changes is the question.

There are good reasons to write more reports on shows this week at the MusikCircus as there has been some exceptional stuff and, in the context of the MusikCircus, 'exceptional' means quality.  Elsewhere it means something else but the MusikCircus has its own standards.

However, I'm also going to play tonight and the Death March Digression is not on paper, it's not recorded, it's lights in the sky that fly around in orbit and you can play with them like electron shells to bring an electron down or push it back up.

That was way too strange even for me.  We can back up and explain electron shells or we can abandon that image altogether.

Based on that pitiful piece of evidence, it is now clear to me that playing would be a better idea than writing.

I don't know if I should start it with a bass.  This isn't indecision but rather it's another option and it's more like choosing candy than getting weak knees.  The Death March Digression is about twenty-four bars so this is a very slow-building thing.  If you approach this that the only cool part is when you've got a bunch of layers built then you have already lost as it has to be cool all along the way or there is no groove.  So is it cool to open it with a bass.  I still don't know so I'm thinking it's time to find out.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

So Silas Be Playin'

There was a commitment I thought would prevent playing tomorrow but that's wrong as that matter will be covered today ... so ... the Death March Digression should appear in the show tomorrow.

There has been lots of talk of guns and this feeds right into the Death March Digression.  Two hundred million guns all fire at the same time and what happens.  Maybe it tilts the Earth and it falls into a black hole where it gets eaten by a worm.

Lots of things could be in this Death March and they have been but I don't know what parts will be in it tomorrow.  Maybe it starts out mapping it with a bass as that will sort of tell you what comes but more it teases you.  Maybe layer up some piano and then angel voices on top of that but you probably can't keep the angel voices as they would be too prominent to stand well with anything else ... so ... I will try some stuff.

Two hundred million guns.  I see them everywhere.  I don't know if anyone I see has a gun.  I don't know who these people are.  Why do they need guns.

It will be interesting to see where this one goes.

Silas - Thursday - 2pm SLT

God Bless this Food and our Ammunition

So I asked the kid in the Stop'n'Rob gas station if anyone coming inside could be carrying a gun.  He told me, sure, so long as they have a license then it's ok.

I asked him if that meant someone in McDonald's could have a gun and he told me that could be true, it is legal.

The kid did not seem at all bothered by this even though he works in the kind of store that is frequently a target for armed robbers.

If that's the kind of world you want, move to Texas.  At any tick of the clock, any moment, some fucking maniac can jump out of his chair in the ice cream store, screaming, "Praise Jesus," and start firing.

And you wonder why I do not feel connected to the world.  Of course I'm not.  It's heavily-armed, angry, and frequently shoots people for no particular reason, all the while shouting and chanting, "God bless the NRA!"

Of course the NRA is not responsible for what happened at UCSB.  The NRA has never been responsible for anything.

Lefty Gets Quintessential at Cat's Art MusikCircus

Any description of lefty Unplugged is going to be unusual as your first measure is probably that he is a folk singer.  He plays an acoustic guitar and he sings so, ok, he must be a folk singer.  But folk singers usually don't have anything close to lefty Unplugged's guitar skills and their poetry often takes a more limited form.  (This is not to slam folk music as some of it is magical.  Like practically any other form of music, a lot of it sucks.)

Folk singers or at least the ones who were at Monterey in 1967 when Bob Dylan played, would burn lefty at the stake for all the electronics he uses.  (That's what they wanted to do with Dylan.  They were furious with him for playing electric.)  The electronics don't mean lefty uses a lot of wah-wah or plays a guitar with his teeth although I do confess it would be an interesting thing to see.  Lefty uses his electronics with extraordinary taste and you will never even know he is doing it unless you listen very carefully.

In describing lefty, I'm going with the quintessential English gentleman.  Maybe you think, oh no, he's just some guy in a t-shirt and yellow night-time slippers, what kind of gentleman is that.  But ... let's review.  So-called English gentlemen gather together to ride horses so they can find a little fox and kill it.  Lefty gathers animals in his backyard so he can feed them.  Any questions on who is really the gentleman.

Lefty's songs are sometimes like a Diane Keaton movie and there's a cliche image of her looking out of a window as raindrops drip down it as this gives a feeling of such huge despair.  The image is a cliche but the sensation is not as there are times in life when it gets like that.  Lefty's ability to identify those moments and sing of them is extraordinary and a big part of the intrigue is that he will tell you what else you can see in the image.  There are raindrops rolling your life down the window but there's also a half-eaten sandwich on the table, a little whistle coming from the kettle, and all of the things that are part of this image and take it beyond cliche.

None of this is to say Lefty's music is depressing as that isn't my point.  He knows joy, he knows life ... and he damn sure does not kill any little foxes.

Bo Brings his Groovulosity to Cat's Art MusikCircus

Sometimes Bo has got his groove and sometimes he doesn't.  We don't care about when he doesn't because it's so cool when he does.  Cat had been telling me and telling me, you have got to hear this guy play.  But then I did hear him play and he didn't do it.  I was disappointed but Cat said to wait, he will.

When Bo finds his groove, he will take you with it.  This isn't some introspective crap from some guy on a pier looking at the lonely seagulls and wondering where he fits in this harsh universe; leave that to Bob Ross and his happy little pine trees.  Rather than feeling fear at this unusual universe, Bo's grooves go out to wander through it and explore.

Artists don't know where they're going, they find their way.  Some of them ask other artists but those ones aren't really understanding the problem as the person they ask doesn't know either.  There has always been only one way and you've got to groove yo'self.  If it's a good groove, others will come because humans, we love that groove.

Untolerable Bohemian is a good singer but he is still working out how this fits with his groovulousness on the guitar.  That's not a bad thing as it's all part of the exploration.  He doesn't know how it works completely yet but he will find it, he's the only one who can.

There are no pictures this time as Mondays are difficult for that.  The Monday Night Jammers aren't too big on the Fashion Parade so, you tell me, what do I do with these guys??  They understand music but they do not understand fashion.  My God.  How can this be so.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Cat and Sonya Pink Cadillac European Concert Coolness

The Summer has the prospects for the usual things and people call out for something a little bit different.  The Cat and Sonya Pink Cadillac European Concert Coolness isn't a little bit different, it's a whole different kind of different.  Cat and Sonya will tour about Europe to go to the studios of the people from the MusikCircus for jams and mystery plus some ridiculously-crazy stuff that will happen along the way.

There are some problems as there is no pink Cadillac.  There is also the problem that Sonya is not in Europe and no-one has any money.  Yes, these are problems but they can be solved ... by a Kickstarter campaign.

Since it's going to be budgeted via Kickstarter, we need to make it a movie and we need Herzog to direct it.  He's hugely-talented and rich and famous but maybe he's got time to roll with it for a while.  We need to make a movie about a reality show and who else would be right to shoot it.

Think of it:  Cat and Sonya loose in Italy.  There is no telling what would come of it but definitely they would go to see Reis and Aldo.

The last time Cat was in Italy, the situation got so tangled that she was in tears and her taxi driver was offering to adopt her ... but still it turned out funny.  There is no predicting what will come when she gets together with Sonya.

Have you thought this through to when they go to Saint Tropez and Cat encourages Sonya to sing.  Do you see what would happen if she did.  Anyone who has heard her knows.

This would be like a European Thelma and Louise although it would be much better if they do not drive the pink Cadillac off a cliff at the end.

(Cat and I were talking about this earlier and we were having a lot of fun with it so I asked her if it would be ok to write on it.  I hope it amuses you as we got big laffs out of it.  Both of us could easily see it happening.)

Singing the Death March Digression with Angels

That's a friend who says she's going to crash but don't worry, keep playing.  I don't really know how loud it sounds when I play over a stream to you but it's very loud here.  Fortunately the house has music coolness that lets me be very abusive but without bothering anyone too much.  Some houses are like that.  If you find one, stay there.  They are magical even if they may not soon turn up in Better Home and Gardens.

I didn't keep playing as I had already found what I wanted to discover as to how an angel voice would sound over the Death March Digression.  If it's a progression going up then it must be a digression going down, right.  This one is definitely going down.

The angel voices are quite gorgeous, splendidly gorgeous.  The chords come from piano but it's playing with the notes of the chords rather than simply sustaining them for whatever duration.  The angel voices come in over that and sound highly gorgeous.

But that isn't very tragic.  There are crazy fuckers with guns everywhere.  Up and down this street there are people with loaded guns in their homes.  When you go somewhere, they will be people with guns in their pockets.  The people with the guns typically have less than optimal minds and arming them was a stroke of military genius.

Yeah, right.  Tell me you were ever impressed by the thinking of a gun rights advocate.  You won't see them up for Nobel Science Prizes any time soon.

It is a Death March Digression.  When they have over two hundred million guns, I don't know why it would be called anything else.  It's Terry Gilliam absurdity when they buy more and more guns ... to protect themselves from people with guns.  What kind of mental giant do you need to identify the source of that problem.

Answer:  there isn't one so the Death March Digression continues.

But it sounds a touch like "Hotel California" and that thinking could be the Terminal Mindworm as my mind may push it that way even though it is not my intention to do so.  Playing something so it doesn't sound like something else is impossible as the Mindworm is already in your head just from the fact that you think about it.

The chords to it can't change as that's the Digression.  That's what the Necromancer gives.  Anything else I have to figure out myself.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Sex Words in a Review are Always Good

The "Death March Digression" went through about forty-five minutes of annoyance testing that got up through some things I liked.  It's a digression because everyone dies in the end.  Very sad.  The chords also lead to a line that sounds somewhat like Hotel California.  That also is very sad as I am not trying to sound like Hotel California.  That can be fixed but (sob) the dead people cannot.

The people will be dead because they were stupid and arrogant but they will have hot dogs and party balloons.  They won't mind a bit because, well, they are stupid and arrogant.

My friend said it sounded 'good,' 'strong,' 'deep.'

Man, those are sex words.  To hear sex words in that context is an excellent review.  She might have said 'pleasant' or 'relaxing' but that would have meant, fine, let's call Grandma and make some fuckin' lemonade.

There is a death march afoot as some talk of revolution but the 'rebels' with the guns are even more psychotic than the ones in government and would make even more of a police state.  In game terms, this is check and mate.

The Death March Digression

Perhaps there is some reason I should trust someone with a gun but I can't imagine what it would be.  They claim they are responsible but people are getting shot constantly.  This does not look very responsible to me.  I haven't the tiniest guarantee that any random person is not the next whackjob with a gun who feels a holy mission to start killing because he heard the word of God ... or he's just a rich bitch virgin who couldn't get laid.

Concealed carry is very big in Texas so you don't know anywhere if someone there is carrying a gun but there's a good chance someone is.  There's only one answer to this:  don't go outside.  The only terrorists that concern me are in the NRA.

The Death March Digression

Fm-Cm-Eb-Bb-Db-Ab-Bb-Fm   X2

Bb-Ab  X2


Just the thing for a whole lot of dead people.

America doesn't love much but it does love killings.  Even so, they will forget about it in three days ... just like the Nigerian schoolgirls.

There is nothing they say outside the forest that means anything.  If you want to leave to go out there, the Death March Digression is the music for it.  A German school kid was curious about America and he came over here.  Someone shot him a few months ago.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Dweezil Zappa Gets Sublime (video)

Perhaps it's possible to play a guitar better than this.  Perhaps.

Bones and Maggots

My friend and a friend of hers were up in front watching television.  I went up to visit for a moment and my friend's friend said this new lotion worked.

I said the stuff keeps vampires away and he agreed he had not seen any.

That's your best defense against vampires.  Defending against zombies is easy: don't login to social networks.

At that moment I heard from the television 'maggots.'

I confirmed with my friend, did she just mention maggots?

My friend said she had and that they call her Bones.  I said thought Bones was hot in an accountant kind of way.

I confirmed again with my friend, you are watching a television show featuring an accountant woman who likes dead people and maggots?

She said, yes, it's a forensics show.

I declined to watch it with them, however.

Television certainly has come a long way since The Smothers Brothers.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Stranger in a Burnt Land

What's real are the Lady of the Forest and also the Fairy Dancer but don't make any noise around the Fairy Dancer as she is very shy and will stop dancing.  The Lady of the Forest is elusive but the light grows as you get closer to her.  Music comes in very soft sweeps of strings and you hear it before you see her.  When she comes into view, there are many creatures around her as none who find her ever want to be anywhere else.

I know how to find the forest.  I don't know how to find anything outside it but I don't think it matters anymore.  Before playing, there's always the thought of who will hear it but it's only important in the forest.  If they wanted to understand outside, they already would.

So it's unusual as time means almost nothing in the forest.  The trees laugh unless you talk of centuries.  Space means nothing as there are places but all of them are still in the forest while everything outside the forest has been burned by savages.

Notes come off a piano sometimes like they're falling water but many times with the guitar it's like an Indian War with arrows flying everywhere.  The Indians weren't savages as they knew how to live outside the forest without burning it.

How far can you go with something when you don't know how to do it and generally the answer is that's the way to go the farthest of all.  In doing that, you finally learn the language of the creatures with the fluid that gives immortal life but no-one understands what you're saying anymore and think you're crazy.

But then a kid kills seven people because he can't get a girlfriend and I know I'm not crazy.  I will stay inside the forest with my Lady and the Fairy Dancer.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Silas the Pianist at Cat's Art MusikCircus

The gig did not go as I had hoped but Cat but I don't waste a lot of time on adoration ... unless it's for baby orangutans as they are pretty damn cool.  (Orangutan Outreach:  Adopt an Orangutan)

Silas Scarborough may not be much but he is prettier than an orangutan:

Why do I wear sunglasses all the time?   Why, because I am so damn beautiful I would blind myself without them!

I told Cat I thought the show was sub-optimal and she said right away that she thought the piano bit was beautiful.  This wasn't fishing, tho, as we talked about it for a while.  If I run myself down gratuitously, as is often my habit, she will bust my ass for it.  So we talked about it as I mentioned a week or so ago about playing this bit that became "Immer Einfach" and Yevette came all the way back here to tell me she hoped I had recorded it.  That became the Musical Ideal of what this thing can be so I was disappointed that I did not believe I had reached it.  In fact, I knew I didn't and that's what I said to Cat.  She was then good with it as this was a musical consideration rather than evidence of emotional damage.

It would have sucked huge not to try it.  When I'm writing about risk, I mean it.  Cat knows with every note of it that I'm hanging from a thread and that's a part of gig telepathy that science doesn't have to understand.  We had talked earlier and I said I did not think I would play it again before the show specifically because it has to be a live connection with the Necromancer rather than something remembered.  If I played it before the show then my risk is repeating what I had done previously and that isn't a useful risk at all.

Other Musikers may well think what I do is daft and that's all very well but in this time and space what I do is appropriate to my music.  Making a hit song means nothing to me.  Making a video 'go viral' means something was liked by the same people who like cat videos.  In my life, these things are trivial.

If you're thirty, you're still looking for that tune that will make the big bucks.  That's cool and I hope you do it, young grasshopper.  I am not thirty so my view is different.  This isn't a sign of giving up but rather such things are not relevant to where I am.

It's my specific purpose to get as close as possible to the heart of the music to get it as fresh as it can possibly be but without it sounding like some disordered cacophony.  If you're doing twelve tones, some of it may sound to others as disordered cacophony in any case but, hearing it in context, people will understand.  (I don't recall the name but there is an orchestra in which the 'musicians' are not allowed to know how to play the instruments.   The result is not what you might expect.)

"Immer Einfach" has become my Grand Mission as it has become a metaphor for Everything That's Wrong.  The focus is on the tens of thousands of children who die in the world each day and secondarily on the ones who are killed by war products.  In its most stylized representation, an innocent kid is being killed for his curiosity.  Some kid goes out into a field and sees something.  He plays with it and it turns out to be a mine.  If he's a 'lucky' kid, it will only blow off his arm.  (Please see the sidebar about War Child)

Paul Ehrlich Cannibalizes Some Ideas

According to Paul Ehrlich, there's a real danger of people eating the bodies of the dead.  He's an old cracker scientist who is pitifully desperate for attention but I've got to admire the concept.  Dude, you are one twisted fuck.  Of course it's in the Daily Mail.  (Mail Online: Will overpopulation drive us to eat our own DEAD? Controversial academic claims humanity is moving towards cannibalism at 'ridiculous speed')

People aren't moving toward eating corpses at any speed at all.  In fact, the only one who has much interest in corpses is Ehrlich who, presumably, is in imminent danger of becoming one.  Perhaps, in his dotage, he is concerned about his corpse being eaten.

Don't worry, doc.

Maybe Ehrlich is extrapolating on the news of rampaging cannibalism in Africa.  But that would be difficult as there hasn't been any such news.  There's lots of killing with machetes but no cannibalism.

Many Americans have been fattened-up hugely to no obvious effect other than developing them as food stocks.  If that's the case then Ehrlich could be partially correct ... but these still aren't corpses.  They will be soon but they aren't yet.

Sometimes they will express their outrage over the health risks of smoking cigarettes or reefer.  Yah, ok.  So I'll smoke a joint and you can go off to eat a pizza or two and we'll see who dies first (cough).

Ehrlich's right:  eat 'em.


Sonya Jevette Warbles at Cat's Art MusikCircus

The sound of a singer warbling is not something I'm even sure I know but, if anyone can do it, the singer is Sonya.

(Left to right:  Cat Boucher, Sonya Jevette, Silas Scarborough, Trebor)

Sonya Jevette sang the "Big Girls" song last night and that's when everyone gets all wobbly, wobbly.   Sometimes I wonder if she gets tired of doing this every time.  You could never tell from hearing her as it's always fun the way she performs it and there's an affectionate Sonya Ritual in it now that goes both ways.


Sonya Jevette writes a whole lot of songs and "Big Girls" is one of them.  Her best stuff comes from her originals as the passion for one's own work can't help but be more powerful than for anything else.  Last night she was focusing quite a bit on her originals and there was a very beautiful flow from them.  For some she was playing guitar and singing but did not use anything else like a drum box or the like.  The result was between a song and a poetic reading and this style flowed through multiple songs.  This was very much Sonya Style and it was brilliant.  She wasn't simply strumming chords for rhythm but rather was playing them for emphasis and the combination with her vocal was ingenious.

But big girls can still chew bubblegum, that's ok too.

The Bar None Worst US Marine Corps Tech Call of All Time

You think you have a problem with Tech Support?  Nooooo ... this guy has a problem with Tech Support.  You copy that, Corporal?  Do you?

"The Rothschilds Control America" - George Carlin (video)

This isn't Jew-bashing crap.  The Rothschilds had influence a few centuries ago.  The Tea Party has not, thus far, caught up to present-day on this matter.

Here's George:

Everything he says is obvious.  The question to me is what to do about it.  I should go forth and talk to nitwits who think the release of the latest X-Men is a cultural event ... right.

Morgan Freeman ... on Helium

So you're saying Neil DeGrasse Tyson is cooler than Morgan Freeman?

Who's your favorite astrophysicist, baybeeeee.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Jesse Colin Young Made the Rain Go Away - Updated

Perhaps you think this is just another aluminum hat story and it involves UFOs or Mothmen.  Perhaps it might ... but the story is still true ... and there are witnesses.  One of the witnesses was the Cadillac Man.

It was the start of a really big day at the Cleveland World Series of Rock.  People laugh at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ... and they have good reason for laughing ... but the World Series of Rock kicked major ass and Jesse Colin Young was opening it that day.  I think after him was Santana and then after that Crosby, Still, Nash AND Young.  This was the last time they toured together and they came out to play ... but not in the rain.

The sky was looking bad and rain had started but there was enough shelter on the stage that Jesse Colin Young could do his set.  He could see what was happening and took a break after his first song to tell everyone:

We have to work together on this to make the rain stop.  If we all pull for this as one, I believe we can make the rain stop at the end of this song.  Are you with me?

At the end of the song, the clouds blew away and the sun came out.  It stayed that way for the rest of the day.

So, how do you think he did it.

I'm telling you it happened as I saw it and I'm not the only one.  Of course, Lotho was trippin' balls so you may not value his testimony quite so much but I'm sure Cadillac Man had not taken any acid ... even if it would have been one of the all-time best places and times to take some.


It's not fair to tease you with the mention of CSNY and then not tell you what happened.  Many, many people cover their songs on acoustic guitars and think they have it all figured out but that isn't what they did.  It was part of it but by no means all of it.

For the first hour, each did an individual fifteen-minute set playing acoustic.  For the second-hour, each did an individual fifteen-minute electric set.

Then they came out and played all-electric together and they blew the name of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young to the stratosphere ... all accompanied by a huge fireworks show.  This was one of the all-time best rock shows I have ever attended and I've been to the best.

If you think of these guys as just sitting around a campfire, you've got it so far wrong!

Happy Birthday to Cadillac Man

Will you still need me
Will you still feed me
When I'm sixty-four

Well, Cadillac Man, it's like this.  I don't know if need like in the song is really going to work and I can't even feed myself so you may be striking out on this one.

Irregardless, I love you, bro.

(I use 'irregardless' as Cadillac Man has deliberately used this word to annoy grammar cops many times.  This is why words like this don't exist.  You can use them and a grammar cop can feel superior about reminding you they are not real.)

Cadillac Man has achieved this glorious date on this glorious date so here's a Galactic Peace Tour hat tip.

Silas at the Circus

There will be a show tonight and the main thing is to get cocky enough about the piano bit to go with it for long enough to get a groove happening.  There is no bass or guitar unless I feel like it so here's a bit that has to stand on its own with just the piano to hold it.  We shall see.  There is no telling where "Immer Einfach" will go and that's scary going into the set but that's what it has to be for what is, in my view, live.

The lyrics are a bitch as getting them onto the iPad has turned into the typical computer nuisance problem (i.e. takes hours and goes nowhere).  If no answer arises, I'll write them out long-hand and that could be better anyway.  I don't want any kind of computing anywhere near the music.

Cat and I have talked about whether recording music is even valid and, more and more, I think it's not.  The fundamental nature of music is that it disappears the moment you release the note ... but ... that isn't the end as it goes to your world of mind and then it evolves in whichever way it will.  The same thing will not happen if you play back a recording - something similar might but that specific reaction will not.  Therefore, the recording is not accurate.

The inevitable reaction is that everyone records ... but you don't know that as you couldn't possibly have heard the ones who don't.

Musicians need to sell recordings to make a living and that's fair enough ... but it's still not accurate and it's solving a different problem, in any case.

The longer picture is to whether anything should ever have been recorded and I'm coming more solidly to the thinking that nothing should be left behind.  Music is supposed to exist in the mind and it was never supposed to exist anywhere else, not on thumb drives, plastic spindles, or little magic devices no-one has seen yet.

Chicagosax Blows Away Cat's Art MusikCircus

The title will be the only stupid pun on playing a saxophone as Chicagosax does it in a way you very likely have never heard before.

The pic looks pretty cool and that stage is something Cat made just for him ... but that's not what he plays.

This is a Yamaha WX-5 Wind Synthesizer

which means it is a saxophone, a trombone ...
or it could be drums if you like.

There are different models of the instrument with varying numbers of keys.  A traditional saxophone has twenty-three keys but this one has sixteen.

MIDI is what makes this work as the instrument determines the note being played and then sends that as MIDI language to a synthesizer which, in turn, produces the actual sound.  That sound can be whatever your demented heart desires.

This instrument sells for $500-$700 US and you will also need to get a MIDI sound module (i.e. synthesizer sound box).

At one point early in the show, Chicagosax was using a voice that was almost a guitar and I thought, hmmm, here's Chicagosax making a sax sound like a guitar and, on Friday, Voodoo will be making a keyboard sound like a cello, and who knows what comes next week.

All of that kind of magic is based on MIDI and, do take my word for it, MIDI is a world of switches and wires that will run you out of patience long before anyone can finish describing it.  The power of it is enormous but the frustration is legendary.

Chicagosax was playing jazz standards and that alone isn't so interesting but what he did with them was fascinating.  There's playing a lead line for grandstanding (i.e. shredding) and then there's playing something exploratory and intriguing.  Chicagosax has been playing for a very long time so he knows well the difference and his leads are surprising and delicious.  At one point I said it was 'wild lead' and I hope that wasn't taken as disrespectful as what I meant was that there is kind of a standard lead (i.e. minor blues scale) and then there's the world beyond that.  Wild lead is what goes into the world beyond and that's where you will find Chicagosax.

There will be another show on Friday as Chicagosax will fill in for Voodoo Shilton.

Oh, just in case you're thinking these Second Life performers are amateurs:  Chicagosax opened for the Rolling Stones with his earliest band, The Missing Links, in Chicago.  Later they became another band you may know:  Chicago Transit Authority.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Saving Things

As predicted, the Nigerian school kids were not found and the story has dried up and disappeared.  So it goes in a Facebook world, the locusts of a world of mind.

Moreover, 69% of Americans do not support a military intervention so apparently no-one was willing to do anything anyway.

The response to what I wrote previously was a bullshit sucker punch.

I'm pissed but I shouldn't be too critical as even Jon Stewart got it wrong.  I gather Rush Limbaugh said something similar to what I did but that doesn't bother me as even that Fascist parasite will get something right once in a while.  Stewart slashed him and that may just be the only time I have ever disagreed with him.

America is forever trying to go around saving things or that's the official story.  What's unusual is that it never works but people keep believing it.

I see the spirits of twenty thousand children rising up and all of them asking, if Heaven is so good, why do I have to die to get there.

But at least they're not hungry anymore ... so say the old biddies say before they go off for tea ... while twenty thousand more kids line up for tomorrow.

Just the amount of food America throws out each day would feed all of those kids for the rest of their lives.

What matters is not the reaction of people in comments but rather what the situation as a whole means to me.  Cat has supported War Child for years.  She has also supported Amnesty International and others.  I don't have a strong interest in Amnesty International as it's at a higher political level and I have no confidence in politics solving anything.  In the corporate world, 'politics' is always the excuse for something that did not work rather than something that did.

So the events in Nigeria have focused me entirely on War Child as it directly serves the children everyone else ignored.

Another one that's very important to Cat is Doctors Without Borders.  These are some of the absolute bravest people on the planet as a good many of them have been killed for doing no more than going somewhere to help their fellow humans.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Maestro Michi Renoir Synthesizes Cat's Art MusikCircus

There are lots of things I might write about Maestro Michi Renoir's live but nothing will come anywhere close to hearing him.  This is a recording of him when he played an RL show in Vienna not so long ago:  Live from Vienna Tue May 06 water world

One of the most exceptional things about this show is that it happened at all as yesterday was not one of Second Life's better days.  SL had been down for hours and Cat and I checked at intervals but it was showing no sign of life at all.

SL came up about an hour before Michi's show and there was no sign of anyone so I didn't think there was much chance of the show happening.  I had to proceed as if the show would go on as the situation would become a huge mess if people showed up at the last minute ... which is just what happened.

Michi arrived, Cat's Internet started working, and, within about five or ten minutes, it became very clear the show would happen.

Trebor had not been at the Circus in a while but he is a musician and he was very much enjoying the creativity of what Michi does.  It's a shame more people don't appreciate it but Michi is playing FM music in what is largely an AM world.  There was a time when you could hear Miley Cyrus coming on the radio and relief was only a button click away as you switched from AM to FM.  Not anymore.

Life is sorely in need of an FM radio switch.  FM radio was the cure for everything.  Got The Cowsills?  Click FM.  Got the Monkees?  Click.

So you can waste time looking for today's FM switch or you can come to hear Michi next Tuesday.  The link to the recording up at the top is the only known capture of Michi's live show.  He never records in Second Life and that's a shame as I know for sure where he would get at least one sale.  During the early part of the show, Cat, Trebor and I were the only ones there.  I said, "We are the only three who will ever hear this gorgeous music.  In a way that's sad but it's also beautiful."

More people came and the show did go on.  Great job, Maestro Michi.

"Immer Einfach" Evolution

There was an article with "Immer Einfach" a few days ago and it's a lengthy poem so the trick is to get it accessible while I'm playing.  The iPad is otherwise useless but it can be good for this.

It's a wee bit harder to make it work.  There are multiple segments in the poem so there must be multiple musical segments to accommodate them.  There's a solo piano bit that goes around for some while but it's a flow rather than a loop.  There's also a looper bit.  So far the bits don't exactly line up together.

There are huge waves of strangeness washing about and there must have been an earthquake somewhere but I didn't feel it.  Sometimes I'll find the confirmation later when frogs turn up all over the place.

What the music has to do with the strangeness is unknown.  So far no frogs have been spotted around the keyboard.

Every so often waves of psychic mindfuck come out of nowhere and you have to wrap your arms around the board to hang onto it.  If you fall then you will end up in the endless black pit of the tunnel worm monsters.  If you can get up and surf, then you're ready to play.

You wonder where is the beautiful when life isn't worth a ten ounce can of bullshit ... but ... if you're still ready to play then maybe you have something to say.

We'll see what evolves.  It's about War Child.

The Concern About Reviews

Things have been somewhat aflutter as the concern is what's a review and what's manipulation.  For example, I say something is very cool and later someone stops doing it.  However, even if I liked whatever happened previously, it's not my place to say you ought to start doing that again.  In a room, face to face, is one thing but not here.

This is very squishy stuff (as in hard to define) and I take it seriously so it's been getting a lot of thought.  There's not a whole lot to remark on it, the note is only that it's very much in the foreground.

The concern isn't about doing them but rather doing them to bad effect.


Disabling the comments because one person has an attitude was stupid.  I reactivated the facility and they are still moderated as that keeps spam out.

Lefty Finds the Crossroads at Cat's Art MusikCircus

Seems another has come up to the Crossroads at Cat's Art MusikCircus.  "Crossroads" was lefty Unplugged's closing number and he's not the only one at the Circus contemplating such things.  That's not a criticism as the Crossroads give one of the biggest themes in modern music because that's where they say Robert Johnson sold his soul to the Devil.  (Vagabonding:  Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil in Rosedale, Mississippi)

It's mixed, tho, as the original Robert Johnson lyrics talk of falling to his knees at the Crossroads but he's trying to get to Rosedale.  No-one seems to know him and he can't get a ride.  What that says to me is the Crossroads are not in Rosedale and they may not even be close.  Search where you will, young grasshopper.

Tell me he doesn't look like Joe Satriani.

Supporting evidence:

I rest my case.

Voodoo has also done a version of "Crossroads" but he has changed it because he doesn't want the association with any deal with the Devil.  It's important to mention Voodoo's version as that one doesn't even resemble the one lefty Unplugged does.  They use the same chords and the same lyrics but that only makes it the same song if you're playing from a fake book for pianists (i.e. fake books have nothing but chords in them).

(Voodoo really doesn't use the same lyrics but that's past the point just now.)

Last night I was noticing particularly that lefty was stretching out his songs.  Perhaps I was just more conscious of him doing it but, regardless, it was cool to hear him extending the themes.  I've mentioned before the meticulous crafting of his songs but part of the genius is that he can alter them as he goes.  I have no idea how much of this is written and how much he pulls from the Necromancer and the Great God Mescalito while he plays but the result is the trippin' that has been characterizing quite a bit of the music at the Circus lately.  lefty talks about Circus Magic and it seems to be enticing people to stretch things and experiment even more.

lefty also seems to be mixing more into his set from songs he hasn't played in a while.  Surprises are good in any case but these were very good surprises.  The set dynamics are probably more important to me as I hear the same sets a lot.  The consideration is still valid as that's a big part of what sets an SL performance apart from RL.  You can get away with repeating a lot of things in RL as people can't see you anywhere near as often as they can see you in SL.

So it was very cool as there was the feeling of taking a song and traveling with it.  The reason I hate pop songs is they never go anywhere.  I want to travel as I listen and lefty is very good at it.

Untolerable Bohemian had a set last night ... but ... SL started showing its best stuff.  Cat could hear him perfectly, as could Eepz, but Tiare from the Big Island and I could not.  I tried everything short of voodoo witchcraft to get it working again but it never started ... until halfway in lefty's set.  It just suddenly started working for no apparent reason.

May I present, Eepz

Monday, May 19, 2014

Tommy Emmanuel, Serial Killer

Good chance Tommy Emmanuel is a serial killer.  I watched a 12:00 minute video from him in about fifteen seconds.  It started and he talked.  I fast forwarded and he talked.  I repeated that several times and kept hitting him talking.  That got me to about the halfway point.  Then he played some blues lick and started mugging at someone in the audience.

John Wayne Gacy got a clown suit so he could mug at the crowd and talk to them.  Then he killed them.

Therefore, I conclude Tommy Emmanuel may be a serial killer.

I've seen him before.  I think it was on QVS when he was selling bulk deals on tuna fish.

He's in the same class as Larry Wannamakeapizza or whatever who has been touring around quite a bit.  They can play these incredibly elaborate things ... that say absolutely nothing.  It was like Oscar Peterson on piano where you just want to shake him and scream, "Oskie, do you know any fucking songs?"

Busted for What You Don't Say

There is no bust but there is the risk of hurt feelings in what I don't say.  I have talked with Cat about the problem of writing a review of one performer but not another and there is no good answer.  It's important to me to encourage but it's even more important not to discourage.  Enough musical beatdowns have come my way that I don't want to do that to anyone else.

There are problems in a virtual environment that you won't have with real.  For the really huge acts, you will hardly ever see them.  Maybe you can hear the act once or twice in a year in a real show.  In virtual, you can catch an act once or twice in a day.

In reviewing shows I'm seeing multiple times, the ones that change the most will inevitably get the most attention because change is inherently interesting.  Maybe it's good or bad but it will get your attention.

Comparisons between performers make no sense.  For example, Voodoo is the best guitarist ... but his style would not suit what lefty does ... and neither of them can sing like Sonya ... and so on.  There is no point in these kinds of comparisons but there's an implicit comparison when there's a review of one and not another.

For the moment, it's best if I don't write anything.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Why Moving the Synth Took So Long

The problem to solve is how to get my playing position close enough to the tiny screen on the computer that I can see what happens.  The current solution may not fully solve the problem but there's definitely no chance of getting the keyboard any closer.  This is why it took so long:

The cables aren't so much the problem as where they go.  All the things to which they connect have to move at the same time as the synth stand or things start falling over.  This isn't even a big pile of cables compared to what I have used in the past but it was quite complicated enough to cause this situation to move only by centimeters at a time.

Now it's done and Equipment Vertigo is live as Nothing Is Where It Is Supposed To Be.  That's ok as the main thing is that everything works and I've verified it does.

Conflict Palm Oil

There isn't really any such thing as 'conflict palm oil' ... unless you're an orangutan and then the war is against you.  The problem is the clearing of climax forest / jungle to convert the area to palm plantations.  This destroys the habitat for the orangutan and their numbers continue to decline.  (Wiki:  Palm Oil)

The premise to protests is that one should stop drinking Pepsi because presumably there's some minuscule trace of a palm oil product in it.  That's a novel sentiment but it won't do anything about the problem.

When people in third world countries cannot make a living and cannot feed their babies, they are going to do everything they possibly can to fix that problem.  If that means clearing all the forests and killing all the orangutans, they're going to do it.  The Reaganoid stupidity of 'just say no' only made that problem worse and so it will focusing on eliminating Pepsi or any other product.  The consequence of it is that people would tear down even more forest as they chase a shrinking return.

You can save the orangutans but you will have to pay more for palm oil.  But you won't ... low-age workers burn in the garment factories in Bangladesh but it doesn't stop anyone from shopping at Wal-Mart.

Some may say there is conscience but the Nigerian girls weren't found and were forgotten in four days flat ... just as I predicted.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Political Amusement and Raising Guppies

Raising guppies is a lot like studying politicians as they reproduce at much the same rate.  A guppy has an extremely impressive gonopodium (i.e. that'd be the bishop, cupcake) relative to his body size and he delights in waving it at others, also much like politicians.

Some people are highly-pissed with what I write ... but it wouldn't be the first time someone dumped me for my politics.  Something started back in Scotland, no idea what.  Maybe I should have been nicer to the junkies.

People sometimes like to project their own anger onto me but it's false as I'm frustrated but I'm not angry, the middle class has got all the angry ones.  I don't need the anger.  Comments have been disabled as mostly they were only used for attacks.

Who is that Guy

Second Life is Going to Die ... Again

There is a prediction of the death of Second Life from a '3D content creator / artist.'  This is someone who creates a virtual penis that can eject pixel sperm.  (Yes, they really make stuff like that)

Naturally, a 3D content creator is someone to whom I would go for advice ... or at least a fun-packed, live action virtual penis.

Read all about it if you like but I seriously hope you have something better to do.  Another crisis will come along in days or weeks, they have since SL started.  (New World Notes:  Second Life Isn't Dead (Yet) -- But SL's Strongest Supporters Need to Know Its Survival Is Now at Stake)

So, yah, he said SL is dead ... but maybe it just needs some pixel Viagra from a different 3D content creator / artist.

Doctor Voodoo Experimenting at Cat's Art MusikCircus

Voodoo Shilton spoke tonight of some years when he was playing guitar with accompaniment from a friend playing tabla.  For many, world music was listening to Ravi Shankar in the sixties - I did it too - but it didn't go much beyond that.  Voodoo started playing it and, yes, he has played a sitar as well.  (Voodoo is too young to have been listening in the sixties but he sure picked up a lot of it somewhere.)

Once again there was a great turnout at Cat's Art MusikCenter and it's in large part because Voodoo is so engaging.  He's a very soft-spoken man and would be the educator you enjoy hearing speak as he knows precisely when something is too technical, etc.  His manner is very gentle and "The Littlest Elephant" shows you the same thing is in his heart.  Soft-spoken doesn't mean wimpy as he has a gift for going right to the heart of anything and he does it without ever sounding patronizing.

I know it sounds like I think the cat pees holy water and maybe he does ... but that goes beyond the scope of the article.  You see I'm a fan so it's a tough thing to write this so you know what I write is not hype.

In the movie, "Doc Hollywood," Julie Warner tells Michael J. Fox, the hotshot young doctor, about onions and how you can just keep peeling back layers.  Yep, that'd be Voodoo.  I suspect you would find a whole lot of them too.

So he spoke of his time playing in an Indian style and he got into it deeply enough to know different types of Indian musical charting.  This is all part of a mindset of musical experimentation and exploration that's immensely admirable.  I've remarked previously about how he introduces new instruments / voices to his music and this is only in the relatively-short time I have been going to his shows.  Experimentation isn't something that came recently as it seems he has been doing it his entire life.

As to musicianship, Voodoo broke a string right as he was about to start his set.  That seems like the King Jinx is on you when you do an intro run on the guitar to check tuning ... and ... BANG ... a string breaks.  That is just wrong.

Breaking a string isn't so hard, going into your first number with a brand-new string definitely is hard.  Strings are feisty when you first change one.  Strings will stretch and slip a little as you play and that takes them out of tune.  The genius in his play was that you could hear the tuning slip away a little but he would finesse around it, get it tuned again, and continue the song, all without missing a thing.  Just brilliant.

He's also renamed "Crossroads," a song I have found particularly impressive.  The new name is "Spin the Compass" as there is an association at the Crossroads of a deal with the Devil but that is not an association he wants.  Spinning the compass goes more to being at Rabbit Ears Pass in Colorado.  It's the watershed line for the entire country as any rain falling to the east will stay in the east and the same with rain to the west.  So, young traveler, which way will you go to find your water.

Voodoo is one of the few musicians with whom it would be cool to hang out.  He's an exceptionally bright guy so it wouldn't do to bore him but he's also one of the few exceptionally bright guys who are good at conversation.  I'm sure it would be fascinating and I know some of you are huge fans so you can entertain yourself with that thought.

Regarding Exceptionally Bright Guys:  I worked with one who came in through a rainstorm for midnight test work the team was doing at the computer center.  He was soaked and spent the duration of his time wearing underpants, a tie, and a hat ... he also knew where every electron was located in the University terminal network and which cable it would use to find its way home.

Talking with Voodoo, probably easy ... talking with my colleague in the tie and the underpants, not quite so much.

There's a great deal performers could learn from Voodoo.  The music, of course, is exceptional but the way he engages the crowd makes you feel like he is talking and playing directly to you ... and he is.  He knows you are there and he tells you.  Many people miss the importance of this and it may be that the juniors have not played on real stages so they don't know how special it is that you can see who is at your show ... more importantly, that you can talk to them.

The looper means Voodoo can keep a fast pace to his show.  There is very little lag in-between songs for some sort of technical gimcrackery ... or ... he is so smooth with doing it that he is making changes while he talks.  Either way, that pacing is a very good thing to learn.  Regardless of whether you use a looper or however you keep it moving, the pace, in many ways, is important as the music.

Most of all, the willingness to experiment sets Voodoo apart.  It doesn't matter what kind of experimentation you do, just that you do it.  Getting into the idea that the highest musical art always needs risk gets all metaphysical so let's just leave that open.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Music Doesn't Need Report Cards and Letter Grades

There is a growing concern in me that there may be more problem than benefit in the reports I write for shows at Cat's Art MusikCircus.  My position has always been that I will not compare the performers and I don't ... but there's an implicit comparison in writing glowing reports for some and not others.

My concern is that doing this may make performers nervous as some will always be more confident than others.  For example, if I do not write a report for someone one week then what are they to think when they see me at the next show.  It may well be that if I hear nervousness, it could be something I caused by what I write or, maybe worse, from something I didn't write.

I need to talk to Cat about this to find her impression of this.  My purpose is to give a good view of the MusikCircus and the musicians who play there.  They are all deeply-thoughtful musicians or Cat would not stage them.

As to my own show, I can write as I have no confidence anyway.  I have a lot of balls but confidence not so much.

Any show that sees you puking into the toilet five minutes before it starts is probably not going to go well.  I told Cat to warn her I had troubles but I absolutely did not want to cancel.  I hadn't played for her the week before so it was not at all acceptable to cancel again.

I was beautiful, tho.

People on Facebook go on and on about the need to reveal their real selves.  Then they start posting selfies.  So, let's review:  you've got some ol' guitarist who hasn't seen the sun since you could get gasoline for twenty-five cents a gallon and who has been stuffing his face with pasta the entire time.  Oh yes, Godfrey, post a selfie, please!

If you're going to get virtual, might as well have fun with it or why do it at all.  As far as I know, it's not supposed to be a retreat to hang with Tibetan monks.

So, no, I really don't know how the show went but I do know that time was going faster than I thought and that's a good sign.  I probably won't upload anything as "Immer Einfach" got a small test but I wasn't satisfied with it.  I will listen to it as I was surprised by the direction it took and maybe it's still cool.

Gig energy is a magical thing.  One of my greatest musical heroes was dying but he gave a show not long before that happened.  On-stage you couldn't tell there was a thing wrong with him but off-stage people were helping him to stand.  I kind of hope no-one ever tries to get scientific about what the energy around a live show really is because that would, for me, take away from it.  I just want to feel it, I don't care about any numbers.

Paris Obscur Blows the Tent Off Cat's Art MusikCircus

Sometimes emergencies can bring good things.  I got a message from Paris that he was in a bind and needed a place to play.  The show was to go out on an Internet radio so this really, really had to happen.

There's only one thing to be said at that point:  meet you at the Circus!

In a rescue show, it's not realistic to expect too much.  The show was scheduled for somewhere else, notices have gone out to people, it's been promoted, etc.  Usually this breaks down into confusion.  The show does go on ... but no-one is quite sure where.

That is not what happened on Wednesday.

People started coming ... and coming ... and coming.  The show was packed!

It's two days later and still I hear:

I drive
and I drive
'til the End of Time

That's from "Drive" by Paris.

The only problem was that the Internet had tanked for Cat as this is Spring so let's send some lightning to bust up Cat's Internet.  There is also Crocus with Spring so it's mixed.

Paris' show is evolving in subtle directions.  It's not so subtle to throw an electric guitar into it but the subtlety comes in how he does it.  There's an overall 'Paris vibe' to the show and suddenly blazing out on some ridiculously-fast guitar lines would not fit at all ... so he doesn't do it.  I would not be at all surprised to discover he can play high-speed but chooses not to do that as it wouldn't be musically-relevant.

This was an incredible show and definitely an excellent one to be sending out to the radio.  All the time I was thinking how much Cat would have wanted to be there but the next best thing for her is knowing the MusikCircus was serving her performers and that it did well for them.  Oh yes, it definitely did those things.

Paris thanked me but what I did only took a few minutes, what Cat did took seven years.  This save was definitely hers.  On her behalf, thanks to everyone who came.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Bible is Against Homosexuality

My friend, Shmoo, discovered a group called 'The Bible is Against Homosexuality' on Facebook and went to war with them.  This didn't last long as at least those fruitcakes know when they are being insulted.  He asked for some tactical support so I saw my duty and (cough) rose to it:

I have zero interest in rooting out these idiot groups online but some see it as a necessary resistance to their rise.  Fair enough ... but I usually stay the hell away from them ... because ... you can't cure stupid.