...literally, moving on! Spending this week saying farewell to my beloved home in exile, DISGRACELAND (Take the tour!
), while also preparing to merge with my current galpal, Emily. We've got our claws in a late-50's ranch house straight out of my interior-design wet-dreams: 3 bedrooms, 2 living rooms, 1.5 bathrooms, a breakfast nook, a giant back yard, and a swinging patio area. More than enough space to host three people, 4 cats, a movie studio, and about nine states' worth of glitzy thriftstore bounty. We're going to spend the week polishing wood floors and painting the walls aquamarine.
The new house is away from East Lawrence, which is strictly terra incognito for me... But I hope that a move out of my old stomping grounds, away from downtown and all of its psychological guideposts, will finally help divorce me from the last decade of my life. Moving on, indeed.
Wrapping up a week of three shows from both bands: Two with SEXTAPES
, one with PALE HEARTS
, (which ended with a drug fueled vomit sesh under some bushes in North Larry)...Now I'm taking a week or two off to focus on TEEN TROUBLES instead.
Hopefully we'll have this last bit wrapped up by October, ready to edit, so we can start scripting our next project, a shot-for-shot remake of TEENAGE STRANGLER:
The plan is to start shooting in the spring, with an eye towards breaking in cast and crew for our reboot of THE GALACTIC JUNGLE, which, despite all odds, I'm still hoping to finish before I die.
Shooting one movie, writing two more. Two bands playing three separate shows this week. Two jobs, one of which I called in from this morning just so I would have time to MAKE FOOD. A car that needs worked on, a computer that needs worked on. Four cats. An outline for a novel. Enrollment fees due for my daughter's 5th grade year. Utilities in the balance. Diversion fees still pending from January's epic domestic battle. A drinking problem, a drug problem. The looming possibility of another move.
No time. No money.No friends. NO REGRETS.
Two stray observations:
1) Either you're in a band, or you aren't. After that, the JUDGEMENT begins.
2) Lawrence is a great town for afficianados of crimes against hair.
3) It feels good to be back on Livejournal.
The tide rolls in, the tide rolls out...the phases of the moon wax and wane... but all things come full circle in the end.
Thusly, Yours Truly returns to Livejournal.
I've had a few adventures, but you I never forgot you, friends.
It has been presented that what we view as reality is simply a construct, that we interact with a shared intelligence to enshroud ourselves within a prison of symbols. Wiser minds than my own have acknowledged that peering through this veil of symbols is akin to waking from a form of cultural amnesia-- but it requires no small effort to chip through the shell of languages, logos, credos, and gestures that define our species, especially when our senses are constantly bombarded with text messages, reality shows, energy drinks, celebrity gossip, extra value meals, and meaningless political cock-flashing. It's easier to just give in, to absorb the flashing lights around us, and let the talking heads deliver information in tightly controlled bursts.
Priests, politicians, and witch doctors of all stripes have historically staked their claim to the access points of "The Divine," merely adding their own brand of symbology to the mix. In this way, the layers of our reality-construct have become more elaborate, and the greater truths have become more obscured. The hologram of reality is defined by its symbols-- thus, whoever can manipulate these symbols can manipulate reality. This practice is known as "magic," or in some circles, "marketing."
The problem with magic is that our most successful practitioners-- specifically heads of state, business leaders, and clergymen-- only seem to extract the information that benefits them most, that reinforces their power-position in the world. Hence, the Nike swoosh, the Jesus cross, and the printed text in most history books. Your teacher, your pastor, and your nightly newscaster are the only intermediary between the symbol-makers and the symbols themselves. Any actual, meaningful contacts with a "higher reality"-- such as dreams, deja vu, out-of-body experiences, hauntings, extraterrestrial contact, or the occasional psychedelic freakout-- are immediately explained away, filed in the "discard" rack, and summarily forgotten. If it doesn't fit within the parameters of our assured (read: DICTATED) headspace, it didn't REALLY happen. Case closed.
But what happens to this knowledge after we cast it aside? The forbidden history, the forgotten names and experiences, where does it all go when the warlocks-in-charge seal it behind the plaster wall of illusory status-quo? Does it vanish forever? Or does it continue to exist somewhere, in the supercontext beyond this shared hallucination we call "life"?
The answer, I think, is quite obvious. That knowledge is still there. Information never dies. Quite the opposite, in fact-- it grows faster and larger with each ticking second. It remains, sometimes hiding, but always waiting to be absorbed by the right minds. This is the realm of the occult.
I like to peer through cracks in walls. I like to overhear snippets of passing conversations on the street. I love digging through trash for discarded treasures, reclaiming forgotten bits of this world and recycling them into something new. This is a vital part of my daily existence-- I wrap myself in the fringed edges of our culture and crawl through the public eye like a beautiful scab. I pore over record bins and junk drawers in thrift stores in every town I visit. I will bury myself for hours in the dingiest corridors of abandoned buildings, memorizing every layer of graffiti, every ancient shoeprint, every oily rag and empty can. I visit these lost corners of culture and mind and I bring something back every time. Sometimes my brain is so full that is spills over at the sides, staining every lyric I write, every story I tell, every movie I shoot, every drawing, every thought, every movement, every breath. The information I collect is re-introduced into the world, and my reality shifts accordingly. The larger my projects become, the greater my sphere of influence-- you see where this is going?-- until eventually, I hope to channel this information in such a way that the group mind is altered on a mass scale. This is what the Situationists referred to as "seizing control of the Spectacle." I can do this through music, through images, through words. All I need is a little charisma and a willing audience.
Do I consider myself a magician? I am proud to say that I do-- although not in the most traditional sense of the word. To me, books like THE PSYCHOTRONIC ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FILM or THE RE/SEARCH GUIDE TO INCREDIBLY STRANGE MUSIC carry as much esoteric weight as anything churned out by Crowley or Regardie. I derive as much hidden meaning from a viewing of GLEN OR GLENDA as I do from my daily tarot readings. And while I don't hitch myself to haughty, antiquated rituals as a means of directing my will, I do see an immediate correlation between musical performance and spellcasting-- both involve inducing a trancelike mood to bestow information upon the attendant group. Leading a band and screening a movie is just another form of wizardry, in my opinion, and the more practiced I become, the more arcane knowledge I project into my work, the more of a change I can effect on the external world.
CONTINUED IN PART TWO: THE PROGRAM (AND HOW WE GOT WITH IT)!
Yesterday was one of those days, one of those long, wearying days. One of those "strung-out homeless guy comes into the bar on your shift, starts screaming at a customer who politely declined his offer of a free drink, threatens to fight everyone in the bar when you tell him to get the fuck out, so you hose him down with water from the soda gun hoping the merest touch of moisture will cause him to disintegrate but it only pisses him off even more, and while you're on the phone with the cops asking them to come down and arrest him he gets into a fistfight with one of the regulars, so you set the phone down and hop over the bar and help push him outside, but he won't let go of the other guy's shirt so you have to smash his wrists with your elbow until he screams and calls you a faggot and runs away, then you hop back over the bar, accidentally knocking the phone into the sink and destroying it, then get back to pouring drinks for all the shlubs who sat around without offering to help" kind of days. You know the ones I'm talking about.
If I had a readily available turd-on-a-stick next to the beer cooler, these kinds of things wouldn't happen.
Enjoy these stills from "Five Dolls For An August Moon." For some reason, none of our peers seem to find this movie as amazing as we do. I understand it's not Bava's finest, not by a long shot... but it's hardly his worst (that honor belongs to Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs, I believe), and even shitty Bava is better than current best-renters like "Shoot 'em Up" or the live-action "Underdog."
Legend has it Bava hated the script but was forbidden by his studio to change anything. So, rather than focus on the schematics of narrative storytelling, he opted to pack every scene with as much stylistic flair as he could muster... What remains on screen is a candy-colored satire of giallo conventions, celebrating the drywall-thin characters and meaninglessly convoluted plot with as much enthusiasm as the ultravivid sets and breezy Eurotrash soundtrack.
CLICK HERE for your listening pleasure!
Again, hardly a "classic" movie, but probably the most delicious slice of pulp trash I've digested in a long time.
Why send your leftover holiday cash to some worthless charity? Dig deep into your hearts and wallets and donate to a truly worthwhile cause-- by making all of my X-mess dreams come true!
Here's what I need to complete my list:
I like to refer to my new fashion aesthetic as "Dangerous Dandy." I enjoy being able to pull off my scarf and gloves the moment I walk through the door, wad them into a jaunty pile, and toss them into the bowels of my upturned top hat. If only I had a slicked-back manservant to accept my coat with a nod of curt indifference, the entire ensemble would be complete... Except for one key unmentionable: SOCK GARTERS. Suspenders and flouncy ties are all well and good, I suppose, but nothing quite says "I'm a deservedly pretentious arse" like a pair of elastic sock garters riding your shins. For a while, I considered just having them tattooed on my legs, but then I realized I would also have to get socks tattooed, and once you've gone that far why even bother donning footwear anymore?
2. RAKISH ACCOUTERMENTS
I might also find it helpful to incorporate the following into my new, dashing lifestyle:
3. A CARTOON SANDWICH
Sandwiches always look much tastier in illustrated form than in real life. Why is that, I wonder? So help me, I intend to find out.
4. A SENSORY DEPRIVATION TANK
What better way to unwind and dwell upon the greatness that is me? If I could spend up to seventy minutes a day absorbed in the womblike blackness of an isolation chamber, my creative nature would flourish, and as a result, all of humanity could be healed by the omnipotent influence of my artistic genius.
5. A WALL SAFE HIDDEN BEHIND A PAINTING OF MYSELF (OR ONE OF MY MORE DEVIOUS ANCESTORS)
I couldn't find a picture to accompany this request, but Google Image Search for "wall safe" produced this astounding (yet inexplicable) piece of work:
6. THE HEAD OF HUEY LEWIS ON A SILVER PLATE
Most of us got over Huey Lewis at an early age. Some of us (myself included) never fell under his spell in the first place. An even smaller percentage of us were born after Huey's reign over the musical charts had come to a screeching halt. Having never been exposed to his particular variety of blues-rock assholery in the first place, they see nothing wrong with the occasional scan of "SPORTS" or "FORE" at top volume in the middle of the day. As you might have guessed, I work with some of these people, and their nonchalant attempts to chip through my crumbling layer of sanity will not be tolerated any longer. If I could only send them a signal-- say, by mounting Sir Lewis's head on a pointed stake outside my workstation-- perhaps these shenanigans would come to an end. I'd hate for this situation to evolve into some kind of headlines-generating shooting spree.