Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Haters Keep On Hating

Why do the Democrats hate America? Why do they believe that the health of corporate persons* is more important than the health of real flesh and blood Americans? Why do they constantly kowtow to the childish whining of Republicans?

In the Senate today, a bunch of mealy, sad, pathetic Democrats sided with a bunch of Republicans today to shut down a fiscally responsible public option plan that would have provided decent health care to millions of Americans.

Why? Why? Why?

Only today I was confronted by the inequities of the American non-health care system as it stands. One of my students has had multiple hospital visits in the last two weeks resulting in multiple hospital bills; a parent is recovering from major surgery and unemployed because of it; grandparents are in a care facility; healthy parent also unemployed thanks to the depths of the depression we are in. My student is the only working member of the family. At a fast food joint. And this family will be losing their home soon because of the almost impossible financial burdens of medical care they have experienced in just the last year.

Why? Why? Why?

* Have you ever met a corporate person? Me neither. Sounds like the bogeyman of all bogeymen to me, Stephen King's red-headed step-child with a dull axe.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Seventh Organ

I can''t tell you much about how I became such a rabid fan of Ben Chesney and Six Organs of Admittance. But if you haven't heard Ben or SOoA, think John Fahey meets VU. That should have you running to Walmart!

All I can remember is reading about a review of a SOoA album in an issue of Ptolemaic Terrascope and knowing that I must hear this band with the super cool, super hard to remember name. Whatever the reviewer wrote fired me up completely. Pretty sure the album was Dust and Chimes. Back then, in the early days of online music, I had a subscription to Emusic, when they still allowed unlimited downloads every month. Boy, did I ever abuse that service! I still have about a hundred CDRs full of 128-bit MP3 albums I downloaded. If I thought I might wanna hear it, BAM! Whether or not SOoA was an Emusic find, I don't know, but there was a lot of great stuff from labels like VHF available.

Hmm...I remember twenty years ago better than ten and both much better than last week.

Anyway, well, um, however many years later or so I'm still a rabid fan. The new album is incredible. Buy it. Buy all their albums. NOW!

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Sound of Fear

This is the sound of frightened old white men. It's beautiful music, kids, bee-yoo-ti-full!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Prayers Come True

Though the music I've presented here may not reflect it, I'm not mired in the musical past. I started this blog to try share some of the live music I've collected over the years by the artists that strongly affected me in my youth. And overall, it's been fairly successful, for me at least. Fun too.

But I don't live in the past. I keep my mystical ears wired as much as possible. During the 90s this was terribly frustrating because My Smart Wife and I were physically and culturally isolated, living in Kirksville, Missouri for the middle chunk of that decade.

Kirksville ain't a bad town, but our circumstances limited our appreciation of and enjoyment of it and Missouri considerably. Basically, we was broke. Poor almost. We sometimes used milk crates for furniture and prayed that when a relative visited there might be an old chair or used TV tucked in the back of their vehicle for us. That and cheese and beer - we always prayed for cheese and beer. Couldn't buy the former (not good cheese) in Kirksville and couldn't afford the latter. I remember how wicked and conspicuously consumptive we felt once buying an 8-pack (yes, EIGHT PACK!) of Rhinelander at $1.98. *

So, in those heady Pre-Internet-Is-Every-Goddamn-Where Days it was hard to find out about new music. I felt starved, wasted! That started to change after we added The Boy to our household and one of my brothers gave me his old Mac in exchange for a refurbished Kirby vacuum cleaner (oh, Kirby - what can't you do!) and we got our first dial-in connection to the college My Smart Wife worked at.

My kaleidoscope eyes were opened wide! It really didn't take me long at all to find out that there were many other freaks like me out there - you know who you are!!! - and after suffering in isolation across the country, across the world, for so long we now had found a tool to reach out to our freaky brethren.

One of the first online discussion groups I joined was Drone On, devoted to new music, to "drone" - whatever that is; still trying to figure it out - and weirdness in general. I freakin' ate it up! I read every post, every thread - though I hadn't a clue what the bands they were talking about really sounded like. Kirksville had a used CD/book/magazine/porn/head shop but even if a used CD by one of these weirdly named bands (Bardo Pond? WTF?) had shown up, I didn't have the 7 bucks to buy it. I had a baby to feed, dammit!

I began to create fantasy symphonies in my head, based on the band names and the album titles and the ecstatic descriptions of the music by the different posters. I ached to hear the real thing, though I feared I'd be sorely disappointed when I did. Finally, I started to connect with some listers and they pitied me and sent me compilation tapes (tapes!!!).

Wow - there was some mighty cool shit being laid down and my imaginary tunes weren't half as weird and fun as the real thing.

And then one lucky day we found ourselves on a rare outing to Columbia, home of the University of Missouri and a couple of decent record stores. It was a splurge day. Pizza out, new work clothes for My Smart Wife and something for me. I'd been scrimping and hoarding for months and had almost 20 bucks to blow! Big spender, big spender.

I was freakin' out though, because all I saw was the same old crap, nothing new, nothing weird or droney enough to satisfy my new compulsions. I had a list with me of all the bands that got talked about on the Drone On list and couldn't find any of them at the little weird record stores. Finally, just before we left town, I went to a chain CD store, my expectations lower than my arches.

It was my saving grace. First CD I saw, I bought - Amanita by Bardo Pond. That was all I bought because it took all my monies. Loved the cover, loved the "feel" of it, the vibe it gave off. Though godless, I was praying - praying it wouldn't be total crap, praying I hadn't just wasted my cash.

My prayers came true. First note, first rumbling scree and first emerging roar, first thud and first whomp - everything I suspected might be true about a band that gave itself such a cool name was really true. I almost cried. Beautiful, so beautiful.

That was the start of my delirious affair with Bardo Pond, the late psychedelic love of my life. If you haven't, go now to visit them, to bathe in the sacred wine and traipse through the holy groves with John, Michael, Isobel, Clint and Ed. Order some tunes and some cool t-shirts. Tell Michael that gomonkeygo sent ya.

* I do not endorse the drinking of Rhinelander beer nor its use for medicinal or cleaning purposes of any kind, regardless of its incredibly abrasive qualities and assumed industrial uses.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

People Who Died

When I was student teaching, a young sophomore girl in one of the history classes I was teaching at a very small rural high school was reading The Basketball Diaries. She was a bit of an outsider, let's say. Smart, funny, weird, literate - my kind of kid.

I made her day, became her favorite teacher ever (I exaggerate, to make myself feel better) by asking her how she liked it. She was amazed I knew the book, that I'd read it and even more amazed when I started telling her about his poetry and his music. She didn't know Carroll was also a singer - I told her about this song, one of my all-time faves.

So, for making a small-town girl feel better, Jim - thank you. For helping me make a connection with a great kid, thank you. I still see her around town, in fact I expect I'll be seeing her next week. We have something, someone, to talk about again.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Seeing Red!

Comrade Obama has abandoned the party, fellow workers of the state! We have been hoodwinked and played for fools!!!

Yes, it's true. The White House (oh, when did it turn from Red?) has released the text of "President" Obama's speech to our nation's children he intends to give tomorrow.

And there is not a word of socialist/communist/leftist propaganda in it! We've been betrayed!

Nothing about the Twelve-Year Plan (for terms one, two and three of Obama's Thousand-Year Rule) or collectivization of farms and government takeover of utilities and health care. Nary a hint of the forced sterilization of Whitey and the wholescale slaughter of Granny! Nothing about working for the Leader! Nothing about the "Summer Camps" for the enemies of the State. Nothing about the Youth Army at all - what kind of speech is this?

The children, the poor children. They are leaderless...

I'm afraid the dream is over, comrades. Return to your cells and plot anew. The revolution has been cancelled.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

What Would Jeebus Do?

I almost wish the fantasy of Christianity were true and a space-god would return to judge us all. Because if it's that hippie from the New Testament, then he's gonna go Manson. All over so-called Christians like this guy and this guy. Not too forget this dude.

All preachers of the word. And the word is "Kill!" They all are publicly preaching about and praying for the death of President Barack Obama.

Lovely people. True believers. Scum of the earth.

Everyday I hope to hear good things come from the mouths, minds and hearts of the religious, the kind of things that my own pastor used to say, about charity and loving others and forgiveness. Everyday I'm disappointed. Everyday I'm more convinced of the irrationality of all religion and I'm confirmed in my belief that we need to grow past it to survive.

Maybe I should look into Scientology. If Beck likes it...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Here's a blast to keep you sane from Nazz Nomad.

It's a Caterwaul of Sound, man, a Caterwaul!!!!

Love the bridge or the chorus or whatever it is. Awesome.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Craaaazy! Ev'rywhere You Go!

Man, I was gonna write about sitcoms today. Seriously. I'm always wanting to write about sitcoms. In fact, I've always wanted to write for sitcoms but that's a whole 'nother story.

Instead, I bring you...VERY ANGRY WHITE FOLKS! Yeah! Anger! Yeah! White! Yeah! White? Not much else to say except I really need to talk to the genuis at about one minute twenty seconds, who somehow managed to distort the space-time continuum and put a several hundred year old wooden warship inside of a small paper pamphlet! This guy's our next Einstein, I tells ya!

Did I mention crazy? Seriously, these folks have opened the Crazy Door, put out the Crazy Welcome Mat and stocked the Crazy Fridge full of Crazy Cola for the Big Crazy Party.

Personally, I don't hate them. I actually feel great pity for them. They are scared because the man in the White House ain't white no more. And evidently that's the only sense of identity they have. Their lives are meaningless without the prop of their skin color. Very sad. But they only get one boo-hoo from me and that was it.

Bye, crazies!