Monday, April 14, 2008

No, I'm updating casually

Hello Friends!
Boy, it's been another nonstop week for this sandy old Widow! But in my brain, I think it's been more like three years again. Oops!
Mazochi and I recorded the Official Studio Cut of "The Duffel Bag Shuffle" for the Mountain Man web series. All-in-all, I'd say it was a pretty spectacularly positive experience--considering I typically avoid working with him because he's crazy and, more importantly, he decided to quit smoking on the day we started. Yeah, you read that right.
So now Mazochi's extra crazy and I'm extra crazy because... I guess it was unfair to say that I "typically avoid working with him because he's crazy"--I suppose it would be more fair to say I'm just crazy and patchy in the collaboration department... I think things in fast abstractions, especially when I'm nervous or insecure, and so it makes it very difficult for me to communicate. Any of you ever read Melville's novella Billy Budd?
Well, long story short, this poor guy Billy Budd, who everybody loves because he is just so blissfully good-hearted--naive, you might just say--takes a job on a British Naval ship and gets himself into some bad trouble. You see, despite his good heart--his innocence, you might say--he has a flaw: he stutters terribly. He has trouble getting anything out, you know, like his tongue gets tied.
Well, as I remember it, young Billy gets by alright--everybody loves him, after all--until a dark fellow, Claggart, tries to frame him for mutiny.
Billy can't defend himself, obviously, because the words just don't come. And in a moment of pure disbelief, the innocent Billy Budd punches Claggart in the head and kills him. Everybody knows Claggart was a scumbag and Billy is an innocent, but in the end the Captain, who loves Billy, must put him to death to preserve the greater good, presumably. Or something like that...
Anyway, the subtext, as I can recall, was that Billy's lovely innocence had no place in his world. Almost, even, that his presence in his world brought about its own end... A captivating instance of metaphorical bloom in the "real" world, brought to us courtesy of Herman Melville, a man whose mind was way out ahead of and behind his time. A man who might just have felt a bit tongue-tied himself.
Now where was I? Oh yes. Well, in our world, no punches were thrown. Mazochi and I both made that leap of faith--the one where you know you're both tongue-tied--everybody's fuckin tongue-tied!--and you decide to begin deciphering in good faith what one and the other are getting at.

Well, yeah. Creativity is adaptability is captivity is transcendence. Our minds are poised on fluctuating undulating currents of metaphor. We are imaginary numbers. We are the imaginary numbers that make our own imaginary equations add up. Radical negative one, we used to call it, back in the war days. World War Public School System. WWPSS. World War PS². World War Playstation 2. World War Whadya'DO?!
Hi. I'm Mike Miller.
What else? Okay... Had a show at the Whiskey. Good times! People said the sound was excellent. Now I'm in Humboldt County! With Chuck and Kendra and pets... I'm actually exhausted. I've seen things these past few travellin' days... Old, old trees... Old trees that have watched the beach for centuries... More... All of it looks like consciousness... It all looks like the shapes of consciousness. Literally--whatever that means and in actuality as well. Really it does. It even looks like the shapes of what I see when I flip through the telly, gov'na! What could it mean?
When I write it, it seems to obey some more order... Except that it only obeys the order I can translate and impose, which is imperfect and, more than that, impractical. Impractical when you consider all that it is you are trying to say. But when you ought to transcend... You run smack into a society that built itself on the sanctity of its own languages... Its own metaphors, of course, at a deeper level. Self-coding, self-interpreting metaphor engines. Or metaphorical engines... Or... Enginas. In-jeans. Jones-ing for in-jeans. Keep it in your jeans, Jones.
No I will not! I will, instead, pursue adventure! Smash! And bring knowledge, WITH A SMASH!, into the Western World!
But we're not doing that, Dr. Jones... It was already here when we got here. It is working on us. Deeper metaphors are already at work on us. They explain themselves with us--using US as units. Of course we do the same, then, after we consider that we are perhaps being watched... That we are, perhaps, the terminus of some kind of focal point... But we then, with some effort, are able to convince ourselves that we are interpreting objectively...
Objective--what does that mean today?
We are a beautiful feedback loop. Ideas, like electricity... Media, like water. Mmm, we could cook meat by mixing the two and zapping it... Or... We could try to understand one... Or the other... Maybe both... Perhaps we should just try and figure out how many different ways we could cook the meat using the electrified pond... But G.I. Joe told us to stay away from downed power lines near puddles... But I saw how they recut that old cartoon clip and made it really funny with different voices on YouTube. That shit was funny.
Okay then... Let's just see what different kinds of spark patterns we can create by tossing the power lines into the pond from that high perch over there--up on top the school-bell! That should give us the kind of distance and acceleration we need for some really serious fireworks! Then we can sell that shit!
"But our power-water park was not meant to cater only to the super-rich..."

And then that fuckin' investment lawyer gets his ass FRIED!
Everybody eats meat that night, but snarling metaphors in the mist drag the rest away before sunrise. Their thoughts then join those of the lawyer in the electrified pond when the metaphors ritualistically piss there, on the shifty banks of the electrified pond.
That, of course, kills the beastly metaphors, all accept for one, with an immunity to death by pissing in electrified bodies of water. This metaphor is grateful and multiplies (somehow), then is killed by its children when it won't go out and rent or buy Jurassic Park on VHS. You see, this wise metaphor thought a better metaphor for its own precarious position in this chaotic world would be a couple tapes of GI JOE episodes--dubbed VHSes, with original commercials from the times they aired. Just for a bit more perspective, you know... Just so they can know how... How... How did it survive again?
Well, no matter--it's dead now. We dumped the body in the river by the old power plant. No use in confusing anybody. And wouldn't you know it, when we were about to leave, just right out of the blue, one of those big old power poles just went ahead and toppled there, right into the river! And the current started pulling at it, and, well--you can imagine what happened next!
"Oh... Yes, I think so. I think I can imagine that..."
"Don't bother! We got it on tape--or, uhh, on my brother's digital camera! I just put it on YouTube! Go check it out!"
"Go with God!"
"Uhh... God is good!"
"Oh, uhh... I was just saying--"
"Just go check out that video! I bet it gets more than 50,000 hits by Tuesday morning..."


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Impressions of Recent Events

Wow, it sure is hard sometimes to want to write what you're feeling!
Hi, I'm Mike Miller.
Well, I just gotta say I really enjoyed the Ranch Party, Ranch Redemption: Redemption, which was held last week. Our friend Quinn came up... He tracked an album with Mazochi a number of months ago and arrived with pressings in hand. He played an excellent set to a capacity crowd in Alpha Cabin. It was wonderful to see how many people actually showed up to our springtime opener. The Widows followed up with a barrage of hits, and I was even given the chance to play electric licks on our acoustic lineup, which I took as a vote of confidence from our rapacious leader, Michael Mazochi. He saw my eyes and new that I needed to feed the need.
A good population of our neighbors showed up too! Our scheduled Tesla Coil demonstration was postponed--in favor, of course, of extra unscheduled fun. I completely support that decision. Now I await even more eagerly the appearance of Tesla's Coil on our Ranch.
Food and spirits were had by all, long into the night. Limits tested, trespassed, and respected. But in the air was excellence. My good friend shoved me into bed and there I rested.
Sizzler breakfast. Goodbye friendses. Chuck and Kendra. Never endses.
And then, throughout the week, as our band practices and plays showcases to awed audiences, Chuck and Kendra pack their suitcases. Play Playstation. Quietly arrange their safe transition.
We played a showcase at the Whiskey, arranged very graciously by Mr. Mike Giangrecco. Had an awful nice time there, and a lot of our elders gave us their approval. That shit is good as gold, especially in our times, when so much of what we do is to manifest a subconscious escape from their manifestations. That's why I live on this mountain. And the only way is love.
Next night we're playing at the Spaceland! In Silverlake! With such bands as Nightfur! and Craft Club! Thanks to all who came out to this one, which was a very fun show, all accounts. We forgot to bring the power cable for the Wurlitzer, and we didn't have a backup keyboard available, so we had to scrap our two keyboard-augmented songs. Bummer, because that includes one of our favorite new ones that's been getting all our friends to smile. It was okay, though. Mazochi pulled me aside and gave me his counterproposal: sub out the two keyboard ones for two non-keyboard ones, ones that kick ass. I thought for a moment and then concurred. The night proceeded splendidly. Thank you Is Good Radio for including us on the docket! For the record, our band forgot to redeem two of our drink tickets (Tedd had them, even though he's off the booze), and so I'm thinking there was a little something extra in there special in the way of extra value there, for the Spaceland. Thankyou for having us! That great big blue shimmering curtain really made me feel like we were on a late show of some fashion or another, which was great. Tedd and I discussed and we thought it was like Conan kind of. Oh, wouldn't that be a serious thrill!
Friday rolls around and Chuck and Kendra have got a moving truck and a trailor hitch and all of a sudden this whole thing--this Chuck and Kendra moving back to Humboldt County thing--this whole thing is finally happening for real. Makes my face like having a little crying behind it. Andy was a champ helping to move that big 18-footer through our obstacle-ridden drivepaths. And hitching up the trailer that is currently hauling Kendra's vehicle. That's a badass couple, that Chuck and Kendra. That's a couple I figure helped me out a lot over these past two-and-a-half years. All those midnight meals. Puppy piles. There were plenty of times I would watch their pets while they were away and one or the two of them would find me sleeping on the couch in a pile of pets and pillows when they came home. Just today, not long after I awoke, I was first acutely aware of their absence, when I walked down the stone steps near their empty cabin. They both told me that they weren't leaving the Ranch--they were just extending its boundaries. I can buy that.
Did you know Mazochi was the guy that married them? I mean performed the ceremony. He got his license to wed others from the internet, all totally legit. This would be almost two years ago. Mazochi and I also played for the wedding. Chuck and Kendra made two requests, each to be performed by one or the other of us. They picked Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" for me to sing, and asked that I change "Caroline" to "Kendra Bane," which I did, with gusto... But the doozy was that Mazochi had to play Kenny Rogers' "Lady," which, if you know the track, is, ummm... Not exactly Mazochi's cup of tea. So we had to sit down and work out an arrangement that jived just a little bit more with the dark prince of folkypop... And we ended up with something that I think surprised the both of us as far as its poignancy in the moment went. Kendra even cried real tears.
But listen to me, I was so drunk that weekend for so long on a keg of beer that magically never ended--you just ask anybody that was there... That thing lasted the whole camping weekend in the middle of a forest and a bunch of tents housing a bunch of drinkers--I was so drunk I remember everybody having an English accent, so... Anyway, it was one of the greatest times.
Today I recorded a little rockin' guitar for a new Mazochi track. Feels good. Tomorrow we'll get started on Duffel Bag Shuffle: the Studio Cut. Should be fun. Oh yeah, I took Tedd to LAX some time recently... He's taking a spell back in Upstate--looking to mend some fences... Or mind some friendses. Reweave the tattered warp... Errr... He'll be back before our next show, at the Whiskey.
Okay! Good night!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Ranch Party Recovery Mode Alpha

Well hello there! I wanted to quick post about how happy I am that you all who did come out came out to the Ranch Redemption: Redemption! It was a real super-duper affair, and memorable! Pictures to come, and analysis! Also information about Tesla's Coil when it becomes available! Keep out one peeled ear and a socket for an eyeful!