Glad Rags and Cold Bags
Live and in Person
Pop Hymes, drummer extraordinaire, Natchitoches fishing legend and general all-around bon vivant, is fond of telling jokes, particularly ones that focus on musicians in some way. For example:

Three guitarists arrive at a studio to audition for a band. The first one is called, goes into a side room and finds the rest of the auditioning band waiting. He does his thing. When he's finished, the listening drummer shakes his said and says, "sorry, man, you've got too much loft." The first guitarist is not sure what that means, but understands the rejection. He returns to the waiting room, and signals the second guitarist to go on in. The second guitarist completes his audition, and this time, the bass player grimaces and shakes his head - "sorry, dude, too lofty." Likewise rejected, the second guitarist confusedly goes back to sit down. The third guitarist finally goes in for his audition. When he's finished, the lead singer says, "Nope. You've got desire, but your performance suffers from loft." At this point, the third guitarist goes back outside and joins the other two previous guitarists, who are waiting to see if any of them got hired. One says, "I don't know what these guys want. They said I had too much loft! What the hell is loft?" The other two guitarists describe their experiences too. None of them can figure out what "loft" is. So they decide to find out. They return together to the audition room and say, "what is loft, anyway?" The drummer shakes his head, laughing. "It's not loft. It's LOFT. Lack of Freakin' Talent."

This reminds me of things my father used to say:

"You should probably sing tenor. Ten or twelve miles away."
"Why don't you take a solo? So low we can't hear it."
"You ought to be in Hollywood. The walk would do you good."

And my favorite ...

"You should be on the stage. It leaves in five minutes."

A definition of punk
Live and in Person
You know how you can tell if it's REAL punk music? And not stadium punk, pop-punk or some other homogenized derivative? Real punk draws you into thinking and reacting to the world personally, as an individual. Not as one of the lighter-lifting masses, but as a unique voice of dissent. You may be singing the same lyrics as the person next to you, but you're separately digesting their meaning.

The Burning Times
Live and in Person
He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself. -- Thomas Paine

Reminds me of a poem I wrote back in 2003:

The Burning Times

It did not start with a single matchstrike,or bonfires blazing brightly in the night;it began with thinking they did not likethe fact that they might not be in the right

about everything; and so found kindlingthat could easily burn (at least catch fire);once the ready supply began dwindlingthey had to begin to plot, to transpire

against perceptions, to find illusionsthat could ignite the passion of the crowdto step beyond thought and discount reason.In this chaos, amidst such confusion,

can any call themselves brave or be proudif they are not currently in season?When we say, “never again,” do we mean“not to us”, or never to anyone?

Because we have been burned, are our hands cleanwhen the call for blood has again begun?Or is it this: that we truly believeone man in prison means no one is free;

that one widow or one orphan that grievesis too many? Are we too blind to see,despite our claim of universal kin,that the warm safety of our little den

is fueled by our dissident neighbor's pyre?How long will we continue to buy in -until the flames come just for us again?Who will be left to put out that great fire?

23 FEB 2003

Live and in Person
It's all exposed online, you understand:
my life is more or less an open book:
my birth, my education, then my work,
and shared, too, all too soon, sickness and death.

The details that might make my trip unique
are no more poignant, pithy or sublime
than those comprising your own storyline;
if you want juicy gossip, look within.

This fascination with the small details
that keeps us all so spellbound with delight
as constant updates try, in little bites,
to feed our self-important appetites:

where does it end? And can such urgent lives
except in death expect to find much peace?

10 AUG 2009

Working on a Building
Live and in Person
"You are what you are because of your past daily habits. Day by day you must make or
break your body. You either build it up or tear it down." - Angelo Siciliano (Charles Atlas)

The way we live our lives is not one choice
that made, concludes the match or casts the die
beyond a moment's span or single day.
Like a deep breath once taken, it expires

and needs to be renewed, or else will fail;
and like that ring inscribed "this too shall pass"
that brought a sense of balance to a king:
when happy, knowing there was coming sad,

while in great sadness, finding seeds of joy,
so the decision that we make each day
to sow new life (or increment our death,
as Henry Miller put it so damn well)

determines who we are - not for all time,
but for each precious second of our lives.

07 AUG 2009

Other Colors Besides Black
Live and in Person
I often wondered, when I was a goth
(did we have that name back in '85?)
about the downward spiral of the world;
and contemplated shadows, where I thought

the secrets of the universe were kept.
From chiaroscuro, I firmly believed,
a balance quite long-lost could be restored.
But just how deep I thought, I question now;

it could be I was restless, young and bored
with trying to achieve so-called success,
and plotted revolutions in my mind
that would require no real degree of work.

With who I used to be, I'd like to share
a lesson learned from twenty shadowed years:
there are so many colors besides black;
the only limits are imagined ones.

05 AUG 2009

The illest Buddhist ... LOL ...
Live and in Person

Sickest Buddhist from GenerateLA on Vimeo.

No Time But the Present
Live and in Person
Time was when I used to write a sonnet a day - for about two years, if you care to look back through the archives here.

I think it's time to kick start that old tradition. You know the saying "There's no time like the present"? Well ...

No Time but the Present

I could pretend that life is fine as is:
an endless string of cloudless, sunny days
that start and end in some exquisite bliss,
a smile that finds my face and somehow stays.

And yet, to just imagine such a place
seems such a boring, pointless waste of time;
to think that at least half the human race
is waiting to retire there, is sublime.

For most can barely make it through a day
without expecting more, right here and now;
Eternity? Quite frankly, there's no way
to even fathom it. I think, somehow,

that what we have right now is all we need.
You use it, or you lose it. Guaranteed.

04 AUG 2009

Blast from the past ...
Live and in Person
Thoroughly enjoying listening San Pedro's own Minutemen. Haven't listened to D, Mike and George since, well, since the 80s in San Pedro, remembering how cool it was for punk intellectuals when the skinheads weren't around.

Our musician compability
Live and in Person
1. Have you ever played in a band that performed original material? If no, then stop. We're probably not musically compatible.

2. Name ten bands that have influenced the music you've played/written in original bands, in no particular order. For example, mine might be:

The Beatles
Black Sabbath
The Cure
Lou Reed or maybe more like Iggy Pop
Elvis Costello
Jonathan Richmond
David Bowie
Black Flag
Bob Dylan

If you don't match at least three of these, stop. We're probably not compatible.

3. Name at least 3 bands not listed above whose style you've considered, but never had the opportunity. For example, mine probably would be:

X, Yes, Blondie, the Damned

If you don't like at least one of these, stop.

3. On a scale of 1 to 10, how important are the lyrics of an original song you're performing? If less than 6, stop. We're definitely not compatible musically.


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