Cursive is Code: The Key to the Songs

OK, First business, then Monkey Business.

Join your Author as he unveils his new band Cursive is Code publicly for the first time at Cafe Nine for the Sunday Buzz series Sunday August 1st with super special guests Lys Guillorn and Her Electric Band getting back together for the occasion.

So one more time: Cafe Nine (250 State St, New Haven, CT 06510) Sunday August 1st. Show starts at 4;00 PM and is free. Cursive is Code live debut. It will rock and that is not hype.

Want to know what you are in for? follow this link to a Live and Raw version of our tune ‘The Deleted History Of Us’ here: https://soundcloud.com/jason-p-krug/the-deleted-history-of-us-live-and-raw-full-band

In my estimation, the Greatest Story Ever Told (with apologies to the Bible) involves a team of heroes…or better still villains….who come together with a single minded intention.

This can be World Domination or World Saving or planning a particularly surprising Surprise party…. When you get a group of disparate individuals pulling together like a team, great things can happen.

Usually after a series of bad things. Cause that is Creation. And Creation ain’t always pretty. I refer you to birth, at large.

People come together, disagree, come together, make a little more progress…disagree…..repeat. People get tested and either rise to the challenge or stop returning phone calls. The goal in mind grows larger with the sweat equity of work. And Luck plays a hand. Because as much as we want to believe that hard work can get you what you need, Luck can do it faster, better, harder.

And the only thing that improves this concept is if everyone is holding instruments.

A band is a living thing. If it is healthy. The people around you can hold you together. If it is unhealthy, the same, but it is like a trust fall. There will come a time that they will not be there and you will fall hard.

This is a fable based on fact. This is The 1200 Bar Blues.

The Grand Libido: Magic is a deal. Magic is the willful suspension of disbelief. And so is sex. It can send you outside of the atmosphere (if done properly) or ground you to the life line you need to survive.

It can also upset your apple cart, destroy your home, your sense of self respect, the concept of trust in general. Sometimes if done properly. The rightness of the moment is magic, the reality of the next day is stage work. A genuine suspension of real belief required.

In summary, Sex is Magic. And here’s a song about a magician.

Hopi Fest: This is a song about charity. Or to the point charity gigs. I must state for the record that I am not against charity or charity gigs. The reason I must state that to this imaginary record is because of this song. It’s a true story and some of you may have been there, early on the bill on  shitty Sunday at Sneakers. The gig that caused Hogan to hate reggae. The gig where we went on last to the deep disappointment of everyone who wanted to just go home. When we dropped acid about half way though.

It Could Be The Drugs (It Could Be The Dancing): Have you ever received a note in you band email offering a gig in the big city? They state they have found your song and LOVE it (capitalized). And they have an opportunity for you to play where the action is: (insert big city near where you claim here)? This is your chance! Of course the gig is on a Wednesday morning which is usually where the music scouts are out looking for new talent. Plus you will have the benefit of playing with other bands. Its not a competition. Its not. But make sure you bring everyone you know and everyone they know. Though its not a competition. Really.

Kinky Devil:  Regarding the next song, Kinky Devil: No Comment.

Summer of Drummers: This is not a new quest. This may be a life long quest. Maybe my ultimate quest. I have no luck with the makers of beat. Drummers are like the hot chicks in the bar: everybody wants them, needs them, but they play to many other dudes. BTW…if you know a drummer, give them my name

Houston, We Got A Problem: This song exists for one reason. Lucky Money Oil. If you were conscious in the 80s you may remember seeing these in a variety of 7 11s and Wawa’s in your travels. A small bottle of oil that if you use will bring you great fortune. The downside is that it smelled like Patchouli and Grim Death. This song is about spilling that oil in your car and rolling up the windows IN THE Summer Sin to see which of your friends could last the longest before ejecting.

Show Your Work: Half of this band are teachers in the public school system. And a lot of our friends are teachers too. I have learned a lot from them even now, mainly that I wish I paid attention to the teachers I had. But I have heard the term ‘Show Your Work’ a few times and it struck me. This … this whole day…. is me showing my work.

I’m The Singa’: It requires gumption (or balls) to say Im The Singer. To step out on the stage with nothing but your voice and words you don’t remember and sell it…. As noted: balls and gumption. This one goes out to CC of GG.

The Death Of Indie: I blame Society. And Spin Magazine. Big radio and Pitchfork. I blame myself and some of you. What is Indie Music? Isn’t everything Indie Music? Are we Indie? Are you? This is a crime scene investigation with a wicked beat.

Our Future Is California: The best description I have heard of this song is from my mate Julie who stated ‘The prettiest F.U song ever.’. This is Our Future is California

Who Plays First: this is a tale based on the apocalypse and proper band placement. This is my ego to a 4 x 4 beat

The Deleted History Of Us; This is my take on a modern age Grimm Generation song. CC and I were always fascinated by the interpersonal interactions via the Internet, and how this formed our culture on a global level, but as deeply, personal relations. This song is about the last gasp of Internet love.

The Greatest Story Never Told

The greatest story ever told? I said it so I must mean it. Right?

Right.

This is something I have said before. Probably in this very space. It is something I believe. And something I have done.

And it goes a little something like this (hit it!):

The Greatest Story Ever Told is based on a band that did not make it. A Band you never heard of, playing songs you never knew.

But what about the coke fueled parties? The difficult second album? Who slept with whose wife / husband / daughter?

What about the grandiose celebrity failure checklist that passes as music journalism?

You see, bad behavior is not exclusively for the rich and famous. We have all done pretty fucked up things.

So for the Coke Fueled Parties, you get a junkie drummer. And that is no party.

Re: the difficult 2nd album, how about trying to get a gig during a pandemic where everyone who was afraid to go outside at all developed genius marketing? (More eloquently, if you cannot go up the Mountain, watch the weather because there may be a time that the Mountain will come down to you).

The assorted affairs? Yes, you need to be rich to do that. Right? (crickets…)

No…these are trappings of success. Right down to the fact that they are reported and cataloged and presented to a generally uninterested World.

No. What I am talking about is Death or Glory.

Or steady work or Glory.

Playing shows for the bartenders only or Glory.

Packing your shit back in the van during a blizzard where no sane soul would even leave their house … or Glory.

‘Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns!’ he said: Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred…’

These are matters of faith. You trust your Muse; you weigh your chances and you make your move. And you seek out folks with a similar vibe, a similar desire who can hopefully play an instrument you cannot. When you bring a group together with a single-minded idea of what they want, amazing things can happen. Usually in line with samples sized bites of true disaster. But that’s show biz.

Bands come from everywhere. They can be your long-time friends, or family. They can be friends of friends that you have hung out with some but don’t know them that well. They can be an anonymous donor of rock that you found on whatever acts as Craigs List this century.

And you get tested. And they get tested right along with you. And how you all deal with these tests…is a test.

I have played with people I have not cared for. I know that people who don’t care for me have lined up behind my songwriting. It’s a Devils Deal…. but that doesn’t mean it cannot be successful. Some bands sound is based on the raw anxiety that each individual member has by having having to spend time with the other members. Fact: these are usually my favorite bands.

‘Their’s not to make reply, Their’s not to reason why, Their’s but to do and die: Into the valley of Death…’

If you have the drive, you push through and a proper line up gets assembled. Though unless they are friends or family, don’t get used to them. You’re not the only one in town selling this dream.

And songs come together. (Note: this whole magilla is related original bands playing a roughly Westernized Pop style. If you play jazz, I have no idea why you are even reading this).

You write songs with a message, and that message does not need to be deep. It does need to have a hook. Something that resonates either melodically or lyrically.

You bring these songs to the collective and everyone adds to the brew. The song that you wrote alone in your bedroom half drunk becomes a clarion call informing the sound of what you do. It is one of the most pleasing parts of the process having a musician kick up an idea that you would never have even considered and its genius. Something subtle, something wholly revelatory. This errant child of your drunk sadness starts to walk upright. And maybe shimmy a bit.

This is Glory. This is why potential is an absolute addiction. You broke your own heart writing this song with real tears and after it goes through the process, you sing it without a care. Cause everyone has a job to do.

So you build songs together, work up the dynamics, the drama with continuous practice, continuous play. A night or two gets picked and that is Jam Night. You all take to the Lab.

It is a secret thing right up until you start selling it.

‘Storm’d at with shot and shell, Boldly they rode and well, Into the jaws of Death, Into the mouth of Hell Rode the six hundred…’

The more time you spend with these people form the bond that is necessary to take on the upcoming disappointments. The first being that the more time you spend with these people, you realize that there is oil in the water and always will be. Everybody has a job to do and your current job is keeping your mouth shut.

And how could disappointments not come? This disparate collection of self-involved souls have created a masterpiece out of the ether. The World will tremble. The bars will overflow with milk AND honey when they behold what we created.

Inside the Jam Room, you forget outside the Jam Room. That you can be good, you can be motivated, you can be willing to lay down your life for that Glory. But you are unlucky. And an unlucky zealot is just a dude with an opinion.

‘While horse and hero fell, They that had fought so well Came thro’ the jaws of Death, Back from the mouth of Hell …’

And maybe time has passed you by. Maybe you are not in line with what ‘the kids’ are buying. Maybe your just tired.

Its possible, of course. With each victory thwarted by an uncaring World, the stress shows on all of the faces surrounding you.

You press on. A good review versus a bad gig. A drinking problem versus firing your guitarist. The slowly reclining press of a culture that is ceasing to exist at all.

This won’t stop you. It never does. You have something to say. Maybe in the next band.

‘When can their glory fade? O the wild charge they made! All the world wonder’d. Honour the charge they made! Honour the Light Brigade, Noble six hundred!’

Sunday Night Radio: What Is This That Stands Before Me?

Hello Beautiful. I will start with the most obvious question: Is this post a cheap ploy to bring home the fact that Cursive is Code (my band) is being played on the Mighty WPLR 99.1 Sunday night at 10 PM on the Local Bands Show (https://www.wplr.com/2020/12/10/the-local-bands-show-12-13-20/)?

Maybe to bring up the fact that it will be stream able the following day on the replay through Cygnus Radio at Noon (https://cygnusradio.com/)?

Of course not, Silly. But do listen.

No.

This post is about growing up in the shadow of this particular 50,000 Watts station and why being featured on Sunday nights makes me feel like I have magic shoes that allow me dance on ceilings.

When I was growing from boy to older boy, before all of my comic books were traded for a single Alice Cooper ticket (it is a great Rock and Roll story and a poor plan), this station is why.

It was the King Biscuit Flour Hour and the show was ‘Black and Blue: Black Sabbath and Blue Oyster Cult).

I was about 12 at the time and comics were my life. I was into the X Men (as any right thinking outcast kid in the suburbs should be). Everything was comics. They covered my walls, my few friends were collectors and we would trade all day long.

So, a quick study of this is I was a kid who was into fantasy. Not the wizards and sword and sandals stuff. The deepest I could go into that vibe was the Frazetta posters that also adorned my tiny teen bedroom. And I’m not convinced I hung those there for any reason than I was 12 and the girls started to interest me.

This was my life. My parents even brought me to my first Comic Convention which was NOT a Comic Con. It definitely had more the vibe of the Waterbury Record Shows (on Sunday Mornings!) held at Ramada (or w.e.). Meaning it was generally middle aged dudes who smelled foul.

It was not until the Waterbury Record Shows that I realized poor hygiene was a tactic. Smelling bad was an excellent way to make sure nobody stands to close to you as you are digging for gold among the crates of vinyl.

So I was a nerd, but so were you, don’t lie.

I had always had older brothers and sisters and cousins who brought around music. Despite my young age, I was raised on Yes records and first albums James and I received for Christmas which were ‘Queen: Live Killers’ and ‘Aerosmith Live Bootleg’. Also an 8 track of ‘David: Live’.

Which if you boiled down the elements, you get my musical career.

So I was aware of rock music, considered myself a fan but it was comics. Until that Sunday Night ….

I was getting ready for school and had 99.1 Rock on because I believed that was what I was supposed to do. I barely owned any records of my own aside from a few single 45’s my Dad would get for James and I whenever he hit it in the Lottery. Understand I am not talking about ‘Lottery Winners’. That term itself is an oxymoron. If he made a few bucks on the horses or daily numbers, we would know when we received a 45. I remember my first one was Thin Lizzy ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ and James opted for David Bowie ‘Golden Years’

(Which if you boil down the elements….etc.)

So it was 99.1 Rock Radio on all the time. Dr Demento was likely what brought me there. The real prize was ‘The King Biscuit Flour Hour’. In a pre-YouTube universe this was where you heard performers live. It was the only way, at the time.

So, getting ready for School Monday on a Sunday night and the show starts. The opening sponsored announcements. I barely paid attention.

Then the bell.

The fucking bell changed everything.

On the Heaven and Hell Tour. Opening number ‘Black Sabbath’. I knew none of this at the time (my sister listened to Volume 4 which when I hear again I knew every word without knowing I did).

All I knew was the sound of wind and rain, howling and the Bell. My ears perked up like a dog who heard a can being opened. I sat right down and stopped everything. The World itself stopped spinning and all focus was on me and my speakers.

‘What is this that stands before me?’

What’s Your Story?

So, cracking open the Nu Music Marketing 2020 Bible (Do not look for this. It doesn’t exist.) it looks like we are up to the Bio section. Prove your worth in under 300 words.

Using words. Stupid words.

I like words as anyone who happened to read this before will know. Not necessarily correctly spelled words. No words that have never existed before I forced them into some public dialog. Words are flexible and fun. Are they entertaining? Yes. Can they describe the total picture? Perhaps not.

When considering what I wanted to say about myself and CiC, I pictured creating a hieroglyphic bio, something with dogs and coffee and sunrises and stars and more coffee. I like coffee. Something that would bring the reader into my fractured world of…words. Without words.

Have you noticed if you say the word ‘words’ over and over and over again, it loses meaning? It is a sound, but not really a word. This is after repeated applications.

Anyway…. words (see?). The practical plan for Bio writing is simple:

  1. List your accomplishments (actual not imaginary …. Though it’s only words, right? So, who cares? The Music Business cares, that’s who! Fly right!)
  2. Describe your sound (though its accurate, I don’t think my genre tag of ‘Sounds like two robots f*cking’ will please the Overlords of The Music Business)
  3. Always written in third person. (I prefer 5th Person because from a fifth person perspective, one starts to “feel” the system in a different way, recognizing that one’s own perspective on and in the Anthropocene is merely a perspective, which itself is a perspective, which in turn is a perspective. Am ’I Right?’
  4. List 2 or three influences (OK, so I’m opting for Poverty, Validation and The Mountain Goats)
  5. Always list what is happening RIGHT NOW!! NOW!!! (I am endlessly pushing a stone up a hill for eternity. Forecast for tomorrow: the same damned day)
  6. List any Music Business contact you have. (I know Elvis Costello. Well I saw Elvis Costello. From a stage. Does that count?)
  7. Be Engaging! (Fu* k Off!)

So I balance all of this sage advice with the fact that …well…words. Ya know? You don’t? Let me explain…

Blah blah…. blah blah blah blah blah blahblah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah…blah…blah blah.

You see? Sure you do.

So before I write a real Bio for the Music Business I wanted to try one here:

Cursive is Code, or CiC for short is a new group featuring singer / songwriter Jason P Krug (Award Winning Mountain Climbing Professional Bowler who is three inches taller than his listed height) and Julie Kay (sweetest patch of grass on the Earth and a noted Baker / liberal nutjob).

Together and with their previous band The Grimm Generation they have knocked out Muhammad Ali, swam the English Channel, tamed a wild beast with a song…and some drugs…Lots of drugs.

The Cursive is Code sound has been described as ‘Who?’

The sound is based on their love of Sammy Davis Jr (early work), Ministry and that one song from that one move…what is that song…dammit….

Currently CiC is writing their bio.

Care and Feeding for your ‘The State Enforced Renaissance’

So you decided to purchase Cursive is Code’s debut record ‘The State Enforced Renaissance.’

Good for you! I like a person who buys records. Especially mine. I’m cheap that way.

Just as a primer I have decided to put a guide together to allow you get the most out of the Cursive is Code experience.

Parental Warning

Despite the cute cat videos and general goofy mayhem, this is not a record for kids. As noted, the themes of this record are Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll. In what order depends on the song. The sounds will make your kids dance about in arrhythmic patterns…maybe a bounce or two…but do not let them look at the liner notes (does anyone remember laughter…ummm…liner notes? That is a Classic Rock Joke squared). There are a few swears that will be bore out when we get to playing out live at which point, I will swear like a Redd Foxx record. Naughty stuff, bad stuff, likely about your mom.

Fact is, the powers that be (meaning the companies I paid to post this) already put that ‘E’ on the record based on the song ‘It Could Be The Drugs,’ which was why I changed that song’s title in the first place.

Legal: Cursive is Code does not accept responsibility for your kids turning into Rock Stars.

What do I feed it?

Nothing. It is a record. 

Where is the best place to listen?

This record was designed to create high energy, rollicking, and shimmying back and forth. Dance to it. Drive to it. Cook spaghetti to it. Fall into La Dance De La Fornicato with it, hopefully with a partner. This is NOT Sunday Morning Music, except maybe ‘Our Future Is California.’

Is there a narrative?

Excellent question. No.

What is it about?

The meat of the Cursive is Code sandwich is the history of being a local light on the scene far past one’s due date. But that is not exactly what ‘The State Enforced Renaissance’ is about.

The idea is to combine this and the next record into one big extravaganza. But then I read on Hypebot that extravaganzas are not in this year. I almost did it anyway as I am an artist. No one can tell me what to do with my art, including producing a record so dense that an average listener would fall right down with the weight of my pretension.

I did not do that. Look forward to my posthumous collection where I will unleash this particular Kraken.

No. For a change of pace for me this record is about…relationships. Yeah, I know. I have one note and I know how to whistle it.

But unlike the lovely and depressing Zen record, this one is about the good and the bad parts of lovin’.

It contains a rare actual love song to my band mate (and Mate) Julie in ‘Reward Animals.’ ‘We Kick Sparks’ is also a love song, but a bit more about adult lovin’.

The Wrong Playlist’ is the anthem to being in way over your head love wise and the results.

Our Future is California’ is the attempt to say the worst things possible in the sweetest voice I have.

The Deleted History Of Us’ is a modern love song…wait…. Did I put this and ‘Wrong Playlist’ on the same record? They are both about the same thing. Fine.

The Grand Libido’ speaks for itself, obviously.

OK, You have convinced me. Where can I find this record?

I will unleash the list in a moment. But send us emails at CursiveisCode@gmail.com and you can have such claptrappery as this popping up in your mailbox as the mood hits.

To everyone who already made a little space for this record….we deeply appreciate you. To those that haven’t: Click…buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

(jk)

Amazonhttps://music.amazon.com/albums/B08BPM7Z1M?ref=dm_sh_6dcf-baac-dmcp-9599-bcc78&musicTerritory=US&marketplaceId=ATVPDKIKX0DER

YouTubehttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCucQbyUI0JVbJ_6jD0IRYUg

Apple Musichttps://music.apple.com/us/album/the-state-enforced-renaissance/1520026802?uo=4&app=apple+music

ITuneshttps://music.apple.com/us/album/the-state-enforced-renaissance/1520026802?uo=4&app=itunes

Google Playhttps://play.google.com/store/music/album/Cursive_Is_Code_The_State_Enforced_Renaissance?id=Bwu2c2gchgh6tnp27shz52sebgu

IHearthttps://www.iheart.com/artist/cursive-is-code-34308964/albums/the-state-enforced-renaissance-105220567/

BandCamphttps://cursiveiscode.bandcamp.com/album/the-state-enforced-renaissance

Spotifyhttps://open.spotify.com/album/1zGZBOd7tko4WGk0dFE5HQ

Deezer: Your album is live on Deezer

MediaNet: Your album is live on MediaNet!

30 Days At The Crossroads – Part 9

Dusk comes to the crossroads. A decided chill in the air as we press through November, and not having the finance to run the heater, I am layered in most of the clothes I brought.

Such a strange place. I feel invisible here. I expected that some local cop would eventually pull up and check my purpose. I thought that the folks who travel this route would be gawking at me, wondering what exactly I was up too. I have not seen a single person even look in my direction. It is solitude. And it should not be.

Things like this make me wonder. Is it this place, so often driven that it becomes automatic reflex to focus on the road? Is it my purpose here that allows a spectral anonymity?

It is a strange feeling to be in a wilderness while being about a 8 minute ride from a WalMart.

_______________________________________________________________________

Beyond the half way point of November and no signs of progress. No nightly visitors, no pens of flame or blood. Just waiting causing me to question whether this is my residency in Hell. If that is the case I could do worse.

It is sunny today. Most of the leaves have left. The lovely burnished red of the foliage replaced daily with naked branch and blue sky blooming. The grass going from summer green to earthen tones.

I know the rhythms of the seasons. I have lived here all my life. This land of Devils.

That is not said as an opinion. New England born and raised.And always driving distance to some place with ‘Devil’ or ‘Hell’ in the title. As far as I recall, this was Puritan lands back in the beginning, and anything that was considered unusual was named unnatural. And a place where mysteries let loose. Devils were always about according to the Puritans. And names such as Devils Den, Devils Hopyard, Satans Kingdom, Hell Hole were given to the places that pricked at the cosmological conscience were warned away from. 

The country, the USA, started on this side (meaning East)and so the oldest and more arcane history comes from here. It gets in your blood here, the dirty ground of real history. It redeems your daylight and electric candles as weapons against the cold Yankee nights.

There is blood in the ground here. Older blood sunk deeper into the soil. We have attached to our homeland witch hunts and Native American massacres, famous murder and forgetful grounds. As a kid, I ate this up. The book I would always own was the collection of Yankee Magazine Myths and Legends. There are vampires in Jewett City, mysterious ‘BOOMS’ out of Moodus, bodies buried beneath New Haven Green, the Melon heads stalk Dracula Drive in Yourtown, USA. Every part of the country reflects its age in its fears, whether it is roving gangs of homicidal hippies in the California hills or dead shot long dead gunslingers in the west.

Here, our history is longer and fears more traditional, rooted in mystical depths. And that brings us to Hell.

We use the tools we have available to review any threat. In these modern days, mysteries are knocked down with regularity. Science tracks the phenomena, action and reaction and creates a hypothesis. The concept gets debated, back and forth, sometimes for centuries.

Without the science, we are left with faith. What someone wants to believe, someone will believe. If you believe your suffering will allow you a better view in Heaven,you cannot be dissuaded. If someone avoids the simple carnal pleasures for fear of dropping down into Hell, you will not be convinced. Even using plain science, where facts are not negotiable, people will see what they want to in the results and base their opinions on this flawed logic. And will not be unconvinced.

The Northeaster woods crawl with witches and boil with entrances to the abyss. The shore speaks of ghosts of pirates and haunted lighthouses. The cities whisper with murders and long held grudges coming to boil. We are cold people, in a cold place. As cold as the stones that sit in our multitude of cemeteries. As cold as the bodies that lay beneath.

 And we will not be unconvinced.

—————————————————————————————————-

Cloudy night with a glow of the Moon distant. Deeper shadows round the crossroads tonight.

What will it be like when I am rich and famous? What will it be like knowing what waits when I eventually flame out completely. Is having nothing an audition for losing everything?

_____________________________________________________________

I have a song in my head. It shook me from a dead sleep. That has never happened before.

30 Days At The Crossroads – 11/3/18 Part 2

To say I came here without expectations would be false. I have big expectations.
To say I came here without thinking it through…. that I am not so sure about.

I do not believe in an afterlife. And yet I come to this road and I wait. I come every day. Every day.

I have left my job. It kept me away from this place. Where I need to be. I need to shake some shit up, in an astral sense. Poverty does not scare me. We are old friends.

I am afraid. Terrified. Afraid of what will happen when he comes. Afraid of what will happen if he doesn’t.

11/3/18_______________________________________________________________________
It started with books, long days at the local library gaining knowledge on a number of subjects pretty to my dark mind: ghosts, New England lore, multitudes of ‘Phone Calls From The Dead’ and other 60’s paperback parapsychology propaganda, horror movies and Colonial history. The information I needed was learned though legend and cheap literature. And that knowledge did little except give me a reputation for being the fat, weird kid. Or so I thought.
________________________________________________________________________
Sitting here, alone in this deteriorating auto, acoustic in the back, crushed cigarette kicking up, I wonder if this was why it was important. Was this date fated?

Even asking that sets me in place as myth. I am not myth. Yet.
_________________________________________________________________________
Words worked within me. Not the paperbacks I studied or books of legends I stole. It was words sung out loud. The meaning behind the act of saying anything to anyone a all.

After Kara came Shannon. After Shannon, Michelle. After Michelle, Krystal. Into infinity. And each had a song written for them, a pledge contained in every line and my heart woven throughout the lyric. They were not songs proper as I was not handy with an instrument. They were verse / chorus love letters no one would never hear or see.

It was the creating of worlds with unknown outcomes. It was creating characters, even in simple sketches of syllables. It was my license to become a Gentleman. It was all the brave words I never spoke, all the proclamations I kept private. I went from drawing Spiderman on my notebook cover to capturing phrases overheard or misunderstood.

An act of Zen recording these simple rhyme patterns on a lined sheet of paper, my printing block, my pen unsmudged. I recognize this for what it is now. Control. Sanity. But I was 10, so Sanity was an over reaching abstract.

The concept of chorus, where you distill the lyric and kick in something punchy, something melodic or a slogan, was burned in my brain from living in a culture that valued such acts of market driven trickery. Not that I minded. I felt writing a good chorus was comparable to winning a sports competition, except after your done running, hopping, playing, scrimmaging, all you have is a memory.

I have 4 lines that can define you. Call the unnamed conspirator on their pride, labor, spit. Raise or dash them. And they will live on forever. This is my power, what I was given. I made myths.

I still believe that too. And this is where it led. This shadowy clash of flat top roads and the suitable scent of sulfur.

8_devil-at-the-crossroads-lo-res

Click Bait For A Grateful Nation

Profane ideas and anarchy
The atmosphere slips from static to rabid
Spotlights spin and kill the battery
Bodies in the basement, heads in the attic
Seduce with cruelty, destroy with flattery
Amping up the electrical addict
Cigarette City, Celebrity nudity
with every cheap exchange shot cinematic

Bad weather, good natured
Green means stop, red means floor it
Watching the watchmen and tablature
Fight it, Fuck it, Ignore It
Social scavenger, local massacre
Ramming speed, four on the floor it
Breaking down the unnatural ambassador
If you can’t join it, deplore it

No regrets but no one forgets
Your ass is a star but your still on the dole
No regrets but no one forgets
You sold your soul without a loop hole
No regrets but no one forgets
You bought in for a bigger role
No regrets but no one forgets
No regrets but no one forgets

Sex and state and God and fury
Fear and truth the line is blurry
Peace and love and fascist fashions
Click Bait For A Grateful Nation

download

Horton Hates The Who. Do You?

Of all the grandiose mysteries this experience called Life offers us, the current one stuck in my craw, the one I stutter on the hard consonants of, is the legacy of The Who.

For those who are too young to understand (or to think this is a half baked, fully stoned Sci Fi reference…or even a pronoun), The Who was a Rock Band. Not a Blues band turned up. Not a R&B band (yeah, that’s right, come at me Who fans…).

The Who were big. Bombastic. Smart…maybe overly so. The Who were required listening if you lived in a Classic Rock Town. The Who made amazing music, killer singles, created a sound that would in time be bled of purpose and become ‘Radio Rock’.

As the big bands of the time continue to be worshipped, deified in these days of ‘All the best music is ollllld…..’… not The Meaty, The Beaty, The Big nor even The Bouncy. I have dear friends whose taste I trust implicitly who can’t even listen to the stuff. And look upon the World at Large….there is still Zeppelin Radio Hours and Pink Floyd Nights and endless Beatle-y bits. But The Who is fading.

Why? I am not even the biggest Who fan…but I know why they are great. Some truly great songs, a real Rock and Roll attitude not hampered by fear of offending, concepts that are occasionally dumb but…ambitious. A literate lyric style unique to the author and the sound. This is where Punk came from, in attitude, in ambition.

So…sure. Rock Stars deservedly. But…..what happened? I am going to take some fairly unthunk up guesses…cause I don’t know. Do you?:

1) The Never Ending Ending: Sure the reunions were cash grabs. Sure, it was ridiculous that they continued to even exist after Keith Moon died. Is that it? They may have been the first, right? Certainly not the last. I will say though…the cash grab does come off a bit worse for wear from a band that seemingly had an ideology once upon a time.

2) Pete: Yeah….Pete. It is an uncomfortable subject. It is a hazy subject. Let me tell you how uncomfortable: I have no interest in looking it up. Pete has always been a polarizing figure. What was flippantly revolutionary…what was thrilling, the calling out of the culture for what it was…sold out / selling out…. with age and an excess amount of press facts and statements came out that were…creepy. You have the Internet too. If curious, go digging.

3) Sell Out: Is it because The Who were so quick and successful at selling out? Is it the mystical but commercial codex that translates the electronic binky intro to ‘Wont Get Fooled Again’ into the phrase ‘Buy Me’. Is it the irony of The Who selling so completely that I hear more of them in car commercials than on the radio?

4) The Concept Records (and shows)? The creepy English dance hall vibe? The just below the meanness in everything they say and do? The movie ‘Tommy’ (to me, a true dividing point that jackbooted my sicker inclinations towards baked beans and laundry soap).

dr-seuss-horton-hears-a-who-ss1

Re: Tonight’s JikiJikiJa Singles Night – Practice Tapes

A few words about tonight’s Singles Club release. And those words are ‘Practice Tapes’.

My life can be cataloged through Practice Tapes: boom box recordings (on cassettes!), jamming around someone’s big recording deck or in the current Zoom style tech. And frankly, I would not have it any other way. It is not simply the material that I created, the songs. Much of it is about the errant noises that pop up within. The voices (in harmony) of friends long lost, either to my world or the World in general. The pure adrenaline of folks with a central purpose: bring the song to its fullest and best arrangement, which is experimentation. Even the sound of my own voice (which I think anyone who knows me recognizes I love dearly). My youth, my growly screaming youth into my smooth Rock Croon I wear these later days.

Pictures exist but beauty (and memory) fade. Records exist but considering I have put out about 6 records and have written hundreds of songs, some songs get forgotten. And then remembered due to these infancy tracks of a melodies first steps. I have never kept a diary but can track my emotional growth…then backslide into stoned bellowing…then a bit more emotional growth…. then a deep slide into shallow Rock and Roll (the best kind) followed by….now.

If you are a songwriter, you know exactly what I mean.

I recognize that the aural quality is rarely releasable. I just don’t care. Life is short.

Which brings us to tonight’s track ‘Gods In The Garden’. A Practice Tape featuring me, Julie Kay on cello and Jack Adanti on shaky & beaty things.

A song I wrote and did not think much about. Maybe because it was a love song and I was being dark this past few years. Maybe cause I could not identify where it came from within me and it felt like an interloper. JikiJikiJa probably has not played this song since this recording.

Till I found this recording…and whatever damage I had related to this song faded. Perhaps cause I am not as dark as I used to be. Maybe cause I can truly relate with it now on a far deeper level.

Give it a listen. Let me know what you think. I would apologize about the bass frequencies but…. Life is short.

Gods In The Garden

It Blooms in November
Its a challenge to the senses
It opens in the rain, all spice and incense
And I fall too, I fall into you
I press every petal
Drop to my knees, let the day begin

And the days have collected bled of meaning
Except a taste I never lose that haunts my evenings
I carry ghosts hid in deep embraces
The Rabbit runs, The Wolf chases

And in the Garden lay Eden. And in the carpet we play
Between cloud and field
We are revealed
By the will of The Gods Of The Garden

And it beams bright in the grey, it sneers at the season
I feel it ever day Its beyond reason
Its beyond treason
I cant pretend it dint matter
That mirror that saw us true…it never shattered

And in the Garden lay Eden. And in the carpet we play
Between cloud and field
We are revealed
By the will of The Gods Of The Garden

1200px-Compactcassette