Hello!

Mike Nobody - GLITCH Portait 022

“All the various styles are organically connected to one another. I’m an additive person—the entire storehouse of my knowledge informs everything I do. People are so obsessed with the surface that they can’t see the connections, but they are there.” ~ John Zorn

“Cute, cool, and creepy”, is how I have been described by some folks.
Usually, I am classified by my contemporaries as an outsider artist-musician.
Davin Brainard (time Stereo) and Warren DeFever (His Name Is Alive) observed that I do not intentionally TRY to be perceived as weird, that I just naturally AM….. making comparisons to Wesley Willis and Daniel Johnston. I guess that I will just go along with those descriptions.

  • Music, Videos, Art, and Noise /
  • Voice, Tapes, and Reed Trumpet /
  • Bass, Baritone, and other Guitars /
  • Custom-Made Instruments /
  • Plunderphonics, Electronics and Junkyard Percussion

I enjoy creating what I refer to as “Prog-Punk Noise-Rock”, a strange pastiche of styles tied together. I have collaborated with plenty of other artists over the years with wide degrees of proficiency in many genres.

I have been obsessively into art and music my whole life; drawing, painting, playing with tape recorders and making noise. I built my first guitar from a badly beaten-up body & neck that I found in someone’s trash. A friend’s dad gave me the electrical guts from an unknown 1950’s guitar. Additional parts were improvised from pieces of found junk and purchased from a music store.

When I was a twelve year old kid, back in the 1980’s, I was just a runt of the Detroit hardcore punk / heavy metal scene . Lacking enough money to buy any good equipment, I purchased a cheap microphone at a pawn shop, built a homemade mic stand, and passed myself off as a vocalist. I sang in whatever groups that I could find, gaining experience and learning whatever that I could. Mostly, it was shitty cover bands, playing in basements, getting yelled at by uninvited drunks that we suck. Eventually, I improved my bass & guitar skills, playing in many short-lived groups that went nowhere.

I was a writer / photographer for The Jam Rag, a widely-read local music paper, while still a teenager and made friends with other artists along the way. During the 1990’s I was a cameraman, roadie, and occasional collaborator with Princess Dragon-Mom, Mog Stunt Team, His Name Is Alive, etc.. I also performed in a few experimental noise groups; Bionics, Edible Audio, Fresh Farm Raised Catfish, etc.

The Island of Misfit Noise began in the summer of 1998 with only Mystic MarshaKat and myself. She played keyboards & guitar (classically trained) and I played bass & guitar (mostly self-taught). Both of us were former members of N2-Submission, the backing band for our then-roommate The Impaler “Detroit’s Vampire Poet.” Our duo’s name changed a couple of times, before settling on the IOMN.  Other musicians came and went during a period of 15 years, with she & I being the only constant members of the group. She also left in early 2013. MarshaKat and I remain friends. She may continue to assist in some capacity, just not as a full-time band member.

I resurrected the IOMN as a recording project in late 2014, with collaborators from Michigan to Australia. We exchanged material back-and-forth until some music was completed. The style that we made is very freeform. A few collaborators from the IOMN have joined me in other projects. Some of them have experience in film & television and are producing low-budget movies with me.

MickeyBugsBand_1

After years of trial-and-error, I have come to the conclusion that I simply lack the necessary social skills to keep a stable group together. I tried for ages to put a band together. But, I could never manage it for very long. I am focusing primarily on composition and recording, for the time being. I will return to live performance when I am certain that the project won’t immediately disintegrate. Assembling the right line-up and keeping it intact is a big obstacle. I would like to eventually have a live group again. At minimum, I would prefer having a decent drummer accompany me. I get uneasy being on stage alone. But, an ideal line-up would include:

  • Myself on bass, vocals, and tapes.
  • A creative drummer. Someone who is comfortable playing with additional percussionists, drum machines, noise, or other unusual stuff.
  • Maybe two guitarists who could also contribute more percussion, keyboards, samplers, vocals, or whatever.

Maybe I will just go back to replacing musicians as I go along…. again. I’m currently preparing a one-man-band type thing that I can perform by myself with just a bass and my crazy setup. I’ll make it work, somehow.

Some of my current projects;

  • Theee Urban SpaceCat (Cassette-Zine) is a publication of my artwork, ramblings, stories, correspondences, miscellaneous found objects, music, commentary, and anything else packaged with a cassette tape or compact disc of my recordings… whatever they may be. I wish to publish an issue every three or four months (depending on available funds). It is intended as an outlet for all of my artistic endeavors, combined into one package, modeled after decades of correspondence with my friends.
  • Mike Damn Nobody is my experimental noise project. I might book some shows for this again. Recordings are available as “RecycleTapes”, as well as digital downloads.
  • MykNobody is an alternate spelling sometimes used when I’m painting or making other art, just because I can.

♛ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ Prog ☆ Punk 🐱 Noise ☆ Rock ☆ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ♛

Over time, I have received some frequently asked questions. So, I will add this below, if anybody really wants to know:

Gear Geek Stuff:

I don’t have a rehearsal space, just a tiny apartment that serves as my studio / office.

I have two multi-track machines;

  • one cassette (Tascam 488 MKII 8-track Portastudio)
  • one digital (Roland VS-1688 Digital Audio Workstation)

On my computer, I use whatever freeware programs that are available online. Two old broken boomboxes serve as studio monitors. I also collect various types of tape recorders (cassette, micro-cassette, reel-to-reel, 8-track, etc).

I prefer recording electrical instruments directly, via preamps or emulators, and mic-ing up an ambient “room sound” for acoustic tracks. Analog tape is good for getting a saturated compression sound, well-suited to percussion instruments or creating tape noises. Digital is good at getting a cleaner sound. I record the bulk of my material at home. I make demos during the week and begin multi-tracking by the weekend. My original plan was to lay basic tracks on tape, bounce them to digital, then either take the tracks to someone else for mixing (maybe at a higher quality studio with a good engineer) or figure out how to do it myself.

I don’t have very high quality microphones;

  • A modified telephone receiver, with an XLR jack installed
  • an old abused Radio Shack mic from the 1980’s
  • another stolen from a karaoke machine
  • two USB microphones, from Guitar Hero, I think
  • several cheap tape recorder mics from the 1960’s-1970’s

I built a homemade drum kit, affectionately referred to as the ShitKit. It is a hodgepodge of crappy drum parts acquired from thrift stores with scrap metal and junk added, for a clunkier sound. I have some cheap keyboards and electronics. I also have ideas for some custom basses & guitars that I would like to get built. I continually make improvements to my equipment as I go along. Adding other instruments to my arsenal would be fantastic.

My bass / guitar setup has evolved over time into an unusual hybrid rig, splitting the instrument signal three ways, combined with various effects into a “sonic sandwich”;

  • one through a bass amp (SWR)
  • one through a lead guitar amp (Marshall)
  • one direct to mixer (Line 6 POD)

Miscellaneous samples and noise collages are prepared on cassette tape and played back with a pair of foot-controlled Dictaphone machines fed directly into the mixer.

I have two basses;

  • 1987 Guild Pilot with Kahler tremolo. I use recycled copper/nylon picks, for more attack and articulation.
  • Jay Turser copy of a Höfner’ 500/1 violin “Beatle Bass”, like Paul McCartney’s. I use this shorter-scale bass mainly for cleaner finger-playing techniques.

I have two guitars;

  • Line 6 Variax, to achieve a wide variety of tones.
  • Ibanez RX-Series, with a Seymour Duncan Humbucker I installed at the bridge. I regularly use it for alternate tuning, usually tuned-down like a baritone.

I prefer Ground Roundwound strings, for their smooth feel – yet bright tone. Stainless steel armored instrument cables are also very durable and minimize ground noise.

My attempts at custom-building circuit-bent / experimental instruments have yielded mixed results. I can get some interesting sounds out of them, if the darn things don’t self-destruct first.

Creativity Stuff:

My songwriting style is a mix of eclectic influences juxtaposed together. I like combining a bit of everything, when I can.

Sometimes it is harmonious.

Sometimes it is schizophrenic.

Sometimes it is simple and accessible.

Sometimes it is noisy and irritating

It can be almost anything, depending on the song. I am writing within three basic categories;

  1. Solo: material that I can play alone without additional players.
  2. Band: material that requires other musicians to perform live.
  3. Album: material that is very difficult or impossible to be played live at all, created solely for recorded release.

Lyrics are kind of an afterthought for me. I’ll write down any ideas I get and go back to them later if I am working on something. But, music comes first. Lyrics might be personal or political. They may be strange and surreal. Overall, it is “the little world”, “the big world”, and the creative use of language. I like leaving things a little open to interpretation rather than always being explicit.

I’ve played with hundreds of musicians from many different genres. My output is unified by a “conceptual continuity”, everything is interconnected, it just comes out mixed-together and filtered through whatever I have to work with. Sorta like combining Frank Zappa’s Freak Out List and the Nurse with Wound list into one mutation! Some notable influences include;

  • Alice Donut
  • Amebix
  • Amon Düül
  • Anton Webern
  • Arnold Schönberg
  • The B-52’s
  • Bad Brains
  • Bad Religion
  • Béla Bartók
  • Beatles
  • Bebe and Louis Barron
  • Beck
  • Jared Warren (KARP, Big Business, Melvins)
  • Big City Orchestra
  • Bipolar Gentlemen
  • Nick Blinko (Rudimentary Peni)
  • Bootsy Collins (Parliament-Funkadelic)
  • The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
  • Bran Flakes
  • William S. Burroughs
  • Robert Smith (The Cure)
  • Brian May (Queen)
  • Brian Wilson (Beach Boys)
  • Buzz Osbourne (Melvins)
  • Can
  • Captain Beefheart (The Magic Band)
  • Carl Stalling
  • Caroliner
  • Billy Childish (Thee Headcoats, Thee Mighty Caesars, Thee Milkshakes)
  • Chris Squire (Yes)
  • Chuck Mosley (Faith No More, Bad Brains)
  • Cliff Burton (Metallica)
  • Ornette Coleman
  • “Colonel Tom” Parker
  • Colonel Sanders
  • .John Coltrane
  • Comets on Fire
  • Comparative Anatomy
  • Cop Shoot Cop
  • Lux Interior & Poison Ivy Rorschach (The Cramps)
  • Crash Worship
  • Crass
  • Crust
  • Culturecide
  • D.R.I. (Dirty Rotten Imbeciles)
  • Daft Punk
  • Dale Flattum (Steel Pole Bath Tub, Tumor Circus, Milk Cult)
  • Daniel Johnston
  • David Bowie
  • David Grohl (Scream, Nirvana, Foo Fighters)
  • Dead Milkmen
  • Deja Voodoo
  • Dennis Dunaway (Alice Cooper)
  • Destroy All Monsters
  • Gerald Casale (Devo)
  • Bob Log III (Doo Rag)
  • Doug Henderson (Krackhouse, Spongehead)
  • Dust Brothers (Beastie Boys, Beck)
  • East Bay Ray & Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys, Alternative Tentacles Records)
  • Ed Hall
  • Einstürzende Neubauten
  • Edgard Varèse
  • The Electrifying Mojo (Charles Johnson)
  • Evolution Control Committee
  • Fat Mike (NOFX)
  • Faust
  • Wayne Coyne (The Flaming Lips)
  • Flipper
  • Flying Saucer Attack
  • Frank Zappa (Mothers of Invention)
  • Fred Frith (Henry Cow, Art Bears, Massacre)
  • The Frogs
  • Geddy Lee (Rush)
  • Geezer Butler & Toni Iommi (Black Sabbath)
  • Gene Simmons & Ace Frehley (KISS)
  • Crispin Glover
  • Godheadsilo
  • Berry Gordy (Motown Records, The Last Dragon)
  • Greg Ginn & Kira Roessler (Black Flag)
  • Grotus
  • The GTO’s
  • Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill, Julie Ruin, Riot grrrl zine)
  • Happy Flowers
  • Harry Partch
  • Hazil Adkins
  • Helios Creed (Chrome)
  • Hide (Ultra Bidé)
  • Ian Mackaye (Minor Theat, Fugazi)
  • Ichirou Agata (Melt-Banana)
  • Iggy Pop & The Stooges
  • Invented Thing Quartet
  • Jaco Pastorius (Weather Report)
  • Jad Fair (1/2 Japanese, Strobe Talbot)
  • James Joyce
  • Jandek
  • Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead)
  • Duane Denison & David Wm. Sims (Scratch Acid, The Jesus Lizard)
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Jojo Hiroshige (Hijokaidan, Alchemy Records)
  • Joe Meek
  • Joey Agresta (Joey Pizza Slice, Son of Salami, Salami Junior)
  • Joey Shithead Keithley (D.O.A.)
  • Joey Agresta (Joey Pizza Slice, Son of Salami, Salami Junior)
  • John Bonham & Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin)
  • John Cage
  • John Entwistle (The Who)
  • John Oswald (Plunderphonics)
  • John S. Hall & Bradford Reed (King Missile)
  • John Zorn (Naked City, Painkiller)
  • Juan Garcia Esquivel
  • Jucifer
  • Calvin Johnson (Beat Happening, K Records, Dub Narcotic Sound System)
  • Karlheinz Stockhausen
  • Ken Butler
  • Kevin Rutmanis (The Cows, Melvins, Hepa/Titus)
  • Killdozer
  • Kramer (New York Gong, Shimmy Disc Records, Bongwater)
  • Larry Graham (Sly & the Family Stone, Graham Central Station)
  • Larry Mondello Band
  • Kevin Strickland & Larissa Strickland (Laughing Hyenas)
  • Lemmy Kilmister (Motörhead, Hawkwind)
  • Legendary Stardust Cowboy
  • Les Claypool (Primus, Sausage, Oysterhead)
  • Lightning Bolt + Black Pus
  • Lisa “Suckdog” Carver
  • The Locust
  • The Los Angeles Free Music Society
  • Christian Vander (Magma)
  • Malcolm McLaren (Sex Pistols, New York Dolls)
  • Malcolm Young & Angus Young (AC/DC)
  • Marc Bolan (T. Rex)
  • Mark Sandman (Morphine)
  • Jason Martin (Brown Cuts Neighbors, Power Animal System)
  • Christian Marclay
  • Marilyn Manson
  • Masahiko Ohno (Solmania)
  • Masonna
  • Hal McGee (Dog As Master, Cause And Effect cassette label, Haltapes)
  • Curt Kirkwood & Cris Kirkwood (Meat Puppets)
  • Melt-Banana
  • Masami Akita (Merzbow)
  • Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Fantomas, Tomahawk)
  • Mike Watt (Minutemen, fIREHOSE)
  • Bill T. Miller (Orgy of Noise, Out of Band Experience, Kings of Feedback)
  • Misfits
  • The Monkees
  • Monty Python
  • Moondog
  • Muddy Waters
  • My Bloody Valentine
  • N.W.A.
  • Negativland
  • Neu!
  • Nihilist Spasm Band
  • No-Neck Blues Band
  • Omoide Hatoba
  • Pain Teens
  • Harry Partch
  • Kembra Pfahler (Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black)
  • Pat Smear (Germs, Nirvana, Foo Fighters)
  • Paul Leary (Butthole Surfers, Melvins)
  • Bruce Pavitt (Sub Pop)
  • Phil Spector
  • Prince
  • Public Enemy
  • Pussy Galore
  • Quintron and Miss Pussycat
  • John Spencer Blues Explosion
  • R. Stevie Moore
  • The Ramones
  • Raymond Scott
  • The Residents
  • Robert Fripp (King Crimson, Fripp & Eno)
  • Rob Wright & John Wright (NoMeansNo, Hanson Brothers)
  • Roky Erikson (13th Floor Elevators)
  • Rahsaan Roland Kirk
  • Root Boy Slim & The Sex Change Band
  • Corey Rusk (Necros, Touch and Go Records)
  • Greg Sage (Wipers)
  • Arnold Schoenberg
  • Scott Lucas (Local H)
  • Lou Barlow (Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh)
  • The Shaggs
  • Shannon Selberg (The Cows, Heroine Sheiks)
  • Shockabilly
  • Shonen Knife
  • Six Finger Satellite
  • Skeleton Key
  • Slayer
  • Smegma
  • Sonic Youth
  • Kim Thayil (Soundgarden)
  • The Space Lady (Susan Dietrich Schneider)
  • Space Streakings
  • Stan Lee & Leonard Graves Phillips (The Dickies)
  • Stanley Clarke (Return to Forever, Animal Logic)
  • Russ Stedman (Teenage Slots, Minor 2049er)
  • Steve Albini (Big Black, Rapeman, Shellac)
  • Subhumans
  • Sun City Girls
  • Sun Ra & His Arkestra
  • Superconductor
  • Swans
  • Syd Barrett & Roger Waters (Pink Floyd)
  • Tall Dwarfs / Toy Love
  • The Tape-beatles
  • Tatsuya Yoshida (Ruins, Zeni Geva)
  • Hound Dog Taylor
  • They Might Be Giants
  • Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy)
  • Throbbing Gristle
  • Thrones
  • Tom Morello & Tim Commerford (Rage Against The Machine)
  • Tom Waits
  • Tragic Mulatto
  • Trans Am
  • Velvet Underground
  • Victims Family
  • Voice Crack
  • Voivod
  • Violent Onsen Geisha
  • W.A.S.P.
  • Wall Of Voodoo
  • Andy Warhol
  • Wavves
  • Ween
  • ‘Weird Paul’ Petroskey
  • Wendy O. Williams (Plasmatics)
  • Wesley Willis
  • White Mice
  • Wild Man Fischer
  • Jay T. Yamamoto
  • Yamatsuka Eye (Boredoms, Hanatarash, UFO or Die)
  • Zach Hill (Hella)
  • Zen Guerrilla
  • K.K. Null (Nux Organization, Zeni Geva, Absolut Null Punkt)
  • Zev Asher (Nimrod, Roughage, Flying Testicle, Bustmonster)
  • Zoogz Rift
  • ZZ Top
  • etc., etc., etc., etc., etc.,..

I tried for years and years to arrange having dual drummers play together. We managed to do it a few times, which was great while it lasted. Most drummers are not into that, though. I have been told that they want to be guitarists, instead. I prefer working with someone who enjoys learning the instrument that they are playing, who really spends time improving their skills. Y’know?

I used to tape our jam sessions in their entirety, then take that material home, and edit it into a foundation for songs. I’m not such a great improviser, though, especially with multiple people in the room. I like composing, instead. It is probably better if I record things alone, send it over to others, let them pick out what they like, add their parts to it, and vice-versa.

I always needed to be collaborating with somebody, whether an individual or a group. It gave me confidence and motivation. I would bounce ideas off of other bandmates, to get a feel for their capabilities and preferences, to find which direction that we were going in. I depended a lot on their input to filter my ideas through. I was always looking for feedback, trying to be as democratic as possible. But, this approach slowed us down, frustrating everyone. In hindsight, it was a mistake, like driving a car with the parking brake on.

My lifelong struggling with mental illness sometimes gets in the way as well. Clinical depression, social anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive tendencies are a debilitating combination. Medications help to keep the highs and lows manageable. But, they aren’t a cure. Music & art keeps me from feeling like suicidal shit all of the time, though. It’s my other world that I live in.

Techniques:

I will play almost any instrument available to me. I might not be good at it. But, I’ll play it anyway. My attempts at drumming have been pitiful. My foot coordination is terrible. I finally ended up positioning the bass drum sideways, playing it timpani-style.

My vocals tend to be kinda high and nasally. But, I give it a little growl on the low end. Adding effects makes for a little more variety and covers-up my natural voice a little bit, which I’ve never liked very much.

My guitar / bass playing skills are pretty good, not virtuoso… but still, pretty good. I believe that I’m a better bassist than a guitarist and a better composer than a musician.

I visualize music as abstract sounds, in waves, shapes and colors… like a rainbow oscilloscope. Tape editing / manipulation is often used as a compositional tool. Sheet music feels a little too rigid to me. I will sometimes score parts out on paper where I think it is appropriate. Sometimes, I’ll jam riffs onto demos and pick out the best ones later. Sometimes, I’ll sing everything a capella, bang on some junk, make noises, and interpret it later. On rare occasions, I’ve had entire songs pop into my head while I scramble to get it recorded before I forget. 

“Thinking too much can ruin a good time” – D. Boon (Minutemen)

When I am creating music & art, I probably do my best when my brain is turned off, just mental finger-painting, on “auto-pilot”. Everything that I am doing is sort of revealed to me as I am doing it. So, I don’t really know what it is until I am finished. Conscious messages don’t work very well for me. Stressing-out about money, transportation, food, and living conditions REALLY messes-up my mojo a lot, though.

“Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open.” – Stephen King

Artwork:

I have very little to no training at anything. I did well in high school drafting, wood shop, and art classes. That’s about it. Regretfully, I never attended an art school. I would have liked to. Occasionally, I’ll read books on the subject. But, I don’t really spend time trying to figure out what’s up with art these days. I do not have much interest in current trends.

My work could be categorized as Abstract, Outsider, Pop Art, Art Brut, Raw Vision, Folk Art, or whatever. These are labels found in the art world. To me… art is art is art… I’m an artist who is still looking for the right label only because everybody wants descriptions. They want you to EXPLAIN to them what it is that you do. People love folk and outsider art because it is spontaneous and devoid of most influences.

In the past, my paintings & drawings were usually given to friends or destroyed and discarded. I started selling them locally in the 1990’s. But, not really understanding how the professional art world works, I only sold items in person at music venues or record stores, wherever I happened to be. I’ve been reluctant to take it any further than that. But, there seems to be a growing interest in my stuff. So, I’m making it more available.

Physical Appearance:

Having a standard uniform of your own is useful. People like Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, and Steve Jobs wore clothing everyday that was nearly identical to all of the other clothes that they owned. It saved time and brainpower finding something to wear, when their entire wardrobes were virtually the same.

 The Science Of Simplicity: Why Successful People Wear The Same Thing Every Day

My physical appearance doesn’t change very much, day-to-day, either. Nearly everything I own is secondhand; from yard sales, garage sales, estate sales and thrift stores. I’ve always been a t-shirt and jeans guy. If I can’t find an outfit for under $12, I probably won’t buy it.

Sometimes I’ll try out new things, making small modifications to my so-called image. None of this is permanent. But, my typical everyday outfit includes;

  • Goatee & long hair.
  • Black jeans with a black button shirt (black goes with everything).
  • Converse Chuck Taylors, with boot laces, have always been my go-to shoes.
  • Recycled rubber belts adorned with a Captain America shield buckle.
  • Mix it up a little with different t-shirts.
  • Red glitter nail polish adds some color and sparkle.

Personal Rules of Conduct:

I seldom drink alcohol and I loathe beer. I don’t smoke tobacco or abuse any drugs. It doesn’t really matter to me if anybody else does, unless it gets in the way of working or becomes obnoxious. Marijuana and hallucinogens are more tolerated than harder drugs.

I have little patience for perpetual fuck-ups who will constantly flake out on me.

I am an atheist. I don’t believe in whatever Hell you think I’m going to, let alone your invisible friends. You can believe whatever you want to believe. But, if you’re a religious zealot (i.e., fundamentalists, creationists, who thinks that the flat Earth is 6,000 years old or 72 virgins await them in the afterlife because they won’t eat bacon) I would prefer not to hear about it.

I am LGBTQ-supportive and have friends from all sorts of different backgrounds. Bigots are not welcome. Go away.

There are not many groups that I believe I would fit into if I didn’t begin from scratch. I never had any delusions about “making it big” or getting rich. Earning a decent living as a self-employed artist-musician would be great, if possible. I am content if I make enough money to cover expenses, have a good dinner, and pay a few bills.

If you want to check out upcoming events or new stuff available add yourself onto the mailing list in the sidebar. There are also fundraising links there for anybody who wants to support my efforts.

Thanks!

Three of Us

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Over the past few months, I’ve been talking with two novice musicians (Jon and Dennis) who relocated to Michigan (from Florida and California).
Jon is a Drummer, Guitarist, and Vocalist living in Grosse Pointe.
Dennis is a drummer living on Grosse Ile.

I’ve tried for ages to get a double-drummer type band going.
It never lasted very long.
Jon, Dennis, and I appreciate bands that have done this sorta thing before (Ministry, Butthole Surfers, Melvins, Boredoms, etc), although we aren’t trying to copy them.
If I can get ANYBODY to play with me for longer than a few months, I consider that a success.
Getting two drummers is an added bonus.
Getting one acoustic and one electronic drummer is a double bonus.
I have a homemade drum kit built from scrap metal and junk.
So, I think we have everything covered, percussion-wise, for at least one project.
If we get any others to come onboard, that would be cool, but not entirely necessary.

Another project that I would like to do, however unlikely, requires a really bad-ass drummer.
More in the jazzy, proggy, math-rocky spectrum of music, it’s basically just drum & bass with noisy samples and effects.
I have some foot-controlled tape machines that I set up for a solo thing.
They’ve been broken for awhile.
But, my friend Pam Richards (guitarist from Cat Lung) seems to have fixed them.
If I could use that set-up with a decent drummer the combination would be a lot better. I’m not sure if either of the guys are really up to it, right now.

In the past, I always adapted to the tastes and capabilities of who I’m playing with.
We would jam together for a couple of hours, I’d record everything, and later edit whatever we had into songs.
But, I think doing it the way that I did slowed us down too much.
I spent too much time second-guessing myself, worrying about what they wanted.
For now, I’m gonna keep recording stuff alone, send some of it to the other guys, and see what sticks.
They can add onto it, send it back with suggestions, or just pass on it.
I’ll use the rejects elsewhere.

If either of them have something that they wanna try out, they can send that to me and vice-versa.
I did the Island of Misfit Noise album like that, swapping music back-and-forth online.
It also means that less time is wasted at rehearsal if we already have some songs to practice with and work the kinks out.
I’m pretty sure that we all have ideas that will work or won’t work together.
But, if we keep trying things out, something will stick.

Jon and I currently have transportation problems. Dennis has gone above and beyond to help me resolve mine (thanks Dennis!). Both of them have their work schedules to manage. My time is the most flexible between the three of us.

I’m kinda excited about my custom guitars project. I’ve been talking with Tim Sway, an artist in CT who builds furniture & stuff from found materials. We seem to be on the same wavelength when it comes to reusing discarded things. He is gonna help me make my “dream guitars” a reality! Making them myself was going to be too costly (and probably not very well done). I also lack the tools or somewhere to work on them.
To save money, I’m bartering and scavenging for parts that could be useful. I already had some in storage. I’ll gradually save up some money to pay him to finish the rest with upcycled materials he has found. It is gonna take us several months. The results won’t be perfect, of course, by the nature of what we are working with. We have a disagreement on the nature of tonewoods. But, I think my designs could make the differences negligible. We’ll see who is right.

Just thinking out loud here, but I thought of a possible band name, Mike Nobody & War Animals. If Dennis & Jon wanna use it or not, either way, is fine with me. I could save it for another project if they don’t like it. I was listening to some Eric Burden today. I thought is was kinda funny that he was in two totally different bands with his name attached to them, Eric Burden & War and Eric Burden & The Animals. Silly? Stupid? I dunno. I can’t tell.
I’ve gotten another offer to play a solo gig in a few months. I’m a little hinky about doing that. Bad experiences. But, I have played around with what I have to see what could work. I’m a little undecided on that. I might use a single kick drum, the tapes, a bass, and some video projectors. My footwork SUCKS! I ain’t gonna be no Keith Moon with a simple kit like that. But, I’m no Keith Moon, either. I’ll practice with it for awhile and see if I can sound halfway competent at it.
At least it will give me an excuse to sit down, and play like a real one-man-band.

 

Choose Your Destiny (or It Will Be Chosen For You)

pickle rick ratfight bigger
Pickle Rick is BADASSSSSS!

Making mistakes are inevitable. You learn what you can from them and try not to make the same ones twice. But, as I’ve been told, I “never know when to quit.” I guess there are upsides and downsides to that. I’m persistent.

I’ve always hated the business side of art & music. There are some aspects that I don’t mind doing myself. But, most of it I’ve always left for someone else to handle (booking shows, collecting the door, etc.). I’m just really bad at it. But, as a club owner once told comedian / performance artist Andy Kaufman, “This is show-business. Show… Business! Show…Business! Without the business, there’s no show.” It took a very long time to beat that into my head. But, I still relied too much on others to get things done.

I’ve always known how important it is to have backup gear; strings, cords, cables, picks, etc. But, I never considered having a backup for other contingencies. A friend would set up a show for me and I’d prepare to get by at that one show. If something went wrong, though, I’d be fucked. I’ve been stood up by bandmates at booked gigs. I’ve had important pieces of equipment fail. If something CAN go wrong, it usually does.

I was, recently, reading a blog explaining the pros and cons of touring alone vs touring with a band. It got me thinking about how I can better prepare myself. I should ALWAYS have a backup plan ready for when shit goes wrong, “Always have a plan A, B, C, and D.” If an offer comes along and I don’t have a backup plan for it, then I probably shouldn’t accept it. I’m not ready. The best way to avoid this from happening is to DIY all of the work, as much as possible. If I’m bad at it, then I’ll learn how to get better. I’ve always been bad with cars, but eventually I had to learn shit or it didn’t get done…period.

If I’m setting up a show by myself, I can control the variables and take precautions. If bandmates flake out or cannot show up, I can still do it alone. If a piece of equipment fails, I can do something else instead. Whatever happens, I got this.

Part of this mindset is influenced by my “prepping hobby” or whatever you want to call it. I liked the TV show “Doomsday Preppers”, while it lasted. Sure, there were lots of nutcases on there with too much money to waste and not enough common sense. But, the general principle is a sound one, “Be prepared…for anything.” It got our grandparents through the Great Depression. The pioneers survived travelling across the wilderness because they prepared for it. Shit’s gonna happen, inevitably. What are you gonna do? Cry about it? No. If something needs to be done, get it done. No one else will do it. Think ahead, then you won’t have to worry as much.

I have repairs & replacements that need to be taken care of. But, I would like to set up a few mini-tours down the Midwest or The East Coast. Whether that is with a group or alone (or both) I’d like to somehow make that happen. If I can secure a decent-priced rental van and insurance with Roadside Assistance it would make a world of difference. Would it be a deal-breaker if I can’t? I’m not sure.

Another thing that has taken me a very long time to learn is, “If you can’t do it the way that you want to do it, find another way to do it. Then, do it anyway.” Being stubbornly perfectionist can really hold you back. I’ve had to learn that the hard way. I’ve had some great ideas which would have been fantastic to see materialize, “only if…” It’s always some details that prevented it from happening, when I could have done it in some other fashion and at least gotten SOMETHING done – instead of nothing.

This kinda goes back to my point of being more self-reliant. I’ve often needed someone around to break me out of my depression,  get me motivated, and to bounce ideas off of. If I had simply recorded & performed everything myself, all along, I could have accomplished so much more! I thought that I NEEDED other people to do things. But, I really only WANTED them. That is a big difference. It is a huge mistake to wait for anyone for anything, if you can avoid it. “Don’t wait around for help, because it isn’t coming.” Otherwise, you’ll be sitting there, forever, Waiting For Godot.

One of my favorite cartoons is “Rick & Morty.” I think that the best episode, so far, has been “Pickle Rick.” In this episode, the title character (transformed into a limbless pickle) is physically helpless, trapped down a sewer drain, but manages to save his own life through sheer ingenuity and persistence. Just like one of my other favorite TV characters, MacGyver. He could have simply despaired there at the bottom of the sewer, hopelessly crying to himself, until the rats and roaches ate his lifeless corpse. But, instead, he used his environment to escape and survive. I’m a little envious that I don’t have more positive moments like that myself. It is something to strive for, though.

pickle rick toilet
PICKLE RICK!!!

Happy Thanksgiving

I’ve been kinda busy lately, helping my aunt and ex-gf move. I was also not feeling well for a week or so. Then, my van broke down. I’m behind on my projects, including providing this month’s MP3 for Patrons. I’m doing my best to catch up.

I received a small batch of comics, recently, that I contributed to. It’s called Five O’Clock Shadow. This is issue #25. I’m including them with orders and donations on my Bandcamp page, while they last.

I am recording a bunch of exclusive music for my supporters on Patreon, as well as contributions to The Residents, David Liebe Hart (“Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!”), and some new collaborators who want to put a band or something together with me. Lots of stuff going on!

Issues of “Theee Urban SpaceCat” Cassette-Zine have been held back for an absurd amount of time, mostly for financial reasons. I’m always broke. Just to get them out there in some form, any form, I will be releasing the first couple of issues digitally (PDF & MP3). They may get printed physically at a later time. But, look on the bright side. At least you can download them instantly instead of waiting by your mailbox.

Another project that I’m working on is a series of paintings, each including a compact disc of unique material. I will show them for you on future videos. Plus, there is all of the other art that I’m making every day. So, perhaps good things are happening.

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Mike Nobody

c/o Theee Urban SpaceCat

P.O. Box 1201

Taylor, MI 48180

USA

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Oh and if you’re a troll coming here to give me any shit…

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My Routine, Paintings, Records, and Halloween

 

I’d love to get any feedback from you.

When I get stuff in the mail, it also gives me fodder for making zines and things.

 

 

Blogging Painting Drawing Noise Music Schedule

 

SCHEDULE2

now o'clock

Hi.

Yo.

Hello.

Konnichiwa.

I know that I need to put myself out there more if I want to accomplish my goals. My natural inclination is avoid everybody, though.

Procrastination is another big problem of mine. I “rack disiprine.”

I try REALLY hard to do better. But, I’m my own worst enemy. I self-sabotage everything.

I have put myself on a regular schedule, of sorts, to take care of everyday things, so I don’t have to think about it much. I make myself a daily to-do list. Otherwise, I don’t think I’d get anything done. But, it isn’t foolproof. I still get sidetracked with something else a lot. I tend to fixate on something, to the exclusion of everything else, and lose track of time.

intps

I was thinking about the creative process, the thinking process. If I document it, publicly, maybe this will help to keep me motivated, creative and honest. When I write to friends or collaborate with other people I seem to get more stuff done. It helps, I guess. I might be less likely to throw everything away before I’m finished.

I’m blogging for my Patreon-supporters (the Superduper Secret SpaceCat Blog) almost every week-ish . I share things to keep it interesting.

I had a busy week or two, making a bunch of horror movie themed paintings for a show at the Phoenix Cafe’ and putting together a short movie for the Planet 9 Film Festival. Now that it’s over I’m catching up on neglected housework and van repairs.
Moving on to the next thing or so;

  • Working on issues #1-3 of “Theee Urban SpaceCat” cassette-zine. It has been held up for a ridiculous length of time already. It was always my intent to publish new issues every three or four months. But, I never have any money to do so. I’m considering just posting MP3/PDF versions online until I can get enough cash together. I have a growing backlog of material to do something with or discard.
  • Building new custom instruments, ShitKit 2.0 and miscellaneous noise machines. Everything was taking up space and had to be moved. My grandmother needs her garage back.
  • “The Island of Misfit Noise” movie might make a little more progress. The recent experience of making and showing a short film has been educational.
  • Recording new music for collaboration albums: David Liebe Hart (“Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!”) and The Residents!
  • Of course, I will continue to collaborate on other things as well. I may have found a new drummer!

I doubt if I will perform alone again for awhile. Had a bad experience a few weeks ago. Was offered another gig in two months. But, I’ll pass, just stick to recording for the time being.

I Dream of Space Cat

 

Recently, I showed my art and submitted a last-minute entry into the Planet 9 Film Fest, I Dream of SpaceCat. The festival is appearing in Detroit, Chicago, and Los Angeles. The Detroit date did not go as planned. Well, the event got relocated three times and was scheduled as a matinee. A few of the bar regulars and the filmmakers themselves showed up. But, I think that was about it. Oh well. Maybe it will get played in the other cities. I dunno.

If you were unable to see this short video in the full context of the festival, maybe you would like to see it here. I doubt that I will ever commercially release it, as-is. Maybe elements will resurface in other projects, someday. It’s possible. Admittedly, it’s not a cinema masterpiece by any measure. But, all things considered, for what it is it turned out pretty good, I think.

 

Machine Gun TV @ Gold Dollar (1997)

I saw these two perform at the Gold Dollar twenty years ago, today.
I could not find a single bit of information about them beyond their discography.
But, anyway, here is a link to their Discog page. Enjoy!

https://www.discogs.com/artist/233493-The-Machine-Gun-TV