The Joke’s On You!

Damn! I wish that this coronavirus pandemic were just an elaborate prank. That would have been awesome. Self-isolation hasn’t changed my life one iota. It does mean that some friends are now unemployed, bored, with nothing to do. So, they want to collaborate with me, again, playing rock and noise. At least that motivates me to get more stuff done. So, I’m actually a little happier with that aspect of this. The empty streets and parking lots are a bit of apocalyptic fantasy fulfillment for me, too, without the zombies or vampires.

I am spending some time taking stock of the progress in my various projects. It helps me to re-evaluate and refine my workflow, from time to time. The changing landscape caused by COVID-19 is a pretty good reason to plan out a new approach to everything, right now. Many venues, comic book shops, book stores, art galleries, etc. are not going to make it through the effects of this pandemic. The economy, and everything it touches, are going to be drastically transformed. The old models of doing everyday activities, of making and performing our art, are not going back to business-as-usual. The next couple of months are going to be VERY interesting.

People are stuck at home, with nothing to do. So, I hope to produce more completed work to post online. That is where the audience is going to be, for awhile. Maybe when this plague blows over we will be out playing house parties or something, until regular venues can make a comeback.

Anyway, I will share some music from my collection with you. This is Local H and Britney Spears, each doing Toxic. I have been in a Britney Spears mood lately. Dunno why.

SpaceCat Blog: Happy Late New Year!

Planet 9 Film Fest 2019 @ Ant Hall in Hamtramck, Michigan

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m late again. What else is new? It has been a LONG time since my last original post. I will summarize a bit.

Planet 9 Film Fest went well in October. Got to meet up with friends I haven’t seen in awhile. Saw some creative movies and great bands again.

Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve all went well. Mostly, it was dinner with family at my grandmother’s house.

Unfortunately, there was a death in my family, my great aunt. Shortly afterward, a friend of twenty years also died. I’m getting older. Everybody is dying.

There have been very few mechanical problems with my car during the past year, thank god. I’ve managed to stay on top of things like that. Thankfully, I don’t have to commute every day to a shitty job I hate, anymore, with little time or energy left to work on music & art. So, it turned out, disability was a blessing in disguise.

For me, creativity is how I keep my sanity. It is more of a compulsion than a hobby. Gotta get the demons out of my head, somehow. Trouble is, it is easier to get started than to finish anything. Distractions and mental instability are frequent problems. Then, I get upset at myself for not meeting my own self-imposed expectations and deadlines. I have to figure out how I can get out of my own way. Occasionally, I’ll try different things I’ve discovered that seem to work, temporarily, until I backslide again. This usually happens when I forget my meds and don’t get enough sleep. Then, I struggle to get back on track with everything again. It is very hard to focus when this happens. Maybe there isn’t a permanent fix to this.

I’ve had many projects partially completed for a long time now. Most of the work is already done. But, to get things finished I have had to learn (the hard way) to slow down and just do one thing at a time, instead of piling on everything at once. I’m terrible at multi-tasking.

One positive thing to come from all these delays is that I have gone back to some things I’ve done and made improvements. So, Theee Urban Spacecat #3 looks a lot better than it did before. There still isn’t enough completed music to go with it, though. Same goes for issues #4, 5, 6, and 7.

With the next cassette-zine issue being recorded, I am working on more material that I can perform live by myself. I would like to prepare my car to travel a lot in the next couple of months, play some local shows, and eventually go on a mini-tour to New York and back. I HATE booking venues, though. It is not something that I look forward to. Bottom line, I want to insure that everything goes smoothly and I, at least, don’t lose any money or kill my car in the process. If it is just me and one other person coming along, that should keep the overhead low.

I have been making some neato t-shirts & stuff. So, that has been a nice creative outlet, for me. If it can also generate a little revenue that would be pretty awesome. I had hoped that YouTube could be a viable source of income. But, all the policy and algorithm changes they’ve made makes that feel very unlikely. The FTC COPPAcolypse is approaching, too. So, many content creators may be forced out. Who knows? I’m watching to see how this fiasco plays out.

I’m just gonna keep doing what I do, in my little corner. I’ll put some of it out there somehow, eventually.

Glitch VHS

This was originally intended for a compilation. But, I missed the deadline. So, I reworked it into something different, a bit longer, for an upcoming issue of “Theee Urban SpaceCat” #3 cassette-zine. I’m working on more material that I can perform live. But, this plunderphonics style track is still pretty good and I didn’t want to waste it.

Tank Girl

Last year was the 30th anniversary of the British comic book Tank Girl. There wasn’t much mention of it in the press, that I remember. It is a classic cult comic. So, why not? Admittedly, the 1995 movie stunk.

It only made $6 million against a $25 million budget. That is an apt metaphor for the post-Nirvanamania alternative craze of the 1990’s. Mega-corporations foolishly believed that they could reproduce “the next Nirvana” by slapping “grunge” or “alternative” on everything. They bought up hundreds of independent labels and signed artists left and right, regardless of any talent or experience they may possess. It doesn’t work like that. Mostly, they failed spectacularly.

But, nonetheless, I liked the idea of adapting this comic into a movie. Comic book movies are HUGE now, compared to the 1990’s. Can’t somebody else give it ago? Hey Hollywood, throw some money my way! I’ll do it!

One thing that I actually LIKED about the original movie was the animated sequences. So, firstly, animate the entire thing. Co-creator Jamie Hewlett went on to form the virtual band Gorillaz. It would be a natural fit for him to direct. And don’t wimp out with a PG version. Go for a solid R-rating. It could be badass as Heavy Metal (1981).

Second, it needs better casting. Lori Petty? Blecchh! Stay true to the source material and get an Australian cast. This takes place in a post-apocalyptic Australia. Maybe include a few Brits or Americans in certain roles. But, c’mon, Ice-T as a kangaroo? Are you shitting me? Eddie Izzard plays a great villain. Get him. I kinda liked that the fascist water company ruled everything in the original. Keep that. Put Eddie in charge. Make him a middle management Darth Vader for a multi-national monopoly.

The original soundtrack had a few good tunes. I could see staying with that sort of tone; punk rock, hip-hop, metal, indie pop, etc. Courtney Love chose songs for the original. Get Quentin Tarantino’s music supervisor to do the reboot.

If Hollywood insists on bombarding us with reboots, don’t ruin perfectly good movies PLEASE! Reboot movies that had a good premise, but were shit produced, and fix them. There is no shortage of them. Comic book movies are BIG now. So, it isn’t even much of a gamble anymore. I bet that any independent studio could do a decent job of it with a small budget. Jamie Hewlett’s success with the Gorillaz could almost guarantee a bigger budget with a few well-known actors. Someone make this happen!

Redheaded Vengeance (1997-1999)

This is the sort of filmmaking that I aspire to. The only available information posted about this short horror movie is in the description of a YouTube video.

Many respected film historians refer to Redheaded Vengeance as “the greatest no-budget VHS horror short of all time”. Enid Sachbalm of The Des Moines Register described it as “the Rambo 3 of homemade VHS horror shorts”.

The Criterion Collection dismissed it as “a repugnant abomination, crudely fashioned by mouth breathing lunatics” – but that’s only because they’re too damn stupid to understand it.

Redheaded Vengeance was shot sporadically in and around Columbus, Ohio between 1997-1999. The original goal was a feature length film – shot entirely on VHS – for almost no money.

Much more footage exists than what’s seen in this 10 minute short.

The “budget” was probably something like $47.06. A single Memorex SM4300 VHS camera was used. Final editing was completed in 2009 using IMovie. No one involved had any movie making or acting experience.

Sean – who played Redhead a.k.a. Pigtails – did an incredible job. He was completely possessed by the character while in costume—it was true movie magic.

Craft services were provided by Milwaukee’s Best.

Hardhead

never-give-up-cbfb

One of my biggest strengths (and weaknesses) is persistence. I have been told several times that I “don’t know when to quit.” That can be either a good thing or a bad thing, I guess, depending on the circumstances. I may have setbacks, which slow me down, change how I do things, or have to fight with my own brain, sometimes. But, I still keep trying.

A really cool drummer guy has unfriended me on FB and dropped out of our FB group. Admittedly, it is entirely my fault. I have been lost in my own headspace again, losing touch with everybody for too long. He feels like I have used and neglected him, which wasn’t my intention at all. I honestly get fixated on one thing or another and lose track of everything else. It happens to me all of the time. Does that make me a bad person or just a bad friend?

My social skills are shit and my behavior can sometimes be erratic.
So, I don’t think being in bands long-term are ever gonna work out for me.
It never does. But, the music scene is just about the only social life that I have, playing with other musicians, performing at gigs, etc. So, I guess doing short-term projects with other people is the only way I’m going to remain active in that community. I mean, I’m stubborn. I know this shit isn’t going to work out. But, I keep doing it anyway. Maybe admitting that, to myself, is the only way for me to move forward with anything.