2019… So Far, So Good… I Guess.

Almost done........................
Almost done…………………….

Time still flies when you aren’t having any fun. I am absolutely certain that time speeds up as you age. That is why old people wear clothes that are out of style. It was still in fashion just a minute ago, for them.

I was planning to include a vlog today, since vlogging is meant to be half of these posts. But, honestly, I don’t have anything worth videotaping right now. I also don’t have any new paintings to show.

2019 is speeding by, just like the past few years have. WTF is wrong with me? Besides the usual shit? Things actually are going pretty okay right now. I had a few rough months between December and February. That mess is finally settled, notwithstanding my growing piles of debt.

I have a list of folks waiting for Theee Urban SpaceCat cassette-zine. I have been digging through stacks of demo tapes and gigabytes of incomplete data trying to finish it. I have enough material already done for a complete issue or two… or three. But, I have spread it out over several zines. I didn’t like the way it was when I compiled it all together. So, I am filling each issue, finishing each song, one-at-a-time. A friend suggested that I do this to get myself focused, instead of hopping all over the place like I usually do. Get one thing done. Then, move on to the next thing. This approach seems to be pushing the process along, I suppose. Creating the equivalent of two double albums every few months is kinda hard when doing it all alone and you keep shooting yourself in the foot. Everything is absurdly late getting it out.

I asked around about getting my mixes mastered. But, I cannot afford to do it, not entire albums anyway. I might have one or two singles mastered for radio… maybe. The rest will just have to be a raw mix.

I am waiting for the government to process some of my tax shit, so I can finish setting up the business side of things. They’re still catching up from the Trumptard shutdown a few weeks ago. It has delayed everything. I’m never happy dealing with that sort of stuff. But, I anxiously want to get it done and out of the way.

Here is a Daniel Johnston song from my record collection for you. I get the same feeling myself sometimes. I am always starting my life over again… and again… and again… and again….

New Comic Book Available!

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Hello, I received a message from David Liebe Hart, from the Tim & Eric Awesome Show Great Job! He finally raised enough funds to publish the comic book that I and others contributed to several months ago. The text is below, if you are interested.


Hello friends of David.  We are excited to announce the Kickstarter campaign for our comic book, Heartman, starring David as the superhero who, along with his sidekick Chip, must save the universe from his evil nemesis Dr. Pain.  Each of the beautiful 44 pages is illustrated by a different artist including DLH himself.  With about 5 days to go we’ve reached our goal to raise enough money to order 250 full-color, finely crafted copies for $1500.  You can order your David-signed copy now.  There are also some exclusive rewards for donating extra $.  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/884844058/david-liebe-hart-of-tim-and-eric-in-heartman-comic

August’s west coast tour will go from San Diego CA to Bellingham WA, and will have David joined by a 3-piece space-rock band led by Mo Troper.  September-October’s tour, ranging from Las Vegas to Detroit to Boise, will feature me, Jonah, playing David’s backing music and video projection, along with support acts Chip The Black Boy and Whatever Your Heart Desires.  Details and tickets for all the shows will gradually be updated at http://ArtByLiebeHart.com/shows in the coming weeks, but at the bottom of this I’ll paste complete details for the August shows.
And your subscriber’s exclusive this month is an alternate version of the song “Martin Lawrence Show Dream” from the forthcoming David & Jad Fair album – http://hartandhartmann.com/martin%20lawrence%20show%20dream%20-%20draft2.mp3
❤ Jonah
for David Liebe Hart

LOS ANGELES CA 8/5
The Virgil, 4519 Santa Monica Blvd, $10 advance, $12 door, 8pm (7pm doors), 21+
Support: Adult Karate, Martin Martins, R. Clown
 
SAN DIEGO CA 8/6
Queen Bee’s, 3925 Ohio St, $10 advance, $12 door, 9pm (8pm doors), all ages
Support: Legion X, The Gay Agenda
 
PALM SPRINGS CA 8/7
Ace Hotel, 701 E Palm Canyon Dr, FREE, 9pm, 21+
 
SANTA CRUZ CA 8/8
Blue Lagoon, 923 Pacific Ave, $8 advance, $10 door, 9pm (8pm doors), 21+
Support: TBA
 
SAN FRANCISCO CA 8/9
Knockout, 3223 Mission St, $10 advance, $12 door, 9pm (8pm doors), 21+
Support: Chaki, Tabor Mountain, Eric Cash
 
SACRAMENTO CA 8/10
Highwater, 1910 Q St, $10 advance, $12 door, 9pm (8pm doors), 21+
Support: Skrrt, Vandalaze, Awkward Cougar, Mike Calvin, Mars Parker
 
ARCATA CA 8/11
The Miniplex @ Richard’s Goat, 401 I St, $10 advance, $12 door, 9pm, 21+
Support: Dr. Foxmeat, TBA
 
MEDFORD OR 8/12
Johnny B’s, 120 E 6th St, $10 advance, $12 door, 8pm (7pm doors), 21+
Support: Iconoplasty, The Juniper Berries, Sound Of The Skeptic
 
EUGENE OR 8/14
Secret location TBA, $8 advance, $10 door, 
Support: Steak Richardson, Turtlenecked
 
SALEM OR 8/15
The Space, 1128 Edgewater St NW, $10 advance, $12 door, 6:30pm (6pm doors), all ages
Support: Chief Crow & The Flat Earthworms, Percy Lounge, Vortex Remover
 
PORTLAND OR 8/16
Star Theater, 13 NW 6th Ave, $10 advance, $12 door, 8pm, 21+
Support: Nasalrod, Dim Wit, Tig Bitty, Jay Shingle
 
OLYMPIA WA 8/17
Le Voyeur, 404 4th Ave E, $8 advance, $10 door, 7:55pm (7:30 doors), all ages
Support: The Deceptives, Sunstang, Skrill Meadow, Bananas Foster
 
SEATTLE WA 8/18
Highline Bar, 210 Broadway E, $12 advance, $14 door, 9pm, 21+
Support: Hangry Hayrabs, Porn Bloopers
 
BELLINGHAM WA 8/19
Bellingham Alternative Library, 519 E Maple St, $10 advance, $12 door, 8:30pm (7:30 doors), all ages
Support: TBA
 
SPOKANE WA 8/20
Big Dipper, 171 S Washington St, $8 advance, $10 door, 7:30pm (7pm doors), 18+
Support: Itchy Kitty, Bandit Train, The Midnight Goats

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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Please Share, Like, and Subscribe!!!

Send me some mail (drawings, pictures, souvenirs, letters etc.):

Mike Nobody

c/o Theee Urban SpaceCat

P.O. Box 1201

Taylor, MI 48180

USA

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If you want to support the channel and my other work,

you can pick up some music & merch by going to

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Spread Mike Nobody far and wide!!!

Thanks,

Mike

\,,/(^_^)\,,/

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

ᶠᶸᶜᵏ♥ᵧₒᵤ

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.

Gear Geeked

Mike Nobody Bass 02 - Jaguar Urge Bass

I was going through my hard drive, looking at designs for new guitars and custom instruments. I didn’t know if anybody would care about this sort of thing, except other musicians… maybe. Of course, lacking any money, I build these things as opportunities come along. I can probably work on the cheaper ones for awhile.

I always liked the customized design of Jimmy Page’s Les Paul Guitars, with push-pull knobs enabling coil-tapping and phase-shifting. But, I like baritone guitars a lot, too. The first draft at my version went something like this:

NegativeM+ Mike Nobody Jimmy Page Les Paul Baritone Guitar

I kept making further refinements. Although Les Pauls have a nice tone, the original construction needs work. The headstocks are notorious for breaking easily. So, I changed it to a Zachary Guitars “samurai sword” style headstock. Also, I prefer guitar bodies with an offset waist, for comfort. So, I would keep the maple top mahogany body, just shape it more comfortably like a Fender Jazzmaster or Jaguar.

NegativeM+ Mike Nobody Jazzguar Baritone GuitarNegativeM+ Mike Nobody Jazzguar Baritone Guitar 2NegativeM+ Mike Nobody Jazzguar 3 Baritone Guitar

I played around with different pickup configurations, different woods, a graphite reinforced neck, etc.. I gave a Fender Bass VI style body a try.

MIKE NOBODY GUITAR 3

Mike Nobody Bass - Bass VIMike Nobody Bass 02 - Bass VI

Then, I moved on to basses. I want to combine a Fender Jazz, Precision, and Rickenbacker style tones together. Maybe a Gibson Thunderbird. Maybe not. But, I know it would not sound like any of them if I tried to do that. A close approximation would be nice, though.

NegativeM+ Mike Nobody Mike Nobody Jaguar bassMike Nobody Bass 01 - Jaguar Urge Bass

It is possible that the only way around this is to build a different one for each specific tone. But, I thought about including Line 6 Variax Bass wiring hooked to a piezo pickup for variety. Not sure if it would work.

This is all out of my price range, for now. I considered having the body made, then adding parts as I go along. The neck is the most expensive piece. I don’t know to what degree solid graphite necks can be customized. Having a comfortable neck is very important. I think a “Soft V” contour is the right shape for me. But, I’m not sure. If a pro shop could work out details like that with me it would be extremely helpful.

Making experimental “noise machines” is a lot easier for me to put together on a low budget. The most common that I like making are basically stringed instruments built from scrap wood and junk.

NEGATIVEM ELECTRIC HARP

Anything that makes a sound is fair game, though.

NegativeM Smash TableNegativem Rattle of DOOM!NegativeM Penny JarNegativeM Grinding PipeNegativeM Grinding MicNegativeM The WheelNegativeM Devil's DJ Turntable redNegativem CIRCUIT-BENT MYSTERY BOX

One thing that I thought about getting, for a long time, is a DJ rack case & table. It could store all sorts of effects, make room to operate small devices, and give me something to stand behind. But, they aren’t cheap. This is at the very bottom of my wishlist.

NegativeM+ Mike Nobody Rack

So, there it is. That is just some of the things I’ve been working on, for a long time. I’ll probably build the noise machines sooner than the rest. It would great if I could scrape together enough money to do the basses / guitars, though. I’ll just continue doing what I’m doing until then.

Support Trans Rights with Bandcamp!

trans-fundraiser-600-7
On Friday, purchasing music through Bandcamp will be donating money to the Transgender Law Center, a nonprofit organization that works tirelessly to change law, policy, and culture for the more equitable.
Learn more here and explore the Mike Nobody Bandcamp page.

Death Cat @ Fireside Inn (07/22/2016)

One year ago.
Damn, time flies.

http://www.deathcat.us/

https://www.facebook.com/deathcatmusic/

https://www.facebook.com/firesideinn.divebar

Vlogging Update: May 2017

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Hey y’all,

Sorry for the long absence.

My computer died.

I gave it to my aunt to work on.

She does IT work for the local school district.

Unable to fix it, she gave me another one that a school was getting rid of.

I tried to salvage what I could from the old one.

But, most of my programs and files were lost.

I’ve been searching for the missing software and restoring what I can.

My scanner/printer didn’t want to cooperate with the new computer.

I tried replacing it.

But, the replacements didn’t work either.

After a couple of days messing with it, I finally got it running.

My van has a million problems.

But, at least I got the front tire fixed that kept going flat.

I’ve replaced that tire THREE TIMES and it still kept going flat.

I thought maybe the rim was bent.

I had it looked at and they found a piece of metal lodged inside.

They patched it up.

Now, it shouldn’t be a problem anymore.

Only cost me $15 bucks (thank God)!

I tried to repay my grandmother $700 dollars I owe her.

She forgave some of it.

My ex forgave the $200 I owed her, too, since I’ve been helping her relocate and move her stuff.

Not sure how I’ll get my other debts paid.

But, I try not to get stressed out about it.

That really fucks up my creativity.

Boo Boo the Christmas Kitty

I have somebody living with me again.

Her name is Boo.

I named her after Boo Boo Kitty, the beloved stuffed animal on “Laverne & Shirley”… not Yogi Bear’s sidekick.

boobookittylaverne

A couple of years ago, about a week before Christmas, I stopped at a Kroger’s for some food and pop.

The weather was pretty bad.

It was really cold and the snow was kinda deep.

But, we were out of everything back at our apartment.

The first thing I saw upon entering is somebody holding a cardboard box with a meowing kitten inside.

The employees had found it by the dumpster behind the store.

There were no other cats in the area.

The clerks at Kroger’s were looking for somebody to give it a home, or else they were going to send it to the pound.

Animals aren’t kept there very long before they are put down.

My then-girlfriend and I already had four rescue cats.

But, I didn’t want the poor thing to be harmed.

So, I bought some cat food and took her home with me.

I put the box in the backseat and went home.

But, she managed to get the lid open halfway there.

Totally freaking out, because she never rode in a car before, she jumped onto my head and held on for dear life.

I was able to move her down to my chest, with her arms around my neck, and continued driving the car with her like that.

I put her back inside the box and walked in.

My girlfriend tried guessing what I had in the box.

But, it wasn’t long before Boo popped her head out, purring loudly.

We never had any extra money around to buy Christmas presents for each other.

But, I think Boo made up for it that year.

The other cats raised her, like a foster family.

The next year my girlfriend left, though.

It isn’t like we were fighting or anything.

We are still friends.

But, I think, between our disabilities and state of mind, we were bringing each other down.

She took three of the cats.

I was forced to give away one and euthanize the other, who was extremely sick.

It was very sad.

In the few years since we have lived apart, I have managed to get an affordable apartment of my own and somewhat stabilize my mental condition.

My ex was less fortunate.

She had many ups-and-downs after getting married, until finally their relationship seems to have acrimoniously ended.

She stayed with a friend for a few weeks, sleeping on the floor.

But, now, has a place of her own.

She couldn’t take all of the cats with her.

So, I got Boo back.

The building where I am only allows one pet per tenant, has costly pet fees, and the rules are kinda strict.

She had to get shots, a collar with a name tag, and a bunch of other stuff.

But, Boo is happy to be with me again.

I got her a cardboard scratching pad and a free cat tree from Craigslist someone was throwing away.

I made her litterbox from a plastic tray, construction grade trash bags, and a cardboard box that I found.

I can only afford dollar store cat food and litter.

But, she doesn’t mind.

She follows me around like a shadow and always wants attention.

She often sleeps on my chest or stomach while I’m in bed and curls up on my lap.

She has become my new meditation partner, reminding me to get started and joins me.

Sometimes, when she gets bored though, I can tell that she misses my ex and the other cats.

But, a little catnip and quality time cheers her up.

Boo 20170331_162202

Groundhog Day

monitor

I was gonna record a vlog to go with this (including a new song!). But, I didn’t get around to it. I’ll try to get it out this weekend, maybe. I have been digging through my old practice tapes and recording new demos for a couple of months now. I am not happy with a lot of it. But, you always have to dig through a lot of shit to find anything useful. Since I haven’t put out anything in a long time, I have been contributing to other people’s projects. I was asked by Uncle Ghoulie to provide some artwork and sounds to Truth Porn MilitiaNo Budget Radio Podcast. So, that is cool. I will be getting that out soon. There have also been some zines and other things requesting my input. So, I haven’t been completely unproductive, I guess.

I’m really beginning to wonder if maybe I should just give away my notes & artwork to let someone else make my movies. At least then they would get produced SOMEHOW. Tim Burton had almost nothing to do with making Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, yet his name is still in the title. He just gave his old sketchbook to another director and said, “Here. Knock yourself out.” Good idea? Bad idea? I don’t know. But, it looks like if I’m gonna produce it, it will likely be a few years until it it is done. Even if I cut costs to the absolute bone and it looks like dogshit, I don’t think I can get it done.

I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that I can get Theee Urban SpaceCat finally going this month. I should have enough raw material for a few issues already. I’ve been continually painting, drawing, recording, writing, etc. It really comes down to paying for putting it out there. I’ll deal with other expenses later, if it becomes necessary.

After over a year of keeping my stuff in storage, lacking enough funds, I recently had to let go of my storage unit. I have downsized a lot of it. So, at least I can fit everything in my grandmother’s garage (between the Christmas decorations and patio furniture). She gave me a nice bookshelf that was no longer wanted. So, I finally have somewhere to keep what is left of my vinyl LPs. I was very disappointed to realize how much of my collection that I’ve sold off.

She also gave me a free pizza promotional card that she got in the mail from Domino’s Pizza. I later brought the pizza back to her house. She, my nephew Michael, and I enjoyed a large deluxe. Mmmmmm.

I gotta finish cleaning up here, soon. There is an apartment inspection coming Monday. The landlord is making sure that no bed bugs have returned. Thankfully, the place has been pest-free for a year now. As a matter of fact, it was during the bug extermination last winter that I began renting my storage unit. So, it lasted one whole year.

I just got a small loan to cover my rent problem (last month’s check bounced!). I needed to pay two month’s rent and late/returned check fees IMMEDIATELY or I would get evicted. I’m not sure how much more financial Jiu-Jitsu I can pull off before it finally catches up with me. The van has a lot of mechanical problems needing fixing. I still cannot afford to put insurance on it. I’m risking jail time for driving without it (a misdemeanor in Michigan!). I’m in debt to my eyeballs to doctors & hospitals, credit cards, collection agencies, etc.

I set up a Patreon account. Maybe, I can find a little help from some folks, to fix my money situation. It is a long shot, I guess. But, what have I got to lose? I will post music, videos, and other stuff for patrons that won’t get released anywhere else. I’ll be adding more bonuses for supporters (t-shirts, stickers, magnets, flamethrowers, meat cannons, etc.) when I have them available. Any assistance is appreciated! Thanks.

Become A Patron!

Is There a Mike Nobody Style? Maybe.

noisegiphy

When I am jamming with other people, they motivate me and kinda help focus what I am doing.

So, I am always bouncing ideas back-and-forth with them, trying to see where their talents and interests are.

If half of the group is into a specific style of music, that gives me a vague reference to work from.

I know what will work and what won’t.
My improvisational skills are kinda crappy, I admit, though.

Ironically, I need people to get out of my way and let me work alone when I am writing original music.

Cutting & pasting jam sessions into songs kinda works.

If I have no one to work with at all, I am kind of at a loss.

The music can go in all sorts of different directions.

So, finding my own “sound” can be difficult sometimes.

I am trying to shape what I do into a cohesive sound of my own, without tying my hands too much.

I would like to maintain the freedom to play whatever that I want.

Near as I can figure it, I guess that I kinda sound a little like Beck with a weird bass setup and tapes, maybe.

My working process, and limited resources, probably have more to do with any style that I may have than anything else.

I don’t have a drummer.

So, for percussion I must rely on drum machines, keyboard sounds, and whatever found objects that I can bang on.

I do not have other band members.

So, I rely on recordings of myself on guitars, noises, and assorted samples, to fill out the sound.

Compositionally, I like the cut & paste approach of artists like Magma, Cardiacs, Omoide Hatoba, Boredoms, Melvins, Ruins, Mr. Bungle, Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention, John Zorn, Carl Stalling, etc. and “mixtape style” of the Butthole Surfers, Ween, Faith No More, David Bowie, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, etc.

I like a mixture of Hi-Fi and Lo-Fi in recordings = Mid-Fi!

But, I prefer a specific squashed compression sound found on early Primus, Ween, and Butthole Surfers records.

I was able to ask guitarist / producer Paul Leary once about how he achieved that sound for the Butthole Surfers.

He said it was due to cheap tape recorders, and only having one microphone.

So, I think they recorded directly from their preamps a lot.

I know that Primus did.

That works great for me, since I only have shitty cheap microphones anyway.

Vocally, I have a kinda nasally high-pitched voice that I never liked.

Kind of a bit like Neil Young, Wayne Coyne (Flaming Lips), Kurt Cobain (Nirvana), Curt & Chris Kirkwood (Meat Puppets), Marc Bolan (T. Rex), etc.

Although, I try to give it a little bit of a Tom Waits-like growl on the lower end.

I guess that I compensate for my voice with cheap microphones and whatever vocal effects that are available, trying to bury it.

Visually, of course, everything is very cheap by necessity.

I like papier-mâché and cardboard props and sets.

Puppets and miniatures can be very useful, too.

Green screen, data-bending, and other cheap effects.

My mixed-media paintings and artwork kinda have a cheapniz aesthetic, too, I suppose.

I use stuff from thrift stores, hardware stores, dollar stores, and found materials a lot.

I tend to visualize the exterior world, the “real” world, in black & white colors.

A cold, decaying, dying, world.

The interior world, the world of the mind and imagination, by contrast, is warmer and more colorful.

It is vast and endless.

Duluth-lynching-postcard

bodies-of-deceased-concentration-camp-everett

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I will probably post more about my gear setup & playing techniques later.

Spring Has Sprung

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I was watching some YouTube videos lately.

I got very annoyed.

Other bands are doing stuff that I wanna do.

But, they keep beating me to it.

I hate when that shit happens.

Maybe it is just that everything has already been done to death and we keep repeating and reinterpreting what came before us.

I dunno.

I know that, financially, I am gonna be screwed for the foreseeable future.

I am robbing Peter to pay Paul for as long as I have to.

I seriously doubt that I will break even before summer begins.

I keep putting off working on and publishing the zine until I can get ahead a little.

But, that doesn’t look like it is going to happen very soon.

I may do a cheaper version, than what I had in mind, until it begins to pay for itself.

Just a thought.

I will probably raid my boxes of old tapes that I have in storage and dig around for some incomplete material to finish.

I have a lot of it, going back nearly forty years.

Since I have been tinkering with the analogue multi-track machine, maybe I will include some fresher stuff with it, too.

I dunno.

A guitarist whom I have not played with in years contacted me and is eager to jam again.

So, maybe he can give me a morale boost and help me get my shit done.

Maybe.

I am always willing to jam with other people if they are interested.

I need to find somewhere that I can paint and make loud noises too.

Maybe somebody can help me with that.

Bombs Away!

Valentine’s Day

Lemmy Kilmister R.I.P. (1945-2015)

Lemmy is God

Today was shitty enough already.

This news is just shit-flavored icing on the shitcake.

Lemmy Kilmister has died, at the age of 70.

His birthday was just a few days ago.

Damn.

His health has not been very good for the past several years.

In fact he recently had to cancel a show in the middle of the first few songs, apologizing to the crowd who came to see him, because he was too sick to perform.

That was when I knew he would be gone soon.

An inspiration to thousands of fans, including me, the man was a rock & roll legend.

He never gave up.

He never sold out.

He always did whatever the Hell that he wanted to do, the way that he wanted to do it.

If someone didn’t like it, they could fuck off.

LOL.

Not only was he a hero to me and others for his music, but the way that he chose to live his life.

It is the only one you’ve got.

Better enjoy it while you can.

I ❤ that man for it.

Struggle With Myself

SkullEyesThoughts

I was reading an article about My Bloody Valentine‘s album Loveless.

Boy, is this depressing.

Because, it reminds me so much of myself when I am trying to complete something, the conflict between perfectionism and pragmatism.

It was only scheduled to be recorded in five days but took two years to complete, pretty much bankrupting their record label in the process.

While that is not as bad as how long it took Guns & Roses to complete Chinese Democracy, it is still pretty bad.

Kevin Shields had writer’s block for twenty years afterward.

The article compared his nervous breakdown to Brian Wilson and Syd Barret’s.

Yikes.

My medications help manage my depression, so the highs and lows aren’t as severe.

But, it doesn’t “cure” me of anything.

I still have to fight myself to do ordinary things.

I have to remind myself that the ideas in my head aren’t going to translate unscathed into the real world.

Sometimes, I just gotta work with what is readily at hand and GET SHIT DONE…. NOW.

Obsessing over details is a common problem for me.

“Noise Music” isn’t like that.

It is more like controlled chaos.

Fingerpainting with sound.

Throwing sand into the air.

There aren’t any wrong notes.

I dunno how to get into “the zone” when I need it.

So, I try hooking up with other artists.

Maybe they can help push me along.

Not always effective.

I used to meditate.

But, that got boring.

Drugs are no help.

I try drinking a little.

But, it is also always a crapshoot, if it will work.

The best I can do is just wait until I am ready, then take the opportunities when they present themselves.

It leaves a lot of work unfinished.

Quantity over quality.

But, at least that is doing something.

Maybe if I keep reminding myself to just “Get it done and over with” I will get further ahead with everything.

Who knows?

 

 

 

 

Rush, Canadian Prog – eh?

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I dig the steampunk stage design they have been rocking!

When I was a kid I HATED Rush.

Aside from a few hits, I flatly despised them.

Geddy Lee’s high-pitched singing voice was so annoying and their albums in the 1980’s were so over-saturated with synthesizers.

I am not a big fan of synths made in the 1980’s.

I prefer synths made in the 1960’s-1970’s.

They just had more warmth and bottom end to them.

The band were vocal supporters of that cunt Ayn Rand.

Everything about them was just so pompous and yuppiefied, it seemed.

But, after getting into groups like Primus and Ruins, I went back and gave them another chance.

I decided that I kinda liked them in some ways, but still disliked them in others.

Even when I hated Rush, I respected their musicianship.

They could write complex music and they could really play.

It was Geddy’s voice that grated on my nerves.

But, after awhile, after listening to Les Claypool’s singing it didn’t seem so bad after all.

In fact, Geddy’s voice has deepened with age over the years, making it a little more to my liking.

They have also distanced themselves from Ayn Rand’s bullshit “philosophy” of objectivism, over time.

So, that is a relief.

They also seem to have grown a sense of humor with age.

And, in contrast with their former headlining tourmate Ted Nugent, they are actually nice guys.

So, I guess, people can change and grow on you.

Maybe there is hope for us after all.

The Mysterious Case of The Missing Mood Ring

buddha ring

My mood ring broke again and I lost the color-changing part.

The next one I get won’t be as cheap.

My Buddha ring has taken its place, for now.

I would like to upgrade that one too.

I am working on some songs for an upcoming show in December.

But, I have been a little distracted.

I easily obsess onto something when I am stressed and it gets very difficult to move onto something else.

Both Mike Nobody and the Island of Misfit Noise will perform.

But, each will be a little different.

Since I am playing one set alone, I can prepare more details.

It may have a more complex, jazzier, sound.

The other set will be simpler.

I do not know if we will have a chance to rehearse together.

I want to make it as easy as possible on everyone involved.

It may have a more straightforward blues-based sound, pop song structures, with plenty of room for improvisation if desired.

I need to go make some coffee.

Timmy Vulgar

Timmy Vulgar ca-f-humaneye

Life is funny sometimes. It lands some odd coincidences in my lap a lot, it seems.

I had never listened to The Clone Defects, although they have been around the Detroit scene for a number of years. I did not know that guitarist / vocalist Timmy Vulgar was also in a bunch of other local groups. He has been around the block as much as I have (and then some). I also did not know that he & I had met before, when he was in his first band The Epileptix. I still have their debut 7″ EP that I purchased from him. We talked about the band Chrome and guitarist Helios Creed a little bit. That is all that I remember from our encounter.

Anyway, I got an invitation on Facebook to see his most recent band Timmy’s Organism play at the UFO Factory next month. I did a little research, and dang! This is my kinda guy. Mostly, he plays a kind of psychedelic punk and employs the style of low budget freakishness that I am known for. If he ever needs a bassist, or wants to collaborate, I think I am up for it… if he is.

Timmy Vulgar tim

The Island of Misfit Noise Movie and Comix

godzilla_065fb9e4f6_o

Thus far, I hadn’t given the plot of our film much thought beyond the original premise that I gave TomCat Z. and John Pirog. I had assumed that we could just continue to add material until we had enough for a complete film. It is possible that we may still follow that method to some degree. It may be a financial necessity. But, it also occurred to me that having a few characters that we could build stories around wouldn’t be a bad idea, either. I mentioned the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and all those 1990’s bands who styled themselves as superheroes for examples.

One of my big influences on The Island of Misfit Noise movie is Japanese Tokusatsu (特撮) shows like Ultraman, Giant Robot, and the Godzilla / Mothra franchises.

Oh yes, there will be giant fighting robots and monsters. There will be.

If this is a group of heroes getting into constant trouble, I could sorta model them after characters from Doctor Who, Star Trek, Lost In Space, Josie And The Pussycats, and Scooby Doo, Where Are You?, always arriving somewhere new and finding some shit to get into. If they are musicians, there will be four of them, like The Monkees or The Beatles. Each has their own character archetype, skills and abilities, like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or The Marx Brothers. When they get into deep shit beyond their capabilities, the giant robot comes to save them. Also, the robot is a fill-in drummer, because he keeps excellent time and doesn’t get tired. They are constantly losing and replacing drummers, like Spinal Tap.

Other big influences of mine is, of course, cheap B-movies and television programs. Sid & Marty Krofft‘s 1970’s Saturday morning children’s shows comes to mind as an excellent example. I even called the IOMN movie “H.R. Pufnstuf on crack”, once or twice.

So, there will be lots of green screen, cheap sets, cheap costumes, cheap, cheap, cheap. It is very likely that almost everything you see is gonna be made of cardboard, tinfoil, and papier-mâché if it isn’t something found or outright stolen.

Before we get started putting together any props or shit, I may publish the IOMN comics in my zine, Thee Urban SpaceCat. At the very least, it will give me an opportunity to work out some things that will eventually wind up in the movie. The Walking Dead TV series began as a comic. Hell, most of the movies out lately are based on comic books. They must be doing something right. It is also fitting, because the zine began as a concept for a comic book and I will probably be publishing through a printer that specializes in comic books. So, there is that too.

Tatsuya Yoshida, John Cage, and Boxes of Tapes

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I do not know where all of my old tapes are. Here are a few. Despite my reputation as a pack rat, I do discard and lose a lot of important things. There is still a lot here to dig through, some dating back to the 1970’s. There are more recent ones laying around from making memos to myself, quick jams, meeting up to jam with various musicians, etc.

I learned to read music in elementary school. I forgot how, though, after years of just jamming with bands who couldn’t read. Also, transcribed music never felt like an accurate representation of “music”, to me. I always visualized music in waves, shapes, and colors, like a rainbow oscilloscope!

John Cage wrote music kind of like that. I preferred how he wrote down music. It just made more sense to me than traditional transcribed music.

john cage 56john cage bild

Tatsuya Yoshida seems to have been influenced by Cage a lot. He even wrote a tribute song, composed in John Cage’s style. Of course Tatsuya Yoshida’s biggest influence would seem to be Christian Vander and Magma. His group, Ruins, borrows Magma‘s compositional style almost completely, adapting it to fit a drum & bass duo.

Tatsuya Yoshida
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tatsuya Yoshida (吉田達也 Yoshida Tatsuya?) (born in Kitakami, Iwate is a Japanese musician; drummer and composer who is the only consistent member of the renowned progressive rock duo Ruins, as well as Koenji Hyakkei. He is also a member of the progressive rock trios Korekyojinn and Daimonji. Outside of his own groups, Yoshida is renowned for his tenure as drummer in the indie progressive group YBO2, a band also featuring guitarist KK Null, whom he also joins in the current line up of Zeni Geva and he has played drums in a late edition of Samla Mammas Manna. He has been cited as “[the] indisputable master drummer of the Japanese underground”.
Along with his participation in bands, he has also released several solo recordings.

I like the “cut & paste” style of composing. It offers a lot of freedom. I mean, it is nice when a complete song just hits you all at once. But, that seldom happens when playing in a group. I would be lucky if I found a really good drummer that I found a good groove with. Maybe composing alone will help me write more easily. I have plenty of raw material that I can draw from.

Mike Damn Nobody Returns!

Lightning Bolt Mindflayer Mindflayer-Earthunder-1

I think that, until I get some songs completed, I will accept new offers for gigs… performing improvised noise as Mike Damn Nobody again.

If I can get a new ShitKit started on, I will use it for percussion while I add other noises.

Max Grean (Uncle Ghoulie) said that he would help me to acquire an old gas tank from someone in Clarkston.

If I can get that, it will help me a lot.

I may do something akin to Black Pus (drums + vocals + noise), but perhaps more chaotic.

No Budget

Russ Meyer

I like cheepnis.

Maybe it is growing up on a steady diet of bad movies and shitty TV shows.

We would go to the drive-in back when they had double features, triple features, all nighters, etc.

When home video tapes and cable TV became a thing, my mom got us to watch some the worst movies ever made.

So bad, they’re good… and went back around to being bad again.

Some of the films used on Mystery Science Theater 3000 are Shakespeare, by comparison.

I used to stay up late and try to watch midnight movies on TV, before cable came along.

Then, there was The Ghoul and Sir Graves Ghastly for cool weekend shows.

Ed Wood, Roger Corman, Herschell Gordon Lewis, John Waters, Lloyd Kaufman, Richard Kern, Nick Zedd, Russ Meyer, it’s all good.

I Fixed My Mood Ring

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Don’t look at my ugly face.

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I Fixed My Mood Ring!

20150930_004533
20150930_003524 I found an extra set of strings and replaced the old ones, FINALLY! They were deader than dead. They were Beetlejuice Night of The Living Dead. I cleaned-up the crud around the pickups while I was at it, too.

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Not everything was sold by my grandmother. I still had this one PA and the cabinets from the other one. I didn’t have anywhere to store the cabs. So, I donated them to my grandmother’s church.

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Three projector screens were also left behind. That is okay. I may still use them if I can get some projectors. The big industrial monochrome projector and stand got sold. But, it was only in green color. I would prefer to get full-color replacements. Also, the industrial projector was very big and heavy, requiring a steel stand to be put into position. I need something lighter and more portable.

Super Action Kung-Fu Power Rock & Roll!

beatles toon

In the 1990’s, there were a number of bands who styled themselves as cartoonish action heroes, complete with a theatrical image and fictional backstory (GWAR, Supernova, The Aquabats, The Cocktails, The Amino Acids, Man or Astroman?).

I am not sure if this is the legacy of KISS or The Monkees.

The nice thing about these groups is that they are fun, for starters, and make additional income for the artist through merchandising. I wrote about merchandising before. Yes, there is a dark side to avoid. But, there is also potential to have a lot of fun with it. Comic book culture thrives on it. Go to any comic-con and check out the mountains of stuff available for almost any property. I cannot help that the inner geek in me likes collecting things. I blame Star Trek and record collecting for getting me started on that.

Mog Stunt Team were one of these groups, and were also close friends of mine.

I liked their music and whole schtick. But, I always felt like they put most of their energy into an image and not their music. I believed that I could write better songs, for sure. Bassist / vocalist Kenny Mugwump must have sensed this on some level, because he often asked for my opinion about stuff and wanted my input. I regret that I never asked to join their group. But, I was a bit intimidated. These were old pros with management, years of experience in a number of bands, touring, getting signed to labels, etc. I was just this weird kid who hung around a lot and helped when they needed a favor.

I kinda forgot about these sort of groups for awhile, then realized that The Aquabats were still kicking, and had their own TV show for two seasons! Christ, how did I miss THAT? I did a little research and discovered that the lead Aquabat, Christian Jacobs, was a former 1980’s child actor. He tried making a go of The Aquabats band for a couple of years in the 1990’s, unsuccessfully. In 1998 they made a failed Aquabats TV pilot with Bobcat Goldthwait. In 1999, he tried pitching Yo Gabba Gabba! to the networks instead. After belatedly appearing on the internet for a few years, it was a big success. Afterward, he was asked what his next project would be. So, he simply dusted off his VHS recording of The Aquabats! Super Show! and tried that again 15 years after it was originally made. Ta-Dah!

Anyway, I thought it might be interesting to make The Island of Misfit Noise sort of like these groups. The IOMN movie certainly shares some of the same influences. I don’t want to wear costumes onstage or anything like that. But, I think that I could create different characters that we could make toys out of and stuff like that. Sorta like The Archies or Josie and The Pussycats. That could be fun.

This abomination actually had a TV show!

As a kid growing up in the 1970’s-1980’s, I knew even then that most of the cartoons on TV were just half-hour commercials for toys. It was a little annoying, sometimes. I mean, c’mon, they made a TV show about a talking Rubik’s Cube! Really?! The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were one of these shows. Literally, the show was only made so they could make toys. But, damn if it wasn’t still a good show! I think the fact that they had already developed it as a successful comic book for a few years gave them the chance to flesh out the characters more.

Anyway, I still look forward to writing songs with anyone who wants to add them into this. Not sure what will come of it. But, we will see.

Jobless Zine Tapes

FUN

I applied for another job again, Value World (aka Value Village).

Not sure if it will do any good.

They were the only place that required applicants to apply in person, instead of online like everywhere else.

I later walked to the store for pop & bread and actually did some housecleaning today, too.

Wow!

I’m on a roll.

♛ ★★★★★★★★★☆★☆★☆★☆☆★☆★☆★☆★☆★☆★★★★★★★★★ ♛

I am feeling kinda brave and pulled the Roland workstation out… seeing if I could operate it at all.

I may dig through some boxes of old tapes and see if there is anything that I wanna work on again.

I may lift some material directly from them for the zine.

Maybe.

I am thinking that I will just keep accumulating material as I go along.

Then, when I have enough cash to publish I will put a new issue out, hopefully every three to four months.

It would be easier if I had some extra income for this.

But, I am working with what I have for now.

Thee Urban SpaceCat CassetteZine may be printed by a company that did Death Cat comics, Ka-Blam is their name I think.

It seems like they work in all sorts of volumes with good quality.

The tapes may be recorded, mixed, mastered, and dubbed totally DIY, though.

I am undecided if I want to get them made at a duplicating plant or just dub them myself.

I guess it depends what the demand is for them.

If I get too many orders I will have to go with the duplicating plant.

I am making a distinction between the CassetteZine and the RecycleTapes, though.

The CassetteZine will use fresh normal bias cassettes, probably Sony.

They seem to be the most readily available.

RecycleTapes are hard copy recordings of Mike Damn Nobody’s noise albums, dubbed on reused tapes and re-labelled by me.

I may have to create new artwork for the older titles.

I cannot find the originals.

I was thinking of when I want to take my recordings into a legitimate studio.

Money is a factor, of course.

But, when I am ready, I am thinking that I may only release vinyl singles and EPs like that for awhile.

If they do well, I can compile them onto CDs later.

The Weirdos are an LA punk band from way-y-y back.

They released only vinyl singles for twenty years before they put out their first full-length album.

“Weird Al” Yankovic says that he will no longer release full length albums.

He is only doing singles now.

It seems like that is the direction that the music industry will be going, eventually.

I haven’t been in a record store for years.

So, it is a little tough for me to gauge.

♛ ★★★★★★★★★☆★☆★☆★☆☆★☆★☆★☆★☆★☆★★★★★★★★★ ♛

I am probably gonna upgrade my my video capture software and get a chromakey program added to it.

I need to get a green screen or some fluorescent green paint.

I have a few leftover projector screens that I could paint if I had something for fabric, that wouldn’t crack and peel off.

Stripping It Down

"Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify." - Henry David Thoreau
“Our life is frittered away by detail… simplify, simplify.” – Henry David Thoreau

I am stripping my rig down a bit.

Still a work in progress.

I am trying to fit everything onto the pedalboard.

There may still be a few things sticking out.

Ideally, I should be able to set up my gear in about ten minutes, give or take a few.

Fewer parts, fewer complications.

Gotta think like a NASCAR pit mechanic, in & out.

“The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain.”

– Scotty (Star Trek III: The Search For Spock)

My equipment has evolved a lot over time.

At one point, I had a built-up a huge Frankenrig from two old PAs, some preamps, and pieces of my current Mini-rig.

I got inspiration for my setup from a bunch of different bass & guitar players; Bootsy Collins, Chris Squire, Cliff Burton, Greg Ginn.

Some players have elaborate switching systems, with tons of pedals and rackmount effects.

Some players have truckloads of gear, insane shit.

Sonic Youth had a different guitar for EACH SONG.

I am trying to pare it down to whatever my live sound will be.

What do I REALLY need?

Other effects and sounds that I use I will probably just record samples of.

This changes the dynamics of composing quite a lot.

It is gonna sound way different than if I had everything plugged into the bass.

You can sort of hear how this is shaping my sound, so far.

But, this is for demonstration purposes ONLY (sorry that I got fat):

This is an unfinished song that The Riverviews were working on a couple of months ago.

I might re-purpose it into an Island of Misfit Noise song, if Mike Hayes doesn’t mind.

Stripping down the mini-rig.
Trying to find a compromise between my “live sound” and “studio sound”.
The strings are long overdue to be changed.
But, I haven’t got enough money for replacements.

Hello!

“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.

Outsider Artist / Musician;

  • Music, Art, and Zines
  • Videos, Movies, and Multi-Media
  • Voice, Tapes, and Noise
  • Bass, Baritone, and other Guitars
  • Keyboards, Computers, and Custom Instruments
  • Plunderphonics, Electronics and Junk 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

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

Some of my current projects;

  • Island of Misfit Noise is an ongoing multimedia project, begun in 1998 as a musical group, with a constantly rotating membership. It has since expanded into no-budget film-making, music videos, and a series of comics. I will continue to add material to this as I go along, with additional collaborators. Live performances are very unlikely.
  • 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 of my recordings (compact disc optional)… whatever they may be. It is 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; incorporating tape loops, circuit-bending, custom instruments, and anything else available. Live events have a more chaotic theatrical presentation than my other projects. Recordings are available on RecycleTapes (cassettes handmade from re-purposed materials) and digital download formats.
  • Mike Nobody is just me, by myself, performing somewhere with my crazy setup as a one-man-band. I’ll make that work, somehow, for now.
  • MykNobody is an alternate spelling sometimes used when I’m painting.

This post was a little long, containing influences, gear, personal info, etc.. It has been relocated to About / FAQ / PressDetails.

Subscribe to this blog and I will show & tell you more about the past, present, and future. If you want to check out upcoming events or new stuff available, and get some freebies, add yourself onto the mailing list in the sidebar. There are also fundraising links there for anybody who wants to support my creative efforts. More rewards are available for my Patrons.

Thanks!

Mike Nobody =^.^=

Band Member Update

Mike Nobody
(Bass / Guitar / Vocals / Tapes / Noise Machines / Director-Producer / Etc.)
+
MarshaKat
(Keyboards / Guitar / Samples / Tech Advisor / Business Management / Etc.)
+
“Pyro-Destructo” John Pirog
(Fire / Noise / Video)
+
Derek Huntington Martin
(Guitar / Keys / Multi-Instrumentalist…Part-Time Fill-In)
+
Andrew Kaster
(Drums / Guitar / Vox / Etc.)
+
Jeremy Bussey
(Drums / Guitar / Vox / Etc.)
+
Devin Wynn
(Guitar / percussion / circuit bending / noise / etc.)
-/+???
Deb Kuhn = Drummer I totally pissed off who won’t play with us anymore but wants to remain friends. Maybe she’ll help in other ways.
-/+???
Two Unknown Guitar-Playing Singing Drummers (Preferably Female) = NegativeM+

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What Makes People Want to Play Rock Band and Guitar Hero?

What Makes People Want to Play Rock Band and Guitar Hero?
By Gary Marcus
Director of the NYU Infant Language Learning Center, and Professor of Psychology at NYU

In some ways, Guitar Hero and Rock Band seem like the stupidest games on earth. Colored discs scroll down a TV screen, and eager participants mash colored buttons in time with what they see. You press a red button when you see a red disc, a blue button when you see a blue disc, and hold your fire when you see nothing. Rinse, lather, and repeat; that’s about all there is to it. Since the sequence and timing are provided by the game software, you don’t really even need to know the songs. There’s no need to strategize ahead (as in chess); no need for big muscles (as in basketball), and no need to bluff past one’s opponent (as in poker). Few games demand less of the player; I suspect monkeys could be trained to play, and know for a fact that robots can cruise through Guitar Hero on Expert.

Yet the two games together have grossed over three billion dollars, and received extensive coverage in highbrow outlets like The New York Times and The Atlantic Monthly.

What is the appeal of a game that demands so little of the human mind? Part of it of course lies with the music; the latest Rock Band comes complete with Beatles music, and for people like me, who grew up listening to music, no body of music is more compelling. (For people with rather different tastes, there’s Guitar Hero: Metallica and Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, with Steely Dan allegedly on its way, although Jimmy Page swears there will never be a Guitar Hero: Led Zeppelin).

Still, at $60, the game costs as much as 4 or 5 albums, and the game takes more work to play. Why mash buttons on a video game controller, when you could put Sgt. Pepper on your CD player, or learn to play a real guitar? If an alien scientist came to observe humanity, they’d find a lot of things puzzling, but few would be as puzzling as Guitar Hero.

* * *
Some games, of course, could be seen as practice for the real world; Monopoly could be viewed as preparation for a career in real estate, chess for the art of war. Many evolutionary psychologists believe that play evolved as way to ease children into their ultimate adult responsibilities; chasing your friends in a game of tag prepares you for the bison hunt on which your life will later depend.

Whether you buy that theory or not, the plastic “guitars” in Guitar Hero have little to do with real guitars; there are no strings, and no frets, there’s no soundhole, and no jack to hook up to an amplifier, either; except for a bit of clattering, the plastic pseudo-instrument makes no sound at all. And there’s no room for genuine creativity, as there would be with a real instrument. A real apprentice guitarist must spend hours and hours practicing scales and chords, and learning about the relation between melody and harmony; an aficionado of Guitar Hero skips straight to the songs, and may well never learn the difference between a major scale and a minor.

Economists would be puzzled, too. It generally costs the same amount or even less (once you factor out the costs of the plastic guitars) to buy the songs on iTunes as to get them in a package for your Xbox, and if you buy them on iTunes, you can play them over and over, wherever you want, in the car, or in the gym, and not just when you stand in front of your television set. You also aren’t stuck suffering through the abominable mid-80’s Hair Metal, in order to “unlock” the next song that you actually like.

What gives? If it’s not practice for a career in music, and it’s not efficient or rational from an economist’s perspective, what is it that drives people to play these games?

* * *
It’s a lust for power.

Not, mind you, of the sort that allows one to rule the world, but the sort that allows one to control one’s own world.

Dozens of studies over the years have shown that human beings are happier when they believe themselves to be in control. In one famous set of studies, participants were asked to solve simple arithmetic problems while sitting in a room in which sudden blasts of noise occurred at random intervals. One group of subjects had no choice but to listen, the others had a panic button they would be allowed to press if the noise became too much. Though few participants actually pressed the button, the mere feeling of control made the entire experience considerably more bearable. In another famous study, dogs were put in an environment in which nothing that they did correlated with their situation; so-called “learned helplessness” — essentially a form of depression — was the result.

Alas, although humans are very fond of being in control, we aren’t always so good at telling whether we actually have it. As Harvard psychologist Dan Wegner has argued in The Illusion of Conscious Will, Oujia boards were designed to trick people into thinking they didn’t have control when they really did. Guitar Hero is designed to do the opposite.

Inferring control is really an exercise in inferring causality; we want to know whether A causes B, but sometimes all we know is that when A happens, B happens too. In technical jargon, we infer causality from temporal contingency.

Games like Guitar Hero set up one of the most potent illusions of temporal contingency I’ve ever seen: if the player presses the button at the right time, the computer plays back a recording of a particular note (or set of notes) played by a professional musician. The music itself is potent and rewarding — Keith Richards really knows how to bend a note — but the real secret to the game is what happens is that fact if you miss the button, you don’t hear the note.

The brain whirs away, and notices the contingency. When I push the button, I hear Keith Richards; when I fail to push the button (or press the wrong button, or press it late), I don’t hear Keith Richards. Therefore, I am Keith Richards!

* * *
It’s not simply that you hear the songs (which bring pleasure) but that the game skillfully induces the illusion that you yourself are generating the songs. You aren’t paying $60 to hear the songs; you’re paying $60 to trick your brain into thinking that you are making them. Your conscious mind may know better — and realize that it’s all just a ruse — but your unconscious mind is completely and happily fooled.

Is that worth $60? If you want to feel like Keith Richards, the answer is surely yes.


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