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.

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.

February-March

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“The Good Ship Venus”

I am feeling a little better today.

My meds weren’t completely refilled this month.

I am totally out of Wellbutrin.

But, I still have some Prozac and Abilify left.

I gotta schedule an appointment to see my doctor when he is next available.

I have been meaning to find a new psychiatrist to take over my psychotropics.

But, I have been constantly broke, trying to dig myself out of an overdrafted hole with the bank for months.

Hopefully, I am far ahead enough that this will not be a problem next month.

I also hope to get some repairs done on the van.

It is rapidly falling apart and needs a lot of work.

If I can at least stop the oil and fluids from leaking, I will be more confident to drive it further.

Maybe I will even get busy on The Island of Misfit Noise Movie again, once my transportation is stabilized.

The frame is bent.

So, there is only so much that is worth putting into it.

Hopefully, I can make it last long enough until I can afford a halfway decent replacement.

I would prefer to find another Chevy van with 4×4 drive.

I am not sure if I will make any modifications to the current van or not.

I guess I could, and then just transfer them to another vehicle later.

I would like to install a high wattage inverter w/ two deep cycle batteries.

Enough power to run a refrigerator/freezer and other appliances.

I wanted to purchase a used ice cream truck for this reason.

But, it was sold before I could save up enough cash to buy it.

Ideally, I would like to prep my vehicle to be ready to live in full-time, if it really became necessary.

I have been watching a lot of vandwellers blogging on YouTube, chronicling their experiences of living nomadically.

There are lots of good tips and ideas on there.

Some are simply homeless, not by choice.

But, others have willfully chosen to live this way…for a variety of reasons.

Mostly, the cost of living is a factor.

Eric Jacobs, who lives in an RV with his cat Jax, makes me miss having a cat around.

Their travels also make me wish I was touring and playing out again.

Playing music has always been my main avenue of socializing.

I just don’t have many other interests or feel like going out anywhere for other reasons.

I guess this is why Ozzy Osbourne and other rockers never stayed retired for very long.

They don’t know how to do anything else.

I feel awkward being a solo artist, though.

I suppose that I have little choice left.

My social skills are shit and I never can keep a stable band together for very long.

Some music that I write is too complex to play alone.

It just sounds better with a real full band.

But, I guess that I can write other songs to play solo.

I am recording both, and other material that is just physically impossible to play live at all.

All of it is going into my cassette-zine, Thee Urban SpaceCat, along with my drawings, writings, and correspondences with pen friends.

I would like to publish a new issue at least every three or four months.

But, my finances are a limitation imposed on how often I could put it out there.

I am unsure when I can get it ready.

Hopefully, within the next few months.

I have tons of crap that I need to catch up on.

I need new shoes, prepping supplies, etc.

I gotta pay off my credit cards, repair the van, and other gear.

So, I am playing everything by ear, for now.

At minimum, I hope to have a live set prepared so that I can book a few shows.

Maybe it will help me to raise a little money so I can get my projects moving again.

We will see.

If anybody wants to write to me, ask questions, and maybe get your letter published in my zine my address should be there on the sidebar of my website MikeNobody.Com.

Later,

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.

Comparative Anatomy

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Comparative Anatomy are another group that I have liked for many years. Their 2010 CD Mammalian is really good. I have been waiting ever since for a follow-up album, which never seems to come.

They are an experimental drum & bass band from Charlottesville, Virginia. Known for their elaborate costumes, absurd humor, simple but diverse textures and unique sound, the band has become known in the experimental and noise rock scenes for their outlandish performances. Their early work has been referred to by reviewers as a “patchwork, cut-up style” similar to bands like Mr. Bungle, but recently they have created their own unique sound with robotic sounding bass lines, frenzied loops of animal samples, and beat-focused drums. To date, they are the only band to consistently use animals for vocals, recording their sounds in a variety of settings and programming them to the music, often altering the sounds and layering them in their more recent work.

Comparative Anatomy started as an experiment in 2009 between the two main members, Sir Puffers Rabbinald the Third and Ron Chickenbaby. At this time, the band name was not yet chosen. The original line-up went through several guitars and one real drummer, all of who were eventually eliminated. After deciding to work alone, the group took a different route, eliminated guitars altogether and moved away from the quirky, death metal sound where they started as well as completely scrapping vocals. Their musical direction began to take an experimental, drum & dual-bass approach utilizing special tunings, a drum machine, and various samples from a variety of sources. They’re known for its odd humor, which relies heavily on absurdist and quasi-dadaist dialogs with the crowd and symbolism focusing totally on animals.

During live performances, Comparative Anatomy is known for wearing costumes, which were at first simple designs made with dismembered, stuffed animals, but eventually became elaborate and full-body pieces hand-made by the two main members featuring everything from top hats to black metal guantlets. In addition, their live act involves a set of films and animations created by the band that follow the music and are projected behind them on a giant screen.

Another cool thing about them that I like very much is that they tour in a refurbished ambulance, playing their music over the PA system as they approach their performances.

If you ever wonder what a Mike Nobody solo performance looks like, without a real band onstage, this probably isn’t far from it… minus the costumes.

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Super Action Kung-Fu Power Rock & Roll!

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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.

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.

Financial Advice From Trekkie Monster



TREKKIE MONSTER:What you say?
BRIAN:
Kate wants to open a school for Monsters.
TREKKIE MONSTER:
School for Monsters? Me never hear of that!
(sung)
School for Monsters!
School for lonely little Monsters!
When me little,
going to school,
other children
think me not cool,
poking and pulling
at me fur…
Now me have therapist,
and work on this with her.
But me no need me therapy
if Monster School a reality!
(spoken)
Here! Me give you ten million dollars!
PRINCETON:
Trekkie! Where did you get all that money?!
TREKKIE MONSTER:
In volatile market, only stable investment is porn!


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