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.
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.
This is my tribute to Andy Warhol, on the 35th anniversary of his scene in the movie “66 Scenes From America” by danish filmmaker Jorgen Leth. The movie was shot in 1982 and has a total duration of 39 minutes. It consists of a series of shots (or moving postcards) that outline daily life across the USA in the 1980’s.
Jorgen Leth did not know Warhol, but he was a bit obsessed with him so he definitely wanted to have him in his movie. Friends told Leth that he “should forget about it” and that he could never even approach Warhol.
Anyways – Leth was stubborn so when he came to New York for his movie he simply went to the “factory”, the building Warhol had rented to work at and despite all other claims simply managed to get to Warhol’s studio inside where he met Andy Warhol while he was currently working.
Leth just told Warhol about his movie and the idea of having Andy being one of the 66 scenes along with the highly “symbolic” burger. Warhol immediately liked the idea and agreed to the scene. Andy liked the scene as he said because it was such a real scene, something he would like to do.
So Andy Warhol agreed to come for filming a few days later.
Jorgen leth was a bit afraid that Warhol would not come. He had invited him to a photo studio in new York at 14th street/5th avenue that belonged to a friend of him.
Leth had his assistant buy some burgers and directly advised him to buy some in halfway neutral packaging as Leth was afraid that Warhol might reject some brands (Warhol always had an obsession with some of his favorite brands).
So Andy Warhol finally did arrive at the studio, of course along with his bodyguards, and when he saw the selection of burgers the assistant had brought he asked “Where is the McDonald’s?” and Leth – slightly in panic – was immediately like “I thought you would maybe not like to identify… “ and Warhol answered “no that is the most beautiful”. Leth offered to let his assistant quickly run to McDonald’s but Warhol refused like “No, never mind, I will take the Burger King.”
Directing the video was pretty simple. Leth said to him: “You simply have to eat this hamburger. And then after you finished, you have to eat it, after you finish you should just tell the camera, to the camera, my name is Andy Warhol, I have just eaten a hamburger. “
Leth was worried during the taking as he forgot to give Warhol a glass of water and the bottle of ketchup was brand new, so it was hard to get it out. But being a real Warhol there was only one take, one try, so Warhol pulled it through in just one take, roughly 5 minutes.
So, why a whopper from burger king?
A quote from Andy Warhol:
“What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it. “
I haven’t posted much on my website blog in awhile. I have kept myself fairly occupied most of the time, despite outward appearances.
I’ve finally closed the door on The Island of Misfit Noise, as a recording group for good. It is still the title of a no-budget movie and comic book. But, for the purposes of collaborating with other musicians, it has outlived it’s usefulness. I will think of something else if I need it. I’m currently working on a new album with some friends and am keeping an eye out for available musicians to perform live with again.
My disability pay has not come yet. I’m annoyed. A mistake has been made by the Social Security Administration. I updated my account information with them over a month ago. But, they deposited this month’s payment into an account that is no longer active. I called their office and the bank. Hopefully, it will be straightened out soon. I need supplies to work on a few projects and it is holding me up. I have a lot of stuff to catch up on;
This week’s mail is ready to go out as soon as I get some postage.
My homemade drum kit (aka The ShitKit) is coming along really well. I need to get some parts from a hardware store to put it together.
I’m working on a short film to submit to a film festival next month. I need a few items for building props, sets, puppets, etc.
I have some incomplete paintings that require art supplies.
Someone is offering a free drafting table on Craigslist. I’m out of gas, though. Hopefully, it will still be there when I can refuel again.
I need funds to send my zines to the printers, if I am to have them ready in time for upcoming events.
I have VHS tapes that need to be transferred to my computer for editing. But, the VCR needs cleaning badly and I can’t find any tape head cleaners anywhere. I gotta get replacements.
Of course, there is also the matter of monthly bills and mundane household things; rent, phone, internet, debts, medications, food, dish soap, cat litter, paper towels, toilet paper, car insurance & license plate renewal, etc.
I recently sent out an email to those on my mailing list with a few details of upcoming events and a plea for financial support. I doubt that anybody will take me up on it. But, it never hurts to ask.
I’m writing a new horror story to be made into another low-budget movie, after “The Island of Misfit Noise” film is finished. It is a little more ambitious. It will actually require a REAL budget and not be made piecemeal like the IOMN.
Another project that I will undertake, a little bit later, is a compilation LP. It will be funded collectively by the contributing artists. Everyone submits a song or two and their share of the budget to produce it. After the vinyl is pressed, everyone gets their percentage of the finished product, to sell at gigs. It is an old method of doing things, that I have participated in before. Another share of the records will be sent out for promotion, through radio and press.
But, before I embark on these and other projects, I need to finish up a couple of things and sort out my financial situation. I have enrolled in a debt consolidation program. So far, my credit cards seem to be under control. But, I have yet to get my payday loan debts arranged. I don’t believe that I can do that this month, because I have to buy a car insurance policy to renew my license plates. We will see how that comes along. Anyway, that is what I’m doing lately.
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 Militia – No 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.
“All the various styles are organically connected to one another. I’m an additive person—the entire storehouse of my knowledge informs everything I do. People are so obsessed with the surface that they can’t see the connections, but they are there.” ~ John Zorn
“Cute, cool, and creepy”, is how I have been described by some folks.
Usually, I am classified by my contemporaries as an outsider artist-musician.
Davin Brainard (time Stereo) and Warren DeFever (His Name Is Alive) observed that I do not intentionally TRY to be perceived as weird, that I just naturally AM….. making comparisons to Wesley Willis and Daniel Johnston. I guess that I will just go along with those descriptions.
Music, Art, and Noise /
Videos, Movies, and Multi-Media /
Voice, Tapes, and Reed Trumpet /
Bass, Baritone, and other Guitars /
Keyboards, Computers, and Custom-Made Instruments /
Plunderphonics, Electronics and Junkyard Percussion
I enjoy creating what I refer to as “Prog-Punk Noise-Rock”, a strange pastiche of styles tied together. I have collaborated with plenty of other artists over the years with wide degrees of proficiency in many genres.
I have been obsessively into art and music my whole life; drawing, painting, playing with tape recorders and making noise. I built my first guitar from a badly beaten-up body & neck that I found in someone’s trash. A friend’s dad gave me the electrical guts from an unknown 1950’s guitar. Additional parts were improvised from pieces of found junk and purchased from a music store.
When I was a twelve year old kid, back in the 1980’s, I was just a runt of the Detroit hardcore punk / heavy metal scene . Lacking enough money to buy any good equipment, I purchased a cheap microphone at a pawn shop, built a homemade mic stand, and passed myself off as a vocalist. I sang in whatever groups that I could find, gaining experience and learning whatever that I could. Mostly, it was shitty cover bands, playing in basements, getting yelled at by uninvited drunks that we suck. Eventually, I improved my bass & guitar skills, playing in many short-lived groups that went nowhere.
I was a writer / photographer for The Jam Rag, a widely-read local music paper, while still a teenager and made friends with other artists along the way. During the 1990’s I was a cameraman, roadie, and occasional collaborator with Princess Dragon-Mom, Mog Stunt Team, His Name Is Alive, etc.. I also performed in a few experimental noise groups; Bionics, Edible Audio, Fresh Farm Raised Catfish, etc.
The Island of Misfit Noise began in the summer of 1998 with only Mystic MarshaKat and myself. She played keyboards & guitar (classically trained) and I played bass & guitar (mostly self-taught). Both of us were former members of N2-Submission, the backing band for our then-roommate The Impaler “Detroit’s Vampire Poet.”Our duo’s name changed a couple of times, before settling on the IOMN. Other musicians came and went during a period of 15 years, with she & I being the only constant members of the group. She also left in early 2013. MarshaKat and I remain friends. She may continue to assist in some capacity, just not as a full-time band member.
I resurrected the IOMN as a recording project in late 2014, with collaborators from Michigan to Australia. We exchanged material back-and-forth until some music was completed. The style that we made is very freeform. A few collaborators from the IOMN have joined me in other projects. Some of them have experience in film & television and are producing low-budget movies with me.
For years, I tried to arrange having dual drummers play together in a band. We managed to do it a few times, which was great while it lasted. Most drummers are not into that, though.
I always needed to be collaborating with somebody, whether an individual or a group. It gave me confidence and motivation. I would bounce ideas off of bandmates, get a feel for their capabilities and preferences, to find which direction that we were going in. I depended a lot on their input to filter my ideas through. I was always looking for feedback, trying to be as democratic as possible. But, this approach slowed us down. In hindsight, it was a mistake, like driving a car with the parking brake on.
I tried for ages to put a band together. But, I could never manage it for very long. After years of trial-and-error, I have come to the conclusion that I simply lack the necessary social skills to keep a stable group together. I am focusing primarily on composition and recording, for the time being. I will return to live performance when I am certain that the project won’t immediately disintegrate. Assembling the right line-up and keeping it intact is a big obstacle for me. I would like to eventually have a live group again. At minimum, I would prefer having (at least) a decent drummer to accompany me. I get uneasy being on stage alone. But, an ideal line-up would include:
Myself on bass, vocals, and tapes.
A creative drummer. Someone who is comfortable playing with additional percussionists, drum machines, noise, or other unusual stuff.
Maybe two guitarists who could also contribute more percussion, keyboards, samplers, vocals, or whatever other talents they may possess.
Maybe I will just go back to replacing musicians as I go along…. again.
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. There are no other permanent group members. 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 or compact disc of my recordings… 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. I wish to publish an issue every three or four months. The lack of adequate funding has rendered publication more sporadic than originally intended, though. I’m posting digital versions online until I can get enough cash together for printing physical copies. So, they will be available, eventually. But, I have no idea when.
Mike Damn Nobody is my experimental noise project; incorporating tape loops, circuit-bending, custom instruments, and anything else available to make a racket with. Live events have a more chaotic theatrical presentation than my other projects. Recordings are available on RecycleTapes (homemade cassettes, from re-purposed materials) and digital download formats.
Mike Nobody Superstar is just me, by myself, performing somewhere with my crazy setup as a one-man-band. I’ll make that work, somehow, for now. This doesn’t apply to other Mike Nobody output.
MykNobody is an alternate spelling sometimes used when I’m painting or making other art, just because.
Over time, I have received some frequently asked questions. So, I will add this below, if anybody really wants to know:
Gear Geek Stuff:
I don’t have a rehearsal space, just a tiny apartment that serves as my home-based studio/office (aka The Spacejunk UFO). Recordings done here have an unpolished lo-fi production sound, as a by-product of makeshift equipment used.
I have two multi-track machines;
one cassette (Tascam 488 MKII 8-track Portastudio)
one digital (Roland VS-1688 Digital Audio Workstation)
On my computer, I use whatever freeware programs that are available online. Mostly, it is used for sampling and drum machine programming. Two old broken boomboxes serve as studio monitors. I also collect various types of tape recorders (cassette, micro-cassette, reel-to-reel, 8-track, etc).
I prefer recording electrical instruments directly, via preamps or cabinet emulators, and mic-ing up an ambient “room sound” for acoustic tracks. Analog tape is good for getting a saturated compression sound, well-suited to percussion instruments or creating tape noises. Digital is good at getting a cleaner sound. I record the bulk of my material at home. My original plan was to lay basic tracks on tape, bounce them to digital for overdubs, then take the tracks to someone else for mixing & mastering (maybe at a higher quality studio with a good engineer) or figure out how to do it myself.
I don’t have very high quality microphones;
A modified telephone receiver, with an XLR jack installed
an old abused Radio Shack mic from the 1980’s
another stolen from a karaoke machine
two USB microphones, from Guitar Hero, I think
several consumer-grade tape recorder mics from the 1960’s-1970’s
My bass / guitar setup has evolved over time into an unusual hybrid rig, splitting the instrument signal three ways, combined with various effects into a “sonic sandwich”;
one through a bass amp (SWR)
one through a lead guitar amp (Marshall)
one direct to mixer (Line 6 POD)
Miscellaneous samples and noise collages are prepared on cassette tapes and played back with a pair of foot-controlled Dictaphone machines fed directly into the mixer.
I have two basses;
1987 Guild Pilot with Kahler tremolo. I use recycled copper/nylon picks, for more attack and articulation.
Jay Turser copy of a Höfner’ 500/1 violin “Beatle Bass”, like Paul McCartney’s. I use this shorter-scale bass mainly for cleaner finger-playing techniques.
I have two guitars;
Line 6 Variax, to achieve a wide variety of tones.
Ibanez RX60, with a Seymour Duncan Humbucker I installed at the bridge. I regularly use it for alternate tuning, usually tuned-down like a baritone.
Two other guitars are currently on loan;
BC Rich Masterpiece
Ovation 12-string Acoustic
I prefer Ground Roundwound strings, for their smooth feel – yet bright tone. Stainless steel armored instrument cables are also very durable and minimize ground noise.
I built a homemade drum kit, affectionately referred to as The ShitKit. It is a hodgepodge of crappy drum parts acquired from thrift stores with a collection of scrap metal junk added, for a clunkier sound.
I have a Korg M3 music workstation synthesizer, as well as a bunch of cheaper keyboards and electronics to mess around with. I don’t understand how to use everything it is capable of. I need to continue reading the manual.
My collection of effect pedals and rackmounted gear varies. I have sold things when I needed money really bad. I have fried others beyond salvage. Sometimes, I can replace these. Sometimes, I can’t.
My attempts at custom-building circuit-bent & experimental instruments have yielded mixed results. I can get some interesting sounds out of them, if the darn things don’t self-destruct first.
I also have ideas for some custom basses & guitars that I would like to get professionally made. Adding other instruments to my arsenal would be fantastic.
My songwriting style is a mix of eclectic influences juxtaposed together. I like combining a bit of everything, when I can.
Sometimes it is harmonious.
Sometimes it is schizophrenic.
Sometimes it is simple and accessible.
Sometimes it is noisy and irritating
It can be almost anything, depending on the song. I am writing within three basic categories;
Solo: material that I can play alone without additional players.
Band: material that requires other musicians to perform live.
Album: material that is very difficult or impossible to be played live at all, created solely for recordings.
Lyrics are kind of an afterthought for me. I’ll write down any ideas I get and go back to them later if I am working on something. But, music comes first. Lyrics might be personal or political. They may be strange and surreal. Overall, it is “the little world”, “the big world”, and the creative use of language. Generally, the more abstract the music is, the more abstract the lyrics are as well. I like leaving things a little open to interpretation rather than always being explicit.
I’m a huge record collector and music fan. I love attempts at all genres and styles – constantly finding inspiration from albums that are just all over the map … and I’m all about that. I’m all about diversity. I’ve played with musicians from many genres. Everything in my output is interconnected. It just comes out mixed-together, filtered through whatever resources available. It’s a bit like combining Frank Zappa’s Freak Out List and the Nurse with Wound list into one mutation! Rock & roll is the glue holding it together. Some notable influences include;
Bebe and Louis Barron
Jared Warren (KARP, Big Business, Melvins)
Big City Orchestra
Bipolar Gentlemen + Toxic Water
Nick Blinko (Rudimentary Peni)
Bootsy Collins (Parliament-Funkadelic)
The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
William S. Burroughs
Robert Smith (The Cure)
Brian May (Queen)
Brian Wilson (Beach Boys)
Buzz Osbourne (Melvins)
Captain Beefheart (The Magic Band)
Billy Childish (Thee Headcoats, Thee Mighty Caesars, Thee Milkshakes)
Chris Squire (Yes)
Chuck Mosley (Faith No More, Bad Brains)
Cliff Burton (Metallica)
“Colonel Tom” Parker
Comets on Fire
Cop Shoot Cop
Lux Interior & Poison Ivy Rorschach (The Cramps)
D.R.I. (Dirty Rotten Imbeciles)
Dale Flattum (Steel Pole Bath Tub, Tumor Circus, Milk Cult)
David Grohl (Scream, Nirvana, Foo Fighters)
Dennis Dunaway (Alice Cooper)
Destroy All Monsters
Gerald Casale (Devo)
Bob Log III (Doo Rag)
Doug Henderson (Krackhouse, Spongehead)
Dust Brothers (Beastie Boys, Beck)
East Bay Ray & Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys, Alternative Tentacles Records)
The Electrifying Mojo (Charles Johnson)
Evolution Control Committee
Fat Mike (NOFX)
Wayne Coyne (The Flaming Lips)
Flying Saucer Attack
Frank Zappa (Mothers of Invention)
Fred Frith (Henry Cow, Art Bears, Massacre)
Geddy Lee (Rush)
Geezer Butler & Toni Iommi (Black Sabbath)
Gene Simmons & Ace Frehley (KISS)
Berry Gordy (Motown Records, The Last Dragon)
Greg Ginn & Kira Roessler (Black Flag)
Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill, Julie Ruin, Riot grrrl zine)
Helios Creed (Chrome)
Hide (Ultra Bidé)
Ian Mackaye (Minor Theat, Fugazi)
Iggy Pop & The Stooges
Invented Thing Quartet
Jaco Pastorius (Weather Report)
Jad Fair (1/2 Japanese, Strobe Talbot)
Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead)
Duane Denison & David Wm. Sims (Scratch Acid, The Jesus Lizard)
Jojo Hiroshige (Hijokaidan, Alchemy Records)
Joey Agresta (Joey Pizza Slice, Son of Salami, Salami Junior)
Joey Shithead Keithley (D.O.A.)
John Bonham & Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin)
John Entwistle (The Who)
John Oswald (Plunderphonics)
John S. Hall & Bradford Reed (King Missile)
John Zorn (Naked City, Painkiller)
Juan Garcia Esquivel
Calvin Johnson (Beat Happening, K Records, Dub Narcotic Sound System)
Kevin Rutmanis (The Cows, Melvins, Hepa/Titus)
Kramer (New York Gong, Shimmy Disc Records, Bongwater)
Larry Graham (Sly & the Family Stone, Graham Central Station)
Larry Mondello Band
Kevin Strickland & Larissa Strickland (Laughing Hyenas)
Lemmy Kilmister (Motörhead, Hawkwind)
Legendary Stardust Cowboy
Les Claypool (Primus, Sausage, Oysterhead)
Lightning Bolt + Black Pus
Lisa “Suckdog” Carver
The Los Angeles Free Music Society
Christian Vander (Magma)
Malcolm McLaren (Sex Pistols, New York Dolls)
Malcolm Young & Angus Young (AC/DC)
Marc Bolan (T. Rex)
Mark Sandman (Morphine)
Jason Martin (Brown Cuts Neighbors, Power Animal System)
Masahiko Ohno (Solmania)
Hal McGee (Dog As Master, Cause And Effect cassette label, Haltapes)
Curt Kirkwood & Cris Kirkwood (Meat Puppets)
Ichirou Agata (Melt-Banana)
Masami Akita (Merzbow)
Gary Modlinski (Junkie Munky, The Mod)
Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Fantomas, Tomahawk)
Mike Watt (Minutemen, fIREHOSE)
Bill T. Miller (Orgy of Noise, Out of Band Experience, Kings of Feedback)
My Bloody Valentine
Nihilist Spasm Band
No-Neck Blues Band
Kembra Pfahler (Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black)
Pat Smear (Germs, Nirvana, Foo Fighters)
Paul Leary (Butthole Surfers, Melvins)
Bruce Pavitt (Sub Pop)
Quintron and Miss Pussycat
John Spencer Blues Explosion
R. Stevie Moore
Robert Fripp (King Crimson, Fripp & Eno)
Rob Wright & John Wright (NoMeansNo, Hanson Brothers)
Roky Erikson (13th Floor Elevators)
Rahsaan Roland Kirk
Root Boy Slim & The Sex Change Band
Corey Rusk (Necros, Touch and Go Records)
Greg Sage (Wipers)
Scott Lucas (Local H)
Lou Barlow (Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh)
Shannon Selberg (The Cows, Heroine Sheiks)
Six Finger Satellite
Kim Thayil (Soundgarden)
The Space Lady (Susan Dietrich Schneider)
Stan Lee & Leonard Graves Phillips (The Dickies)
Stanley Clarke (Return to Forever, Animal Logic)
Russ Stedman (Teenage Slots, Minor 2049er)
Steve Albini (Big Black, Rapeman, Shellac)
Sun City Girls
Sun Ra & His Arkestra
Syd Barrett & Roger Waters (Pink Floyd)
Tall Dwarfs / Toy Love
Tatsuya Yoshida (Ruins, Zeni Geva)
Hound Dog Taylor
They Might Be Giants
Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy, The Greedies)
Tom Morello & Tim Commerford (Rage Against The Machine)
I will play almost any instrument available to me. I might not be good at it. But, I’ll play it anyway. My attempts at drumming have been pitiful. My foot coordination is terrible. I finally ended up positioning the bass drum sideways, playing it timpani-style.
My vocal type is in the Low Tenor / High Baritone range, kinda high and nasally. But, I give it a little growl on the low end. Sometimes, I will incorporate wordless vocalization, mouth sounds, crooning, screeching, gurgling, whispering, screams, babbling, and electronic effects. It gives it more variety and masks my natural voice a little bit, which I’ve never liked very much.
My guitar / bass playing skills are, pretty good, not virtuoso… but still, pretty good. Both are pretty similar. My techniques aren’t meant for showing off, just to be used as an accent. I believe that I’m a better bassist than a guitarist and a better composer than a musician.
I used to tape our band’s jam sessions in their entirety, take that material home, then edit it into a foundation for songs. I’m not such a great improviser when multiple people are in the room, unless it is chaotic noise. I prefer composing alone, instead. It is probably better if I record things by myself, give it to others, let them pick out what they like, add their parts to it, and vice-versa.
I visualize music as abstract sounds, in waves, shapes and colors… like a rainbow oscilloscope. Tape editing / manipulation is often used as a compositional tool. Sheet music feels a little too rigid to me. I will sometimes score parts out on paper where I think it is appropriate, like on percussion instruments. Sometimes, I’ll jam riffs onto demos and pick out the best ones later. Sometimes, I’ll sing everything a capella, bang on junk, make noises, and interpret it later. On rare occasions, I’ve had entire songs pop into my head while I scramble to get it recorded before I forget.
“Thinking too much can ruin a good time” – D. Boon (Minutemen)
When I am creating music & art, I probably do my best when my brain is turned off, just mental finger-painting, on “auto-pilot”. Everything that I am doing is sort of revealed to me as I am doing it. So, I don’t really know what it is until I am finished. Conscious messages don’t work very well for me. Stressing-out about money, transportation, food, and living conditions REALLY messes-up my mojo a lot, though.
“Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open.” – Stephen King
My drawings tend to be stream-of-consciousness, cartoonish and surreal. When I paint, it is often a mixed-media style utilizing whatever materials that are readily available; spray paint, acrylics, house paint, stencils, marker pens, found objects, and collage.
I have very little to no training at anything. I did well in high school drafting, wood shop, and art classes. That’s about it. Regretfully, I never attended an art school. I would have liked to. I am mostly self-taught, occasionally reading books on the subject. But, I don’t really spend a lot of time trying to figure out what’s up with art these days. I do not have much interest in current trends.
My work could be categorized as Abstract, Outsider, Pop Art, Art Brut, Raw Vision, Folk Art, etc.. These are labels found in the art world. To me… art is art… I’m an artist who is still looking for the right label only because everybody wants descriptions. They want you to EXPLAIN to them what it is that you do. People love folk and outsider art because it is spontaneous and devoid of most influences. Most people think that I’m pretty weird, anyway.
In the past, my paintings & drawings were usually given to friends or destroyed and discarded. I started selling them locally in the 1990’s. But, not really understanding how the professional art world works, I only sold items in person at music venues or record stores, wherever I happened to be. I’ve been reluctant to take it any further than that. But, there seems to be a growing interest in my stuff. So, I’m making it more available.
Having a standard uniform of your own is useful. People like Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, and Steve Jobs wore clothing everyday that was nearly identical to all of the other clothes that they owned. It saved time and brainpower finding something to wear, when their entire wardrobes were virtually the same.
My physical appearance doesn’t change very much, day-to-day, either. Nearly everything I own is secondhand; from yard sales, garage sales, estate sales and thrift stores. I’ve always been a t-shirt and jeans guy. If I can’t find an outfit for under $12, I probably won’t buy it.
Sometimes I’ll try out new things, making small modifications to my so-called image. None of this is permanent. But, my typical everyday outfit includes;
Goatee & long hair.
Black jeans with a black button shirt (black goes with everything).
Converse Chuck Taylors, with boot laces, have always been my go-to shoes.
Recycled rubber belts adorned with a Captain America shield buckle.
Mix it up a little with different t-shirts.
Red glitter nail polish adds some color and sparkle.
Personal / Rules of Conduct:
My lifelong struggling with mental illness sometimes gets in the way. Clinical depression, social anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive tendencies are a debilitating combination. Medications help to keep the highs and lows manageable. But, they aren’t a cure. Music & art is my other world that I live in.
I seldom drink alcohol (preferably alone, when I do) and I loathe beer. I don’t smoke tobacco or abuse any drugs. It doesn’t really matter to me if anybody else does, unless it gets in the way of working or becomes obnoxious. Marijuana and hallucinogens are more tolerated than harder drugs.
I have little patience for perpetual fuck-ups who will constantly flake out on me. A policy that I am now implementing is No collaborations without a deadline. I have been told that this was one of my mistakes when dealing with previous bandmates. I guess that I left everything too open-ended. People require deadlines to get them off of their ass, apparently. That might be true. Unless someone says something to me, I will probably work alone and take forever doing it. I am still interested in making music & art with other people. But, I think establishing a time frame for collaboration projects would make them go along faster.
I am an atheist. I don’t believe in whatever Hell you think I’m going to, let alone your invisible friends. You can believe whatever you want to believe. But, if you’re a religious zealot (i.e., fundamentalist creationists who think that the flat Earth is 6,000 years old or 72 virgins await them in the afterlife because they won’t eat bacon) I would prefer not to hear about it.
I am open to different ways of thinking – but aggressive sexism, racism, homophobia, or trans-phobia is not tolerated. I am LGBTQ-supportive and have friends from all sorts of different backgrounds. Bigots are not welcome. Go away.
There are not many groups that I believe I would fit into if I didn’t begin from scratch. I never had any delusions about “making it big” or getting rich. Earning a decent living as a self-employed artist-musician would be great, if possible. I am content if I make enough money to cover expenses, have a good dinner, and pay a few bills.
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 add yourself onto the mailing list in the sidebar. You will get some freebies from me. There are also fundraising links there for anybody who wants to support my creative efforts. More rewards are available for my Patrons.