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.

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Valentine’s Day

February-March

Mike Nobody Van (Good Ship Venus)_195058
“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,

David Bowie R.I.P. (1947-2016)

Dead Bowie 2016

Well, this is just great.

Lemmy dies at the end of 2015  (age 70) and now David Bowie’s death starts off 2016 (age 69).

Everybody is dying!

You had better appreciate people while you can.

They will be gone sooner than you think.

An inspiration to millions of fans, he made whatever music and art he wanted to whenever it suited him.

He didn’t follow trends.

He created them.

Truly, a one-of-a-kind individual.

He had been diagnosed with liver cancer eighteen months earlier, fighting it until the end.

And just to show how devoted he was to his music, his art, and his fans, he literally wrote and produced his final album from his death bed.

Take THAT you lazy bastards!

Bowie’s producer Tony Visconti wrote:

He always did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. His death was no different from his life – a work of Art. He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift. I knew for a year this was the way it would be. I wasn’t, however, prepared for it. He was an extraordinary man, full of love and life. He will always be with us. For now, it is appropriate to cry.

Timmy Vulgar

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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.

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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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A Skunk By Any Other Name…

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“Ronnie Michael Sullivan.”

It is no secret that my legal name has always caused confusion and given me problems.

Seriously, no one even told me my given name until I had entered school.

Then, I had to argue about what my name is with teachers telling me to write my name.

Years later, I also discovered that my surname had been changed while I was very young.

That didn’t bother me as me as much, since I hated it anyway.

I hated both my given and surnames.

My middle name, Michael, is the only one that I actually ever felt like was my real name.

The others were inconvenient appendages that were frequently necessary.

My parents asked me if I wanted to change my legal name.

I heartily agreed to, YES!

But, they never followed through with it.

I sometimes thought about doing it myself.

I never got around to it, though.

I had not decided what to replace it with.

I thought about using “Mike Nobody”, somehow.

But, I admit that it is a bit silly to do that.

Samuel Clemens never actually changed his name to Mark Twain.

But, musician / singer Vincent Furnier changed his legal name to Alice Cooper, after going solo from the group of the same name.

Actor / dancer Fred Barry changed his legal name to Fred Rerun Barry, after the TV show “What’s Happening” had been cancelled.

So, it is not unheard of for an artist or performer to change their name to one that they are publicly recognized as.

I kicked around “Michael Nobody Ron-Sullivan” as a possible compromise, sorta like Olivia Newton-John.

Or does that sound too stupid?