The Joke’s On You!

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

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

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

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

SpaceCat Blog: Happy Late New Year!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Redheaded Vengeance (1997-1999)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Craft services were provided by Milwaukee’s Best.

20th Anniversary + Birthday

Happy 20th Anniversary Birthday

I forgot to mention in the video that I received a hard copy of the comic book I contributed to, finally. It is called Heartman and was written & published by David Leibe-Hart, of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! He invited 48 artists, including myself, to illustrate his story.

David Leibe-Hart - Heartman Comic

Further information can be found here.

I’m making a long-term creative decision, a new policy:

  • Say nothing.
  • Get it done, first.
  • Talk about it, later

This was something that Thomas Edison learned, the hard way, after making promises about his new inventions that took longer than expected for him to bring to fruition. He eventually stopped doing that and just surprised people, after the fact.

Since I am often delayed by external forces (money, supplies, equipment, etc.), as well as personal issues, it makes me look bad. It looks to everyone else like all I that do is talk about what I’m “gonna do” and not actually get anything done. I can’t really blame anyone for having that perception. Since I don’t show everything that I do and I discard unfinished work. Stress exacerbates my mental health problems. That cuts into a lot of my productivity, too. Finding internal balance is a personal high priority, if I want to get out of my own way. Managing where I focus my attention, I have found, is much more important than when I schedule it. Although, having a schedule is important, too, or I wouldn’t get ANYTHING done.

Another new policy that I am implementing is:

  • No collaborations without a deadline.

I was told that this is one of my mistakes when working with others. It is 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. There is that problem with focusing, again. I am still open to collabs. Don’t get me wrong. But, I think establishing a time frame for projects would make them go along faster. I’m usually easy to schedule because I have more free time available than everybody else. We just need to work around the other commitments of interested participants.

I am figuring out how to go about collaborations, using my new policies.
I don’t want to pressure anyone too much.
Keep it fun.
But, still have a predictable process on a schedule.
So, okay, here is what I have got:

I will keep on doing what I do, alone.
I shouldn’t say any more about that.
The less the better.
When it is done, you will know.

If someone wants to work on a track with me I will set my thing aside and work on the collab, instead.
Somehow, I will turn it into something.
I will try to take no longer than a week to finish it, more or less, and return a copy of the finished mix.
You can do whatever you want with it.
The finished track will go into the next Island of Misfit Noise video or album project.
I haven’t figured out how I’m gonna do that, yet
I guess when we have enough completed material gathered, it will just go out.

What do you think?
Does it sound like a plan?

Hardhead

never-give-up-cbfb

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

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

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

 

What’s A Schedule? (Top 10 Videos)

avoidance

I’m not dead, yet. Just thought I would remind everybody….who gives a shit. Family members sometimes call me every couple of months, to be sure that I haven’t passed away, unnoticed, since I keep to myself a lot. I can’t really blame them.

Anyhow, been stressing myself out to get things done and, counterintuitively, I got less actually done. I talked with a motivational coach about this, a few weeks ago. Getting an outside perspective sometimes helps. I have considered finding a new therapist, not having seen one in several years. But, this consultation was free. So, I tried him out first.

Basically, he suggested I break the problems I’m having down into more manageable pieces, working my way up to bigger chunks as I feel better. Most importantly, I just need to take my time, take my mind off what’s bothering me, and come back to what I’m doing later – when I feel like doing it. So, I’ve been spending more time with some hobbies, trying to chill the fuck out. Financially, I’m back in the hole again. That is adding some of the stress that I’m feeling, lately. I’m trying not to let it get to me, though. I’m trying to have fun… if I can remember how.

I have been rearranging my daily schedule, after I fell off of it for awhile. I missed doing a lot of things that I wanted to do. Maybe this will make it easier for me to stick to my plans and build better habits. We will see.

On a side note, I have been playing along with a FB request to list my top 10 albums. I am enjoying that. I thought about listing my favorite music videos, afterward. But, why wait? I will just list them here for you. I have different reasons for liking each one. These are chosen for being the best music videos overall, not just because I like the songs. It began as a Top 10. But, I kept adding more. Maybe I’ll do another one of these, sometime in the future.

Commander Cody – Two Triple Cheese Side Order of Fries

Barnes & Barnes – Fish Heads

The Residents – Third Reich + One-Minute Movies (Moisture, Act of Being Polite, Perfect Love, The Simple Song) It was a toss-up. They’re both good.

Billy Joel – Pressure

Cyndi Lauper – She Bop

Weird Paul & Ben Blanchard – Maybe You’ll Find Some In the Garbage 

ZZ Top – TV Dinners

They Might Be Giants – Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

Voivod – Psychic Vacuum

Twisted Sister – Be Chrool To Your Scuel (ft. Alice Cooper, Brian Setzer, and Billy Joel) 

Van Halen – Hot For Teacher + David Lee Roth – Just A Gigolo / I Ain’t Got Nobody (I couldn’t decide between these two, either. It was a tie)

Katy Perry – California Gurls (ft. Snoop Dogg)

Björk – Human Behaviour