Song is called EYES WIDE OPEN by King Crimson from their album The Power To Believe.
The pleasures and pain of keeping one’s “eyes wide open all the time”. It can be a blessing and a curse.
Here it comes, here comes another day Another decision on the way Well here it comes, here comes a covered display Of preferences to make Well here it comes, here comes a knock on the door Open it for an opportunity Well here it comes, here comes another day For memories to be madeEyes wide open Eyes wide open all the time’n there it was, it was a perfect take And were you asleep or awake There it was, it was a perfect time To speak your mind ‘n there it was, it was a chance of a lifetime It flew right by and what did you do? Well there it was, it was another day For memories to be madeEyes wide open Eyes wide open all the time I’ve got my eyes wide open Eyes wide open all the time Because you never know What you might see
So you may wonder given the nature of my posts; what are my favorite YouTube channels?
Well hang on to your britches because I’m about to tell you. And some may surprise you. This is by no means a comprehensive list of all channels I follow – but just favorites that regularly and consistently post new content. For examples there are many music channels that I follow but the vast majority have sporadic postings or inconsistent in featuring work that interests me. These are not in any particular rank. Just a list.
https://www.youtube.com/user/usgs is the site for the United States Geological Survey. It features viddy’s and information on volcano’s, earthquakes and tectonics and other geological interests. More than some other sites it reveals my geeky interests in scientific study.
keeping with a theme, https://www.youtube.com/c/veritasium : Veritasium is a hybrid word that combines the latin word for “truth” (Veritas) and the suffix of most elements on the periodic chart (ium) therefore creating Veritasium (i.e. an “an element of truth”). These videos explore various scientific topics both in physics, biology, geology, as well as some more philosophic subjects. I find them informative, entertaining and just plain interesting. The creator of this chanel, Derek Muller, also has children so there are several videos that are science subjects geared for children as well as learning resources. I highly recommend it.
I also love Bonsai. https://www.youtube.com/c/EiseienBonsai is a great channel to learn about and understand Bonsai craft in great detail. While I personally do not have Bonsai, I have always wanted to start but have been a little intimidated. Maybe this is the year I will finally Start.
Another channel for Bonsai that I follow is https://www.youtube.com/c/HeronsBonsaiUK this UK based nursery has great videos that I would describe as Bonsai for the Common Person or for the beginner. The presenter is very down-to-earth and very relatable.
Next up is https://www.youtube.com/c/bbcearth This channel really has some remarkable nature videos. While I am not a fan of having “pets” I absolutely do love wild animals in their natural habitat. And this channel fills that “cup of interest” to the brim.
Along similar lines is the National Geographic website https://www.youtube.com/c/NatGeo with it’s own unique perspective on the world we live on and the people, flora and fauna that we share it with.
Now something may not be much of a surprise because I’ve posted videos from this channel here on the blog. https://www.youtube.com/user/TheLouisianaChannel The Louisiana Channel is an arts channel with in-depth interviews discussion and analysis with artists, musicians and writers. For me it is an endless source of inspiration and exposure to some things I might not normally find.
https://www.youtube.com/user/Nerdwriter1 Nerdwriter is another channel I absolutely adore. Posts are less frequent that most other channels featured here – but when there is a post it blows my mind. It has taught me so much about art, writing, philosophy etc.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_43mQmHwHPTBBqImFrWU3Q Sean Tucker is a professional photographer who has some amazing insights into not only photography but photography in the age of the internet. His videos are informative, instructional and at time philosophical. What an amazing personality.
And lastly to go back to the beginning of the list https://www.youtube.com/user/NASAgovVideo the official NASA channel is amazing and wonderful for all things NASA related. I especially like their “Spacecast Weekly” which is a weekly digest of news and information direct from NASA for all you space geeks.
And that’s it my friend. Of the 56 channels I follow on YouTube these are my absolute favorites that bring me an endless source of enjoyment, inspiration and information. And to re-iterate – these are not ranked in any particular order. I hope you enjoy them. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend everyone.
It is clear that Donald Trump MUST be forcibly restrained! Who will restrain him? Anyone who deliberately incites insurrection (even the president of the United States) IS A CRIMINAL and must be treated as such! It is clear he is no longer the President but the “patient” and must be treated as such! Immediate impeachment and hospitalization or jail are required!
begun long ago
and no one cares
living in the moment
ignoring the past
You did not ask for
I did not ask for
yet here we are
stuck on the front lines
drafted by those we did not vote for
A war fomented by the news media
shaped by the influencers on the internet
and social media:
Public Shaming -
the cancel culture
Everyone’s a victim
We consume victimization like our favorite foods
We digest our own destruction
21st Century Ouroboros
We ignore the shit that comes out the other end
We stubbornly refuse to clean up (it’s up to the other person)
We obsessively and repeatedly fuel our consumption of outrage
The scales have tipped
As a species we are tilting at windmills
in our self-prescribed delusion
I did not ask for this war
You did not ask for this war
And the question is not IF we should fight
But HOW we should fight
Military wars always kill
Culture wars are fought for control
Control of your mind
Control of your freedom
Control of your expression
Control of your creativity
Control of your religion
(even if you have no religion)
Control of your education
Control of your own body
Fingers point everywhere
but no one cares that
when you point one finger
at someone, or something else,
three fingers point back to you
We will never agree
so we might as well learn to live together
And the question is not IF
we should fight
we should fight
How should I fight this war
that I did not ask for?
It seems an impossible dream
to fight a war
with love, compassion, grace & humility
when all around you
is blame, blind rage, raw hatred
and venomous pride
Love, grace, compassion and understanding
does not require agreement
Jesus didn’t die for any one person’s sins
Two things killed Jesus Christ -
Politics and Religion
Their control was threatened by the gospel of peace, love and freedom
"You see, control can never be a means to any practical end...It can never be a means to anything but more control...like junk..”(1)“Is Control controlled by its need to control? Answer: yes.”(2)
The way to win this war is to give up control
to lose control
The death of one is the birth of another
Change is coming that we cannot control
Change is here
Change we can shape
“I awakened to the cryThat the people have the powerTo redeem the work of foolsUpon the meek the graces showerIt's decreed the people rule”(3)
We must surrender this culture of complaint
and realize we will never be able to control others
we can only control our selves.
“Just Do It!”(4)
Let the lion lie down with the lamb
Let the darkness meet the light
Let hell and heaven merge
in the forge of life on earth
to burn off the dross of our misgivings
revealing yours and mine
shining gold dream
“The siren and the ecstasy, … the one in front of meNew gold dream” (5)
I did not ask for this war
You did not ask for this war
But we CAN end it!
“And the mercy seat is waitingAnd I think my head is burningIn a way I'm yearningTo be done with all this measuring of truthAn eye for an eyeAnd a tooth for a toothAnd anyway I told the truthAnd I'm not afraid to die” (6)
1 quote by William S Burroughs from NAKED LUNCH
2 quote by William S Burroughs from AH POOK IS HERE; AND OTHER TEXTS
3 lyric from PEOPLE HAVE THE POWER by Patti Smith
4 slogan from Nike commercial
5 lyric from NEW GOLD DREAM by Simple Minds
6 lyric from MERCY SEAT by Nick Cave
And now the answer to the question asked in the title of the photo above
"Hello, It's Me" by Todd Rundgren from his album Something/Anything?
Happy New Year everyone. The promise of snow over the Holidays was not exaggerated. On Christmas morning we had 6-8 inches on the ground and and 1-2 inches fell throughout Christmas Day. But that is past. The New Year is upon us. This song expresses my dearest desire for each and every one of you. That you feel safe. For safety is not about the pandemic and has pitifully dominated the past year – like the song says it’s about living with/in grace, being rested, calm, anchored, unchained, holding no blame, no fear, no blame, being brave and open. I would also argue that is the foundation of love. I love each and everyone one of you even if we have never physically met. Thank you for your kindness and support.
In this post I want to focus on two musicals that are directly connected to non-musical films. I am a HUGE lover of Federico Fellini’s films. I think I have all of them on DVD. And have watched them dozens of times and still find them enjoyable.
Three Fellini films were adapted into musicals (stage and/or film). The film that was only adapted for the live stage was La Strada. 8 1/2 one of Fellini’s several masterpieces was adapted first into a live stage production and re-named NINE. And was later adapted by director Rob Marshall for film. If you love Fellini it can be a bit unnerving at first to watch this musical. But it does pay off with repeated viewings. Fellini was known for his film style called magical realism mixing flights of fancy with realistic situations and settings. The musicals don’t seem to carry that over so well. NINE especially seems more like straight opera in an obviously staged setting. But it’s overall story is consistent with the film about a film director in crisis professionally, romantically and emotionally. And the music in NINE is absolutely wonderful. It has an all-star cast that includes Daniel Day-Lewis in the lead role of the director Guido. And the women are a who’s who of modern film including Sophia Loren, Dame Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Kate Hudson, Fergie and others. Here are clips from some of my favorite numbers in the film.
in this first clip French actress, Marion Cotillard, as Guido’s wife decides to say goodbye as she’s had enough of his cheating and dishonest behaviours. The song is “Take It All”. It is quite wonderful how the song reflects her interior dialogue in comparison to the “real” conversation she is having with Guido.
This next clip comes much earlier in the film and features Penelope Cruz who plays Guido’s mistress, Carla, always competing for his attention. In this scene Guido has escaped the movie set to try and pull things together and he places a call to his mistress. And she gives him what can only be described as a cinematic version of phone sex. So hot! And our good old Guido pretends it’s a call from the Vatican. LOL
And for a final scene – Kate Hudson in an unusual role featuring her singing and dancing. Cinema Italiano captures all the flash of a paparazzi photo session and glitz of Italian film making while singing about all the wonderful things that are typically seen in Fellini films (or in this case Guido’s films).
Now film number two. The hit Broadway Musical SWEET CHARITY from 1966 was made into a film 1969 and featured Shirley McClain in the title role of a girl who is looking for “real love”. The original movie was Federico Fellini’s NIGHTS OF CABIRIA which told the story of a prostitute looking for genuine love. For the adaptation to the stage and film production of SWEET CHARITY the main characters career was changed from prostitute to taxi dancer; a girl that dances with men who pay her. Of course the insinuation is that there is more than dancing going on. But that is Hollywood and the censorship board for you – always sanitizing and trying to “clean up” film. But the music is wonderful and deserves some mention here. Charity is an honest, and free spirited girl who has managed to maintain a certain innocence in spite of her profession. It is an endearing film but there is one thing about it that has not aged particularly well – that is it’s use of snap shots in place of filmed action in an effort to save time. But that aside – the music and dancing is great.
For this first clip I give you the song “Big Spender” which takes place in the dance bar where Sweet Charity works. A memorable song to say the least.
As Charity has several hits and misses in her quest for true love with men that have paid to dance with her and she has fallen in love with them hoping they were true in their intentions only to find they are not. After one of her rejections she is left wandering down the street in the rain and comes upon the “film star” Vittorio, played by Ricard Montalban who is in the midst of being rejected by his romantic interest. He and Charity connect and he takes her to a swank exotic club featuring different dance and music acts. Here is a the scene featuring the dances “The Aloof”, “The Heavyweight” and “The Big Finish” choreographed by the legendary Bob Fosse.
Well Charity does meet here true love in an elevator and eventually he takes her to “church” officiated by Sammy Davis Jr. It’s the Rhythm Of Life Church with a groovy hippy culture. Another fantastic song. So, turn up the volume, tap you feet, clap your hands to the “Rhythm Of Life”
So what about the original Fellinin films these wonderful musicals were based on. Here are the trailers. first for 8 1/2 and then Nights of Cabiria. Both films I highly recommend.
This is the time of year when people start compiling and review “best of” for the previous year. Those things have typically bored me and seem like a cheap “journalism”. Because they don’t really look at the “best of”. they look at the most popular. And we all know it if was popular it played to the lowest common denominator across the spectrum of popular culture.
As I said a few days ago 2020 was a difficult year culturally speaking. And in that post I included a clip from the movie TOMMY – which is still an amazing musical film. This year I find myself at the point where I’m re-watching musicals. The year has been so emotionally, psychologically exasperating that a little escapism is prescribed. And movie musicals fit that bill. In this post I want to focus on the films of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Three Astaire/Rogers films rank as my favorites among the lot. So if you’re just tired, fed up and frustrated with life take a little escape. It’s okay. (I can’t promise these videos can be seen in other countries but hopefully you will find a version that is accessible and available.)
First up is the song “HEAVEN from TOP HAT (1935) with music by Irving Berlin. This lush little number is the elegant dancing manifestation and lyrical expression of the songs title.
Next is another favorite Astaire/Rogers film SWING TIME (1936) with music by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields. Fred, plays a professional dancer who plays dumb and clumsy to meet and court Ginger. Here is the set up scene which also features Fred and Gingers comic sidekicks played by comedy veteran character actors Victor Moore and Helen Broderick.
… and the payoff… in an effort to save Gingers job….
And the last Astaire/Rogers film I want to feature is SHALL WE DANCE (1937) featuring music by George and Ira Gershwin. This film was unusual in it’s attempt to blend/merge tap and swing dancing with ballet. There are many wonderful numbers that features Fred in diverse settings where he can famously dance with different props. But I want to feature one of my favorite scenes which is comic bliss and sheer fun. It’s the famous roller skate scene. The setting is Fred and Ginger have escaped their New York hotel because they were being overrun by reporters and photographers who think they are married, and the scandal of her being supposedly pregnant on top of it – so they go to the park. You will note that these are not the roller skates of today with a boot like shoe and resin wheels. These are the old-fashioned strap on skates with steel wheels which makes this number all the more remarkable. Please enjoy “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off”.
As a sort of end note; I want to include another wonderful dance on roller-skate scene this time by Gene Kelly. Personally I find the song a little inferior and the movie (a musical satire) with music by Andre Previn, isn’t one of his best but the dancing on roller skates is quite wonderful and endearing. Enjoy Gene Kelly from the movie IT’S ALWAYS FAIR WEATHER (1955) dancing/skating to the song “I Like Myself”. The notion of dancing on wheels has all the elements of danger that inspires awe when done successfully. And note again these are the old fashioned strap-on skates with steel wheels.
Looks like we will have snow for Christmas here in Ohio. I honestly can’t remember the last time we had a white Christmas. Well with everything going on this past year the holidays are somewhat melancholic. One of my favorite “mood” singers is Julia Fordham. Here is her song DECEMBER 24TH originally from a 1995 compilation album Winter Fire & Snow: Songs For The Holiday Season that featured various artists from around the world.
The lyrics will take you through the rest of this year into the new year. Enjoy.
“just goes to show ya, just goes to show ya, none of us have time to waste….you don’t always get back what you give”
Since Winter has long been a favorite time of year – because this old bear enjoys hibernation – and I had “need” to go out and see what snow cover there might be – I decided to head out this morning, with my camera, as the sun rose slowly in a clouded sky. I went to one park where I’ve been spending a lot of time the past few months and I went someplace I’ve never been to in Winter. And since the Winter Solstice is just around the corner I decided to post a couple of snow photos of the place I’ve never been to in Winter. Over the Summer and fall this location is used as a popular outdoor music venue and is also the site of an outdoor theater where plays are staged over the warmer months. The areas you see in the photos would be the grassy fields where cars park and concert goers would then walk to the main venue. The music venue has hosted all the major rock and pop acts over the years. I’d seen a few shows here but ticket prices were normally out of my budget. I actually prefer it as you see it here – empty. Never really got used to the large drunken crowds that tended to populate these events. So enjoy my version of “winter fest” at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, OH.
A couple of weeks ago I decided to drive onto private property to see “What’s UP with this bus?”. No one was around so I took a couple of shots. Was expecting, you know, standard bus interior. I was not prepared for what I found. Best view was through a hole in the back door.
I mean, I’ve met and known a lot of cool “chicks” on buses but I wasn’t expecting to find a hen house/chicken coop. Yep that’s exactly what this was used for.
(warning – not the best photo)
And now a favorite song that mentions buses. The album this came from brings back many fond memories. Specifically of a youth outing in the summer of 1976 (I’m banned from releasing details. LOL). And the drum riff by pan-disciplinary drummer Steve Gadd is sheer perfection. Go ahead, “Hop on the bus…” and enjoy. If you have a favorite bus song or if these images bring to mind a specific song feel free to post a link in your comment.
I was digging through my vinyl collection and came across a real gem of a double album titled The Best Of The Mills Brothers. It had this wonderful song on it which I now dedicate to all politicians. Because they always hurt the one they claim to love (the country and people they serve who voted them into office).
So therefore; when I take a photo it is complete or whole because I am not there. I, the photographer, am always moving . To keep things whole for my photos. You may see me in someone else’s photos but not my own. I am the absence where air rushes in. Another way to look at it. When you stick your hand in a river, lake or any body of water – as you withdraw, does the water hold the shape of your hand? No. It rushes back to fill the void. The water cannot tolerate the void. It must be complete. Such is a photo. It captures the completeness(i.e. wholeness) of all things – even if those things (like today’s photo) may seem to be missing something. It is still complete as it captures a singular moment of the subjects evolutionary life cycle. When I am dead even though I may appear to not move; I will continue to move as the decay process takes over until I return to the earth as dust. And when I am no longer remembered, when that dust is then used to bring nutrition or life to something else after I am gone I will still be moving. Absence is just as important as presence. This also helps explain why a photo will never be of the future – it will always be the past because the once the photograph has been taken the photographer moves on even though the subject in the photo continues to change. You may say, “what about time-lapse” photography. That still only projects the past. By time you see it the subject has completely moved on. It is all part of maintaining a wholeness in the universe. Absence is the grace that presence cannot afford. We do not need presence to be happy. We can find happiness in absence. To loop back to the poem we can find happiness in the rush of air to fill the void as I move away until something else comes and fills that space. Probably the closest thing in photography that captures the sense of moving to keep things whole is Polaroid or instamatic photography. While you are watching the photo develop the blank space slowly becomes filled with the image. From absence to wholeness. But unfortunately that’s where it ends (or does it?).
Musically Samuel Barber’s Adagio For Strings captures these notion especially at the climax where there is a great silence/pause which punctuates the sound.
or you may like the Choral version by one of my favorite vocal groups.
Why the title? This image was created by manipulating a photo of a sweet potato after it had rooted in water. After the manipulation I can see what appears to be an alien female body. I questioned the dark blood-red color but found it kind of amusing – do vegetables bleed? No but vegetarians do. Is this meant to be a violent image? not at all but I can see why some might think so. I am not vegetarian although there have been times I’ve leaned in that direction. Overall vegetarianism and all dietary plans seem very abstract to me. So it makes sense that after I “cooked” the original photo and came up with this that it would be such an abstract image. When all is said-and-done I do like the darkness of the image. It gives me the same feeling of mystery and exploration as stepping into a cave and waiting for your eyes to adjust to the darkness as other senses like smell and hearing become heightened. So after “listening” and “smelling” this image for a while, what you do you think? How does it make you feel? What you do you hear – is there music that comes to mind (if so please add it to your comment)? What do you smell?
So I guess you could say this post falls in the category of things I like. As many of you who have followed my blog over the years knows, I love the 4AD music label(specifically the earlier years – the past 10-15 years have been somewhat hit/miss). One of the bands that I enjoy from the earlier years is RED HOUSE PAINTERS. I recently acquired their SHOCK ME ep.
This recording features 4 official tracks and one untitled “hidden” track (at the end of track 4). Released in 1994 it really is a wonderful collection of covers and original material. For this post I want to focus on the title track which is a cover of the KISS song Shock Me (written by Ace Frehley) that was originally on the KISS album LOVE GUN. In fact there are two versions on this EP (the electric and an acoustic version). Both versions are very solid and very unlike KISS. Which is one of the things I love.
Don’t get me wrong; I love kiss I actually saw the Alive II tour at a local venue called the Richfield Coliseum (near Cleveland – which no longer exists – how time flies) on 8/1/1978 and what a show! But that was in my fist pumpin’ hard rockin’ teen years. Maybe you’re not a fan of KISS or are not familiar with this song. That’s okay. Ace Frehley wrote this song after an event that actually occurred on the KISS’ ROCK AND ROLL OVER tour where he was nearly electrocuted. If you’re familiar with KISS you can imagine this song has the tell-tale chugging hard rock sound that many love from the make-up clad quartet. I’ll post that video at the end of this post for comparison sake. But first I want you to listen to the RED HOUSE PAINTERS version.
RED HOUSE PAINTERS have been described as slow core and folk rock. While their music inhibits both of those worlds this song is definitely in the slow core vein. One of the things I enjoy about it is that is has a very Velvet Underground feel to it. The second iteration of the song which is acoustic sounds familiar yet very different. I can sit with my eyes closed listening and imagining Lou Reed and Peter, Paul & Mary singing this. It really is quite beautiful.
The EP has ephemeral/ethereal cover art that 4AD was known for in the early days. If you don’t recognize the image – it is a detail of an old broken down upright piano keyboard. A beautiful simple image that resonates so well with the RED HOUSE PAINTERS sound. Dean Carlson of ALLMUSIC described this version of the song and the EP as “Somehow quietly splendid”. I look at the KISS version of SHOCK ME as the “I dare you to” version and the RED HOUSE PAINTERS versions as the “surprise me” versions. Because even though the lyrics and music is the same the songs couldn’t be more different. And I think a great original cover of a song that basically re-invents the songs potential is also great art. I think I’ve said all I can at this time. I hope you enjoyed this post.
Finally the moment you have been waiting for? Here’s the KISS version from a concert in 1998 in all their makeup and costumed glory. 🙂
I just wanted to share this wonderful video from a YouTube channel I’ve followed for a few years. Enjoy.
And I would like to add that you may go through this cycle more than once. I know that when I was younger my creative life revolved around music. Then it evolved into theater and film. Finally my creative life has been in image making and photography. Also as many of you know from my posts I also dabble with writing and poetry which has been an arc over most of my life so it to has had it’s own creative cycle. I’ve found that key aspects from all the previous iterations of my creative life have followed to the next. So I guess one might say that in previous cycles of my creative life, when I came to the evening of that cycle, I changed to a different primary form of creativity. Therefore I would start the cycle all over again. I want you to remember that no matter how many times the cycle of creativity turns you will always retain something of the previous cycle. It will be a foundation and can be an inspiration and influence as you start a new cycle. Take care every one. Peace and blessings.
*notice. I have decided to start opening up comments on certain posts to promote discussion and possibly alternate views. So if you have some ideas around the subject of this post – please feel free to drop them in the comments section. Or if you prefer a more ‘private’ dialogue about this post, any post or anything in general, I have added a contact page to my site which can be accessed from the page menu at the top, and in the sidebar, of this blog. Thanks everyone for your support.
Something we all need to be reminded of from time to time. We as human beings have a habit of blowing things out of proportion and making them seem more important than they are.
I want you to think about what makes you angry, frustrated, sad, hopeless. It might be relationships, politics, health, personal economics/finances, business, religion, culture, media, the environment etc. Nothing is off bounds. Everything matters here. I’m guessing there is at least one thing that immediately comes to mind for every individual.
Let it go.
Let it go now.
And yes, that seems easy; but it’s not, especially the more invested you are in the subject whether it’s emotionally, spiritually or intellectual investment.
But do you think the tree in Autumn wants to let go of its leaves? Or that it’s easy. And yet it does. The tree feels the pain of separation with each leaf – sometimes a thousand times. Year after year the tree will let go of its leaves. The tree does not know what the future holds but it continues the cycle.
So for all the things that seem so important at the time – in the long view – they are not important at all.
They are about as important as a “pebble lying on a gravel road”. So let it go. Sometimes it’s easier sung than done. I found that singing this song while I’m thinking of these things helps me keep things in perspective and remember what’s really important.
Maybe a nice practice would be to write down all these things than anger, frustrate (…etc.) you. Then like Autumn leaves – burn them. Let the worries and cares turn to ash. Then wash them away.
Hey man, you don’t know what you’re missing You count your curses and forget about the blessings Don’t you think you should learn a little lesson What are you waiting for?
Hey man, what makes you so special Can’t seem to find the angels for the devils Don’t you think that if you learned to love a little You’d live a whole lot more
Let it go, let it go This is smaller than you know No bigger than a pebble lying on a gravel road Let it go, let it go Got to leave it all behind you Give the sun a chance to find you Let it go
Hey man, there’s no time for crying You made your bed but don’t think its fit to lie inWasted on the ground when you know you should be flying What are you waiting for?
How can a man not see It seems so clear to me You’ve just got to live and learn Smile at the simple stuff This road ain’t long enough To miss a single turn
This image is simply titled STUDY #1. It was completed entirely in Photoshop using various tools like line drawing and selection. Added color and multiple layers for composition. I also layered in some texture from some of my own photos. When I first finished this I was so exhausted that I felt quite indifferent. But 2 months have passed and I find it very rewarding, even enjoyable. I hope you enjoy it also.
Enjoy this warm track by Manhattan Transfer: “Capim” featuring Brazilian singer/songwriter Djavan from their album BRASIL.
Well the headlines keep getting worse – stranger and stranger – like the story of the Michigan Militia group Wolverine Watchmen arrested for a plot to overthrow the government in Michigan by arresting the Governor and trying her in the groups own makeshift court. The Michigan Militia has been troubling to the history of the state that goes back decades. Formed in 1994 by a former US Air Force veteran. First made the news in 1995 after the Oklahoma City bombing carried out by members Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols.
Militia activity is increasing and is linked to white supremacy but the federal government has repeatedly failed to dismantle and disband these organizations with their “criminal” ideologies and activities. We now pay the price – forget about terrorism from abroad. We create our own!
Canadian music group, Moxy Fruvous, known for their ability to mock, attack, chide, parody, satirize and lampoon life’s insanities, wrote and recorded a song titled Michigan Militia in 1997 after the Oklahoma City bombing. Sadly it continues to be relevant – maybe more so – in the trump era. I’ve always loved this music group and I post this song here (lyrics below).
I like to keep it in the refrigerator. Keeps the powder dry, and the action quicker. Let me be your American Gladiator. Find enclosed an adhesive N.R.A. sticker.
A letter t’ you from where I been holed up In this bucolic, agrarian compound. One step ahead Just ahead Of the government bloodhound.
The gas is off, it’s a national showdown. BUT… Sure wish that I could visit you, My sweet betrothed. In a couple a’ days We’ll all be free, Or we’ll be dead.
Happy Birthday, Trisha, I’m in the Michigan Militia. Happy Birthday, Trisha, I’m in the Michigan Militia.
I’m fencing off this little piece of heaven. Cross the line and you’re electrocuted. Polishing up my AK47. It’s a constitutional right, can’t be refuted.
Now they got us on TV, And makin’ us look stupid. Shot of me flippin’ my lid, At that mutt reporter, A classic case of race dilution Houston,
What is the problem? I’m fighting for you, and a blue-eyed Jesus. America first, The rest get the pieces.
Na Na Na Na. Happy Birthday, Trisha, I’m in the Michigan Militia. Happy Birthday, Trisha, I’m in the Michigan Militia.
Fighting for your honour, Like would any Afrikaner. Happy Birthday, Trisha, I’m in the Michigan Militia.
Our numbers are strong, and it won’t be long ’til I can tell you, Trisha, that we won. You’ll be ecstatic, just like that night You told me up in the attic. That was your wish again, To be back in a purified Michigan
Down on…! down on…! … the farm?
Well, that’s my wish again, To be back in Michigan.
Happy Birthday, Trisha, I’m in the Michigan Militia. Happy Birthday, Trisha, (Well, that’s my wish again, to be back in Michigan) I’m in the Michigan Militia.
I hope you like the double barrel, I think it goes with your apparel. Happy Birthday, Trisha, (Well, that’s my wish again, to be back in Michigan) I’m in the Michigan Militia.
Have you ever heard a song or album and the weather seemed such an integral part of the experience – so much so, that every time the weather conditions are right you still remember that song or album? Well it’s happened to me. Repeatedly.
Today, it’s “raining cats and dogs” and I spent a fair amount of time on the road looking from some rainy day photo ops. It was raining so hard it was keeping time with Led Zeppelin’s song “Bonzo’s Montreax” (from the CODA album) which was playing in my car. But this is not about that song.
During my drive I realized it was exactly a day like today when I purchased my very first RUSH album, A FAREWELL TO KINGS (on cassette and vinyl). The album was released September 1st, 1977. I was 17 and only had a drivers permit. I was only working on the family farm and had saved my allowance for this purpose. I got to the car and greedily unwrapped the cassette to play in the car. The weather was dark and cloudy not unlike the cover art with the post apocalyptic setting – the landscape crumbled and the crown of the king lying on the ground. The king plopped down on the throne like a puppet whose puppeteer had fled or a jester frozen in time – the joke had been played once to often. I popped the cassette in the player and it started to rain. I took the scenic route home through the countryside past hill and dale, field and farm listening in amazement and feeling transfixed as “Xanadu” blasted from the car speakers. by time “a thousand years had come and gone…” I was completely enthralled, mesmerized in my rainy day drive. I got home during “Cinderella Man” and felt lost in the myth, the poetry and story telling. I continued to just sit in the car and listened thru to Cygnus X-1 (Book One) as the rain continued to beat on the car roof. Wipers off I mused and wondered if Cygnus X-1 would have a Book 2 in this musical adventure. The transformation was complete I was a RUSH fan. For years to come A FAREWELL TO KINGS, HEMISPHERES, PERMANENT WAVES and MOVING PICTURES would be my favorite RUSH albums. I would listen to them frequently.
Well with Todays rain it was time to revisit the memory and the feeling of that first listen. And though I am older I find it still extremely enjoyable and satisfying. It’s just one of those things. 🙂