Tag Archives: New Middle Class

Another Life

Hooray! – the video for our new song, “Another Life”, is finished at last and posted on You Tube. It’s got twice as many images as our “Government” video, so it ended up taking lots more time than I had expected. Of course, this is true of all my projects.

In the next life, I hope to transcend this personality flaw.

Although if it’s my karma to return as a worm or an insect, I won’t have to worry about that. I’ll be worried about birds.

Do worms worry?

Anyway, it was really fun finding the images and choosing the transitional effects. When I saw the picture of the baby wearing virtual reality goggles, I knew it had to be the final slide, and that I would lead into it with a series of psychedelically accelerating visions a la “A Day in the Life”.

Somewhat less fun was working with freeware Slide Show Movie Maker, which doesn’t have the ability to easily sync images with audio. That means I had to guess how many seconds each image and cross-fade should last, then compile and view the video, change values and repeat. And repeat. And repeat.

Not surprisingly, by now I have every image and fade memorized. Waking or sleeping. This is not a particularly good thing.

I’m hoping I can flush out and de-program myself by watching a Three Stooges film festival, or a marathon of House or Family Guy episodes.

And I have no idea how to describe or categorize this song/video. The only thing I’m sure of is that it’s a sort-of tribute to Mrs. Vlock at PS 114, whom tried to teach me the distinction between “me and you” and “you and me”. So watch the video a few times (but be careful – not too many times!), share it with your friends, and then do something to get involved socially or politically.

Or don’t. It’s your karma. Wave your antennae and watch out for that robin.

* * *

 It’s springtime, and the world is still here. Time to pick up the guitar and start rehearsing – we’ll be doing some performing soon. Stay tuned.

– Mike


What Are The Odds? (plus Altercation On Arcturus)

Just after I had written my last blog entry where I mentioned that great (and rarely played) song “IGY” by Donald Fagen (of Steely Dan), I walked into a store, and it was the first song to come over the speakers.  I was able to resist buying the sound system only by focusing on the extraordinary coincidence.

Which reminded me – just last week, I happened to be watching Mega-Python vs. Gatoroid on TV (there was nothing by Shakespeare on PBS at the time), and I thought that the grizzled and canny game warden looked and sounded extremely familiar.  Then I figured it out: it must be a grizzled Mickey Dolenz (of The Monkees), down on his luck and forced to take a bit part in an embarrassingly corny (but fascinating!) made-for-TV movie.

But when I pushed the Info button on my remote, Dolenz wasn’t in the credits – it wasn’t him.

Five minutes later, it was mentioned that someone would be bringing a performing monkey to the wildlife center fund-raiser.  And shortly after that – you guessed it – the performing monkey turned out to be a performing Monkee, Mickey Dolenz, not grizzled but looking puffy and Botox’d, with a higher voice, more like I remembered from his critically acclaimed starring role in Circus Boy.   ( [SPOILER ALERT] Mickey was eaten by a mega-python just as he was about to sing “one of his most popular songs” – damn!  I bet it would have been “I’m A Believer”.)

And could it be coincidence that I happened at the same time to be re-reading (for the first time since teenhood) The Non-Statistical Man by Raymond F. Jones, in which the world experiences a wave of occurrences which defy the laws of statistical prediction?

I think not!

From my sketchbooks…here’s a drawing that reflects today’s sci-fi theme:

Actually, it’s an illustration for this vignette which opens the sketch book:

EARTH’S FUTURE SWELLED BENEATH HIS BELT BUCKLE!

The creature that pursued him was close behind.  He could hear trees snapping and the lush tropical foliage being trampled.  Then, just off to his right, he suddenly heard an unearthly scream of female terror.  Instinctively, he veered towards the sound, careless now of the death that closely followed, and as he burst into the clearing, an unbelievable scene was revealed to his amazed gaze.

An alien being with several arms and a long nose squatted before an unplugged portable television set.  It absently munched a handful of mud.  As he gaped at this primal scene, he felt a tap on his shoulder from behind.  He quickly turned to find himself staring down the long barrel of an atomic blaster!

Regards from Arcturus,

– Mike


“I Was Born”

Or maybe that should be, “I Was Reborn”.  Hmm – there’s an interesting idea for a song…

Anyway, all sorts of stuff seems to  accumulate on shelves, in filing cabinets, on disks and cassettes (!) and in my head, and it might be all right to share some of it.

My idea for this blog is to do more or less the same spontaneous thing we do on stage (minus the songs).  So I envision writing my entries, and when the spirit moves her, Barbara will respond, react, or just go off on her own.  I wouldn’t attempt to predict what she will blog about – except that you should not expect her to post the recipe for her famous cheesecake.

And replies/comments from you, Gentle Reader, are strongly encouraged.  I’d love for this to evolve from a blog into a conversation.

So, here goes:

I’ve been putting the final touches on a recording of our latest song, “Another Life”, which we expect to release within a week or so.  (I guess this would be the 2nd song in the trilogy “I Was Born” / “Another Life” / “I Was Reborn”.)
Every so often, songs or parts of songs come to me in dreams.  Usually, by the time I wake up and try to capture what I dreamed, most of it is gone and I might remember bits.  Or sometimes it turns out that what seemed so original was actually a song I’ve heard before.  Like the time I wrote “Yesterday”.

This time, it was just a line: “The world is in a simple, everyday household mess”.  Oh, great!  Now it was my job to figure out what that could possibly mean.  I was pretty sure it wasn’t about a new foaming cleanser.  Well, it’s true, the world really is a mess, and every day there’s a new one.  What’s a person to do?

The more I thought about it, the more depressing it seemed.  So that settled it – I had to write a song that was catchy, tuneful and upbeat, so you might not notice until you find yourself singing along that it’s one heck of a depressing song.

Or maybe it is hopeful after all – depends how you look at it.

My idea of fun: toss in a bunch of references and influences, including Brave New World, offshore oil spills, Harold Rosenberg, God’s promise to Noah, that ad with the polar bear floating on a bit of ice, the Nazi party (not really, just kidding), the Beatles single Hey Jude / Revolution, and one of my all-time favorite songs, “IGY” by Donald Fagen (of Steely Dan).

More about this later.

Maybe it would be nice to close out this post with a drawing from one of my old sketch books:

Mike