Archive for June, 2011

On The Subject Of Potential Pleasure Device

June 30th, 2011


A dithered-down version of the album cover. What can I say? I had to shrink it to fit it in this space.


The latest TVH album, presented for your streaming pleasure. We are so happy to have this album available finally. I would like to take this opportunity to talk about some of the music on this album. Why not? I helped write it. At least the lyrics, anyway.


In many cases, the music came first. Then the lyrics were written and the music was arranged around the lyrics. There are a few exceptions to this, specifically the choruses to “White Girls”, “Idiot”, “She’s My Robot” and “Millions Of Songs.” Those were ideas I brought to the band. Other songs were based on ideas brought to practice by other members of the group. “Baba Yaga” was mostly Rafe’s concept. As a band, we worked on these ideas and Rafe gave me an idea of what to write about. I didn’t know anything about the folklore of Baba Yaga, so I had to learn about it in order to write the lyrics.


“White Girls” and “She’s My Robot” got a lot of help from David and his keyboard riffs, while “Idiot” came up during a practice with just me, Matt and Josh. We messed with it, and brought it to the other guys later. All the guys write their own parts to these songs. “Terrorkeets” was something that Rafe, Matt and Josh worked up when me and David weren’t around. They thought I’d hate it, but I really liked it. It just took me a long time to figure out what to sing over it.


The last two songs written for the album were “New Lilypads” and “One Long Tunnel”, and I feel like these tracks and the lyrics to them give the album an emotional depth. They were written around the time I was going through some personal heartbreak, and in fact you can hear it in “Lilypads” which might be the most personal song I’ve ever recorded. In these songs, the guys  really put it together before I ever put words on them.


I look at songwriting in this band to be like making a cake. The cake  (instrumentation) needs to be fully baked before the icing (lyrics) can be applied. In general, that’s how we’ve arranged the songs. Occasionally, I will bring a full song to the band and teach them the basic structure. That’s how we came up with “Micronesia” and “4DJ”. On this album, I feel like we really perfected our songwriting process and came up with some fantastic songs.


“Teenage Funk” sprang up out of nowhere. When we played it live, it came off harder than it felt during practice. I tried to sing it like Mark E. Smith of the Fall and ended up sounding like a Monty Python Upper Class Twit. “They’ll Kill Us” was the toughest song to work on, took a very long time, and at one point was going to be broken up into three distinct tracks. Also, part 3 of “Kill Us” was supposed to be a monologue by me about “them killing us” but we scrapped that in favor of what you’ll hear on the album. For the first time, there are no awkward monologues on this album. About time.

Freedom Rock!

June 29th, 2011

July 4th.
Technology Vs. Horse at Whiskey Dick’s in Bowling Green, Kentucky.


Here’s the event page on Facebook . Click this.


Go to this event. I hate fireworks. More on this later.


Side note: “American Champion: The Best Of Mike Farmer”. What do you think about that?


A Weird Moment With A Friend

June 28th, 2011

Do you ever have those moments where it gets too real with a friend? I had one of those Saturday night at the PPD release party.


First, some backstory. I moved to Los Angeles on September 9th, 2001 to pursue the big music dream. What happened over the next year and a half was at times an awesome thrill ride and a crushing defeat. The economy shits the bed after the 9/11 attacks, I had to work part-time in a movie theater because I couldn’t find a job. Seemingly out of nowhere I got a gig on a TV show. A well-paying gig that lasted briefly before I got replaced and dicked around. The first time I ever got fired was from a TV show. Then I got a gig working as a roadie, and that lasted for all of three months before I got fired again. Then I got a job working as a recording studio delivery boy which lasted five months before my car finally died. What’s a delivery boy without a car in LA?


In the midst of all of this, my friend Ken comes out to LA and sleeps on my couch for a month before finding some work and his own place. Eventually, he broke into the business and got involved in editing and has now shot and directed numerous music videos and feature films. Ken has built a career for himself in TV and film production.


Last year, Ken moved back to Lexington. He had some features to work on wrapped that up and now he’s going to move back to LA. He showed up at the record release party Saturday and told me that in two weeks he was moving back so he could work as a director for a web show. He’ll be back in the swing of things in LA. The seamy ugly city with the manic coke energy.


We share a hatred and disdain for that city. The city that keeps him working, the city that has no use for me. And it was from that shared hatred that I told him that he was still needed out there because of his work ethic and skill set. And then I told him that I was proud of him.


Ken told me he wouldn’t have his career if I hadn’t given him a place to stay while he tried to find work in LA. And it suddenly got real, too real, for that moment.


Happy Time Great Success, Smart Guy!

June 27th, 2011

We did it!


With sixty-six hours to go! Technology Vs. Horse can press their vinyl single and make people happy. Thanks to all the wonderful people who donated their money. We are going to make this happen. We’ve got $523 so far.


This is so awesome. I feel great. I didn’t know if this was gonna happen or not. Now I know it is. Thank you so much. I’m the happiest boy in the world. I came back from therapy and found that we’d passed $500. What a great day for me and the band. You folks are wonderful. I want to hug you.


We are going to take at least one of you on a dinner date. No kidding. That is actually going to happen. We have to remember to take pictures.

My Trip To The Horseshoe Casino

June 27th, 2011

I went to New Albany to meet with a girl I met on Twitter. That was last Tuesday. It was nice, except for the trip to Horseshoe Casino. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad trip but it was strange and overpowering.


The thing you learn is that there are multiple floors to the place but the “floor numbers” don’t necessarily correspond to the “deck numbers”. You could be on the ground level and on deck two, for example, or be on deck four and be two hundred feet under the earth’s crust. I was confused and stayed that way until I drove all the way back to Fordsville hours later.


Horseshoe Casino was formerly a Caesar’s Palace offshoot. That didn’t work and it became the Horseshoe. All the card tables were filled. It was Tuesday. Tuesday. Think about that. Cage The Elephant are more right than I ever expected, there is No Rest For The Wicked. To go to the casino on Tuesday? Willikins!


But what were I and my friend (date?) doing there? Could we judge? We were people watching. It helps to people watch when you’re broke as she and I are/were. It’s difficult to pay attention to people when everything around you is shiny and neon and crazy neon lights and slot machine buzzes and video gambling machines go off all around you. Plus there’s no natural light in the place. We could have been in there a few years, for all I know. It seemed like a few hours. Was I in paradise, shangri-la, or Fantasy Island? Where was the midget in the white suit? That’s all the Horseshoe Casino lacked.


I was knocked for a loop and felt like the shrooms had kicked in just as I was getting to the bottom level. All hell had broken loose in my silly head and I was giddy. My date showed me her favorite slot machine. It had a picture of a panther at the top, so she said “That’s my pussy.” And that became something I could say to my friends after the date was over, “She showed me her pussy.” Because that sounded better than “She showed me a cartoon drawing of a panther on a gambling machine.” I’m getting discombobulated thinking about the place.


How do people play poker in that fuckhole? I’d be too disoriented. I can’t be alone on this one. Does that explain the many seats for slots. We sat a pair of machines, and I fed a dollar in. Two games of slots, pull the crank. Nothing came out. A short high, less fun than whippets. Almost sobering how sad it felt. That was the extent of our gambling. I should have given her a dollar to feed into her pussy. Retrospect, for life.


After we left the casino, I drove her back into New Albany and we strolled around a 24-hour Kroger while I tried to get my senses back together. How did I drive us home? I was too giddy. I was so giddy, I giggled whenever I hit the “cash out” button on the slot machine. Because I lost, it gave me nothing. However, it did quack every time I hit it. Like a duck. And I lost it every time. I might as well have been high how hard I laughed. She sat at a slot that had a laser sound for the “cash out”. So I hit her button and tried to sing “We Will Rock You” with laser and duck button accompaniment. She told me should could see me doing that a mile away. I regret nothing.


We had a nice date. A peck on the lips, and I left for home. While we were out, she told me about her past. Her troubled, unhappily promiscuous days. For a minute, I regretted not knowing her back then. We may do that again. Not go the casino, but hang out or something. She’s nice. She’s taller than I figured she’d be. Tall girls are hot. And yet I’m not an WNBA fan. I’m not crazy, you know.


One Last Bit About My Non-Romantic Life

June 27th, 2011

I should tell this story because apparently some people think it’s funny. Maybe it is to them because I’m the one who happens to be the butt-end of the joke. I’m gonna keep names out of it because of courtesy but they’ll know who they are. This is the stuff I have to do because I only get to go to therapy every two months. Speaking of, I go tomorrow. Or rather in about twelve hours. I should try to get some sleep, right? Why yawn through this valuable hour I’ll have?


There is a girl in Indiana that I like. She knows now. It doesn’t matter. Since I started liking her, I’ve written at least four lyrics about this girl. Some are sweet, some are lurid. One set chastises me for liking her. She’s ten years younger than me. It’s not an ice age but I still feel self-conscious about being thirty-three. Even if I look twenty-six. A very overweight twenty-six. At least I have lustrous hair.


I did what I thought was a romantic thing one night and made her a small tub of candied bacon. For those of you unfamiliar, candied bacon is regular bacon lain flat on a cookie sheet covered in scoops of brown sugar put in the oven for twenty five minutes or so at 375*. Twelve on one side, take the pan out and flip the bacon over for another twelve. Then take out the bacon and let it cool and dry on a rack. When the bacon stiffens up, break it apart until you’ve got finger food. Do not eat whole strips of candied bacon unless you want to clog your arteries prematurely.


When I presented her with the candied bacon at the party, she seemed genuinely awestruck. Her look almost made the whole thing worth it. Even if this was a move on my part, it was not THE move and after a big hug and a big thanks, this matter was left alone.


At the end of the night, she got in her car and drove off with her roommate and some strange guy I hadn’t met before. I didn’t want her to go. Or I couldn’t go with her and wanted to. Either way, I knew what was up when a mutual friend tried to call her later that night and announced to no one in particular that some guy had answered the phone instead of her.


I was crestfallen, and also afraid that she had let him eat my bacon. What could I do? Can’t be mad at her for doing her thing, or him for being with the girl I wanted to be with. I just didn’t want him snacking on the bacon that I made for her. I made it and I put my heart into it. And some other man would get to taste the caramel-esque coating of dried brown sugar sauce before chewing into the sumptuous heaven of oven-cooked bacon. It was my first attempt at candied bacon and I knocked it out of the park.


I told Russell about the bacon and he laughed at me. He tried to clean it up and say he thought it was “sweet” what I had done, but he couldn’t hide the feeling that I was some sort of space alien who thought that baked pork products made for a great come-on.

Little 300-Word Burstz

June 27th, 2011

I’m trying to write this recap as a series of short recaps. None of it is so important it needs to be grouped into a 1500-word TLDR thing for your weak eyes. If I were you, I’d crank up the font size on your browser if that’s a problem. Alisha set this up for me because I’m not good for designing websites.


Another thing Alisha did was donate a few dollars to the Technology Vs. Horse Vinyl Fund. We are doing the Kickstarter thing, trying to earn $500 by Thursday 11:30 AM to make our vinyl collectable dreams come true. Come on, folks. Here’s the status. Monday morning early, we have to raise a mere $32 before we hit the magic number. That is very important, folks. You know what you want? Awesome vinyl collectables. You donate, you get gifts as a thank-you. $5 will get you the digital download. $10 will get you the vinyl and digital download. $25 will get your ass a t-shirt and some vinyl. $50 will get your name thanked on the mo’fuckin album sleeve. You know what’s up?


Click the link below to donate. Hurry fast, babies. We need you. This is practically a done deal, we just need to get over the $500 mark, mm-kay?

Ephemera, But For The Internet

June 26th, 2011

Here’s a quote from Don Moran late at night just as Berlenz was closing. We had entered a discussion with Mello Joe about “The King Of Kong” and at a point, Don said these need-to-be-famous words: “I could get a perfect score in ‘Burger Time’ if I felt like it!” It was one of the few times in my life that I wish I phone-tweeted. That would have been there instantly. I lost five minutes of my life listening to Don explain how simple and mechanical the gameplay in “Burger Time” was. I wanted to have a radio show so I could put him on half-drunk and have him explain the simplicity of “Burger Time”. That way, Joe and I wouldn’t be the only ones who had their time wasted. It was worth it, if only for that sad boastful statement about BT perfection.


Also, I have procured Rafe Heltsley’s Epiphone hollowbody. One of the newest members of the Heltsley guitar museum, it was left at Berlenz until one of the bar staff helpfully told me and Josh Hines that the guitar was still in there. Josh took a picture of me holding it and sent it to Rafe. Rafe asked me to hold onto it, which of course I will. I won’t, say, rub my naked body all over it like Christina Aguilera on that Rolling Stone cover a few years ago. I promise, Rafe.


One more note. Saturday, Sean Higgins and I had a photo shoot for the next album cover. A Mike Farmer best-of. I’ve mentioned it on Facebook, what about here? Did I tell you? I hope. In case you don’t know, there will be a best-of featuring my work as Kentucky Prophet, with Technology Vs. Horse and a few other interesting bits of sound that you probably haven’t heard at all. More info as it comes. I promise.

What About Technology Vs. Horse, yes?

June 26th, 2011

There’s also the business of Technology Vs. Horse, which is picking up steam as we just had the release show for our newest album, Potential Pleasure Device, Saturday night at Berlenz Bar in Bowling Green. There were two sets, in between which we sold some CDs and T-shirts. We want to thank the Vette City Roller Derby for letting us play their afterparty, which we did our damnedest to commandeer. They were great and hopefully we’ll do some more stuff with them in the future.


Note: I know the photo is too big for the format of this website. I can deal with it. Why can’t you?


At the PPD release/after-party. Photo courtesy Mary Sparr.


For those of you who want to know what we played, we started with the PPD album in its’ entirety. Eleven beautiful melodies that will stand the test of time.


Set 1 – Potential Pleasure Device

1. Electric Eels

2. Teenage Funk

3. White Girls

4. New Lilypads

5. She’s My Robot

6. Terrorkeets

7. Baba Yaga

8. Idiot

9. One Long Tunnel

10. Millions Of Songs

11. They’ll Kill Us


Set 2:

1. Ethel Can Dance

2. Awaken The Sleeping Minotaur

3. Micronesia

4. Cocaine Dracula

5. Termite Art


We wrapped up shortly after midnight. David had to go home to relieve his babysitter. He mistakenly double-booked this show and his girlfriend’s college graduation in Louisville. He went to Louisville for grad ceremonies then returned to BG and loaded most of the gear in the van by the time I got there. He probably unloaded it all this morning. What a mensch. We might have had at least a few more songs in us that night, but David had to go. Also, the bar wanted to start the dance party. This reminds me, we should learn a couple of Ke$ha and Rihanna songs. “Want you to make me feel like I’m the only girl in the world. . .”

So I Was Burned Out, And…

June 26th, 2011

So many of you who read this may well notice that there was only one post between the 14th and today. Sometimes I need to pull back for a while, and I guess this was my version of that. A lot of things happened and I’ll try to recap as much of it as I can in this post. You should be thankful that I’m not microblogging or doing the Foursquare thing from my little wireless device, bugging you about all the little places I’m going and who I’m with while I’m there. Sometimestimestimes you writewritewrite until you can’tcan’tcan’t stand it anymoremoremore.


In rollerderby news, my sweet ladies from the Rollergirls of Southern Indiana have won two straight bouts, against the Peoria Push Derby and Quad Skate Terrors respectively. It is a morale booster for our team which has been shorthanded and suffered some tough losses to start the season. Our next bout is July 9th, in Evansville at Swonder. I encourage you to come out.


In fact, I don’t encourage you to come out. I wish you would come out. It’s hard to get my friends to come out to roller derby. I have numerous friends in the Evansville area and I get a lot of excuses from people why they can’t go. Is it not enough that you can see the female equivalent of NASCAR on wheels? Is it not enough that I’m one of the announcers for said event? Do I have to shame people into attending the bout. I know people have kids, but c’mon. Kids ten and under get in free! You don’t have to pay for their no-contributing asses to sit and be amazed at what’s going on in front of them. Come on, already. What more must I do?