Archive for October, 2015

Millennial Rock Bios: Paul Simon

October 31st, 2015

My name is Blake. I’m 23 years old. This is my bio of the singer Paul Simon. I’m also in a band?

 

Paul Simon was in a band a long time ago called “Simon And Garfunkel”. They were a two-man singing group and Paul played acoustic guitar. This was back in the sixties. They recorded a song called “Sounds of Silence” and some guy thought it would be better if the song had a bunch of electric guitar and rock drums on it. So they did that and put it out and it was a big hit. And then “Simon And Garfunkel” broke up sometime in the early 70’s.

 

In the 80’s, Paul Simon put out an album called “Graceland”. This was the first thing he’d done by himself since splitting up with Garfunkel. It has a bunch of african drums on it. You ever heard of Garfunkel And Oates? Yeah, this is where they got that name from, since Garfunkel was the shittier of the two guys in the band. I don’t know any Garfunkel albums, so maybe he should have sampled a bunch of Fela Kuti songs in the 80’s and he could have been a big star again, too.

 

When I was a kid, my mom would put the TV on VH-1 Classic every Saturday while cleaning the house. There was a Paul Simon song called “You Can Call Me Al” that has the old guy from “Community” in it. Mom thought that video was so funny but I didn’t get it. I learned later that the little guy who stands next to the Community man is Paul Simon and he’s the one singing the song although Community guy is doing the lip-sync. That’s funny to some people for some reason.

 

I just saw on Wikipedia that Paul Simon dated Carrie Fisher sometime between “Simon And Garfunkel” and “Graceland”. This was when she was Princess Leia, and apparently she was psychotic or something? So Paul Simon was dating Princess Leia at her hottest and craziest which I envy but I don’t get what she saw in him. Maybe she enjoyed “The Sounds Of Silence”. Anyway, now he’s married to Edie Sedgwick (sp?) and has hosted Saturday Night Live about a half-dozen times despite doing not much else over the last forty-five years.

 

Apparently, Paul Simon also wrote a bunch of Broadway musicals and plays so maybe I’m wrong about him not doing anything.

A Frog Will Save Us All

October 26th, 2015

As you have heard, I am a fan of Chikara pro wrestling. I went to see the Chikara show in Jeffersonville and watched and later spoke to FarmerFrog, a humble frog from Minnesota who loves working in the fields, tacos, princesses, and red flannel.
 
Although he is from Minnesota, he speaks with a European accent that I can’t place. Perhaps he is Estonian. Perhaps he is actually the legendary, beloved Estonian Thunderfrog!
 
Perhaps he is the wielder of the Hammers of War and Peace, the linchpin of the Baltic Siege, wrestling’s wackiest faction.
 
But wait! Thunderfrog was killed in the ring by Deucalion in the summer of ’14. There’s no way this could be the same guy, er, Frog. Unless, of course, he has suffered amnesia after the Deucalion attack and started a new life for himself in the land of the Twins, Timberwolves, and the Vikings. Perhaps this Frog is not yet aware of his true destiny. 
When he came to the ring for his match, he gave me a giant hug. At the intermission, he hit on Mary Sparr and when she rebuffed him, he referred to her as “Miss Too Cool For School”.
This marks the second occasion that a Chikara wrestler has stayed in character while hitting on Mary. The first time, a goblin gang called The Batiri screeched at her “PRETTY… PRETTY PERSON! TALK TO US! COME TALK TO US!”
Thunder. . .er, FarmerFrog lost his match the other night to Prakash Sabar but I still like him. If I only rooted for wrestlers who only won, I’d be stuck rooting for John Cena and not much else.

 

Off The Hook

October 21st, 2015

I should name all my blogs after Arrested Development episodes. I won’t, though.

 

I hurt my back last week. I pulled a muscle. I think it’s from sleeping in that shitty bed. It’s a futon mattress with the boxsprings and the slats underneath sagging.

 

My water is turned off. Last night there was a leak. I don’t know where. Still don’t know. Now I have to pour a half-gallon of water in the terlet tank to flush it when I make number two.

 

My life is horrible. It’s not Middle East horrible or even Shia LaBoeuf film premiere horrible. It’s just garden variety awful.

 

Help. Please.

M.U.S.C.L.E. vs. F.A.T.

October 19th, 2015

I pulled a muscle in my back over the weekend. I am a tender son of a gun at the moment. I rest flat on the couch and occasionally apply ice to the sore area. The other day it was terrible. Now it’s manageable as long as I don’t do a lot or move a lot. This is a bad time to be in the process of a move.

It’s the left flank above the hip that I pulled. I am not incapacitated. I just hate to feel even a little bit of pain. I have to go to the post office before it closes. That means getting off the couch and moving. Ugh.

 

It’s hard to get up from a low position but that has more to do with my weight than any muscle pull. I have this giant blob of fat hanging off my belly and it rests on top of me. When I get up I have to lift it. I may be a powerlifter and not know it.

I have a hard time with staircases. Walking on a flat surface is usually no big deal although I get tired easily. I am carrying around the weight of a small piano in my cells.

 

I don’t write this for pity or sympathy. I know there are a lot of people who aren’t anywhere close to my weight and they might want to know what a morbidly obese person deals with. Even if I were to lose all this excess weight I would still need a knee replacement. Perhaps both knees.

 

I see a lot of very fat people in my community. Not as fat as me but still pretty fat. Is this an unusually large concentration of fat people? I’m not frequenting any Overeaters Anonymous meetings. I’m seeing them at the store, the gas station, the post office, the bank. They are out in the world. How did we all get to this point, all in the same place? What values do we share? What have we been taught? What were we forsaken from learning? I don’t think it’s a conspiracy but I think this is far from a coincidence.

A Feeling I Hope You Get

October 18th, 2015

This is for all the people who musicians. All of the people in bands, all the people who want to be in a band, you name it. This is for you.

 

There are occasionally major proclamations made in media “the best album ever”, “album of the year”, “best concert of all time”. Major hyperbole invoked to hype up a thing that somebody somewhere is enthusiastic about. I have done it myself, claiming Sparks’ No. 1 In Heaven is one of the best albums ever. I qualified it with “one of” but the point is anyone who writes enough/posts enough will end up going full hyperbole mode.

 

Unless you’re Brian Wilson, one of the Beatles or in Blue Oyster Cult, chances are you will not be referred to as “the best” anything. That’s okay. You don’t need to be validated by others. What you need is to feel that way yourself.

 

There have been a few select moments in my life when I was either on stage or at the practice space with Technology Vs. Horse and everything clicks and it feels irresistible. I have had a few moments in my life when I thought “I am in the best band in the known universe right now.”

 

Are we the best? Were we ever? No and no. But who cares. Those moments have been rare for me so I treasure them when I have them. The odds of ever getting out of your own hometown playing with a band are boggling. So doing this music thing for fame or glory is a fool’s game. It took me a long time to learn that. But the sooner you learn this, the  sooner you can appreciate what you have for what it is. Those moments when a bunch of strange people come together and make it work. The kind of synergy that a corporate boardroom preaches about but cannot inspire.

 

I really hope everyone who ever joins a band has that feeling, if only once. If you’re out there writing songs, I hope you have a moment in your life when you can look at one of your creations and go “that’s a masterpiece”. You deserve to feel good about what you’ve done. It’s not like you put toxic smoke into the world. You’ve made the air molecules around you wiggle in a particular fashion. You’ve attempted to communicate to others using this commercial form of songcraft.

 

What else do Elvis Costello, Blackie Lawless and Farrah Abraham have in common, really?

Good Folk Fest

October 15th, 2015

Music performance news!

Kentucky Prophet will be performing at Good Folk Fest 2015 in Louisville at the Tim Faulkner Gallery.

 

The festival will take place November 20th through 22nd. Kentucky Prophet will be the kickoff performer on Friday, the 20th. Tim Faulkner Gallery is at 1512 Portland Ave., Louisville.

Here is a link to the GFF music sampler bandcamp. A song by me is on there, as well as some of the other performers. You can purchase the sampler for $5 from Bandcamp.

 

There will be another special music appearance in Bowling Green before then. Sometime around November 11-13th, I think. Details aren’t flushed out yet.

Kissapachella!

October 13th, 2015

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Mudslinging, Improved

October 13th, 2015

Since it’s election season, it’s time to hear and see the many mudslinging ads that will choke the airwaves and Internet for the next few weeks.

In Kentucky, the governor election is the main event with Jack Conway vs. Matt Bevin in a battle of which voters could care less.

Here is my attempt to draw in voters with mudslinging that compels them. In fairness, I will split equal mud between both candidates. None of these things are true or can be verified to be true, so fair warning.

 

Matt Bevin says “six of one, half dozen of the other” even though he doesn’t understand what it means.

Jack Conway wanted to name one of his horses Flicka, but didn’t because he was afraid he’d be called a pussy by his friends in the horse-owner’s club.

Matt Bevin’s favorite subreddit is something NSFW and involves Japanese cartoons.

Jack Conway’s favorite subreddit is something NSFW and involves dildos shaped like dragon penis.

Matt Bevin pours ketchup on his hot dogs.

Jack Conway’s favorite prog band is Gentle Giant.

Matt Bevin likes Coheed And Cambria.

Jack Conway’s favorite American Idol was Taylor Hicks.

Matt Bevin has eaten a corgi.

Jack Conway tried to bring MySpace back in a big way.

Matt Bevin’s fantasy football team is called “Pennies 4 Bevin”.

Jack Conway thought Judge Smails was the hero in Caddyshack.

 

Solitude

October 7th, 2015

Gail Zappa passed away today at the age of seventy. Gail was the widow of Frank Zappa, mother to his four children and the executor/protector of his estate and legacy. I think the closest comparison for Gail would be Yoko Ono, in many ways. Two widows who curated their late husband’s estates even as their presence was divisive to fans.

 

The Zappa Family Trust did not mess around when it came to cover versions and tribute bands to Frank’s music. Zappa tribute bands and festivals were often served cease and desist orders to prevent them from exploiting the name of Frank Zappa or even worse, playing the songs incorrectly and sloppily.

 

There have been several excellent recordings of Zappa’s music by tribute ensembles. One of the most staggering is the Ensemble Ambrosius’s Zappa Album from 2000, where songs like “G-Spot Tornado” and “The Idiot Bastard Son” were performed on baroque instruments. Similarly out there is The Persuasions’ Frankly A Cappella, where Frank’s music is performed by an old-timey doo-wop singing group. Different track listing from the baroque thing.

 

I re-recorded a mangled version of “I am The Slime” in 2007 for my Beyond The Fringe album. Nobody stopped me. I wasn’t served with a cease and desist order. Either I was seen as harmless and small potatoes or just some dummy paying tribute. Or the ZFT never found out about it. Potato, potata.

 

You find out that some people are never satisfied. Between Frank’s death in 1993 and Gail’s passing today, the ZFT released over three dozen albums of posthumous work. We wanted it. Live versions of songs that were in development, songs that had never been released. At least three discs of rehearsal tapes. Expanded editions of 60’s recordings with the Mothers Of Invention. Unheard Synclavier compositions. We wanted all of that stuff. And more. There’s a film coming out later this month called Roxy: The Movie which has been decades in the making. Frank had his 1973 Roxy concerts filmed and it took this long for it to be edited and finished. And yet we would be happy with more. Hey, here’s a concert from 1975 with Evansville, Indiana, wanna hear it? Captain Beefheart’s on it? Yes, please. No problem. Only the Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan have continued to meet fan demand like the ZFT did/does.

 

What a kick in the dick today was. Props to Dweezil, Moon, Ahmet and Diva. And props to Gail, wherever she may be. She kept the fire burning for a long time. Over twenty years worth. The record business (what’s left of it) is a shitty thing and she dealt with them the way Frank would have if he had been there. When Zappa was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1995, the HoF only had no room for the family to attend and offered them a table for a very high price. Not to mention they had Lou Reed induct Frank, which is like Wayne Coyne giving an award to Beck, or Win Butler, or Erykah Badu, or most people. Lou once said he moved a London show to the Rainbow just so he could see where Frank fell when he was pushed off the stage by a crazed fan at a 1971 concert.

 

Music business is a culture of disrespect and spite. Frank fought the bullshit in his life and Gail took on the fight after his life.

 

Rupert Murdoch is still alive. Unrelated, but pricks live forever.

 

 

 

 

Enough With The Cats

October 7th, 2015

I’ve had it with these cats and the world’s obsession with them.

 

Cat people are the worst. They are just dumb enough to elect a cat for President. We should set these people on fire like David Bowie suggested in that song.

 

I stopped watching WWE when they had on Grumpy Cat as special guest.

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Over a 3-week period, WWE had this cat, Larry The Cable Guy and Kathie Lee Gifford on as special guests. It’s like they knew I was depressed and wanted to send me over the edge.

 

Run The Jewels remade their album using cat noises. Now a cat named Lil Bub has an album coming out.

 

 

Recording artist.

Recording artist.

 

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. YOU’VE TAKEN OUR CHEESEBURGERS, OUR FAKE FIGHTING AND NOW YOU WANT TO BE MUSICIANS? FUCK YOU CATS AND EVERYONE WHO LOVES YOU.

 

Just because cats have AIDS that doesn’t make them Freddie Mercury. Jesus I am depressed.