Sunday, March 28, 2010

LUCID DREAMING

I've read much in the past about techniques for "lucid" dreaming, you know, that ability in your sleep where you can take control of your own actions in a dream and participate knowingly in the events transpiring....the possibilities are endless. You could take out a sword and battle Sir Galahad, beat Jimi Hendrix in a guitar solo-off, knock down a monster threatening a village, seduce and bed Asia Argento, who knows?




It's never happened to me, unfortunately.

I've tried the techniques I've read about, but sadly, my dreams are these disturbing David Lynch affairs with a touch of the Farrelly Brothers for flavor. I've tried to make things happen in la-la land knowing it's a dream, because, believe it or not, I've gone lucid and actually said to myself, "This is just a dream". Then, being a bad-ass, attempted to go about it, conspiring with my subconcious for potential entertainment, gratifacation, or even enlightenment.

Despairingly, I end up falling down cliff banks, get in knife fights with former junior high bullies that I almost lose, wind up at horrifying off-color funereal events, or end up having sex with Courtney Love in a refrigerator.

Is this the kind of thing that a person lucidly in control of their dreams, let alone their mind, would want to be participating in? Or am I just flat out insane whether or not I'm awake or asleep?

I guess I just need more practice at the lucid dream preparations. Because quite frankly, the alternative dreams are just too frightening. And I don't need those anymore...

Friday, March 19, 2010

MUSES: 30 Years Later



This year marks the 30th anniversary of the death of my father, Robert W. Will (1933-1980)

This is for you, Dad
--------------------------

The target of abuse
is often the muse
taken from 'til the well runs dry

Mined from forever
Like a bird's soft feathers
when it's been plucked, we wonder why

Another example
of the forces that trample
the man had something to say

He had those he loved
It wasn't enough
for the powers above
and on a cold day
he was taken away

Do those hear on Earth
cut such a wide berth
through thought and circumstance

That the next world as a result
needs them to consult
more than we need them, by chance?

So are they the muses
for unseen fuses
that light the great beyond

We miss them so steady
but they may be already
strengthening some unseen bond.
-------------------------------------

PICK UP A BOOK ONCE IN A WHILE: "Both Ends Burning"

Since I was a kid I always liked short stories, having fallen in love with them upon picking up "Night Shift" from Stephen King at a Paperback Exchange...

You just never know in a medium so small, what direction that brief, but possibly striking piece of fiction may be coming from. Or what it may do.

Marci Mangham's "Both Ends Burning" is a hell of a collection of stories so stylistically and character-wise different, that it may leave your head-spinning. You have sick children listening with glee to impossible fantasy stories, heart-broken widowers finding ways to cope, long-distance friendships that ebb and flow.

There's stories here that made me laugh out loud, and some that made me strikingly ill at ease, as if I was watching David Cronenberg's "A History of Violence".

Miss Mangham's imagination comes from so many different angles, that the anticipation of what the next story could possibly be about is tangible.

I highly recommend it.
Link for purchase is at the right.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

CHAINED TO IT



"You hide it well, most people don't see it, but you're the angriest man I've ever known."--"Justified" FX

----------------------------------------------

One day in a darkened movie theatre, my ex-wife told me what amounted to almost the same thing. She followed it with "It's nothing to be proud of" after I chuckled, staring right through me. Then the house lights went down, the trailers began to roll, and for a time, I forgot about it.

It came up again the next day....and I asked her about it, as I was unsure about the angle of the whole thing. After all, I never get into fights, I've never raised a hand to wife or child, and I brought all this to her attention.

"It's not us", she said referring to herself and our son. "You're angry at yourself."

It was like a bit of a revelation.

I then went and looked in the mirror. I saw through my borderline mongoloid, scruffy nerfherder features, into the hazels, beyond. My thought spinning to the things that may anger me about myself. I was rattled.

What's there, what don't I like?

Then it came like a flood. Voices careening through my head, swirling at different volumes, whispers, shouts, accusations......You roll your ankles, clod, you can't walk, ....you're a failure as a husband and father,...you break more things than you fix.....

What the fuck? Who were these rude, petulant voices?

Maybe, since you spent so much time being mediocre in the 80's, the least you could have done was have some fun.....so much effort in trying to be the monumentally heroic good guy, you never thought to try to be the villain once in a while....

All those chains I attached to myself so long ago, no matter how much I shake and rattle them, they will never come loose. There it is. I'm definitely angry with myself, but the only difference here is, unlike being pissed off at another individual, I can't FORGIVE me.

I'm the only person in the world I can't give that grace to, even if I may deserve it.

Lord knows, I've tried.

THE SAD HOLIDAYS OF POWER POP



ST. PATRICK'S DAY

Alex Chilton and his band, Big Star, influenced more groups, and the acts that they in turn inspired, than you'll ever realize. Despite the sadness and truth of that statement, it's not at all what I really wish to talk about.

I want to talk about Alex.

I always new who Chilton and Big Star were, but didn't really get my education and initiation until a dear friend and the Lala website schooled me in. After immersing myself in music I could hardly believe was from the 1970's, I began searching for and finding cds, including my personal favorite, Rykodisc's "Big Star Live", a radio gig taped directly to two track in Long Island, while on tour for "Radio City"...It sounds amazing despite the source recording.

Alex Chilton passed away last night at 59. This is a fact that most don't know, because outside of a #1 hit with the Box Tops, "The Letter", back in the late 60's, he's remained on the fringe of the musical scape outside of the initiated and converted. That's piece of bitter truth.

The sounds that he coaxed from his guitar and elicited from his voice, a perfect partnership, were undeniably his own. Even in the most upbeat of his songs, there was a dripping slice of melancholy, that tugged at a place somewhere within, even as your toes tapped.

You knew it was Alex's guitar just from the first few notes of his records. Few six stringers can say that.

Goodbye, Sir. And El Goodo, wherever you are.....Play it the same.


VALENTINE'S DAY

The Knack sold 6 million copies of their debut on the wings of a Capitol Records media Blitz and the strength of one of the greatest singles of all time, "My Sharona". Matter of fact, every track on that debut, "Get the Knack" was a potential hit single.

"Oh Tara", "Lucinda", "My Sharona",...contrary to popular belief, all these girls were real individual romances in the life of lead singer, Doug Fieger who co-wrote most of the Knack's songs with lead guitarist Berton Averre, who, in Doug's words "grew up 2000 miles away from him, next door".

This was Power Pop at it's finest, showing flashes of the garage rock of the 60's, with touches of the Beatles and Dave Clark Five, Doug and the boys still made it their own. Sadly, despite solid success in their 2nd LP, and critical acclaim of their third, they fizzled out....a couple of moderately noticed reunion albums followed, but the Knack couldn't grab it back.

But for a brief shining moment circa 1979/1980, they were the biggest band in the world, and Doug Fieger was the core. A sweet, smart, self-effacing guy passed February 14th at 57. I was given a hand me down copy of that first LP in 1982, and my idea of pop music was never the same.

Goodbye, Doug....wherever you are, keep it just as catchy and just as sweet and nasty as you always did......

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

DIGITAL DAB'LL DO YA: Scary Cherry and the Bang Bangs



If you are a fan of fun horror movie theatrics, (you can't beat blood-stained white clothes and roller skates) raw-assed guitars, and ripping howl at the moon vocals,

this edition of "Digital Dab" is for you.

What I've come across, upon recommendation from a great friend, is a group who took the spirit of Alice Cooper, the Misfits, tossed in the added touch of "la femme" growl, and created a voracious beast,

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Scary Cherry and the Bang Bangs...My 15 year old boy says they "bring it fuckin' old school".

They've released an EP available on Lala and Itunes, and a freshly minted version of "Cherry Bomb".

People, show your support for a true original in a couple of ways....

Visit ScaryCherry.com, which has the all important Itunes link where you can vote for their cut of "Cherry Bomb" as held up against the original Runaways version and the cut from the upcoming movie about that classic band. (Bang Bangs is easily the best).

You can also vote for them to get a crack at making a record with Velvet Revolver's Slash, something they're truly worthy of at the same Scary Cherry Website.

The link to their website is to the right and up.....

Sunday, March 14, 2010

AMERICA'S PREOCCUPATION WITH THE "ACCIDENT"

It's been said before. "I just couldn't stop looking at the accident". That's the way this country (and others) has become regarding celebrity.

And if pisses me the fuck off.

Corey Haim and Corey Feldman had another one of those "celebreality" shows that seem to be sucking more brain cells out of the heads of Americans, and on a moment by moment basis.

Haim died last week. Tragic as young as he was, but outside of the rehashing of his youthful glory days some 20 years ago thanks to the reality show, which apparently ended with the two principals parting ways, what did he do to deserve adulation?

Yes, I'm not heartless, and we should pay respect and feel grievance for the loss of one of our own, it is indeed what separates us from the animals. But I am a huge fan of the seminal "skinny tie" power pop band, The Knack, (as readers will know) and I didn't know until almost three weeks after the fact that lead singer Doug Fieger passed after a brave and grueling 6 year battle with that fucking C word.

Fieger and the boys wrote, performed, and recorded one of the most successful debut records, and certainly debut singles, with "My Sharona" of all times. After the dissipation of the Knack a few years later, he continued to work in the music biz and even worked with the development of other acts. The Knack reformed a few times to record some quality albums in the 90's and 2000's. He continued to produce and assist in producing.

He was, as I'm told, a bright light, and engaging presence in a rather dark world. He will be missed. I love Doug Fieger for how he changed my perception of rock music.

But back to the Haim thing. Look at all of these "washed up" celebrity reality shows all over cable. People who haven't been in the public eye for decades acting like assholes for a few bucks....and people watch this. A lot, I guess for the crap still surges anew every renewal season. The messes these people create, usually grouped in with other complete messes of people to add "spark" rival an accident for viewability. Do we have such low self-esteem as a country that not only do we want to see the mighty fall, but watch the ones that already fell, crawl around on the ground in a drunken stupor?

Fuck me.

I'm sad. For Doug. For us.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

BEING AN ELITIST IS EXHAUSTING

Who needs cultural martyrs?

Having a variable personality, I have been able to hang with many different types of people from all walks of life. I can make small adjustments to my mindset to the conversation's direction and stay with it comfortably. Yet, I felt like a fake, a taskmasker, doing so...

I'm well read and can speak in an informed manner about a broad variety of subjects, as a result, on most subjects I piss very few people off. Unless it comes to music and movies. Politically, I'm a moderate, able to see both sides of any coin realistically and with empathy. I keep friends that way, and it's honest, not fakery to avoid losing friends and acquaintancs.

But I've been through many phases of music adoration, from oldies, to metal, to hair metal, pop, thrash, big band swing, hip-hop, etc., and not in that order....

But I've grown tired of scoffing when someone brings up something I don't care for....which is a lot. The reasoning for this is that I realize I enjoy and sometimes downright LOVE a lot of music and flicks that many would look down upon as trash. I don't want to go into specifics for there are far too many....

But, I've found myself very much in enjoyment of Jean Claude Van Damme's recent work....before you laugh, see "JCVD", "Until Death" or "In Hell". Watch "Assassination Games"....besides the machismo, there's a story, and true emotion there... You may be surprised.

I'm unapologetic about my love for the Knack. Many hate them. Their loss. Some would call me a nerd for my love for "Mystery Science Theatre 3000". Oh, well.

I've come to a conclusion, that if a form of entertainment throws a switch somewhere up in that cranium of mine, who am I to deny myself that enjoyment because some of my punk rock fan friends, (and I'm there, as I type this, my Spotify playlist is unleashing the Replacements, Government Cheese, Clockhammer, and Chevelle) and may not dig my love for the song "I Remember You" by Skid Row. Should I be ashamed to love a good Harlan Coben novel, because people I know that dig the existentialist prose frown on that "burger and fries" format? Hey, I also read Elmore Leonard and John Connolly...hip enough for ya?

Fuck That.

Trying to cover my tracks to keep those people I like impressed with my tastes is eventually a futile and tiring affair. I see no point in doing it anymore.

Unless the band you're digging on is Nickelback. Fuck them.

Friday, March 12, 2010

ACHES AND DRAINS

My jaw is killing me from clenching my teeth all day. I don't even realize that I'm doing it, until I'm safely in the womb of my car surrounded by the amniotic fluid of Replacements, Nirvana, Norah Jones, or Big Star. Once I relax, the ache sets in. Feels like I was popped in the side of the head.

My feet are killing me from repeatedly kicking myself in the ass. Come to think of it, they hurt from continuously shooting myself in them, too. There's blood everywhere.
I can see the floor through the holes.

The car door creaks when I open it as I get out to go to work. Come to think of it, my knees creak too, my shoulder pops. My toes crack as the pressure of walking exerts it's force downward onto my feet. I haven't recovered from yesterday yet.

My ears rush, the sound of blood as well as the static side effect of my anti-depressants. It's all a lot of minor bullshit that adds up to an intense desire to get home.

That's really what my one and only goal is in this day and age, this fog-bank ridden state of mind I'm in......

Home.

Stronger than any prescription...

Home.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Breakfast with Asshole

Dana stumbled into Wallace's place feeling the need to puke and the absolute desire to repress it. Hungry and nauseous at the same fucking time. Did anyone else go through this shit? He rubbed his chin scruff and crawled into the nearest booth. He did not remove his sunglasses, for that would be impossible and suicidal. It was too Goddamn bright in here.

His corneas would melt.

Wallace's looked like one of those 50's theme diners with the red vinyl cushy seats in the booths and a mini-jukebox on the menu side of the formica table tops. It wasn't themed though. Nothing had changed since the mid 60's. Same old Sinatra, Bill Haley, and Frankie Valli records in the jukes, they just didn't work anymore. Duct tape abounded on the seats everywhere. Dog-eared menus that needed replacing were tucked haphazardly between the jukes and the antique sugar holders. Wallace was either lazy or a cheapskate, but damn, if the food wasn't good.

This was absolutely without a doubt the worse hangover he had ever experienced. The liquor was flowing a little too smoothly last night and without restraint, as it always did when he was nervous as social gatherings. As a direct result, Dana lost roughly the last two hours of the last evening's gala. No big deal, typically, but he was in the hopeful process of trying to restart something. A relationship he had kinda botched (kinda was a kind way of putting it) three years ago, and was unable to leave in the past. Racing, nah, nix that, careening toward 25, he felt it was time to get his love life in some semblance of an order.

So that brings him to Wallace's diner on an explosively bright Sunday morning.
Waiting for Perry.

Against his better judgment, he ordered a small stack of pancakes and some sausage and prayed for the best. Perry had just swung through the door and sat opposite Dana in the booth, who didn't see him, because Dana's face, glasses on, was buried in his palms. He looked up as the exhale of air from Perry's ass compressing the archaic cushion surface of the booth seat, defying the laws of physics, blew it's 50 years of smell history over the table top and straight into Dana's face.

Yeesh, Murphy's Law appears to apply ten fold when hung over. He gagged quietly.

Perry flashed Dana a blinding smile and wink as he gave him the "hold on a minute" index finger gesture and began flirting with the waitress that had just sidled up to the table upon Perry's entrance. Propositioning and ordering O.J. at the same time. Smooth as asshole yogurt. Dana sighed behind the shades. Put on hold by his best friend, only no muzak to listen to while boiling in the murk of impatience. He ran his hands from his forehead through his long brown bangs, and sighed again. Damn it.

Here in the early AM waiting to discuss what happened last night with Perry. Good old Perry, Dana's best friend since the third grade, when he stepped into a dispute with Sal Amato and beat his ass for Dana. He'll never forget the relentlessness Perry flashed in that fight some 13 years ago. It took Dana a full two minutes to pull him off of Amato's shocked and bloodied face. Dana's own shock was quickly turned to dismay when he saw the jacknife Amato had pulled laying next to him on the ground.

Dana never saw it come out, Perry did.

Ever since, inseparable.

Perry was good looking in a roguish way. The waitress he was speaking to was obviously appreciative of that. Right now he was wearing a black Pittsburgh Ben Roethlisberger jersey that made his medium length blonde locks blonder, and jeans. Somehow he made that simple shit work. Jerseys were complimentary on a 6'3 frame, and the smile always rounded out the look. The soft appearance and wry smile didn't associate well with the sometimes cocky and hardened soul contained within. Perry wasn't the best at matters of the heart.

Or heart on the sleeve, in Dana's case.

Finally, Perry's dick in check, and the waitress' phone number scrawled firmly on the back of the receipt, Perry winked at her, said his goodbyes , and turned his attention the hung over and near death Dana Felder.

"Doesn't look too good, does he? The weary drinker, beaten and nauseated comes to this loooooooooowly state." Perry said in his best Darrin McGavin from "A Christmas Story" voice. Dana couldn't believe this. Perry was enjoying this shit! Now he would continue. "He's a mere shell of himself, and one has to ask, the age old question, 'does he deserve to live?'"

"Fuck you, Smartass", snapped back Dana, with absolutely no life behind it.
"Witty repartee! A smidge bitchy today, aren't we? Surely a side-effect of the Screwdriver bath you took last night. Damn it, I forgot to order a Coke."
"Fuck You." Dana uttered, with a mild purring groan. The world was on fire.
"Now I'm concerned. Redundancy is a sure sign of it.", said Perry with mock overinterest. He was displaying cocked eyebrows, and "Person in Thought" goatee rubbing.
"Of what?" Dana said exhaustedly. "I hate fuckin' games.", he breathed, rubbing his temples.
"Repressed homosexuality brought out by binge drinking."
Dana stared at Perry for a long time before raising his sunglasses over the top of his head.

"Funny cocksucker, aren't you?" Dana scolded. "If you have nothing to bring to this table, I'm going to have to ask you to leave." Dana windedly sputtered between gasps of air. He was now performing the breathing technique you do when trying to avoid vomiting.

"Are you going to puke before or after you drag me out by my scruff?" asked Perry with a precocious grin.
Dana was winded and emotionally exasperated. "Come on, man, cut me some slack, I'm dying here." he muttered through his dried lips and flushed face. As he spoke his begging proclamation, sweat began to run into his eyes, causing them to burn, and in turn, tear up.

Perry stiffened up, scowled, and said, "Alright, I'm serious as a heart attack, man. What's the matter?"


TO BE RESUMED///