Raw Listening


A thousand years from now, when the archeologists of the future are shifting though the rumble trying to trace the origins of what contributed to downfall of human society. I wonder what they may find. I think one of those factors will be one that many feel is “benign” cause. It will be the increased use of Purell and the notion that everything needs to be “sanitized” in order to protect the masses. Physically, it is probably not helping to build up people’s immune systems. The other side effect is the “mentality” that is being built behind it. Nothing points it out more that most of the music being played on the radio. I am tired of auto-tuned and music edited to a technical precision that is “sanitized” in a way not to offend but also not to be very significant either in the long run.

I like raw music. I like reverb, distortion and feedback. I do not want the singer to necessarily be pitch perfect. I want hear and feel the “passion and the pleas.”


Husker Du was a band of “melody tapered with noise”. This was the sound that would be part of the basis of the Alternative/ Grunge music of the early 90’s. Zen Arcade released in 1984 was also for its time a double album. It song structure lyrically was a story of man going through a metaphysical journey through America in a dream state. It is hard to summarize “concept albums” in real precise turns.

Husker Du was one the early American Hardcore punk bands. However, they did everything musically on this album to defy the “definitions” of being labeled in those terms.

The music that breaks out and has long term impact is always going to go to the “risk takers”.

This is the song that starts the album off. A loud and raw declaration of what is about to come.


And the instrumental that closes the album.



Would the Grunge sound every have happened without the early works of Neil Young? Especially being back by Crazy Horse.

I saw a sitcom episode where they made fun of his voice as the sound of “cat being straggled”. However, it is the imperfections that make you take notice of a person. He has that “unique” voice. He still has that passion in the voice and through the lyrics.


People need to get pass album sales charts and radio airplay. It is the worse “metric” at the moment for judging merit and endurance for an artist.


Do yourself a favor that some time to go through the archives of music.

I have a memory of time when I had a friend who owned a record store. He bought used CD’s all the time. But he refused to buy back most of the “pop music” of the time. I remember one day he got into an argument with a customer who wanted to trade in a Michael Bolton CD. He refused to buy it back and questioned why the guy even bought in the first place. But back to the used CD’s we open them up and play random selections all the time and debate their merits. The new CD’s came sealed so we could not do the same thing with them.

Real treasures need to some digging about to find.

Don’t fear getting a bit “dirty”.




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In No Particular Order



I get thoughts.

I ponder.

I pose questions.

Here are the latest.


Are there any Zen Buddhist swear words? Or euphemisms?

I do not understand why there are people who need to expend their energy on being an Internet Troll? Is there any documented proof this breed has EVER posted anything that has had a profound effect?

We need to bring back the “Spectacle” of the Glory Days of the Roman Coliseum. Who does not like a Lion Show? However, this time the “Bait” will be Internet Trolls. And PETA will finally have a complaint I could get behind. It will go like this:

You are feeding the tigers a food source that is the equivalent of potato chips. Internet Trolls are basically junk food fueled basement dwellers.  Internet Trolls are not known for their exercising habits. They are lethargic blobs of fat and grease. They are for the most part truly “Empty Calories”. As evident by their appearance. And mentally as proven by their postings. Also they are not giving the lions enough exercise either. They are for the most part truly “Empty Calories”. The lions do not even need to run or get their heart beats up to catch them. There is the danger of these lions are being breed and trained to be “couch potatoes” themselves.


Now on to other dietary habits. I think Vegetarians are people who think every day should be “Lent”. A season not really known for its “humor”. I also find it hard to find one with a sense of humor either. Or one who can see the humor and the irony in the question, “Would you eat an animal cracker?” Only to get the answer from one of them, “It all depends on what the ingredients are and how it is made.”

If you have “Faith in Humanity” why do believe so much in “Politics”?

I believe Cable Stations should be honestly named and required to hold on to that. MTV should be playing music. The Learning Channel should be actually teaching. The History Channel should be documenting actual historical achievements.

The Real World has absolutely nothing in common with the actual “real world. I do not care about a family with beards and duck calls. It pains me to know that by default I can recognize what a “Honey Boo Boo” is. And it is more of a “what” than a “who”. The only time a storage unit is interesting is when “dead bodies” are found in it. If a food dish has more than five different ingredients in it, the chances of me actually cooking it goes down. I do not know why people go on to “competition shows” to be screamed at by a British person? All “Make-Over Shows” should be based on what the person can actually afford to “maintain” when the show and their crew leaves. Those types of shows only really encourage “jealousy and envy”. And those leads to a lot of ads “creams and pills” that promise better “endowments”.








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The Impending Raccoon Uprising

Yes, you read the title right.



I have very busy lately. And late at night when I am trying to “wind down” I have been watching nature documentaries streaming on Netflix. I just want to be somehow “informed” without being filled up with “angst and anxiety” which is the point of late night news and long range weather forecasts.



I watched Raccoon Nation. It is about how raccoons are increasing their numbers in urban areas. Toronto, Canada according to this is the “Raccoon Kingdom of the World”. Plus, they have made headways into Germany and Japan because there was time when people there thought they would make great pets. Which we all know is the premise to many horror films.

In this episode, the wild life experts are thinking that this urban living for them is making them “smarter”. No garbage can technology will be able to stop them.

If the Star Trek series has taught us anything that today’s “science fiction” is tomorrow’s “innovation”. I also know that scientist love to “play” I mean “experiment” with things. Especially the “Fuzzy Ones”. Once again the science fiction films tend to have the message “The Experiment is going to Fail.” Read the Michael Crichton books if you are not sure.

I do not believe in the Planet of the Apes scenario just based on the number of gorillas that currently exist in the world. Nor do I believe there will be The Walking Dead
Scenario either. However, about every four years I think there might be the possibility of it. When this country lines up in rows of two behind the “Elephant” or the “Donkey” and both sides repeat the same 3-5 “Talking Points”. However, it is a bunch of yelling over each other on the level of “I know you are but what am I.”

After seeing Guardians of the Galaxy, the game of “Raccoon Evolution” may make a scientist try to help it along.


But whatever happens.

Please. Do Not Arm the Squirrels.


Do not let them fool you. Someday, they will become the “Al-Qaeda” of the Wild Kingdom.

Sure, they are cute with that fuzzy tail. But turn your back on them and they rip up your garden and throw pine cones at you.

Can we at least learn something from the last 30 years of conflict in Afghanistan?

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Blood Simple

I am renewing my interest in low budget movies. Also the first movies made by certain filmmakers. I am interested in their “starting points”. I want to see what they did “creatively” when they did not have a deep checkbook to draw from. These are the types of movies I need to learn more from as I move forth with my own endeavors.

I know everyone is streaming most of their movie viewing. However, there are titles not available that way at the moment. So for me it is worth the cost.

I had this movie in the Netflix DVD queue for a while.

It is the first movie by the Coen Brothers.

If you like their movies then you should make sure to see this. I do not know why it took me so long.

This movie is a great example of modern day film noir.

There is the influence of Alfred Hitchcock with the slow buildup of suspense and that slight twist when it is finally delivered.

Too many times in films (especially “Thrillers”) the opening act is “over spent” explaining the details and motivations of all the characters.

Coen Brothers drop you right into the story. You know “something is happening but what it is; is not exactly clear.” So you better just pay attention.

They slowly build up their story. It is methodical. Example, watch for the roadside of the farm field scene.

Another one from the movie had me saying “Look under the fish.” More than once.

Plus, the actor M. Emmet Walsh just brings it anytime you see him in a movie.

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A reminder from the book The Good Creative by Paul Jarvis

“Chapter 2: Share Your Ugly Process”




I have been slowly reading my way through a collection of Ray Bradbury short stories. In the beginning of the book he writes about how occurrences in his life lead him to turn it into a story. And maybe this is a method I need to explore and experiment more with in the future. My current circumstances have to be material for something.


However, there is always something.

Right now I have to paint an apartment unit to hopefully get rented soon. An unrented apartment at the moment limits the finances of what I can get done with upkeep of the place. So right now there is “holding pattern” going on.

I also hate painting. It is a lonely, slow and monotonously boring work to do. And after 8 hours of painting, I have to do a second coat on the whole unit. Plus I have to do all the painting of the trim work still which probably is another 4-6 hour process alone. So I am a bit pissed off.

And when I am doing this work hearing the phrase from people, “Are you having fun yet?”

How do I explain it to people? When I am working on boring shit alone my mind seems to go into “hyper drive”. There are lot of ideas and insights flowing. I cannot write them down. I wish I could hire a person to sit in the room just to be a stenographer for my thoughts. Afterwards, when I am done painting and I see that blank sheet on the notepad. And all I can do is draw a blank. I get even madder.

Plus, the project of decluttering my own apartment has been put on the back burner. I really wish I had someone to trade “Offense and Defense” with to conquer this. But here there is no division of labor to be had here.


Trying to explain this is a waste of time and energy.


“What did I say to you?” is the phrase that if I had a dime every time I said this lately would actually allow me to afford the fore mentioned stenographer.

Plus, how I get people to understand that getting this out the way will help with the writing and reading time?

Especially, when they do not even notice the results of that time when they happen.



This is how it has been going (in a nutshell)

Other person: “I don’t understand what you are doing?”

Me: “Why don’t you ask questions?”

Other person: “Because I don’t want to know.”

Me: “Have you seen my hammer?”

And I will not go on the issue of “returning phone calls” or “How many times have I given you my cell number?”



I am not going into the Robin Williams story. However, before the news came about him that day. I was listening to Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast in which he was interviewing the comedian Bob Newhart. They were having a discussion of his albums that cane out between about 1958 and 1963. And at the end, he attached Bob’s bit about “What if Abraham Lincoln had an agent?” It still worked. So I went and downloaded one of his albums. I wanted to start with the first one. However, I had to actually order the CD version of his first album The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart. So I had to start listening to him with the second album The Button-Down Mind Strikes Back because it was available for download at that moment.

This was the clip that later day would become a strange coincidence.





I don’t think there are people who want to be “talked down” for the ledge.

The Media Outlets demonstrate daily that “Talk is cheap”.

Rather, they want to be “Listen To” in order to get away from that ledge.

Engaging can be a more valuable service.

But for now I have laundry to do.


And to close with another reminder.


Posted in Human St(r)ain, Listening To, The Mind Wanders | Leave a comment