Chasing Ghosts

Chris and I were recording music last Friday for the new album and attempted to chase down some ghosts. That is to say when I hear music in my head, it doesn’t always sound like the music that is coming out of my guitar. I will fiddle with the instrument attempting to figure out the elusive notes.

I always thought I was strange when I heard music that isn’t actually there. But it turns out Chris hears the ghost sounds too. He said that he’ll spend hours tracking down a ghost sound. Sometimes, he’ll succeed and others — the melody will always be a ghost. When I write music, my experience is the same. I wonder if the great composers are able to chase down the ghost every time.

Ghost music is not a new occurrence in my life. I’ve always had songs in my head. Even sometimes out of my head. I remember being at my friends house and participating in a drum circle. I could swear that I heard flute music playing in the back ground. Only drummers were at this event. No one had snuck a flute into the ceremony. I thought it was merely the ghost music. But afterwards, everyone was thanking the spirits for the accompaniment. I was blown away that other people heard it too.

I’ve always loved science and science fiction. But there has always been the mystical side of me — the musical side of me. I think that’s why I love the stories that Chris and I are writing through the music. It’s a marriage of art and science. With that, I leave you with a music video Chris and I made this weekend. For the science folks out there, yes, I understand that the sun will not naturally go super nova. However, I want to say there is a reason why the sun is going super nova in our album. That reason will be revealed in the third album Anomaly.

Enjoy the video:

15 Terrible Ideas For Theme Parties

Some bros

Women are more likely to go to parties with a theme. Liven that "sausage fest" with a creative motif!

1. Get all your white friends to celebrate Black History Month by dressing like their favorite historical figure. Make sure to invite only one black guy.

2. STD themed singles event.

3. A Jane Austin style dance party at a college fraternity. Bystanders will at least be amused.

4. Dance, Dance, Danza! With Tony Danza.

5. A washed up actor themed party with the real actors playing themselves. Invite one successful actor to see what happens.

6. School of the deaf. Rock Band party. Awesome.

7. A cat themed party! With hundreds and hundreds of real cats. Crazy cat ladies need to party too.

8. Stephen Hawking’s Dance Dance Revolution Extravaganza!

9. A Hell House… any Hell House.

10. A WOW raid with Leroy Jenkins and a Yorkie dressed as a giant spider.

11. Internet meme costume party in an elderly assisted living community.

12. Guns and Alcohol: a theme for any occasion.

13. Chuck Norris beating a dead horse and the crap out of the internet meme party.

14. What ever happened to Roman style vomitoriums? Those people knew how to party.

15. The bring a creepy older date to Prom theme!

Jeepers, It’s The Cops!

I felt like I was in a 1940’s gangster flick:

Me: You’ll never catch me coppers! I ain’t coming out alive!

Cop: That’s not a gun sir.

Me: It’s a baseball bat!

Cop: It’s a tea cup.

Me: I’ll burn you!

Cop: The tea looks lukewarm.

Me: I might short out your radio. Huh? Ever think of that?

Cop: Get on the ground sir.

But seriously, the cops really did enter my house last Friday. The dramatization above was merely the figment of an over active imagination. The police at my door was an interaction of shock, surprise, and feeling rather silly. My wife and I were watching the British version of Being Human while sipping on some tea when the doorbell frantically rang. I opened the door and Albuquerque Police Department’s finest was standing off to the side in the shadows (the way they stand when they expect the door to burst open guns a blazing).

Freak Out!

This sums up my reaction. Or a special day in the park with a sack lunch. I'm not sure which.

The police officer steps into the light and I realize that it’s not a home invasion. He tells me that they received a call about someone vomiting blood at my residence and asks if his partner and him can come in. I invite them in. With all the vampire shows I watch, you figure I should have asked for some ID first. As my wife points out, they could have been home invaders dressed as the cops. Lesson learned. I’ll be asking for ID in the future.

So they turn out not be home invaders or vampires but really cops. They ask me if anyone else is home and I tell him, “My wife.” At which point my wife comes into the living room holding the dog. Keep in mind this is the dog that furiously barks at anyone who even thinks about walking down the sidewalk. Now that strangers are in the house, he is quaking in his mom’s arms. Yes, he is such a cute fuzzy fierce little warrior.

They ask my wife, “Are you vomiting blood?” She tells them no and then he asks to look through the rest of the house. Luckily enough, I decided to stop growing opium, freed the human trafficking victims, and took down the meth lab that morning. His partner, who seemed like a rookie, stood there awkwardly after checking the coat closet. Because you know, when someone vomits blood at my house, I put them in the coat closet. It keeps the room clean. After checking the house, they find no one (Though that would be freaky if they did). Embarrassed by the situation, they radio in the error talking in police code and leave us to our tea.

Seriously though, I didn’t mind what happened. If someone really was vomiting blood, I really would want them to come in and check it out. They were just doing their job and they didn’t break down the door or anything. The weird part is this is the second false alarm called to my house. The fire department came a month or two ago looking for a fire that wasn’t at my house. Although when someone rings the doorbell, I usually don’t answer it. Personally, I hate talking to door to door solicitors. Glad that I decided to answer it or the night would have been very different.  Though I should have offered them some tea. I can picture it now: the four of us sipping tea while watching a show about a vampire, werewolf, and ghost roommates.

Eat, Drink and Be Larry

All this Hamlet The Vampire Slayer happenings makes me nostalgic for the Eat, Drink and Be Larry days. The days when doing the fine art of theatre involved dressing up like Yoda:

Yoda

Emperor Palpatine goes to a used clone army salesman

I always find comedy to be fascinating in that it’s always part of the fringe.  For example, there is a theatre group in Albuquerque called Tricklock (the gentleman in the hat on the right is a member). They are internationally known, bring in acts from Europe and likewise take shows there.

Eat, Drink, and Be Larry’s closest connection to Europe was a German guy sent us a film for our tiny little film festival at the Guerrilla Tango (the now defunct theatre where we did the later half of our shows). We got so excited; we changed the name from The First Guerrilla Tango Film Festival to The First International Guerrilla Tango Film Festival. Which of course is a silly act because of our singular foreign film.

For us comics, we were sort of the bastard step children of the stage world. Most people look at a show as method to express emotions, political beliefs, or abstract intellectual ideas. We looked at it as a way for Dracula to give his three female vampires a full grown man wearing a diaper in parody of the Francis Ford Coppola’s baby eating Dracula.

Eat, Drink and Be Larry

The Eat, Drink and Be Larry crew

We really couldn’t take anything seriously. In fact, writing sketches was fueled by people that took themselves way to seriously. I remember a series of sketches I wrote about Steve from Blue Clues investigating really heinous murders with the same doofy kids show gusto. So maybe we did take comedy very seriously. The premise must seem like it’s real in order to be funny. But since the end result is silly, comedy stays on the fringe.

Sketch acts aren’t looking for prestige because there is little be had in late night theatre where Ophelia drowns herself in a bowl of water. But we are looking for that connection with the audience. A well crafted joke can create a moment shared by an entire a room full of people. For a brief period of time, the comic is connected with everyone in a emotional event that can be only described as joy. The performer and audience alike become part of an experience greater than themselves. The allure of comedy is being part of that fringe.