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FEBRUARY 2008   - Cherish The Dharma

Wed 27 Feb 200 MGCK Music    "... song to the lone wolf...

LAST NIGHT: Saw 'There Will Be Blood'  - for the second time - first time with my sister weekend before last, this time with JM.  He loved it.  I love the process the story describes.  The building of something from such complete out there 'scratch'.  Scrabbling your way up some kind of strange chain of desperate effort, fateful events, deliberation: using all of your skills to the max. i.e having the smarts to know how to make the most of every opportunity.  (I was never that smart.)  It's a story of hungry people: 'wild-catters' and the last of the independents.  MIiler said two things after seeing it: 'Those were the days. You could DO things. Now everything's sewed up,"  and of the Daniel Plainview character, 'He made everything happen.'  That's it in a nutshell.

Here's to all the lone wolves and  hungry Northern Californian gulls out there... This one almost took my arm off!  .. 

[ photo courtesy 'moi' - Mendocino coast Dec 06.]


Sat 23 Feb 200 MGCK Music    "... I got stoned...

and I missed it..."

GAZ DEATH @ The Word on Thurs, 21 Feb.  I had it down for Fri 22nd in my diary.  Oh well....Gaz used to MC the Pirhana Poetry nights at The Holyrood Tavern and host the Edinburgh SLAMS.  I loved the Pirhana Poetry and became a regular to most events.  Even got up once or twice and read my own verse.  He moved down to Weston Super-mere(?) or somewhere far far away and Edinburgh lost a bright light.  [my favourite is Coke Addiction]

A lot of lights going out lately.  A dearth of live music venues.  A 'cooling' scene... a bit like an ancient planet.  First it's boiling hot.. on fire and slowly, slowly, over time it cools, until it's nothing but dead rock in space.  The Edinburgh Council contributes to this artistic cooling of the Edinburgh scene.  Lots of 'development' of new, expensive, residential property in the city centre, leads to less space for vibrant, spontaneous, community... more complaints, fewer clubs, less live music...  almost NO places for people to just 'be' without permission.  Not in a bourgeois society.   Dundee is a different story.  Dundee is boiling hot at the moment.  Pumping out more bands than you can shake a stick at.  I'm very proud my occasional partners on stage, ALTRES, are a Dundee band.

There are other ways and means:  Here's a quaint-if-true tale of one mans journey from 'code monkey' to modern day 'Geek Star':


[N.B.: 'Rock Star' is a strange archaic phrase.  Whatever happened to REAL Rock Stars?  Guys (and in some cases GALS, like Janis Joplin) who could and WOULD neck 70 bottles of Jack a week, snuffle, truffle and swuffle endless buckets of powders and NOT (that's the key word) NOT even 'dream' of going to 'rehab'... cuz they LOVED IT!!  They LOVED the lifestyle.  Rehabilitation was for cissies and they weren't 'contractually obligated' to be 'straight'.  

Ahhh.. those days are GONE, GONE, GONE, like camel riding.  So, here's to The REAL Rock Stars wherever they may be.. living or dead.  (A Whinehouse is seemingly almost there.  She's got the art, but it's always a 'crisis' with that girl.  She never seems to have any fun.) 

Anyway, the 'code monkey's' version is fair enough..  Bravo to him for saying... "Fuck it... I'd rather take a chance. I'd rather, maybe, be 'broke' than be ashamed."

***Re: A REAL Old-fashioned ROCK STAR.. or just a  'MUSIC GOD':  JM has brought home tickets to Neil Young @ The Playhouse 3rd March.  That gig was SOLD OUT long ago.  So these tickets are greatly appreciated 'reciprocal' gifts from the promoter.   I last saw Neil play at The Shoreline Amphitheatre (Mountain View, really San Jose)... like 10 years ago.  He was kinda NOT on his game that night.  But I am addicted to Harvest Moon: the album we listened to on our drive all up and down from northern California to Arizona to the Mexican border and back, end Dec 06-early Jan 07.  Which makes me kinda lonesome for the road... 

[photo courtesy of James Miller, Dec 06 - near Tombstone, AZ)


Wed 20 Feb 200 MGCK Music    ... An investment tip...


Thereby s more by garbageby on the planet right now than just about anything else.  Garbage can be converted into building materials and clean fuel.  There are smart guys everywhere already getting in on the game. Paying collectors a penny a bottle for plastics and bags and bric a brac from China to Indonesia to the USA.

A film was made of the work of one such resourceful and intrepid fellow entitled Garbage Warrior. I am sad I didnby t see it at last yearby s Film Festival where it won kudos. You can catch a snippet of it here and it's brilliant:



Sun 17 Feb 200 MGCK Music    ... Back to the Dharma

Another day spent in the hills.  Just beautiful... mirror lakes... uh...sorry... lochs.

and the week in retreat at Loch Voil sounds fantastic.  When and if I can.. I will.

This trip, we had lunch in Killin.  Good food.  Lovely fire.    

Beautiful Scotland all around. (and somebody's kid playing in the Falls)

Even the otter looked happy!

(well... maybe not)

on our return to Edinburgh we were greeted by a gloriously RED sunset across The Links


[ photos by Electra Feb 2008 ]


 Wed 13 Feb 200 MGCK Music    ... The Big Question?

I always ask my sister, when she's telling me about some fabulous new acquaintance, with a jet-helicopter and a 32-bedroom'd pad in Surrey, 'how'd they make their money?'  She always says, 'I don't know.  I don't ask."  My very point: 'How did you make your money?' is the most IMPORTANT question you can ask... anyone.  It ranks along the lines of 'how did this meat get to the table?' and 'where was that t-shirt made?'  These are questions about the 'ethical' origins of day to day consumables and they can't stop in deference to 'social' acquaintances.  Someone who's family 'owned a factory' or 'a strip mine' or simply is 'in business'... these vague answers need some investigation.  Did they make their money from stripping animals of their skins 'alive' in China?  Did they make their money from working wage slaves for pennies a week in the Philippines or one of the BRIC countries.  Did they make their money the old-fashioned way, from using British and Irish slaves in the Victorian Satanic Mills and now have generations of accrued wealth safely scattered across a portfolio of other unethical investments?  Are they shareholders?  And if so, in what?  And if you find out the details and the details are 'unethical' and grisly, what's your response going to be?  To suck up and hope you can get on board or to diss them completely?  These are very important questions.  And your answers are a reflection of your hopes for the world you live in.  By 'accepting' unethical behaviour in the background of a thing or a person, you accept it in the here and now and into the future.


Mon 11 Feb 200 MGCK Music    ... 10 out of 10

to The Independent for printing my letter to the Editor re Henry Conway (Derek Conway's errant boy) in yesterday's Independent on Sunday:  They pared it down to the essentials, but still.. I'm very pleased it was in there.  It went something like this:

""There's nothing remarkable about Henry Conway, and Peter York's 'Anthony Blanche' parallel ("A whole new chapter in the history of Sloanes" 3 Feb) falls far short of the extraordinary 'Brideshead' character, who was as soulfully cultivated as he was sadly corrupted.  I admit I am baffled by 'new money'.  It stinks to high heaven, the same as 'old money', and is earned the same old way: off the backs of wages slaves everywhere.  Electra""  

They have an entire 'Message Board' section of the page devoted to other brief notes from readers on the Derek Conway rip-off scandal.  In my letter I had used the words 'thief', 'dipper', 'con-artist' and something about being hung.  Perhaps a bit strong... but is it?... Really?  Why is it 'ok' to cheat, lie, and steal from the 'public'.. from the tax payer?  It gives me the impression, in the inimitable words of Eli Wallach in The Magnificent Seven:  "If God had not meant them to be sheared, he would not have made them sheep."  I guess that's how they see us.

And Amy Winehouse's hit 'REHAB' stole a Grammy for 'Song of the Year'...  That's got to be an insider's joke.  I didn't know they gave Grammies for winks and nods.  You learn something new every day.   Whatever happened to songs like 'Moon River'... songs about looking for love.. songs about longing... songs about finding your soul-mate... songs about marching in the streets and 'What's Goin' On'...   Whatever happened to ''MEANING'.   It seems (to borrow one of Aleister Crowley's better-known quotes) to be "conspicuous in it's absence."


Sat 9 Feb 200 MGCK Music    ... Cherish The Dharma

Yesterday, we took a dear friend up to a Taoist retreat, situated on 16 acres of rolling hillside by Loch Voil.  Ideal for seeking inner peace.  She'll be there for a week.  Vegan diet, meditation, yoga, daily chores and sharing.  I am deeply tempted to try it myself.


On the way up the road, we stopped for lunch at a tiny pub called the Lion & Unicorn in a town we never caught the name of. [If I could remember the name of the town, I would recommend the pub.  The food was fresh, un-usual (i.e. NO 'scampi and chips'), local and delicious  - I sipped Sweetheart Stout and (vegetarians and vegans please look away now) enjoyed the most beautiful venison steak served with black pudding and redcurrant sauce.  It was so good... I wanted to fall down on my knees and thank that glorious antlered creature for letting me share in the energy contained within his sacred flesh.]

As we progressed further into the Highlands, we luxuriated in our increasing isolation - no mobile phone signal and few other travellers on the road

and snow on the Trossachs

Once we arrived to the lochside,

 we made new friends

visited an ancient kirk 

and the grave of Rob Roy MacGregor,

and paid respect to others who'd gone after living so long

we said our good-byes and then

headed back down the road...

***  ***  ***

[ photos by Electra Feb 2008]

***  ***  ***


More miscellaneous news about the long mean arm of 'the man'.  The Edinburgh Council has started threatening club owners who 'poster' to promote their events, with the pulling of licenses.  One brave bunch of boys @ THE HIVE have created a bee-yooty of a poster to promote their new multi-genre pre-1am club night every Saturday. They kick off this new buzz FREE FOR ALL on Feb 9th. [You just might see me there, if I'm not attending a 'New Bolsheviks' press party.]


Wed 6 Feb 200 MGCK Music    ... Back to the Owl Town of Austin, TX

I suspect, a number of people will be going to the SXSW Festival this year, with their catalogue of 'You'd look good on the dancefloor' tunes gripped tight under their arms (i.e. available for download) and their live performance honed to a 90by T.  I'm still (foolishly) thinking of going and not only because of the music bizzy elbow rubbing and ass sniffing in that melee of 'wannabeit/wannadoits', or for the list of provocative 'NEW Music Business' discussions that my $550 gives me access to... but simply because of the mystery of Austin and where it fits into the bigger NWO picture.  [If this curiosity persists, I might end up on one of those lists.]

Anyway, for those interested ONLY in the commercial avenues available for their music and haven't received their promo from the Festival:  If you want to bang down your $600 before 8 Feb or pay $650 on the day of arrival (not much of a difference) plus the $1500 airfare - and the hotel in San Antonio (because all 'nice' hotels in Austin are fully booked) and the car hire to make the commute every day or the Greyhound bus or private helicopter, whatever your wallet can afford. Anyway. here's the list of events and topics that will be discussed at the conference.

You can book your place in the scheme of things through their website. www.sxsw.com   Hope to see you there.

---------------- Re the previous day's notes: 

I'm not saying you should run out and attend the next Alex Jones conference you hear about.  Because, clearly, if you do... well... you'll be photographed... and photographed... and PHOTOGRAPHED!...and photographed again...and again.. and maybe followed home and maybe 'watched' and then... maybe.... end up on one of those 'lists' we were talking about.

Alex Jones tells a brilliant, shocking and TRUTHFUL tale, but it's uncertain exactly what his role in the revelation is.  Is he part fishing lure, part radio shock-jock, part 'entrapper'? I mean.. let's just investigate it.  If the FBI, the CIA, the NSI or the FU2 wanted to get ALL the 'subversives'... all the political dissidents in America, i.e. all those 'bad people', into one room... who would they employ to give a lecture???

So that's enough about Alex... next I'll get to Naomi Wolf and The Ten-Steps-To-Tyranny but that can be tomorrow or the next day.  That's a HEAVY topic.

So..... yes, indeed, anyway.....      Back to the Owl town of Austin.



Sun 3 Feb 200 MGCK Music    ... Venice can wait

Yesterday, I was watching an Alex Jones lecture that we'd videoby d off the television in our hotel room in Austin last June.  In that disturbing 45 minutes, a compact volume of essential information is imparted, if not immediately digestible. Itby s like by Everything you Re-al-ly Need to Know, but would probably Rather Notby , or just by The Concise & Complete by Best ofby Alex Jonesby .  'Itby s all there, and affords you the opportunity to by get itby and understand it, even if you're not entirely willing to take the by comfort blinkersby off. (Though how anyone could be comfortable at this point in the proceedings, I donby t know.)

The most disturbing portion of the understanding that splats on your windscreen, is the fact that you and yours and every other living thing on this planet are simply collateral to be bought and sold by the big banks, all by assetsby and slowly, step by by Ten-Steps-to-Tyrannyby step, youby re being stripped of the abilities to defend against it (them, by The Manby ), or to even support what you ever thought you believed in, i.e. that America is a Constitutional Republic, with 'Due Process' and that we are protected by tenets set out by our founding fathers and that WE, The People, ARE the Power!!

[[Great Britain has itby s own problems and history of cynical class system annihilation of any such by powerby , so I canby t discuss what goes on by hereby on this tiny dark island. Not without upchucking or having some other ugly explosion of irrepressible bodily fluids.]]

When you wake up or by come toby , and realise, you are not by the powerby any more and whateverby s left is being taken away (if itby s not already chivvied out the back door) well, yes, it makes you angry.  The understanding of codes of living and how they're being built or breached makes you angry. Makes by oneby angry. Makes ME angry! [It also makes me by bad companyby at dinner parties and other casual soirees and get-togethers, because I KNOW the message is too important and simply canby t talk about anything else. ]

On top of that, you wake up at 4am every morning thinking about these things.  You canby t sleep because you know itby s going on, all around: the inevitable, inching forward in a constantly pressured, potentially irreversible (in our lifetime) wave: The big plans for globalisation, for the New World Order. The BIG tsunami coming to wash your life into line.

So this, currently, is my state.  And I had a dream last night.  In the dream, I was going to the SXSW Conference (just received my by last chance to sign up for the conference' promo in the mail on Friday and isnby t it funnyby Austin is the by capitalby of Texas. The city with the by Owlby building and cited as one of the 'points on the grid' of New World Order operations) and I was reading the list of discussion topics set out for the 5-day event.  One of the discussion points was something about the absolute negativity of political messages in music, or cagily put, some subtext about 'politicised music' being an obvious by no-noby as it by doesnby t sellby .  But the actual understanding behind this dream message was that political music is completely proscribed by the powers that be.  They want you listening to angry young songs about how shit things are, looking good on the dance-floor and gettinby rat-arsed.  They want you to know everythingby s fucked, but think thereby s nothing to do about it.  They don't want songs like by you wonby t believe weby re on the Eve of Destructionby by snapping you out of the daydream.  So I may hammer and yammer at the point, but at 4am this morning a thought came to me and I wrote it down in the dark.

'In times of Martial Law, opinion is the first thing that will be outlawed, so the most important thing to voice is your opinion.'

And itby s true. Music is a great place to start, if you're a musician, but apart from that, there's BLOGGING. 

Blogging, the apparently excessive, pointless, umbilicus-staring practice of potting your opinions in every available bit of fallow internet space, so that others can stumble across them or be directed to them by chance, is being poo-pooby d heavily as a source of misinformation, a danger to genuine fact-finding journalism and, most fundamentally, a pointless waste of time by those doing it and those subjected to reading it.  You donby t have to visit specific sites on the internet and you donby t have to read anybodyby s blogs. [Not yet anyway.] 

So enjoy your freedom 'to choose' while you can, because SOME DAY SOON, it will be mandatory to get ALL OF YOUR INFORMATION, i.e news from subscribed sites on the net and it will be mandatory to conduct all of your personal life,  and banking and business across the internet, where all of your activities can be monitored and logged on a daily basis. The chip inserted in the skin under your watchband is next.  Be-CAUSE who knows where you MIGHT BE and what you MIGHT BE DOING when you're NOT on the INTERNET!!!?

So... anyway... Believe me... I'm not done yet.  This is the intro to a new month... and I've got a lot to say.  It may be ALL I say all month long.. so let me run with it.


And as with every new month... I'll be retiring an 'old' month.. Probably May-June 2005 - California Dreaming..... 


If you're looking for LAST MONTH's stuffgo to: JANUARY 08 -

Still smokin'!!!! 


  BE THERE...... or BE SOMEWHERE ELSE!  If you don't know how.. take lessons


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