Greetings From The Crack Palace

2017 was a rough year for me. One reason being the band I’d played with for 18 years fell apart and burst into flames.

When I brought all my gear home from our rented studio, it had nowhere to go except the living/dining room.

“Use it or lose it” I thought about all the real estate it took up, and began recording what became this album.

I’m not going into what else made it a difficult year, all I can say is making this music is what kept me from having a nervous breakdown. No exaggeration.

It’s my personal blues.

I have vivid memories of mowing the lawn when I was 13, in 1970, while daydreaming of someday having a recording studio and creating music by playing all the instruments like my hero Paul McCartney. The only problem being I didn’t know how to play anything except school band trumpet. It’s taken me 48 years to get here.

My plan was to make an ambient record, but it went where it wanted to. All I could do was hang on for dear life and ride it out. A few tracks come close.

At various times I play: Electric and acoustic 6 & 12 string guitars, “Loog” guitar, octave mandolin, bass, fretless bass, Vietnamese moon lute (Dan Nguyet), autoharp, bass pedals, Hammond organ, mellotron, piano, toy piano, glockenspiel, strings, modular synthesizers, rhythm machines, Drums, Gongs, bongos, conga, hand claps, sleighbells, misc percussion, trumpet, mellophone, sound effects, loops, samples, and a church pipe organ.

It’s all instrumental. It’s probably better that I didn’t put anything into words or it would have been rather dark.

I think of these as sound paintings.

Here’s the first video “single”:

Free Throw (Unsalted Peanuts)

And here’s another possibility:

Cut To The Chase

I had a band in North Carolina in the late ’80’s named The Crack. We rehearsed at my house, which we dubbed The Crack Palace. All my home studios have been called that ever since.

It was during my Crack years I became known as Baby Jesus.

I liked to introduce the band from stage:

“Over here on bass, we have Thumbs, on cello, Killer, On vocals we have Cousin Daisy, and Golden Throat, behind me on drums is, The Black Stallion, and I’m Baby Jesus”.

When I moved to Jersey City, and formed what would become Foglizard, “Buzz” was added because I usually had one.

I finished “CLOSE INC” last week and knew this chapter was complete.

2018 is a vast improvement so far.

Download:

Greetings From The Crack Palace

Chula Vista 8:46 AM

 

Originally captured with cell on 8/25/09.

It’s been too long since the last post, and I’m sorry about that. Instead I’ve been finishing up this painting, video and music. I originally bought the domain to host a webpage for my art, but instead I started the music blog. I’ve posted this on all the usual social networks, and introduced it by saying, “Sorry it’s been so long since the last one. Life takes interesting twists and turns.” Like starting a blog.

I created the music for the video. I’m a better painter than musician, so it’s my main thing, although both muses fight for my attention. I’m in the process of putting together a show of the first paintings completed after a fifteen year break.
The webpage is next. After a couple more paintings.

The videos were initially an afterthought, but have become integral to my process. There is always the moment, after I’ve sketched it quickly in yellow, magenta, and blue, that I wish I could stop and be satisfied with it. I almost regret the first brushstrokes afterwards, which are usually starting to paint the sky. With the video that moment, and many others are preserved.
Another opportunity for the painting to further explain itself.

The file was too large to host, so here it is on YouTube:

Or Vimeo:

Chula Vista 8:46 AM