Archive for the ‘weird’ Category

Travelers of Tyme present: “DC Metro” a new single for $1

January 25, 2011
  • This single that is a tribute to the Washington D.C. metro supports the efforts of the Travelers to create a full-length and go boldly where no band has gone before. Available in most elite formats from $1→WhatYouChooseToGive! 

    Originally entered into the Washington Post Metro-Music contest. The B-side got 2nd place and attributed oddly to John Yaya! (fr0d.net/dcwin) Keeping the mystery alive in 2011!

    DOWNLOAD CONTAINS: Desktop backgrounds of cover art to adorn your computational device!

1.
2.
Picture it: a lonesome subterranean train platform. A balding man in a rumpled black suit stands, waiting, anxiously checking his watch, too often. He rocks on his heels. His train is late, so very late. And what is his final destination? Not one of us can answer that with any certainty, can we? So we might as well be patient. (Just don’t tell that to the Waiting Man. Our secret…) 

An empty train arrives – but it’s not the Waiting Man’s train. As the doors open, they unfold in slow motion as a beautiful brunette in a crisp pant suit emerges like a swan from a swirling gray mist. She seems not to walk but to hover, gliding across the platform, a gorgeous spectre existing beyond Tyme and space. With a wink and a slight smile to the Waiting Man, she mounts the escalator and is carried into an unknown fog above. What is her final destination? Who can say? Perhaps she has already arrived!

As for the Waiting Man, his train is still running late. And it always will be.

ALWAYS.

▲ ▲ ▲

The Travelers of Tyme present “Misty Businesswoman” b/w “Last Train to Limbo,” 2 songs constructed using sound samples of the Washington DC Metrorail. Whether you are waiting, in transit, or have already arrived at your destination, this music is specially designed to enhance your travel experience.

Thank you for spending six minutes and fifty-five seconds with us. We hope that you enjoy the rest of your Tyme in this Universe. It is a pleasant one.

Cordially,

Professor John Yaya and Doctor Klem
The Travelers of Tyme

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Jukebox of the Dead IX Countdown – “Built This City” Sneak Preview!

October 29, 2008

Greetings to all of our readers: warlocks, philosophers, goblins, Wiccans, vampyres, hockey moms, personal trainers, devil worshipers, Joe Six-Packs, Wall Street, Main Street, dungeon masters, fire demons, incubi/succubi plus all paying members of Bally’s:

JUKEBOX OF THE DEAD IX IS UPON US!
THIS FRIDAY NIGHT AT THE BITCHIN’ HOUR!

Detholz! present:

“Jukebox of the Dead IX : FLEX”
w/special guests ALEKS & THE DRUMMER and HOOD INTERNET
@ Empty Bottle
1035 N Western Avenue
Chicago, IL

$12 in advance, $15 @ the door

Buy your tickets in advance!  The past few years, we’ve had to turn people away at the door:

www.ticketweb.com

The red text is starting to hurt my eyes, so we will revert back to classic black.  Speaking of hurting eyes, those of you who elect to join us Friday evening had better brace for what’s in store…

For our last installment in the countdown, I give you a sneak preview of our new covers records, available for the first time on Friday night:

(WE) BUILT THIS CITY

The record is being mixed as we speak by Shape Shoppe/Obey Your Brain maven, Blue Hawaii, so this is not the final mixdown.  This is, however, MY mix of this song, which was arranged originally by Mr. Ben Miranda, Detholz! bassist (see last week’s entry).  In fact, we’ll be doing quite a few of Ben’s arrangements this year.

“Built This City” by Jefferson Starship routinely wins awards and accolades as one of the worst charting pop songs of all time.  Our arrangement has evolved from Ben’s original over the past few years and it’s always been one of my favorite Detholz! covers to sing.  The lyrics are impenetrable, ponderous, and downright bizarre!

In fact, “knee deep in the hoopla” has become something of a catchphrase in the Detholz!/Baby Teeth lexicon.

LATE ADDITION: Of course, it took my wife to remind me of the special significance of this song.  In homage to Starship, Ben Miranda’s arrangement, Detholz!, Bobby Conn, Baby Teeth and all of the other musicians present and not present at our wedding this past summer with whom I’ve had the privilege of associating, I did a special arrangement of “Built This City” for woodwind quintet that was performed at the end of our wedding ceremony.  We listed it as “Wir Bauen Diese Stadt” by J. Raumschiff so as not to upset the priest.

If you wish to sink deeper into the hoopla, I posted a mockup here:

WIR BAUEN DIESE STADT

Thanks to all who participated in the Detholz! Blog Roll-Up this month!  We apologize that you haven’t received your advance copies of the new covers record by now, but we are still waiting to receive the final mixes from Blue Hawaii.  Those of you who come to the show Friday, feel free to look me up after the show for some free stuff.

The Detholz! Blog will be dark next week as I will be in catch-up mode after Halloween (and busy voting), but tune in Wed., 11/12 as we resume our normal blogramming.

Countdown to Jukebox of the Dead IX – “GAMBLOR”

October 23, 2008

Welcome back to the Detholz! Mp3 Blog and apologies to regular readers for the late posting.

With a hugely successful filming under our belts this past Tuesday (perhaps I should say “below” our belts?), Detholz! is now armed to present you with perhaps our most daring Halloween presentation to date at this year’s “Jukebox of the Dead” Halloween party @ Empty Bottle in Chicago, Friday 10/31!  Suffice it to say any aspirations we may have had of running for public office will be summarily dashed to the rocks. Special thanks to Steve Niketopoulos for riding the wheels of steel, running TV cameras and for some “juicy” editing on the fly!

This week’s Halloween cover comes to us by way of the complicated cranium of Detholz! bassist and percussionist extraordinaire, Benjamin Miranda:

GAMBLOR

The entire band was immediately on board with this arrangement.  In my estimation, it’s one of the most disturbing Detholz! covers in the repertoire.  There is some back story here: Ben performed this song as a child at a church talent show.  In a sense, this could be seen as a paen to lost innocence or a lament for a simpler time…

I reviewed the lyrics for this song this morning — this dark, portentious tale ends with a warning to us all, especially at this dangerous juncture in American history:

YOU GOT TO KNOW WHEN TO HOLD ‘EM.

Muah-hahahaha!  See you next Wednesday!  If you want to hear more of Ben’s excellent music, visit him at www.tinytron.com

For those who are just tuning in, we’re running a promotion through the month of October.  See the rules for the Detholz! Blog Roll-Up below…

And remember, folks: buy tickets early and often: 10/31 @ www.emptybottle.com

We had to turn people away last year — don’t let that be you!

***

DETHOLZ! BLOG ROLL-UP  CHALLENGE!

To receive an advance copy of You: the Power of You, simply follow these steps:

1. Get a blog.  If you have one, skip this step.

Note: please, no MySpace, Facebook, or other social-networking site blogs for this promotion. These blogs aren’t indexed, and are therefore useless to Detholz! for promotion. From now on, only dedicated blogs on indexed blog sites like wordpress.com, blogspot.com and their ilk will be accepted. Sorry for any inconvenience!

2. Write a Detholz!-related blog.  Whether it’s about a show, a song, or how much you want to see Karl Doerfer (DH! guitarist) prance around in a Laura Bush costume, any and all is fair game as long as it’s Detholz!-related.

3. Put the following text somewhere in your post:

Jukebox of the Dead IX
“Detholz! FLEX!”
w/special guests Aleks and the Drummer & Hood Internet
Friday, October 31, 2008
Empty Bottle
1035 N Western Avenue
Chicago, IL
Buy tickets at http://www.emptybottle.com

3. Post a link to the Detholz! Mp3 Blog in your blog roll.

4. Send the link to misterb at detholz dot com.

If you carefully follow these steps to the letter, here’s what you get:

1. An advance copy of “You: the Power of You” in its entirety

2. One other downloadable Detholz! record of your choosing

3. A link to your blog posted on the Detholz! blogroll

4. The satisfaction that only BLOG can provide

Jukebox of the Dead IX Countdown – “Rick Rollin'”

October 15, 2008

Welcome (back?) to the Detholz! Mp3 Blog!

ANNOUNCEMENT: A special shoot has been arranged by the Maestro of the infamous Maplewood House at CAN-TV in Chicago THIS TUESDAY NIGHT, OCT. 21.

THIS IS AN OPEN INVITATION and your chance to join Detholz! onstage this Halloween night via satellite! Technology is amazing! Details below:

Tuesday October 21st, 7pm to 8pm preshow, 8pm to 11pm filming
CAN TV is at 322 S Green Street, Chicago, IL

Come in a sleazy exercise costume and party with the band! Spandex, gold chains, sunglasses, sweatbands and uncomfortably “tite” apparel is encouraged.  Remember to stretch thoroughly beforehand.

If you plan on coming, won’t you RSVP to misterb at detholz dot com ? We need to make sure we will not exceed the size of the studio– first RSVP, first serve!  Prepare to flex and be flexed!

***

This week, our countdown to the Detholz! Ninth Annual “Jukebox of the Dead” Halloween show, themed “Detholz! FLEX,” continues with a Halloween cover to really pump you. And pump you again:

RICK ROLLIN’

This track had a different title originally until I was enlightened by our bass player, Ben Miranda, about the mysterious internet phenomenon of “rick-rolling.” So, consider yourself “rick-rolled.”

To those of you just tuning in, every year for the past nine years, Detholz! curates a showcase/Halloween party entitled “Jukebox of the Dead,” where they disassemble and reconstruct songs you would likely hear while waiting to receive a root canal.

Also, we had two DH! Vikings take up the chalice of the Detholz! Blog Roll-Up this week (see rules below), longtime fans Wizzbizz & Meezus:

WIZZBIZZ MYSPACE DETHOLZ BLOG

MEEZUS DETHOLZ BLOG

Note: if you are using your MySpace blogs, please make them viewable to the general public! We prefer if you have a blog separate from MySpace for the Roll-Up Challenge. In these cases we will make exceptions, but please, folks, no more MySpace blogs.

Thanks to all of you immortals who have participated thus far — your advance copies of Jukebox of the Dead II : You : The Power of You are being mixed as we speak! A special place awaits you in VORTECS Corp. Valhalla. For those of you who are still languishing in the dark, see rules below.

Tune in next week for the next Halloween cover tune in the countdown to Jukebox of the Dead IX!

Remember: buy tickets early and often: 10/31 @ www.emptybottle.com

***

DETHOLZ! BLOG ROLL-UP  CHALLENGE!

To receive an advance copy of You: the Power of You, simply follow these steps:

1. Get a blog.  If you have one, skip this step.

Note: please, no MySpace, Facebook, or other social-networking site blogs for this promotion. These blogs aren’t indexed, and are therefore useless to Detholz! for promotion. From now on, only dedicated blogs on indexed blog sites like wordpress.com, blogspot.com and their ilk will be accepted. Sorry for any inconvenience!

2. Write a Detholz!-related blog.  Whether it’s about a show, a song, or how much you want to see Karl Doerfer (DH! guitarist) prance around in a Laura Bush costume, any and all is fair game as long as it’s Detholz!-related.

3. Put the following text somewhere in your post:

Jukebox of the Dead IX
“Detholz! FLEX!”
w/special guests Aleks and the Drummer & Hood Internet
Friday, October 31, 2008
Empty Bottle
1035 N Western Avenue
Chicago, IL
Buy tickets at http://www.emptybottle.com

3. Post a link to the Detholz! Mp3 Blog in your blog roll.

4. Send the link to misterb at detholz dot com.

If you carefully follow these steps to the letter, here’s what you get:

1. An advance copy of “You: the Power of You” in its entirety

2. One other downloadable Detholz! record of your choosing

3. A link to your blog posted on the Detholz! blogroll

4. The satisfaction that only BLOG can provide

Detholz! demo – “Water on the Brain”

July 1, 2008

Welcome to Detholz! Mp3 Blog Episode XXIX!

Abject apologies for a protracted absence!

With 3 jobs, 2 bands and a wedding to plan, the number of plates I’m spinning this summer I dare not tell.

This week, a song I had hoped to clutch closely to my teat until the record release. Realizing my ineptitude for time management, and hearing the requests of fans for the demo after shows, I give you:

WATER ON THE BRAIN

This is one of the early tracks that was voted onto the new record by the band, and has been in rotation over a few US tours. Generally, the response has been really good, especially at a certain club in Pittsburgh, where this number raised the roof and brought it down again.

Unfortunately, given my ridiculous time constraints, I’m going to have to leave you to interpret this one on your own. Suffice it to say it centers on our capacities to be Beasts. Human Animals.

The only clue I’ll give you: a musical reference to the song “Cast Out Devils,” the title track of our last record (which can be found in a previous post!) This is a similar song of grief. Not death in this case, but loss of friendship.

Also, I hereby dedicate this number to one of my favorite Biblical characters, the widely misunderstood King Nebuchadnezzar.

I promise to be more diligent about posting weekly! Trust me, I’ll be back once this wedding has blown over, oh yes…

Tune in next week for a painfully embarrassing episode!

LYRICS

Upstairs what’s happening
Upstairs at night
A boiling and a bubbling
Stir it left to right

A hot, sticky package
In the back of your mouth
Inside is a message
Rip it out
Figure it out

We will never meet again
We will never be the same
There are creatures in our hearts
Pumping water on the brain

Stand upon a balcony
High above the ground
Growing claws like an animal
Making animal sounds

My neck is wide open
I lay down in the mud
Sink your teeth into me
While I pump the blood

We will never meet again
We will never be the same
There are creatures in our hearts
Pumping water on the brain

“Cabbages, knickers”–
My enemy–
“It hasn’t got a beak!”
A kingdom of bellies hangs off of me
and drags along the street

Ah, my brother!

I will never bleed again
You will never speak my name
There are devils in our hearts
Pumping water on the brain

My throat is coming out
You’re tearing it away
We’re crawling on all fours
Kings of all that we survey

Detholz! demo – “Water on the Brain”

July 1, 2008

Welcome to Detholz! Mp3 Blog, Episode XXIX!

Abject apologies to all of you for a protracted absence. All work and no play makes Jim a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jim a dull boy, etc., etc.

3 jobs, 2 bands and a wedding to plan later, here I am back on the Detholz! blog, with a mainstay in the most recent Detholz! rotation:

WATER ON THE BRAIN

Given my hectic schedule of late, spinning a number of plates I dare not tell, I’m going to have to leave you to interpret this song without guidance.

After a few shows, some of you have requested this demo, so… voila! I had hoped to hold onto it, saving the release for the record, but since I can’t write overmuch at this point, I throw it to you for immediate consumption. It seems to be a current favorite of the fans in the field.

It was one of the first tracks to be included on the new record, and has been played on a few US tours to generally good reception.

I promise to be more diligent from here on in, but with a ton of arranging of wedding music (and other job-related music projects in the queue), this summer will be largely devoid of commentary. Sorry folks! Don’t lose heart! I will be back soon…

Tune in next week for an episode of embarrassment…

LYRICS

Upstairs what’s happening
Upstairs at night
A boiling and a bubbling
Stir it left to right

A hot, sticky package
In the back of your mouth
Inside is a message
Rip it out
Figure it out

We will never meet again
We will never be the same
There are creatures in our hearts
Pumping water on the brain

Stand upon a balcony
High above the ground
Growing claws like an animal
Making animal sounds

My neck is wide open
As I lay in the mud
Sink your teeth into me
While I pump the blood

We will never meet again
We will never be the same
There are creatures in our hearts
Pumping water on the brain

“Cabbages, knickers”–
My enemy–
“It hasn’t got a beak!”
A kingdom of bellies hangs off of me
and drags along the street

“Oh, my brother”

I will never bleed again
You will never speak my name
There are devils in our hearts
Pumping water on the brain

My throat is coming out
You’re tearing it away
We’re crawling on all fours
Kings of all that we survey

Detholz! demo – “Yearning for Zion”

June 5, 2008

DETHOLZ!
BABY TEETH
DANNY BLACK
RAFTER

@ LENA YOHEY FEST ’08!
THIS SATURDAY @ HIDEOUT
www.hideoutchicago.com

Join Detholz!, Baby Teeth, our pal, Danny Black and the Maplewood family to send Lena Yohey, former Detholz! bookie and sweetheart extraordinaire, to Nepal this Fall to work with orphans! This will be a family night you won’t want to miss — a great cause replete with bake sale and MAX POWER!

Welcome to Detholz! Mp3 Blog, Episode XXXVIII!

Apologies for the late posting this week — this one is hot off the press. Literally finished it five minutes ago:

YEARNING FOR ZION

1. SONG CONCEPT

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably read in the news about the “Yearning for Zion” ranch outside of El Dorado, Texas where Child Welfare Services, in conjunction with local law enforcement, acted on a judicial order to remove 462 children from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) compound on suspicions that they were being sexually abused.

Of course, now it’s turned into a war between State Officials and leaders of the FLDS, with the children caught in the middle. As a result of the massive raid, these kids were held in state custody until an appeals court ruled that there was insufficient evidence to detain them. Child Protective Services has appealed that decision.

This song is not about the YFZ debacle per se, but I used it as a jumping-off point.

I have known a few people that have come from fairly extreme religious backgrounds, such that the religion itself becomes an invisible predator of sorts. In the case of these poor kids — and God knows what they’re experiencing on this ranch — it’s possible that they’re being subjected to literal white slavery imparted by the particularly legalistic denomination into which they were born.

In my own experience wrestling with faith, I’ve never had to deal with that kind of extreme behavior, but I understand a little bit of what’s it like to feel smothered as a kid by lofty religious ideals beyond my understanding.

I guess this song is a lament for these children and, by extension, for a collective inner child oppressed by family and by religion.

I call upon “Mother Texas” — a particularly bloody state throughout its history, especially now — to shriek on behalf of these innocents.

The “Giants” referenced are the so-called Nephilim of Genesis 6:

“Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. Then the LORD said, ‘My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.’ The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.”

According to the Genesis account, the Nephelim were “sons of God” (Old Testament-ese for “angels”) who desired human women and took them for their own — “whomever they chose.” Sounds like the women didn’t have much say in the matter — the angels simply saw what they wanted and took it.

An appropriate image in this case, I think.

2. SONG COMPOSITION

This song happened almost completely by accident.

To start I was just screwing around on my bass to a click and voila! The song was started.

I ran across this fantastic tacky piano sound in Kontakt 3 that served my purposes swimmingly. I love dulcimer-esque piano sounds– they always remind me of the soundtrack to the movie, “Kafka,” one of my favorite sci-fi films as a high school kid.

This was one was a little different in that the melody came before the harmonic changes. I suppose that’s the “correct” way to do things, but for me it usually happens the other way around.

I used a more nasal bass tone on this track than I usually do. Also, I mixed every track down to mono and basically trashed the hell of them to dirty things up (except for the tack piano sound). After finishing a few songs, I’m getting better at doing this in Nuendo. Originally, I missed Logic — it seemed much easier for me to thrash the beejeezus out of my tracks. As I’m discovering, Nuendo has similar — and much better — functionality on the PC.

The last section of the song seemed necessary given the song’s subject matter — couldn’t really end on a high note, could it? I was definitely pulling from the bridge to “Psychotherapy” (from “Cast Out Devils, DH! 2nd record) when conceiving this part. Sometimes cut/paste between song sections works well, and this song screamed for it, in my opinion.

Tune in next week for another episode of the Detholz! Mp3 Blog!

Side note: I start a new job next week, so the update day will likely change. I’ll keep you posted.

3. LYRICS

YEARNING FOR ZION

Zion, Zion
Holy Mount of Zion
Lead an innocent child
To the Mystery Mountain

Zion, Zion
Holy Mount of Zion
Remember Abraham’s son
On the Holy Mountain?

Everything’s going be all right
Sacrifice is forever
Everything is locked up tight
You will be here forever

Listen to the words of Light
From the Books that I read you
Listen to the cries at night
Feel the gaze of the Evil Eye

Evil Eye is on me now
Evil Hands will force and feel me
Heaven’s heart is for my child
Lord, protect her from these people

Mother
Oh, Mother on the River of Blood
Oh, Mother of Ten Thousand Suns
Oh, Mother Texas, deep inside of us,
Shriek the shrieks of the women

Giants, Giants
In the mouths of Giants
Whiff of innocent blood
From the veins of the children

Giants, Giants
In the arms of giants
Between heaven and hell
Neither angel nor devil

Everything’s going to be all right
Sacrifice is not forever
Everything is locked up tight
But you will not live here forever

Listen to the songs of Light
From the lips of the children
Listen in the Texas night
Far away from the Evil Eye

Evil Eye is on you now
Evil Hands will force and feel you
Heaven’s heart is for my child
Lord, protect you from these people

Mother
Oh, Mother Texas, deep inside of us,
Shriek the shrieks of the women

New Detholz! demo – “Lost Weekend #5”

May 30, 2008

Welcome to the Detholz! Mp3 Blog, Episode XXXVII!

Before we begin this week, my sincere apologies to regular readers for my truancy from the blog last week and the tardiness of this week’s posting. The writer’s block I wrote about in the last post persisted — and worsened — to the point where I was:

a. questioning my own sanity

b. seriously doubting my abilities

and

c. experiencing an extreme case of the Doldrums

In short, due to my gimpiness (gimpitude? Gimpity?) I had nothing of value to offer you last week.

A related note: I’ve added an RSS feed in the sidebar, so if you’re one of those futuristic types that subscribes to RSS feeds, you can now click on the link and never have to bother checking back here again. Do so every so often, though, just so I don’t get lonely floating out here in the blogosphere. You feeders don’t register in my stats engine.

Anyway, now that that unpleasantness is out of the way, on with the show, I say, on with the show!

This week, a tour through one of the world’s greatest hearts of darkness:

LOST WEEKEND #5

I literally half-finished over 11 songs before completing “Lost Weekend #5.” ALL of them are terrible– and this one may be, too. Initial reactions from the band are positive, but… I haven’t made up my mind about “Lost Weekend” yet.

1. SONG CONCEPT

After stumbling across a stunning piece of kitsch on YouTube, I knew what the subject of my next song would be: the founder of the Church of Satan, Anton Szandor LaVey. The YouTube piece is a documentary divided into 10 parts called “Speak of the Devil.” HIGHLY recommended viewing:

SPEAK OF THE DEVIL

A large portion of the second section can be skipped — it’s a long clip of LaVey’s first television appearance on a 60’s children’s show called “Brother Buzz” that seems to revolve around a pair of bumblebee puppets. On second thought, don’t skip it. It’s amazing! The clip centers on LaVey’s pet lion, Togare, which he was eventually forced to donate to the San Francisco zoo by jittery neighbors.

There is so much rich material in “Speak of the Devil,” I almost don’t know where to start.

LaVey makes extraordinary claims about himself and his past. He is articulate, funny and obviously a world-class nerd, waxing on and on about Johnson-Smith gag catalogs he would read as a child (and apparently kept under his pillow as an adult), his years as a crime scene photographer for the SFPD in the 50’s, or– my personal favorite — his mannequin collection in the “Den of Iniquity,” presumably the den in the famous Black House in San Francisco. He literally built his friends, citing his growing misanthropy.

It was a form of ultra-realistic sculpture — he would deliberately sculpt the faces of the mannequins to be ugly or distorted and his collection included prostitutes and shady-looking men. Lavey would sit and talk to them, preferring their company to that of “real” people. In the film, he seems a tad embarrassed by his creations, citing others who were more adept at ultra-realistic sculpture than he.

LaVey was also a pedigreed theater organist, so there are long clips of him playing his collection of home organs and talking about his years playing calliope in the Clyde Beatty circus after he ran away from home at the age of 17. Or so he claims. He’s a great player and made a few records in his day, most notably “Satan Takes a Holiday,” a collection of songs from his repertoire as a burlesque organist.

The documentary piqued my interest about LaVey — an apparent 60’s B-list crank whose story, of course, I found irresistable. In my further research, I ran across http://www.churchofsatan.org (as opposed to the official website of the Church of Satan, http://www.churchofsatan.com). It is apparently maintained by a splinter group of disgruntled satanists — including LaVey’s own daughter. There is a fascinating page about the “legends” vs. the “realities” about Anton LaVey that I found illuminating.

If you’re interested, the page is here: http://www.churchofsatan.org/lavey.html

If not, I’ll list a few that pertain to the song:

1. He claimed to have had an affair with Hollywood starlet Jayne Mansfield. According to churchofsatan.org, her agent set up a meeting between them, using LaVey as a foil for a cheap publicity stunt. LaVey was captivated by the actress but she spurned his advances and thought him “laughable.” To further humiliate him, she would call him at home to taunt him while his followers listened in.

2. He claimed to be a close friend of singer Sammy Davis, Jr., who was awarded an honorary membership into the Church of Satan. According to churchofsatan.org, LaVey was not present when Davis accepted the membership and didn’t meet him until years later.

3. He claimed to be the official “city organist” of San Francisco, hired to perform at gala events and political meetings. According to churchofsatan.org, the very idea of a “city organist” is absurd, and LaVey’s only income before beginning the Church of Satan was as a house Wurlitzer organist at a club called the “Lost Weekend.” (Perhaps the greatest name for a burlesque nightclub imaginable. Reminds me of the “Cafe Remember” in the heart of Amsterdam’s Red Light district.)

4. He claimed to be a devoted family man, but according to his own children, was an angry, abusive father and husband.

Bear in mind that this website seems to have been set up by people who have somehow run afoul of the official Church of Satan or harbor some sort of grudge, so… when it comes to satanists, people who pledge allegiance to the biblical Father of Lies, it’s tough to know who to believe.

I made a conscious effort to resist the temptation (so to speak) to include a lot of spiritual or religious imagery in this song. My fascination with LaVey’s story has nothing to do with satanism, which seems to be some sort of juvenile bastardization of the philosophy of Ayn Rand with a little occult spice thrown in for shock value. (No offense meant to any practicing satanists who may have stumbled across this blog — hey, it’s a free country. I’m big into role-playing games myself!)

LaVey strikes me as a person with a powerful inferiority complex — a desperate and clinging need for attention that drove him to ridiculous extremes (like founding an “eeevil!” religion). “His own worst enemy,” if you believe his family’s accounts, he was enormously dissatisfied and unhappy. As a result, he became the consummate showman, a silver-tongued pitchman, and cloaked himself in dime-store myths and comic-book fantasies, driven by his rage and insecurity.

In one sense, I guess you could say his devils made him do it!

2. SONG COMPOSITION

This one took two solid days of tweaking to get right — and I’m still not sure everything about it IS right.

I knew two things as I sat down: as an homage to Anton, I wanted to construct the song’s elements from a palette of 60’s home organ tones. I also wanted to use a bossa rhythm, like one you might find on a Wurlitzer back in the day.

I actually own a Wurlitzer home organ that I pillaged from an organ store that was closing its doors but it resides at the band house, so I had to settle for VST organs. Thankfully Native Instruments’ Kontakt 3 VST sampler comes with an excellent repository of vintage organ tones. When recording using VST, I’ve discovered it helps never to take a preset sample at face value. It really helps to know something about the instrument being emulated.

I tweaked the organs’ EQ’s quite a bit, downsampled them to mono, and ran them through another excellent Native Instruments VST program, Guitar Rig. While this VST is designed to emulate different amps and guitar rackmounts, I use it for its spring reverb which is the closest I’ve heard to the real thing in digi-world.  Guitar Rig is useful for more instruments than just guitars!

A geeky side note: as I’ve said before, I recently switched from an ancient version of Emagic’s Logic Audio Platinum to Steinberg’s Nuendo as my primary DAW software (that’s Digital Audio Workstation for those who may not know). While I miss certain aspects of Logic — especially in the mixing window — Nuendo is FAR more intuitive and easy to use. I much prefer how it handles MIDI information to Digidesign’s ProTools and would strongly recommend it – even if you’re just starting out. ESPECIALLY if you’re just starting out.

The vocals on “Lost Weekend” were by far the most difficult elements of the song to get right. I ended up doing so many takes, I was hoarse by the end of the session (which you can hear if you listen closely). Initially, I did a few really aggressive “Detholz-ian” takes where I belted out the lyrics at full throttle, “TT Peterbilt Semi”-style (see previous post).

As I listened back, however, it became clear what this song needed was a soft, almost deadpan delivery which is what ended up on the recording. I concentrated mainly on getting the pitches right — this song is a real beast to sing — and doubled the verses. There’s a three-part harmony on the choruses (the words “baby believer”) that was originally different. The high part descended on its last note, which is much more consonant. I thought it sounded too “stock” (to quote from Lars Ulrich in “Some Kind of Monster”), so I tried ascending instead and — voila! Much creepier and more interesting, IMHO.

This is a call from the ether of blogdom: PLEASE comment on this song and let me know what you think.!It’s one of those numbers that floats in the Twilight Zone for me — not bad, but ot great, either. To quote from the book of Revelation, “because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.”

Should this song be spewed as the spawn of Satan?  Or not?

Tune in next week for the stunning conclusion!

3. LYRICS

LOST WEEKEND #5

Sit in the den and build a friend
Home for the weekend
From the Weekend

A bawdy house brought down again
By your organs
Wurlitzer organs

Deep in the house,
Beyond the black paint,
Mannequin men and whores:

You’re alone in the dark
Talking to devils inside of your heart:
An infant inside –
You’re a baby believer

On a Fantasy ride
Cannot believe what you cannot devise
The carnival cries
For the baby believer

A psycho drama with a Drama Queen:
Miss Mansfield is a mine field
Use Sammy Davis as a go-between?
Mediocre kind of feeling

Tomorrow night, another bawdy beguine
At the Weekend
The Lost Weekend

Lack-of-attention family man
Slug the wife as hard as you can
Run down the hall and talk to your dolls
Another weekend lost
Weekend lost

Alone in the dark
Talking to devils inside of your heart:
An infant inside –
You’re a baby believer

On a Fantasy ride
Cannot believe what you cannot devise
The carnival cries
For the baby believer

Detholz! demo – Hand and Brain

April 30, 2008

Welcome to Detholz! Mp3 Blog, Episode XXXV!

This week, I’ve scrapped “Attack of the Synthestra” (for which many of you are grateful, I’m sure) and have returned to the Detholz! drafting table to finish off writing songs for the forthcoming record, which is 2/3rd’s complete.

I’d strongly encourage you to listen to this track BEFORE you read the blog below. We need some objective opinions this week:

HAND AND BRAIN

So. This week’s installment was enthusiastically rejected across the board by the band.

Andrew (drummer) cited the lyrics as the primary culprit, while Ben (bass player) said that he had a hard time keying into the harmony, even after multiple listens. He likened it to an exhausting swim to shore from far out at sea.

Ha!

It’s impossible to be entirely objective about one’s own material, but after so many years of writing for Detholz!, I can usually tell which songs will “take” and which ones won’t. It’s nothing scientific– just a gut feeling. I knew before I completed this track that it would probably crash and burn into the B-side bin, but I decided to complete it anyway.

1. SONG CONCEPT

In the wake of my friend Kurt’s demise (see previous post), I’ve been thinking a lot about physical and psychological limitations and cognition; how the mind interacts with the body and vice versa– if, in fact, the two are separate entities at all.

A few years ago, I attended the “Body Worlds” exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago — you know, the crazy German exhibit of “plastinated” corpses in various poses– and was struck by a cross-section of a morbidly obese person. There was a thin man hiding in that body the whole time, encased in a thick layer which his body carried around!

Perhaps it’s over-simplistic of me– I’m not a scientist, I’m just the entertainment, after all — but I think that people with certain psychological dysfunctions operate in a similar manner. There’s a regular person buried in there somewhere but often it takes extra measures of patience and/or medication to get to him/her.

2. SONG COMPOSITION

Since I’ve been listening to a lot of cell compositions recently (music that is composed using tiny fragments of melody or harmony that are stretched and molded to form the foundation of the piece), I used some of those techniques here.

The very first bar of this song introduces the harmonic cell that runs throughout the “verse” sections — an augmented chord –> quartal (chord built of fourths) –> cluster. The bass line, melody and rhythms were all crafted around those harmonic changes.

I chose purposely “spacey” patches for this song given its scientific bent. Perhaps this was overkill — funny, I was stuck in a time warp as I wrote this and felt like I was writing “Scientific Eye” (from the DH! first record) all over again.

The melody is largely static and the harmony remains in one key throughout the chorus. I did this to focus the attention of the listener to the lyrics at these points in the song.

Also, as a nod to Bernard Herrmann, the great film/TV composer of yore whose trademark was cell composition, I added an electronic vibraphone patch to accentuate harmonic motion.

Overall, I felt pretty good about this when it was finished– didn’t think it’d land on the record, but maybe in a set list or two at a show. I did not anticipate such a strong “4 thumbs down” from the rest of the band.

What do you think? Redeemable? Is this a song you’d like to hear us play? Or is this one for the cutout bin on a par with our B-side elephant in the room, “Time Traveling Peterbilt Semi” (see previous post)?

Tune in next Wednesday for a brand new track!

3. LYRICS

HAND AND BRAIN

TV is hard on the eyes
TV is making you cry
That world is a dangerous place
Blips on the screen spatter blood on your face

Reach in
Inside your space
Reach in
And stir up the place
Reach in
Hand and Brain

Reach out
Don’t you understand?
Reach out
As the world demands
Reach out
Brain and Hand

A body of work
A body at work
Is overworked, work after work
A clasp of the hands
Is the work of the hands

Mind over matters
Matters on the mind
Are looped by loop, loop after loop
An ache of the head
Is a body at work

Reach out
And kiss that ring
Reach out
To the sound of the train
Reach out
Hand and Brain

Reach in
Through the membranes and glands
Reach in
To find the man
Reach in
Brain and Hand

Reach out
From your heart and veins
Reach out
To the body in pain
Reach out
Hand and Brain

Reach in
Reach out
Hand and Brain

Detholz! live recording – “Frosty the Snowman” & Savalas Motel Project – “I’ll Be Savalas for Christmas”

December 19, 2007

Welcome to Detholz! Mp3 Blog, Episode XIX! In the spirit of the season, this week is a two-fer. ‘Tis better to give than to receive.

This week, I have been confronted with hardcore holiday music, and by “hardcore” I’m not referring to Dead Kennedys or Septic Death. I have been spelunking in the Deep Cave of Holiday Music– had my brain removed, cleansed and replaced by the Real Stuff.

While standing in the cellphone shoppe and haggling with my local super-tan, spiky-haired cellphone dealer, I felt a powerful urge to defenestrate myself during an excruciating “scat” rendition of Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride” that was blaring obnoxiously over a loudspeaker.

Scat, indeed. Bah humbug.

So, today I’m posting 2 ditties that pretty much sum up how I feel about holiday music (with the exception of “Christmas Wrapping” by the Waitresses– great song!)

The first is familiar to some of you who have followed us over the years: FROSTY THE SNOWMAN as interpreted by Detholz!.  This is from the same session where we recorded last week’s “Santa” installment, as well as our entire “Jukebox of the Dead” album.  Instruments are all live, vocals were overdubbed afterward.

Since this season is about family first, the second track this week is a premiere of sorts: the grand unveiling of the Savalas Motel Project, the first musical collaboration between my brother and I.

What is the Savalas Motel Project, you ask?

About a year and half ago, as my brother was wrapping up a visit to Chicago, we sat in a bar one afternoon and began subverting titles of films as follows:

The Good, the Bad, and the Savalas

It’s a Wonderful Savalas

Savalas-Hur

Saving Private Savalas

The Last Temptation of Savalas

…and on and on. In a beer-infused frenzy, we devised a list of well over 200 titles, chortling progressively harder and harder with each one. For some unknown reason, the personage of Telly Savalas is a Holy Grail of Mystery for my brother and I. Perhaps for you, too?

In any case, we decided that a musical project devoted entirely to the furtherance of Savalas was in order. We had grist that needed its proper mill. A band was born!

Interestingly enough, when either my brother and I have attempted to explain this project to people, usually we’re met with blank stares.

“Huh?” they say. “Savalas? You mean the actor?”

When people HEAR the tracks, though, they understand. I hope you will, too. It’s a magical thing– magic that only Telly can bring. Like a light switching on in one’s subconscious…

We’ve been working steadily on Savalas Motel Project for over a year now– my brother composes a track, I compose a track– none of them much more than a minute in length, all of them pieced together from found sounds, music concrete-style. Once we’ve collected enough of them, we’re planning on posting the entire album for free. The sheer volume of tracks will give this record a curious, cumulative effect.

So, this week, I’m proud to unveil Savalas Motel Project with its holiday installment: “I’LL BE SAVALAS FOR CHRISTMAS.”

In my Telly’s house, there are many rooms…

Happy Holidaze to all and to all a good night, baby!

Tune in next week for the last Detholz! Mp3 Blog of 2007!