Posts Tagged ‘cast out devils’

GFS A Cappella Group – “Silence is Golden”

January 21, 2009

Greetings, once again, Detholz! aficionados welcome to the all-new Detholz! Mp3 Blog 2009!

Look to your right and you’ll see a couple of new gizmos I’ve installed to streamline your shopping experience, including Top Posts, Most Recent Gripes, Jibes & Grumbles from the Peanut Gallery, etc.  There’s even a calendar if you lose track of the time you fritter away here at the Detholz! Mp3 Blog!

Happy New Year to all and welcome to a New American Golden Age (I think).  I don’t usually like to talk politics on this blog, but our friend, Thax Douglas (“Chicago’s Rock ‘N Roll poet laureate,” as he’s known), summed up how I felt about yesterday’s inauguration proceedings for President LaBamba perfectly in a MySpace posting.  I’ve reprinted the post here verbatim with his permission:

“Well the ice floe of the 20th century has been floating off chip by chip over the last nine years, especially when someone like Mailer died-but a huge gob of it drifted off today. I feel orphaned in the 21st century, a strange feeling even tho it was what i wanted.

People forget that catastrophes can be positive.
the Obama presidency is a positive thing but it’s still a catastrophe in that it is life-changing and irreparable.
It is comparable to a) finding you’re not dying after all-b) winning or earning a large chunk of money-c)having the girl of your dreams say “yes”-
Thus even tho Obama who I voted for and feel will be a napoleonically great president taking power is a good thing I still feel the hollowness I felt the day after 9/11.  We can never go back. It will take a while for life to rush and fill the hollowness.”

Will President LaBamba end up being the girl of our dreams, with all of the large chunks distributed in all of the right places? Only time will tell.

***

Today’s mp3 post is a little out of the ordinary, to say the least. 

Last week, without warning, Detholz! received a fully-realized a cappella vocal arrangement of “Silence is Golden” via email from a longtime fan, Allen Drew, which I’m posting here with his permission:

GFS A CAPPELLA GROUP – “SILENCE IS GOLDEN”

Allen is the a cappella choral director at Germantown Friends School in the Philadelphia area and this performance of “Silence is Golden” (first track on Cast Out Devils, Detholz!’s second album from 2006 available at http://www.detholz.com/merch.html) is by his kids in the high school a cappella group, called (strangely) “GFS A Cappella.”

For those of you who have been with Detholz! for any span of our 12-year history, you know we revel in deconstructing pre-existing music & patching it back together in Frankensteinian fashion (see posts leading up to Halloween last year/previous years…). Suffice it to say, an arrangement of “Silence is Golden” — a decidedly Shatner-esque spoken word track — for a high school a cappella chorus really tickled us pink. Detholz! all gathered ’round the computer to listen after rehearsal last week & there were high-fives all around.

So, big thanks/mad props to Allen and his excellent singers for all of the effort that went into this recording! Speaking of which, this track is from an entire album of deconstructed a cappella songs, called Vinyl, much in the spirit of Jukebox of the Dead (Detholz! annual Halloween cover show). Vinyl is available for purchase for $17, with all proceeds going to benefit the GFS a cappella vocal program.

To order your copy, send a check for $17 made out to “Germantown Friends School” with “A Cappella” in the memo line to:

Allen Drew,
Germantown Friends School,
31 W. Coulter St., Philadelphia, PA 19144

Allen can also be reached for questions at Allend@gfsnet.org

Here’s a sampling of the track listing, just to whet your appetite. Due to some sort of psychic anomaly, the kids are singing a lot of songs Detholz! have covered in Halloweens past:

Kiss – Prince

I Used to Love Him – Lauryn Hill/MJ Blige

Love Shack – The B-52s

Hide and Seek – Imogen Heap

The Girl From Ipanema – Astrud Gilberto

Crazy – Gnarls Barkley

Faith – George Michael

Helplessly Hoping – CSNY

Mexico – James Taylor

Somebody to Love – Queen

Silence is Golden – Detholz!

White Wedding – Billy Idol

Livin’ on a Prayer – Jon Bon Jovi

Final Countdown – Europe (This one makes Jonny proud!)

Thanks again, Allen and the kids at GFS!

Tune in next Wednesday for another installment of Detholz! Mp3 Blog…

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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

RIP Kurt Hanson 1973-2008 – “Cast Out Devils”

April 16, 2008

Note: Since this was written, a memorial site has been posted in Kurt’s honor. Please visit www.kurthansonmendicant.org and learn more about Kurt. If you have your own story, submit it, please. We want to help maintain Kurt’s strange and beautiful legacy…

Welcome to the Detholz! Mp3 Blog.

We’re going to pause this week to honor a dear friend of Detholz! who was killed last week: Kurt Hanson.

Kurt was the person for whom the song “Cast Out Devils” was written — it is a song entirely for him and about his life.

I’m posting a free download from the 2006 album, “Cast Out Devils,” here in Kurt’s honor:

CAST OUT DEVILS

Kurt was at the record release show for “Cast Out Devils” back in 2006. We dedicated this song to him from the stage. As our friends told us afterwards, his usual sloppy posture straightened, and he blushed and smiled ear to ear.

All of us deserve a song, but Kurt more than most. He was one of the most extraordinary human beings I have ever known.

I’ve included his eulogy and the lyrics to the song below.

We love you, Kurt.

KURT HANSON – MY FAVORITE MENDICANT
RIP 1973-2008

men·di·cant
Pronunciation ..’men-di-k?nt..
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin mendicant-, mendicans, present participle of mendicare to beg, from mendicus beggar
Date: 14th century
1: beggar
2: often capitalized : a member of a religious order (as the Franciscans) combining monastic life and outside religious activity and originally owning neither personal nor community property : friar

In the summer of 2004, Kurt crashed at my one-bedroom apartment in Chicago for a few days as he was wont to do. I had to step out one afternoon to run some errands, so I left Kurt alone on my couch deeply submerged in one of his dog-eared Krishnamurti books that were like bodily appendages for him. When I returned, Kurt had disappeared but he’d left his calling card: a serious mess. Not your average serious mess, either. Kurt’s messes were always piled high with deep mysteries.

When I entered my apartment, I was met by a mountain of wrappers, crumbs, half-eaten food and a fresh layer of dust on my coffee table. I thought: how does one conjure dust out of thin air? When I walked into the bathroom, the shower rod was strangely askew. And most puzzling of all: there was a small blood stain on my kitchen floor.

“My God,” I thought. “What happened here?” And then I smiled. This was what those who knew him best referred to as “classic Kurt.” He would descend like a tornado and leave a litany of questions in his wake. From whence did he come? Where did he go? And what the hell happened in between?

In the movies, there is a phenomenon known as the “continuity error.” For example, in one shot, a glass of water in the corner of the screen is full. When it cuts to next shot, the glass of water is suddenly empty. Or, in another imaginary scene– say from one of Kurt’s favorite films, “Waterland” NOT “Waterworld,” as he’d be quick to point out — a depressed college professor prepares to battle a man in a gorilla suit. Cut to the next shot, and a stunt double dressed as the college professor wrestles with said gorilla-suited adversary.

If you or I were to watch one of these scenes, our brains would filter out these continuity errors and automatically focus on the most important action in the scene. The average brain suppresses unimportant details and assembles a composite “reality map.”

For my friend Kurt Hanson, no such reality map was possible. His brain was incapable of filtering out the extra sensory static, so it was constantly barraged and overwhelmed with sensory input, unable to organize or filter any of it. This caused him intense physical and psychic pain. Kurt lived in a chaotic and frightening universe in which he spent his whole life attempting to make sense of it, and, if he could, to make peace with it.

Kurt existed in a cosmic question mark. His mind burbled with a thousand different vision quests at any given time– many of them overlapping and contradicting one another. When he had a mind to share some of these, he was a brilliant and engaging conversationalist with a pentrating intellect, and a large measure of spiritual wisdom. Kurt was one of my favorite people on the planet to talk to because I would never walk away from him without my perspective contorted in some new, fascinating way.

We spent many, many hours at Wheaton College, on the porch of the Maplewood house, at restaurants of dubious quality, and on interstate phone calls parsing the nature of his scary universe, the so-called “cultural consensus reality” against which he struggled to survive, and a host of deep subjects on which Kurt spoke with authority and, at times, with great eloquence. On more than one occasion when we discussed religion, Kurt opened doors for me to vast spiritual expanses that forever reshaped and enriched my own limping Christian faith.

I came to think of Kurt as a poor man’s avatar or, as he sometimes jokingly described himself, as a “Mendicant”– only in the truest sense. He was our friend group’s Traveling Friar, making sure we were challenged in our thinking– and helping himself to our food when he was hungry.

When I first met Kurt 12 years ago as a college kid, I found him to be a gangly, boxy-haired curiosity. As we spent more time together, I grew to love him as a close friend and eventually, as a kindred spirit. I could talk to Kurt for hours and share with him in ways that I couldn’t with most other people. And Kurt would listen and sincerely engage, sometimes disagreeing, but always without judgment. Despite his capacity for occasional nastiness brought on by his illness, Kurt was ultimately a gentle, kind soul.

It has been said many times in the wake of his death that there was no one on the planet quite like Kurt. That’s a cliche, perhaps, but in Kurt’s case it was literally true. Kurt was one of the most bizarrely beautiful creatures I have ever met. He was a man split in half– one side of him fully embraced his role as the social misfit, the weird guy at the party, a sort of Buddhist “Hell on Wheels.” And I loved that part of him. The other side — the side buried under the illnesses, the suffering and the pain, was a scared little boy who just wanted to be a regular guy, have a job and maybe a girlfriend. To be, as he half-jokingly would call it, a “man of action.” I loved that side of Kurt, too.

These two halves of Kurt were in constant conflict and that conflict caused him anger, frustration, and ultimately, self-hatred. But I wish he could see you all here, now, with the blinders of his varied illnesses removed. Kurt attracted so many people who loved him — many of whom are among the finest, brightest human beings I know.

To his family, on behalf of his friends, I want you to know how much Kurt contributed to and how much he enriched our lives. Kurt’s life story may not have a happy ending, but as it closes, it is a purposeful, meaningful and strangely beautiful one.

And for my friend Kurt, who is finally at peace with himself, I offer one last quote from one of his mentors, Jiddu Krishnamurti:

“If you begin to understand what you are without trying to change it, then what you are undergoes a transformation.”

I believe many of us understood bits of what Kurt was, perhaps missing a few crucial pieces of information blinking in the periphery. Kurt was ultimately only able to think of himself as a walking continuity error– a man fractured into too many unimportant bits to survive.

Speaking for myself, I believe Kurt perpetuates in a blissful eternity with God today, and that he understands, finally and totally, exactly what he is– and how much he is loved.

***

CAST OUT DEVILS

Pass out outside
Do it
Head is covered under a separation
Germans in the hot night fly through it
Feeling calm, a thousand bombs blasting Britain

Radio, radio
Pick him up and drive him home
The wife is on the phone
From the the hall of the gods of war
In the light of the night grocery store

I think I believe
In life worth living
I know that I need
Space to live in

Dust collects and blood clots in the shower
Stumble backward, lost the medication
Locked it in the car, pry off the sunroof
Swallow whole with milk you stole from the priesthood

Sinuses full of mother and dad
Blowing Krishnamurti‘s “I Am That”
Lips of a prophet
Nails of a thief
Scratch for whiskey in the summer heat

I think I believe
In the world of Satan
I know that I need
Space to make him.