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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Adolescents- Presumed Insolent: Conquest of the Planet of the See Monkeys

Presumed Insolent: Conquest of the Planet of the See Monkeys

As I had shared in a write up on the American Dogs in Europe EP Conquest of the Planet of the See Monkeys is a play on words, intentionally referencing the great 1960's and 1970's brine shrimp craze, Sea Monkeys which were always advertised in comic books. Sea Monkeys were supposedly "so eager to please that they can be trained."  This irony was not lost on me as my children began attending our local school. Frequently the staff would drop words on me about my kids, especially words that referred to them becoming compliant. They insisted on compliance in order for the children to be "ready to learn" which I consider a ridiculous prerequisite and completely false statement.

In the Adolescents song the phrase "See Monkey" (with see intentionally spelled that way) directly refers to the imitative phrase, "Monkey-see, Monkey-do." The term essentially means that people copy each other in attitude, dress, and actions. We are programmed at a small age and drawn in by marketing to the point that our whole reality is just an extension of a television show. 
 
Children are also confined to the supposed rigors of outside controls which are supposed to mold them into learners. I challenge this notion outright. Children are trained by this system to become drones, and that runs contrary to what schools are developed for- which is to create an informed democratic citizenry.

The lyric "staring out your TV Eye.." is, of course, a Stooges reference (click here) which simply implies that even sexuality is being programmed by advertising. The song, then, is a criticism of consumerism and standardization.
 
As my youngest child became indoctrinated into the educational system, there were people who tried to extinguish him completely, specifically citing that he would interfere with their own children "meeting the standards" imposed by the  United States in order to justify funding models for educating children. These idiots had bought into something they don't even have a concept of, and used it as a justification for their isolationist, elitist stance.

Sadly, the media dictates who we are supposed to be, and that is controlled by the same people who make the laws. Their goal isn't to create thinkers. It is to create warriors.


Conquest of the Planet of the See Monkeys

From the Cradle to the grave We are Media slaves.
Labeled, packaged, standardized
Consumer Analyzed-
Poster billboard generation
Spoon fed annihilation.
Monkey see, monkey see, monkey do
Monkey see, monkey see, monkey do
Monkey see, monkey see, monkey do like I do
Monkey see, monkey see, monkey do
Monkey see, monkey see, monkey do
Monkey see, monkey see, monkey do like me

Staring out your tv eye
We embrace the lie.
Dancing with a lottery wife
An imitation of life.
Jersey Shore to the OC
It’s our reality. 

Staring out your tv eye
We embrace the lie.
Labeled, packaged, standardized
Consumer Analyzed-
We are Media slaves.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Adolescents- Presumed Insolent: The Athena Decree


Presumed Insolent: The Athena Decree
 
Presumed Insolent begins with The Athena Decree

The Decree of Athena marks the opening and introduction to the central them of the album, and that is a theme of crisis, law, and the presumption of guilt instead of the presumption of innocence. 

The theme is specifically a reference to the way my youngest child was treated by the people in our school community, both the parents, and the children, chronicling a time from 2008 until 2011. To this day neither I, nor my family, feel that it has been truly resolved. Art is the last tool and the final scream that the oppressed have.

Aeschylus, the father of tragedy, wrote The Oresteia. in 458. The trilogy is one of the few complete works, and has the central theme of grudge and vendetta resolved by the creation of a jury- thus litigation for resolution. The Decree of Athena is made in the third part, The Eumenides. At that time Athena establishes herself and eleven others as the jury.

But what if the balance of power already favors the prosecution? What if the judge and jury are instigators and not impartial?  What justice exists for the accused? What if the accused has been presumed insolent, and thus is guilty of whatever crime is set?

In Aeschylus's tragedy, Athena is respectful of the Furies- most likely because she knows that should they unleash their wrath, mankind is doomed. Athena makes the decree, but in the Adolescents song the decree is not made by Athena, but to Athena. It is a reversal made by the one of the Furies.

However, in the The Adolescents song the Decree serves as a warning to the judicial system, and specifically to those who abuse their power: if you push the wrong button, the wrath of the Furies will eliminate the need for the scales of justice. If the wrath of the Furies is unleashed it will deliver a blow so final, and so destructive, that it will no longer matter. 

That's how tragedy works. 




THE ATHENA DECREE
Push the button, then let it go.
Push the button, then let it go.

How long until I blow?
What’s the limit?
Well I don’t know.

Something boiling
You can’t see
An explosion inside of me.

I am more than you can see
Approximations
You won’t believe

Restitution
A state unknown
Retribution and broken bones

Push the button, then let it go.
Push the button, then let it go.






Friday, July 5, 2013

American Dogs in Europe- Destination Nowhere

Shortly before leaving on tour I watched a relationship dissolve before my eyes. It's easy to be an outsider looking in, but this one bugged the crap out of me because it was so obnoxious, cold, and completely unnecessary. So I took the first person narrative point of view, and I wrote an argument for my friend. Think of it as a kind of hostile Cyrano de Bergerac, trying to help his friend, not in love, but in war.


This press photo was taken by Matze in 2012


Destination Nowhere

You know more than you’re saying
And you keep, you keep delaying today 
It’s just a game that you play.

You keep on instigating
While I, I keep awaiting today
It’s just a game that you play.

Believing
Deceiving
You’re leaving 
Your destination?
Nowhere.

I Can’t tell if everything’s fine
Or if your out, out of your fucking mind
Because it’s how you unwind.

I wait, hesitating
While you keep on instigating you say
That it’s a game that you play.

Believing
Deceiving
You’re leaving 
Your destination?
Nowhere.

There ain’t no atttraction in this game
No atisfaction, no way
Fuck this game that you play.

Believing
Deceiving
You’re leaving 
Believing
Deceiving
You’re leaving 
Destination nowhere




CD track 4
EP side two/ track two
Released on Concrete Jungle Records, Germany (click here)
Released August 3, 2012


Thursday, July 4, 2013

American Dogs in Europe- Stage Diving Daisy's Revenge

More than ten years ago I met a young woman who criticized my life choices. I presented the story in a song by ADZ called Stage Diving Daisy. The song was not a put down, but unfortunately was interpreted that way. I considered it more of an homage to the spirit of punk rock. However, the woman's voice, presented by none other than Josie Cotten, was sardonic and witty, and the song, while brilliant, did not accurately express its intention of celebration. In any event, it caused confusion.

I decided to try to restate the song by celebrating the young woman's growth as a human bein. Where she was once a young rebellious punk rock woman, she has followed her interests and is now has a PhD and helps people. 

Like me, she grew up in public, but she was the last of a generation that would grow up in printed word, as opposed as electronic media. 

Daisy's Revenge is simple, write your own rulebook. No need to explain, justify, or follow others. You are your own leader.


DAISY’S REVENGE

There was a time I was unaware
I’d lock my gaze on everything and glare
For no other reason than my will to be free
There was no power higher than the power in me

No need to justify
Or tell the truth when you look them in the eye
It’s our future, we have the tools
Might be there game but we make the rules.

In measured steps I’d play for time
In metered texts I’m looking for a rhyme
These riddles never made sense.
If I can’t break down walls, I’ll jump the fence



CD track 4
EP side two/ track one
Released on Concrete Jungle Records, Germany (click here)
Released August 3, 2012

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

American Dogs in Europe- Conquest of the Planet of the See Monkeys

Conquest of the Planet of the See Monkeys is a play on words, intentionally referencing the great 1960's and 1970's brine shrimp craze, Sea Monkeys (click here) whic were always advertised in comic books. Sea Monkeys were supposedly "so eager to please that they can be trained" and cost many of us a great deal more in postage that a trip to the beach on the bus would cost to get the same little critters. Mine never had umbrellas, though. Kind of a huge bummer. 

In the song the phrase "See Monkey" (with see intentionally spelled that way) directly refers to the imitative phrase, "Monkey-see, Monkey-do." The term essentially means that people copy each other in atittude, dress, and actions. We are programmed at a small age and drawn in by marketing to the point that our whole reality is just an extension of a television show. 

The lyric "staring out your TV Eye.." is, of course, a Stooges reference (click here) which simply implies that even sexuality is being programmed by advertising. The song, then, is a criticism of consumerism and standardiztion.




Conquest of the Planet of the See Monkeys

From the Cradle to the grave
We are Media slaves.
Labeled, packaged, standardized
Consumer Analyzed-
Poster billboard generation
Spoonfed annihilation.

Monkey see, monkey see, monkey do
Monkey see, monkey see, monkey do
Monkey see, monkey see, monkey do like I do
Monkey see, monkey see, monkey do
Monkey see, monkey see, monkey do
Monkey see, monkey see, monkey do like me

Staring out your tv eye
We embrace the lie.
Dancing with a lottery wife
An imitation of life.
Jersey Shore to the OC
It’s our reality. 

Staring out your tv eye
We embrace the lie.
Labeled, packaged, standardized
Consumer Analyzed-
We are Media slaves.




CD track 2
EP side one/ track two
Released on Concrete Jungle Records, Germany (click here)
Released August 3, 2012

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

American Dogs in Europe- American Dogs in Europe

The title track to the EP American Dogs In Europe was written after the 2011 tour of Europe. The band on that tour was me, Steve, Dan, Mike McKnight, and Mando. We were out that year with Chris "Big Rock" Shaefer in his new van. The van would break down later in France, but at the time it was running fine. We also had two of our French friends with us as crew, Dudu (sound) and Bender (guitar) who were working with us. We borrowed their skills from the great French band Burning Heads (click here).

I had been robbed of my wallet and passport at the airport in Milan the day before, and we were on our way to the embassy in Munich to get me a new one thanks to Cathy Mason who was working for Bad Religion and had, thankfully, helped arrange an appointment for me to get it replaced with an emergency passport.

In Bavaria, however, we were pulled over, and the police made us get out of the van and then ran the van through a large x-ray machine. This was no surprise, really, as Shaefer, an American expatriate, was now a Czech citizen, and we were driving through Germany with a bunch of Americans and a couple of Frenchmen. 

However, we were detained for close to two hours, and after the police found no evidence of drugs or cigarettes or weapons, they then proceeded to go through all of our luggage. I found the whole thing rather fascinating and funny, until I had to try to explain to them that all of my medication was necessary. 

"What's this for?"
"Blood Pressure."

"What's this for?"
"Cholesterol. I eat too much sausage and cheese in Germany."

"What's this for?"
"Anxiety. I should probably take one now."

After going through the luggage, x-raying the van, and x-raying the luggage, the Bavarian police were still not satisfied with the fact that we were not smugglers, and then began to put on rubber gloves. By this time we were starting to get concerned that they may not release us anytime soon. What was to follow, however, was that they swabbed all f our hands, probably for narcotics and gunpowder. They found nothing and released us.

The lyric starts with a nod to Happy Tom of the Norwegian band Turbonegro (click here) who graciously took us to the Viking Museum (click here) and Kon-Tiki Museum (click here) in Oslo when we were there. He treated us like friends and guests in his country. The museums are an extensionof his family, with one of them being co-founded by his uncle.

The rest of the lyrics describe the confusion in being stopped, held, and treated like subhumans.


American Dogs in Europe


The signal starts and ends

Like Thor’s Kon-Tiki winds.

Too late- 

Too late to begin again.

With fire in our eyes

Unmoved by alibis.
Desire- 
Desire built on rumor and lies .

En route we’re locked outside,
Too deep we must decide
If we’re down-
If we’re down for the ride.
Presented their demands,
Palms up they swabbed our hands
Like dogs-
Sick dogs in foreign lands.

Dogs, dogs
American dogs in Europe

No Need to emphasize
Ideals that polarize
Opposition-
Opposition to analyze.
Five thousand miles from home
We stood their all alone
Accusations-
Accusations in the danger zone.



CD track 1
EP side one/ track one
Released on Concrete Jungle Records, Germany (click here)
Released August 3, 2012

This video was recorded and edited by Tony. It is one of the few online that we actually created.



Monday, July 1, 2013

Song by Song, Album by Album

I have decided to go through  catalogue on album at a time and explain what each song is about, as well as to share the lyrics for each. There is usually a back story, and I see no reason to let that all die with me. 

I have released lots of albums, and EPs, and even a single now and again. I wrote lots of songs, so I would imagine this will keep my busy for a long time. I think I will stick with songs I wrote the lyrics to, but I will share impressions and stories regarding others' songs, as well.

More than likely this will continue to be an online diary, as no one but me seems to read it anyway, ha ha. So, let's see if I can actually make this happen.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

ADOLESCENTS TOUR EUROPE 2013 UPDATED


JULY
12.07.13 GER-Berlin, SO36
13.07.13 GER-Stuttgart, tba
14.07.13 GER-Marburg, Cafe Trauma
15.07.13 NED-Hengelo, Innocent
16.07.13 BEL-Kortrijk, The Pit's 
17.07.13 FRA-Lorient, @ le Galion
18.07.13 FRA-Bordeaux, @ l'Heretic
19.07.13 FRA-Toulouse, @ le Seint des Seins
20.07.13 FRA-Miramont de Guyenne, @ Festival Abracada 'Sons
21.07.13 FRA-Lyon, @ Warm Audio22.07.13 FRA-Paris, @ la Flèche d'Or
23.07.13 GER-Freiburg, Walfisch (& Goodbye Fairground)
24.07.13 GER-München, Feierwerk (& Goodbye Fairground)
25.07.13 GER-Nürnberg, Zentralcafe im K4 (& Goodbye Fairground)
26.07.13 ESP-Badalona, Estraperlo Club
27.07.13 GER-Regensburg, @ Jahninselfest
28.07.13 SER- Belgrade @ tbc29.07.13 ITA- Monza (Milan), F.O.A. Boccaccio
30.07.13 ITA- Rome @Torcervera 109 
31.07.13 ITA, Bari, @ Oasi Sanmartino

AUGUST
01.08.13 ITA- Cagliari, Sardenia @ Cueva Rock
02.08.13 ITA, Naples, tbc
03.08.13 ITA-Portomaggiore (Ferrara), @ What is Rock Festival
04.08.13 AUT tbc
05.08.13 AUT tbc
06.08.13 AUT tbc
07.08.13 GER-Karlsruhe, Alte Hackerei (& CH3)
08.08.13 NED-Eindhoven, The Rambler
09.08.13 BEL-Ieper, @ Ieperfest (with CH3 +TSOL + Black Flag)
10.08.13 GBR-Newport, @ Le Pub
11.08.13 GBR-Blackpool, @ Rebellion Festivals
12.08.13 GBR-London, @ Underworld (with Casualties)
13.08.13 NED-Tilburg, @ Little Devil
14.08.13 GER-Köln, @ MTC (with TSOL)
15.08.13 GER-Hamburg, @ Hafenklang
16.08.13 GER-Stemwede, @ Stemweder Open Air
17.08.13 GER-Riesa, @ OJH Open Air (With TSOL + The Stitches)



23.08.13 USA- Long Beach @Alex's Bar
2

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Lyrics to Adolescents: Presumed Insolent (entire album)

BIG ROCK SHOCK
(Reflex/Root)
My Self-help guru
Jumped off of a bridge
With Static magnificence
I’m out on a ledge

I’m in shock
I’m in shock 
Big Rock Shock

I need to scream
A scream isn’t enough.
This scream comes from a place
We never wanted to be.

Life gives us so much
We forget how lucky we are
Until we’ve been robbed
Of the things that matter the most.

CONQUEST OF THE PLANET OF THE SEE MONKEYS
(Reflex/Soto)
From the Cradle to the grave
We are Media slaves.
Labeled, packaged, standardized
Consumer Analyzed-
Poster billboard generation
Spoonfed annihilation.

Monkey see, monkey see, monkey do
Monkey see, monkey see, monkey do
Monkey see, monkey see, monkey do like I do
Monkey see, monkey see, monkey do
Monkey see, monkey see, monkey do
Monkey see, monkey see, monkey do like me

Staring out your tv eye
We embrace the lie.
Dancing with a lottery wife
An imitation of life.
Jersey Shore to the OC
It’s our reality. 

Staring out your tv eye
We embrace the lie.
Labeled, packaged, standardized
Consumer Analyzed-
We are Media slaves.


DAISY’S REVENGE
(Reflex/Soto)
There was a time I was unaware
I’d lock my gaze on everything and glare
For no other reason than my will to be free
There was no power higher than the power in me

No need to justify
Or tell the truth when you look them in the eye
It’s our future, we have the tools
Might be there game but we make the rules.

In measured steps I’d play for time
In metered texts I’m looking for a rhyme
These riddles never made sense.
If I can’t break down walls, I’ll jump the fence

DISSATISFACTION GUARANTEED
(Reflex/Soto)
Well this is a story about little boys
Degeneration built on structure and poise
On an island of broken toys

Dissatisfaction guaranteed
In the pool of Narcissus

In this place of servants and kings
Climb up the ladder you get more things
Pull the puppets by broken strings
Dissatisfaction guaranteed
In the pool of Narcissus

Kids play Zeus with crocodile smiles
Holding court; they hold it with style,
Top dogs spitting venom and bile.
I can play along with the helicopter moms,
The queen bees, the ding and the dong,
The wicked witches singinging along.

Dissatisfaction guaranteed
In the pool of Narcissus

And I can play the king and play it with glee,
Rattle cages of lollipop thieves;
Sierra Madre don’t mean nothing to me.
Hear the Echo, yeah here we go,
In the village where no one knows
Who will follow and who will lead.

FOREVER SUMMER
(Reflex/Soto)

A marketing dream
If we play like a team
The profit unreal

A win-win for all 
An atomic Mall
Beachfront appeal

I’ll make the pitch
Without a hitch
We’ll seal the deal.

Here comes the summer
Here comes the summer
Forever Summer
Here comes the summer
Here comes the summer
Forever Summer

This land is gold 
Leave no lot unsold
Profits won’t cave

We bring glowing waves
Protest parades
To power slaves

People don’t care
When they aren’t aware
No buyer beware

S-a-n - Ono- f-r-e
We built your dream house next to the sea
S-a-n - Ono- f-r-e
Buy today and we’ll wave the closing fee

Here comes the summer
Here comes the summer
Forever Summer
Here comes the summer
Here comes the summer
Forever Summer

SNAGGLETOOTH AND NAIL
(Reflex/Soto)

Snaggletooth, tooth and nail-
Snaggletooth, tooth and nail-
Snaggletooth, tooth and nail-
Snaggletooth.

Vermin attack from the dark
Setting loose dogs- no bite, all bark.
We came back with a roar, 
They ran back to Hell
When we came through the door.

It took a village to screw
To screw our lives to fuck 
Like it was nothing new.
Treated us like we were a game
Try to play us like we were to blame

TRUTH or Snaggletooth?

They’d best keep this in mind
This isn’t over until the end of time
Heed this warning as proof
You can run, 
You can’t hide from the truth

TIC-TAC AT THE ALLIGATOR TREE
(Reflex/Soto)

There’s a place where trouble dwells
Between El Monte and Hell
Lots of vamps- lots of tramps
Below the Bible Belt.

We can laugh, joke, and play
Dance the day and night away.
Got a swamp beat you can’t deny
Tonight’s the night to let it fly
Tic-Tac at the Alligator Tree.

I talk to spirits, I talk to trees,
I talk to Ritter, I talk to D,
I talk to Lux, to Jeffrey Lee
I’d talk to you but you don’t matter to me

We can laugh, joke, and play
Dance the day and night away.
Got a swamp beat you can’t deny
Tonight’s the night to let it fly
Tic-Tac at the Alligator Tree.

We’ll Tic-Tac at the Alligator Tree
We’ll Tic-Tac at the Alligator Tree

I wan’t excitement, I want more,
A reputation you can’t ignore
To make a statement like never before
And Tic-Tac at the Alligator Tree.

I wan’t excitement, I want more,
A reputation you can’t ignore
To make a statement like never before
And Tic-Tac at the Alligator Tree.

THE ATHENA DECREE
(Reflex/Soto)
Push the button, then let it go.
Push the button, then let it go.

How long until I blow?
What’s the limit?
Well I don’t know.

Something boiling
You can’t see
An explosion inside of me.
I am more than you can see
Approximations
You won’t believe

Restitution
A state unknown
Retribution and broken bones

Push the button, then let it go.
Push the button, then let it go.

BROKEN WINDOW
(Reflex/Mia Brandenburg/Soto)

Tell me why people call these eyes
The window to the soul-
Yeah tell me 
Why I can’t read your eyes
Just tell me how-
Then tell me

How to act-
I can’t act that way,
How to look-
I can’t look that way,
How to speak-
I can’t speak that way.
To look away, just look away

Tell me why I’m not listening
I’ve had enough
Heard enough,
Yeah tell me 
Why I need to see your eyes
That window’s shut
I’ve had enough
Then tell me
Don’t look away.

Broken- broken
Broken Window

Don’t Look Away

Tell me why I knew it all along
It felt so wrong
Felt so wrong.
And tell me why
I sense the vice, the apathy
Then tell me
Don’t look away

IN THIS TOWN EVERYTHING IS WONDERFUL
(Reflex/Mia Brandenburg/Soto)
In this town everything is wonderful 
In this town everything is wonderful
In this town everything is wonderful
In this Goddamn town.

We moved to town- 
The Mrs. and me
To settle down 
On a quiet street.
We had tall trees,
Butterflies, bumblebees.
This town has everything you need.

So we set up house
We planted seeds.
When they came up, 
We pulled the weeds.
There’s a church on every street
Birkenstocks for your feet-
This town has everything you need.

In this town everything is wonderful 
In this town everything is wonderful
In this town everything is wonderful
In this Goddamn town.

They have pitchforks at the park
There’s a curfew when it’s dark-
This town has everything you need.

They have a school patrolled by rats
They won’t put up with this or that.
They stamp out little boys
When they make too much noise-
This town has everything you need.

In this town everything is wonderful 
In this town everything is wonderful
In this town everything is wonderful
In this town everything is wonderful 
In this town everything is wonderful
In this town everything is wonderful
In this Goddamn town.

RIPTIDE
(Reflex/Soto)

Living on the outside
On the outside looking in
Caught in a struggle-
A struggle you can’t win.
Head above the water
On the outside looking in
Head above the water
It’s about to begin,

Riptide
No pointing in fighting
We’re taking a ride.
Riptide
No pointing in fighting
We’re taking a ride.

Want to trust in someone
No one left to trust.
No message, No messanger
Rising up from the dust.
No absolution
Nothing to forgive
No need to apologize
For the life that you live.

Riptide
No pointing in fighting
We’re taking a ride.
Riptide
No pointing in fighting
We’re taking a ride.

PRESUMED INSOLENT
(Reflex/Mia Brandenburg/Soto)

Told me where to meet
To keep me off the street
That’s no plan for me,
That is no place to be.
Presumed insolent.

Said I’d never learn
Kicked me to the curb.
That’s no plan for me,
That is no place to be.
Presumed insolent.

Told me what to think.
I’m not a machine.
That’s no plan for me,
That is no place to be.
Presumed insolent.

300 Cranes
(Reflex/Soto)

It was a different time
Another life it seemed 
He’d pay the price
For broken schemes and broken dreams
A man-child on the road of the damned.

I feel kind of empty
I feel kind of down.
I got to get me right.
300 cranes.
300 cranes.
300 cranes.
Build them up and tear them down
Again.

I watched him fold into the night
One page at a time.
His eyes were glazed
His fingers amazed
On the edge of a dime.

I feel kind of empty
I feel kind of down.
I got to get me right.
300 cranes.
300 cranes.
300 cranes.
Build them up and tear them down
Again.

He stopped, paused, and looked around
Like it was meant to be.
“If I could do it tonight, 
I could set them free.”

I feel kind of empty
I feel kind of down.
I got to get me right.
300 cranes.

Build them up, 
Tear them down again.

Troy Brandenburg.  (1964-2001)