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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.